It is easier to make changes to your diet and lifestyle when you are put in a situation where you don’t really have much choice (which turned out to be just the kick in the butt that I needed to get me on back on track). The first reason I was motivated to make dietary changes last year was because I found out I had Gestational Diabetes at 28 weeks into my pregnancy. Once Indie was born, I needed to continue to make changes as we found out fairly early on that she has a Cow’s Milk Protein Intolerance. Seeing as I am extremely committed to breastfeeding for as long as I can, I had no choice but to eliminate dairy entirely from my diet.
Below I will talk about a few simple changes I have successfully made and I am happy to report that they are fairly effortless to incorporate into your lifestyle no matter how busy you are.
Once I cut out dairy I took this opportunity to cut out caffeine too. I had no idea how ‘addicted’ to tea I was. I actually experienced headaches and felt lousy for 3 days after I stopped drinking it. I now drink Green Tea in the morning and Peppermint Tea in the afternoon and evening. Green Tea is amazing and actually aids in weight loss by increasing fat burning and boosting the metabolic rate. I feel so much better and have a lot more energy!
Dairy Substitutes I have made
Nuttelex instead of butter/margarine
Oat milk or Almond milk instead of regular cows milk
Mountain bread instead of regular bread (I do still eat some bread that does not contain milk products, just read the labels)
Cacao instead of chocolate
Side note: I am missing cheese!!! Don’t come near me with a cheese platter or I may harm you.
Here is a simple snapshot of a typical day since I have made these changes:
– Oats (made with oat milk) and I add chia seeds, honey and dried apricots or cranberries
Occasional weekend breakfast – Spelt Flour Pancakes with Banana (I use oat milk instead of regular milk)
I actually snack more throughout the day (I have always been a grazer) but I now just choose healthier options
* 1 Green Apple every day
* Limit added sugars by substituting biscuits and cakes with homemade no sugar slices, bliss balls and fruit & nut ‘chocolate’ (made with cacao).
* I make up snack containers with almonds, cashews, cranberries, goji berries and diced apricots and take them with me in my bag.
* I drink 3L of water a day. This was made easier by purchasing a big 1L water bottle and making sure I always have it with me and sip throughout the day and guzzle after exercise.
Eliminate soft drinks (absolute waste of calories and so bad for you)
Smoothies (I use oat milk or almond milk) are filling and you can add whatever fruits you love. I always make sure I add berries for the antioxidants and chia seeds & flax seed.
One tip I have about smoothies is to remember that you are still consuming quite a few calories (and sugar, albeit natural sugar). It is easy to sip a smoothie and not think of it as food because you’re not chewing. Give your body time to digest it so you realise you are full afterwards and not looking to eat something as soon as you have finished.
Limit carbs at night. Swap rice and pasta for Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah). We eat Quinoa at least 2-3 times per week and it is so versatile and yummy, even our 7 year old loves it.
Homemade soups are great and really filling. One I love lately is Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Carrot.
At least once a week I have a chicken salad (grilled chicken breast, baby spinach, avocado, cucumber, grated carrot, hard boiled eggs (cut in quarters) and cashews (finely chopped) or pine nuts on top….DELISH! I don’t have dressing but you could easily drizzle your favourite dressing.
If I feel like something sweet after dinner, I always have bananas in the freezer and I make a banana ‘ice cream’. Semi defrost 1 Banana and mash in a bowl (or use food processor). I add a drizzle of honey and sometimes top with strawberries. However it is just as delicious on it’s own. Try it on the kids, I bet they love it…. Healthy dessert that you don’t feel guilty giving them at night.
I walk to the local shops when I need something (almost daily) rather than get the car out (it also gets bubs out of the house for a nap too – bonus!). This also means if for some reason my day doesn’t go to plan and I don’t fit in a workout of some description, at least I have been for a walk. This will get much easier now the weather in Sunny Adelaide is getting better.
So, these are some of the changes I have made and I have lost my 10kg baby weight and reached my pre-pregnancy weight by 10 weeks post partum and better still I feel so healthy and energetic. Give them a try and you might be surprised at how easy it is and just how GREAT you feel. Don’t forget to share any changes you make on my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/fitm.u.msa. Enjoy!