Being Vegan and trying to conceive isn’t impossible. However, from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective relying on a diet solely of raw food and smoothies is a big NO-NO and not helpful to conception.
Instead foods that nourish Qi and Blood become paramount for Vegans. Here I share some recipes that have great ideas when it comes to nourishing Qi and Blood when you’re Vegan.
Nourishing your Qi & Blood (let’s just call it Nourishment for ease) is a big strategy in Traditional Chinese Medicine – because often Western Medicine overlooks it.
TCM focuses a lot on Nourishment, building up reserves of energy and preparing for conception this way. You need your Qi & Blood to be strong to nourish the Uterus, prepare for good implantation before your body is actually Pregnant.
Also, those early weeks of Pregnancy tiredness and morning sickness is common, so build those reserves now!
Why are raw foods and smoothies a big No-No?
In TCM, we pay attention to the thermal nature of food. And anything physically cold is, well…. too cold.
This includes iced water, smoothies with ice cubes, juiced fruit, carrot and celery sticks, any raw vegetables or fruit in large amounts. So you can have fruit and veg, just don’t overdo it!
The Heroes of Nourishment
According to TCM, nourishment comes from a strong Spleen.
When your Spleen Qi is happy, you have loads of energy, clarity of thought, a good memory and great digestion.
For Vegan’s needing to protect their Spleen Qi & Blood, and be better nourished, here’s some recipes that incorporate ingredients that are Spleen-friendly. The main heroes are:
- Shiitake Mushrooms
- Pulses and Legumes
- Root Vegetables
Great examples & enticing recipes to get started with:
- Easy Vegan Pho by Pickles and Honey has lots of great Qi and Blood builders – Tofu, Shiitake mushrooms, Carrots, tick, tick tick! There’s some great Yang boosting foods as well – cinnamon, Ginger, Chili (optional), onion and garlic. Pho is a clean food, any broth is the same, light but packed full of nourishment. This one is an express version.
- Easy Vegan Pho by Happy Kitchen. Rocks. Another Pho, but this time more focus on the broth itself – miso, shiitake mushrooms and spices. Great for boosting Yang energy, the pungent spices really make this Vegan Pho a little different. More ingredients, but more care about how it’s put together.
- Carrot, Turmeric and Ginger soup with Cumin Roasted Chickpeas by The Full Helping. I love this idea of root veg, pungent spice (but not burn your mouth off) and a little protein added in for good measure. I get frustrated with Veggie or Vegan recipes that don’t include protein, but this one is a gem! This is a great example of a balanced dish in the eyes of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Ginger, Cumin, Onion, garlic and cinnamon again support the Spleen Yang Qi. Great for giving you energy and nourishment.
- Black Bean Pumpkin Soup by Avocado Pesto. Wow! Protein, Protein, Protein! Quinoa and Black Beans together make this one hearty Vegan Soup full of nourishment. Add in a root veg like Pumpkin and this is perfection for your Spleen Qi.
- Vegan/Paleo Chai Tagine by Eatori.com Eatori is a fave blogger of mine and it’s because she has great ideas and clever tweaks to her recipes that make it easy for the time-poor in all of us. This Vegan Tagine uses the best of aromatic spices and root veg to maximise the nourishment factor. Using all of the right Spleen Friendly ingredients means this recipe is a great option for nourishing your Qi & Blood.
Chinese Herbs are another option to build your Qi & Blood and we can always ensure the herbs areall plant-based. This is so important in preparation for Trying to Conceive, any IVF cycle and in both cases GOOD IMPLANTATION. Feel free to get in touch and discuss any questions you have about being Vegan and Trying to Conceive or building up your energy reserves. Email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thankyou to these food bloggers for their inspiration: