Natural Family Health Classes with Baby Massage

I found parenting for the first time was one of the hardest and quickest changes I have ever had to do. Correction, I find parenting really hard. I still have no idea what I am doing…However I have learnt a lot since those first days, weeks and months. The main thing that saved me was the community I found who I am still in contact with to this day. I did baby massage with both of my kids and I found the teachers and the other mothers (and there was a Dad too!) so helpful as I navigated the unknown.

While I am not going to be teaching the actual massage section of the class (I leave that in the very capable and experienced hands of Tracy McCarthy of Head to Toe Therapies), I really love supporting families to heal and grow, alongside the benefits of massage.

Massage is a great way for you and your partner to bond with your baby, and you may find it benefiting for you too! 

I am providing support and education on the following areas:

Postpartum recovery: We spend so much time and energy on monitoring the babys development and growth. However as the new mum, your healing has also just begun. I want to support your emotional and physical healing as you begin a new phase in your life. This is especially true if you have had more than one child. I have seen lots of mums 5/10/15 years down the line still recovering physically and emotionally from growing, birthing, feeding and nurturing their children. You deserve time and attention too! In this first session, I offer nutrition guidance to help repair and rebuild your own body, abdominal repair and strengthening advice and support and also emotional healing too

EFT for Peaceful Parenting: Learn how to quickly and simply manage your reactions to help you to become the parent you want to be.

When it comes to parenting, today’s world does not offer parents a clear path. Children do not come with a manual and just like us as adults; every child is unique in their developments, growth, moods, reactions and methods of communication. It can be confusing to have so much input into how, why, what and when you should parent. This is especially true if this is your first time as a parent.

EFT uses the mapped energy meridians from traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture points, combined with breathing and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Pathways) principles. You simply use your fingertips to tap the points, while you breath and speak all your thoughts and beliefs. EFT is very effective in calming your body and mind the more often you use it, like any other mindfulnes

Once you see how effective EFT is in helping you to manage and alter your moods, thoughts and reactions, you’ll probably want to try it with your child. It’s a quick and effective way to calm kids of all ages when they’re upset, help them release stuck emotions or trauma, and help them relax to fall asleep and gain a better quality of sleep at night.

Sleep Remedies: High quality sleep is just as important for overall heath as what you eat and how you move. Nevertheless, many people have trouble falling asleep, wake up frequently or fail to wake up feeling rested. Some people have no problem falling asleep and yet still awake feeling tired. Many others have severe difficulty falling and staying asleep through the night.This makes optimal health and well-being a challenge.

Sleep affects your hormone balance affecting your weight, cravings, menstrual cycle and fight or flight mechanism. It may also affect your memory and cognition, your mood and motivation and your ambition for your own life. However sleep also has links to cardiovascular system dysfunctions, immune system regulation, blood glucose maintenance, depression and even athletic performance. All of these symptoms are commonly found across most parents, adults and even children!

We have all heard about the benefits of 7-9 hours of sleep a night, however sometimes we cannot control the amount of sleep we get in a night and these guidelines cause more stress for parents. However we can work on the quality of your sleep rather than quantity. An hour of well rested sleep can sometimes be more beneficial than more sleep that is light, fitful and interrupted. For you and your baby!

Natural Remedies for Teething and Colic: Teething and colic are two common baby woes you will definitely come across as a parent. Typical symptoms are fussing and crying. Colic is not a disease, but rather a collection of symptoms with an unknown cause. Specific diagnosis is based on the following “unexplained crying lasting more than at least 3 hours a day, on at least 3 days (per week), of at least 3 weeks”. Helpful, I know! Babies who display these symptoms are said to be colicky, a term that refers to intestinal pain, even if this may not necessarily be the case. Caring for a colicky baby can be a trying experience for parents. No matter what you try, your baby may still remain inconsolable. The important thing is to stay calm and relaxed.

Some babies are born with one or more teeth, while others do not get their first tooth until the age of 1. In general, however, primary teeth start coming in between 6 months and 3 years of age, a process that can be with or without pain. Both of my children got their first tooth at 9 months, however teething symptoms began at 3months. Another unknown and frustrating time for babies and parents alike!

In recent decades the use of natural remedies for colic and teething has increased significantly. There are even studies confirming that there is even a high interest of physicians in natural remedies and homeopathy for these ailments. We will discuss several of these options and help you to begin to build a tool kit of remedies to try for the physical and emotional sides for parent and child.

Real Food Weaning: By weaning your child onto real foods with confidence and excitement we are giving our babies a great start in their relationship to food. Good nutrition is vital for your child’s healthy development. I can certainly vouch for it being a confusing time. I aim to help you to understand how a baby’s digestive system works and what nutrients your child needs to grow and develop. Hopefully make this part of parenting more fun for you both.

Food provides nutrients for new cell formation and therefore supports the baby’s fast growth and development. Good nutrition therefore is of vital importance for their present and future health. Foods rich in proteins and fats are paramount to their developmental needs. This is when your child begins to develop their relationship to food. Nourishing this relationship in a positive and fun way can provide them with a healthy understanding of how great real food is.

Key lessons given to our babies continue when they are toddlers. Allowing them to use their senses around food (especially sight, touch and smell) and play becomes fundamental to how they will view nourishing themselves for the rest of their lives. This is how we can, as parents, help them to make good lifestyle choices from the very beginning. It may also reduce any fussy eating habits later.

The benefits of sea salt

Sea salt has been used therapeutically, by our ancestors, for thousands of years. The word salary came from the word for salt as it was used as currency for years.  Seen as a precious commodity to season food, preserve food and boost health. Salt like Celtic sea salt, volcanic salt and Himalayan sea salt that are generally grey, black, or pink in colour. People need to eat salt for normal cell function and to maintain the acid balance of the blood. These salts are actually very helpful in balancing the body, the  concentration of minerals and nutrients in seawater, matches the concentration of minerals in our blood. Using salt may help to provide the body the nutrients lacking from our soils and therefore some of our foods. Of course it enhances the flavour notes in our food!

Sea salt comes from evaporating seawater, Himalayan Pink Salt comes from mining ancient sea salt deposits from the mountains in the himalayan mountains. To be impressed at the number of minerals you may find in salt, have a look at the analysis of minerals found in Himalayan Pink Salt here

Here are some of the benefits of salt:

1. Keeps you hydrated

Sea salt is extremely beneficial in keeping us hydrated, which may surprise us as we know if we were stranded at sea and only had sea water to drink we would suffer. The amount of electrolytes in sea salt help our cells to absorb the water. Therefore a little salt in our water may also satisfy our thirst for a longer period of time and allow us to absorb fluids, rehydrating us.

Because of this comprehensive mineral content, sea salt is a great source of electrolytes like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium. These electrolytes are also vital for muscle, brain and heart health and cellular function.

Try making your own effective electrolyte drink; adding a pinch of sea salt to a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon or orange.

2. Reduces fluid retention

 
Eating real food (instead of processed foods) and season your cooking with sea salt may to help eliminate bloat and water retention.

3. A great source of minerals 

So most sea salts have been shown to contain up to 84 trace minerals that we can absorb. These may help us to redress any micronutrient deficiencies we may have to nourish and strengthen our body. Our soil has shown to be been depleted of these essential minerals because of over farming, mono cropping and chemical pesticides used. This is showing a potential deficit in essential minerals that used to be prevalent in our food produce. Sea salt also has a more complete symbiosis of minerals in the right ratios, this makes those nutrients more absorbable and useable in the body, far better than single nutrient supplements and even some multi nutrient recipes.

Use a pinch of sea salt each day can really add up that extra nutrient profile.

When your electrolytes are low, you can experience muscle soreness, cramps, low energy levels, and even restless leg syndrome. The lack of minerals (especially magnesium) may keep the muscles from relaxing and cause muscle tension that is not necessarily due to workload on the muscles. Salt baths can be recommended for any kind for muscle fatigue or excessive cramping.  With the osmosis process, toxins will be drawn out of the body in a salt bath and the mineral profile will be absorbed.

Add 1/2 cup of sea salt to your bath water and use any of your favourite essential oils for a relaxing and replenishing bath

5. May  help balance bacteria levels. (see here)

Salt may help to balance some types of bacteria levels on the skin, in wounds and in the intestines by using the osmosis process. The water in the bacterial cells is effectively sucked out of them. Without water, bacterial cannot function and eventually the cell collapses in on itself and dies. Some bacteria have a built in system to resist this process. Others seem to consume the salt. Studies on salt and bacterial balance are still being done to understand this. Brines in preserved and fermented foods help to maintain an acidic environment which also prevents mould to thrive.
 
Consume salt fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.

6. Great for skin health

Have you ever noticed that your skin feels softer and smoother after some time spent at the sea? You may have even noticed cuts, grazes, rashes, eczema, and psoriasis heal faster. Many people notice skin improvements after a holiday where they will go for a swim in the sea. As discussed before, our bodies contain the same concentration of minerals and nutrients as seawater does.  Salt water is full of with skin-necessary minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which are then are easily absorbed into your body through the skin. These nutrients also may play a role in anti-inflammatory effects beneficial for skin and whole body health. It is no surprise that there are many beauty products that use sea salt, like salt scrubs that while exfoliating skin, also help to increase circulation, and providing the skin with nutrients. 

Use salt with coconut oil as a drawing out salve for acne, or as a scrub or cleanser.

7. Improves digestion

Sea salt is necessary for the digestion system, which begins in the mouth. Salivary amylase, which is an enzyme which helps break down carbohydrates found in your saliva, is activated by the flavour of salt on the tastebuds on the tongue. The nutrients in salt play a stimulating role in the making of hydrochloric acid, which is secreted and necessary in the stomach for the breakdown of food, especially proteins and fats. Many people are insufficient in quality and quantity hydrochloric acid, and this may in turn, lead to  numerous digestive issues like bloating, gas, heartburn, indigestion.

Season your food whilst cooking or on your plate. Or make the replenishing electrolyte drink seen above.

8. Nourishes the adrenal glands

Adrenal fatigue may occur from prolonged stress (fight or flight mechanism) and poor diet. With adrenal hormone level insufficiency, one of the main symptoms you may experience is salt cravings. This is because the body is craving the nutrients it finds in sea salt. Among their numerous demanding functions, our adrenal glands release hormones that target the kidneys to regulate sodium and potassium levels. To make  this particular job easier, the adrenals favour a balance of these minerals through the consumption of high quality sea salt. By giving the body the nutrients the body’s cells need for optimum function, the nervous system is also calmed and rest and recovery becomes more possible.

Instead of eating a salty packet of crisps or processed food, try having a pinch of salt in a glass of water or a salt bath to satisfy the body’s cravings.

9. Regulates blood pressure

It may be surprising, but sea salt is even greatly beneficial for regulating blood pressure. If the nutrient profile in the blood is the right ratio of water to nutrients, the blood can flow easier and inflammation may become reduced. The rise in blood pressure may often the result of inflammation in the body, potentially caused by a high sugar, processed food diet devoid of most nutrients. This may create a deficient in blood nutrient ratios. With all of the benefits as above, balancing bacteria levels, improving the immune system, increasing hydration levels, removing toxins and calming the nervous system we may also seen a benefit to the circulatory system, in particular blood pressure.

So there you have it, salt still remains as a precious commodity. One that needs a presence for the interior and exterior of your body…

 

Kitchen sink omelette waffle

I love to add whatever is in the fridge into my omelette, hence the kitchen omelette waffle sink title! A little bit of this, a little bit of that, cheese is a definite (unless I am on my whole 30 weeks). By then adding it to a waffle maker, well, it becomes a special fancy omelette waffle and it is then also super portable (good for packed lunches) and surprisingly more delicious!

You make this like you would any omelette, I serve mine with a kitchen sink salad, but that recipe another day……!

Eggs are natures perfect package, I like to eat them every day. Rich in macro and micronutrients, you get a great hit of nourishment. If you struggle to digest eggs, then I suggest supporting your digestive system by adding some herbs to this recipe and having a shot of apple cider vinegar in some water either before or after eating it. This omelette is a great brunch recipe and will get some good oohs and ahhs! I like it with some guacamole too!

Kitchen Sink Omelette Waffles
Serves 2
A fancy take on an omelette which not only looks cool, but also tastes delicious.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 10 eggs
  2. (whatever is in the fridge- here are some recommendations)
  3. Fresh (or dried herbs) especially oregano or thyme
  4. 1/2 small diced onion
  5. 3 rashers of bacon, cooked and chopped up
  6. 1/4 red pepper diced
  7. 1/4 cup sliced fresh spinach/kale
  8. 1/4 cup grated sharp mature cheddar
  9. Salt and pepper to season
  10. butter or ghee (optional)
Instructions
  1. Begin to heat waffle irons
  2. Crack the eggs into a bowl
  3. Add your flavours
  4. Season with salt and pepper and beat with a fork until combined.
  5. add a little butter/ghee, beat again.
  6. Pour a 1/4 mixture onto each waffle space.
  7. Close waffle maker and allow to cook for 15 mins.
  8. Repeat until mixture is finished.
  9. Serve with a salad or guacamole and salsa.
Loula Natural https://loulanatural.com/

Warming, healing and delicious Turmeric Tea

Turmeric tea

This time of year and every change of season our body needs help to adjust. The healing spices in this turmeric tea have been used for centuries. We need to maintain our body temperature every day and when the outside environment is up and down that can be a stressful task for the body (cue fever!).

Spices have a long tradition in every culture to help support the body by providing essential nutrients as building blocks. Turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, black pepper, cloves, cacao and nutmeg all have a rich tradition as healing herbs. Any combination of these is going to help to support, boost, calm and restore the body during any up and down period (stress included).

I love to make this at the beginning or end of the day. Especially when I am feeling run down, cold, stressed or pre-menstrual. The combination of the herbs gives a big dose of nutrients and healing power. I sometimes make it with milk (I tend to use this coconut cream or cashew milk), I also make it with hot water and a dash of coconut cream.

Simply make up a jar of this mix and add what you like. I especially like to add it to my hot chocolate recipe! The kids like it too….

Turmeric Tea
Yields 20
A warming cuddle in a mug. Perfect to boost the immune system and calm the nervous system.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 tbsp ground turmeric
  2. 10 tbsp coconut sugar
  3. 1 tbsp ground ginger
  4. 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  6. 1/2 tbsp cardamon
Instructions
  1. Use 1-2 tsp of the mix in a mug.
  2. Either warm a cup of milk (any milk) and pour into cup, stirring while pouring
  3. Boil kettle and take off just before boiled. fill mug stirring whilst pouring.
  4. Enjoy
Notes
  1. The sweetness may need to be adjusted for your palate. If it is too spicey for you, adjust rather than not drinking it at all
Loula Natural https://loulanatural.com/
I normally get big bags of herbs from my favourite brands on iherb, here are my links here (I get a bonus if you buy through these links) however you can find them elsewhere too.

Turmeric

Coconut Sugar

Ginger

Cinnamon

Cardamon

Black Pepper

Raw Cacao

Nutmeg

Star anise

Cloves

Blender Flourless Brownies

Blender Flourless Brownies

Yep, you read right, make flourless brownies in your blender! So easy and quick! Throw all the ingredients and then pour the mix into your baking tray or molds like I do!

My kids love these and they also take them to school as their snack. I love them because they take literally minutes to make, there is minimal washing up, they have great nutrition in them and are sugar-free so continue to build their healthy relationship with food and real chocolate.

They are also great with a cup of tea for me!!

Blender Flourless Brownies
Yields 25
A simple, delicious and nutritious adjustment of a classic chocolate brownie recipe to make in the blender. Blitz, pour and bake. Sugarless too.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
  2. 1/4 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp. Himalayan Pink salt
  4. 1 cup coconut oil (you could also use butter/ghee)
  5. 14 dates (more or less for you own sweet tooth)
  6. 1-2 tbsp. coconut sugar (optional)
  7. 3/4 cup cacao paste or 1/2 cup 70-80% chocolate bar/chips
  8. 4 eggs
  9. 3/4 cup water
  10. 1/2 cup collagen hydrolysate (optional)
  11. pinch of vanilla or tsp vanilla extraxct
  12. Chocolate chips for the top (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients
  2. Blend
  3. (yes it is that simple!)
  4. Pour into greased baking tray or moulds
  5. Bake for 20 mins at 180c (it may be longer if you are baking it in a baking tray)
  6. allow to cool. They may feel fragile but when they cool they will firm up
Notes
  1. These have a rich dark chocolate taste. My kids love them but if you are used to refined sugar brownies, these may taste bitter, adjust and reduce the amount of sugar each time you make them to change your palate. On the flip side if you are used to being sugar free, these may taste really sweet!
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Loula Natural https://loulanatural.com/
If you want to know where I get my ingredients from, have a look at these items. I normally buy from iherb and these links will send you there (I get a bonus if you buy them too with this link). However, you can find the same brands in other shops too.

Raw Cacao

Coconut Oil

Ghee

Chocolate Chips

Cacao Paste

Dates

Coconut sugar

Collagen hydrolysate

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