A healthy pregnancy means a healthy baby and is something I hope to achieve when that time comes. In the meantime, I had the pleasure of quizzing personal trainer Lauren Dufey about her own recent pregnancy and early motherhood experience. Of course, being pregnant and a mother is different for every woman and complications can arise, however I do believe that the healthier you are during this whole time the better off for both mum and bub.

Lauren is the beautiful face and soul behind The Nourished Life Stylist, and is also the better half of Chris Dufey, who I previously trained with in Sydney prior to them both relocating to Dubai. I have watched her walk the walk during her pregnancy on Facebook and will certainly be hitting her up for tips in the future 😉  If you’re a new mum, or about to become one, then you will love following this inspiring lady on Facebook – she shares cute videos of her doing chin ups with little Arlo watching on, yummy healthy meals that mums can make quickly and gorgeous photos like the below of her morning  yoga session whilst Arlo plays alongside.


Thank you so much for thinking of me Zoe, I want to start by explaining my background story first. When I was 16, I had an inflammation issue in my pelvis and was told I more than likely, would not be able to have children. I was then on the pill until I was 21 to manage severe acne. When I came off the Pill, my acne got really bad, and I did not get a period for 3 years! I was told I had PCOS, and used nutrition and lifestyle to manage my hormones and get everything working again.

Around 18 months ago Chris was getting ready for a photo shoot and doing some cleanses, I did them with him and immediately after finishing one was when Arlo was (surprisingly) conceived. Having a healthy mummy and daddy pre conception will affect your child for their entire life, this is not something to be scoffed at.

When my mum was pregnant with me, she put on 35kgs! When I found out I was pregnant, after “how could it be”, my second thought was- I can’t put on 35kgs! I want to show that even though hormonally and genetically I should not have had the experience I did. It is possible to have an amazing pregnancy and in fact be in better shape post pregnancy than before. 

~ Lauren Dufey

ZOMT: You recently were pregnant with your darling baby girl Arlo. How did you use nutrition and lifestyle to ensure your pregnancy was a pleasant and healthy as possible?
Lauren Dufey: My pregnancy was fantastic! I loved being pregnant and felt strong, healthy and even sexy – am I allowed to say that? 😉

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I had a choice- either use pregnancy as an excuse to be lazy, eat bad food- and succumb to ‘cravings’. Or, use it as my reason to be as healthy and active as possible and nourish my body through good food, physical activity, meditation and self-love such as massage/facials. Knowing that I was not only responsible for myself, but I was also setting up this incredible little person inside of me for life- that was my biggest motivating factor!

I was under a lot of emotional stress as my husband moved to Dubai (where we now live) when I was 28 weeks pregnant. This is a whole other blog post, so I won’t go into too much detail but it was a highly stressful and scary time. It was very important that I took care of myself and our Jelly Bean

I made sure I moved my body every day- alternating between weight training and yoga. I walked as much as possible- doing the shopping/ catching up with friends etc; got fresh air and sunshine, ate frequent small meals loaded with vegetables/different variations of protein/ fruit/ nuts and some grains, drank a lot of water, meditated and enjoyed the changes in my body.

Z: What foods did you increase or decrease from your diet when you found out you were pregnant?
LD: Pre-pregnancy I had been strictly paleo for a few years prior. I listened to what my body needed, so re introduced some brown rice and quinoa when I felt I needed it. I did not touch alcohol, not that I drank much before I was pregnant, but I did enjoy the occasional glass of red wine. This was really the only thing I removed from my diet, and it was an absolute non negotiable for me.

Healthy fats should be an integral part of the pregnant woman’s diet. Avocado and eggs were a regular on my meal plan.

I really believe in having a treat when you feel like it (as long as it isn’t too frequent). It’s good for the body and soul – so, if I was out for dinner with friends, I would allow myself some GF pizza, or share a desert ☺

Z: In regards to pregnancy weight gain, how do you suggest women manage this in a healthy way for both mum and bub?
LD: I really think you need to make that decision early on:

  1. Is pregnancy my reason to be healthy, active, strong?
  2. Or, Is it my excuse to not exercise, eat ice cream at 2am and put on HUGE amounts of unhealthy and unnecessary weight.

Unless you have been put on strict bed rest, there is no reason why you cannot move your body everyday. Walk as much as you can, the further into your pregnancy you get, the harder it will be as your body changes and you get ‘bigger’. Every time you are going to eat/ drink something- ask yourself- will this nourish my baby and me? Drink lot’s of water, you will be going to the toilet a lot- but you are flushing out all the nasties from your system.

Z: Do you think this had a big effect on giving birth to Arlo and your post-pregnancy recovery?

baby wearing and walking

Lauren taking 2 week old Arlo for a walk

LD: ABSOLUTELY!!!! When Arlo was ready, my body was ready. I whole-heartedly believe that everything you do whilst you are pregnant will directly affect your birth, your baby and your PP recovery.

You can literally walk, and squat your baby into position in the lead up to birth and during your labour. The same way you would prepare for a marathon- you need to prepare for birth. If you are strong and fit, you will be able to move your body into positions that will speed up the whole birthing process. This will inevitably lead to (hopefully) zero intervention, which will speed up your pp recovery.

On Saturday 8th June, Chris and I were having lunch at 2pm at Fish Mongers in Manly – Arlo was born at 7.20pm, and we were all home cuddling in our own bed by midnight that night. I truly believe that having a healthy pregnancy, will lead to a healthy birth, and healthy PP recovery.

15 weeks pp

Lauren at 15 weeks post-pregnancy

Z: What are 5 tips you would give to expectant mothers for a healthy pregnancy and baby?
1. Have a support team.
Preparing for any other ‘event’ in life you would source out a team to help you, it only makes sense to do the same for the biggest event of your life. Find yourself an awesome Midwife/Doula, Chiropractor and massage therapist specializing in pre-natal.

2. Exercise every single day
Walk, Yoga, Stretch, Swim, Weight train, Run- just move. If you are training in the gym- seek out a qualified and pre-natal specific trainer, who knows what they are talking about. You can contact me here for specific recommendations.

Wear exercise clothes wherever and whenever you can. You will be comfortable, and you are more inclined to move your body more often. I practically lived in Lululemon and my Nike’s the whole pregnancy and first 6 weeks of Arlo’s life.

3. Use pregnancy and your baby as your reason to be healthy.
You are not ill, or unwell- you are pregnant. It is the most natural, empowering thing you will ever go through in your life.
Your baby does not need fried food, ice cream by the bucket load, excess sugar, or truck loads of bread. Every thing you put in your mouth, will reach your baby- will it nourish this awesome human?
You are not “eating for two” you are eating for one healthy person, who will create a second healthy person.

Trust me on this; I have worked with clients who came to me years after giving birth with little to no control of their pelvic floor muscles. This will make the world of difference to your recovery, your training ability and your life!

5. Meditate, connect with your baby, ‘see’ your birth in your mind.
My midwife, Janine really helped me with this one. It’s important to connect with your baby, trust your body, and trust your baby. Just as you would visualize say, stepping on stage for a bikini competition-see your birth, exactly as it will unfold.


Lauren exercising with Arlo

Z: What sort of training did you do during your pregnancy and how have you changed it post-pregnancy?
LD: The general rule is that you don’t want to introduce anything new in terms of exercise. So, if you were weight training and running before you were pregnant, then it is fine to continue. If however, you had not been- it would be best not to start until after the birth.

I continued to weight train 3-4 days per week right up until I was 38 weeks. I was doing full body sessions, and a LOT of squats. Ina May Gaskin famously said “Squat 300 times a day, you’re going to give birth quickly’. Whilst I didn’t do 300 a day- I will say, the more squats the better.

Lot’s of back, and posterior work, there is a large load on the front, so it’s key to strengthen the back of your body. Deadlifts, back extensions, chin ups, different variations of rows, hip Extensions on a SB. You really need to protect your back, and posture, the more you can strengthen during pregnancy, the better. It is so important; especially in the early days with your baby- you will spend a lot of time breastfeeding and leaning forward.

As I have said above – walking. Walk as much as you can. Stretching is super important too. Anytime I would watch tv, I’d be rolling around on the floor stretching.

Post pregnancy, it is very, very important to ease back into exercising. Start with small, gentle walks. Some simple exercises at home such as horse stance (on all fours, opp arm and leg extension), supine hip extension. I was back in the gym when Arlo was 3 weeks old. Mostly doing back work again. I was back squatting and doing HIIT sessions when she was 8 weeks.

I find now that I am often met with comments such as “you are so lucky you didn’t put on much weight”, I have been mistaken for the nanny on a number of occasions, and “you are lucky you have a good sleeper, so you have energy to exercise”. I will say this is not luck. This has been hard work before conceiving, during pregnancy and after Arlo was born. Everything you do and consume will directly affect you, your baby and your body.

Z: What’s your favourite treat meal at the moment?
LD: I am LOVING Smoothies. I don’t think treats need to necessarily be naughty. I don’t consume any dairy, so the creaminess and thickness of a smoothie (key ingredient – frozen banana) is so deliciously satisfying. You can come up with all sorts of fascinating combo’s, and sneak greens in – and it always satisfies. I will say, I do have a few of your dessert recipes bookmarked though 😉

Lauren’s Chocolate Mousse


Serves 1-2

½ avocado
1 banana
4 tbs. raw cacao
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1. Blend.
2. Enjoy!



Thank you so much for helping me spread the fit mum movement and reach out to the ZOMT community. To express my gratitude and help your readers be on their own path to yummy mummy – I have put together a special bonus for them. My 7 daily tips to get them burning fat, feeling fab and getting their mojo back. Click the link below and away we go 🙂 ~ Lauren


Find Lauren online here
Website: www.thenourishedlifestylist.com (coming soon)
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thenourishedlifestylist
Instagram: @laurendufey