Sunday, October 26, 2014

Motherhood and Nutrition

Hi all,  

I am writing to you from personal experience and a place of gratitude. I am a new mother. Wow! you may say. But everything is new to me. And this is a stirring reminder that life is quite a dynamic experience. Each day is new, and with it different occurrences. 

Since becoming a mother who holds exclusive breastfeeding near and dear to her heart, I have realised that of all the nutrients,  water is my 'bestest' friend.  When my baby was born, I was unable to breastfeed her fully and satisfy her needs. Why? I was dehydrated. So there I was with a crying baby, and not enough milk, bawling my eyes out. I was super thankful to the nurses and my doctor who tended to us and encouraged me to up my water intake. Not once saying,  maybe you should try a different source of nutrition for your baby. I am glad I didn't give up too. I immediately requested juices and water as gifts while in hospital.

 I spent the next couple of days putting baby to breast while drinking fluids, until one morning my breasts got to the size of two Julie mangoes.  My breasts were filled with an abundant supply of milk! And who was on cloud nine?  Me. So excited was I, that I woke my baby up and fed her. She was satisfied and slept for four hours.  I would like to suggest getting a clean igloo with water to place in your room by your nursing area, so you can hydrate even while breastfeeding. It saves trips to the kitchen and gives more time with baby.

Secondary to water, is proper meals. I can't stress enough how important it is to eat well. As women,  who have just delivered a baby, eating well to heal, make breast milk and provide energy for daily activities should be the focus.  I was lucky enough to have my family around to cook for me in the early days. But if you are not able to be with family,  have your significant other help with meal preparation or cook and store in small batches so it is easier to reheat. 

Sandwiches or cream soups are quick and easy to make and consume but once made with quality ingredients with all food groups represented,  the nutrition pay off is great.  Porridge is excellent in the morning. I hated porridge, but the Jamaican mothers say this make your milk come in. And come in my milk did. Lol! Also,  I strongly suggest continuing to take your prenatal vitamins or use multivitamins. This will fill any gaps as some meals may not be had. I'm sure you know why.

As time progressed, I realised that baby had to get immunizations which sometimes make her fussy. She became colicky and the only solution to relax is to walk with her and rock her. My point? If I hadn't been eating well, I wouldn't be able to have the energy to comfort her. As mothers we need to take care of ourselves first,  so that our children will have ALL of us present when we interact with them.

Motherhood is rewarding. I am just 7 months in but I can tell. However,  it's an experience you will never forget once mother AND child have wellness. 

Live and love,

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nutrition and Culture in Jamaica : A "Meaty" Exposé

Hi everyone,

The economic condition in Jamaica is tight as the inflation rate for the month of October 2014 is at 9%, up from 7.6% in April 2014.  Whilst the inflation rate is an indicator of the consumers' spending power, Jamaicans still make the effort to have food on the table.

Now, we are a people who do not necessarily have to go to the store to get a proper meal, many rural homes can make a meal from their own backyards.  This tends toward a vegetarian diet and many people are not sold on this idea and must have some form of food from animals.  For example,  stew peas with pig's tail or baked beans with salt fish. While these combinations may provide adequately the protein requirements,  when paired with rice. Many feel this still doesn't suffice.

Many of us are a box food kind of people, or we are a patty people. Or both. When we have a box food, we have two pieces of chicken with rice and peas. Typical lunch.  I know,  cause I have eaten it before. If we have patties, we prefer two sometimes. I know,  cause I have done it too. But the problem lies in when we go home,  and for dinner we eat the same amount of chicken for dinner.

You're probably thinking, what is the point?  When we eat food from animals,  we get protein and fat. In metabolism, protein is excreted when in excess. Excess fat is stored. Even if you exercise, it is unwise to eat this way. Even fit looking people can have clogged arteries too.

But I say, you can have your meat and eat it too. You can choose stewing,  steaming,  grilling, and baking over frying meats.  You can make a conscious effort to not eat the skin and visible fat. And lastly, let the size of your boneless cooked food from animals be no larger than the palm of your hand per meal.

Happy and healthy eating,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Nutrition and Culture in Jamaica: An Introduction

Hi all,
I would like to extend a hearty welcome to my blog and I am extremely hopeful that you will be a frequent visitor.

In this small world,  Jamaica has evolved to be truly a melting pot of nationalities,  personalities,  languages,  tastes, flavors, and  recipes. Gone were the days when we stuck to solely indigenous tastes and dishes.  We now have menu choices which are, for example,  Indian with a Jamaican or Yaad style twist. I must say this excites me. As, to the suprise of many,  I love  food a lot.

However, as a holder of a Bachelors of Science in Dietetics/ Nutrition, I now enjoy food with responsibility of my health not only for now but also for my future and that of my child. I eat so I can increase my chances of being there for my grandchildren. Not only there, but in good health. God's willing anyhow, as He knows the future.

My aim is to help my readers get an insight to living life to the "tastiest" without compromising their health or sacrificing flavourful meals.

So join me on this journey as we talk and eat together. Come with me.