BeActive Keeping You Fit & Strong for Motherhood

With only a couple of weeks left till my due date, I thought I’d share with you what can only be described as my saving grace. Located in Prahran, BeActive offers a safe-haven for pre and post natal women looking to sty fit, strong and lean. Whether in Pilates Classes, Great Expectations or Beyond Expectations exercise classes (where you’ll be sure to raise a sweat), they ensure all your needs are met under the guise of qualified physios. And never underestimate the value of exercising with fellow pre and post natal women, the stories you’ll tell and the secrets you’ll share . . . But one of the best things about this nurturing environment is that you can always bring your little tots along if need be. They have an excellent nanny service, and if you’re little one prefers to sit quietly by your side (or not so quietly) they’re cool with that too.
Now that’s what I call a saving grace.

 Below, Shira from BeActive, who also happens to have contributed to Cosmo Pregnancy, Australian Natural Health and The Herald Sun, shares with us her top 5 exercises for staying fit and strong during pregnancy. So whether you’re starting out, stuck at home with little sickies or want something in between work outs, give these a try xx

1. Bicep curls

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Sit tall on a fit ball or chair with your feet on a resistance band.
Hold the band by your sides with your palms facing upwards.
Slowly bend your elbows, bringing the band toward your shoulders. Lower back down slowly.
Do two sets of 15 reps, three to five times per week.

2. Side raises

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Sit tall on a fitball or chair with your feet on a resistance band. Hold the band with a relaxed grip with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Lift your arms sideways until they’re in line with your shoulders.
Lower your arms with control. You can progress this by doing one are at a time.
Progress it further by lifting the opposite leg to the arm you are working.
A further progression lift the same leg as the arm you are working.

3. Chariot pulls

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Kneel on floor or sit tall on a fit ball.
Start with arms straight by your side holding a band.
Pull the bad back as you squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Do 2 sets of 15 reps, three to fives times per week.

4. Squats

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Lower yourself down into a squat position.
Place your weight in your heels and set your core, then come up to a standing position.
You can do this exercise with a fit all behind you against a wall.
Do two sets of 15 reps, three to five times per week.

5. Pelvic tilts

Start in a 4 point kneel position.
Keep you head and shoulders still and gentle rock pelvic forward and back
(arching and rounding your lower back).
Do it daily or whenever your back aches.

 And always remember; Shira’s Must do’s

A. Pelvic floor exercises

Tighten and lift around the front and back passage as if you are holding on to go to the toilet
(imagine you are drawing thick shake up a straw).
Do 5 lifts, 3 times a day or when  you  are lifting something.

B. Core (deep abdominal) exercises

Lift your pelvic floor and gently and slowly draw in your lower abdominal muscles.
Imagine you are wearing a belt with 10 holes and you are tightening to the third hole.
Hold for 1 breath; do 10 reps, three times a day or wherever you are lifting something.

Apple and Banana Gluten Free Oat Muffins

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Sunday morning, cold and rainy, horizontal on the couch, only moments away from sending hubby out on a mission to satisfy a muffin craving (apparently it’s ok to admit that a couple of weeks off your due date), when suddenly I recalled this delicious muffin recipe I had recently made. Care of Miranda Kerr, you could be sure it was free of any guilt, gluten, flour or sugar and if dissected individually, the ingredients resembled more of a healthy breakfast than the makings of a muffin. In fact, according to my obstetrician, who tried one himself, they’re the perfect recipe for pregnant women. The use of ground oats instead of flour makes them low in carbs, which is key to staying light and healthy whilst carrying. So here you have it, the quintessential solution to a muffin craving xx

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Apple and Banana Gluten Free Oat Muffins
Recipe Inspired by Miranda Kerr
(Makes Approx 14 Muffins)

Ingredients
2 cups ground oats (easy to do – just grind oats in a blender for a minute or two)
2 teaspoons (gluten free) baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons chia seeds
¼ cup vanilla yoghurt
½ cup organic apple juice
2 lightly beaten eggs and one egg white
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 large green apples peeled and grated
2 ripe bananas chopped and mashed
½ cup chopped walnuts
Shredded coconut for sprinkling
Extra cinnamon for sprinklin

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the ground oats, chia seeds, baking soda and baking powder, set aside. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, add the apple juice and yoghurt, stir to combine and set aside.

Over low heat, in a small pan combine the coconut oil, honey, cinnamon and vanilla essence, stir to combine until just melted (careful not to over heat). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together combining thoroughly. Fold the apple and banana mixture through evenly.

Pour the mixture into the muffin and tray and bake for approx 40 minutes. Mid way through baking sprinkle with chopped walnuts, shredded coconut and cinnamon. Keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t burn. After 40 min test with a tooth pick to ensure cooked through. Allow to cool for 15 min before serving.
Enjoy xx

Interview with Inspirational Mother Rebecca Judd

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Mother, model, speech pathologist, TV host on Postcards, weather presenter and now blogger, is there anything this model mum can’t do? Super organised and seemingly breezing her way through motherhood, Bec Judd shares with us everything from spending time with her son Oscar to exercise and beauty tips, style advice and of course, her favorite go to healthy recipe xx

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So often I see you with your little son Oscar in tow, how do you balance your career with being a hands on mum? I’m guessing you’re super organised?

Organisation is key! I have great family support and an awesome baby sitter I regularly use. I make sure I spend most of my day with Oscar before heading in to work in the afternoon.

What are your favorite things to do together with Oscar?

Your every day routines. We’ll get up and go and get a coffee together in the morning (babycino for him) and then sit in the park and drink it together. We’ll play on the swings, head to the Prahran market together. We love the Collingwood Children’s Farm or visiting the Prahran pool or the beach in the summer.

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Oscar is always dressed like such a fly little guy, what are some of your favorite kids brands?

Kiniki kidsmintiBondsSeedA little pocket

With time being of an essence these days, have you developed a 5 minute beauty routine for busy mornings? Any must-have skincare products?

Concealer, mascara and bronzer! Must have skin products- Musq facial scrub, I’m obsessed!

You always have an amazing sense of style, dressed up or even working out! what are some of your favorite brands to work out in?

I love Lululemon tights and Bonds loose singlets

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I’m sure you get asked this all the time and sure there’s good genes in the mix, but how did you get your body back after giving birth? Any diet or exercise tips to share?

I’ve never dieted but I kept quite fit while pregnant with Oscar. Lots of Pilates and pregnancy specific exercise classes (Great Expectations at Be Active) also helped. I also used the SRC pregnancy recovery shorts straight after giving birth and found I was back in my old jeans within days. I think good genes has a lot to do with it too though and my natural slight frame.

Looking back on the early days with Oscar, what do you know now that you wish you knew then?

That the stressful, exhausting newborn stage doesn’t last forever and even though you feel like crap, try and enjoy it!

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You’ve recently added blogging into the mix, how did it come about AND how do you find the time???

The blog came about because I just wanted to share all of the great things I’ve been lucky enough to discover in my travels, through work and my general life experiences. I always found people would come to me asking for advice on things so I thought I should just put it all in a blog. Whether that be about pregnancy, interiors, beauty or fashion, I find the blog is a great outlet to reach out and engage with a wider audience.

Lastly could you include a healthy go to recipe that you love?

Healthy, High-fibre Quinoa Breakfast

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The main ingredient is super-grain, Quinoa (cook this first about 1/2 cup per person), LSA (ground linseed, almonds and sunflower seeds, 2 Tbspns), Chia seeds (1 Tbspn black or white), Yoghurt (1/2 cup), roasted slivered almonds (2 Tbspns), fresh fruit (whatever you fancy) and a good squeeze of honey on top.

Risotto with Peas & Greens

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It’s one thing to love a cookbook for a couple of its star recipes, but it’s another thing entirely when that book becomes more of a bible. Such is Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest release, It’s All Good. Filled with an endless selection of healthy, nourishing meals, it deliver precisely what the title promises, recipes that are all good.

This Risotto with Peas and Greens has all the frills and trimmings one expects from a great Risotto but without any of the extras that leave you feeling heavy or full. In other words, a rich creamy texture without any cream, cheese, butter or wine. It takes some serious muscle and dedicated stirring to get you there, but I can promise you, the end result is worth the effort xx

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Risotto with Peas and Greens
Adapted from It’s All Good By Gwyneth Paltrow
(Serves 4)

Ingredients
Approx 1 litre of boiled vegetable or chicken stock
1 lemon juiced and zest
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion finely diced
1 leek finely sliced
1 garlic clove finely minced
Leaves from 6 sprigs of thyme
Sea Salt
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup basil chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions
In a large fry pan, heat the olive oil. On medium heat add the leek and onion, cook until vegetables soften, approx 5 min. Add the garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt, continue to cook until fragrant, approx 2 min. Turn heat to high, add the rice and lemon juice, stir to combine. Once lemon juice has evaporated add a cup of warm stock. Continue to stir the risotto until the stock is absorbed, then add another cup of stock. Repeat this process until all the stock has been used, around another 20 minutes of adding and stirring. Once the rice looks rich and creamy (and your arm is ready to break off), stir in the lemon zest, spinach, peas, basil and some ground pepper. Then voila, ready to serve xx

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What to Wear Pregnant

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There’s no denying it, finding the right dress for one of your best friend’s weddings can be difficult at the best of times. Throw a growing belly into the mix and you have yourself a challenge. Nailing the perfect, comfy dress is possible, but it does require some research. Last pregnancy I discovered the brand Rachel Pally. Without specifically falling under the heading of maternity wear, she designs pregnancy friendly dresses created out of the softest jersey fabrics, cut with just enough room for just the right areas. I wore the Granita Long Tie Dress and loved every minute in it. So much so that it may well make a post pregnancy comeback. To view more, check out a range of her dresses here xx

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Wearing Rachel Pally Granita Long Tie Dress