Navigating Pregnancy and Wellness with Anna Santens

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For a second year in a row, Anna Santens of Lichter Leven shares her wisdom and kind advice on lifestyle, work-life balance to the JUS JUS clients doing the BODY AWAKEN RESET.

The BAR is our juice, nutrition and lifestyle pack to renew, reset and strengthen during the spring time.

To us, spring feels like the true start of the year because everything in nature blooms and comes to life again. And the BAR offers a selection of seasonal Jus Jus products that help ease into the season.

 

So we sat down with Anna, who is on her third trimester of pregnancy**, to learn more about her journey.

**Correction: By the time of publication, Anna gave birth to baby Alexander Himpe**

  1. Our dear Anna, you have been in the Jus Jus universe for a very long time and we have had the pleasure of seeing you grow and bloom but for those that don’t know about you, can you briefly tell us more about you and what you do?

Sweet JUS JUS team!

We go way back. Thanks for having me!

I am a psychologist, holistic therapist & content creator. I have been able to turn my passion into my profession, inspire and motivate people to make their lives lighter in all areas. I am an intuitive person with lots of energy. Curious, sharp minded, wheel of tongue and a small heart. I view the world with an open mind and I am often bursting with new plans and ideas. I am quick to enthuse and I love entrepreneurship.

I work as an independent holistic therapist and in addition I also work for Leadlife: a new lifestyle initiative where I am a stress and sleep therapist.

In terms of content creation I mainly do strategic work and social media mentoring. Always in collaboration with brands/organizations that focus on mental and physical well-being. I am a very visual person, this combined with my studies as a corporate & clinical psychologist, communication, nutrition, yoga, breathing and accumulated experience make it possible to do what I do today.

Besides that, I am the the author of the book Juiced By Anna which will be released in early June. The book will include juice & smoothie recipes, holistic advice, topics such as mental wellbeing, yoga & selfcare.  

 

  1. You are expecting your first child and we are so excited for you! Pregnancy is one of the biggest transformations of life what have been your biggest revelations?

Oh where shall I begin. It has been such a ride! Before I knew I was pregnant I was in a meditation club so I did the same meditation every day until a few weeks ago, I think about 250 days in a row. I can assure you that so much has surfaced: old patterns, blockages, limiting beliefs. Everything and everyone was and is a mirror.

 

I've been so tested in slowing down, stilling, letting go, accepting ... In fact exactly what my job is hahaha but I sometimes forget to apply it myself. Typical, isn't it?

My intuition is even sharper since my pregnancy: I feel very well what is right and what is wrong. What is bullshit and what I can trust. What I want and don't want.

In addition, I have more respect for my body.

  1. Although we all wish for a glow-filled pregnancy it is a very challenging period, physically, mentally, emotionally What have you found to be the most challenging aspect?

For me, it was more like a combination of everything. I did not have the easiest pregnancy. It started with a severe form of pelvic instability at 11 weeks that left me unable to move freely for several months. In the beginning, moving was impossible and I had to sit in a wheelchair. I can assure you this was mentally very challenging. I am a busy person, always on the move and because of this I was unable to do anything from one moment to the next. This caused some emotional moments. These emotional moments had an impact on my physical state and so on.

  1. As someone who works in a very spiritual and emotional area, are there elements from that environment that you've brought into pregnancy?

Daily meditation and pranayama (breatwork) aromatherapy, getting quiet and listening to my body. Daring to let go, expressing gratitude (even for the difficult and challenging moments), loving yourself. Letting go of guilt and shame. Daring to ask for and allow help. Changing your mindset from fear to love. Accept and embrace what is.

  1. Has your relationship with your body changed?

Yes very much. I thought I used to get my daily dose of yoga, sports... to make me feel good. But nothing could be further from the truth. I have learned to love my body even more and to be especially grateful for the body I have. It sounds simple but it's not at all. It takes courage to accept that your body can't and won't keep up with you despite your healthy lifestyle.

 

My pregnancy has taught me even more to listen to my body, not to ignore the signals and to work with the body you have at that moment. One day I could do nothing, the next day I managed to step from the sofa to the kitchen. These little joys have made me realize that I can and may trust my body even more.

6.Your top tip for maintaining a nutrient-rich diet throughout pregnancy.

It is a myth that you should eat for two. Really! I barely had any cravings and when I had them I gave in and enjoyed them to the fullest. I know better than anyone how important healthy eating is, it is such an important part of my life that it is a habit and I think that is a strength. I gained about 8 pounds, didn't get to do any sport and ate whatever I felt like. But then again, I feel like eating healthy 85% of the time, hahahaha :-)

My top tip is to keep your mindset healthy I think since the body mind connection is real. I want to feed my baby with the best there is, as pure and as healthy as possible. What I eat, the baby eats too.

I start almost every day with a juice, this activates my taste buds and mindset so to speak to eat healthy all day long. It's just about being aware of what you eat, what you pass on to your child, using the 80/20 rule and most of all ENJOYING it.

  1. You have enjoyed your Jus Jus during these months of expectancy, any favorites?

Yes I have! the milks my gosh allllll the milks. They are so nourishing, so rich in nutrients and ideal for a little extra in between. Konichi Matcha, Açaí Dream and Vanilla Sky are my top 3!

In terms of juices the Celery Juice, Skinny G and Golden Warrior.

In addition, I am addicted to your Milla Vanilla Cookies and Rainbow Juice Pulp Crackers. Perfect for having something sweet and savory in between meals and on the go!

But honestly you guys don't have 1 product that I dislike.

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