The Post-Baby Meal Plan
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!