Postpartum Eating Habits

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There are so many things I’ve noticed that have changed since before I had Evan. However, nothing is more drastically different than my eating habits.

Currently:

I LOVE honey. I used to be indifferent (crazy, right?) but my doula gave me a honey stick somewhere during labor and I have been obsessed ever since. It’s honestly the only sugar, aside from fruit (and Starbucks coffee), that truly tastes good.

Lactose bugs me. I’m good with greek yogurt, and it’s not like cheese, ice cream or sour cream makes me ill, but I can tell how much more bloated and yucky I feel when I have any of that stuff (so by consequence, I find myself skipping the cheese on many things I wouldn’t have dreamed before).

I’m not afraid of fat. We were giving E coconut oil in his oatmeal once a day to help keep him regular and I noticed that despite that being “fattening” he hasn’t gotten fat. Instead, his skin is amazing, he smells like the beach, and *I* want to eat his oatmeal. Healthy fats (avocado, EVOO, coconut oil, etc.) are YUMMMY and keep me full. And they’re impossible to overeat..thinking about gorging on avocado makes me *shudder*.

Boring meals are my jam. Before Evan I made elaborate (and pricey…) meals at home just for the fun of it. I still really enjoy cooking, but who has the time for all that?! Instead of stressing about dinners, I’ve been shopping, prepping and cooking once a week to give us breakfasts and lunches, as well as a few dinners (the rest which only need minimal effort), and the result is that I’m losing weight, saving money, and TRULY enjoying special food when we go out to eat.

Snacks have to last. As E gets more active I am learning that when I do have time to get a snack, it’s got to be a good one, balanced with fiber, protein and carbs to keep me going. My go-to’s recently have been Larabars (Peanut Butter Cookie, specifically), and Fage plain yogurt, homemade granola, berries and a bit of honey. Both choices, combined with a sensible lunch, keep me full and happy until dinner.

Water for the long haul. I wrote recently about how shocked I was to discover our bodies can’t tell us the difference between hunger and thirst. Good thing I learned about that as dinner seems to be getting later and later these days. After the dinner/bath/bed routine is done, we’ve been retiring to the patio for dinner somewhere between 8-9pm. As much as we try, E doesn’t seem to get sleepy until it’s almost dark, and lately that has meant sitting in the chair in the nursery dreaming about dinner. I’ve been making an effort to drink more water, especially when I feel what I think might be hunger, and it’s amazing how much it helps me manage cravings and hold off on meals when I have to.

I’m sure I am forgetting something, but these all feel like big changes in a short amount of time, and I am pretty darn pleased with all of them because they’ve been mostly effortless, and have all helped me on the road to better health postpartum.

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Weekend Wellness

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In honor of my health and fitness goals this month I decided to start a new weekly series of posts. I’ll be sharing four specific things each month that I’m trying along the way in my health and fitness journey. I love reading posts like these and I hope you do too!

First up: eating salads for lunch. 

I know, I know – snooze fest. This is the cornerstone of just about every diet plan known to man…but I think there’s a reason for that!

Pretty much since I had Evan, I’ve been eating some kind of a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Call it a rebound from not eating lunch meats while pregnant, or maybe I can attribute my newfound love for this American classic to it being my first post-birth meal, but I love me some ham and cheese as of late.

The problem? Even when slimmed down, they make me soooooo sleeeeeppppyyy.

After hearing about how Caroline lost over 150lbs by eating better and walking, I decided I’d revisit the old lunch salad.

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I’ve been prepping ahead so I don’t have to worry about taking the time to “make” lunch – preparing this salad midday is as easy as grabbing and handful of lettuce and veggies from this bowl, tossing in some cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds and whatever protein I have leftover from the night before. Satisfying, yummy, and best of all – I’ve said goodbye to the dreaded after lunch slump, which means I’ve got more energy for all the things I love about late afternoon, early evening: spending quality time with Evan and John!

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Tip: to keep washed salad greens crispy for about five days in the fridge, place a damp paper towel over the top of the salad. I find using my simple salad spinner makes a great tool for both cleaning and storing my weekly salads. 

Three cheers for more greens and more energy. Happy Healthy Weekend! 

My Favorite Crockpot Recipes

Suffice to say this new mom is using her Crockpot like never before! And as anyone who has ever made anything in a Crockpot knows, not all recipes are created equal.

In this post, you’ll find a list of my favorite tried-and-true Crockpot recipes. You can also follow my on-going list of Crockpot recipes here on Pinterest.

What I’ve tried, multiple times, and consistently loved: 

Chicken Curry from The Lemon Bowl.

BBQ Pulled Chicken from Eat, Live, Run.

Chicken and Dumplings from The Hungry Hoarder.  I’ve made this with chicken breast and thighs, and both work just perfectly.

Queso Crockpot Chicken Chili from Pinch of Yum.

Healthy “Wendy’s” Chili from Guide 4 Moms.

Honey Garlic Chicken from Just a Taste.

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What are your favorite Crockpot meals?

Garlic Lover’s Hummus

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I am in love with hummus. Especially homemade hummus. And right now it’s the perfect snack for me because I don’t need a utensil and it usually stays with me until I can make it back to the kitchen for something else hours later. Oh, the glamorous life of being a mama to a two-month old. 

This hummus is special, though. It’s loaded with garlicky tangy goodness and should probably be served with breath mints. It is absolutely not for people who don’t like garlic, and may not even be the right hummus for people who just like garlic. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest you don’t make this hummus unless you LOVE garlic. And don’t care about garlic breath. Which I don’t, especially while home alone with aforementioned two-month old.

Without further ado…

Garlic Lover’s Hummus 

Ingredients:

1 head of garlic, plus 2 small cloves

2 cans (or 30 oz dry/soaked) chickpeas

3 Tbs tahini paste

1 1/2 Tbs olive oil

1 1/2 Tbs cumin

1 1/2 Tbs lemon juice

5 Tbs water

Salt to taste

(Optional) olive oil and paprika to sprinkle over top

Steps (w/photos): 

1. Roast garlic.

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Set oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top off of one head of garlic, remove outer skin, and drizzle with olive oil. Set in oven-safe pan and cook for 30 minutes.

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Allow garlic to cool for 5-10 minutes, and then gently peel the skin away from each clove. Set aside.

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2. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Twice. Set aside.

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3. With food processor turned on, toss roasted and non-roasted garlic cloves in until chopped.

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4. With food processor off, add chickpeas, lemon juice, water, tahini, and cumin. Process until smooth, about 60 seconds. Scrape bowl, and taste. Add salt, and taste again. (I used about six turns of my Himalayan pink salt grinder).

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5. Put lid back on food processor bowl and turn on. Add olive oil in a steady stream and let food processor run for about 3 minutes.

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6. Scape into bowl and drizzle with olive oil and paprika (if desired). Allow to sit for about 30 minutes before serving for most robust flavor. Serve with warm pita bread or fresh veggies.

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Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: 

Serving Size: 1 Tbs. Calories: 37; Fat: 1g; Carbs: 5g; Protein: 1g; Fiber: 1g