Ashley’s Story – Final Blog.


Ashley’s baby is now just over eight weeks old and doing amazing!  She is your typical healthy baby, pooping, sleeping and eating.  Repeat!  I am happy to report that Ashley and baby are exclusively breastfeeding, which is so important.

little baby sucking breast mother with open eyes

Please no offense to the formula feeding moms out there, but understand where I am coming from when it comes to breastmilk.  It is just the best possible source of nutrition for any baby.  Period.  Plus, it’s good for mom too!  I will not list all the health benefits of breastfeeding, but if you would like to know more, CLICK HERE.

If a new mom is struggling with breastfeeding, I highly recommend seeking professional help.  The nurses at the hospital and my midwives were amazing for me when I had my baby.  There are also lactation consultants, and support groups such as La Leche League.  And guess what else?  Nutrition plays a big role!

When it comes to diet during lactation, it’s important to eat about 2,800 calories per day with at least 65 grams of protein and 3 litres of water*.

*This is an estimate and individual needs may vary.

Ashley is a contest winner who won my ‘Biggest Contest Ever’.  This blog post is my final update on Ashley.

To read Ashley’s full story, CLICK HERE.

*Every individual is unique and will have different nutritional needs. The recommendations I make for Ashley may or may not benefit other women who have similar experiences. The nutritional advice given to Ashley is based on a specific, detailed health and lifestyle assessment. They will not apply to every woman. If you are interested in a personal assessment for yourself, please send an e-mail to

Ashley’s assessments and recommendations are much more detailed than what is in this blog post. Here, I am sharing her most important issues and some random topics. The information that is shared between us is extensive and continual.

In my last blog update on Ashley, I mentioned that things don’t always go as planned.  This is true for everything in pregnancy, including labour and delivery.  Ashley’s baby was born via c-section.  This is not an ideal situation, but it was necessary.  There are many health benefits to the baby and mom from a vaginal delivery, but when complications arise, the only thing that matters is the health of baby and mom.  In Ashley’s case, she and baby are both doing great!

I’d like to thank Ashley for this touching testimonial:

Karen is amazing to work with. She made me feel comfortable the moment I started working with her. Right away, she made me much healthier with all her food recommendations, lifestyle change and overall life outlook. Anytime I had a question, she was quick to answer and always had a response. This pregnancy went by super fast and I owe a lot of the positivity, overall health well being to Karen. I highly recommend her service/assistance through this special journey and milestone in your life. Thank you Karen!

I am so happy for Ashley and her family!  I would like to wish them all the best for a happy and healthy future together!  Thank you for sharing your prenatal journey with myself and my readers.


PS.  I have started working with Rosalyn, who is my current contest winner.  I will be writing an introductory blog for her story very soon.  If you would like to be notified when I do CLICK HERE to join my email list.  As an added bonus, I will send you my free offer, “7 Simple Steps to Achieving a Healthy Pregnancy and Happy Baby.”

PPS  If you are currently trying to get pregnant, and would like to work with me, you still have time to join my online program, “How to Make a Baby in 90 Days.”  We start July 17!  CLICK HERE  for all the details or send an email to to request a free 15 minute consultation.


Cloth Pads, Working Out and Immunity

The F Wrap Workout with Heidi Miller

Heidi and me.

With guest blog by Heidi Miller of AIM Fitness.


I was asked once, “How does The F Wrap hold up during a workout?  Doesn’t it fall out of place?”

My response was “No, of course not.  It is fine to wear during a workout.”

Then I asked myself ‘Am I 100% sure about that?’  I mean, let’s be honest, I don’t remember the last time I worked out during my period.  I’m sure I have, but I couldn’t remember.  Which means, it’s possible I have not, or at least I couldn’t say with certainty that The F Wrap would stay in place during a high intensity workout.

The person who asked me this question is personal trainer, Heidi Miller of AIM Fitness.  I then asked if she would like to give me a workout the next time I’m on my period, so that we could put The F Wrap to the ultimate test.  She agreed!  In fact, she developed a one hour workout made specifically with cloth pads in mind.  It included fire hydrants, lunges, jumping jacks and yoga poses like the one legged downward dog and pigeon pose.  You know, a bunch of moves that require lower body twisty movement.

It was a good workout!

I am happy to report, with 100% confidence, that The F Wrap held up to the challenge!  My pad did not move, slip or bunch.  It stayed in its place during the entire workout.

I will mention one important factor though.  Any cloth pad will only fit as well as the underwear it’s attached to.  Meaning, if your underwear is too big or too small, a cloth pad may shift or move.  Proper fitting underwear is important.

Something surprising happened to me after my workout with Heidi.  Two days later I came down with the flu.  This was not your usual summer cold, it was a nasty flu, which took almost a week to recover from.  If you didn’t already know this, I am a holistic nutritionist.  I eat a healthy diet, and like to think that my immune system is top notch.  I started wondering if there was a reason I got so sick, and I remembered my workout.  It was a very intense workout for me.  I am normally an active person, but I will confess that recently I have not been working out.  The exercise I did with Heidi was a lot more than anything I’d done in a long time.

I asked Heidi if she thought the workout could have somehow suppressed my immune system, causing me to become ill.

Here is her response…


“To be honest, I didn’t know the full answer to this question before Karen asked me. As a personal trainer I wanted to say ‘no of course not, exercise is great for you, obviously’. The problem is that, as someone who believes that true professionals admit when they don’t know something, but then learn about it, and someone who did very well academically in College, I knew I had to put the research in to answer this question.

A quick Google search gave me a bit of the answer but I didn’t feel that was enough. So after reading multiple articles I have my answer.

There is a short answer to this question that is; Yes, under the right circumstances exercise can make you more susceptible to some illnesses.

Leaving it at that however didn’t sit well with me. As a Certified Personal Trainer and fitness/exercise enthusiast I had to dig deeper. So if you want to increase your own knowledge, read on for the long answer.

Exercise can stimulate the release of certain hormones (cortisol and epinephrine, aka adrenaline) that suppress the immune system. This is because these hormones temporarily redirect the body’s resources to the organs and tissues needed to sustain the activity being performed. It is however important to note that, while these hormones are released during more intense exercise, a program that builds progressively according to a person’s individual fitness level will result in less of these hormones being released during exercise over time. A take home message from this is that, when beginning an exercise program start slow and build up gradually to more advanced and intense exercise.

Additionally it is important to note that this is temporary! Your body will return to its normal range and your immune system will no longer be at risk. This is a great reason to practice good hand washing hygiene after an intense work out so as to help protect ourselves from the actual causes of illnesses like germs.

I looked for evidence on the long-term long-term effects of exercise on the immune system. There does not appear to be a direct link between exercise and increased immune system function, although there are multiple theories about ways that exercise contributes to increased immunity. However, research and health professionals agree that being physically active has numerous health benefits and that our bodies function better overall (including the immune system) when we maintain a healthy weight, good blood pressure, good cholesterol levels and much more, all of which can be improved and maintained with a good exercise regimen.

One last part to this is that there is such a thing as exercising too much which does put our immune system at risk. Excessive exercising can cause almost a constant state of increased stress hormones in the body that reduce our ability to defend itself. The take home message regarding this is, after intense physical activity allow your body adequate time to recover.

As an aside I exercise on a very regular basis and I almost never get sick. ”

– Heidi Miller, AIM Fitness.

I’d like to thank Heidi for preparing this workout and spending a beautiful Saturday morning with me.  You can learn more about Heidi and AIM Fitness at and like their Facebook page HERE.

AIM Fitness is located in Ottawa and they are mobile.  They specialize in prenatal, mom and baby classes, working out with fido (yes, that’s dogs!), elderly, rehab, aqua fitness and more!


How Exercise Affects Immunity

Does Exercise Cause an Adrenaline Rush?

How to Boost Your Immune System


Exercise & Cortisol Levels

Hormones Released When Exercising

8 Hormones Involved in Exercise

Exercise and Immunity