I am thankful for a job that allows for me to take such a long, flexible maternity leave. I have enjoyed every second of being home with my baby girl and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I knew from the time that I got pregnant, that I had big dreams for my time off of work. I knew I wanted to spend that time getting to know my baby, but I also wanted to make sure that I spent that time doing good for myself as well. I refused to be the type of mom who stays cooped up inside, eating junk food, and letting herself go for 3-4 months. Fast forward to the postpartum phase and I will tell you one thing…that is MUCH easier said than done. I started around 6 weeks postpartum getting back into Pure Barre, which I have sense kept up 4-6x/week. My muscles quickly started to reappear and I found myself really enjoying the hour of “me time” while I was doing something good for my body. At around 8-9 weeks postpartum, I hit a weight loss plateau. This was hard because I thought that I was pushing myself really hard during Pure Barre, and I was even occasionally adding in a walk with Brooklyn and Bailey, but I still felt like I was never going to get my body back. I was so sure that I wouldn’t get my body back that I even packed up 80% of my pre-pregnancy wardrobe and took it over to the consignment shop. Then I read this — a wonderful post from another Pure Barre addict that highlighted the importance of healthy eating. It made me remember something that I used to know so well– weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. So, I started the journey of finding someone out there more knowledgeable in diet and nutrition to help guide me to my goal–while breastfeeding. Dieting and breastfeeding are not really supposed to coincide, since rapid weight loss can effect milk supply. I happened upon a great resource (and one of my fabulous Pure Barre instructors), Rita. Rita helped me to figure out better things that I could be eating for the weight loss I was looking for without putting my breastfeeding in jeopardy. She also–big change for me people–promotes a whole food, plant-based diet. After looking over research that Rita provided me with, talking to Clint (who would have to eat some of these vegan meals), and doing a little soul searching, I knew that I could at least give it a try. I. am. so. glad. I .did! A week or so in now, I am feeling great. I am also feeling like a better mom by knowing that I am putting healthy foods into my body since Brooklyn essentially eats what I eat. The hardest part has been finding things to cook for dinners, knowing that they have to be tasty enough for Clint to eat as well 🙂 Here are a few things that I have tried so far:
1/2 can black beans
1/2 can garbanzo beans
1 roma tomato, sliced
scoop of fresh salsa (pico de gallo)
handful of sweet potato tortilla chips
Sunbutter + Banana Toast
Mix 1 banana with 1 Tbsp of sunbutter (or peanut butter) with 1 tsp chia seeds and 1 tsp flax seeds. Spread on Cinnamon Raisin Sprouted Ezekiel Bread 🙂
Spaghetti Squash with (vegan) Sausage and Veggies
32 oz can of crushed tomatoes (low sodium)
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
8oz frozen broccoli
large spaghetti squash
LightLife vegan sausage
Noodles: Cut spaghetti squash in half length wise and place face down on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool. Dispose of seeds. Use fork to string squash into bowls to be topped with sauce.
Sauce: Over medium heat, combine crushed tomatoes, mushrooms, and broccoli in a large pot. Add desired seasonings (black pepper, red pepper flakes, etc). Cook 1/2 package of LightLife vegan sausage over medium heat and add to sauce. Simmer for 30-45 minutes until all favors are combined. Serve over spaghetti squash.
Green Breakfast Smoothie
Combine your favorite frozen fruit (I used peaches), your favorite green (I used spinach), 1 Tbsp of chia seeds, 1 Tbsp of flax seeds, and your favorite liquid (I used unsweetened rice milk) in a blender. Blend until your desired consistency 🙂 As you can see, I like to eat mine with a spoon!
Vegan Lasagna (Holy goodness, this was good. I mean, really good. I did not use the cashews due to a nut allergy. I also did not use the “fake cheese” and it was just fine without it!)