Monday, 11 July 2011
Well, Well, Well
Now more than ever before I know how important it is to look after my nutrition. Being a new mum I'm keen to ensure I remain at an optimum level of health so she can depend on me and also to ensure I don't get too relaxed about my snacking timetable now that I'm at home all day with food at my fingertips.
Over the years I've visited nutritionists, followed health experts' advice as well as figured out what works and doesn't work for my body type. The things I've found really boost my immune system and keep me in shape daily include:
*Vital Greens http://www.vitalgreens.com/ 2 x teaspoons each morning boosts my immune system and helps me get my daily dose of greens when sometimes I forget or don't have time to eat salad during the day. It's a bit pricey - but for me it's been worth the avoidance of colds and strong immunity it's offered me ever since I've taken it.
*Inner Health - to ensure my digestive system is balanced - and to avoid any thrush problems from breastfeeding
*Flaxseed oil - I usually drip some in yoghurt or over salad whenever I can - I use Stoney Creek unrefined and can buy it at health food shops or in Evelyn Faye nutrition shops (my one stop shop for nutrients!)
*Fish Oil capsules - Now that I'm breastfeeding I'm feeling aches and inflammation in my neck and all parts of my back - also from carrying an increasingly heavy baby around - so I've found this has relieved me no end
*Elevit Pregnancy and Breastfeeding multivitamin - I figure it will cover any base which I miss and again I've been taking it ever since I found out I was pregnant and my iron levels (usually low) and vitamin levels are doing well whenever I get tested
*Zinc and Magnesium tablets - these were great for pregnancy (apparently good for ripening cervix making birth easy - and I can say it definitely worked!), and now I find they are great for relieving muscle aches now I'm back at the gym after pregnancy
When it comes to food intake I've found a high protein intake keeps the body functioning smoothly - lessens bloating and keeps my energy levels up. This can include salmon, tuna, eggs, nuts and I've noticed great results eating eggs, spinach and smoked salmon for breakfast (a hint I took from Clean and Lean diet ).
Over the years I've found that my metabolism is like a fire - if I don't keep fuelling it with logs (constant low fat snacks/meals over the day), it tends to fizzle out - and then my body doesn't burn as much and my metabolism gets sluggish. When this happens I find I don't get as hungry, but I also find I don't burn as much fat, and therefore weight slowly creeps on even though I'm not eating that much - the worst of both worlds if you love food!
Now I'm a new mum it's trial and error which new exercise program is going to work with the unpredictable schedule I now find myself with from feeding Miss Muppet and also for the first time fitting in to hubby's schedule, something I've never had to do before. So tips I've found work so far:
1. Fit in exercise when you can - don't have your heart set on a particular gym class, or a time in the morning and if the opportunity presents itself grab it. The pool or a beach side walk is quick to fit in if time permits.
2. Make it count - I've found that even if it's a half hour - a half hour of mixing cardio and strength is better than nothing and you definitely feel it the next day, which proves that your muscles got a work out and will lead to strengthening and conditioning over time.
3. If you don't get your nutrition under control the amount of painstaking exercise you fit in to your day won't matter as your body won't respond due to either the high number of calories which are being consumed or the lethargic state you present to the gym in as your body does not have the right fuel for the job.
Obviously this is in an ideal world when you have the time and the preparation to throw at an exercise and nutrition schedule. I have found that by taking baby steps I'm slowly managing to focus on wellbeing. Being a mum is a tough job that I think can really benefit from dedicated nutrients and exercise. Of course I can still enjoy the treats that come with being off work such as the cafe mum meet-ups and the goodies that I now have time to bake, but at least with the backbone of a healthy lifestyle I can hopefully help keep things in check...