It’s really weird to start a new year, and not be able to join in with everyone else who is planning for that Summer body.
Normally, I’m right there, owning the salads, upping my water intake, pouring the leftovers of my Quality Street tub into the bin.
And I get excited about Spring fashion. And maybe even a little help from my favourite fake tan. And pastel nails. And feeling good.
But this year, well, it’s January and I’ve got about as much chance of getting a nice set of abs as I have becoming J. Lo.
Because I’m pregnant.
I am one big lady right now.
And I am actually a bit panicked this time around, because when it comes to Summer bodies, and feeling healthy, everyone else has a head-start. I’ll most likely be bringing in the Summer with cracked nipples and a bleary-eyed smile.
I know I can’t diet. And I know I can’t lose weight. Or do intense exercise. But I also know that I don’t need to spend nine months on the sofa eating cake this time around.
I’ve really been trying, since I’ve got my appetite back, to watch what I eat and get a healthy, balanced diet into my tummy. I’ve spent a lot of time eating beige foods, and while I’ve never complained about mashed potato, Smiley Faces, and chicken dippers, I was all too aware that the closest I’d gotten to something green was my morning-sickness expression staring back at me when I looked in the mirror.
So, after having a tough few weeks before Christmas, I started my own little New Year’s resolution, which was to try and manage what I eat a bit better so:
a) I feel better.
b) I’m not eating unnecessary calories and unhealthy foods.
c) Baby gets the nutrients she needs.
d) Hopefully (fingers and toes crossed) I may, one day, be able to rock a crop top and high waisted palazzo pants again (am I being too hopeful here?) and get into my pre-pregnancy Joni’s.
If you have read my blog before, you’ll know that, since having Bill, my son, who is three and-a-half, I’ve lost somewhere in the region of three stone. And that was weight I needed to lose, for health reasons and for happiness reasons too.
I’ve taught myself a lot about food, and the one thing I have learnt is how bloomin’ important balance is.
And “Eat less, do more.” How right that is.
So since January began, I have completely cracked down on my mashed potato and pizza addiction (though a treat once a week is completely allowed). One of things that has spurred me on, was being asked if I’d like to try Optiwell
and see how it works with my diet.
What is it? Well, it’s a yoghurt drink. And, for those worrying about the impact – 64 calories per 200ml serving. It is high in protein and naturally contains calcium, so it’s great for helping to maintain healthy bones and muscles. It’s a blend of fat-free yogurt and fruit juices, and is available in two flavours: Strawberry & Raspberry (my favourite) and Peach & Apricot, and it comes in 330ml on-the-go bottles as well as 1litre cartons.
I’ve been using it for ten days, and I’m a bit sad to be honest because we’ve run out. The cartons are great for the fridge, and I’ve been adding it to cereal instead of milk, for an extra bit of flavour. Bill loves it, because, to him, it’s ‘milkshake’ and I’m happy about it as it’s not full of sugar and better for his teeth too!
The bottles are an utter gem. I commute to and from work and it takes an hour door-to-door. And it’s far too early for breakfast when we leave at 07:30, and sometimes by 08:30 I get a bit peckish, or even queasy. The bottles have been a life-saver, mainly because milky products have always helped with my morning sickness, and they are handy to grab and take on the train and sip, and the lid means I can always screw it tight and finish it later.
It’s also a much better snack for the afternoons, when our office is practically made of biscuits.
As well as eating this for breakfast, or on the go, I’ve been combining it with frozen berries to make smoothies, which has been great. I wonder also if you could blend with fruit to make a nice ice cream/fro-yo too – one that’s creamy but not too calorific.
I also like it with fruit after our tea at night, or just a glass before bed, when I’m feeling pregnant and ravenous and don’t want to overdose on Bourbon biscuits.
If you pop over to my Instagram, you can see some of the healthier meals and salads I’ve been cooking. I’m really hoping that, when this little girl arrives, I’ll be able to bounce back and find some confidence in my body again. You can also find some recipes on the Optiwell site too. I’m a sucker for a recipe.
And, in a way, I’m really thankful to Optiwell for giving me a push in the right direction, because I had an extra incentive, and it got me making #SmallChanges and not letting myself get big like I did last time.
Working with brands is always a lovely privilege, but even more so when it helps you make a positive change!
Oh! And if you are curious, you can find Optiwell in the long-life aisle in selected supermarkets.