So let’s talk food…I love food but my relationship with food has changed hugely since having my baby.
I have always been a little and often girl and my IBS issues are much better to live with if I stick to this.
This means I literally have to eat something every 3 hours or I get terrible stomach cramps and general low mood (ask my husband!!) I’ve done the usual restrictions in the past, restricting carbs, limiting protein, small portions etc but now I feel very differently and more importantly I don’t just eat to fuel myself, I eat to fuel my baby!
For me the biggest change has been due to breastfeeding, this has had such a huge effect on my appetite pretty much from the start and has been the main factor in changing my diet. There is no way I could have kept up with feeding many times a day and being a mummy if I hadn’t eaten enough and regularly. It also meant that I needed to increase my calorie intake by eating extra snacks and incorporating more carbs and more protein into my meals.
I find it very hard to believe when I hear some mums say they have only eaten a biscuit all day….WHAT? I did feel, at the start, that putting my needs at the bottom of the list would somehow make me a better and more committed mother, how wrong this is! My baby needs me fully capable in body and in mind and that means I need fuel, lots of it! I couldn’t imagine being able to put one foot in front of the other if I did this let alone look after a baby!
Fuel your day:
For me, breakfast is the key and I am usually ravenous as soon as I wake up. I make all of our breakfasts in a frenzy of bowls, plates, oats, Weetabix, bananas, all flying around everywhere! I regularly post photos of my breakfasts with detailed ingredients list on my Instagram account @mummy_fuel
I like to eat as many meals with baby now that he is on solids so I try to get everything ready to go the night before or just keep the recipe very easy and quick and yes, I use the microwave mostly for porridge!
A regular day for me, a breastfeeding mummy, looks like this:
- Porridge (obsessed) – I used to make porridge with water and eat it plain or with a tiny bit of fruit. Now I use almond milk and water, some form of protein, frozen fruit and my personal favourite, pumpkin puree.
- Egg whites
- Nut butter – almond/cashew/peanut (Pip&nut/Meridian/Aldi)
- Chia seeds (Aldi)
- Plant based protein powder (thatprotein, missfits)
- Chicken salad
- Rice cakes with hummus and salad
- Sweet potato and hummus
- Tuna salad or left over roasted vegetables
- Gluten free wraps (Bfree)
- Butternut squash and sweet potato soup
- Turkey bacon, avocado and eggs
- Salmon with butternut squash zoodles
- Chicken and turkey bacon with a light cream cheese sauce
- Chicken sausages, sweet potato mash, beans
- Turkey mince many ways!
- Tuna Steak
- Chicken fajitas
- Fish and chip fakeaway (lightly dusted cod and sweet potato wedges with mushy peas)
- Frozen blackforest fruits with Full fat greek yogurt
- Oppo Ice cream
- Rice cakes with nut butter or baobab jam
- Protein bars (primal pantry, Aldi, Nak’d, Pulsin and beyond)
- Ginger or choc chip oat biscuits
- Medool dates stuffed with nut butter
- Lemon and hot water to start everyday!
- One very strong americano
- Decaffeinated green tea
- Peppermint tea (usually after tea)
- Coconut water (good for hydration if breastfeeding)
- Oat or almond milk decaf latte
- Camomile and spiced apple tea (before bed)
I don’t have fancy, complicated recipes that take hours to prepare, just not practical! I also don’t have a huge amount of money, being on maternity leave, to spend of lots of expensive foods. So I try to use ingredients that are just part of our weekly shop which usually comes to about £50 a week. I do like to use quality ingredients however (I have a major nut butter addiction which doesn’t come cheap!) and these tend to be a little more expensive but they also last longer.
I’d say planning food ahead is very important but I don’t do a weeks’ worth of prep or have everything ready all the time.
To be honest, we stick to the same evening meals most weeks but just alter them slightly to keep it interesting! I will admit to using breastfeeding/bonding time to think of what my next meal is going to be, usually at 3am I’m sat in bed feeding, thinking about what to do with my porridge in the morning!
Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, mummies need to look after themselves and make sure you are a priority in your life! I confused this with being selfish to begin with but I now know it’s not, it’s necessary and we shouldn’t feel guilty for it!
There is way too much emphasis on weight loss after pregnancy when it should be on the right nutrition for new mums who want to nourish their bodies after the trauma that is birth and pregnancy and who want to nourish their babies.
I now see food in a whole new light and I really think about what its doing for me, not to me!
I hope some mummies out there can relate to or find any of this useful, please comment below and share your recipies that work for you and keep checking my intagram @mummy_fuel for foodie pics and recipes.