My Pregnancy + Postpartum Nutrition Plan and Favorite Recipe
What time of your life could nutrition be more important than pregnancy and postpartum? I’ve found that the ultimate form of self-care, especially during this time has been to make sure that I am prepared with nourishing, feel-good, delicious foods. Eating for two doesn’t just mean extra calories during pregnancy and postpartum, but the right calories that will fuel the body in the best way possible.
Pregnant or not, planning has always been the key to ensuring I’ll be able to eat clean throughout the week. I always plan to have our fridge and freezer stocked with healthy eats, which is easy with our spacious Samsung fridge and freezer- one of the best investments we’ve made in our house!
The 2 key parts of my Pregnancy Nutrition Plan:
Stocking the fridge and freezer with whole foods that are organic and local when possible (antibiotic, hormone free and humanely raised for animal products)
Preparing batched meals or planning to save leftovers
For the first, these go-to ingredients during pregnancy have been:
Eggs- provide protein and choline which is an essential nutrient during pregnancy
Chicken thighs- also contain more choline than most other meat options
Leafy greens- Spinach, kale, rainbow chard, romaine for lettuce cups and arugula
Berries- Perfect for topping oatmeal, smoothie or yogurt bowls
Apples- a great easy snack with a scoop of almond or peanut butter
Nut milk- I make cashew milk which contains lots if healthy fats and no sneaky thickeners, sweeteners or additives
Veggies for roasting- Cauliflower, squash and broccoli are three of my favorites
Bone broth- full of essential nutrients and great for sipping or adding to recipes like the soup below
Frozen banana/avocado- both make great bases for creamy smoothies
For the second, my go-to batched meals have been:
Nourishing Mama Squash Soup (recipe below!)
Sweet Potato Parsnip Soup (great for freezing)
Quinoa Pumpkin Chili (great for freezing)
I like to batch these meals at the beginning of the week or make a few extra servings when cooking them for dinner. I’ll either store them in the fridge for the week or stick them in the freezer for later. Preparing and refrigerating chicken thighs, meatballs, fish or sugar-free bacon is a great way to add meat and extra protein on the side when I need it.
So how will this plan evolve for postpartum?
I know I will not be able to do my usual cooking, so I have a 3 part plan! I used to tease my parents about how much they love to freeze things, but now I totally understand what a life-saver it can be. I am grateful for how much space we have in the deep, easy to organize compartments our Samsung freezer drawer.
The 3 key parts of my Postpartum Nutrition Plan:
Stock my freezer in advance with grab and go meals like the soup recipe below and building blocks of meals such as prepared then frozen meatballs, roasted veggies and chicken
Continue to keep my fridge stocked with ingredients mentioned above using a grocery delivery/pick-up service or asking friends and family to help with that
Having set recipes such as the ones I mentioned above to give to family, friends and our postpartum doula to cook for us
What is most important to me is being prepared, but flexible. Having a plan like this will help me continue feeling good, calm and taken care of when I need it most. I know that those who support me will play a key role in helping me keep my food aka my best medicine stocked and available during this busy and exciting time!
Nourishing Mama Squash Soup Recipe
This recipe is perfect for expecting moms, new mamas and anyone who wants to feel truly nourished from the inside out! Bone broth, ginger and turmeric are great healing ingredients to incorporate during this time (sub vegetable broth if vegetarian/vegan for an equally tasty option). Healthy fats are also essential during pregnancy and postpartum. Coconut milk makes the soup super creamy while adding this nutritious benefit. Walnuts are a great nutty crunch that also add those healthy fats as well as omegas!
2 large apples
1 large butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 14.5 oz cans reduced fat coconut milk (avoid thickeners)
2 c bone broth (sub vegetable broth for vegetarian version)
2 garlic cloves
1 c raw walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Peel, deseed and chop the apples and squash
Toss the apples and squash in oil, salt and pepper and spread evenly onto a baking sheet
Roast until very tender, tossing after 15 minutes (should take between 25-40 depending on how large your pieces were)
Chop the garlic if using an immersion blender (whole garlic cloves will blend easily in a regular blender so no need to chop if using one)
Mix all of the spices together in a small bowl
If you have an immersion blender, add all ingredients (reserving a tbsp or two of coconut milk for garnish if desired) to a large pot and blend. If you do not have an immersion blender, blend in a regular blender in two batches, adding about half the ingredients to each batch
Walnuts: break or chop the walnuts into pieces. Toast in the oven at 275 until slightly browned- about 5-7 minutes, tossing halfway through
Top blended bowls of soup with a drizzle of coconut milk and toasted walnuts
Store in the fridge for up to 4 days or freezer for up to 2 months