When it comes to Post Natal Nutrition, sometimes it can feel like very much a challenge to convince 'baby-weight' conscious new moms of the power and worth of moving their focus to 'Healing' Post Natal Nutrition' as opposed to 'Fat Loss Dieting'. For years we have all been indoctrinated as to the evils of fat consumption, the virtues of calorie-counting the merit of getting a flat tummy at all costs, even if that means missing VITAL 'New Mom Nutrients'! So how do we really SUPPORT the women we serve and make it super simple for the them to add in the good stuff that will support their recovery and actually their deepest health for their rest of their lives!
I'm lucky enough to work from home so literally make everything that I and my family will eat from scratch but don't get me wrong, I'm neither an awesome cook or a 'kitchen dwelling woman'....I love to be in and out and even if I eat the same thing for two meals, I'm not bothered at all. Just like many of the women that I serve, I have my own 'pelvic health issues' so I'm always mindful of the biggies like keeping 'regular' - awesome bowel movements are a must :-), nourishing myself to support my brain health, avoiding the biggies that throw my hormonal balance out, like TOO MUCH SUGAR and keeping my nutrition and habits that support my eternal war with inflammation. I most certainly don't count calories or weigh anything and just work on the 'JUST EAT REAL FOOD that's made from scratch most of the time' principle and include a LOT of vegetables, making them the star of the show as opposed to being an afterthought.
Ultimately we've got to keep it REAL and SIMPLE and TOTALLY MANAGEABLE for our time-poor clients or their adherence to these new changes will be low or they'll go into "I'm being deprived" mode and add their inability to eat anything 'nice' as another thing to add to their list of woes....so here's a snapshot of how I coach clients to include supportive and healing nutrition without spending ages in the kitchen, taking tons of supplements, breaking the bank or....and most importantly, without eating unappetizing, dull food!
The photos below are 100% my own, I just keep the camera in the kitchen and photo what I make each day. I truly think that clients appreciate the fact that you're actually walking the talk and what you're asking them to consider is actually food that a real, functioning human eats!
So first up is my trademark Overnight Oats and Berry Compote....check out the video below for the how's and why's of the Overnight Oats. It's accompanied by something that's a 100% mainstay in my fridge....BERRY COMPOTE. The one below actually is full of Rhubarb from my garden and cinnamon too (excellent for management of blood sugar) and the berries (Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries and Rhubarb are all full of vital antioxidants required for combatting the wear and tear of free radicals and supporting the cellular regeneration and generally supporting the 'healing' process. With elevated levels of Cortisol 'consuming' Vitamin C, getting enough of this key Vitamin daily is essential as the demand is increased but the body can't store it! The compote also contains cooking apples, full of pectin which of course is a great sources of fibre which essential for 'awesome' bowel movement that don't require straining....bad news for a 'recovering' pelvis.
This is a 100% time-saving breakfast, dessert or snack simply because a batch of both the compote and the Overnight Oats are made in a heartbeat and simply stored in the fridge and last for the whole week. Voila! Deeply nutritious and zero preparation time once the compote is made - which takes around 20 mins (you just add all the berries and chopped apple and cinnamon to a pan with a little water and simmer until all the fruit is softened).
Green Gut Friendly Soup
Ingredients: 3 small potatoes, watercress, spinach, kale, onion, cooking water/gelatine from a previously cooked Ham Hock. My word, where do I start with this soup. Literally you can feel the goodness coursing your veins with each cup. Firstly, the dark leafy greens included are a powerhouse of nutrients containing Spinach, Kale and Watercress combined are excellent sources of vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein, calcium and phosphorus as well as all being awesome sources of bowel regulating/excess hormone removing FIBRE! The Ham Hock 'gelatine' is simply the left over water from boiling an organic Hock from my local farm shop. This water/gelatine is RICH in gut healing amino acids (the building blocks of protein and all connective tissues including bones) and Gelatine is a great source of minerals such as zinc and copper, again big players in cellular regeneration. Honestly, there's no 'method' here, everything is chopped as necessary, put into a massive pan and the Gelatine (which I just store in the fridge) is added create the desired consistency. Once everything is cooked, it's left to cool and then a hand blender used to whizz it to a soup thickness. I'll even drink this for breakfast...it's a brilliant snack and sometimes I have it as an 'entree' to the salad below. Truly, the prep time is less than 20 mins from chopping board to cup and as I said before, you can literally feel the goodness coursing your veins as you drink it! So....awesome for gut health, connective tissue regeneration and full of the supportive macro and micro nutrients required to build new cells and it's CHEAP AS CHIPS!
Kitchen Sink Salad
I call this my 'kitchen sink salad' because virtually everything goes in there. I simply ensure that when I do my weekly shop for veggies, all my favourites are included and I create a 'tapas'-like affair. For me to eat salad, it's got to be exciting and I'm sure that's the same for your clients so I basically think about all the things I love and then add a little of each thing to the plate. The dressing is super simple, just some extra virgin olive oil, Himalyan Mountain Salt and fresh ground black pepper. Masses of nutrient dense veggies, raw - not cooked olive oil and the Himalyan salt is extremely mineral rich too. Always add a good source of protein, I loved boiled eggs or an omelette, hummus, prawns, take your pick but just ensure that it's food that you LOVE!
Liver Supporting Juice
In these days of toxic overload via our food and environment, our poor Liver is more pressed than ever to simply just do it's job so 'supporting' it's function is pretty essential. As one of our major detoxification pathways, 'loving your Liver' is a thing that's often overlooked beyond not drinking too much alcohol! But paying attention to not only overloading it but helping it do it's job becomes more and more important as women age, experience any kind of hormonal turbulence such as the post birth period and eventually pass into the Peri-to-post Menopause years. I don't juice that often these days as it's simply not satisfying enough for me so this juice is not a 'meal replacement'. I see if more as a tonic. Ingredients and Why?: Fresh Tumeric - anti-inflammary, Beetroot - Liver supporting, gut health, anti-oxidant, Lemon - alkalising and Liver detoxifying, Ginger - anti-inflammatory, Celery - anti-oxidant and folate rich.
Oily Fish and Cruciferous Vegetables
I could eat this all day and every day. Cruciferous vegetables are huge when we're trying to support hormonal balance. The cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower help to get rid of excess hormones and provide vital fibre. Pooping is a major detoxification pathway that also is important when considering the role of constipation in prolapse management, Diastasis recovery and the 'all hallowed flat tummy'! The fish is full of Omega 3 which alsongside it's anti-inflammatory properties has been shown in many studies to improve the symptoms of Post Natal depression and low mood.
So there you have it......deeply nourishing, inexpensive, time-efficient REAL FOOD, that I think even the most 'challenged' cook could get to grips with!