Baby Steps

Exercise is a very important part of everyone’s lives, if you don’t exercise it leads to an increase in fatigue and a greater chance of obesity and all the demons that come with obesity, like heart disease. But I’m not a doctor so I’m not here to lecture you. One thing I learnt recently is that exercise isn’t just something for adults and teens, it’s actually important for children and babies too! Since there has been a rise in the how much time children spend watching TV, there has been less time spent playing around like the good old days. Studies have shown that if a child grows up with exercise as part of their daily regime, they are less likely to become obese as they grow up. Now I’m not saying you should get your child to drop and give you 20 push ups, what I mean by exercises are just fun and playful physical activities.

If you’ve got a newborn you can’t do anything rigorous with them, but them simply being around you doing exercise, or taking them for a walk in their stroller will demonstrate healthy habits and get them used to the nature of physical activity and encourage them to be more active.

Flying-BabyAs your baby grows they will start to develop their own exercises, like grabbing for objects, lifting their heads while laying down, and kicking their little legs. In addition to this you can help your babies development further by playing with them in lots of different ways, a couple for example would be raising your baby in the air to “fly” while you support their abdomen, this is a fun game that we’ve all played but it also helps to strengthen your baby and is a great help to their development. Another exercise would be helping your baby to a sitting position, simply holding your babies hands and helping them get up. Other exercises you can do is just dancing with them, or moving their legs in a cycling motion while they’re laid on their back, letting your baby kick a beach ball or something similar. All of this is natural and what a playful little baby loves to do any way, so you’re not forcing exercise on them rather encouraging them to do what they like to do, there are even some gyms opening specifically designed for babies. It’s also a great way to strengthen the parental bond.

All it takes is about 1 to 3 hours of exercise a day and your baby will be on its way to a naturally healthy lifestyle as they grow and develop. It’s also important for you and your baby to get good a good rest because this helps your body and your babies body replenish and recharge. The right bed is really important for a good nights rest, silent night beds are available and they’re great after a day of play.


Get rid of heartburn in your pregnancy

Heartburn can be very uncomfortable and painful and affects 2 in 3 pregnant women and is most common in the last trimester as the uterus gets bigger, although you can start to get it at twenty weeks.  

It occurs as the increased hormone levels produced by your body in pregnancy cause the valve muscle between the esophagus and the stomach to relax. This means the valve doesn’t close properly and digestive acids can leak back up into the esophagus, throat and mouth. As they hit the sensitive lining within the esophagus it causes the burning sensation in the chest.

Foods to avoid, which can aggravate heartburn

  • Caffeine, chocolate, orange juice and oranges
    and other citrus fruit and juices
  •  Fatty and fried foods as they take much longer
    to digest
  •  Spicy foods such as chilli powder and peppers
    and stronger foods such as garlic and onions

Five ways to help reduce incidences of heartburn

  1.  Nutrition is key – eat five to six smaller meals every 3- 4 hours,
    rather than 3 larger meals and chew food properly in the mouth first, taking
    time to swallow
  2. Try chewing gum after a meal which can stimulate the salivary glands and neutralise acid
  3. Eat your evening meal 2-3 hours before going to bed – this means the digestive system has time to break down your food
  4. Place pillows under your upper body to prop you up and help your
    stomach acids flow down. Remain upright one to two hours after eating a
  5. Drink plenty of fluids and soup between meals rather than with a meal

Top Tip:  a handful of almonds or almond butter can help calm the feeling

TheBeezKneez have a selection of mums to be pregnancy nutritional programmes including one to one consultations for a personalised meal programme, making choosing the right foods for you very easy.  To contact our nutritionist:

Image courtesy of 

Top pregnancy and post baby exercises with a fitness ball

The Fitness ball (or otherwise known as a Swiss Ball or Birthing Ball) is ideal for Pre and Post Natal exercise, every mum to be and new mum should have one!

Basically the ball is ‘wobbly’, an unstable surface, so your body has to draw on more of the deeper and outer muscles to remain stable.
Simply sitting on the ball will have you working harder to perform upper body strengthening.

By working on the exercise ball you will automatically and often subconsciously correct and improve your exercise technique. Your posture will be corrected as it forces you to sit well and be posture aware – the ball will wobble so reminding you to correct your posture.

    * Pre Natal Exercise On Fitness Ball
    * Pregnancy Exercises With Fitness Ball

Top Ten Healthy Snacks for your pregnancy

Keep Snacks fresh and low in sugar otherwise you’ll get a quick ‘lift’ followed by a dive into a letheragic wave. That goes for drinks too! Caffeine, milk chocolate, muffins, cakes, any ‘white’ carbs without the fibre and anything else with a high sugar content may give you the pick me up you think you need but only in the short term and it’s a very short term! What will happen is that an hour or so later you will feel sleepy and struggle to concentrate. Choose snacks that will give you a natural energy rather than a ‘buzz’ that lasts to see you through to the next meal. My Top Ten snacks are…

  1. Pear with 1 tbsp of natural yoghurt
  2. Apple, 1 cup or 1 whole
  3. Handful of unsalted almonds/brazil nuts (five or half cup) and freshly squeezed juice.
  4. Rice cakes (2 medium size) with one tablespoon of hummus
  5. Pot of Natural Yoghurt, 1 cup
  6. Homemade Museli Bar
  7. Half Melon and handful of nuts, ½ cup
  8. Handful of berries – blueberries, strawberries, 1 cup
  9. Carrot Sticks, 1 cup with 2 tablespoons of hummus
  10. Green and Black’s 70% or more coca solids – 2 squares (closer to chocolates original state, better quality and you eat less

Some popular “healthy” grab and go snacks may be doing more harm than good..

Ones to avoid and why:

Granola Bars/Special K (or similar) cereal bars

Claim: A great snack made from whole grain oats.
Fact: Nearly 50% of the carbohyrdrates come from sugar, usually in form of high corn syrup and contain less than 1g of fibre, so the content of oats is actually quite small!

Pretzels (often offered on the airplane!)

Claim: “A light snack made from wheat”
Fact: High is salt (often as sodium on the label) and get digested very fast by the body,so you’ll crave more and more of them. You digest them nearly as fast as sugar. Contain no vitamins or nutrients.

Trail Mix

Claim: Nuts and other healthy treats all mixed together
Fact: can often contain sweet pieces with hydrogenated vegetable oils and food colouring dyes. A small handful can contain nearly 200 calories.

Fruit Yoghurt

Claim: Yogurt is healthy part of your diet
Fact: In fruit yogurts up to 50-75% of the calories come from sugar, even with the low-fat varieties. Some contain high fructose corn syrup and poor quality fruit. Go for Natural Yogurt, organic and add your own natural fruit.

Energy Drinks

Claim: Gives you an energy boost!
Fact: Contain high caffeine content for the pick me up (avoid red bull unless you want to buzz for 2 days then crash for a further 4) and a hidden source of sugar – sometimes 8 teaspoons in some brands. Go for green Teas, Herbal of fruit teas instead.

Busy Mum Recipe: Chicken One-Pot.

Easy to prepare and throw in the oven!

Heat the oven to 160°C.

Mix 1dsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander sweet paprika together – then add enough olive oil to make a paste and rub over 1 chicken breast per person.

Heat a large oven-proof dish and add the chicken to it, cooking for 5 mins on all sides. Place the chicken on a plate.

Add a little coconut butter to the pan (if needed) to lightly fry 2 handfuls of finely chopped onion, garlic, celery and carrot, until softened.

Add 1 tin of tomatoes, 2 tbsp split red lentils, ½ tin drained chickpeas, 800ml of chicken stock, 1 cinnamon stick and 1dsp fruit chutney. Cook through to a simmer, then add the chicken back in, cover and pop in the oven for 1-1.5 hrs, stirring as you go (you may need to a little more stock if it gets very thick).

Serve with 2 handfuls of cooked veg (the rest of the family can have it with wild rice too) and some finely chopped mint on top.

This recipe is an extract from the Post Baby Belly Blitz Diet by   Stephanie Ridley, nutritional therapist in Muswell Hill.

Juices for Better Abs and Skin: Day Two: Five Star Skin Juice

beetroot_juiceFive Star Juice.
Highly recommended for Pregnancy!
Containing: Orange, Beetroot, Carrot & Ginger

This makes enough for 4 people

x 6 Medium Oranges (Peeled)
x 1 RAW Beetroot (Peel and half – wear gloves!)
4 Medium Carrots
(Peel and cut in half)
½ inch of Ginger

Pop all ingredients into the Juicer and Juice.

Add crushed ice or ice cubes if you like.


Why it’s TheBeezKneez..

Oranges. Improve appearance of your skin. Oranges are a well known source of Vitamin C required to boost immune system to fight infections and disease. Plus it helps increase iron absorption to improve energy. Oranges also help improve your complexion!

Beetroot. Perfect if you feel fatigued. Much better than a bottle of pills! A powerful blood cleanser and tonic. It really helps boost immune resistance and is often used in treating anemia, iron deficiency.   Make sure to use and eat RAW beetroot as the properties are more powerful as the nutrients have not been depleted in the cooking process, like the vacumn packed beetroot. Also has a long history of use in the treatment of cancer. Some studies have shown specific anti-carcinogenic substances in beetroot.

Ginger. Helpful in providing morning sickness relief and aids digestion. Good as you can’t take many medications during pregnancy.


Carrots. A single carrot will give your body your daily Vitamin A requirement. Near the top of the list of vegetables that help protect against cancer. If you want to stay looking young (yep) and wrinkle free eat plently of carrots. Extremley high in Vitamin A, C and E for your skin, eyesight and circulation.


The Post Baby Belly Blitz Programme with The Pure Package, your food and exercise all taken care of..

Flatten your abs, restore your core, pelvic floor and lose the baby weight.
When you become a new mum finding time to exercise or eat well is a real challenge. Looking after your new baby is 24/7 and there is little time for yourself. Yet one of the things you want to do is get your tummy back!  So we have teamed up with The Pure Package, the gourmet diet delivery company to bring you a perfect solution, without having to leave the house or find someone to look after your baby. We take care your exercise, diet and daily nutrition so while you take care of your baby.

Twelve postnatal home personal training sessions at your home or park, taken in one month with a leading TheBeezKneez specialist post natal trainer – combined with
Ten days
of having all your meals prepared, cooked and delivered to your door, by The Pure Package, London’s leading Diet Gourmet Delivery Service.

Exclusively for the New Mum you simply cannot fail on this programme with thoroughly researched exercise plus healthy, nutritious meals to:

  • Provide exceptional results in shifting body fat
  • Sculpt and tone up your body
  • Improve metabolism to burn more calories
  • Increase energy, helping with sleep deprivation
  • Dramatically improve body confidence
  • Establish a consistent routine, key to fat loss success
  • Buy you more time
  • Reduce post natal depression by restoring hormonal and emotional imbalances

Plus receive the ‘Post Baby Belly Blitz’ Menu of postpartum exercises e-book fully downloadable e-book with full exercise descriptions and photographs.

Cost of Programme: £1198.50
*This is less than half of the price of one night’s private maternity care in London at the Portland Hospital in London!

Why I cancelled my Gym Membership

A stressful yoga class and an over enthusiastic Personal Trainer was Vicky Warr’s experience of the Gym..

Bounding with enthusiasm and well before Christmas, so it
certainly wasn’t a new year’s whim, I joined my local gym.  Two goals – one to take my two and half year
old son to swimming lessons and second to go to a regular Yoga class or fitness

So, signing up to a shorter contract (which cost more but
meant I was not committing to twelve months), I checked out the timetables and
swimming lessons.

Working a four day week, meant Friday was the day I wanted
to take Luca to swimming lessons. There was one class but on becoming a member
they told me I had to wait until the new term started. I was then informed, by
the jolly receptionist, that as he had not attended swimming lessons there
before, I wouldn’t be able to book until a week or so before the lessons started
(by which time it was likely to be fully booked as all previous swimmers got
priority).  As I was now a member, I was
slighty miffed by this fact, whatever happened to first come, first booked! Moreover
the lessons aren’t free – they are extra to your membership! So goal not met,
one to go.

Onto the Yoga. I’d always thought (having instructed at many
gyms) that my membership meant I’d be able to turn up, take my space and launch
into the wonderful poses, stretches and breathing in a lovely stress free environment
(isn’t that what Yoga is about).  On
enquiring about the class, I was told I had to 24 hours in advance. The ‘telephone
lines’ will be open at 8.00am the previous morning.  Unfortunately I booked at 9am and it was fully booked, I was informed by the receptionist. If you didn’t
phone by 8.01 you didn’t have your space!  
So determined the following week to sample the delights of this very
popular Yoga class, I managed to get my act together and book promptly at
8.01am.  The next Saturday morning, with
the boys out at football, I trotted off excitedly, due to the fact I was
actually getting a gold dust hour of me-time. 

I turned up to a class packed full, mirror to mirror (and I
wasn’t late). It also smelt, due to the amount of squashed people into one
room.  Trying not to be deterred or
disappointed by the lack of scented candles, peace and calmness (isn’t that
what Yoga is all about) I attempted to sway my arms as per the instructor to
promptly have the person to my right bash me on the head.  I left with a headache and a constant
reminder of poignant sweat in my nostrils. 
Goal two not met.

The other fitness classes on the timetable started at 6pm or
6.30pm and if you have children, this is the crucial time for the whole
collecting from childcare, bathing and bed routine. Yes I should have checked
this out beforehand so my alternative was the gym floor.  I practised my usual dynamic warm up routine on
the small rectangular space, only to develop social anxiety syndrome as the
other gym goers eyed me strangely.  The
space only really allows for hamstring stretches, a few sit-ups and I was ‘taking
over’! By gym standards, If you want to ‘warm-up’ you need the treadmill or
other cardio equipment and move in a linear fashion doing exactly what everyone
else is doing for their ‘warm-up’.  (Note:
the idea of a warm-up is to mobilise the body and that means moving in
different directions!).  

What I was delighted with though, was the fact that I had
two personal training sessions in my membership.  My trainer was to call me to schedule my
sessions (according to the membership sales manager who recruited me). Silence
for two weeks, so I chased and was appointed ‘Sam’.  ‘Sam’ showed me some great exercises (no
warm-up) within about 35 minutes (the sessions were meant to be an hour) and
took care to listen to my goals. I was slightly put off though by the fact that
asked me to do one exercise only to tell me it was an excuse to put his hand
near my bottom. Flattered yes, bemused by the lack of professionalism, yes!

So my ‘investment’ of seventy-five pounds a month cost me
approximately £20 a week for one class (if I could get booked into it) and a
tap on the bottom.

Now I’m not saying the gym doesn’t work for some people, if you know you can
get there before 7.30pm and you don’t mind replicating what you do on the tube
in rush hour in your peak time gym class it’s fine. Gyms don’t particulary care
if you turn up for your workout or not – has your Gym ever called you to ask
you where you’ve been if you’ve not been for a few weeks?   That’s
why fitness classes in your local area and other fitness clubs – running and
cycling clubs and other physical pursuits are becoming far more popular than
the classic gym environment. Turn up with a buddy and do a six or eight week
course to help establish a routine. Choose one suited to your needs and grab a  buddy for motivation.


Halloween Special: Curried Pumpkin Soup

A very healthy, easy to make soup, that’s delicious. Perfect for Halloween!

  • Good source of Beta Carotene (Vitamin A) for good eyesight
  • High in antioxidants to prevent cell damage that can lead to types of cancer
  • Contains Vitamin E, for good skin
  • Easily digested and the seeds are rich in Iron for energy, phosphorous and potassium for metabolism, magnesium for proper nerve and muscle functioning and zinc, improves immunity and sex drive!

Ingredients (serves 4):

2 tbsps of Olive Oil
1 large Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1-2 tbsps of Curry Paste
900g Pumpkin, peeled and diced
900ml Vegetable or Chicken Stock (organic, low salt)
Pinch of Black Pepper

How to make:

  • Heat 2 tbsps olive oil in a large saucepan (avoid letting the oil smoke ), add the large onion and Garlic (crushed) and cook for about 5 mins or until onion is softened.
  • Stir in Curry Paste, according to taste and cook for a further 2 minutes
  • Add 900g Pumpkin, peeled and diced and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes
  • Add 900ml vegetable or chicken stock and black pepper, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.
  • Allow to cool slightly then blend in blender or liquidize in food processor until smooth.
  • Return the puree to pan, adjust seasoning and add a little more stock if necessary.
  • Reheat until hot and serve with warm, crusty wholegrain bread.



Benefits of exercising to music

Today I went swimming with my mp3 player and felt the flow of the music lift me and my pregnancy hormones!  The music helped me move and switch of from recent stresses!

We play music in our group classes as we know both how motivational it is but also how it provides a positive effect on our class participants. Research has shown that exercise to music benefits and influence you in the following ways:

  • Music can focus your attention, and take your mind off sensations of fatigue.
  • Positive aspects of mood such as happiness and energy are increased.
  • In turn, negative moods such as tension, depression, anxiety and anger are eased.
  • Upbeat energetic music is used during the main workout of our classes to stimulate you and get you into action, but softer music as part of our stretch sequences help relax and calm you down.
  • Tempo of the music can regulate movement and thus prolong performance. Synchronizing movements with music also enables exercisers perform more efficiently – getting more from their workout!
  • Scientific studies have shown that by choosing purposefully selected music helps you improve co-ordination and motor skills as your body learns to move in time with the beat.

Choose music for what you would like it to help you with – relaxing music when you feel anxious about the birth of your baby or want to stretch out tight muscles,  According to Janet DiPietro, a developmental psychologist who studies fetal development at University in Maryland, US.  “When a woman relaxes, that’s good for the fetus and that’s an indirect effect of music on the fetus,”

Or you can put on some up tempo tunes, kick up your heels, dance around and have fun!