All posts tagged: first trimester

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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 …

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Broccoli and Almond Soup with Mint & Crème Fraiche

When it comes to pureed soups, I think there are two types of people; those who love them and those who don’t. A bit like marmite some might say. So for those of you who already love pureed soup, you can skip this paragraph. After all, I’d be preaching to the converted! But for those of you who, like me avoid pureed soups at all costs, read on my friends. I admit that I definitely fall into the non-soup eating category and rarely make soups unless they have lots of chunky pieces of veg, meat, or noodles in them (like ramen- yum). BUT, this soup is an exception. Yes, it is pureed. And yes, I don’t just like it, I actually love it! And I’m not the only one; we used to make this broccoli soup at a cafe I worked at while I was a student in London, and it proved hugely popular. Even among the pureed soup avoiders like me. And believe me, when you realize how easy and quick this soup is …

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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 …

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Iodine & your baby’s IQ

Ever heard of iodine and its importance during pregnancy? Probably not, as its one of those minerals that is not often talked about. In fact, only in the last few years has its importance during pregnancy really started to be a talking point. But what is iodine anyway? And why is it important for us? Iodine is a trace mineral that we all require for our organs to function normally. Iodine is found in pretty much all of our organs, but the one that needs it most is our thyroid. Our thyroid produces hormones that control our metabolism, which is in charge of our heart rate, how fast or slow our brain, liver, and other organs work. If your thyroid is working slowly, you’ll have the tendency to gain weight, feel tired and cold often. The opposite would be the case should your thyroid be working overtime. Iodine deficiency is a big problem worldwide, and only in developed countries, with the availability of iodized salt and balanced diets, have we been able to minimize this …

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Christmas Party Survival Guide during Pregnancy

Christmas parties are not quite the same when you’re pregnant. These usually revolve around wine and cocktails, soft cheeses, meats, pates and smoked fish, all wonderful delicacies that will leave you feeling left out, and wondering if there’s anything that you can eat or drink at the party. Not only that, but if your colleagues still don’t know you are pregnant, they may be pretty certain that you are by the end of the party if you’re having to avoid everything. So let’s start with what you can eat, so you can relax a little and find things that you know are safe: CHEESE All those hard cheeses such as cheddar, goat’s cheddar, gouda, gruyere, gloucester, halloumi, lancashire, manchego, parmesan, pecorino, leicester, jarlsberg, are all fine to eat. Soft cheeses including mozzarella, mascarpone, feta, cream cheese, ricotta, quark, goats cheese without rind, roulade, cottage cheese are all safe as well. Brie & camembert are not safe to eat uncooked, but oven baked until piping hot they are absolutely fine. So if you have a say …

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Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Did you know beans are in right now? No, I didn’t either, but a fellow foodie friend says they’re the new kale, alongside brussel sprouts and sauerkraut (in case you haven’t kept up with the latest food gossip, here you have it). Though I’m not one to follow food trends, this one is actually a thing, even the United Nations have caught up, dubbing 2016 as the year of the pulses to heighten awareness of their nutritional benefits. Beans beans the musical fruit… I have to admit, I had a little proud moment after hearing that, given that for the first time ever I had been way ahead of the trend on this one, as is never the case with fashion. But having grown up in Spain, I have a deep love for Mediterranean style food. I’ve always loved beans, though I realise it’s not a feeling shared by everyone. That little rhyme ‘beans beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot’ has given beans a bad press for a long …

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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 …

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The importance of Omega 3’s

Omega 3’s in Pregnancy If there’s one thing you shouldn’t miss out on during pregnancy its omega 3 fatty acids. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have heard about the wonders of omega 3 fats, and how important they are for our overall health. And not just in pregnancy that is. Omega 3 fatty acids are found primarily in oily fish (such as salmon, tuna, anchovies, etc), though there are some plant sources such as flax, chia and hemp seeds. But what’s all the hype about? Omega 3’s are essential fats that our bodies cannot produce. We require them for a number of processes such as making hormones, regulating blood clotting, maintaining adequate cholesterol, heart and brain health and much, much more. During pregnancy omega 3’s are very important for the adequate development of the baby’s eyesight, brain and central nervous system. Studies have also linked adequate omega 3 intake during pregnancy to higher child IQ scores. Not only that, but research has shown that it also helps reduce the risk of …

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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 …

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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 …