I’ve had an epiphany…

So over the last few months I have become increasingly frustrated with my fitness levels and having to change my workouts. I have felt like my fitness levels have been plummeting, things that I used to find easy have gradually become harder and harder to the point I have had to eliminate them from what I am doing. Eventually at 34 weeks I had to face facts that I was done in the gym for a while. I kept going with yoga and swimming and whilst these have been relaxing they weren’t giving me the hit of endorphins or sense of satisfaction I have become used to. Even this week I have noticed swimming is becoming harder, dragging my expanding figure through the water is hard work and I’ve had to adapt what I am doing in the pool as my pelvis and hips have caused me issues etc

I’ll not lie, this has balled me off immensely. With this pregnancy I wanted to stay fit and I wanted to exercise (completely different to when I was pregnant with Imogen, where as soon as I had taken a positive test I sat on my arse on the sofa and stayed there for pretty much 9 months!) I felt like despite my effort and intentions, I was sinking back to the levels of fitness I had 18 months ago.

What balls me off more is people who say “oh but you are pregnant, don’t worry about it, relax, sit back eat cake”. NO! Exercise is a cracking idea for me and the baby and I know some of you won’t get this but it is not just about physical ability, keeping weight off and keeping fitness levels up, for me it is a mental thing, exercise clears my mind, it de-stresses me, I enjoy it, I need it.

So this week at yoga I was knelt on all fours (having taken a monumental amount of effort to get to the floor!) and we were doing hip circles. Something that a few weeks a go were no problem for me, in fact I had quite a good range of movement but at 38 weeks I was struggling, everything felt stiff and I had virtually no range of movement, I couldn’t get down to the floor, the distance left and right was minimal. I felt I had no room to move, so I put my knees further apart and it helped a little but not much and then it dawned on me, it isn’t my fitness levels that have necessarily plummeted, it is my actual size and shape! The bump is so big now and so far forward (no it isn’t twins, no it isn’t extra fluid and yes the baby is a normal size and will not be a giant baby, I had a scan the sonographer told me!) that I just don’t physically have the room to do proper hip circles without squashing the bump, the bump is literally in the way. My yoga instructor Michelle pointed out that the bump has dropped, the bump is hanging down further towards my pelvis, there simply isn’t the room to make those hip circle movements. Take the bump away and I’d be knocking out hip circles properly.

38

And that ladies and gentlemen has made me feel a billion times better, it isn’t my fitness that is the problem, it literally is all down to size and space. Jason my personal trainer has said repeatedly that he thinks once I get back to training (at whatever point postpartum that might be!) that I will be surprised how quickly I’ll get back to where I was. I’ll admit increasingly as the weeks had gone on I was beginning to suspect this was a lie and that I’d be back to square on but this week I think I have reconciled in my head how much the actual size of the bump has impacted and that maybe I am not as unfit as I thought!

H x

Paleo Gyro Meatballs with Tzatziki sauce

I found this recipe on http://www.paleocupboard.com/. I have mentioned before that I love Cypriot food and I have seen gyros advertised over there quite a few times but never eaten them.

gyros

This recipe is very straightforward and delicious. While normally you would make tzatziki with Greek yoghurt, I am not the biggest fan of yoghurt so was quite pleased to see this uses coconut milk instead, not sure what Cypriots would say about that but it did taste nice!

We ate this meal with fresh veggies and homemade oven baked chips (shock horror I used white potatoes but as a once a week treat they were delish and work well with the gyros!)

I suspect you could freeze the meatballs (either cooked or uncooked) and reheat/cook once thawed. We haven’t tried that though as we ate the lot. Even my 4 year old liked them. (Phew!)

http://www.paleocupboard.com/gyro-meatballs.html
H x

Slow Cooker Thai Beef Stew – Kind of…

Today I made this delicious slow cooker Thai beef stew, a recipe from StupidEasyPaleo. I had to vary the recipe in 4 ways.

  1. I used chicken because when I opened my beef it didn’t smell good at all and I didn’t want to risk it!
  2. My supermarket ran out of broccoli  and my husband didn’t realise the broccoli was to go in the stew, so bought Brussel sprouts!
  3. I left out the fish sauce, I just forgot to buy some!
  4. I left out the jicama, apparently it is a type of turnip!

thai stew

Other than that I followed the recipe to the letter and it was delicious.  It was relatively easy to make too. I will try this again but with beef!

http://stupideasypaleo.com/2014/08/06/slow-cooker-thai-beef-stew-paleo/

H x

Paleo Roasted Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

stuffed pork 1 stuffed pork 2

I don’t cook pork very often. I’m not the biggest fan of it. I never quite know what to do with it and often it comes out very dry. But I gave this recipe a a go because it sounded yummy and it didn’t disappoint!

Surprisingly it is easier than it would first appear and tastes delicious! It is definitely worth using the fresh herbs as they pack more punch than dried ones for sure.

The recipe serves 6 – 8 people, I halved the ingredients and it served me, my husband and with enough for leftovers.

My only criticism is pork tenderloin (or pork fillet as it seems to be called in the UK) is pretty expensive! But you could easily cook this for friends and family for a special occasion and I am sure they would love it too even if they don’t follow paleo!

http://www.paleocupboard.com/roasted-stuffed-pork-stuffed-tenderloin-with-lemon-parsley-oil.html

H x

Italian Stuffed Chicken Breast

Another very easy chicken breast recipe. I made this on a Saturday night when I was on my own (Husband and Daughter had gone to stay with his parents). It took virtually no time to prepare and was so easy it was untrue.  Totally delicious as well.

There is some debate about whether mozzarella is paleo/clean or not and it will depend on your school of thought but being pregnant, calcium is needed and a little bit of mozzarella every now and again won’t do me any harm.

I chose not to wrap in bacon but I am sure that would be an awesome addition.

I served it with vegetables but it would work equally well with a fresh crunchy salad.

stuffed rawstuffed

http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/29363/italian-stuffed-chicken-breast.aspx

H x

If you encounter a heavily pregnant woman in a swimming pool…

23 wks

If you encounter a heavily pregnant woman in a swimming pool I have a plea. I have stepped down a gear now in my fitness, no gym, focussing on yoga and swimming. It is a lot gentler, was definitely needed and I am fine with it.

BUT I am finding one little issue with swimming and that is other swimmers! Now it is pretty obvious I am heavily pregnant and not just fat, I have a gigantic baby bump. I am slow, unsteady and far from agile. Yet other pool users at the gym, insist on swimming extremely close to me, usually using a breaststroke kick, which leaves me having to take evasive action to avoid a kick to the stomach, this is despite there being plenty of room in the pool.

Also they refuse to move out of my way, despite the fact I was in the pool first and I was occupying a space first, this leaves me having to negotiate round them. As stated above I am slow and far from agile, it takes me a lot of effort swim lengths and taking fast evasive action is impossible.

To be fair it would piss me off if I wasn’t pregnant, some people have no idea about pool/gym etiquette but I would be able to move quickly. But being heavily pregnant, with diastasis recti and pelvic pain that is getting worse by the day, it is virtually impossible to move out their way in time.

So my plea is this, if you see a heavily pregnant woman swimming, give her a little space, move aside if pool space is limited because it will be harder for her to make those movements quickly enough for you.

H x