Posts Tagged: Food

30 June
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Time to get JUICY!

I did a few interviews while I was pregnant in which the topic of ‘baby weight’ reared its ugly head – with the interviewers wanting to know if I was going to be in a hurry to shed the pounds and get down to the gym. My answer was always ‘no’. My baby hadn’t even arrived and I’d been waiting months and months to meet the little dude. There was no way I’d be booking in personal trainer sessions down the gym when I could be at home snuggling up to my newborn – who I’d spent nine months growing. I do understand the pressures of mummies in the public eye to shrink back down to their former weight (or less) ASAP, but I had no desire to conform. In the past, whenever I’ve struggled with my figure, the thought of losing weight made me miserable – an emotion I knew I’d rather avoid at that special time.

However, I was left bemused last week when rooting through my wardrobe, trying to find something that fitted me and looked pretty. NOTHING did. My maternity clothes were all too big and didn’t fit correctly now that I am no longer wearing a bump, and my pre-bump-wearing garments were all too diddy. I suddenly realised I was ready to do something great so that I could step out of the PJs and baggies. And, I’m thrilled to say, that my desire to get healthy has come from me and not any external pressures of what I should look like.

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My lovely friends Izzy and Emma have both recently detoxed with the help of juicing, and looked flipping amazing from it – so I contacted The Juice Master, Jason Vale, and asked for a little help. I decided that a diet wouldn’t do the trick – I didn’t want to spend a week feeling deprived, instead I wanted to spend some time putting goodness into my body. So, for the last week, fruit and vegetable juice has become my best friend – oh, and so that I’d have a little moral support (it’s never easy to step away from cake), Tom decided to do it with me. Yep, this week our fridge has been filled with nothing but juice and breastmilk… lovely.

To make life easier for ourselves with a baby around, we had all the juices for the week sent over beforehand. They were kept in the freezer and then taken out the night before they were needed. So easy. Also, to get us in the mood for our detox, we watched Super Juice Me the night before we started – each night after that we watched a different documentary focusing on the health benefits of nutrition and plant-based foods. They were all amazing and really spurred us on. Watch Super Juice Me if you get a chance – it might just give you the kick up the butt you need to do something wonderful.

Each night of my 5-day detox I wrote down my thoughts on the day passed. Here’s an insight into my juice-filled-mind:

DAY ONE (21:38) – I’ll be honest, I was a little apprehensive when I woke up this morning. I’ll openly admit that I’ve been eating more food than normal for the past six months or so – and yes, I know you need more calories when you’re preggers or breastfeeding, but I don’t think they’re all meant to come in the form of cake, chocolate and biscuits.

I was extremely aware of food today. It was everywhere. I went for a walk at our local lido after my second juice of the day, and the smell of roast dinners smacked me in the face as soon as I got out the car. BOOM. Surprisingly I walked past without crying and wailing for a Yorkshire pud. I could appreciate the delicious smell, but I didn’t want it. Weird.

Several times today I’ve thought to myself, ‘Oh, I’m peckish – perhaps I’ll have a little snack’, before remembering that I’m on a juicing mission and realising that I’m not actually hungry. I swear sometimes I just feel the need to have something in my mouth (Ooh-er). The day ended with us watching Hungry For Change – drumming in the importance of healthy living. The message is certainly going in. I thought I’d get to this point on my first day and be famished. Instead… I feel fine. Roll on tomorrow.

DAY TWO (22:20) – We’ve spoken a lot about food today – mostly because we went to visit my family, and food is always a top topic of conversation. We’re Italian and we love our food. It didn’t make me feel like I wanted to stuff my face though, so that’s good. A lot of Jason’s detox concentrates on reminding yourself that you COULD have those foods if you wanted, but for those five detox days you’re CHOOSING not to – you’re giving your body a week off and filling it with goodness. It’s all about changing your perspective and not getting into ‘diet’ mode. I think it’s working…

Tonight’s film was Food Matters, which, like the other films, talks about how choosing the right food can be your medicine against all sorts of ills. Very thought-provoking.

 

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DAY THREE (21:54) – I woke up today feeling lighter… How lovely! I’ve been warned that day two and three can be quite tough on a detox, but I’ve found the last two no different to the first… although, saying that, today I’ve felt hungry. Not starving though, so I haven’t tucked into my emergency SOS bar. Today’s juices were extra tasty, which helped. The seeds in the Berry Banana Crunch meant I had to chew slightly before swallowing – making me feel like I was eating solid food. HA!

Tonight we watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I think I find the documentaries that focus on the journey of discovery for different individuals far more moving than the ones that are just science based. This film follows Joe Cross, an Aussie who is on a mission to reclaim his health through a 60-day juicing plan while he travels across America. Joe’s story is brilliant, but when he meets Phil Staples (a morbidly obese truck driver who asks for help to get out of the rut he has found himself in) the documentary really comes alive in an incredibly inspiring way.

DAY FOUR (22:21) – I’ve felt much more energetic. Still hungry, but really awake! Hilariously, I bit my lip the day before we started juicing and it’s turned into an ulcer. No, I’m not suggesting my sore lip is funny, but the fact that it’s annoying me more than any sort of hunger is! Seriously – it blooming kills!

Today I went on a lovely walk with my buddy Kara Tointon – we had a lot to catch up on. Aside of our usual girlie natter, I told her all about my juicing detox and she told me about Deliciously Ella – a website she’s become obsessed with. I had a quick look tonight and it looks awesome. Ella has the most amazing diet ever – but best of all, she makes healthy food fun and interesting.

Tonight’s film was Supersize Me. Not going to lie, when I first started watching this it made me want a McDonalds… Slightly ironic when the whole thing is about how awful it is for you. I think I have hungry eyes that make me want to devour food when I see it… naughty! Still going strong though! One day to go!

DAY FIVE (21:56) – I’ve just completed the final day of the programme! Hurrah. Feels strange to know that I’m allowed breakfast when I wake up in the morning.

I went back on the Deliciously Ella website tonight and looked at every single recipe and picture…. So it’s not too surprisingly that I’m going to bed starving – I don’t think you’re meant to torture yourself by looking at pictures of food while you’re detoxing. (Actually, I was with Emma tonight and her and the kids had a curry – so that could also be contributing to my hunger.) I’m so excited to get trying her recipes. I’ve even been on Amazon and bought a spiralizer so that I can make her courgette pasta!! What a geek!

DAY SIX: IT’S OVER! I made it through five days of juicing, I’ve lost half a stone and I feel fabulous. In fact, I feel so great that I’ve decided to have one day off and then start again for another bout of goodness in the morning. I might be crazy, but at least my insides will be healthy!

Lots of juicy love flying your way!

Gi. Xx

27 January
13

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Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming…

For the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy, Tom hated me doing ANYTHING physical – even walking. I’m pretty sure that, given half the chance, he’d have wrapped me in bubblewrap and left me safely in bed for the whole nine months – but let’s face it, that’s unrealistic. Plus, the constant popping of bubbles every time I rolled over would be thoroughly annoying after a while… I’d get terribly cranky.

In all seriousness, I was knackered for the first 20 weeks of pregnancy anyway. I may have had no morning sickness (yes, that’s correct – I didn’t spew once), but I had an overwhelming need for daily afternoon naps… it’s not something I complained about! Who doesn’t like curling up on the sofa at midday and dozing off whilst cuddling a cat? Thank goodness I’m an author and can work in my PJs at home – making up my working hours as I go! If I worked in an office there’s no way I’d be able to stop myself dozing off at my desk. I found it impossible to stay awake!

But (eventually) I acquired a burst of energy and suddenly felt ready to get out of the house and DO something. Plus, I knew it was time to get active. I’ve read a lot of books and know that fitness is very important in pregnancy – one book even compared it to running the marathon. You couldn’t do one of those without getting your body prepared first. Well, you could, but it wouldn’t be much fun. Giving birth is hugely demanding on our bodies, and therefore I was thrilled that the foggy sleepiness had lifted and that I was ready to get going.

Most women are probably tempted to cancel their gym memberships as soon as they discover they’re pregnant, but actually, I think it’s worth keeping. You may not be training to get your butt into those tight jeans anymore, but you are getting your body ready, and hopefully making things a lot easier for yourself in the long run.

I’ve heard a lot of ladies say that they loved swimming during their pregnancy, and that is why I found myself at my local Virgin Active Health Club (displaying my bump in all its glory in my one-piece costume from Topshop), splashing around and having a jolly good time in the pool. I’m not the strongest swimmer in the world (in fact, if other swimmers splash in my face I have to remind myself that I’m fine and not about to choke on a few drops of water), but I’ve found it really calming. I’m the picture of serenity after I’ve had a float around… actually, that’s a total lie. I’m usually a bloated red mess – however, I FEEL great! It’s nice to have half an hour or so without the weight of my bump controlling my body. Now I’m in my third trimester (nine weeks until my due date – AH!) I’ve been told I might get tired again, but ideally I’d love to keep up my new fish-like-talents – move out the way Ariel, there’s a new Mermaid in town. ;-)

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Talking about time slipping away from us – we’ve finally started to get organised! This week Tom and I took ourselves off to Mothercare to get a whole heap of essentials for Crumb (a huge thank you to the staff at the Watford store who managed to answer all of our silly questions!). Tom’s most important item to find was a baby car seat (we opted for a black Maxi-cosi Pebble), and for me – I just wanted to get my hands on everything so that I could start nesting properly. Ha! Believe it or not, the item most recommended by you mummies out there was Sophie the Giraffe, so I’m happy to say Sophie is settling into her new home very nicely! Whilst in the shop I also totally fell in love with Jools Oliver’s Little Bird range – it’s just so beautiful and perfect for a spring baby. I’ve ordered her moses basket and a gorgeous patchwork quilt. :-)

We’re waiting for a few bits to be delivered, but I’ll keep you posted on how the nursery is coming together over the next few weeks – so far we’ve emptied it of everything that was in there… Like I said, we’ve made a start.

The week came to a close with a lovely group meal at The Judds, for which Izzy slaved away to make a gorgeous Thai Green Chicken Curry (she really is becoming the model wife).

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Great to see the boys as always – but even better to have a girlie natter and hear all about Georgia’s wedding planning! Check out this week’s HELLO! mag for an exclusive photoshoot with the gorgeous couple.

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In other news, I’ve started to get those nightly leg cramps that I’ve been warned about, but I’ve found a way to fight them off – as soon as I sense one stirring I flex my foot. That’s it. Simple, yet effective! I can actually feel the oncoming pain huff as it scuttles away begrudgingly.

I’ve got a busy week next week – I’m turning 29 on Wednesday (Eek!) AND my sister Giorgina is throwing me a baby shower at the weekend… How exciting!

Have a good one!

Gi. Xx

P.S. A very important piece of equipment arrived this week – my Medela Freestyle breastpump (described to me by one friend as ‘the best’ and also recommended by a few of you). On seeing the device Tom asked what would happen if he tried using it… I’ve no doubt that I’m going to come home one day and see him trying it out. Ha!

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23 December
2

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Is that a duck? No, it’s a human waddling…

Hello everyone

My bump isn’t ridiculously big (I still have three months worth of human growing to go), so it came as a huge surprise to find I have started waddling. I wasn’t even aware I was doing it until a guy friend of mine pointed it out when we were taking a stroll. There was no denying that I was swaying from side to side with each step I took. He and my husband found my new style of walking very funny. I imagine it’s something that’s only going to get more pronounced the bigger my bump gets, so I’m just going to embrace it. I love walking, and it’s meant to be great for pregnant ladies… therefore I’ll be waddling along for a while yet!

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Having relieved myself of book two for a week or two (it’s now in the copy-editing process), I’ve found myself able to see family and friends at last. Boy have I been cramming them all in – Christmas meals, girlie time with cake, a naughty late night pizza with my dad… It’s been fantastic.

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One of my highlights of the week was getting to see my friend Savannah Stevenson on stage at the Victoria Apollo for her official first night as Glinda in Wicked (I wore a Rock-a-Bye Rosie dress from www.littleblackdress.co.uk for the occasion). Savvy was, as I knew she would be, sensational. Utterly funny, charming and magical – I’d definitely recommend going to see her in it! Following the show there was an after-party – at which we decided to get in a little group photo, but with Dougie taking over from Tom as the ‘bump holder’ – bizarre, but we found it hilarious.

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Something I’ve loved about being pregnant is hearing mine and Tom’s parents talk about when they were expecting us, our sisters and my brother. This week my mum had a rummage in her loft and found the old medical records from her pregnancies and the hospital bands from all three of us. Gone are the guesses as to what times we were born, now we all know precisely. All this was kept along with an old blanket, shawl and Mario’s christening dress (yes, I know it’s a gown, but I did have a chuckle at the thought of him in a dress – so mature) in a battered old blue suitcase with rusty clasps… The suitcase my dad bought his belongings in when he moved here from Italy almost 40 years ago. I feel oddly protective of the weathered case and have now claimed it as my own – just to marvel at it, it’s totally unusable now.

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With a few days left until Christmas we’re making a last-minute dash to get things ready for Santa. Ooh, and we have another scan booked in too! I’m always stunned to see how much our little Crumb has developed in the weeks between scans… I cry every time I see those tiny arms and legs kicking around. Life is incredible.

Sending huge amounts of festive cheer to you all!

Love,

Giovanna. Xx

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