Exhausted. Frazzled. Worn out. This is how Kimberley Welman felt after giving birth to three babies, including twins, within 19 months. Once a marathon runner, Kimberley could barely jog around the block without wanting to keel over, but she knew she had to do something. Her health and sanity were at stake. With no clear sense of where to begin, Kimberley tried CrossFit (expensive), classes at her gym (hard to get to), running (too hard on her recovering body). Months later, she finally found a training partner in fellow mother Victoria Reihana, and discovered the joys of clean eating and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). What began as one mother’s mission to get her body back, has become a global movement and ever-expanding online community, full of women (with and without children) motivating one another to live healthier lives.
Here Kimberley and Vicky provide sample quick and easy recipes and exercises from their book, The Stay Strong Mummy Fitness Plan.
Cooking your breakfast the night before? Yes! This quick whip-up will knock the socks off instant oats any day. It’s simple, nutritious, yummy and easy-peasy. Oh, and did we mention it’s another great Stay Strong Mummy quickie? Beware – the kids are sure to want to eat this right off your plate. These perfect winter-warmer oats will save you time if you make a few bowls in advance and store them in the fridge for up to 3–4 days.
What’s in it?
¼ cup (25g) rolled oats
2 tsp chia seeds
1 cup (25ml) filtered water
or nut milk of choice, plus extra if needed
½ cup (110g) sliced mango and pomegranate or other fruit in season
1 tbsp full-fat Greek or coconut yogurt
1 tsp raw honey (optional)
Put the oats in a small bowl and add the chia seeds and water. Stir well, then pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it the next day. When the sun’s up and you’re ready to devour your Overnight Oats, all that’s left to do is heat it and add the topping. For convenient and quick heating, you can microwave at Full Power for approximately 1 minute or put it in a small saucepan over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Once warm, stir in more water or nut milk if you want to make the mixture a little runnier. Then it’s time to add the toppings and enjoy.
Tips: If you’re sensitive to gluten, you can use gluten-free oats or substitute quinoa flakes for the oats. If this recipe tickles your fancy, or the kids want to eat yours, you can simply double the ingredients and make enough for a few days – or for more people.
Chicken, Spinach and Feta Patties
These tasty little babies are a family favourite and were the signature dish of Kimberley’s late father. They are so simple, yet delish and great for the kids.
What’s in it?
500g lean chicken mince
250g frozen spinach, thawed and excess liquid drained
1½ cups (200g) crumbled feta (or goat’s) cheese
1–2 tsp chilli paste
sea salt and ground black
pepper to taste
Simply combine all the ingredients, roll the mixture into balls and flatten into patties. Gently fry for 3–4 minutes each side until cooked through and just golden. Serve with a green salad.
Tips: Use turkey mince if chicken mince isn’t available. You can omit the chilli for the kids.
Sustainable training for mums
We can already be under great stress. Our body does not distinguish between the stressors that cause stress hormones to be produced, whether they are as a result of daily thought-related worrying or the physical demands of exercise. Training sessions in excess of 45 minutes can contribute to stress, because they do not enable the body to effectively recover, and they will therefore negate much of the hard work of your training. HIIT, on the other hand, is sustainable, because while it stimulates adaptation towards our training goals, the adjustable variations allow for quality recovery; in other words, the ability to adjust total work time, work intensity, variation of movements and variation of work-to-recovery ratios according to individual needs. It’s important to note here that we do have 45-minute sessions in our programme. These sessions are 45 minutes of incidental activity; that is, a lifestyle activity that you can build into your day, such as playing soccer in the park with the kids. These longer active sessions are supplementary but they are still an important part of the overall programme. It is training that can be disguised as a fun family event and assists with active recovery from your HIIT sessions, as well as progressing your overall fitness.
Training for all mums
HIIT is beneficial for mums of all capabilities. The ability to adjust the physical demands of all exercises up or down makes this an effective training method, whether you’re a beginner or an elite athlete. We regularly train with our husbands using the same workout design we’ve used for new clients on our Stay Strong Mummy groups.
Sumo Jump Squat
Start with your feet wider than shoulder width. Your body weight should be even on both feet as you lower yourself into a position ready to jump. Only drop as deeply as your mobility at the hips, knees and ankles will allow – arms reached forward for balance, without slumping in the spine. Jump evenly off both legs, pulling your arms forcefully down to your sides for added power. Land with soft feet, knees slightly bent, and control the landing speed back to the starting position with arms reaching out front for control and balance.
Tip: Avoid landing on stiff, straight legs. For best results land softly, catching your bodyweight with your knees already bent, and control the deceleration back to starting position for the next jump.
A-Frame Shoulder Press
Start in a downward-dog position creating an A-frame with hands shoulder-width apart and pressed fi rmly into the mat. Keeping your neck long, bend your elbows, lowering your head towards the mat as far as you have control of the movement and your posture. Straighten your elbows back to the starting position. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears.
Tip: Look through your legs; keep your legs tight and the hips high. Slightly bend your knees if you have tight hamstrings.
We’re also offering you the chance to win one of three copies of Stay Strong Mummy in paperback! To enter simply fill your details in below. This giveaway is open to the UK only and closes at 11:59pm on 12th January. Check out the full terms and conditions here.
Kimberley Welman is a stay-at-home mum, entrepreneur and founder of the online parent’s support forum and blog ‘Stay Strong Mummy’. Prior to having children, Kimberley enjoyed a twelve-year career as a Senior Public Relations Consultant for one of Australia’s longest serving corporate communication firms. Victoria Reihana is a mum of two, an entrepreneur, and certified holistic health coach. She is the founder of health food brand Vitality Nutrition. In addition, she is certified in Fitness and Personal Training, Metabolic Precision Body Transformation System, Science-based Prescription for Muscle Building, Australian Kettle Bell Training, and is also an RPM Instructor.