Let me see if you can relate.
About nine or more months ago, you found out that you were preggers, and with excitement and good intentions, you made it clear to yourself that you’re eating habits, they were going to stay in check! For both you and your bundle of joy, your diet was your priority and you had your heart set on doing the best that you could to ensure a healthy beginning.
Then, THE CRAVINGS HIT! You craved all the foods! From strawberry lemonade and blueberry waffles to spicy salsa (or was that just me?), your healthy diet was no more, and your bump ruled the cravings.
Speaking of the bump, it turned itself into the decision maker and when your brain said, “eat broccoli”, your bump chanted, “Cake! Cake! Cake!” While your brain continued to lose the battle, the due date came sooner and sooner. With cravings so deep that it consumed your deepest thoughts, you finally gave in, accompanied by a, “I’m going to enjoy it while I have the chance” decision.
Can you relate yet? (Me too!)
After your sweet baby was born, you again, had all intentions of cleaning up your diet. You had Pinterest boards titled, “Healthy Postpartum Diet” and plans to cook for your new family. Your goals were on track and you were ecstatic to get started. However, mothering a newborn exhausted you more than you thought it was going to and, the lady bits, well, they were a bit tired (to say the VERY least).
Furthermore, your Pinterest perfect meals became packaged, easy to grab, or microwavable meals; all in which, gave you a bit of disappointment every time that you ate them.
Fast forward to NOW, you are sick and tired of not feeling healthy and are ready to kick your butt back in gear!
Am I spot on or spot on?
Well, Mama, I’m here to tell you that as a new mommy, sometimes Pinterest perfect meals don’t look so perfect and you should NOT feel disappointed in yourself. Postpartum healing is hard in all aspects, give yourself grace and be proud of yourself for making the first step to change into consuming a healthier diet. I am also here to tell you that eating healthy (even with a moody baby) does not have to be hard and with the following tips, you should be well on your way in doing so!
Before I begin, I need to let you know that I am not a doctor; just a mama basing this information on my own experiences as a mother, an athlete, and prior research. Please consult your doctor before proceeding with any of the following information!
The Diet Breakdown
Now, first off, the word, “diet”, is not being used as a restriction of food, but more of a healthy way of eating that will nourish your body, as optimal as possible. That’s the point of food, really; to nourish and fuel your body so it can complete the tasks that it needs to complete (in your case feeding, chasing, loving a baby). With that said, it is important to change your mindset from what can I take away, to what can I consume to make me feel my best.
So, what can you consume to make you feel your best?
You should be consuming:
- Healthy Fats
- Leafy Greens
- Complex Carbohydrates
- Omega 3’s
- Yes, you know it. A LOT OF WATER!
Let’s break this down even further!
The MOST IMPORTANT THINGS (Pssst. Everything is important, these are just MOST important)
Protein is so important to anyone’s diet, especially a postpartum mama’s diet! This is because it is the essential ingredient to feeding your muscles and overall, feeling healthy.
Moreover, there are two concepts to think about here. The first concept is that even if you are not consistently workout, you are STILL momming hard! By momming hard, I mean, constantly holding, walking around, bending over with baby and chasing baby if he or she is mobile. Therefore, you ARE burning calories and should take that into consideration. Consuming protein will help you replenish your body and keep you strong. Additionally, if you are a breastfeeding mama, you are losing at least 500 calories every single day. Protein is a wonderful way to fill that empty spot!
Calcium is essential to the postpartum diet in various ways. Moreover, of course, we all know that calcium makes strong bones, but what you probably don’t know is that it promotes heart health and helps prevent high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer! To sum it up, a lack of calcium can lead to an overall weak body.
Furthermore, you are probably wondering, “Hey, I’m dairy intolerant (or sensitive). What do I eat?”. The good news is, that there are tons of calcium-rich foods that don’t have any dairy in them!
Iron is another one of those substances that is essential for replenishing the nutrients that you lose throughout the day. Especially essential for a NEWLY postpartum mommy, after losing a, let’s face it, a shocking amount of blood during and after childbirth, newly postpartum mommies need to make sure to restock their bodies with the iron.
When I said that, did you flinch? “I cannot and will not eat that much spinach,” is what you are thinking, right? After you hear the follow benefits, you may reconsider!
Leafy greens not only are high in antioxidants, they are also digestive aids, and are natural fat burners. A win, win for a healthy postpartum diet! In addition, leafy greens, when cooked, are incredible for your gut health; which will, in return, lessen inflammation and bloating.
Reconsidering yet? I have great news for you mama! There are tons of great supplements out there that make it easy to consume your daily dose of leafy greens!
Complex Carbohydrates (the ones that your body can break down fast, as opposed to simple carbohydrates in which your body cannot break down fast), are one of those have-to-have elements in a postpartum diet! This is because they are instant energy boosters (YES, PLEASE) and, aid your digestive system, along with your metabolism health!
Of Course, WATER!
However, I feel like I don’t have to explain too much here! Without it, our whole body will feel fatigued and be affected negatively.
The Important Things to Remember:
Like what I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the most important concept to remember about a healthy postpartum diet is that your goal is to fuel your body.
What you are about to hear may or may not shock you…
When you consistently do not eat enough food to correctly fuel your body, your body will go into STARVATION MODE! During this starvation mode, when you do eat, your body will hold onto the fat instead of burning it. All this because, your body thinks that it will not receive enough food in the future, so it tells itself to hold onto what it already has for later.
IT IS ESSENTIAL to ensure that you are eating enough calories (the right kind calories that we talked about above), to power your body with nutrients so it can perform as it needs to. Moreover, I am a huge fan of listening to your body and providing it with what it needs when it needs it.
A little tip of advice before you go…
You are amazing, Mama! You have grown, birthed, and now are raising another (probably busy) miniature, human being! While eating a healthy diet is important, it is extremely important to give yourself grace and remember that this is a POSTPARTUM JOURNEY, not a race!
Happy healthy living to you, Mama!
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