My digestion has been a bit out of whack over the past few months. Actually, I’m feeling a bit out of whack as a whole. Maybe I was naïve, but I really didn’t anticipate the postpartum phase to be so challenging, on many different levels. The pregnancy seems to get the most attention while the period after having a baby seems to be all about getting back to your old self as soon as possible. At least in the media. I guess I expected that for myself too, but it’s not my personal reality nor is it for many other new moms I’ve talked to. We’re almost 5 months in and I still don’t feel like I have it together. I mostly blame the overnight waking hours and sugar cravings (the cravings result from lack of sleep – it’s a vicious cycle), but it’s everything really. Life has changed in so many weird and wonderful ways. I wonder if I ever will feel like my old self, or if I’d ever want to; what I have right now is great. I say it all the time but motherhood is amazing. I pinch myself so many times a day…like, do I actually get to witness this sweet baby discover the world? It’s the kind of thing that fills my heart with so much joy it keeps me up at night because I know that it could all be taken away in a second.
The intensity seems to be lifting as the months go on. We are laughing so much every day! I’m convinced Adriana is a 90 year old woman trapped in a baby’s body. Seriously…she does this lip-sucking in thing that makes her look like she forgot her dentures. I die every time. She is my number one priority and because of this I think I have let my own self fall to the wayside. It’s the cliché saying about motherhood, but it’s been so true. For me, this seemed necessary to get through the first months as a new parent, but I’m getting to that place now where I think I can find a balance for both of us. The fog is lifting. This is where a plant-based diet can help in so many great ways! I think I’ve done a good job of staying healthy this past year, but there are a few things I would like to improve upon.
The advice I often give to others is to make small changes when starting out, so that’s what I’ve been doing recently. Just a bunch of little tweaks that all contribute to the whole. Baby steps. Rather than having caffeine in the morning (which doesn’t seem to agree with my anxiety-prone nature), I’ve switched to a tea made with fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, and Rooibos tea. I drink it all day long. A few other things I’m doing (almost) everyday – green protein smoothie, exercise, probiotics (plus my other regular vitamin regime), and hitting the hay earlier. There’s nothing ground-breaking or gimmicky here, but they are things that just WORK time and time again. Sure there are days when none of these things happen, but for the most part it’s helping!
While this smoothie is different from my regular morning protein smoothie, it makes for a lovely afternoon snack. You could probably add some hemp hearts to this one if you wanted to boost the protein enough for a morning drink.
This smoothie combines the power of many digestion-friendly and immune-boosting foods:
// Pineapple // Digestive and anti-inflammatory benefits, immune support. One cup gives you 105% of your daily Vitamin C requirements. I use frozen pineapple chunks in smoothies to save time.
// Fresh ginger // Soothes the intestinal tract and helps with digestion. Awesome for all kinds of gastrointestinal relief, such as morning sickness. Anti-inflammatory and immune boosting.
// Fresh parsley // Rich in vitamins K, C, A, folate, and antioxidants. It’s a natural diuretic which can help release water retention. Opt for flat-leaf parsley as it’s less bitter than curly parsley. Cilantro would be a nice swap here too!
// Avocado // Major anti-inflammatory benefits + heart-healthy fats. High in fibre which aids with digestion.
// Banana // Rich in B6, manganese, Vitamin C, fibre, and potassium. Interesting to note – while bananas are high in sugar, they have a low glycemic index score which means that they won’t spike blood sugar levels. It’s soothing to the digestive track and thought to regulate the bowels and enhance friendly gut bacteria.
// Lemon // Rich in vitamin C. Aids digestion and helps flush out toxins.
[Source: The World’s Healthiest Foods]
I also add some coconut water and probiotic powder for an extra boost! Feel free to add a handful of spinach or kale too.
PS – I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Publisher’s Weekly recently – hop on over and read the interview here!