time flies when you're being a mum

How the Keto diet is helping me

10 Apr, 2018

We’ve been away, lucky buggers, to France for a skiing holiday. The only problem, and I know I’m ungrateful, is I just don’t like skiing very much. A couple of years ago I learnt to ski (and documented it here) and got to the point where I can get down a hill in one piece. But it ain’t totally natural! Or fun for that matter.

I had a lesson on this trip to boost my confidence and while I got on fine, I just don’t like steep hills. So after the 3 hours we were up the mountain my legs were exhausted from bracing at all times! I know I just need more practise and young Hannah would be horrified by my lack of get up and go, but this holiday didn’t seem to be the one it was going to happen on.

Mike has been lovely about it and let me loaf around while the kids get on great in ski school and he goes off on his own exploring.

Loafing around

But loaf is the operative word here and, in between working on my blog, I’ve been left wondering about my relationship with bread and all those other yummy things you find here in France. Because without the skiing, I think I’ve put on about 7 unwanted lbs…

Halton Castle - a visit to this privately owned Castle in NorthumberlandAt home I have learnt to seriously steer clear of pretty much all carby goods. Since giving up drinking 6 months ago, carbs have become my nemesis. A little toast for breakfast and I’ll be craving sugar for the rest of the day. It starts with a 10am sugar crash, which leaves me feeling weird and jittery. It’s all I can think about and I’ve been known to secretly eat 3 kitkat chunkies in one go. I’m ashamed to say it but, much like my drinking became a problem with no off switch, so too has my sugar eating. Rather than full filling my dream of losing weight when I stopped drinking, I put a stone on in the first couple of months!!

So, much as it sounds drastic, for me I know sugar has to go in all it’s carby glory if I’m going to avoid my visions of being hauled out of my house by crane. And this week in France has helped proved that. (more…)

leave a comment.

27 Jun, 2012

It’s a bit of a shitty time at the moment – Mike is going away to Sri Lanka tomorrow for 2 long weeks, then I’ve got money worries, house renovations and I have to decide the colour of the baby’s room right NOW. And to add insult injury I woke up yesterday crying my eyes out after a very vivid dream that my little brother had thrown himself off a balcony in front of me. So I’d say that all in all I’m feeling a wee bit stressed!

In a bid to keep it light today, I’m going to talk about Calcium instead! When in doubt think about food (I also tried the exercise circuit (by Abigail Kluttz that I told you about on Monday), which was hard and made me feel a bit better).

So, calcium. Why is it so important in your pregnancy diet? Well, it primarily makes junior’s teeth and bones. It also regulates nerve impulses and releases hormones, which is apparently important for lots of things (very technical, egg head). We need to be getting 8.5-10mg/day.

Once again you can have too much, known as Hypercalcemia, and according to Livestrong an excess of calcium can cause depression, headaches, fatigue and anxiety. It may also increase blood pressure. It’s pretty hard to have too much as anything up to 2500 mg/day is OK, so in order to get enough calcium, you should be able to get it through your diet as it is in lots of things we eat. For example:

  • Dairy products
  • Fish with edible bones
  • Dried fruit
  • Bread
  • Almonds
  • Green leafy vegetables (watercress, broccoli, spinach, curly kale, etc)
  • Chickpeas and kidney beans

Happily, lots of these foods are good for getting the other vitamins we need in our pregnancy diet. In addition, almonds, green leafy veg and chickpeas fall into the prevent stretch mark diet too, so get stuck in!

After getting everything on my prevent stretch mark shopping list I was then faced with the issue of what the hell do you do with curly kale? One solution is to juice it with lots of nice things to disguise the taste but I was also hoping I might be able to actually eat it AND enjoy it and then I found this gorgeousness…

kale recipe pregnancy diet

Kale Veggie Slaw with Sesame Miso Dressing, by Shira of inpursuitofmore.com – I was going to put the gist on here but having revisited the post I think you should go there yourself as it’s such a lovely site and the pictures are amazing and will really whet your appetite (something I thought I would never say in conjunction with Kale!). She also talks about having a good laugh, which is just what I need at the moment! – This avocado reminds me of a time when I dropped half an avocado on the floor – doesn’t sound funny but Alex (best mate) and I had hysterics for a good half an hour about it.

The other important thing to note about Calcium is that you should eat it with Vitamin D to help your body absorb the Calcium. So maybe add a hard boiled egg or a salmon fillet to the salad above! For tips on what to eat, please see my post on Vitamin D in your pregnancy diet. Happy munching!

one comment.

25 Jun, 2012

I turned 33 weeks pregnant on Thursday and I’m feeling better than I have done at earlier points in my pregnancy. Despite this I didn’t get much chance to workout with various other things getting in the way. So on Saturday I was well up for a good gym session. Here’s what I did:

  • 20 mins on the bike (I did about 140 cals)
  • Resistance work – 3 sets:

> 10 x bicep curl (with 5kg weights)

> 10 x squat to shoulder press (with 5kg weights)

> 10 x tricep curls (with 1 5kg weight)

> 20 x slow sumo squats

  • 10 mins walking (about 40 cals)

In terms of weight gain, I’ve now gained about 24lbs, which is within the guided amount for this stage (despite the chinese, chocolate, crisp mishaps along the way) and leaves between 1 and 11lbs that I can gain (but would prefer not too!) for the next 7 weeks. In my hope of keeping the final weeks under control, and inspired by watching Jodie Marsh’s bodybuilding programme on Saturday night (you may think I’m crazy but I quite like how she looks – minus the bronzer), I’ve ended up looking to the hardcore pregnancy mums for inspiration/advice. I’ve found a particular post by Abigail Kluttz called Baby Bumps and Barbells, which has really useful advice about exercise and includes an eating and exercise plan. At this stage, diet is going to be the main thing that prevents too much weight gain, rather than exercise. So, hands off the pies!

Baby bean must also be feeling pretty good as it’s been kicking like crazy this week and I have finally caught some genuine footage of the little dude doing it’s thing along to 6 music:

The kicks have actually started to twinge or even hurt at times so things must be starting to get a tight in there! I’d been panicking for the last few weeks that junior wasn’t in the right position – i.e. head down. But after a visit to the midwife today, I’m very happy to say that baby is where s/he should be! All hail the space hopper that has become my best friend – here’s my new workstation at home!

leave a comment.

03 Jun, 2012

I LUUURVE reading the New York Times’ articles on pregnancy. They’re pretty left and talk about things like how hippies give birth, home births, obesity and pregnancy, and general research relating to pregnancy. A wee while ago I read all the articles they have that are tagged with pregnancy. It’s sad but that was a fun day for me. There’s a whole bunch of stuff on there I want to talk about here but in time…one that stuck out for me as requiring discussion a bit sooner is the article about prenatal vitamins.

The said article is actually about taking vitamins both before and after conception and how this can impact upon your baby at birth. The study, which took place in Denmark looking at 36,000 women, apparently found that mothers who took prenatal vitamins 4 weeks before and 8 weeks after their last period (and were of ‘average weight – i.e. not overweight or obese) were less likely to have low-birth-weight babies. They also said you were 20% less likely to have a preterm birth if you took a daily supplement.

As ever, the findings are said to be inconclusive and more research is required, thus absolving them of any responsibility (even though a whole bunch of pregnancy magazines have probably already stated this as fact).

It’s a bit late for me and taking vitamins at conception (although I only took folic acid and Vitamin D once I found out at about 6 weeks – I then moved onto a full pregnancy multi-vitamin) but what stuck out for me in this article was…

While some studies have suggested benefits, others have found that women who eat a healthy diet have no need for multivitamins, and that vitamins may even do some harm, especially when their use is continued late into a pregnancy.

It was that ‘late into a pregnancy’ bit that had me thinking. Following that link I discovered a UK based research paper about taking supplements and the relationship with birth outcomes in which they studied 1,274 pregnant women (to be precise), their vitamin intake habits and their maternity records. This is what they found:

Taking any type of daily supplement during any trimester was not significantly associated with size at birth… Women taking multivitamin-mineral supplements in the third trimester were more likely to experience preterm birth.

What’s a girl to do? The instructions on my box of vitamins say “for pregnancy through to breast-feeding”. But then it would say that as they want to sell more. I have certainly not been taking vitamins everyday, I kept forgetting from about 20 weeks onwards. And, I’m also not beating myself up about it – I think with this amount of conflicting evidence around I’m going to stick to eating my vitamins and I’ll take a supplement when I remember. What are you doing?


01 Jun, 2012

I had a dream last night about stretch marks. I think it’s because I hit 30 weeks pregnant yesterday, which is entering the stretch mark phase. So I’ve just made myself a lovely juice for the first time in ages. I feel like I’ve not got enough time to do ‘stuff’ at the moment and as a result my diet’s gone out the window a bit. So, working from home today, I rounded up what I had in the house and managed to make a pretty yummy juice that I’m calling the…

Sherbet Dib Dab (I’m sure no one else has come up with that name)

2 apples

1/4 of a sorry looking pineapple

a small bunch of green grapes

1/2 lime (peeled)

1/4 lemon (waxfree skin on)

the middle section of a wilted bunch of celery (probably 2 medium sticks and then the little uns in the middle, leaves on but shitty bits removed)

Juice the lot and pore over ice. It tasted remarkably nice and sherbety thanks to the lemon probably. And, the good news is that it has:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Folic acid
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Silica

And for added Zinc and Omega-3s (for fighting the stretch mark), I then had Pecan Porridge (porridge which I added about 7 pecans, some flax seeds (of course) and some maple syrup).

Anyway so baby at 30 weeks pregnant is pretty bloody big now.

This image is from Baby Center

I also found this picture on a rather interesting site called Shitty Fabulous Lives of a baby that was born at 30 weeks…it makes my heart bleed a little bit but the wee thing is still pretty big (where on earth is my stomach if mini-Mike is that big?! I’m still managing to stuff entire meals in though, it normally takes an hour before I start regretting it).

At this stage I understand that the little bean is now spending its awake time with its eyes open pondering the dark existence. Junior’s brain development is on hyperdrive and shall I tell you one thing it’s not thinking about (MIKE)? Motor sport. I’m going to be playing it lots of soothing music and I think I’ll move onto pregnancy yoga and swimming to get myself and baby really relaxed. Well, I will do soon – I’m going to do some boxing today!

The other landmark (other than reaching the stretch mark phase, oh joy) is that I have now been writing my blog for 20 weeks – when I think of it like that, 10 more weeks feels like quite a long time until the little dude’s appearance. On the other hand, when I think about the house work we’re planning to do – all walls re-plastered and painted, new carpets throughout, varnished floors downstairs, new furniture, all the stuff the baby needs – I could happily have a panic attack! Onwards and upwards (or outwards is probably more apt), I’m at my best with a deadline.

Other posts you might be interested in:

25 weeks pregnant

Trimester 3 and pregnancy exercises

31 weeks pregnant – counting the kicks

32 weeks pregnant (preventing the tear…)

Preventing stretch marks


Next Page »