Do you ever get just a little tired of hearing the constant call of kids announcing, “I’m hungry ,” or ”What can I have to eat, Mum?” I know I sure do, and if you’re not prepared, it can be frustrating, relentless and annoying to say the least. In order to save your sanity, I’ve got a few quick and easy strategies that are guaranteed to lower your stress levels, and ensure you’re not stuck for an answer … ever again! As a parent, you know that preparation is the key to keeping things from going haywire.
So when that proclamation, “Mum… I’m hungry” is made in your house – you’ll be ready. You’ll be armed with the most nutritious, satisfying food imaginable and a few sneaky back-up strategies too. Plus there’s a bonus.
This is for all of us – not just the kids.
When you yourself are in need of a snack or want to treat yourself, use the same nourishing, simple strategies, and notice how you feel? And… how you look? It won’t be long before you look and feel better yourself. Now, that’s multi-tasking taken to a whole new level!
12 Simple Strategies:
The key to succeeding with many of these strategies is to include good quality fats and proteins in their whole forms. These foods in the right quantities provide great sustenance and leave our blood sugars stable. When these foods are regularly incorporated into our day, many of the reasons for hunger disappear. The more we cram these good nutrient rich foods in, the less the desire for sweetness and the more we recalibrate our taste buds to appreciate a more natural level of sweetness in our day.
We all know kids can be resistant to change & trying new things. Here are some ideas to help encourage your kids:
Experiment with one or two strategies and see how they work. How does your family respond? How does it affect the mood of the family? And then consider adding in another strategy, and so on, until those constant naggings of “I’m Hungry!” become a thing of the past or at least a LOT less often.
To be honest, it’s been an exhausting and emotional couple of days.
Our 13 year old fractured her finger and ended up at the public childrens hospital, Princess Margaret. It was our first visit and for which we’re very grateful was for such a ‘minor’ incident.
As many of you might already appreciate, it was a very long visit i.e. 7:30pm – 1:30am! It was a Tuesday night, and sadly, very busy (although it’s commonly like this), head traumas, car accidents, respiratory problems, high fevers, broken bones etc.
As our daughter noticed, many parents were prepared with snacks, water bottles and overnight bags, having travelled this road before. Not us… a long 6 hours sitting, waiting.
Seeing so many sick young children and the tireless commitment of the nurses and Doctors doing all they could to ease the distress of each child and their parents was humbling and emotional.
And there was so much fear for the families.
Fear of the unknown. Fear of not being able to help. Fear of sickness.
Screams of terror from young children that I’ve never heard anything like before. Heart breaking. It’s an experience I’d be very happy not to have to experience again. Following the visit to hospital, I’m now working on strengthening our daughters immunity and gut health.
Our daughter’s treatment involved a local anaesthetic to reset the fracture along with 4 different x-rays. Straightforward enough.
These interventions along with a couple of late nights and the mental and emotional stress she has experienced, although not obviously, definitely compromised her immunity and her gut health.
Even though it’s a ‘local’ anaesthetic, my belief is the body is a whole and once the needle is inserted into the blood stream and tissue, chemicals circulate throughout the body.
For example, some of the “temporary adverse effects that are cited and can affect people include:
Some people may have an allergic reaction. The patient could develop hives, itching, and breathing difficulties” Some of the research showed these effects were more common in ‘higher risk’ patients. References below.
It seems to me, even though the anaesthetic is ‘local’ as the term implies, the chemical must circulate throughout the entire body as demonstrated with the reactions given above.
So in the past two – three days I’ve worked hard on rebuilding her immunity and her gut health. Something that is super important, especially with Easter here and (a little) more sugar than she’s used to. Because as we know sugar is a Master at compromising immunity. And the arrival of winter coughs, colds and flu is just around the corner. I want her immunity strong and healthy.
She is totally fine and from all accounts very healthy. So why would I bother? Because while generally our bodies are resilient, it (chemicals, toxins, stress) all adds up.
Once you know what works and the body needs, it takes very little effort to flood the body with nutrients and to rebuild health, so why not. You never know what’s around the corner. And prevention really is better than the cure.
Sometimes it’s hard to know if all the healthy ‘stuff’ you’re doing is really worth it? Is it making a difference or is it really worth the expense or the feelings of isolation we can sometimes feel making healthier choices.
Yes. It is.
After this week, it has reinforced to me the great importance of making good food and lifestyle choices. Of having the knowledge to rebuild the gut and strong immunity. It is SO important and it does make a difference. Rest assured that any effort you’re putting into your family to keep them strong and healthy… is invaluable.
We’ve been lucky not to experience trauma before, however I don’t think it’s luck that we haven’t had to rush children to hospital in the middle of the night with fevers or unexplained symptoms. Healthy is a lifestyle and illness is not something we need to fear.
To learn more join me at my online and live workshops, ‘No More Sick Kids’! Natural remedies to build strong immunity and healthy tummies this Winter.
Meet your Microbiome.
This was the title of the Stool & Faecal Microbial Analysis Masterclass I went to recently with Dr Jason Hawrelak. Not a topic for everyone – but the geeky scientist in me LOVES learning about our bugs and all they do for us. It’s a hot topic, so thought I’d share a few highlights.
Jason is at the forefront of researching this topic i.e. gut health. His approach to supporting this incredible mutually beneficial relationship makes sense to me. Interestingly he poses that most microbes have a part to play in our wellbeing, even pathogens such as parasites.
When our microbes are in balance the body is in harmony and our bodily systems function more optimally, naturally supporting our well-being.
For example he cited, 70% of European children carry parasites, yet from all accounts are ‘healthy”.
Here’s a brief recap of the day:
Our microbiome i.e. our human microbes is a vital, and becoming a greatly appreciated, human organ. It weighs 1-2kg and exceeds the liver in the number of biochemical reactions it’s involved in!
A brief summary of what they miraculously do;
There’s bound to be more…
fyi I wrote this post with more info. in 2016, ‘Is our Microbiome guiding our evolution’?
And in the photo below is a summary of his slide showing many of the diseases associated with a microbial imbalance i.e. Gastrointestinal (GI) Dysbiosis.
He also shared how dysbiosis is diagnosed, ‘primarily by a patients’ medical and diet history’ and with stool analysis.
Throughout the day we also learnt:
6 key takeaways that were reinforced:
Simply put, each one of the above points relates to either food or lifestyle choices.
To be truly healthy there is no escaping the need to be enjoying good food and a health promoting lifestyle. A lifestyle that naturally feeds a healthy microbiome without having to think twice about it.
It’s a simple message that unfortunately can be far more complex to make happen or understand as it involves nourishing not only our body / microbiome but our mind and soul.
And as we discovered in A Gentle Cleanse, it IS possible to feel better, clearer and more energised within just a few days.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how my programs simplify wellbeing and create a healthier lifestyle for you and your family. Or book in a time for us to have a quick chat here. It’s free.
As a child I remember being woken in the middle of the night with my little brother in pain from ‘growing pains’. Mum feverishly applying the Dencorub trying to give him relief from the discomfort. Now I’m a mother of an active boy, I’ve experienced the same wake up calls and felt the same desperation, trying to comfort him (and especially as it’s usually in the middle of the night, when much needed sleep beckons).
In this post I share what growing pains are, what causes them and some natural remedies to help alleviate them.
What are growing pains?
Not every child gets growing pains, however approximately 40 – 60% of children do. Typically they occur at night in children’s legs, between the ages of 3 – 12 years old. The pain can be in the upper part of the legs, the calves (back of the legs below knees) or behind the knees in both or one leg, usually both.
They happen at night as the body naturally goes into repair and build mode. The pain is most likely to come and go and not occur every night.
What causes them?
While it’s still unclear of the exact cause, the research I’ve done points toward nutrient deficiencies. For example, a study of children experiencing growing pains (and no other conditions) showed that only 6% had normal vitamin D levels. The best source of vitamin D and the one most easily metabolised (used) by our bodies is sunshine. Other supplemental sources we use is a fermented cod liver oil.
Personally, my son would experience them after an active day of physical exercise. This isn’t the case for all kids though.
Rubbing magnesium oil into my son’s legs helped to give him instant relief. Magnesium is known as the “nerve mineral” and is a nutrient we can quickly become deficient in. It helps relax the muscles and the nervous system.
I’ve also used magnesium with a soothing essential oil blend to help relieve the pain.
The common belief is that children’s bones are growing faster than the muscles and tendons, however bones grow slowly and usually there’s no damage seen in the child’s bones or muscles. Growing pains often respond to simple treatments – helping dispel the belief it’s associated with “growing pains”.
Natural remedies that help replenish deficiencies and relax the body:
Something else to consider.
Are there mal-absorption issues? Is there anything that might be slowing down or preventing the absorption of nutrients in your child, e.g. gut flora (microbiome) imbalances, toxicity overload or compromised detoxification pathways?
If the pain persists visit your health practitioner for a full check up.
‘‘Cravings are an invitation to create the next best version of ourselves”
The body is amazing. It knows when to go to sleep, wake up, go to the bathroom, maintain our temperature and tighten the eyes when the light gets bright. It knows the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. The heart never misses a beat. Our lungs are always breathing. The body is a super-computer that never makes mistakes. So is your craving or that sweet tooth just a common desire for sweetness or excess? OR is it actually an invitation for something else?
Many people view cravings as weakness, but really they are important messages meant to assist us in maintaining balance.
When you experience a craving, deconstruct it. Ask yourself, what does my body want and why?
Let’s take a closer look at cravings and ten primary causes:
What about pregnancy cravings?
Even more so. Cravings during pregnancy can indicate imbalance in any one of the above points.
The most important thing is when a craving comes along – take time to slow down or stop, and listen to what your body is telling you. Be aware of the choices you’re making and what’s really driving them. It’s only when you are aware that you can understand what it is your body needs and is best for you as an individual… And it’s probably not going to be a bucket of hot chips or a block of milk chocolate.
Our cravings are an invitation to create the next best version of ourselves.
What is it you’re really craving? Is it time to accept the invitation for a stronger, healthier, happier you?
‘‘Action is the foundational key to all success’‘
~ Pablo Picasso
A friend and business compatriot, who I admire greatly, recently asked me to share my 3 biggest lessons for the past year with her online membership.
My first thoughts went to the 3 things that’ve helped me evolve and grow as a better person and parent and how that could help her members?
However, after pondering her question it dawned on me that these 3 things wouldn’t have happened unless I’d taken action.
And THAT is the hard part – taking action, pushing ourselves forward, learning and growing.
It’s not always easy…
My 3 biggest lessons from 2017:
1. Take action (be courageous).
Taking action meant having to step outside my comfort zone – which takes courage. It’s so much easier to do nothing, but that’s not where change and growth happens.
I listened to a great podcast on the Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields and Caroline Adams Miller, Author of ‘The Road to Grit’. She quoted research that showed, people who go out of their comfort zones most days are happier! Now that’s an incentive.
So what helps us to actually take action? It’s a strong connection with our WHY our deep desires.
WHY exercise more? WHY eat better? or WHY lose weight?
Often we are forced to take action – there’s no alternative. Or as Fi Redding from the Happiness Hunter says, ‘it’s either desperation or desire’ that motivates us.
Let’s make it desire rather than desperation in 2018.
2. Be aware + be kind on me.
Leaving my comfort zone is tough. It’s easier when I’m aware of my thoughts and can be kind on myself.
If you’ve stopped to take a moment to listen to the stories you tell yourself, you’ll know what I mean. I think I can confidently say I am my harshest critic. But it’s hard to close the door or no longer listen / hear that person when they’re in my head!
A few things that’ve helped me be kinder to me this year and I hope help you:
♥︎ I read ‘The Untethered Soul’ by Michael Singer. A brilliant read with great tools to help quieten the negative mind chatter.
♥︎ Early mornings. To give myself time to meditate, journal and be aware of the thoughts that can keep me safe and comfortable, but un-evolved. Mornings are a magical time of day and my day undoubtedly goes better getting up early. It helps us be more in control of our day, right upfront.
♥︎ Exercise most days, preferably outside. Running, walking, yoga and pilates. This has probably made the biggest difference of all. We are molecules in motion, movement helps our mind, our mood, our hormones, our sleep, our day and so much more. It’s true that sitting just might be the new smoking and our biology needs to connect with nature and the great outdoors.
♥︎ The Happiness Hunter has helped me greatly in learning how to be aware of my thoughts and be kinder to me.
3. Gather a support crew.
Lastly and importantly, getting support from others, having them beside me, guiding me out of my comfort zone. My support crew.
Mankind is defined as a collective. We are tribal, social beings. We aren’t designed to do this ‘gig of life’ flying solo plus it’s more fun together.
Gather your support crew to make change happen and your desires will come to life.
I joined a running club this year, Aspire to Run. How I joined shows how this can all come together.
My neighbour mentioned the group to me and suggested I go along with her to a session. But of course all the stories came up, ‘you’re too unfit’, ‘you won’t be able to do it’, ‘you’ve got stuff on’, ‘it’s too late to get up early’ etc etc. This went on for months! One night she sent me a text and said something like, ‘running tomorrow can pick you up on the way past’, again I was about to say ‘no’ when I mentioned it to my hubby who said, ‘Do it, you’ll love it’. So I did and haven’t looked back. If only I’d done it sooner! But I learnt the lessons. I took action, which took courage, I had to be aware of my self sabotaging thoughts and be kind on myself, ‘it’s okay to be unfit, you’ll get stronger’, I changed the commentary in my mind and most importantly – I had support.
I wouldn’t still be doing it without the camaraderie and support of the fantastic bunch that is Aspire to Run. And I am super grateful to my amazing hubby and gorgeous neighbour.
These 3 things are a formula I now know work for me. It’s also how I launched and ran my new online program this year, Our Happy Children. (running again in March next year)! I used these 3 steps and THE most important ingredient of all was getting the support I needed which came by working closely with business coach / mentor, Cristina Londono at Wallnut Studio, assistant, Kylie McKinnon-Smith and Anne Clark, First Step Virtual Assistant. Again, it wouldn’t have been the great success it was without these incredible women beside me.
So to help make next year one of your best yet, whether it’s health, family, work or finances, I hope these 3 tips can help you make the changes you know you need to make.
What small or big action are you going to begin with?