Let me tell you one thing: I had no idea what hunger and cravings meant until I started breastfeeding. I always had a big appetite (it’s a family thing). Then came the pregnancy hunger everyone was warning me about. But none of that can compare to the breastfeeding hunger. All of a sudden, this mama found herself unable to exercise (you know- exhaustion, sleep deprivation, post-partum issues, name your pick)with a huge hunger. Every growth spurt for the baby was a growth spurt for the mummy, too! Besides, lack of sleep actually completely messes up with your brain and hormones- leptin, the hormone which tells us that we are full, and ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, start to act funny when the circadian rhythm (the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle) is messed up. So this becomes a vicious cycle!
But thank goodness there are healthy and easy, options which satisfy cravings. Because, when the hunger attacks, we tend to choose the most convenient way to satisfy it, don’t we?
I wanted to add some of my go-to products, in case you are looking for options. Obviously, there is always the option of steamed veggies, stir-fried or air-fried produce and so on. And I have delicious recipes here on the blog, if you feel like it. If you need something printed, I might suggest this one, especially if your aim is weight-loss or weight maintenance. But in this post, I wanted to list what might not be as obvious- especially if you are new to plant-based eating.
Good luck, fellow foodies! Eat to live, and stay healthy and strong! Remember, please: Strong, not skinny! We need to be role models for our kiddos!
***Bonus smoothie recipe at the bottom***
I totally don’t do keto. I love my fruits a lot. BUT I do love this company’s dry riced cauliflower. No idea why it doesn’t have 5 stars. I think people don’t use spices when they cook it, so it ends up tasteless. But here is how I make it *with no oil* and jst in less than three minutes! I don’t follow the recipe on the package. I use the entire package with two cups of water. When boiled, I add either liquid aminos or coconut aminos to taste. Alternatively, you can add Himalayan salt. My people LOVE to have their rice with yogurt. As the plant-based version of my family, I usually have this cauli rice with plant-based yogurt. I like Kite Hill or Forager, but I recently discovered this brand which I am falling in love with. I’m sorry that these are not cheap, but think of it as an investment in your health! That said, one of these days I’m getting something like this so I can make my own yogurt again!
Especially helpful when airfying or stir-frying. I only use this brand, because I think this brand is the healthiest out there.
Artisana is my favourite cashew butter. It’s healthy (look at the ingredients. No added oil, no sugar, no salt. Just pure 100% organic cashews), creamy and delicious. My little one loves this one, too!
Two tbsp only 70 calories, with 8 gr protein and 2 gr fat. But more importantly, it’s SO easy to add to smoothies or bakes, because it’s in powder form.
Philosophie Plant Protein (with the discount code IvyChan10)
I’m not going to lie. I love their cacao magic more than their other products. BUT I’m a chocolate person through and through. How I use it is this: If I’m making a smoothie, I do NOT blend the cacao magic with the other ingredients. This one has cacao nibs in it, and I like the crunchiness it gives to my smoothies or puddings. So I add this one the last. Plus, it has reishi and maca, two of my favourite products to use for hormone balance. Especially if you’re postpartum, believe me, you’re going to need that! Oh, don’t forget to use this code for a discount on anything you purchase at Philosophie: IvyChan10
Yoursuper.com for energy, immunity, and anti-oxidants (use the code SUPER-IVY15 for your discount)
You might know this by now, especially if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook , but my husband does the Yoursuper detox on a regular basis. He loves it! I don’t do it only because I’m breastfeeding. But I am at least following (or doing my best to follow) the ayurvedic lifestyle/diet, including not eating for at least 12 hours (which isn’t going so well these days!), eating my last meal early, making lunch the most satisfying meal of the day and so on. If you are interested, I highly recommend this book and this one by the same author.
Anyway, I know what some of you will say: We have our liver for detox, we don’t need additional powders. And I promise you, as someone who has been eating *healthy*, mostly whole foods and plant-based for years, even I fall off the wagon more often than not. And is it too bad to give our poor organs a break? Either way, the reason why I love this company is that EVERYTHING they have is organic, and whole foods. No “natural flavours”, no sweeteners, no gums. You actually taste the ingredients themselves. Even if you don’t do the detox, you might consider investing in the following products I use *every day*:
Forever beautiful, power matcha (I quit coffee, remember?), super greens, energy bomb. These I use more sporadically: The delicious chocolate lover, and the muscle power. Don’t forget to use the code SUPER-IVY15 !
Oh, every product has recipes on the container (which is recyclable) and you must try those recipes!
You know, there are tons of snake oil sales going on when it comes to the wellness sector. But the CCF tea, cumin, coriander, and fennel tea, is known in ayurvedic nutrition for helping the digestive system, reducing bloating and supporting weight management. You can use this on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, it is recommended to have it the first thing in the morning. But I am lazy and forgetful. So I only remember to brew a cup when I feel extra bloated. And this brand is more expensive than many others, but their sourcing (of the ingredients) seems more credible.
Now, this, I can’t recommend to everyone. Because you must really like the taste of coconut (and I LOVE it. I have tons of coconut four recipes on the blog, if you love it, too). And also, it is a little on the pricey side. But if you are not too much into wraps, but do want a gluten-free, *much* less processed, healthier version, I say give this a try. Look at the ingredients: Coconut meat, coconut water, coconut oil. That’s it. And they’re soft enough to wrap (if you’ve had raw vegan experience, you will know that most wraps are not soft enough to use as a wrap!).
Vegan meat is usually not my thing. But my husband likes them, and I do like to have the meatballs (or this brand ) or the scallopini once in a blue moon. My husband’s favourites are the crispy chicken and the fish filet. He is the happiest on the vegan fish tacos nights!
An incredibly satisfying chocolate protein smoothie (and I’m saying this as someone with a huge appetite).
2 frozen bananas, 2 servings of Cacao magic, 2 cups of plant-based milk, 2 tablespoons of psyllium husk (optional, for extra fiber), 1 cup of frozen spinach, 1 cup of frozen mixed berries, 2 servings of super green, 2 servings of PBfit peanut butter, and a cup of ice.
Blend everything except for cacao magic in a high-speed blender. If you’re using the psyllium husk, the texture will be gooey, otherwise, expect a more watery texture. Pour the ingredients in whatever container you like. Add the cacao magic with a dessert spoon. Mix well. This should satisfy your sweet tooth, and fill you up until the next mealtime!