by Amanda M.
Working at The Center for a Healthy Lifestyle has its perks, one of them being that I can attend classes that I find interesting. While I am not a mother, nor am I therefore breastfeeding, I did however, want to attend a class hosted by Jennifer Copyak because she was the inventor of my favorite (and only) cleanse, The Luminosity Cleanse. Jennifer developed a cleanse, for which the foundation was a green smoothie. You drank it twice a day, with a juice in the middle of the day. No solid food. I was totally freaked out going into it. I LOVE FOOD. But…that green smoothie had me running up trails I normally slowly hiked up, and I was giddy for an entire week on her cleanse, despite not having my favorite things: meals, snacks and popcorn. If she could do that with me and a simple green smoothie, imagine what she could do for breastfeeding MOMS! Plus, Jennifer is qualified to teach and speak on these issues: she is a mother of two and a Certified Nutritional Consultant. And Jennifer’s got that care-free naturally-pretty healthy-happy-mama look that makes you want to distract her in Jimbo’s so you can steal her cart when she’s not looking, just so you can eat what SHE eats.
So, we got Jennifer to teach a class, mainly so I wouldn’t have to steal her cart. She promised to educate us on WHAT breastfeeding mothers should be eating, as well as give us some of her recipes. Pretty sweet deal for $20/person. The class was held on December 5th (we’ll coax her back to do another one, we promise). But for now, here are my class notes from her delicious and informative class. (That’s Jennifer on the left, adorable, right?)
“Nutrition and Smoothies for the Breastfeeding Mother” by Jennifer Copyak
Main Notes: New mothers should embrace variety and quality over quantity. You may find yourself with a little less time now that you have an infant, and therefore you may not have as much time to eat or prepare foods for yourself. But what you need to remember is you are eating for yourself, and your infant, so quality counts. And with a pregnancy behind you, and months of breastfeeding now here, you must pay close attention to some key nutrients that you need and that you may already be deficient in.
Vitamin B6: It’s important because it helps produce more red blood cells and can prevent anemia. Foods that have B6: Sunflower butter (or seeds), Walnuts, Bananas, Avocado, Kale, Spinach
Zinc: Zinc has a tendency to deplete in pregnancy and can carry over to when you are breastfeeding. Foods that have Zinc: Pumpkin Seeds, Pecans, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts
Calcium: Because your baby technically comes first, your bones can be leached of calcium in order to provide for your baby. And because some babies can be sensitive to dairy, you should seek out non-dairy sources of calcium: Kelp (Dulce) from the Atlantic (you can get this in flake or granules), Carob* (Chatfield’s brand) *note: chocolate can upset a baby’s stomach.
Omega 3’s: You want a smart kid to grow up and support you in your old age? Fuel their brain now with Omega 3’s! Omega 3’s are found in: Barlean’s Fish Oil, Flax Oil or Meal (best kept in fridge or freezer).
Vitamin D: Improves calcium absorbtion (see above) and also mama’s mood! Because there aren’t a lot of food sources that have Vitamin D, and those that are are usually dairy sources that have been enriched, you can choose between Codliver Oil or 20 minutes of sunshine. We know what we’ll choose. And we know that you’ve been cautioned about sunshine, but with 20 minutes at day, in early or late sun, with rotating body exposure (meaning, don’t ALWAYS get it on your forehead or nose, sometimes your belly, legs or back). *super fun side note: Coconut Oil is a great natural sunscreen, if you are worried about overexposure. Most new mothers are being advised to provide Vitamin D drops to infants (or other supplements) but as Jennifer suggests it is best to get things naturally (through food or sun).
Common Baby Sensitivities:
Babies are sensitive to a common core group of foods, read the list, take note of any fussiness, diarrhea or other reactions when nursing your baby. Then, begin to eliminate or watch reactions with the following foods.
– Chocolate (sorry, Moms!) but note you can have Carob as listed above
Smoothies: Meal replacement? or Snack?
Jennifer’s general rule is that if the smoothie is more nutritious that what you would normally eat for breakfast, then it’s a meal. But otherwise, eat a normal healthy meal and have the smoothie be a snack!
Smoothie Recipes: We tried all of Jennifer’s Smoothies the day of class (there was a lot of bottom of cup straw-slurping that almost woke an infant in attendance), so we can say all of them were delicious. Below are our two favorites.
Strawberry Banana Walnut (great source of B6 and Zinc)
2 cups almond milk
1 cup fresh organic strawberries
handful of fresh, organic spinach
1 cup raw walnuts
Scooby Snack (I made this name up, Jennifer made the smoothie up, on the spot, it was amazing).
2 cups almond milk
Scoop sunflower butter (B6)
handful Walnuts (B6, Zinc)
scoop Carob Powder (Calcium)
scoop Decadent Blend (chia/flax/coconut/cocoa)
Most of all? Experiment with healthy ingredients in your smoothies, don’t get stuck on exact measurements and enjoy creating new flavors and combinations. You and your baby will enjoy it!
For more information on Jennifer, her classes or her cleanse visit: http://luminositycleanse.com