Adventures in low carb eating, and breastfeeding

Low carb and keto are everywhere lately. Let's take some time to discuss how eating lower carb can help you. For those of you that don't know I am a mother to 3 amazing girls. The youngest two of which still breastfeed. The oldest, being 14, sucks the life out of me in other ways.

I kid, I kid, though I did nurse her for almost 2 years as well. 

So often after baby comes women want to lose the baby weight,  regain our strength, return to our "old self" and get back to feeling like a half way normal person rather then an under slept zombie. 

What do we usually forget? 

It takes 10 months to get ready to have a baby, it will take time to get your mojo back. 

After having 2 kids in 4 years, and nursing through my entire pregnancy I learned that nourishing my body was the only way I was going to make it. So why low carb and why now you ask? 

You may have heard about adrenal fatigue. What is really happening in "adrenal fatigue" is the body is having trouble keeping up and things like cortisol production, sex hormones, and thyroid hormones are impacted. Adrenal fatigue isn't the real name of it, what it really is happening is HPA axis dysfunction.  HPA axis dysfunction is real and since it involves the adrenals, pituitary and hypothalamus as well as the thyroid there are many issues that come along with it. Often the thyroid stops working or slows down creating intense fatigue, weight gain, and even depression or pain. 

Now carbs are needed to make breast milk, not just carbs but calories. Eating low carb is not necessarily a low calorie diet. It is just one way to be mindful of the food you are putting in your face. You start to learn how your body reacts to less carbohydrate, more fat and moderate amounts of protein. 

Ketosis for health is something that might be fun to play with, though it may not be realistic for everyone, especially if they are feeding multiple humans. Here are a few lessons learned in the last two weeks of low carbing. 

Low carbing and Feeding tiny humans

1. Eat enough calories: If you feel like you need some starch by dinner, eat it. Have a serving, be mindful, enjoy it. (Stop the food guilt)

2. Eat the rainbow: Enjoy dark berries, leafy greens, all the non starchy veggies you can imagine. 

3. Watch your milk production: some of us need more carbs to make enough milk to feed the babies. Pay attention, and up your carbs if needed. (Again no food guilt)

4. Eat healthy fats: Olive oil, avocado oil, olives, avocados, MCT (yummy fast energy), and coconut oil. 

5. Keep the carbs below 100: If weight loss is your goal be mindful of the foods you are eating, and keep the carbs below 100g per day. 

6. Listen to your body: be mindful of the sugar devil who sits on your shoulder. Ignore him/her. Make sure your drinking enough water during the day, and add in yummy tea for a treat.

7. Enjoy new foods, and recipes check out Real Plans for some great keto meal plans or Healthful Pursuit for a ton of recipes. 

Have fun. Ditch the food guilt. Meal planning is key! 

Now for one of my new favorite recipes!

Chicken Sausage and Dijon Kale

1 lb chicken sausage

3 cups kale (use any kind, pick your poison)

1 small onion

3 clove garlic

1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar

2 TBS Dijon Mustard

1/4 cup water

Cook chicken sausage until almost done in a pan on medium heat. 

Add in onion until translucent

Add in garlic. I prefer to crush mine with a garlic press

Toss in kale, mustard, water, and ACV and combine well. 

Cover and allow kale to cook for 5-7 min or until done to your liking. 

Easy Peasy and makes enough for 3 meals. 

Keep it low carb by adding cauliflower rice, or if more carbs are needed put it on top of a sweet potato or some rice. 

One Probiotic for the masses. Is that even possible?

Functional Nutrition, What the H*&K is that?