Liz Smithers: Food + Exercise during my pregnancy.

Liz Smithers: Food + Exercise during my pregnancy.

April 24, 2019 0 Comments

Finding out I was pregnant this past winter has been one of the most motivating, progressive, and real things that has happened to me for both my personal Wellness and my work. I have always wanted to be a mother and truly believe babies choose to come at the right time - I am so happy this soul chose my body to grow in! My body is changing, expanding, and evolving by the day. I am willingly giving away my brain power, slender frame, and ability to run (and work) for miles for the sake of our sweet baby boy Makaio and I are expecting later this August.
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When I found out I was pregnant, Merry Christmas to me, I was incredibly calm and deep down had known I was pregnant for about a month. It wasn’t until my friend living with me at the time forced me to take a test (I guess I was being a huge bitch) that proof showed up. I had been overhauling my hormonal system for the last several years after recovering from a short, but potent bout of disordered eating and body dysmorphia in my late teens/early twenties that led me to six years without a menstrual cycle and below ground levels of sex drive. Not until within the last year did I really start to see changes in my energy levels and libido thanks to targeted herbal regimens, tons of plant fats, hormone production "support", and a toned focus on my sex life and masturbation! Guess it all eventually worked :) 
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My initial thoughts were “Omg how am i going to be able to provide for this baby?” , “What on Earth is going to happen to my business?” , “How am I going to react to a growing/exploding figure?” and “What the hell do I eat?”. Although I was super calm about it initially, it is safe to say I am equal parts fearful and confident in becoming a mother, and finding out this news has been revolutionary for my strategy in love, work, and self-care.
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I also feel as I get closer and closer to my August due date, a burning responsibility to be successful for not just myself, but for my little man who is so innocent and feeding off of my every move. He is growing off the energy I surround myself with, the foods I eat, the quality of water I drink, and the movement I make. It is my duty as a mother to get my shit together and be organized, disciplined, and happy for the sake of a new life. Pregnancy has been nothing short of magic (as cliche as that sounds) and I couldn't be more certain that the power of plants didn't have something to do with which baby was called in. A shocking blessing, I am so excited to share some things I have and haven’t been doing since becoming pregnant!
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EXERCISE
I am a high-energy individual, but I don’t take too much pride in acting obnoxiously towards others, so Fitness has always and will always be my outlet for this high energy. As a fitness instructor, cutting back on my exercise during pregnancy has been a toughie. I am stuck between wanting to get that satisfactory workout high and listening to my tired body that has fluctuating energy levels day by day.
My first trimester, up until I couldn’t, we would get up in the mornings super early and start our days with a 30 minute run. I was so lucky and thankful to have first trimester free of sickness - so was still able to exercise as normal and teach my HIIT yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga classes with physical ease - but the mental state was foggy to say the least! My delivery to my students was all over the map. Aside from daily walking/running, my first trimester consisted of lots of Ashtanga Yoga, boxing, spinning, swimming, and any amount of exercise I could get into my days.
My second trimester has been quite different. My energy levels are lower than ever, my boobs are bigger than ever, and my belly is starting to get in the way! My workout clothes don’t really fit anymore, and I don’t really have the financials* to be buying much of anything! So I have been basically working out when I have clean clothes that fit haha! My fitness regimen has shifted from working out 4-6 days a week to walking every day 3-5 miles, doing a light 45 min Yoga practice 2-3 times a week, Hot Yoga once a week, and a HIIT class of choice once a week. I try and put less pressure on myself to exercise hard and just try and get some movement in every day. My Yoga Instruction has now shifted to highly* verbal instruction. Sorry, students, belly just doesn’t jive.
FOOD
I had a bout of food aversions in my first trimester, mostly to vegetables and like...anything I normally would have eaten, but now my eating is totally back to normal! I want my baby to be designed off of the best foods ever, so am doing a Vegetarian pregnancy, with some seafood a couple times a month if I feel I need/want the protein.
For the most part, I have been eating as I did pre-pregnancy (with the addition of fresh sourdough bread!) just more. I struggle with digestion and have a little bit during my entire pregnancy, so limiting dairy + lots of gluten + grain-based protein powders, and embracing the gravitation towards water rich foods has been a wise move for me. My overall moonshot for my day-to-day diet is high plant protein, moderate fat and carbs, and lots of vegetables, probiotics, and water! If it’s got protein, will hydrate me, and make me poop regularly, give it to me.
My staples include Matcha, beets, oranges, greens and greens only juices, coconut, sweet potatoes, avocados, large and cold apples, lots of Shroom Drip!, Laka Protein shakes, lots of hemp seeds, Oat Milk, and almond butter! Oh, did I forget to mention Peanut Butter cookies and milkshakes? Eep! No shame. 
The only herbs I am continuing during pregnancy and that have been passed by my certified midwives Colleen Bass and Sharon Offley are Medicinal Mushrooms and cooling, anti-inflammatory herbs like Peppermint, Raspberry, Ginger, and Turmeric. I now limit my coffee to 2-3 X week, usually half-caffeinated and most days I feel like running super clear off of a simple, fatty Matcha Latte with mushrooms and raw honey.
Apart from foods, I aim to bring in about 1.5-2 gallons of water a day - including herbal teas and elixirs and drink anything that will help keep me hydrated - fresh lemonade, coconut water, orange juice, and sparkling water. Mmmmm Pellegrino.
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The body's innate intelligence percolates full throttle during pregnancy, something I have now experienced first hand. It is as simple as that, the body knows. I truly believe in the power of birth and what it can do for a woman's confidence, ability to love, and heal herself from the inside out. Let our babies be our purest extraction and take into and master what we might not be able to in this lifetime. 
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Here is what I have been having every day.....
My first small meal of the day is about an hour after I wake up - before I teach my first class. I always have a large apple with almond butter and 3 tbsp hemp seeds sprinkled on top alongside my coffee/matcha spiked with Reishi, Lions Mane, Cordyceps, and Chaga. 
When I get home and start my Laka work day, I prelude with this shake. It's loaded with protein, Vitamin C, antioxidants, and cholrophyll that's supportive to my skin, energy, and digestion. Not to mention that by the time I have finished this, I already have 50g+ of protein under my belt for the day!  
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1 cup frozen pineapple
2-3 tablespoons Plant Protein 
1 tbsp Super Shroom Drip
1 tbsp Tahini C 
Handful of spinach or Kale
1/2 cup mixed herbs - cilantro, parsley, or mint. 
1 tsp Spirulina 
Oat or Almond Milk 

Fresh ginger root + cinnamon, optional.
blend on high and enjoy. 



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