Posts Tagged pregnancy

Jessica Simpson has been all over the news this past week. As the mother of 4-month old Maxwell Drew, Simpson revealed to USA Today that she "ate what she wanted while pregnant, and indulged in anything and everything including mac and cheese"--something she reportedly hasn't touched since joining Weight Watchers (she's a current spokesperson). Today she'll be Katie Couric's new show, Katie, to continue the conversation.

While Simpson hasn't said how much weight she gained--is it really our business, anyway?!--the 32 year-old says she's eating less, regularly working out with a trainer, and losing weight each week.

As reported in USA Today--and mentioned on the Today Show and other TV programs--Simpson has also said she's no supermodel. "My body is not bouncing back like a supermodel. I'm just your everyday woman who is trying to feel good and be healthy for her daughter, her fiancé and herself." As a registered dietitian and mother of two boys, I applaud Simpson for her honesty and relatability as she admits to her current struggle.

I won't be a cynic by saying Simpson is telling all (or almost all!) to make her future success (which no doubt includes getting into a bikini--and perhaps doing so in a Weight Watcher commercial) that much more noteworthy. I do sense a genuine and authentic spirit in her plight. But let's be honest-- Simpson, a successful fashion designer and singer, is one of the lucky ones. She can afford to get help to get her body back. She's being paid to follow and represent a reputable commercial weight loss program, and she reportedly works out with a celebrity trainer several times a week. Yes--she is more fortunate than most women post-pregnancy who have minimal or no help to get their bodies back. But to Simpson's credit, no one can or should take full responsibility for her getting back into shape--after all, she'll have to work at it like all of us, and she has already started.

Because Simpson is in the public eye, she may feel even more pressure than most to look good--and fast!--after having her baby. Remember how hard many were on her when she appeared in so-called "Mom jeans"--she spoke out then, and now speaks out again. Like most women, I'd be surprised if Simpson didn't take all the negativity and criticism to heart. I know I would have.

Hopefully, Simpson can be a role model for those who want to get healthy and get back in shape after having a baby. And maybe, just maybe, she'll inspire other women to not be so hard on themselves in the process.








When I had my babies, about 14 and 10 years ago, respectively (yikes!), I had gained between 25-27 or so pounds with each. I breast fed both of my sons for 6 months, and it took me about that long to lose all the weight the first time and nearly double that the second time around. Did I feel pressure to lose the weight? I did miss my pre-baby body, but I knew that I would take care of myself by trying to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. I ultimately lost all the weight--and even a few pounds more--and have successfully maintained that weight loss for several years. My body is not the same as it was before having babies, but I would never trade in my boys--the best gifts in the world!--for perkier parts (if you know what I mean).

Several Facebook friends were kind enough to share their thoughts on having babies and body weight--check out what they had to say and weigh in right here.

If you're a new mom out there, my best advice to you is to not pressure yourself to lose weight too quickly--especially if you're breast feeding. You need extra calories to make milk and stay energized. Try to eat the best you can, and aim for a balanced diet with plenty of healthful, wholesome foods.

Incidentally, a while back I created a healthy get-your-body-back plan for new moms for  Parents Magazine for women who are at least 6 weeks post-partum. Check it out!

Please remember that as a new mom, hormones and lack of sleep contribute to how you feel--and sometimes you will feel badly about or be hard on yourself. Try to cut yourself some slack and not compare yourself to others--and be thankful to have a new baby to nurture and love. And sad as it may be for us in our thin-obsessed culture, when it comes to the human body, some women bounce back more easily than others. And some may never fully bounce back to where they were before they had a baby. It's important to let the chips fall where they may and to take it one day at a time after having a baby. Try to get as much rest as much as possible, drink plenty of fluids, and most importantly, ask for help when you need it. And try to stay active and fit--#moveitorloseit, as I like to say--as often as possible. Walking is a free and effective activity that can easily be worked into your day both with and without your baby stroller in tow.

With time, and with a little nurturing, you'll find that you'll lose the weight. You may never have the exact same body you had before baby, BUT would you want to if that meant not having your baby? I doubt you would!

How did having a baby affect your weight and self image? Join the conversation below and on my Facebook page or forum.


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When you’re pregnant, symptoms like fatigue and nausea make it harder to not only food shop, but spend time preparing healthy meals for yourself, your unborn child, and the rest of your family. The new book, Pregnancy Cooking & Nutrition for DUMMIES®, is a great new resource for future and seasoned moms alike. Written by my colleague and friend, registered dietitian Tara Gidus, this book is a handy resource to use not only during pregnancy, but beyond as you strive to get back your body and at the same time, feed yourself and your growing family healthfully and deliciously.

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Tara about the book. Here’s what she had to say:

EZ: Tara, I love your new book and wish I had it when I was pregnant with my two sons! I can see it’s a must-read book for every mom-to-be (and for those pregnant more than once). Why should this book be front-and-center on a pregnant woman’s kitchen counter?

TG: The nature of a "For DUMMIES®" book lends to breaking things down in a simple, straightforward manner. You get just what you need in a way you can understand it right away.  Nutrition is a complex science, and pregnancy nutrition can be really confusing with lots of misinformation out there, so this book aims to clear up the confusion and give you what you need to feed your body right so you can have a healthy baby.  It also includes 100 mouth-watering recipes that were carefully designed to have specific nutrients that are ideal for pregnancy.  It also includes sample meal plans to guide you through each trimester, including a meal plan for nursing moms and for weight loss after your bundle arrives.

EZ: We know pregnancy puts increased demands on women’s bodies. What are the key nutritional needs of pregnant women? And what about older moms and moms-to-be--what extra nutritional concerns do they have?

TG: Pregnancy is a time of life when nutrition is paramount--you are fueling yourself as well as growing another human being!  Special attention needs to go to calories, protein, omega-3 fats, and certain vitamins and minerals like iron and folate in order to provide everything both mom and baby need.  Older moms don't necessarily have different nutritional needs when it comes to pregnancy, but they do need to be careful about overall calories to prevent themselves from gaining too much weight and having a hard time losing it again.

EZ: What 5 gadgets or appliances  do you recommend pregnant moms keep in their kitchens to prepare healthful meals in a jif?

TG: A microwave! Sometimes you just don't have time or energy to cook (that fatigue can really get to you!), so microwave meals can be a lifesaver! I’d also recommend a blender. The book has several recipes for smoothies, ideal for on-the-go breakfast or snacks that pack in nutrients! Another must-have is a refrigerator thermometer.  Keeping food safe is really important, especially when you’re pregnant. Keeping your fridge at the proper temperature will allow you to keep meats, dairy, and produce safer. Soap and sanitizers are also essential.  Washing hands is the single best way to prevent illness. Having these things serves as a reminder to wash and/or sanitize your hands and all cooking surfaces often. Finally, it’s a great idea to have a meat thermometer.  All meats need to be cooked to the proper temperature, and the only real way to know the temperature is to stick that thermometer into the center of the cooked piece of meat.

Check out a delicious French Toast recipe from the book on

Source: Tara Gidus, MS, RD, is the nutrition advisor to American Baby magazine, the team dietitian for the Orlando Magic, and currently appears as the “Diet Diva” on the national television show, The Daily Buzz. Pregnancy Cooking & Nutrition for DUMMIES® can be found at or wherever books are sold.

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Here are some terrific recipes to help you eat when your expecting in style! They're from the great book, Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom’s Healthy Eating Guide by Frances Largeman-Roth, RD.

Mornin’ Sunshine Parfait

I love parfaits because they are ridiculously easy to make, but they’re pretty enough and girly enough to feel like a special treat. I like making them for weekend guests, or just for myself when I need a little pick-me-up. You’ll need parfait glasses or wine glasses for serving.

Prep: 5 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Baby Bonus: It tastes like you’re having dessert for breakfast, but it has a healthy 13 g of protein to build Baby’s muscles.

Momma Must-Have: Cool, creamy, and delightful. An easy way to entertain for brunch if the in-laws happen to visit.

1½ cups fresh berries, preferably a mix of blueberries,

raspberries, and blackberries

2 cups low-fat Greek yogurt

½ cup Hippie-Chick Granola or your favorite granola

4 teaspoons honey

1. Place about 1 tablespoon of berries in the bottoms of 4 glasses

(enough to cover bottom of glass). Then, spoon about ¼ cup of

the yogurt into each glass. Top with a little of the granola.

2. Repeat layering the fruit and yogurt. Drizzle 1 teaspoon honey

over the yogurt layer, and top each parfait with the remaining

granola. Grab a spoon and dig in!

Calories 202; Fat 4 g (Sat 1 g, Mono 0 g, Poly 0 g); Cholesterol 5 mg; Protein 13 g;

Carbohydrate 29 g; Sugars 20 g; Fiber 3 g; Iron 1 mg; Sodium 46 mg; Calcium 93 mg

Hippie-Chick Granola

This packed-full-of-goodies granola is wickedly tasty, but has all the goodness you’d expect from your local health food co-op. It’s great as a topper for less tasty cereal, and it’s perfect for adding a bit of crunch to yogurt or ice cream. Pack some up for on-the-go treats in snack-size zip-lock bags.

Prep: 8 minutes

Cook: 23 minutes

Makes 6 cups of granola (12 1/3-cup servings)

Momma Must-Have: Skip the high-fructose corn syrup, tropical

oils, and preservatives that you’ll find in many commercial brands

of granola. This one gives you 3 g fiber per serving, plus heart healthy almonds and pumpkin seeds.

½ cup oat bran flakes

2 cups old-fashioned oats

¼ cup slivered almonds

¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds

¼ cup dried currants or raisins

¼ cup dried cranberries

½ cup dried tart cherries

¼ cup flax seeds

½ cup honey

1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with

cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bran flakes, oats, almonds,

pumpkin seeds, currants, cranberries, cherries, and flax seeds.

Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine the honey and melted butter, and pour over the oat and fruit mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

4. Spread mixture onto the prepared pan, and bake for 23 minutes or until golden. Cool on the pan, and break into pieces

with a spatula. Store in an airtight container (I like a glass jar)

for up to a week.

Calories 228; Fat 10 g (Sat 4 g, Mono 1 g, Poly 0 g); Cholesterol 13 mg; Protein 5 g;

Carbohydrate 30 g; Sugars 16 g; Fiber 3 g; Iron 1 mg; Sodium 7 mg; Calcium 22 mg;

Folate 3 mcg; Beta-Carotene 104 mcg; Potassium 21 mg

Love That Bump Lemonade

Many women told me that they couldn’t get enough lemonade during their pregnancies, so I wanted to develop a lemonade recipe that was easy and not overly sugary. First, you’ve got to use fresh lemon juice: the concentrate just doesn’t cut it. Then you’ve got to sweeten it. This one’s made with agave nectar, which I find really delicious. If you prefer sugar, heat the same amount of natural sugar with a cup of water on the stove until you get a syrup. This “simple syrup” then gets mixed with the

lemon juice and water.

Prep: 10 minutes

Makes 8 8-ounce servings

Momma Must-Have: This tart beverage may just help nix your

morning sickness—at least for a while.

8 ounces fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)

½ cup agave nectar

64 ounces of cold water (8 cups)

Mint sprigs (optional)

1. After you’ve juiced all the lemons, set them aside. Place the agave in a heatproof container, and microwave it for 30 seconds. It should be nice and liquidy. If not, put it back in for another 10 seconds (don’t do it for a full minute, or else it will get scalding hot).

2. Whisk the warm agave nectar into the lemon juice. At this point, you can use the honey-agave mixture as a concentrate, making aserving at a time and keeping the rest in a covered container in the fridge. Add ¼ cup of the concentrate to either cold water and ice for lemonade—sparkling water is a nice twist—or hot water for a soothing lemony beverage. Or you can add it to a big pitcher (filled up the rest of the way with the cold water), add a mint sprig (optional), and pour yourself a refreshing glass.

Calories 71; Fat 0 g (Sat 0 g, Mono 0 g, Poly 0 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Protein 0 g;

Carbohydrate 20 g; Sugars 17 g; Fiber 0 g; Iron 0 mg; Sodium 1 mg; Calcium 10 mg;

Folate 7 mcg; Vitamin C 14 mg

What are your favorite pregnancy recipes? Do share!!

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Do you love exercise, but think you're too busy this season to stay with it? Do you need a motivation boost to start or continue with your exercise routine? Are you pregnant and afraid you'll have to forego altogether (or at the very least, curtail) your usual exercise routine? Whatever your situation, you may just find the inspiration you're looking for to stay fit this Fall with these tips from some of my favorite pros.

Find Purpose & Listen To Your Body

Nancy Clark, MS, RD, author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook (, says "Find an outdoor activity with purpose and meaning -- walk with a friend, rake leaves, take the family on a hike, take dancing lessons, bike to work, or get a dog and walk it." She adds, "Exercise that has purpose and meaning tends to be sustainable." Clark urges pregnant women to always listen to their bodies and to find enjoyable activities to engage in. "Life has seasons, and pregnancy might be a good time to find a new, more comfortable form of exercise, like swimming or walking instead of running" Clark adds.

Strike a Pose

Dying to try yoga? Keri Gans, MS, RD, a registered dietitian (and diehard yogi) with a NYC-based private nutrition consulting practice ( recommends that those new to yoga should start with a beginner's class. She warns "If you take a class that's too advanced, you might get discouraged and not want to return." She also urges novices to not give up yoga altogether if they don't love their first class. Gans says "With so many types of yoga to choose from and different styles of teaching, you're bound to find one you love and want to stick with--I know I did!"

Squeeze Fitness In

According to Jenny Hein, an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor, and Brigette Polmar, a journalist and published author, cofounders of, "Every chore, every errand, and everything you do throughout the day is an opportunity to be stronger, firmer and healthier." They add "If you start to view your surroundings differently, you may just find that life can be your workout!" Hein and Polmar suggest turning overwhelming daily chores like vacuuming and cleaning the kitchen into 10-minute burst of exercise. They add "According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA),  three 10-minute mini bursts of moderate intensity activity dome over the course of a day can be as beneficial as a continuous 30-minute workout."

Check out these links to help you easily squeeze in some moves:;; and

Fit Your Form

Lauren Slayton, MS, RD, founder of Foodtrainers (, a NYC-based nutrition practice, and an avid athlete says "One issue with cooler temps is clothing." According to Slayton, "During the Summer, having your body on display while wearing a swimsuit or shorts provides built-in motivation, but Fall and Winter are another story since we can hide behind bulky sweaters and coats and forget there’s a body under there." Slayton urges us as we shop for clothes this Fall to buy some form fitting sweaters and waisted pants. She adds "If all else fails, pull out a swimsuit and try it on from time to time."

What's your favorite way to fit in fitness and stay motivated in Fall?

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