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.

 

 

 

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33 Weeks Pregnant; My Third Trimester Pregnancy Essentials

Today marks the day that I’m 33 weeks and four days pregnant. Yes I feel HUGE, and yes I’m still working out. Granted there are days where I would rather say in bed (usually after a rubbish nights sleep with sore hips!) but nine days out of 10, I’m up, dressed and out the door by 8am for an hour’s workout.

My workouts have definitely relaxed a little. I’m mainly doing low impact cardio on the cross-trainer or bike and bodyweight exercises, after all with all the extra weight I’m carrying, I’m still placing a huge demand on my muscles so they’re ultimately getting stronger without the need for dumbbells.

I’ve also had to cut out things like lunges and one legged exercises as my pelvis was getting sore, and I was worried I’d get Pubis Dysfunction or Pelvic Girdle Pain, which is pain in the front or the back of the pelvis, buttocks, groin and/or radiating into the thighs, and caused by the extra pressure on the pelvis, due to additional weight of growing baby and of course the dramatic changes in posture. I can still do lots of squats though so I’m ok with that 🙂

Now with all these workouts, there are a few fitness essentials that I just COULDN’T live with out at the moment, so here they are. I hope they help you too!

Mama Mio’s 9 Month Stretch Kit by Tracy Anderson
Now I’m not usually a fan of Tracy BUT she has had two children and looks fantastic. There aren’t many fitness experts that have documented their pregnancy for others to see and follow, so for that reason I actually like this DVD – she’s obviously been there and done it. There is a DVD and workout for each Trimester plus the Boob Tube 
Bust firming cream and Tummy Rub Butter 
are two of my fav products! The bust firming cream made such a difference in a matter of days – they definitely felt smoother and firmer! A great package to see you through your pregnancy.
£102.50; http://www.mamamio.com/uk/the-9-month-stretch-kit.html

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REEBOK ZR10 Cross Trainer
As my body is changing by the day, there are days where I’ve just felt far too body conscious to go to the gym and wanted to hide away (I know!)
Although I usually love the gym environment, my REEBOK ZR10 Cross Trainer has come to the rescue for those days where I’ve just wanted to stay at home but still work up a sweat. It has 32 levels of electronic resistance, which means you can modify the intensity of your workout to suit your needs, plus their are 12 pre-set programmes, a distance and heart rate monitor.
I know this is an expensive piece of kit but there was a method to my madness. I thought it would be ideal for when the baby is here and for when I am able to exercise again after my 6-week checkup. When she is sleeping, then I have no excuse not to get a mini workout in. I can jump on it without leaving the house plus pop the TV on whilst doing it and catch up with Sky+ to distract me.
£599; REEBOK ZR10 Cross Trainer

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Shock Absorber Sports Bra
Need I say more? Your breast shape changes dramatically when pregnancy so it’s vital you support them to avoid back pain and sagging! What’s more, recent research from Shock Absorber has found that over a third of exercisers (35%) are still not wearing a sports bra despite two thirds (65%) admitting they frequently experience breast bounce when exercising. Pregnant or not. if you are exercising then you should be wearing a sports bra!
£31; shockabsorber.co.uk

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FittaMamma High Support Top
I
t’s tempting to live in black when you’re pregnant which is why I love my Hot Pink FittaMamma high support sports top. 
It boosts an unique back panel spreads the weight of your baby onto your back and shoulders (like a quality sports bra!) whilst strong elastane content hugs your bump to help you feel lighter and more comfortable. It also has a built in sports bra and a firm waistband that feels super-secure around your hips. When I wear mine, I feel well and truly held in!
£49.99; www.fittamamma.com

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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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Five inches and counting…..

For as long as I can’t remember, I haven’t weighed myself, but instead used a tape measure to keep track of my body shape. 

Instead of writing it down I’ve instead put a red line on the tape measure so every time I  measure myself I know where I stand. 

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So today I took the plunge and grabbed my tape measure to see how much weight I had really put on since falling pregnant. 

To my surprise, the measurements around my upper arms were exactly the same. Great. My calves again were exactly the same. Once again – great! My thighs were 1/4 an inch bigger – ok not the end of the world and could be water retention, but my hips were two inches wider – which shocked me slightly. I then did a bit of research and found that most women’s hips will widen during pregnancy mainly because the hormone relaxin causes the ligaments in your pelvis to widen and become flexible so that birth will be easier, which put my mind at ease. 

I then measured my tummy and ha! It was 5 inches bigger since the beginning of my pregnancy, five months ago – an inch for every month. It’s nice to know that my bubba is growing well! 

Now to support my growing bump I came across this GORGEOUS Gowri Wrap.

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It’s absolutely beautiful and is designed to give the baby some gentle support, while supporting your lower back, which is vital for me, since I am really bendy thanks to my gymnast background and even more so now that I have an extra dose of relaxin in my body. 

Dr Gowri Motha, a fantastic a doctor, healer and pre and postnatal expert also believes that the wrap can stop the colon getting bloated and discourage the build up of gas and build up in the colon, since the growing uterus is fighting your colon and intestines for space, creating gas and wind. 

The wrap can also be used post-baby too, helping to bring your ribs back to their original position and lift your abdominal organs. 

I can’t wait to start wearing this. It truly is beautiful and will support my growing bump over the next three months, whilst helping me to ease my abs back into its pre-pregnancy shape once the baby is here. Well worth the £75 and my husband likes it too! 

Get yours at http://www.bopeeps.com/collections/the-gowri-wrap.php for just £75. 

You can also learn more about it by watching this video featuring the one and only Dr Gowri. it’s a very interesting watch.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5b4JlYDkaE

 

 

 

Exercising during your First Trimester – 0-12 weeks

Finding out I was pregnant was one of the happiest days of my life. But deep down I wasn’t looking forward to expanding. My body is my work and I sort of felt like I’d be losing my identity. I’m a real gym bunny!

I wasn’t going to be silly though and restrict my calories or go mad in the gym. A healthy bump equals a healthy baby after all.

I popped into see Gideon at KX gym, who gave me a safe exercise programme to follow (I will share this in a later post). It was here that I also decided I wanted to do my pre-natal exercise course too. If I was going to carry on working out then I wanted to know that I was doing it safely & effectively.

During the first trimester lots of changes are happening.

Firstly, your blood vessels increase dramatically but there isn’t enough blood to fill them, which causes something called Vascular Underfill. This is why people tend to feel sick, dizzy and tired. Their blood pressure will also drop.

I also noticed that my heart rate was high. I always wear my Polar FT60 when working out and straight away noticed that my HR was 10-15 Beats per minute higher than normal. This is basically to accommodate the bigger blood vessels, which don’t have enough blood in them so your heart has to work extra hard to pump this blood through these expanded vessels.

Don’t worry there are some benefits! The excess progesterone pumping through the body is said to improve lung function! You may feel you are over-breathing though. I noticed this in the simplest of tasks like walking up the stairs. I felt so unfit! Don’t worry, you aren’t, it’s just your body adjusting.

Lastly increased insulin resistance (when your body’s cells cannot take in glucose so it ends up circulating round the blood stream and causes fat storage) can result in excess fat storage but as pregnant women we know and expect this. During the whole pregnancy you’re going to put on around 24 – 33 pounds, so there’s no hiding from weight gain!

So there you have it. These are all the things you need to look out for and be aware of when exercising during the First Trimester.

One other thing that is absolutely vital is that you make sure you don’t overheat when exercising. It can damage the baby and cause abnormalities.

I was so lucky that  I only had the odd day of extreme tiredness and sickness so didn’t miss too many sessions. Most importantIy I DID listen to my body and sleep in when I needed to or just stay at home and have a big nutritious breakfast. That is the secret when pregnant. You need to listen to what your body and baby is telling you and go with it.

Pregnancy most certainly isn’t the time to reach peak fitness or break records, it’s literally for maintaining what you already have and making your pregnancy and birth that little but easier.

Please contact me if you have any questions or need some advice – I’ve been through this trimester and come through the other side so will happily help others who need some support or advice.

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* Thank you to Premier Training International for allowing me to learn all about Pre & Post-natal exercise through their Award in Designing Pre & Post natal exercise programs course