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!!!

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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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

mindd business

Well I just sat down to look at my blog and I realised it has been a while since I’ve churned out anything! wow!

Which means life has been full and busy! Phew… I havn’t even kept up with the 52 Project! My problem was my camera cord went missing and I couldn’t load any photos!

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In the meantime, I attended the Mindd Foundation Practitioner training which was truly mind blowing.  So many inspirational health professionals under one roof, and all talking my language (well sometimes it went right over my head, but I tried my hardest to keep up!)

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Rafael popped by for a visit

I learned all about gut health and how it is such an integral part to disease processes, ways which we can heal the gut and improve our health.  In the practitioner training we were part of the Medical Academy of Paediatric Special Needs (MAPS), where the focus was to “provide education and long-term support for practitioners, ensuring the quality and consistency of medical care for children with autism and related chronic conditions.”  Learning all about gastrointestinal health, the microbiome, methylation, toxicity, environmental health, mitochondrial health and how to apply this knowledge to the success in recovering children from Autism.  For me the rockstar of the weekend was discussing nutritional medicine.  I constantly think ‘how can we implement this in mainstream healthcare’, and often feel I just can’t get the ball rolling.photo (4)photo (6)Meeting Dr Leila Masson

So through Mindd, I am starting with my colleagues.  Nurses.

Here is a piece I wrote for the Mindd Foundation to try encourage nurses to start considering nutritional medicine:

Nutritional medicine is part of the foundation of good health. As nurses, it is often overlooked in our practice as we race around and tick off our daily planners, who has time to stop and think about what has been delivered on a child’s meal tray when there is obs to do! It is time it became important, there is so much more to food than calories, carbohydrates and protein. If we begin to look at it from a scientific point of view, and apply our biochemistry knowledge to the pathophysiology of human diseases, we will begin to truly understand.   Understand why it is important that the liver works properly to dispose of old neurotransmitters, hormones and other by-products of normal metabolism, understand that gut flora is one of the biggest players in neurological and psychiatric conditions (Campbell-McBride, 2010), and finally understand how nutritional medicine brings it all together.

What drives the biochemical processes in the body? The simple answer is nutrients. Essentially it is micronutrients that our bodies depend on to maintain proper functioning of all the biochemical pathways. For instance it takes iron to carry oxygen in our blood and deliver to cells throughout the body. Selenium and iodine are required to assist with the healthy function of the thyroid gland. Vitamin D is vital for maintaining normal blood levels of calcium and phosphate, which in turn are required for mineralisation of the bones. Everything that we eat can impact on these biochemical processes, and nutritional medicine is essential when treating symptoms or diseases. Understanding nutritional medicine enables nurses to treat the cause and support the body in healing by pulling back the layers of the presenting symptoms, and discovering they are often the result of poor nutritional factors.

Nutritional Medicine encompasses nourishing the body with many different nutrients; ensuring there is adequate digestion and absorption of these nutrients and taking into consideration the environmental factors that contribute to the quality of the nutrients.

Currently our environment is very toxin heavy. From the crops harvested to feed us fresh vegetables, to the cows reared to supply us with meat, the environment plays a major role in providing optimal quality of nutrients for bodies to digest and absorb and utilize on a daily basis.

The statistics of childhood disease trends in Australia are frightening*

  •  Up to 70% of Australian children are low in iodine, which adversely impacts on IQ.
  •  Today allergies affect 1 in 3 Australian children, Asthma 1 in 4, ADHD 1 in 10 and Autism 1 in 90.
  •  Childhood cancer, diabetes, obesity and depression have each well more than doubled over the past 2 decades.*

*Visit mindd.org/donations for research references

These statistics can be dramatically changed, if health care professionals, such as nurses, begin to understand the importance of nutritional medicine, and learn to how to apply in practice throughout the broad range of nursing modalities. Educating parents is a start, explaining how nutritional deficiencies have a damaging effect on digestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids (Campbell-McBride, 2010). Encouraging families to become interested in how nutritional medicine can help their child with asthma, ease their child’s itchy eczema skin and begin to recover their child from autism.

Nurses skills are needed, because we already understand how the body works and how disease can manifest. Paediatric nurses have direct access to families, and as seen every day in a hospital, these families rely on nurses to have up to date, scientific, peer-reviewed, evidence based information. These families deserve an integrative approach to their children’s health care.

Skills that nurses can offer:

-Good listeners, parents respond well to nurses that listen and offer solutions. Nurses become particularly good at this on a day-to-day basis, as seen by building good rapport with patients and families

-Excellent knowledge of body systems and functions

-Ability to multi-task

-Empathy to families

-Excellent communication skills within a multi-disciplinary team

-Ability to cope under pressure

-Nutritional advice, once given the proper training, nurses can implement this into their health care and plant seeds for families to grow their knowledge

– Developing a network to promote effective integrative healthcare, the more nurses who learn about nutritional medicine the bigger the community and the more we can address some of these serious health issues and concerns

What you can learn:

Tens of thousands of children worldwide are in need of well-trained integrative and biomedical practitioners who can effectively treat the core cause of neurobiological and auto-immune disorders such as Autism, ADHD, allergies and asthma.

MAPS training (The Medical Academy of Paediatric Special Needs) is a structured to provide a clinic-focused, evidence based training in the field of complex paediatric conditions.

Learning objectives: —Environmental Medicine ACM

Achievement of educational objectives, given the allotted time for each presentation:

  • Review normal detoxification pathways
  • Examine the role of environmental toxicology in childhood disorders
  • Evaluate various laboratory assessments and biomarkers as they relate to toxicology
  • Distinguish between acute and chronic toxicity
  • Understand the concept of body burden as related to toxicity
  • Examine the impact of environmental toxicants in children with autism, ADHD and related childhood disorders
  • Identify and review various methods of detoxification
  • Identify ways to implement toxicological related treatments into clinical practice
  • Review actual case histories of patients with autism and other neurodevelopmental problems to understand appropriate testing, workup and treatments as related to toxicology

Learning objectives: —Gastrointestinal ACM

Achievement of educational objectives, given the allotted time for each presentation:

  • Recognize the role that various diets have on autistic behaviours and symptoms and understand how to implement these diets
  • Describe the appropriate testing and workup for nutritional abnormalities found in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Evaluate various laboratory assessments and biomarkers as they relate to the gastrointestinal micro biota and abnormalities
  • Review the role that dysbiosis plays in childhood disorders and treatments for dysbiosis
  • Identify the role that gastrointestinal abnormalities play in children with autism
  • Identify ways to implement gastrointestinal related treatments into practice
  • Review actual case histories of patients with autism and other neurodevelopmental problems to understand appropriate testing, workup and treatments of gastrointestinal-related problems

References:

Campbell-Mcbride N 2010, Gut And Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD,, Dyslexia, A.D.H.D, Depression Schizophrenia, Medinform Pub, Cambridge, UK