Nutritional Yeast Nooch... fun to say and even better for you. Packed with nutrients including B12, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and protein. It's a cross between cheesy goodness, nutty flavor, and the coveted umami hit. Great in general for postpartum repletion. Sprinkle it on nearly everything. Soups, veggies, pasta, eggs are particularly good but also shakes, salads and rice dishes too. It's gluten-free and dairy-free making it a popular alternative ingredient for many. When I was breastfeeding (and dairy free), this became a regular go to because it adds satiety and creaminess that is sometimes craved.
Seaweed Iodine is something we don't spend a lot of time talking or thinking about. Most of us steer away from table (iodized) salt and opt for
Dates By now you are probably familiar with dates. Pregnant people hear a lot about the amazingness of dates and we particularly love Medjool Dates.
Ghee You are going to need a good amount of ghee in the first 6 to 8 weeks postpartum. Fat is how the medicine is absorbed in your gut and ghee is an excellent way to do this. This is a time to be generous with good fats (ghee, avocado, grass fed butter) Ghee is an absolute staple in our daily life. We make BIG batches of it and leave on the counter as it doesn't need refrigeration. Some benefits (which are far greater than what is listed here): ~Ghee contains medium chain fatty acids which are absorbed right into the liver to use immediately. It’s a very efficient and beneficial source of energy (vs carbs). Because ghee is so well absorbed in the digestional tract, it aids in the absorption of plant medicines (spices/herbs/healing foods). ~Ghee is protective against cancer, plaque buildup and diabetes as it is full of the fatty acid CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). ~Ghee is rich in butyric acid (from the greek word for butter), an important short chain fatty acid that is extremely curative to the digestion. Humans convert fiber into butyric acid so consuming it aids digestion. ~Ghee produces killer T cells in the gut ~Ghee is loaded with the coveted pregnancy Vitamin K2. It’s full of our favorite fellow fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, as well as K. It’s got your Omega 3s too. ~Ghee has a high smoke point which means that it does not burn easily. Why is this important? Burning foods create carcinogens and dreaded free radicals…..that’s just plain science.
Mollasses / Honey / Maple
Maple syrup is medicine? Yup!
We are always looking for alternatives to sugar to sweeten up our life but generally speaking most options are chemical sh*tstorms with side effects worse than just plain sugar.
Much like honey, maple is one of mother natures wonders with several active studies attesting to this. Known to contain 20 different health benefiting compounds with powerful antioxidants as well as anti diabetic (yup) and anti cancer. Pure maple syrup is naturally high in calcium, thiamine, and zinc. Its glycemic index is 54, that's considered LOW, honey is higher.
There are countless and more interesting ways to use pure maple syrup than on your pancakes. In baking, teas, toppings but my new favorite is in medicinal syrups.
Just make sure it's pure!
Bone Broth What the what? Why on Earth would you want to know anything about this. Sounds like a combination of a fad diet and a chemistry quiz. As a nutritionist, I do not advocate for one type of diet - different methods of eating work in different scenarios. Everyone's biochemistry is different, their polymorphisms are different, their gut microbiome is different, their deficiencies are different.⠀ ⠀ In the broadest sense, I typically recommend a flexitarian approach - eating very heavily plant-based (not vegan or vegetarian) and using meat for its medicinal qualities. (I'm not looking to turn this into a debate about factory farming, or big agriculture, as I agree that the source of your meat is paramount. I'm also not going to argue with people that claim they can get everything they need out of a dogmatic diet. It might work for you at the moment but there is a bigger chance than not, that you are creating deficiencies in the body.)⠀ ⠀ I digress.....this is why it's typically recommended that pregnant & postpartum women incorporate SOME animal protein in their diet. Does that mean you can't be plant-based and have a healthy postpartum? Of course not! And also truth be told that something like bone broth is not always good for some autoimmune disorders (leaky gut) - like I said above, one size does not fit all. Rant over...⠀ ⠀ Glutathione is an antioxidant (prevents or stop damage to a cell) that is often referred to the mother of all antioxidants, "master of all detoxifier, maestro of the immune system". It is made up of three amino acids bonded together – glycine, cysteine and glutamic acid. Offsets oxidative stress and is needed to reduce inflammation. ⠀ ⠀ All of which is in lovely collagenous bone broth. The truth is bone broth has become very popular, dare I say ubiquitous and that's for a very good reason. I've extolled its virtues in plenty of posts before but never have I found a prepared bone broth that I would highly recommend. Why? Well it is a combination of poor technique in preparation, unsafe practices with leaching, unsavory ingredients and greenwashing. To elaborate a bit...
> Things like cook time and method matter. This is some of what make the difference between meat stock, standard broth and a hearty true bone broth.
> Making home bone broth is great, i highly recommend educating yourself on it. However, if not making for yourself, this by far is one of those foods that absolutely needs to be made in a proper licensed kitchen. Why? Well take a basic microbiology food course. Timing with cooling and freezing is of great importance to name a few ways it can go south. This is one of the reasons that I won't make this at home for my clients....and I'm a food educated person who has worked in the industry for um ever. ;)
> While there are other bone broths around that are lovely, many take shortcuts when packaging hot broth into a plastic container.....this is how plastic chemical leach into your broth. You wouldn't do this at home, right? This is an overlooked step even in commercial kitchens.
> Like many a traditional food, ingredients can be simple. There are ways to fortify a simple broth with even more nutrients but many add unnecessary preservatives and chemicals. One of the most commercially available bone broths you find in healthfoods is lovely on many accounts but is laden sodium. Sodium is a preservative that inhibits microbial growth. It's necessary but excessive levels is not good, especially in postpartum.
In your #postpartumkitchen, bone broth is a friend in labor for bedside sipping but it also plays a key role in recipes as well. And since we need to pay attention to these levels, finding a quality store bought product has been a major goal of mine.
Fast forward to this locally made deliciousness @hugs_broth
Coconut Cream/Milk (canned)
Coconut Aminos /Liquid Aminos/Soy: Hardly any soy would be used early postpartum but it's healthier friends are just fine. We keep all three in our house!
Coconut Flakes/Shreds: Unsweetened please
Regular Soup Broths: While the bone broth will be delivered to your door, standard soup broths are great to keep stocked up on. Ideally, organic we always have a few chicken stock, beef stock and veggie stock to use in place of water when a grain needs extra flavor, or a soup needs flavorful warming.
Chicken Livers: There are some recipes that might be for the more adventurous or open minded. Organ meat is tremendous for you especially when we are in the blood building stage.
Sardines - these are in exactly ZERO recipes but if you inclined to eat these little fish, stock up as they are good for you!
Canned Tuna: Same reasons as above, be sure to get line caught quality albacore
Goji Berry: Don't stress if you don't have these little gems. They are great in infusions, nutrient dense, and tasty. Gr
Salmon Roe: Consider it, please? Yes, this feel fancy and luxurious but the little pops of flavor are jam-packed with good for you stuff. Used sparingly, a little can go a long way.
Nori Seaweed: Same reason as Chicken Livers
Fillo Dough: I mean, you are welcome to scratch make this.....but I don't bake, nor do I have time to learn so this is one of the very few 'short-cut' type item that I recommend. While it is technically processed, keep the ingredient list as short as possible. The Fillo Factory makes an organic fillo that can be found around. If not organic, don't overthink this one too much, we use it sparingly. The Bison HandPies aren't to be missed! There is also a Buckwheat Fillo that is gluten free.
Dark Chocolate Chips
Cacao Powder: This is not cocoa powder, it's her more bitter and more nutritions mother. Cacao medicine is powerful and a major asset in the flavor department once you know how to use it.
Mixed Berries (frozen): Of course, if we are in season and have access, fresh is BEST! However, it's not a bad idea to get a back up in your freezer. An easy one to get its the Good + Gather mixed berry at Target. Trader Joes also has some nice offering too. Essentially, we are looking for organic raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry mix.
Nut Mylks: This is not a dairy free program but a few things factor in when choosing a nut milk over cow milk. Cow milk is complex on the digestion, many people react to it and there is a small chance that baby could react as well (happened to me!). Dairy doesn't play well with other foods. In Ayurveda, dairy is often treated as medicinal food but not mixed with much else other than some spices. Cow milk and banana is a no go, cow milk and eggs are also a no go as they are very different foods that often 'lock' up the digestion when we are trying to gently reignite.
Spices: Yes, this requires a whole other section. That's how important taking a look at your spice cabinet is in postpartum. Long ago I wrote, Six Everyday Spices for the Postpartum and it's one of most popular shares.
Apple Cider Vinegar: This is used here and there. A nice switchel recipe to a fortifying heartburn helper, ACV with the mother is the way to go. Ideally Organic Braggs but just make sure there is a cloudy, ghostly little mother lingering in the bottle.
Coconut Cream/Milk (canned)
General Shelf Stable or Freezer Stable Foods: