Day 12 of my 21 day fix

After a busy day yesterday doing a BarreCore Class with the lovely Olivia from Livia’s Crumbles, I ache like mad. I still got up through, despite about 3 hours sleep (Lacie is teething) and did an hour’s workout at 6:30. I was going to post a picture of me in the gym, but I think I would of scared you with my smudged mascara and unbrushed hair. That’s the beauty of having your own gym I suppose! I really didn’t want to get up this morning!

I bite the Bullet and did a back and abs session with a 20 minute Kettlebell met-con circuit to finish off. I then had a juice made from beetroot, apple, cucumber, celery, broccoli, avocado and lemon followed by an apple with some almond butter. Nothing quite hit the spot this morning.

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We then walked to our signing class (I did 13,500 steps today according to my Nike Fuel Band) then came home and had two Gluten free sausages, two poached eggs and some spinach for lunch.
The rest of the afternoon was playing with Lacie and just chilling before making a Spag Bol for dinner. I didn’t have the pasta, and just had spinach instead, knowing that I wanted to leave room for one of my special crumbles that Olivia gave me yesterday. They are amazing – and are wheat, dairy and sugar free. Bonus!

Tonight I usually go for a walk, do a class or go do some more exercise, but do you know what? I just want a nice soak in some bath salts and to read a magazine. So that’s what I’m going to do. Down time is so important, especially with Lacie’s poor sleeping habits at the moment!

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Day 19 – 21 day fat loss challenge

I can honestly say that this 21 day challenge has been brilliant for keeping me on track.
I’ve kept to my calorie allowance nine days out of ten (well 16 out of 19), worked out or walked every day and am really noticing a difference with my physique.

My husband has also been away for three days and usually I would see it as an opportunity to eat whatever I wanted but I’ve been extremely focused and had a small piece of Lindor chocolate when wrapping some Xmas presents on Friday night (day 17).But that’s allowed right?!

Today, I’ve been out for a short and sharp run (4 miles in 30ish minutes) followed by a walk into town with Lacie. That’s my fasted cardio done!
I then had a three egg omelette with cheese and bacon as a late breakfast, followed by some Sukrin low carb bread for lunch with goats cheese and a pot of Morello Cherry CO YO.
For dinner I had a carrot, apple & lemon juice with a handful of spinach. I really fancied a juice, after Watching Jason Vale’s ‘Super Juice Me‘ documentary last night – I’ve been truly inspired by it. I’ve been on one of his retreats and have forgotten just how amazing you feel after having a juice!
I’m definitely going to have one every day and may even do a week long juice detox. We’ll see! I just hate making them and washing the juicer up!

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Tomorrow I have a gym workout planned first thing and then I’ll probably take Lacie out for a walk in the afternoon. USA Pro sent me some of their amazing new workout clothes and I actually can’t wait to put them on in the morning and work out. It’s amazing how new gym clothing can be so motivating!

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Pregnancy fitness: 3rd trimester cardio

Even though you probably felt a bit like superwomen in your second trimester, you now may find yourself waking up slightly tried and losing energy as the day goes on. I know I certainly did. You’re also find that moving around isn’t as easy as it was and everything takes that little bit longer. The reason for this is that you’re baby is probably around 14 inches now (in your seventh month) and weighing around two to four pounds. Your breasts will also be around two pounds heavier and your uterus will be putting pressure on all your internal organs, including your diaphragm and lungs, causing shortness of breath. My bump really popped out at this stage and I felt HUGE! Staying active is vital though. I really noticed the difference at pregnancy groups – some of my in-active friends had constant back pains, found it difficult to walk for too long and even sit of too long. I didn’t really have any of this – and I certainly put it down to staying active as much as possible! 

Things to remember
During your third trimester your mobility may be limited, thanks to your growing bump and possibly water retention, and there’s no doubt that you will fatigue more easily. With that in mind, you can still safely participate in a 30-minute workout at least four days a week in order to maintain a good base of fitness and mental sanity.

One thing I would highly recommend in your third trimester is regular swimming sessions. The hardest part is probably putting on your swimsuit – but once it’s on and you’re in the water, you’re forget that you’re pregnant as the water supports your joints, provides buoyancy to your bump and supports your bodyweight. It will also keep your core temperature cool as you exercise, and work your heart as well as your arm and leg muscles.

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What stroke?
While the front crawl is still fine in your third trimester, the breaststroke will probably be most comfortable because your tummy will hang below you and the arm and leg movements are great for strengthening your back, chest, hips and bottom. It’s great for helping pregnancy posture too (you may have noticed your shoulders rounding and you get a slight hunch in your upper back). Breaststroke will stretch your chest muscles out and strengthen and shorten the back muscles that tend to overstretch during pregnancy.

Just be careful that you don’t work your legs too aggressively. Relaxin, the hormone that is will be circulating the body and working on making your joints more flexible, especially the pelvis will now be at its peak in your body, meaning you don’t have to do a lot to overstretch and cause a strain or muscle tear. Forcefully kicking your legs can strain the hip joints and ligaments because the public bone will already be starting to separate in preparation for labor. You don’t want to force the situation, which will lead to lower back, pelvis and hip pain.

How to fuel your swim
Complex carbs like wholegrains, oats, fruits and vegetables are ideal for getting your energy levels stable before and after your swim. At this stage you’ll also want to be getting sufficient calcium from calcium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, almonds and sardines – yes these are all just as good as milk!

Your pregnant body will also be leaching calcium from your bones to support the growth of your baby, so make sure you’re getting around three servings of quality calcium foods every day. Also make sure you stay well hydrated. It’s easy to forget to drink when in the pool but you can still get dehydrated, which is dangerous for you and your baby and will only add to your fatigue. Always leave a bottle of cool water at the side of the pool that you can sip from regularly, and make sure you drink a small glass before and after your session too.

Don’t forget!
As always, make sure you get the go-ahead from your doctor before you start exercising and listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel right then stop.

Pregnancy fitness: 2nd trimester strength training

I’ve been really lucky to be able to write some informative blogs for the children’s shop Kiddicare. I love this shop and brought most of Lacie’s baby clothing, furniture and pram from here, so its a real honour to be writing for them.
Basically all my blogs are about how to exercise safely through pregnancy. I am going to share all these blogs with you over the next few weeks so all you beautiful pregnant ladies feel confident to carry on exercising. Here’s my fourth blog – ‘Second trimester strength training.’
I remember this was the trimester well; I really got my energy back and felt great. I had my 12-week scan and suddenly my morning (and afternoon) sickness just switched off and I got my energy back.
Yes I had days when I just wanted to stay in bed and sleep so I did it. I did also find that on those tired days that some gentle exercise was great for my energy levels and pulling me out of my lull.

* As always please drop me an email or message me if you need a hand or have any queries…*

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You’re in the prime of pregnancy during weeks 12 to 26, so it’s a great time to maximise your strength workouts to benefit yourself and your bubba.

I have designed this mini workout to help strengthen the joints for your major muscle groups like your legs, upper body and arms and to help reduce the risk of injuries related to the extra force and weight you will be carrying. Working the legs in particular will help offset stress related aches and pains in your knees, lower back and hips.

Remember labour and pushing during delivery can be that little bit easier if you’ve developed strong legs and a powerful core so by during this workout three to four times a week you should be well equipped and prepared for your last trimester.

Most of these moves at home or at a gym with minimal equipment, but just make sure you’re never out of breath or holding your breath, as this can elevate your blood pressure and starve your body of oxygen, which isn’t safe for you or the baby.

Make sure you warm up well with some marching on the spot, and doing moves like arms circles, ankle circles and gentle squats or a walk round the block to prepare your body for exercise – it will take a little bit longer than it used to because your cardiovascular system won’t react as it used too. Give yourself around 10 to 15 minutes and make it very gradual to allow your body to adjust.

The Workout
1. Assisted step into wide squat
Reps 10 each leg
Sets 3
Stand with your feet and knees together, with your right hand resting on a barre, sturdy chair or fixed item like a fireplace or kitchen workout.
Take a large step with your right foot to the right side and lower into a squat with your knees and feet turned out.
Make sure you keep your body upright and that your right knee does not extend past your toes, which will place pressure on your knees.
Push off through your right foot to return to the start to complete one rep.

* A wider squat will accommodate your bump, whilst helping to build strong legs and glutes and tone the inner thighs. Just don’t too low!* Image

2. Tricep dips
Reps 12
Sets 3
Sit on the edge of a bench or chair and place your palms facedown next to your thighs, fingers gripping the edge.
Place your feet on the floor in front of you, knees bent.
Keeping your arms straight, scoot forward until your hips and bottom are in front of the seat.
Bend your elbows and lower your hips until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
Push back to start.

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* A great move for targeting the backs of the arms, plus tricep strength makes it easier to push yourself up and turn yourself over, whilst taking the pressure of your abs.*

3. Ballet Calf Raises
Reps 15
Sets 3
Stand with your heels together so your feet form a V shape and hold onto a barre, sturdy chair or fixed item like a fireplace or kitchen worktop.
Keeping your heels together and toes out wide, engage your abs as you raise up onto your toes.
Pause for a second and lower slowly.

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This exercise will help keep your calve and ankles shapely, especially if you are prone to water retention. It will work your bottom and hips too.*

4. Back Pulls
Reps 12
Sets 3
Loop a resistance band (available from £4.99 at USAPro) at chest height around a door or something like the banisters and walk back until you feel tension in the band with your arms out in front of you.
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly pull the handles towards chest and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Return slowly to start making sure you take control of the band, which will want to ping back into your starting position.

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* This posture-correcting exercise will work your upper back and help to pull your shoulders back, so you stand up straighter. You may find as you get bigger that your shoulders will roll inwards making you look hunched.*

Plank on your knees

Reps Hold for 30 seconds
Sets 2
Kneel on the floor, then shift your weight forward and place your elbows down on the floor, so they are directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your back straight as you rest on your knees and elbows.
Hold for 30 seconds, keeping your abs tight while you breathe.

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* This move will gently strengthen your core, which will helps protect your lower back, while helping your abs to recover quicker
after birth* 

 Stretch it out

Mermaid stretch
Hold for 10-15 seconds on each side.
Sit up tall with your knees crossed, then place your left hand on the floor next to you and slowly bend over to the left side.
If you feel that you can go in to a deeper stretch, put your elbow down on the floor, and continue to stretch over and hold for 10-15 seconds on each side.
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* This stretch will help the abdominal muscles loosen, especially your side abs (your obliques) which will need to be stretched out to help create space more space for your growing baby.*

Don’t forget!

As always, make sure you get the go-ahead from your doctor before you start exercising and listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel right then stop. Make sure you are also fully hydrated and that your exercise in cool and comfortable conditions

First Trimester Cardio Workout

I’ve been really lucky to be able to write some informative blogs for the children’s shop Kiddicare. I love this shop and brought most of Lacie’s baby clothing, furniture and pram from here, so its a real honour to be writing for them.
Basically all my blogs are about how to exercise safely through pregnancy. I am going to share all these blogs with you over the next few weeks so all you beautiful pregnant ladies feel confident to carry on exercising.

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My first post will cover first trimester cardio. As always feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions or would like a personalised programme.

Pregnancy fitness: 1st trimester cardio

Sometimes a good cardio workout can shake of the first trimester fatigue and sickness. Here’s how to exercise safely in those first vital three months.Since finding out they’re expecting, lots of women want to introduce a more active lifestyle to prevent too much weight gain. Gone are the days of eating for two – the reality is, whatever excess weight you put on, you will have to get off again afterwards!

The problem is some women are scared to exercise when they find out they are pregnant, but as long as you have been approved by your doctor, there’s mot much cause for concern. Studies have found that regular exercise can ease or prevent back pain and other discomforts, boost your mood and energy levels, help you sleep better, prevent excess weight gain and increase stamina and muscle strength. It may also reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-related high blood pressure, as well as lessen the symptoms of postpartum depression.

The thing to remember when embarking on any pregnancy exercise plan is that this ISN’T the time to lose weight, get faster or work towards new fitness milestones. This is the time to listen to your body’s cues and put your baby first.

If you are just starting to exercise, the key is to start the habit slowly – just 15 minutes per session two or three times a week. You can build up to more frequent, longer sessions, as you are able. You should warm up, exercise, and slowly cool the body down before you complete your session. Low-impact aerobic activity like walking, swimming and indoor cycling are ideal, as this is enough to improve the body’s use of oxygen, improve the supply of oxygen to the fetus, improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, as well as boost the metabolism and improve your wellbeing and confidence.

Walking
Walking is good exercise that poses few risks. Make sure you get properly fitted shoes that provide good support and a good sports bra to cater for your growing and often sore breasts. Be conscious of the weather too, and avoid overheating by not walking long distances outside in hot or humid weather. Walking for thirty minutes every day has been shown to be enough to improve your pregnancy and is a safe and helpful exercise that can be continued throughout your second and third trimester too.

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Swimming

Many women swear by swimming and water running during throughout the entire 40 weeks of their pregnancy. This is because it provides a cardiovascular workout that stretches and tones muscles in a nearly gravity-free environment, which also minimises joint strain and balance problems. During your first trimester, swimming or water running with a floatation belt at least 20 minutes three times a week will keep you in good shape. Just make sure you take recovery breaks when you need to and monitor your exertion levels. You should be able to hold a comfortable conversation without feeling out of breath. If you can’t then slow down and drop the intensity.

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Stationary cycling and spinning
When pregnant, your balance will change very suddenly, which isn’t great if you are cycling on the road. You want to be as safe as possible during these first twelve weeks, and wobbling on an outdoor bike isn’t the way to do this. Stationary and spinning bikes offer less risk of a fall than standard bicycles and can provide excellent aerobic exercise during the first trimester of pregnancy. Cycling also reduces joint stains, and it is often an easy exercise to begin for women who are new to exercise.

Take care if doing a spinning class though. They can be much more intense than regular cycling, but safe enough as long as you maintain your balance and monitor your heart rate and body heat. As with any exercise, it is essential to stop if you begin to feel faint or dizzy and always inform your instructor before you start the class.

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This home-exercise bike from Technogym is a great starting point if you want to embark on a fitness journey without the cost of a gym membership. It has an adjustable seat and pedals and is perfect for keeping in the spare room and using in front of the TV while keeping your legs and bottom strong and toned.

A Clean And Lean Pregnancy

You may have heard me mention ‘Clean and Lean‘ in a few blog posts already. That’s because I love the concept behind it.

Founded by James Duigan, Clean and Lean is all about being kind to your body and mind and sticking to natural foods and cutting out the C.R.A.P (Caffeine, Refined sugar,  Alcohol and Processed foods). According to James, sticking to ‘clean’ foods that haven’t change much from their natural state like an apple or egg will make you look & feel great. Its true!
I rarely eat processed foods but when I do, God, I feel awful the next day.

James has recently brought out a fantastic book called ‘Clean & Lean Pregnancy Guide.’ It is what it says on the tin, a book that guides you through conceiving, the first, second and third trimester and post-pregnancy.

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There are exercises and food suggestions to follow, with lots of easy recipes that will keep you nourished throughout the day.

One of my favourite recipes has to be the Nutty Granola. Its great for emergences when I feel like something sweet and ‘carby’ and best of all it’s easy to make. I make a big batch at once then keep it in a Tupperware – it doesn’t tend to last very long though 😉

To make it I simply mix gluten free oats, manuka honey, prunes and mixed chopped nuts.

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I then spread it on a baking and baked in the oven for 15 minutes, before getting it back out, giving it another stir and baking for another 30 minutes at 110 degrees.

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Try it, it’s lovely! I tend to have mine either on its own or with some Chocolate CO YO. You can’t get better than that!

The Clean and Lean Pregnancy Guide is available from www.kylebooks.com

 

 

Walking Away My Baby Weight

At three weeks postpartum, there isn’t a lot I can do exercise wise apart from walk and eat clean and lean.

As you know from my birth story, I had a bit of a traumatic birth with Lacie, so I am still recovering with lots of stitches and a few pains ‘down stairs’, so I’ve really rested up so far but now itching to get outdoors.

All this week I’ve made a conscious effort to get outdoors with my pram and walk for at least 45 minutes. Not only does this help my mood and energy levels but its giving me confidence with getting outdoors in the morning. With a new-born its easy to stay indoors and before you know it the day has gone.

With 4kg to go until I reach my pre-baby weight I’m determined to get rid of it slowly and sensibly without putting myself under pressure, so to start things off, I will start with daily walks.

A few products I have found really helpful when walking – especially around busy roads is my BuggyTug. You simply attach it to the pram them put it around your wrist to stop your pram from rolling away. It just makes me feel more secure and confident with my precious baby. I would hate my pram to roll away in this horrendous weather…

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Before my walk, I’ve also had to make sure I eat a decent pre-walk breakfast. I hate going out on a full stomach but what with breast-feeding I need to make sure I keep my energy levels up and calories high. To make sure I have something in me, I’ve been having Protein World Slender Blend shakes with fresh berries and 1/2 a frozen banana and a pinch of cinnamon. The protein based shake is just 130 calories but really filling thanks to its unique blend of vitamins, fibre and nutrients. I’m still having my lemon water and Lucy-Bee coconut water too. Both are easy to make and take no time at all.

SLENDER-BLEND

Lastly – a good sports bra is a must – even when walking. My boobs feel very full and heavy from the breast-feeding so its vital they are well supported. Therefore I was ecstatic to come across the Freya Active sports bra that has been  specifically designed to support the fuller bust and is available for larger cup sizes going up to a H cup. The bra features microfibre fabrics for moisture control, whilst also featuring a centre front extension for extra support. I love the padded straps  too, which stop any chaffing on my shoulders.

Results

There really isn’t anything stopping from walking now – if only the weather was better…..it’s nearly Spring time I suppose. Now Where’s my waterproofs?

A clean and lean pregnancy

As I approach 41 weeks pregnant, a week overdue, I won’t lie I’ve become seriously apprehensive and stressed. Feeling out of control is not my strong point and the fact that I have an appointment at the hospital on Sunday for some intervention is scaring me too. It wasn’t on the birth plan!!

One thing I can take control of how ever is keeping to a clean and lean lifestyle during these overdue days and doing everything I can to keep me and the bubs healthy and happy. Infact everyone keeps telling me that I should be taking the fact that’s she’s late as a compliment. I’ve created such a lovely little home inside me that she doesn’t want to come out. That’s one good way of looking at it I suppose!

So what do I mean by clean and lean? I mean cutting the C.R.A.P.
C – caffeine
R – refined sugar
A – alcohol
P – processed foods.

One easy way of doing this is going for foods that grow, swim, fly or have eyes. If you couldn’t get it when living in nature, then don’t eat it. Think back to the caveman days. Did they have Pot Noodles? No they had to pick fruits & vegetables and kill their food to eat it.

Another important clean and lean lifestyle point is getting enough sleep. Me and the baby need sleep to help prepare us for what’s coming hopefully in the next few days. We are both going to need energy, so listening to my body and going to bed when I’m tired and waking up when I want to is important.

Cutting stress, limiting my time on my iPhone especially in the bedroom and generally being positive are also vital. These things all go hand in hand when living clean and lean and helping to create a new life, so visualisation, my hypnotherapy and creating vision boards and getting plenty of fresh air all go hand in hand. Try it!

If you need help or advice please don’t hesitate to email me at miller82uk@yahoo.co.uk

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* I am a certified level 3 NASM Personal Trainer, Nutritionist and pre and post-natal fitness expert by Premier Training International