How my diet has changed since being a mum 

Since being a mum, life feels like it’s going 1000 miles an hour. When Lacie was first born, my diet was so important. My milk needed to be as high quality as possible, so I was very strict about eating plenty of good protein, good fats and vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still strict about eating these good foods but my Sunday night food prep sessions are all about making Lacie the best food possible for the week ahead. Think sweet potato muffins, chicken and avocado wraps, banana, avocado, spinach and chia seed porridge and quinoa concoctions. It’s all about getting the right nutrients into Lacie so she’s happy, healthy and benefiting from stable blood sugar levels. 

Sweet potato, strawberries and spinach with coconut. Sounds yuk - but boy, she likes it!

Sweet potato, strawberries and spinach with coconut. Sounds yuk – but boy, she likes it!

So how about me? I’m all for convenience. Protein bars or shakes tend to be my staple breakfast right now (which still ends up being 10:30ish no matter how organised I am!!) pre-cooked and marinated chicken with ready prepared salad bowls for lunch and some CO YO and Paleo Granola or chopped fruit for my afternoon pick me up. I always cook a dinner though, which I eat with Lacie. That tends to be some sort of protein dish with vegetables and salad. Last night for example was salmon with pesto and roasted vegetables. She’ll sit in the kitchen with me whilst I prepare it and we chat and sing. It’s one of my favourite times of day! It doesn’t take long to prepare but I let her try things like pepper sticks and cucumber slices as I chop. 

I do love the kitchen, and I do miss the kitchen. I have so many recipes (check this sugar-free banana bread out!!) stored on my phone that i would love to bake – but these will have to wait until I have a few hours to play around in the kitchen, which doesn’t happen that often. Right now, it’s all about building good habits for Lacie and giving her a taste of all the good foods out there whilst she doesn’t know any different. I’m hoping she’ll get a taste for these foods and they will be her go to foods for the rest of her life. We’ll see. I’m fully aware that there will be parties to go too, and day trips out with Nannies and Nannas!  

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As for me. I’ll carry on eating my meals with either one hand or really quickly (I’m always in demand!) It’s not forever and as long as I have the right fuel inside me to keep doing a good job as a mother then that’s a that matters. It makes me really appreciate food when I do go out for a nice meal or manage to cook something special. 

What do other mums do when it comes to eating around their little ones? I would love to know! I’m off to go and enjoy a chilli with some cauliflower rice. 

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Day 4 of my 21 day challenge

Day four already, and I’ve probably had more green stuff than I’ve had for a long time. Someone told me my skin looked amazing today too. An effect of the Purifyne Juices perhaps? I’ve also been sleeping so well, which I can only put down to the juices. God, I love sleep!

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So today, I went to gym first thing and now that I’m feeling better, I got back on my Bearwolf programme. I had an amazing workout, then had a juice straight after, followed by a juice at lunch time, which took me ages to drink. It was literally lemon, lime, kale, celery & cucumber. I found it very ‘green’, almost bitter’ish!

I then had a lettuce, chard, apple, asparagus and lime & ginger juice mid Arvo with my Brazil nut butter (I added a banana and some cinnamon as I find it really hard to swallow, then had another juice for dinner followed by a peppermint tea and a few hours of feature writing for WebMD.

So, that’s another day of juicing under my belt after yesterday’s antics, but I’ll be honest with you, I’m not sure if juicing suits me. I eat pretty well (most of the time) anyway and I’m actually starting to crave things I would never usually have, especially mid afternoon. It gets to 4pm and I just want to eat. Tips anyone?

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Day 1 of my 21 Day Fix

Day one of my Purifyne Juice cleanse went well.
I’m still not 100% so I swapped my usual gym session for a fasted hour’s walk (boo! I love lifting weights!) but at least I managed to do something active and Lacie got a sleep at the same time. I feel utterly flaked though!

I then came home and had my first juice; kale, apple, lemon, cucumber, spinach and ginger. It was amazing. I was worried that it would be watery and ‘green’, but it was the complete opposite. Tangy and tasty!

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 21.33.10 Me & Lacie then went swimming and whilst she ate lunch after her lesson, I sipped another juice.
Mid-afternoon I had a Brazil nut milk which was creamy & lush before finishing the day with one last juice.

Do I feel hungry? No! Do I feel refreshed? No! Do I feel energised? Not yet!
I do feel less bloated though, and proud of myself for sticking to it, despite my hubby eating a chicken Kiev in front of me!

Time to get an early night. Happy Friday!

Day 8 – 21 day fat loss challenge

Sorry for lack of post yesterday. I had a mummy’s day out for some work stuff, had lunch with some friends and then had my nails done – so the rest of my evening was playing with Lacie and spending some quality time with her. I still feel guilty leaving her for a few hours, even though I know she’s having fun with Nanny. That said, my day wasn’t great yesterday. I tend to have a cheat meal every 7 days and yesterday was that day. It’s ok though, I enjoyed it and got straight back on the wagon today. It’s easy to beat yourself up if you’ve had a few treats, but I say enjoy them and move on. It really is all about balance.

So how did day 8 go? Well. I went to the gym yesterday morning and did Tababa circuits, so today was my rest day. No gym. I did however walk into town and get a few bits from the shops before breakfast, so I did a good hour of fasted cardio.

I then came home and had my low carb bread toasted with mashed avocado and melted goats cheese with some scrambled eggs for breakfast. Good fats and protein, always help balance my blood sugar levels after a cheat meal. I then had a client, followed by some homemade tomato soup and a handful of almonds for lunch, followed by another client at 3pm. Me and Lacie then shared a pear and some CO YO before having a homemade chilli made with organic mince beef and some quinoa and spinach.
It was then off with another client – who I took out for a 5k run. It was freezing outside but so nice to get some fresh air and move my legs after feeling so sleepy after my 3pm client.

Today I’ve stuck to 1400 calories. I’ve had quite a bit of fat (all good fats though) so need to keep an eye on that tomorrow. Fat is still fat at the end of the day, good or not. I did also measure myself and after four weeks of keeping an eye on my nutrition and changing my training I’ve lost 5 and a half inches all over. It just shows that the scale lies. I’ve lost hardly nothing on the scales but I’m blatantly smaller all over – meaning my clothes feel nice again. I even wore some old size 8 trousers yesterday that I struggled to get into even before I was pregnant!

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

KX Pregnancy Programme

You’ve probably heard me talk about Gideon & KX Life a few times now. KX is the most amazing gym in Chelsea with great staff, a great atmosphere – and a great spa!
Gideon, my PT there has always been on hand to give me top-notch advice, whether it’s about pregnancy, working out post-baby and even the best formula to try when bottle feeding Lacie. He’s a walking health & fitness manual and someone I’ve trusted with my training pre and post baby.
As soon as I had Lacie and got the go ahead from the doctors to exercise again, I saw Gids straight away and have been seeing him on a monthly basis ever since. He’s given me a fantastic workout plan to follow three to four times a week, and although it’s nothing like what I was doing pre-pregnancy (we’re working up to that!) I love doing it every week and can really notice the difference with my posture, muscle-tone and weak areas like my glutes and shoulders. He’s one of the only trainers that truly listens to me and truly knows my body and A-type personality – and knows how to keep me occupied training wise. I certainly don’t want to overdo things again and get stuck in the ‘Over-Training, Let’s Abuse My Body Rut’!
Since training with Gids throughout my entire pregnancy, KX have launched a Pregnancy Support Programme, which not only looks after your nutrition and training but also physiotherapy and osteopathy; things tend to move a lot in during pregnancy due to a surge of relaxin and the extra weight your body has to handle.

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The programme took over a year to get together, as, as usual they wanted to collaborate with the best experts in the industry and provide the best information and service possible. Not only are they working with nutritionist and author of ‘The Health Delusion: How to Achieve Exceptional Health in the 21st Century,’ Glen Matten but, also Simon Rice and Boniface Verney-Carron, who can provide private spa-based physical therapy sessions.

So what type of exercises does Gideon have me doing?
A Turkish Get Up is the move that starts my programme off. This helps switch on my nervous system, switch on every single muscle in my body and helps me warm up and ease myself into my session. I’ve gone from using a 8kg Kettlebell to a 12kg and we’ve since progressed it so I do an internal and external rotation and a press in each position. It’s so challenging and I really have to connect my body to my brain during every position but I love it and once I’ve done this move a few times, I feel soooo ready to start my session!

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I’m also doing side lunges with a gliding disc to work my entire lower body, including those pesky inner thighs, back pulls with a resistance band to help pull my shoulders back (I feel so hunched over since having Lacie), lunges with a Kettlebell press for shoulder stability and a toned bottom and thighs side planks, one-legged Kettlebell deadlifts and renegade rows. Each session takes about 45 minutes, which is perfect for squeezing in the morning before Lacie wakes me up and generally keeps me busy for the rest of the day!

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I would urge anyone in the Chelsea area (or beyond) to contact KX if they are pregnant and scared to train or really want to be well looked after. Not only will you be trained in a fantastic environment but you can also indulge in the spa afterwards and have anything from a pregnancy massage to a Hydra facial. Their changing rooms are awesome too….there’s big fluffy white towels, dressing gowns, hair brushes, toothbrushes, candles and gorgeous toiletries. It makes going to the gym a real pleasure even if I do miss my little cherub….

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Slender Blend Super Smoothie

For the last two weeks I’ve been on a two-week detox. No sugar, no fruit, no grains. Just protein, vegetables and good fats like avocados and nuts. One thing I do find is that I’m always hungry in the afternoon so amongst the cups of herbal tea I’ve been having a Protein World Slender Blend Shake to tide me over until dinner.

I don’t add almond milk or coconut milk like they suggest but instead blend it with water and add a teaspoon of hazelnut butter (it reminds me of Dairy Milk), cinnamon (to help stabilise my blood sugar levels and regulate my appetite), maca powder (to help stabilise my hormones) and flax seeds, which are full of fibre and help flush out the excess oestrogen that is lingering on my hips and thighs.

The detox is definitely working in my favour. I’ve lost 3kg and although its been tough I’m soooo glad I’ve stuck it out. My muscle tone is back, I have so much more energy, I’m sleeping better and I’ve lost inches all over.
Once my two weeks is up, I’m going to allow myself a cheat meal on Saturday, and then get straight back on it on Sunday but not as strict. I will re-introduce berries as a snack, sweet potatoes with my main meal and perhaps some fruit with breakfast on the days I train – at the moment I’ve been having meat, vegetables and nuts for breakfast. Yes I know – it’s not that bad though honestly!!

I will stick to this religiously every week, with a cheat meal on Saturdays which will help boost my metabolism and simply keep me on track. If I know I can have a bit of what I fancy once a week then I can definitely stay on track.

Please get in touch if you would like more details of the detox, everyone is different with different needs so I can definitely help you find the right detox for you. In the mean time, look out for my progress photos. I will be sticking to it for 12 weeks, and judging my the results I will hopefully be back to my pre-pregnancy figure in no time. I have 2kgs to go….I can do it!!

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New Mum home workouts. How to shape up after a baby

As you all know, I’m a real gym bunny. I worked out throughout my whole pregnancy and was even in my local Virgin Active the very morning I was induced. It’s certainly helped me whip back into shape since having Lacie, although I do still have a lot of work to do. My muscle tone just completely disappeared during pregnancy, despite lifting weights four times a week!

That said, Lacie is now eight weeks and although I’m not ready to leave her in the gym creche just yet, I have been sneaking in some short home workouts whilst she sleeps. Just 30 minutes here and there is enough to get those endorphins flowing and make me feel happy that I’m starting to work towards my goals again.

Here’s just one workout I’ve been doing in my lounge. I always thought I would hate working out at home but actually I’ve been really enjoying it. I simply put on a TV programme that I’ve been itching to watch, grab my dumbbells and resistance band and off I go.
It’s true that your priorities really do change once you have a beautiful baby – it’s no longer about you. However, it is important that you do take some time out and with home workouts that means you still get to spend time with your baby, whilst doing something positive for yourself.

As Chrissi Delapperal, a Personal Training Manager at Virgin Active and mum of one says, “The pressure of being a ‘super mum’ whilst trying to balance various commitments with family life means that exercise can fall way down on our priority list.”

Here’s Chrissi’s top six exercises that could be done at home in the living room, kitchen or bedroom – it’s a great workout and will wake up those muscles again. Enjoy 🙂

1. Tricep dips x 15
“Tricep dips will make you look at your sofa or armchair in a totally new light, as they make the perfect apparatus for tricep dips. Sit on the edge of the seat, with hands resting either side of your hips, fingers forward. Lift up your body and shuffle your feet away from the sofa. Now bend your elbows, gently lowering your hips towards the floor, hold for two seconds, and raise body up again.

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2. Push ups x 10
“Use your sofa to perfect the art of the push up. Start with incline pushups, with your hands on the seat and feet on the floor. This makes pushups easier and is a great way to get used to this type of exercise. Once you feel you have mastered the move, you can graduate to decline pushups with your feet on the seat and hands on the floor. Be careful to keep your back straight, and don’t let your hips sag.

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3. Bicep curls  x 15
“You can grab any piece of kitchen equipment to do some quick and easy bicep curls. Use a tin can, bottle or saucepan – whatever feels the right weight for you. Standing with legs shoulder-width apart, hold your chosen weight by your side with your palm facing away from you. Bend your arm at the elbow and bring the weight up to your shoulder.
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4. Squats x 15
“Squats are a brilliant exercise to master, they work your bum, legs and core. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and slowly bend your knees, lowering your body. Squat down as low as you can, keeping your head and chest high and shoulders relaxed. Hold for a second and then straighten legs to stand up.”

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5. Stomach crunches x 10
“Doing stomach crunches on your mattress will actually force those abs to work harder to stabilise yourself. Lying on your back, bend your knees and put your hands behind your head. Use your abs (NOT your neck muscles) to lift your torso off the bed, and release.

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6. Star jumps x 15
“Jump out of bed and start your day with some star jumps. This childhood throwback will not only put a smile on your face, it will also work A LOT of muscles, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluts, abs, biceps, triceps, and obliques. Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees into a squat position and jump vertically as high as you can. While jumping, extend legs and arms out to your sides, into a star shape. Land with arms by your sides and knees bent.

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I tend to do these moves as a circuit, starting with the first move and then doing the second move as soon as I can after I’ve finished all 15 reps. I’ll then work through the 6 moves, rest for two to three minutes and repeat the circuit again. If Lacie sleeps long enough I’ll do three circuits before having a quick stretch and a recovery snack of an apple with almond butter or a Slender Blend Protein smoothie with a banana. I’ll aim to do this every other day and walk on the other days.

As always, please check with your doctor before exercising. I had to wait eight weeks until I was physically and mentally ready to exercise again. I really didn’t want to sabotage my recovery so make sure you listen to your body.

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