Motherhood-The Nutritional Sacrifice

By Debbie Perry

As Published in Rocky Mountain Running.

Being a mom is exhausting!   So many hats to wear, work to do, children to look after, places to drive, service to give and sleep to give up.  The very nature of rearing children is a physical and emotional drain, but ever wonder why you may feel unusually tired? And I am not talking workout tired, but loss of motivation, dragging yourself around, barely getting out of bed kind of tired.  There is a chance that you are suffering, in part, from what some people call childbearing fatigue. This does not apply to new moms or young moms only either, but can begin during those earlier motherhood years and not really go away.  The cause of this kind of fatigue is due to the nutritional sacrifices a woman makes to bear and nurse children.  Too many mothers give large amounts of their own physical building blocks of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals without realizing they need to be replaced. With each child, the hole just gets bigger until mom falls into the darkness of barely surviving.

In order to dig your way out of this pit, you need to know that you are probably missing protein.  Women’s bodies start struggling and becoming fatigued when they don’t have enough protein to meet the demand of their own cell replication.  You replace every cell in your body in a one year period, so after a year you are a whole new person.  But, what if each year, your cells get weaker? What if with each replication they reach out for new cell material and it is not there? NOT GOOD!  The body just starts to fall apart from the inside out. What starts as a protein deficiency ends up not just as fatigue, but can lead to more serious degenerative illnesses like fibromyalgia.  Dr. Cory Holly has witnessed about a 90% recovery rate as he has prescribed protein (and some oil and supplements) to hundreds of women.

Unfortunately, the number one macronutrient ALL women are generally missing and that is also essential to healing is protein.  To make matters worse, you did give up a bunch of it during pregnancy and nursing. But, did you ever put them back? Think about it for a moment, how many times did you eat protein yesterday? Most women will answer once or twice.  And that is not enough, not even half! Especially for exercising women, the daily protein requirement is 1 gram of protein for about 80% of your bodyweight. So, if you are 140 pounds, then you need about 110 grams of protein a day. If you eat 5 times a day, that is 20-25 grams of protein each time!  That doesn’t mean you have to eat the side of a horse everyday, but you do need small doses of protein EVERY DAY throughout the day to keep those amino acids in your blood stream ready to repair, rebuild and grow a better body. Every meal should be planned around what protein source you will be eating. The word “pro”, by the way, means “of first rank” because it the most abundant material in your body after water. So, make it the priority at each meal.

The easiest way to add 2 servings of protein a day is to make protein shakes (morn and eve) with whey protein, flax oil and fruit. Take some good supplements at the same time. Doing this one thing has dropped a ladder of hope for many chronically tired women.  Then, focus on making sure to have high quality protein at your 3 main meals of the day like omega 3 eggs, cottage cheese, fish, poultry and wild game. As a bonus, partner that protein with lots of produce.  This somewhat small and simple solution of adding protein, with some oil, to your daily nutrition can bring about dramatic changes for the better. So put the mop down and give it a go for 8 weeks. I am sure you will notice a difference in how you feel.

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