Simple Food for Tired Moms
Being new moms, I’m sure you face a lot of challenges, such as no sleep, and no time – especially for yourself. And of course this is the time when you need to have lots of extra energy to make it all work. A lot of us would turn to food for an energy boost. That is why it is so important to make positive decisions about food during those first few months. Most of us would be drawn to coffee and sugary treats to get us through the day but those choices will leave you tired and in a downward cycle of blood sugar spikes and dips. What you need is food options that are easy and that give you lasting energy, but there are certainly a few road blocks:
I’m so busy – I have no time!
Try cooking large batches of things you can eat all week. Getting together a big pot of soup, roasting some root veggies, cutting up some carrots, pre-cooking some beans in the crock pot and having pre-washed greens in the fridge will save time.
Try cooking double for every meal – making salmon? Cook double the filets and keep them in the fridge for a quick lunch the next day.
I’m holding a baby – I have no hands!
Aim to have things in the fridge that are easy to eat with one hand. Cherry tomatoes, grapes, trail mix, pre-cut carrot or celery sticks are all things you can eat with one hand for a quick snack. A piece of fruit and a handful of nuts, an apple with nut butter, hummus with pepper strips or a hearty cracker like Mary’s brand will give you quick energy without the crash and are easy to grab.
Babies are expensive – I have no money!
Get in on a CSA box from your local farmer. Ferndale farms in Mission will give you a box of veg for 5 months for about 500 dollars, that’s 100 per month or 25 dollars a week for organic veg. You can also purchase freezer packs from Lepp farm market or Meridian meats in Maple Ridge for local grass fed meats, approximately 150 dollars for about 30 meals worth of meat which is a great money saver (and time).
My partner is back to work/my family isn’t nearby – I have no help!
Filling your freezer means less trips to the grocery store. Make things as easy as possible, you can use short cuts and purchase some healthy items like organic canned beans or Amy’s organic soups. Use your counter-top to grow sprouts, super easy and basically free after purchasing a 5 dollar bag of seeds.
The goal with meals during this first year is to maximise nutritional value in the shortest amount of time. Meals should be simple and nutrient dense. There are some specific foods that will increase energy for you and, if you choose to breastfeed, will be beneficial to the quality of your milk as well. The foods I’d like you to build your meals around are:
- Nuts and seeds – quick protein, lots of fiber
- Salmon – lots of omega 3 fatty acid which will help you deal with mommy brain fog and brain development in your baby as well (through breast milk)
- Leafy greens – Loaded with magnesium which is essential for muscle repair
- Whole grains like Farro, Amaranth, Kamut – rich in B vitamins which are essential for energy
- Organic berries – for their ample antioxidant content
- Low glycemic starches – Sweet Potato, Yam, Squash – quick, lasting energy
- Homemade fruit and vegetable juices and sprouts – for abundant enzyme action and quick nutrient bursts to prevent deficiency (better than a multi-vitamin)
- Pineapple, peppers and citrus fruit – Vitamin C for collagen repair and to help with stress
What to avoid:
- Caffeine – Hard on your adrenals and will lead you to further exhaustion over time
- Simple Sugars – Balanced blood sugar is key right now, avoid the spikes and dips that sugary treats will cause.
- Dieting – You need calories for energy, even more so if you are breastfeeding. Resist the urge to diet and instead focus on nutrient dense, unprocessed food and the weight will come off naturally.
Being a new mom is the hardest, most rewarding job on the planet. We can only do so much to give our little ones the best chance at life and you cannot expect yourself to be perfect. These are some general guidelines, but if all you can do at the end of a long day is get something on the table (whatever it is) then that is a win in my books. Please do not fault yourself if your diet is not perfect, stressing about food perfection is worse than the food you ate a lot of the time.
Eat good food when you can, and when you can’t – enjoy the journey.
Jenna Sholinder R.H.N.
Jenna Sholinder | Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Jenna is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who believes in a client centric approach. Her goal is to help her clients make simple and meaningful changes that pack the most nutritional punch. She believes that everyone is capable of optimal health, without giving up the enjoyment of food. You can find Jenna working with Evoke Wellness Centre as well as running a food and wellness blog. For tasty recipes and nutrition and wellness tips check out her website: www.realfoodwanted.com or follow her on social media – Instagram @realfoodwanted / Facebook – Real Food Wanted.