Five Fun Fit Tips for Summer Body Lovin’

The holidays are a wonderful time to rest, relax and enjoy time spent with loved ones.


Five Fun Fit Tips for the Holidays:

1. “Can I walk it?”

The simplicity of this fit tip makes it ideal for holiday season. When you have somewhere to go, consider walking there.

Can you walk to:
A friend’s house
The Beach
The bottle shop
The dairy or fish n chip shop
The cafe/restaurant/pub
The markets
The fair / event
In between shops
Supermarket – bonus* take the kids at 7am and get set up for your day plus get your exercise done and dusted!

A walk is also a great way to spend your time with friends and family exploring your destination. Remember to stop and look at the rock pools or a birds nest etc. Nature is truly amazing.


2. Challenge family and friends to competitions.
Great for during television ad breaks, try “the most press ups/sit ups/star jumps in one ad break” and keep scores for a whole program.
Challenge your loved ones to simple running races e.g. “first one to the mail box wins”.
Skipping competition – first one to 100.
How big a splash you can make by doing bombs into the water? Bet I can make a bigger splash…
Kids especially will love taking on the adults at these!


3. Aim to do something active every day. Enjoy time at the swimming pool, do a family game of cricket/touch/beach volleyball, swimming at the beach, go on an early morning hike, check out the caves at the beach etc.


4. For those with younger children, get them pumped by using the old bargaining tool of “when we make it to the top of the hill, we’ll blow bubbles/fly a kite” etc. A bonus is this can also be a card up your sleeve for monitoring behavior, “Johnny, if you don’t eat your breakfast then we can’t walk up the hill to blow bubbles this morning”.
Or, younger children make great weights for adults! Try making faces and lifting your baby up and down, away from your face for an arm work out or on your leg as a horsie ride – your limbs will feel it! Take wee breaks then another ‘set’ of baby weights. They love the bonding time with you, they giggle like crazy and it is good for their development. Total win.


4. Take the opportunity to do something outside of your comfort zone and perhaps spontaneous. Hire a kayak/paddle board or try a thai chi class, a yoga class, do a fun run, go snorkeling etc. You’ll create memories, bond together and be getting in exercise.


5. Picnics. Get a few snacks and water, go down to the park and have a picnic. Choose somewhere that has an open field for a game of tag or chase, my 11mo adores playing chase. We say “I’m coming to get you!” and he runs away giggling!
Or, run after the seagulls and the waves at a beach picnic.


Enjoy your holiday and take the opportunities you have to move your body! Your body and mind are better relaxed after a little physical activity and being active will help you sleep better.

Plus, if you want to drink the wine you should be putting in the exercise time! Or you might just end up wearing your extra indulgences for weeks to come.

Love yourself by treating your body with a little respect.


Allergy friendly, sugar free chocolate berry cake


Happy Birthday to my Mum!!

Edible gifts are such a lovely gesture. There is something special about making something from scratch for the people you love which really does warm the heart.

Berries and chocolate are a beautiful combination!! I would recommend cherries and almonds, if you can tolerate them 🙂

An allergy friendly and sugar free cake for the whole family can enjoy – without guilt. Free from wheat, gluten, eggs, nuts, dairy, soy and sugar. It is aip and autoimmune friendly.


Note: this cake is best made the night before, the layers wrapped in tin foil and the mousse left in the fridge. Assemble an hour or two before serving.

Hot tip: place straws or kebab sticks into the bottom layer, poking upward. Then place the top layer on it. This will hold the layers together.


2 cups pitted dates, soaked in hot water for a couple of hours minimum
1.5 cups desiccated coconut
2/3 a jar of Barkers no sugar wildberry preserve (or use fresh berries)
2 x ripe avocados
4 x heaped spoonfuls of cocoa (or use cacao, if preferred)
Four heaped spoonfuls of coconut flour
Eight heaped spoonfuls of rice flour


Chocolate mousse filling
Chilled, solidified coconut cream
3 x heaped spoonfuls of cocoa
1 x ripe avocado
A third cup of stevia (or your preferred sweetener)

How to Dearlove Chocolate Berry Cake:

Set oven at 180 C / 350 F

Greese and line a shallow cake tin

In a food processor:
One cup dates
Two thirds cup of desiccated coconut
2 – 3 heaped spoonfuls of cocoa
Whizz for a minute on high
Scrape sides
Whizz for a further minute


Add to the mix – one ripe avocado and a third of the jar of the barkers preserve
Whizz for two minutes on medium to high
Scrape sides
Whizz for a further two minutes


Add to the mix – two spoonfuls of coconut flour and three spoonfuls of rice flour
Whizz for a minute,  scrape sides and whizz for a further minute
Add one spoonful of rice flour and whizz for another minute


Place mixture in cake tin and bake for 15 minutes or until it has firmed up.
Cool on a wire rack.
Wrap in tin foil and place in fridge.

Do this again for the second layer, if you choose to layer it up! This looks great however this cake is very dense and does not need a second layer. Make the chocolate mousse filling:

Whizz all ingredients in food processor for a minute, scrape sides and whizz again for another minute.
Place in fridge for a few hours or over night to firm.

Place half of the remaining preserve on the top of the bottom layer. This will become the middle.

Spread half of the chocolate mousse on top of the preserve. Work from the middle outward.

Place the second cake on top and cover with remaining preserve and mousse.

I hope your family enjoyed this real food, tummy filling cake as much as my family did.

High Protein Snacks for Weight Loss ??

I’ve had a lot of requests lately from Mums for “High Protein Snacks”.font pose

This is my post baby body, it’s not perfect but it is healthy and I have lost 28Kg!! I do not rely on high protein snacks. Let’s not make things confusing by making things high protein unless you actually need high protein!!

This makes my head spin. So much grey area.

Let’s look at why protein appears to be a magical solution to managing your weight:

Protein has a higher thermic effect of food, meaning when you eat it, more of it is used to digest and absorb it than if you ate fats or carbs. 28% of protein is used just by eating it as opposed to 3% for fats and between 5-8% for carbs.
These numbers sound great, don’t they? They are all true. But you are having a small snack, where these numbers will be so small they don’t really add up to much.

Protein does full you up for a long time – but so do complex cabs.

The ACT of eating actually burns about 70 calories each time you do it.

What if I told you to eat kumara chips cooked in olive oil as a snack, or fruit and nuts. Would you disagree and tell me that a high protein chocolate bar is better?

Sweet Potato Chips are perfect for Baby Led Weaning
Sweet Potato Chips

High protein sounds rather trendy to me. It’s clever marketing!! Don’t let it fool you.

Look at the back of the packet – is there more than 4g of sugar per 100grams on your high protein snack packet? If so, put it down and walk away. Unless you want to end up wearing your snack as fat stores later.

The grey area can easily be made black and white!!Advert 1 - side

I always come back to REAL FOOD. If food is in it’s natural form, then don’t worry about whether it be carbs, fats or protein – unless you are an athlete.

I know people who say no carbs after 5pm and yet they eat vegetables for dinner!! It’s madness!! (Vegetables are carbs).

Your body is so clever, it KNOWS what to do with food in its natural state.

I think protein shakes have their place, a protein shake for easy digestability prior to a work out is ok as it is easier than digesting a steak before doing a crossfit class. Protein powder is so expensive, you are literally paying for protein to be made easier for you. Do you need this?

I don’t understand the logic with those people who think that eating a high protein snack is your secret to weight loss.. and yet, you still buy chocolate.

I’ll tell you something for nothing, eat natural foods and watch the weight fall off. No calorie counting, no protein powders and no grey area.

Here is a list of snack ideas for busy people:

  • Smoothie (fruit, veges and almond milk/coconut water/ice)
  • Kale chips
  • Kumara chips
  • Roast Carrots with Thyme
  • Home made potato chips
  • Raw veges with home made hummus (chickpea, garlic and olive oil whizzed)
  • Nuts
  • Any fruit
  • A few peices of meat (this is actually high protein ;))
  • Chia seed pudding with stevia and coconut cream
  • Frozen bananas, whizzed to make natural ice cream
  • Buckwheat pancakes (just double the batch from the morning)
  • Home made vegan muffins (see: previous post )
  • Herbal Tea / Coffee / Tea
  • Medjool dates wrapped in bacon
  • Scallops wrapped in bacon – for a fancy snack!
  • Bacon wrapped asparagus – do you see where I am going with this…
  • Home made LSA bars ( )
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Home made truffles ( )
  • Any vegan dessert, really (she is brilliant and lists allergen info)
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Home made milk shakes – with coconut cream, a banana and raw cacao
  • Meatballs
  • Dried dates teamed with strawberries
  • Egg muffins (whisk eggs with veges and optional meat, bake in muffin tray)

And many more! You are only limited by your shopping trolley.

Remember, if you only buy good food then you only eat good food!!

Ugly Muffins

My pregnant sister in law and I were having a laugh about how we both eat second breakfast. She does it because she is very pregnant (38 weeks!) and I do it because I loooove second breakfast. I eat 5-6 small meals a day because I burn far more calories doing so and it keeps me fuller than stuffing myself with three large meals. The more times you eat, the more calories you burn.

Never feel guilty about second breakfast!

It is seriously my fave meal of the day.

First breakfast is always a little rushed, I’m often half asleep as I try to feed Scott before he goes to work and also feed little Johnny, plus the cats and watch my coffee doesn’t go too cold blah blah…

Second breakfast, when the baby is fed, bathed, dressed and running around (usually) happily on his own.
Second breakfast, when I have a hot tea or coffee in my hand.
Second breakfast, when I make a point of stopping whatever I am doing and just enjoy eating for 5-10 minutes.

It’s the simple things in life that give the most joy.

This is what came out of the oven for second breakfast today! My best second breakfast yet!! It started as my no bake goodness brownies, which then turned into a potential pancake mixture before deciding to be baked in a muffin tray for 20 minutes.

Of course, they are free from dairy, soya, wheat, gluten, nuts, eggs, sugar and nightshades. They are suitable for vegans and vegetarians as well as those following AIP/Auto Immune Protocol diets.

Ugly muffins. Devine.

Dearlove Ugly Muffins
Dearlove Ugly Muffins

(I never measure but have tried to be specific here)

One cup dates
One cup desiccated coconuts
Two dessert spoons cocoa
Perhaps four dessert spoons of rice flour, or sub for coconut flour
Perhaps three – four dessert spoons coconut cream, or enough to make the mixture a little less dry

How to

  1. Set oven to 180C / 350F
  2. Whizz the dates, coconut and cocoa together
  3. Whizz in the rice flour and coconut cream
  4. Oil up a muffin tray and put a little water into each cup
  5. Spoon in the mixture. It will be a glorious, sticky mess.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or a little longer if you prefer

These are so easy!! A guilt free pleasure the whole family will devour.

I ate three of them.


Aleshia Dearlove xxx

Edited to include this:

Added two dessert spoons of coconut flour and one whole avocado into the mix and made these (below). This gives the muffins a more cake like texture. 20141211_145737(0)


Starting Solids – Nutrition for Mum and Baby

Starting solids is an exciting time for Mum and Baby!  It is not something to worry too much about, as “food under one is just for fun”. As long as baby is growing and developing, your milk is meeting their nutritional needs. Starting solids is introducing your baby to smell, texture, taste and they are learning about biting, chewing and swallowing. Also about trajectory and dropping things from their high chair!

Baby Led Weaning Plate
Baby Led Weaning Plate

Breastmilk, or formula, is your babies primary source of nutrition until they are around one. It should always be offered prior to solids to ensure they are getting enough nutrients in their diet, vital for their growth and development. It is advised to wait until six  months to introduce solids. We say six months because this is when babies gut will be developed enough to take on solids, plus this is when the iron stores baby is born with are beginning to run low.

I personally did a combination of blw and a couple of purées which were more like smoothies so I could eat them too! For a lot of families, blw is a relatively new concept. Up until a generation ago, medical experts told Mummas to start solids at exactly four months and to start with farex, or from a limited food list which included avocado, pumpkin or a funky food combo. Now there is a shift toward blw, this is because of the huge amount of research that we have on infant development and nutrition.

Anyone else have pressure from families to start early? I did, with the tempting myth that baby will sleep through the night with a meal. He now eats like a horse but doesn’t sleep through the night, it’s a myth! Food is not magical sleepy dust. Previous generations, such as the mil and Granpa, might be pressuring you to start earlier because that’s what they did. There are many myths surrounding starting baby early on solids, kellymom has a good article on this, these myths include that the baby has reached a magic number in weight, the baby is so big, the baby is so small, boys are hungry etc. It is most important to wait until six months to start solids to avoid damage being done to the gut system (again, for further info). Research suggests this can lead to eczema and allergies. Some babies are ok but some babies are not. We believe this is what happened to my 10mo who was having farex far too early on. He now cannot tolerate dairy, which is what farex is made up of, and he has leaky gut. Prior to farex, he could tolerate dairy through my breast milk… Now he cannot.

Baby Led Weaning. The Essenece of blw is just handing baby a suitably sized piece of food and of they like it they eat it and if they don’t, they won’t. It is the term for basically letting your baby feed themself. This is teaching them to bite and chew before swallowing, as opposed to purées which teach baby to swallow first then, months later how they learn how to bite and chew.

So what’s on the list of food to feed baby? What are you ladies thinking of introducing to baby as a First food?
Fruit purées, ideas as per the previous post, link below
Blw food ideas as per the previous post

Worried about allergies?
This can be a scary thought. Thankfully, most babies are fine with all food groups. A good approach is to introduce common allergy foods such as wheat, gluten, dairy, soya, nuts, eggs, fish and night shades with a 4 – 7 day wait in between. This makes it much easier to identify possible allergies.
Generally, allergies have a reaction of within two hours and intolerances can show days later.
If baby has a serious reaction, call 111 for an ambulance. Look for swelling lips, mouth, tongue, face and/or throat, dizziness, difficulty breathing and collapsing.

Current research suggests avoiding honey until baby is 1 as honey can contain a bacterium which can cause sickness in babies under 1 (infant botulism).
I understand there is research to suggest holding off rice as baby does not have the enzyme in saliva to process it, it is ok for mum to chew rice first then give to baby.

It is advised by nz ministry of health to wait until baby. Is 7-8months to introduce dairy.

Lots of babies are slow to take to solids. Some take several months, just be relaxed about it and follow babies cues. All you need to do is offer foods. The amount does not matter. Do not force baby to eat. Meal time should be fun. If you are still concerned, check your baby for upper lip tie as this can make it difficult for baby to eat.

All babies are different, let their appetites guide you. watch for cues that baby is full such as turning their heads away. Spitting food out. Closing their mouths.. and for nutrition guidelines


Meat iron is haem, not meat iron is non haem. Iron is best absorbed from meat.
Eating foods high in vitamin c will help baby absorb iron
Why the fuss about iron? The same as your own iron stores deplete when you are pregnant and baby is rapidly growing, babies need iron as they are still rapidly growing. If you needed iron while pregnant, you’ll know that without it you are left exhausted. Iron is also essential for brain development, growth and development.
What do you eat to get enough iron? Bf mums need it too! At 9mg/day (nz ministry).
Haem iron
Beef fillet Steak 173g is 5.8mg
Half cup mussels 7.5mg
Two lamb steaks (116g) 4.0mg
Lamb liver 4.0mg
90g can salmon 2.1mg
Chicken breast (107g) 2.0mg
Pork loin chop (74g) 1.2mg
Tarakihi fillet 0.8mg

Non haem iron
Tofu 100g 5.4mg
Porridge 1cup 1.3mg
Cooked red kidney beans half cup 2.0mg
Lentils half cup 1.2mg
Chickpeas 1.6mg
Brocolli 1 cup 0.9mg
Baked beans 1.6mg
Dates (10) 1.3mg
Spinach one cup 2.5mg
Egg 0.9mg
Multigrain bread 0.7mg
Nz ministry soya beans one cup 8.8mg
Quinoa one cup 2.8mg
Kale one cup 1.2mg

Vitamin c foods kiwi fruit, citrus fruits,

Bf woman need extra calcium, diary and other sources.
Nz ministry 1000mg / day rdi
Milk one cup 310mg/day
Prawns 100g 190mg
Salmon small tin 70mg
Tofu 200g 270mg
Spinach 140mg
Cottage cheese 1 tablespoon 9mg
Edam cheese 2cm cube 75mg
Yogurt potter 195mg
Calcium fortified soya drink 286mg
Tofu 100g 105mg
Whole grain bread 33mg
Sardine 66mg
10 almonds 30mg
10 Brazil nuts 68mg
Sesame seeds one tablespoon 88mg
Brocolli cup 59mg

Vitamin D will help calcium absorb, smoking and excess caffeine will inhibit calcium absorption

Iodine 270mg/day
Bf mums needs more iodine
Because baby is growing rapidly
Pre existing thyroid condition should seek doc advise before taking supplement.
Foods – seaweed, seafood and fish. Now that you can eat sushi again!
Dairy and egg products.
Bread is fortified with iodine.
Recommended daily supplement containing 150mg iodine.

Facebook – Comprehensive breastfeeding and infant nutrition information – Ministry of health – Vegetarian resources

Allergy Friendly, Family Fritters

This is a great recipe, lovely and gentle for little tummies and suitable for the whole family. (i.e. Scott likes them too!)

Allergy Friendly Family Fritters
Allergy Friendly Family Fritters

I make a huge batch and freeze them in lots of about 4 – I then give these bags to extended family members to keep in their freezers. This is a win-win as no one has to guess what food to give my son and we never get that anxious feeling of what the Grandparents might be giving to him!!

Here’s a simple recipe which is free from gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, nuts, eggs, nightshades, sugar and worry!! Suitable for vegan, vegetarian and those following AIP/Auto Immune Protocol Diets.


  • One cup uncooked quinoa
  • One bunch kale, stems removed and chopped finely
  • Two – Three cups mashed pumpkin (or about two-three cups of other mashed vegetables such as kumara and carrot)
  • Brown rice flour (sub for regular rice flour/coconut flour) – 6 HEAPED dessert spoonfuls then a little more for rolling the patties
  • OPTIONAL – One bunch finely chopped coriander for a fresh flavor OR
  • OPTIONAL – Cinnamon/nutmeg for a sweeter flavor
  • Olive oil or coconut oil for frying

How to:

These have the option of being baked or fried. The baked option is a little less “mushy” and it is easier to just put them in the oven, set the timer and walk away. I do however, find the fried option more tasty.

  1. If baking, preheat oven to 180C/350F and use baking paper on a tray, drizzle with a little oil (as there is not egg, the mixture may stick a little without oil).
  2. Cook quinoa with finely chopped kale in two cups of water, boil until water has absorbed and quinoa has flaked. I like to cook kale in the quinoa so the kale juices are absorbed into the quinoa.
  3. Stir quinoa/kale into the mash until combined
  4. Add coriander
  5. Stir in two heaped spoonfuls of flour until combined, repeat this step three times
  6. Dust a bench area with additional rice flour, and coat your hands
  7. Form the mixture into wee fritter shapes, they should be small enough for little hands to hold
  8. Coat both sides in rice flour and repeat until all the mixture has been made into fritters
  9. Shallow fry on medium heat for around 2-3 minutes each side, or until golden
  10. Alternatively, bake for 20-30 minutes
  11. Allow to cool before serving.
  12. Please Note: These might appear cool on the outside but they stay hot on the inside. Break one in half to check the temperature before giving to your little one / husbands!!
Dearlove Health Allergy Friendly Quinoa Fritters
Dearlove Health Allergy Friendly Quinoa Fritters

Why Quinoa? Quinoa is easy for babies to chew, swallow and digest and is low in allergens, making it an ideal baby food.

Nutritionally, Quinoa is packed full of protein. It contains ALL 9 essential amino acids.
Quinoa has almost twice the fiber of other grains.
Quinoa also contains iron, lysine, magnesium, manganese and Riboflavin (B2).

For more info and quinoa recipe ideas, check out my previous post:

Starting Solids – A few Meal Ideas

Starting Solids – A few meal ideas

Until baby is 8 – 9 months old, breastmilk/formula should be given first and then solids.

Good clean (messy) fun
Good clean (messy) fun

Basic Fruit Puree

Peel, chop and wash the fruit.

Cook gently in 3-4 cm of water.

Cook until fruit is soft.

Allow to cool a little then puree, thin down with breat milk/formula if needed.

Freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen, store in zip log bags in the freezer.

Ideas for Baby Led Weaning

Think chip size because it is an easy shape for baby to grip

Sweet Potato Chips are perfect for Baby Led Weaning
Sweet Potato Chips are perfect for Baby Led Weaning

Roast Vegetables such as pumpkin, kumara, carrot,parsnip, beetroot (messy!) etc.

Lightly blanched carrots

Cut raw (washed) vegetables such as cucumber

Pieces of fruit such as banana, mango, avocado

Mini meatball

Home made pancakes, muffins, vegan truffles etc.

The idea with baby led weaning is the baby has the same food as the family such as BBQ foods, salad, mince lasagne, toast (cut into fingers) etc.

Baby Led Weaning Plate
Baby Led Weaning Dinner Idea