If you need some support getting back to feeling like yourself again postpartum, but are struggling with the time constraints and hormonal changes that came post-baby, we think this case study will resonate with you.
You can see some other case studies we’ve done here:
Rachel is a mom of 4 young kids who initially came to us for help with weight-loss as well as some support with reducing anxiety, brain fog and increasing energy levels. In addition to 4 kids, she also runs two businesses, so it’s safe to say she’s incredibly busy. She really needed someone to put a plan in place for her that would work with her lifestyle and keep her accountable.
Before starting our work together I had Rachel fill out a detailed intake questionnaire to get a full picture of her diet and lifestyle. I also had her fill out a 4-day food journal and had her send me her recent bloodwork. It’s important to add that she had stopped drinking alcohol a few weeks before we started working together, as she didn’t feel it was positively contributing to her goals.
Upon reviewing her forms I could tell she was health conscious and already had a lot of good habits in place, but there were a few missing pieces to her diet and lifestyle that were likely having a big impact on her symptoms. Like many people, she had an idea of what she needed to do, but she didn’t have a consistent and clear plan in place for how she was going to get there. In her own words “I felt like I wanted an accountability partner who was cheering me on as I had stopped believing that it was possible.”
One of the important starting points for Rachel was that she needed to eat more consistent and complete meals, especially at breakfast, to better regulate her blood sugar throughout the day. She also wasn’t consuming enough protein, especially in the morning, which was causing her energy levels to oscillate up and down throughout the day and for her to feel hungry between meals.
I started by increasing her protein and fat intake at breakfast. For example, instead of one egg we switched to two and we made sure to start including a fat like avocado. I also had her start her day with water and drink more water throughout the day, since even mild dehydration can affect cognitive function. Her lunches were almost always a salad so I ensured she was having a full serving of protein (at least 30g in this case). I also ensured carbs were high fiber sources like quinoa, chickpeas, or sweet potato, and kept them at a more balanced ratio of ½ to 1 cup vs. the focus of a dish. Lastly, we adjusted her supplements to support any nutritional imbalances along with some additional stress-supportive herbs.
Another concern was that she had a very busy and demanding schedule, but she wasn’t able to consistently stick with practices to release that tension like walking and fresh air. The blood sugar fluctuations coupled with periods of anxiety meant she frequently experienced energy crashes and brain fog by the end of the day.
Balancing her blood sugar earlier in the day meant her energy and mood were more consistent, but we also incorporated a blood sugar balancing snack for after school picks ups with the kids to tie her over until dinner. We focused on simple snacks like energy bites, nuts & seeds, fruit with peanut butter, or egg bites.
She knew fresh air and exercise had a significant impact on her mood but needed to incorporate it in ways that worked for her schedule. I started by having her focus on getting more walks in during the day for breaks, and then she started incorporating 20-30 minute workouts she could do from the office a few times a week. She scheduled those in and had her husband as an accountability buddy so she was less likely to skip them. She also incorporated an herbal tea in the evening after she put the kids to bed to help her wind down. These minor changes very quickly led to better energy levels and her anxiety reduced significantly.
Finally, a big reason that so many of these recommendations felt easy and she could stick with them was that she started to do a mini food prep on the weekends to ensure healthy meals were more accessible all week long. This included always shopping on the weekend and getting staples like a variety of boxed leafy greens for quick salads, veggies for roasting, chopping up veggie sticks, 1-2 easy proteins like salmon and chicken she could batch cook, and making one one-pot or one-pan meal each week for a quick weeknight dinner. I gave her a flexible meal plan she could use with a few rotating breakfasts, meals and snacks, and dinners she could make in under 30 minutes or prep in advance.
By listening to her hunger cues and balancing her meals, she lost 10 pounds and has managed to keep it off months later. Importantly, her energy is better, she’s clearer headed, and she now craves the healthy foods and habits that help her feel good. She is clear on what she needs to do to continue to feel good moving forward. She said “I’m really grateful for the tangible shifts and change in mindset that helped me achieve this.”
If you’d like to work with one of our nutritionists one-on-one to get the support and accountability to lose weight and improve your energy levels in a way that feels sustainable to you, please book a complimentary 15 minute info session here to speak with our team.