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 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, 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.

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.

Pregnancy Core Exercises

Here are three top pregnancy exercises you can do at home to maintain core strength and protect your back. Be sure to perform a warm-up for five minutes before you do these exercises. 


Standing Hip Extensions

Start by placing your hands on the back of your hips.
Slowly shift your hips forward using your muscles and your hands. Do NOT flex your lower back.
Only push until a comfortable stretch or range of motion is achieved. Hold for 5 secs and repeat 5-6 times.



Bird dog (opposite arm and leg raise on all fours!)

  • Start
    by placing yourself on your hands and knees.  Draw in your navel
    slightly so you feel your abs tighten. Keep shoulders down and away from
  • Slowly raise your opposite arm and opposite leg and
    extend them out away from the body. Hold for 10 secs and rest for 3
    secs. Repeat 6 times.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat with the other side.
  • Always keep this movement slow and controlled. Never flex your lower back. 

side plank Left and Right Side Pillar Hold

Lay on the ground on one side. Raise your body using one
forearm and support it in this raise for 10 secs, rest for 3 secs and repeat six times.
Lower your body and repeat on the other side.
Remember to keep your head, neck and body in a straight line. Keep your shoulder down away from ear and the elbow on the floor under shoulder


Delicious Baked Fish

Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Soak a pinch of saffron in 2 tbsp warm water.

Slice 1 medium potato per person into 1cm slices and par-boil for approx 6-8mins. Drain and layer them across the bottom of a roasting pan, big enough to hold a sea bass/ sea bream (for 2) or any white fish.

Clean the fish and slash it several times each side and then season.

Lay the fish on the potato slices and scatter 2 red peppers, 1 courgette and 2 large handfuls of cherry tomatoes either side of the fish and pour over the saffron water, a glug of stock and cover with several sprigs of thyme and/or parsley. Drizzle over 4tsp regular olive oil and season.

Cover with foil and bake for approx 1hr or until the fish is cooked through. Serve with a handful of leaves and some olives.

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Ridley, Nutritional Therapist. or

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.