First trimester to second – how I feel, running and food

I’m quite comfortably in the second trimester of my pregnancy now at 18 weeks and enjoying life.

So far I think I’ve put on about 3-4lbs – I’m assuming it’s going to increase quite quickly at some point!

Comparative to the first trimester, it’s an utter breeze. No constant feelings of nausea, no feeling like I was limited in what I could eat for fear of it turning my stomach or being too much. While I still can’t eat certain foods (apples, shockingly, can you even believe? Along with ice cream, hot chocolate and chicken wings), I can pretty much eat most things and eat far bigger portions than I was able.

Porridge thankfully doesn’t make me feel sick anymore and I’m gradually increasing my portion size little by little. Pre-pregnancy I would have a giant bowl, but then I had to half that bowl to a teeny tiny portion and now it’s about 3/4 of the way there again, hurrah!

My chocolate eating, however, has become quite something. I eat it every single day. Now previously I would of course eat chocolate regularly but this is literally every night.

I just love having a black decaf coffee a few lines of the Cadbury’s Mini Egg Bars (you must try if you haven’t) or Tony’s Chocolonely or Toblerone. Basically anything. We have a lot of chocolate in the house and every single night I’ll be getting some.

I’m not worried because it’s not like I’m eating an entire bar every single night (though some nights I do get close!) but to me it’s balance. We have nice balanced meals most days and if I eat a lot of chocolate one evening, I’ll make sure to eat more vegetables and less chocolate the next day.

My energy levels are so much better too. During the first trimester I was exhausted ALL the time. I had to take 30-60 minute naps in the afternoon to get through the day (thank god for WFH!). If I ran I would be totally drained for the rest of the day. My standing desk became my sitting desk and doing my usual strength workouts became very hard. Following along to YouTube workouts was tough as I felt so unfit.

To be honest I thought this was only going to get worse. However happily it has not. I no longer need naps, running and working out feel normal again and I get through the day without feeling like I’m walking through treacle. It’s crazy how things change so quickly.

In terms of my running, I’m still slower than pre-pregnancy, of course, but I have some mornings where I feel more energised  and zippy than usual and can be around 8:15-8:30 paces.

But then there are other runs where I’m nice and comfortable just going along at 8:50-9 min miles.

Running, despite being slower, doesn’t feel vastly different to how it used to. I do feel a pressure and slight weight in my lower tummy and this will often result in my needing to stop  a number of times to go for a wee during my longer runs. But I don’t feel any discomfort or pains when I run, or afterwards (otherwise I’d stop).

I did have a minor blip recently where my left of hip started to bug me. It felt like a niggle I’d had before so I didn’t think it was pregnancy related. But perhaps due to all the changes in my body and hormones it was exacerbated? Who knows. I was sensible though and rested it for about 6 days. Instead I did YouTube workouts instead and rehabbed my hip with squats, lunges and glute work. I found these definitely helped.

Now the hip issue has gone and I’m back to my usual runs. While I’m so glad it cleared up quickly and it wasn’t a long-term thing (touch wood) it did give me The Fear a bit. I really want to maintain my running as best as I can during this pregnancy. Now of course, as I keep saying, I know my paces will drop further and I will eventually be running less but I do want to continue to run every week as much as my body will allow. So far 30 miles a week with a 10-13 mile long run at the weekend is working perfectly. I adore my running at the moment, especially with lockdown. It’s such mental refresher and a way I derive great happiness in this worrying and admittedly rather boring time.

This is why when I started to get a niggle I was quick to react and take some time off. I’m  happy to take a number of days off rather than weeks off because weeks are big in this pregnancy journey. Lots is changing and I don’t want to suddenly try running again after a lot of time off and realise my body is just not able to anymore.

I know that might be a silly way to look at it and factually not accurate at all but it definitely encouraged me to be far more sensible than I’ve ever been. Normally I’d have pushed through the runs regardless, but I stopped straight away even though it wasn’t painful per se, just a bit niggly. Pain is usually what stops me. However I nipped it in the bud before it even got there, whew! A lesson for future non-pregnant Anna I think…

Did you run through your pregnancy (if you’re female and had children!)?

Do you like to snack in the evening?

What food would you hate to not be able to eat anymore?

Our lockdown gender reveal party

So I am now 17+5 weeks pregnant. It feels like it’s flying by but it also feels like it’s crawling, which is weird. I mean, comparative to the pandemic and lockdown(s) I suppose.

We recently had another private scan so we could (hopefully) find out the baby’s sex. We could of course wait until the NHS 20 week scan but both Kyle and I are rather impatient. And also, there’s no guarantee at the NHS scan they’ll tell us (I’ve heard a few stories of this).

Originally I wasn’t going to find out. Kyle was going to be told and then I would be left in the dark. He would then text his sister, Lucy, the gender and she would beaver away making a “gender reveal” cake ready for a big family Zoom call the next day. I thought it would be quite fun me finding out the same time as my family and through cutting into the cake. However, I caved on Friday morning and decided there was no way I couldn’t not find out. It would be so hard Kyle knowing and me not.

We headed to Hello Baby in Southampton on the Friday evening and I was now super excited. Kyle and I were both convinced it would be a girl. Like I was almost CERTAIN (impossible I realise but I had such a strong feeling). We played silly games on the way to the scan like “the next singer’s gender will be our baby’s gender” or how many blue or pink things we could spot.

The woman doing the scan (the sonographer?) was so lovely and went through all the different parts of the baby saying how the sizes were good and healthy… and then she said did we want to know the gender? Yes! Yes! Yes! She explained she would turn the lights off, and then turn either the pink light or the blue light on. Oooooh.

Off went the lights. And on went the blue light! We were SHOCKED. So shocked. It was weird. I had a sudden, unexpected flood of disappointment, which upset me. I knew keenly that I wasn’t at all disappointed it was a boy. I was actually very chuffed we were having a boy. But I realised I was sad because all the things I’d imagined with a girl were now not going to be a reality. Like I’d imagined two scenarios in my head, and now one was now firmly gone. It was a brief moment of mourning for the little girl we wouldn’t be having.

But then suddenly I was excited and happy. A BOY! All the scenarios with a boy suddenly became cemented in reality. A little boy!

Kyle was super happy too. To be honest, we were going to be happy either way. There are so many pros to both. We FaceTimed Lucy and let her know (she was super excited for us) and then celebrated at home with a takeaway – of course.

The next day Lucy dropped off the cake. It looked incredible! We’d asked her to make it dinosaur themed (which is gender neutral in my eyes) and inside would be, of course, blue sponge. It had dinosaur “eggs” on top which were in fact cake pops and little chocolate dinosaurs. It was amazing.

We spent the day counting down the hours until we’d have the call with the family. We had to wait until everyone was free and ready – oh so hard! We were so impatient! We set up the cake in front of the laptop, positioned my phone to film it (for the memories and to share on social media).

Finally everyone arrived and we got them to guess before we’d cut the cake. It was pretty even on the guesses. And then we cut the cake.

It was such a special moment! Of course we’d have loved to have done it in person but at least this was still a bit of fun and such an enjoyable experience. I’m  so glad we filmed it as well as it means we have it forever.

Everyone, of course, was so happy for us and if I’m honest I’m glad it’s a boy not a girl now because on my side of the family we have no boys. My sister has two little girls so it’s nice my parents have a grandson to look forward to now.

So onwards to the 20 week scan now!

Did you do any sort of gender reveal party if you’ve had a baby/babies?

Fresh Content: Buying Food Machinery For The First Time

I’ve got a slightly different post today to do with food machinery – not something I’m that familiar with but interesting nonetheless.

When it comes to food production, there is a broad assortment of machines to choose from. You need to choose your food production machinery with a great amount of care, as this is something that will have a massive impact on quality and productivity levels at your business. Keeping that in mind, in this post we are going to provide you with all of the information you need to know when it comes to buying the best machine for you.

What should you consider when buying food production machinery?

New or second hand? – There is only one place to begin, and this is by determining whether you should opt for a new machine or one that is second-hand. The latter option can be extremely beneficial, as it gives you the opportunity to invest in a type of machine and/or model that you otherwise would not be able to afford. However, if you go for a used machine, you do need to acquire it from a credible retailer, as you don’t want to run the risk of anything going wrong. 

Efficiency levels – Efficiency is a factor that is of paramount importance when shopping for food production machinery for your business. You want to be sure that the machine is going to speed up the production process, so that the effects can be felt at your business in terms of enhanced output and consequently increased sales. 

Price – Price is a pivotal factor when buying any product for your business. However, you should not simply go for the first machine you lay your eyes on. You need to choose with care. Consider the other aspects first and then let price be the final determining factor.

Read reviews – You should read reviews that have been left by previous customers. This is the best way to get an honest insight into the machine that you are considering purchasing and to make sure the company has a good reputation in the food services industry. If people have generally not been satisfied, you can rest assured that they will have taken to the Internet to express their annoyance, and this is something you should be able to pick up on with ease.

Credible retailer – Last but not least, it is always a good idea to purchase the machine from a credible retailer. Not only will this improve your chances of benefitting from a quality machine, but it will also ensure that help is available in regards to maintenance and servicing as well. 

To conclude, there is a lot that needs to be considered when you are looking for machinery for your food production needs. However, if you carefully contemplate the points that we have mentioned, you should find it much easier to locate the machinery that you require for your needs. Take the time to do your research and assess the different options that are out there. The Internet is a great source for all your information.

Is there an area you’re familiar with?

Have you ever worked with food?

What I’m loving lately – January

Even during Lockdown 3.0 I’m trying to keep positive and find things to make me smile, though it can definitely be quite trying at times.

Being pregnant is all well and good and there’s definitely a constant low level of excitement and anticipation, but it’s quite a long time away before I actually give birth (July-ish) and I’m actually more often feeling impending doom and waves of fear. Fear of being a parent, fear of Big Life Change, fear of lack of sleep, to name a few. All the things basically.

But anyway I DO have things that I’ve been enjoying lately so thought I’d share.

First thing’s first, having Kyle come downstairs to inform me proudly he’s learnt how to swaddle a baby is pretty damn cute.

Especially considering the “baby” in question was none other than our baby Yoda cuddly toy.

It’s fair to say that both Kyle and I are entirely clueless with anything baby related so even these titbits of knowledge are gold dust for us. I feel very overwhelmed when I try and think about all the things I don’t know (let’s not even consider the “unknown unknowns”!). I know I need to be reading books, blogs and building a solid base of knowledge but at the moment I just feel it’s too much.

I also know that there are certain strong opinions on different subjects and if I read one book am I residing myself to that opinion? Or do I read everything?? Like best ways to feed your baby, getting them to sleep, routines… argh so much! So I bit of light relief from Kyle was lovely.

And speaking of baby stuff… I was recently sent an amazing piece of art from the lovely Mary (her blog http://www.ahealthiermoo.com/).

She’s started a business creating gorgeous pieces of running art (check it out here https://www.instagram.com/runnerprints/) which she was kind enough to send me one. I love it! Definitely be going up in the nursery (currently Kyle’s study). Thank you, Mary! Perfect gift idea for a runner 🙂

Something else I’ve recently been sent was a collection of bars from Human Food.

They’re basically an organic plant-based snack bar that contains no nasties, refined sugar, artificial ingredients and (which I love) their packaging is very environmentally friendly. They don’t use plastics and it’s all recyclable and biodegradable. Not only this but throughout their organisation, they pride themselves on fair treatment and fair wage of staff. Good stuff indeed!

So what were they like? I’m not a big fan of cereal or protein bars, but these were dense chewy, relatively sweet bars that I quite enjoyed.

They advise you can just eat them as a bar (very nice, I enjoyed it with a cuppa in the afternoon), or you can even break it up and add it to smoothies or even your porridge. Love this!

The ingredients are super healthy as well so you know you’re getting a powerhouse health snack (and as pregnant woman, this was so handy when I was suffering from nausea and really need to ramp up my nutrition in easy ways when I found so many other fruits and veg unpalatable). Each bar contains things like maca, ginseng, cacao and hemp seeds, along with other goodies like turmeric, spirulina, nuts and a whole host of vitamins and minerals. So a solid, quality snack that leaves a good taste in your mouth in more ways than one.

On a slight less healthy note… we’ve also been enjoying doughnuts from the a local Southsea small business (find on Instagram @southseadonutco). For £9 they delivered three homemade vegan doughnuts to us.

They were incredible. Unfortunately due to a confusion during ordering (probably my fault to be fair) we got the wrong order. But they were more than happy to deliver us our correct order the next day to make up for it – which is incredible!

So in the end we had four salted caramel doughnuts, a Biscoff one and a cinnamon sugar one. They were SO good. I especially loved the cinnamon and Biscoff ones. If you’re local, I heartily recommend these guys. We will definitely be ordering again. Soft, melt in the mouth and vegan!

We’ve also been seriously enjoying the influx of Easter chocolate that is now in the shops. Especially the Mini Eggs Bar that has just been released. This is such a moreish and delicious chocolate bar. We have literally been buying all our local shop’s stock. One of my favourite snacks in the evening is a few rows (*cough* few being subjective) of the chocolate with a decaf black coffee. It hits the spot I tell you.

We also managed to find the Easter Egg version of it so we have that ready to go for Easter (if we can avoid the temptation of scoffing it before that is). So it’s a thick egg with Mini Eggs in it with a bag of Mini Eggs (my favourite, so so dangerous though). This Easter we’re definitely not holding back – we need good stuff like this to keep us going with all things considered.

What has been so difficult (and I know pretty much everyone feels ecavtly the same right now) is not seeing our family that often. It’s so hard. Especially being pregnant, I want to be doing all the things with them like going shopping for baby items and just not having limits to seeing them. But it is what it is and we just have to live with that right now.

But I was lucky enough to see my mum for a walk down Southsea on Sunday – no hugging, no touching, but just walking and chatting. It was lovely but also so sad. My mum works in a hospital and she knows first-hand how bad it is right now and how we just have to keep going with being safe and sensible. But it doesn’t make it easier.

We got a takeaway coffee and she enjoyed one of the salted caramel doughnuts I brought for her, which she very much enjoyed.

Next weekend I hope to do the same, but with my dad. Tag teaming the family basically! It’s all we can do right now, and it’ll just have to be enough.

How are you coping in Lockdown 3.0?

Are there any new snacks you’ve been enjoying?

** Full Disclaimer: I was sent the Human Food for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones**

Just keep swimming… or running

I realise my blog has suddenly become quite pregnancy focused. Somewhat understandable as that’s what’s currently going on right now for me, and let’s be honest there’s not much else happening anyway!

I’m now a couple of days away from 15 weeks and feeling miles better than I was during the first trimester.

Some days I get a little bit of random nausea early in the morning but mostly I’m out of the woods. Just general tiredness really. And other than the increasing size of my boobs, I pretty much look the same as before. I don’t currently have a noticeable bump. If I eat a lot in the evening (like when we get a takeaway at the weekend) it definitely pops out more, but I’m guessing this is mostly bloating and the food I’ve just eaten. By morning I’m back to “normal”.

Other than my pregnancy, Kyle and I are just pootling along through Lockdown 3.0… WFH during the week, Facetiming family and friends and then getting a takeaway or two at the weekend to keep us from going mad.

Last weekend was nice as my friend Mark was able to join me for a 10k run on Saturday morning. It was just so nice to run with someone else! I did used to run with Kyle at least once a week but he’s struggling a little with motivation (no races, no parkrun) and doesn’t particularly want to get up early in the week like I do. For me, if I don’t run in the morning I’d really struggle to go later as my motivation just dips completely.

So anyway Mark and I were able to run together and it just reminded me how easy running feels when you’re chatting away with someone. Hopefully we’ll do it again soon. He’s coming back from injury so my pregnancy pace was luckily not too slow for him! (He’s quite zippy normally).

I’m trying not to think too much about the coming months if I’m honest. Kyle and I deliberately didn’t take any holiday other than the Bank Holidays over Christmas so we could carry more holiday over to this year. The plan being that we could go on a little “baby moon” (hate that phrase) before the baby arrives.

We have to take this holiday though before the end of March and I’m panicking we won’t be able to go anywhere because we’ll still be locked down. Obviously I don’t expect us to go anywhere abroad, but I’d love to go somewhere other than Portsmouth right now! A little AirBnb, some walks, some time together just the two of us.

I’d dread that we’d have to take the holiday and be sat inside our house. I would go mad. And I don’t really want to take any holiday after March for the 2021 allocation because this is going to help boost my maternity leave pay. Argh. But it’ll be what it’ll be.

So we just work weekend to weekend and try to find little things to keep us going. Like ordering doughnuts from the local bakery. Or trying new takeaways near us.

Delicious cake from The Parade Tearooms

Or going for walks down to Southsea and getting takeaway coffees and cake.

Anything to just keep it from feeling too much like Groundhog Day.

How are you doing?

Are you planning any holidays this year?