All posts filed under: Uncategorized

IMG_1597 (2)

Bone Broth: A Pregnancy Friend (+ Video)

What’s the difference between bone broth and stock anyway?  And why has it suddenly become so popular? Food goes through trends just like fashion does, and bone broth is no exception. Fashionista foodies and health enthusiasts alike have taken to bone broth by storm; it’s the new in drink to have on hand. Coffee is so last year. Okay maybe not, I have to admit that I have yet to see it on the Starbucks menu. But bone broth has really taken off lately, to the point that you can now even buy powdered bone broth protein shakes. And yet, like the fashion world, bone broth has been around for a long time. Perhaps it’s only now that we are finding out the health benefits it can provide. But I think instinctively we’ve always known that it’s what our bodies were craving when out of balance. Can you think of what your mom or grandma might have made you when you were sick? Did anyone say chicken soup? All around the world we have different …

Top 5 foods for Pregnancy (2)

Top 5 Skin Foods to Avoid Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Don’t we all want to be one of those lucky 10% of women that don’t get stretch marks during pregnancy? The reality is that most of us get at least some stretch marks while growing another human being under our skin. And if you think about it, it’s understandable given that our skin would not normally stretch at such a speed under normal circumstances. Stretch marks are there to be celebrated in a way, a mark that shows a woman’s incredible ability to grow and bring life into this world out of just two cells. But like those wrinkles that appear as we get older and wiser, stretch marks are generally not a welcome side effect of pregnancy. The real question is, how can we avoid pregnancy stretch marks? Did I hear everyone say – moisturizing? Yep, we all thought that. The truth is, moisturizing will help you deal with the common dry skin itchy feeling that you get around your growing belly. But, according to the research, no matter how much cream or oil …

eat yourself fertile

How to eat yourself fertile

Is it oysters? No. Chocolate? Not quite (if only though!). Strawberries? Maybe. The answer to eating yourself fertile is not quite as exciting as a special valentines meal. But hey, the oysters and the chocolate at least might get you in the mood! Especially as it’s a common issue that when we have babies on our mind, we can’t get them off our minds. And let’s face it, that’s not always fun. In fact, planning a pregnancy can be such a daunting, exciting, disappointing, joyful and nerve-wracking experience that it certainly tends to raise a lot of questions in our mind. So, let’s start with some good news to brighten up your day! You’re in for some unexpected benefits. Firstly, women who planned their pregnancies seem to have a much lower rate of nausea & vomiting in the first trimester, especially the severe form of it, called hyperemesis gravidarum. Hooray! This is because women who have higher stress levels tend to have more problems with nausea in early pregnancy. And it goes without saying that unplanned pregnancies can be …

IMG_1136 (3)

Nutty Banana bread with a Twist

I have to admit, even I surprised myself with this banana bread. We all know that when we attempt to make things ‘healthy’, especially when it comes to cakes, we tend to lower our expectations to not be quite as indulgent. Well, prepare to be surprised! I definitely won’t be going back to the traditional banana bread from now on that’s for sure. Plus, it’s a one-bowl recipe. Oh yeah. So what do I mean by healthier? Firstly, it is low in sugar whilst also being high in protein and fibre. This is a good combination because it means that we don’t get a big sugar spike (and as a consequence, a sugar low later on). This banana bread is free from refined flours, and instead is a mix of almond meal and whole wheat spelt flour, with some cacao nibs and walnuts thrown in for added crunch and decadence (and health benefits too, of course). Banana’s and pregnancy leg cramps But there’s a bonus to this banana bread. Banana’s are high in potassium and …

brassicas4

Salmon, Apple and Brassicas Melange

After all that talk about omega 3’s, I thought it was only right to give you a recipe to follow suit! This salmon melange is really a celebration of the late autumn bounty of brassicas, apples and kale, with some bay infused lentils and fresh mint. It’s very satisfying and is ideally eaten warm but can also be taken as an on-the-go lunch. If you read my previous post about omega 3’s, you’ll remember how important they are for pregnancy. Unless you’re vegetarian, it’s recommended that you have around 2 portions of oily fish per week. Not only does this help your baby’s development but also helps reduce the risk of complications such as pre-term labour and pre-eclampsia. Salmon, especially wild alaskan, is high in omega 3’s and lower on the mercury scale. Plus, it’s easy to find in most, if not all supermarkets! The brassicas family, also known as cruciferous vegetables, are those vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, and spring greens that are nutritional powerhouses and very high in folate. You …

img_0675-2

Warm Squash and Dukkah Salad

Halloween might be over, but squash and pumpkin season is still in full swing! This autumnal warm salad really does bring out the best of this versatile vegetable, and it’s so delicious if I do say so myself! I think I could eat this salad every day, it’s warm, satisfying, so good, and of course, healthy. A great combination of iron rich cooked kale, sweet squash, bitter chicory (or endive in the US), salty feta cheese, and crunchy dukkah. YUM. Dukkah? If you haven’t caught onto this trendy aromatic Egyptian nut/seed/spice mix yet, you definitely should. You’ll realise you’ve been missing out all this time! It’s a wonderful combination of hazelnuts (healthy fats anyone?), sesame seeds (really high in calcium- and so necessary in pregnancy!), cumin and coriander seeds (great digestive seeds and warming during the cold months). I’ve added dukkah to this salad, but you can also use it to spice up lots of other dishes such as meat, fish, steamed veggies or even just add some olive oil to make a dip. You can …

beans

Constipation in Pregnancy

Oh the joys of pregnancy! While you might not have expected to discuss any ‘toilet talk’ other than your baby’s nappies, constipation is an issue for many women during pregnancy, and often an embarrassing one to bring up. But why does it happen? Well, there are a few reasons, some of which you have zero control over (like hormones & the growing weight of your baby). But it’s not all bad news as there are lots of things you can do to ‘relieve’ yourself (you get me?). A yogurt a day keeps the toilet away… Okay, not exactly, but a lot of people think that eating yogurt a day alone will keep you regular. The truth is, that’s just the advertising trick to make you buy more of that yogurt. Natural yogurt does have live bacteria that can be beneficial to your gut, but that does not replace fibre. Dairy products actually do not contain any fibre. A question I ask all of you ladies that I see during your pregnancy that have constipation; do …

img_0651

Pomegranate & Persimmon Autumn Salad

Persimmon’s are a bit of a forgotten fruit, the kind that some people have never heard of or tasted. They are more often sold in markets and fruit stalls, and totally worth the search! Disguised by their sweetness, you wouldn’t tell that these fruits have one of the highest contents of vitamin C of any fruit. Almost 80% of your daily requirements in one persimmon! These nutritional bombs are also packed with iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus; in much higher quantities than other fruits such as apples and pears. It’s no surprise therefore, that they are appropriately named as ‘food for the gods’ in Latin, but if your up for the search, you can enjoy these godly fruits too. Combine persimmon with pomegranate, already famous for its nutritional qualities, and your body and baby are in for a real treat. But your taste buds are not forgotten either, because this is a delicious combination of sweet and tart flavours, soft and crunchy textures; a sure ‘gift from the gods’! In other words, this combination …

img_0508-2

Rooibos & Cinnamon Poached Pears

As the weather turns cooler and the leaves start to turn a beautiful auburn colour, we also start to naturally gravitate towards warm, cooked and soulful meals. Our bodies are still very much in tune with the seasons, despite the supermarket isles tricking us into believing otherwise. That’s not to say we aren’t incredibly fortunate to have all of this produce available to us, but it also means we have lost touch with natures intuitive way of providing us with what we need, when we need it. Most of us are even unaware of what grows seasonally unless we have a veggie garden or go to farmers markets, and even so, I still see mangoes being sold in October in the markets in Holland! So, lets take cucumbers for example (but you could say the same for radishes, lettuce, celery, etc); these grow during the summer months and are about 96% water (the rest being nutrients & fiber). During the summer heat we sweat and loose a lot more water than during the winter, which …

greeksalads

The Goddess of all Greek Salads

With the weather being so changeable these days it’s hard to decide whether we should still be eating summer-inspired or autumnal dishes. With that in mind, I thought a ‘autumnaly salad’ was probably the best way to go forward. Perhaps it’s the simplicity of a traditional Greek salad that I’ve always loved, but it doesn’t exactly feel like a meal, and rather more of an accompaniment. So this goddess of Greek salads was created to make a more substantial and wonderfully colourful lunch. You know you’re onto a nutrient packed meal when it’s colourful (naturally colourful, not E number colourful, that is) as well as fresh! VITAMIN A DID YOU SAY? So why enjoy this salad other than because it’s delicious and satisfying? Well it’ll be sure to give you a hit of vitamin C, fibre, lycopene, and carotenoids (from carrots and other orange and red coloured fruits & veggies); a form of pre-vitamin A. Wait, vitamin A did you say? I can almost sense your quizzical look appear with the mention it. That probably …