Breastfeeding Superfoods

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By Carolyn Tallents

 

If there are two things you can expect to feel when breastfeeding, its hungry and thirsty! Even though you’ve been “eating for two” for over 9 months now, your body is creating a whole new food supply for your little bundle and it is hard work.  

Making sure to eat and drink regularly with a new baby can be a challenge - you’re exhausted, your hands are full (all of the time) and taking care of yourself may not feel like a top priority. However, since your body needs fuel to produce breastmilk and important nutrients pass through to the baby, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to what you’re putting in your body. Incorporating healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates in your meals and snacks can go a long way to aid in milk production, help keep your energy levels up and give your baby the vitamins and mineral they needs to get a great start in life.

Here is a list of 7 superfoods to replenish, recharge and nourish you and your baby while you’re breastfeeding:

Avocados – a source of healthy fat and B vitamins that will fill you up and keep you satisfied. Enjoy on toast, salads, sandwiches or eggs.

Eggs –high in protein, choline and other vital nutrients, enjoy for any meal or keep a few hardboiled eggs in the fridge for a grab and go snack!

Salmon – a great source of Omega-3’s and helps with brain function for both mom and baby. As a bonus it may help ward off postpartum depression.

Nuts & seeds – packed with protein, healthy fats and antioxidants, nuts and seeds are a great way to stay satisfied in between meals.

Spinach – everyone knows how important leafy greens are, but spinach is the winner for breastfeeding moms. It has what’s called phytoestrogens which aid in lactation and promote breast health.

Whole grains – healthy carbohydrates are critical for milk production and digestion. Enjoyed at any meal - try oatmeal for breakfast or quinoa or brown rice for a nutrient dense side.

Water – okay not a food, but it’s so important it needs to be included in the list. Water is essential for breastmilk production and experts say to have an 8oz glass of water every time to nurse to rehydrate.


Carolyn Tallents is an FPC instructor, pre & postnatal nutrition specialist, Women’s health coach, pre & postnatal personal trainer – and mom to a very active toddler.

For more information or to get in touch, you can reach her at Carolyn@CLTWellness.com.

How To Increase Your Milk Supply

 

I recently posted a video clip of my subzero freezer that is completely full of breastmilk on my instagram stories (It's Carolina by the way). Immediately I had ten messages from women who wanted to know how I was able to store away so much and still continue to feed baby Rags. Here is a post for you ladies who are curious to know what I do, personally, to keep my supply high. Just bear in mind that I am not an expert and to consult with a lactation counselor before making any changes. 

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1) Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. I cannot stress this enough. A dehydrated body WILL produce less milk than a well hydrated one. Aim to drink at least 8 ounces during every feeding or pumping session (I probably average about double that to be honest). Get a nice reusable water bottle and keep drinking! 

2) I know it is tempting to go on a diet to lose that "baby weight" that's lingering BUT just know that your body is wise and is holding on to an extra 5-10 pounds pretty much as long as you continue to breastfeed. This doesn't mean you haven't lost the extra weight you put on during your pregnancy; you have extra breast tissue, milk, and fat stores that are essential to your body producing an adequate amount of milk. Simply continue to feed your body nutritious whole foods. Every meal should contain protein, fat, fiber and complex carbs. If anyone is interested in recipes or snacks ideas we can put that in a separate post! 

3) Let your baby nurse as much as possible. With my first baby I was told by our pediatrician to almost immediately put her on a 3-4 hour feeding schedule, which I did. We were both miserable; she was hungry and I wasn't able to build up a milk supply that was enough for her and breastfeeding became really challenging. I quit after three months with her and decided to do not take advice from our pediatrician when it came to breastfeeding. With my third baby I try to keep him with me as much as I can and I let him snack whenever he wants to. We often do at least one daily marathon feed where we spend a couple of hours in bed together (my preferred feeding method is side-lying) and he eats, falls asleep, wakes up to eat again, goes back to sleep, and eats again. 

4) Pump after almost every feed the first few weeks. This will signal your body to keep producing more milk even after your baby is satisfied. It is a total pain but the rewards are huge. I would pump immediately after every feed for about 10-15 minutes. Once you have established a strong supply, you can go down to pumping only after the last night feed and after the first morning feed (I currently pump before I go to bed at 10pm and around 6:30/7am and keep the pumping sessions to 20 minutes). Get a handsfree pumping bra so you can tend to your baby, eat or do work at the same time. Disclaimer: Experts will tell you this will lead to an oversupply so don't do this unless you want to continue to pump and store milk.

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5) The jury is out on this one but I am convinced these lactation bars increase my supply. I still am waiting for them to sponsor me! I eat one every morning during my morning pump session as I drink at least 20 ounces of water. 

Breastfeeding is a commitment and it is a full-time job the first couple of months. Keep in mind that before you know it your child will graduate Pre-K and you will have no idea where the time went. Please ask for support when you need it and know that we are always here for you!  

 

 

Mother Matters Book Launch!

 
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We are excited to party with Dayna Kurtz, LMSW, CPT and celebrate the launch of her new book, Mother Matters.  We are all about self care at FPC and Dayna has written a book based on her experience as a therapist and mother.   If preserving your sanity post-birth is a priority for you, you DON'T want to miss this event.  Dayna is an unlimited source of knowledge!  

Spots are limited so sign up asap!

 (Babies welcome!)


About the book

Childcare. Eldercare. What About Mothercare?

Book reading/signing with author Dayna M. Kurtz, LMSW, CPT

The first year of childhood is filled with emotional and physical changes, setbacks, and successes, and not just for babies. Mothers face a whole new world of experiences as a parent. While there are hundreds of books about childcare, where are the resources on mothercare?
In her new book Mother Matters: A Holistic Guide to Being a Happy, Healthy Mom Dayna M. Kurtz, LMSW, CPT guides new and veteran mothers alike through the best practices to care for themselves while mothering their little one(s). Her goal is to help every mother do more than just survive the late nights and baby blues; she wants mothers to thrive!
Mother Matters covers common struggles that mothers encounter, along with better and lesser known research-based solutions to enable greater health and happiness, including how to:

• Get more sleep—really!
• Eat optimally for greater energy and faster healing after birth.
• Feel creative, competent, and relaxed.
• Avoid killing your partner, and even strengthen your co-parent relationship.
• Get the support you need!

Filled with real-life stories from mothers along with compassionate and practical advice from the author and other experts, Mother Matters will change the way we think of motherhood.

Collard Green Burritos

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Contributed by FPC Instructor and Pre/Postnatal Health Coach, Carolyn Tallents

I know what you’re thinking...I can’t have margaritas and now you’re taking away my tortilla too? Just hear me out. If you’re like me and you have a weakness for Mexican food, you know it can be difficult to find a way to indulge on the regular without feeling like you’re having a burrito baby instead of a real one. However, with a few simple swaps you can make homemade burritos that not only taste good but pack a serious nutritious punch for you and your growing baby. Collard greens are high in folate which helps baby’s neural tube develop properly, black beans provide the iron necessary to fight anemia, avocado is a healthy fat that is great for hormone production, tomatoes and red peppers are high in antioxidants to help with cell repair, and brown rice contains fiber to keep your digestive track on track.

Ingredients to make 4 burritos:

  • 8 large Collard green leaves
  • 1 can Black beans
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 large Tomato (or two small)
  • 2 Chicken breasts or 2 pieces of wild salmon (optional)
  • 2 cups Brown rice or 1 cup quinoa for a vegetarian option
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 tbs Chili powder
  • 2 tbs Cumin
  • Lime

Instructions:

  1. Begin to prepare brown rice or quinoa according to their packages

  2. Soak collard green leaves in water and lemon juice (optional), dry, cut off thick stems and shave off some of the thickness of the spine to make it easier to fold

  3. Saute onion, garlic and red pepper (and chicken if you’re using it) in coconut oil or olive oil (if you’re using salmon please see notes below)

  4. Add in chili powder, cumin and stir-fry until onion and pepper have softened

  5. Add black beans

  6. Turn off heat and stir add in cooked brown rice or quinoa

To prepare each burrito, lay two collard green leaves on a flat surface end to end with their stems overlapping. Spread ¼ of an avocado in the center, lay slices of tomato down, add ¼ of the mixture from the skillet and squeeze on some lime. For a spicier version, feel free to add spicy salsa, hot sauce or sriracha and if you’re a cheese lover, sprinkle on a bit of full-fat cheddar or pepper jack.

To roll the burrito, fold one of the longer edges of the collard greens over the mixture, then fold in the shorter sides, press down so the leaves will be as tight as possible and roll until the burrito is closed.

 

 

 

Our Top Five Neighborhood Dining Spots

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So you made it to FPC for your evening workout, now where do you go for dinner after? Don’t worry girl, we did all the research for you (with pleasure) and here are our top five picks.

Delicatessen. We recently discovered their vegan Brussels sprouts Caesar salad and now we are obsessed. They also have insane mac’n’cheese options as well as a wonderful selection of mocktails! 54 Prince Street.

Sant Ambroeus SoHo. Not going to lie but we totally come here mostly for the coolness factor. However, do you like real, quality Northern Italian food? Yes? Well, so do we! Last time we ordered the mushroom tagliatelle "Tagliatella Funghi" and a side of sautéed spinach (amazing source of iron and folic acid) and it was heaven on a plate. Reservations are highly recommended. 265 Lafayette Street. 

B&B (Burger & Barrel). We totally understand and respect that not everyone is vegetarian or vegan and if you are a carnivore we highly recommend a date night at Burger & Barrel, just a couple of short blocks from the studio. Come for a post-work class at FPC and then tell your hubby to meet you for a meal at this cozy spot after; he definitely won't mind. 25 W Houston Street

Mercer Kitchen. Great people (celebrity!) watching and Jean-Georges award winning food. 99 Prince Street. 

Antique Garage SoHo. Welcome to the Turkish food Mecca. Incredible ambiance and insanely delicious little mezzes (essentially Turkish tapas) that are ideal for sharing. Bring your best friend to class and then go here for a ladies’ night. Vegetarian and vegan friendly. 41 Mercer Street

Avocado Kale Pesto

Our recipe this week comes from our favorite pre/postnatal certified health coach, Carolyn Tallents of CLT Wellness.  If you missed her "Total Nutrition for Pregnancy" workshop last week, you'll have to use this recipe to hold you over until we get her back into the studio! 


Avocado Kale Pesto

Confession: there are few things I love more than pesto. It started when I was pregnant and I now put it on pretty much anything from noodles and zoodles to sandwiches and salads. However, like most things that taste amazing, a pre-made pesto from a packet, jar or restaurant is often filled with additives, preservatives and other weird things you can’t pronounce. And since pesto is usually heavy on the oil, your daily caloric intake can be surpassed with just one large portion.

In order to be able to eat pesto multiple times per week and still feel like I was doing my body and my baby good, I created a version that is high in healthy fats, folate and iron. The best part is you can add it to other dishes or eat it as a dip with veggies or whole grain crackers. One of my ways to eat it is to saute zoodles with cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, chickpeas and black olives and add in the avocado kale pesto. I usually add in chicken but it’s also great with salmon, tofu or quinoa for a vegetarian option.

 

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Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1 large avocado or 2 small
  • 1 cup of fresh basil
  • 1.5 cups of kale leaves
  • ¼  cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 or 2 lemons
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • 2-3 tbs of water
  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt (optional for a more creamy texture)

Instructions:

Add the avocado, basil, kale, walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic to a food processor or blender with a pinch of salt and blend until smooth. Add in the water as needed to create the consistency you’re looking for - thicker for a dip, thinner for a sauce.

Make your Own Location Cookies

Lactation cookies are at the top of every new mom's snack list.  Whether your are breastfeeding or not, they are they are great to store for a few days in the fridge and grab when you are starving and feeding a hungry babe in the middle of the night.  Here's a simple recipe to make your own! We also like to mix and match the ingredients depending on what we have on hand.  Feel free to experiment. They are hard to mess up.  

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Lactation Support Cookies

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Ground Flax Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Cup of Raw Coconut Flakes (optional)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Butter (softened) 
  • 1 Cup of Natural Sweetener.  We love to do 3/4 Cup Honey + 1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Organic Eggs
  • 2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chips or Cacao Nibs
  • 1 Cup Walnuts 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.  In a large bowl, mix all the wet ingredients.   Combine the dry into the wet ingredients and mix well.  Scoop out heaping spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 10-minutes, or until golden brown.