INSPIRATIONAL PARENT: ABBY SOARES

Thrilled to have the passionate and talented Abby Soares of Nourish Health as an inspirational parent, wow this mum is mind blowing with her amazing dedication to great food and excellent health.
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Many moons ago I worked as a childrens nurse in Aucklands Starship Childrens Hospital.  I had the pleasure of meeting Abby through a mutual friend at the local gym. Since then Abby has created a wonderful Holistic Health Centre, where they support their clients with nutritional and lifestyle changes to reclaim their health and happiness, sounds like the kind of place I would LOVE to be.  Abby specialises in childrens and womens health and has a really awesome sound knowledge of gut health, immunity, fatigue, weight loss and pregnancy care.  I love following her on facebook and seeing what creations she has made (always super colourful) and who she has been collaborating with (remember inspirational parent Anita from The Kefir Company?!!)
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I have watched Abby build her amazing business to truely help families thrive.  Her passion for real food and reversing sickness is astounding, I love how she made the changes initially for her own family and went on to help those around her.
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So come, read all about it…..
HOW OLD IS YOUR CHILD?
I have three amazing boys who are 10, 8 and 6 years.  I love being a Mama, its absolutely the best job ever.  Being connected to them feeds my soul and makes me my happiest self (apart from the fights!!!)
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WHAT IS YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY FOR YOUR CHILD
We aim to eat whole foods from nature for 90-95% of our meals.   We eat mostly organic and try to stick to the foods that are in season wherever possible.  I truly feel that nature always gets it right  when it comes to food and human intervention with food processing is so damaging to our beautiful bodies.
I believe that the gut is the foundation of our health so that is a major focus in our family.  We eat lots of soups and broths made from organic bones and meat in winter.  to keep our gut healthy.  We eat foods filled with good bacteria such as coconut kefir and sauerkraut to constantly repopulate the good bacteria in our digestive system.  We eat huge amounts of greens and veggies to feed the good bacteria and clean our bodies of toxins.  We eat eggs and meat from organic animals to build and strengthen  our bodies and small amounts of activated nuts/seeds and non glutenous grains.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO FEED YOUR CHILDREN THE WAY YOU DO?
 We has been on a massive journey recovering my eldest from Dyspraxia and allergies and my middle son from chronic sinus infections.  Their health and happiness is so important to me, if it means working a bit harder in the kitchen to nourish them to optimal health then I’m happy to do it.   All three boys are so healthy now, they’re gorgeous boys who very rarely get sick and have so much energy (too much sometimes!)
If they’re happy and healthy then I know I’ve done my best by them.
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TIPS FOR TRAVELLING FAMILIES
Travelling locally I always pack the boys lunch boxes full of veggies, fruit, meat, raw baking etc.  I take extra snacks as well such as smoothies, fruit and nuts.  I usually have some emergency packet food such as bars that are made with nuts and dried fruit.  I usually google whole food cafes so that if we need to eat out that we can make good choices away from home.
Travelling overseas I do the same…take our lunch boxes and a mini blender with us.  Do a big shop at a local organic or whole food store when we arrive so there is plenty for everyone to eat.  I make lunch boxes every day and take them with us so we don’t get caught short.  We search for whole food cafe’s to grab a smoothie and some raw baking!  Being prepared and organised is the key to staying on track.
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3 TOP SNACKS
– fruit
– veggies
– boiled eggs or cold meat
simple food is the way to go!
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HOW DO I LOOK AFTER MYSELF AS WELL AS MY KIDS
I play heaps of sport.  I love horse riding, it makes me feel so happy to my core, just the smell of my gorgeous horse is enough to make me melt with happiness.  I surf when ever I can which isn’t nearly enough! Being in the ocean is the ultimate way to get away from all your worries, connect with nature, get some sun and exercise. I also play netball once a week with an awesome team of girls, I love it and play touch rugby in summer.
I eat really well, the same as the kids really.  I eat heaps of greens and veggies and good quality meats.   Greens are so amazing for energy so I have lots of smoothies and veggie juice, it keeps me happy and gives me enough energy to keep up with my sports mad tribe.
I have such lovely friends, a super caring and supportive husband and family so I have really good support.  Having that lovely network to share your problems, hopes and dreams with is so important.
WHAT BRINGS BALANCE TO YOUR FAMILY
Time in nature.  Being out of the house and at the beach, on the ocean or in the bush makes everyone feel happy and calm.  We try to re wild ourselves as often as possible.
Also being with our wider family, having all the kids together playing and happy, this connectedness is so important to our life balance.
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WHAT IS YOUR FAVOOURITE ACTIVITY TO DO AS A FAMILY
We all love the beach and love surfing.  I love doing day trips up North, spending the whole day at the beach.  All surfing and swimming and playing  beach cricket or touch.  I think I’m definitely made to be a Mum of boys!
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Recipe

Kumara Brownie

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Kumara brownie’s are a massive favourite in our house, they are delicious but also really filling and healthy! Make a double batch as they keep really well in the freezer and are perfect for lunch boxes or afternoon snacks when friends pop over.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet potato – 2-3 cups when grated
  • 2 organic eggs
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract/paste
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder, sifted (or cocoa if find cacao to rich)
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2½ tablespoon coconut flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 185 °C (365 °F), make sure the oven is hot before you put in the brownies in.
  2. Combine grated sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, honey and coconut oil oil in a large mixing bowl and stir together until well incorporated. Then add cacao powder, baking powder and baking soda and stir. Finally add coconut flour. Avoid adding too much coconut flour as it will absorb too much moisture which will result in drier brownies.
  3. Once combined, pour the mixture into a baking tray lined with greased baking paper. I used a 9″/23cm square tin.
  4. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Remove the tin and cool for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing the brownie cake form the tin. Cut them into squares and dust with a little cacao powder or melt some dark chocolate in a bowl over boiling water and drizzle it over the top. Serve with raspberries or strawberries and maybe some fresh cream or coconut yoghurt to be extra decadent.

Enjoy

from

Abby

x x x

THANK YOU Abby for your love of nutrition, family health and taking care of you too!!!

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INSPIRATIONAL PARENT: Anita Whittingham

Movers and shakers, this mum is for you!!  Anita is super inspiring, I found her through the local Bondi Babies Facebook site when I saw a call out for mums wanting to exercise and be accountable for it.  Like  a mini support group.  I then followed her on her instagram page @anitawhittingham and loved her passion and enthusiasm for health, food, families, essential oils and exercise.

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Her website anitawhittingham.com is beautiful and full of great nuggets of wisdom, some fabulous recipes and lots of motivation.  I love that she is so involved with surfing, something I have never done!  Such a busy mum co-ordinating the Bondi Surfing Mums Group, facilitating TERRAfit challenges and squeezing in some self love with regular yoga classes.  She holds regular essential oil workshops too, which I highly recommend popping along to to learn about the amazing benefits of oils and how they can benefit your health. Magic.

Let’s see what she has to say about being a mum, sit back relax and enjoy…

How old is your child?

My miracle rainbow daughter is 18 months.

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What is your food philosophy for your child?

I share all my meals with Bella so she eats mostly real whole food. She loves cultured veggies and Kombucha. It’s awesome! I try to limit sugar in packaged products like crackers. Sugar is addictive so I limit where possible but I believe in everything in moderation. So she has cake at birthday parties/ special events but I like to make healthy treats at home like ice-blocks and bliss balls so she eats those. She loves fruit and my smoothies so I sneak in greens into my smoothies.

 

What inspires you to feed your child the way you do?

I strongly believe that our health is our number one asset so I try to model good eating habits. Living a healthy life free from disease and sickness is so important because being sick starts to affect other parts of your life.

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What tips have you got for travelling families?

Research online before you go. Look up where you can buy healthy food and where there are markets so you can buy fresh fruit and veggies. Have breakfast at home. If you are in a hotel room you can buy some Greek yoghurt and sugar free granola and add fresh berries/banana to create a breakfast parfait in a mug. Take a knife with a cover with you (pack in your checked in luggage) so you can cut up carrot and cucumber sticks. Take or buy nuts as a healthy snack and look for boiled eggs to eat with your breakfast parfait or as a snack. Look up restaurant menu’s before you go. Create a rough plan in advance of where you want to eat. Ask locals for recommendations and suggestions.  

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What are your 3 top snacks?

Mixed raw nuts

Banana

Raw veggies (cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks).

 

How do you look after yourself as well as your child?

Regular exercise, healthy food and essential oils. We use certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils to boost our wellness and protect us against environmental threats. I’m a bit of a raving oil fan. We use them in so many different ways at home. They have made a huge difference to our lives.   Blog-title-9.png

 

What brings balance to your family?

Diffusing calming essential oils like Lavender Peace. Ah-mazing!!!!

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What is your favourite activity to do together as a family?

Playing along the shoreline at the beach at 5/6pm. What happened to Summer?! It ended so abruptly 😦

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Do you have a favourite inspirational quote that lights up your life?

I am open and receptive to receiving all good. It’s a Louise Hay quote.

 

Recipe:

Chocolate Mint Protein Balls

These delicious morsels are so freaking delicious you wont be able to stop at one. But that’s OK because they are packed full of super nourishing ingredients so they make a nutritious guilt free snack.

1 cup quinoa flakes

1 cup cashews

1 Tb chia seeds

15 medjool dates, seeds removed

2 scoops dōTERRA Slim and Sassy Chocolate Trim Shake

1/2 cup shredded coconut

6 drops dōTERRA Peppermint essential oil

2 Tb water

desiccated coconut to coat balls

1. Mix all ingredients together in a high speed blender

2. Pop desiccated coconut in a bowl

3. Roll mixture into balls (whatever size you desire) and coat with desiccated coconut

4. Pop in fridge or freezer.

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THANK YOU Anita…and we must catch up!

INSPIRATIONAL PARENT: SIMONE EMERY

A few months ago I was invited to an event where I met a like minded mother that really stood out to me.  Simone Emery is the genius behind Play With Food, education and help for parents who are struggling to get real food in to their kids.  Totally aligned with Dandelion Nutrition, right!

 

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Simone offers workshops and online courses which  ‘are a unique offering to carers who may be exasperated trying to get their children to try fruits, vegetables, meats or anything other than a chicken nugget’.

Her information is spot on, easy to follow recipes, some gorgeous tips and materials to help fussy eaters.  Education for parents is the key, and Simone is very encouraging and passionate about her work.

Thank you Simone for sharing your ideas and passion and especially for being inspiring to the rest of us parents

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How old are your children?

I have two girls – nearly 3 and nearly 5.

 

 

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What is your food philosophy for your child?

Variety is a very good thing!

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What inspires you to feed your child the way you do?

My work in feeding therapy means I put a strong emphasis on environment, variety, language tools and developing self-help skills.

 

What tips have you got for travelling families?

So many! It’s a real love of mine. My biggest tip is to find a portable routine. A way to get ready for a new task that you can do each and every time despite wherever you are.

 

What are your 3 top snacks?

I love the ease of fresh fruit and vegetables. I am all about keeping it super simple. We are loving stone fruit, capsicum strips and green beans for easy afternoon teas at the moment. Oh and lychees (can I have 4?)

 

How do you look after yourself as well as your child?

Getting “unplugged” works wonders for us. We do craft, reading books together and visiting the parks. Dropping everything and having a cuddle and read a good picture book recharges me so much as well as the girls.

 

What brings balance to your family?

Travel and time with just the 4 of us.

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What is your favourite activity to do together as a family?

We cook together very regularly. We also love turning up the music for a dance while my husband plays guitar along with the tunes.

Do you have a favourite inspirational quote that lights up your life?

“there is always something to be grateful for”

 

Find Simone on instagram: @playwithfood_au

Facebook: Play with foodaustralia

Here’s a very different recipe from S

Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
1 hour
Total time
1 hour 10 mins
5 food groups in one dessert!
Author: Simone Emery
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 6 serves
Ingredients
  • 1 Full Jap Pumpkin (see note above about pumpkin varieties to use – This recipe is based on the cavity being approximately 1 cup in size)
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Tbsp Basmati Rice
  • 1 Very Ripe Pear, peeled and cubed to about 1cm x 1cm (about ½ a cup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon or All Spice (depending on your flavour preference)
  • Milk
Instructions
  1. Cut the lid off of the pumpkin and scoop the seeds out of the middle
  2. Preheat the oven to 180oC
  3. Prepare a baking tray
  4. Rub the inside of the hollowed out pumpkin with the brown sugar
  5. In a small bowl combine the egg, rice, pear, vanilla and cinnamon.
  6. Add this to the inside of the pumpkin and top up with milk.
  7. Bake for at least 1hr (checking to see when the pumpkin is cooked through and the filling has also cooked through). Use a skewer to check the pumpkin is cooked.
  8. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into wedges to allow the rice pudding to fully set.
  9. Optional (but highly recommended): Serve with icecream :p

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Holistic Health Reset

It’s 2017!

Can you believe it??? I always wonder where the space cars are…we really are in the future!

It’s the time of year where we all sit down to make resolutions, dedicate a word to the year (Mine is EMBRACE!) and usually make some goals.

 

This year I am here to help you make yours! I’m super excited that I am teaming up with the amazing naturopath Penny from Health Space Coogee-Randwick, to run a series of workshops aimed at resetting your health from a holistic approach.

 We Kick off 19th Jan 2017 at 7pm, Coogee-Randwick Health Space

Check it out….

Is it time to shine? Do you want to feel better about yourself? Have you spent years trying every diet available and still havn’t got the results you crave? Naturopath Penny & Nutritionist Renee have formulated a plan to help guide you to better health, weight-loss, more control of your emotions and your reactions to life. A 4 week programme designed to educate you in the inner workings of your body so you get a true understanding of what works for you. Included in the programme:

Week 1: Digestive Health

Understanding how your digestion determines ultimate health, we will dive into the workings of the gut, how it affects your skin, your mood, your weight.

 

Week 2: Liver Loving

Education on resolving the confusion behind the liver and it’s primary role: detoxification. We will learn how the liver is a major game player in hormone balance, vitality, stress and how you handle it, weight loss and how detoxification works.

 

Week 3: Stress Support

It’s the beginning of another wonderful year, we have so much to be thankful for! But the return to work means the return to increased stressed. We delve into how we can support our bodies through times of stress, and discover the inner workings of our adrenals and stress response.

 

Week 4: Emotional Understanding

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Why do we do what we do when we know what we know*. Week four we pull it all together and understand what drives us to eat in a way that doesn’t serve us, making us feel worse and guilty.

 

 

Included in the 4 weeks

1x Initial consultation

Education Series: 4 group meetings with Renee & Penny

Email support

Facebook Group: private group to support each other and share your learning

Menu Planner/Shopping list

Stress support tonic

 

*Dr Libby Weaver

 

EMAIL: reneeh@healthspaceclinics.com.au

Survival of The Fittest: Silly Season Tactics

So today I set out in my car to do a few chores, and whoa and behold, so did the rest of Sydney.  It’s the first day of December, Summer is officially here, and so are the Christmas Crazies.  TRAFFIC everywhere, no car spaces, people people people rushing about.  I have a feeling its about to get worse.

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So how can we all hold it together, and come from a place of calm and happiness instead of stressing and rushing.

Simple little ‘pauses’ as my good friend Dr Libby likes to encourage and talk about.  On a recent visit to her latest talk, she reminded us to take small pauses through out the day, to slow down our nervous system and drown out the stress.  During the pause think of something you are grateful for, as we can never be stressed and grateful at the same time.  Take a couple of nice deep belly breaths, and continue on with your day.  It’s a few seconds to stop and pause, and calm yourself down.

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Become mindful of what you are fuelling yourself with, but don’t feel guilty if you grab something that doesnt nourish you.  Its a few weeks of mayhem, give yourself a break!  Schools over, kids are demanding and whining, so if it suits, get prepared.  Have some little bags of nuts prepared, some bananas to easily grab, a water bottle.  Amp up a morning smoothie with some green leafy veggies, add extra veggies to your plate at dinner. Small effort with help keep your nutrient intake up.

Hero-Bottle.pngIt’s ok to say no to that drink, it’s also ok to say yes!  Again be mindful, have water between each glass of wine.  Remember that alcohol adds a load to your liver and stress to your nervous system, so long term it may cause a bit of havoc.  Can you implement other ways to calm down at the end of a busy day? Can you replace one night of drinking with a yummy substitute like Kombucha (check out Kombucha Zest awesome flavours, your gut will love you for it too!)

Go easy on yourself! Be kind to yourself, you can only do what you can do.  Be thankful you get the chance to run around and prepare for the festive season.  Be thankful there is a family to spoil.

child pose.jpgPerhaps try to get to a yoga class to, have a little ‘you time’, even a 5 second step outside to sigh!  I understand the pressures of being a busy, working mum with to do lists a mile long!  I also struggle to find time for myself…i’m getting a bit better at it!

Some nourishment for you to consider throughout the next month

  • Supplement support, especially B vitamins and Vitamin C
  • Amp up your greens
  • Some kind of exercise, yoga, pilates, a quick walk around the block
  • Family time, spend some quality time together
  • Thankfulness & Gratitude for what you do have
  • Include some fermented foods for gut support, sauerkraut, kombucha
  • Have a laugh. watch Bad Moms (EVERYTIME giggles!)

Have a super Merry Festive Season

Vitamin Gummies

The kids are coming home with runny, snotty noses! Coughs and colds are on the increase.  Every other child at the park looks infected with some kind of dire disease and you want to protect your kids.

Best place to start is with a healthy gut.  Maintaining excellent gut health is the foundation to a strong immune system, and scientists are showing the link in their research daily.  Here is a great explanation on gut health, easy to understand!

I make these wonderful vitamin jellies to help maintain good gut health and boost vitamins essential for supporting the immune system, vitamin C, zinc.  Many of our children and so deficient in zinc, and it is an important all rounder for every cell in our body to function.

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Here is the recipe I love, Thanks to Well Nourished

Ingredients
1 cup water
2cm piece ginger root, peeled and roughly sliced
1cm piece fresh turmeric root peeled and roughly sliced
1-4 tablespoon raw honey* or rice malt syrup (depending upon the level of sweetness you like)
1 cup coconut water, kombucha or water kefir
Juice two small or one large lemon
1 teaspoon Camu powder (optional)
2-3 tablespoons Great Lakes gelatin (red one)

(I personally add some zinc, from a supplements, wither powder or liquid form)

Method

  1. Place the water, ginger and turmeric root into a small pot and bring to the boil, reducing to a simmer for approx. 5 minutes.
  2. Take off the heat off, mix in the honey or rice malt syrup and stir to dissolve.
  3. Allow to cool for 5 minutes or so, remove the solids and stir in the coconut water, kombucha or water kefir, lemon and optional Camu powder. Taste to check that you are happy with the flavour (sour/sweet balance)
  4. Now sprinkle the gelatin over the liquid, stirring after each tablespoon. For a traditional jelly set use 2 tablespoons, for a firmer, more gummy-lolly-like consistency, add 3 tablespoons.
  5. If the gelatin doesn’t completely dissolve, you can pop your pot back on the heat for only 1 minute (only heat to luke warm), stirring well.
  6. Pour into a lined slice tray or moulds, and set in the fridge.

*Note about honey – only raw, unheated and unprocessed honey has medicinal properties.

Variations

Don’t like ginger or want to use powdered?
Leave it out or use ½ teaspoon of the ground ginger powder.

No fresh turmeric?
Sub with ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder.

Low-fructose
Choose rice malt syrup as your sweetener.

Store
Store in the fridge for a few days and can also be frozen. Pack from frozen into the lunchbox (they hold up well in an insulated bag against an ice brick).

 

My family LOVES these! they are gobbled up so quickly

Thanks To Well Nourished for the recipe and the Featured photo

 

inspirational parent: Tui Fleming

Social media is an interesting place.  I spend way too much time there, which my husband totally hates, but sometimes it proves fruitful, and luckily for me, a few weeks ago it was.

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Tui Fleming

Tui is an Auckland mother of 2 girls.  Tui and I actually go way back, to high school years, it was great to reconnect to her through Facebook, as one evening a mutual friend posted about Tui’s book.

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Dear Mummy, You’re Important Too

The book title caught my eye, and I dug a little deeper (ok I totally stalked) and found a like-hearted soul in Tui, and instantly reached out to collaborate.

Tui has only this week launched her book: ‘Dear Mummy, You’re Important Too’.   Described on Dear Mummy’s website ‘Unlike other how-to parenting books, this book has mummies as it’s priority – at it’s heart. It understands you want to be the best mummy you can. It’s premise: that means being the best YOU you can be. This book offers musings, motivations and morsels to nourish a mummy’s soul’.

Tui has a lot of beautiful things to say about her family, thank you Tui for your honesty and your time to share with us your ‘musings’ (my new favourite word!).

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How old are your children?

I have two dynamite daughters: 4 ½ and 3 years old.

What is your food philosophy for your children?

There are so many things I ‘should’ say here. But shoulds are so often derived from other peoples’ expectations. The fact is, I don’t have a food philosophy for my children – well not one I’ve pre-considered anyway. I approached food differently with my first than I did my second daughter. It was circumstantial: with my first I had all the time in the world, it was just she and I at home together each day. So she received homemade solids and didn’t touch sugar until her first birthday. My second had many more ready-made baby pouches and I’m pretty sure she had her first marshmallow before she was one. If I had to define it, my philosophy would center around balance. Of course children need their fruit & veg; they need good quality protein. But I also think they should be allowed treats sometimes. 100s and 1000s sprinkles on fairy bread never hurt us growing up. Let children be children. Also, let them have a voice and listen to it. If they really hate something, so long as they’ve had a try, let it go. They’re little people. Respect them. Educate and encourage but don’t forcefly-d0ip7l5GB63bu10wSVXgt9VnwXnrNJwGCDPmJHg-846x400.jpg

Tui’s own French Onion Soup

What inspires you to feed your children the way you do?

I’m inspired to live a healthy, balanced life. A couple of years ago I tried going sugar-free. Then I lost my way. Last year I got more structured about it and signed up for the I Quit Sugar 8 week programme. I love baking, cooking and discovering new flavour combinations so I’m inspired by people like Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar and Eleanor Ozich from Petite Kitchen who continually fuel my mind with innovative new ways to feed myself and my children.

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Home  Made Muesli

What tips have you got for travelling families?

My travel-day secret is “eggy for brekkie”. It’s tested and true that when you fuel yourself with a good protein-rich breakfast then it’ll sustain you through the morning – on a travel day this could be a long transit until you get the chance to stop for your next good meal. When my girls eat “eggy for brekkie” they can go hours without needing (aka whingeing for!) more food. I also give them eggs on kindy mornings for the same reason – it gets them through a couple of hours of energetic play until morning tea.

What are your three top snacks?

Popcorn – cheap, quick to make, healthy

Yoghurt suckies – I buy The Collective brand as it has no added nasties

One of my healthy homemade treats like my Double Fruit Drops

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How do you look after yourself as well as your children?

I’ve just written a book about this! I believe that to be the best mummy you can be means being the best YOU you can be, and that means putting yourself first. This starts with your mindset and a base understanding of self – who you are, what you value, what lights you up: “Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?” (brilliant quote from Danielle LaPorte)

Motherhood is a journey, and so is finding oneself again after becoming a mummy. My book ‘Dear Mummy, You’re Important Too’ offers musings, motivations and morsels for a mummy’s soul, to help you reclaim and restore yourself – because you (we!) are important too!

Available at www.dearmummy.co.nzCaH0GmeIoDawEXQAhsyyZIrTG7UVLofBrGNMZzh733c-1.jpg

What brings balance to your family?

A calm, balanced family life starts with a calm, happy mummy. Happiness comes from living your life your way. For me, it’s fulfilling my need for independence and achievement by working 2 days per week, and ensuring vitality with a gym and yoga session each week, which helps to sustain a solid foundation for our family to thrive on. Then together we balance the busyness of our lives with time away at the family bach, family walks, opening up our house to fresh air and enlivening it with music… and lest I forget, snuggles in the morning when the girls climb into bed with us.

What is your favourite activity to do together as a family?

For me it’s going to the beach. There are no walls, no technology, just fresh air, sun, sand and surf. My grandparents had a bach at Whangamata on the Coromandel in New Zealand, so I grew up spending every holiday of my childhood there. It’s my soul space and I feel so lucky to be able to share it with my own daughters now.

When I asked my husband this question, he answered ‘family walks because we all enjoy it, it gets us out of the house, it’s quality time together – and exercise’: the same reasons really, why I love the beach. I guess this shows even within a family, the members can have a different perspective of what’s the family favourite. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing; it’s how it’s being done – with intention, together, and full engagementae04e624-cbe3-44e9-82a1-de1bffeca27c.jpg

Relaxing and having extra snuggles with her young daughter

Do you have a favourite inspirational quote that lights up your life?

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‘When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’ – Wayne Dyer.

And one perhaps a little less philosophical, which I share here specifically for mums: ‘Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”’ – Mary Anne Rachmacher.

I share dozens of other inspirational quotes in my book, sourced from a wide range of thinkers, writers and doers, who have all inspired me on my journey. If you choose to read ‘Dear Mummy, You’re Important Too’ I hope their words will illuminate your path, as they have mine.

Tui this was divine.  indeed very nourishing, super refreshing and a wonderful reminder to mum’s out there that they are important too.  Untitled-1-846x400.jpg

Photographs thanks to Tui and her Dear Mummy website.

inspirational parent: Clair Ingleton

It has certainly been a while since we have an inspirational parent up on the blog!

Let me introduce my friend Clair Ingleton. static1.squarespace-1.jpg

Clair is a naturopath in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, and when I trained as a nutritionist, Clair was training as a naturopath. Clair has a keen interest in children’s health, and has some great recipe ideas on her website. I love Clair’s gentle approach to health, her use of herbs and her passion to help children thrive.

 

How many children do you have?

2

 

What is your food philosophy for your children?

Definitely a whole foods diet.  Being a naturopath my kids rarely get to eat processed food and sugar. I cook most things from scratch and the kids and I are always trying to create new yummy treats from fruits and vegetables with a few natural sweeteners. I’m lucky enough to have a Thermomix which I use to mill my own flours and nut butters as well as using it to hide vegetables in just about everything I make!

 

What inspires you to feed your children the way you do?

I want then to be as healthy and happy as they can. I feel really strongly in educating kids from a young age about what’s is healthy and what is not. I also don’t want them to have to have pain or suffer from ill health, so for me, prevention is the best option.

Oh and behaviour! I know from my own kids when they have too much sugar they are definitely more defiant and energetic. I see this all too often in other children who may be causing disruptions in class or just making their parents life difficult.

What tips have you got for travelling families? 

Be prepared! I always pack vege sticks, and cherry tomatoes for the beginning. They keep quite well depending on the climate. I always make sure I have nuts in my bag for hungry moments.  Then at our destination I head to the supermarket or healthfood store to replenish supplies.  When at a restaurant with limited choices, I’ll often order “off menu”, that is I ask them for something I want like grilled fish and vegetables, or a simple salad with whatever protein they have.

What are your 3 top snacks?

-Chia pot – chia seeds, fruit & coconut yoghurt

-Celery and nut butter

-Nuts, seeds & piece of fruit

-Baby cucumber, cherry tomato and sugar snap peas.

Oops that’s 4… My kids are always wanting snacks!

How do you look after yourself as well as your family?

By eating well and ensuring we all get enough sleep. I’m hopeless when I’m tired and the kids act up, then everyone is miserable. I also try to walk most places so that I am getting exercise without having to think about it. I try to remember to look after myself first, so that I can then have enough energy and patience to make sure I am looking after everyone else’s needs to my best ability.

What brings balance to your family?

We are kinda old fashioned. We don’t watch a lot of TV, we play games, read books and try to do lots of things together as a family. We try not to be too busy.  So many kids have activities every single day after school and then the parents have all their things too, so there’s not enough time to prepare healthy food and enjoy each other’s company.  I guess we balance by trying not to be too busy, but doing just enough of the activities we like to keep us all happy.

What is your favourite activity to do together as a family?

Getting back to nature.  All of us love getting out of the city and exploring in the bush.  Feeling the earth beneath our feet and seeing, smelling and hearing all the amazing creations that mother nature offers.

Do you have a favourite inspirational quote that lights up your life?

Not really!  It’s a bit of a soppy one, but once you have a baby you know exactly what this is about:

“Before I met you, I never knew what it was like to be able to look at someone and smile for no reason”

(I smile just thinking about my girls )

 

Here is a recipe from Clair’s Blog

HIDDEN VEGE-BANANA-BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Most weekends we bake. I enjoy creating recipes and we all enjoy eating the outcome (usually!).  Like most mums, I’m always trying to find ways to get that extra serving of vegetable into my kids.  I’m fairly lucky that both my girls like most vegetable and are usually happy to eat them, but still, I like to sneak them in wherever possible.  Here’s a muffin that the kids will never suspect has a serving of cauliflower in it.

Banana Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:
110g cauliflower
2 very ripe bananas (150g peeled)
2 large eggs
30g coconut oil (plus extra for greasing muffin liners)
10g (2 tsp) maple syrup (add more if banana aren’t that ripe)
5g (1 tsp) vanilla essence
90g buckwheat flour
25g tapioca flour
5g (1 tsp) bicarb soda
5g (1 tsp) creme tartar
48 blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 180degrees Celsius. Grease 12 muffin liners and place in muffin try.
Place cauliflower in food processor and blend well.  Add banana and blend again.  Add all wet ingredients except blueberries and blend until well combined.  Pour into large mixing bowl and then sift in all dry ingredients.  Gently mix until just combined. Pour into greased muffin cups. Place 4 blueberries on top of each muffin and bake for approx. 17-18 minutes at 180.

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the sunny vitamin

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Nature is incredible.  I love how when autumn starts, we are provided with fresh oranges and mandarins to ensure our Vitamin C intake.  When spring begins, the hours of daylight become longer, indicating that winter has come to end and it is time to get our hibernating bodies out into the sunshine.  Why is it important that we do this?  Because our Vitamin D levels are low and need to be replenished.  And lucky for us, mother nature provides a great source for Vitamin D to be made in our skin for us direct from the sun.  We also can access great vitamin D from food and supplement sources.  We are slowly heading in Autumn, so we all need to ensure good vitamin D levels and continue to build them.

BENEFITS OF VITAMIN D

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We need it…recent research is showing it is one of the most beneficial vitamins for our health.  It is very important to make sure your muscles, heart, lungs and brain can work well, and incredibly vitamin D contributes to this.   A one stop shop for building stronger bones, protecting against disease, enhancing our immune systems, treating numerous disorders and ensuring optimal health and well-being.

As explained at The vitamin D Council :The vitamin D that you get in your skin from sunlight, and the vitamin D from supplements, has to be changed by your body a number of times before it can be used. Once it’s ready, your body uses it to manage the amount of calcium in your blood, bones and gut and to help cells all over your body to communicate properly.

HOW CAN I MAKE SURE MY CHILD GETS ENOUGH VITAMIN D?vitamin-d3-sun

Our clever bodies make vitamin D when our bare skin is exposed to sunlight, and it happens in less time than it take to make our skin go pink (we do not want our skin to go pink!).  Best time for this to happen is the morning time, between 8am and 10am, before harmful UV rays begin to be at dangerous levels.  The more skin you can expose the better.  It won’t happen if you put sunscreen or moisturiser on your skin beforehand either, the skin needs to be completely bare.

It’s pretty scary exposing your childs precious skin to direct sunlight, it’s so new and perfect!  It has been drilled into us to avoid the sun at all cost, cover up, slip slop slap.  Follow your instinct, if you feel a small amount of sunlight for a short amount of time will benefit your child, go for it.  Gradual exposure is better than hard-hitting them when the summer months come.  I found this great article explaining about getting vitamin d from the sun.

Food glorious food.  We have food that is fortified with vitamin D, but we can’t guarantee the source, the quality and the quantity of vitamin D.  Butter naturally contains high levels of vitamin d, especially pasture/grass feed cows in New Zealand (so go organic NZ butter!).  Eggs are another natural source with good levels a vitamin d, again choose organic, free range or even better biodynamic farmed eggs.  Happy chickens lay better eggs!  Fresh oily fish, not farmed (once again avoiding grain fed fish) provide a good source of vitamin d.  Organ meats contain great levels of vitamin D, and kids love pate (truly they do) and here is a great recipe from Bubbayumyum.

Some other food sources of vitamin D

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Supplements.  A good quality, trusted supplement can go a long way in ensuring your children really get a good dose of vitamin D.  You can start as early as birth, even if breast-feeding.  Although breast milk does supply some vitamin D, depending on your stores, often this is not enough.  You can get your blood level of vitamin D tested by your GP, be mindful this is at a cost.  Visit your local health store for a good quality vitamin D supplement, and ask for specific dosing for your child.  Remember to get some for yourself too.  I do recommend Bioceuticals Vitamin D3 drops Forte.

Photos curtesy of google images, permission not granted from artists as unable to find them

eat like a breast feeding mama

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The constant worry that plays on a new mothers mind, ‘is my baby getting enough?’.  There is so much information out there, midwives saying one thing, obstetrician saying another.  The unfortunate reality is that our medical teams are so poorly trained in nutrition, sometimes they do not even give it a second thought.

Lucky for you though, I am obsessed!  I love the ins & outs (literally) of food.  The little biochemical pathways that make up the human body, and the teeny tiny nutrients that makes every cell work.  They make our hearts beat, our lungs breathe, and our mammary glands produce milk.  Insane.  We don’t even have to tell our breasts to secrete milk, it just happens (of course you have to of had a baby for this magical process to be kick started).

It starts with the production of colostrum, liquid gold.  The first few days after a woman gives birth, this magical substance helps to nourish our baby.  The amount actually produced is so small, and it’s because the baby has the tiniest stomach.  About the size of a 5cent coin, not very big at all.  But boy is it a powerhouse of nutrients.  Completely rich with protein, carbohydrates, fat, antibodies, vitamins and minerals, it is yellowish in colour and kick-start a newborns digestive system, providing the baby with life saving properties.  It’s usually secreted for the first 72 hours until the ‘milk comes in’.  A baby can survive quite nicely on it until the milk is ready.

Then comes the milk.  The unfamiliar feeling for a first time mum of your breasts filling up, becoming swollen and feeling quite different.  Our bodies know what to do and our babies instinctively know what to do too.  It’s mind-blowing that the milk we make in our breasts, grows a small baby.  It nurtures development, grows hair and nails, repairs skin, keeps the heart beating and the feet kicking.  And it comes from us mums.  Unbelievable.  The body just does it, in the mammary tissue, without us telling it to.  I’ve read some very scientific articles about the process, but it’s really confusing and you really have to know your biology to understand it!

A babies gut is brand new, so brand new it is sterile just before a baby is born.  What helps a baby’s gut to get ready for the big wide world is being born vaginally, this way the baby comes into contact with the micro bacteria needed to colonise their gut and jump-start them into a world of ‘good gut bacteria’.  This is also helped by skin to skin contact with a newborn, from both the mama and the papa.  Mums breast milk also helps to pass beneficial bacteria to help the infants gut.

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So I believe what WE eat, is what our baby eats.  The food we nourish ourselves with eventually is converted to breast milk, all those nutrients, all those minerals and vitamins we don’t even realise we are consuming.  It’s obvious this is what happens as you can see certain outbreaks of intolerance in babies when mum consumes certain foods, for eg eczema on a breastfed baby can be linked to mum having dairy in her diet.

Let’s eat well then!  Let’s truly nourish ourselves to nourish our babies, helping them to not just grow, but to thrive.

What helps our milk production?

The key is food! and lots of it.  Good, wholesome, nutrient dense food.  You want to be consuming enough so that your stores are not depleted to provide your infant with the necessary nutrients.  If your intake is inadequate, then the reserves your body stores will be used.  Key nutrients to consume are iodine, selenium, folate, omega 3, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B, B5, B6, B and B12, and vitamin K

Also adequate sleep is important (yeah right, I have a newborn!).  So the old saying ‘sleep when your baby sleeps’ is gold.  It’s true.  Nothing is more important than your sanity and your baby’s food.  So give your partner the crying baby and catch some shut-eye.

Drink PLENTY of filtered water.  Guzzle it!  Have a special drink bottle constantly filled, and have it handy to your when you feed.  Of course it’s important to get the ok from your midwife that you are able to drink plenty, I had issues with bladder control and had to limit my intake to 1 glass per hour until I could manage my bladder.

Breastfeed often: the more you feed the more you will produce.

Quantities you ask?  Well considering you are burning over 600calories a day just producing milk, you are able to eat to your heart’s content.  I’m not about numbers and measures, and I don’t find you have to be too sensible when you are EATING WELL and NOURISHING yourself.  Don’t feel guilty.  Don’t let people tell you what to do.  You follow your instinct and you will feel just fine.  It is more important that you eat, less important to worry about the scales.

Accept help for cooking!  Ask  your mother to make you food, say YES to the neighbour offering to feed you!

Food to help nourish YOU & grow your baby:

Oats do the job! Good old-fashioned porridge.  Brewers yeast! A funky tasting substance that really enhances our milk production.  And some clever person has made yummy cookies that contain some awesome ingredients to help stimulate breast milk production: you can grab a recipe here http://www.bellybelly.com.au/breastfeeding/lactation-cookies#.VLnwUWSUe1Q

There is also a small selection of herbs that are beneficial to milk production, commonly used is fenugreek, chaste tree and fennel seeds.  See a qualified naturopath or herbalist to prescribe the correct dose for you.

Breakfast Recipe:

3/4 cup oats

1 cup almond milk

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mesquite powder

1/2 cup of frozen berries

Mix the oats with the almond milk and heat in a saucepan on stove top.  Should thicken up, you can always add more milk and keep stirring until its thick and creamy.  Add cinnamon, mesquite and frozen berries.  Once mixed well take off heat.  I always add some more almond milk and a sprinkle of coconut sugar! This is totally optional!  If you want more, then add more oats and almond milk.  I usually have a massive bowl to keep me going all morning.

It’s also a good time to add a smoothie to your breakfast, and you can power pack that with green leafy veggies to boost nutrient intake, and let YOUR body benefit from the endless health bonuses greens give us.

My basic Green Smoothie Recipe:                 IMG_0218

1 Banana

1 Pear

1 handful of spinach (sometimes i slightly steam it, otherwise it can be hard on our thyroid)

1 Cup of filtered water.

Throw it all in the blender, and presto! yum yum!

You can add anything to this base…berries, powders, coconut, avocado, cucumber, lemon…tailor it to your taste!

Lunch and Dinner ideas?

Salads, slow cooked casseroles, meat loaf, potatoes, soups, sourdough, pate, bone broths, sauerkraut (add that baby to every meal), eggs (finally you can enjoy them runny again!),

Stock up on food in the house so you have plenty to grab.  Breastfeeding takes time, having a newborn takes time.  You really don’t want to be fussing around making fancy meals for yourself!

I can sing a rainbow…eat a rainbow of food to maximise your nutrients and get the benefits from coloured foods (antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients)

Ramp up the Red: Strawberries, tomatoes, capsicums, beetroot, raspberries,

Go Green: lettuce (cos, iceberg), rocket, spinach, kale, avocado, cucumber, capsicum,

Mellow Yellow: capsicum, lemons, corn, mango

Mix and match your food, throw in mango on a chicken salad.  Make the salad huge!  Sprinkle with nuts and seeds and always always always dress a salad with good quality olive oil…some of those nutrients need fat to be absorbed!

A great way to get prepared is to start freezing meals in the weeks that lead up to birth.  Then they are there, ready to eat

EAT FAT! and lots of it.  Your baby needs the benefits from fats to grow their brains.  Fish oil, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil.  Don’t be shy.  Fat is the new skinny, and there is plenty of research out there showing us that we needn’t be scared of fat anymore, that is WHAT OUR BODIES NEED!
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MEAT: I love grass feed, organic meat, but I know it’s pricey.  You can get around this by buying it on special, freeze it!  The reason is what the animals eat, becomes what we eat, and what we eat our babies eat.  Try organ meats for truly boosting your B vitamin intake, and the awesome iron content.

BONE BROTH:  my all time favourite ingredient.  Ok I love sauerkraut equally.  But you can cook everything in bone broth (Stock) to boost the micronutrient content of anyfood…think rice, chicken, quinoa.  Here Bubbayumyum gives us any easy home-made broth recipe: if anyone asks you if you need anything..tell them YES make me this! http://www.bubbayumyum.com/?offset=1398682345809

SAUERKRAUT: The guts friend.  Eat it to boost your healthy gut bacteria, and improve your immune system on the way!  Good gut health is just the be all and end all of a healthy body.  http://nourishedkitchen.com/homemade-sauerkraut/

AVOID:

Processed foods.  Ever heard the rule about shopping around the perimeter of a supermarket?  This is a good rule!  It’s because it’s where all the real food, and we like real food.  The aisles are full of boxes of so-called food.  Sure you can grab your dried herbs and rice, but the nutrient dense goodies aren’t in the aisles. I’m sure I don’t need to harp on how full of sugar, salt and ingredients we can’t even pronounce the aisles are.  Just AVOID.  For your baby’s sake.

Keep track of your baby’s body, and if anything seems to be amiss, track it back to the food you are eating.  Keep a symptom and food diary to pin point any culprits.

Smoking

Excessive levels of alcohol (I’m all for the well-timed cheeky glass of vino)

So hopefully this gets you started, this makes you excited and this makes you think about nourishment.

Burger Time: http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/cook/pete-evans-renovates-classic-aussie-recipes-20140120-313qo.html

Extra Green Fritata: http://www.drlibby.com/recipe/extra-green-frittata/

Something Sweet, something easy: http://www.drlibby.com/recipe/brain-balls/

Quick & easy: https://www.thehealthychef.com/2012/04/chilli-con-carne/

Make your own milk: https://www.thehealthychef.com/2011/07/almond-milk/

Good health and nourishment

Renee

(please feel free to contact me for nutrient specific queries)

REFERENCES: 

Hechtman. L (2012) Clinical naturopathic medicine. Elsevier, Australia.