• Amy Slater

19 weeks: Family vacation, eating out, and movement strategies on vacation


Today I am 19 weeks pregnant. I definitely have grown in the last two weeks. Curiously, my appetite has decreased. I find myself looking toward a greens, citrus, and seafood. I also am enjoying a healthy appetite for fermented foods such as beet kavas, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Here is a great lesson. Nourishment is not static. It is important to listen to what our bodies are asking for.


This strategy can be abused, especially in pregnancy. Have you ever heard nutrient-dense, a pregnant woman who rationalizes her taste for ice cream as a need for calcium. Ice cream is not a nutrient dense food. It is usually used as a “treat” eaten to satisfy a mental want. This is very different than a nutrient-dense food eaten to fulfill a nutrient need. Using my strategy, I would suggest eating raw (if available) full fat, organic, grass-fed? Plain yogurt sweetened with berries and a drizzle of honey. This would supply a healthy source of fats such as CLA, calcium, and protein and satisfy the sweet craving. Or you could whip up some heavy cream and add it to the grass-fed fruit. Either approach would both satisfy a nutrient need and a mental want.

We are on a family vacation in the mountains of Western North Carolina. We found a fantastic little cabin with two bedrooms and a kitchen. I did not want to stay in a hotel as I knew we would be eating more than dining out. So, what did I bring in our enormous cooler to supply our family of four for four days?


Fruit: 1/2 watermelon 1 cantaloupe 1 bag black grape 4 green apples 12 bananas 4 naval oranges 4 small pears


Protein: 2 packages Applegate Boiled Ham 1 block raw milk cheddar cheese 1 pound pastured bacon 1/2 pound breakfast sausage 8 small (~1/2 pound total) organ meat sausages 2 cans sardines 2 cans of smoked oysters 2 cans wild planet tuna
1 can salmon 2 dozen eggs 1 dozen hard-boiled eggs 1-quart1-pint1-pint of raw milk yogurt 1 pint of raw milk 3 pint jars kombucha jello 1 pint of homemade macadamia/coconut nut butter 1 pound organic butter ~ 2 cups pumpkin seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and homemade dried cantaloupe


Veggies 1 pound broccoli 5-pint2-pint containers of cucumber salad 2 pounds spinach 2 pounds tomatoes 1 red onion 1 quart saueof 2-piof ut 2 pint containers of marinated beets 2 jicama 1-quart of the 5-pint pumpkin bag baked plantain chips


Baked Goodsgluten-free of 1 loaf Against All Grain, Grain-Free Sandwich bread 8 raspberry coconut flour raspberry muffins 8 seeds and fruit granola bars


As most of you know, toddlers can eat a surprisingly large amount of fed gluten food. So, I would rather be prepared with nourishing foods that will fuel their bodies and brains. I planned for enough food for three breakfasts, four packed lunches, and all snacks. I did some research ahead of time for restaurants that served organic, local veggies. I made sure they had gluten free offerings as well as pastured chicken and grass-fed gluten food of gluten-free beef. Unfortunately, both restaurants cooked using canola or a canola/vegetable oil blend. One restaurant was able to substitute the oil for the butter. Sometimes eating out is an inevitable consequence of vacationing. I may be the rare soul that finds it more of a chore than a treat. To navigate the tricky world of eating out, you should arm yourself with key questions and the confidence to ask them. Here is a quick list:


Do you offer any gluten-free fed gluten items? Where do your vegetables come from? Where do you source your proteins? What type of cooking fat do you use? Can you substitute butter, olive, or coconut oil? Do you prepare your food in the house?


Choose simple dishes such as broiled fish, grilled steak or chicken. Avoid sauces or combination dishes that are more likely to include inflammatory ingredients.


The next hurdle was to maintain a movement program. My training goals at 19 weeks pregnant with a second set of twins are: *maintain a neural drive to my core: (in lieu of my existing diastasis from the first pregnancy) *maintain the integrity of my pelvic floor with consistent loading *maintain hip, thoracic and ankle mobility

Fortunately, all of these goals require minimal equipment and a handful of targeted moves. I brought a Pelvicore Ball, Trigger Point Kit, and a 4 kg ViPR.


My key moves include the following:


Pelvicore Stretch matrix Feet hip-width (knee roll in on ball)-hands reach to the floor with knees straight (inhale)-stand up arms reach high overhead (exhale)


(6 reps)



Feet hip-width (knee roll in on ball)-hands reach to floor with knees straight (inhale)-stand up arms reach high at overhead and reach to the right as your pelvis reaches to the left (exhale)- repeat sequence with arms to the left


(6 reps alternating sides)


Feet hip-widththe (knees roll in on ball)-hands reach to floor with knees straight (inhale)-stand up arms reach to shoulder height and rotate around to the right (exhale)-return to center-repeat sequence with arms rotating to the left


(6 reps alternating sides)


Feet hip width (knees roll in on ball)-hands reach to floor with knees straight (inhale)-stand up arms reach to shoulder height and rotate around to the right (exhale)-return to center-repeat sequence with arms rotating to the left


(6 reps alternating sides)the hip-width

Feet hip width (knees roll in on bhip-widthall)-hands reach on the floor with knees straight (inhale)-stand up arms reach to shoulder height and rotate around to the right (exhale)-return to center-repeat sequence with arms rotating to the left


(6 reps alternating sides)


Feet shoulder width (knees roll out against band)-hands reach to the floor with knees straight (inhale)-stand up arms reach to shoulder height and rotate around to the right (exhale)-return to center-repeat sequence with arms rotating to the left


(6 reps alternating sides)


Hip stretches for the external rotators (aka, your butt)

Place elbows on the countertop-push hips backbend your right knee-shift hips to the left-hold for a count of 10-repeat other side = (1 round, complete 10 rounds)


Trigger Point ball for foot massage

Place the ball under one foot-press into the ball-roll under each foot for 60 seconds or until you feel some release


ViPR Squat matrix* Place ViPR vertically on the ground in front of your feet-one hand on either side of tube-push hips straight back as you tilt ViPR straight forward (inhale)-stand upbringingthe the ViPR and hips back to start position (exhale)


(6 reps)

Place ViPR vertically on the ground in front of your feet-one hand on either side of the tube-push hips back and to the right as you tilt the ViPR down and to the left (inhale)-stand up bringing ViPR and hips back to start position (exhale)-repeat sequence on the other side


(6 reps alternating sides)


Place ViPR vertically on the the ground in front of your feet-one hand on either side of tube-rotate hips back and around to the right as you rotate your hands to the left by tilting the ViPR (inhale)-stand up bringing ViPR and hips back to start position (exhale)-repeat sequence on the other side


(6 reps alternating sides)

*Perform each variation of the above matrix from feet shoulder width and feet wide


ViPR squat to lunge with tilt sequence*

Place ViPR vertically on ground in front of your feet-one hand on either side of tube-push hips straight back as you tilt ViPR straight forward (inhale)-stand up bringing ViPR and hips back to start position (exhale)-step right foot forward as you tilt the ViPR forward reaching with your left hand (inhale)-return to start position (exhale)-repeat sequence with a left foot forward step


(6 reps alternating sides)upbringingthe shoulder-widththe

Place ViPR vertically on ground in front of your feet-one hand on either side of the the tube-push hips back and to the right as you tilt the ViPR down and to the left (inhale)-stand up brining ViPR and hips back to start position (exhale)-step your right foot to the right as you tilt the ViPR down and to right holding with your right hand (inhale)-return to start position (exhale)-repeat sequence with a left foot side step


(6 reps alternating sides)

Place ViPR vertically on the ground in front of your feet-one hand on either side of the tube-rotate hips back and around to the right as you rotate your hands to the left by tilting the ViPR (inhale)-stand up bringing ViPR and hips back to start position (exhale)-step your right foot back and to the right (think 4 o’clock) as tilt the ViPR in the same direction reaching with your left hand (inhale)-return to start position (exhale)-repeat sequence with a left foot back rotational (8 o’clock) step


(6 reps alternating sides)

*Perform each variation of the above matrix from feet shoulder-width and feet wide


ViPR Squat with reach sequence*


Hold ViPR usshoulder-widthing a narrow hand hold-squat down, reaching the hips back as you reach your hands forward at knee height (inhale)-stand up (exhale) return to start position.


(6 reps)


*Perform this sequence using an offset hand grip for more challenge.

If you do not have the tools I used in these exercises, you can use bodyweight for the pelvicore exercises a broomstick for the ViPR exercises.


This collection of moves takes about 20 minutes without interruptions from two very excited toddlers. Unfortunately, I was not able to get any time for personal walks at a challenging pace. But, there was lots of movement.

What strategies do you have for packing or planning family vacations?