This month was my target for getting back into some kind of fitness. After a caesarian birth it is essential to allow your body recover fully before you start any rigorous exercise. Luckily there is never any danger of me doing rigorous exercise! I have always dabbled in what I like to call running but what is in actual fact more like staggering.
I abandoned the running pretty early on in my pregnancy as I suffer from sciatica and my yoga instructor advised that it would be more likely to flare up if I was doing a lot of high impact training — also is it just me or are yoga people always a bit suspicious of running? They often seem a bit disapproving of jogging, is this a yoga conspiracy to keep runners down? I consider myself a yogger as I straddle this divide and really enjoy both.
For the remainder of my pregnancy I cycled everywhere. This often lead to complete strangers giving out to me whenever myself and the bump were stopped on the bike at traffic lights. I also swam in my local fitness centre with the lifeguards watching me intently lest I try to use the facility as an ad hoc birthing pool. Eventually the day I dived in, nine months pregnant, they got the shock of their lives and suggested I go home and put my feet up. In my defense I had been advised to attempt the dive by my acupuncturist because Henry was breach and the dive could help to turn him. This did not work!
I know a picture is now emerging of me as some kind of elephantine pregnant daredevil but really I was just keen to keep some level of fitness up and I’m really glad I did. Last week when I went out for my first run in 10 months I didn’t throw up or cry or keel over or anything. Sure it took me an hour to run 5 km but the main thing is I did it. I feel like I’m on the road back to the pre-preggers jeans
This healthier, cheat version of chicken Caesar salad will hopefully help me on the way.
Cheats Chicken Caesar Salad (serves 2)
2 chicken breasts
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
Freshly ground pepper
100g bacon lardons
2 slices wholemeal bread
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 small heads of Cos lettuce, washed and patted dry
Parmesan cheese, grated (amount to taste)
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons low fat mayo
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 anchovy fillets
A handful of chives, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butterfly the chicken breasts and place on a lined baking tray. Squeeze the lemon juice over them and sprinkle with the lemon juice and some pepper. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Fry the bacon lardons in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until nice and crispy. Drain these on some kitchen paper to remove excess fat. For the dressing place the mayo and the Dijon together in a bowl. Chop the anchovies and chive finely and add to the mayo along with the juice of ½ a lemon, combine thoroughly and whisk in 3 tablespoons of warm water to thin it out a little. When the chicken is nearly cooked with about 5 minutes to go, tear the slices of bread into bite-size pieces and scatter on a baking tray with a little olive oil, the dried thyme, a pinch of pepper and place in the oven for 5 minutes until crispy. Arrange the lettuce, the Parmesan, the bacon and the croutons in 2 large bowls. Slice the chicken, place on top and drizzle with the dressing.