We are eight days into our 30-day Paleo trial, and things are looking up! Aside from an episode of night sweats — maybe my body was detoxing — and some crankiness because a delicious slab of brie is neglected in the fridge, our bodies seem to be enjoying this cleanse. My breastmilk seems to be unaffected so far.
It is most satisfying to buy a cart full of produce and actually eat it all, instead of letting it wilt and wither in the fridge! Check out the pretty juice I made as a snack one day: red kale, carrots, celery, apples and lemon. I’m not even lying when I say it tasted good!
As I’ve mentioned before, the biggest challenges to Paleo breastfeeding is finding the time and energy to prepare meals, the convenience factor and being full. Here are my tips, gleaned after just eight days of Paleo eating, for breastfeeding mamas:
1. Allow yourself to be flexible: Originally, I created a grocery list based on meal plans for the whole week. But we didn’t exactly stick to the plan, due to a fussy baby one night and a sudden and fleeting aversion to salmon another. Because we had enough good proteins and appetizing veggies, we were able to mix and match new meals without a dreaded run to the grocery store. (There are few things I loathe more than venturing out on the icy roads with a bundled up baby whose car seat I have to lug in and out of the store — with reusable bags in hand, of course.)
2. Don’t skimp on the protein. At the beginning, I was basically eating meals like I would have before, just minus the grains and dairy. That left me hungry. Once I started making sure I was eating more protein, I was satisfied and felt great. It can seem unnatural — especially because I was a vegetarian for about a year awhile back — but the protein makes a difference.
3. Have snacks on hand. Only planning for meals and not snacks depressed me. But when I could sit on the couch and breastfeed with my water bottle in one hand, some almonds and blackberries in the other, and the TV remote just an arm’s length away, I was happy as a clam. I’ll post a grocery list tomorrow that includes all of the delectable snacks we’ve eaten.
4. Avoid analysis paralysis. We women generally like things in our control and therefore perfect. That dosn’t work out too well. Researching real food and its effects on your body can become an obsession. Don’t go into Paleo thinking you can be perfect and control everything: you’ll go from buying only grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish to thinking you need to filter out the chlorine and fluoride from your drinking water and reduce enzyme inhibitors and phytates in nuts/seeds. I don’ even know what that means, but I’m itching to google it and ward off our almonds until it’s done. That’s too much, too fast, especially for a mama whose number one priority is baby.
5. Enjoy the benefits. Instead of pining for whatever food you miss, focus on what delicious new recipes you’ve tried or vegetables you’v discovered. Monitor how you feel — more energetic, less emotional, less hungry, with a clearer complexion, etc. And if you don’t see any benefits yet, hold out a bit longer!
This post is part of Fight Back Friday!