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.
Happy Digestion Smoothie
2 1/4 cups (560 mL)
This green smoothie is packed with digestion-enhancing and immune-boosting foods like pineapple, parsley, ginger, and avocado. Don't worry though; its sweet flavour makes it friendly for green smoothie newbies! If you are adverse to the spiciness of ginger, I recommend starting with half the amount and adding to taste from there. This smoothie also keeps well overnight. I will often make a double batch, save leftovers in a small mason jar in the fridge overnight, and enjoy it the next morning.
- 1 heaping cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1/2 large frozen banana
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut water
- 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons avocado
- 1 teaspoon packed fresh grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon probiotic powder, optional
- lemon or lime slice, for garnish
- Add all ingredients into a blender and blend on the highest speed until super smooth.
- Feel free to add a handful of baby spinach to boost the nutrient power even more.
- Fresh mint also gives this smoothie a nice digestion boost (not to mention a delicious minty flavour).
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
PS – I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Publisher’s Weekly recently – hop on over and read the interview here!
Perfect flavour combo, great to get your tummy in gear and feeling great!
Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Fashion Beauty – www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk
My oldest is turning 7 and my youngest is 3. Im still waiting to feel normal again. Its just not going to happen, haha! Life is forever different with children but like you said, do you really want it to go back to how it was any way? :D
The digestion thing, I still feel it. I think its because I naturally have a sensitive stomach and with the permanent lack of sleep/ and the excess of guilt/worry its become a permanent feature of life as a mother!
I can completely relate. My pregnancy went well and labour was over in a matter of hours/days, but what followed, well I was completely unprepared.
My son is turning 5 now and I can tell you, it not only gets easier, it gets better and better and better!
Wishing you well and thanks for sharing this stunning recipe.
Hi Angela! Wow do I ever appreciate your honesty and openness in this post. I’m 12 weeks post partum and I also still feel out of whack. I’m often quick to feel like something is wrong with me or with my body, but your post is a reminder that we need to be patient with our post pregnancy self! After my 1st born, I had such terrible gas (yuck). It was so embarrassing and it just added to the feelings of displeasure with myself and my new body. But, as everyone tells you, slowly but surely things go back to normal. You havnt talked about how pregnancy or post baby has impacted your body image or if it has triggered disordered eating/thoughts. I SO don’t ever want to go back to starving myself but, in all honesty, my post baby body ( and the 10 pounds I still have not lost) has made me hyper focused on food and I have a lot of negative self talk about my body. I would love to hear about how you are dealing with these issues if you are willing to share!
This looks delish!
Perfect! I need to experiment more with adding herbs to my smoothies. Because I’m buying for one, I don’t typically buy fresh herbs – I can’t use them before they go bad. Smoothies are a great way to use up that extra herbage laying around!
Anglea, Could you possibly recommend a protein powder? I know you used to use the Vega Sport Vanilla/ Almond. But since you have discovered stevia does not agree with you, do you still use this one in your Green Monsters? Thank you very much!!
This sounds awesome! Can’t wait to try it with fresh mint!
BTW anyone interested, I just started taking an awesome probiotic..liquid, so easy to add to smoothies. Its called inner-eco coconut water probiotic.
A baby changes you forever and the idea of ever being your old self again is only for the glossy magazines. And like you say it is such a joy that all the tough stuff doesn’t matter so much. But the fog of the newborn months is pretty intense and special. Love your smoothie – will put it on my to do list for when I can get those ingredients together – another reminder of how much I have ignored pineapple this summer – need more in my kitchen
Thanks for another great recipe.
I’m allergic to pineapple, can I replace that with anything?
This looks amazing! I bet it would taste great with a little bit of mint added in too – plus added digestive benefits! I love pineapple and mint together.
Ohh my digestive is shocking so I need to give this a whirl, and I adore enjoy ginger!
Mascara & Maltesers
Some kind person told me the transformation in your body to make a baby takes 9 months and you should take 9 months at least to adjust to not being pregnant. It sounds like you are being gentle to yourself and coming up with positive ways to nurture your health. I hope it gets easier and easier for you!
I have been going through a wicked period of indigestion and uncomfortable bloating lately. I don’t know why. Sometimes I wonder if my mostly-vegan diet is to blame and wonder if this is common for people who eat a lot of fruits and veggies and legumes.
I love your ginger turmeric tea but can rarely find fresh turmeric-what could I do to substitute turmeric powder for the fresh? Also, do you have a vegan vitamin regime for non-pregnant or nursing women? – I would love to see what you recommend!
I bet it takes a long time to begin to feel normal again after having a baby. But you’re on a wonderful adventure with her. I love the sound of this smoothie! Soo delicious. I’ve actually never added ginger or coconut water to the many green smoothies I’ve made in my day, so I’ll need to try that! Hope it makes me glow!
Looks interesting. I don’t usually think about putting tropical fruit in smoothies but I should. I don’t know that you ever really get back to your “old self” after having a baby. My little one is almost 20 months now. I still have to make frequent bathroom trips, the baby bump never went away (probably never will :(), my belly button is gone forever, and I get nausea and dizziness worse than I ever did during pregnancy, although those last two get worse if I don’t get enough sleep, which is all the time. About 6 months ago I got laid off from my job. I walked into work on the last day feeling like a new me had just been born (it was a really exhausting job). I’m still figuring out what the new me looks like inside and out, but I feel like I’m making good progress towards putting the old me permanently in the past so that the new me can shine bright.
Great recipe! I love adding pineapple to my smoothies. The enzyme in pineapple, bromelain, is such a great anti-inflammatory.
This looks and sounds amazing, yum!
Sparkles and Shoes
Hi! First I want to say I am a huge fan. OhSheGlows helped me transition to veganism and gave me the inspiration to overcome an eating disorder and I’m eternally grateful. Your recipes are incredibly delicious and I make them all the team.
But I just wanted to inform people about probiotics. In the US (I don’t know about Canada) probiotics and other dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration). Unlike drugs, they are not always investigated by a reliable, unbiased third party that has the public’s best interest at heart. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), “The manufacturers [of dietary supplements] need not provide FDA with evidence that substantiates the safety or purported benefits of their products, either before or after marketing.” (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/16/11/10-0574_article) This is not to say that companies producing probiotics and dietary supplements do not care about the health of the consumer; this means that even if they do care, the science behind their products is not necessarily sound. By consuming dietary supplements and probiotics, you may be consuming substances that are unsafe for your body.
In addition, everyone’s gut microbiome (The ecosystem of microorganisms within one’s gut) is completely different from another person’s gut microbiome. What may be good for one person’s gut may harm another person’s. The microbiome is not at all well understood, even by the most accomplished microbiologists – what microbiologists do agree on is that it is extremely complex and puzzling.
I am not claiming to be a health or microbiology expert. I am not trying to scare anyone. I am an engineering student who happens to enjoy reading about microbiology and I want to dispel misconceptions about probiotics. I highly encourage everyone to do research on probiotics and other dietary supplements on their own, and/or consult with medical professionals. If you read on your own, please remember to verify your sources are reliable. Even reputable news sources like the New York Times often exaggerate health claims. (Actually, even many professors and researchers exaggerate health claims.)
That is all. Happy Blending!
I love reading your posts with “mommy thoughts” in them. Our little one is 2.5 months old, and it’s nice to get a glimpse of what’s ahead (and sometimes affirmation of what we’re going through now… like major sugar cravings!) Also, on the note of “things no one tells you,” I am infinitely more hungry now (breastfeeding) than when I was pregnant. I seriously feel like I stay hungry all day, and cannot consume enough protein (definitely add protein powder to smoothies, and eat about a jar of PB and almond butter every couple weeks… yikes!) I love smoothies, since I can make ’em fast (our little guy doesn’t like long naps), so I’ll look forward to trying this one.
Looking forward to more baby stories along with the delicious recipes :)
No one talks about post partum recovery! I felt like I was dying after my first, it was awful. And I know what you mean about anxiety. But yeah it does get better! It took me until maybe 7/8 months so to get enough of a handle on baby life that I could return to starting to think about myself. (In a nice way) Second baby took me more like ten months..but that’s just because I knew what to expect and didn’t put anywhere near as much pressure on myself. I think the whole ‘baby stage’ really does take a good year, its hard but you can’t really rush it.
But then you get a toddler! Not sure which stage is better haha ;) at least then you both get some independence back. And eventually you can have a cup of tea without without worrying about scalding anyone!
Love the tea idea! I make something similar.. Just heat up some almond milk and then add turmeric, cinnamon, fresh grated ginger, vanilla, and maple syrup or stevia. It’s a very soothing drink and takes away my cravings for coffee!
What beautiful pics, they convey all that healthy goodness!
This is right on time! I’m only two months in and between lack of sleep and terrible eating habits (both what and how often I eat) I need to get back to eating more healthy foods. Adding these ingredients to my grocery list.
Hi! I didn’t know where to ask this, so I just thought I’d leave a comment. Have you ever done anything with topinambur? I’d be very interested in what your ideas for it would be.
Thanks for posting all these amazing recipes, the warm salad bowl and the Thai inspired cucumber salad are my very favorite recipes ever!
Totally made this for breakfast – it was amazing. Thanks for all the inspiration! xx
Hi. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on new motherhood. I think it takes 9 months to make a baby and two years to recover! :) Anyway, thank you for sharing your knowledge and thoughts on your blog. I am trying to get healthy and recover from a c-section delivery…my recovery is slow. Your blog gives me a lot of hope for eating better for myself. Thanks thanks thanks!!!
I commend you for your brave discussion of motherhood! When I had my daughter I was taken aback by how “off” I felt and it wasn’t until she was 5 that I realized how stressful the whole thing was. What I now realize is that the process is about letting go of your old self rather than trying to find it again. With new motherhood comes a complete identity transition that takes a few years to “gel” (at least for me). Like you, I needed a lot of exercise and smoothies to feel normal, yet I found that I pushed the exercise too much and all my hips went out of whack in year two. What saved me was a gentle approach with building the small muscles and everything came back together doing the Tracy Anderson Method. It took about a year to feel like all the little muscles in the hips and back re-aligned. (You just have to ignore all her weird comments about being teeny tiny and perfect and put her on mute – some times these messages triggered me emotionally but the exercises worked and I am now on year 3 and feel awesome). I love your work. Thank you for being so brave on your journey! Natalie
I needed this today – the post more than the smoothie but will try that too- thank you! I laughed out loud about the “forgot dentures look”, my daughter does the same thing and I could never quite describe it until now!
Wow! This sounds so delicious! I have two-year-old daughter and I have a lot of work at home with her and with the whole maintenance of the house. I don’t sleep well and drink a lot of coffee. I think that these smoothies are good alternative of the energy drinks because they give real energy from the vitamins in it. Thanks a lot for sharing! Brondesbury Carpet Cleaners Ltd.
Two things. First, I don’t think anyone has asked this yet, but how do you keep the avocado fresh after using only 2 T? A brush of lemon juice?
Second, I suffered from PPD that developed into borderline PP psychosis because I waited way too long to get help. Please take care of yourself (I know you do, but I feel obligated to tell this to new moms.) I thought everything I was feeling was normal and it almost put me in the hospital. Not that you are necessarily feeling this way, you seem to be doing very well! And good for you! I hope it continues and you get out of that fog. Best wishes!
This was breakfast this morning, and it was delicious. Definitely a great way to get the benefits of parsley while hiding the flavor (not a fan of the taste). The only adjustment I’ll make next time is to decrease the amount of ginger a little. It was really spicy. I agree that this would make a better snack than breakfast, although as Angela said, adding some hemp for protein (or I’m thinking a little coconut oil for added fat) would increase satiety.
Be gentle with yourself as there will be time for balance but it not easy to do right now. You have your priorities in place which is great. As a new first time Mom, just getting through each day is an accomplishment – all of you are learning from this life changing experience. You are in a better situation than most because you focused on your health a long time ago. Try not to stress too much about things (oh how easy that is said). It is time with your baby and husband that matter.
Sounds to me like you are an amazing Mom, she’s a happy baby.
Enjoy each day, the ups and downs because you will laugh about them later. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself. You do need some moments to stop and just take in how different your life is. I remember many times asking myself where did I go? I’m a mother, a wife, a worker – but where is me. That will come back, trust in that.
Take care and have a wonderful day.
Sounds great, can’t wait to try it myself! Can I just say that your pictures are so awesome, really wow, they are so beautiful!
looks delicious! Glad you’re starting to feel better! Where do you buy probiotic powder from?
This is a great post. These days too many people look at these celebrity pictures and articles about how quickly they have bounced back to their before sleeves. Guess what it’s all propaganda and it’s wrong. Your body has had a major renovation and tenant these past 9 months. Your body is now in a state to nurture this new person for as long as needed and is definitely not meant to slip into a bikini within 5 weeks. ( besides they have nannies, chefs, maids,personal trainers, etc). Think of all they have missed. If you want to spend a morning/afternoon cuddled in bed with the little one do it. If you are a cranky zombie from lack of sleep, it is normal. Your hormones, along with your body, have been all over the place and it does take a long while for them to settle.
So, to try and come to my point, as a Mom and Grandmom, I say, be kind to yourself, sleep whenever the baby sleeps, and enjoy you newborn. Don’t worry about others opinions and trust your instincts. If you think something is wrong or off, talk to those you trust. The time will fly by and you will hardly believe how fast your little grows. But, you probably already know all this. Thanks for the great smoothie recipe! I love your creations.
This looks absolutely delicious! X
Regardless of the digestive benefits, this smoothie looks amazing! It has all my favorite ingredients! Yum!
This looks like the perfect smoothie for me right now! My body needs a healthy boost of energy and proteins.
Love that beautiful green color!
This sounds great!
I make a similar breakfast smoothie when i want to jumpstart my digestion as well! Mine is coconut water, pineapple, banana, ginger, lemon, cilantro, mint, & any type of leafy green I have on hand or wheatgrass powder.
This is so absolutely amazing! I didn’t have any parsley but it still tasted awesome! Angela, you’re such a food genius! :)
This looks delicious. People are always asking for ways to increase their energy, especially in the mornings, and especially before workouts. You had me at ginger, but pineapple is the key ingredient of making any smoothie work. I’ve had some miserable adventures with beets, or some such veggie, where the only thing that could save it was a nice chunk of pineapple. I keep them around just for this reason… and they are tasty.
My digestion was also out of whack for a few months post baby and it’s taken me this third time around (3 boys under 5!) to figure out something that works well for me and that’s a FODMAP diet. It’s what some people who suffer from IBS follow and it’s so interesting to learn about. I think even if you didn’t use it, you may be interested in reading about it from a nutrition stand point.
This sounds amazing.
It also sounds like you are doing a great job at being a mother, and I can only imagine how intense and wonderful an experience it is… and my imagination probably can’t even get close to the real thing!
This looks awesome! I’m making this ASAP!
What kind of probiotic powder did you use?
Give yourself some time and patience. I did not feel “back to normal” until my child was 18 mos old. The shift is hormonal, thus gradual.
Getting any hemp based food products is a bit difficult in New Zealand, what would you suggest instead of hemp hearts for protein? Would almond butter taste funny?
This was just what I needed in preparation for my 12 hour shift today. I’m a NICU nurse and I need to be on my A-game at all times! I added 3T hemp hearts, spinach, mint, a little bit more lemon juice and avocado, and 1 tsp. coconut oil. Not only did it give me the energy I needed, but it was DELICIOUS! And I have been feeling great all day. It’s amazing what a plant-based vegan diet and healthy breakfast can do! I cannot wait to have it again… Perhaps tomorrow ;)
This smoothie looks so refreshing. I love putting ginger into most of my cooking and the combination with pineapple is just gorgeously refreshing.
I made it this morning for breakfast and it was soooo good!
I used cilantro instead of parsley, because that was all I had and added about a cup of spinach.
Can’t wait to make it again tomorrow for breakfast.
Definitely one of my favorite smoothies.
Thank you for another great recipe!