Eating For The Second Trimester

For many mums that suffered morning sickness and food aversions in the first trimester, the second trimester is a welcome relief! For those that are still experiencing nausea, hang in there, only 9% of women have morning sickness past 20 weeks.


For me, it took me a little longer than 13 weeks to get back to broccoli and kale, with most food aversions completely gone by 20 weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still craving a hot chicken and mayo roll for lunch from time to time but thankfully once I passed the first trimester, I could stomach more leafy greens, fermented veggies and meat dishes other than spaghetti Bolognese.


Now that you are in your second trimester, what changes do you need to make to your diet?

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Easy & Nourishing Meal Ideas For New Mums

When you’re baby arrives, your life may feel like it has turned upside down. The simplest tasks like eating and going to the toilet, seem difficult. I certainly didn’t realise how much of my time would be spent holding and feeding my baby! Often you only have one hand to do things – like eat food! – so having a few simple meals that can be eaten whilst nursing a baby can be handy. 

It is easy to forget about eating or not prioritising meals when all your focus is on your baby. But this is a vital time to get that food in. Your body is recovering from pregnancy, labour and birth (and possibly surgery), you may be breastfeeding and you are sleep deprived. Ensuring you are getting adequate food in will ensure you are feeling the best that you can and boost your energy levels. Breastfeeding alone requires an additional 500 calories to your usual food intake, which equates to a whole extra meal. That doesn’t even take into account the healing and recovery your body is going through too!

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How I Personally Tackled Morning Sickness

Every pregnancy is different, right? With my first baby (now eighteen months), I had significant nausea and food aversions during the first trimester. Luckily, by week 13 I was back to my normal self. It felt like a real struggle at the time but I considered myself lucky in the scheme of things!


Around 2/3 of women will notice an improvement by week 13, although knowing that it will pass doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. In one study of 700 women, nausea “had a major impact on various aspects of the women’s lives, including global quality of life and willingness to become pregnant again.” (BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2017).


For my second pregnancy, I got to week six with no sign of debilitating nausea or disgust at most foods I usually ate (meat, fish and vegetables, just to name a few!). I started to think maybe I would skip the 24/7 feeling of wanting to throw up! But no, I was wrong.  From week six to fourteen, I got to put in to practice all the tips I tell my clients who suffer nausea.


Nutritious Snacks For Pregnancy

Snacks make up a very important part of a pregnancy diet. It is common for pregnant women to feel hungry but just can’t seem to eat three large meals like they used to. This is usually due to the baby taking up stomach space as well as nausea.


Snacks during pregnancy are also beneficial for:

Balancing blood sugars and keeping up your energy levels throughout the day.

Keeping morning sickness at bay, as often feeling too full or too hungry can be a trigger for nausea.

Managing heartburn or acid reflux


It is important to make sure that your snacks are nutritious, especially if they are replacement for main meals.

Here is a list of my favourite, nourishing pregnancy snacks:


Foods For Labour

One of the most exciting parts of working with pregnant women is helping them prepare for the biggest physical event of their life – labour!

Researchers suggest that the energy demands of labouring women are similar to those of marathon runners! With first labours lasting an average of 8 hours and up to 18 hours, it is important to keep your energy up.

Whether you are planning for an unmedicated birth or not, it is great to be prepared before your due date, so you have appropriate food and drinks on hand.  

Traditionally, eating and drinking was discouraged in hospitals. But latest research shows that fasting during labour is unnecessary, particularly if you have a low risk labour.


My Top 10 Tips For Morning Sickness

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is referred to as morning sickness, although this is a very misleading term. Many women experience nausea and vomiting at any time of day and night. Not only does it affect daily life but it can also be very frustrating for mums that just want to eat nourishing foods for the health of their growing baby.

This is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy, with approximately 4 out of 5 women experiencing nausea and vomiting.

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Is Caffeine Safe During Pregnancy?

One of the most common questions women have during pregnancy is: Can I still have my morning coffee? This is often followed by: What are the risks? Will my baby be hyperactive or a bad sleeper? What about decaf?


Many of us love our coffee, so this is an important topic! Statistics show that 75% of Australians enjoy at least one cup of coffee per day but what are the risks of caffeine during pregnancy?


Like all things nutrition related, it’s not always a straightforward answer.

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Pregnancy Series // Hospital Bag Checklist

For first time mums, it’s hard to know exactly what you will need for labour and hospital. I’ve had a few questions about what I packed, so here is my checklist. I’ve included what I used AND didn’t use.

I researched quite a few different lists but I still found I didn’t need certain items.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and what worked for me might be very different for you. I hope you find it somewhat useful though!

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Pregnancy Series // Labour Aid Recipe

Also a whole foods sports drink!

Depending on the type of labour, some women may be able to eat light and nourishing foods to keep energy levels up during early stages of labour. As labour progresses though, eating food is often the last thing a labouring woman can think about.

Staying hydrated, however, is extremely important, just like it is with any intense physical activity or exertion. Similarly to endurance events, your fluids must contain electrolytes. Not only do they assist the hydration process, they are required for muscle contractions. Without them, muscles become weak and contractions of the uterus can be less effective.

To be honest, I did not think about food or drink once during my relatively short first labour, it was all systems go from the start!  This drink was, however, an absolute god send afterwards. I was so thirsty and dehydrated but water just did not cut it. It was so delicious and thirst quenching, I wish I made a few more bottles!

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Pregnancy Series: My Top Books & Resources

Just in case you didn't know, I am currently 36 weeks pregnant with our first baby. I have learnt so much over the last year and have certainly developed an even greater passion to work with women, whether it is for fertility, throughout pregnancy and beyond. 

 So, I'll be doing a number of blogs in a "Pregnancy Series" - I know this will only appeal to a certain group of people so to the men out there and women who have no interest, just skip these blogs! I will still be writing about other nutrition and health related topics though so please stay tuned for those. 


Pregnancy Series: My Top Pregnancy Books & Resources

For first time mothers, the amount of information out there is very overwhelming. It can be hard to know where to start!

Obviously you need to find authors and books that resonate with you but here are the books I have read and loved leading up to the arrival of our baby.

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Two Week Spring Cleanse Is Here!

It is the first week of Spring which means it's a great time of year to reassess how you are nourishing and moving your body. It is also the perfect time to hit the reset button on your body with  a detox or cleanse. 

If you are feeling sluggish after winter or would just like to boost your health before the Spring and Summer festivities kick off, this is the perfect opportunity. 

Here is what just a few people have said about the Two Week Spring Cleanse:

"Hi Jo, just wanted to thank you for the Detox program.  I feel a million bucks and have certainly changed my focus on food and the way I eat.  I feel much better in the morning, training better, recovering better and sleeping better!  Also, my stomach and bowels are functioning so much cleaner...I am really amazed at how much has changed.  Thanks again!"

- Ryan

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My Top Tips To Beat Sugar Cravings

Sugar cravings are one of the greatest battles for many clients that come to see me.

Sugar cravings may be due to a number of reasons, such as unstable blood sugar levels, stress, habit, emotional comfort or nutrient deficiencies.

Unfortunately, the more sugar and refined carbohydrates you eat, the more you crave them.  It’s important to start to tailor your diet to reduce these refined, sugary foods and increase your intake of protein, healthy fats and leafy greens.

Here are some simple ways to reduce sugar cravings for good and get you off the blood sugar roller coaster.

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Why Eddie McGuire’s diet is NOT a good idea

Low Calorie Diets and Metabolic Adaptation


Did you read in the Herald Sun over the weekend about Eddie McGuire’s drastic weight loss plan?

The Sun revealed McGuire drank just three cups of herbal tonic tea in place of meals for two weeks. Zero food for two whole weeks. In the third week, he introduced half a cucumber (yes, I wrote that correctly) and a meagre 50g serve of chicken into his daily meal plan.

This is all part of a “gentle, intuitive approach using Chinese herbs and remedies” practised by Dr Shuquan Liu. To me, this is everything BUT gentle and intuitive.

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Boost Your Immune System For Winter

Winter is here, which generally means an increased likelihood of getting sick. The weather gets colder, it’s harder to get into the gym and we can sometimes tend to reach for more warming and filling meals.  Quite often this can mean less micronutrients from veggies that are essential to keep our immune system firing!

Here are my top tips to boost your immunity and continue to smash out your work, life and training goals with maximal energy this winter.

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Dump 'n' Run Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks

As the winter sets in, the slow cooker comes out. I love the slow cooker because it is so easy! You just dump everything in there in the morning and then it is perfection at night!

 Not only is the slow cooker convenient but it also provides an opportunity to use different cuts of meat that you might not usually use. Things like beef cheeks and lamb shanks turn out beautifully in the slow cooker but also offer a range of additional nutritional benefits. Slow cooker cuts of meat are from the muscle of the animal that contains the greatest amount of connective tissue, which dissolves into gelatin when slow cooked (but are tough as an old boot if you don't!). 

Gelatin provides a host of benefits for your gut health, digestion, joints and ligaments (great for recovery from training), as well as all those "beauty bits" like hair, skin and nails. 

Slow cooking at lower temperatures also helps to maintain some of the nutrients compared to cooking at high heat.

Pop these shanks on in the morning and then all you have to do at night is steam some greens! I also serve mine with sweet potato mash.


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How My Diet Has Changed During Pregnancy

Nutrition is an ongoing journey and you have to keep evolving as your body, lifestyle and environment continues to change. What works for you today won’t necessarily work for you in one, two or five years from now. Pregnancy is a great example for the need to adapt your diet as your body and health changes.

If you have read my blog “Food Diaries of A Pregnant Dietitian” you know the struggle was real for me in the first trimester!

Now I’m into the second trimester and the nausea has passed, I am back to eating a regular, whole foods diet. There have, however, been some differences I have noticed to my usual eating patterns. To be honest, I haven’t consciously made many changes to my diet but I'm simply listening to what my body wants and just eating intuitively. That means the odd bowl of spag bol still gets a go from time to time! When I wrote down these changes though I noticed there was most likely a logical reason behind each one! Here is what’s changed so far (and my guess as to why):

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