Power Foods for Nursing Mamas

by Elizabeth on October 12, 2012

My appetite is intense!  I’m the kind of girl that always clears my plate and gets into trouble with a full batch of chocolate chip cookies in the house.  Breastfeeding has made my appetite even more ravenous.  If I don’t plan properly I’m quickly reaching for foods that are loaded with simple carbohydrates and sugar for a quick fill.  Planning is tough when there is a new baby in the house, but it can be done during those short and cherished clear headed moments.

What foods are optimal for providing energy to a breastfeeding Mama that still wants to shed the extra pregnancy pounds?

Protein and Good Fats

#1 Wild Salmon

Nina Planck’s book Real Food for mother and baby is a great read full of hard data that supports the benefits of specific foods during conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding and even baby’s first bites.   Nina is a huge advocate for brain food, otherwise known as the omega-3 fatty acid DHA.  During the third trimester and during breastfeeding baby’s brain needs the DHA that you consume to feed her precious brain.  One of the best sources of DHA is wild salmon.  A 3.5 ounce portion contains 1200 milligrams of omega 3 fats!  Morgan and Louisa were lucky to be born smack in the middle of salmon season here in the Northwest.  The three of us have been consuming major amount of DHA this summer!  My brain doesn’t feel any larger, but hopefully the girls are benefiting.

When fresh Wild Salmon is not available try wild salmon burgers, which you can find in your freezer section.  Canned wild salmon is great for making a salmon salad, much like you would with a can of tuna.  A fish oil supplement is always an option, but this is not providing you with the energy needed to get through the long early days of motherhood.

#2 Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin, sesame, flax and sunflower seeds – all power filled tiny bits that will bring you serious energy.  Sure they are packed with calories, but the kind a hard working Mama needs for fuel.  Nuts and seeds are abundant in linoleic acid, an omega-6 oil that makes ARA (arachidonic acid).  ARA and DHA work together to grow baby’s brain.

I’m on batch number 5 of a granola recipe I stumbled upon in Bon Appetit.  This Surfer’s Granola recipe has filled my house with such scrumptious aroma it makes grabbing a handful every time I enter the kitchen too easy.  I double the recipe and we have breakfast all week.  Top with fresh fruit, organic milk, or a non-dairy version of milk and you don’t have to think when your busy morning begins.  Surfer’s Granola recipe can be found here.

#3 Avocados

High in Oleic Acid, the beneficial fat also found in olive oil and olives, avocados are an easy and healthy option to curb hunger.  A salad is not just a salad with fresh avocado on top.  I add avocados to sandwiches, top my quinoa with them, throw them in a tortilla with beans for a quick lunch, and have even whipped them up in a strawberry shake for Louisa! 

#4 Pastured Eggs

A high quality complete protein, eggs are perfect for any meal or snack.  Pastured eggs contain great amounts of omega-3 fats compared to the industrial eggs we buy in the grocery store.  You can tell a pastured egg by it’s deep yellow yoke, plus they taste better.  I’ve been buying my eggs from the same farm for the last 6 years and boy do I miss them when I run out.

Hard boiled eggs are the perfect power food for nursing mamas and their hungry toddlers.  An easy egg scramble filled with any vegetables you have in the house is a fast, easy, and affordable option for any meal.  Cook them the way you like and enjoy not being hungry for more than a few hours! 
Don’t forget to check out any of Nina Planck’s books for more information on feeding our families REAL FOOD.

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Lizzie’s Pancake Recipe

by Elizabeth on September 27, 2012

Last night she did it!  The long awaited 6 hour stretch of sleep.  At 5:30 this morning I bounded down the stairs with more energy than I have experienced since those few adrenaline packed weeks after Morgan’s birth.  So what did I do?

Pancakes, yup!

I woke early to perfect my pancake recipe.  For the last few months Louisa has been on a pancake kick.  Great timing, right?  The last thing I have been interested in is making pancake batter at the crack of dawn for a cranky toddler that needs to learn to sleep in!  I’ve found a few mixes that have worked in a pinch.  I make about ten cakes and pull one or two out each morning for her.  It works, but since my mother has always made Patty’s Pancakes from scratch faster than I can whip up a silly mix, I was ready to experiment with my own pancake recipe.

The ladies in our home are dairy free, which means my recipe is vegan.  Plus they are, well borderline healthy.

Louisa slept in this morning!  There is some light shining over my house right now, giving mom a much needed break!  Thank you.  Anyway the moment I heard her door crack at 7 AM I ran to her announcing my pancake experiment.  She said “you baked pancakes!  Do they have chocolate in them?”  Even without chocolate she was excited to try them.  As I write this she is gobbling them up with a side of blueberries and peaches.  She loves them!  She yelled to me “Mom, don’t throw the rest out even if they are stale!” Oh and now she says “Mom, can I have more of those yummy pancakes.”

By the way without trying I have somehow convinced Louisa that syrup is butter or Earth Balance spread in her case.  I have no idea how this happened but I’ll savor every day that she is not a sugar addict.  That being said, these pancakes don’t need syrup unless you are my husband.

So here it is.  Lizzie’s Pancake Recipe…finally.

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup instant oats
  • 1 tbls ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk (rice, coconut, soy or cows)
  • 1 tbls baking powder
  • 1 tbls sugar

Whisk all the ingredients together (there might be another way, but this is what I did).  Add more or less milk to your taste.  You can add fresh fruit to the batter or a little vanilla to sweeten.

The photo above is one I love and can’t help but share with you.  This is dinner at our house lately.  Morgan stretched out at the table admiring lights as I shovel food into my mouth before she melts down in exhaustion.  The meal was one I hoped to share, but alas no time to write.  It’s a scrumptious summer risotto with garden fresh vegetables and domestic shrimp.  So fresh and no cheese necessary.

 

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