Have you ever met someone with a passion for chemistry? Someone who can explain the composition, structure, properties and change of matter. No just explain it, but teach it with passion and understanding, and make it relatable and make you quite enjoy it too!
Meet Annalies Corse, scientist, naturopath, pathologist, lecturer, wife and mother to beautiful 2 year old Henry. My (favourite) chemistry lecturer from my days studying nutritional medicine. Annalies has a very detailed resume including being on the Editorial Board of the Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism (AJMH) (2011-2013), and more recently being the Scientific Advisory Board Member, MINDD Foundation of Australia (2016-current). Wow, right! She really is such a beautiful teacher, she has managed to shape the lives of hundreds of natural therapies students, through detailed explanations that actually make sense. Ok, that eventually make sense!!! Me and my co-students spent hours learning the Citric Acid Cycle (we even made up songs!) with the guidance and patience of Annelies.
NowI get to call her a colleague, and fellow inspirational parent!! It’s fun watching our little boys get to know each other while I continue to soak up her teachings and wisdom and knowledge.
I am overjoyed to have this self proclaimed science nerd visit Dandelion Nutrition and share her thoughts and ideas on health and nutrition.
How old is your child?
Henry is an energetic 2 and one-third years old.
What is your food philosophy for your child?
I don’t want my child to grow up feeling deprived, nor do I want him growing up thinking that junk food is a ‘normal’ part of our diets. He eats very healthily when at home and in the normal family routine. This helps to ‘buffer’ those situations where he might eat something I would not normally feed him, such as a chocolate, a biscuit, etc. For example, Henry visited his great grand father recently, and they enjoyed a biscuit together for morning tea. I’m not the type of parent to police a lovely moment like that due to an unreasonable fear of processed food. However, I am always taking snacks wherever we go, and I don’t like to rely on purchasing food when out due to the convenience. A little extra effort and planning at home is worth it, for me.
When Henry was younger and first eating solids, we did not restrict anything. All foods and major allergens were introduced. Fortunately, there are no issues with atopy for the three of us, so we gave him everything. Eating well and breast-feeding (if you can) is so beneficial. I always take extra care with his diet in the lead up to his vaccinations.
What inspires you to feed your child the way you do?
20 years studying, practicing and lecturing in the medical sciences, nutrition and naturopathy! Once you are armed with knowledge about what the human body requires to grow and thrive, you would never revert to convenience forms of eating. I am not inspired at all by nutritional trends or fads. I have seen so many children through my practice who present with ADD/ADHD, chronic infections, behaviour changes, atopy, digestive issues and poor sleep… all can be positively managed through diet alone, without supplementation. Many forms of eating that are great for adults are not good or merely neutral for children, so we should not be applying what may be best for mum/dad to our kids. For example: there are many plant based nutrients that young children cannot digest and assimilate until there digestion matures (around 3-5 years old) such as betacarotene, isothiocyanates and other plant based antioxidants. For this reason, I focus not on force-feeding vegetables (of course he receives them), but on obtaining nutrients from easily digested foods such as butter, egg yolks, fermented dairy and fermented vegetables. Greens at this age are often not well digested or absorbed, so I don’t force these. Brain health and physical growth requires a huge amount of energy and micronutrition, so diet at this age is critical. Food restriction is not part of what I do as a practitioner or a parent. Food quality is everything.
What tips have you got for travelling families?
Always be prepared with healthy snacks that your children are used to eating. Travelling during rest times (as much as is practical) means the family meal times are less disturbed. A few foods that are a novelty can create some ‘intrigue’ for kids to minimize the boredom associated with travel.
What are your 3 top snacks?
Plain goats yoghurt with fruit (any type, and lots of variety).
Sauerkraut with a complete protein (either a cheese, white or red meat such as a good quality sausage or fish)
Homemade gelatin treats or home made muffins with extra good quality butter
How do you look after yourself as well as your child?
This is the part I find the most challenging, as I very much focus on my child. The only way I can do it is to treat my health as another of the family tasks, and I have a to do list (it’s not large) of the things I need to address each week to keep on top of my health.
I am also very aware that the best diet, supplement regime etc., is nothing when superimposed over a life of chronic stress, anxiety or worry. Sleep and anything required for stress management must be part of any parents life. For me (weirdly) this involves having time to spend on my professional life. I do feel better in my mind set when I still have time to pursue my professional goals. For my health, it’s always: nutritious diet, healthy mindset, healthy relationships, sleep, minimal need for supplements, only practitioner only/high-grade/minimal excipient supplements
What brings balance to your family?
Sometimes, we do need to say no to some social events. My husband is in the final stages of very long, demanding paediatric medical training. He works night shifts, so we do have to prioritise the times we can spend as just the three of us, as it is often very limited. Both my husband and I do need to spend time on our own, on our own projects (we are both introverts!) so carving that out for each other definitely brings us balance.
What is your favourite activity to do together as a family?
Henry loves pasta. We like to go to Da Mario’s occasionally as a family treat. We love being outside, so we spend a lot of time at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Centennial Park, any sports field where he can run, or at my mother and step fathers property. Exploring at the beach is always very relaxing and enjoyable for the three of us. We love food markets and farmers markets too.
Do you have a favourite inspirational quote that lights up your life?
I found this in a random book in 1997 in my uni medical library. I was supposed to be doing an assignment, but somehow found this and it has always remained in my mind:
“Never stop because you are afraid-you are never so likely to be wrong. Never keep a line of retreat: it is a wretched invention. The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer”.
I had never heard of him, but he was a Norwegian scientist, explorer, diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. I took from his piece that with hard work, something difficult is certainly achievable. Don’t be afraid to have big goals or plans, they may take years or even decades to fulfill. They may require you to be brave and do something out of your comfort zone. The worst we can do is to ignore what we want for ourselves due to fear. I like taking the idea of a final product and reverse engineering it to work out the steps involved in getting there.
You can follow Annalies on Instagram (@corsemedhealth)
Or facebook https://www.facebook.com/AnnaliesCorse/?ref=hl