Should you drink Protein Shakes while Pregnant?

Interestingly when I researched this topic almost entirely the sites found were US based.

What does this say about our side of the water?

Either we use protein supplements less or as a much less active island the question to shake or not to shake while pregnant just doesn’t come up on UK Mum networking sites.

Anyways here is the best answer I could find.

A pregnant lady requires roughly 71 grams of protein a day more if carrying twins. This works out at about 10 grams more then usual give or take.

While I believe we should be getting our protein intake from whole foods some struggle eating meat and protein rich foods.

Some choose the supplement route, using brands such as Maxi-muscle and MyProtein. If you have taken them before pregnancy it may not occur to take a look at the labels to see if they are OK to take during pregnancy.

Often there will be a disclaimer on the label stating not recommended and that is for a good reason.

A lot of these products are combined during manufacturing with added vitamins, minerals and herbs, some that are not appropriate for pregnancy.

It is also worth noting that artificial sweeteners are also not very desirable during pregnancy

Some studies have even shown these to contain heavy metals although they were within the safe guidelines. I think it’s prudent to ask your doctor for alternatives they could recommend.

You could however make your own shake up using a low fat yogurt mixed with peanut butter or fruits. You could throw in a tsp of flexseed oil for good measure -(this is of-course providing your not on a paleo diet)

I found this site quite useful for further information on the subject.


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green


19th September -Lumber Jacks 20 – No try 60!

Anyone who has done Lumber Jack 20 before will have vivid memories and traumatic scar’s. All in the name of  remembering lost soldiers.

Lumber Jack 20 is a hero workout in which Crossfit uses the workouts to honour those lost in combat. There was an awesome comment on the main Crossfit site that said “You’re here, they are not so go hard”

I love the sentiment of that comment and that is absolutely what we did!

Props to Kirsty and Adrienne who accompanied me.

This is how it went………….

Firstly Overhead Squat 1 Rm.

Kirsty 42.5Kg

Adrienne 50Kg

Me (Sally) 60Kg

Now to explain LJ.

Tom and his crew on sat did this as a team so not wanting to be left out so did we.

Multiply  the reps by the amount of people. For each move those reps needed to be accumulated by the team. This meant that stronger members would end up doing more and weaker members less. In between each move is a 400m dash! Nice.

(I am just going to list the female weights for this workout)

Deadlift 85kg


Kettlebell Swing 24Kg


Overhead Squat 38.5Kg




Pull ups


Box Jumps 24 inches


Dumbell Squat Cleans 15Kg each arm

So for each move your looking at 60 reps.

The Deadlifts were the move to slow us down and personally I don’t like running but hey you can’t love it all.

Another Stonker of a workout for the team trails. Nice one Crew.


Sally Dixey is a Personal Trainer with Crossfit London in Bethnal Green


18th September – The 5’s

Getting to the end of the 5’s and the weights are getting tougher!

I can’t wait to see where this takes me, over half way through now.

Today saw me Back squatting and Bench pressing.

Working weight was 85% and the target was at least 5 reps plus some.

In between each move I inserted pull ups and double under practise, using time effectively.

Phillip has given me a few pointers with my double unders, which I am finding frustrating!

I am trying to make the double under move efficient by bouncing through my ankle and not my knees and hips. This is defiantly less taxing but as a primary school break time skipper use to bouncing through my knees and hips its hard to switch them off.

Aware that I need to add more met cons to my routine I tried out my Monday night Crossfit London WOD.

AMRAP 3 Minutes

10 Box jumps

15 Ball Slams

1 minute active rest of max pull ups (as I need to work on Push ups I did them instead)

This was a lot harder then it appeared. Ball slams and Box jumps are exhausting at the best of times but together they made a killer combo.

I did 5 rounds.


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green

One Girls thoughts on Recovery

I think I must bore some of you Crossfit junkies with all my baby and pregnancy blurb. It’s funny because when I completed the business side to my personal training certificate, my business plan actually revolved around pregnancy so I guess this was inevitable.

I will try to keep this short…….

It is my personal mission to encourage and promote healthy active pregnancies and post-natal recovery so when Snoop is sleeping or distracted, I trawl the net. On one of these occasions I came across this article. I have copied an excerpt but the basic gist is that the athlete is reflecting on her return to training, and more to the point, competing after the birth.

My recovery and return to training took 5 months – is that too long or slow?

After reading this I think I made the right decision.

Go on have a read……..

“Finding the right boundaries for postpartum training was more difficult. “I probably returned to CrossFit a little too quickly after giving birth,” Richards-Lindsay admits about her return to training two-and-a-half weeks after giving birth.

“I tried a few push-ups, squats, and plank holds the week I returned from the hospital. I decided that it felt pretty good and knew that my ultimate goal of making it to the Games was only possible if I got started right away,” Richards-Lindsay says.

Finding the Limits

Although her workouts were “scaled and modified” to her comfort level, Richards-Lindsay explains that even those light workouts may have demanded too much from her still-healing body.

“I simply underestimated how much healing really needed to take place … I had diastasis recti [during pregnancy] and it still isn’t healed to this day because I didn’t give my abdominals a chance to heal and come back together,” Richards-Lindsay says.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Diastasis recti is a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominus muscle, which covers the front surface of the belly area.” It is common in newborns and pregnant women, and usually heals in the months following birth.

“I needed to give my pelvis, hips, abdominals, and back some time to strengthen and adjust after something as taxing as nine months of carrying a child and 24 hours of labor,” Richards-Lindsay reflects. “I had lied to my doctor on my six week check up, saying that I hadn’t been exercising yet. Obviously if there’s a timeframe set, there’s a reason.”

Throughout her post-birth training, being a “good mommy” was always her priority. “Sometimes I just didn’t want to leave her, so if I got three workouts a week, oh well,” Richards-Lindsay (Full article)

I can totally see why she wanted to return so soon. You all know why….because as crossfitters a competitive streak is part of our nature: we want to strive to push ourselves. We are invincible!

But competition aside we need to humble ourself to the true impact and cost pregnancy has on the female body.

Hormones that have made pregnancy possible don’t just go away when the baby is born! You need the same caution to impact, movement and intensity as you did for the 9 months you were pregnant.

When I say Cost, it doesn’t mean cost forever, as I stand I am living proof give yourself time to heal and you can build yourself strong again.

After Snoop was born the motherly side of me was wrapped up in being a good Mum but the Crossfiting side to me was dying to get back in the gym. It was like having a two little voices in my head.

I guess this is a perfect point to add that officially whether natural or not you should abstain from exercise for the first 6 wks. This allows your abdominals to return to there natural position. Any attempts before this could result in permanent damage!

I had the most extreme and most invasive type of birth and fully aware of the risks I had to ignore that little voice crying out for a hectic metcon!

The most obvious starting point for me begun looking at my everyday tasks.

I found myself finding even the simple job of closing a heavy drawer a huge strain on my tummy and operation site. I realised I was stooping as I moved, and even lifted myself out of bed differently!

Pelvic floor exercises and a short walk was about my limit, as even standing around for too long (probably related to posture also) was extremely uncomfortable. I needed to be proactive and correct my stance and posture for everything if I was going to get any where! Washing up dishes became a workout, opening and closing my heavy drawers were a test of ab bracing!

Slowly I began to feel a little more ‘normal’, time for a test I think………so I joined Andrew’s Friday lunch class and although I got through it I was uncomfortable, unstable, weak. I found myself holding back because I think I knew deep down that I wasn’t really at full health. It was only 3 months since the birth. Sound like a long time to you??? I challenge you to watch a video of a c section and then come back to me and tell me it’s too long!

I wanted to do it right. And that could only happen if I took the foundations and made them solid and by that I mean work on my strength, I want to add confidence too! (I needed to feel strong again before I could let rip on a few wods)

I gave myself a few more weeks recovery during which time I discovered paleo and embarked on a 30 day challenge. You gotta eat right to train right!

I started first just messing around with some light weights – squats, dead lifts, overhead press. Then a couple of wods on holiday in Australia.

Then came the Hit List. My way of focusing my training and giving myself goals to work on. I am officially one of the geeks in the gym who records every thing religiously. And why not it saves all that faffing and guessing weights.

So far this journey is around the 9month mark……

What had I achieved……..

Pre -pregnancy squat and overhead press weights and 1 pull up!

I felt I was ready to add a few more wods into my training alongside strength.

Being careful about recording weights and training over the next two months paid off because I now have 6 pull ups, 2 ring dips and my dead lift is getting closer to my previous double body weight max.

When did I realise I was absolutely back on form?

Smashing through Karen (150 wall balls for time 6kg 9ft target) in 5 min 51!

I still have my weaknesses like everyone, but I officially can no longer use the excuse “I’m still recovering” that makes my total recovery time 11months!!

Did I take too long to get here? I don’t think so, ask yourself would you send a

thoroughbred to the Grand National when they were at risk of further injury or not on form?

I reckon your answer is no.

I wonder in hindsight how different Taylor Richard-Lindsay’s approach would have been if she knew what she knows now? Would she have driven herself so hard so soon? So what recovery took me 11months! 11 months is nothing in the grand scheme of things, I’m strong and wiser to boot and I wouldn’t change it one bit!

(I just want to remind you that I am talking here about my experience which was recovering from a c section, which is quite different and a longer process then that of a natural birth but although this is on the more extreme end of the spectrum it is important to remember the body will take around 12 months to recover fully no matter how you deliver. Before embarking on any exercise after birth you must consult your doctor or mid-wife)


Sally Dixey is a Personal Trainer at Crossfit London in Bethnal Green

12th September -FireBreathers

Wednesday 12th saw the second team trial session delivered and what a session it was.

Tom had set up a Fire-Breathers session, which is Crossfit slang for those Crossfitters out there that eat back to back wod’s up for breakfast, who work so hard that you have that burning sensation sitting on your lungs and throat -Nice.

I could sense from the build up that this was going to be an epic session.


1rm Thrusters

Set up for Grace  (you have to watch this video Miranda is awesome!)

30 Clean and Jerks for time (42/62kg) The rule is Ground to overhead, full lock out.

10 minute cap.

The faster you got through Grace the more rest you had.

Getting ready for Cindy

5 Pull ups, 10 Push ups, 15 Squats

AMRAP 20 Minutes


Before I continue I have to admit that I totally screwed Grace up and i don’t even understand why………….

Let me explain.

Grace should be Ground to Overhead right..but for some reason I went ahead and must have completed around 20 reps from a hang position! I was the only numpty in the class doing it like that, I must have been in my own world.

I had every intention of running through Grace again on Friday and then post my result but the DOMS is still pretty harsh even as I type. I defo need to work on volume if I am going to make the team.

Anyways aside from that I was quite happy with my effort.

It was the first time doing pull ups in a wod rx’ed. Tough but such a good feeling!

I had to reduce my push ups from full to knee push ups by about round 4 but I am ok with that. I just need to work on that.

My Scores.

Thruster 52.5kg

Grace 5.30 (20 reps from hang)

Cindy 9.5 rounds

Attempting a group hug was impossible!
Attempting a group hug was impossible!
Scores on the doors!
Scores on the doors!

An Epic session with some Epic team mates.


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green




Personal Training Status

To date my Personal training schedule has been closed while I adjust to Mummy-hood.

I now want to put myself out there again as a personal trainer (not just a pre and post natal trainer) ready for my clients and to reflect my new status as Mummy and consequently because I need to have Snoop in the gym while I coach. I am revising what I charge hourly.

Previously I charged £60 for the hour but am going to reduce the charge to £50 as a gesture toward having my baby in the gym while sessions are delivered.

How does that work???

Well Snoop is quite happy to watch us and play with his toys, he sometimes will pipe up with a few encouraging words from time to time.

Obviously I don’t want to spend all day teaching back to back ignoring my child in the corner but carefully scheduled appointments means I can keep a balance of work and play.


Sally Dixey is a Personal Trainer with Crossfit London in Bethnal Green


5th September – Team Trial with Karen

I had a fight with Karen last night and beat her arse down!

This was my Facebook status last night.

Anyone not in the know would be thinking “maybe I should de-friend Sally, she seems to have anger issues”

To all my Crossfit buddies they will know that Karen is 150 wall balls for time, 6kg medicine ball and hitting a 9ft target.

I nearly vomited but I proudly made it in sub 6 minutes (5.51)

I literally dropped to all fours and tried to breathe, my lungs felt like they were on fire and I loved it!

This was the first of the Team Trial sessions I am currently running at Crossfit London Wednesday @ 8.30pm.

You don’t need to want to be in the final team to take part but you do need to have a good skill set and fitness level as the classes are tough.

I had a small group yesterday -Ben, Chris and Kirsty.

What did we do………

5 minute double under practise followed by hip mobility to complement the wall balls.

Straight into clean and jerk drills and working up to a 1rm

Nice PB Ben!

Snatches were harder then expected so guess what I was drilling like mad today in training!

Finally all four of us smashed Karen to bits.

Male standard – 9kg ball, 10ft target

Female standard – 6 kg, 9ft target

Chris 8.02

Kirsty 8.57

Ben 12.31

Nice work people, see you next time.


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green

Places for Wonderbar going fast!


4th September Trainer Down!!

Training cut short today because of injury.

So happy was I working on my ring dips that I pushed myself one too far and felt an awkward pain shoot through my right deltoid, that’s the shoulder muscle.

I had been fitting my sets of rings in between my bench press. I tried to shake it off hoping it was nothing but even benching it felt uncomfortable.

Best thing to do in this situation is to leave it to rest.

This meant leaving out pull up and dip work, abandon the bench and stick to my back squat.

Between sets I can’t stand just standing around, which is why I work my dips or pull ups in between. It makes much better use of your time!

So a little double under practise filled the gap.

At the end of my session I needed to think of a picture for this post…………….

So Chris and I thought we would dramatise  my injury in picture format.

We had loads of fun with this one.

It took me ages to stop laughing!
It took me ages to stop laughing!

No equipment was harmed in the making of these photos. LOL.


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green.

There are currently a few spaces left on the next Wonderbar event for all you strength junkies out there.