Archive for the 'Postnatal Health' Category
This largely depends on what your goal is and if you are still pregnant and/or breast feeding. I used to be a huge advocate of eating 5-6 times daily until I realized it just isn’t feasible for most people, especially moms with abundant schedules. I have found no matter how good a plan is in theory, if you cannot stick to it, who cares how good it is.
Generally, and there are exceptions always, if you are trying to burn fat, you should eat 4 times daily with at least two of the meals coming from whole food sources and possibly two in shake form for convenience and adequate protein intake. Moms are busy(or abundant as I like to say) and I have found personally shakes are a miracle.
Protein is the most thermogenic of all macro-nutrients which means it takes a lot of energy to be broken down which is good. It also happens to be the most important macro-nutrient for human life. Everything in your precious body is made of it, right down to your DNA so you need to get enough. Make sure you get a serving of it at each meal and no, peanut butter is not a protein. You need at least 20-30g per serving of high quality absorbable protein. Read the rest of this entry »
Well let’s just take a quick gander, shall we??
There are a LOT of trends buzzing around these days but not too sure how many of them are what I would consider mom “friendly”. Correction; new mom friendly.
However, whether a lot of these trends are for new moms or not, there can become a point where almost anyone can do them as long as they do their groundwork first. You want to be sure to rehab any diastasis or pelvic floor issues and stabilize so you have a strong foundation to build on.
Now these trends go anywhere from army style boot-camps and obstacle courses to dancing or just feeling sexy again. But they all kick butt. It just depends on what your taste of the month is. Read the rest of this entry »
As a trainer I see injuries happen day to day that can often be prevented. Listed below are few steps that I implement in all my client programs and that you can follow in-order-to prevent an injury from happening or reoccurring.
Creating a Foundational Exercise Program
Approaching exercise at any time must be done first with an assessment. This assessment would evaluate your present fitness state. After having a baby, there can be little or a lot of difference from your pre-pregnancy state depending on whether or not you exercised during pregnancy.
This assessment should be completed through a series of exercises that set a value and correlate to your body. Such exercises would include, squats or wall push ups because these exercises are functional to our daily lives. I specifically look for proper execution of the movement and the muscles endurance (how long or how many can be performed before your body starts to compensate). These exercises would be retested at a later time to see the muscular adaptions that your body has made. This will allow you to make changes to your exercise program to continue on your fitness journey. Read the rest of this entry »
You’ve done it! You ran the marathon of your life and now you want to get back into shape. WHAT????
What the hell am I talking about? How could you have run a marathon and need to get back into shape? I’m talking about the marathon of GIVING BIRTH. Whether it was vaginal or c-section and even if you were in tip top shape, you will probably still need to do some work to get back to they way you were (or even better).
Most women are carrying a bit of extra weight around before getting pregnant. Add pregnancy, then delivery to the mix and you could be carrying a lot more weight around in the end.
It is suggested that lactating women consume an extra 300-500 calories to provide an adequate amount of milk to their babies. That can be done easily with a few thought out snacks (listed below). If you are overweight you may not need to add the extra calories to your diet. If you are underweight you need to aim for the higher end. In general, however, you should aim for between 1800-2200 calories per day. The main thing is to consume nutritious foods and stay away from empty calories: Read the rest of this entry »
So if you have a mummy tummy, a pooch or roundness right around your belly button that’s bigger at night than in the morning, there is a pretty good chance it’s more than just those wings and beer you had last night. The most common cause of this post-delivery belly is a condition called diastasis recti, or in lay mans terms, separation of the rectus abdominis.
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I am more than just a personal trainer, but more an educator when it comes to what happens to your body both during pregnancy and postpartum. I am basically here to tell you the sh*t no one else does so you can feel confident knowing what you can and can not do when it comes to fitness pre and post.
So for all of you who may know (or not know, but suspect) that you do have diastasis recti, know this; you are very NORMAL as this affects approximately 85% of FIRST pregnancies. Some physiotherapists, however, would say it’s more like 95% because if your abdominals have separated at all, that’s a diastasis. I mean, before, your abdominals weren’t separated, right? (or were they?) Read the rest of this entry »
So you’ve fallen off the horse and now you have to get back on before it’s too late and the more time passes the harder it becomes to get back on. It’s not just about your motivation either. If you wait too long, scar tissue can form and other injuries can follow. And if you’re a mom, injuries are the LAST thing you need.
Now if this is you, let’s hope you have been seeing a certified health care provider such as a physiotherapist or chiropractor for treatment and doing the exercises they gave you. If you haven’t, that would be a good start.
Whether it’s been a few weeks, a few months or a few years, the best start would be easing into your workouts so you don’t get re-injured or create a new injury as a result. Going too hard, too fast is just asking for trouble. Read the rest of this entry »
I have been an avid fitness runner for 14 years. During both of my pregnancies I stopped running the first time because I was overcautious, and the second time because it caused bleeding at 14 weeks. We runners tend to be hyperactive A-type personalities who are a bit obsessive about the sport. We can’t wait to get back to running after baby!
Recovering from my first pregnancy I hit the streets again after 6 weeks. I remember my hips killing me but I trained through it. I shudder to think of the state of my postnatal body returning to the sport before it was ready, but still I trained up to my first half marathon at 3 years postpartum.
Every year spring offers us the chance for a new beginning. A time to plant seeds and see what grows. After a long, dreary and sometimes sluggish winter, spring is a fabulous time to clean up parts of our lives, and our diets are no exception.
People are always asking me what my thoughts are on nutritional ‘detoxing’. It certainly is a term you are hearing more of, and it makes me wonder how many people are using it and selling it as the next weight loss fad.
With popularity comes a lot of misconceptions, so I’m here to clear up a few facts for you this spring. See if you know which of these statements are true and which are false.
1. You have to go on a detoxification program in order for your body to detoxify.
False. Your body was built to detoxify. Our liver is our master detoxifier, filtering external toxins such as air pollution, food additives, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and industrial toxins; and internal toxins such as the by-products of metabolism. Your body is detoxifying 24/7.
2. Your liver needs specific nutrients to detoxify properly.
True. There are two phases of detoxification in the liver and each phase needs a handful of different nutrients as co-factors for chemical processes. B vitamins, folic acid, antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin C, amino acids, selenium and zinc are just a few needed for each pathway.
3. Since our bodies are detoxifying all the time, we don’t need to do seasonal cleanses.
False. In theory, we shouldn’t need to do anything special, but unfortunately our bodies have never been under such stress as we are in today’s world. Thousands of new chemicals are introduced into our environments, food and beauty products each year. We overburden our liver with these toxins and heavy diets full of processed food. There are numerous studies showing our high levels of toxicity in our blood which means our bodies have more than they can handle. If our bodies cannot detoxify and eliminate effectively, these toxins will re-circulate.
4. Cleansing involves fasting and starvation.
False. Fasts and starvation diets don’t provide the nutrients and fiber you need to cleanse efficiently. Most people feel ill on a low calorie, nutrient poor diet, while cleansing is supposed to make you feel energized, happy and clear headed. While short term fasting can rest your digestive system, it is not recommended unless you are experienced at cleanses, have a strong disposition with no pre existing health problems.
Tips for Safe and Effective Cleansing
1. Start with your diet. Increase your supply of antioxidant and fiber rich fruits and vegetables, including lots of raw vegetables. Remove processed foods and other sources of artificial ingredients and additives, and lighten your load on heavy or hard to digest foods such as red meat.
2. Clean up your environment. Check your ingredient list on your cleaning products and beauty products you use daily. These chemicals bi-pass liver detoxification by going directly through your skin into your blood. Are these daily products adding to your toxic load?
3. Open the ‘doors of elimination’. Your ‘doors of elimination’ need to be open in order to ensure toxins are being removed from your body and not being re-absorbed. Your doors include:
a. Bowels. Your liver dumps all your wastes into your bowels to be removed from your body. If your bowels aren’t moving properly (1-3 times a day), some of these toxins could be re-absorbed and re-circulate in your body. Ensure you are eating 30-40 grams of fiber a day from plant foods, or take a natural fiber supplement such as psyllium husk to help move things along. This is always important, but especially during a cleanse.
b. Lungs. Deep breathing and exercise helps remove toxins through your lungs efficiently.
c. Skin. Being your largest organ, a lot of waste is eliminated through your skin. Sweating daily, skin dry brushing and not clogging your pores with lotions and products will help you detoxify much more thoroughly.
d. Lymphatic system. Many toxins are stored in your lymphatic fluid which are eventually dumped into your spleen and bowel for removal. Ensure your lymphatic fluid is moving through movement, exercise and massaging the lymph nodes.
e. Urinary System. Drink lots of pure water until your urine is clear and odourless.
4. Make a sacrifice. Not in biblical terms, but modern terms. Give up at least one thing you feel may becoming a vice, something that may be making you feel sluggish or you could do without temporarily. Coffee, bread, sugar, alcohol, processed foods and or red meat are good options.
5. Support with supplements. Taking a high quality multivitamin and mineral supplement along with digestive support supplements such as probiotics and fiber can ensure you are getting the detoxification support nutrients and eliminating properly.
6. Re-introduce slowly. This is a fantastic and affordable way to test for allergies and sensitivities. Re-introduce any eliminated foods one at a time and watch to see how you feel and react. Take 1-2 days for each suspected food.
Cleansing does not have to be complicated, expensive, or extreme. It is always a good idea to be educated and supported when doing cleanses for the first time. If you have further questions or want to make sure you are doing a cleanse safely and correctly, seek the guidance of a health professional such as a nutritionist or naturopathic doctor
Kerri Cooper BSc., CNP is a Holistic Nutritionist and a nutrition educator. She has a special interest working with women throughout their reproductive years, advising them on issues related to fertility, pre-conception detoxification, pre and post-natal nutrition and breastfeeding.