Eating for Exhaustion

So, up until about a month ago, my little M slept really well.  Sometimes getting up around 7-8 to eat, then back to sleep till at least 9.  It was awesome.  I thought I was one of the lucky ones who had a good sleeper.  Then, we went away for the holidays.  Around the same time, she got sick with a horrible cold.  Between the two things, she started getting up every 2 hours, just like a newborn.

It is rough.  Exhaustion doesn't even describe it.  Then, this week, she got an ear infection.  She didn't sleep longer than 10 minutes at a time the other night.  As 6 am rolled around, I wondered to myself how I was going to make it through the day!  Luckily (or not) I have had some practice, and learned a few things that help me function when all I want to do is crawl back in bed!  Feel free (PLEASE!) to share with me what has helped you!

I'm going to share all the things that help me each day, not just the food aspect.  First, get in the shower every morning.  I don't know why, but it is hard sometimes, especially when you aren't even planning on leaving the house.  But do it.  To make it even more effective, get some citrus body wash or scrub that smells amazing.  Helps wake you up and feel refreshed.  Currently I have a citrus ginger one from Burt's Bees, and I LOVE it.
find it here
Eat breakfast.  Get some protein in there.  The instant steel cut oats I shared earlier this week are awesome and fast.  I might eat an egg white or two (already boiled and in the fridge) with it.  Protein and fiber are going to help hold you longer than simple carbs (say, a doughnut or sugary cereal) will.  

Eat every 2-3 hours through the day.  You don't want to get to the point where you are starving and will eat anything.  Stay on top of the hunger.  Also, its going to help your blood sugar levels stay stable.  You don't want those crashing, leaving you even more exhausted.  

Some quality snacks include: 

Almonds. 100 calorie bags by Emerald or Blue diamond are awesome and easy.  Nuts contain protein and fiber, as well as magnesium, which can help turn sugars into energy your body can use.

Low fat cheese sticks. Again for the ease, as well as the protein.  

Greek Yogurt.  Will help demolish those sugar cravings as well as hold you over.  It's packed with protein, and so easy to include.  Try Yoplait 100 calorie greek if you are new to greek yogurt.  No bitterness.

Hummus with Vegetables.  Try baby carrots for something ready to eat with no prep work involved!  Healthy fats from the hummus and fiber from both will help you feel better!

Here is a list of other snacks if you need more ideas! And even more ideas here.

Nap. If you at all possibly can, sneak a nap in when baby does.  Unfortunately, I have a terrible napper.  If she sleeps for 30 min, that is a long one.  But I do try to lay down when she does to get a mini recharge and be more ready to play with her when she wakes up.  I remind myself I can be a better mom with a break, instead of go, go, go!  

Drink Water!  You will much more alert and awake when you stay on top of your water goals.  I personally shoot for 80oz every day, which is what I recommend to most of my clients.  I drink 16 oz every morning right when I wake up.  It seriously does wonders for my mood!  It will also boost your metabolsim, and is a natural pick-me-up!

Be active.  This is the hardest one for me when i'm dragging.  I literally have to force myself sometimes.  But even a quick walk, putting on some tunes and dancing with M, or doing a mommy and baby work out is fun, and gets those endorphins flowing that make you feel better.  We like the moves in this youtube video - Mommy and Me Workout.  

Finally, go to bed earlier.  I struggle with this.  There is so much I want to do after I put her down, but when she isn't sleeping, and I'm dragging, I have to go to sleep.  Babies sleep best the first few hours they are down at night, take advantage of this uninterrupted time to sleep!  Hormones (Leptin and Ghrelin) that regulate your hunger and satiety are directly tied to your sleep.  How can we expect to eat right and feel satisfied if we aren't sleeping?  It is definitely more a battle.  

I remind myself, this isn't forever.  I want to soak up every day with her, and if i'm exhausted day in and day out, how can I do that?  I have to take care of myself and stay on top of everything I can to feel good.  

Here she is, giving me extra cuddle time, because of being sick.  I love the cuddles.  

So tell me, what helped you overcome the exhaustion??  What do you do each day to feel good and be your best self?  And WHEN oh WHEN do they sleep??  Will I be exhausted for 18 years?

xoxo Jenna

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