My Experience with Morning Sickness

Written by: Helen

preg-sickness

 

Morning Sickness

There are different levels of morning sickness.  With my first son I had mild morning sickness and I was only physically sick once.  So I cut out foods that seemed to trigger the nausea and I added foods that helped to keep the nausea at bay.  It wasn’t pleasant but it was manageable.

If you’re suffering from mild morning sickness there are different things you can try.  Eating little and often is recommended and make sure you keep hydrated by sipping water.  Keep some dry biscuits to hand.  I certainly found snacking helped to curb my nausea with my first pregnancy.  Try and work out if anything triggers the nausea or if certain foods ease it.

 

Hyperemesis

However, I knew that my second pregnancy was different straight away.  I started to feel ill before I even knew I was pregnant.  Before long I had started being physically sick which continued for the next few months.  This actually makes me luckier than some women as it can continue throughout the entire pregnancy (although this is rare).  Extreme morning sickness is called hyperemesis.

So what helped my hyperemesis?  The short answer is not much.  I thought I might scream if one more well-meaning person told me to try ginger biscuits.  Don’t get me wrong, usually I’m all for biscuits being the solution to every problem but, in this instance, they were no good.  I ate ginger biscuits, I drank ginger tea, I ingested ginger any way I could.  If there was the possibility of inhaling ginger I’d have given it a try.  But no amount of ginger could make me feel better.

I would love to say that I found a natural cure and that if you eat your five fruit and veg a day you can have a perfect pregnancy.  Sadly I didn’t find any cure, but I did learn a few things which I would keep in mind if I went through it again.

 

Coping with Hyperemesis

Firstly, seek medical advice.  Speak to your doctor and see what they can prescribe and what advice they can give you.  In extreme cases you may need to go into hospital if you can’t keep down any fluids.

Listen to your body.  If you need to rest then rest and don’t feel bad about it. This may mean asking for help so that you can sleep because being sick all day is surprisingly exhausting.

I really didn’t want to take tablets.  However, the doctor told me that it is far worse for the baby if the mother is unable to keep down any food and drink (particularly the fluids).  It can lead to a trip to hospital to prevent dehydration.  So, as much as I would rather not have taken pills whilst pregnant I resigned myself to the fact that it was better for me and the baby if I was well.

You may still find that certain foods or even smells make you feel worse or make you feel a little better.  Try to avoid anything that aggravates your sickness.  Carbohydrates tend to help with sickness.  I certainly found this to be the case.  If you fancy unhealthy foods then don’t sweat it.  There is time to make up for it once the sickness subsides.

However, at times when you feel a bit better or when you can stomach it, try to include some fruit and vegetables so that you and the baby have some nutrition.  Don’t forget to take your pregnancy vitamins too (if you can keep them down).  However, like I said, don’t worry too much at this point about how healthy your diet is.  The main thing is trying to get on top of the sickness.

Lastly, don’t let yourself get dehydrated.  Try and keep some water next to you and sip on it when you can.  If you are worried about your fluid intake speak to a doctor straight away.

 

If you are currently suffering with sickness during your pregnancy then you have my sympathies.  It’s not pleasant but it’s also not forever.  And at the end, when you’re holding your new arrival you’ll know it was worth it.

Kefir: What it is and why you should drink it

Written by: Helen

Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains.  It has similar properties to natural yoghurt except that the consistency is thinner.  It has a tangy, slightly bitter taste.  Apparently it was traditionally made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway.  This was done so that each time someone passed through the doorway the bag would be knocked which helped to keep the milk and the kefir grains mixed.  I suspect processing techniques have progressed a little since then!

Kefir provides plenty of health benefits including:

  • One of the main benefits is the probiotics.  Probiotics are also known as ‘good’ bacteria.  They help our digestive system and immune system and work to keep ‘bad’ bacteria at bay.  Kefir is a better source for probiotics than yoghurt.

 

  • Kefir is a healthy form of protein.  It adds extra protein to your diet without stacking up the calories.

 

  • It is a great source of calcium which is an important nutrient for bone health.

 

  • It also contains a variety of B vitamins including B12 (important for our nervous system) and B2 (Riboflavin, needed for red blood cell production).

 

  • It doesn’t just contain B vitamins.  It provides other nutrients including phosphorus.  Phosphorus is important for teeth and bone health and also for generating energy.

 

2pack-kefir-large

I was contacted by Little Bird Kefir (a business that delivers kefir to people’s homes) and sent a couple of samples to try.  The story behind the business is interesting.  Its co-founder Umisha suffered with stomach pains, particularly after eating, and after trying various remedies began drinking kefir.  She found that, along with some changes to her diet, it helped with her digestion.  You can find out more about their business on the website here.They also have some recipe ideas on there.

I found the taste of kefir a little surprising.  I think I expected it to taste similar to other probiotic drinks (hint- it doesn’t).  If you find the taste too tangy you could use it in smoothies to add a little flavour.

And the most important question, how do you pronounce it?  Apparently kuh-FEAR is the correct way to say it although a lot of people pronounce it KEE-fur (like Kiefer Sutherland).  Anyway, the health benefits will remain the same whether you’re saying it right or wrong 🙂

Do you drink kefir or have you tried it before?  Let me know your thoughts below.  Thanks for reading 🙂

NB. I was sent a free sample to try.  Any reviews I give are honest.

Fit Food Friday: Asparagus

Written by: Helen

Happy Fit Food Friday! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and today is about asparagus.  Asparagus is a sign that spring is near and , who would’ve thought it, has a pretty interesting history.  One of the oldest surviving recipe books Apicius’s third century AD ‘De re coquinaria book III’ has a recipe for cooking asparagus.  Romans froze it high in the alps and and coined an expression ‘faster than cooking asparagus’ when meaning quick action.  In England we don’t appear to have paid asparagus much attention until 1538.

But that’s enough of the history.  On to why you should be eating it and I’ve included a couple of recipes at the end.

 

1.Nutrient Content

Asparagus can provide us with a variety of nutrients including vitamins A, C and K, fibre and folate.  It is also an excellent source of vitamin E, a variety of B vitamins and more.

 

2. Anti-inflammatory

It has a unique combination of anti-inflammatory nutrients including a variety of asparagus saponins and also quercetin and kaempferol.  Inflammation plays a role in many undesirable conditions.

 

3. Antioxidant content

Asparagus provides plenty of antioxidants.  When compared with other fruit and vegetables asparagus ranks high for it’s antioxidant content.  If you want to read more about why you need antioxidants you can read my article here.

 

4. Helps fight cancer

Points 3 and 4 probably play a large part in why asparagus is an anti-cancer food.  It also contains glutathione which helps to break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds.  Most tests regarding cancer and asparagus have been done on rats and mice but the results are positive.

 

5. Digestive Support

Asparagus aids digestive support through its inulin content.  Inulin is a carbohydrate that is sometimes referred to as a prebiotic.  Instead of being broken down like most carbohydrates, it passes through to the large intestine where it becomes a food source for good bacteria.

 

6. Decreased risk of birth defects

Asparagus is an excellent source of folate.  Folate is an important nutrient during pregnancy and asparagus is a great natural source.

 

7. Heart health

Folate is also an essential nutrient with regards to our heart health.  Folate regulates the amino acid homocysteine which, when in high levels, can be a risk factor in heart disease.

 

If you don’t really cook asparagus much here are a few recipes for inspiration.

 

Asparagus, Pea & Prosciutto Risotto

Product

 

Lemony Asparagus Pasta

Lemony Asparagus Pasta

 

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Reference

Eat This

MNT

Eating Well

WHF