Hi! This is my first post, so if I made any mistakes, please let me know. :)
I'm nursing my 2 month old and am finding that, in order to eat Paleo, I barely have time to do anything but cook, eat, and nurse. I have three related questions:
Is there something I can do differently so that I can eat less frequently? I am currently eating every two to three hours (including at night after waking to nurse). I try to eat a lot of fat (usually fat from meats, butter, coconut butter, olive oil, or palm shortening), meat, and veggies each time I eat. Sometimes when I'm really hungry and the baby is crying, I'll grab a piece of fruit and/or a bunch of mixed nuts.
Is there something I can do to cut down on all the cooking? A friend gave me the cookbook "Well Fed, Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat" (it's the only Paleo book I've read so far) and I've been trying to do as she suggests by cooking meat and veggies ahead of time once a week. I haven't been able to do the whole "weekly" cooking prep at once, but I do try to do my eggs, veggies, and meat in big batches. I usually manage to get one cooking task done a day (e.g. roast a couple chickens one day, dice the meat the next day, make olive oil mayo the next). I have read the threads from the newbie meta post and will incorporate some of those ideas (e.g. buying no-sugar jerky on line) but I'm wondering if folks have any suggestions tailored to a taking-care-of-an-infant lifestyle.
With paleo, I'm eating a large volume of food (all those delicious veggies!), and I often don't even have time to sit down and eat it. I find myself scarfing down my food quickly under stress (like, when the baby is screaming to nurse or my 6 y.o. is having a meltdown) and it hasn't been fabulous for my digestion. Does anyone have suggestions either for figuring out a way to eat in a more relaxed way or to compensate with digestion? I started taking a probiotic after reading that suggestion here and that's helping a lot, but I'd welcome any further suggestions.
ETA: Wow! I really appreciate all of the encouragement and great suggestions, and the speed with which you all responded. Thanks so much! I tried eating fewer fibrous veggies today and eating more calorie-dense foods. It seems to be working really well. I was worried that my energy levels would drop (I can't believe how great I feel with the small amount of highly-interrupted sleep I'm getting!) if I cut down on the veggies, but I still feel energetic. I also really appreciate the suggestions to eat the "iffy" paleo foods like dairy, sweet potatoes, and dried fruit. It's helping a lot to kind of lower the bar in those areas.
Also, in case someone comes along later to read this thread and has similar issues, I want to recommend the "stinky fish snack" described in this thread (http://paleohacks.com/questions/3559/ideas-for-bag-lunches-what-do-paleos-eat-at-work#axzz27RXaUct4). I just cut up a hard boiled egg in a bowl and added half of a can of sardines and sprinkled it with Penzey's sandwich sprinkle (probably plain garlic salt would work, too). It wasn't exactly delicious, but it tasted nourishing and was so fast and satisfying.
I also realized I gave my husband short shrift in my original post--he grilled up five pounds of chicken thighs when he got home from work and it made a huge difference to have those in the fridge!
asked byEvaFolsom (270)
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on September 25, 2012
at 05:17 AM
Your primary role right now is nursing. I am also a nursing mother, and I understand the time commitment EBF is.
Do you have help? An afternoon to cook and prep would be enough to cook for a couple of weeks. I understand at 2 months you're nursing CONSTANTLY but maybe someone to hold baby after sessions and to stir the pot while it's boiling until you can get back to cooking?
on September 25, 2012
at 07:00 AM
I covered every flat surface near nursing stations with bowls of trail mix for a while, and would munch while nursing. Microwaved potatoes and sweet potatoes with butter were quick and easy to make as an after nursing filling emergency snack. It is also a good time to whip up a good dozen or two paleo muffins for some nutrient dense quick eats. I remember downing a lot of juice, milk, smoothies, and milkshakes during that time too, if there was ever a time you can tolerate liquid calories it is in the early months of breastfeeding.
I found it almost impossible to do much cooking until my little one was almost 12 weeks, when we figured out how to work together and I could feed him in the Moby wrap while doing cooking prep. That was also when he really took to the swing too so I had a little more time for actual cooking. Most babies only like the swing when put on the highest setting with the obnoxious road sound/white noise setting (Happiest Baby on the Block has some good ideas about this).
Most friends and family like to bring food to new moms, especially if it is an excuse to see the baby. Throw out an SOS about your lack of time to cook along with your dietary requirements and you'll be amazed what people are willing to do for you.
on September 25, 2012
at 07:20 AM
You are doing great!
I know what you are going through - my son is 5 1/2 years older than my daughter and nursing and caring for a wild boy at the same time really wasn't easy...
As suggested above cutting down on fibrous veggies and nuts will help with your digestion.
Can't your friend who gave you the book lend you a hand in preparing some meals? Or the father? BBQ some roasts and burgers?
You could carry (and nurse) your baby in a baby sling while cooking.
on September 25, 2012
at 05:44 AM
If you're pressed for time when nursing why not go easy on the fibrous vegies for a while? Instead you couldd steer towards calorie dense foods making up the bulk (in volume, not just calories) of the meal?
Liquid calories in the form of smoothies, mayoannasises/sauces (dairy, coconut or EVOO based etc) might also help in eating'a lot' in a short period of time. Pretty much whatever you find palatable while holding a bit on the voluminous, fibrous veg is my suggestion.
PS Sounds like you're going great on the 'good food' eating thing, hopefully your kid will appreciate it in the future, amongst other things. :)
Edit- just hit home that you are a nursing mother! Aren't mothers are supposed to bottomless pits aren't they lol? Enjoy the food :)
on December 01, 2012
at 03:53 AM
I am a nursing mama too (my LO is 8 mo) and we just started paleo about 2 weeks ago. Love it and I feel great but I am also hungry all the time! And cooking and doing dishes all the time!! Muffins are a great idea, and sweet potatoes-I try to make sure both are on hand... What else is a nutrient dense easy food??? Also, my very active husband eats A LOT. When I make muffins, he eats about half if not more. What else should he snack on?