I like to think of the way I eat as the Farmer’s Market Diet. Imagine you are walking through a farmer’s market and looking at the booths. It’s sunny and warm, a nice breeze is blowing, and your baby is asleep! See don’t you feel better and more healthy already? I’m kidding! Back to the market… it is likely that you will see many booths with fruits and vegetables, all looking fresh and new and just picked! There will likely be a booth or two with healthy farm fresh meats and eggs and a booth with milk and cheeses. Maybe there is also a booth with fresh baked bread and other baked desserts and treats.
Look at the ratio
When you think about this, imagine the percentages of these booths. Maybe 50% fresh fruits and vegetables, 25% lean meats and proteins and healthy fats, and 25% carbohydrates and fats/treats. Did you also notice that when you walked through your farmers market that you didn’t see any french fries? You didn’t see any candy bars! You didn’t see any junk food! If you are looking to give yourself and your nursing baby a healthy diet, think of your goal as a Farmer’s Market Diet. Of course, occasionally you will wander outside the market where there is a pizza place on the corner or an ice cream shop or those fast food french fries… just remember to wander back in! You don’t have to buy all your food at a farmers market; grocery stores work as well… but the same thing applies.
Focus on the outer edge
The loop around the outer edge of the store has the best choices. All the fruits and vegetables, milk, cheese, and meats are all around the edge of the store. The isles in the middle usually contain the packaged foods. These are still good places to get frozen fruits and veggies and canned goods, but also the place to find the cookies, chips, and other items that you need less of. Notice that I said you need “less of those”. Eat everything; just make sure to do it in a balanced way. Eat more of the things that are fuel for your body and less of the things that are treats. In addition to what you eat, don’t forget to focus on how much.
As important as what you eat, you need to know how much to eat. It never ceases to amaze me that one serving of rice is 1/3 of a cup or 15 grams. For most of us, we only need four carbohydrate servings in a whole day! So find that balance of eating lots of food groups and measure if you need to. If you mostly stick to the Farmer’s Market Diet, the foods you’re eating are fuel for your body and the milk you make for your baby.
Written by: Nikai Sullivan