As you may or may not know, a few of my clients have recently had babies, and we’ve been working on their post-baby strategy to get their bodies back in shape. In Self magazine, Jenna Dewan-Tatum mentions her Beauty Detox plan and the GGS. 🙂 While I was shipping some food to her on set, and I can’t ship to everyone…here are some universal tips to support you during this magical time.
There’s a lot going on post-baby! You may be breastfeeding, you’re most likely fatigued, and you may even be hoping to drop some of the leftover baby weight as soon as possible. The key to the post-baby meal plan is to ease into it. Don’t make any drastic dietary changes overnight, especially if you’re breastfeeding. No matter what, you want to get the most nutritious foods possible into your body because you’re working hard to recover from such a miraculous event! Your body is putting itself back together in the months following childbirth, so give it all the vitamins and minerals possible during this time.
Before we get to the sample day’s meal plan, let’s talk about some of the guidelines that will keep your post-baby diet on track:
Don’t Turn to Coffee and Sweets!
You may have sworn off coffee during your pregnancy for the baby’s sake but now may feel like it’s the only thing that’ll keep you running after those sleepless nights with a new baby. Before you jump on the caffeine-and-sugar train, stop! The crashes will just make the fatigue worse. Hydration, greens, fruit, whole grains, and healthy fats are much better for keeping your energy levels (mostly) consistent throughout the day. That short boost you get from coffee isn’t worth the crash you’ll have later, as well as the extra acidity in your system. There are so many better energy-boosting alternatives, like coconut water, pineapple, oatmeal, or even an apple.
Include Mood-Boosting Foods in Your Diet.
Your hormones may still cause you to have mood swings post-baby. Eat foods that boost your mood, like:
- Brown rice
- Brazil nuts
- Leafy greens
- Chia seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Don’t Forget to Drink Water
Dehydration will make you feel more fatigued, and watching your water intake is especially important if you’re breastfeeding simply because of the amount of fluid it takes to support it. Try to drink as much as you can between meals and only sip at meal times for the best digestion, but fit it in wherever you can. If you get bored with plain water, add some fresh lemon juice to it or soak cucumber slices in a pitcher of it overnight.
Healthy Fats Are Still a Must
A healthy diet contains a small amount of healthy fats, even when you’re trying to lose baby weight. Don’t go overboard, but a small avocado (or a half of a medium one) and a handful of seeds or nuts throughout the day when you’re hungry will help stave off hunger, keep your skin beautiful, and help keep your milk supply up if you’re breastfeeding. (Cutting out all fat completely isn’t healthy and could reduce your caloric intake overall, making it difficult to produce enough milk, especially in the first couple of months after giving birth.)
More Fruits and Veggies
If your diet was lacking in an abundance of fruits and vegetables before, you can always incorporate more now. It’s funny how some of my clients love fruit and veggies so much, and usually have huge amounts of GGS and greens, but during pregnancy did not feel like having them. Post-baby you might feel ready to come back!
Trading in the sweets and burgers for more fruits and vegetables is never a bad thing, and that change alone will have seriously positive effects on your health and beauty, without all the side effects that a true detox plan could have (save that for later, when you’re done breastfeeding or at least in the swing of things with your new routine if you aren’t breastfeeding). The fiber here will fill you up so you’re less likely to reach for something unhealthy in a moment of desperation, plus the vitamins and minerals will help you look and feel your best.
Stop Consuming Dairy, No Matter What
You shouldn’t start a full-on detox too soon after giving birth, whether you’re breastfeeding or not. Your body is going through so many changes after having a baby. However, you can—and should—stop consuming dairy. Babies are often sensitive to the proteins in cow’s milk, and it’s usually one of the first things breastfeeding moms are told to eliminate from their diets when their babies are fussy after eating, or have bowel issues (constipation or diarrhea). Not only could the dairy be a problem for your baby, it’s a problem for you.
Dairy is acid-forming and clogging in the body. It is so difficult to digest, it can make your under eye circles worse, your hair look limp and lifeless, and your nails brittle. After giving birth, you’re dealing with fatigue and all the extra hair you grew during pregnancy may begin to shed. Nails that may have grown longer and stronger during pregnancy will be returning to their normal state after child birth. From a beauty perspective, it makes sense to avoid milk so you’re not making those circles darker and to keep your hair and nails looking as beautiful as possible despite the normal post baby changes.
A Sample Day’s Meal Plan
- A glass of water, first thing
- Glowing Green Smoothie
- Oat groats are a superfood you can use as part of your breakfast. Mix them with avocado and a little coconut nectar or stevia for some extra healthy fats. Or try having plain oatmeal with some cinnamon.
If it’s been more than two hours since breakfast and you’re hungry, try having some fruit or a smoothie to tide you over until lunch.
A hearty vegetable soup and a huge salad (eat the salad first) will warm you up, fill you up, and give you tons of nutrients. Try my Dharma’s Kale Salad. You can make a big batch of it and eat it over the course of a couple of days. The nutritional yeast in it contains B vitamins, which are good for fighting off fatigue, too.
Snack, if you need one:
A DIY trail mix with raw almonds or walnuts (no salt added), sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and dried fruit (no sugar added) is perfect.
Have a big green salad, followed by:
- Curried Veggies and Quinoa
- Veggie-Turmeric Quinoa
- Quinoa, Avocado, and Corn Salad
- Rainbow Stuffed Peppers
There are tons of other recipes in The Beauty Detox Foods to choose from.
If you’re craving something sweet, indulge in a small piece of dark chocolate. If you have a chance to sit down and relax while the baby’s sleeping before you feel like falling into bed yourself, take a moment to sip some caffeine-free tea.
Remember, take it slow when you’re making changes to your diet post-baby, but continue to make nutrient-rich, healthy choices for your meals and snacks. You’ll be able to keep your energy levels up, look beautiful, and see those extra pounds melt away. If you’re breastfeeding, even your baby will reap the benefits of your gradual move into the Beauty Detox lifestyle.
You don’t have to be perfect, so don’t obsess over it if you slip up and have something you probably shouldn’t have! Just make healthier choices when you can. As you get more comfortable with your new lifestyle and schedule with a baby, you’ll naturally begin to make even more positive changes in your diet.
Enjoy and lots of love to you during this incredible time!
Thank you so much Kim! This was a great post – and I especially appreciate it since my little bundle of joy is due to arrive THIS WEEK! Timing couldn’t have been better for me to read this. I’m going to print it out & have my Mom & Hubby make me some of the recipes you suggest. As always, love all your guidance. & I’m still hoping we’ll get you up to Google for an author talk/book signing when I get back from maternity leave! Thank you!
Breastfeed! Not only am I a huge advocate of giving your baby their perfect food, but I lost most of my baby weight by 5 or 6 weeks. People at work said it didn’t even look like I had a baby, of course the last time they saw me I was 50 pounds heavier! I did a little bit of yoga, mostly to realign my body after favoring one side while holding my little one, but that’s it. I’m not proud of the fact I didn’t need to exercise to lose the weight, but that’s what happened. All thanks to breastfeeding.
Thank you so much for this. My bf juan has been on the beauty detox and loves it. I’m actually due this dec and this is perfect!! Thank you thank you!!
You read my mind – this post is exactly what I needed for this stage of my life with my 11 week old. Thank you so much for giving thoughtful guidance to all the sleep deprived breast feeding mamas out there who really have a heart for health but are so overwhelmed with life! This was majorly encouraging and helpful!!!
Thank you for this post, Kimberly. I discovered the BD diet right after I gave birth, 5 months ago, and was wondering what it would look like for a post partum, nursing mom.
Question, for breakfast would you advise eating the oatmeal right after the GGS? Or waiting for some time afterwards?
It’s an interesting post. I was thinking about that what we (women) should eat during a monthly period, especially during menstruation. I think it would be really helpful to know.
I know we should drink a lot of fresh water because of the fluid lost, but should we eat more iron contain food?
I really love your blog and books!
This is awesome. My wife, is currently prego, and she was trying to get in to the BDS before the pregnancy, and like the article mentioned not liking the juice as much, it’s so true. I had read somewhere that stevia isn’t good for pregnant women, so I started making the low sugar version. I don’t try to pressure here, but she saw this and is more open to it now. Will keep you updated on progress. Thanks so much for posting this.
Great Post!! I am actually trying to get pregnant but am slightly underweight, so having difficulties. This looks like a great plan to help me on the pre-pregnancy end, to get some more nutrients and calories into my daily diet. Even better: I can use the same plan even after (fingers-crossed) I finally have a baby. Thank-you!
This is great– but keep in mind that postpartum women need warming foods (according to ayurveda and in my personal experience) — raw/cold foods like green smoothies and big salads aren’t the best for the immediate postpartum period. Chocolate makes my baby really upset, cranky and spit up constantly- so that’s out unfortunately! Oats for breakfast is a wonderful suggestion though because it makes awesome breastmilk and is warming and filling.
A great article. love the way you describe the things, very helpful diet plan for post pregnancy weight loss. keep posting more diets during pregnancy. Thank You!
So happy you found this blog helpful and thank you for your support. Lots of love to you! 😉
Thank you @kimberly Snyder. love you too 🙂