Good Morning Bootcamp!

Bootcamp – I have been going 2-3x a week (and sometimes 4) every week for 4 months.

Prepping the night before is key 👌

Tip: Have your phone with an alarm away from your bed. I always jump up to grab my alarm so it doesn’t wake anyone. This means I am out of bed!

Here is my set up on the coffee table so I can get out of the house stealth mode as before the kids wake up. This is what I prepare:

  • 500ml water with a fresh squeezed lemon
  • Shoes, socks, activewear
  • Drink bottle, keys, license, sweat towel, ventolin inhaler (this technogym sweat towel has a zip to hold said items)

So when I wake up, blurry eyed and unmotivated because the kids have been up all night or I stayed up too late to do an assignment (or both!) Then I don’t have to do any thinking. I get ready on auto pilot and go.

Tip: Fasted cardio is best for fat burning so get it done in the morning, if not bootcamp then an hour long walk. Lemon water before cardio is OK but no food.

Hot tip: When you get to bootcamp, don’t winge. Just get it done. It is hard at first but your fitness levels will increase with every class. Committment and consistency.

Post work out is a great time to take some deep breaths (to encourage your system to flip to the parasympathetic nervous system) and eat. Grab a nourishing brekkie being mindful of eating protein, complex carb and healthy fats. One coffee is ok too.

Here is my brekkie from this morning, but you could do protein powder in a smoothie or in oats instead. Eggs are great if you can eat those! 

Try for veges, protein and some avocado.

This is tofu, meatballs, pumpkin seeds, spinach, grated carrot, olives, avocado and a black coffee with almond milk.
You got this! 

Bliss nice cream

Nice cream bombed with bliss balls for the ultimate treat.


My kids scream for this bliss nice cream. When I make it “for the kids” I can never resist it either!

Ticks all the boxes. Vegan and free from wheat, gluten, nuts, egg, soy, dairy and refined sugar. Suitable for AIP too.

There are two components to this dessert/breakfast/lunch/snack (and no rules on what time of day you can enjoy it either)!!

So it is bliss ball sprinkle and banana nice cream.

Bliss ball sprinkle

  • 1 cup soaked dates
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1-2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons sunflower seeslds
  • 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
  1. Whizz together until the mixture resembles bliss balls
  2. Crumble onto an oven tray, lightly greased with coconut oil
  3. Pop in the oven at 180C/350F for 8 minutes, optional turning at the 4 minute mark
  4. Pop into the fridge for minimum half an hour

Banana Nice Cream

  • 2 cups of frozen banana chunks
  • A little coconut cream or rice milk to help the mixture whizz easily 
  1. Put ingredients into the food processor and whizz until smooth (approx 5 minutes) stopping to stir and push down the mixture as required (approximately every 1-2 minutes). 

Bliss Nice Cream

  1. Layer the ingredients OR stir it all together and serve immediately.

Note – to make ahead of time, make the bliss ball sprinkle and store in fridge and seperately make the nice cream and store in freezer. Take out the nice cream 5 min before serving, whizz it up for a nice consistency and then combine the two layers. 

Enjoy!

I remember how it felt starting out on the food allergy journey…

​I remember how it felt starting out on the food allergy journey. I felt that the guessing game of trying to pinpoint allergies was by far the hardest part. The painful trial and error of testing with food and the unexpected silent shock I went into during my baby’s first blood test. 

I remember feeling way out of my depth, like I had no control over my child’s wellness and I felt like I was drowing desperately trying to find a life raft to cling onto. When my first child not only had multiple food allergies but severe eczema too, I had no idea how to tackle it and the well intentioned but totally wrong ideas from relatives were not at all helpful. So I did some modern parenting (google) where I learned a little bit here and learned a little bit there until the baby steps turned into a path which in turn became a journey we’ll forever be on.

This is what allergy friendly packet food can look like. I am in a lot of online allergy support groups where I see Mums starting out on their allergy journey, often breastfeeding a baby with food sensitivities. I remember those days of “WTAF can I eat!?” And “What do you snack on?”.

My son is nearly 3 now and I have learned so much, gaining certificates and diplomas on the subjects of food and allergies (and still studying for a full degree now), I have articles published on eczema, allergies, breastfeeding and am a recipe producer/food author, I speak with groups of Mums about starting solids for babies and am a baby led weaning advocate. I now have two children both with multiple food allergies and I feel confident that I can manage food allergies whilst teaching my kids how to manage themselves in an age appropriate way.

We beat infant eczema twice. The first time around my baby boy was so severe he was covered from head to toe, weeping and infected, oozing and crying all the time. I had strangers stop me in the street to ask what was wrong with my baby. We got zero sleep, I was washing blood out of baby clothes and wishing that I could be a regular Mum who only had pumpkin stains to worry about.

We have come such a long way and I am forever grateful for choosing to go down the natural, diet and gut health based route when it became evident that steroid creams etc. were not a solution, they only ever acted as a superficial mask.

I feel like my first child missed out on being a baby because all he did was scratch and cry. I lost a year to being the 24/7 scratch police. So when my second child broke out in eczema, we nipped it in the bud. She has had a wonderful quality of life as a result.

So now I spend a lot of time answering PMs and staying up until 2am sharing what I have learned in the hopes that it might help someone else.

In the case of convenience food, it may commonly be thought of as yogurt or cheesesticks, maybe a muffin from a cafe or a fluffy shared with Grandma.. but change that thinking and see that it is also a packet of blueberries, an apple/banana, pumpkin seeds, rice crackers, vege chips, deli meats, coconut yogurt, popcorn, rice thins, an avocado off the spoon etc.

Starting out is the hardest and most overwhelming part of learning to live with food allergies and eczema. It gets easier with every meal, with every day and every year.

Nut, egg and dairy free chocolate cake! Vegan too – perfect for daycare!

Looks like a chocolate cake.

Tastes like a chocolate cake.

It IS a chocolate cake.

No nuts, dairy or egg in sight and it is easy, no weird ingredients. Vegan too.

A slightly modified version of the whacky cake aka crazy or depression cake which originates back to the war time or depression era. I found this cake was pretty dry and lacked the wow factor that a cake should have however it is an excellent base recipe to run with and modify. My secret ingredient is one tub (about half a cup?) of chocolate soy yogurt. Which could be subbed again for chocolate coconut yogurt. Mixed in at the very end. No adjustments to cook time etc. Just pop it in and enjoy.

The icing (frosting if you reside in the northern atmosphere) is made of melted whittakers 50% cocoa chocolate and olivani as these are both dairy free.

For my Mums bday I had the task of baking a cake which would impress not only her but the family as well as accomodate my two kids and brother who each have multiple food allergies. My Dad is a traditional baby boomer who doesn’t get allergies or veganism and he was shocked that the cake could be made up to such a standard without using eggs or dairy ingredients. My Mum was surprised, asking “No, did you make it? It’s beautiful”. To which I was slightly offended but I think that was a compliment?

It was such a bonus that my two year old could help me bake it and lick the bowl considering he has contact allergies to raw eggs and dairy, he wouldn’t be able to partake in baking a traditional cake. He had to wait until the following day to eat it, such a patient boy! Although he did try it on, saying “Nani doesn’t want a chocolate birthday cake. I’ll eat it”.


Crazy whacky happy depression cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups self raising flour
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 1 Cup sugar (All purpose sugar – Granulated Pure Cane Sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp.  salt
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp.  pure vanilla extract 
  • 5 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 Cup water 
  • 1 pottle soy or coconut chocolate yogurt

Icing

  • Block of Whittakers 50% cocoa chocolate (or other dairy free chocolate) 
  • Olivani (3:5 ratio marg to chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a greased 8″ square baking pan.  Make 3 depressions in dry ingredients – two small, one larger (see #3 in photo below). Pour vinegar in one depression, vanilla in the other and the vegetable oil in third larger depression. Pour water over all. Mix well until smooth.

Bake on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes. Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Set aside for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before adding icing.

To make the icing, in a saucepan on medium heat combine and melt the chocolate and olivani. Spoon onto the cake in the center and let it run down the sides, use a spoon to cover all the sides. Let set in the fridge overnight.

That’s it!! Enjoy with family, friends and laughter.

Insert from @friendswithallergies on Instagram

July 2016

Allergy Mums are always talking about the negatives. How about we talk about the things our kids CAN do with food? Or the things they CAN eat? What foods do they enjoy?? We could be creating little foodies out of our food conscious allergy kids. So instead of making them anxious around food, let’s create a love for it to empower them. Teach them to respect food, how it grows, how it’s bought, how it’s cooked safely.

johnny lemon tree.png
My two year old loves getting out and picking fruit, putting it in bags and carrying it inside. That’s his little hand on a warm winter day picking lemons from the lemon tree and giggling, saying “pop” when they come loose. When we make lemon cheesecake out of this he’ll be reminded of picking the lemons and he will squeeze the juice out, turn on the food processor then he’ll tell everyone how he made the cake.

comments lemon tree.png

Baby Poo

Yes! I’m going to go there and talk about baby poo. When you are responsible for another human, that includes being responsible for another person’s number ones, twos, threes and fours (what’s a four? To paint a picture for you, it involves the babies poor wee tummy having the gastro bug exit both ends).

So when your little one has a hard time passing a bowel motion, or they have a bowel motion which is a funny colour, as a Mumma we do take notice of it. We wonder what is normal, what is not and discuss with our friends (we all have that one friend who sends snaps of explosions! #3) or we go to the Drs if we are concerned.

My babies have both had all kinds of poo and we have treated them the best we can, learning a lot on the way. This is what I have learned.

  • Bristools Stool Chart – number 4 is normal. If baby is on solids, google and see where your babys poo lines up. 
  • Toddler belly” is a thing! It refers to constant diarrhea in toddlers. They can have this for days, weeks, months or even a couple of years! If they are otherwise well and their hydration levels are good, often they are left to it. This didn’t sit well with me. I asked my son’s dietician if toddler belly could be caused by too much fruit, as my then two year old drank so much coconut water and ate mountains of fruit every day. She replied, no there is no such thing as too much fruit. That us until she saw the huge quantity of fruit he was actually eating. The kid could put away entire punnets of blueberries in one sitting. She then said, just cut back on the fruit and see what happens. What do you know, it cleared up, mostly. Other Mums I talked to have said going dairy free worked for them, some gluten free diets have also been successful here apparently.
  • Green baby poo. This one is interesting because  it depends on the kind of green poo. Green poo with mucus is a sign of dairy intolerance or allergy. Clearing dairy 100% for a month minimum will clear this up. It can also be as simple as a breastfed baby can also experience green poo from the Mum’s breastmilk. Let me explain and also how to stop this from happening. Breastmilk is delivered in two stages, foremilk and hindmilk. The foremilk is delivered first, then the fatty hindmilk. The fatty hindmilk is what you want baby to have lots of. Too much foremilk can cause green colour in poo. So try expressing some off before feeding baby and also ensure baby drains one breast completely before switching sides.
  • Grunty, constipated baby. My baby Daisy was a grunter, we even nick named her grunty for a while there. She would grunt away all night and all day, looking quite uncomfortable. I know the GP says a breastfed baby can go up to 10 days without a bowel motion but I knew this wasn’t right. If a baby or child is really backed up you can feel on the left hand side of the abdomen a long, hard sausage type thing. This is baby’s stool. I had to do something, so instead of waiting around counting up to 10 days we talked to a midwife about what she does, she recommended 4ml of cooled boiled water every 4 hours, 4ml of fennel seed tea every 4 hours of awake time to flush out the stool, cutting dairy from Mummas diet, baby massage/bicycle legs is clockwise motions 4x a day and a little kombucha for Mum.
  • Hard, lumpy, pallet type poo. This is number one is bristools stool chart. It can indicate a lack of biodiversity in the gut and also a need for dietary changes. More fiber, more water, prebiotic and fermented foods, probiotics, kiwifruit.
  • Blood in stool. Take a photo and show it to your GP. If it keeps happening, it may be something in their diet which doesn’t agree with the child. If the Dr is not concerned, get a second opinion and keep a food/poo diary or an in and out diary! Sometimes it can help to have a visual to identify patterns which may be useful.

Shredding for the wedding Oct 2017 Update

I haven’t lost any weight! On the scales… 

Still way off where I would be happy, this is a before and progress shot, certainly not a before and after!!

First shot: 80kg, Second shot: 78kg 11 months apart.

I have lost a couple of dress sizes but in slow progress. 

Setbacks – had a tailbone injury which saw me totally unable to move. I saw 4 Drs who were unable to help, eventually being told I would be on crutches and pain meds the rest of the life. I was taken aback by this, really crushed and angry. My fiances colleague recommended an osteo who might be able to help. I went in not really knowing what to expect, I told him about how this pain started in pregnancy and had left me unable to move, sleep, somedays I couldn’t even walk. He just nodded and I thought, “is he even listening?”then he told me to lie face down on the bed. He placed an elbow on one side of my spine and lifted my leg straight up. I literally felt all my bone move from left to right and thought “omg I’m going to be paralyzed”. He said we were finished after only 5 minutes, and when I sat up I felt different.. the osteo smiled and told me to try walk, and it was amazing! I almost cried because I wasn’t in pain for the first time since I was pregnant! “It doesn’t hurt for the first time in a year!” I exclaimed. He told me to do rehab pilates,which I did under Auckland Physiotherapy’s Michelle Gall who was excellent! And now I am week 7 of bootcamp. I cant do all the moves yet due to my pelvis still feeling a little weak and unstable however it is strengthening up day by day, work out by work out.

I feel a little ripped off with losing the baby weight the second time around. I have worked 3x harder, spent 3x as much and loss 3x less weight than this time following my first pregnancy. But I haven’t given up. 

Now I do a HIIT bootcamp with Boot It Auckland 3x a week, walk where I can, and eat clean. I sometimes feel like a fraud when I do nutrition work because my body is not where I need it to be however I can totally relate with clients who are struggling and I now understand there is not one road to weight loss, there can’t be one set of guidelines to suit everyones stories and also to be kind and patient with myself. It isn’t always easy or straight forward.

I have 5 months to lose a couple more dress sizes. I will be stoked if I do but if I dont, well I tried my hardest and I am poud of having a fit and strong body.