A simple guide to postpartum meal planning

This post shares some of what I have learned during my training in Ayurveda as a yoga therapist with teachers Marek Sawicki and Uma Thompson, as well as my personal journey during my own pregnancy with the support of Ayurvedic Practitioner Kaya Mindlin. Many thanks to my teachers and their teachers for passing on their knowledge of Ayurveda during pregnancy and postpartum.

Unless you have an awesome culinary genius for a spouse, one of the most difficult challenges you face in the immediate postpartum time is the question of “what are we going to eat?!”

I realized early on in my pregnancy that I would need some serious postpartum meal support.

While I planned on an Ayurvedic approach to postpartum, I was worried that people would see that and think “Indian food.” So, I decided to provide some simple ideas about what kinds of foods would be easy to make and familiar to those I was counting on for support.

Here’s what I wrote up as part of my Meal Train. Even if you do not have any specific dietary restrictions, you can #stealthisscript – edit to your needs and use as you see fit!

Dear Ones:

As many of you know, Mau and I are expecting a baby boy at the end of February. We will be having some family visit and help for a few days at a time, but one of our greatest needs is making sure we have meals planned at a time when it’s challenging to cook ourselves.

So, we are gathering together our local “family” for some postpartum meal support around baby’s due date. We would LOVE if you would consider signing up to bring a hot meal during this time. We are using an online system called Meal Train to make signing up really easy – you can check out the link right here.

I have been following an Ayurvedic approach to pregnancy and plan to continue postpartum — but don’t worry, Ayurvedic meals does NOT mean Indian food! Rather, it’s a general approach to favoring foods, spices, and oils that help with postpartum recovery for mothers and a comfortable start for baby.

In reality, the principles are pretty simple:

I will be AVOIDING anything cold, raw, crunchy, overly acidic/spicy or dry.

This means: No salads or raw fruits/veggies, cold beverages, or foods prepared without any oils/dressings/healthy fats. Things like tomatoes, raw bell peppers, garlic, or onion are on the definite no list. I will also be avoiding frozen foods for the first few weeks.

I will be FAVORING foods that are grounding, moist, unctuous, well-oiled, heavy, and warming. Anything cooked with warming spices like cumin, coriander, ginger, fennel, cardamom, or cinnamon is awesome, as is the liberal use of oils and fats (such as coconut oil, sesame oil, ghee, butter).

Here’s a few example of simple foods that honor the Ayurvedic postpartum approach:

 

  • Stews and soups (we are definitely not vegetarians so meats such as chicken, beef or lamb are all fair game, as well as the veggies below)
  • Root veggies such as beets, yams, fennel bulb, carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, and squash (roasted, sauteed, stir-fried with spices and oils, or cooked into a soup)
  • Lentils or mung beans (in soup, or cooked with rice as a kitchari)
  • Cooked green veggies such as kale, chard, arugula, chaya, asparagus or spinach.
  • White rice (basmati, jasmine etc) or quinoa cooked with generous oil and spices (brown or wild rice is hard to digest postpartum)
  • Anything with coconut! Coconut oil, coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut water. Add to soups, curries, or desserts
  • Desserts such as tapioca pudding, rice pudding, and cooked fruits.
  • Baked goods such as almond croissants or butter cookies with a dash of cardamom or cinnamon are also considered excellent during the immediate postpartum period – lucky me!!!

Short and sweet.

Please let me know if you put this to use and feel free to pay it forward!

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