Juices for Better Abs: Day One, Apple, Celery and Lime Juice

This is the first day of my Juices for Restoring, Strengthening and Flattening your Abs!
Due to all the vitamins and nutrients in Juice’s from the fruit and vegetables you throw in you can really cleanse, de-tox and help re-store and flatten your abs post baby.

I was always aware of the benefits of Juices but really came to incorporate them into my own diet and encourage our clients to make and drink them by Mairi Taylor, my inspirational Juice buddy at FAB fitness.

Juices are also excellent for your children and gives them loads of vitamins and nutrients they need to their growing bodies!

1. You can get your daily five in one quick scoop! Many struggle to incorporate 5 portions of vegetables (or even less!) into their daily food or meals. Juicing your veggies means you can do this. Plus you can ‘pop in’ celery, broccoli and beetroot and other ‘green’ foods that your children may turn their little noses up at and in the juice format, they will not turn a hair! Crafty!

2. A nourish, a cleanse. Due to all the luscious vitamins and nutrients they contain, they can be almost more of a meal or snack. Keeping sugar cravings at bay and nourishing your pregnant or post baby body.

3. So easy to prepare and make. A great ‘Dash out of the Door’ drink (or rather food – see point above).

4. You can be creative. What I love is that you can throw it all in and experiment a little to see what tastes good.

To save you the time in experimenting, I have conjured up, tweaked some existing recipes from the Juice Master, Jason Vale and will be sharing these with you over the next 7 days.

Tips:
To save time you can do a large batch of juice and freeze them. Then you just pull out and defrost for your snack time or breakfast.

The Right Juicer!
This is key – you want one that is easy to wash, ideally the parts easily detach and fit in the dishwasher.
You also want one that will juice enough for more than 2 people, especially if you are making them for the whole family.
My favourite is the Philips HR1861 Whole Fruit Juicer, Aluminium.

Here’s the first Juice recipe, curtesy of Marie Paiser, one of our clients currently on our Post Baby Belly Blitz Programme. Marie has a 12 week old baby and is breastfeeding so she is finding Juicing perfect for her nutrient needs and also the nutrient needs of her growing baby.

Apple, Celery and Lime Juice

Apple, celery and lime juice

Serves 2
4 Apples – Golden Delicious or Royal Gala (go organic if you can), halve and remove core. No need to peel.
2 small sticks of celery.
1/2 lime – no need to peel.

Pop apples in first, then celery and lime. Then Juice.

Add a few sprigs of mint (chopped) if you have them.

How to have a Yummy Mummy Bummy

Pippa Middleton’s bottom has caused quite a stir – so much so that it is favourite to be crowned for ‘Rear of the Year award’ and there is also a facebook page set up
in dedication of her fine, toned butt. You too can get ‘the best bum’ look for Summer with these three BeezKneez exercises for a fit, pert, perky butt that your other half wants to pinch.

 Curtsey Squat with side kick (strength, tone and balance)

Start
Step your right leg diagonally behind you so you are resting on the right ball of your foot.

How to do:
Lower down into a curtsey lunge with your hips facing forward as you bend both legs.Then come back to standing and lift the leg that you stepped diagonally back with out to the side with your heel up and toe turned down.  Draw in your belly button so that you have some tension in your abdominals to help with balance. If balance is a problem – hold onto a wall or post.

Bridge Extension (activates your glutes)

Start
1. Take a seat on a mat with your hands just behind your buttocks, under
shoulders with fingers towards bottom. Your knees are bent and feet flat on the floor.

How to do: 
2. Squeeze and clench your bottom cheeks and lift your hips and bottom off the
floor.  Aim to lift your hips level with your knees.
3. Hold for ten seconds, then return to the start position and rest for 3 secs
and repeat a further 5 times (6 in total)

SIDE CLAMS

Start:
1. Start by lying on your side with knees bent at a 45 degree angle to your hips, your hips and knees  stacked one on top of the other. Flex your feet and lift them off the floor. Rest your ear on your bicep. Place your other hand on your hip.
How to do:

  1. Breath out and lift the top knee, keeping your hip still and heels together. Inhale and lower the knee. 12-15 on one side and repeat other side

These exercises are also suitable to do during pregnancy. Adapt the curtesy squat for a bodyweight squat on both feet for trimester three.

The BeezKneez Mamas Classes are held on Thursdays at 8pm in Ealing and Tuesdays at 8.30pm in Chiswick. To book visit www.beez-kneez.co.uk

 

Beating Back Pain in Pregnancy

Up to 80% of all pregnant women suffer from back pain at some stage, and the symptoms can be severe.

As it is so common, back pain is often ignored and accepted by many pregnant women as “normal”. However, there is a lot you can do to reduce back pain, and it is certainly not an inevitable part of pregnancy.

What causes back pain in pregnancy?

There are two different types of back pain during pregnancy – Pelvic Girdle Pain, (PGP) and true Back Pain.

Pelvic Girdle Pain is caused when ligaments in the pelvis and spine relax to allow the baby to pass more easily through the birth canal. This is a completely natural process but in some women the hypermobile joints ‘lock’ causing joint asymmetry. This can cause pain over the pubic bone (symphysis pubis) and the joints at the back of the pelvis (the sacro-iliac joints). If you have had a previous trauma to the pelvis, (an accident, for example) or muscles around the pelvis and spine are weak you could be more susceptible to PGP. Symptoms of PGP include difficulty walking, getting in and out of a car or the bath, or standing briefly on one leg. Symptoms vary from mild to more severe and debilitating.

True Back Pain in Pregnancy
True back pain is caused by a response to the growing bump as many women lean backwards to compensate for the increased weight. Muscles, ligaments and spinal joints become strained, and your abdominal muscles become over stretched and weakened. Your back becomes more sensitive than normal.

How can we beat back pain to prevent it happening?

Stay Fit.
Fitness in pregnancy is all about gentle movements and consistency. Even if you were an athlete before you became pregnant, you want to avoid high impact activities such as aerobics or racquet sports as they can cause injury.

Swimming is a wonderful way to tone and strengthen your muscles, and you can enjoy the feeling of being weightless in the water. Aqua-natal, Antenatal Yoga and Antenatal Pilates are all very beneficial and designed especially for you. Even a short gentle walk every day will help. It is important to take time for your fitness, whether you are still working while you are pregnant, or are at home with your family.

Improve your Sitting Posture.
Soft couches and easy chairs with deep seats make you push on the tailbone and sacrum and can cause pain. Put a thick cushion behind your lower back to help you stay upright.

In the car you can adjust your seat to a less reclined position…and it is probably best to stay out of a sports car with its “lie-back” seat! At work ask your employer to do a pregnancy risk assessment of your work place including your chair and computer to avoid postural strain of your back.

No Heavy Lifting.
We can all be tempted to lift heavy objects in the wrong way. Faced with a bag of shopping, you will do less damage if you split the load into two bags and carry the weight evenly. If you have a child in need of comfort try to sit down first, so that you can give love and hugs with them on your knee.

If you really do have to lift something, hold the load you want to lift close to you and use your legs. Bending your hips and knees means you are using leg muscles which are much stronger than your sensitive back muscles.

The best advice is to avoid lifting. So check with yourself first whether the job could wait until you get some help. Yes, it means you are not being Superwoman, but you will be avoiding back pain and creating a more enjoyable pregnancy!

Watch your Step.
High heel shoes may look good, but they throw your weight incorrectly, and cause back pain even in women who are not pregnant. Flip flops and other lightweight shoes can sometimes be a problem if you have to strain to keep them on your feet. Your feet may swell more easily – especially during the summer – and your shoes should fit you comfortably.

Rest.
In the old days women in high society were often expected to withdraw and rest while they were pregnant. We don’t want those days again but even 20 minutes a day of time to yourself with your feet up will help you enjoy this special time in your life. Chores can wait!

If you have back pain what can you do to help stop it?

Exercise. Pelvic tilts are great for strengthening the abdominal muscles and have the added bonus of relieving pain.

Rest comfortably. Lie on your side with a wedge shaped maternity pillow under your tummy and a pillow between your knees. This will help you get a better night’s sleep and supports the body, causing less strain.

Apply heat. Aching backs do not respond well to showers, but a hot bath can work wonders. Or use a hot water bottle, electric heat pad, or the Wheat or Gel packs which you heat in a microwave oven, to bring heat and comfort to your lower back.

Wear a support belt. Your physiotherapist or midwife can advise you whether a support belt would be helpful for you.

Massage. A gentle massage from your therapist or partner can relieve a lot of tension and pain even if the effect tends to be temporary.

Physiotherapy. Don’t let anyone tell you it is normal to be in pain and there is no cure for the pain because the hormones have made the joints looser! Physiotherapy safely treats pain, and you will be prescribed individual exercises for your condition. This helps you to look after your own back. Physiotherapy is highly effective for PGP pain and uses gentle mobilising techniques to re-balance the pelvic joints.

If your back pain gets progressively worse it is important to see a doctor or a physiotherapist to assess any underlying conditions. Worrying about pain can itself be damaging, so I would advise you to get reassurance and peace of mind at this very precious time in your life.

© Christina Carlsen

Christina Carlsen and her team are chartered physiotherapists and see pregnant and maternity patients at her clinic, Ealing Physiotherapy.
Please telephone for a booking 020 8847 1887, www.ealingphysio.co.uk

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: info@beez-kneez.co.uk

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 deal with Morning Sickness. Top Ten tips.

Morning Sickness can actually happen at any time of the day with some mums to be feeling just minor nausea in the first trimester but other women going the whole nine months feeling and being sick. It effects between 70 and 85 percent of pregnant women (according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) and as a result of the whoosh of hormones entering your body. There is no set prescription for dealing with it, but exercise actually helps and it is a case of seeing what works for you food wise. Although exercise may be the furthest thought from your brain, it can actually make you feel better, which may sound strange but if you can force yourself to get out, exercise will then help you to relax, get the oxygen moving around your body and improve circulation.

The other thing is eating. Again this may sound awful if you are feeling nauseous but nutrition can play a critical role in getting over morning sickness. Acid in an empty stomach can trigger more queasiness. Having healthy, good quality snacks containing vitamins and nutrients can settle your stomach.

Top Ten tips for dealing with morning sickness.

 

  1. Exercise – try a prenatal exercise class which will motivate you to get there, get your circulation going and take your mind off the nausea and your body distracted, relaxed and the circulation going.
  2. Vitamin B keeps off queasiness – crackers, whole-grain toast, cereals, brown rice, porridge oats, wheat germ and sweet potatoes are good choices.
  3. Vitamin K also helps ward of nausea – foods containing this vitamin are spinach, broccoli, green beans, and salad.
  4. Keep hydrated throughout the day; drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, weight is 80lbs; you need 80 ounces of fluids per day. Equivalent to four and half of the 500ml small mineral water bottles. Your fluid intake doesn’t have to be totally water, you can try herbal teas (tea pigs are my favourite – they do a particularly good camomile, which is safe for pregnancy). Aim to drink 2 glasses of water when you wake up as this replenishes fluids lost during the night. Add 1 to 2 granules of natural sea salt (not table salt) to your water to aid absorption into the muscle cells. Drink more on days you are exercising or in hot weather.
  5. Eating plenty of soups, fruits and vegetables also adds to your water intake, so you can drink less.
  6. Avoid forcing down large meals; eat several small meals throughout the day every 3 hours even just a cracker, oatcake or slice of toast will
  7. Try to avoid too much tea or coffee. Caffeine and tannins (in tea) aggravate nausea.
  8. Peppermint, Camomile and Ginger teas are very soothing for nausea. My favourite are Teapigs range
  9. Fatty foods are difficult to digest and irritate the intestines in your stomach. Starchy foods as sweet potatoes, brown rice, and brown pasta are easier to digest.
  10. Ask someone else to cook (and put your feet up!). Foods smells can make you feel worse so it’s often a good idea to get out of the kitchen and let someone else take over!

    Bonus Tip! Get some fresh air just before eating – it’s really beneficial so you can go for a stroll to get your lunch if you’re at work.

 

If you go more than one day without being able to keep any food down or if the nausea does extend beyond thirteen weeks, I’d strongly recommend consulting your doctor.

Healthy Snack for Stressed Mummies : Smoked Mackerel Paté

This is legendary, so easy and quick to make and I love it. Donated from our lovely nutritional therapist Stephanie from Nourish to Flourish it is a perfect snack when you are feeling low, tired, overwhelmed. instead of a biscuit this will make you feel good and not add to the waistline. The essential fatty acids in the mackerel help keep your hair shiny and your complexion clear (unlike a sugary biscuit or crisps!) and the protein will help balance sugar levels to combat cravings.

Smoked Mackerel Paté

1 pack of smoked mackerel – remove skin and any bones
Add to a blender with 2 heaped tbsp plain probiotic yoghurt, 1 large tsp horseradish sauce (optional); juice of 1/2-1 lemon and black pepper and blend.
Taste and adjust lemon, yoghurt, horseradish and black pepper to your preference. You can also add some fresh parsley, chives or spring onion for added nutrition.
Serve on toasted rye bread with a dark green leafy salad (rocket, watercress, spinach) and fresh tomatoes on the side.

Stephanie Ridley, specialises in dealing with stress and post natal nutrition and is founder of Nourish to Flourish. She is a mum of two and has worked as an Academic and Clinical Tutor at the UK college of Nutrition and Health. She is the nutritional therapist with TheBeezKneez. To speak with Steph about your Nutritional nightmares and see how she can help contact, steph@beez-kneez.co.uk or call 0845 474 9196.

Note: We don’t recommend eating smoked fish too often in pregnancy – once or twice a month is generally considered OK.

Test for Diastasis Recti

Here’s a quick easy test you can do yourself to see if you still have separation of the abdominal wall or diastasis.

1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat to floor. Make sure your lower back just brushes the floor underneath you – avoid pressing it too flat into the floor or over-arching it.

2. Take your index finger and third finger together and vertically place them just under the bra strap (breast bone). Then turn them horizontally and pass them, quite firmly, down the cenre of your front (known as the linea alba). It is the line from the breast bone down to the belly button.

3. Breathe in first, then breath out, slightly pull in your abdominal muscles and lift your shoulders and head off the floor. Press your two fingers down your vertical line, keeping gentle pressure. Take the fingers down to the belly button quite quickly.

4. Notice if the gap between the stomach muscles is greater than your two fingers. If so, there is still some separation, which indicates some instability.

If the gap is greater – we would concentrate on pelvic floor exercises/tilts and lower abdominal strengthening. You would avoid any kind of stomach crunches until the gap is smaller than the width of the two fingers.
With care and correct exercises, the gap will reduce and you can perform more advanced stomach exercises.

I run quick tests for Abdominal Separation, just as above, on our Spring Fitness Courses. Book your place and get your free test.

Pregnancy and fitness FAQs

Found out you are pregnant? Grab your champagne glass and fill with sparkling grape juice! Congratulations and good news there is now no need to confine yourself to the sofa for the rest of your pregnancy. There are plenty of ways to stay fit and active but you probably have some questions. Here are the ones we get asked most often …

I have been told that the best form of exercise is swimming now I am pregnant, is this true?

Swimming is a good form of exercise (although not the only one!) for expectant mothers for a number of reasons.

The weightlessness in the water makes it a more comfortable form of exercise than walking around carrying your bump. It is lower impact and it  puts less strain on your joints.

A few things to take on board when swimming in pregnancy:

1. Avoid holding your breath as this can cause your blood pressure to rise.

2. Be careful with breaststroke legs, front crawl kick is better.  If you have any pelvic problems then breaststoke may make them worse, due to the action of widening of the hips. This may also lead to an increasing the chance of developing Pelvic Girdle Pain, formely known as Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). Alternatively try walking through the water, a side kick or an aqua class.

3. Avoid butterfly stroke after your first trimester as this can place strain on your lower back.

4. Make sure you have a bottle of water on the side of the pool and continue to sip water like you would with any exercise.

How about Pilates or Yoga now I am pregnant?

Pilates helps improve and maintain good posture and helps improve the strengthen of your core muscles. This in turn can alleviate any back problems or back ache. It’s best to  find a specific pre-natal class with a qualified antenatal exercise trainer.

Can I still do a Body Pump or a Body Conditioning class that use weights?

During your first trimester, you can still continue all your regular classes but remember to listen to your body and avoid over-exertion.

Light resistance training throughout pregnancy has benefits as it will help keep your muscles strong, toned and prepared for after the baby is born (your baby may be any weight from 3-4.5kg so getting used to lifting that weight is important!). Similary the stronger your muscles the more they can deal with the postural changes your body is experiencing. As your pregnancy progresses it is important to make sure you adapt and reduce your weight load.

Can I do sit-ups?

As your baby grows, your abdominal muscles stretch and weaken considerably to accommodate it, so you need to look after and continue to strengthen them. Sit-ups are not the best option (even if you are not pregnant, this is not the best exercise to strengthen your abdominals).

During your first trimester, normal abdominal conditioning can continue but if you experience any pain or back ache, stop the exercise.

During your second trimester, you want to avoid any exercises in the supine position (lying on your back) as the increased weight of the baby impedes good blood flow and oxygen to the fetus so you can experience dizziness, light headedness or nausea. You can add pillows so that your head is elevated above your heart. If you do lye on your back avoid staying there for longer than 2 minutes.  Avoid sit-ups, reverse curls and oblique twists and focus on core strengthening and stability exercises.

Should I stretch?

During pregnancy the relaxin  hormone is produced, as early as the 2nd week, and it’s effects on the ligaments can remain up to 6 months after delivery. Relaxin, as the name suggests, relaxes the ligaments and fibrous tissue to prepare the body to carry the baby and for labour.

It’s important to understand the exercise considerations of relaxin because it makes the ligaments and tendons more elastic and the joints less stable. Pregnant women are therefore more prone to injury during physical activities and are less stable in everyday movements.

Stretching when you are pregnant is still key as the moves prevent muscles tightness and relieve tension and pain. Static stretches are generally replaced with gentle dynamic stretches. Consider hiring a personal trainer to show you the correct stretches and technique.

How can I do my Pelvic Floor exercises?

Voluntarily lift up your pelvic floor (imagine it is a hammock lying under your bladder) and tighten your belly button at the same time. Do this when you cough and also when you are doing squats, plies, lunges, the Pilates Clam and any hip adductor exercises.

This content aims to give general fitness advice and tips to expectant mothers experiencing a normal pregnancy. This should not be treated as a substitute for or supersede any medical advice you have been given.

 

How to ease soreness after exercise

After exercise you may experience the effects of training with aching muscles. This is known as ‘Delayed onset muscle soreness‘ or DOMS for short. It’s a perfectly normal response to resistance/strength training and means your body is responding to the exercise.

To ease the pain, Fran, one of our personal trainers, highly recommends Epsom Salts, which are used by athletes and racehorses! Add these to a bath to aid aches and promote muscle recovery. These salts are also great for detoxing the body and you’ll sleep like a baby after a long soak!

 

 

More benefits of Epsom salts:

‘Epsom salts have been a long time remedy natural remedy for a number of
ailments. An Epsom salts bath is known to relieve aching limbs, muscle
strain and back pain. In addition, it has been known to heal cuts, reduce
soreness from childbirth and relieves colds and congestion. Furthermore,
Epsom salts will flush toxins and heavy metals from the body.

Epsom salts is a natural stress reliever too. Stress drains the body of
magnesium. An Epsom salts bath absorbs magnesium into our body thus helping
to relieve stress. The magnesium helps to produce adequate amounts of
serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling
of calm and relaxation’ Read more..

Arm and Chest Toner

Ball Chest Squeeze

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

Start:
Standing holding the ball at chest height.

Action:
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.

Posture

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.