The postpartum period is a challenging time for athletic moms. Your body is healing from childbirth and is nutritionally depleted from nourishing a growing baby in utero. The postpartum fatigue caused by having an infant in the house can be even more challenging if you also have other children to care for in your family. As a mother myself, I know how tiring this phase of life can be and how important it is to keep eating healthy even when you feel you have no time. Eating well balanced meals, getting plenty of water, and continually grazing on healthy snacks can really help to reestablish the health of mom and baby, particularly if you’re breastfeeding.
Complex carbs help fight postpartum fatigue and are desirable in combination with iron and protein. Consuming enough iron and protein will ease a number of postpartum symptoms as well. Lean red meat is the highest in iron, but you can get iron in other meats, eggs, and seafood as well as mushrooms, dark leafy greens, legumes, and a smaller amount in fruits.
For mothers who are breastfeeding, get plenty of water, and consume lactogenic foods to keep your milk supply going strong. In this meal, I’ve included lactogenic spinach, brown rice and fennel. Omega 3, DHA, and EPA (essential fatty acids) are transferred through breastmilk. These nutrients are important for a newborn’s brain development. Because salmon is high in these critical nutrients, I’ve used salmon as the main source of protein which contains iron as well as the all-important omega 3s and essential fatty acids. These nutrients are equally important for every new mom, even if you’re not breastfeeding, as they also assist with fighting postpartum depression and anxiety.
Every ingredient in this easy meal is well thought out to include a variety of postpartum nutrition. From fatigue fighting brown rice to iron rich compliments of spinach, egg and fish, this postpartum meal will help you and your baby, whether breastfeeding or not, to be a healthy team.
Salmon Patties with Blueberry Miso Sauce and Fennel Fried Rice
Calories 405, Protein 28g, Carbs 44g, Fat 16g
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
Salmon Patties Ingredients:
- 10-12 oz cooked wild caught salmon, finely flaked in a food processor (or use canned/pouch salmon)
- 1 shallot or ½ red onion, diced
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons flax meal (ground flaxseed)
- Combine all ingredients for salmon patties in a bowl and stir until well combined.
- Heat a sauté pan on medium high with a small amount of olive oil.
- Form salmon mixture into four patties and place into hot pan.
- Cook about 4 minutes on each side until golden on edges.
- Serve with blueberry miso sauce.
Note: Patties can be mixed up and made into patties in advance and left uncooked. Keep in fridge until ready to cook.
Blueberry Miso Sauce Ingredients:
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- 2 teaspoons miso paste
- ½ teaspoon ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, unseasoned
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Drizzle over salmon patties.
Note: This sauce can be made in advance and stored in fridge until ready to serve.
Fennel Fried Rice Ingredients:
- 2 cups pre-cooked brown rice
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 shallot (or ½ red onion)
- ½ fennel bulb, diced (about ⅓ cup diced)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup spinach, chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce, to taste
- Heat a large sauté pan or wok on medium heat with sesame oil.
- Stir cook shallot, fennel, and garlic in sesame oil until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
- Slide vegetables to the side of the pan and add beaten eggs.
- Let eggs cook slightly before stirring in.
- Add peas, spinach, green onion, and rice and stir fry.
- Pour tamari soy sauce over top and stir fry to combine.
Note: You can make this in advance, store in fridge, and reheat before serving. You can also add chopped fennel fronds into the fried rice or use them as a garnish.