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  Recovering from pregnancy and birth – Simplifying healthy eating
As much as the spirit is willing, the reality is that I do not have the time or energy to prepare healthy food, and seem to be constantly eating jam sandwiches in a vain attempt to get some energy. Don’t tell me to eat healthier – I know that. But HOW am I going to achieve that?

Healthy eating does not have to be difficult. Firstly you have to shop differently, and think a little differently. More than anything it is a question of habit. Instead of jam, buy peanut butter and other nut spreads, and cheese or cottage cheese to put on your bread. Or put the cheese on the bread with the jam. Sprinkle some sprouts onto the cottage cheese. Have a slice of tomato with your cheese. Make sure that you are buying wholegrain bread. There are such delicious breads on the market now which include other grains than wheat, and also incorporate things like seeds. The combination of some protein on your bread, and bread which will give you energy for longer than white bread would, is a very good start.

For breakfast you could eat muesli or some other cereal which has many different grains and seeds, and perhaps add some cut up fruit and some yoghurt. This will not take any longer than toasting a piece of white bread would, and adding jam. But the nutritional difference is quite marked. You can even buy muesli and yoghurt ready mixed at the supermarket.

Make sure that the fruit bowl always has some easy tempting fruit, for a convenient snack, to replace biscuits and cakes. Keep a small container of nuts handy for a protein snack. Look for cereal bars that are low in sugar and have good amount of fibre. Once you start to look, you will see that eating healthily and easily has never been easier. Instead of regular crisps, you can now get roasted vegetable crisps which are good value. A small amount of biltong every day can help keep your blood sugar steady, but bear in mind that snacks like these are high in fat, and limit the portions.

When you cook supper, it does not take much extra effort to make an extra portion or two. Then you can freeze the rest to eat later, or have the leftovers as an easy lunch the next day. It might even be worth getting in the habit of letting dad have the baby to himself for a couple of hours on the weekend, while you do a big cook up. Having frozen meals in the fridge is a great way to ease the stress of the week, and defrosting a small potion of mince and vegetables does not take longer than making a jam sandwich.

This is another way that you can accept help that is offered. Ask for meals that you can freeze. It is not uncommon for friends to give frozen meals as gifts at the stork party, so check in your freezer. Perhaps you have some frozen meals there that you have forgotten about!

It comes down to habit more than anything. It may take some effort to shop differently the first few times. You may have to really think about what you eat for the first few days. But after that it will be no more difficult than it was to put jam on your bread. And that small amount of effort will be richly rewarded. You will feel better, have more energy and regain your figure more quickly. It’s going to be easy to change to healthy eating habits!

See also:

Recovering from pregnancy and birth

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Food faux pas

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Healthy food choices

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Role of diet

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Role of husband

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