Nurture Your Life- Your REAL FOOD weaning guide

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Nurture Your Life ebook Loula Natural

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.

 

Download here:

My new weaning book

My new weaning book

Here is a link to all the recipes I used when weaning.

Nurture Your Life pin

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Blender Waffles

Blender Waffles Loula Natural

When I was 20 I went to the U.S.A to be a camp counsellor in New Haven, Connecticut. I absolutely loved it. I was there for almost 3 months, 8 weeks at camp and then almost 4 weeks traveling as south as South Carolina (I absolutely loved Charleston) and as north as Toronto. I was introduced to many new culinary species on that trip (man the American’s have rubbish cheese and chocolate- well they did in those days my blogger friends insist things have changed!) but the thing that stuck for me was waffles with maple syrup and bacon. Stuck-like-glue, I just love the salty sweet combination.

Over the years I always ordered it in a restaurant and make pancakes all the time but waffles always seemed like such a faff. NOT ANYMORE! 

Blender Waffles action Loula Natural

Blender waffles she says! My pancake making days were instantly changed when I found blender pancakes, the mix of healthy fats and protein in the eggs and almond/coconut flour, plus the natural sweetness of the banana has given my kids pancakes way more often- even on school days! Grain free too which make these perfect for me and my family. So I took this combo and played with the consistency and thus blender waffles are born!

I now make 2 different types; Chocolate Waffles (very rich chocolatey flavour with zero added sugar) and Vanilla Waffles. I have included both for you- you’re welcome!

Vanilla Blender Waffles
A gluten-free and super simple waffle recipe. All you need is a blender and 5 simple ingredients!
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Ingredients
  1. 6 eggs (pasture raised if possible)
  2. 3 medium banana's
  3. 3 tbsp coconut flour
  4. 5 tbsp almond/oat flour
  5. 1 tbsp collagen hydrolysate
  6. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  7. pinch of pink Himalayan salt
Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients to the blender and blitz on high until smooth. Pour into a heated waffle iron. Close waffle iron and cook for 4.5 minutes.
Notes
  1. I love to serve mine with bacon, maple syrup, almond butter and banana.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
 Here are the chocolate ones! These are nice served with cream and berries.

Waffle Iron Loula Natural

Chocolate Blender Waffles
Rich, bitter cacao with the natural sweetness of banana. Full of healthy fats and protein. Blender waffles are super simple and only have 7 ingredients that you probably have in your house. Grain free these are paleo friendly.
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Ingredients
  1. 6 eggs (pasture raised if possible)
  2. 3 medium banana's
  3. 3 tbsp coconut/almond flour
  4. 7 tbsp /raw cacao powder
  5. 1 tbsp collagen hydrolysate
  6. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  7. dash of milk/water kefir
  8. pinch of pink Himalayan salt
Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients to the blender and blitz on high until smooth. Pour into heated waffle iron and cook for 4.5 minutes.
Notes
  1. I like to serve these black forrest style, with whipped cream or coconut cream and cherries or mixed berries.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Let me know if you try them…

Blender Waffles Loula Natural Pin

Fat Banana Custard

Fat Banana Custard  Ingredients Loula Natural

Fat Banana Custard

I have been enjoying instagram so much, here I am if you want to find me. I love the creativity and inspiration of people from around the world- making connections with people in their lives is very exciting.

There are a few people on there that I look out for as I really love what they are doing and Holistic Lifestyler is one of them (here is his website too). Today he posted his work in progress on a banana custard with bone marrow- yum. Quality meat is difficult to get here (its normally frozen or needs to be delivered) and I sense marrow will be even harder, so with some encouragement from my friend Helen over at Mango Menus (seriously good stuff going on over there too- here’s her website). I decided to have a go.

Banana Fat Custard Ingredients Loula Natural

The result is so delicious (and I was in a right funk this morning- grumpy, cranky, creaky and groggy!!) and has lifted my mood that I have literally just finished eating it- have to get it out there for you all! You have to try it- for breakfast, snack, lunch-boxes or pudding- it is so yummy and fills most of my quota for fats in a sitting!

Banana Fat Custard Loula Natural1

Fat Banana Custard
A delicious and healthy fat filled breakfast, snack, lunchbox or pudding. Great addition to your day. Simple and very quick.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 banana's
  2. 1/2 cup of fresh coconut meat (about 1 coconut) or soaked coconut flakes
  3. 1tbsp Chia
  4. 2 tbsp Ghee
  5. 1tbsp Milk or Water Kefir
  6. 1-2 tbsp Gelatin (I used Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate)
  7. 2 pasture raised eggs
  8. 1tbsp Raw Honey
  9. Cinnamon (optional)
  10. Pinch of pink/sea salt
Instructions
  1. blend the ingredients together and serve in a bowl!
Notes
  1. This could serve one person or (like us) me and the two kids as part of our fat quota for the day.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Try it- so delicious and has given me such a nice energy this morning- I may have even licked my bowl (I did!!)

Fat Banana Custard  Ingredients Loula Natural pin

Ask Loula; Baby First Foods

Ask Loula Baby Fist Foods

Baby First Foods

As you can probably tell I am very passionate about kids nutrition. It starts with pre-conception. Feeding ourselves  before we have kids, while we are pregnant and then in breastfeeding and of course what we wean our kids onto; is extremely important for their health. Food provides nutrients for new cell formation and therefore supports the baby’s fast growth and development. Plus nourishing their relationship with food in a positive and fun way can provide them with a healthy understanding of what real food is and how great you can feel after eating real food.

Todays question is one that I am often asked and am happy to answer.

Can you please give me a list of foods that are great for babies to start off with.

Babies do not necessarily absorb nutrients from foods for the first year. Breastmilk is designed to do that. Formula attempts to do the same. The first 6 months of a child physically eating, is not necessarily to nourish them but to help them to acquire basic and necessary skills to eat. A relationship which is lifelong and should be encouraged. Eat for fun until they are one is very true. 

The main thing to consider is that at weaning age babies may have some the enzymes to digest some proteins and fats. However until the age of 2 (or until the child’s back molars have come through) grains are not yet digestible. Baby Rice is one of the worst things you can ever give a baby as its first foods! Not only is it the by-product of industry but also the nutrients that may possibly be in it are completely unavailable. They may be full up- but they have not eaten it themselves and because it is a food that the body cannot recognise it may also ignite some inflammation. Especially if the baby is formula fed.

Fermented foods are so important at this stage and especially if the baby is formula fed. Water Kefir (see here to make it and my book Culture Your Life) is safe to use adding up to a tsp in their food a day. Please consult your naturopath if your child was a c-section, formula fed baby showing some digestive weakness (colic, reflux, intolerances, excess gas).

Gelatin is also nice to add to your baby’s food. Especially if there are any intolerances showing or skin conditions. Gelatin is anti-inflammatory but also hugely necessary for structural growth and development- so crucial for children. This is the one I like (find it at The Body Group if you are in Hong Kong) for first foods as it doesn’t set so can be sprinkled over fruit or cooled steamed veg.

Instead start with these traditional baby’s first foods-

ghee (even for those kids with a potential dairy issue- ghee is just the fat),

egg yolk (see here),

grated liver,

fish eggs (like those found in the sushi section of the supermarket)

Let them sip some bone broth.

and ripe banana.

Coconut Yoghurt (coconut meat with a little coconut water kefir blended to a cream)

or coconut butter

These foods can be fun for the kids to pick up, smear onto their trays and work out how to get it into their mouth, move it around their mouth (a babys instinct is to push food out of their mouth- at this stage it has very little to do with flavour)

I then move on to Foods that are hard enough to be picked up, but soft enough to help them start to chew.;

lightly steamed, in batons ;sweet potato

broccoli,

green beans 

carrots.

peas (really good fun for kids to play with!)

Raw; avocado,

pear slices,

peaches sliced,

raspberries, blackberries and blueberries

I also introduce chia (1tsp to 2 tsp coconut water, breastmilk or water)

(If you have to give them rice, lentils, chickpeas then ensure they are prepared traditionally; that they have been soaked before and cook it in bone broth)

  I always eat in front of my kids as they learn by mimicking and copying whatever they see in front of them. I help them, I allow them to take the lead and I let them enjoy it.

With kids time is essential. Allow your child time and space to learn how to eat and enjoy their food. If it looks like they don’t like something, let them try it again and again. Encourage them to try. Give them some food off your plate and if possible be eating the same food as them. Be careful to notice how you act around foods- they will copy you. Be mindful about how you talk about them eating- they are listening!

Never ever say; you don’t like it, you won’t like it he/she won’t eat that.

Replace with; try it, lets see!

What should we feed kids Loula Natural fb

See here for my latest article with loads of recipes for kids food

 Here are some links to some great reads on baby’s nutrition;

Nourished Kitchen; Baby-Led-Weaning

Follow me on Pinterest here; Loula Natural

Here is my pinterest board for Baby and Kids health;   Follow Loula Natural’s board Loula’s baby and kiddies health on Pinterest. and here is one for baby’s and kids food; Follow Loula Natural’s board Loula’s kids food inspiration on Pinterest.

Q and A Loula Natural Travel and eating out Pin

Natural Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients

Natural Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients Loula Natural

Natural Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients

So you have read about inflammation, what it is, how you can change your lifestyle to heal from inflammation. Now you are looking for food sources of natural anti- inflammatories?.

I advise my clients on anti-inflammatory foods on a case by case basis and this information is here to help you to further your knowledge and motivate you to use more natural methods to reduce inflammation. For your personal healing journey I recommend talking to your naturopath or nutritional therapist.

Helping the body to recover from chronic and systemic inflammation is key to health and using foods to heal is a very effective way to help prevent long term inflammation in the future. This is true for us and for our children.

Berries– Blueberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries are rich in flavonoids. freeze dried and frozen berries are great options when they are out of season. You can also use freeze dried berry powder. Beware of those with added sugar and preservatives. Vitamin C is also anti-inflammatory

Dried Cranberries Loula Natural

Reservatrol- this is the active anti-inflammatory ingredient in several foods like red/black grapes, red wine vinegar, blueberries, mulberries, peanuts, raw cacao and cranberries. It is one of the reasons red wine is good for the heart- since heart disease is mainly caused by systemic inflammation of the arteries.

Avocado

Natural fats; Remove all trans fats (hydrogenated oils), oils so far from their natural starting point (corn and vegetable oil) and those man made oils (canola). Ensure the oils that you consume are from a reputable source have been harvested and processed correctly (cold pressed and extra virgin- which means nothing added or taken away) and are stable in high heat if cooking and storing oils. Coconut oil and ghee are my oils of choice to cook with. I also use fish oils (fish eggs mostly), nut oils (almond, walnut), seed oils (flax, sunflower and sesame), eggs, meat/fish on the bone, bone broths, avocado’s and seeds like chia and hemp on an almost daily basis. Try this smoked salmon pate, energy balls chocolate, chocolate fudge or vanilla butter fudge. Fat based vitamins like Vitamin A and D are also anti-inflammatory

Different kefir sales image

Fermented foods; By regulating the digestive system and immune system fermented foods can help reduce inflammation. By lessening the load of the digestive system and assisting in absorption of nutrients, bacteria can provide cells with necessary ingredients. By moderating cytokines (immune cells) the body is able to ‘switch’ off inflammation. They can help repair leaks in the digestive system stopping foods from alerting the immune system of their presence in the blood stream in the wrong forms. By consuming excess sugar in the body they can help regulate blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity thus helping to balance hormone levels. Increase the cells ability to create energy, protect and support liver detoxification and toxin elimination thus helping to relieve stress at a cellular level. Consume fermented foods like apple cider vinegar, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir gummies, kimchi, natto, miso, lacto-fermented vegetables and fruit on a daily basis.

Kefir Gummies Recipe Pic Loula Natural

Gelatin; Gelatin is found in the bones and connective tissues of animals. Essentially a collagen protein, it is found in a third of the body in humans. Gelatin assist healing of bones, tissues, and muscles thus speeding up recovery and therefore helping to promote the reduction of inflammation. It can also assist in the digestion of some foods. By helping to form strong cells that are able to utilise oxygen, water and produce energy, less trauma related inflammation at a cellular level will be evident. Get gelatin from daily consumption of bone broths or add gelatin in powder form to drinks (coffee, smoothies, juices, green drinks) and stews, soups, sauces, gummies and so on. You can buy gelatin from reputable sources (ie cows that are grass fed and healthy) that can be added to cold substances that won’t gel- collagen hydrolysate (here and here) and to hot things to thicken and set (here and here).

Onions and garlic; Contain quercetin which is a powerful antioxidant. It also helps balance bacterial levels of h-pylori by helping to protect the cells from attack cause by dysbiosis.

Plants; Vegetables (mostly greens, sweet potatoes, beetroot, cabbage and asparagus. I limit nightshades and try to eat a mixture of raw and cooked). Using colour on your plate is a great way to ensure you have a mix of nutrients. I try to have at least 4 colours on my plate at every meal. I also love apples, pears and plums. I limit bananas, grapes, melon, mango and pineapple. I try to consume more vegetables than fruit and always consume them with some fats like coconut butter. Also greens like spirulina, chorella, wheatgrass and seaweeds can have anti-inflammatory effects.

oil pulling with coconut oil Loula Natural

Coconut; I view coconuts a little like eggs. Natures perfect package. Coconut oil, fresh (or fermented if bought pasteurised in a carton) and coconut meat all have huge anti-inflammatory and bacterial balancing properties.

Spices; Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper. Have great anti-inflammatory properties. I like to consume them as close to nature as possible rather than as processed powders- such as turmeric root. However if prepared traditionally (ie looking at ayurvedic preparation of spices includes heating them first) they can have massive healing benefits. Try a healing Chai Rooibos tea (see below)

Roobios Chai tea Concentrate Collage Loula Natural

Herbs; Rosemary, oregano, thyme, holy basil (tulsi), mint, willow bark, chamomile, calendula, hibiscus, rosehips, melissa, passionflower, valerian and so on. All have calming and healing restorative properties. If you want to use tinctures/supplement I recommend contacting a herbal or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner. Culinary herbs and teas are generally how I like to use them. 

Frankincense; Used in ayurvedic medicine it is a tree (boswellia) resin which can block some chemical reactions that can start inflammation.

Alpha-lipoic acid; This is a very powerful intra-cellular antioxidant. this is very effective in chronic and systemic inflammation as it helps to protect the cells from toxins affecting the cells. Is used in blood sugar balance as it can increase insulin sensitivity of cells and helps cells to produce energy. It has show to prevent specific molecules adhesion (sticking) to the cells which promotes inflammation of the cell. It is also is a good metal chelator, meaning it will bind to metals and take them out of the body (source). This helps to support the liver (it is also a precursor to glutathione which is the body’s  most powerful natural antioxidant. Foods rich in alpha-lipoic acid are organ meats such as the heart, liver and kidneys, and vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. Lesser amounts of ALA occur naturally in Brussels sprouts, peas and tomatoes. Dietary sources are somewhat ineffective in such small amounts. Supplementation is often advised. Contact your naturopath or nutritional therapist for information on brands and dosage.

There are more sources of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments and contact your naturopath or nutritional therapist for other sources.

see here for more information.

Natural Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients Loula Natural pin

 Berries image

 

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