HEALTHY POSTPARTUM WEIGHT AND MOODS
One of the most challenging things after your baby is born, is to give the baby its due time for breast feeding and being calm yourself. Being worried about your weight does not help. So one of the things you first need to do is get rid of the notion that you have to shed weight in a hurry. As you are already aware, breastfeeding is half the battle won with achieving a healthy weight again; so the first focus should be just that, and shedding any negative body image you have of yourself.
Establishing some structure on the food groups to include that is focusing on your macronutrients: protein, whole grain carbohydrates, vegetables and good quality fats is the key to survival and regulating your portions. So let’s look at these broad food groups first. Among whole grain carbohydrates focus on brown rice, millets and some white rice; here I would say if you avoid gluten from wheat flour, it may help in keeping your weight down. In your protein component, add a fair share of legumes/lentil and choose healthy non-vegetarian options (if you are a non-vegetarian), stick to lean meats like fish and chicken, with some eggs. In vegetables, please focus more on all the carbous ones like sweet potato, red pumpkin (lal kaddu/bhopla), and the crucifers: cabbage, broccoli and cabbage. Remember the colours, as they are rich in antioxidants, and you are going to need a fair amount of those to build and repair at this point.I would take your diet plan a step further and add a quick pickle (3 day ferment in apple cider vinegar of any vegetable) or a kanji (probiotic beverage preparation, covered before) to supply your gut with good gut bugs, to keep it all moving.
Whole grains and carbohydrate-rich vegetables are known to provide you with a feel-good hormone called serotonin, plus the a strong gut, accounts for 90% of serotonin the one hormone you need at this point to establish good moods. Healthy fats can keep you feeling satiated, and adding chia and flax seeds (1 tablespoon in a day) will bring in a balance of omega 3, fiber, calcium and antioxidants.
At this point, let’s not forget how damaging sugar in all forms can be not only to your weight, but also your moods; so please make an effort to cut it out completely. Also, junk. Processed and refined foods, including refined vegetable oils should be taken out of your diet, and replaced with a good cold pressed oil, and healthy fats coming from nuts, seeds, avocado, and the use of good quality cold pressed cooking oils and ghee. Definitely, go off diet coke, sodas, and aerated beverages, as they will only throw off the balance towards your moods and weight.
While exercise sounds tough, it is one of the building-blocks not only towards your weight loss goals; but also supplying you with endorphins to keep the moods up. So start working towards establishing a workout routine. Even if you just start with walks initially and some yoga; then graduate to a treadmill, or aerobic form of exercise it would be a huge jump towards both your weight and moods.
Let’s not forget the micronutrients that would help at this point. Magnesium is a great driver to keep the muscles calm, this includes your bowels and also aid sleep, so feel free to include it once a day. If you are a non-vegetarian, then feel free to include a fish oil capsule, and vegetarians can up their chia and flax seeds to get it; there is research that points in the direction of women who suffer with postpartum mood disorders are low on omega 3. Focus on zinc, and folic acid; these too keep the repair process going, and moods up. Calcium and iron should not be taken together; I would say for calcium, see the recipe given below just 2 teaspoons of this recipe are enough to build calcium. Then you can include a separate iron supplement if needed; and take it with Vitamin C, as its absorption in increased; thus including orange juice with iron supplementation would help.
Just remember all you need are balanced meals, eating on-time and some supplementation. Here is the calcium-giver recipe.
What is gomashio? The combination of oil and minerals from the salt help your blood condition to stay more alkaline and also gives you the calcium you require.
8 level tablespoons of sesame seeds 1 and 1⁄2 teaspoons of sea salt Method
- Wash the sesame seeds in a strainer and allow water to drain
- Dry roast the sesame seeds on medium flame
- Transfer sea salt to a bowl in which you can pound them with your hand a pounding instrument (hand pounding grinder preferably not mixer)
- When seeds leave an aroma and start to pop they are ready (keep stirring with a wooden spatula till this stage)
- Add seeds to the grinder bowl, and start to pond and mix and grin in a steady circular motion until 80 to 85% done
- Store in a glass jar, sprinkle on food upto 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon