Nourishment

Nutrition Between Pregnancies: 3 Foods For Recovery And Fertility

Guest post by nutrition-guru Anna Bohnengel
www.alavitanutrition.com

 

Mama, life is moving fast.  You’ve got a sweet, soft bundle of baby squirming in your arms and it’s already time to start thinking about making another.

 

Eeeek! It’s all so exciting, but also kind of scary!

 

Take a deep breath, because you got this. You were made for this. And there is so much you can do to fortify your mama superpowers. The first of which, is eating well.

 

Growing another human, whether in your belly or on your breast, takes a lot out of you. The World Health Organization recommends waiting two years between pregnancies to rebuild your nutrient stores. Whether you have two years to wait or not, take this time in-between babies to indulge in nourishing yourself.

 

This is not a time for deprivation!

 

You can get your body back later. Right now, focus on treating yourself to the most nourishing, health-enhancing foods you can get your hands on. See just how good you can feel from the inside out.

 

Tip: Ignore the ‘pre’ in prenatal vitamins and take them before during and after pregnancy. If you know another babe is on the way, there’s no reason to stop taking them! 

 

Here are three particularly nutrient dense foods to replenish your nutrient stores post-partum and make sure you’re set up to thrive the next time around:  

 

Salmon

This pretty pink fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty-acids and vitamin D, nutrients that are in short supply in the typical American diet, yet they are essential to a healthy pregnancy. Omega-3s can help reduce inflammation in mom while boosting the baby brain development. Vitamin D enables calcium absorption for strong bones. Both nutrients help protect you from post-partum depression.  

Recipe: Lemon-Dill Salmon Cakes

 

Eggs (with the yolk!)

Eggs are a nutrition powerhouse. They provide vitamin D, zinc, B-vitamins, protein, antioxidants, and too often overlooked, choline. Choline is important for cell formation and cognitive function. This nutrient is also needed in higher quantity during pregnancy and breastfeeding. To meet your choline needs, dish up three (yes, three) eggs a day.

Recipe: Mediterranean Egg Muffins

 

Beets

From greens to root bulb, beets are packed with nutrients mamas need. The greens have much needed calcium and folate (think spinal cord development in baby) and fiber (keeping mom regular). The deep purple beetroot provides iron to keep fatigue at bay.

Recipe: Beet-Avocado Smoothie


 

About Anna

Anna Bohnengel is a registered dietitian and co-founder of Alavita Perinatal Nutrition. Trained at the National Institutes of Health, she has spent most of her career at Oregon Health & Science University.

She has years of experience helping women achieve their healthiest, happiest self with a fresh, simple and results-driven approach to eating good food. As a new mom herself, she is now dedicated to helping women feel confident and nourished as they venture into mamahood.


 

Metabolism Boosting Oatmeal

By Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

How many of you have a bowl of oatmeal in the mornings because of its good fiber and then an hour later you're hungry and want a second breakfast?

 

Oatmeal is a great source of fiber which can help with hormone balance and digestion.  On the other side, it doesn't have much protein or fat in it which can cause your blood sugar to crash. 

 

Cue hunger and irritability.  

 

How does this oatmeal recipe help change that and improve metabolism?

 

1.  It is filled with healthy fats and good protein which helps balance blood sugar.

 

2.  It has warming spices that help improve digestion.

 

Try this recipe to feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the day.

 

Side note

I like to put a lot of intuition in to my cooking.  Often, a recipe looks different every day because of my preferences and what I have in the kitchen.  Use this as a guideline to create a recipe that you love!

Nourishing Oatmeal
By Angela Potter

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of oats (or try a multi-grain mix for a more nutrient-dense breakfast!)
  • A spoonful of yogurt
  • A tablespoon of coconut oil or butter
  • A spoonful of nut butter - try peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter
  • A handful of blueberries (fresh in the summer, frozen in the winter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • A small pinch of cayenne

 

Directions

  1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan, add the oats and reduce to a simmer.
  2. While the oats are simmering, add the yogurt, coconut oil or butter, nut butter and blueberries to your breakfast bowl.
  3. When the oats are almost done cooking, add the spices and mix well.
  4. When the oatmeal is finished cooking, add to your bowl of goodies and mix well. 
  5. Enjoy!



 

Winter Nourishment: Benefits Of Eating Seasonally

By Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

Mothers with young babies need lots of nourishing and nutrient-rich foods to help with recovery after birth. 

 

One of the easiest ways to get the most nutrient-dense foods in your diet is to eat with the seasons.

 

Why?

 

1.  When foods are grown in season they (usually!) aren't grown in hot-houses, they are grown in soil, and grown in exactly the right environment they need to thrive.  When the vegetables thrive, that means you get the maximum benefits out of them!

 

2. Eating with the seasons means you are getting a variety of nutrients in your diet.

 

Here are some foods that are in season for The Pacific Northwest in the winter.  Eat these with abundance during the winter months!

  • Squash
  • Parsnips
  • Leafy greens like kale, chard and collard greens
  • Pomegranates
  • Oranges
  • Leeks
  • Turnips

3 Tips For Eating Healthy While Caring For A Newborn

By Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

Your baby is here and your body is recuperating from one of the most significant events it will ever go through. Eating nutritious foods is one of the cornerstones of your birth recovery.

 

But you're also taking care of a newborn who has many more needs than your own!  Making nutritious foods is much easier said than done.

 

The number one thing to do is give yourself grace, you are juggling a lot of things right now and nutrition often can't be at the top of your list.  I hope to give you some simple tips and tricks to make it that much easier to keep yourself nourished!

 

Here are 3 tips and tricks to make eating nutritious food easy while taking care of your baby.

 

1. Keep snacks around the house

Especially snacks that are easy to fit in your hand and have protein in them.  Try things like trail mix, cups of yogurt, or crackers and cheese.  If you have them around the house, then you can still eat while you are holding the baby while the baby naps or feed.  

 

 

2. Make a big dinner when your partner is home so you can have leftovers for lunch

When you do this, keep tortillas or breads handy so when you’re eating lunch (often one-handed with a baby on your breast!), you can wrap food in the tortilla and eat.

 

 

3. Make a big breakfast once a week so you don’t have to make it every morning

Having a good breakfast filled with protein (like eggs or nut butters) will help keep your mood and energy elevated. Make a frittata or a breakfast casserole that you can keep in the fridge to eat throughout the week. These are a great, simple way to add in veggies and protein.

 

Try just one of these tips and see how it helps you! Let me know in the comments below.

Simple Homemade Yogurt

By Dr. Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

 

Homemade yogurt is simple to make.  My family makes it at home multiple times a week!  Yogurt is a great snack, it’s full of beneficial bacteria to help with digestion and it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

 

Some people use electric yogurt makers, which work fine, but I want to share with you how easy it is to make yogurt without buying any extra equipment.

 

Why make yogurt at home? 

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It’s cost effective
Buying a half gallon of milk and making it into yogurt will give you about twice as much yogurt for the price as buying it in the store!

 

You can choose the type and quality of milk you want to use
Since you’re saving money, you can spend more on good quality pasture milk that will have more vitamins and minerals.  Saving money and better nutrition?  It’s a win-win!

 

You control what goes into the yogurt
Some people like having sweetness added to yogurt.  A lot of the sweetened yogurts in the store have a lot of unnecessary added sugar.  Instead, make plan yogurt at home and then scoop a bit of it into a bowl, add some thawed frozen blueberries, a pinch of sugar (if you please!) and you have yourself a yummy snack.  Other things to add to yogurt are nuts, granola, or nut butters. 

 

Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Ingredients
Milk*
A tablespoon of previously made yogurt

 

Supplies
Saucepan
Whisk
Glass jars, optional

 

Directions

1. Put about a quart of milk in to a sauce pan and heat up over low heat.  No need to measure exact amounts – use however much milk you want!

 

2. Let come to a boil and immediately turn off the heat and let cool to a warm temperature.  You can use a thermometer as well.  If you do, make sure the milk is cooler than 100 degrees.

 

3. Add a tablespoon of yogurt, and mix with the whisk to incorporate. 

 

4. You can pour the milk into glass jars, or, if you’re using a stainless steel pan, you can keep it in the pan to ferment.  Both work just fine.

 

5.  Turn on your oven light.

 

6.  Set inside a cool oven that has the oven light turned on.  Let it sit overnight until firm.  By morning, you will have fresh yogurt!

 

*I have always made yogurt with cows milk, I have not experimented with alternative milks.  

Bone Broth Recipe

Bone broth is one of the most nourishing foods for postpartum mothers.  

 

The collagen in the bone broth is healing and nutritive for a mother's recuperation.  It is incredibly easy to make at home which is great because drinking multiple cups a day is best.

 

Here is a basic recipe for bone broth.  Feel free to add vegetables and herbs as you see fit. 

 

Bone Broth

Equipment

A large stockpot

 

Ingredients

Bones from chicken, cow or lamb

Scrapings from the ends of vegetables.  Onions, carrots and celery are great additions.

 

Instructions

Place bones and vegetables in to the stock pot.  Fill the pan with enough water to cover the bones.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Let cook for 10-18 hours.  Strain and use the broth as needed.