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Eating to Conceive

Posted on 26 April, 2017 at 7:45 Comments comments (0)


 

Almost every woman knows that it is important to eat well while you are pregnant. The benefit it provides you and your baby is invaluable. But, do you also know how important it is to eat well even before you get pregnant? If you are actively trying to get pregnant you have to make sure your body is prepared to accept the challenge. The first thing you should do before even beginning to try is to talk to your doctor to see how you measure up health wise. Does he think you need to lose a few pounds before getting pregnant or does he feel you need to gain a few? Your doctor may recommend that you change your eating habits and start exercising.

 

As soon as you decide you want a baby, you should begin to get in the habit of eating healthier. Slowly begin to cut out caffeine. If you smoke, now is a good time to quit rather than waiting until you have that positive test. Smoking can decrease your fertility and increase your risk of a miscarriage if you are still smoking when you are pregnant.

 

Another thing you can do is to start taking prenatals or at least a multivitamin supplement that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. You can also begin to add food into your diet that is rich in folic acid such as spinach and other green vegetables, peanuts, and orange juice. You can also start by taking a prenatal vitamin also. These vitamins contain iron, folic acid, and calcium along with vitamin C, D, B and vitamins B6 and B12 also.

 

Reevaluated your diet. Start to eat foods that have plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Lay off the fat and excess sugar. You want to eat foods that have a high nutrient density. Eat at least five portions a day of fruits and vegetables along with protein and iron rich foods like dried fruit, and green vegetables. Try to steer clear of raw fish like sushi, and steer clear of undercook shellfish, meat or chicken. You also want to try to avoid fish that has high mercury content like swordfish, shark, or king mackerel. Cut out any food that has unpasteurized milk in it including cheeses such as brie, camembert, and some Mexican cheese. Also cut out foods that have raw egg in it including homemade cookie dough.

 

Make sure you up your water intake. Water should always be your first beverage choice before, after and during your pregnancy. Water helps to flush your system of toxins. Once you've gotten your eight glasses in, you can drink fruit and vegetable juices also.

 

Perhaps the most important thing you can do before you get pregnant is to cut out all alcohol. The American College of Obstetricians and gynecologists have stated that women who drink might have a harder time getting pregnant than women who do not drink. Another reason why you should give up alcohol is that most birth defects that are caused by alcohol exposure usually occur in the first few weeks of pregnancy, usually before you even know you are pregnant.

 

Getting your body prepared for pregnancy is one of the best decisions you could make. Your body will be more prepared for the challenge of growing a baby and the experience will be a little easier on your body.

 

Caffeine and Pregnancy: How much is too much

Posted on 24 April, 2017 at 7:45 Comments comments (0)


 

One of the first things most of us women prepare to say goodbye to once we see those two pink lines on our pregnancy tests is caffeine. Many women will stop their caffeine habit cold turkey out of the sheer fear of doing some sort of damage to the new life growing inside of them. These women will swear off anything that has caffeine in it from coffee, and soda to even chocolate. Then there are some of us who will still drink caffeine but cut back. Instead of drinking five cups of coffee a day, we might cut back to at least one cup of coffee to get us through the day.

 

Our mothers and grandmothers will probably tell us that they drank the same amount of caffeine pregnant as they did when they were not pregnant and their children turned out fine. However a lot more research has been done since their time and studies are showing that too much caffeine can cause some complications such as preterm labor and/or low birth weight.

 

So how much caffeine is too much caffeine? Doctors are telling their patients that a moderate amount of caffeine will not harm their babies. Even though caffeine does cross the placenta, anything less than 300 milligrams a day (an 8 ounce cup of strong coffee) will not do any harm. Anything over 300 milligrams puts your baby at risk and studies have also shown that women who drink more than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day during their first trimester have a slightly higher risk of a miscarriage.

 

Studies have also shown that women who had over 500 milligrams of caffeine a day had babies who had faster heart rates and faster breathing rates. These babies also spent more time awake in their first few days of life rather than peacefully sleeping after their long journey.

 

There are a number of other reasons why we women might want to cut back on the amount of caffeine we drink during pregnancy. For starters, it has no nutritional value. If there is ever a time for us to be aware of our nutritional needs it is when we are pregnant. Second, caffeine is a stimulant which will increase your heart rate and can cause insomnia and headaches which can put some stress on your growing little one. Third, caffeine can cause heartburn. If you have been pregnant before you know that heartburn can be a burden to begin with, and caffeine just makes it worse. Lastly it is a diuretic which means it can cause you to lose fluids which can put you at a risk of becoming dehydrated.

 

While it is not necessary for you to give up all caffeine through out the duration of your pregnancy, you should learn how to drink it in moderation or don't drink it at all

Caffeine and Pregnancy: How much is too much

 

One of the first things most of us women prepare to say goodbye to once we see those two pink lines on our pregnancy tests is caffeine. Many women will stop their caffeine habit cold turkey out of the sheer fear of doing some sort of damage to the new life growing inside of them. These women will swear off anything that has caffeine in it from coffee, and soda to even chocolate. Then there are some of us who will still drink caffeine but cut back. Instead of drinking five cups of coffee a day, we might cut back to at least one cup of coffee to get us through the day.

 

Our mothers and grandmothers will probably tell us that they drank the same amount of caffeine pregnant as they did when they were not pregnant and their children turned out fine. However a lot more research has been done since their time and studies are showing that too much caffeine can cause some complications such as preterm labor and/or low birth weight.

 

So how much caffeine is too much caffeine? Doctors are telling their patients that a moderate amount of caffeine will not harm their babies. Even though caffeine does cross the placenta, anything less than 300 milligrams a day (an 8 ounce cup of strong coffee) will not do any harm. Anything over 300 milligrams puts your baby at risk and studies have also shown that women who drink more than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day during their first trimester have a slightly higher risk of a miscarriage.

 

Studies have also shown that women who had over 500 milligrams of caffeine a day had babies who had faster heart rates and faster breathing rates. These babies also spent more time awake in their first few days of life rather than peacefully sleeping after their long journey.

 

There are a number of other reasons why we women might want to cut back on the amount of caffeine we drink during pregnancy. For starters, it has no nutritional value. If there is ever a time for us to be aware of our nutritional needs it is when we are pregnant. Second, caffeine is a stimulant which will increase your heart rate and can cause insomnia and headaches which can put some stress on your growing little one. Third, caffeine can cause heartburn. If you have been pregnant before you know that heartburn can be a burden to begin with, and caffeine just makes it worse. Lastly it is a diuretic which means it can cause you to lose fluids which can put you at a risk of becoming dehydrated.

 

While it is not necessary for you to give up all caffeine through out the duration of your pregnancy, you should learn how to drink it in moderation or don't drink it at all.


What diet is good for you?

Posted on 20 November, 2016 at 5:30 Comments comments (0)

What diet is best? With so many diets out there, how do you know which one is for you? You have the Juice diets which you replace your meals with a juice meal replacement. You have the Points type diet plans which means you are given a list of foods that have been awarded points and you have a set amount of points you have in a day. There is so many out there and yes some do work. You lose weight. Great!

 

 

But did you know, the average person gains 11 pounds for every diet they go on? And to top it off, not only do you lose fat, but if you are not exercising, you also lose muscle too! And…. So the yo-yo effect begins……

 

 

You may be aware of someone overweight that continuously states they don’t eat that much. It is most likely they have just damaged their metabolism by yo-yo dieting.

 

 

But surely, it’s not just about losing weight now, but we all want to keep it off right?

 

 

Firstly, you have to want to lose weight. Losing weight is not easy. And if you really do not want to, the struggle is there from the beginning. You will be battling with yourself. The battle between ‘should I have the doughnut or the apple’ Or ‘should I have the burger or the fish’. If you are not 100% committed, it’s likely you will go with your usual option, which is not always the best option. It’s just too easy to give in to temptation if you are not 100% committed.

 

 

Secondly, you need to educate yourself. It is not about a 4 week diet. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you cannot go back to eating the way you did before. If you want to keep it off, you need to understand nutrition and understand your body. Understanding the effects food and exercise have your body. Understand how much protein and carbohydrates you should have with each meal. Know how much water you should be consuming. Understand the effects of drinking alcohol and how much is ‘OK’ in a week. It’s not just about the now, it’s also about the future. It’s a lifestyle change.

 

 

Thirdly, you need to reduce your appetite. This does not happen over-night and takes willpower. Do not starve yourself because this will not only play havoc with your metabolism. not only that, you are more likely to binge eat. reduce food in-take slowly. allowing your body to adapt to the slow changes in your lifestyle.

 

 

And finally, speaking of metabolism, you need to increase yours. But most diets out there, due to the sudden decrease in calories you will also have less energy and of course there is no fitness plan with these diets so not only will you be hungry, you will have no energy and your metabolism will slow down. eek! exactly what you don’t want.

 

 

your other keys to successful weight loss:

 

 

Cheat days: Be careful how you reward yourself. It is not about undoing all the hard work you have done for the whole week prior. Think of it as a day you have a cheat meal or cheat snack. Just remember you don’t want to start going backwards. Keep it up and just have a little cheat.

 

 

Make sure you are getting enough sleep: Sleep is so important in your day to day life. Realistically yes, it is not always possible. If you work shifts, have a young child or even just daily stresses may mean you end up heading to bed later than you would like. Your aim should be 7 – 8 hours per night. Even mild sleep deprivation can affect the hunger stimulating hormone (Ghrelin) to go into overdrive and reduces levels of the hormone that suppresses appetite (Leptin). This can cause you to feel hungry when you are not. And not only that, simply the longer you are up, the more likely you are to snack and eat late at night.

 

*An Article from research conducted by Harvard university has stated ‘that there’s a link between how much people sleep and how much they weigh. In general, children and adults who get too little sleep tend to weigh more than those who get enough sleep.’

 

 

When to eat: Eating at the right time plays a key role in weight loss. Most importantly, how late you eat. You should be aim to eat at 2-3 hours before you go to bed allowing your food to start digesting. Food to close to bed can cause bloating or even gastro reflux for the suffers out there. Also eating too close to bed may mean you are not hungry first thing in the morning. Which means you may be tempted to skip breakfast (the most important meal of the day to ‘fire your body up’ for the rest of the day).

 

 

Get up and move! OK so you have an office job. It’s hard, but try to get up and move for 2 minutes at a time, every 30 minutes.

 

some countries, including Australia and Finland have actually made recommendations that children limit screen time, such as TV and video games, to just one or two hours a day. Encouraging them to get up and play!

 

Recent research has suggested that exercising at least 60 minutes a day can offset the negative effects of sitting too much throughout the day.

 

 

 

so what is the best diet? unfortunately diets do not work so the answer is, there is no best diet. the key to losing weight, keeping it off and staying healthy is to make a change. a lifestyle change. a lifestyle change that you can sustain. take all the bad, and replace it with the good. change the way you have been thinking. follow the key factors mentioned. feel good about yourself and make the right changes.

 

Good Nutrition isn’t about eating. it’s about learning to live *quote by Pat Compton, R.D., L.D.

 

If you like this, why not purchase my book: Time to Un-Diet Yourself. Available from February. Pre order now! From Amazon and other available stockiest!

 

Sharon Armstrong, dipN, SACdip

Why are eggs good for you?

Posted on 28 July, 2016 at 15:40 Comments comments (0)

One whole egg contains an amazing range of nutrients.

 

Eggs have numerous vitamins, minerals, high quality proteins, good fats and various other lnutrients.

 

One large egg contains (1):

 

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): 9% of the RDA.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 15% of the RDA.

Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 7% of the RDA.

Selenium: 22% of the RDA.

Eggs also contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body… including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E, Folate and many more.

A large egg contains 77 calories, with 6 grams of quality protein, 5 grams of fat and trace amounts of carbohydrates.

 

It’s very important to realize that almost all the nutrients are contained in the yolk, the white contains only protein.

 

 


The Elixir of Life (And Fitness)

Posted on 19 February, 2016 at 14:00 Comments comments (0)

Ballooning waistlines, untimely breakouts, liver overload and (even) failing fitness regimes all have one thing in common: low intake of water.

 

Whether you have been consistently training or if you are just about to begin a fresh fitness plan, instead of stocking your fridge with sugary ‘health’ drinks, rediscover the elixir of life: water. What could be better than having a speedy metabolism, a toxin-free body and smooth blood circulation? Why wait until you are thirsty? Just drink up and gift your body nature’s greatest secret to fitness.

 

A rather trusted health-related legend dictates that seven glasses of water a day are the key to a better functioning body. However, keeping up with this number has been getting tougher for humans due to the continued reliance on fizzy drinks, performance enhancing shakes and detox juices. Truth be told, these ‘magical’ mixtures have their own way of giving results to their users but water is the single natural resource that not only brings up one’s energy level but also undisputedly remains the healthiest drink option.

 

Here are five reasons why you need to embrace this elixir of life:

 

1. Ever confused hunger with dehydration? One great way to lose weight is to lessen your urge for empty calories. Water certainly helps with this as it kills the need to unnecessarily consume food that your body oddly craves and does not need (hint: JUNK FOOD).

 

2. Ever felt extra tired even while you are at your best? Dehydration generally opens doors to an unwanted guest: fatigue. The more you drink up, the more ‘in action’ you are bound to feel, as water would detoxify your body and give you balanced acidity levels. Get those glutes working and squat your way up to your fitness goals!

 

3. Ever felt like you have lost fluids while working out? Sweating and losing fluids is common among those who extensively work out. It is important to keep your joints healthy as they contain synovial fluid that protects joints. Staying hydrated increases synovial fluid levels in joints and takes you one step closer to achieving your desired bodybuilding goals.

 

4. Ever felt the need to build muscle? Since water transports nutrients to your cells, it is a foundation for protein and glycogen structures in your body. Absence of water would lead to a deprivation of electrolytes, causing your muscles to cramp. Flexing and moving your muscles is important for an ideal workout session, therefore drink up to have a better muscle structure and resilient tone.

 

5. Ever felt nauseous and weak? While this could happen due to different reasons, a low intake of water can be the cause and potentially lead to a heatstroke. To avoid muscle spasms and heat cramps, it is important to stay hydrated. Always reach out for medical assistance in the case of fast breathing, severe headaches, a heatstroke and flushed skin.

 

While it is encouraged to drink plenty of water, top nutritional advice is also dependent on your body type and the kind of activities that you are engaged in. Risk of a rare condition called Hyponetremia exists in athletes who consume too much water while training and resultantly have an abnormally low level of sodium in their bodies.

 

Your body is a temple - look after it and make the most of water, a true elixir.

Feeling weak at the knees.... maybe it's not love! Maybe you're Anaemic!

Posted on 8 July, 2015 at 14:45

Iron deficiency Anaemia is not a diagnosis – it is a symptom. However Iron Deficiency Anaemia can be very serious. 

Iron deficiency Anaemia occurs when the body does not have enough iron, leading to the decreased production of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body.


The Symptoms of Iron deficiency Anaemia are:

• General fatigue

• Weakness

• Pale skin

• Shortness of breath

• Dizziness

• Strange cravings for non-food items. Sounds crazy I know but you can crave things such as dirt, ice, or clay!

• Tingling or a crawling feeling in the legs

• Swelling or soreness in the tongue

Iron is a mineral that works with other substances to create haemoglobin, the compound that carries oxygen in the blood. Women and men metabolise iron from food at roughly the same rate. However, while men need around 8 mg of iron in their daily diet, women need up to 18 mg (or 27 mg if pregnant).

Women need more iron than men to make up for the amount of iron they lose in their menstrual period. Around 1 mg of iron is lost for every day of bleeding!

 

What is the best thing to do?

Simple. Keep up your iron levels!


Here are the best foods to have which are a great source of iron:

• Red meat, chicken and fish

• Nuts

• Leafy green vegetables.

Iron absorption can be impaired by very high-fibre diets and alcohol so watch how much you drink on your nights out!

If you want help managing your Iron deficiency Anaemia Let us know! We are happy to help

 

 

Feeling stressed or unhappy? Not eating right because of it?

Posted on 2 July, 2015 at 14:00


Putting others before yourself can become overwhelming and a huge weight on your shoulders.

Eventually, after, weeks, months or even years of putting others first, what happens?:

• Your favourite jeans that used to fit perfectly now feel a little tighter or don't fit at all!

• Salad..... No thanks! Junk food is on the menu more regularly.

• Gym? What’s that?

You can get that control back! You can overcome emotional over-eating issues. It may take a little time but it can be done.


What can you do to achieve this? Break the chain of events that has got you there in the first place.

Over-eating and food addictions can often stem from uncontrolled stress. Generally, if you can take control the causes then you can take control of your over-eating

And what can you do with those negative emotions causing you stress? Try these 5 steps:

• You need to understand that there is negativity or emotions that is driving this urge to over-eat, even if you don’t yet know what it is.

• Remember that emotions can feel like hunger. It may sound strange but it’s true! Find something different to do when you feel like this. Read a book or be creative, do some drawing, painting, knitting. Something to relax you and not opt for eating.

• At some point, give yourself a few minutes to experience whatever emotions you’re experiencing.

• When you get these emotions, work backwards to determine what caused these feelings. What were you doing just before you felt this? Who was with you? What was happening? etc.

• Take 10 deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly counting to 10 when doing so.


Hope this helps! If you want some help and guidance with your nutrition, including dealing with emotional over-eating we can help.

 



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