By Karen Newby, BSc Nutritional Medicine and Alchemy founder
Zero Time Maximum Nutrients
Batch cooking and make the most of your freezer. You need quick sustenance that just requires you to heat it up or put onto a plate. No slaving at the stove (you’ve already prepped for the little one) and you need something that is quick enough to fix so that you can max out on their sleep time, taking some rest too. Spend time when you have your partner around, to make up batches of soups, rice salad, baked fish, tagines, mild curries (these are nice cold for lunch) and do an internet shop to minimize the need to supermarket shop.
- Smoothie making! Quick and nutrient dense to up those all important micronutrients – make using coconut yoghurt, berries, ground nuts and seeds, oats, almond milk and with added Morning Elixir and Energy Elixirs from the Alchemy range. Our Morning Elixir is also great for pregnancy to help boost naturally occurring iron, folate and fibre to help with common side effects such as constipation.
- Porridge with seeds, almond or coconut milk, ground linseeds, fruit/berries, cinnamon to taste
- Yoghurt (full fat) with fruit, ground nuts and seeds. Coconut yogurt is good here.
- Hearty soup (with loads of vegetables, protein source such as lentils/pulses, chicken and some complex carbs such as brown rice, barley etc) with oat cakes.
- Omelette with dark green (watercress, parsley, rocket etc) leafy salad
If you’re breast feeding then do make sure you are eating enough protein (actually protein is good for all the non breast feeding new mothers too!). So often we crave sugar because we are so exhausted and this gives us a quick pick me up. However, it then leads to a blood sugar low which then leads to cravings for sugary foods again to bring us back up! Remember that you need to keep eating plenty of protein rich foods and essential fats to help fuelling your little one. Protein and fats are digested slower than carbohydrates so they help to give us that drip feed of energy and help to improve the quality of the protein in our milk. Chicken stock, bone broth and chicken soup all good here to increase milk production!
My top 5 ways to beat those energy slumps:
- Never skip breakfast or lunch – skipping meals means your blood sugar levels will remain low throughout the day and continue to drop leaving you not only tired, but also unable to concentrate, irritable and hungry. Before too long, you’ll start craving sweet foods – this is simply your brain’s way (the brain can only use glucose as energy) of letting you know that your blood sugar levels need topping up.
- Avoid sugar and sugary foods to perk you up. A bar of chocolate and a cup of tea will rapidly boost blood sugar levels to give you a quick energy boost. But the effects will be short lived. Your blood sugar levels will drop just as rapidly, leaving you right back where you started. Only use complex low GI carbs for breakfast and lunch such as wholegrain or rye bread, oatcakes, bean soup, brown rice in a salad. These will help to keep your blood sugar levels topped up, helping to keep precious energy stores in check. However I am a realist – enjoy that slice of cake and make sure it is a full fat one! Be mindful of it and enjoy it without feelings of guilt.
- Eat more protein! Mix those low GI carbs with protein-rich foods and good fats at breakfast and lunchtime such as chicken, lean meat, oily fish, eggs, beans or nuts and seeds. Protein-rich foods breakdown into energy slower and increase satiety levels, which also help us stop over eating.
- Eat at your evening meal with your little one – batched cooked soups work well here. Eating at this time will make the bath and bedtime routine much easier as although the tiredness will still be there but the hunger won’t….
- Stay hydrated throughout the day. Being even slightly dehydrated will make you tired and listless with poor concentration. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty before drinking either – by the time thirst kicks in you are already dehydrated. The key is to keep drinking regularly throughout the day. Aim for 2L of water per day…..drink a small glass every half an hour rather than downing a pint at a time.
Buggy boosting energy snacks
- Energy balls (no need to make your own – deliciously Ella or Bounce Balls are great)
- a pot of coconut yogurt
- trail mix
- dark chocolate coated brazil nuts (for a super boost of endorphins too!)
- chicken drumstick
- kale crisps
- edaname beans