Snack Prep 101

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Before I went on maternity leave, a coworker told me a story about how she gained the most weight in her third pregnancy but lost it all almost instantly, in the worst way. Instead of taking care of herself once she came home from the hospital — exercising once cleared from the doctor, eating healthy and easing back to "normal"— she ate mostly only M&Ms that were in bowls around the house, and the pounds shed like crazy. Her mind was everywhere but on her own health, and she's still paying for it, she says. 

A notorious meal planner, I ate really well my whole pregnancy. I felt my best when I ate fresh foods, so I made fruits, vegetables and light meals a priority. I was in a great routine, and my mom stocked our fridge to the brim before Neda was born, so I was confident I'd stay on that path. I wasn't worried about losing the baby weight — it took nine months to put it on, I was going to give myself nine months to lose it. 

Then, Neda came. And life got much crazier than naive me was expecting. I was nursing around the clock. And when I wasn't, I was doing laundry, trying to squeeze in a quick shower or change the millionth diaper. I was exhausted, stressed and not hungry. I'd shove an Rx Bar in my mouth a few times a day (Brian called them my Kalteen bars), but other than that, feeding myself was the last thing on my list. So I, like my coworker, shed the pounds fast. Really fast. A few days after we were home, I weighed less than I did before Neda, and my poor skin, hair and breast milk supply was showing it more than anything else. 

Before I could correct anything myself, B and my mom stepped in and made little snack stations for me (B made sure the nursery always had a huge flask of water and a bowl of almonds, and I would inhale them during late night feedings). And I am so grateful. While life naturally got easier each week, I also got my energy back because I was actually eating again.

We're almost at week 13 now, and finally in a bit of a groove :) Sure, Neda's still not napping, I'm not brushing my teeth until the late afternoon and we rarely leave the house, BUT, I'm taking much better care of both of us. Every weekend, while Brian is home, I make several snacks and meals readily available and put them in these Ello containers. That way, I can just grab something without having to think about it during the day. Such a lifesaver. I'm so frazzled and lazy, that I even color coordinate the containers. For example, my mind knows that teal is vegetables, magenta is a charcuterie snack, so I know where to go for what I want. The containers are big, have tight lids and are made of glass, which is especially nice for lunches. If I have a hot meal in one, I reheat it in the microwave directly from the container and don't feel bad about heating plastic (which is the case with our decade-old Tupperware...). 

And B makes us morning coffee in these Ello travel mugs. At first I thought it was strange that he wasn't making mine in a mug (again, we aren't going anywhere...) but that's naive me again — he wants it to stay hot as possible since I usually don't get to it until the late morning, and these mugs do the trick :)

As hard as it would have been to, I wish I had prioritized my own health more in those early weeks. It took me too long to realize the importance of getting dressed every morning, and embarrassingly, even longer, the importance of my own nutrition (especially when someone else's body relies on mine). These days, meal prepping is back on the agenda and just as much of a priority as feeding Neda. Happy baby, happy mama, but also, happy mama, happy baby. And you need energy to be happy... and if you're not getting energy from sleep, you better get it from food ;)

(This post was sponsored by Ello. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Make the Most.)

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