Hospital, take-out, & home-made (food from the first two weeks post-partum)

The first couple of weeks have flown by.  It’s what everyone said would happen, and it is definitely the truth.

The food in the hospital was okay.  [I work at the same place I gave birth to P so I know exactly where the menu and cafeteria excel and fall short]

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Whoever told me the first meal after birth would be the best thing I ever ate lied.  I didn’t take a photo of it, but I got two slices of french toast and a banana.  Remember how much I adore the hospital’s french toast?  Anyway, after nearly 24 hours of nothing but ice chips (I did have a few sips of OJ as well), you’d think it would taste like magic, but it was not great.  And made my GI tract go nuts.  I ate tiny bites, slowly, over the whole morning; but my stomach was still churning.  Truth be told, this probably has more to do with the fact that my baby boy was in the NICU after a really traumatic arrival (more on that later when I have the energy and ability to discuss).  I was so distracted and stressed out and in shock I probably shouldn’t blame the food for how my gut felt that first day.

I spent two other mornings in the hospital, and I did take pics of those breakfasts (see above).

Left: oatmeal with add-ins (granola, peanut butter, raisins, cinnamon, banana) and vegetarian sausage [they told me to pack on the protein to help with my milk supply] and coffee and soy milk (I brought my own almond milk as well)

Right: scrambled eggs, home-style potatoes, and vegetarian sausage with coffee and soy milk

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My family was really awesome and brought me goodies from Whole Foods too. 

Upper Left: quinoa, vegan gardein curry salad, Kombucha (from Kyle’s parents)

Upper Right: Uncle Eddie’s vegan cookie from my cousin (making sure you eat enough to keep up your breast milk supply is a great excuse for late middle of the night kcals)

Lower Left: hospital cafeteria salad bar (made by Marie)

Lower Right: hospital tofu & vegetable stir fry with brown rice (the chocolate cake was for Kyle)


I brought lots of bars and snacks to the hospital also (and Kyle got me chocolate & treats from Whole Foods as my Valentine’s Day present). 

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Grazing eats (that I remembered to take pics of):

Justin’s dark chocolate PB cups (I had a LOT of these – so good)
Two Moms In The Raw cranberry nut bar (yum!)
Love Grown granola
18 Rabbits bananas foster bar
Uncle Eddie’s cookies
bananas & nut butter
almond milk


Hospital veggie burger.


I ended up being discharged before my baby was 🙁 , so we got take-out from the Veggie Grill as a quick option before spending the worst night ever in the hospital (“sleeping” in a cube on a office chair).

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Kale salad with blackened tempeh & mac ‘n cheese.

Finally we got to go home! 

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My parents treated us to Thai take-out for our first meal at home.


I used the back of the order to wipe off what I bulb sectioned from P’s nose.  This is now my life.


My parents stayed in town another day so they were able to help out with cooking big time.  The next night we had a legit feast.

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My dad BBQ-ed salmon, my mom made a quinoa dish & salad, and we also had steamed broccoli and fresh bread.  Pull up a chair PAC man! 

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We had leftovers, too, which we enjoyed over the next few days (after my parents headed back home).  I actually baked the tofu to go atop those salad leftovers (love old soggy salad!).  I let Kyle have the broccoli since I’m playing it safe(r) with certain foods while breast feeding (broccoli is typically gas inducing and I need I’d like as un-fussy of a baby as possible as we work on breast feeding).  It’s going really well by the way, but I’ll get into that in a separate post.

In addition to baking the tofu, I’ve been making lots of other quick and easy meals.  Because even though I don’t feel the most up-and-at-‘em, I don’t want to eat crap.  I did so well during pregnancy, I’m certainly not going to give in during the post partum period.

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Random meals:

Fresh bread with Earth Balance and fried egg (some things haven’t changed since pregnancy, eh?)

Tortilla espanola (made by Kyle)

Chai chia oat pudding

Quinoa with tempeh (I baked it after marinating it in Follow Your Heart’s tamari miso dressing)

Creamy grits with avocado

Van’s GF waffle with fried egg

Quinoa with cheesy (nutritional yeast + plain almond milk) sauce

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I’ve been relaying wayyyyy more on bars and such for quick snacks.  I am eating frequently – often in the middle of the night – so having things that I can grab (with one hand) is totally necessary. 

Some fave snacks:

Handle Bar (?) dark chocolate cherry almond bar

Clif seasonal flavored bars (iced gingerbread & cranberry orange nut bread)

Justin’s dark chocolate PB cups (yes, more)

Cocomo Joe’s eggnog granola

Equal Exchange chocolate caramel crunch (OMG, this is heavenly stuff)

And to prove I’m not super mom (or doing much budgeting), here are some of the take-out meals we’ve been splurging on.

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Sushi King: rolls and rolls and seaweed salad

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Fresh Brothers: daiya pizza (half had tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers & the other half was just daiya)

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the Veggie Grill: Thai chop salad with tempeh & mac ‘n cheese

So there you have it.  I’m trying to pay attention to what I eat and how P reacts to it.  Sometimes he’s pretty gassy and it clearly makes him uncomfortable.  As if my own GI tract wasn’t enough of a mess to deal with, now I have to manage two digestive systems.  Ah well.  If there’s anything I feel confident tackling, it’s dietary tweaking. 

I’ll try to be back soon(ish) with the stuff I know everyone wants to read about (birth story, updates on our family, and baby photos). 


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Comments (58)

  1. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey

    Beautiful family!!

  2. Sally

    Sorry to hear P had a difficult arrival and had to be in NICU. I had that with my first son too and I know I found it pretty upsetting at the time. But once we got home it was comparatively smooth sailing and hopefully will be the same for you. Looks like you have been keeping pretty well nourished, good for you (and Kyle).

    Lovely family photo! All the best.

  3. Jessica

    Congratulations, the family photo is so sweet. Hope everyone is doing and feeling well.

  4. Susan Young

    So lovely. Your focus on food is outstanding, and clearly it gave you something to take your mind from your worries, even if it was just for a bit of maternal respite. Eat well and stay healthy. You’re feeding your boy the best food on the planet for him right now.

  5. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

    I’m so sorry to hear P had a rough start, but I’m sure it makes you appreciate him even more (if at all possible!!). Can’t wait to hear more!

  6. Lee

    That must have been really scary to have P in the NICU. Hope everything is okay now. Take your time blogging about it. We’ll all be here when you decide to!

  7. Abby

    Yay for good food and family photos! I have friends that had twins that had to stay in NICU for a month and just came home on Sunday, so I can imagine how scary that was. Glad to know all is well and you’re settling in to that whole “mom” thing 😉

    Look forward to hearing the story!

  8. Christine (The Raw Project)

    That’s great about getting good food in the hospital and such adorable pics! So happy for you both, congrats again! 🙂

  9. tina@theunprocess

    wow, you are really one tough broad! thank you for all that you’re sharing despite going through a tough time with P, you’re an inspiration

  10. Sarah

    Awww… We love you and are so happy to hear from you. I’m so sorry to hear things did not go according to plan… Not that they ever do, but who needs whatever fear and worry you were faced this that day. I’m glad you are doing well and P-Dawg is a happy boy. I dont think you would anyways, but don’t feel obligated to start writing for us too soon… We are cuckoo for your posts but we also care about you and want you to do whatever you need to feel happy and healthy. Don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere. There will never be HHH!

  11. Allison

    What a beautiful family!! <3

  12. Alexis @ Hummusapien

    You three are the cutest little family! Glad to see your eats are still looking as delish as usual 🙂 Can’t wait to hear more about Pac man!

  13. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat

    Sounds like a stressful start but I’m sure you’ll manage like a champ!

  14. Marei

    Glad to hear that you are home; that sweet P is doing well after a rough start (scary business….I know from experience); and that you & Kyle are off to a good start being great parents. Congrats again.

  15. Sami

    awhhh. congrats! P is precious. i’m sure you’ll have his gi system down to a science in no time… you know when you first announced his name, the first thing i thought of was my tv addiction… the mentalist! the best character on the show’s name is “p jane” played by simon baker. he’s my celebrity crush 🙂

  16. Lara

    Sounds like it was a rough start 🙁 Not surprised that you’ve done it all with a smile. Can’t wait for more baby pics!

  17. carol

    That’s a mighty beautiful family photo. Happy to see everyone doing well now. Congratulations to all.

  18. Lisa @ The Valley Vegan

    “Whoever told me the first meal after birth would be the best thing I ever ate lied.”

    [sheepish glance]Wups… I think that was me… [/sheepish glance]

    I’m sorry to hear that P was in the NICU but now he’s home & that’s all that matters! Glad to hear the nursing is going well!!

    And, um… I actually order Justin’s PB Cups in bulk online… My name is Lisa and I am a JPBC-aholic. 🙂

  19. Heather Eats Almond Butter

    Hi Elise,
    I know how hard it is to leave the hospital without your baby. The twins were in the NICU for two weeks, and ugh, it was so hard, but we survived. Now they’re 8 months old and so big & healthy. Hard to believe they were once so tiny. Our NICU nurses were wonderful and took such good care of our babies. Nurses are the best. 🙂

    Happy to see you’re eating some yummy food and to hear that breastfeeding is going well. Hug baby P for me. Such a precious time for you and your sweet family.

  20. Courtney

    Good for you on eating well in these first difficult weeks. I remember one day in those first weeks eating nothing but one Oreo cookie. That’s it. Those days were crazy!

    Enjoy your little one. He’ll grow so fast you won’t believe it.

  21. Meg

    Can’t decide if I am happy or sad you just informed me that I can buy JPBCs online. Awesome! …But then I’ll just eat so many!

  22. sarah w

    Happy to see you are all home and safe and happy! I had a similar experience with the birth of my son. He was wisked away to the NICU in another town right after I gave birth (12 years later he thinks its cool that he rode at high speeds in an ambulance in his first few hours of life! Me–not so much!) He inhaled meconium (sp) and was on mega doses of antibiotics which really messed with his GI tract. My health nurse recommended breaking open probiotic capsules and putting the powder on my nipple when I nursed him. Hope it’s not TMI but it really helped settle his gut. It’s a really rough road of emotions when you have a rocky start like that, but hang in there and get as much cuddling in as you can. You will never regret it! Congrats again!

  23. Beth

    I’m so happy to hear as to how you and little P are doing and you’re now able to celebrate with all that scrumptious food. Good luck in the coming days, weeks, months. I’m sure it will fly by as it has been, so be sure to savor each moment. : )

  24. Katie

    I am super super impressed that you remembered to take pictures of snacks and such with a sweet newborn babe in your arms. Super mama.

  25. Lisa

    Time your time getting back into the blogging, it must be a little crazy with all the new adjustments!
    Your family is beautiful altogether! And I’m super impressed by your eats and your focus to make P as unfussy and see what foods are affecting him.
    I’m glad everything is okay with P, such a great time for you and your family!

  26. Jade

    I know you will be getting loads and loads of advice, so take it as you will, with my baby (now 8 1/2 mo) was extremely gassy no matter what I omitted from diet so we used Ovol gas reducing drops – helped a lot. But like I said you’ll be getting so much advice right now!

  27. Courtney

    Oh my goodness, Elise. I am so sorry to hear about the difficult birth and P’s time in the NICU! Not the way you had pictured it, I am sure. I am happy to hear you are both home now and hope that you are both doing well and that everyone is healthy!

    Wishing you and your family the best!!

  28. Lisa @ The Valley Vegan

    Meg… be afraid! I order cases of these things!!!!

  29. Krista

    Congratulations again!
    The pictures of your hospital eats are hysterical.. that is some real foodie commitment to not only think to photograph your hospital snacks but actually manage it 🙂

  30. amyxincx

    Glad to hear you and your little family is doing well! I’m actually amazed by how veggie-friendly the hospital was. You look great, even though I am sure you are exhausted!

  31. Elise (Post author)

    thank you so much heather. it was pretty brutal and i was hesitant to talk about it much at all (theres more that i left off the blog obvs), but everything has worked out and the initial scare will soon be a distant memory.
    im glad your family is doing well too – its so nice to have others who have been through similar stuff to reassure me that months/years from now this will all mean nothing.
    the nurses and doctors were all SO incredible. we brought them all cookies and thank you cards today. i feel so blessed to have such great care.

  32. Elise (Post author)

    i knew you were one of the people who said that (there were a few) but no worries.
    if i start ordering justins cups online its all over.

  33. Elise (Post author)

    oh please. i was cool and collected on the outside but a mess on the inside.

  34. Elise (Post author)

    thank you sarah!

    its actually really nice to blog. its a release and its fun so when i have time ill share, and in the meantime ill enjoy my happy little family 🙂

  35. Lisa @ The Valley Vegan

    It’s a pandora’s box!

  36. Elise (Post author)

    well thats the worst part. i couldnt hold him. i didnt even hold my baby until almost 36 hours after giving birth. taking photos was a distraction while i tried not to focus on the scary bad stuff.

  37. Lou

    Oh wow, I had an inkling something was up when those first photos of Patrick came up on FB and he had the little tubes in – I’m so sorry to hear you both had a rough ride 🙁 We are pretty lucky in the age we live, with all the medical support/technology though, yes? Looks from the gorgeous little family shot that things are smoothing out though – plus you seem to be eating SO (deliciously) well – the “food” I got served in hospital was just WRONG…. so I made Viper go get me my snack stash from home 😉 Luckily I was only in hospital for 6 hours – don’t think my stomach would have handled it!

    The whole feeding/gas thing is a lot of trial and error in the beginning, isn’t it? – you are definitely the lady for the job though, with all your experience!

    Thinking of you all – hope you are getting some rest – really looking forward to reading more (yeah I’m obsessed with all things birth and baby related 😉 ) xx

  38. Brigid

    I’m glad to see you are all happily at home together. I am interested to read your birth story since, as I’ve mentioned, I hope to deliver at UCLA (well, after I manage to get pregnant). I’m sorry to hear it was a rough start, but I’m glad to see what a cutie you got out of the deal.

  39. Ttrockwood

    You guys are such a beautiful family!!
    I have had you and the new hippie in my thoughts, i hate to hear how scary the first few days were, glad to see you made it home and that seems to be behind you….
    Thats some good lookin food you have managed- curry gardein salad sounds re.dic.ulous.
    Middle of the night snacking is under-rated. Stacy’s cinnamon sugar pita chips dipped in drippy almond butter are my go to.
    Don’t fret about this bloggin biz.
    We will be here when you’re ready 🙂

  40. Wendy Wisner

    I’m so sorry about that rough start. It’s going to make you a stronger mama, and I’m sure it’s helped you fall deeply in love with him 🙂 So glad nursing is going well!! As for the gassiness, some of it is normal newborn trying to learn to digest stuff. The low fodmap diet will totally help! My first was really gassy and my gut was also a mess. My second has a rockin’ gi track and so do I(thanks to the low fodmap diet). There’s a small study from the Monash people about fodmaps and breastfeeding that I want to see so that I can spread the word to the moms I work with. If he’s still gassy, another possibilty is oversupply/overactive letdown, and of course food allergies. Anyway, happy nursing, happy family. Lots of love.

  41. Emily

    Aww, your family is absolutely beautiful!
    I can’t even imagine all of the changes you are Kyle are experiencing right now but I know every moment is worth it to have your precious baby in your arms.
    I’m SO excited to see what the future holds for all of you. (:

  42. Shawnna

    Sorry to hear that you and baby hippie had a rough start! I am so impressed with your delicious meals that you’re eating. I was so exhausted and stressed (no family nearby, husband in med school/residency- no time off) that I just shoved whatever I could in my face. Hoping you get back in your groove soon with P 🙂

  43. Clare @ Fitting It All In

    So sorry to hear it was a bit traumatic, but glad everyone is okay. You do NOT look like a new mom in that photo – radiant,beautiful, and rested (though probably not!)

  44. Babs

    Adorable family pic! You did a great job of planning with all the hospital food you brought 🙂

  45. Nicole @ Fruit 'N' Fitness

    I am so happy to hear you are all home safe! Sorry to hear about P’s rough start, complications must be so scary.

  46. Elise (Post author)

    thanks wendy! ive been tracking things i eat and his reactions, so we will see…
    his eating is going well. sometimes too well. he often chows down and then spits up lots. ive heard its common but its frustrating since i have no clue how much he’s getting vs spitting up.
    hes pretty good about giving me hunger cues early on – since hes not really fussy its either a diaper or hunger.
    after your previous advice im pretty much just letting him tell me what he wants and not analyzing the exact times of feeds and between feeds as much. im still tracking it all, but since hes eating and peeing and pooping plenty i figure hes doing fine. [but i do wish he wouldnt spit up my milk!]
    i think oversupply could definitely be a factor though. im definitely not short on milk!!

  47. Michelle

    So sorry to hear about the rough start – hope all are happy and healthy now. The pic is adorable. You are certainly still eating well, everything looks delicious!!

  48. Wendy Wisner

    Yay! Everything sounds good! A lot of moms have a ton of milk at first. It gets less crazy by 3-4 months — then moms worry they don’t have enough because they aren’t overfull anymore! If he’s spitting up but happy, no worries. If you’d like to lessen it, there are a few simple things you can try. First, you can let him just do one breast at a time. The fuller the breast, the faster the milk. The fatty, slower milk comes out as the breast is emptied. You can also try leaning back a bit while you nurse to use gravity to slow down the flow. Some babies react to dairy — not the lactose, but the protein. So if you’re eating a bit of dairy, you could take it out and see if it’s better. Anyway, no need to change anything unless he seems uncomfortable with the crazy flow. I can offer you more tips if you want about that, but that’s something to start with. Mostly, just enjoy it all!

  49. Laura

    Congratulations! I’ve been reading your blog for a while and recently made a “recipe” which I think would be hippie approved 🙂 I made lentils in the rice cooker, added some roasted veggies, TJ’s tomato sauce, and nooch..delicious and super easy!

  50. Marisa

    Hi there Elise! Sorry to hear about the rough start. I see from your last pic on twitter little P already has a little blister on his lip from breastfeeding, so it must be going well :-). Enjoy your beautiful little family! Xo

  51. Julie

    First off, congratulations! And second, don’t beat yourself up too much for the grab & go meals, as long as they’re healthy, they’re a great option. I loved having lots of things around, like bars, that i could snack on that needed only one hand since i was nursing all the time. Plus, you need to keep your energy up! (Wait, you know all this stuff since you’re a nurse — sorry, once you’ve become a mom you feel the need to give un-asked for advice to everyone!)

  52. sheila

    glad you and your (adorable) little guy are doing well! i love the iced gingerbread cliff bar 🙂

  53. Elise (Post author)

    no such thing as tmi over here!

  54. Elise (Post author)

    i have nothing but the BEST things to say about ucla. seriously. world. class.

  55. Elise (Post author)

    thanks again wendy. all great tips. things are going well and im definitely enjoying it 🙂

  56. Carbzilla

    Hey hon – sorry, I’m just tuning in. Big hugs and sympathy for a rough start. My sis-in-law is a NICU nurse, and she performs nothing short of miracles all day long, as do you. You should hear her story about the baby apron (i guess they have this multiple baby carrying device in case they have to get a bunch of babies out of the hospital all at once).

    Anyway, hope you’re getting settled in. Can’t wait to see more of little P.

  57. CAIT


  58. Elise (Post author)

    i think i need to hear that story!
    nicu nurses are incredible.

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