Aptaclub Quiz – We answer all your pregnancy nutrition questions.

Thanks to everyone that entered the Nutribullet and Babybullet kit competition with Aptaclub. We selected one lucky winner last week and she has been notified – she is obviously estatic. The Nutribullet and Babybullet are both TOP products that can help you and your baby eat really healthily, even when time is tight!

For those who did enter the survey and answered all the questions on the questionnaire, you will probably agree, they were a little tough. They even got me thinking – which is great. You can’t know everything!

So here are the answers. I hope you find all the information really handy. It’s so hard to know what to eat and what not to eat when you are pregnant – and if you are anything like me, you will be questionning everything that passes your lips!

Q1: How many extra calories do you need during pregnancy?
Answer: D (It depends on your stage of pregnancy). While your diet needs to be nutrient rich enough to support two people, you don’t need to eat enough for two. Through most of your pregnancy your calorie intake should be the same as it was before you were pregnant, but once you reach the third trimester (from 27 weeks) you will need around an extra 200 calories a day.

Q2: Which supplement(s) are recommended during pregnancy? 
Answer: B (Folic Acid) & D (Vitamin D). Experts recommend you should take supplements of folic acid and vitamin D during pregnancy, as you are unlikely to get enough from diet alone. The best source of vitamin D is the sun, but in the UK deficiency is not uncommon. Multi vitamins designed for pregnancy will contain the right levels of these two nutrients, plus many more. You should not take supplements containing vitamin A while you are pregnant.

Q3:  Iron is an essential nutrient for you and your baby’s health, but if your iron level was adequate prior to conception, how much do you need every day?
Answer: B (14.8 mg – the same as before you were pregnant) – perhaps surprisingly, if your iron stores were adequate when you conceived then your recommended intake remains the same during pregnancy. However, it is a critical nutrient, supporting your baby’s brain and muscle development, as well as your own health and immune system, so make sure you get enough.

Q4:  The best source of vitamin D is the sun, but it is also present in a few foods. Select the food(s) containing vitamin D from the list below.
Answer: A (salmon) & D (Mushrooms) – Oily fish, particularly wild salmon is the best food source of vitamin D, but it is also found in smaller quantities in mushrooms, especially shiitake, and eggs. In the UK deficiency is not uncommon, so a supplement is recommended during pregnancy.

Q5:  Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is important to the healthy development of your baby during pregnancy and beyond. What role does it play? Select all that apply.
Answer: All of the above. The evidence supporting the importance of Omega 3 to early life nutrition is growing all the time. The only way to get omega 3 is through diet and oily fish is the best source.

Q6:  Calcium is an essential nutrient to build your developing baby’s bones and teeth, as well supporting your own bone health. But which of these good sources of calcium are safe to eat in pregnancy? Select all that apply.
Answer: A (cheddar), B(Stilton) & C(Mozzarella) – all of these cheeses are safe to eat in pregnancy. You need to be cautious with soft and/or mould ripened cheese such as Camembert, because they may contain listeria. They can still be eaten, but only if they cooked thoroughly.

Q7:  Vitamin A is stored by our bodies in our fat cells and liver. How much vitamin A do you need per day when pregnant?
Answer: C (1000 mcg – you need more than usual to support your growing baby) – you may be surprised to discover that your requirements for vitamin A actually go up during pregnancy, although you do have to be very careful not to have too much! Vitamin A is essential to your baby’s eye development, but a well balanced diet should provide all that you need. Avoid liver and supplements containing vitamin A, such cod liver oil, because the levels could be too high.

Q8: The long terms benefits of Omega 3 to future health are still being studied. What are the potential benefits to your baby? Select all that apply.
Answer: All of the above. The evidence to support the importance of Omega 3 on long-term health is growing all the time. The only way to get omega 3 is through diet and oily fish is the best source.

Q9:  Nutrient-dense fish and seafood are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.  But which of these are safe to eat in pregnancy? Select all that apply.
Answer: All of the above – prawns and mussels are safe to eat in pregnancy as long as they are thoroughly cooked.  Fresh tuna should also be well cooked and limited to two portions a week, because of mercury levels.

Q10:  Iodine is essential to thyroid health and also supports your baby’s brain development. Pregnant women need 250ug a day. But which foods are good sources? Select all that apply.
Answer: A (Prawns) & B (Milk) – milk and dairy are good sources of iodine, as are prawns and white fish.  Vegans may want to consider talking to a health care professional about iodine supplements.

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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.

My favourite Sugar Free Snack – 40 weeks pregnant and overdue!

I’m now 40 weeks pregnant and 2 days. I feel huge and using my days to get as organised as I can for the big day. I just wish I knew when it was.

To keep me occupied I’ve been trying loads of yummy recipes and cooking lots of sugar free treats. I don’t know about you but I really struggle mid-afternoon when I’m starting to feel tired and a bit bored.

To stop me walking down to Tesco and stocking up on rubbish, I’ve been making this tasty smoothie instead. It’s filing, sugar free and is full of goodness.

You will need;
1 scoop Vanilla Sunwarrior ‪‎Warrior Blend‬
– 200ml coconut water
– 100ml coconut milk from a can
– 200ml water
– 1tsp organic manuka honey
– 1/2 frozen banana
– 2  ice cubes
– sprinkle of cinnamon

To make I just simply pop everything into a blender, whizz for a few minutes and then serve in a chilled glass with a pretty straw.

I really do love it. It’s really creamy, filling and stops my sweet tooth while giving me a pick me up. I may even pop one in my hospital bag for some instant energy. It’s a nice idea – so I’ll make a note of it and if there is time before I’m whisked to the hospital I will do this. Something to look forward to, while providing me with some energy.

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To Breast Feed, or Not? That is the question….

For most women it would be a no brainer – but I’m going to be entirely honest with you I’m slightly nervous about it!

Yes,

  • Breastmilk contains all your baby needs: proteins, fats, lactose, vitamins, iron, minerals, water and enzymes in the exact amounts required for the optimal growth and development.
  • Breastfed babies are healthier. Breastmilk contains substances which prevent harmful bacteria from growing in intestines and causing gastrointestinal and diarrhoeal infections.
  • Breastfed babies have fewer middle ear infections, fewer respiratory infections and a decreased risk of developing allergies, cancer, childhood diabetes and obesity.
  • Breastfed babies have a decreased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Breastfeeding a premature baby decreases his risk to develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
  • Breastmilk is clean, free from bacteria and has anti-infective properties.
  • Breastmilk has the right temperature and needs no preparation. It is readily available whenever your baby needs it.
  • Breastfed babies are less prone to develop diabetes, heart diseases, eczema, asthma and other allergic disorders later in life.
  • Breastfeeding enhances brain development. Research shows there is better visual development and visual acuity in breastfed children.

But what about me? I will find it awkward if my baby needs feeding when out and about with friends and family and what if it hurts? According to breast-feeding experts, Medela breast-feeding is not meant to hurt, although some nipple tenderness in the early days of breast-feeding is rather common.

After spending hours reading up on the Medela website (there’s so much information on there, which is great!), I’m adamant I’m going to give it a go. So to set myself up, I have got some breast-feeding essentials. In my mind, breast-feeding needs to be as comfortable as possible for me as well as my baby, as it’s too easy to give up when formula is so available and easy to get hold of.

Here is what I have got so far!
Medela Swing Breast Pump
According to experts at Medela, 82% of mothers use a breast pump, whether it is because of going back to work or to help overcome a temporary separation or problem. I’ve decided to get one to help with those awkward moments when I know I’m going to be out for a few hours and won’t feel comfortable to feed in public. It also means my husband can get involved with the feeding too, as I think this is important for father and daughter bonding time.
This award-winning pump is meant to be very quiet and boosts 2-Phase Expression Technology the breast pump simulates the natural infant sucking behaviour at the mother’s breast.
£129; from Mothercare

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Bravado Essential Nursing Tank
This tank not only has a built-in bra but is also long in length and unclips at the shoulder to give your baby full access to your breast, without you having to expose your tummy or too much flesh. As it will be winter when I have my baby, I will wear this under a jumper or poncho which will allow me to feed her discretely and comfortably. The fabric is also really soft and stretchy and comes in a range of colours to match any outfit.
£36; Bravadodesigns.co.uk
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Aleva Naturals™ Nursing balm
According to Medela, 73% of mothers get outside help for breastfeeding problems, which includes sore nipples, which is why a good organic nursing balm is essential to help moisturise nipples  and soothe painfully cracked nipples.
What I like about Aleva Naturals is that their cream is specially formulated with Plant based Edible Oils, which is safe for both Mom and Baby – the balm absorbs in within a few minutes after application.  Aleva Naturals recommended that you apply the cream after breastfeeding and because there is usually a couple of hours between feeds there shouldn’t be anything left over to be wiped off. It’s also not necessary to wipe off any trace amounts as they are edible oils!
£9.99; www.vitalbaby.co.uk 

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This is my essentials to start with. I am on the hunt though to find more, so when I do, I will of course share these with you, as I think every women should be confident to try breast feeding as the benefits are huge. I think like everything new, it will feel weird to start with BUT practice makes perfect and I’m not one to give up, especially as I know the benefits for my baby and MYSELF are so good.

Good luck ladies – please feel free to share your stories !

Pregnancy Countdown – 32 days to go. What does a pregnant lady wear at Christmas?

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When Christmas arrives – I will be 37 and a half weeks pregnant. Christmas is a time for socialising, dressing up and eating lots BUT I doubt I will be doing any of that.
I’ve warned my husband that I may be a kill joy. I do love my bump but sometimes a night in watching a film on my gym ball sounds far more appealing than being in a crowded pub with people bouncing off your bump!

So here is a breakdown of my pregnant Christmas….

Socialising – Yes. I will also be driver and probably falling asleep by 10pm. I’ll try 🙂

Dressing up – I didn’t think I would be – and joked to my husband that i will either be wearing my sports gear all Christmas or a black bin liner – until I discovered Tiffany Rose – a gorgeous maternity collection, that I came across when looking at pictures of pregnant Michelle Heaton online. Michelle is also pregnant but always looks so glowing  and graceful, and the dress she was wearing was absolutely gorgeous. It fitted in all the right places and showed her bump off beautifully!
I then found the website Tiffany Rose and spent hours looking through their collection and deciding what to order for the big day.
The range, inspired by icons of the 50s and 60s, includes timeless classics, with a touch of vintage or a modern twist. Some of the pieces are very dressy and if you had a wedding to go to or something would be ABSOLUTELY perfect. The truth is I only have four weeks of pregnancy left, with no big events like weddings coming up etc so I went for this gorgeous Grecian Top, that would look nice with skinny jeans or smart trousers and can be dressed up or down. It’s really floaty and elegant and something I would wear pregnant or not! I’m looking forward to wearing on Christmas day with a nice chunky cardigan, skinny jeans and some wedge boots.

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A few other favourite pieces were the DAISY GOWN, which is uber elegant and sophisticated…

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and the EDEN GOWN SHORT, which has a floaty skirt to hide any lower body sins and detachable Midnight Blue satin sash that will fit neatly around your bump should you wish it too – a bit like a bow around an extra special Xmas present.

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At last – I feel so much more positive about my maternity wear wardrobe. I have really struggled with what to wear during my pregnancy and will be recommending Tiffany Rose to all my friends !

So that leads me on to my last Xmas bullet point of;

Eating lots. Will I be eating lots? No probably not.
When you are pregnant your baby takes up LOADS of room inside your body – room that used to belong to your lungs and stomach and digestive system.
Check out this picture below. The left-hand image shows a woman’s body before she gets pregnant, and the right-hand image shows her body carrying a full-term fetus. See how squashed her stomach is? If you eat too much when pregnant you end up feeling totally bloated and can’t move so the best thing to do is eat little and often. I’ll be saving some of my Christmas dinner (and pudding!) for a few hours later that is for sure – doggy bag springs to mind!

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Pregnancy countdown – 39 days to go and I’ve done myself…

A new eating plan….

Now I’m nearing my last month of pregnancy I’m conscious that I need to feed my growing baby loads of healthy nutrients – despite the fact that I constantly feel bloated and to be honest a bit sick. It’s hard to over-eat but I don’t want to under eat either (not much chance of that!)

So I’ve written myself a plan of action of what I will be eating over the next few weeks. I’ve decided that little and often works best for us….here is the plan.

7am Green juice BEFORE gym

9:30am Spinach Omelette with grated hard goats cheese

12:30 Homemade soup or salad with lean protein and 1/2 avocado

3:30pm Sunwarrior protein shake with coconut milk and banana and cinnamon

7pm  Protein like salmon, chicken, turkey etc with salad or roasted veggies

7:30pm Chopped apple with cinnamon and almond butter.

8pm – Herbal tea.

I really love the Sunwarrior protein as it tastes like chocolate and sorts out my cravings, which always tend to pop up in the afternoon. It’s really tasty with the banana too and the coconut milk makes it really creamy.

Some other great snacks to keep me satisfied until dinner are;
* LoveRaw Superfood Energy Bar. They come in various flavours – my fav being Rosehip and Lemon. It’s really tangy and has no added sugar, grains or dairy.
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* UpRaw Bars – they are high protein and are made with wide array of wholesome ingredients such as walnuts, whey protein powder, desiccated coconut, honey and cocoa powder. Again these are wheat, dairy and sugar-free and really chocolatey.
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* CO YO – a coconut milk yogurt that is vegan, sugar-free, dairy free and soy-free. It’s super creamy and tastes wonderful with raspberries and banana with a few sliced nuts on top.
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Grenade® Reload Protein Flapjacks – again a protein rich snack that is satisfies my sweet tooth with any nasty refined sugars. I find this really dense and filling – so sometimes I can only have half – depending on how hungry I actually am.
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You may have noticed that all of these snacks are high in protein. This is because foods rich in protein take longer to digest and do not cause a high spike in your blood glucose levels like carbs can.
The amino acids that make up protein are also the building blocks of your body’s cells – and of your baby’s body as well.
It’s vital that we get enough protein throughout pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters, when your baby is growing the fastest and your breasts and organs are getting bigger to accommodate the needs of your growing baby.

 

 

 

Pregnancy countdown – 41 days and I indulge in….

.a Neom Feel Amazing Treat box – For New & Soon To Be Mums

Wow – I’m now over 34 weeks pregnant and feeling the effects – especially at night time. The day is fine. I’m still active, writing features from my desk, sitting on my Wellness Ball and still training one or two clients (I had my last one today – boo!) but the night is painful. My hips go numb from where I lie on my side – all I want is to lay on my belly. No chance!

They say that at night its best to sleep on your left hand side as this position helps blood and nutrients to flow to your baby and uterus (womb) and helps your kidneys get rid of waste and fluid. You should also avoid laying on your back because the weight of your uterus lies on the spine, back muscles, intestines, and major blood vessels, which can lead to muscle aches and pains, and impaired circulation, which is uncomfortable for you and can reduce circulation to your baby.
Don’t worry I often find myself on my back at night. I just move straight back to my left. You’re body will soon let you know when it’s time to move, just try and get out of the habit of it!

So to help me sleep, this Neom box of goodies, has been a saviour!

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The Cocooning Bath Oil ( 50ml ) is soothing and relaxing. Great for unwinding before bed and helping you to get nice and sleepy so you doze of quicker and easier.

The Cocooning Travel Candle is perfect for having on as you dry yourself off and rub yourself down in the Cocooning Body Oil which will help keep your skin soft and supple, whilst avoiding stretch marks. It’s smells divine too – light and fruity with a hint of Ylang Ylang, Chamomile and Jasmine. Delicious!

It’s so important to really look after yourself at this time of pregnancy as you do tend to forget about yourself and sometimes feel a bit fed up of all the effort of everyday life. Enjoy these last few weeks – I am. Because before I know it I know I will have my little bubba in my arms and missing these long relaxing baths and pampering sessions!

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Three ways to stay stretch mark free during pregnancy

Research suggests that stretch marks, those small, depressed streaks in the skin that appear mainly around the stomach in the later stages of pregnancy have a lot to do with genetics: If your mother or sister got stretch marks during pregnancy, you’re more likely to get them, too. Other studies show that younger moms, particularly teens, are more prone to getting stretch marks.

The key to keeping them at bay is to make sure you don’t pile on the weight too quickly. The recommended amount of weight during pregnancy in most cases, is 25 to 35 pounds. Gaining it slowly may help reduce your chances of getting stretch marks, as will drinking lots of water, which helps keep your skin cells plump and supple.

Foods rich in Vitamin E (seeds and spinach), zinc (beef and lamb) and silica (celery), will also help to form collagen, while Vitamin C (oranges, peppers) in particular is an important antioxidant that helps protect tissue from damage, while helping it to form collagen.

There are also lots of fantastic creams on the market that are designed to be used day and night to keep the skin hydrated and smooth and help build tensile strength.

Here are three of my favourite that I have used everyday of my pregnancy. At 34 weeks, I can safely say that I’ve not got an inkling of a stretch mark – I must be doing something right…

1) Zita West Beautiful Belly Balm
This restorative moisturiser from fertility and pregnancy guru Zita West contains all natural plant extracts, designed to help keep the skin of your stomach in good condition throughout pregnancy.
It’s really rich, smells gorgeous – and is not greasy making it perfect to put on in the morning before you get dressed.
£18.95; www.zitawest.com

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 2) Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Butter
This is great for all over protection from stretch marks as a little goes a long way. It’s made with super-elasticising Omega 3, 6 and 9’s oils to help build your skin’s strength and has a rehydrating shea butter base, making it super thick, and really smooth to apply.
£23; www.mamamio.com

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3) Fushi Really Good Stretch Mark oil
Rubbing anything unnatural on my tummy is a no-no for me, which is why I love this stretch mark oil. It contains Holy Basil, known for its superb skin healing powers and renowned benefits for stretch marks, African Baobab oil, which holds the properties of omega 3, vitamin E and D, and is ideal for scars, blemishes and stretch marks. The oil is a little greasy but keeps my  skin hydrated for hours, which is why I like to put it on last thing at night.
£14.45; www.fushi.co.uk 

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32 weeks pregnant and counting…

I thought I would give you a quick update as to how I’m feeling.

I’m now 32 weeks and yes still working out five to six days a week but starting to wake up more tired and also feel the effects of working out with a little person inside of me. It’s not a case of sitting down on the mat for tricep dips and then just getting back up again. Everything is taking that little bit longer. I feel like a granny 🙂

Saying that – my energy during the day is still good and I’m setting my alarm on my phone to remind me to eat every three hours. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a slap up meal every time my alarm sounds but I will head to the kitchen and have a big glass of water and a healthy snack like some avocado on rye bread or hummus or veggie sticks.

Sleep – it’s ok. I have one of these amazing pregnancy pillows from Mothercare – which I recommend to EVERYONE! (I even got my husband one because it kept stealing mine!) Sleep is so important for recovery an growth and there is tons of research out there also that says it can help stablise your blood sugar levels and stop you reaching for sugary snacks. There is alot to be said for 8 hours a night – if you can get it!

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My pregnancy pillow from Mothercare is definitely my new best friend! http://www.mothercare.com

The Perfect Pregnancy Diet

Pregnancy is NOT the time to diet. It’s not the time to eat for three either. Eating for two is fine but your diet needs to be rich in whole foods rich in nutrients to create a healthy balanced plan to nourish you and your baby.

But what should you eat and how much? It’s easy to get it wrong, which is why I signed up for the Doll Curves Perfect Pregnancy Plan, especially as I hit my last trimester – the all important one, when my baby is growing bigger and getting ready to face the big wide world.

Founded by Celebrity Personal Trainers and Fitness Models, Sarah McLean and Lydia Rees, my Doll Curves plan gives me weekly nutrition advice to keep me healthy and well during my last trimester. It also reminds me that I only need to eat an extra 200 calories a day – the equivalent to a large banana!

Here is a round-up of what I’ve been eating over the last week and why it’s so good for me…

Breakfast

Banana Breakfast Smoothie
Blend ¼ gluten free oats, ½ cup of CO YO coconut yogurt, 1 banana, ½ cup Kara coconut milk, 2 teaspoons of honey, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
The benefits; Bananas are great at reducing fluid retention and swollen ankles – a common side effect in pregnancy. ‘They are also rich in potassium and the perfect energy booster,’ says Sarah.

Snack
120g Unsweetened Greek yogurt with blueberries
The benefits; Yogurt is full of ‘good bacteria’, which helps balance the good/bad bacteria within the body. ‘Yogurt is also rich in protein and calcium, which is good for you and baby’s growing bones,’ says Sarah.

Lunch
Annabel Karmel’s Chicken Pitta Pockets 
Chicken, ½ avocado and watercress pitta pockets with chopped tomatoes and a side salad.
The benefits; Avocados are loaded with folic acid, vital for forming your baby’s brain and nervous system, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, which can help your baby’s tissue and brain grow. Watercress can also help aid digestion, while the protein in chicken will help every cell in your baby’s body to grow and develop.

Snack
Hummus on organic unsalted rice cakes with chopped vegetables and 20g unsalted almonds, brazil nuts or walnuts.
The benefits; Raw vegetables will keep your immune system strong and the unsalted rice cakes with hummus are a great source of slow release carbohydrates and protein.

Dinner
50g wild rice with ½ cup streamed green vegetable and Annabel Karmel Salmon with tomato salsa
The benefits; ‘Wild rice is rich in fibre and has an excellent effect on the gut wall,’ says Sarah. News has it that women who eat oily fish, like salmon during pregnancy are also more likely to have brainy and sociable children. Just make sure you don’t have it more than twice a week.

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