08 Jun

Mini blog series on essential nutrients and unique recipes for Your Postpartum!

Collagen rich foods for your postpartum recovery: re-building your body

During your pregnancy, your body has been subject to extreme changes and has worked really hard to sustain your own health and grow your baby and placenta. After the birthing process, nutrition has an essential role in your physical and mental recovery. Postpartum foods should be easily digestible, warming and nutrient dense.

In this blog post, we are focusing on protein and more specifically Collagen.

Collagen is a protein responsible for healthy joints and skin elasticity, or stretchiness. It’s in your bones, muscles, and blood, comprising three quarters of your skin and a third of the protein in your body.

Therefore, it should be an essential part of your postpartum recovery plan. 

During pregnancy, your body’s ligaments loosened, your skin stretched, you gained weight to accommodate your growing baby. As a consequence, you need to replenish your body’s building blocks during your early postpartum recovery, including plenty of collagen rich foods and micro nutrients such as Zinc and Vitamin C that help the absorption of collagen.

Collagen intake helps with bone density, hair thickness, increased muscle mass and stronger joints and articulations. Foods rich in collagen come from animal product such as bones, beef, fish or chicken.

As part of the postpartum recovery menu I offer my Doula clients, I have developed this Beef Cheek dish that is packed full of flavour, rich in all the nutrients that support your recovery, including collagen and is easily digested and beautifully warming and satisfying.

Serve this beautiful dish with freshly cooked greens, such as spinach, broccoli and fresh garden peas to ensure Vitamin C, Iron and Zinc intake. 

On a side note, Zinc is an essential micronutrient known to help wound healing, therefore should be an integral part of your postpartum nutrition plan. Beef is a great source of zinc and you could eat some almonds or cashews after enjoying your meal of beef cheeks that are also a plentiful source of Zinc. You can also accompany this dish with a buttery mash potato, roasted vegetables or just enjoy it on its own.

Beef Cheeks in red wine:


  • 2 beef cheeks , (around 800g) 

  • 6 shallots 

  • 5 cloves of garlic 

  • 60 g unsalted butter 

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme 

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 200 ml quality red wine 

  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 750 ml homemade bone broth 

  • 500g carrots in chunks

  • 2 celery branches 

  • Salt/pepper


  • Brown the beef cheeks on all sides
  • In an Instant Pot, heat the butter and oil together on ‘Sauté’ mode
  • Cut the carrots in chunks, peel and slice the onions and garlic, slice the celery
  • Put all the vegetables in the oil and butter and sweat for a few minutes
  • Add the tomato paste, stir and cook off for a minute or two
  • Deglaze with the red wine and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to get all the flavour
  • Place the beef cheeks over the vegetables, add the bone broth, chopped tomatoes and herbs.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Use the ‘Meat Stew’ function of your Instant Pot, place the lid on securely and close the valve.
  • Pressure cook for 35 minutes.
  • Release the pressure and then check if the meat is tender and if the seasoning is to your taste.