By Guest Blogger Eva Rodriguez-Marienchild
Eva is a health and spirituality communicator: an author, editor, translator, poet, artist and teacher. Eva’s specialty is helping folks on the cusp of life-affirming choices. At FITMAMA, she is helping new moms to design their diverse new lives; to discover quick, delicious and healthy natural recipes. Eva imparts positive information via voice-overs and in print in both English and in Spanish. (Her books are available under Eva R.-Marienchild.)
So you’ve brought baby home from hospital or birthing centre! You’ve finally settled in your mind whether to use cloth or disposable nappies and you and baby are getting the hang of breastfeeding. It’s not easy to tear yourself away from your bundle of perfection, but, SOMEHOW, you’re catching a few much-needed winks.
And your figure? As you reassess your pre-baby wardrobe, you’re happy you’ve (just about) lost the baby bump and are, of course, eager to have the rest of you catch up!
A stomach growl reminds you you’ve yet to eat. A quick peak in the fridge gives you a few ideas – but they’re all fattening! You think: “There must be something healthy AND LEAN to cook and eat.”
Woah! Did you actually say the word “cook”? You haven’t even stepped in the shower today, so how will you ever sneak in a half hour or so to toss together your family’s meal—AND something diet-conscious for you?
Sound familiar? Fear not, new Mum! We’ve got five quick ‘n easy recipes to help you slide right into your new Fit Mama role. Slip baby snugly into his swing, buckle him up and head for the kitchen. Ready, set, let’s eat QUICK ‘N HEALTHY:
1. Speedy Spinach Rice
You’ve got brown rice in the house, right? No? Only white? Have hubby or best pal run out for fibre-rich brown rice or quinoa. White rice turns to glucose, which converts to sugar, which adds to belly fat! Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Brown rice or quinoa, on the other hand, is just as yummy and is fortified with NATURAL nutrients. The rice has loads of bran and germ, which are removed when white rice is made. Brown rice is a ready source of calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B6, Magnesium and Iron.
Brown rice – 2 cups
Frozen or raw spinach – 1 cup
Dijon or spicy brown mustard – drizzle spout bottle
Red onion – ½ cup
Garlic powder and Shoyu or tamari or sea salt to taste.
- Cook enough brown rice for a few meals – the chewy, nut-like flavor will quickly perk up again with a few drops of water and a ¼ teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil.7
- Add a half a pack of frozen spinach or, better yet, throw in some raw baby spinach.
- Drizzle some Dijon mustard or any variety of spicy mustard that you fancy, in a ring around the top.
- Add a few slices of red onion.
- Add garlic powder to taste.
- Season with shoyu or tamari or sea salt – go easy on these, as you don’t want to throw your body off balance with TOO much sodium. If you aren’t getting your other electrolytes,* too much WILL retain water.
2. Supersonic salad
Scour your fridge for a bunch of sweet seedless grapes, raw, unfiltered honey, crumbly goat cheese, and vibrantly green lettuce. Steer clear of the wilted whitish iceberg lettuce and go for the REAL green (or red) radicchio, arugula or frisée, or try earthy cruciferous Kale. Add sprouts (alfalfa or broccoli or bean sprouts will do nicely.) Grab the shoyu or tamari while you’re in there. Rummage through your spice drawer for garlic powder, red pepper and apple cider vinegar.
A bunch of red seedless grapes
Honey – raw, unfiltered – 1 tablespoon
Lettuce or Kale – 1 ½ cups
Sprouts – ¼ cup
Garlic powder and red pepper (cayenne or paprika)
Goat cheese – ¼ cup
Apple Cider Vinegar – (ACV helps you lose weight. Pour some in a small spritz bottles.)
- Get your salad base together – either tear or scissor into edible pieces.
- Layer sprouts on top.
- Add the grapes.
- Drizzle with honey.
- Add the goat cheese.
- Spritz the ACV and shoyu or tamari and add red pepper to taste. Remember that shoyu or tamari tastes just like soy (only without the unhealthy dangers of commercial soy sauce); you won’t need salt.
3. Swift Sweet Potatoes with Honey – Do you like the pairing of sweet potatoes and honey? Here’s a dish that will make you feel full and energized – you’ll run like the little Energizer Bunny all day—and help you sleep soundly at night.
Brown rice – 2 cups
Sweet potatoes – 1 cup (cubed or diced) – Yams will work, as well.
Honey – two tablespoons.
Lemon – ¼ fresh
Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
- Cook sweet potatoes first. These take a bit longer than the rice. When you can sink a fork tine into the center with ease, they’re done!
- Prepare brown rice.
- Serve mounds of brown rice and add sweet potatoes.
- Drizzle honey.
- Add Sea salt, lemon, olive oil and turmeric.
4. (Truly) Two-Minute Pocket Sandwich
Healthy Pita Bread – 2 pockets. Try to avoid the artificial ingredients one finds in commercial packaged pita bread. Mediterranean markets and, sometimes, your grocer’s freezer, have healthy alternative.
Hummus – 1 can or 1 container- mashed chick peas with tahini. These come ready-made in the “Ethnic foods” aisle. Make sure there are no artificial additives! You can also make your own with a food processor – throw in check peas and sesame seeds and puree.
Ready-made dolmadakias – ¼ can– stuffed grape leaves.
Available in the “Ethnic foods” aisle, in a can.
Black olives – ¼ cup
Feta cheese – ¼ cup
Oregano – to taste
Lemon Juice- freshly squeezed
- Open the pre-slit bread. If baby’s still snoozing and you have an extra minute or two, you may want to warm the bread up first!
- Add some hummus
- Add two or three small dolmadakias
- Toss in a few black olives
- Add a smattering of feta cheese.
- Sprinkle with lemon juice
- Dust with oregano. Yum!
5. (Truly) Two-Minute Pocket Sandwich – Zingy “Leaner” Version
- Want a slightly lower-cal version of the pita “sandwich” without the hummus (chickpeas and tahini) and feta cheese?
- Separate the pita bread. (Again, if you have an extra minute or two, you may wish to warm it up first).
- Stuff the bread with two or three dolmadakias.
- Drizzle with raw, unfiltered honey
- Add Dijon Mustard and sliced red onions.
- Add goat cheese, if desired (It’s less fattening than cow cheese.
Calorie notes: There are 400 calories in a cup of hummus. The feta cheese weighs in at 45 calories per cube. If you’re strict about counting calories, you’d need to walk for12 minutes to burn it off. However, these 400 to 500 calories aren’t going to make or break your diet. Remember, you ARE a machine and your body DOES need fats and nutrients to survive and thrive.
To lose weight, you’re going, instead, to stay away from processed foods, chips, ice cream, soda and artificial sweeteners, all of which slow down your fat-burning metabolism; get you too tired to do your FitMama exercises; keep you constipated, and settle around your gut area—the very last place you need to see any more fat!
Focus, instead, on super-nutritional and power packed gourmet meals like these, and with FitMama’s 5-minute workouts, you’ll be back on track – and in your pre-baby wardrobe – in no time flat.
*Electrolytes are substances which become ions and conduct electricity, i.e., potassium, bicarbonate and chloride. When these guys aren’t in absolute harmony, cells AND organs take a beating!
We hope you loved Eva’s blog! Watch this space for more exciting Mom recipe blogs from Eva coming soon!