Smutty Fitness: Pregnancy proteins and fitness
Stoianov /FAMEFLYNET PICTURES
I hope you can help me. I'm expecting at the end of spring, this is my first and I've gone completely off the rails health-wise. Last spring I was going to the gym regularly and eating well. Over the summer I fell off the rails a little, I got busy and healthy eating and workouts went to end of my priority list. I got back into things late summer but soon noticed that I was feeling dizzy, light-headed and couldn't catch my breath as easily as I could -- over things that shouldn't have made me feel this way even considering my break. I discovered I was pregnant and attributed it to this (I have a difficult time catching my breath a lot lately).
Also my nutrition has been terrible. This is when I should be eating the best but the thought of veg and often protein makes me nauseous. All I want is carbs -- which I don't want to gorge on. I know the repulsion to healthy food is in my head, but I have a hard time getting over it. Everyone tells me its fine to indulge when you're pregnant but this is the last thing I want to do.
Do you have any advice about making sure I eat healthy and incorporate some type of exercise into my day? I'm about to enter my second trimester and I've read that protein is incredibly important in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. How do I make sure enough of the good stuff? Protein, vitamins etc.
I am not a nutritionist and although I do give basic nutritional advice to my clients I recommend if you are overly concerned with your food intake that you speak with a dietician, a naturopath or a nutritionist. I am a big fan of following Canada’s food guide and according to Health Canada, pregnant and breast feeding women should make sure that they are adding a few extra portions to their day as well as a multivitamin that contains at least 0.4mg of folic acid and 20 mg of iron. Click here for more information.
The good news is you are about to leave the dark side as you enter your second trimester. You are going to feel like you can conquer the world now! Your morning sickness should pass and you should be sleeping well and have a lot more energy than you have had the past three months. You will find you will be able to eat as you did prior to becoming pregnant and the gym will seem easier.
As for indulging and cravings, you must make sure you do not overdo it as you are not really “eating for two.” Listen to your body and your body’s cravings as sometimes craving sugar means your blood sugar could be low and a piece of fruit is all you need rather than the fatty, carby muffin at the cafe you are craving. If you find yourself unable to put down your bag of potato chips at night you could be low in sodium so try adding a sprinkle or two of a good salt (I prefer Maldon salt) to your food before you cook it.
For your daily exercise I suggest the less is more approach. Do not place high expectations on yourself to get to the gym for an hour every day. The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology recommends pregnant women engage in 3-4 days a week of a maximum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity. Click here for more information on pregnancy guidelines for exercise. Add in another 15 – 30 minutes two or three times a week of full body strength training focusing on your posture, your core strength (kegals, kegals, kegals!) your glute strength and flexibility. Women who exercise while pregnant tend to recover from delivery much faster than those who do not. Look into a prenatal fitness or yoga class to ensure you are receiving the proper guidance in your workouts.
Do what feels right for you. Your baby will get what it needs from your body so make sure you are supplying it with healthy foods to replace the nutrients going to the baby and exercise not just to ensure appropriate weight gain but to give you the energy you need to get through the day and to help ease the aches and pains of being pregnant.
Attached – pregnant Gwen Stefani runs errands yesterday.