The Boob Group
Back To Work: Healthy Food For Working Moms
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PRIYA NEMBHARD: Life can be hectic as a working mom-you are juggling your job, family and your sanity! But what about food? Food seems like such a big part of our sanity. Sometimes we eat our emotions away when we are stressed out. So, how do we balance what we eat? Today we continue our series Back To Work with Healthy Food For Working Moms. We are The Boob Group!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Welcome to The Boob Group! We're here to support all moms wanting to provide breast milk to their babies. I am your host, Priya Nembhard, and I am also the founder of the “Moms Pump Here” nursing locator app which helps moms all over the world to find great places to pump and breastfeed their babies. If you haven’t yet, we encourage to download the New Mommy Media Network app which gives you easy access to all our episodes. You can also subscribe to our podcast through iTunes so all our latest episodes download directly to your phone. And if you are on iTunes, please leave us a review, so other moms can learn about us. Let’s meet the mamas joining our conversations today! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family!
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Hi, I am Rebecca Scritchfield. I am a registered dietician, nutritionist, and ACSM certified health and fitness specialist. I am a mom to two young girls and I am still nursing my two-and-a-half-year-old. I basically help women create a better life and I do that through coaching and concealing, and also my new book that’s coming out called Body Kindness.
JAMIE: Hi, good morning! I am Jamie, I am a chef and a mom to two young boys, five and seven, Gabriel is seven, Sam is five. And I am a certified train chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute for culinary nutrition,(02:34) based food and health-supportive meals. And I basically work full-time as a mom in addition to being a chef and a mom. So, life is very busy.
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: And the National Gourmet Institute is amazing!
JAMIE: Thank you!
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: You got the skills, girl!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: She does! She does! I had her food!
JAMIE: Thank you!
SUNNY GAULT: Hi, everyone! I am Sunny! I am producing today’s show, so you’ll hear me a little bit throughout today’s episode. And I am a mom as well, I have four kids. I breastfed, and pumped, and supplemented with all of them. And the age of kids, in case you are wondering, is six; four and then I’ve got twin girls that are three. No longer… I don’t really consider myself breastfeeding anymore, we seem to have just wrapped that up, but I am still lactating. Like every, you know, now and again, my girls will pop on just to see if I am lactating, it’s the strangest thing ever. I think like my record is twelve days now without breastfeeding at all, and they’ll pop on, and there‘ll still be milk, so I have no idea what’s going on with my body right now! So strange!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: And I am your host, Priya. And I am also a mom of three. My oldest is fourteen, my middle is twelve, and my youngest is eight. So my kids are a little bit older, but I breastfed and did all that great stuff for all three of them. So, you know, about today’s topic, I am so glad we are discussing, because I am currently struggling with food. Forget exercising, but even like eating healthy. You know, there’re so many things going on during the day, you’re stressed out, and my go-to is always food, especially curbs. So, I am so glad we are having this conversation. So thank you to all our guests today for joining us!
SUNNY GAULT: Alright, so as we jump to our conversation today, we are going to kick things off with a news headline. So, I saw this headline and I thought: oh, my Goodness, we totally have to talk about this! I don’t know you ladies are big text-ers, or emoji people… I love to text, I have not joined the emoji band wagging quite yet, I went through it the other day just to see what was on my phone, but I know people that like use this pretty much instead of talking, right? They lay some emojis all the time. So I thought this article was really interesting. So, it is about the fact… The title of it is: “Yes, we do need this emoji!” And I knew the article was related to breastfeeding, so, I scrolled through this. And apparently, there is a group, it’s called The Unique Code Consortium, it’s a nonprofit that oversees the emoji approval process.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: What?
SUNNY GAULT: I have no idea…
PRIYA NEMBHARD: That is so weird!
SUNNY GAULT: Right? But apparently, they have to approve that… You can imagine you know, people want a whole bunch of emojis and they have to make sure that these are legit and that we are not offending to many people, and all this kind of stuff. So anyway, there has been a recent proposal to include more emojis that, you know, fit new parents. And one of the emojis that has been presented is a breastfeeding mom.
So, of course, the big question is what is this emoji looks like and you are listening to a podcast, so, I can tell you really exactly. I will say you don’t see the mom’s head, but you see a baby and it’s kind of in the typical cradle position across the body, you don’t see any cleavage, nothing like that, this is like a little caricature, right? But you can definitely see that the woman’s top, I mean, the baby is latched and you know, kind of going to town. So, you know, it hasn’t been approved yet, I have no idea what their approval process is, I do not know what they look for, you know, in doing all of this.
But yeah! So, you know, as you know, breastfeeding, in general, is a hot-button topic, I am sure they have to consider a bunch of things. But they do want to be more inclusive of families, which I thought was cool. I could totally see people like, you know, taking a time out or whatever, and you know, while they are breastfeeding their baby, and be like hey, this is what I am doing emoji, emoji, emoji, you know, I can totally see this being is. But I guess I’ve pitched some other things too. Those other ones are a little bit more involved, like actually see something that looks like a nipple with milk coming out, I don’t think that’s going to be approved. But this one seems pretty PG13, I don’t know. Priya, what do you think?
PRIYA NEMBHARD: So, the first time I saw this, cause I actually posted about this on moms pump here couple of days ago, my eyes were playing tricks on me. I couldn’t figure out what it was showing at first, because the design is weird, because of the yellow like melt into the yellow. And I had to stare at it for a second and be like: oh, now I see the baby and what’s going on. So, I think that, you know, from a design perspective, it could have been done differently. But from what it represents, I think that it’s fantastic that they are doing it. I do see that it was designed by a man, Joshua Jones, so that’s interesting.
SUNNY GAULT: Right! But maybe a dad whose wife breastfed, or whose partner breastfed. I don’t know what would prompt someone to do this unless, you know, this Consortium or this designer, unless people are reaching out to them saying: listen, women aren’t being, you know, accurately represented in the emoji’s space. I mean, you know, who knows, but… Rebecca, any thoughts on this?
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Yes! Go breast emojis! I mean, come on! If we can have a poop emoji, we certainly have room for some nursing mama emoji. And I mean, I think it’s great! I think it is a way to help normalize the idea of nursing and to remind, you know… I mean, I could see if you are texting between friends like, you know, busy and then you send, you know, the breastfeed, or you type breastfeeding in the emojis pops up or something like that. So yeah, I think it is a fun one, you know, and certainly, you know, yeah, I mean if you can have an emoji for a smiling, you know, a pile of poo, you should be able to… You know, everybody poops, you know. The boobs are made for breastfeeding, so… Yeah, I say go for it, I hope it gets approved. I do think that the image is everything, and so if this is not the best image, keep working to get something that is inclusive. And you know, I mean, for as tiny as the emoji is, the word beautiful comes to mind. And you know, I just know through like going through ideas for my book covers, we went through several (9:34) before we finally nail on something that I thought was best, you know. And so, I think that if there is confusion with the image that this particular image doesn’t need to be approved, but the idea-absolutely!
SUNNY GAULT: Jamie, what do you think?
JAMIE: No, I completely agree with what Rebecca said. Absolutely! Image is everything and if you put flowers around it make it look very feminine and pretty, it’s going to do very well. It actually does need a little work on the image though, I am looking at it. I wasn’t sure if that was an ear or a nose on the baby when I was looking at it.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Right? It looks weird!
SUNNY GAULT:I actually didn’t have a problem when I first saw it. But I don’t know, maybe I’m just used to see… It reminds me, you know, the main breastfeeding image, I don’t even know what you call that, but it reminds me of that. And I think that’s what they were kind of going for, that crossed, you know, cradle kind of thing. So, maybe I am just more familiar with that image, I don’t know. Cause when we were coming up with the logo for The Boob Group, which we’ve actually changed like within the last six months, but it started with just a main character. We were trying to figure out, you know, what to use for that, because we wanted… I didn’t want something generic, right? I wanted to really show what we were doing and so we had to… we based of that. You guys know what I am talking about. It’s like the… I don’t know who came up with that, but it’s like… it is a crossed cradle hold position and it’s what’s commonly associated with breastfeeding now. So, yeah I thought that was kind of important.
So, I’ll post that on our Facebook page, I’d love to hear what all of our listeners think about it. So, check out the breastfeeding emoji.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Today we are continuing our series Back to Work by talking about Healthy Foods for Working Moms. Our expert is Rebecca Scritchfield, a registered dietician, nutritionist, founder of Capitol Nutrition Group, co-founder of Dieticians For Body Confidence and her first book Body Kindness: Transform Your Health From The Inside Out And Never Say Diet Again is currently on pre-sale on Amazon. Welcome, Rebecca!
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Thank you so much for having me!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Wonderful! Wonderful! So, let’s discuss work-life balance. I know you’ve talked about this a lot in the past in other podcasts. And I know as a working mom life can get so hectic. Especially for me, I know I am not alone. A lot of moms probably deal with this. There’s a constant struggle about balance and finding your sanity. And sanity affects our eating habits. How do both of you handle work-life balance?
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Well, for me, I stopped calling it balance. Because I think that was just completely throwing me off. Balance to me kind of makes me think that there’s some sort of ideal, you know, way that I am trying to live where things are really in sync, and that’s just not how I feel as a working mom. I feel that when I am working, I am still a mom, I am still thinking about my family. And when I am with my family, I am still thinking about, you know, work. And I do try to set boundaries, I am not recommending that you… You know, I think it’s… You set boundaries to try to be as present as you can, but it’s not like turn on a button/turn off a button type of a thing.
And so, you know, I think, you know, the idea of balance, if it’s meaning some sort of ideal perfection and, you know, the direction that you’re going in, that could be throwing you off. Because it’s like no matter what you do, it’s not good enough. And it happened to me after my second child, and… You know, my first child was only 19months when my second child was born. And it’s just thrown me for a massive loop and it ended up being why I wrote Body Kindness. Because nothing I did was good enough, any efforts I made to eat well is it wasn’t as good as I thought it could be then I say something critical to myself. And none of that was helpful. So, you know, I think that now I’ve gotten to this place where it’s more of a feeling, like I know when I have a lot of work on my plate, and I feel like it kind of creeping into my family time. And I just pause and think about my values and the idea that I do value family time, and that, you know, work isn’t going to always be easy, but I can remind myself: you know what, it’s the weekend, you’re with family now, and what can you do about it?
Well, you can take a look at your schedule, kind of reset some priorities. You know, and sometimes that means that you take stuff off your plate that you’re really never going to do, whether that’s rearranging your closet by colour, or you know, something for work that’s really not a super high priority that you can say no to. So, you know, I think that there’s no perfect way to do it. But you really need to have self compassion and remember: this is what’s important, and ask yourself: what’s the next best decision that I can make right now, that helps me have a good life, and that keeps my stress away?
PRIYA NEMBHARD: So, that’s interesting! You know, I never thought of balance that way. Its true because balance puts some much pressure on you and you feel like you need to constantly have balance and as a woman you have to have that perfection. Jamie, what about you? How do you handle “work-life balance”?
JAMIE: A good question! And I like you response, Rebecca, cause it’s very similar to mine. Balance is something I am always striving for. The work is there, the life is there, kids are always going to be with me, and I have to arrange my schedule completely around them, in addition to my work, to make time for them as well, and make them feel like the most important thing in my life.
But balance is where I work the hardest to try to stay standing up. I taught fitness classes for a long time, and taught yoga, and Pilates, and tai chi and balance was my biggest… You know, I had to pull up and I was a dancer, so you always pull up from the core, and stay straight and chest up high. So those things always come to my mind when I am thinking balance in my life as well. Cause I’m like: ok, stand up tall every morning and get out of bed very early.
I wake up super early just to get a little peace in my own life, to have a little meditation time and a little yoga time just so that I can start my day sane, and not crazy. And then I pull it together. And of course, I have a supportive nanny that is amazing. Not everyone has a nanny, so I can’t say for everyone it would be to have a nanny, but I am very lucky to have one that helps me a lot during my day. But if you are on your own, you just have to find time for yourself, but also to find time to manage it all. And that balance is what we all have to strive for.
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Yeah, that’s a really good point that Jamie brought up about this idea of starting your day on the right foot. You know, a lot of times, you know, your day like down roads spirals one thing after the other, after the other, and it’s a mix of negative emotions and self-sabotage, and really, you know… Especially the night before, the day before wasn’t that great, this idea of you can rest and wake up, and that’s the first choice that you can make, is: what’s a way that I can start my day on a positive, or at least not negative, at least neutral…
So whether that’s meditation, reading some quotes, a prayer, power-posing, I don’t know you’ve heard of that, but Doctor Amy Cuddy has done research on the idea of the super-woman pose, and these hero poses, and she talks about… Like an elite gymnast, you know, like they arch their back at the beginning and at the end, it’s a heart-opening, and it’s where you can pose your body in a way that empowers the mind. And so it sounds like woo, but this is not woo. I mean, she’s like a major researcher, so, it must be true. But no, I definitely think that idea of some moment for yourself in the morning can really set off your day. And it’s something you can go back to if your day kind of gets a turn for the worse, you can always kind of shift gears.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Do you find that both of you try to have perfection. So, I wanted to talk a little bit about this. So, balance and perfection almost seem like synonyms in the mom world, because what you are striving for balance it’s almost like you are striving for perfection. And what the outside world sees as, you know, being a balanced mom and having it all together. Do you find that you struggle with that at all?
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: I would like to say that I am a recovering perfectionist, maybe. I think there’s a certain… not quite perfectionism, but there’s a certain “I am not quite satisfied yet” that actually contributes to your drive and your interest and your engagement. And I think that when there’re things that I choose to the pursuit, it is because there’s a drive and an interest there that I think helps me create a meaningful life. But a meaningful life isn’t necessarily always happy. So, that means you are going to have some struggles, and some difficulty, and everything like that. But I do think that perfection is, you know, like the enemy if you really are trying to accomplish things. So, I’ve given myself this new saying, and I sometimes use it with clients, it’s like: it’s not getting it perfect, it’s about getting it done. And you know, I think that’s true. I think, you know, you can aim for what’s my ideal, but just because you don’t hit the bulls-eye, you know, you’re still pointing darts, right. You might get a twenty if you don’t hit the bulls-eye. You are still doing good.
JAMIE: I agree on that. Perfection is not even… I mean, we all are striving probably for four kids, when kids happen we are like: oh, that thing is going to be the way we wanted every single time. And I gave it up a long time ago, because I was… I mean, when you have kids, you have to go with the flow and really, you know, be flexible with everything and nothing is going to be perfect. But that balance, I will say, it’s what I strive for every day. The perfection past, if I manage to be perfect in anything, that’s amazing. But it doesn’t happen, so… I don’t focus too much on the perfection side; I focus more on the life balance.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: So, Rebecca, you mentioned the word “happy” when you were just talking. How much of that perfection in happiness is part of what we eat and finding that balance? Like how do we manage that happiness through food?
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Right, so, if you think about it, if you are striving for perfection, first of all, nobody is perfect, so you’re giving yourself a goal that’s unattainable, that nobody can accomplish. And it’s very easy to look at other people and say: well, that mom has it all together, you know… And you know that comparison is also not helpful, which makes you feel even worse. And I really like to ask that question, you know: is this thought helpful? Is what I am, you know, struggling with right now, is this helpful in creating a better life? And it doesn’t matter if something is true or false, right? So you might look at a friend: oh, my friend has a nanny, that’s how she has time to work out. That might be true, but if you thinking about that and stewing over that just sends you into a box of Oreos like… that’s just not helpful, you know. So, it’s better to stop and focus on you. So, I like saying: so, let me do me. And if there’re things that are bothering you, write them down. Like I am disappointed that I don’t…I am not exercising and I used to. Cause then you can start to muddle that. Is it because I want to do the really hard, intense workout? Is it because I really want to get to yoga?
But if those things aren’t happening because of the commute, and the time, and the time of the classes, and all these things, wouldn’t a step in the right direction be one, you know, five-minute workout while you are boiling water on the stove. You know, even just dropping to the floor and holding a plank for one minute, you know, doing something that proves that you can break that cycle of I am not exercising at all. When we go to food for emotional reasons, it is a way of suiting and a way of coping that, you know, we might say it makes us feel better, but not in the big picture, because we usually feel guilt or even worse, we feel shame afterward. And that just makes it worse. And so, as far as emotional eating goes, it is very important to realize that we, human beings, are feeling creatures like we feel first. So, we’re always going to be feeling something. When we end up going to food, it’s because… it’s not because we are happy, and lucky, and the world is great, you know. We go to food, because we’re feeling negative emotions that we don’t want to feel. And eating is a way of, you know, trying to run from that emotion and not trying to avoid feeling it, trying to avoid that uncomfortable situation, but really it’s that discomfort which is like a form of pain, that discomfort is good information, its saying: hey, I am not happy with the scenario right now.
And that’s where you can do your work, and you can dig in, and figure out: okay, something’s bothering me, it’s not that I want to eat ice cream in front of the TV after everyone’s gone to bed, or, you know… And it’s that moment what causes you to say, you know: oh, forget it! And boom, go to food. What you want to try to do is really identify those moments and take a, you know, kind of like a much bigger look at what’s really happening.
What am I not getting in life that I need? What am I disappointed in? And you can find your answers there. And there’s lots of different things you can do to help get over emotional eating. But I did just want to hit on…you mentioned earlier about being stressed out and eating carbs, and I said there’s a reason for that. When you are feeling stressed and other types of negative emotions, you actually…your body kicks into gear and starts to send cravings. And it sends cravings first for energy.
So that’s for food. It’s usually refined carbohydrates and sugars, sometimes like salty and fatty foods too. It’s sending like an urgent need for food. So that’s a hormonal biological thing, that’s like related to the environment, just back in the day you are being chased by a lion or tiger, or something, so it’s Aaa, stress: I need energy. But then the other thing it does is when you eat carbs, it’s broken down and it’s part of your body uses to create serotonin, which is a calming, relaxing and happy chemical, that your body needs. So it really is, in a lot of ways, your body is working when it sends those cravings. But here’s the kicker: you know, a lot of times when you are in those stressful situations, you end up choosing that food for the wrong reason. So it’s, you know, it’s like I said earlier, to kind of escape or avoid and not like, you know: today wasn’t very sweet, but I really feel like some enjoying a little bit of dessert tonight. And when you can eat mindfully in moderation, you get serotonin from as good as 25g of carbohydrates. And so that's like from a piece of food, or a hand full of candy, you know. It's not the volume that we usually eat when we are eating emotionally, when we are checking out and saying: oh, forget everything I know about health and nutrition, and we are going through the refrigerator. So, while there’s that biological push that’s getting you there, you can actually learn how to handle the stress better and re-frame it, so that those cravings subside, so that when you do eat that types of food, you enjoy, you pick what you really want. So, you know, something Jamie would make for us, that type of dessert would probably taste way better than old vending machine candy.
JAMIE: Thank you! I think sweet potato pie or sweet potatoes, in general, are very high in vitamin A and they actually reduce the craving for sugar and increase somnia so it helps you even at night if you are craving something sweet and you are like “I don’t know what to do with myself” … maybe go for a sweet potato.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: And you can nuke a sweet potato too, you don’t have to boil it.
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: And that’s a good sign if you can wait because I think it is like about 8 minutes in the microwave, if you can’t wait to prepare something that you can enjoy, that’s a sign that you are like in freak-out mode and really it is just not a good time to eat anything, you know, you need to go in down dog or child’s pose or spray some lavender oil somewhere like, you know, just not a good time to eat and so that’s another really good sign; if it is for a particular food, if you wouldn’t eat a sweet potato, if you wouldn’t eat an apple … I am not saying that you always have to choose those things like sometimes it really could be the cookies that you made with your kids over the weekend but it is like if you can’t eat it in a calm, rational way that you expect everyone else eats cookies, it is not about food and that is what makes you feel so bad. And then you say “oh, this is why I can never have cookies” – noo, it is the way, it is when you are choosing to eat them in the way you choose and the more you do it, I mean that’s a definition of habit, you repeat something over and again and it becomes a habit, your brain will literally make a wiring that says “when I feel like crap, bring on the cookies”.
And so now you have a double-edge sword of the biological push and then the learned behavior and so listeners are really struggling with this, you’ve got to understand that both things are going on but it is not hopeless, you can build the new wiring in your brain that says “when this happens, I acknowledge it first, then I go take care of myself for 5 minutes of some relaxing deep breath shower, taking a pause, then I rethink – okay, do I really need some nourishment now” and 9 times out of 10 it is – no – and the person goes to bed and they are like they wake up the next day like victorious – I didn’t eat last night – and it feels great because then you feel like you have more control over your thoughts and your behaviors and that’s what people really want is they don’t want to feel out of control, they want to feel in charge of their choices.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: So how do we apply all of this information to nursing moms, moms that are going back to work, you know, trying to come back to the topic again? Like, this is all great information and again, we are struggling and we are going through all these emotions during the day because it is stress but when you are a nursing mom, it is slightly different, right? I know, Jamie, you have talked about this before where moms need like 500 extra calories per day and we have had that conversation so how you balance that stress and knowing that you need that extra food and then you are going back to work, it is like where is the middle ground there?
JAMIE: Well, it all starts in the morning when you wake up, you start over every single night when you go to sleep, your body cleans out your system and you start over. When you hit the ground in the morning and you start your day even with a little time for yourself, what you start eating and putting in your body is what is going to kick off your cravings throughout the day and that also goes back to what Rebecca was saying about hormones. When cortisol is right raised when you start in the morning with something sweet or something like … even coffee, I love coffee don’t get me wrong, but coffee can increase the cortisol in the stomach so maybe not even starting with a coffee, starting with like lemon water, warm lemon water or with a little ginger, turmeric, it would start the fire in the stomach for craving of good foods.
So when you start your day off with a good, healthy breakfast, it actually stays with you throughout the day and how you eat and you can increase 500 calories very easily but in a healthier way, not so much like “oh my god, I am going to grab for the cookies or the sweets”; once you start off with your protein and your fat in the morning, then you actually start to … that starts to build up on what you crave throughout the day.
But if you start with something sweet like a piece of bread or something that kicks off, you know, that probably burns off pretty quickly too in your system, your blood sugar goes up and everything trickles up to I have to crave now more because once you start eating a sweet in the morning, you are going to start eating sweets throughout the day.
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Yeah, she is exactly right. Protein and fat – key nutrients for satiety and then you get the carbohydrates that are going to give you fiber so fruits and vegetables, beans or wholegrain, you know. And you can balance out “this is what I am craving”, what is one thing I could do to boost the health and nutrition factor. But if you think of the crazy, stressed nursing mom, she is most likely to skip breakfast, you know, or grab something that is inadequate and even if the effort is “okay, I will quickly grab a piece of food”, okay great, you get some fibers but that is not a balanced breakfast, you know, if you add some peanut butter to it or some almond butter and that I would even call breakfast one, like that’s a quick snack, kind of get to a calming thing and then go makes some eggs and maybe throw some kale or arugula in it or something.
So you can also think of it, if the time is tight, how you can split it up so that you end up getting a balanced plate in a couple snacks but the absolute worst thing you could do is to not eat at all, I mean breakfast is break the fast because your blood sugar is low, you have nothing left, you need energy, you are more likely to crave quick energy so it is back to the carbs and sugars and that is just not going to last. And then mentally, you are like “oh, I am nursing, I am supposed to be losing the weight, blah, blah, blah”, guess what you are going to go next – more stuff that makes you feel like you suck and so it is a biological and psychological downward spiral so the best thing you could do, it can be the most perfect thing you could think of that you want for breakfast, you know, try to get close to it and then try to make that next best choice that really fuels your body and gives you energy.
JAMIE: I totally agree. Power shakes are also really good in the morning because a lot of loaded greens in power shakes and you can get one that is formulated already with greens and it helps to start your day out in an alkalizing base instead of acidic so … and we eat a lot of acidity throughout our day so keeping your body in alkaline is the most important for health as well. So as they are going through their day and feeding their babies, they are going to give their babies good nutrients as well.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Wow, this is so much great information. I feel like there is so much science also behind what we plan for our day and how we manage our stress. So let’s discuss how we properly plan our healthy meals when we come back. So we will be right back.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Welcome back. Today we are talking about how breastfeeding and pumping moms can eat healthy as they return to work. So how do we properly manage stress and what we … so Rebecca, how can moms think about stress differently?
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Yeah, so we are always going to have stress in our lives and if you try to avoid stress or prevent stress, you are going to end up wasting a lot of time and then be very disappointed because you actually can’t take the stress away. And if your mindset is “oh my gosh, I am stressed, I can’t handle it” kind of like, you know, “the tornado is coming, I can’t handle this”, that is something that will likely lead you toward emotional eating or other self-sabotage but there is actually a different way to think of stress. I used to be the person telling people “stress is going to kill you if you are not careful” and it was very negative until I changed my mindset about stress and I read a book by Dr. Kelly McGonigal called “The Upside of Stress”, I covered it in the Body Kindness podcast which will have a link in the show notes I believe and it is this idea that when you feel stressed, it is also an opportunity to learn and grow.
So, your body releases cortisol, we mentioned that earlier, but it also releases a hormone called DHEA, it is literally a growth hormone that is there to make your brain create new wiring and new cell so that you can learn from that experience. You touch a hot stove and you learn to be careful about that kind of stuff. So when you are feeling stressed, if you say “this is here to tell me something, this is my opportunity to learn and grow, what actions can I take while I deal, you know this stress is going to be here until it is not here anymore but what action can I take that is helpful in creating a better life”, that then puts you in this positive mindset to where you can tolerate stress and that is how over the long term you build resilience because when that stress happens again, you now have a path to follow and a way to get out of that. So, don’t avoid the stress, don’t run away from it, it is always going to be there but say “hey, this is where I can learn and grow, what actions do I need to take now that matter” and you actually become this person that is like “you know, I can handle stress” and there is so much health and happiness in that mindset.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: What about planning meals? How much of that goes into this learning and growing opportunity?
JAMIE: Stress is in everything we do every day and so yes, it is very stressful to think about what are we going to eat next or what am I going to do but if you can actually take some time out of your week and sit down and think “okay, I have to get fat, protein and carbohydrates and fiber in my diet, how am I going to do that”. So, you know, and keep it simple like buy things that are pre-cut if you don’t have time to go home and cut them.
I know we want to eat so close to the ground and get the best vegetables but if you see things that are pre-cut, sometimes that is even better, just grab them and you can be able to create a nice meal out of that. And keep your meal simple, look at your plate and fill it up with mostly vegetables and a side of protein and definitely don’t forget your fat because a lot of people forget that; they think “oh, I am going to eat fat, I am going to get fat” – that’s not true.
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: I’m excited when the fat-free days are officially over because I used to eat a bag of Skittles – it’s fat-free everybody!
JAMIE: Oh my gosh, I am glad too … that was sabotage, thank god, because you know, sugar obviously everybody loves and Halloween is around the corner so everybody is going to be loading up on their sugar rush but try to increase the fat in your diet and the protein and you can actually curb your sugar cravings by doing that and over time, it will be amazing for you and you will see the difference too that you won’t be needing sugar anymore, just cutting it out little by little and then once you do, you are like once you have it again, you are like this is way too much. But planning is important and I am not saying take every single day and take hours and hours, just sit down like even on a Sunday like today and just sit down and scratch out what you think the week will be like and what is important to get into your diet and pre-plan a couple meals, two or three days, doesn’t have to be a full week, you want to eat as fresh as possible and stay close to also what’s local and seasonal because right now going to the fall and winter, so we want to eat like more root vegetables and things that are closer, you know, that is comforting as well but also gives us high nutrients.
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Yeah and I would just add – if you put that investment in focus time and I actually did this yesterday and I even put a little video of some stuff I was doing on Instagram and I was really honest, I said “I am not saying that I am the happiest when I am spending a couple of hours in the kitchen making head recipes but I love that feeling the next week, when I am not stressed out about what is for dinner”, I have got my menu on the board and when it is easy to just assemble and reheat stuff that I made from the previous week and that’s an important distinction because, you know, a busy, stressed, nursing, tired mom is like “really, now you want me to go to the store, buy all these fresh stuff and like”, you know, because I had, I mean, every burner was going, the oven was going and it could seem like a bit much.
So I love the idea of getting help from the grocery store of getting you know when you have access to a high-quality pre-made greens and grains type of salad that you can eat warm or cold and so you can get help from the grocery store in certain ways but setting aside some time to do some prep ahead, involve your kids, you know, that’s a double-edged sword for me because it keeps them busy and makes me feel good like I am not completely ignoring them while I am doing the kitchen stuff. But of course, it is messier, you know, they will get stuff on the floor and everything like that but you can find that best of both worlds where you put a little investment in and you will see that it is easier to grab that balanced breakfast, those snacks and the family meals whatever that looks like for you because I know for my girls’ ages, they take 2 minutes to eat and then they are up and running around and my husband and I are like “so, how is your day going”. But you know, and if you have this idea for like “this is where I really want to be able to go”, don’t let that be the enemy of taking a solid first step and I think that is kind of full circle with where we started.
So start where you are and do one good thing even if it is I am going to add the raw baby carrots and slice up some apples and we’ve got grocery store rotisserie chicken and some steamed broccoli that was from frozen.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: I always go for rotisserie.
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Yeah and then you can roast your own chicken and boil the bones and make your own soup and everything. I mean, that is all great stuff but I think you have to have the time to plan or it is going to be completely chaotic and stressful. But, you know, cook from your kitchen, look to see what you have around so you reduce food waste but it is an idea that is like it doesn’t have to be the most perfect recipe; if you don’t feel like you can follow it, I even like those home delivery not for all the time but maybe you have a couple of days of those meal deliveries services like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron or you know, there are several out now that you can try, they just kind of help … to me, it is like I make a glass of wine and I follow someone else’s recipes, the portions are perfect, it actually teaches me “wow, I didn’t know how to make this dish before” so it teaches me something.
There are lots of deals around them and it is hard to say it is not expensive because everyone has a different budget but I think that there are steps that you can take that kind of get you feeling more accomplished and confident that you can bring these balanced nutritious meals together. And I think listeners know the reasons, there are a million reasons but I think one that we don’t always think about has to do with our … another way that our mood is affected and that is from our gut microbiome and I will spare the science lesson but like 95% of our serotonin which I mentioned earlier is actually supported through the gut and there is more helpful bacteria that live inside our gut than every other human cell. So we are actually like more bacteria than we are human beings and the way you feed that healthy microbiome that supports good immunity that supports a good mood is through all these eating tips we have given earlier, those balanced plates, the vegetables and fruits, and beans, they actually feed the bacteria that help the good ones thrive and you need as much variety as you can. So you know, not that we need another reason but it is not just about being skinny or losing weight, you know, it is about having energy and feeling good and it does really come from quality foods, you just have to start and say “what can I do right now – this meal – and then what can I do the next meal to make it even better”.
JAIME: Definitely, I totally agree with that. There is actually another home delivery, it is called Umi Kitchen, I am a brand ambassador for it and they really focus on home-cooked meals so it comes from different authenticity and ethnicity so you get a variety of food but it is home-cooked based so you are getting people who are actually putting love into their food and delivering so Umi Kitchen is another place if you don’t have time in the week and you plan maybe one day to order in maybe that is another spot to go.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yes, we all need a little help.
SUNNY GAULT: A lot of help.
REBECCA SCRITCHFIELD: Totally with that.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Okay, so thank you so much to everyone for being part of today’s show and for sharing their experience. If you are a member of The Boob Group, then be sure to check out the bonus content for this episode where we will find out what Rebecca and Jaime go-to recipes are for keeping healthy.
SUNNY GAULT: Alright, so as we wrap up today’s episode, we do have a question from one of our listeners and we certainly do appreciate it when you send us a message on Facebook or you send us an email through the website or whatever method you use to reach out to us – we love hearing from you and we are more than happy to answer your questions. So today’s question comes from Delilah and Delilah asks: My friend has a two-month-old baby and her doctor prescribes Zantax while the little one was spitting up all the milk. So mamma is wondering if she should give cereal to help with the reflex. Mamma stopped using Zantax due to the reaction her little one had, she has always exclusively pumped and she is now starting to breastfeed. Her baby was in the NICU for three weeks and now she is trying to introduce the breast because the baby loves the bottle so much. Any help would be great.
HELEN ANDERSON: Hey Delilah. This is Helen Anderson, I am a registered nurse, certified lactation educator and I am one of the experts here at New Mommy Media. I love your question. Reflex is something that a lot of babies have and it really varies in severity; some babies have a little bit of spit-up and reflex and some babies have a whole lot. So what we look at is not the amount of spit up but we look at how is the baby gaining weight because we know that a lot of milk can be absorbed and used by the baby for nutrients even if it looks like they are just spitting it all back up.
So there can be a lot of ways that we help reduce reflex and one of those is positioning so Zantax of course is kind of the first line of defense in medication when we talk about reflex in babies. But positioning can actually be much more effective and that just means that we get gravity on our side to keep the milk in the baby’s stomach. So when you are breastfeeding your baby, have the baby in an upright position if possible so you may be doing a cross-cradle hold or a football hold but some way and that the baby’s stomach is lower than their mouth and that way we can use gravity to help keep the food down.
Another thing that you can do is to wear your baby in an upright position so a lot of our baby carriers keep our baby in kind of a vertical position and again, this helps keep the milk where it belongs which is in the baby’s tummy. So in terms of introducing the breast after the bottle, what we want to do is be sure to introduce the breast at each feed … at the beginning of each feed and so the baby is motivated by hunger to accept the breast more readily. So latch the baby on at the beginning of each feed, you can hand express just so your breast compression and nipple compression some milk into your baby’s mouth so they get the picture that hey, this is where food comes from. It is not going to replace the bottle right away but incrementally you might see your baby more and more accepting of staying at the breast and not needing to get as much nutrient from the bottle. So I hope that helps; good luck with everything and if you have any other questions, please let us know. Thanks.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: That wraps up our show for today. Thanks for listening to The Boob Group!
Don’t forget to check out our sister show:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Newbies for newly postpartum moms
• Parent Savers for moms and dads with toddlers and
• Twin Talks for parents with multiples.
This is The Boob Group where moms know breast!
This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
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