Do you know how to create a healthy eating plan?

Caution: I’m not a woman, and I’ve birthed no babies. But I’ve worked with thousands of women, most of them moms. And one of the things I’ve learned is how to combat the food funk from my own observations (and a dash of science) in order to create a healthy eating plan.

I am the youngest of four boys; my mother is a saint. Not officially a saint, but she breastfed and raised 4 boys so I think she qualifies for some recognition, even if one shy of sainthood.

My mom’s name is Nancy. Nancy Lamm, aka: Nancy Trautman. She gave up the maiden Trautman and in a flash became part of a family that was nothing like her own growing up: loving, stable, verbal, touchy.

Mom told me her greatest accomplishment was “raising 4 boys” yet I know her greatest defeat came from pregnancy. At least that’s how she framed it for years regarding the weight she added to her tiny frame each time she carried and delivered a boy. Robert. Gregg. Scott. And me, Brad.

While breastfeeding helped take some of the weight off (just lactating and nursing provides for a 450 to 550 calorie a day deduction) she found that postpartum dieting just didn’t work. What I wish mom had known was what to do: To be kind to her body.

Being Kind to Yourself

That’s the first order of business. You’re doing the most amazing job anyone can do in being a mom who gives life then feeds and nourishes a little one. But don’t be so kind that you forget to be mindful when urges to eat junk pop up.

Instead, focus on a planned eating story—one that features healthy eating, particularly if excess weight gain is part of your history. Move away from grazing or impulsive eating. Excuses abound when you’re nursing:

  • I deserve this
  • I’m tired
  • I’m hungry
  • I’m lonely
  • I’m feeding another human being!

My challenge for you is to feed yourself according to your plan rather than as a reaction to the feelings that invariably invade your postpartum space. Honor your body with good food; remove sugary and refined foods and focus on plant-based foods, life-giving proteins, and healthy fats.

Relish the little factory you’ve become and fall healthfully into the bond that’s being enriched in special ways for you and your baby because of your effort.

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