I wake up sporadically at the moment as I’m breastfeeding my son, Oliver – this could be anytime from 5am to 10am, depending on his mood. The first thing I drink is a filter black coffee, followed by two more not long after.
If I have time, I love to make porridge with oat milk topped with maple syrup, seeds, a chopped banana and strawberries for breakfast. If not, then I settle for a few slices of peanut butter on toast.
I’m not as healthy as I was pre-baby. At the moment, I’m craving sugar, probably because I’m tired and breastfeeding. If I fancy a snack, I’ll opt for a vegan chocolate bar, or, if I’m being good, I’ll have medjool dates, as my dad recently brought some over from Beirut.
For lunch, I like to eat something vegan, but I moved house this week so we’ve had a takeaway delivered a few times. Yesterday I had a Greek platter with aubergine, hummus, olives, pitta, salad and chips. The day before I had a vegan burger with chips – yikes!
In the afternoon, I’ll snack on some nuts. I love cashews, but my favourite nuts in the world are from the Al Rifai Roastery in Beirut in Lebanon. They do amazing flavours and roasts; from truffle cashews to barbecue macadamias, in a big mix bag. If I have some of these to hand I eat way too many.
For dinner, I’ll have a stew of sweet potatoes with beans, vegetables, chilli and rice, topped with coconut yoghurt. After I’ve eaten that, I’ll have a cake or something sweet. I’ve still not lost all the baby weight yet, but I can’t resist a treat. Oliver may nap and wake up again for a feed after dinner, but he still goes down properly at 10:30pm, so my partner and I take the time to have an hour or two of non-baby talk time, and I’m usually asleep between 12:30-1am.
Nutritional therapist and author of The Balance Plan, Angelique Panagos (angeliquepanagos.com), gives her insight into Sara’s day.
As a breastfeeding mum, I know how tiring life can be, but I’d recommend that Sara weans herself off the caffeine. During breastfeeding, you need to increase your water intake and caffeine can leave you dehydrated. Substituting the coffee for matcha green tea would be beneficial, as it’s higher in antioxidants but will still give the same energy boost. Sara could prepare her porridge the night before, or even a smoothie with flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts for omega 3. Adding nut butter to her dates would keep Sara fuller for longer. Having hummus and crudités is a good way of getting more vegetables and she’ll also get a plantbased protein from the chickpeas. Dinner is a good source of protein, fats and antioxidants, but Sara could add cauliflower rice for extra fibre and phytonutrients. Increasing the fat and protein content of her meals will help to counteract Sara’s sweet cravings.