Staying Stylish in Suburbia

Post Nursing Nourishment: A Healthy Way to Maintain

Friday, August 1, 2014

I did it!!! It wasn't always easy, but I made it through a whole year of nursing. Weaning hasn't been all that difficult, especially since she is already eating so many solid foods. I'm so grateful that I was able to give her all those good antibodies and nutrients through my breast milk. At the same time, I'm equally excited to fully reclaim my body as my own again. Motherhood is chock full of contradictions like that. 

Regardless of how much I am going to miss having a little baby gazing up at me and patting my face as she nurses, I won't miss feeling like my body can't keep up with the amount of milk she needs to grow. That was the only issue I had with nursing both my girls. Because Esmae started out in the NICU, my supply didn't get off to a good start. She lost a scary amount of weight at one point and I had completely dried up by the time she was six months. With Mazzy, her weight gain has been fairly slow and she is definitely on the small side. I worried that I wasn't producing enough again, although the doctor assured me that it was normal for nursing babies to be a bit smaller. Mazzy wouldn't touch formula (I can't say that I blame her) so at the suggestion of our pediatrician, I started supplementing with cow's milk at eleven months. Ever since then, she's been growing like a little weed, which makes me happy.

All of which is to say that nursing, although one of the sweetest experiences of my life, has also been a fairly stressful one. Now that my body is no longer a grazing ground, I'm ready to concentrate on getting myself back to an even healthier place. The truth is, I've been feeling bloated and gross lately. My skin is oily and even though I lost the majority of my baby weight after giving birth, there is still 10-15 lbs that I would like to shed. While I was nursing I didn't want to lesson my calorie intake, especially since I was already having trouble with milk production. Since I'm not worried about that anymore, I can eat less (without starving myself) and get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and feeling better in general.

I wanted to share a sample of my new way of eating here on the blog. I won't call it a diet because diets suck and this doesn't. I'm mostly interested in staying away from processed foods, bready-carbs and unhealthy fats. I will not, however, be getting rid of my coffee or stop indulging in the occasional cocktail or a glass of wine. Also, we go out to eat so infrequently that when we do, I will be giving myself a pass. Drinking plenty of water is another important part of my plan so I'll have my handy water bottle by my side at all times. My husband is doing this with me and I swear after only a week, I've lost 3lbs and we already feel less bloated and way more energized.

* Disclaimer * I am not a health expert and don't claim to be. These are simply sample meal plans that have worked for me. I am also including links to some of my favorite new recipes below.

Breakfast- Pineapple, orange, banana and spinach smoothie with Carrot Juice.
Snack- Handful of nuts
Lunch- Greek salad with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes
Snack- V8 juice
Dinner- Grilled chicken and Lemon Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
Dessert- Square of dark chocolate

Breakfast- Baked almond butter banana boat
Snack- Naked Green Juice
Lunch- Lettuce wrap sandwich with ham and cheese with avocado.
Snack- Hard Boiled (or baked egg)
Dinner- Flank Steak salad with sweet grilled corn
Dessert- Fresh berry salad with drizzle of Greek yogurt

Breakfast- Baked eggx2 
Snack- V8 juice
Lunch- Chicken salad, lettuce wrap
Snack- Handful of nuts
Dinner- Butternut squash soup
Dessert- Square of dark chocolate

Breakfast- Peach, Avocado and Spinach Coconut  Smoothie 
Snack- Handful of nuts
Lunch- Grilled chicken and Lemon Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
Snack- Carrot juice
Dinner- Grilled vegetable salad 
Dessert- Grilled peaches with granola

Breakfast- Baked almond butter banana boat
Snack- Carrot juice
Lunch- Lentil soup
Snack- Hard Boiled (or baked egg)
Dinner- Grilled steak with pesto green beans
Desert- baked apples

Breakfast- Baked egg x2
Snack- Peach Banana and Kale Coconut Smoothie
Lunch- BBQ chicken Quinoa Salad 
Snack- Handful of nuts
Dinner- Grilled Chicken Parmesan with side veggies of my choice
Desert- Fresh berry salad with drizzle of Greek yogurt

Breakfast: Oatmeal
Snack: Fresh berry salad with drizzle of Greek yogurt
Lunch: Tomato soup and side salad
Snack: Orange
Dinner: Whatever I want!!!

P.S. I love the painting above by Mary Cassatt. She was known for creating intimate domestic works from a woman's perspective, a rare thing back in the day. I think it captures the quiet connection between mother and child so beautifully. I love how the mother is holding the baby's foot as the baby touches her face. I have been in that exact position many a time with my girls.


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