I hate asking for help and hubby gets on my case all the time because I end up feeling overworked, over-stressed, and overly tired. So, MOM, if you end up like that at the end of many more days than you'd like, what do you do about it?
Well, with 3 dogs, a step-son, a child on the way, a husband to take care of, working from home, & being a full-time volunteer it's already hard enough to meal plan for each week and make sure everything else is taken care of, not to mention "alone time" for a workout..etc.
So, at times like this it's a little extra important to be self-sufficient and give yourself a helping hand; if you have any left to spare.
My step-son is 6 and is ALWAYS hungry. I cannot even stress that enough... ALWAYS. His main question after he finishes up one thing is, "How about somp'ing else?" Goldfish, Popsicles, mandarin oranges, and Danimals yogurt drinks are staples for his 'snack attacks'. (Just like his daddy, when it comes to that. lol)
Anyways, I got to thinking seriously about it this morning and started planning all the different things that would last a couple days once thawed and things my family would actually enjoy. If they don't, then they can order pizza!
99% of the time though, how many couples do you know that meal plan before their delivery? Not many, right? But, then when they get home, do they order out or get take out. Everybody wins.... but you're waistline.
I don't know about you girls but, if you're currently pregnant or have been in the past, I'm spending all of these months gaining weight for the good of my child's health. However, after there isn't a baby in there anymore I want my old, fit body back! And there is no better time to start than on your return home.
Many articles say that you should not actively try to start losing weight until your 6 week check up. You can decide how you feel about that... But, personally, although I probably won't be jogging 3 days after delivery, I don't think it's ever too early to start conditioning your body; you can't do that unless you are eating right. I'm not saying everything has to be low-cal, no fat, no carbs... right off the bat AT ALL! Everyone knows I'm a fan of pasta! But, eating well balanced and healthy choices can make all the difference.
Below is a list of things I plan to be making (click the blue links for recipes). Some of them might not seem like the smartest choice, but you can always find innovative versions of your favorites. And remember, you just had a baby-- indulging (a LITTLE) is okay too :)
1. Lasagna- Make it how you're mama did and enjoy this savory meal without any substitutions. But, make sure you're not the only one eating it for a week either! All that ricotta in your breast milk may add some weight to your little bundle of joy!
2. Black Bean Chili- I love chili and so does my hubby. He wouldn't care if I made it once a week. The good thing is, you can add or take away any ingredients you want to in order to adjust taste or likeness. It feeds a lot of people, for a long time, and it's got tons of protein and nutrients-- essentials for keeping up with the demands of a newborn.
With the chili I usually make cornbread... I plan on mixing my cornbread in advance. Then, I can save it and whip it up quickly when I'm ready to eat!
3. Apple Pie- To fulfill your sweet tooth, or your husband's, when you wake up for those midnight feedings ;) This was the first apple pie I every made, and it doesn't disappoint.
4. Stuffed Chicken Breasts- There are a lot of recipes online for these. Choose whatever one you think you'll like best. I stuff mine with spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and feta cheese. Haven't gotten any complaints yet!
5. Cabbage Soup- Extra good for flushing out all the excess water from your pregnancy and filled with lots of vitamins to keep you boosted for the new mom role. This recipe is extremely tasty!
6. Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers- These are AWESOME for lunch and I'm thinking, this time, put a little pesto mayo on the bread. I usually pair these sandwich thins instead of the english muffin for calorie cuts and with fruit as a side. Super refreshing and a good way to start reintroducing fish to your diet if you cut it out while you were prego. Freeze these fresh and cook when thawed.
7. Breakfast Burritos- I like this idea because my hubby has a bad habit of skipping breakfast when there is nothing "ready". These can be protein packed and as healthy (or not) as you like, although if you're just looking for taste, go to Chick-fil-a (YUM!). Grab on the go to a postpartum doctor's appointment or have one with a leisurely cup of coffee while your baby naps.
8. Beef Stroganoff- This is for those days when you're so busy getting your older kid from school, changing diapers, and doing laundry that you forgot to eat. Filling for dinner and good as left-overs.
Freeze sauce (w/out sour cream). Do not pre-cook noodles.
9. Orange Chicken- This might seem a little indulgent, but... So, far this whole pregnancy, I have never shied away from Chinese food. Even when everything else made me want to vomit, Chinese/Japanese/Thai were there for me. For lazy days & is way healthier than take out. A very simple crockpot recipe that can be frozen and tossed over white rice when thawed.
10. Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas- I have a friend that uses SkinnyTaste.com as a resource for recipes on a weekly basis. This Mexican inspired meal that has been lightened up to a healthful, yet filling, version is perfect for a weeknight dinner. Filling/enchiladas and sauce can be made and froze separately; add the sour cream during the re-heat process.
11. Low fat Creamy Mushroom Soup- I have been looking for a recipe for mushroom soup that actually sounded good, just from the ingredients, for a long time! This one, low fat due to the fact that this is not Cream of Mushroom soup, is a great source of potassium and other nutrients; many of which stimulate your immune system which will be good for you AND your baby during the first few vulnerable weeks.
So, there you have it! Quin's list of some healthy, some semi-indulgent, some downright sinful post pregnancy foods that you can freeze and have ready for you when you get home from the hospital...
Now to get off of the computer and find lunch... ;)