Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mum of the Moment - Meet Yvette

Without our wonderful mums and bubs Body Beyond Baby just would not be.  Each month we like to celebrate your achievements and recognise the hard work that you put into your training and life as a mum.  This month we would like you to meet our Mum of the Moment for May - Yvette.  

Yvette was nominated for Mum of the Moment after joining us for three challenges now and she shows us how important it is to her to continue her training routine whilst juggling work and family.

As a thank you to our Mum of the Moment and a congratulations for all of her hard work, Yvette will receive a $65 gift voucher for Inspired Wellbeing.

Meet Yvette 

Tell me a bit about yourself, names of your children, how old they are

I've got two crazy little boys: Xander who is 3.5 and Remy who is 14 months and one big boy, Nick.  Destined to be surrounded by too much testosterone (and pee!). The little guys are balls of energy that can be exhausting but also endless entertainment. I work 4 days a week in an HR role with a bank.

What made you decide to join your first Body Beyond Baby Challenge in Winter 2012? And subsequent two Summer challenges?

My first challenge came along about a month after I started training with BBB and it seemed like a great way to step up and commit to some regular exercise. Once I started, I got pretty hooked. I saw a lot of improvement pretty quickly (though I was working off a pretty low base!) and I really loved taking some time out from baby duties for some "me" time. I was really pleased with the changes I saw and felt so when the next one rolled around, I jumped on board. The challenges are a great way to set yourself some short term targets and the support you get from the trainers and the rest of the group is amazing. The camaraderie that is evident during the challenges, both in person during the sessions and online on FB, makes it so much easier to stay committed and focused.
What has been your Body Beyond Baby highlight so far?

The first thought that popped into my head is the end of challenge parties - getting dressed up and eating loads of pizza - but I would probably say meeting so many great women. I know it sounds like a cliche but I've never stuck to any sort of regular exercise routine before and I think the difference this time around is the group of women who I train with each week. In terms of actual achievements, I think completing the Spartan Sprint race in March has been my highlight. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the challenge.

What has been your greatest challenge?

The toughest thing for me is making the time to exercise and being consistent about it. As most of us know, it's a constant juggling act with kids and work and there is always an excuse to skip training. The idea of sleep is often more attractive but I never regret hauling my butt out of bed at 5 or 6am to get my heart rate going! For me the key is making the commitment up front and ensuring that my husband is aware of it so there is no excuse for me not to attend.

When you started, did you ever think you would be joining our tough mums training team?

Absolutely not. My goals were more like running twice around the oval without collapsing. The concept of tough mums was completely foreign to me. I remember watching some of the team training for Tough Bloke last year and thinking their level of fitness were something I wouldn't achieve for years. It's amazing how quickly you see and feel the improvement in your fitness level when you are committed to some regular exercise.

Tell us about your motivation to join a small training group with Jen on Monday mornings?

I felt ready to step up my training and start to push myself a little more. I am loving the opportunity to work with a variety of equipment and focus on technique while having Jen on hand to provide specific guidance. Given the small size of the group there is no chance to slack off during the session so I always get a great workout. It's a new level of training for me and it's also a little easier to get out of bed at 5am in winter when you are heading to a gym rather than a cold, foggy park!

How did you find managing your fitness routine when returning to work?

Some weeks are tougher than others and sometimes my work schedule makes it difficult to fit one more thing in and my first thought is to skip training. But, it's mostly psychological and I know that if I make the effort, I feel better about myself and more in control of everything else going on. All my sessions are now early morning so I the key for me is being organised the night before. I make sure I get all my clothes out, fill my water bottle up and have everything I need by the door. It sounds silly but any little thing that makes the process of getting out of the house easier improves my chances of getting to training!

Do you have anything else to add?

I've really enjoyed getting to know the women in the group. I am constantly impressed with the effort so many of them put into training - especially those sleep deprived mamas with teeny weeny babes. It's inspiring to see so many women make the commitment to work on their health and fitness. I feel really lucky to have found such a supportive environment. I also love how Jen and the other trainers are constantly looking at ways to motivate and inspire us with new training options, services and events. The continual evolution of the group makes it impossible to get bored!

Mum of The Moment is proudly sponsored by 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chicken Miso Soup

Chicken Stock
1 whole chicken
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
1 leek
1 onion
6 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Splash apple cider vinegar

Chicken Miso Soup (serves 2)
500ml chicken stock (above)
½ chilli, sliced
2cm ginger, finely grated
2 tblsp miso paste
300g cooked chicken (above)
100g snow peas
Bok choy
4 shitake mushrooms
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp mirin
2 shallots, sliced

•    Place all chicken stock ingredients into a stock pot and cover with cold water
•    Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer
•    Cook the chicken for 1 hour or until cooked through
•    Remove chicken and allow to cool slightly before removing all chicken from the carcass
•    Add chicken carcass and bones back to the stock and simmer for 3-5 hours
•    This will make a nutritious and delicious stock for your soup and you can freeze the remaining for other soups or dishes.  There is also plenty of tender chicken to use in the miso soup recipe below and leftovers for salads and sandwiches.

Chicken Miso Soup
•    Heat 500ml of chicken stock to a saucepan
•    Add chilli and ginger and simmer for 1-2minutes
•    Stir through miso paste
•    Add cooked chicken from the stock recipe as well as vegies
•    Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until warmed through
•    Remove from heat and add tamari and mirin
•    Serve topped with shallots
•    Note that you can also add noodles for a heartier meal
•    Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why we want you to know your Pelvic Floor

Within Body Beyond Baby we are continually looking at how we can improve what we do. We work closely with other health and fitness practitioners to ensure we are providing the best possible care for all of our mums. The reason we work closely with these people is because we believe it is important as Personal Trainers for us to 'know what we don't know'.  We work with many of our mums within a group environment and we believe in providing as individual a session as possible within that group environment. So, having a support network around us and as much knowledge as possible about each of our mums enables us to deliver the safest and most effective exercise for each and everyone of them.

One of the businesses that is vital to us doing what we do well is The Physiotherapy Clinic in Bondi Junction.  We work closely with Jo Murdoch and the team to ensure we know exactly what is going on on the inside and to assist us in guiding our mums through our Rebuild from the Inside Out philosophy.

One of the things that we offer in conjunction with Jo is a Pelvic Floor and Core workshop, where we teach our mums all about their pelvic floor and inner core, what it does, what can happen during pregnancy and birth and how to make sure they are setting themselves up to be fitter and stronger than ever before.  Within these workshops we use external Real Time Ultrasound (RTU) to assess each persons pelvic floor and transversus abdominal (TA) contraction.

At our most recent workshop we found a couple of interesting points that we would like to share with you:

1. Those mums that we had worked with during their pregnancy had a much better pelvic floor and TA awareness and a much stronger contraction (along with the ability to release)

2. Quite a few of the mums that had come to Body Beyond Baby after their pregnancy had the ability to contract both pelvic floor and TA (through the cues and techniques we had taught them) but were lacking in endurance - meaning that this is something we need to work on as a team and with our BBB mums.

With this information brings a dilemma:

1. How do we get in front of more pregnant mums to help them to learn these things prior to having their children so they are more equipped post birth?

2. We can help mums to work on the endurance of their pelvic floor but ONLY when we know they are doing it well.  If you can imagine that a correct pelvic floor exercise is when it is drawn up, and in turn an incorrect one is that of bearing down. If we were then to encourage someone who had not used RTU to ensure they were doing the correct activation, then asking them to hold that contraction and breathe (to train endurance), it could actually be counterproductive and make a weak pelvic floor worse!

What we will do:

1. We will be rolling out our Body Before Baby classes over the coming weeks so that we can reach more women and help to make their Body Beyond Baby journey an easier and more effective one.  If you are pregnant or know someone who is pregnant and might be interested in these sessions please get in touch and let us know.  We would also love to know WHEN you would like these classes to be held - before work, during the day, after work, weekends?  You can send an email here.

2. As much as we would LOVE to make the pelvic floor and core workshop or a one on one check up with our friends at The Physiotherapy Clinic compulsory we know that the most we can do is encourage you to make sure you are looking after you.  A quick and simple check up or attendance at our workshops will give you a much better picture of what is going on on the inside and allow us to work with you in the safest and most effective way.  This is often even more important for those mums who seem to bounce back after pregnancy and want to push hard in their training.  We need to make sure you are up to it and that we can do that safely!

As for the dilemma about training endurance - we will be adding endurance training to the sessions of all of those mums that have had their check up and know they are activating well.  For everyone else we will continue as we have been doing and hope that you now have a little more encouragement to go and find out more about your insides so that we can do our job even better and guide you to YOUR best ever body (whatever that means to you).

We'd also love to leave you with a testimonial from one of our mums that have benefited from our workshops and physio checks.

"When I went to Body Beyond Baby, I had three children, 5, 3 and 1 year old.  It had been some six years since training and I had heard alot of positive feedback from friends.  I chose the 6am morning session (as opposed to a mum and bubs class).  The first thing Jen and Amy did was check my separation.  It had closed up quite alot, I was down to one to two fingers, but it was quite deep.  Jen was hesitant to let me train with the others who were doing more advanced training.  I was so disappointed!

After training, I spoke with Jen and she suggested I come to a workshop.  A week later, I was in this session learning about what my core actually is.  How to do pelvic floor exercises properly and why (amongst other things).  I was blown away.  We ended the session with each woman having an ultrasound to make sure we were doing our exercises properly.

So many people have tried to 'teach' me all these exercises - but only under ultrasound could I actually know I was doing them correctly.  Jen was there, to make sure we had clearance to do specific types of training and to what level - I found this so helpful and amazing.

I recommend Body Beyond Baby to everyone.  And now I do my exercises properly!"

Jennifer Kennedy