Top nutrition secret every Personal Trainer wants you to know

If you are serious about losing baby weight the first thing to do is address your nutrition. This can be a struggle when you have a new baby in tow and are up most nights. Combined with the fact you may be breast-feeding and have piles of baby washing you also have a distinct lack of time on your hands to start even thinking about preparing nutritious food.

So being a new mum myself and running a business, my top tip is to get help with the cooking. You simply cannot do it all, so forget being Supermum! But then I discovered something better than my husband and his grilled lamb chops.  For the cost of a daily cleaner or a taxi into town you can get healthy, nutritious meals delivered to your door by the Pure package. Or for the cost of a private room in hospital to have your baby, you can invest in all your healthy meals prepared by chefs and delivered to your door for 3 months.

The pure package is exactly was it says on the tin. Gourmet diet food delivery to your door. When you sign up a nutritionist goes through some quick questions about your situation, whether you exercise and works out your daily calories needs based on your lifestyle. You can choose a 10, 30, 60 or 90 day package and you can choose whether you would like a full daily menu or just breakfast or dinner and when you would like your delivery to start.

I opened my front door at breakfast time of the day my meals were due to be delivered and an elegant black cool box was waiting to be opened. I felt like the queen as I studied the package which included by menu for that day – Breakfast was Fresh grapes, Natural Yogurt and Muesli. Followed by a mid-morning snack of Fresh fig’s and Goat’s cheese with pomegranate. Lunch was a very tasty Oriental Beef Noodles and Dinner an Asian Pesto Chicken. The menu included all heating instructions so all I had to do was to pop the hot meals into the oven or microwave. The nutritional principles behind the pure package are no wheat, gluten or sugar or trans fats so great for beating the bloat. There is no low fat, sugar free or pre-packaged foods. The food is all prepared on their premises in New Covent Garden Market by expert chefs and meals devised, researched and tested by Nutritionists and Jennifer Irvine, the founder.

What I was most surprised about was the portion sizes. As I am breastfeeding I seem hungry most of the time but with the pure package I felt satisfied and all cravings for sugary things were long gone (key to weight loss!).

Favoured by celebrities and celebrity trainers and combined with a specific post natal home personal trainer and exercise plan you simply cannot fail to feel amazing, lose weight, and most importantly eat deliciously, yet nutritionally so that both you and your baby can benefit from the essence of healthy nutrition. I only wish I could have pure package delivered to my door every day for the next year but my husband would feel left out.

Arm and Chest Toner

Ball Chest Squeeze

What this exercise does:
Strengthens and tones your chest and arms while conditioning your abdominals.

Standing holding the ball at chest height.

Holding the ball in both hands with elbows bent, out to the side and level with shoulders. Keep head, neck, spine and pelvis in a straight line.
Squeeze the ball, with short squeezes of one second each, performing quick squeezes.
Maintain neutral spine with navel drawn into spine.


When performing these exercises ensure you have good posture known as ‘Neutral spine alignment’. For a healthy back you should aim to maintain this posture. Keep your head in line with your spine, your shoulder blades squeezed back and lengthen your spine. Pull the pubic bone toward the navel. Maintain the natural curve of your lower back.

Fifteen Top Tips for getting your children to eat more fruit and vegetables

Natasha Gavin is a mum and knows what a struggle it can be to get your children to eat their fruit and vegetables! Founder of I Know why it’s Yum here she provide her top tips to help you encourage them to want to eat healthier food to benefit their well-being.

Get the children to grow their own
Soil, water, anticipation, pride- all will help your children to feel positive about stuff that comes from the ground! After 12 years of low-maintenance allotment-eering with impatient young boys, I would recommend the following: strawberries, raspberries, plums, mangetout, courgettes, green beans, beetroots. All of those are usually prolific producers, with very little TLC.  Radishes are great but can get very fiery if left too long and go woody, so often not that popular with children. And in a back garden (where you can water often and keep slugs/snails at bay): tomatoes and salad leaves. And don’t forget SUNFLOWERS: plant them early enough, and they will amaze children with their tree like stems by the end of the summer, and you might get a few sunflower seeds to harvest!
Pick  fruit and veg with them
On the allotment, in the back garden, on the window ledge, at a pick-your- own farm. They won’t be able to resist sneaking a few into their mouths (make sure they are hungry before you start harvesting!), and everything will taste much better straight off the bush/tree/ plant. The flavours really ARE that much more intense. Even unripe strawberries can taste delicious.
Have fun with food
Make playing with the fruit and vegetables fun for ‘veg-phobic’ kids. Get them to pick sprouts off the tall stems they grow on, get them to pod the peas or broad beans and shoot them into a bowl, make snake tongues out of carrot peelings, play relay races with courgettes, paint your lips with red fruit. Lucy Thomas from has lots of ideas that are accessible through It might feel silly at first, but it achieves incredible results- I have seen them with my own eyes.
Explain WHY they should eat their greens (and oranges, and reds, and purples..)
This is what I believe in passionately. Kids always want to know WHY this, WHY that. So try explaining how the broccoli is good for their tummy, and raisins provide iron which they need for healthy blood. Have some nuggets at your fingertips that will amuse them, and convince them that you are telling the truth. Here are a few:

  • beans make you fart  because they are high in fibre which gets the food moving through your body
  • avocados are used in  face packs for ladies because they are so high in vitamin E – which repairs your skin
  • the staining colour of beetroot means it can be used to calculate the speed you process/ metabolise food: mashed potato with beetroot laced through it will be visible in your pink poo (it’s called the transition test!)
  •  carrots are great for your eyes but too many carrots will make your skin orange (honestly)
  • pineapples are good for sore throats as they are anti-inflammatory
  • pumpkin seeds are full of healthy fats which can improve your memory.

Each fruit and veg brings a specific health benefit, or several, that you can latch on to make your point. You can read more in The Food Doctor for babies and children by Vicki Edgson. And encourage them to achieve a RAINBOW DIET. Eating different coloured fruit and veg each day will mean their body gets most of the nutrients it needs. (Mother nature is so clever eh?)

Try not to adopt an ‘all or nothing’ approach. Suggest porridge with hot chocolate drinking powder sprinkled on top, lightly steamed broccoli with lots of grated cheddar on top, or natural yoghurt with Smarties! Sometimes you might get further, less painfully, if you meet them half way.
Call recipes funny names and try out wacky combinations
I found an incredible book (The great big veg challenge by Charlotte Hume). Charlotte presents her three top recipes for each veg in the alphabet- according to scores by her fussy eater son. Cauliflower popcorn is a firm favourite in our house. Tiny florets are tossed in olive oil, a tiny bit of salt, paprika, and breadcrumbs, and are then roasted in the oven on a flat tray. Another of Charlotte’s recipes is stir fried shredded brussel sprouts with garlic, bacon and ginger. I was really surprised at how much even I liked them! Beetroot and chocolate cake, courgette muffins (if necessary, don’t tell the children the ingredients until after they have eaten them!). Hiding vegetables in soup or a bolognaise sauces is a fab short term option, but not a long term solution. On the other hand, there is no need to tell them the contents of a delicious meal or cake too early, if the mere name of what is in there is going to put them off, right?
Take them on a fruit and veg adventure & empower them with choice
Visit a local ethnic veg market, or look out for unusual veg and fruit in the supermarket. Let each of your children chose one, and then have fun finding recipes to cook it. (Charlotte’s book will come in very handy here).
 Make the oldest sibling your ‘partner in crime’
Bribe them or sweet talk them into leading by example to help convince younger siblings to eat good stuff, and to set a great example by responding positively to new dishes, and veg, you present them all with at the dinner table. There is nothing worse than an older child exclaiming: “Oh this doesn’t look very nice (or worse) mum” as you are trying to convince a fussy toddler to try something new.
Take difficult meals out of the kitchen
Eat in a tent, have a picnic, in a shed etc. Consider letting your children eat in front of the TV as a treat, if they promise to eat all the green veg? ( I know it’s a slippery slope, but I try to keep these kinds of solutions for meals I really really want them to eat.)
Reward small steps
Be happy with children just ‘trying something’ and keep offering it. Even if it takes 5-10 times. I never believed this method truly worked, and just accepted that as long as my boys ate a varied diet, it didn’t really matter that I pandered to their dislike of mushrooms, or courgettes. But then I put the theory to the test, with just a couple of raw spinach leaves on my three year old’s plate every meal time- eventually I noticed the leaves had disappeared without me asking Tom to just ‘try them’. After checking on the floor, I concluded that he had just picked them up and eaten them. So now I put a couple of salad leaves on Tom’s plate whenever his older brother is getting a big boy portion. I haven’t cracked ‘salad’ completely, but we are making progress..perhaps consider using a reward chart and plan a treat at the end of a fruit and veg discovery week?
Have school dinners!
Proven to be better for you nutritionally than even the best pack lunches, school meals offer your children diversity that they almost certainly wouldn’t experience otherwise (unless you make a habit of cooking Chinese, Welsh, Indian, Mexican etc- I certainly don’t). They will try dishes (and fruit and vegetables) you might rarely or never make at home-which broadens their palates, and makes them more likely to try new things at home. I never use tinned tuna (mainly because I never think to use the tin at the back of the cupboard!), but have discovered my eldest son Michael adores tuna fajitas at school. (And my toddler discovered humus, noodles and spring rolls at playgroup) And if you have wonderful in-house catering and chefs that care about what their children eat, it is a win-win situation, well worth the £2 odd a day. (I do both actually- pack lunches two days a week, school dinners three days. It’s a compromise on many fronts!)
Cut down on taste extremes: like salty and sweet
Very salty foods (like any crisps) and very sweet foods (like cakes/chocolate) kill taste buds. Reduce the amount of salt and sugar they eat, and they will find natural food less bland, and will ‘enjoy’ the taste of fruit and veg more, or meals seasoned with garlic and herbs more palatable.( I know everyone is always going about salt, but it’s true. Our diets are far too salty (even bread has loads in it), and little bodies can’t cope with it- reduce it now, before it makes an impact on their health. High salt intake in children can lead to high blood pressure in young adults.)
Keep them HUNGRY                                                                             
Children who have snacked will NOT be as likely to try new things, or eat things they are not so keen on. You know what it’s like: if you have ever camped, by the time you have set up your tent, blown up the lilo and lit the fire,- the tin of baked beans tastes like heaven on earth.
Distract younger children
If they are young enough, this might work. If I read books to Tom he just opens his mouth like a bird, not really conscious of what is going in. If I ever have a ‘tricky’ meal to get into him, I will just promise to read him his favourite book, or better still, recently purchased Cbeebies magazine. We ‘spot the differences’, and stick the stickers everywhere. Before he has noticed, most of the dinner has gone down (And there is usually some ketchup involved too.) It’s all worth a try.
And FINALLY: Encourage your child care setting or primary school to book a ‘I Know Why It’s Yum, Mum!’ show or workshop 
I know why it’s Yum Mum ( and provides Workshops and School productions aimed at getting children to remember WHY different fruit and veg (and cereals and seeds) are SO good for them, so they actively chose to eat the right stuff in the dinner queue,  or when offered it at home.  The workshops include fun activities – including  genuine fruit and veg Top Trumps cards, sticker activities, singing fruit and veggie rthymes and playing games with selected fruits and vegetables. Children learn what the health benefits are of each type of fruit and vegetable.  Natasha is not a food fascist (She loves crisps, cakes and burgers), but she is passionate about children’s diets and knows the importance it has on their health and well-being.








Pregnancy Fitness and Yoga Fix

Discovering you are pregnant is one of the most exciting moments of your life. However, maintaining your fitness and health routine and preparing your body for birth can be a little confusing. People tell you to ‘put your feet up’  and ‘take it easy’. Others tell you to swim and do yoga or pilates.  But what about when you come to have the baby? Your baby may be 4kgs and you have to lift, bend and carry your baby around with you all day long on not very much sleep.  So being mentally and physically prepared and fit to do your new job as a Mummy helps get through those first months (trust me I know, I had my second baby 7 months ago!).

We have the solution to help you prepare in pregnancy and feel fitter during and after the birth. We’ve teamed up with Yoga West, London’s leading private yoga and pilates provider, to offer an exclusive pregnancy fitness and yoga course designed to support a Mums to be fitness and birth preparation.  The course consists of 1 x week yoga class and 1 x week fitness with core conditioning class over six weeks. The best of both worlds – yoga to relax , release tension and improve suppleness.  Fitness with core conditioning to tone your whole body, strengthen your core and avoid excess weight gain. It aims to give mums to be the confidence to keep fit and maintain a healthy routine. It strengthens  pelvic floor, improves hip flexibility, helps maintain tone and cardio-vascular fitness and teaches breathing techniques to help through labour and birth.

The course it taught at two locations in Chiswick, West London. Pregnancy yoga is taught at yoga west from 11-1215 on Thursdays. Fitness and core conditioning  is taught with TheBeezKneez at The Arts Educational School on Tuesdays at 7.35pm.

More about the classes….

Pregnancy yoga works to release deep tensions in the body and help you feel your best as your baby grows and your body changes, building your strength and suppleness. It is suitable for beginners or mothers with a developed practice, from 14 weeks until your baby arrives.  It weaves powerful breath work into the classes in preparation for labour, practice postures that are useful during labour and birth and end with a deep relaxation. The atmosphere is very welcoming, supportive and light hearted approach. The Yogabirth style has been developed over 30 years and is a safe and effective mix of Scaravelli style yoga and birth education.

The class is taken by Lulu Winfield. Lulu has been working around childbirth since the late 90’s.  She is a doula, reflexologist, childbirth educator and yoga birth teacher and trained for two years under Lolly Stirk and Yvonne Moore  – founder members of The Active Birth Centre and Movement. She has trained as a hypno-birthing teacher in the Marie Mongan method and currently mentors trainee Yogabirth teachers and doulas. Lulu infuses her classes with powerful breath work to draw the attention deeper within and uses cleverly adapted poses to reveal both the softness and strength in the mind and the body, essential in preparation for birth. She is a hugely popular teacher with a unique and joyful touch and is passionate about sharing the transformative power of yoga.

Pregnancy Fitness and Core Conditioning with TheBeezKneez.  Featuring modified pilates, cardiovascular bursts and pregnancy body sculpting exercises in a circuit style format. All exercises are specifically for pregnancy to effectively target those areas which get weak and flabby, strengthen the core and address the postural changes that can cause pain and stress.  Ideal for getting you fit for pregnancy, avoiding excessive weight gain, improving your core and strengthening pelvic floor and postural muscles to alleviate back ache.  The class is fun to upbeat music and shows you how you exercise safely and effectively. Suitable for trimester two and three and if you are carrying twins or more.

The class is instructed by Joanne Martin, who has over 12 years experience at teaching group fitness classes. She has specialist qualification in Active IQ Level 3 Award in Designing Pre and Post Natal Exercise Programmes and also instructs Post Natal classes both outdoors and indoors.  She instructs not only at The Beez Kneez but with other health clubs in West London and is a very popular well known instructor for inspiring Mums and Mums to be to exercise during pregnancy and beyond. A mum of two herself, she has first hand experience of pregnancy and childbirth.  In her classes she shows top conditioning moves which are a fantastic way of maintaining fitness and giving energy a boost prior to the arrival of your baby.  Her experience and The Beez Kneez specialist programmes created by founder Vicky Warr with Jo’s input show you the many benefits, ultimately helping you to maintain body shape and tone throughout your pregnancy.


Yoga West: 02073811673
The Beez Kneez: 020 8 354 1583 or

One easy nutrition tip to help lose the baby weight!

Research has shown that thirst may sometimes be mistaken for hunger, which could result in over-eating and lead to weight gain. So, did you know, it’s really important to keep well hydrated whether you are pregnant or had a baby.We lose water breathing, sweating and urinating so daily consumption is important.

How much should you drink?

Generally everyone should consume between 1.5-2 litres of water each day although individual requirements depend on factors including exercise intensity, salt intake, body mass, caffeine and alcohol consumption. Fruit and vegetables, such as melon, tomatoes and citrus fruits, contribute to your daily intake and have the added bonus of being rich in vitamins and minerals that may support weight loss, such as chromium and vitamin C.

Finally, remember water means water - not fruit juice, fizzy drinks, alcohol or caffeine!!!

If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding some slices of fresh fruit such as lemon or orange, or find a caffeine-free tea that works for you, such as rooibos, chamomile or fruit teas, as these also count towards your daily intake.

Stephanie Ridley
Dip FTST BA (Hons) BSc (Hons) mBANT
Beez Kneez Nutritional Therapist

Stephanie will be undertaking nutritional consultations for pregnancy and post natal from late July/early August. To get in touch or for more information, email:

Vicky Warr’s Tip: Teapigs also do a good selection of caffeine-free teas. Always check which ones are safe to drink in pregnancy first.

How to start feeling the BeezKneez…Exclusive offer from the Massage Centre

I recently took a Massage with Fran Kehoe, the head therapist and owner of The Massage Centre, in Chiswick. It was the best, most relaxing experience. Not just your ‘regular’ massage, Fran had real insight into how I was feeling, the tension in my ‘mummy’ muscles and how to help out some of my aliments right. I went away after the session, feeling good and I slept like a log. No wonder that in a recent survey of new clients, 98% reported that their treatment at the Massage Centre had completely met their expectations and 50% stated that the treatment exceeded their expectations. What’s more is that they are convenient – just a minute’s walk from Turnham Green Station and are open 7 days with week (Mon-Fri 7am-10pm, Sat & Sun 8am-6pm).

Massage is a proven and effective way to relax, increase your energy and relieve your discomfort and tension both during pregnancy and after your baby is born! But you need to have the right massage therapist who has the experience and knows how to treat you on an individual basis. Fran and his male and female team at the Massage centre are highly talented and passionate pre and post natal massage therapists. They have helped many mums and mums to be, enjoy a better quality of life, enabling them to do those activities they enjoy, whilst looking and feeling healthier.

And to help you start feeling good now and to help take that time out you deserve, The Massage Centre in Chiswick are offering BeezKneez ladies a special introductory offer of £15 off your first one hour treatment before Friday 12th October. To take advantage of this offer please call us now on 020 8166 8958 (quote Beez Kneez). We look forward to hearing from you!

For more details on the Clinic please go to our website:

Neck and Upper Back Tension Release Stretch

This releasing stretch relieves tension in a muscle of the neck called the Platysma which is responsible for many of your facial expressions and goes from the chest to the shoulder, up over the collarbone and slants along the sides of the neck.
– how you are able to open and close your mouth?
– how you are able to frown or look surprised

This stretch is great for new mummies, especially if you are breastfeeding and also pregnant ladies too.


Easy abdominal exercises for a new mum

During pregnancy, the two vertical muscles of the stomach (known as the rectus abdominus or ‘six pack’) separate and stretch apart, as the baby grows. This is diastasis recti and the gap can be at least three fingers width apart. This causes the ‘bulging’ appearance.

Firstly, before you begin any stomach exercises you need to check for the gap (including if you have had a caesarean) by doing a quick self test.
If the gap is 2 fingers or more or if it doesn’t pinch fingers, you have diastasis.

You’ll need to avoid regular sit ups or oblique curls if you have diastasis.
Instead try these exercises which will help you re-connect with your stomach muscles again and strengthen them:

Pelvic Tilt


Stand sideways, leaning forwards so you at a 45 degree angle to the floor.It’s good to do this in front of a mirror so you can see your lower back.

Place hands on hip bones and imagine you have a balloon in your stomach, breathe in and inflate your stomach with air.


Then breath out, opening your mouth to do so and imagine your stomach

deflating and expelling air. At the same time rotate your hips back backwards so you feel and see the arch that occurs in your lower back flatten.Hold it for about 3-5 seconds, continuing to breathe out.

Repeat 10 times

Try to feel:

  • Your belly button or navel pull in and tighten.
  • Your pelvic floor muscles lift up.

Abdominal Tightener

  • Lay flat on your back with your knees bent as above but fold/cross your hands over your stomach so they support your abdominals.
  • Breathe in, and then breathe out and raise your head to your chest.
  • Gently ‘pull’ your stomach muscles together and hold for a count of 2 then slowly lower your head to the floor.
  • Keep your belly button pulled in towards your lower back. Imagine your hand is underneath your belly button and you are pulling it in towards you. Repeat 10 times.

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.


Three Minute Healthy Breakfast Smoothies

Here are my two top favourites. Ready in just three minutes and all you need is the fruit and your blender.

A perfect quick breakfast choice.

Peach and Almond Smoothie
1 x heaped dsp of Ground Almonds
Half banana
Half teacup of Natural Yogurt
Three quarters cup frozen peaches
Some Water – 3 tbsps

Combine all ingredients together in a blender and process for 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Drink immediately.

Berry Smoothie

1 tbsp of natural yogurt with half banana and
one choice of berries (can be frozen)
one apple
some water – 3 tsbps

Combine all ingredients together in a blender and process for 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Drink immediately.