When you are tired, you will be hungry. If you are breastfeeding, you will be hungry. Spending the day caring for your baby, you will be hungry! Your life has changed and so you need to adjust your diet accordingly. Use this time to reconnect with your body; you have been through such vast changes that you need to pay attention to what foods suit the new chapter of your body’s life.
Start as you mean to go on! As the foundation meal for your day, experiment with when to eat breakfast in your new way of living as a new parent. When is the best time for you to eat so you can make it through to lunch?
Think outside the box with your meals and take the opportunity to make your own routine. In the early days, I found I woke up feeling as though I hadn’t eaten for a week! So, I would have a small bowl of low sugar cereal early in the morning. I would then have another small, second breakfast mid morning; a poached egg on a slice of wholegrain toast for example. I found that by breaking up my normally larger breakfast before work, I could manage the amount of food I was consuming to a healthy level, without feeling hungry on the long stretch between breakfast and lunch. I would then have a light lunch with an afternoon snack (fruit or nuts) to get me to my evening meal.
Finding the right breakfast can also link to sharing the start of your day with baby. Is it something you can share as they grow older? Role modelling this healthy food habit will bring huge benefits to all of your family.
Have you ever tried a sugar detox? If you have then I probably don’t need to even try to convince you of the benefits this change in your diet can bring! If you haven’t, the I encourage you to give it a go! If you are finding you have a constant hunger or cravings for sweet food that doesn’t make you feel full or give you a high load of calories that you don’t really need. Choose wholesome foods that will make you feel full; low in sugar but high in goodness! Nuts are great for snacks if you are finding it challenging in between meals at first, but give yourself a week. You may find it hard as you wean yourself off the treats, but after a few days, you will feel as though you don’t actually need it!
Fruit and Vegetables
You already know this is important, but do you actually do it? Keep a food diary to track how much fruit and veg you actually consume and take note of portion sizes. Is it enough? Challenge yourself on you current eating habits and take note in order to reflect on the actual amounts you’re eating, rather than what you think you’ve eaten. As your baby begins to move onto solids, you will be more aware of the food you are eating and your meals will be more appropriate to share with your growing baby; whether that’s through pureeing a smaller portion of your meal or baby lead weaning methods.
Buy a massive water bottle! Keep it by you at all times! Water is key to your health, it will help your digestive system (another must post partum!), help you if you’re feeling tired and often will be the solution for hunger which is so often mistaken for thirst. It also makes you more aware of how well your pelvic floor exercises are doing with the toilet trips you will need as your body adjusts to the increased intake of water!
The benefits of making these changes now will not only impact on your own body and relationship with your temple, but it will begin your family’s food habits with good choices and a healthy balance. So go for it, use this time to explore and find what works for you!