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Gluten Free Fitness During Pregnancy

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Gluten Free Fitness During Pregnancy

Having a healthy lifestyle while you are pregnant includes making good choices and going to the doctor for regular visits. Pregnancy isn’t meant to be a debilitating condition that stops you from living your life as a healthy and gluten free fit person does it mean you have to stop exercising.  And it doesn’t have to mean being tired all the time.

By following a regular exercise routine and maintaining a wide variety of wholesome, gluten free foods, you can maintain your fitness and health during this period of extra demands on your body. A woman’s health is essential to the good health of her baby. Women who eat well and exercise regularly along with regular prenatal care are less likely to have complications during pregnancy. They are also more likely to successfully give birth to a healthy baby with fewer complications.

The list of things to avoid if you’re pregnant – or things you MUST do – can feel very long indeed, but nine months isn’t that long to give up a few things (though it may feel like forever at times). Here are the things you should try to avoid when pregnant and a few things worth remembering to do, as well.

1) Follow Your Doctor’s Advice

When it comes to matters relating to your pregnancy, your doctor is going to have the most information about your personal health issues and any risks you and your baby face in the months to come. Follow their recommendations. A professional or qualified pre/post-natal trainer with experience training pregnant women is also a great asset during this time. The more knowledgeable people you have supporting you, the better.

2) Exercise

Pregnancy often leaves women feeling less energetic, but regular exercise can give you more energy to make it through the day. Fitness during pregnancy helps to alleviate many of the common problems of pregnancy. It improves circulation, which helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, leg cramps, and swelling of the ankles. It also prevents back pain by strengthening the muscles that support the back.

Maintain a healthy exercise routine throughout your pregnancy. Even if you’re not pregnant yet but are planning to be in the future, you should get yourself into a good routine that you can stick to throughout your pregnancy. If you were active prior to being pregnant, don’t think you have to give that up now that you’re carrying a baby. In fact, exercise is strongly encouraged for women during pregnancy. It’s healthy for mom and baby, and it helps you build up your stamina for the big day ahead of you.

What kinds of Exercise can I do?

Unless you have issues during pregnancy, you should get regular exercise. Exercise promotes a healthy lifestyle and can help ease discomfort. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Talk to your doctor about any conditions that may prevent exercise. Some women say exercising while you are pregnant makes labor and delivery easier. Walking and swimming are great choices. If you were not active before pregnancy, start slowly. Listen to your body and do not overdo it. Drink plenty of water to prevent overheating or dehydration. It is best to avoid exercises that may cause you to fall. You also should avoid contact sports, such as soccer or basketball. If you were active before pregnancy, it is probably safe to continue… again, ask your doctor if there are any concerns. Call your doctor if you have unfamiliar symptoms with exercise, such as: blurred vision, dizziness, chest pain, stomach pain.

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3) Eat healthy

Eating a nutritious gluten free diet during pregnancy is linked to good fetal brain development, a healthy birth weight, and it reduces the risk of many birth defects. A balanced diet will also reduce the risks of anemia, as well as other unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and morning sickness. Good nutrition is thought to help balance mood swings and it may improve labor and delivery as well. Eating a variety of fruits gives you a variety of nutrients which contains Vitamin A for growing bones and are full of calcium, which helps prevent bone loss during your pregnancy and aids the growth of your developing baby’s bones.

What should I eat?

You’ve probably heard the expression “eating for two,” but that’s a very unhealthy mantra to live by during pregnancy. Instead of eating more, make sure you’re eating enough of the right foods – nutritious meals that are high in protein, folic acid, iron and vitamins. Eating a balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. Be careful of the following foods and drinks during pregnancy. Meat, eggs, and fish. Food that is not fully cooked can put you at risk. Do not eat more than 2 or 3 servings of fish per week (including canned fish). Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish. These fish are known to have high levels of mercury, which can harm your baby. If you eat tuna, make sure it is light tuna. Do not eat more than 6 ounces of albacore tuna and tuna steaks per week. It is safe to have 12 ounces of canned light tuna per week.

Do not drink more than 1 or 2 cups of coffee or other drinks per day.

4) Rest well

During pregnancy, sleep can be a fleeting commodity. Unfortunately, anxiety and stress, hormonal fluctuations, and physical discomfort make sleep all the more critical. Taking short 20 minutes naps through the day will help you recover and maintain your energy.

5) Don’t just take any medicine

Check with your doctor before taking any medicine. This includes prescriptions, pain relievers, and over-the-counter medicines. Some medicines can cause birth defects, especially if taken during the first 3 months of pregnancy. As always, ensure you are not consuming hidden gluten from those medications.

6) Take your vitamins

Pregnant women should take at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of a prenatal vitamin each day. It can help prevent problems with your baby’s brain and spinal cord. Ask your doctor if you need a prenatal vitamin or more than 400 mcg.

It is best to start taking folic acid before you get pregnant. You can get folic acid from taking a prenatal vitamin with 600 mcg to 800 mcg. You should take this every day. Do not take other vitamins or supplements without your doctor’s approval.

7)  Cutting out bad habits

Making good lifestyle choices will directly impact the health of a growing fetus. It’s important to cut out smoking, drug use, and alcohol consumption. These have been linked to serious complications and risks for both mother and baby. You can imagine that whatever you are putting into your body, you are also putting into your baby’s body.

How to Maintain Fitness After Giving Birth

No matter how many parenting books you’ve read nothing prepares you for the tsunami of emotions that strikes you once you hold your child in your hands. As excited as you are about being a new mom, admit it: You’re also kind of a wreck. The postpartum period is the least talked about time during the pregnancy cycle, yet it’s the most challenging hormonally, physically, and emotionally.

It’s also the time when new moms neglect their personal needs most. But you must take care of yourself. Not only will looking out for yourself and your health make you a much better mom and partner, you’ll better enjoy bonding with your babe—and rack up some seriously adorable memories.

1) Eat enough

It’s easy to skip a meal here and there when you’re dealing with the demands of a new baby – or worse, forget to eat altogether – but the lack of nutrition ultimately saps you of the very energy you need to stay on top of the whole motherhood thing. One easy fix is to eat when your baby eats.

2) Keep taking your prenatal vitamins

Once you deliver your baby you still need to keep taking your Vitamins because your body requires more vitamins and minerals while you’re breastfeeding, than during your pregnancy. You should also talk to your doctor about upping your doses of vitamin D and omega 3 fish oil to ensure your babe scores the vital nutrients she needs.

3)  Exercise

Schedule in exercise time after the baby has arrived. It can be hard to step away from your baby for a few minutes, but it’s much better for your overall health, mentally and physically, to schedule in some time to work out after the baby is born. As soon as your doctor says it’s safe (usually 4-6 weeks postpartum), make arrangements for someone to watch your child so that you can maintain your exercise routine. An idea might be to have a plan established for exercise while the child sleeps. You want to set a good example for your child throughout their life, and the best way to do that is by demonstrating a healthy and active lifestyle yourself.

4) Ask for help

You are no good to anyone if you don’t take time for yourself, which means you’re going to have to call in reinforcements. Getting someone to watch the little one for a while might be your only hope for finding the time to take a shower, catch up on sleep, prepare for the week, or just be off duty for a few. Embracing support from others doesn’t just apply to childcare, either: Ask for help with laundry, making dinner, grocery shopping, even walking the dog. Others want to help, so don’t be afraid to delegate, ask for help and do it often.

Vital Nutrients on a Gluten Free Diet

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Are You Still Getting Important Vitamins and Minerals on a Gluten Free Diet?

What Is Gluten and How Does It Affect My Body?

Gluten is a large, cumbersome protein that our bodies cannot digest completely. This leads to irritation of our intestinal lining which causes inflammation, and inflammation in the digestive tract leads to an upset stomach.

Limiting gluten could help reduce these symptoms allowing you to experience improved exercise performance and overall well-being. But it can backfire too, because gluten-free doesn’t mean fat-free or calorie-free.

It’s also key not to rely on processed gluten-free foods that may be high in calories, sugar, saturated fat, and sodium and low in nutrients, such as gluten-free cookies, chips, and other snack foods. Often, these foods are made with processed unfortified rice, tapioca, corn, or potato flours.

Without gluten to bind food together, food manufacturers often use more fat and sugar to make the product more palatable.

Gluten-free diets have become extremely popular in the last decade among people with gluten sensitivity or intolerance, as well as, people simply trying to fuel their bodies with the healthiest ingredients. Gluten-free diets exclude all foods that contain gluten.  But you do have to watch people who eat gluten-free tend to be deficient in a few vitamins and minerals, and their daily intakes of others may not quite meet recommendations, in part because gluten-free processed foods often aren’t supplemented with extra nutrients.

What Are Nutrients?

According to the dictionary, the official nutrients definition is “a substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life.”

This encompasses the broad spectrum of micro nutrients, fatty acids, amino acids and other substances that your body needs to function, survive and thrive. Most of these are obtained through the things you eat, drink or supplement in your diet. However, this nutrients definition doesn’t differentiate between essential and nonessential nutrients.

While there are thousands of specific nutrients, each with its own unique benefits and functions, there are a few specific nutrients that you should be especially mindful about incorporating into your day.

The Nutritional Effects of Going Gluten-Free

Gluten-free doesn’t necessarily equal healthy, especially when people yank vitamin-enriched and wholegrain foods from their diets and replace them with gluten free brownies.

With almost every news story about the gluten-free diet, we hear dire warnings about the risks of nutritional deficiencies. While there are certainly valid reasons for this, the good news is that it’s absolutely possible to eat a healthy, balanced gluten-free diet and fill in any nutrient gaps with a little planning.

A gluten free diet is essentially a diet that removes all foods containing or contaminated with gluten. However, since gluten-containing whole grains contain fiber and nutrients including B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate and iron, it’s important to make up for these missing nutrients.

If you’re determined to go gluten free, it’s important to know that it can set you up for some nutritional deficiencies.

So, what can you do about this? Obviously, you can take supplements—and if you’re quite deficient in certain nutrients, your doctor may recommend you do so. Since mega-doses of many vitamins can have negative effects, it goes without saying that you should check with your doctor—and potentially undergo some testing to determine your actual nutrient levels—before beginning a major supplement regimen.

But if you like the idea of getting as many of your nutrients from your food as possible, then here’s a blueprint to help you target foods containing high levels of the particular vitamin and mineral you may be lacking. This may not eliminate the need for you to take supplements, especially if you’re just diagnosed (you’ll need to talk to your doctor about that), but it certainly can help. However, eating nutrient-rich foods—especially those that are rich in the specific nutrients you may be lacking—may help you correct deficiencies, plus it may aid your general health.

If you’re going gluten-free, make sure you’re consuming sufficient amounts of these key nutrients:


Fiber helps your body to slow the absorption of sugar into the blood, works to improve your digestion, and makes you feel fuller for longer. According to the Institute of Medicine, women should consume 25 grams of fiber per day and men should about 38 grams. The gluten-free versions of bread, pasta, and cereal are notoriously low in this nutrient, there are plenty of naturally gluten-free high-fiber foods besides grain-based products! Beans, fruit, vegetables, and nuts are also excellent sources of fiber, so try to increase your intake of these foods if you’re going gluten-free.


Iron is essential because it binds oxygen and transports it through the body. With low iron levels, people may experience fatigue, weakness, irritability, headaches or difficulty concentrating. Therefore, people with celiac disease need to be more careful than average to get enough iron, either through their diets or through supplements. People who don’t have celiac but who are following the gluten-free diet also need to be careful.

Vitamin D

Known as “the sunshine vitamin” because your skin produces it in response to sunlight, vitamin D also can be found in fortified dairy and conventional cereal products — and if you’re eating gluten-free (and especially dairy-free, too), you may not get enough. Recent studies have shown that people with celiac disease are especially prone to vitamin D deficiencies.


Calcium is best known for promoting bone health, but it also plays a role in blood clotting, muscle contractions and nerve function, too.

Getting adequate calcium can be tricky. The damage due to celiac disease affects calcium absorption, so many have been absorbing it poorly for years before diagnosis. To add to the difficulty, many people with recently diagnosed celiac disease are at least temporarily lactose intolerant. Lactose is the sugar found in milk products, and the enzyme that digests it is frequently missing until the small intestine starts healing.

Fortunately, a range of other foods contain calcium, such as sardines, firm tofu, teff, black-eyed peas and some greens, like collards, turnip greens or kale. A wide variety of “milks” are calcium fortified, such as almond, rice, soy and hemp, and there are many fortified fruit or vegetable juice blends, too. Not all milk substitutes and juices have added calcium, so check labels carefully.

Like vitamin D, calcium is found in dairy products—and that doesn’t do you a whole lot of good if you’re avoiding dairy due to lactose intolerance or an additional food sensitivity. So again, like vitamin D, it’s no wonder that studies show people with celiac disease don’t get the recommended levels of calcium in their diets. It could pay off to up the calcium quotient in your daily diet.

B vitamins

The eight B vitamins are essential to the production of red blood cells, heart and nerve function, and for a healthy pregnancy.

Fortified breads and cereals have become a major source of B vitamins in the United States. Although breads made with white rice, tapioca, and other gluten-free flours are becoming more common, they are generally not fortified with vitamins. This can be a problem for anyone, but it’s especially worrisome for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. They need vitamin B , more commonly known as folate or folic acid, to prevent birth defects. Taking a gluten-free multivitamin-multimineral supplement is a good idea for anyone trying to avoid gluten.

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The good news is that more gluten-free companies are beginning to voluntarily enrich products and are using more healthy gluten-free whole grains.

You also need vitamin B6 to help you fight off infections, maintain normal nerve function, and carry oxygen throughout your body. You also need it to keep your blood sugar within normal limits. Unfortunately, studies have shown that many people with celiac disease and following the gluten-free diet are low in vitamin B6.

What To Do

Before going out and gulping down the biggest bottle of vitamins on the shelf, it’s important to remember that everyone has different needs. While too little Vitamin D is harmful, too much can be dangerous. Taking a gluten-free multivitamin and a calcium supplement with Vitamin D is wise for almost all anyone with celiac disease. It’s also essential to get tested for nutrition deficiencies by a physician. If there is a real deficiency, higher doses of supplements and ongoing monitoring is necessary.

Following a gluten-free diet may also potentially cause a decrease in the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut (Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus), which can negatively impact the immune system.

If you plan to go gluten free, select more fruits, vegetables, and lean meat, and more naturally gluten-free grains like brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat, rather than just buying prepackaged products labeled “gluten free”.

Remember, just because a label says that a product is “gluten free”, doesn’t mean that it’s healthier!  Please read the labels carefully to ensure you are fueling your body properly.