Friday, May 25, 2012

Pregnancy and the Demise of Veganism: An Illustration

I was vegan for two-and-a-half months, from January to mid March 2012.  I LOVED it, I was gung-ho about it and didn't want to quit.  However, circumstances changed...

One innocent morning, I made my usual veggie/fruit juice for breakfast, a large 30 oz shot of vitamins and minerals that made me feel bright and alive each day.  Today was different.  I was uncharacteristically nauseous.  Surely, I was just hungry, the juice would fix it.  The Juice can fix anything!  I drank as much as I could hoping to settle my stomach.  No sauce.  I vomited the whole lot.  Miserable.

Turns out, I was a few weeks pregnant!  Triumphant use of ecstatic exclamation points!!!  Kyle and I are thrilled.  But, as one could imagine, early pregnancy symptoms put a pretty abrupt end to my vegan goals.  Of course, pregnancy effects every woman in different ways, but after that first expelled juice, I couldn't even think of juice for weeks without feeling queasy.  Food aversions and cravings started immediately for me.  I had incredibly strong feelings of aversion for almost all of the delicious vegan food that had become a steady part of my diet, which was really weird. Think of the last time you had a food craving--for me it usually goes something like this:

This is normal Mel.  Easy going, rolls-with-the-punches kinda gal.  Whilst I was vegan, the internal monologue was a little different, something like: "Pizza would be SO good right now!  But I am determined to make healthier choices so I will look up a delicious veggie-filled recipe online and spend the next hour cooking."  Resolutely goes to work.

However, as soon as pregnancy nausea hit, for those first few weeks of "morning", aka "all day", sickness, it was more like this:

 Chick-Fil-A= a vegan's worst enemy.  Aka, "Cocaine Chicken".

I'm not a fan of "fast food".  I never eat at McDonald's, Burger King, and some of the lower-on-the-totem-pole establishments.  Sometimes I eat at Wendy's, but less and less these days, and when I do I usually get a baked potato and a frosty (cause I friggin love Frosties).  I like Chipotle, but that's hardly typical "fast food".  However, they just built a Chick-Fil-A near my house.  DANGER.

Those first few days of nausea, ALL I could stomach was Chick-Fil-A chicken.  So I gave in, pretty shamelessly.  Truthfully, I am not ashamed of this and do not consider myself a "failure" for "quitting" my vegan diet/goals.  I really have been trying to listen to my body, and eat what I could hold down.  I figured it was more important to get food into my (and the baby's) system, than to operate under such strict restrictions and end up vomiting all the time.  Besides, I hate to vomit more than I love eating vegetables, so there ya go.

Now that I am in my second trimester, most of the symptoms of the first (nausea, aversions/cravings, exhaustion, etc) are starting to abate.  Awesome.  I'm gaining weight at a slow and steady pace (so far), which is good, and I've had a chance to indulge, which is also goooooood.

I fully intend to adopt and resume healthy eating habits, both while pregnant and after this little bundle comes in November.  In the meantime, don't judge to harshly.


  1. This made my day. I especially love the frame where your eyes go all swirly. The cartoons are genius. I'm glad you don't feel shame about your choice- there is no reason to feel bad. Just keep doing what your body tells you, and that little bundle will grow perfectly! So excited to meet him or her!

    PS- Now I really want Chick-fil-A. Darn it!

  2. Loved reading this, your cartoon windows are great! I'm glad you feel no shame in eating what you felt like eating, we only live once and quite frankly, if you put a certain kind of food into your mind you most likely wont get it out until you've eaten it haha.