The Decolonial Parent

a continuous work in progress

close up shot of a plastic spoon

notes from confinement

These are the incomplete ramblings of a new parent in the first weeks of my child’s life. Questions welcome!

  • I was plant-based before pregnancy and strictly don’t eat pork. I ate some meat during pregnancy but my favourite meat dish is bone broth anyway, so my mum really built her menu around the fact I will eat that over meat. We’ve had a lot of chicken and beef broth-based soups. Red rice wine is a big part of our (Hokkien/Fujian) post-partum tradition, so I’ve had a chicken broth with red rice wine, lotus roots, water yams, and wood ear mushroom. She discovered that seaweed soup is a big part of Korean post-partum so I’ve had a beef broth with seaweed once a week. Ofc every dish has ginger in it!
  • I also really liked the chicken broth with millet grains, pumpkin, and leeks; the lamb broth with dried jujubes, lotus seeds, wood ear mushroom, and goji berries; the turkey broth with water yams, red lentils, dried jujubes, and green onions; and the milky fish soup with tofu and papaya.
  • So basically no meat without veggie ingredients, and almost always a root veggie (or squash family) for the starch and fibre.
  • Every morning I have a congee made with jasmine rice, glutinous rice, Chinese barley, etc. Usually savory, cooked with root veggies (so many sweet potatoes!) and served with pickled radish, black sesame seeds, and lashings of black vinegar. I feel the difference between a white rice congee and a barley congee, so would recommend the barley for bowel movements.
  • Also, a side dish of veggies each day to eat alongside congee or broth or alone with rice as a snack. Eggplant is the best for BM followed by zucchini and broccoli, but I find they all suck if you’re already constipated because gas. I’d rather get some motility from wholegrains and root veg then use those veggies to support regularity.
  • My mum has given me dried jujubes, dried longans, papaya, bananas, and oranges as fruits in my diet. She says that there are Yang fruits and things like oranges are fine as long as they are at least room temp.
  • Having mindful meals immediately postpartum helps get back into the groove of life amidst the chaos of adjusting to life with a newborn. If it wasn’t for the daily menu of hearty, healthy fare, I would probably have resorted to grazing on convenience foods all day long.

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