One Hell of a Year , kale chips and Embracing my ‘downward dog’
What a romantic start to my week :-) Tom and I celebrated a year since our very first date :-) We went to Rosso Rrestaurant, which is where we’d had our first date a year ago.
We certainly didn’t think that a year later we’d be getting ready to welcome our first child! What an incredible year it has been. I love you so much Tom – thank you for the most wonderful year of my life!
Happy Anniversary! Celebrations continued over the weekend with a rock n roll shopping trip for baby things :-) How daunting is that by the way??? There’s soon much stuff on offer, it’s really difficult to know what you do/don’t need.
I think its quite easy to become paranoid and buy all the gadgets available. Crib CCTV! My parents couldn’t believe it when we told them! I’ve been texting friends with children for tips and lists of essentials. I can’t believe some of the gear on offer these days – prams that look like space ships and cost well over a grand!??
I’ve been chatting with friend and yoga/Hypnobirthing expert Cheryl MacDonald this week. Her advice during my pregnancy has been so invaluable to me. I wanted to share this wonderful lady with you lovely people! Yoga is something I know little about …but know I should do more of it!! We practiced some yoga at drama school and I loved it – so its something that I’d like to do more of this year. Its WONDERFUL during pregnancy – Cheryl explains why….
Why is Yoga beneficial during pregnancy?
As much as mum may have wanted to become pregnant, it can still create a number of conflicting emotions when those two little lines appear on the pregnancy test :) Practising yoga during pregnancy can help mum work through these emotions, stay flexible, strong and healthy and become more positive about birth and parenting.
Yogic breathing (pranayama) encourages you to deeply relax and to take control of your body and emotions during pregnancy and also during the birth. The fact is that yoga actually makes you happier. The ‘love hormone’ Oxytocin helps you to relax and reduces blood pressure and cortisol levels. Yoga is now well recognised as one of the ways to encourage the body to release this amazing hormone and built in anti-stress mechanism.
When yoga is practised, oxytocin is released. Deep breathing warms the body, and warmth is one of the key elements that allow us to release Oxytocin. By taking the body through the practice of yoga asana (postures) we warm the muscles and joints, make the physical body more comfortable and relaxed. By then continuing the practice with savasana (deep relaxation) and meditation, we encourage the production of oxytocin even further.
Some of oxytocin’s main functions are preparing the female body for childbirth, stimulating milk production and ‘let down’ so that baby can nurse, and encouraging the bond between mum and her newborn baby.
Another important aspect of joining a YogaBellies for Pregnancy class, is the social aspect. Our classes are not simply, come in, pull shape yoga shapes safe for pregnancy and leave: Our classes focus very much on building a community of women supporting women during this extra special time. You get to meet other women going through the same things at the same time and that support is invaluable. It’s lovely when we see mums coming back postnatally with their new babies with their friends they met in prenatal class. Building a support network and new ‘mummy friends’ can one of the most important deterrents against post natal depression also.
Is it OK to start Yoga during pregnancy if one hasn’t tried it before?
Absolutely! 86% of the women who attend YogaBellies classes have never set foot in a yoga class ever before! The great thing about pregnancy yoga is that it is, by it’s very nature gentle and adaptable to different stage of pregnancy and mum’s physical ability.
I tend not to teach per trimester, as I believe that there is no set ‘cooking time’ for any baby or pregnancy: every mother and baby are unique and every mum will feel different at each stage of the pregnancy. If mum can take the posture and breath a little further then we encourage her to do so, but the main rule in our classes is to listen to your body and your baby and be guided by how you personally feel.
I recommend that pregnant women always work with a specially qualified perinatal yoga teacher, as standard yoga teaching barely skims the surface of what you need to know when working with pregnant women. There are so many pregnancy related conditions and contraindications and modifications that you need to sure that you are your baby are working with a pregnancy expert and are safe.
For complete newbies, I think 12-14 weeks gestation is a good time to start a prenatal yoga class. We say this as there is a higher risk of miscarriage in the first trimester, but also, its important that mums spend that trimester relaxing, tuning into what’s happening in their body, meditating, deep breathing and just allowing baby to grow within them. Many women feel very sick at this point in the pregnancy and my advice would be to surrender to what your body needs: rest, comfort, a hot water bottle and a good book :)
I have treated myself to a ‘new do’ this week! My lovely friend @calumtierney @terencepaul worked his hair magic to make me feel like a ‘yummy mummy’. I think its so easy during pregnancy to feel a bit ‘fed up’ sometimes.
You can get very tired, you don’t have the energy to pamper yourself as much (and that’s coming from a girl who pre-pregnancy was practically a ‘drag queen’) You start to miss your old energetic self. As baby gets heavier so do you and that can leave you feeling frumpy. Thus I declare it UBER important for all mums-to be to be treated like princesses!! I certainly felt a million dollars with my new hair :-) I’ve gone darker – more like my natural colour. I’ll go blonde again for ‘Eva The Diva’ before I head back to Weatherfield, but its nice to have a change.
I also had a session with my friend Tania @EFTandhealing . I’ve found reiki and EFT really useful and its PROVEN to work!! It absolutely relaxes you – its safe, its mindful and its such a warming experience – perfect during pregnancy. If you haven’t tried it please do! I felt as though I was floating after my reiki session, and its easy to practice your Hypnobirthing breathing during too!
By now you’re probably fully aware that I am indeed slightly obsessed with Kale. The benefits of this leafy green are boundless – I try to have at least one large portion a day. I love this recipe by Dale Pinnock – perfect for throwing in some Tupperware and carrying around as ‘food on the go!’
Asian Spiced Kale Chips
200g Raw Curly Kale
olive oil for drizzling
1 Clove of Garlic finely chopped
1 Small red chilli finely chopped
1 teaspoon of runny honey
2 teaspoons of soy sauce
1 table spoon of natural crunchy peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
Preheat the oven to 180/350/Gas mark 4. Remove the kale stalks and put the leaves in a bowl. Drizzle over with a little olive oil and season with salt. Massage the leaves so they soften and wilt.
Mix the rest of the ingredients with 2 teaspoons of water to make a rich sauce. Coat the Kale leaves with the sauce.
Place on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 mins until crispy and crunchy. Remove and let cool. Store in an airtight container!
I intend to slowly get back to the gym this weekend – doing very light exercise after being a little run down over the festive period. I’m feeling much better so I’ll be starting with simple back squats, squats and lunges – using mainly body weight. As much as I’m chopping at the bit to ‘smash’ the gym – Its SO important to be careful – especially as my due date nears. I need to be fighting fit – as it sounds to me like labour is the ultimate workout! I have my play list ready – yes – ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ from ‘Rocky’ is on there!!
I loved my twitter chat with @HELLOMAG this week – thank you for your questions guys. If you missed it, you can read some of my answers here:
Be happy, be healthy and DREAM BIG!!
Auntie Cath and Bumpus Maximus