Postpartum Pantry Essentials
The transition into motherhood at any stage can make simple things like eating beyond hard some days. Nourishing yourself and making sure you are getting enough is essential for so many reasons. During this time where sleep is lacking, your body is healing, you may breastfeeding, and your energy demands are high (no matter how old your little ones are!) making sure you are fueling yourself can make a significant difference in how you’re feeling on so many levels. The food we eat replenishes us, allows for the body to heal, can decrease inflammation, balance hormones and supports our adrenals during these times of significant fatigue.
I like to keep it simple, listen to my body and eat real food when hungry. It sounds so simple but the reality of motherhood can make it hard to even eat much at all sometimes. For those hard days having your pantry or freezer stocked with easy to grab food can make such a difference. Here are some foods that are easy to grab and add to make sure you are being nourished!
- Broth – Broth is an absolutely nourishing and healing postpartum food. It is filled with essential minerals and collagen, improves digestion and gut health and aids in the healing process. This is an incredibly warming food which helps restore nutrients, rebuild and hydrate with a perfect balance of minerals and electrolytes.
- Easy to cook quality meats – For example having some grass -fed meat balls that you can just throw in the oven and bake for 14 minutes. Chicken sausage is another go-to. Look for grass-fed or pasture raised increases the nutrition.
- Frozen Organic berries/fruit – These are good to always have on hand for easy smoothies (which you can load up with collagen/healthy fats/ something green). Sometimes you can find frozen avocado which is also great to add into those smoothies.
- Collagen Peptides – Collagen play an important role in the healing of our tissues. Look for a quality source from grass-fed animals or marine sources. This can be thrown into smoothies, baking and my favourite is tea or coffee (blend in the blender with a healthy fat and you have yourself a healing frothy latte!)
- Dates – These are energy dense and make a great snack with some nut butter. They can also be added to smoothies.
- Healthy oils such as olive oil, coconut oil- Each have their own benefit but having a variety of fats in your diet is important to balance hormones, replenish energy demands and fight fatigue. Having a serving of healthy fat is also needed when eating veggies to help the body absorb more nutrients.
- Quinoa – This is actually not a true grain but a seed. This is a lovely gluten free option to add as staple in your pantry as it is a complete protein, contains iron and magnesium. Cook up to have on hand for salads, veggies, soups or even throw into your smoothie.
- Oats- Oats are a hearty, warming food that can also help increase milk supply. Look for rolled or steel cut oats and soak over night for increased digestion and nutrient absorption. If you are Celiac or gluten intolerant be sure to look for gluten free.
- Spices such as ginger, cinnamon and turmeric- Adding these warming spices to any cooking, smoothies, soups are lovely and nourishing as they increase circulation, decrease inflammation, and support digestion.
- Sea Salt (Himalayan or Celtic) – Look for a salt that has a bit of colour to it such as pink or a variation of grey/white. Use to cooking to add flavour, essential healing minerals.
- Nutritional Yeast – These flakes have a bit of a cheesy flavour. They add some nice flavour and a good serving of B Vitamins when topped on veggies, salads, dressings or on top of popcorn (my favourite!).
- Coconut milk – Full of healthy fat and can be cooked with rice, into soups, smoothies
- Natural sweeteners such as maple syrup and raw honey
- Maca Powder – This caramel flavoured adaptogen is known for balancing hormones, supporting liver function and combating fatigue and being a source of iron. Add to baking, or smoothies for an added little boost.
- Eggs- Eggs are a wonderful source of Vitamin A, D, folic acid and iron. They are also easy and take just a few minutes to cook which is often key. Look for some grass-fed, local, pastured raised for best quality and nutrient content.
- Nuts/ seeds -such as raw sunflower seeds/ pumpkin seeds/ cashews /almonds/ walnuts/ brazil nuts/ hemp hearts and chia seeds.
- Avocados – These are filled with healthy fats, B-vitamins and can be eaten alone with some sea salt, add some sauerkraut on top or add on top of veggie bowls or thrown into smoothies.
- Nut/seed butter – Throw in smoothies, eat by the spoonful, these are any easy way to increase healthy fats.
- Grass-Fed Butter or Ghee – Butter is a source of saturated fat, when from a grass-fed source is full of Vitamins A, E, D and K. Cook or add to veggies to increase nutrient absorption or even add to your morning tea/coffee with the collagen for that frothy latte (just add all to a blend and blend until you see that froth!)
- Fermented Foods (sauerkraut or kimchee) – Add to veggies and dishes to help support the digestive system and add some probiotics into your diet.
- Ginger – Fresh ginger is lovely, warming and healing. This can be added to soups, any cooking, baking, smoothies or teas. Store in the fridge, if you don’t have the fresh version on hand dried spices are great as well.
- Almond or nut milks- A dairy free alternative that is great to have on hand for smoothies or cooking.
- Coconut water – This can be great to help hydrate and replenish electrolytes. Another option to throw into smoothies while adding some flavour.
- Bee Pollen – Bee pollen is known for containing a good amount of B-complex Vitamins, as well as vitamins C, D and E. It also contains the full spectrum of amino acids and several minerals making it a great addition. Just a small amount (1 tsp) can be added to smoothies or on top of yogurt, increasing nutrient intake.
Herbal teas are not only a lovely way to help hydrate but they also add some minerals and nutrients while nourishing and healing with the warmth they provide. Let steep for at least 15 minutes and longer (several hours for more nutrients!)
- Red Raspberry Leaf - Known as both a uterine tonic and for balancing hormones. This tea is often used in the third trimester of pregnancy as well as postpartum. This herbal tea is rich is several nutrients such as magnesium, iron and zinc which can help support healing and replenish nutrients
- Nettle Leaf Tea -Rich in iron and magnesium and has been traditionally used to nourish and build.
- Rooibos Tea – This is a naturally sweet tea that is know for being rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc.
- Fennel Seeds or Tea – Known to increase milk supply and support digestion/ decrease gas in infants (for moms breastfeeding and drinking this tea)