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 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….

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

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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The Diary of a Breast Feeding Mum

Breast-feeding can be pretty demanding. It can be so rewarding too, and I’m so glad I’ve done it and stuck it out for over eight weeks now.

During the first few weeks my nipples were so sore, which is pretty common and I had mastitis, which thankfully I managed to cure with warm flannels, ibuprofen & self-massage. It was a really painful time but the best thing to do is carry on feeding through it. It helps block the inflamed milk ducts.

Anyway I came out fighting and still feeding. It definitely gets easier, so this is how my day usually goes.

Wake at 5pm.
Lacie now goes from 10pm – 5am, which gives me 7 hours sleep. I always feed her in bed with me, and doze off. It’s so much easier than having to get up and make up a bottle.
Night-time feeding is definitely easier thanks to my Anita breast-feeding PJs, which are comfy and really easy to feed with. No fiddley straps or buttons, they have a chest opening for feeding. Great for ease and cold nights too, when you just really don’t want to strip off.

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Back to sleep until 8am
This feed is always followed by smiles and a bit of playtime. Our favorite story book at the moment is Wilson the Whistling Tree Frog, which is part of her Babycademy set. We read the book whilst doing the actions with Wilson the Frog. It’s great fun for both of us.

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Up at 9am
This is when I do my exercise. I pop Lacie straight in her pram and off we go. I either walk for an hour or jog around the park with her pram, stopping en-route at the children’s playground for some toning work with my resistance band and dumbbells. I will post one of my workouts soon.

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Back by 10:30am
Breakfast. This is usually a Be Skinny Me shake or a Slender Blend shake with Maca powder, a banana and some cinnamon. I also have a bowl of home-made granola, made by soaking oats overnight in apple juice and then mixing with seeds, nuts and dried apricots. I then bake it until golden brown. I love Maca powder because it helps balance out your hormones and help reduce the stress hormones caused by sleepless nights and being a new mum. 

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11:30 Feed then playtime
My feeding app ‘Nursing Time’ really is my bible. It times between feeds, times how long she feeds for, from what side she’s fed and also records all her feeds for the day. Great to look back on. Especially when baby brain kicks in and you can’t remember which side you fed from last.

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11:30 is also playtime
Lacie either goes on her playmat, in her Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker, which comes with comes bright and colourful fabrics to stimulate her little brain and a vibration unit to calm and soothe your baby or simply on her blanket on the floor. She loves having a kick around.
Whilst this is keeping her entertained, I’ll have a snack of sliced chicken pieces, 1/2 avocado and cucumber. Protein is essential for maximising your milk flow, whilst the good fats in the avocado will help improve her  growth and development. I find that I’m really thirsty also when breast-feeding so the cucumber helps keep me hydrated.

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2pm: Lunch
This is usually homemade tomato and lentil soup, which is full of iron and vitamins, followed by some fruit.

2:30: Out and About 
I find this feed the hardest as I’m usually out and about with my NCT friends, mother in law or  mum or sisters, so I need clever clothes that allow me to feed discreetly. I’ve found the Breast Vest to be über helpful, which makes any top a breastfeeding top. It works by  sitting  just under your nursing bra, so when you feed it covers your tummy and doesn’t interfere with your bra straps.  Babes with Babies is another great clothing line, which make stylish clothes especially for nursing mums. I have the Cloud 9 Nursing T-Shirt, which has an elegant scooped neckline and soft draped pleats that flatter a postnatal tum.

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4pm: Juice Time
I’m always tired and hungry in the afternoon so I always have a juice to pick myself up. I love Plenish Juices. They come in handy little bottles, are cold-pressed and full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to help keep my milk quality high. I also love making my own juices. I tend to do a batch on a Sunday night and freeze. My favourite at the moment is one beetroot, one apple, 1/4 inch of cucumber and 1/2 lemon. I add this to 1/2 a litre of water and sip throughout the afternoon.

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5:30: Feed
Feed time again. If I’m out and about still, then I’ll take some expressed milk, which I’d expressed earlier using my Medela Swing Breast Pump. I love it. It’s so quick and easy – and not stressful. I always thought I’d hate expressing but it really isn’t that bad. I like to give Lacie a bottle every three days just so she’s not fussy and I know she will take a bottle, which is especially important for when the grandparents have her and mummy and daddy want to pop out for some dinner or a spot of shopping. My breast pump came with a Calma bottle, which enables Lacie to maintain the natural feeding behaviour that she’s learnt on the breast. I don’t want her getting confused when going from bottle to breast and back again.

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6:15 : Core Workout 
My hubby usually arrives home about now, so I hand her over for daddy time, whilst I head to our home gym and get some core work in. Just 20 mins is enough to help heal my recti diastasis, which is abdominal separation caused by pregnancy. It’s all about consistency, so I do my exercises little and often. I need a strong core again before I start running any sort of distance or start lifting heavy weights.

7pm: Dinner
Protein & vegetables for us. If I’m extra hungry I’ll have a sweet potato too.
Dinner is usually followed by a chopped apple and almond butter.

7:30: Bath time
Bath time. Lacie usually goes in first. Now her skin isn’t so sensitive I love adding some special Cussons Mum & MeSleep Tight Baby Bath‘. It’s infused with lavender to help her sleep and most importantly its hypoallergenic and paediatrician approved. I always finish her bath with a massage. I wrap my hands around her legs, then gently pull my hands down to her feet before tracing circles on the soles of her feet with my thumbs. I use the Sleep Tight Balm for this. She loves it – and it makes her really relaxed and sleepy.
I’ll have a bath after her whilst she sleeps on daddy. My fav products are also from the Mum & Me range. Especially Calm & Soothe Bath Soak and the New Mum Firming Butter, which contains Oat and Marine Algae Extracts, helps to leave skin feeling tighter, firmer and more toned.

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8:30: Feed
Milk time again. This tends to be a long, relaxed feed, to full her tummy for the night. She’ll then sleep again either on daddy or in her crib downstairs with us, which allows is to get a few chores down or spend some quality time together.

10:30: Last feed
I like to give her a little top up before bed. If I’m really tired, I’ll go to bed at 9ish, then set my alarm to give her a quick feed. She’s sleep 7 hours at the moment so I know if I give her a little top up now I won’t have to wake again until 5:30ish.

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?