It so happened that my very figure-conscious cousin delivered a beautiful baby girl and thus, was paid a visit by my mother. But unlike other visitors, mom was accompanied by Chhotu Bhaiya (oxymoronic, I know) carrying a huge drum of homemade panjeeri meant to be consumed by the new mother.
Already struggling with a postpartum belly and some extra weight here and there, the new mother was rather verbal in her rejection of the homemade gift.
And then, mom became verbal about her dejection
“I delivered three kids—all normal deliveries—you know. After each delivery, I ate panjeeri. And look at me now, all slim and trim,” she announced.
“You girls don’t understand the importance of ghee and dried fruits. You can go to the gym and lose the weight. But you’ve got to eat nutritionally-rich foods in the meantime na? How else will you breastfeed your baby?” her scolding continued rendering the new mother helpless.
Just like me, my anti-panjeeri cousin conceded defeat
Two months into her postpartum phase, my cousin decided to take some time off from changing diapers and breastfeeding to thank mom, whose handmade panjeeri helped her feel more energetic.
Eating two to three teaspoons of the age-old wonder every day did her more good than she had ever imagined. And she didn’t gain any weight because of it.
Nutritionists are also on my mom’s side in this debate
Despite being proven wrong over and over again, my suspicious mind led me to call renowned nutritionist and lifestyle educator Karishma Chawla to know how eating panjeeri can do everything that it did for my cousin.
Well, according to Chawla: the whole wheat in panjeeri contains fibre and has a low glycemic index, which makes our body work harder and longer to digest it. This can curb your appetite and prevent unnecessary food cravings.
Ghee, which is also used in the preparation of panjeeri, is a great source of good fats and energy that the body requires to fight off the postpartum weakness. And of course, nuts and dried fruits are a powerhouse of fibre, vitamins, and healthy fats. All this, makes it a great snacking option for new mothers according to Chawla.
But panjeeri also comes with a warning label
According to Chawla, sugar is not an ideal addition to panjeeris. She cautions:
Women with C-section deliveries, high sugar levels, insulin resistance, diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), high body fat percentage, and gut problems must avoid panjeeris made with sugar.
Instead, she recommends making them with jaggery or stevia–like my mom.
Chawla also recommends following it up with regular exercise (after seeking your doctor’s permission) and having panjeeri in the first half of the day when your metabolism is more active.
Yes, once again–my mom was right! Sigh…
If your mom is also always right, share her pearls of wisdom with me on email@example.com. Mamma’s girls stick together after all!