inspirational parent: nicky wood

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Through my very first inspirational parent, I have encounter a wonderful mum who lives in Queensland.  Nicky Wood is a naturopath and creator of Super Kids Food.  Through a remarkable health journey with her own daughter, Phoebe, Nicky developed super kids food to increase her daughter’s nutritional intake, especially at particularly difficult times in their lives

The product is fantastic, its full of super foods, and a multiple probiotic strains to help with good gut health and ultimately great all over health.  Super Kids Food is packed with high quality ingredients, chosen for their purity.  The key to the product being successful, is that it is sourced from REAL food, and so easy to give to ‘fussy eaters’.  I’ve tried it, it’s yum!  So easy to pop into a smoothie, sprinkle over dinner, add to bliss balls…the possibilities to amping up your child’s nutrient requirements is endless.

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Lets check out what makes Nicky tick…

Inspirational Parent Questionnaire:

How old is your child?

My daughter is 10 about to turn 11 in May (mother’s day this year!)

What is your food philosophy for your child?

Gluten free, organic, treats allowed but only if a healthy meal is consumed or is in balance with rest of health. Organic dairy milk was introduced from the age of 5 onwards and she has had no adverse reactions.

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

Apart from my naturopathic training, my daughter was born with a cleft lip and palate and started off with feeding challenges from the moment she was born.   On the day of her birth she had an bedside appointment with the speech pathologist! Since then she has had numerous surgeries and orthodontic intervention so her immune health and recovery during these was a high focus of mine for her. She is also very active these days so I want to ensure she has plenty of fuel for all that energy!

What tips have you got for travelling families?

Don’t leave the probiotics or electrolyte formula at home! It is a given that you will eat different foods and taste different quality of water and the probiotic protection can’t be undervalued in these situations. If a bug does pass through the ‘gate’ and gastro kicks in, electrolytes are vitally important. I also suggest travel with a first aid kit that includes homeopathic remedies for gastro, headaches, ear infections, fever, anxiety and grumpiness (overwhelm). This is a must include when we travel and has saved us many times a trip to an unknown doctor or pharmacy.

What are your 3 top snacks?

Super Food balls, homemade iceblocks, smashed avocado/coriander/red onion/cherry tomato/lime and crackers

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

Insist on quiet down time for me alone. Even if it is just for half an hour. That is often all I need to reset the button and go again.

What brings balance to your family?

Time in each health quadrant – good food, regular exercise, rest and something that feeds our creative/soulful spirit (sometimes that is as simple as talking through a difficult situation in completion).

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

My daughter and I both surf together. I’m very much a learner – she is so much better than me!

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

Live life as if everything is rigged in your favour!

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Thank you Nicky for being inventive and inspiring

Head to her website to check out Super Kids Food

http://superkidsfood.com.au/

Here is a great recipe from the website too

Super Kids Food  ®    Super Protein Balls

 Ingredients

 1 jar of ABC nut butter (can also use almond, brazil nut or cashew butter or tahini)

1 tablespoon of maple syrup or rice syrup or 1/2 teaspoon of Stevia (if sweetening is required)

1 tablespoon of carob or raw cacao powder mixed with water into a liquid paste

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

2 teaspoons of chia or sesame seeds (optional)

2 teaspoons of Super Kids Foods  ®

1/2 cup dried figs, medjool dates, cranberries or goji berries if preferred

*For extra crunch you can pop roasted buckwheat groats, cacao nibs or chopped pumpkin seeds into the mix

Preparations

Drain off oil from nut butter and retain 2 teaspoons.  Add back to nut butter and mix all ingredients (except coconut) together and scoop a teaspoon of mixture.  Roll into small balls and roll in coconut.  Refrigerate then eat as a healthy morning or afternoon tea bite or pre training snack.

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A portrait of my child once a week, every week in 2015

Rafael is mastering the art of sitting! I love him on my bed, in the gorgeous light. Using my iPhone, with a filter, but aaaahhh his happy face.

inspirational parent: charlotte carr

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Every now and then someone comes along to knock me off my feet.  Let me introduce Charlotte Carr, mama extraordinaire to the gorgeous Willow.  Creator of Bubbayumyum, Charlotte’s journey of restoring health to her family struck a chord with me.  After reading a bit about her through my local Facebook parents page, I dug a little deeper and was instantly impressed with her story.   This mama did everything in her power to begin to heal her child, and she explains her experience to be ‘a journey that helped heal my little man’s compromised immune system, reverse toxicity and illness, and enabled him to heal and thrive’.  Charlotte worked with an impressive team of integrated health experts, which inspired her to study nutrition and become a health coach.  She makes all her food from scratch, ensuring maximum nutrient intake, specific for Willows needs.  From this came her blog, then a collaborative effort with naturopath Helen Padarin & Pete Evans to produce a book (out soon in March!)unnamed…and now, to top off her awesomness, she has joined Pete Evans on his Paleo Way tour.  Charlotte does this to help educate and guide other parents, inspiring them with knowledge and tools to provide their families with excellent health.

How old is your child?

My little magic man is 2.

What is your food philosophy for your child?

We concentrate on foods to nourish and thrive. Loads of vegetables and lots of good saturated fats. Small amounts of protein from sustainable sources and organic produce where possible. We embrace wonderful nuts and seeds, beautiful land and sea vegetables and ethically sourced produce as well as the use of fermented foods. Wills also adores seasonal berries. Basically no numbers no packets no weird preservatives. Just really simple normal fresh produce. Exactly how ir was for our grandparents before everything became processed.

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

I saw first hand how food can be medicine. As soon as we implemented changes in Willows diet we saw so many changes. I adore food too so I love learning about the produce, where it’s from and how I can make it into a quick yummy dish.

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What tips have you got for travelling families?

Look for wonderful organic farmers markets in the area and look up local butchers and health stores. We love to pack food when travelling and I’ve got lots of yummy recipes on my blog that are great while travelling. Sometimes I even get groceries delivered to where we are staying for our day of arrival. All the major stores deliver. That means I’m all stocked up and ready. It also saves loads of money as we are not spending on bits and bobs. We travel almost every weekend interstate so we always plan ahead.

What are your 3 top snacks?

We love to snack on avocados, berries and yummy macadamia nuts. We also love seaweed snacks too. Because our diet is full fat though there is not a lot of snacking. Its generally just eating when we are hungry.

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

We now all eat the same so it’s incredibly easy. Making separate meals is so much work. I know things will change and there will be fussier times but for now I kind of work out ways for us all to be eating meals we can all eat…or easily adapt. I’m a huge fan of smoothies when I’m on the run and really busy. I also always make sure I have fermented vegetables and fermented drinks …oh and water. Lots of water and herbal tea. I learnt early that If I’m not well and thriving then neither will my family be. So I’m always making sure I’m eating beautiful whole foods. And that I have time out for me.

What brings balance to your family?

I think everyone is always struggling with this one. For us It’s an ongoing conversation. My husband is incredibly creative and spiritual so it’s important for him to try to find the space and time to do so. A struggle with an active 2-year-old obsessed with dancing and cuddles!

We have to work out “our” time too. Relationship time. Whether it be a movie and a meal or some time together in the park. It’s so important to honour and respect that time. My bother and niece are wonderful supports and help with playtime with Willow on the weekend. Even if it’s a quick swim and a bite to eat. It makes an incredible difference to connect even if it’s a stolen 30 mins.

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

We love the beach and we love the park. Anytime together is precious.bubba 2

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

“Things have ,and always will, only ever get better and better and better”

Thank you Bubbayumyum!  Here is a recipe for her AMAZING Baby Building Broth ‘the queen’ of Charlotte’s Kitchen

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1.7 kg (3lb. 5oz.) bony chicken parts (necks, backs, breastbones and wings – see Notes)

2 – 4 chicken feet (optional)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Purified filtered water (see Notes)

Optional for 6–8 months: mixed veggies such as celery, garlic, leek carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato or taro

METHOD

Place the chicken pieces in a stockpot or large saucepan; add 5 litres (5¼ qt. / 21 cups) of cold water, add the vinegar (to help draw out the minerals), add some sea salt, and leave to stand for 30 minutes – 1 hour. Bring to the boil, continuously skimming off the skin and foam that forms on the surface of the liquid. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 6 – 12 hours. The longer you cook the broth the more the flavours will develop. If you are after a super-flavoursome broth, try cooking the bones first in a pan with a little coconut oil before adding them to the water.

If you are making a broth with added veggies, add them in at the end of the cooking time. Allow the broth to cool slightly before straining the broth through a fine sieve into a large storage container. Set aside the vegetables and use them for a ‘super mash’. The bones are great in compost. Pour the broth into glass jars, mason jars or mini silicon moulds (medical grade silicone) and be sure to leave an inch or so at the top of the glass jars to allow for settling and fats to solidify.

Cover and place the broth in your refrigerator. A fat layer will form at the top when it is cooled – this is great fat for cooking your meats and veggies in. Store the broth in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer. Never throw out the fat. Fat is GOOD and great to use for cooking your meat and veggies.

The broth can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Date the broth going into the fridge.  If refrigerated longer than 4 days, bring it back to the boil before using. Don’t use after 7 days.

(I just cut and pasted the recipe, visit Bubbayumyum to see notes and more info, it’s awesome!)

wanderlust

Unplug from the ordinary.  Adventure awaits.

It was time for the Wanderlust Festival, a celebration of mindful living.

This year, Sydney hosted the festival on Cockatoo Island,  a world heritage site in Sydney Harbour.  After a picturesque, sunrise yoga class under the harbour bridge with  Balance.Life.Nutrition, Amanda and I set off on the short ferry ride from Circular Quay, amidst other keen yogi’s and festival goers.

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We were greeted onto the island by the friendly folk from the Wake Up Project, who gave us their nifty kindness cards and directed us up the hill to where the hub of the festival was.  We walked up enjoying a cup of chai from Egg of the Universe, and ooohing over the sprawl of tents housing those lucky enough to have sleep overs (next year we fully intend to do this!)

After picking up our wrist bands and collecting our awesome goodie bag (thank you Trilogy, Goodness Me Box and Women’s Health Magazine, we LOVED it, gratitude to Imogen at Passion PR!)  we sat down to check out what was what and what was where.  The buzz in front of us was amping up and soon we realised we had joined the Morning Gloryville Sydney-WAKE UP AND SHAKE!! Pretty ladies were grooving with glitter galore and flowers in their hair, the DJ was pumping out the tunes and the odd guy about was really getting jiggy with it.  Amanda & I jumped up and joined in the early morning rave, and found some ribbon to make us look the part.

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Morning Raving, thanks Ali Kaukus for the gorgeous photo

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Amanda and I join the fun

After that we sashayed into the Trilogy Shop, and won ourselves a few little prizes!  We would have loved to have signed up for the workshop to make your own moisturiser, but we had some serious yogi action to attend.

Into ‘The Nook’ we went, really unsure of what was about to happen in our Sing Hallelujah yoga class.  Amanda and I decided to step outside of our comfort zone and attend some classes that we wouldn’t usually go for…and a ‘guided improvisational journey into soulful self-expression’ sounded just the ticket.  The divine Suzanne Sterling was our teacher, a dedicated musician who has been teaching transformational workshops for over 20years.  Suzanne was inviting, warm and very down to earth, I fell in love instantly!  We were there to rock our true selves, to let our voice be heard and connect our soul to spirit.  I can pretty confidently say, this was achieved.  Amazing class, amazing humans present, amazing vibe, amazing amazing HALLELUJAH!

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Photos courtesay of the talented Ali Kaukus

Our next scheduled class was only half an hour away, our legs were shaking and our tummies were rumbling!  It was definitely food time!  Every good nutritionist loves a good feast, so we were on the hunt for something delicious.  We had a quick squiz around, and although there were some awesome treats on the go…it was once again to Egg of the Universe to pick up a couple of salads and some slow cooked lamb.  Truly delicious, our portions were rather small for 2 ravenous girls and we felt there wasnt much else to choose from (next time camping we can take our own food to satisfy our tummies).  We missed our next class…a choice we made (my legs were too wobbly, I don’t think my arms could have taken another downward facing dog!).  We enjoyed a wander through the mindful market stalls and checked out the action in d’Om (hair braiding, bead making, sign printing, and Lululemon galore…and in the middle a mass of rainbow ribbons framing the resident DJ).

It wasn’t long before our other duties called…Amanda to a wedding and me home to my family…and we set sail once again over Sydney Harbour home.   We thoroughly enjoyed the festival.  Time was precious, so we didn’t get to do many of the wonderful things on offer…more dance parties, ‘winederlust’, paddle yoga, massage, dubarray, and the Wanderlust Spectacular….but there is always next year to book a full weekend to explore more, camp, mingle, bend, sing, eat, pray, love….

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Thank you Goodness Me Box

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The amazing stalls, enjoying a chat with the gorgeous ladies from Synthesis Organics

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Morning Gloryville Shakeup

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So I’m not in this class, how much fun are they having! Photo by Eli Kaukus

Check out the schedule at Wanderlust Sydney 2015, lots of cool classes and speakers on offer…looking forward to 2016 and I will take my family so we can all enjoy the goodness and wanderment of the festival.

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A portrait of my child, once a week, every week for 2015

Rafael spent lots of time with his grandparents this weekend.  I love this snap his poppa took, he looks like a little bird.  Poppa got a new camera for his birthday so happily got down to business taking some great photos.

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A portrait of my child once a week, every week for 2015

Rafael rolls around on my bed giggling to himself.  I love how content and happy with life he is.  It continues to blow my mind that he is exclusively breast fed and grows so strong and healthy every day.  We are heading into ‘real food’ territory and I look forward to exploring this and applying my nutrition passion to his growing needs

Im enjoying Practicing Simplicity’s beautiful blog and being part of The 52 Project

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

inspirational parent: rebecca le harle

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Rebecca & Huia at a Tea Farm

Quite a while ago I asked Rebecca these questions about raising her gorgeous daughter Huia.  My facebook page had a huge response as people lapped up Rebecca’s awesome tips for growing a healthy, spirited and loving child.  Enjoy reading about the inspirational Miss Le Harle

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Rebecca reads to Huia, Rafael and Nannie enjoys Rebecca’s home brewed tea

How old is your child?
Huia is 2 years, 8 months.

What is your food philosophy for your child?
Food is fundamental to my daughters health, growth, immunity and mood. I am raising her vegetarian (aside from the odd bite of bakery ham & cheese bun that her father gives her!). My focus is on whole, organic plant foods, un-processed grains, plenty of healthy fats and delicious treats. Treats are whatever she is super excited over (currently: berries, raw cacao bars, coconut in all forms, eggs and an “on again off again” relationship with cheese). My bottom line in terms of her nutrition is: Purified water only and plenty of it, no cows milk, refined sugars make her crazy so I avoid them as much as possible, animal products must be organic and I abide by the “dirty dozen/clean fifteen” in terms of produce.  What she gets outside of this will not harm her as long as she is getting plenty of wholesome goodness 95% of the time! Food is a social thing so I do not want her to ever feel isolated or like she is missing out.

What inspires you to feed your child the way you do?
My mother gave me the best start in life by feeding my brother and I the most wonderful diet. We were raised on a vegetarian-wholefoods diet and I remember my meals being super delicious and wholesome. I remember feeling really good and strong as a child. Things changed when we went to school and she was working full time, but that good foundation has always stuck with me. I am glad that I returned to those ways before my daughter came along! I want to give her the best that I possibly can while following her lead in terms of what she is drawn to. She loves potato chippies one minute, the other all she wants to snack on is edible flowers and greens from the garden. I trust her eating instincts as her tastebuds are used to the good stuff.

What tips have you got for travelling families?
This is my specialty. Dried foods are wonderful, pack plenty of nuts, seeds, dates, organic dried apricots, dark chocolate, goji berries and snack bars and slices. Make up a container of scroggin before you leave if possible. I basically lived on scroggin and dark chocolate while travelling through Chile and I felt awesome. These will keep you full and nourished while you are looking for somewhere to eat and on long stretches between towns. Chocolate will keep moods high and soothe travel-worn souls. A good dose of magnesium rich, dark chocolate works a treat for Huia when she is restless on long car rides.

What are your 3 top snacks?
1. Kale chips – oh so hipster, but fricken delicious and ridiculously healthy. No-one in my family says no to a kale chip

2. Almonds + fruit (either dried or fresh) A favourite of mine! I love a good, crisp pacific rose apple and a handful of almonds, usually accompanied by a pot of green tea.

3. Raw crackers – Crackers made of almonds/flax seeds or various other nuts and seeds are wonderful! These are made in a dehydrator and are full of enzymes, minerals, protein and the flavour options are endless! We are currently loving Little Bird flax/almond crackers with either honey or nut butters.

3a. (tee hee) Parsley straight out of the garden.
How do you look after yourself as well as your child?
I drink a lot of teas (herbal and green as well as yerba mate). These keep me hydrated and nourished, I also take medicinal mushrooms, oregano oil and olive leaf to keep my immune system strong. My dietary principles are quite strong so I make sure that my diet is as clean as possible – the Mama needs to be fighting fit to keep things rolling! I also do my best to get to bed early for much needed sleep. Being a Mum is hard work so I do my best make sure I am well rested and eating enough greens.

What brings balance to your family?
Making sure that we are spending enough time together and having adventures.  Spending as much time outside being active and not too much in front of a computer = happy family.

What is your favourite activity to do together as a family?
I run and Olly rides his bicycle. One of my favourite things to do is a “Ride-Run” where Huia is on the back of his bike and I run alongside them.
And then sharing a tub of coconut “Nice Cream” afterwards.
Do you have a favourite inspirational quote that lights up your life?
‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.’ Dr Suess.
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Huia cuddles Rafael