Tag Archives: sally dixey

Salt – To add or not?

Salt gets a bad rap.
We blame it for an array of diseases and aliments, from high blood pressure to autoimmune disease.
Whilst I fully agree excessive salt is no good I want to show a positive side to salt and how in careful amounts it can be added to home-cooked weaning foods.
As parents it is something you are advised by your health care professional along with numerous weaning books, not to add salt to your baby’s food until reaching at least 12 months old. Even then you are advised to add very sparingly.
I  spoke to my usual go-to person, Auntie Mary, on this subject. Her childrearing time was  pre-baby food ranges  and before many of today’s do’s and don’ts were introduced. She told me how she used  Oxo cubes to add flavour.  This prompted me to look into this in greater detail.
Salt is an  essential mineral, meaning it is necessary to sustain optimal health.
It supports enzyme function, hormone production, transport of energy and protein, to mention just a few. During pregnancy it becomes even more important as it now has to support the growth of both baby and mother.
In pregnancy, salt is responsible for :
⦁ supporting the development of brain cells, respiratory, nervous and cardio system.
⦁ metabolic function.
⦁ birth weight.
The baby gets their salt from the mother’s diet,  just as they do with all the other vitamins,  and minerals.
This continues during the nursing/breast feeding period and will support the quality of milk produced. For formula-fed babies, products will contain the correct levels.
Salt has such a vital role in a baby’s development that in premature babies it is given as a supplement.
If salt is so crucial why do we advise adding NO salt to weaning foods?
If I reflect on the way I salt my own food I probably can from time to time be a bit heavy handed, but does the recommendation of NO salt  fix the possibility of excessive salt added by a heavy handed, busy and  stressed-out Mum?
 Are we so afraid of salt in adulthood that  we are afraid to include a healthy amount to our childrens’ food.
Not everyone has time to spend making home-cooked meals. So in an age of convenience and processed food, salt levels could already be too high.
Until looking further into this subject I, like you, followed guidelines and kept salt out of my son’s food. Now he is 18 months I am adding a little. I don’t measure out how much I use but instead  rely on my instincts and taste. I try to make the food slightly salty without being overly salted.
If I had to do it again would I change this?
Yes, now I have a greater understanding of the role salt has to play I would start adding salt from the weaning stage.  I home cooked 100% of his meals which  gave me absolute control over what he ate. In my view this is the only way you can be assured they get exactly what they need. Including a healthy salt in take. If I could not cook all of his meals from scratch I would definately be reading all the labels very closely.
If you are still not convinced of salts important role, between 1984-1991 a  law suit awarded  $27 million to two familes. They blamed the chloride-deficient formula for their children not reaching their full intellectual potential and poor health. Whilst this is on the more extreme side of the salt debate but relevant nonetheless.
Has this changed the way you feel toward the weaning period? Tell me your thoughts.
Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach in East London.
For Pregnancy and Post natal fitness and recovery consultations contact Sally on sally@crossfitlondonuk.com

Dealing with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (Pelvic Girdle Pain)

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction or Pelvic Girdle Pain as detailed in a past post is the separation of the symphysis pubis.

One of two things will happen if you experience this. You will want to stay in bed for the remainder of your pregnancy, everyday activities seeming too painful or you will want to carry on with some sort of activities least of all your day to day tasks.

First things first though make sure you see your doctor. In severe cases you will need to see a physiotherapist.

Either way management of the pain and knowledge of what will worsen or help the situation is always useful.

Exercises for someone with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (PGP).

I wish I could give a straight forward answer but I can’t. I can generally state that movements that would worsen the condition would include movements that mean the hips, legs are separated ie a wide squat, lunges. Or simply putting one foot in front of the other ie walking.

Saying that though this will vary from woman to woman. Ranges of movement and particular exercises will differ across the board.

Prescription needs to be specific to each woman. How do certain moves and ranges feel? If pain is experienced quite simply STOP

I have seen a client who struggles with wide squats but found regular squats with a shortened range fine. Or couldn’t do lateral lunges but reverse lunges and regular lunges are fine.

If you want to continue to train you need to be realistic that something like Crossfit at this point is probably going to be extremely scaled and or stopped altogether for a more gentler approach.

Remember ladies this is fine!

Your symphysis pubis will return to normal after your baby is born.

It is Ok during pregnancy to take the tempo down. It is a small amount of time in the grand scheme of life.

Believe me you won’t have time to slow down when your baby arrives!!

In all cases focus on the core stabilising muscles of the pelvis is vital.

Working on transverse abdominal activation, pelvic floor recruitment will all make this condition far more manageable. And would be prescribed for any degree of PGP.

(Please note -Always seek help and advise from a trained professional)

Approaching day to day tasks you will need to think about how you move.

Here is an everyday example to help get in and out of bed.

Keeping your legs together. Hips and knees square, rolling onto your side and pushing yourself up to seated using your arms. Swing your legs gently, allowing your legs to dangle off bed/sofa, keeping them firmly together throughout the movement.

Remember the golden rule – if it hurts or gives you pain STOP

(A small minority will experience extreme pain, during pregnancy you are not able to use pain relief in the same way as before. Please consult your doctor or midwife for advice on pain relief and ways to deal with it.)

I hope this gives you a good starting point for PGP management. You can reach me through email for further advice on specific areas and questions. -sally@crossfitlondonuk.com


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach at Bethnal Green

Pb’s and Excuses

Firstly I need to get off my chest my awesome Pb from Tuesday’s training sess with Chris.

Rocking up am on Tuesday for the first session back from holiday is always a bit more of a slog then the rest, but once you get started the ball is rolling so to speak and the motivation levels soar again.

Before I left for Oz the focus was recovery and building strength. I feel that I am 90% of the way to recovery and now can focus more of my attention to the big weights again so I was delighted when Chris told me the plan was 1RM Overhead squat.

Anyone who knows me will remember that Overhead squatting is one of my favorite moves.

Pre-baby my PB stood at 50Kg give or take a kilo to two.

I wanted to reach that…at least.

……………………….An overhead squat requires a good deal of flexibility in the shoulders, it is not just about sheer strength, which is probably why I enjoy the move so much.

I am lucky with my shoulders that I can have rather narrow grip on the bar, for most a grip almost if not the entire width of the bar is necessary.

Everything else with the squat is the same.

  • Your stance
  • Lumbar engagement
  • Big chest
  • Hips back and down

Only difference is that with the weight overhead it will show up any imbalances and areas to work on with such a glaring spot light that it is often a move which is pushed to the back of the queue.

A back squat and front squat can mask some of these issues and allow you to “get away with it “.

Far better to deal with the issues and get good at all the squats!


…………..Glad to be back to overheads and after a warm up set I was at 40Kg and 3 reps. Easy!

I whacked on another 10Kg to 50Kg and got myself in position.

A challenge but a convincing squat so I whacked another 5Kg on.

Looking at Chris I asked him to help me with the bar to the overhead position as a bit of panic set in at the thought of my arms crumbling under the extra 5kg.

With one look from Chris I knew I wasn’t going to get any help so pulling myself together I got under the bar.

Steadying myself, and with a few words of encouragement from Chris I was at the bottom of the squat driving out.

Whoop Whoop a new Pb! I couldn’t have been more proud.

Thanks Chris

So where are the excuses I hear you ask????

Well Thursday’s session ended up being 100 Kettlebell swings in the park as there was an olympic lifting course being held in the gym, which meant no space for us.

Never-mind as the weather was being unusually summery we decided to smash out the swings and dash to a cafe for a tea and a catch up.

Conversation between me and Chris is usually quite light but as we sat there with the sun beating down on us I began to speak about my boredom.

That might sound bad let me re-phrase that…………my need for something other then the role of Mummy and Wife!

I have of course got my Monday nights back on but that is only 3 hours! I need something more!!!!

Only trouble was as Chris tried to come up with a plan of action the flood of excuses that fell from my mouth was relentless.

I could hear myself and hating it as I said it but I couldn’t stop myself.

To me in the last 9 months being Mum and Wife has been an all consuming job. I physically couldn’t bring myself to do any of Chris’s suggestions to work on new clients and not let another part of my life suffer, i.e baby or hubby.

……………until and I don’t know why I didn’t think of this myself.

Chris said why don’t you do a pregnancy workshop?

This unlike some of the usual paths you take to building new clients was something I could work on a little bit at a time and develop with the help of some of my new mum friends I have made over the last 9 months.

So this is my new project.

I don’t know how it will look or what the end product will sound like but it’s a start.

What I would like though from you is anyone who has had or having a baby to ask themselves if there was some information out there advising and helping you understand exactly how exercise will makes pregnant life an dpost pregnant life 100 times easier. What exercises will help labour and so on. Tell me what you think and what you would like to know about.

You can send me and email or comment below. -sally@crossfitlondonuk.com


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach, Bethnal Green