Postpartum nutrition – all the good stuff

Finding the time to blog is becoming somewhat tricky (as you can imagine with a brand new baby), but I want to continue to write as I find it very cathartic and I also want to document memories of this crazy time.

Isaac is now 4.5 weeks old and honestly I can’t imagine life without him right now… and I also can’t imagine what over 6 hours of sleep feels like either! I always knew that having a baby would mean sleepless nights and an abundance of chaos… but actually living through it is something else I tell you.

That said, maternity leave is lovely. Amongst the crazy tiredness and constantly being on my toes looking after the little man, I do get to spend lots of time with family and friends doing fun things like going for walks, coffee and lunch.

It really is quite fabulous. My mum has two days off a week and Kyle’s mum doesn’t work Fridays so I get to see them a lot, which of course they love because they adore being grandmas.

My mum and I went to the Parade Tearooms and I had my favourite Jayne Salad followed by cake

Spending time with Isaac as a grandma must be amazing – you get all the fun without the hard sleepless night, eh!

So my week is very different to before, obviously. No work emails, no meetings – which is wonderful. But confusion, anxiety, stress and tiredness in abundance. Not exactly a holiday but not exactly like being in a proper job either. Very odd.

One of our many cake and coffee trips

The two weeks that Kyle was able to have as paternity leave was really lovely. Obviously it was hard and we were like deer in the headlights, Googling everything, ringing parents every hour asking questions and just wondering what the hell we’d gotten ourselves into it. But we also got to spend quality time as a threesome (well foursome with Alfie).

Kyle and I managed to get to 7Bone with Isaac which was fabulous

And I won’t lie, I’ve been having some fantastic meals and food lately, which honestly is quite surprising. I was told I wouldn’t have any time for myself to make sure there were lots of meals in the freezer.  I mean, I did prepare well and we do have a lot of food ready to go in the freezer but with all the meals out and people coming over bringing food and wanting to cook for us, we haven’t been starving!

Recent trip to Breezes for brunch

But amongst all the cake, doughnuts and lunches out I have been watching my nutrition carefully as I’m breastfeeding. While I know I need to be upping my calories to keep my supply decent, I also want to make sure the calories I’m eating are of a good quality as well. I mean cake IS good but it’s not the most nutritiously dense!

One of my favourites: Bakewell atrt

Handily I was recently sent some protein powder and collagen powder to try out from Naked Nutrition. And I’ve been making some mean smoothies to get some fast and tasty nutrition in me fast. It’s not always possible to grab the healthiest snacks on the go but having a smoothie is perfect.

I really like these products because they’re not full of any unnecessary nasties. I tried the Naked Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder and add it to my porridge in a morning and my smoothie in the afternoon. It’s made from whey source from grass-fed cows raised without growth hormones like rBGH or rBST. Each serving contains 25 grams of protein and 5.9 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). There are no additives or artificial sweeteners. Perfect!

The Naked Collagan Powder also has a similar “clean” profile, with no added nasties. It’s also flavourless so easy to add to anything like porridge or even soup. And each serving has 9 grams of protein and only 35 calories.

My smoothie recipe:

  1. One scoop of Naked chocolate protein powder
  2. One sachet of collagen powder
  3. A handful of spinach
  4. One frozen banana
  5. Handful of frozen blueberries
  6. Soya milk (or any milk you fancy)
While breastfeeding, smoothies are so easy to drink!

It’s delicious, filling and packed full of good stuff! Protein is so important in general to keep your muscles strong and your body healthy, and while I’m not training per se I am breastfeeding and it’s still super important to keep my protein solid. And collagen powder is SO good for you in terms of your hair, nails and bones. I’m giving so much physically and mentally to Isaac that it’s so handy to throw a smoothie together with all this good stuff to keep me healthy so I can keep Isaac healthy.

So in terms of food and nutrition I’ve been doing evry well. Just got to get my sleep as good eh? 😉

Do you like smoothies?

Have you ever had collagen?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the products for free in return for a blog review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Healthy Living 101: 8 Important Body Parts that Need More Care

Keeping yourself healthy – so important in all satges of life. As I’m currently breastfeeding I’m trying my best to keep right on top of my health. I mean this is a bit of a continuation of my pregnancy too – it’s no longer just me I’m looking after! Here is a great post to remind you to look after yourself.

Every part of your body needs special care and attention. Therefore, there are many routines that you should follow to ensure every body part is in top shape to improve your overall health. So, here are important body parts that need more care.

Pixabay – CC0 Licence  

Skin

Skin is the largest organ in your body and is the first layer of defence against any harmful and foreign substances. Every time you walk out of the door, you expose your skin to a barrage of potential hazards, such as germs and bacteria. The good news is that your skin has a mechanism to protect itself against most of these substances and prevent you from getting sick. This is an excellent reason to give special care to your skin. Failure to do so will expose your first line of defence to harm. Skincare is a good way to get started.

Eyes

They say the eyes are the windows to the outside world. Like most parts of the body, your eyes are constantly exposed to harm. Additionally, you have to deal with light emitting from various sources, such as your computer and phones and ultraviolet rays. This may result in irritation and, ultimately, infections.

Ears

It is advisable to listen to ears also. The human ears take a lot of sensory overload from the environment. And like other special body parts, your ears need care. The chances are that you expose yourself to high decibel sounds that can be perilous to your hearing ability.

The most basic ear care is ensuring you do not get exposed to too much noise by avoiding using earphones with high volumes or standing next to speakers in a concert. Additionally, you can take care of your ears by using earbuds when working in noisy environments. Lastly, keeping your ears clean and dry helps you prevent infections and irritation.

Teeth

Your teeth are the reasons behind your fantastic smile. Additionally, they allow you to enjoy the pleasure of various foods. Failure to take proper care of your teeth can be detrimental to your dental health and facial beauty. The good news is taking proper care of your teeth is easy. It is a matter of avoiding too much sugary food, flossing, and brushing at least twice a day. However, reports indicate that a majority of people do not take proper care of their teeth.

Apart from brushing and flossing, regular visits to a dentist help you prevent and manage dental problems. There are many health benefits of taking good care of your teeth, and you should not miss any of them.

Lower abdomen

Your lower abdomen comprises your belly and belly button. This part is another that requires special care because it contributes to your physical appearance. For starters, planks and sit-ups can help you get a 6 pack and make your lower abdomen more attractive.

When it comes to your belly button, you must have realized that it stays dirty even after hours in the bathroom. This may be scary because there are many types of bacteria in the human belly button. Proper care includes cleaning and consulting your physician if you have issues around this region.

Back

Your back makes up your core, an important body part that helps you do so many things. So, you have to ensure that you give special attention to your back. Chronic back pains can be debilitating and prevent you from going about your daily routines in peace. If you want to avoid this, make sure you sit in the right posture and avoid exerting too much pressure on your back. Physical exercise can also be an excellent way of taking care of your back.

Genitals

Do you find it challenging to spare a thought for the well-being of your genitals until there is an infection? You are not alone. Many people ignore their genitals until it’s late. Your genital area is always covered most of the time, making it prone to infections and irritation. Without enough air circulation, your genitals tend to be damp, and this is perfect for bacteria to thrive. Ensure you wear clean underwear and change them as frequently as possible.

Hair

This may be a surprise inclusion, but vital. Your hair may not contribute much to your health, but they are crucial to your physical appearance and personality. Additionally, your hair can be an indicator of your overall health. Taking proper care of your hair includes frequent washing using shampoo and cutting, if necessary. Avoiding too much heat treatment can also be an excellent way of taking care of your hair.

The bottom line

There you go; these are the most important body parts that require special care. Follow a healthy lifestyle and these tips to protect your body against diseases and improve your overall health today and every day.

Are you “on it” with your health?

Eating Well for Your Digestive Health

I’m so nervous about Sunday’s marathon I can’t tell you… but hopefully I’ll have a positive update next week.

Until then I have a post regarding keeping your digestion nice and healthy. Enjoy!

Sometimes the joy of eating is having whatever you want, whenever you want. It’s important to stay fuelled up if you’re an active person to make sure you’re getting enough energy. But sometimes you need to be a bit more careful about what you eat, especially if your digestive system starts objecting to what you’re putting in it. Changing what you eat or how you eat, even if it’s just some of the time, can help you if you have digestive issues or you just want to be healthier in general. Try these tips if you want to make your gut happier and healthier.

Enjoy a Diverse Diet

Eating lots of different things can help to keep your digestive system (and the rest of you) healthy. When you have a diverse microbiota in your gut, it’s generally going to be healthy. Different species of bacteria can do different things and help you to stay healthy in a variety of ways. Expanding your diet to include lots of different foods can help to make the bacteria in your intestines more diverse so that you have a happier tummy. Considering the different food groups and lots of types of plant foods can make your diet more varied.

Eat Plenty of Vegetables, Fruits, Legumes, and Beans

Fruits and vegetables, as well as legumes and beans, have lots of nutrients in them. Many of them also have a lot of fibre, which is great for your digestive system. When you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, you might even be able to prevent some bacteria that lead to disease. Some great foods that are high in fibre and good for your gut include chickpeas, broccoli, lentils, and all kinds of beans. Eating foods like these will help your digestive system to operate as it should.

Try Fermented Foods

You might have heard people talking about the magic of fermented foods. Fermentation usually involves the natural process of bacteria or yeast turning sugars into acids or alcohol. Some types of fermented food include yoghurt, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut. If you wanted to try something new, buy Gutsy Ferments sauerkraut or a similar product. Not everyone likes all types of fermented products, but you’ll probably find some that you find very tasty. Try something different like kimchi or just stick to a less adventurous probiotic yoghurt if you’re not the sort of person to branch out.

Look for Prebiotic Foods

Prebiotic foods promote the growth of microbes that are beneficial to the gut. They include fibres and complex carbs that need bacteria to break them down. Lots of fruits, vegetables, and wholegrains count as prebiotics, such as the onion family (including garlic and leek), asparagus, bananas, and barley, and oats. These foods also contain lots of nutrients that are good for your health, as well as helping to give you a healthy digestive system.

Take good care of your gut health if you want to be healthier and feel more comfortable while enjoying a diverse diet.

Do you have any issues with your digestion?

Do you think you eat enough fruit and veg?

How Many Calories Does Running Burn Compared to Other Activities

I have such a backlog of blog posts right now which I’m trying to get finished, but for the moment I have this article from Amelia Higgins. I hope you enjoy!

Running is one of the best ways that anyone of any fitness level can burn calories. It doesn’t matter if you are running a marathon or taking part in a local parkrun event, there is no better way to improve your health and fitness levels.

Image Credit: Pexels

The problem is that not enough people run (and they should). So in this article we decided to look at how running compares to four different activities in the number of calories burnt. Our base line for the comparison was Very Well Fit’s calculation for a 10-stone person running 3.1 miles. They calculated that a 10-stone person running 3.1 miles at a 10-minute mile pace would burn approximately 328 calories. With that number in mind here are 4 activities to compare running to.

Brisk walking

Why run when you can walk? At around 130 calories burned per hour, brisk walking doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as running, but it is easier on your feet and knees. Walking, not to mention, is also something we do everyday. In other words it’s a good way to burn calories without necessarily doing anything out of the ordinary. Up the intensity, and number of calories burned, by going on a brisk walk a few times a week.

Chess

You can actually burn calories even while doing something as mundane as playing board games, like chess. Even more surprisingly a game of chess can actually offer a good calorie burn, considering you are seated for the duration of the match. The reason being is that thinking uses up energy, and thus burns calories. Professor of medicine Marcus Raichle explains that mentally taxing tasks require more energy to be completed, and no board game requires more concentration than chess.

It’s no wonder then that elite level chess players are said to burn some 6,000 calories in a day when playing competitively. Those numbers can compare to the amount of calories burnt by those who run seriously. While you won’t burn nearly as many calories playing chess, it does show how physical exercise isn’t the only way to burn calories. So get your thinking cap on.

Poker

The calorie burn involved with playing cards is comparable to that of playing board games. Based on computations by CalorieLab, a woman weighing 11 stones will burn as much as 34 calories in an hour playing cards. Total calories burned goes up to 102 if you account for the 68 calories you burn from just being at rest.

But say you play something a little more intense, like poker. Players can get worked up really fast during the game. That is especially true when the stakes get higher, like in a tournament. The players featured on PPPoker’s Instagram feed show the full range of emotions playing a tournament has on a person — ranging from absolute concentration to pure elastic joy. Due to these ups and downs it might be fair to surmise that poker players burn more than 34 calories an hour.

While playing cards can’t come close to the benefits of going for a run it is reassuring to know that you are still burning some calories while having a night of fun.

Cooking

Now let’s move on to something most of us do on an everyday basis: cooking. Figures by Captain Calculator show that a 10-stone woman cooking with light effort will burn around 134 calories in an hour. This is likely the kind of cooking we do when we prepare our daily meals. If we are cooking for a party the calorie burn goes up to at least 234 calories per hour. It rises to 388 calories if we have to serve the food and walk about while doing so.

While this list shows that even activities where you don’t move much can still burn calories, running is still the best way to get fit. If you don’t run regularly we suggest starting small and working your way up. Who knows, in a few years you may even want to take on a challenge like the Dubai marathon.

I mean, I personally would choose a different marathon than Dubai 😉 but each to their own, eh!

Do you enjoy cooking? I really love it!

Do you play any board games or card games? It’s usually a Christmas thing for me. But I always think game nights should be more regualr!

Tips on How to Start Eating Healthy

I have a collaborative post for you today on some starter points for eating healthily. Enjoy!

Our health heavily depends on the food we eat. We have all heard that saying “You are what you eat”. That’s completely true and here’s why.

Healthy food, such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, and cereals, has a positive effect on our health. It’s because they contain nutrients that give us more energy, maintain the chemical balance in our, and improve the overall work of our organism. On the other hand, unhealthy food, such as conserved food, sugary drinks, and sweets, has the opposite effect.

Therefore, if you want to improve your health and rejuvenate your body, you have to change your eating habits and start eating food that’s rich in nutrients. Here are some of the main tips to help you start.

Copyright: Pixabay / author: RitaE / I License: CC0 Public Domain

1. Avoid Sugar

We are all aware of the fact that sugar isn’t healthy. In fact, it has many negative benefits for our bodies. If you regularly intake foods and drinks high in sugar, you will gain weight, increase the risk of obesity, and cause tooth decay.

Thus, avoid foods and drinks that contain sugar such as cakes, chocolates, soft drinks, sweets, etc. As a matter of fact, it would be best to replace them with their healthier versions. For example, instead of eating regular chocolate, you could eat vegan chocolate that’s made of tiny-chopped dried fruits and cacao.

2. Avoid Saturated Fat

It’s true that you need fat to stay healthy. However, you don’t need saturated fat because it increases the level of cholesterol in your blood. That might lead to developing heart disease.

Saturated fat is found in sausages, cream, cakes, butter, and fatty cuts of meat, among others. So, you could eat food that contains unsaturated fats, such as oily fish, olive oil, and avocados instead.

3. Eat Food That’s High in Starchy Carbohydrates

Things like potatoes, rice, and cereals are high in starchy carbohydrates. You should include at least one with each meal. Optionally, you can choose whole grain food, such as brown rice and whole-wheat pasta. They are going to make you feel full for a longer time.

But, be careful when combining them with other items because it increases the calories. Hence, you should avoid eating white or black bread with butter or putting sauces on pasta. Let’s face it, that’s not healthy food anymore.

4. Eat a lot of Fruit and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are as healthy as food can be. Being rich in vitamins, they give your organism everything it needs for proper functioning. In fact, some of them prevent some diseases and health conditions or help when fighting one.

The best way to start eating lots of fruits and vegetables is by including them in your everyday meals. For example, you can chop a banana over your cereals for breakfast or eat a veggie salad with your main dish for lunch. Additionally, you can eat dried fruit or make juice which you can drink all day.

Copyright: Pixabay / author: JillWellington / I License: CC0 Public Domain

5. Drink a lot of Water

Water is the most important thing for our health. The main reason for this is the fact that around 70% of our body is water. Therefore, we need to maintain that percentage by a regular intake of water.

Although there are no official sources of how much water we should drink each day, nutritionists and doctors recommend around 2 or 3 liters per day. It’s because water improves your metabolism, refreshes your body, and detoxifies your organism. Therefore, you should make sure you drink at least 8 cups a day.

As a plus tip, we recommend you have 3 main meals and 2 snacks between. We also recommend reducing the amount of salt you use in preparing food. And, the last, but no less important is exercising. Being fit is equally important for your health as eating healthy.

What are your tips for healthy eating?

Do you eat a lot of sugar? I can’t say no to a cake! But I do believe you can fully incoporate sugary food into a healthy diet 🙂