Nurture Your Life is the second in my series of books on natural health (the first was Culture Your Life published 2014). Children’s nutrition is a big passion of mine. As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I see many children with chronic conditions like persistent illness, skin conditions, energy and growth issues and a staggering increase in children with allergies and intolerances. With two children of my own, I feel compelled to help these kids find their strength and return them to health to help prevent more serious conditions in their future.
Weaning a child onto food is a very powerful first step in a child’s relationship with food. A relationship which is of fundamental importance to health. Think of your own love/hate relationship with food. There are so many non-foods in our diets in the west, our supermarkets are sometimes almost 80% stocked with chemical, processed and unhealthy foods. Conventional avenues still persist that rice cereal (which may be hugely inflammatory to an immature digestive system) is the food we should be starting our kids on. This book does not recommend that route.
I hope you enjoy reading it and ask questions, keep reading, become informed as to how the body works. Change your own relationship to food if need be. Lets start our kids off the right way, with foods to nurture their life from the beginning.
My son is not a fan of meat- AT ALL. It doesn’t bother me too much as he has lots of stock (bone broth) on a daily basis. He also has a broad spectrum of healthy fats over the day. Animal protein is important and if he ate eggs then I would relax, but he doesn’t. If I am not careful he would just eat carbs all day (like most kids) but then I would pay the price with his behaviour (moaning, anger, weepy and destructive!).
My quest for lunchbox foods also continues- this one really fits the bill too as they are bite size and nice hot or cold. They will be perfect party food, picnic foods and travel snacks. The fact that they are easy to make is also a huge bonus!
There are just 3 steps;
Cut and soak; Soaking the chicken keeps it really moist and tender
Shake; shaking it in coconut flour and almond flour/coconut gives it a good crust
and bake (or shallow fry in butter);
He loves them and calls them popcorn! I love that they are packed full of goodness and healthy fats! Bonus is my daughter also loves them and asks for them for lunch. Wining all round! You can add a variety of spices to the chicken, personally I like curry powder in mine, it is delicious with the coconut milk.
Tumeric and Coconut Popcorn Chicken
This is a great chicken recipe, full of healthy fats and packed with flavour. Coconut and turmeric make this grain free, paleo friendly recipe delicious and nutritious.
Cut chicken meat into small bite size pieces and place in a glass container (with a lid). Pour over coconut milk and add turmeric, salt and pepper. Replace lid and shake. Leave to marinade in the fridge overnight
Put coconut/almond and flour into a ziplock bag. Pour in chicken and shake bag until all the pieces are covered. Pour contents out onto baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake at 200 degree C for 20-25 mins until chicken is fully cooked.
Chicken can be frozen at this time if desired. To reheat, thaw completely and heat some ghee/butter in a pan and reheat chicken until hot through.
Chicken can also be fried in butter or olive oil or in an airfryer
these are great cold or hot. Serve with some fermented ketchup or mayo, sweet potato chips or a big colourful salad.
I love 2 fried eggs cooked in ghee and sprinkled with ghee for breakfast. I serve it with some sauerkraut or kimchee for a yummy balanced breakfast. Recently I have wanted more and fancied trying egg muffins or crustless quiche as they are also known. I love these recipes for eggs on the go. They can be made and then frozen or are egg-cellent in lunch boxes (sorry I couldn’t resist!)
Lunch boxes, after school, before dinner, pre/post work outs, 11’s, with a cup of tea/coffee, sugar slump at 3/4, friends over, picnics, or just because- snacks are in our lives. I used to snack badly. I would generally get so hungry I would be grabbing for something, normally high in carbs and low in fat.
Over the last few years I have completely reversed my attitude to fats (see my posts here and here) and grains. My body has had a huge amount of healing and shape changing to go through to compensate for the years of bad choices and bad information I have been subjecting it to.
My metabolism and blood sugar levels were the pits and my moods and disproportionate stomach size completely proved it. Now I am more balanced and am finally becoming the shape I have always wanted. It has taken time, ups and downs and lows and highs, but one thing has helped me through it- snacking wisely!
I have also really helped my daughter to try and achieve balance by helping her to snack wisely too. Her days are better at school when she has eaten her fats, less good when she hasn’t (see here for why schools need to do more for our kids nutrition). Her energy is calmer and her mood swings much more moderate. Score for us all!!! She is also super lean and strong. She just got chosen to be her house female representative in running (proud mum moment!).
So, to lose weight, reduce inflammation, balance hormones, heal your digestive system, moderate your immune system, get some energy, build strong muscles, increase memory and brain function, balance mood swings, reduce joint pain and so many other benefits- INCREASE FATS and REDUCE GRAINS.
Snacking is great when done right…..
Savoury snacks; Not all of us have a sweet tooth apparently! One of my favourite snacks whilst cooking dinner is to throw my sweet potato or carrot peelings in an oven proof dish, cover with coconut oil and salt and in the oven for 10-15 mins to turn into crisps (or chips for you over the pond!)
Try some of these savoury snacks- great for lunch boxes too…
For those with more of a sweet tooth- try some of these.
Here are some energy balls. I find these so easy to make up and to add to boxes as travel snacks. Great on the go for all ages and are brilliant to keep the moaning at bay! Pretty much anything can be thrown into them so they can easily cater to all nutritional needs. Also the kids love to make them with you- a sure fire way that they will eat them!
Last one- in a rush- here are some smoothies to give you the same nutritional punch of healthy fats, proteins and nutrient rich carbohydrates.
I looooove pumpkin season! Making Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir makes so much sense to me.It is so versatile as it can be sweet or savoury. Packed full of nutrients and flavour, fermenting it makes it bang like the fireworks around this season! I started making this Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir recipe last year when I was playing with recipes for my book Culture Your Life. We make it every year now! Check out all my favourite recipes for pumpkin here.
This Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir recipe is simple and you can use canned pumpkin or make your own very easily (and cheaper!). That way you have complete control over how much sugar you add as in the canning process the pumpkin is heated again thus caramelizing the sugar.
Making your own water kefir is so easy
It is so easy to make your water Kefir as here. There is a video too to help you get started here;
Have fun flavouring it whilst the pumpkins are around! Fun to use this Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir to make cocktails with for family gatherings, BBQ’s and other fall festivals. I make standard Gin and Tonics much more fun, adding this Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir recipe!
Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir
A warming, delicious seasonal flavour of Water Kefir. Simple to make and great to boost immunity in Autumn.