So the other day as I was stalking Instagram, I stumbled upon a really cool vegan page. Instagram name- jgreen_nutrition, who is run by a young woman named Jackie ( last named unknown) from Australia. Jackie has a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Food Science, and Dietetic Medicine. As you know, I couldn’t resist to inbox her with a few questions. It basically turned into a mini interview. I just thought.. Hey, why not share it with you guys!
Me: I was wondering your take on vegan prenatals… not pregnant yet, but hoping to be in the future. I would love any advice on the vegan diet and being pregnant! ( I’ve been vegan for 1 1/2 years.)
Jackie: “From my research on vegan prenatal vitamins, I would recommend: Deva Vegan Prenatal (full of the basic vitamins and folic acid essential for conceiving a healthy baby) however, it’s quite low in calcium so just stay on top of your green leafy vegetables”!
She preceded with more information and tips
Jackie: ” Go for pills rather than capsules as capsules are usually made from gelatin. Be aware if your diet is iron rich as some vitamins can have up to 150% of your daily iron intake, so be careful you don’t consume too much iron as it can lead to nausea and constipation. During pregnancy you will need 1000 mg calcium per day and most vitamins will only have 200-300mg, so make sure your diet is rich in plant sources of calcium- again, green leafy veggies”.
“DHA is also essential for conceiving and for infant health. Most people think you can only get DHA from a fish source however, DHA is present in flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds, so add them into your meals where you can. All in all, if you are eating a plant-based vegan diet you should already be consuming all the vitamins you need. However, B12 will need to be supplemented. You can find B12 sprays and tablets in health food shops.
Jackie also recommended this website- http://www.today’sdietitian.com/newsarchives/tddec2007pg38.shtml
Me: All this information is exactly what I needed! How do you like being a vegan nutritionist? How were the classes, and the overall process? What are the pros and cons?
Jackie: “In terms of studying nutrition, it’s important to know what you will be getting out of your course. For instance, I did a Bachelor of Health Science ( majoring in nutrition and food studies) but after I finished, I felt nowhere near qualified to consult anyone! I learned a lot ( more scientific based) but not the basics when it comes to actually “being” a nutritionist- the business side of it”.
“So I have gone back to do a fast tracked Bachelor of Dietetic Medicine, where you are actually trained in business planning. You have consulting practice one on one with volunteers from the university. All in all, my best advice is, that you just need to make sure the course you choose will fully prepare you in the practical side of things.”
“In nutrition you are constantly learning, so the more you can learn the better! In terms of jobs- in Australia it’s not easy to find work as a nutritionist. As a dietitian it is, but vegan dietitians don’t really exist here due to the regulations on what foods, diet plans can consist of ( they are heavy on dairy). So basically, from everyone I know thats trying to find work after graduating, starting your own business or an online consulting business is the best way to go about it. But, you are located in the US. The job field in nutrition may be very different! Being vegan narrows things down a bit in terms of jobs, but to me it’s one of the best ways to promote a vegan message- by being qualified in the nutrition field”.
” I can tell you are very passionate about health and I would highly recommend getting into the field! Any questions you have, please ask. I’ll keep you updated with any business ventures as they happen so you can see what may be possible in vegan nutrition.”
Me: Such great info! Very interesting indeed. I have also noticed specifically in my area, there are not many vegan nutritionist/dietitians. Its very refreshing to talk to someone who is! What are your “go tos” ( as far as eating) on a daily basis? What do you need every day to make sure you’re getting what you need nutritionally?
Jackie: ” I personally eat very simple. A normal day for me would consist of oatmeal + banana cooked with rice milk. Most lunches I will cook potatoes and stir fry a mix of veggies. Usually for dinner would be any mix of rice, lentils, black beans, veggies, tofu/tempeh and spices. Basically, my shopping basket simplified is oats, rice milk, fruits, veggies, natural nuts, apple cider vinegar ( I put it on everything-Addicted) cans of beans, lentils, and diced tomatoes.”
“That’s a normal day, but I do eat out here and there, so when I’m home, I just try to stick to low sodium, no oil, no processed sugar and that keeps my digestion and blood sugar happy! I have put my diet in different variations through macro and vitamin tracker and everything is almost 100% or over for daily intake except for B12 which I supplement.”
Me: Oh my! You’re so good! I don’t really have a routine, but in the summer I was trying to follow a “raw till 4” plan. I love Ellen Fisher’s posts on instagram and YouTube ( insta: ellenfisher) (YouTube: Mango Island Mamma). Thats where I got the idea from. But I’m in the colder climates right now in Pa, so I love eating my hot food.
Jackie: “Oh, I’m not ALWAYS good! My boyfriend went vegan with me at the start of the year, but he has a sweet tooth and loves to go out so I’m always stopping and starting with my “diet”. Raw till four is a great lifestyle! But yes, definitely hard in the cold climate, that’s why I eat oats every morning- so satisfying. If you ever have any digestion issues- lentils are great to add in, just grab a can of them, put them in a pot with some veggies/sauce and BOOM, hearty meal for that cold weather”!
There you have it everyone! If anyone has any questions for Jackie, please feel free to inbox her on instagram- @jgreen_nutrition . She is full of wonderful insight and information!