GIRL GET FIT

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This book is currently #2 in Amazon’s Best Seller’s list for its category. By downloading it today you can help me reach the #1 spot!

Click on this link to download NOW!

The Happy, Healthy Mom is an excellent resource for all moms who are looking to get in shape, lose weight, learn about exercise, look after their skin, be happy, and so much more! The post-pregnancy period can be a tough time for many moms, but hopefully with the help of this book, you can turn this round and thrive!

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Further more, this book is completely FREE today. Please make the most of this amazing opportunity and download NOW!

Thanks for your support,

Miri xxx

Great resource for post-pregnancy fitness and health!

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I am really excited to announce the release of my first book, available here and also available through Amazon in all other countries for example amazon.co.uk, amazon.fr etc.

I have already had 7 five star reviews and over 135 downloads and it has only just been released!

The Happy Healthy Mom is a great resource for post-pregnancy fitness and health and gives:

  • Reassuring information as to what is happening to your body and how best to help recovery after birth
  • Precise advice for caring for skin and hair post baby
  • Practical tips as how to manage time and prioritise, following the dramatic change to parenthood
  • Life changing advice on nutrition – including what supplements could help with the present challenges of motherhood. Tips for healthy snacks.
  • LOADS of encouragement and advice as to the exercise and activity you can perform from the first day of motherhood through to regaining your full fitness. Included are pictures of the exercises you can perform at home with clear explanations. Also includes specific advice for those post C- Section.

Following the practical and realistic advice in this book, mums will find they feel they can make confident steps forward in aiding recovery, regaining their fitness and losing the baby weight. Rather than worrying about the changes to their body and struggling with the changes in life’s routine, mums will be loving their new life with their little one, confident in the knowledge they have gained and the encouragement they have received!

Even if you are not a new mum yourself, this would be an excellent gift for mums to be!

A paperback version will be available through the same link on Amazon very soon.

Please download and enjoy! If you love it, please leave a review.

Thanks!

Miri x

* Spellings are in American English as most of my audience are in North America

Part 2: Postnatal Nutrition with Esther Street

Healthy-hairWelcome to Part 2 of the series on Postnatal Nutrition where expert Nutritionist Esther Street answers questions for our readers.

2. Following pregnancy, many women suffer problems with their skin and hair. Are there any supplements that specifically help skin and hair after pregnancy?

When you are pregnant you lose less hair because of higher oestrogen levels in your body. You may enjoy 9 months of thicker hair that looks like you model for a shampoo advert. Unfortunately, 3-6 months after your baby is born and your oestrogen levels fall, some hair loss is to be expected. Any extra hair loss can be worrying but don’t panic this usually stops by the time your baby is 1 year old. For a small proportion of women, their hair becomes extremely thin and patchy and further help is needed.

In addition to the supplements mentioned previously, my top tips to help prevent hair loss are:
• Biotin – for healthy skin, strong nails and healthy hair experts advise supplementing up to 3000mcg of biotin daily (this can safely be taken when breastfeeding). When taken by breastfeeding mothers, biotin may also reduce cradle cap in babies. Biotin rich foods are cheese, cauliflour, mushrooms, peanuts, walnuts and wholegrain rice.
• Fruit and vegetables – provide antioxidant protection for hair follicles.
• Vitamin E – for antioxidant protection eat nuts and seeds, whole grains, avocados, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, tomatoes, and berries.
• Ground flaxseeds – good for healthy hair, skin and hormones.
• Iodine – for a healthy thyroid. Thyroid problems are common after birth and can contribute to hair loss and poor skin condition among other things. Seaweed, especially kelp is a good source. If you suspect a thyroid problem, talk to your doctor.
• Too much sugar – high sugar consumption is linked to fluctuating hormone levels which may accelerate hair loss. We all know that we should cut down on sugar but it can be more difficult in the early months after your baby is born. Don’t reach for a biscuit every time you need energy. Don’t substitute with ‘sugar free’ foods, these are often loaded in sweeteners some of which have been associated with thinning hair. Instead be prepared with healthy snacks like the ones I listed previously.
• Rapid weight loss (over 1lb per week) – may cause hair loss, try to focus on recovery and health rather than weight loss.
• Hair products – try not to use too many products on your hair and use a natural, organic, pH balanced shampoo.

Even though it is easier said than done, ‘do not stress’! Stress can worsen hair loss and contribute to hormonal chaos. Try to relax and give it time. If you need extra help see a doctor or your nutritionist. Everyone is different and needs a tailor made solution which works for them.


rsz_esther_street_portrait2Esther Street is a nutritional therapist who works both in the UK and internationally.  She lives in England with her husband and two kids who are just as excited about delicious, healthy food as she is.

 

 

 

This article is not intended as medical advice, just some notes from my personal experience of having babies myself and helping others who have had babies. The advice is not intended to replace advice from your doctor so please contact your healthcare provider with specific questions or issues.

 

Part 1: Postnatal Nutrition with Esther Street

Welcome to Part 1 of a 4 part series on Postnatal Nutrition where Nutrition expert Esther Street answers 4 questions exclusively for girlgetfit.org. In this series Esther presents some excellent and up to date advice as well as practical tips on meals, snacks and how best to look after your body by feeding it the right food.

What types of food or meals can you recommend for soon after delivery to help with recovery?

Preparation for recovery begins right back before pregnancy begins.  Eating a healthy diet before conception builds up nutrient reserves for you and your growing baby. Continuing to eat healthily during pregnancy is essential for your postnatal recovery and breastfeeding as well as for your baby’s growth and development.  Your baby receives its nutrition not only from what you eat but also from your body’s reserves so if you are not eating right before and during pregnancy, your body may suffer.  The good news is you can prepare your body for a speedy recovery well in advance of the baby arriving before life gets a whole lot busier.  Once the baby arrives there is still plenty you can do to help your body recover well, here are a few of my top tips:

The key is ‘keep it simple and avoid processed junk’!  Food should be fresh, seasonal and organic if possible.  Eat a wide range of foods to get a wide range of nutrients.

Stock up the freezer before labour with nutritious, home-cooked meals and have a collection of quick, healthy recipes to hand for you or someone offering to cook for you.  If you have an extended hospital stay, why not ask friends to in bring salads and fruit.

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Here are a few simple meals:

  • salmon, new potatoes, organic crème fraiche with fresh watercress
  • wholegrain pasta, pesto, organic chicken and broccoli
  • wholegrain rice, omelette and vegetables lightly stir-fried in coconut oil
  • baked sweet potatoes, hummus and salad 

 

I always like to have plenty of healthy snacks on hand too, here are a few of my favourites:

  • sourdough ryebread with nut butter and banana
  • fruit and organic cheese e.g. cheddar and grapes, cream cheese and apple slices
  • wholemeal pitta and hummus
  • veggies such as carrots, peppers, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, sugar snaps etc
  • dried fruit, nuts and seeds (apricots are high in iron, figs high in digestive enzymes, prunes great for reducing constipation)
  • oatcakes (these come in all different flavours) and goat’s cheese
  • boiled eggs (full of nutrients for healing and recovery, brain function and energy)
  • olives
  • red bell pepper dipped in guacamole
  • handful of strawberries and 2 squares of dark chocolate
  • sliced tomato sprinkled with feta
  • flaked coconut and dates
  • raspberries or honey and natural greek yoghurt

Eating healthy food is the best way to get all the nutrients your body needs. However, before, during and after pregnancy, your body needs extra help.  When you have a diet of hospital food (need I say more!) or are exhausted and barely have energy to eat, let alone prepare a healthy meal, your body needs good quality supplements to help boost recovery.

Buy a couple of pill organisers for your hospital bag and to keep at home.  This helps you remember which supplements you have taken when all your days and nights tend to blur into one!  

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These are the supplements I would recommend:

  • A good quality multivitamin and mineral (if you are breastfeeding make sure it is recommended for this).  You can keep taking your prenatal vitamins but make sure they include iron (wound healing, building up reserves following any blood loss, protection against infection), calcium (for bone strength) and zinc (wound healing, to help lower the effects of postnatal depression, healthy hormones).  I love Revital Essence by Zita West which is especially developed for postnatal recovery and breastfeeding.
  • 1000mg Vitamin C with bioflavonoids – this is great for wound healing, iron absorption, skin repair and helping prevent postnatal depression and infection. 
  • Fish oils – may help healing and skin repair, lower inflammation, improve sleep, boost energy, reduce afterbirth pains, nourish your brain (most mum’s suffer from ‘mummy brain’ at some point!) and lower the chances of post natal depression.  My favourite fish oil is Vegepa E-EPA 70 by Igennus (https://shop.igennus.com/  code STREET25 for 25% discount). 
  • Vitamin D3 –  may decrease the risk of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, pre-term delivery and high blood pressure for the mother and may decrease the risk of asthma, low birth weight and heart disease for the baby.  It is recommended that you take a minimum of 400iu, but many experts recommend up to 4000iu both during and after pregnancy.
  • Glutamine – may help with the healing of soft tissue, especially following a caesarean (as long as you have no liver problems). As a supplement for the first 2 weeks and then eat glutamine rich foods (eggs, beef, chicken, yoghurt, milk, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, spinach, cabbage).
  • Vitamin E oil – may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars (once the wound has healed) and improve skin condition.  Pierce a capsule with a pin and rub the oil directly onto the skin. 
  • Coconut oil – may help to improve your skin after birth. I love Coconoil organic coconut oil as it smells great and tastes great too.

 


rsz_esther_street_portrait2Esther Street is a nutritional therapist who works both in the UK and internationally.  She lives in England with her husband and two kids who are just as excited about delicious, healthy food as she is.

 

 

 

This article is not intended as medical advice, just some notes from my personal experience of having babies myself and helping others who have had babies. The advice is not intended to replace advice from your doctor so please contact your healthcare provider with specific questions or issues.

 

Coconut Oil, The Ultimate Health Food…It Can Even Help You Lose Weight!

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Having spent time living in the tropics, I was privileged to observe countless creative uses of coconuts, where it has long been a primary ingredient in food, drink and cosmetics.  Recently, the coconut, and more specifically, coconut oil has made a resurgence in the West as a health food.

Coconut oil is derived from the meat (white part) of matured coconuts, which is the same source as coconut milk. The growing popularity of its many industrial and cosmetic uses have made it a valuable commodity in recent times.  It is solid at room temperature like butter. It is heat stable, making it suitable for cooking at high temperatures, and in my opinion has a wonderful tropical smell. It is slow to oxidise, and thus has a shelf life of approximately two years.

Whether unsaturated or saturated, the majority of fats and oils in our diet are composed of long chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is composed predominantly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) and the effects of the MCFAs in coconut oil are distinctly different from the LCFAs found in other foods. This is important because our bodies respond to, and metabolise each fatty acid differently. It is the MCFAs found in coconut oil that makes it special because these fatty acids do not have a negative effect on cholesterol. In fact, they are known to lower the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis (accumulation of fat in the arteries). There are only few dietary sources of MCFAs in this world, and one of the best sources by far is coconut oil.

The liver and gall bladder do not need to digest MCFAs, so as a result, anyone with an impaired ability to digest fat, IBS symptoms or a removed gallbladder will benefit from coconut oil as this oil is easily digested. This digestion process provides instant energy. It increases metabolic rate as well as improving circulation. A study carried out in 2009, found that women who consumed 30 millilitres (about 2 tablespoons) of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks not only lost weight, but actually lost abdominal fat. Knowing that abdominal fat is probably the hardest to shift, and is one of the biggest contributing factors to metabolic syndrome, surely it would be worth a try!

 

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Lauric Acid

A number of the health benefits from coconut oil are attributed to the presence of lauric acid. In the human body, lauric acid is converted into monolaurin, a compound that is highly toxic to viruses, bacteria, funguses and other microorganisms. It has an ability to disrupt their lipid membranes and virtually destroy them.

Monolaurin has many valuable uses and is effective for treating candida, and fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. It also targets bacterial infections and viruses including measles, influenza, hepatitis C and even HIV. In the Philippines researchers are continuing to study the effectiveness of lauric acid against HIV/AIDS due to its strong anti-viral properties! In addition to this, being non-toxic, lauric acid is a great alternative to modern drugs that are typically prescribed for viruses as well as fungal and bacterial infections.

It has been widely observed that the consumption of coconut oil has the effect of boosting immunity and reducing the incidences of many diseases. Without lauric acid, the body cannot produce monolaurin. Breastmilk is one of the few other sources of lauric acid, helping to protect babies while their immune system develops.

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Some of the incredible uses and benefits of coconut oil

 1. Hair conditioning and dandruff remedy

Due to their small molecular structure, the fatty acids that make up coconut oil pass freely into the hair’s cell membrane. The oil is thus able to penetrate the hair’s shaft and bring about a deep conditioning effect from within whilst most other conditioners work from the outside, in.

Dandruff is a fungus on the scalp that causes the flaking of the skin. Regular massaging, of a teaspoon or two of coconut oil into the scalp can kill the fungus and eliminate dandruff, bringing relief. Because it can make the hair oily, try massaging into the scalp before bed, and leaving it in overnight. This can also give a really deep hair conditioning treatment, leaving hair ultra-shiny, after being washed out the next day!

2. Skin

Coconut oil can be used as an excellent skin treatment. It can penetrate deeply, moisturising and acting as a protective barrier against free radical and environmental damage. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave an oily feeling, but makes the skin incredibly silky. Bonus! Coconut oil is busting with natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.  Its ability to smooth the skin while infusing with anti-oxidants makes it a perfect anti-aging moisturizer. It also contains vitamin E, another antioxidant popular for hastening the recovery of skin abrasions, burns and other skin traumas. It can even be used as added sun protection, screening 20 per cent of the exposure to ultraviolet light.

Regularly rubbing it into your hands will stop them from getting dry, even in the winter. Adding a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil for scent is a great natural way of making your own, natural hand lotion.

3. Weight loss

As mentioned above, the medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil can speed up metabolism faster than long-chain fatty acids because they are easily digested and converted into energy. In fact, a study reported medium-chain fatty acids to be three times more effective in raising metabolism than long-chain fatty acids. This has led researchers to conclude that effective weight loss can be achieved by replacing long-chain fatty acids with medium-chain fatty acids.

4. Other cosmetic uses

- Using coconut oil in the shower as a shaving soap gives a smooth shave with no irritation. It’s best to rub on before getting in the shower and then shave in the shower. It also moisturises, leaving legs feeling silky soft!

- Coconut oil makes a great tropical smelling massage oil giving many of the above benefits to the skin!

- Believe it or not, coconut oil is an excellent eye-make up remover and has been reported to help lessen the appearance of wrinkles and help restore elasticity to the skin.

Other than the benefits of cooking with coconut oil, it can also be added to other foods such as smoothies, homemade mayo, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, porridge, and homemade snacks to create a wonderfully creamy texture and great taste. Due to its nutrient density, healthy fat content, and rich flavour it’s a great addition to lots of foods.

Here are a few more medical benefits:

  • Can help restore thyroid function
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Stabilises insulin
  • Enables absorption of fat soluble vitamins
  • Boosts immunity
  • Reduces joint and muscle inflammation
  • Believed to protect against cancer and HIV and other infectious diseases
  • Kills bacteria and parasites
  • Eases acid reflux, aids in proper bowel function
  • Lowers incidence of haemorrhoids
  • Heals and relieves intestinal problems
  • Soothes earaches
  • Deals with symptoms connected with prostate enlargement
  • Strengthens the liver and protects against degeneration
  • Reduces incidence of epileptic seizures
  • Eases neuropathies and itching from diabetes

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It is fascinating to note that in countries such as Thailand, local people eat high amounts of saturated fats, particularly, coconut oil, and on average have very low levels of disease.  Research by the World Health Organization showed that the people consuming a traditional diet in Thailand have less instance of heart disease and the lowest rates of cancer of all 50 countries involved in the study. Interestingly, diabetes is 10 times more frequent in the United States than in Thailand, despite (or perhaps because of) their high saturated fat consumption. Sadly in more developed areas of Thailand where there is a greater exposure to Western foods, containing higher amounts of refined sugar, metabolic disorders such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease have dramatically risen.

According to the experts, an adult can consume 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil daily. This amount equates to the amount of MCFAs that a breastfeeding child would receive daily. There are no known side effects of coconut oil, however, if you are used to a low-fat diet, a common adverse reaction would be diarrhoea.

If you are not used to having coconut oil in your diet, it is best to start out with less, spreading out the consumption over the day and see how the body reacts before increasing to the recommended amount.

In coconut-producing countries, it is considered beneficial for pregnant and lactating women to consume coconut oil. Consuming coconut oil has been shown to increase lauric acid content in breast milk – great for baby’s health and immunity! Reassuringly, for those who don’t breastfeed, one of the ingredients in baby formula is coconut oil!

I hope this has given you information and inspiration about the use of this amazing, rejuvenating and healing oil!

Miri x

 



5 Great Reasons to get in the Shape of Your Life BEFORE Pregnancy!

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Generally I blog about all areas that concern post pregnancy mums. I like the focus to be on you and leave the baby advice to others! You are important and valuable and need care! I want to encourage you and offer advice in this particularly difficult period of life, and enable you to make a smooth and happy transition to being a mum. So I write about health, fitness, training, weight loss, diet, beauty, and fashion relating it all to post-pregnancy women.

Today, however, I want to write about getting in the shape of your life before pregnancy as this has great multiple advantages. I meet loads of women who are motivated to get in shape for their wedding day, to look good on photos, to impress the bridegroom and generally wow everyone in the room when they make the entrance! They use their wedding as an end-point to provide them with a goal or target to aim towards, as often, getting in shape is something they’ve wanted to do for ages. In contrast, I don’t meet many women who are getting in shape to get pregnant…arguably a more life changing change! It’s not talked about much, but it can be really beneficial and here’s why.

1. Less physically challenging pregnancy

When you’re fitter everything feels easier. You’re stronger, more mobile and recover quicker from physically demanding tasks. Daily life is full of physical activities such as shopping, working, walking, doing household chores and errands. All these things will become so much more physically demanding when you are pregnant, and if you are overweight, unfit and pregnant then these tasks will really become quite difficult for you. As you get bigger in pregnancy, it’s pretty exhausting. You’re carrying more weight, your lungs work harder, and perhaps you are not sleeping so well. So let’s not allow the extra-unwanted pounds make life even tougher than necessary. Don’t battle against the extra weight of a baby and against your extra unnecessary weight and lack of fitness. Don’t just survive but thrive! The fitter you are, the best chance you have of coping well with the physical demands of pregnant life!

2. Physically easier to get back in shape afterwards

If you haven’t exercised much before, getting back into shape after having a baby may seem like a tough thing to do. If you’ve been fit and your body has been accustomed to exercise pre-pregnancy and during your pregnancy, it’s going to be a lot easier to get these muscles functioning again. If you were fit before pregnancy, then you will have maintained a lot of that during pregnancy, so although you may feel totally different, you will be surprised how quickly you get back in shape. Five weeks after having my first child, I was back training with my Netball club, and played my first competitive match the following week. Did I have to work really hard to get fit again? Not really. I was in good shape before getting pregnant so with a bit of training afterwards, I was ready to go again!

3. Mentally easier to get back in shape afterwards.

If you have seen how amazing your body can be…you are more likely to want to get it back! If you have never seen your body looking lean and toned you will find it even more difficult to believe you could have an amazing body after having a baby and thus find motivating yourself pretty difficult. Most women have the desire to look good and regain a pre-pregnancy body, and for many it may be high on the priority list, but the actual process of getting back in shape brings fear and doubt. Is it possible? Will I be able to do it? If you’ve done it before, it’s always easier to do it again. You know what to expect and you have been disciplined. You have formed good habits of healthy eating and of regular activity. Psychologically it’s always easier to do something you’ve already done before. You know it’s possible. Doing something new or something for the first time is going to be more challenging and difficult.

4. Skin recovers better after pregnancy.

Quite simply, if the weight you put on during pregnancy is the only extra weight you have, your skin will be less stretched than it would have been. If you already carry extra weight and your skin is already stretched, then think how much further your skin is being stretched to adapt to pregnancy. The less stretched your skin has been, the better chances of a good skin recovery following birth.

5. Can increase the chance of getting pregnant.

Many people are unaware of the link between weight and conception. A healthy weight improves fertility! Therefore, getting in good shape can increase your chance of conception. A healthy diet of mostly fresh, unprocessed foods and limited refined sugars (honey and fruits are ok) accompanied by exercise is going to help you get pregnant. Nutrition will have a greater impact on weight loss than exercise, but exercise is vitally important for the health and the smooth functioning of many physiological processes, thus a combination of both is the best formula. Moreover, exercise and healthy eating can act as a de-stress mechanism, which in turn can also increase your chances of conception.

Why wait until after pregnancy?

Some people have the attitude that, “I’m gonna put on weight during pregnancy anyway, so I’m just going wait until after to get fit”. Error! Don’t go down that path! It will be harder to loose the extra weight after the birth of your baby. If the benefits of healthy eating and exercise are so clear, then why wait? Why lose out on quality of life, looking good, better sleep, better well-being, healthier skin, heart and lungs, stronger muscles and so on by procrastinating and waiting until a time when you’ll be more busy and when you are not the only person you need to look after!

Go for it…get in the shape of your life and enjoy all the benefits!

Have a happy Easter!

Miri x