I am a planner. I love to plan just about everything in my life. Vacations, date nights, work days. I don’t know why I find planning so enjoyable. But I actually had a ton of fun planning these paleo + gluten-free postpartum freezer meals. I think it gives me a sense of calm. Like if I’m prepared, the postpartum newborn haze will be a lot easier.
And honestly, it will be. When I had my first son unexpectedly, I came home to a fridge full of rotten food (we were in the hospital for two weeks!) and no food prepared ahead of time. I was in so much pain from the fibroid removal, emergency c-section AND vaginal birth (read about that HERE) that I could barely move. I had to sit at my kitchen island and give my husband instructions on how to make a lasagna. He is good at many things, but cooking is not one of them.
We ended up eating a lot of takeout during my recovery period. This time around, I knew I wanted to have as much food prepared so I didn’t fall into the takeout trap. It’s so important to nourish your body after having a baby. It’s physically traumatic (and if it’s anything like my first birth, emotionally traumatic as well!).
It’s so important to take good care of yourself. Your life is in transition, you’re not getting as much sleep, you just gave freakin’ birth and everything is kind of up in the air while you figure it all out. The last thing you want to do is worry about what to eat.
Here’s what I made:
- grain-free lasagna
- three batches of lactation cookies
- a ton of split pea soup
- chicken and veggies to go over rice
- Asian chicken + veggies to go over quinoa
Grocery list for the lasagna:
- Capello’s grain-free lasagna sheets
- jar of spaghetti sauce
- ground beef, bison or turkey (I used bison)
- shredded organic mozzarella
I cooked up the bison in the tomato sauce and then layered it with the cheese and noodles. It was SO easy. These noodles are great because not only are they gluten-free and paleo, they don’t have to be cooked beforehand. So I simply layered everything, put a piece of wax paper overtop to avoid freezer burn and put it in my deep freezer.
Grocery list for lactation cookies:
- gluten-free oats
- raw honey
- raisins or chocolate chips (I prefer raisins, which I know is insane to most people)
- almond flour
- oat flour
- grass-fed butter
Unfortunately, I never follow much of a recipe. I combined about 1.5 cups almond flour, 1 cup oat flour, 1 cup oats, 4 tbsp raw honey, half a stick of melted butter, 1/2 a cup of flaxmeal, a pinch of salt and a 1/2 cup of raisins. I baked them on 350 for about 10 minutes. I make variations of this all the time and did when I was nursing my first son as well. I find that lactation cookies are more forgiving so it’s easier not to follow a precise recipe. I just don’t have the time or patience for that. Most lactation cookies also include Brewer’s yeast, but I’m hesitant to include this because I have battled with candida. Feel free to include if it works for you.
Grocery list for split pea soup:
- 1 large ham hock
- 3 carrots
- 1 large onion
- 2 cups split peas
- 1 pack of Bonafide Bone Broth (or use homemade)
For this, I chopped everything up and tossed all of the ingredients in my crockpot overnight on low. I made sure there was enough liquid covering everything which required more water in addition to the bone broth. Then I shredded the ham hock and called it a day. So easy.
Chicken and veggie grocery list:
- 1 package of organic chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 large onion
- 1 large tomato
I chopped everything up and used my scissors to cut the chicken directly into a freezer bag. This way I didn’t have to dirty my cutting board with raw meat. I got some frozen pre-made rice from Trader Joe’s that just needs to be microwaved. I’ll have my husband toss the chicken and veggies in the crockpot and then serve over rice.
Chili grocery list:
- 1 lb ground beef beef, bison, turkey or chicken
- 2 bell peppers
- 2 onions
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (8oz cans, or 1 16oz can)
- chili powder
- garlic powder
I chopped and sauteed the peppers and onions, then added bison and some leftover ground turkey I had. Use what you have! Then I added the diced tomatoes, chili, garlic and cumin. I let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
Asian chicken + veggies grocery list:
- 1 package of organic chicken breast or thighs
- 1 package or organic frozen stirfry vegetables
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos
I cut the chicken with my scissors again and just dumped the rest of the ingredients in a freezer bag. I also got frozen pre-made quinoa from Trader Joe’s that I’ll serve this over. This is another crockpot meal.
Wait, but rice, quinoa and oats aren’t paleo. What’s up?
No, they are not. But when breastfeeding, women need a higher carb count. I tend to avoid grains and get my carbohydrate from vegetables and potatoes, but I find it really difficult to get in enough carbs when nursing. It’s helpful to include gluten-free grains as long as they do not irritate your gut. Oats used to irritate me quite a bit, but I gave them up for several months and just recently reintroduced them. No issues. I’m always fine with rice and we will experiment with the quinoa.
Breastfeeding hunger is INTENSE
If you are new to nursing or preparing for your first kid, you need to understand that pregnancy hunger is NOTHING compared to breastfeeding hunger. You are going to be so hungry and thirsty all of the time. You will need the extra calories. You will need the extra carbohydrate as to not stress your hormones. Girl, you are in for ALL THE FOOD. Just make sure that food is healthy. This is such a healthy and easy way to prepare. Make sure you have food on hand because you’re going to need it. This little barnacle hanging from your boob is basically stealing all of your calories – you need to eat! Eat well, sisters!