Claudine Keane on her pregnancy diet: 'The key was educating myself on the foods that I thought were good for me'
Dubliner Claudine Keane has been living in southern California for five years, and tells Joanna Kiernan why the great outdoors suits her and her two boys just fine
It has been five years since Claudine Keane (32) and her soccer star husband Robbie, moved their family to Los Angeles, and while she is still a self-confessed home bird at heart, Claudine has embraced the healthy LA lifestyle.
"We are in LA five years now and when I got there at first it took me a while to settle in," Claudine explains. "It was very new. I had never been to Los Angeles before so to get off the plane with my cases was really like starting all over again. I love it now and I can always see us going back and forth. We have a home there now so I presume we will always keep that regardless. I like the way children are brought up there, I like how sporty and outdoorsy it is."
Claudine has two sons, Robert (7), and Hudson, who is eight-months-old.
"The healthy lifestyle in Los Angeles is massive, they love the outdoors and they eat well," Claudine says. "It doesn't feel like it is a chore."
With two children Claudine gets quite a lot of exercise into her day anyway, but also makes conscious decisions to walk places rather than driving and plan active family excursions.
"It can be misleading when I say I don't go to the gym because I do a lot of other exercise in the day. I do exercise, but it is more about the exercise I get while doing other things," Claudine explains. "I love getting outdoors, going for walks and hiking through the canyons.
"I need to be occupied all the time, so I bring my dog Wilson - he's a golden retriever - for a walk, I walk Robert to school most mornings, which takes about 20 minutes and sometimes I will walk to collect him as well, so I keep active.
"I am always on the go. I am the goalkeeper all the time for Robert when he is practising outside too," she laughs.
Claudine listens to her body and adjusts her exercise quota accordingly and when she feels like she needs a little more she enjoys Pilates and yoga classes.
"As time goes on I will adjust what I am doing, if I need to the gym and start doing more, but this is working for me right now," Claudine says.
"One class that I am planning on trying when I go back to LA is SoulCycle (indoor cycling classes) because two of my friends have started already and it sounds great. I was just conscious when I was pregnant that I didn't want to start something new and after you have a baby you have just gone through a big traumatic time - you are exhausted - so you need to ease yourself back into doing things.
"I am just at that stage now where I would be willing to put myself back out there and do things again."
Claudine believes that her level of fitness going into her pregnancies was a major help in getting back into shape so quickly.
"I really feel if you are a healthy person and you look after yourself going into pregnancy you will reap the benefits of that the whole way through, because you already have a head start.
"From there Mother Nature takes over, but you will slot back into place more so, maybe not immediately, but you will," Claudine says.
"I was lucky in that sense because I was healthy going into pregnancy. Pregnancy is amazing and it is insane how your body changes, everything is different. Hudson was an eight-pound baby and I was definitely feeling it in the last couple of weeks, especially in the heat over in LA. It was tough, and the cravings!" Claudine laughs.
"I craved Häagen-Dazs ice cream throughout the whole pregnancy and loads of fruit and almonds, but apart from that I continued eating healthily, the way I did before pregnancy.
"I have only had a baby eight months ago, so I am not that tough on myself," Claudine adds. "I don't look at myself and go 'god, before I had Robert I was like this' I just think that is life and I have had two fantastic babies and done it the best way that I could do it, which was to just keep eating healthy."
Nutrition is, however, a hot topic in the Keane household.
"Obviously with Rob being an athlete he has always had an amazing awareness of what kind of diet he should have and the foods that are good for him, whether it be for energy or whatever and he is very good at adapting his nutrition and it has changed a lot over the years and I have learned so much from him," Claudine explains.
"When we started dating first I was in my first year at university so you can imagine how different our diets were; it really opened my eyes, but in saying that I am very much about balance.
"Everyone likes their treats and I am no different; it's no fun to live a life without that bit of balance. For me the key was educating myself on the foods that I may have previously thought were good but were not actually good for me.
"Before games Rob will have pasta and for convenience I will have the same. I am definitely not anti-carbs and I couldn't be. These are things I enjoy and I feel if I don't have carbs I don't have energy," Claudine adds. "I don't believe in cutting out those things completely, but I do believe in watching it, I mean you are not going to eat a loaf of bread, you can't be silly about it, but you do need a little bit of everything."
Head space is also very important to Claudine. "Having your own space and your own time to think is really healthy and I am like everyone else, I am the mother of two kids and it can get overwhelming at times," she says. "It is a lot of hard work and anyone who tells you it isn't they need to call me and tell me how they are doing it," she laughs.
"Just managing that and still being you is a challenge because some people lose themselves along the way."
÷ Claudine was in Dublin to launch Spar's new health and wellbeing initiative, Spar Better Choices, which is rolling out in stores nationwide across the summer. See spar.ie
A day on Claudine’s plate
Breakfast: I usually have porridge in the morning or else I will have scrambled egg whites and wheat toast.
Lunch: I love wraps so I might have a chicken salad wrap with some avocado.
Snacks: If I want to have a biscuit or a cracker with hummus, I will definitely snack in between meals. I love fruit too and berries especially, so usually in the afternoon, I will have a fruit parfait that I will make myself with mixed berries, low fat yoghurt, granola and that will fill me until the evening then.
Dinner: Rob likes fish so we eat a lot of white fish and greens; asparagus and that type of thing and he loves sauté potatoes, but that is his treat and that is where the balance comes in for him. I will have fish with a salad usually and I love vegetables, especially carrots and broccoli.
Health & Living