My pregnancy diet 

As promised here is yesterday’s and today’s food diaries. I’ve had a great week – and although it’s getting to the point now where I have to eat little & often (I hate feeling too full), I’ve loved all my meals this week – especially the fajitas!

Next week I’ll post some more workouts as they have been going great too. In fact I’m sitting on the bike and writing this as we speak. No rest for the wicked!

Enjoy!

Breakfast:
Berry Breakfast Smoothie
300 ml coconut milk
½ cup of gluten free oats
½ an avocado (for a creamy texture)
1 cup of fresh or frozen berries of your choice (I like blueberries)
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Place in a blender and blend.

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Lunch:
Portion of Chilli from yesterday’s dinner topped with ½ avocado

Snack. Chopped Carrots with Gluten Free Hummus

Dinner: Chicken Fajitas using BFree Fajita Kit
(Depending on how many you are cooking for, for 1 use 1 chicken breast)
Chicken Breast
Peppers
Onion
Squeeze of lime
Slice the chicken, onions and peppers into thin strips. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut or olive oil to the pan and fry of chopped chicken. Add in thinly cut peppers and onions to the pan with the BFree Seasoning. Warm the wraps with a splash of water in the microwave for 20 seconds. Serve with BFree Salsa on top and a squeeze of lime. Wrap and enjoy.

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Breakfast:
1 cup of Gluten Free Oats (standard portion size 40g) made with water or almond milk topped with flaxseed/mixed seeds and a spoon of honey

Snack: Green smoothie: Juice of ½ a lemon, a handful of spinach, 1 pear, ¼ of a cucumber + a few mint leaves, 350 ml of water.

Lunch: Tomato Soup with BFree Super Soft Brown Roll

Snack: 2 x rice cakes with almond butter

Dinner: Sweet Potato Bean Burgers (this makes 4 burgers so could have for lunch or dinner the following day or divide by 4 to make 1 portion)
1 can of beans (I love butter beans)

1 large sweet potato
100 g of ground oats
1 clove of garlic
½ a red onion
1 carrot
½ teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
Pinch of salt & pepper
50g of breadcrumbs (made with BFree loaves)
BFree Brown Roll

For topping:
Lettuce
Tomato
Tomato relish

DIRECTIONS
Steam the sweet potato until soft. Then add it and all the other vegetables into a food processor and mix until the ingredients are chopped and mixed or just chop them into very small thin pieces and mix. Add the mixture to a bowl and add the beans, breadcrumbs and spices and mash with a potato mashed until everything is mixed. Shape into 4 burgers. Heat some coconut oil on a pan and heat. Then add the burgers and cook until they turn brown.
Serve on a BFree Soft Brown Seeded Roll with your desired toppings and a side salad.

 

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Getting ready for baby number two 

Just a quick progress photo for week 18. I’ve definitely had a few heavy days this week and training hasn’t been so energetic but nows the time to listen to my body. I must admit, I’ve felt a bit flat training wise this week, so not much to report on it really. I’m still following Gideon’s plan from KX Life but listening to my body more this week; If I need longer rest periods or to lower the weight, so be it. I’m in the gym and to me that’s all that matters and I’m happy to still be training & enjoying it.

In between training, eating, sleeping, working & being mummy, I’ve also been trying to work out in my head how to get organised for bubba number two. I’m definitely not sending Lacie to nursery any earlier than I need too, I simply just love being with her, and this is time I’m never going to get back!

That being said, I will have both of them at home with me for eight or nine months, and I’m fully aware that there’s going to be hard days, especially when I’m tired, bubba is having a clingy day (I remember them well) and Lacie wants to play and have fun.

So what’s my plan?

1st things first is; Breast feeding
I will definitely breast feed bubba all the time mark, my husband, is on Paternity leave. After that, I plan to go to bottles. I just can’t see how I’m going to be able to be at home on my own with both of them and be feeding a baby. LaCie would feed for up to 45 minutes at a time and I’m not sure how this is going to work with Lacie needing my attention as well.

So I’ve got myself organised & got a Tommee Tippee steriliser (in black to match the kitchen) and some of their Closer to Nature Advanced Comfort Bottles. Giving a bottle to a newborn is alien to me (I fed Lacie for 9 months) so I wanted to find some that made it easy to latch on to, were BPA Free and stopped air bubbles during feeding, which may lead to colic and digestion issues. I’m sure they will be absolutely fine with the bottle, millions of babies do it, but I want feeding to be as stress-free as possible so I still have the nice time that I had with Lacie. I also like these bottles because of the soft, natural-feel silicone teat. This should make it easier to switch between the breast and bottle.

Workouts
I’m lucky that Lacie sleeps in until 8ish, which allows me to go down to my home gym & get an hours workout in before she wakes. I hope bubba will do the same, so I’ve got a Tommee Tippee Digital Video monitor, which will allow me to keep a close eye on the baby whilst I workout. The monitor still has great reception in my gym, thanks to the 300m range & it has a two-way talk button option that allows me to talk to the bubba if he/she needs comforting or just needs to hear my voice as I make my way up to their room. I know this all sounds very far fetched as I just don’t know what type of baby and sleeper it’s going to be, but having a plan in my head about how I’m going to get back in shape makes me feel in control just a little. Lacie used to come into the gym with me when she was a baby so if that’s what happens with this one then that’s fine, but I will hopefully get it in to the same routine as I’ve got Lacie into. It took lots of patience, but we got there.

The monitor also comes with a temperature room display, remote nightlight and a detachable sensor pad that fits under your baby’s mattress and sounds an alarm if no movement is detected after 20 seconds.

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Prams? 
So my My next thing to thing about is a pram/buggy board/double buggy, so if anyone has any suggestions of how to get out and about with two, please send your suggestions. Lacie will be two-and-a-half once bubba is here and although she likes walking – she can’t quite manage the walk into town, an hours class, or whatever activity we are doing that day, and then a walk back! Help!!!

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A little workout for you to try
To finish off, here’s a quick 12-minute circuit that I tagged onto the end of my workout today. Was great fun and got my heart-rate up nicely….
* 45 seconds kettlebell swings
* 15 seconds rest
* 45 seconds Squat to front kick
* 15 seconds rest
* 45 seconds side plank – right side
* 15 seconds rest
* 45 seconds side plank – left side
* 15 seconds rest
Repeat three times through as a continuous circuit.

As always don’t forget to check with your mid-wife and GP when exercising when pregnant – and listen to your body!!!!

My 17 week bump and current pregnancy workout 

There’s definitely been a trend with my measurements since finding out I was pregnant, and that’s that I’m putting around 1/2 inch on around my waist EVERY WEEK!

So far the butt has only gained half an inch and my chest the same. Everything else like my arms, calves and legs have stayed the same. Please carry on this way body!

We’ve just got back from a break so I missed one week of progress pics, so this is me at 17 weeks.  My body is definitely changing but not as quickly as it did with Lacie! A boy this time perhaps?

So anyway, despite being away how’s my training gone this week?

Good. I managed to hit my 10,000 Fitbit steps everyday (usually 16-17,000), hit the gym most days and been swimming with Lacie too. Here was my view on my walk up to the gym – and this is the gym I paid £10 a day to use. Shocking! It was however, nice to be in a gym environment rather than working out in my hotel room, which btw is completely possible!

I’m also currently working with my favourite PT from KX Life, Gideon Remfry, who has devised me a plan to help work on some of my weaknesses whilst pregnant, as after all, this is the only time I’m ever going to slow down and take the time to lower the intensity & focus on things like my balance, my deep core muscles, posture & the tiny stabiliser muscles in my ankles, knees & glutes. If I can get all these in tip-top shape before the bubba comes then I’ll be ready to smash it once I’m recovered and ready to exercise again post baby.

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So what am I doing?

  • Tube walking with a band around the arches of my feet rather than my shins. This helps switch on my glutes and works the tiny stabiliser muscles in my ankles, knees and hips, supersetted with a bird dog exercise to switch on my core and glutes.
  • Seated squats with chest band pulls to open up my chest supersetted with TRX one legged squats for balance & stable glutes.
  • Lunge with back dumbbell rows to keep my upper back strong & posture upright, and gym ball flyers whilst squeezing a Pilates ball in between my legs to hit my inner thighs.

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So far I’m loving the plan and reaping in the benefits. It’s making me really focus on my weaknesses, whilst getting my heart rate up to a safe level. I’ve had to lots of foam rolling and stretching on my glutes too, as I’ve had a nasty trapped nerve, which actually left me stuck at the top of the stairs one night….the fun begins!!

Product of the Week; Anita Baby Belt
When I’m pregnant, I like to feel like everything is tucked away neatly and supported, which is why I love this Anita Baby Belt. I may not have a big bump, but my tummy is a lot bigger than I’m used too, and this supportive belly band is adjustible and great for supporting my baby and bump. It also helps remind me that my bump is there, as I’m definitely running around a lot more during this pregnancy. I’m hoping it will help prevent anymore trapped nerves and stop any pelvis pain, which I did get when pregnant first time round. That’s relaxin for you!

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New Mummy Must-have Supplements

I’m a sucker for supplements, especially now time is of the essence and I need to keep my energy levels up. I’ve taken certain supplements for a few years now and I’ve certainly seen an improvement in my energy levels and health.
Here are a few things I swear by.

MitoQ Molecule
This anti-oxidant has done wonders for my skin and energy levels. I have two a day at breakfast usually after the gym.
Researchers have found that they can help fight free radical damage that causes ageing and disease and they have also been recommended for use by those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and whilst I don’t have this syndrome, I’m tired pretty much most of the time, so these pills have made me feel sharper and more patient – my husband is pleased with this!
MitoQ has also been associated with the studies of Alzheimer’s disease, Diabetes, Asthma, Liver Disease, Obesity and other diseases that are caused or enhanced by oxidative stress and can help provide natural energy and exercise endurance for your body.

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MitoQ Supplements are available from www.mitoq.co.uk from £79

USN Hyperlean Two-in-One
Morning workouts can be tough, especially if Lacie has been up and down throughout the night, but the fact is if I don’t go first thing I WON’T get it done! By the time the evening comes I just can’t be bothered. I get Lacie down about 7:30, do her bottles and food for the next day, then have dinner, and by then its game over.
To help me get in the zone, I sometimes need a pre-workout. I don’t drink coffee, so USN’s Hyperlean gets me going.
Not only does it taste like candyfloss (seriously!!), 1/2 a scoop in my water (they recommend one scoop but I’m a lightweight when it comes to caffeine) helps me push through my workout.
What I love about this stuff is that I always have an amazing workout even when I don’t fancy it and best of all it doesn’t make me feel jittery all day. I had to wait until I finished breast feeding to start having pre-workouts again, as I’m not sure how it affects your milk. Lacie doesn’t like sleeping as it is, so I didn’t want any caffeine or stimulants going into her system if I could help it. This was definitely worth the wait!

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USN Hyperlean Two-in-One is available from www.usn.co.uk from £37.99

Omega 3 Lion Heart Fish Oil
Fish Oil is one of the only supplements I take religiously throughout the year. I took it throughout my whole pregnancy and I’m sure it’s the reason why Lacie is super intelligent and so clued up – infact researchers  found that infants born to mothers with higher blood levels of the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) at delivery had advanced levels of attention spans well into their second year of life. These infants were also two months ahead of those babies whose mothers had lower DHA levels. If that’s not a reason to take fish oil, then I don’t know what is!
My new favouite fish oil is Lion Heart Fish oil. It has the highest concentration of EPA & DHA in the UK, it’s the only British brand certified by the International Fish Oil Standards, which means it’s totally pure, fresh and clean, it’s in the natural triglyceride form which is much easier to digest and absorb, it’s made from small, oily fish rather than tuna or salmon, which are highly contaminated and it actually tastes ok too – I don’t have to hold my nose when taking it!
They do Fish oil for kids too, which Lacie will definitely be taking in the future.

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Omega 3 Lion Heart Fish Oil is avaliable from www.barebiology.com from £47.50

First Protein Whey Protein 
There are so many Protein brands on the market but what I love about First Protein is that one, it’s made from Grass Fed Whey, which is is free from genetically modified crops or growth hormones, and secondly that it’s sweetened with stevia and not artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium or saccharin.
I have the Neutral Back To The Basics Whey and add the Flavour Caps depending on what mood I’m in. My fav so far has to be the strawberry flavoured caps but the blueberry cheesecake flavour are pretty special and the chocolate too.
I love that I can change the flavour of my protein and I’m not committed to one flavour – there’s nothing worse than buying a bag of protein and getting bored with the flavour after a few weeks!
I tend to have a protein shake after my gym sessions to help recovery or mid-afternoon when I start to get tired and crave something sweet. Their selection of flavoured caps have definitely been a total lifesaver!

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First Protein BTTB Neutral Whey is available from https://www.firstprotein.co.uk from £17.99 and the flavoured caps from £3.50

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

Newborn swimming lessons at Virgin Active

As soon as Lacie had her first set of injections we were in the pool like a shot.
I’ve never been a keen swimmer so it’s important that we get Lacie as comfortable in the water as soon as possible. It’s also important for me to learn how to confidently hold her and play with her in the water, which is why we signed up to the Ducklings Programme at Virgin Active.

The 18-week programme are primarily designed to introduce very young children to the water so I signed up straight away and got my NCT friends to sign up too. There are four of us in the class and we are all friends which is great. It’s lovely seeing them every week and Lacie gets to learn new skills with her friends which is lovely. Hopefully one day they will all go swimming together and play nicely and confidently in the water.

So far we’ve only had two lessons but I’m so much more confident with her already. We’ve been taught how to get in the water safely with a new born, how to hold them so they can swim on their front and back, and we’ve already submerged them. Lacie wasn’t bothered at all as she went under. What a proud mum!!

A few little tips I’ve learnt already is;
* To take the carseat. This means I can get Lacie changed then pop her in the car-seat as I get myself changed too.
I have the Nuna Pipa seat, which I love.  You can read my review here…..

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 17.37.42* I’ve also learnt to take a spare towel. One for Lacie as she gets out the pool and then one to dry her with. I didn’t do this the first time we went and had to use my towel to dry her. I recently brought this poncho, (£11.99; http://www.mothercare.com) which Lacie loves to snuggle up to as soon as she gets out the pool. It has a hood that keeps her head warm and its made with soft cotton fabric that wicks excess water and dries Lacie really quickly. 

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* Lastly I always dress Lacie in a super cool swimming costume. She looks super cute and as she’s the only girl in the class I like her to look extra girlie. I get her swimsuits from Mothercare. Here my three favourites. We will take them on our first family holiday too.

1)Whale Swimsuit; £9
I love the frill detail around the waist and neckline. The turquoise colour is just lovely too!

lacie whale

Baby K Swimsuit and Turban; £15
This cute cozy from the Baby K range has a matching turban, which is very 80’s – she hasn’t worn the turban yet but it will be great on holiday when it comes to protecting her hear from the sun.

Bbay K swim suit

Lastly this Disney Minnie Mouse Swimsuit; £9
is just adorable. I’m sure Lacie is going to be a big fan of Minnie Mouse when she’s older and I just love the frilly sleeves and waist line. It looks so sweet on.

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I tend to wear a Tankini in the pool, which is really easy to get changed in and out of but recently I came across the new Speedo Sculpture range, which smoothes and supports your body in all the right places.
I love the Crystalsun suit (£60; http://www.store.speedo.co.uk) , which gives me flattering and feminine shape, thanks to the bandeau shape neckline, which enhances my tiny bust, an the lower leg, which elongates my short body. The gentle gathers are also perfect for visually disguising any post-pregnancy lumps and bumps. Its not easy getting into the pool after you’ve had a baby, I felt very self-conscious.

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To sign up to baby swimming lessons have a chat to your nearest Virgin Active. They are super helpful and will make sure your little one goes into the right class for the age and ability level.

 

 

 

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.

Sports Bra’s for New Mums. Perfect for Breast Feeding & Running

Sports Bras are absolutely essential for all exercising women, breast-feeding or not – and now I’m back exercising gently I was eager to find a breast-feeding sports bra.

Thanks to my job, I’ve come across some great bras in the past but none that allow you to run and breast feed (not at the same time :)).

They are usually so fiddley to get on and off and so secure (quite rightly) that when you have a hungry baby it can be quite stressful to get off meaning you have a stressy baby wanting food NOW – while your boobs are all over the place as you try to get them out as quick and as ladylike as possible.

So when I came across this Cake Lingerie Orange Zest Sports Bra. I had to get it. It means I can get ready for the gym in the morning, and not worry about having the right bra on to feed her and then have to get changed again when I eventually manage to get my workout in. I literally have to get my workouts in when I can at the moment – and it’s usually when Lacie is asleep. I don’t want to be wasting my precious workout time having to change in to my sports bra – I need to be ready for action!

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So after a few road tests I’m glad to say that this bra is a breast-feeding mothers dream. It’s supportive, sporty, has drop down cups for easy feeding. mesh panels for breathability and a racer back conversion clip, which fits perfectly under your sports tops and I find gives me more support.

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I literally put it on first thing and wear it under my sports top (which I wear with leggings) so I’m ready for feeding, ready for working out and still feeling comfortable and stylish.

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The bra comes with boxer style briefs too, which are also moisture-wicking, supportive and comfortable. You can’t beat a matching knicker and bra set.

Who said new mums can’t be stylish?

http://www.cakelingerie.com/nursing-bras/underwire/orange-zest-sports-bra

Finding My Feet

Now Lacie is five weeks old I’m definitely starting to think about my post-pregnancy shape up plan and actioning it.

It’s hard coming from such a hectic, active life to being very busy with almost not a lot.
Yes I have a perfect new born baby girl but who would of thought all my time would be taken up with her. I’m not working, I’m not exercising, not doing the housework but still the days seem to fly by. It’s crazy! Breast feeding and changing nappies takes up a lot of my day and I feel ready to start adding in some me time – although it makes me feel incredibly guilty that I’m thinking if leaving her for an hour here and there to get to the gym.

To ease myself in I’m going to start with power-walking every morning with the pram. Just 40 minutes a day will be enough to start with and help wake up my muscles and cardiovascular system again. I’ll also be with Lacie throughout the entire walk so I guess I have no reason to be guilty.

Depending on how I feel, I may even find myself a good hill and power up it as fast as I safely can, then stroll back down. Have you ever tried walking up a hill with a pram? It’s hard work!

I’ll also take my Gym Boss and perhaps set it so I do one minute powerwalk, one minute recovery with a slow walk. I’ll see how I get on. I get bored very easily!

I obviously have to be very careful to start with. If my bleeding increases then I’ll know I’m doing too much and take a few rest days. I also need to be careful not to do to much so it affects my breast milk, so I’ll make sure I have a good breakfast before I head outside of a smoothie or some eggs. Water is important too, so I’ll pop my water bottle in the basket underneath the pram to keep me hydrated.

As for diet, I need to work that out. As I said I am breast feeding so I need to keep my nutrients and calories high for my little one, so when I have some time this week I’ll sit down and write a plan that allowed me to feel good and shed some baby weight without compromising my milk supply.

I’m also going to look into what supplements I need to support my activity and my milk.

So that’s one positive step taken. A daily morning walk before anything can get in my way. We’ll get up and head out straight after feeding so then we have the rest of the day to do whatever it is we get up to.

me & mum