My Pregnancy Diary; 30 weeks!

How the hell did that happen? I literally have 9-10 weeks left, depending on when I have my C-section – and wow, look at the bump!

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This week, I’ve had a massive hormone surge! Sunday, I felt awful. Light-headed, sick and I had a horrible metallic taste in my mouth, which apparently is down to a surge in the hormone Oestrogen. Thankfully it has passed now, but for a few days I really didn’t fancy any food, so I’m so grateful for my frozen Ooosh juices, which I keep in the freezer and can defrost as and when I need them. They are cold-pressed, which prevents the loss of nutrients and separation of the ingredients and have such a high-level of fruit and veg in them, I’m confident that on days I don’t feel like eating much, I’m giving bubba plenty of nutrients, especially greens!

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These are also a must for new, busy mums, so check out Scott’s website and drop him a line to see how he can help you. The beauty is that you can mix and match your favorite flavours in your delivery, and it’s as simple as storing them in the freezer and taking one out to defrost for the next day – or for in my case for later on if I’m having one for dinner!  I’m certainly going to make sure I’m stocked up for those early days when you need food – but have very little time or inclination to cook, especially breakfast!

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Back to training; I’m still going. I’m training 6ish times a week, which includes two power walks/slow runs at the weekend. The TRX is helping me greatly when it comes to exercises such as one-legged squats and press ups, and it means I can work with my body weight, which, because it’s so much heavier than I’m used to means I’m not really using any free-weights. I’m determined to train right until the end.

To help me with my training, I’ve also been lucky enough to give the FitBump Box a try, which is a lovely box especially for pregnant women and new mums.IMG_2296 The box comes nicely wrapped and inside features a resistance band, a Pilates cushion and a mini Pilates ball.

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It also gives you access to a private membership area where you’ll get;
* Week by week pregnancy & new mum Pilates workouts (I’m looking forward to doing these after my C-section, where I’m going to have to really ease myself back into training!).
* Weekly food planning, recipes, tension relieving exercises, back pain workouts, postnatal “mummy tummy” cardio and strengthening workouts
and
* a private forum where they cover everything from back pain, pregnancy worries and topics like postnatal ‘mummy tummy’ troubles! Again, it’s going to be great to talk to other mums, and possibly Joanna, the pregnancy & postnatal fitness expert behind the workouts when I’m ready to ease myself back into training and looking to knit my abs back together before I get back to anything hardcore! A bit or reassurance and training advice without having to leave the house!

I’m really looking forward to doing some of the Pilates workouts, as it’s easy to forget your core when pregnant. My core and abs are usually my favourite area to train, but I don’t want to overdo it in pregnancy and risk getting Diastasis Reci – aka my abs splitting into two! It makes it harder to recover and if I rush into working out too quickly I could end up with a permanent pooch!

If you are worried too, then I would certainly recommend doing your research and maybe investing in a box like the FitBump Box, which is expert lead and tried and tested. These tips should help you too;

  • Always focus on the TA or Transverse Abdominus during pregnancy.
  • Avoid exercises laying on your back during pregnancy.
  • Avoid moves such as crunches, planks, and sit ups as these are the prime culprits to Diastasis Recti.
  • Perform each move slowly and controlled to prevent injury or mishaps.
  • ….and, as always talk to your doctor before attempting ANY ab moves during pregnancy.

Keep an eye out for more on how I’m getting on with the workouts and how they are helping me through these final months!

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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.

 

25 week pregnancy diet 

Yesterday I shared with a days food diary. I’m (trying) to follow the way I used to eat before I went carb crazy during this pregnancy, and am choosing to eat gluten-free foods to help reduce any bloating, which, let me tell you, is really uncomfortable when you already have a bump!

This is what I’ve eaten today;

Breakfast:
1 BFree Multiseed Bagel with ½ an avocado mashed with salt & pepper

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Snack:
CO YO diary-free Yoghurt with mixed Raspberry & Blueberries

Lunch: Quinoa Tuna spinach Salad
Make one potion of quinoa in chicken or vegetable stock for flavour. Add in spinach, 1 can of tuna, tomatoes, mushroom and peppers for a protein packed lunch.

Snack: 10 Almonds

Dinner: Chilli (left over portion for tomorrow’s lunch)
500 g Lean Mince Beef or Turkey Mince
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 Carrot
1 red pepper
1 red onion
Chilli powder
Mixed herbs
Cayenne pepper
Garlic
Courgette/Spinach

Fry of the beef or turkey mince in a frying pan with a teaspoon of coconut oil and 2 chopped cloves of garlic. Add in onion, chopped carrot, peppers and any veg of choice. Add in tin of tomatoes and tomato puree along with 2 teaspoons of chilli powder, 1 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of mixed herbs.

Serve on a bed of Courgetti or spinach or in my case, both!

 

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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Weaning; Sugar-free banana bread

We’ve hit a stumbling block! Lacie is usually so, so good with her food and now she doesn’t want vegetables. She doesn’t want fish or protein. And she certainly doesn’t want puréed sweet potato or butternut squash. Until now, she’s been the healthiest, unfussiest (if that’s a word!) baby and it’s phased me. It’s like all of a sudden she’s turned into a stubborn little monkey and knows what she likes and what she doesn’t. Give her bread and she’s happy! Well I’m not!

To help the situation I’ve been baking. Last week I made sweet potato and butternut squash muffins. This week I made banana bread with sweet potato and grated carrots. She loved it. I either give it to her warm with a little almond butter or coconut oil and she’s happy to munch on it.
To help any other mums through this difficult phase, here is the recipe. I like that it’s sugar free and that it’s got only almonds, eggs, bananas, cinnamon and sweet potato in it. I wonder if next time I make it, I can add a bit of spinach? It’s worth a try!

To make, you will need;
2 eggs
200g sweet potato
1 large banana
1 grated carrot
100g ground almonds or almond flour
50g hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
30g Lucy Bee Coconut oil
Pinch of salt.

First of all boil the sweet potatoes until they are soft, then blend (I love the baby cook) until they are puréed, then
grate the carrot and mix with the almond flour, hazelnuts, coconut oil, eggs, salt and baking powder.
Add a pinch of cinnamon before putting the mixture into a well oiled loaf tin and bake at 160 degrees for 60 minute.
Let it rest. Then cut up and store in a cool dry place.

This really is a perfect finger food for lunch time or as an afternoon snack – for (mummy) & baby. Enjoy!

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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.

And squeeze….

Pelvic floor exercises are big news for pregnant women and beyond. I’m still doing mine and Lacie is coming up to seven months – You can’t do enough.

In the early days when she was first born, I downloaded an app, called My Pff, and always did the recommended programme from the app every time I fed her. It soon became habit and when I went for my 8 week checkup with my doctor and she asked me if I was doing my pelvic floor exercises, I told her about the app and my pelvic floor schedule. She said it was a fab idea and that she would pass it on to other mums. Hopefully she did.

So what are pelvic floor exercises and why are they so important?
The pelvic floor muscles form a sling-like band that surrounds and forms the base of your vagina, anus and urethra,” explains Hugh Hanley, National Personal Training Manager at Virgin Active. “These muscles also support all your abdominal contents, and your baby will pass through them as he or she is born. Strengthening these muscles is an extremely worthwhile and important activity.”

How to do Pelvic floor exercises: 
1.       Gradually tighten the muscles that you use if you want to stop the flow of urine when going to the toilet.
2.       Try to do it without holding your breath, squeezing your buttocks together,
3.       Hold the squeeze for several seconds and then relax slowly.
4.       Now pull the muscles up tight and fast. Then relax. Then tighten them quickly again. Use clenching and opening your fist as a visual tool to help you imagine the movement.

When I’m doing moves like glute bridges in the gym, I always make sure I  pause at the top to engage my pelvic floor or when I’m doing squats I make sure I ‘zip’ up at the top to get that engagement. You can also do them whilst watching the TV, cleaning your teeth, or reading this post (try and stop yourself!) You really can’t do too many. Now off you go…squeeze!!!

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Top tips for training while pregnant

As a Journalist, I get to talk to some really interesting experts so I had to share these pregnancy  tips for training while pregnant from Hugh Hanley, National Personal Training Manager at Virgin Active. 
I’ve been a member of Virgin Active for over 10 years now, I love their Bromley gym, which is literally minutes from my house. I got so much support when working out there whilst pregnant. The personal trainers were always encouraging and telling me I looked fab, even though I felt like a whale.
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I can’t stress how glad I am that I stayed active throughout my whole pregnancy, and would definately do it again if I ever had another child. It made more energetic, happier and often put a stop to my morning sickness. It stopped me piling on unnecessary weight too! 

Here are some top tips from Hugh, which should help you to exercise safely when you’re expecting….

·         Drink plenty of fluids, before, during and after any exercise, and avoid overheating. Be sure to always warm-up and cool down

·         Wear loose fitting clothing, and comfortable non slip supportive shoes.

·         Keep your heart rate under 140 beats per minute

·         Past the first trimester, avoid exercising flat on your back – the weight of your uterus reduces the blood and oxygen flow to your baby.

·         During aerobic exercise, you will find that you have less oxygen available, so lower the intensity of your normal routine.

·         Your metabolism speeds up during pregnancy, so remember to eat a well-balanced diet.

·         Your body produces a hormone called relaxin during pregnancy. This hormone softens joints and ligaments to make the birth process easier, so be careful not to overextend joints that may result in injury

·         Do pelvic floor exercises every day and you’ll help keep your back and spine strong, flatten your tummy post birth, and alleviate the problems with bladder and bowel control that are common after childbirth. 

“Lastly make sure you listen to your body and if at any time during exercise you feel extremely fatigued, faint, dizzy, lightheaded or clammy, stop exercising and cool down,” says Hugh.
“The key tip here is that you need to listen to your body and based on what your body’s telling you, figure out a level of activity that works for you.”

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