JUICES AND SMOOTHIES - WHAT IS HIDING IN YOURS?

Are you a lover of fresh smoothies and juices ? I sure am!

Juices and smoothies are a fantastic and convenient way to help get your daily dose of fruit and veg in. However they can also help you go over your daily recommended intake of sugar and can be very high in energy, both of which are not very helpful in  assisting you to reach your health or weight loss goals. 

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JUICE

When making or selecting a juice you want to go for one that has more vegetables than it does fruit. The higher dose of veggies helps to reduce the amount of sugar you'd get if you were selecting one containing only fruit. It also helps to add some extra fibre.

When you are whipping up your next juice at home or out for breaky, try to go for more veggies (2-3) than fruit (1-2). My favourite fruit choices in juice would have to be berries or lemon. Both are lower in sugar than many other fruits and the lemon adds a refreshing hit. 

SMOOTHIES

Sometimes nothing beats a post workout smoothie. You've worked hard and they can be such a refreshing, thirst cleansing and nourishing way to refuel your body. They are also perfect for those that are on the go as are easy 'meals'. 

Just as with juices, they can also pack a big energy hit which is not always ideal. I try to make sure my smoothies contain a good protein source such as Protein powder or Greek yoghurt to help with muscle recovery and satiety. Again I use the veggie rule & try to make sure I have more or equal parts veggies to fruit.

Some great additions to your smoothie or juice are:

VEGGIES

  • Spinach

  • Avocado

  • Silverbeet

  • Kale

  • Celery

  • Cucumber

  • Beetroot

  • Carrot

  • Tomato

  • Avocado

  • Cucumber

 

FRUIT

Lower sugar options:

  • Lemon

  • Lime

  • Strawberries

  • Raspberries

  • Blueberries

  • Pear

Moderate - higher sugar options:

  • Mango

  • Watermelon

  • Banana

  • Apple

  • Orange

  • Dates

  • Watermelon

 SMOOTHIES:

  • Don't forget a protein source - protein powder, greek yoghurt

  • Your choice of liquid I.e: Water / almond milk / coconut milk / coconut water / milk

Other ingredients to add a little extra:

  • Ginger

  • Mint

  • Nutmeg

  • Cinnamon

  • Chai seeds

  • Flaxseed

  • Psyllium husk

  • Cinnamon

  • Nutmeg

  • Nut butter

Juices and smoothies can be perceived as being super healthy because they've got fruit/veg in them. The thought of adding veggies to your smoothie may not appeal to you but you may be pleasantly surprised.  Cucumber, zucchini, celery etc all contain a lot of water and won't ruin the flavor of your favorite smoothie. 

There are so many ways to mix a juice or smoothie, you ultimately need to be making or selecting one to suit your specific goals. 

Keep in mind next time you've got your juicer going or adding one to your breakfast order the hidden sugar and energy content and try to get some veg in there. If you don't know what to do with any left over pulp, try adding it to a muffin mixture. 

Be mindful when making your next juice/smoothie & don't be scared of the veggies!

Brooke x

 

8 TIPS TO GET YOU OUT OF THAT INSPO RUT

Inspiration: A sudden, brilliant or timely idea. The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Disheartened, discouraged, lacking clarity: the opposite of Inspired, goal fog or an inspo rut.

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Why is it that it seems to be lacking when we want or need it the most? Or that it comes to you at the most inconvenient of timing; the baby wakes up, it hits while you are talking to someone but don’t have a notebook or can’t write it down, when you are in the middle of a meeting or in the middle of the night when you should be getting some much needed sleep.

To be honest with you, lately I have been feeling a bit stuck in a good ol’ inspo rut. Generally feeling a little more flat and lacking the drive and clarity that I normally have. After losing a loved one recently combined with sleep debt are probably both contributing factors, but the good thing is that these phases come and go and I know that I’ll climb out of it soon. Are you in a bit of a rut? The excitement of a new year may have worn off or you may have thoughts of ‘Who am I? or What am I doing with my life?

So if you’re feeling the same; a little flat, stuck or lacking motivation, fear not! Here are my top tips for helping you get re-inspired, clear the fog and connect to what you really want to achieve:

  • Get outdoors: This is one of THE best inspo triggers. Getting down to your favourite beach, nature walk, local park or even hanging out in your backyard can work wonders. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of fresh air and nature to put things in perspective and provide some goal fuel.

  • Move: Exercise and daily movement have so many benefits to our physical and psychological health that the list could go on for days. My best ideas have often come to me whilst I’ve been out for a walk or run. This can also be inconvenient if you don’t have anything to write these down with. I often voice record on my iPhone to help prompt these thoughts at a later time.

  • Prioritise sleep: When you are not have poor quantity and/or quality of sleep so many areas of your life can be affected be it mood, relationships, and your own personal health. Those that slept less than 6 hours per night have been shown to be 50% more likely to suffer from anxiety, stress, depression and suffer decreased mental health. Get to bed earlier, nap during the day, reduce your intake of stimulants and avoiding screen time before bed are just some of the ways that you can improve both your quality and quantity of sleep.

  • Switch off: ‘Put down yo phone!’ Have you ever seen the Kid President’s YouTube video on ‘Mom’s’? If you have you’ll know what I’m on about here. But seriously, switch off. Yes it can be hard to take some time away from scrolling your Insta or Facebook feed or online shopping purchases that you ‘add to cart’ but never actually ‘checkout’. Switching off stems into so many of these other top tips and helps take away all that extra distraction and/or procrastination.

  • Change up your office: Do you normally work from home or an office? Grab your weapon of choice, be it a notebook, journal or laptop and head to your favourite café. Enjoy a coffee, the hustle and bustle of café goers and the external distraction associated with your ‘normal’ place of work.

  • Stop comparing: Comparison really is the thief of joy. We each experience our own ups and downs at different times and under various circumstances. It can be so easy to compare yourself to others and then feel disheartened or even more confused about what it is you want to achieve.  Try not to worry about what anyone else is doing except for you.

  • Getaway: A road or plane ride is often where most of my goals become clearer and inspiration hits. I believe this has something to do with the ‘switching off’ point. No phone signal – no social distractions. Just be sure you have a notebook or laptop ready to record and save all of your goals, dreams, inspo for later actioning. Take a break: getaway, take a staycation or get out of town. You will be surprised at what a change of scenery can do for your soul.

  • Spend time with loved ones: Catching up with family or close friends that understand your passion and drive can be excellent sources to bounce ideas off and for that ‘sense check’ or pep talk. You might think it is easier to bottle things up or that no one wants to listen to what you have to say, but when you start saying your goals or plans out aloud it can actually assist in concreting your thoughts.

  • Read a book or your fave magazine: You might not think you have time to read a book because you need to do actual ‘work’, run a household, or a million other things. It doesn’t even need to be on self-help, love or growth, entrepreneurship, or any of those topics. It can simply be one of your favourite genres and taking some time out for yourself that is what you need to get your mojo back.

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TOP 4 PRODUCTS FOR THE ADVENTUROUS & ACTIVE MAMA

When you become a Mum, be it for the very first or third time it can be so daunting trying to figure out what you do and don't need. I’ve always been a ‘less is more’ kind of gal and I wanted to share with you some of my must-have products, tried and tested by yours truly, that help your little babe fit into your active lifestyle.

Our family is forever spending time in the great outdoors be it boating, hiking trails, by the beach or just out for a leisurely stroll. We also travel a lot and our little caravan getaways are some of my most favourite memories. Here are just a few products that I have used throughout my pregnancies and motherhood journey. If you love keeping active and outdoors, then I’m sure you will love them too!


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BABY CARRIER:

I could not be without this, especially the second time around because boy do I need my hands free with a toddler! If you are sitting on the fence about getting one or not, let this be your firm shove to do it! I have the Mountain Buggy Juno carrier in charcoal and love it! Not only is Bronte super supported, it also serves as an adult size bib when I’m eating. This carrier is so comfortable and without the bulk of many carriers. Babes can be carried facing forward, backward, on your hip and on your back. It also comes with the infant insert which means you can use the carrier with your babe right from the get go. I’ve always used the more structured carriers and have a personal preference for these over the wraps. So ladies, add this to your list!

https://mountainbuggy.com/

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PRAM:

You might be thinking, ‘where do I start?’ when it comes to prams. Let this help guide your decision.

If you need your pram to check the following boxes, then I have just the recommendation for you!

  • Be usable from newborn to toddler

  • Capsule adaptable

  • Suitable for running

  • Lightweight, can be folded and lifted with one hand

  • And of course be comfortable, stylish and durable.

Look no further than the Mountain Buggy Terrain Pram. This pram comes with both 12” and 16” wheels, which basically means there is the on road and then the next level off-road tyres - perfect for those bush and beach walks. This pram is comfortable and large enough for my not-so-little toddler, yet also perfect for my little babe.

One of the best features of this pram - the attachable Freerider! I actually had a double pram prior to having Bronte, but when she came along it just wasn't practical. It also felt like I was pushing a small car so it had to go and I needed something more suitable and lifestyle friendly. The Terrain pram with the Freerider is perfect. Byron can cruise on the back of the pram with the scooter attachment yet unhook and cruise on his own when he wants to, whilst Bronte can ride up front in the pram. It even has light-up wheels, which are a big hit on those early morning and evening walks. And hey, if you don't have the MB pram but want the Freerider, the attachment is compatible with a wide range of other brand prams. The amount of comments I get when we use these together, I swear everyone wishes they were the toddler on the back on his scooter. I highly recommend!

https://mountainbuggy.com/

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BACKPACK:

Nappy bags are such a statement piece these days. First time around I wanted the fancy handbag, but soon realised that it just wasn't practical for my lifestyle. Second time around I am loving a backpack from Puggle Baby that is perfect for our pool, park and beach dates. The best thing about this bag is that A) it doesn’t look like a nappy bag, but B) it’s not just for Mum’s (and let’s face it, we do enough heavy lifting anyway), but Dad’s can totally rock these unisex back packs. Tiff and Nath - the masterminds behind this small family owned & operated business have hit the mark with their back packs.

https://pugglebabyau.com/

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ACTIVE WEAR:

If you know me then you know that if I’m not rocking a tee and my One Teaspoons then you will find me in my active wear! Why? Well, not only if you wear it does it mean you might be more likely to fit that workout in, it is also ridiculously comfy and is so accommodating for your growing bump or post natal bod.

Two brands that I wore throughout both of my pregnancies and beyond are Cadenshae and Active Truth.

Cadenshae - make THE BEST feeding bras that are a maternity and sport bra in one. Nikki, the founder has four gorgeous kids of her own and is the face behind the brand who truly understands what the new/expecting Mama needs! Supportive, stylish and built to fit almost every sized bust. I also love the tanks and wear these whether I’m pregnant, breastfeeding or none of the above. My favourite, most-worn items are the Fit2Feed bra, the Everyday bra and the nursing tanks (but they also have tights, hoodies & tees!). LOVE! You can get 10% off the complete range by using the code BFNCS10 at checkout.

https://cadenshae.com.au/

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Active Truth - I lived in these tights right throughout my second pregnancy and post natal journey. There are a lot of maternity tights on the market and it pays to invest in a decent pair - these ones are well worth every dollar and made from premium compression fabric. The best thing about this brand is that it is size inclusive, Nadia and Stevie have designed stunning activewear to suit all shapes and sizes - maternity or not. My top picks are the grey leopard and full length pregnancy tights.

Get $20 off your order by using the code BROOKEVIP at checkout. https://www.activetruth.com.au/

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HOMEMADE BOOBIE MILK BICCIES

And before you (or more likely, your partner, brother or Dad freaks out), no these are not made from boobie milk. They simply contain ingredients which can support and promote milk supply.

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When you have a newborn in the house, it’s high likely that you’re in some form of pain or discomfort, a little (or a lot) sleep deprived, not 100% sure of what day it is, and probably haven’t had a chance to brush your hair yet (and it may stay that way until tonight’s shower).

Breast feeding and raising babies can take ALOT out of any new parent, but when a woman is breastfeeding there is an increase in her daily energy requirements. It is hard to define set energy requirements as there are so many individual factors; how often are you feeding your baby, what are your activity levels, any pre-existing medical conditions, height, age, diet and so on, but generally speaking, when breast feeding there is an increased need of approximately 2000-3000kj/ day (about 500 – 700 calories per day) - no wonder you’re starving in the middle of the night (or all the time).

No doubt you’ve heard of lactation cookies. These are a form of food that contain lactogenic properties, meaning they can help to boost and support your breast milk supply. Brewers yeast and oats are the common ‘go-to’, but foods like carrots, hummus, salmon and brown rice also get a gold star in this area.

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Here is a simple and yummy boobie milk biscuit recipe to help support your breastfeeding journey, ease those late night/early morning hunger pains, and can actually be enjoyed by the WHOLE family. You can reassure your main man that he won’t start leaking if he dabbles in a cookie or two, nor will your children.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 cup coconut oil

  • ½ cup coconut sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • Splash of vanilla essence

  • 3 tbsp flaxmeal

  • 3 tbsp brewers yeast (less if your sensitive to the taste)

  • 2.5 cups oats

  • 1 scoop vanilla vegan protein powder (optional)

METHOD

  • Pre heat over to 180 degrees Celsius

  • Combine the wet ingredients together in a bowl to dissolve the sugar.

  • Combine all dry ingredients into a separate bowl, then add in wet ingredients

  • Stir until the mixture is combined and the texture can be molded into balls. If your mixture is too runny add a small amount of oats or flaxmeal until it holds together. If it is too dry and a little crumbly, slowly add more coconut oil until the mixture holds together.

  • Using a tablespoon scoop small amounts from the bowl and mold into balls using your hands

  • Place these onto a lined baking tray

  • Once you have all the mixture on the baking tray, using your fingers, spoon or fork, gently press down on each cookie ball to flatten them

  • Place in the over for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown

  • Store in the fridge (up to one week), or place in the freezer and grab small batches out to increase their shelf life.

Stress and getting enough sleep play just as an important role as nutrition does in the post natal journey, so be sure to outsource things to family or friends, and if you can - sleep when that beautiful babe does.

If you’re keen to know more about nutrition to support lactation and postnatal recovery and safe return to exercise be sure to check out my Happy, Healthy Pregnancy guides - coming VERY soon!

I’d love to see you enjoying this recipe - tag me on your socials and hashtag #balancefitnessnutrition #striveforbalance.

Enjoy!

Brooke x



NUTRITION DURING PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is the one time in your life where your eating habits directly impact another person. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet whilst pregnant plays such an important role in ensuring mothers and developing bubs are getting the adequate nutrients that they need whilst their body is going through a demanding and dramatically changing time. 

As is always the case with diet and exercise, everyone's nutritional and energy requirements vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. Some of these include your activity level, current diet, age, whether you have underlying injuries or illnesses, any food allergies or preferences, the list goes on.

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Nutritional and energy requirements during this time could also be discussed for days and in great detail, it will not be ALL covered here. Feel free to reach out if you have any specific nutrition queries. So I've wrapped up some key take-aways for you just as I did in part one, feel free to contact me if you’d like to know more or book a consult to discuss requirements specific to your needs.

I’M PREGNANT, THAT MEANS I CAN EAT FOR TWO RIGHT?

You definitely do not need to ‘eat for two’, as the old saying commonly suggests. It is more important as to WHAT you actually eat to ensure that you are setting your bub up for the best start to life and that you are fuelling your body with what it needs to grow a happy, healthy baby.

If the thought of eating for two excites you and has you going back for seconds for dinner or saying yes more often to the lunchroom cakes, think again. The initial stages of pregnancy actually requires very little change in your daily energy intake, so it’s time to put down the ice cream (sorry to be the bearer of bad news).

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WHAT ARE SOME OF THE KEY NUTRIENT REQUIREMENTS DURING PREGNANCY?

The nutrient requirements for pregnancy cannot be based on the same criteria that is applied to those in a non-pregnant state, recommend dietary intakes (RDI’s) for almost all nutrients are increased to some extent during pregnancy. There is an increase for most micronutrients during pregnancy such as your B vitamins and folate and iron. The RDI’s for sodium, calcium, potassium and vitamin D however, are however not increased for pregnancy.

When it comes to your key macronutrients (carbs, fats & proteins), again in the first trimester energy requirements do not increase greatly.

PROTEIN: What is particularly important is to ensure you are consuming a minimum of 1.0g/kg/day of protein in the second and third trimesters. Protein positively affects the growth of fetal tissue, including the brain. It also helps your breast and uterine tissue to grow during pregnancy and it plays a role in your increasing blood supply.

Think: lean meats: (chicken, turkey, beef, pork), greek and natural yoghurt, nuts, tofu and seafood. I choose to supplement with True Protein Vegan Protein powder in Vanilla to help add a daily protein boost to my smoothies.

FATS: Be sure to limit foods highly processed and high in saturated fat (chips, biscuits, frozen or fried foods). Some healthier sources of saturated fats include beef, eggs and cheese. Look to consume and increase your intake of unsaturated and polyunsatured fats such as omega 3’s. These are vital to your growing baby to help fuel proper brain growth and eye development, particularly during the third trimester. Some good sources or saturated

Think: avocados, almonds, mixed nuts, salmon, flaxseeds, olive oil, butter, egg yolks.

B VITAMINS & FOTATE: B Vitamin intake is increased during pregnancy with many of the pre-natal vitamins containing these micronutrients. The increased requirements for B vitamins can easily be met as long as your diet consists of some animal products, so if you are a vegan it may be necessary to supplement your diet with vitamin B12. Vitamin B6 may also help to reduce nausea of vomiting in pregnant women. RDI 1.9mg/day

Think: animal products (such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, or dairy); it is also found in fortified breakfast cereals and enriched soy or rice milk.

FOLATE: Folic acid plays a key role in reducing the risk of neural tube defects, including spin bifida. This is particularly important leading up to falling pregnant and within the first three months of pregnancy prior to the neural tube closing. It is advised to begin supplementing with folate or increasing this through your diet if you are thinking about starting a family or adding to your brood and continue especially throughout the first trimester of pregnancy. Recommendation of 400micrograms daily leading up to falling pregnant and within the first three months of pregnancy with the help of a folate supplement. 

Think: foods high in folate include asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, chick peas, dried beans, lentils & spinach.

IRON: In combination with sodium, potassium, and water, iron helps increase your blood volume and prevents anemia. During pregnancy iron requirements are increased because your developing bub draws iron from you to last it through the first five or six months after birth. Iron is often something that women can become deficient in during pregnancy, so it is so important to try to get enough of this through a varied diet. Your doctor will test your iron levels regularly and you may require a supplement to boost your levels if required.

Think: green leafy vegetables, whole grains, oats, fortified cereals, lean red meat or poultry. RDI of 27mg per day for pregnant women.

CALCIUM: No need to stress about drinking more milk which is commonly thought of during pregnancy. The RDI for women and calcium whether pregnant of not is 1000mg per day for those aged 19-50yrs, 1300mg/day for those 51yrs +). From 2007 the Australian dietary recommendations for increased calcium intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding have been revised. Although the baby has a high requirement for calcium during the third trimester of pregnancy, (as it starts to develop and strengthen its bones), the mother’s increased capacity to absorb dietary calcium means that there is no need for extra intake.  Just make sure you’re still meeting your 1000mg/day.

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HOW MUCH MORE FOOD DO I ACTUALLY NEED?

As you progress through your pregnancy, your physical activity levels may change - the intensity, duration and frequency may reduce depending on your energy levels or if you are experiencing any contraindications to exercise such as pre-eclampsia, uncontrolled hypertension or pubic symphysis dysfunction. This will in turn affect your energy requirements.

Generally your basal metabolic rate (BMR) increases by the fourth month of pregnancy and can reach a 15-20% increase from its baseline towards the end of your pregnancy. These increases are mainly due to the increase in oxygen demands by your growing little bubba and the increased cardiac output; I don’t know about you – but I definitely noticed the shortness of breath when walking up a flight of stairs or performing activity that would normally not trigger a bit of huffing and puffing.

So if your body is working harder due to the growing demands of bub and your metabolic rate is increasing – what exactly does this mean in terms of how much extra food you can eat? As mentioned above, in the first trimester energy needs does not change dramatically. As you reach the second trimester your energy needs increase to an addition approximate 300 calories per day extra, and approximately 450 calories per day by the third trimester. So no need to go over board ladies – this could be achieved by adding in a piece of fruit with a serve of greek yoghurt and oats or a small sandwich (okay - or the occasional brownie).

I’VE BEEN EATING WELL BUT CONCERNED ABOUT WEIGHT GAIN – WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

Firstly – you are pregnant so those scales are going to continue to increase and you may find yourself upgrading your wardrobe. Try not to stress over weight gain throughout your pregnancy. Look at these 9 months as a chance to fuel your body to grow a healthy mini-me and enjoy the break from high intensity and impact exercise (something I initially struggled to come to terms with, now I am loving the change and trying activities that I would previously not prioritise).  

When looking at the percentage of total weight gain during pregnancy in a normal, healthy pregnancy only about 26 – 30% is from body fat. The remainder comes down to the fetus (27%), extracellular/vascular fluid (15%) and blood (10%), with the uterus, placenta, amniotic fluid, and mammary glands accounting for the rest.

Are you feeling puffy and like you are retaining fluid? Don’t stress, overall water accounts for over half of the maternal weight gained during pregnancy and will disappear soon after you give birth to you little miracle. Pregnancy is most certainly not the time to be dieting or restricting your food intake (unless you have been advised to by your doctor). You don’t have to make friends with the scales, but make sure you do make friends with salad both during and after your pregnancy.

TOP TIPS FOR HEALTHY EATING DURING PREGNANCY

  • Enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables – choose plenty of different types and colours
  • Limit foods that are high in saturated fats and sugar – especially the refined stuff. Life is about balance, so enjoy these in moderation.
  • Ensure you are getting adequate iron from both plant and non plant sources
  • Be prepared: food prep each week some healthy snacks – veggie sticks, energy balls, some healthy whole grains to add to your lunch etc. Fail to plan = plan to fail.
  • Keep your intake of ‘good fats’ up – fuel that babies brain development
  • Don’t forget to drink plenty of water - almost all of my clients where pregnant or not are not drinking enough water on a daily basis. If you are pregnancy your hydration requirements are greater than those non-pregnant peers, so fill up that water bottle and get drinking!
  • Incorporate some healthy whole grains into your day, this also assists with adequate fibre intake.
  • Look at food as fuel for your baby – is what you are putting in your mouth going to benefit and nourish both yourself and bub? If not put it down & opt for something healthier.
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A WORD ON SUPPLEMENTATION

Supplements should never replace a balanced, healthy diet and whole foods. However there are times when it can be useful or advised to supplement. As mentioned earlier I choose to use True Protein Vegan protein powder both in my pregnant and non-pregnancy state. Yes, it is safe to use protein powders during pregnancy (given you don't have a 'high' consumption of protein already). The Nutrient Reference Values for Aus & NZ for protein during pregnancy is 1g/kg of body weight per day. I recommend active individuals to aim for a minimum of 1-1.5g/kg/day. For me that equates to about 85g-127g of protein/day. To help shed some light on how you may reach this see below:

  • 1 serve (100g) of chicken is approximately 30g protein
  • 3 boiled eggs is approximately 21g protein
  • Serve almonds (15-20g) is 6-10g protein
  • Serve/scoop (30g) of True Protein Vegan 85 powder is 25g protein

From the above you can see how adding a scoop of protein powder can help you reach you daily requirements.

It is important to note that not all powders are created equal and trusting the brand you use, as well as reading and interpreting the nutrition label is essential in understanding the ingredients within the product and how much you should use to supplement your diet.

I choose to use True Protein as they have strict controls during processing to minimise the risk of contaminants and ensure a safe product. Their Vegan blends use all natural flavours with no artificial additives, artificial sweeteners or fillers, and the vegan variety is also easier to digest. If you are unsure about the use of protein during pregnancy or if the brand you are using is safe feel free to reach out to me.

FINAL WORD

Make sure you are choosing plenty of fresh, whole, healthy foods to give your baby the best head start possible and keep up the regular activity; the benefits of this to your physical and mental health and baby are countless.

No matter if you are trying for a baby or only have a few weeks to go before you meet your little one – it is never too late to start. Eating a balanced, varied and nutritious diet can help with fertility, keep you energized and healthy during pregnancy and assist in your recovery.

If you are looking for the right way to fuel your body during pregnancy to optimise the health of both yourself and bub feel free get in touch to discuss your specific nutritional requirements and arrange a consult.

To get 10% off the True Protein range use the code BROOKE10 at checkout.

Brooke x

I'M PREGNANT...CAN I STILL HAVE MY DAILY DOSE OF CAFFEINE?

When you are pregnant there is so much advice that people are willing to give you, some of which needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Whether it be about parenting methods, birthing interventions, sleeping arrangements or what food and drinks you should or shouldn’t be consuming, everyone has (and is entitled to) their opinion.

When it comes to food and drinks there are some recommendations from well-recognized bodies in terms of foods and beverages that should be avoided for a number of reasons to protect the health of both you and your baby. No doubt you will each know someone that went through their pregnancy who avoided everything from any form of deli meat, soft cheese and seafood to those that just couldn’t quite give up their Sunday morning runny eggs or weren’t bothered about washing every single salad item before it went into their mouth.

When it comes to beverages we all know that alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy as there is no safe limit. However, what about caffeine; how will it affect your morning cuppa when you are carrying a little one and what effect does caffeine have on the development of your baby?  When looking at caffeine and pregnancy there is a little more research within this area. Studies have reported that caffeine intake has been reported to be associated with a reduction in birth weight, however the exact level is still unknown. One study with more the 2500 women in the UK confirmed that a maternal intake of more than 300mg per day was associated with low birth weight or foetal growth restriction (300mg per day is about 3-4 cups of coffee using the instant variety).  It also found that an average caffeine intake of greater than 100mg per day was associated with a reduction in birth weight in the third trimester. Although the threshold for which the risk of foetal growth restriction and lower birth weights increases, it concluded that the risk was reduced in those women consuming less than 100mg per day (approximately one coffee per day). The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia pledged to determine a recommended intake of caffeine for pregnant women within Australia following the publication of these findings.

So what’s the recommendation?

Australian guidelines recommend you limit your intake to less than 200 mg per day, so that's about one to two instant coffees a day and two to three cups of tea. Be mindful that your favorite barista coffee will contain more caffeine than your home instants.

It is advised that to be particularly mindful of your caffeine intake during your first trimester due to that time period being the greatest risk for miscarriage. However if you love your daily dose of coffee and have multiple cups per day, reducing your intake when pregnant may be something that you struggle with. You may also be more likely to experience the nasty withdrawal symptoms such as persistent headaches and further feelings of fatigue, which is just what you need when you are already feeling that way through growing a human within you.

It is important to consider other sources on top of your standard coffee also as caffeine isn't just found in your tea and coffee. If you’ve been indulging in some chocolate with your coffee or enjoy a soft drink with lunch these count towards your daily intake also. You need to be aware that the amount of caffeine is not adding up from other sources, for example one serve of the following equates to the listed amount of caffeine:

  • Serve of instant coffee: 80-100mg
  • Serve of filter coffee: 140mg
  • Black tea: 20 - 70mg
  • Green tea: ~20 - 40mg
  • Coke 355ml: 20-35mg
  • Diet Coke 355ml: 20-50mg
  • Pepsi 350ml: 40mg
  • Red Bull 260ml: 77mg
  • 50g bar of plain (dark) chocolate: ~ 50mg
  • 50g bar of milk chocolate: ~ 25mg.

If the thought of giving up your daily dose of caffeine or missing out on that warm cuppa, especially with winter coming, why not try having a cup of warm lemon water (great for your digestive system and immunity) or caffeine free teas whether loose leaf or in bags. There are so many different flavours to select from chamomile, peppermint, apple & ginger. Alternatively if you prefer to stick to your barista brewed coffee you could opt for decaf or a single shot only.

Being pregnant doesn’t mean that you have to give up your morning latte or regular shot of espresso (if you can – great!). Ensure you stick below the Australian guidelines of 200mg/day or speak to your doctor if you are concerned.

Brooke x

QUICK & EASY CHOC PEANUT BUTTER BALLS

Bliss balls, protein balls, energy balls, whatever you may call them their are so many variations out there, yet it can be hard to find one that is both tasty and ticks all the nutrient boxes.

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When it comes to recipe creating I'm all about quick, easy and nutritious. These choc peanut butter balls are all of that plus are family friendly so are perfect for my little two year old and a great snack to support me through my pregnancy and those busy days.

What you need:

  • 12 medjool dates (pitted)
  • 2 cups almond meal / or whole almonds (ground)
  • 2 tbsp True Protein Raw Cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup True Protein MCT oil or organic coconut oil 
  • 2 tbsp True Protein Peanut Butter powder 

Method:

  • Add all ingredients to a high powered food processor.
  • Blend on high speed until well combined, scrape down the sides as you go to ensure even mixing.
  • Use a teaspoon to help keep mixture even and roll into bite sized balls using the palms of your hands.
  • Place the tray in the freezer for 2 hours.
  • Once the mixture has hardened it can be kept in the freezer for longer shelf life, or store in the fridge for immediate enjoyment. 

I roll our balls into two sizes; our 'adult' sized balls and then some baby bliss balls suitable for a serve for Byron without overloading him on the natural sugars found in dates.

This recipe has no addd or artificial sugar, high in heart healthy fats and will give you that sweet, chocolatey hit when you most need it.

One the whole family can enjoy! Be sure to tag me in your creations @balancefitnessandnutrition #balancefitnessnutrition #striveforbalance 

Get 10% off all True Protein products by using the code BROOKE10 at checkout - www.trueprotein.com.au

Brooke x