Whether a mother has a newborn baby or great grandchildren, she is postpartum for life. The stress that the miracle of pregnancy and birth puts on our bodies is huge and we must take steps to replenish what is lost. Pregnancy is a very depleting state and unfortunately many of us are in a depleted state before we even get pregnant. Some of this is due to the soil lacking all the necessary nutrients and therefore the food that is grown in that soil is deficient. We are also bombarded with processed food and if you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s you more than likely ate plenty of it.
In addition to pregnancy, breastfeeding requires a lot of proper nourishment. As well as chasing little ones around all day and everything else that goes along with motherhood and running a household. Then on top of all of this we have the nuclear family. One parent, usually the mother, is left alone for hours to mother in isolation. The other person, usually the father is left with all of the financial pressure to provide for his family. The village has been disbanded and scattered throughout multiple cities, states and countries. This is not our biological design and fortunately many are waking up to this realization.
My Wake Up Call
Just before my son turned a year old, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. Right around the same time I started having severe panic attacks. These frequent episodes were absolutely terrifying, they made me feel like I was dying. A few times I nearly went to the hospital. On several occasions my husband had to come home from work or he would at least constantly be on the phone with me while working. My doctor ran test after test trying to give me some answers. It was one of the scariest and loneliest experiences of my life and one I’m still trying to make sense of.
The reason I’m sharing all of this with you is because I was in an extremely malnourished state. I was pregnant after breastfeeding for a whole year. The whole time not nourishing myself properly. Not eating enough or often. I would pick on this and that throughout the day, the only balanced meal I would maybe have was dinner. I did not take the time or make the time to take care of myself. I believed the lie I told myself everyday that there was no time for me to eat right. I truly believed that regularly skipping meals was just a part of mothering. But intentionally nurturing children is an act that is in service to life and the way I was treating myself was not in service to life. Something had to change, my body was demanding I pay attention to her.
In order for me to mother the way I want, proper nourishment is essential. Holding my babies close and often, breastfeeding, staying with my toddler until he falls asleep, nurturing them emotionally and physically are all things that are important to me. I believe it is our primordial design. But in order for me to do it, I have to eat so I don’t burn myself out. I am also a wife. In addition to mothering, my relationship with my husband is very important to me. And one of the best things you can do for your relationship is to properly nourish yourself.
What If I Don’t Have Time to Eat Nourishing Foods?
It’s hard, sometimes impossible to eat a proper meal. Which is why its even more important to focus on these nutritious foods so that when you do eat, it is packed with nourishment and not something that just fills your belly. As mothers, we need food that sustains us and provides deep nourishment in order to keep up with the demand and stress of our lives.
When Will I find Time to Prepare Nourishing Meals?
My husband has two days off a week. We’ve worked it out so I get one afternoon entirely devoted to food prep and he takes the kids. Where there’s a will there’s a way. I know you don’t want to hear it but it’s true. I am someone who loves to come up with 1000 excuses. Plus I have two toddlers so I know how impossible it can be to get anything done. But you have to find a way. This is not just what is best for you but its what is best for your family too. Do it for them. Be the nourished mother and wife that they deserve.
What if I’m Not Into Food?
I know food can be overwhelming at times and so I have one word for you, story. Nothing inspires me more than the stories of real people. Listen to other women’s stories around food and how it has helped them heal. One place to start is The Freely Rooted Podcast and Ancestral Kitchen Podcast. This has been a great resource for me and I highly recommend you give them a listen.
But I really don’t know how to cook!
Learn. There are resources everywhere to help you. Youtube, tiktok, pinterest are all great resources for finding recipes and techniques. Do you really have what it takes to be a well nourished mother?
What If I am Vegetarian or Vegan?
I was a vegetarian for years and felt so much better and energized when I added meat back into my diet. Animal protein and animal fats is what humans have eaten for 2.6 million years. It is believed to have been crucial to the evolution of our larger brains. Meat and especially organ meat is the most nutrient dense and bio-available food on the planet. It is what our ancestors ate and what I believe to be essential to be a well nourished mother.
The Foods I Consume Regularly to Stay a Well Nourished Mother
- Raw milk- minerals, bio-available vitamins (remember just because a food has vitamins doesn’t mean its in a form that can be absorbed by humans, they must be bio-available) probiotic rich, beneficial enzymes. Most of these things are either destroyed or damaged in the pasteurization process. In fact most people who are lactose intolerant can tolerate raw milk just fine! Raw milk has the lactase enzyme necessary to digest lactose. This enzyme is destroyed during pasteurization.
- Eggs– Eggs are a perfect food! They are high in vitamins, minerals and are an excellent source of protein. I eat eggs for breakfast everyday. Its the most important meal of a well nourished mothers day!
- Raw Cheese– prevents cavities and diminishes tooth pain, prevents bone loss, aids digestions, great source of magnesium, copper, and potassium.
- Liver– Liver is natures multi-vitamin. It is the most prized of all the organ meats. In some culinary traditions, human hands are not allowed to even touch the liver during preparation and must use special sticks to movie it. So what makes liver so great? An excellent source of high quality protein, nature’s most concentrated form of Vitamin A, an abundance of B Vitamins, folic acid, copper, chromium, zinc, iron, CoQ10 and something called an unidentified anti-fatigue factor.
- Bone Broth– Bone Broth is loaded with collagen. Collagen helps support joints, skin, hair and nails. Therefore, it helps provide structure and strength throughout the body.
- Butter– Butter is a health food. And it has been wrongfully accused of doing harm to our health. From 1920 to 1960 the incidence of heart disease rose drastically while at the same time butter consumption plummeted among people. Butter actually contains nutrients that protect the heart from disease. It contains Vitamin A which is required for the health of the thyroid and adrenal glands. Butter does not cause weight gain as many people believe since it made up of short and medium chain fatty acids which are burned for quick energy. Fat tissue on a person it made up of long chain fatty acids. Other benefits of butter include Vitamin D, calcium and butyric acid.
- Raw Honey– Loaded with minerals, amino acids and immune supporting benefits.
- Fruit- Vitamin rich and hydrating.
- Sourdough Bread- sourdough is more easily digested than regualr bread since the gluten protein is patrially broken down.
- Fermented Food – I incorporate sauerkraut and kefir into my diet to help nourish my gut biome. Not only are these food nutrient dense but they strengthen my immune system. Check out my other blog posts to see how i make these too delicious fermented foods.
Typical day of Eating For a Well Nourished Mother
I found myself in a completely depleted state after having two children. Food became my best medicine to become a well nourished mother. Pro-metabolic eating has been the quickest path to restoring my body to my pre-child vigor. I go into more detail about pro-metoblic eating in another blog post so click the link to check it out. Here is a typical day of eating that helped rebuild my strength and become a well nourished mother:
- Eggs scrambled, fried, or poached
- Coffee – Always after eating
- Sauerkraut – Just a small scoop on the side – goes great with eggs
- Morning Snack
- Apple and Cheese
- Roast chicken
- Raw Cheese and bread
- Fruit – Whatever i can find locally in season
- Afternoon Snack
- Salami or pepperoni and Wasa crackers
- Shin Beef Stew
- Raw Carrot Salad
- Sourdough bread with butter
- After Dinner Snack