Friday 27 September 2013

GUEST POST: Post-pregnancy Nutrition & Weight Loss Advice from Nutritional Expert Farrah Malik

Hello Lovely Blog Readers, 

I have a real treat for all my lovely yummy-mummy blog followers today - some sound advice from the wonderful Farrah Malik (Nutritional & Supplement Expert) about nutrition after giving birth and realistic advice about losing your baby-weight!

Expect to hear more from Farrah in the future, we have plans in the pipeline for some other great guest posts later in the autumn. 

Bye for now

Mrs B 


*********************** GUEST POST *************************

Post-pregnancy Nutrition & Weight Loss

After the 9 months of carrying them around they’ve finally arrived, and you couldn’t be happier. For the majority (with the exception of the celeb super models) we are left with the ‘mummy tummy’ as the souvenir. Not one most of us want to proudly display. Even for those who had a C-section, we all need to be careful as our muscles readjust and work back to the positions they were in before. Exercising too early postpartum can result in your joints, core muscles and ligaments not correctly re-aligning. On average your muscles can be loose for around 3-5 months after. If you were one to regularly exercise before/during your pregnancy mild exercise can be reintroduced, failing that those of you that had tapered off or weren’t particularly gym orientated, slowly starting with low impact activities such as walking.

During pregnancy a gap can form in your abdominal muscles as the baby belly expands to accommodate your growing child and can develop during labour, a condition called diastasis recti. It takes four to eight weeks after giving birth for this gap to close.

Starting a diet too soon after giving birth can affect your mood and energy level as well as your milk supply. If you're patient and give your body time to do its work, you may be surprised at how much weight you lose naturally.

There is no magical way to take off baby weight, but with healthy eating habits and regular exercise, you can get your pre pregnancy body back or an even better one if you like!
Unlike normal dieters, a new mum’s body needs certain nutrients to keep her healthy and needs to be careful to not crash diet or follow some silly regime that wouldn’t provide you with enough energy to brush your hair let alone look after an infant.
Here are some food and tips you might need to trim down, boost energy, and get healthy, all while taking care of your lovely bundle of joy.

Post Baby Lift
Sleep: Get as much sleep as you can when possible! Cat naps during the day are vital to help refresh your energy levels and keep you on the right foot throughout the day (and possibly during the night!)

Stay Hydrated: start the day with a 1.5-2L bottle of water and finish it by the end of the day. Not only will it keep you hydrated it helps to curb hunger and provide that satiety feeling, meaning you are less likely to snack. Water is also great for your skin. After that youthful pregnancy glow you need to ensure you’re doing what you can to maintain that radiant appearance.

General weight loss tips:
Eat slower: Busy mums may only get the odd minute here or there to grab some food, but enjoy it and slower. It takes on average 20 minutes for your brain to get the message from the stomach to send the ‘I’ve eaten enough’.  So taking your time gives the brain a chance to catch up with the stomach, and you're less likely to overeat.

Love Red Meat, but want to cut the fat? Try Soya meat. It’s lean and is a great substitute for beef or lamb even for those that don’t eat meat. Consumed in a typical far eastern diet, it has been proven to help cope with PMS. Soya is contains natural isoflavones – known as phytoestrogens or plant based oestrogens, perfect for post pregnancy hormone balancing. Other benefits of soya include helping to maintain strong bones and a healthy heart.
The protein in Soya can contains a hunger-fighting hormone and will fill you up more than carbs.

Fight Inflammation - Trauma and stress to the body - i.e., giving birth, can cause the immune system to respond through inflammation internally. You can help fight this inflammation by consuming foods that are considered to be anti-inflammatories. Examples include everything from green tea to berries to spices such as turmeric and garlic. Steer clear of processed sugar, which increases inflammation and raises blood sugar.

Power of Omega-3 - Fish Oil is considered a potent anti-inflammatory and can help raise your Omega-3 levels as well. Small fish such as anchovies, mackerel, and lake trout are some of the purest sources of Omega-3 which is great for your breast milk to boost an infant's sensory, cognitive, and motor development and for your own brain and may decrease the incidence of postpartum depression. Breast milk is rich in DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that helps with brain growth.
The Department of Health recommends consuming at least 3 portions of these oily fish a week to maintain your Omega levels. If that isn’t your cup of tea - try a high potency formula Omega-3 supplement.

Calcium – although there is some debate about how much calcium breastfeeding women should consume, current recommendations for non-pregnant women are also sufficient for pregnant and breastfeeding women. For strong bones and teeth, make sure to eat plenty of low-fat dairy products and other calcium-rich foods such as figs, beans and peas, or leafy greens. Try to eat your way to a recommended 1,000 mg of calcium a day.

Healthcare and Nutrition fanatic, Supplement Expert
West Sussex.

Perfect Post-Pregnancy Recipe idea...

Makes: 10 tacos
400g pumpkin, finely cubed
1 large carrot, finely cubed
1 (122g) medium onion, sliced
1 (200g) Courgettes, finely cubed
100g button mushrooms, quartered
1 small (200g) Aubergine, finely cubed
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander
1/2 cup yoghurt

1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
1/2 small jalapeƱo pepper
1 ripe peeled avocado

  1. Heat a little oil in pan and cook pumpkin, carrot and onion for 5 minutes. Add Courgettes, mushrooms, Aubergine and tomato and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  2. Add Taco Spice Mixes, 3/4 cup water and simmer for 3 minutes or until thickened. Stir through coriander.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C. Remove Tacos from plastic, keep heatproof wedge inside shells to retain shape. Fan Tacos slightly apart on tray and heat in an oven for 5 minutes.
    Meanwhile whiz all the Guacamole ingredients, except the avocado in the food processor or in a pestle and mortar. Once blended together add the guacamole and work until the consistency is per you liking. I prefer it chunky!
  4. Fill Taco Shells with cooked vegetable mix and top with a dollop of salsa, yoghurt and a homemade guacamole- et voila!