You might be surprised that one key to increasing your energy during pregnancy and postpartum (something we all need, right!?) is not just what you eat but when you eat it. It’s one of the secrets to proper digestion. Great digestion means your body is not labouring all it’s energy to digest your food but can instead focus on expelling it in other ways, giving you the energy you need for all the mama things you need to do.
Here’s some great tips for better digestion. (For more info on this topic I highly recommend, The Beauty Detox Foods by Kimberly Snyder, where she expands on these pillars of improving your digestion).
Tip #1: Always eat fruit first and alone.
The reasoning behind it is that it takes your body a lot less time to digest a piece of fruit than it does, say a heavier carb. So if you eat a carb that slowly moves through your digestive track and then eat a light piece of fruit that wants to speedily get digested, it has to wait in line, behind the carb.
And since it can’t move as fast as it wants to, it essentially slowly rots behind the carb, moving along in your digestive track causing indigestion and occasional cramps. So you can see why fruit for dessert could be one of the worst options you could have.
Tip #2: Don’t rush the day with a huge breakfast.
Choosing a green smoothie every morning high in fiber after waking up, allows your body to continue the detoxing it’s been doing all night as opposed to switching to digestion mode right away. If you’ve had trouble going to the bathroom, this can work like a charm. The Beauty Detox way would have a smoothie until lunch time, but I find I can’t go that long (plus I love breakfast!) so I have what I call “second breakfast” (usually a complex carb, like oatmeal with some superfoods like chia seeds added in) and drink a smoothie up until I start to feel really hungry mid-morning.
Tip #3: Don’t eat carbs + protein together
Now this is where things get tricky! Your body produces different enzymes to digest a protein than it does a carb, therefore for the best digestion, some say it’s best to eat either a protein or a carb but not both together. Clearly this seems totally backwards to the way a lot of us have been taught to eat growing up – meat and potatoes, for example – so it may take some time to get a new rhythm of eating and the occasional combination is not the end of the world (we veer off of it from time to time), you just may want to take some extra digestive enzymes before your meal!
I would suggest testing a few of these tricks out and notice if your digestion improves and your energy levels feel higher, this might be just the thing you needed for better digestion and that increased energy all mamas and mamas-to-be need!