Monthly Archives

June 2016

Pumpkin Pancakes

June 26, 2016

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There is something about small, chubby, baby hands picking up a pancake that warms my heart.

It must be something to do with the fact that I grew up in a pikelet-eating family. My mother would often make them for an after school snack (lucky us, I know!). I have clear and fond memories of little, fluffy rounds, stacked up and spread with jam on the counter. They were wholesome rocket fuel for my brothers and I, sending us off to the park to swing and jump, to ride around court on our bikes or, when I wanted alone time, to sit under the fairy tree at the front of our property with books. The other week, as I watched Joan reach for a perfectly baby-sized pancake and put it to her mouth before kicking her legs with glee, I just about fainted from the sweetness, from the full-circle beauty of it all… from the reality that I am now the mumma, making those little, fluffy rounds, fuelling my babe up to explore the world.

Joan adores these pancakes. Rarely does my baby girl laugh and chat at the table until she has had a decent portion of her food (she takes eating very seriously), however whenever I serve these pancakes they elicit instant giggles. Sometimes I spread them with almond butter, avocado or yoghurt and she seems to like them each way, though perhaps almond butter is her favourite. Perhaps I am just wanting an excuse to buy or make more almond butter… This recipe makes 8 small pancakes, which Joan will eat over a couple of days. They’re lovely cold from the fridge and make excellent cafe food (i.e. bringing a snack from home) as they don’t leave you with a lot of tricky or sticky mess to clean up.
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Spiced lentil + coconut soup and a new work direction

June 17, 2016

spiced lentil + coconut soup 2
Right about the time I had my realisation that “it’s not going to happen” (going back to work, that is), I also realised that I did not want to be a general practice Dietitian anymore. For years I was seeing a range of clients, from newly diagnosed Type Two Diabetics (often referred by their GP and/or concerned partner), to people with food intolerances and those wanting to lose weight. These referrals are a general practice Dietitian’s bread and butter, and while I enjoyed working with my clients as individuals (I sincerely love hearing how people are living their lives and looking for ways that they can make wholesome and enriching, sustainable changes), when it came to getting back to work after having my baby, I felt incredibly overwhelmed at the task ahead of me. To keep up to date with best practice for the vast range of clients I’d be seeing made me feel anxious. And to be honest, while I enjoyed working with these clients, Diabetes and Fructose Malabsorption were not my passion areas. As a new mum, I was in a completely different world (a world of limited cooking time, interrupted sleep and an eager appetite) and I was loving it! I had fallen head over heels with the entire process of growing a baby, giving birth and nourishing a new life. I had even researched becoming a Midwife (before swiftly deciding that 4 more years at University was not for me), I was that into it. Having recently experienced pregnancy and childbirth, I was acutely aware of the details, as well as the challenges women face during this season. At the time I was deep in the trenches of sleepless nights, and more than ever could appreciate the importance of nourishing yourself with good food to a) help you make it through the day, b) keep yourself well nourished and not depleted as a nursing mum and c) stop you from throwing a pillow at your partner when they don’t read your mind. From my training at University I knew how vital good nutrition was from a physiological point of view, in that what you eat and your lifestyle has a huge impact on your wellness from the preconception stage right through to post-partum…but now that I was living it, I could feel on a different level how profoundly true this was, and I wanted to help other mums and mums-to-be out there feel good and confident and happy and nourished. Because doing so makes a huge difference to how we feel day-to-day and how we care for our children. It’s a big deal.

On my Dietitian website, Gather and Grow Nutrition, you can read in more detail about the clientele I will be working with. Just quickly, though, I would like you to know that it’s not all babies, babies, babies! Those seeking preconception consultations may not want to conceive immediately, they may not even have a partner with whom they’ve had a “when shall we try for a baby?” conversation…but these ladies will have some health issues they wish to address now (from disordered eating patterns to generally feeling unhealthy or confused about what foods best nourish themselves) so that when the time comes, their body will be ready and optimally fertile. Your health prior to conception certainly influences the health of your baby and your health throughout pregnancy (and beyond!). Addressing any concerns now is an important and admirable act of self-care. I will also be providing support to those who are actively trying to fall pregnant, those who are currently pregnant, and those in the postpartum period, whether they have a fresh newborn, or one or two (or more!) older kiddos. This is what I am living and breathing. This is my passion area. This is what is getting me so excited I could burst!

I would love to work with you, and if you think you’d like to work with me too, head over to my services page to check out what happens during a consultation. If it sounds rad and right, get in contact and we will set up a time to Skype. I’ve also had someone ask if they can buy a session as a gift for their friend, which is such an ace idea (hello, great baby shower present!), so I have created a link for you to do just that. And if you wish to see a Dietitian in-person for general nutrition concerns, the lovely and clever Emily Scott will be available for consultations at the Mornington Clinic on a Saturday (read more about that here).

Needless to say I am a little buzzed about this new direction and how it’s all coming together. It just feels so right, in my bones, you know? Over the past few weeks I have been easing back into work with a small number of clients. My mum watches Joan while I work from home and it’s turning out to be so good for all of us. And in between these sessions, whenever Joan gives me a minute to myself, I am busy recipe testing and creating tasty/wholesome/fast meals to share with my clients. One of these recipes is this spiced lentil and coconut soup…
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A Thursday in June with 9-month-old Joan

June 9, 2016

I had been pondering a day in the life post for a while, mainly because it’s the kind of thing I like to read in magazines and blogs (have you read this series? I adore this one in particular). Whenever I’d remember the idea, however, we were already halfway through our day, or it was perhaps an ‘out of the ordinary day’, which made no sense to share because what I wanted to do was document the minutiae of our everyday. I wanted a real glimpse into our lives, of where we are at with our sweet, rough-and-tumble, adventurous 9-month-old baby girl. So here it is, last Thursday, moment by moment.

6:10AM

I wake to hear Ben leaving for work. Joan spends the next 40 minutes feeding then rolling around then feeding, leading me on to believe she may fall back asleep and we can snooze a little more, however eventually she makes it clear that is not going to happen and we get up. It’s now 6:46am. I pop my finger in Joan’s mouth and check her top left gum. Ahuh! Just as I expected. We had a rather wakeful night (the past two nights, actually), and at one point she woke screaming and crying, the poor thing. And sure enough, her top middle left tooth has cut through her gum. We open the curtains and she touches the window, tapping at the street lamp that is still shining bright. It’s cold and dark outside. I check the temperature using an app on my phone – 6.5 degrees. Yikes!

We head out of the bedroom and I strap Joan into a bouncy chair with a toy, then race to use the bathroom and have a quick shower. By the time I get out she is attempting an escape from the chair – baby hates to be restrained (she found the Bumbo seat a form of cruel punishment. We head into our bedroom and she pulls herself up on our (small and stable) chest of drawers and bed, practising standing hands-free while I moisturise (with coconut oil) and get dressed. It’s a home day today, we’re laying low as Joan hasn’t been 100%. This means I reach for yoga pants and a warm, slouchy sweater. Once I’m dressed we head into bubba’s room where she crawls around playing while I change her nappy and get her into some warm clothes. Joan is firmly against nappy changes at the moment (in addition to getting dressed), so I find myself working my butt off to pretend I’m not doing anything offensive and “look nappy changes are fun OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM OINK OINK OINK!” Ok, now I need food…

7:12AM

Joan and I are dressed so we head downstairs to the kitchen/living room. I pop her in the playpen with her toys and wait to see if it’s one of those days when she will tolerate it for 10 minutes or if she screams immediately. Lucky for me her Twoodie Toys and phone are particularly interesting this morning, and I get about 10 minutes to make breakfast and pack away some dishes.

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