The truth about eating for 2…


Since I got my appetite back and could stomach more than tart orange juice and salt and vinegar crackers after my first trimester, I got back into intentional cooking and eating.

So many women make the false assumption that it is OK to “eat for 2” when they are pregnant and run the risk of becoming obese and contracting gestational diabetes and/or hypertension. All 3 of which can lead to premature births.

Research shows that during pregnancy women only need roughly 300 CALORIES EXTRA PER DAY! The following foods contain approximately 300 calories… gives a little perspective into how much we are consuming daily…. 😉

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If you happen to be pregnant during the hot summer months and are running out of ideas for lunch or dinner, why not try this PREGNANCY SUPER SALAD which is packed full of fibre and vitamins, is rich in anti-oxidants and has great anti-inflammatory agents to combat the pregnancy puff (swelling of hands and feet).

  • Roasted aubergine (diced with a little olive oil and seasoning, roast in oven for 30 mins)
  • Diced cherry tomatoes
  • Diced Red/yellow/green peppers (whatever you fancy)
  • 3 or 4 handfuls of fresh, sweet baby spinach
  • A crumble of feta
  • Dress with 1 T extra virgin olive oil, 2 T freshly squeezed lemon, salt & pepper.

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ENJOY!

Clued up on Calcium

When we think about calcium, images of bones, teeth and dairy products usually pop into our minds. But how much do you know about Calcium, and I wonder how many expectant and new mothers are actually getting their recommended daily dose of the mineral.

Calcium is an essential mineral for our bodies as it plays a significant role in bone and teeth development and strength; muscular contractions, and neural and immune system function. When we are pregnant, not only must we continue to feed our own calcium stores, but also that of the rapidly growing human within our womb. Women who do not supplement themselves effectively during pregnancy may experience post-partum calcium deficiency symptoms such as:

  • muscle cramping
  • dry skin
  • brittle nails
  • Menstrual problems
  • bone fractures, and ultimately more serious complications like:
  • osteoporosis.

Dairy products are a great source of calcium, but here are a few lesser known excellent sources of calcium we can consume without excessive store-bought supplementation:

  • Flax and roasted sesame seeds
  • Almonds
  • Dried figs and apricots
  • Tofu
  • Soya products
  • Quinoa
  • Green leafy vegetable (Kale, spinach, broccoli)

It is important to remember that VITAMIN D aids our bodies in absorbing calcium. Effective and healthy foods containing high levels of vitamin D are fish, eggs and mushrooms.

Why not try this quick  and easy trail mix recipe for a nutritious, filling and calcium-boosting snack:

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Combine a handful of almonds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and diced dried apricots. Perhaps pop a little jar in your handbag or desk drawer to curb pregnancy cravings… Enjoy xxx

THE. MOST. IMPORTANT. PREGNANCY. EXERCISE. EVER!

Prior to pregnancy, most women have most probably never heard of KEGEL exercises or can’t actually locate the muscles of their pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is basically the hammock across which your ever growing womb reclines during the 40 weeks of pregnancy. The bottom line (no pun intended ;)) is that these muscles take huge amounts of strain during your pregnancy and therefore should been recognized, located and exercised from the minute the 2 blue lines appear on your home pregnancy test!

Unfortunately, so many women are misinformed and believe that their pelvic floors are just peachy if they are having/have had Cesarean sections. The truth is that your pelvic floor is most greatly affected by the 9 months of pressure on the muscles, and not only through natural labour. To avoid complications such as pelvic prolapses, incontinence and stretching, KEGEL exercises should be practiced daily.

KEGELS….? ….sorry what?!?!

Simple clenching exercises to improve the strength of your vaginal wall muscles.

HOW?

The easiest way to find these muscles is to try stop the flow of urine when you next go to the toilet. Those muscles that halt the flow are the pelvic floor muscles. Once you recognize and are able to control your “clenches”, you are able to practice these exercises discreetly and without hitting the gym any time you want. Vary your exercises from pulse-like clenches to holding the clench for 10 seconds, increase your repetitions and holding time as you feel stronger.

Perhaps post a little note on your bathroom mirror to remind you to do your exercises while you apply make-up, or practice your Kegels while you commute to and from work. Or just do them any time you remember… every clench helps!

Delightful Lemon water…

Delightful Lemon water...

A squeeze and/or a slice of fresh lemon in either hot or cold water helped me through the first 3 months of my pregnancy. I unluckily suffered quite badly from nausea and vomiting this pregnancy and found that anything remotely citrusy would stay down.

As dehydration becomes a problem due to lack of fluid intake in these first weeks, starting off your day with a glass of warm/hot water with some freshly squeezed lemon will:

* Hydrate you
* Balance your pH levels
* Aid digestion (get your stomach working)
* Freshen your breath
* Help kick your morning coffee habit

It is essential when pregnant through the summer months to keep very well hydrated. An ice cold glass of lemon water will refresh and hydrate you. Try adding some fresh mint or ginger for some zing…

Breakfast on the run…

We all know that breakfast is a very important meal, but it is often the time of day when we are most rushed, so is often overlooked, only to be replaced by a convenience food packed with sugar and preservatives.

Being a mum to a 4 yr old and 2 yr old, my breakfasts are nearly always rushed, so to ensure that I am getting the nutrients that I need, I have turned to Herbalife. 1 healthy meal shake fills me and sustains me for a good 2 to 3 hrs. Quick and easy to make:

  • 2 scoops healthy meal shake powder
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 125ml rice milk (can use Cow’s milk, soya milk, yoghurt, etc)
  • 125ml cold water

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