What I ate Wednesday: Fourth trimester and postpartum edition
Hi, friends! It’s “What I ate Wednesday,” in which I show you a full day of my eats.
As a lot of you long-time readers know, I used to do this type of post every single Wednesday, and now this series has only appeared a couple of times this year. To be honest, it’s not my favorite type of post to write, but it’s often requested, because you all love to look at food pictures. So today, I’m throwing in some additional commentary to make it a little less run-of-the-mill. Hope you enjoy …
By the way, you can check out older “What I ate Wednesday” posts here for more full days of eating. And you can see my most recent “What I ate Wednesday” Second trimester of pregnancy edition here.
My current eating goals: Calorie-dense food
Now, let’s talk about food, calorie intake, nutrition and diet. It’s been about three-and-a-half weeks since I had my little angel Baby Brady, and so I’m currently in the fourth trimester, which is the three-month period post-delivery. Why is this a fourth trimester? Because you don’t just have a baby and go back to normal, you have at least three months of bodily changes, recovery, hormonal spikes and dips, perhaps the struggles of nursing and sleep deprivation and definitely the responsibility of caring for a needy newborn. It’s a lot!
At this point, I’m trying to stay as hydrated as possible and make sure that my meals are super filling and nutritious, so I don’t need to eat as frequently. While a lot of people say that they are extra hungry while breastfeeding, I actually don’t feel that way at all. In fact, because I’m not going on a ton of walks with Rudy every day, running around doing a million things and working out or teaching group fitness classes, I feel like I’m probably less hungry than normal. (This may also be because I’m clearly losing muscle, having not picked up a dumbbell or weight in nearly four weeks.) However, because I know I need a lot of calories to continue recovering from child-birth and also recovering from nearly 10 months of growing a human during pregnancy and keeping up a good milk supply for my hungry little hippo too, I’m focusing on eating foods that have quality calories, fat and protein, and of course, carbs. (Which is always something you should focus on for your health.)
A few things to note about this recap of eating:
- While the meals below may not look huge, there are hidden calories and nutrients in all of them to make them extra nourishing for this tired momma.
- These are all the meals I ate on Monday of this week, which was my first full day taking care of Baby Brady by myself after my Mom went back to Florida and Dave went back to work. It was a little hectic to be in the kitchen, so I may simplify some things moving forward.
- Dessert is still there! Toward the middle of my third trimester, I started eating ice cream for dessert every single night. You guys know I have a big sweet tooth, and ice cream was my sweet of choice during pregnancy. Well, after having Brady, I continued having bigger desserts each night, sometimes after lunch too, for the first two-and-a-half weeks. I’m still having dessert, (I mean, we got delivered a lot of cupcakes and cakes from our friends these past few weeks that can’t go uneaten), but I’m limiting my big desserts to only a few days of the week — not every single day, which is what I used to do before pregnancy anyhow. That means, this day doesn’t have a real dessert — but that doesn’t mean I don’t eat dessert often. Life is too short to say no to sugar.
- I do not count calories or macros at all. While I’ve definitely dabbled in loosely tracking my protein, fats and carbs (the three macronutrients), when I was trying to gain some muscle while working as a trainer years ago, I’ve never been big into tracking my food. I’d love to get back into good shape sooner rather than later, but it’s very clear to me that my body is not interested in any sort of diet right now — so I’m just eating what I feel like eating, and the good news is that is usually very healthy and calorie-dense foods. And it is also a cold glass of wine a few times a week too. Woohoo, I missed it so!
Now let’s get to the food!
“What I Ate Wednesday”
I broke my fast with a hot mug of green tea with a packet of collagen, two stevias, cinnamon and coconut milk all mixed in. I cycled off of taking collagen for a few months and am now back to taking it each day (cycling is something I learned that you should do from The Model Health Show, one of my favorite podcasts, in order to give your body time off of any supplement, so it doesn’t get dependent and stop creating its own). Collagen helps with your skin elasticity, hair growth, gut health and even joint function — it’s multi-purpose. I’ll talk more about it soon, but needless to say, these collagen packets have a lot of protein and calories, and the powder has no taste and dissolves into my morning hot tea as though it wasn’t even there.
I had to reheat the tea two times before finishing it, because my little man decided he was hungry after I took my first sip. Then he needed a new outfit after an explosion shortly thereafter. Fun stuff, people. Fun stuff.
Overnight oats for the win! I made a few batches of overnight oats on Sunday to enjoy for breakfasts this week, and this bowl of goodness has SO MUCH amazing-ness in it. Here’s what I included in my oats:
- 1/2 cup of full-fat plain Fage Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup of Trader Joe’s gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon of Navitas Organics chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon of Navitas Organics pomegranate powder (superfoods!)
- 1 tablespoon of Trader Joe’s raw pumpkin seeds
- A splash of Trader Joe’s full-fat organic coconut milk
- A dash of cinnamon
And the prep process looks like this: Mix it all together in a bowl. Cover it. Place it in the fridge. Then, when you are ready to eat it, pull it out, and let it get to room temperature. No cooking required. You are welcome to heat it up if you want, but you don’t have to — surprisingly, these oats are great cold too.
By the way, this is one of my more popular recipe posts from back in the day: Try the best-ever overnight oats recipe with coconut.
Kombucha. This much-misunderstood beverage is often quite controversial with pregnant and breastfeeding women. Let’s get some things straight: Yes, kombucha has VERY trace amounts of naturally occurring alcohol (less than .5 and thus not even legally required to be mentioned on the bottle, although many brands do put it on there). And kombucha has lots of good bacteria, and it’s raw. All of these things mean that it could potentially cause issues for a pregnant or nursing woman. However, I checked with my doctor and was cleared to drink kombucha while pregnant.
When it comes to drinking it while nursing — I figured it was totally okay — but a friend of mine recently suggested I research how a breastfeeding woman’s body reacts to kombucha’s ability to detoxify your system. Basically, when you drink kombucha, it can flush some of the bad toxins out of your body, and those toxins leave the body by your sweat and urine. If you aren’t hydrated enough and are drinking a lot of kombucha, your body could potentially flush those toxins into your breastmilk instead, thus affecting your baby. As with many things in the health world, there are totally conflicting opinions out there by experts on the Web on this topic, so you just have to make your own decisions. I know I’m super hydrated, and I also know that my body is used to drinking kombucha, so I don’t think I’m at a huge risk. But I will likely not be drinking it daily any longer and keep it as a few-times-a-week thing for now, just in case.
Lunching! I bought a huge bag of purple-skinned sweet potatoes at Trader Joe’s over the weekend with plans to eat these babies for lunch. Because they are small, I usually cook up about three at at time, which is what I did this day. I washed them, poked holes in them, and then baked them at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes until tender, then chopped them into little mushed rounds.
While my lunch was cooking, Brady, Rudy and I had a friend visit us for a bit. By the time she left, my potatoes were soft and ready, so I whipped up the eggs and served the plate with a massive avocado and topped the entire thing with nutritional yeast powder for extra fiber and protein too. This meal is absolutely so incredibly satisfying, and that’s all I have to say about that. Carbs, fat, protein and lots of delicious probiotics in the sauerkraut (I stopped eating raw sauerkraut when pregnant, so it’s been nice to be back to it). Mmmmm!
After lunch, I grabbed a couple of coconut-covered dates from the pantry and then laid down for a nap with Brady for about 30 minutes, which was lovely and much needed. (Don’t worry people, he laid in his little chair, and I laid on the couch … I know the dangers of sleeping with your newborn.) 🙂
Larabars are the best! I try not to eat a ton of packaged or processed foods, but I feel like Larabars don’t fit into that at all. There are only four to five totally real-food ingredients in these bars, and so they are quite clean and healthy. Fun fact: If you look for Larabars at Target, you’re bound to find the best prices. I can usually get a box of five for $5 at Target — better than I can find anywhere else.
I nibbled on this Larabar while feeding Brady, then after Dave got home from work, I hopped in the car and took a solo trip to Target and BuyBuy Baby to pick up a few supplies. Ohhhh the beauty of a little alone time heheh! Oh and when it comes to Larabars, sometimes I like to add some extra nut butter on top to make them even more filling, but I didn’t do that this day. If you haven’t tried it, I would recommend you give it a go! It could even be a mini breakfast in a pinch.
Here’s where meal-time got a little complicated. For the past three-and-a-half weeks, Dave and I have been eating the same meals as each other every night, as people brought food over for us or my Mom cooked for us. So that meant only one person was in the kitchen at a time plating the food, while the other watched Brady. Well, on this night, I felt like having my lentil pasta creation, which Dave calls my “goulash,” and he wanted fish. So we each tackled our own meals. Big mistake.
There were too many pots and pans going, one of us had to keep leaving the kitchen to settle Brady down, and we were both exhausted from long days, with not very much sleep the night before. Dave’s was finished slightly before mine, so he chowed down, then I finished up and ate super quickly, so I could feed Brady right after. He always seems to be hungry when I sit down to eat, no matter how recently I fed him. It was a fairly stressful process, down to washing the dishes and getting the kitchen cleaned up.
Nonetheless, it was another super tasty meal. In the bowl, is a boat-load of red lentil pasta from Trader Joe’s on the bottom, some cauliflower rice, which I sautéed in coconut oil, some marinara sauce and a huge grass-fed burger patty for extra protein too. I mixed this all together and enjoyed it as best as I could, while eating as fast as possible.
I followed up this big meal with another two coconut-covered dates for a sweet bite, and that concluded my day of eating. (And I basically ate this same line-up yesterday too, with a slightly easier dinner, because it was all so enjoyable. Yay for repeating meals — one of my favorite things to do.)
Alright, my friends. Thank you so much for stopping by to say hello today! I hope you are having a great week!
By the way, now that I’m taking care of little Brady on my own during the days, I may struggle to have a new post up three times a week for the time being, but I’ll do my best for you. And of course, I’ll be sharing over on Instagram until we meet here on the blog again soon.
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Linking up for “What I ate Wednesday.”
Questions of the day
Mommas out there — were you super hungry while breastfeeding? Did you eat big main meals, or mostly smaller meals and snacks?
What’s your favorite dessert and how many nights a week do you eat dessert?
I’ve mostly not been extra hungry while breastfeeding either – the one exception was I would often be really hungry when my little guy used to wake up around 4 AM to eat, but otherwise I’ve felt normal hunger-wise. I’m so impressed by your meals! I’m pretty sure I only at clif bars the first day I was home alone with our son lol. Your food looks delicious!
Hi Christina! Hahaha hey, Clif bars are pretty tasty, so that was a good choice on your part in your time of need. I guess everyone is different— but glad to hear I’m not the only one not ravenous right now ehhe!! Have a great day, friend!
I was soooo hungry when I breastfed. Like I would feel weak and tired if I didn’t eat every 3 hours. I was not this way at all during pregnancy. While pregnant I really do not think I ate that much more. I totally made up for it afterwards though.
Hi Bethany! Interesting! Yes, maybe you did make up for it from not being super hungry while pregnant. I think my big meals also help me to not be hungry in between too! Hope all is well, lady!
I’m so happy to hear things are going well with your recovery and taking care of Brady! Repeating meals are the best. If you’re looking for a good packaged snack similar to Larabars as in they are healthy and not super processed, I recommend the just fruit bars from Trader Joe’s! The apple strawberry flavor is delicious and I try to have some on hand for quick snacks in a pinch.
Hi Maureen! Thanks for that! I love so many of the healthy snacks from Trader Joe’s but haven’t tried those. I’ll check them out. Have a great day!
I can’t even imagine how hard it is fitting in meals with a newborn! I always end every night with a little something sweet too. Right now my favorites are these protein fudge bites I make and keep in the freezer and we’ve had a little halloween candy around. I can’t say no to candy corn just once a year, lol.
I keep seeing great recipes for protein fudge and clearly I need to try it!! And I happen to love the taste of candy corn too hehee!! Have a great day, Patricia!
Looks like some good eats, my diet at a month in was largely comprised of cookies and sandwiches lol. I was super hungry the first few weeks breastfeeding, but then it sort of leveled out.
Hahaa! I’m having my fair share of cookies and cupcakes and ice cream too, just in addition to the other food hehehe. Interesting that your hunger leveled off — perhaps your body got used to it. Have a great day, lady!
I was a lactation cookie fiend for those first few months!! Have you tried How Sweet Eats’ lactation cookie recipe? Highly recommend!
No! I haven’t! I’ll check those out. Thanks, Julie! I love a good cookie with any sort of health benefit hehe.
Love the fat dense food and snacks! Fats are where it’s at. I love how you brought back a lunch staple– eggs and potatoes!
Hi Carrie! Ohhh yes, fats are totally where it’s at! And I can never quit my eggs and potato combo. Have a great day, lady!
I’m mostly doing smaller meals/snacks throughout the day–particularly as the baby is getting bigger! There is only so much room in there….
Hi Susie! I felt like my stomach got fuller faster for a while, then the baby moved again and it all evened out. I kept up with regular sized-meals during pregnancy, but I know a lot of people switch to smaller meals, like you are doing. Do what works for you to stay fed!! 🙂
Congratulations on baby Brady! The fourth trimester… I applaud you for being able to write a blog post during this time because it is such an intense period. With my last baby that whole time is a complete blur, but looks like you are doing amazing! This post reminded me that I need to do some overnight oats again AND totally agree- I love love love LARA bars too- but lately I’ve been getting the mini ones- such a great little pick-me-up! Thanks for your great post:- )
Hi Kimberly! Thanks so much for saying hi! I was just thinking today that I bet we will look back at this newborn phase as a blur too hehehe! But hey — here’s a blog post I can look back on? hahah! I like the mini Larabars too, but I eat multiple at a time — probably defeating the purpose of the small ones! Hope you had a great day, lady!
Looks like a good day of eats to me! I’m so glad things are going well for you guys 🙂
I need to do some research into this supplement cycling thing… I’m intrigued.
Hi Jessie! Yesss — do your own research on the supplement cycling, because everyone is different and you can make your own choices. It makes total sense to me though. And yes, things are going well over here — just learning as we go and being quite tired hahah! Hope all is well with YOU!!
Sheesh, it’s been so long since I had babies, I can’t remember what I ate afterwards! Hell, sometimes I can’t remember what I ate yesterday. haha What I do remember is just trying to make sure I ate something every few hours.
Now dessert is something I can talk about. I LOVE ice cream. Always have, always will. I could put on 5 pounds just by TALKING about ice cream. 🙂
Hi Jennifer! hahahh! I could talk about ice cream all day — I’ve had the privilege of trying nearly every brand and flavor out there in the last few months! 🙂 Hope you had a great day, lady!
I ate a HUGEEEE breakfast when I was breastfeeding and then that was it. I would eat smaller things throughout the day, but I definitely wasn’t eating a ton. And I made milk like a cow, so I probably should have eaten more. Your meals look so put together for having a newborn, haha. I do not miss those days of trying to feed a baby and eat meals. I am so grateful every morning when my kid eats his oatmeal by himself in his high chair. It used to be so hard to get him ready in the mornings before work and it just all gets SO much easier (and WAY more enjoyable for us- as both my husband and I did NOT enjoy having a newborn!).
Hi Liz! Well, that’s great that you got a good breakfast in every day! And I love to hear that your little guy eats his oatmeal alone in his chair hehe — that will be nice — but of course, we are FAR from that stage yet. I do love that he keeps changing already though! 🙂
Which podcast is the one that talks about cycling off supplements? I’m very interested in hearing it! Thanks! 🙂
Hi Lauren, The podcast is The Model Health Show — I actually can’t recall the exact episode, but Shawn Stevenson, the host, talk about cycling supplements ALL the time — so if you listen to a few, you’re bound to hear him explain it. Hope that helps!
I love eating an apple with a homemade energy ball for dessert! Or just an apple and nut butter. That oatmeal looks so good! 🙂
Hi Daylan! Mmmmmm! Homemade energy balls sounds delish!! 🙂 Thanks for entering!