1. Did you hesitate to raise your baby vegan?
Not at all. I have studied for almost 6 years the effects food has on the body, and there was not a doubt in my mind that I would raise my children vegan and Macrobiotic, not to mention a macro/vegan prenatal lifestyle as well. I had the Easiest pregnancy, and loved every minute of it. I gained a healthy 19lbs. Everything went perfect, and I continued my personal training and macro lifestyle the entire time. My plan was an all natural birth with the midwives at Vanderbilt, but my little girl flipped at the end. My first child is going to be 3 in may, and she is macrobiotic/vegan. She knows no different, and loves all her food. When we go to pizza parties, I make her own pizza and cake. She inspired me to create my own baby food line (Macro Mama/ Macro Baby Food, LLC). She has been extremely healthy, happy, and strong. I know she is my child, but she is smart as well - even according to her assessments at her school :). It has helped to have a pediatritian that raises her family vegan and holistic as well. I also have a mentor here, Ginny Harper, that has taught me so much about macrobiotics and has been a great support system when I feel like I may be a little extreme. There are definetly times where people think I am crazy (even family) they may try to give her things I DO NOT approve of (not meat or dairy but sugar, white flour, splenda, any processed...), but for the most part people respect our choices. It gets hard when she goes to parties, but I pack EVERYTHING for her to eat and drink. My advise is choose an environment that supports your decision. Corinne's school director is Vegetarian, so she understands more then most. I Juice for her when I feel she needs a boost of veggies, and she loves her sea veggies. I am currently 19 weeks pregnant with our second child, and again so far this has been perfect! Absolutely no problems. I feel like if our second ends up just as easy as our first, then I can prove my point once again. Being Vegan/ Macrobiotic creates the best quality of life possible.
2. How do you deal with naysayers?
It used to bother me because people almost make you feel like you are not letting your child "fit in," but that only last for a split second because I know why I raise my family this way. I am educated and continue to educate myself. I am confident in my decision, and I try to explain to others that want to understand more how certain foods effect certain organs and so on. My child knows that cow milk is for cows, and that we do not eat animals. Sugar and other foods make us sick and hurt our bellies.
3. How do you talk to your kids about being vegan?
She is 2.5 now, so she understands that we eat veggies, grains, and beans. Animals are animals we play with. We do not eat animals or drink from animals because it hurts our bellies.
4. What was your breastfeeding experience like?
I breastfed for 10 months, but had to substitute with formula. I think that I did not produce a lot of milk because of how active my lifestyle is. I learned how to eat specific foods to help with production.
5. How did breastfeeding help you bond with your baby and learn about yourself as a mom?
It was such a special time for my daughter and I to just relax and connect. I felt like she needed and wanted me, and when I would look at her she seemed so greatful for me. It was a time for us to communicate on a different level.
Thank you for sharing! I have many vegans & vegetarians in my family & last year ate a vegetarian diet for 6 months to try to eliminate daily headaches & other health problems. It was the bet I've felt in years! I succumbed to the awful meat eating & processed foods toward the last few months & back to feeling just gross. So going back this year, probably for good, & considering a vegan diet. We are planning to start trying to get pregnant with my 3rd child so this is great info. Your post was encouraging! Thanks again!
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