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 ten hour 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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Overnight Oats

Oats are a versatile and nutritious food, that can be super filling and delicious! They are high in dietary fibre and contain some protein. They are also high in B vitamins, which means they are great for energy levels and nourishing your nervous system. 

You know how much I love my protein (eggs), fats (avocado) and veggies in the morning but I've been craving more carbs lately. If you need a quick and easy breakfast option, give this a try. Prepare it the night before and you set to go! 

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Burleigh Heads : My Favourite Places To Eat

Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast is one of our favourite places to go for a quick and easy getaway. It is only 20 minutes from Gold Coast airport, meaning you can get in and out super fast. The surf is a massive draw card for my husband and I absolutely love the beautiful beach, the national park and all the great places to eat and drink! If you ever make a trip there, here are a few places to check out:  

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Food Diaries Of A Pregnant Dietitian

I practice what I preach. I have a mound of vegetables with every meal (including breakfast!). In addition to this, I include high quality protein and plenty of healthy fats alongside my veggies. Starchy carbs are based around training.

When I fell pregnant, however, I was in for a rude shock. My body no longer wanted to comply with the nutrient dense whole foods I was feeding it. Here is what happened and a theory on why…I’m sure other pregnant mamas out there can relate! (For everyone else, I hope it is mildly interesting!)


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Snack Ideas

My last blog was all about breakfast cereals, as I am regularly asked what is the healthiest cereal. You can read my response here.

Following closely behind this is the question “what are some healthy snack ideas?” Finding appropriate snacks is often something we struggle with -  and this is because most convenient snack foods are generally not that healthy. We have our trusty favourites like fruit and nuts but a lot of the time these suggestions seem a bit too basic or bland for most people.

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The Truth About Breakfast Cereals

One of the questions I am always asked is….

”What is the best breakfast cereal?”

My answer isn’t always popular.  I am not a fan of breakfast cereals. Most cereals that come out of a box are highly processed and are loaded with either sugar, salt, preservatives, additives or all of the above. You may as well just eat the box it came in.

I get that it is often the quickest and most convenient breakfast choice for time poor people, especially if you also have to look after the little people in your life. But with a bit of planning and preparation, you can enjoy a nutritious, well-balanced breakfast and still make it to work on time.

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Macadamia Coconut Granola

My granola recipe is an absolute favourite in my family. This grain free, refined sugar free recipe is super quick and easy  to make - and it's so yummy!

Enjoy it as a healthy treat or snack like we do, or have it as an indulgent breakfast with Greek yoghurt and berries. I love it with just cold, fresh almond milk and raspberries! 

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