I had the good fortune of connecting with Christina El Moussa, star and cohost of HGTV's hit show Flip or Flop, a few of years ago when she contacted me for nutrition services. She was drained with all of the stress in her personal life-- her husband's health, infertility and working all the time. We quickly changed a few things in Christina's daily diet and it has been an evolution into better health ever since. Our friendship quickly blossomed when we started working out together and because we both have daughters; our girls all hit it off as well!
There are so many things that are inspiring about Christina, but one of them is her discipline and dedication to her health and fitness. She has always embraced the healthy lifestyle and really commits herself fully to it, even with limited time. Her fans constantly ask her what her secret is, so we wanted to share some of them with you all. Clearly, she has great genetics, but hard work and commitment are equally as important.
Currently, Christina is 26 weeks pregnant with her second child and continues to keep her health and the baby's health in check. While, this is such an exciting time for so many, it's also emotional as your own body changes. It's sweet to see how she's totally embraced the changes her body makes in order to grow and nourish her sweet baby boy.
Me to Christina: So your fans always want to know what it is that you do to stay so fit. Let's take them through a day and week of your fitness and nutrition routine.
Q: At this stage of your pregnancy, what workouts are you doing? How often?
CE: I love working out. When I'm not pregnant, I love to run... But being pregnant I've toned down my workouts a bit. Right now I'm loving prenatal yoga. I have a fabulous instructor, Lisa (www.lisaashtonyoga.com) and a perfect prenatal yoga partner (Cara Clark ) so that makes it even better. It makes my mind and body feel so great and I sleep so sound the night of yoga.
I also do prenatal pure barre DVDs early in the morning before my daughter wakes up and I walk 2-3 miles on the treadmill a few days a week as well.
Q: How important is it for you to get your workout in?
CE: VERY important. We have a fast paced life style and there is always so much going on but I make working out a priority. I aim for 5 Days per week. Working out is my "happy pill" It helps relieve all my tension and anxiety and just makes me feel great.
Q: Weird question, but tell us a little bit how you can feel your body changing while you workout. IE, things you still feel strong with or things that are too hard that were easy before.
CE: Now that I'm 25 weeks I've definitely noticed things are getting a little more difficult. I'm having some lower back and knee pain that I didn't have with my first pregnancy. Workouts that I used to find easy are getting more challenging. I've recently started accupuncture for my knee pain and it is helping!!
Q: Take us through a day in your life (filming day) just so we have a good understanding how active you are.
CE: We film flip or flip 4-5 days per week all year-around. And on top of that we run a Real Estate business and construction company. I design all the flip or flop homes myself. So basically there is always A LOT going on. I say "never a dull moment". But I wouldn't have it any other way.
After season 1 of filming (too much and losing our minds) and feeling like a bad mom for not being home enough, we changed our schedule from filming 830am-530pm to filming 10-430. It was important to me to be home for our daughter more and the production company was able to make this schedule work by being more productive. I made it a priority to always have mornings with my daughter. Every morning I make her breakfast and I take her to school. I also make sure I am always home by 5 pm and we have family dinner together every night.
We take time as family too. Weekends we love to do "stay-cations" basically one night getaways at our favorite hotel in Laguna.
Q: We know that you eat well. Why is it so important for you to pay attention to your diet?
CE: I don't call it a "diet" I just truly love to eat healthy. Eating bad food makes me feel, well, bad. Healthy eating is part of my lifestyle. The only problem with healthy eating is it can be time consuming. That's why last year we turned to meal prep. We found a fabulous company, AP meal prep , to make our meals for us. We order lunch and dinner 4 days per week and we take it to filming with us. It is hard eating on the go because there aren't many healthy options... So this really simplifies our life. :) All the meals are super healthy and organic so I don't have to worry about bad ingredients either.
Q: Tell us how many times a day you and eat and maybe some quick examples of your food choices?
CE: First thing when I wake up I drink lemon water. I read that it does so many great things for your body so I added it to my routine. I am a creature of habit so I 99.9 % of the time have overnight oats with chia seeds, banana and berries for breakfast. I also have a shot of espresso with some almond milk for a pick me up.
I eat a snack 2 hours later. Usually some trail mix or a granola bar.
For lunch I eat a meal prep salad (usually a healthy Cobb) or lunch that consists of a protein, carb and veggies.
Again a few hours after lunch I eat a snack.
For dinner again either a salad or meal depending on which I had for lunch.
After dinner when I'm not pregnant I enjoy a glass of red wine :).
Q: Do you have any diet secrets, like things to do or don't do?
CE: I don't eat fried food. Period. I also don't eat fast food. That's about it :).
Q: What is your biggest food weakness?
CE: A good Cadillac margarita (or two) at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Javiers. Of course, when I'm not pregnant.
Q: How much water intake do you need? Do you drink anything else?
CE: I drink a ton of water. I don't drink soda so it is my drink of choice. I drink it all throughout the day.
Q: Any tips you have to offer to pregnant moms who are trying to stay fit and healthy during their pregnancy?
CE: Stay active. Try and get at least a 30 minute walk in 2-3 days per week. It's good for you and the baby to stay healthy and happy.
Make it a priority to make time for yourself! Treat yourself to a prenatal massage or facial, you deserve it!!!
Thanks so much Christina!
Prenatal nutrition can be challenging for a lot of reasons, but when food aversions take over, it can seem unbearable.
Here are some of my "do your best" tips:
1. Always try to pair your carbs with some protein and fat.
2. Be sure to get enough fluids-water, tea, whatever you can keep down. Lemon in water is especially helpful.
3. Try to eat before you're hungry. Sometimes this can be every 2 hours in pregnancy. Be sure your meals/snacks include plenty of nutritional value.
4. The combo of ginger and b6 has been known to help alleviate sickness.
5. Keeping magnesium levels up are very helpful to avoid sickness. I use a spray oil.
Always remember that you aren't actually eating for two, but technically 1.15. This equates to around 200-500 calories depending on your size and activity level. For some, this is as much as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Here is an example of what a healthy pregnancy day should look like:
Breakfast- 2 eggs, 1 slice sprouted grain toast, 1 cup mixed fruit
Snack- 3/4 C greek yogurt, 1/4 C mixed berries, 1/4 C low sugar granola, 1 tbsp crushed walnuts
Bowl of non- preserved tomato bisque.