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

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

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

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

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

What brings balance to your family?

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

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

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

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

Relaxing and having extra snuggles with her young daughter

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

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

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

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

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

Photographs thanks to Tui and her Dear Mummy website.

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.

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

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.