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.

Meet the delicious Tui.Dear-Mummy-author.png

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

Double-fruit-drops1.jpgDouble Fruit Drops

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.

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inspirtational parent: Dr Kate Wood

There are some pretty phenomenal people in the world, and I find myself very lucky to know Dr Kate Wood.  Kate is an incredible chiropractor at Health Space (with acupuncture and kinesiology to boot), an author and adoring mother to gorgeous Maxim.  Believing that health is your greatest wealth, Kate inspires everyone she meets, from her daily care of herself, to her extensive knowledge and care of her clients.  Kate oozes wellbeing, she shines, she glows, she makes the most of her life, thoroughly enjoys being a first time mum and provides the best care for her growing family.

 

Most recently Kate has written a book, ‘An Integrated Journey Back to Health and Happiness’ about her experience with Lyme Disease, and how she regained her health through her journey of recovery, using an array of integrated practices.  The book has some great tips on how to get healthy and stay healthy from a physical, biochemical, emotional and spiritual perspective.  You can read more about her book here

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So clear the kids off for 10mins and get ready to become inspired.

 

How many children do you have?

I have one beautiful miracle child called Maxim

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What is your food philosophy for your children?IMG_7930.JPG

The food philosophy I have for myself is the same one I hope to inspire in my family. Food is about nourishing body, mind and soul so we can enjoy optimal health and amazing quality of life. As such I always lead by example when teaching Maxim about food. I always sit down with Maxim so we can eat together and he can watch and learn from me. We eat predominantly fresh, seasonal, sustainable, certified organic whole foods, in a mixture of textures, flavours, colours and temperatures. Nothing with numbers, preservatives, flavours, colours or anything that is not “real” food. Daily staples include lots of vegetables, fermented foods, bone broth and cod liver oil. A lot of what we eat is inspired from what our ancestors ate. I provide Maxim with options but he always decides what he wants to eat, when he would like to eat it and how much he will eat. (I want him to learn to listen to his body as each persons needs will vary from day to day). I believe that by using different herbs and super-foods you can enjoy maximum flavour and we never feel like we are missing out!

 

What inspires you to feed your children the way you do?IMG_7814.JPG

I believe that what we put in our mouth, and how we digest our food, directly affects the quality of our health and subsequently our life. Having had health challenges myself I changed my diet a lot to get well. I was even more motivated during preconception, pregnancy and now breastfeeding to eat the best quality food to give my son the best possible start to life. As he is only 11 months old I have the advantage of being able to choose exactly what goes on his plate, but I always allow him to choose when and how much he eats. As he gets older I plan to guide him and educate him about healthy choices for his tummy rather than restrict or not allow him to have ‘unhealthy’ food choices that his peers may be having. I want him to learn to read labels and choose for himself not to eat foods laden with sugar and additives. I understand it may not always be easy and every child is different but I am providing him with a framework and inspiring him through action everyday to make healthy choices. There will come a time when I may not be as influential in his life as I am now, so I want to ensure I give him the best chance of living and feeling what a healthy lifestyle can do for him and hope he chooses that for himself one day. that he has I am great at adapting recipes, using spices and making whole food treats and look forward to sharing these with him to bring balance to his diet. I use the term “sometimes foods” for whole food treats and “everyday foods” for those that need to be eaten everyday to stay strong, lean, energetic and healthy (such as fermented foods, fruit, vegetables and lean grass fed meats).

 

What tips have you got for travelling families?

I don’t travel much but I do know when I go to visit my family in the country it is often much harder to source good quality ingredients. Its all about being prepared. If you have an esky or a car fridge then you can pre prepare some food and snacks to take with you. Often we do a big shop and take it with us and take some non perishable items like tinned tuna, rice crackers or corn chips to snack on as we travel. We always look up places to eat so we can hit the ground running when we get there or know exactly where we will make stops along the way.

 

What are your 3 top snacks?

Fruit (especially seasonal berries)

Activated nuts

Super smoothies

 

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

I am very big on making my health a priority so I am healthy enough to look after everyone else. Where possible I prioritise exercise, sleep, meditation and relaxation as well as my nutrition. Some things are out of your control, like when you have a sick child, so its all about doing your best. If you lead a healthy lifestyle then you will get sick less, you will deal with sleep deprivation and stress better and bounce back quicker when you do get sick or injured. I have a weekly schedule and pre plan meals / shopping lists. I always make extra food when I cook so I left overs for the next day, and if I know I have a busy week coming up I will freeze food (better than eating take away). If I am away I pre prepare food for my husband and son.

 

What brings balance to your family?

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Honestly it’s being organised. If I am away or get sick, or have a sick child, everything goes out the window and I feel out of control. Sometimes it’s important to just let go and get the job done at the time and then have measures in place to bounce back. Scheduling in “me time” and “husband time” is really important as once you have kids life gets more hectic and time seems to speed up. Taking time to yourself and with your partner is essential to maintain balance and remember why you started your family in the first place. Asking for help is another key way to keep balance.

 

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

We absolutely love being outdoors. Whether it be the park, going for a bush walk or going to the beach. The beach is probably our absolute favourite place in the world. Maxim and I are both water signs, so we are at our happiest in or near water. The grounding nature of the beach makes us all so happy!

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

Someone special in my life died when I was younger and I always regretted not spending more time with them. At her funeral I made a pact with myself that I would never have regrets again, so I make decisions in my life by asking will I regret this if I don’t do it / try it etc. So the quote I live by is “no regrets”. The quote I’m inspired by is one by Buddha; “What you think you become. What you feel you attract. What you imagine, you create”.

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Thanks Kate, it has been awesome to watch your family thrive and thank you for sharing such a large part of you with us.

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

It’s bliss as Rafael finally goes to sleep after some hard nights teething.

inspirational parent: kylie lesueur

I have been on a lot of travels in my time.  They all started when I was 22 and I went to the USA to work in a kids summer camp…it was the best thing I ever did!  I made a tonne of friends, whom I still cherish to this day 13 years later.  Amazing,  This beautiful mama is one of those friends.  We were joined at the hip throughout our summer, those were the days!IMG_3867

Kylie is now a wonderful mama to two little gorgeous babes, and although she says she is a stay at home mum, she really is a little entrepreneur with her groovy Indi + Hix company, making hair accessories and bibs trendy.IMG_3864

I love how Kylie has embraced health and wellness in their lives, and truly believes in nourishing herself so she can be the best for her family.  The best health, the best role model and the best example of taking care of herself.

How old is your child?

India-Rose is 2.3 years old and Hendrix is 6 months

 

What is your food philosophy for your child?

Our family philosophy is clean, fresh nourishing food. Plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains. We stick to 80/20 and everything in moderation.

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

Having a daughter was my initial inspiration. I want her to have a good association with food, health and body image (something I didn’t have growing up). Going back to basics on nutrition and fuelling our bodies with nutritious, colourful foods to make us feel and look good. I also took on my own mission for better health after becoming a mum. When Hendrix was born I was a mum to 2 under 2. Not feeling great wasn’t an option for me. More than ever I needed to eat clean nutritious food to ensure I had the daily energy and stamina to keep up.

What tips have you got for travelling families?

Lots of snacks to keep the little ones content

What are your 3 top snacks?

Bliss balls (Indi thinks they are a treat)

Wholemeal pita bread crackers (olive oil and Himalayan salt)

Coconut chips, seeds, nuts, dried fruit mix

 

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

This one is a little tricky. I’m guilty of absorbing myself into mummy life and forgetting about myself. My new years resolution was to find more balance. I do yoga once a week; try to get to the gym. I love sewing. I find it relaxing and therapeutic

What brings balance to your family?

The simple things. Story time at night. Eating dinner as a family. A walk to the park together.

 

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

Camping. We have a caravan so try to get away as often as we can. Technology gets turned off and it’s all about reconnecting.

 

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

Be kind to unkind people. They need it the most.

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Be sure to check out Kylie on Instagram and FB too for her wonderful collection

https://www.facebook.com/indiandhix?fref=ts

http://indihix.bigcartel.com/

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.

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!)

7/52

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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

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.

Breast Awareness Smoothie

Today I had my first breast screening, as per protocol for having radiation to my mantle 9 years ago.
I sat there contemplating what I am going through, thinking about my breasts and how I truly believe they will always be ok, surrounding myself with white light. I wondered how many women are seen in clinic and have mammograms, receiving a small amount of radiation but never told they can help reverse the damage they may receive throughout their visits.

Home I went to make myself a smoothie to help my body cope
1 punett blueberries
I frozen banana
1 handful of kale
1/2 lemon squeezed
1 cup of water

Mix all in blender except banana, when mixed thoroughly add banana and mix again till smooth.

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