How to work out with your baby

I’ve heard it so many times, “I can’t work out,” “There’s no time with a baby,” “I don’t want to leave them in the creche at the gym.” But believe me you really don’t need a gym and you don’t need to miss out on quality time with your bubba either. I USED to go the the gym 6 days a week, more if I could. Now I’m lucky if I manage once a week in the evening whilst Lacie sleeps. I just don’t have the energy once i’ve put her down at 7:30pm. There’s bottles to be washed, dinner to be eaten and a bath every now and then is nice too!

But what about working out involving your little one in the day? There’s no harm in them seeing you working out. It can only create healthier habits for them in the future. When Lacie was first born, I would always pop her in her swinging chair, whIlst I did a quick 25 minute HIIT workout, or pop her on her play mat (when she was happy to sit still :)) and chat with her in between sets so she didn’t feel left out. I often chat with her whilst I’m doing my workout, telling her what exercises I’m doing and then counting my reps out loud. I will sing to her too and encourage her to bop about. So much fun.

Now Lacie is a little explorer, I tend to pop her either in her high chair and let her munch on her breakfast as she watches me jump around (she finds it super funny), pop her in her Fisher Price Sit-me-up Floor Seat during Milkshake on Channel 5, which she LOVES, pop her in the garden with a ball and her toys whilst I work out on the grass, or ideally I try and do it in the morning before she wakes. This requires me to get up at 7am – which to be honest isn’t the end of the world. I’ve also filled her travel cot up with ball pond balls in the past and let her play in there for half hour. She loves it (you can see it in the background of this pic!)

Someone kept me company in the gym today!

Watching Milkshake whilst Mummy Squats

By showing Lacie how to be active in any way I can, I’m hoping that she will develop a habit of being active from an early age, plus if I include her in a work out, we get to spend time together and learning things like how to count and how to jump. She already knows what to do with a dumbbell and likes to try and do press ups on my Reebok Step. I hope that it will also teach her that workouts don’t have to be a mysterious thing that no one should see you do. (Let’s be honest: we’ve all felt embarrassed about going to the gym and working out in front of people!)

Here’s a quick workout that you can do with your little one by your side. You don’t need any fancy equipment that can hurt them – or you don’t need loads of space either. If you don’t want to do it with your baby awake, then pop them in the pram come nap time, walk round the block to get yourself warmed up and then do it in a local park or in your living room whilst they sleep. You won’t of missed any quality time with them and it will inspire you to get it done super quick whilst they sleep.

Now I’m a mummy is definitely quality over quantity!

Here goes…..

* 30 seconds jog on spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up.
* 30 seconds of press Ups
* 30 secs jog on the spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up.
* 30 seconds plank
* 30 seconds jog on the spot -10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up
* 30seconds of squat jumps
* 30 seconds Jog on the spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up
* 30 seconds of burpees
* 30 seconds Jog on the spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up
* 30 seconds of triceps dips

Repeat three times through – once if you are short on time. Something is always better than nothing!

A quick walk around the block come nap time always does the trick. Now where's the nearest park?

A quick walk around the block come nap time always does the trick. Now where’s the nearest park?

* Always warm up before you do this workout and check with your doctor before embarking on any fitness challenge.

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Day 10 of my 21 day fix

Is anyone else suffering with the February blues? I feel really blah at the moment. Not sure if it’s the weather, the time of year or what. Very strange. If I can find a way of snapping out of it I’ll let you know! I’m thinking I need to set some new goals, get a new programme, or mix my food up a bit. Feel very unmotivated, which is very unlike me. I’m not giving up though!

So, Anyway, food wise, everything has gone to plan today.

I managed an hour’s workout before Lacie woke, then had a bowl of Paleo Granola to start the day.

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Me & Lacie then walked to the park before lunch, which was scrambled eggs, chorizo, goats cheese, spinach and a slice of Sukrin bread.

In the afternoon I had three rice cakes with quinoa topped with almond butter and dinner was fish cakes with a rocket salad.

I’ve drunk lots of water and mint tea and went for a run/walk with a client this evening too, in my new Helly Hansen gear, which is absolutely stunning! It fits nicely, it’s warm and the colours are gorgeous. Looking the part makes me feel so much better, especially in front of my clients.

Tomorrow I’m off to London for a few meetings so I’m hoping I will stop off at WholeFoods on my way back and stock up on loads of healthy goodies. I always spend a fortune in there but it’s well worth it. You can’t put a price on your health!

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Day 9 of my 21 day fix

It’s true. I left my abs in Devon, but do you know what? We had the best family weekend so I’m not going to stress. We don’t have another holiday booked until October, plus we’re moving house and got lots on, so a bit of downtime was well needed.

To be honest I didn’t go crazy, and still managed to run or hit the gym every day but I did have pudding both nights, I did have bread when it was served lunch with my family and I did have a scone with some Devon clotted cream. It would be rude not too.

Got to love running in Devon!

Got to love running in Devon!

I do however know that it’s back on track now, so today has been a good one.

I bagged a gym session this morning, then had a protein shake after, followed by a Paleo breakfast of eggs, chorizo, spinach & avocado, a lunch of a multigrain gluten free wrap with goats cheese and avocado and salad, then a handful of macadamia nuts (my fav) and salmon with green veg for dinner. I’ve drunk lots of water too and walked over 12,000 steps.

Any excess weight will be gone in no time!

21 day fitness and diet challenge

Ok, I’m now on a MISSION to get down to 58kg. Lacie is 9 months now, and I have my sisters wedding in about 4 weeks. I have a gorgeous dress to wear and I want to feel simply amazing!

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I’ve been hovering around 61kg for the last few months…it’s so annoying, so I’ve written myself a 21 day eating plan that I’m going to stick to and see if I can sort this out once & for all.

I started yesterday and day one went really well.

I did a met-con session in the morning based around 400m sprints & high rep (50 to be exact!) squats, press ups, deadbugs and back pulls and ate well too.

I had a high protein breakfast with a handful of almonds, some soup and chicken pieces for lunch, a Slender Blend protein shake and 1/2 banana with coconut milk  and then salmon and veggies for dinner. My whole day totalled around 1400 calories – not that I’m a big calorie counter but it’s good to check in every now and then as it’s easy to not realise how much you are eating!

Keep checking in to see how I’m getting on. I will be posting every day for 21 days….

This week’s meals….

We’re well and truly into the weaning – and I’m well and truly back into my old jeans. I’m back to 59’ish Kilos (I’ve never been a big fan of weighing) and in the last six weeks have lost 4.5% body fat. I’ve done this by eating lots of lean protein, green veg, good fats and working out 4-5 times a week. I said it before, and will say it again, it’s all about consistency. If you are eating well and exercising regularly, then you will lose fat. It helps that I’m getting more sleep these days as that stops those awful sugar cravings when you just need an instant hit of energy and I’ve really found that stopping eating in the evenings helps. Nowadays I have my dinner, then usually have a few spoonfuls of almond butter and a herbal tea before shutting the kitchen door and leaving it at that. It’s too easy to say ‘The baby is in bed – this is my time’ and eat food for comfort in front of the TV. The thing is I don’t find it comforting the next day when I’m beating myself up! I’d rather wake up full of energy and without a food hangover so I can get my workout in before Lacie wakes. I tend to do all her bottles and food in the evening too, which keeps me busy and organised for the next day….which leads me on to Lacie’s food.

So far, we have only been doing lunch. She has a feed usually around 6am and 9am, and then lunch is served at 12pm.

So far her favourite meal has to be banana, avocado and spinach, she can’t get enough! I’ve also tried other concoctions like sweet potato, butternut squash and carrot. She is also a big fan of pear and apple and tomorrow she has courgette, carrot and apple – just something I threw together. Could be interesting!

She’s also a huge fan of a little pudding after lunch (who isn’t?) I tend to blitz some organic berries with CO YO dairy-free coconut yogurt and chia seeds. This makes it nice and thick and filling, and I love chia seeds because they are full of omega 3 fats, protein, antioxidants and dietary fibre. They also hold water so will help keep Lacie’s tummy fuller for longer. She’s definitely a fan…and so am I!

She then tends to have a nice sleep (with a full belly), then has a bottle at 2:30ish, another feed at 5:30 and then a bottle before bed at 7:30. She’s certainly sleeping better (touch wood) now she’s on food and filling out a bit and even happier than before.

To say I was nervous about weaning is an understatement, but do you know what it’s great fun and I love being creative in the kitchen and giving her the best start I possibly can.

I will let you know how breakfast goes next week. I’m thinking colourful smoothie bowls, porridge with mashed banana and cinnamon and overnight oats, fruit and maybe even some scrambled eggs!

chia

 

Healthy Happy Fit Mums – Introducing Lucy Miller

I’ve been interviewed by Miss Independent Women , a fabulous website also known as The ULTIMATE GIRL SITE‘ – a one stop shop for everything GIRL. I hope you like it! 

Originally posted on Miss Independent Women…

MIW Welcomes you LUCY MILLER!

As the resident ‘mum’ on the panel of girls that make up Miss Independent Women – The Ultimate Girls Site; I wanted to share some of Lucy’s brilliant tips for keeping fit and healthy throughout pregnancy. For those of you who don’t know, Lucy is a Freelance Fitness & Nutrition Editor for Health & Fitness MagMail OnlineWeight Watchers,Fertility Road,  Glamour magazine & founder of Fitness and the Bump

In between juggling a family life of her own, she manages her busy schedule of working with her clients as a Personal Trainer and is also working with children to keep fit as a trained level 2 Children’s Fitness Specialist.

So I took some time out from heavily pregnant waddling, running around after Fin and working to catch up with Lucy – I hope you enjoy!

MIW: Welcome Lucy and thank you for talking with us here at Miss Independent Woman!
Lucy: Thanks for having me – Your blog is fab.

Ah thanks so much! I am so glad you like it and our site. SO! Tell us a little bit about how yourself and how you became the Fitness Editor for Health and Fitness Magazine?
I’ve always been a huge fan of sport and health. As a teenager I was a national gymnast and once I retired from that I got into marathon running and going to the gym.

I started writing for Cycling Weekly Magazine after doing my qualification in Nutrition for Health & Fitness, I looked after their nutrition pages and just loved how nutrition could have such a positive effect on your body and mind. I then came across a job at Men’s Fitness and went for it. I got the job and wrote all their fitness and nutrition pages, which I loved. Whilst there I did a part time Level 3 Personal Training course and the rest is history. Dennis Publishing (owner of Mens Fitness) brought Health & Fitness Magazine and it was a natural progression that I joined the team as the Fitness Editor. I worked there for five years before going freelance, as I knew I wanted to start a family and I had so many people wanted me to train them. I now juggle writing, personal training and being a mummy to my 4-month old daughter. 

What drives your passion for healthy living and fitness – particularly for children and pregnant women?
Exercising throughout my childhood gave me so many opportunities and good qualities. It taught me discipline, self-confidence and drive, and made me respect my body. I would love other children to discover this too and see that moving is fun and beneficial in everyday life. With regards to pregnant women, again, when I was pregnant it made me realize how exercise can make you feel so much better. I felt so out of control with my growing bump and crazy hormones, but by exercising I gained some control back. It helped boost my energy, kept any unnecessary weight gain off and stopped me getting a bad back, achy joints etc. It’s important that women realize that exercising when pregnant won’t harm them (if they are sensible) and could actually help them.

As you know, one of the reasons I wanted to interview you was because of your healthy attitude towards keeping fit during pregnancy. I think in today’s busy world, it is very difficult to stay as healthy as we would like (convenience food, cheap supermarket offers on less healthy food options, TV, the ‘eating for 2 excuse’! 

As a result of your own personal history and passion for fitness, do you work with many mums wanting to really make the conscious decision to change their lifestyle whilst pregnancy and do any of them find it difficult?
Yes for sure. They can get negative reactions from their partners and relations saying that they should ‘be taking it easy’ and that they should be making the most of being pregnant and enjoy ‘eating what they want.’

Energy levels, morning sickness, tender breasts and cramps and cravings can also make things difficult, but the right nutrition and exercise can help this.

From my experience, running around after a 3 year old helped me keep some of the weight off I may have put on and loosing the weight after my 1st born was so difficult; I vowed not to go too big again! I have definitely noticed a huge difference in keeping active and hope that it helps me in birth. However I am sure I could have done more….I’d love to hear how you help pregnant mums! 
I encourage them to eat lots of nutrient-rich foods and avoid empty calories and unhealthy additive. I also encourage them to be as active as possible by walking and by doing gentle exercise to keep them strong and supple and generally become more in tune with their bodies. It’s so important that you listen to your body during pregnancy, so I’m all for helping women take pressure off themselves and reminding themselves they are creating a new life. It’s a pretty big ask of their body!! Just knowing you are doing the best for your body and baby can make pregnancy such a positive experience.

What are your top tips for keeping active and why should pregnant women encourage themselves to remain as fit and healthy as possible?
Don’t do anything new – if you weren’t a runner before becoming pregnant then don’t start running now. Always seek medical advice also. Your doctor needs to give the go ahead to exercise and I would always go to a fitness professional who is qualified in pre and post-natal fitness. 

Gym membership’s can be expensive (and I have been mainly walking or generally being very mobile as mine was cancelled)…what can us cash strapped and time limited mums and mums 2 be do?
Walk, walk, walk! You can also walk to a park, park the pram up next to a park bench and use it for step ups, press ups, dips etc or use your living room as your baby sleeps. You don’t need any kit to get an all-over body workout – your bodyweight is more than enough. I use my stairs, my sofa, some light dumbbells and my bodyweight to get an all over workout as Lacie sleeps. Here are my top tips for losing the baby weight…

In terms of healthy eating – again, many mums struggle to resist the naughty treats and go for the healthy snacks! What advice would you have for a pregnant mum struggling to say no to the cakes and biscuits!
My top tip is to keep your blood sugar levels stable by eating little and often (every 3 hours), avoiding refined sugar like sweets and cakes, eating plenty of good fats like avocados, coconut and oily fish and be prepared. Have healthy food in the house so when you do get hungry you can grab something quick and healthy. Here’s an example of what I ate when pregnant…

Looking back on your pregnancy/pregnancies – did you feel the benefits of remaining active and if so, how did it help you?
Definitely. My energy levels always increased after a workout, I had no back pain, I kept good posture and my baby weight fell off me. I had a difficult labor (I was two weeks late and induced – here is my birth story) but my baby’s heart rate never dipped or increased, which I put down to the exercise. She was obviously used to me exerting myself. I don’t think I would have had the stamina to push for two hours either if I hadn’t kept the exercise up. I was in the gym the very day I was induced – I knew it would be my last session for a while J

 Now, I have always struggled with my weight and I am dreading the post baby body (especially with all the coverage beautiful celebrity mums get as they squeeze back into their size 8′s weeks after birth!). 

Is there anything in particular you could recommend for me and other new mums to work into the daily routine of a newborn (and possibly more children) that we could do to help our bodies get back to a more reasonable shape?

Sleep and listen to your body. Too much stress causes weight gain so if you’re tired, then sleep, don’t force yourself to get up and exercise if you need to rest. Walking with the pram is great exercise too, so try to head out for a walk at least once a day. When you feel ready try incorporating a gentle incline into your walks and make them slightly longer, working up to 45 minutes most days. Remember to walk tall too, sucking your abs in to activate your core and pulling your shoulders back. Good posture is vital and will make you instantly look and feel slimmer. There are lots of workout ideas on my blog also here

And lastly, we would love to know if you have any ‘off days’ and if so, how do you motivate yourself!
Of course I do! Ha! I remind myself that I will feel so much better after some fresh air and some exercise. I usually just tell myself I’ll do ten minutes and if I’m still not feeling it after ten then I’ll stop, but 9 times out of 10 I carry on. Putting on my favorite TV show or music can help too. Sometimes it’s good to catch up on some trashy TV whilst doing a little living room circuit. It distracts you.

 And before I let you go, we have some #MIW quick questions

Shoes or handbags?
Handbags

What’s your favourite treat?
Homemade banana icecream using CO YO (www.coyo.co.uk) and frozen bananas

Favorite holiday location?
Bali 

Hopes and dreams for the future?
To write for mother and baby magazines and help make fitness accessible for pregnant ladies and new mums. I want everyone to feel that they are doing the very best for themselves and their babies. 

Do you have a life motto or quote? 
Move, eat, sleep, laugh.

What woman or women have inspired you and who do you admire?
Jillian Michaels

It was great to catch up with you Lucy and thanks again for talking with us at Miss Independent Woman. Thanks for being a fan of the site and for our wonderful readers, more information is available here on Lucy’s website here

Time to Wean…Sweet Potato day

My baby turned 6 months today. I still can’t believe how much joy she brings into our lives. She’s great fun, even on those teething days!

Up until now I’ve exclusively breast fed her so weaning feels a bit alien to me. I was very overwhelmed by it all, but actually they say ‘food before one is fun’, so I’ve relaxed a little and am just going to experiment with her and give her the purest foods I can. ‘Healthy Mummy, Healthy Baby’ and all that!
So today I started my little munchkin off with some sweet potato, which is full of vitamin A, C and potassium.
She wasn’t impressed to start with but I’m definitely going to keep trying and stick to that particular food for three to your days so her taste buds can adapt.

To make it I boiled a sweet potato with a sprinkle of cinnamon then blended with some breast milk to make it extra creamy…20140725-203830-74310605.jpg

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As it’s six months since I had her I thought it would be rude not to post a progress photo. I’m getting regular workouts in these days, even if it means waking up a little early or having her in the gym with me. It’s definitely all about consistency so if you aren’t seeing results as quick as you would like then don’t give up. It will come! As always give me a shout if you have any questions….

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My 6:30am Post-baby Workout

Last night I got seven hours sleep. Yay! It felt amazing!

I’ve tried a new bed time routine, which means I split feed Lacie at 6:30pm so she’s happy to be bathed, and then watch us have dinner, then I take her upstairs around 8ish, we draw the curtains, put her in her sleeping bag and then I do another short feed, where she usually falls fast asleep. We’ve been doing this little routine for a week now and she sleeps upstairs on her own until 10:30, then I wake her for a feed and we both go to bed. It seems to working really well. There’s been a few seven hour nights! It makes such a difference.
So after such a ‘long’ sleep, I got up at 6:30 and got a workout done. I had a good hour until she woke so I crammed in all I could whilst she slept.

I warmed up with 60 seconds of;
Glute bridges
Prisioner squats
Resistance band back pulls
Then
Disco lunges.

I repeated this circuit three times.

I then did 2 minutes of step ups on my powerbag  to get my heart rate up followed by 60 seconds of
Light kettlebell swings
Followed by
Tricep dips.
Again I repeated this three times, followed by another burst of step ups on my powerbag.

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I finished with
* Tabata goblet squats with my powerbag
* a 30 second plank with my knees on the floor
* Tabata Powerbag thrusters
And lastly
* 60 seconds of tube walking with my feet internally rotated.
Phew!

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It felt good to get my workout done then run upstairs pop my head over her crib and get the biggest morning smile in the world! I love it when she wakes up so happy, it makes my day!

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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?