I’m not sure if you’re like me, but when I’m tired or feeling emotionally unstable I crave carbohydrates and sugary foods. One reason for this is that my brain may be low in serotonin and needs the amino acid tryptophan in order to make more serotonin. Our bodies need carbohydrates to raise serotonin levels. However, even if you feel a lift in serotonin when you eat a cookie it will be temporary. Soon you will feel a big drop in blood sugar and you’re likely to feel worse than you did before eating the cookie (Bennett, 2007). If you must have a quick pick-me up, fruit or whole grain crackers are a much healthier choice.
Snacking on protein throughout the day is highly recommended for maintaining an even blood sugar level. Some examples of snacks could be turkey, chicken, meat, or fish. If you prefer vegetarian food other options are nuts and seeds, hard-boiled eggs or cheese.
Smoothies are one of my favorite complete foods. You can have carbs, as well as a protein powder of your choice. My favorite and most highly recommended nutritious smoothie addition is green leafy vegetables. At first the idea of putting green vegetables in my fruit smoothie really turned me off. But then I thought I’d give it a try after reading about the immense benefits of eating lots of greens. I started out by choosing a smoothie that I like, such as strawberry-banana and adding just a couple of romaine lettuce leaves. I let my taste buds get used to the subtle flavor for a few smoothies. When I felt ready I increased the amount of lettuce leaves. Over time my taste buds grew to love the green flavor. Now I enjoy spinach or even young kale in my smoothies. My favorite is just a large handful, or two, of mixes salad greens. Now I find that I crave my green smoothie if I haven’t had it for a few days. My two-year-old son loves the ritual of pressing the blender buttons in the morning and then getting his own cup of green smoothie. Sometimes he only has a few sips, and some days he’ll drink a whole cup on his own. Don’t forget the straw, my son may argue that it’s the most important part. :)
Do you have a specific area of nutrition that you would like more guidance with? I have many years of experience studying nutrition as well as practicing different types of diets, such as vegetarian, raw, gluten free, and paleo. I am currently working on other articles in the area of diet and nutrition. So if you have a certain topic you’d like to see covered don’t hesitate to let me know, either by replying directly to this email or by leaving a comment at www.newmotherwellness.com/contact.html
Bennett, S. S. (2007). Postpartum Depression for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Shapiro, G. D., Fraser, W. D., Seguin, J. R. (2012). Emerging risk factors for
postpartum depression: serotonin transporter genotype and omega-3 fatty
acid status. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 57, 11, 704-712.