Chia Pudding Breakfast

My whole life I’ve eaten cereal out of a box for breakfast. Always. I’m not even a toast girl really but museli, chocolate cereal? Yes I’m there.

So when I started eating healthier a few weeks ago I decided to reduce the amount of hidden refined sugars and grains in my diet – and the major one was breakfast cereal. But it left me with a problem – what should I be eating instead? I avoid bread where possible anyway as it makes me tired and bloated and through each period of breastfeeding my children oddly I’ve become intolerant to egg, which is something that still hasn’t sorted itself out yet even three months after weaning.

I did some research and found there are lots of other breakfasts that are super simple to make, even before the school run or in advance the night before that taste great and fill you up. My favourite so far has been chia pudding and lots of you have asked me to share the recipe so I popped it below at the bottom of the post!

I’ve taken inspiration from Jamie Oliver and Hemsley + Hemsley mainly but there isnt really one way to do this – experiment and see what you can come up with!

If you don’t know much about the superfood chia seeds here are a few facts (there are masses more!):

  1. They are small (mainly black) seeds that contain loads of fibre, vitamins and minerals
  2. They are low in calories
  3. They are naturally gluten free
  4. Full of anti oxidants
  5. They absorb water – up to 10 times their weight so help you feel full
  6. They contain a good amount of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids

These little guys are so versatile, can be bought in the supermarket and I often sprinkle the kids’ food with them for a little added boost.

Chia Pudding Recipe

Ingredients: banana, 400ml coconut milk (full fat), 1 tbsp honey, 6 tbsp chia seeds, 200g fresh of frozen fruit (my favourite is mango), 1tsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined. Fill four bowls with the mixture and place in the fridge to set (I do this the night before).

So simple, so tasty! When you’re ready to eat, you can top the pudding with fresh berries, cinnamon, yoghurt, seeds, whatever you fancy really. If the recipe above is too sweet, maybe reduce or remove the vanilla extract and see how you get on.

I’d love to know your results!

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Week 3 Diary of a Motivated Mum

Last week I managed to injure my hip whilst running, which was a real motivational sap. It’s funny how quickly you can go from being so dedicated one minute, eating well etc, to really off track. I’ve been stretching and have given myself a week off running to try and help as I really don’t want a set back – this would never have happened ten years ago – I’m feeling my age!

I’ve been getting the kids involved in cooking healthy family meals and they really surprised me how much they enjoyed them. Foods we never usually eat went down a treat! My three year old is a famously fussy eater so I was a little worried and it’s taken some serious persuasion but we’re getting there and he’s now prepared to try a little, which last year he would have absolutely refused.

Today I managed a 15 minute HIIT cardio workout (from Joe Wicks’s book Lean In 15) with the kids ‘helping me’. I think it’s important they see me exercise, I really want to be a role model for them.

We’ve also been baking some vegan, gluten and grain free chocolate chip cookies using almonds (Hemsley + Hemsley) which have just come out of the oven so I’ll let you know how they go down!

So…to the important part…and I’m writing it here so I keep at it-no secrets! I started three weeks ago on my mission weighing in at 10st 2lb and unfortunately couldn’t find my tape measure so have started the measuring today! This week I’ve weighed in at 9st 12lb so I’m losing a pound a week which is fab and exactly what I hoped to achieve. This isn’t all about weight loss, it’s also about body confidence and health for all my family.

Today’s measurements have been waist 78cm, hips 96cm, chest 79cm, thigh 57cm. There, no hiding from it now!

My aims for the next week? To add in resistance HIIT 15 minute workouts, get up early to get them done before the day (no talking myself out of it then!), aim to do these 4 days a week and watch the food intake. I’m a secret eater and finishing off the kids’ meals is my worst habit.

Now, I must get back to trying those cookies….

Energy Please!

These past few weeks being Mummy has been tiring. The twins have decided that sleep is an unnecessary part of life, especially during the night and they require feeding at least hourly. Growth spurt? Teething? Perhaps.

And to top it all off I’m now full of cold. Bleurgh.

My diet has been rubbish too, I’ve succumbed to the fast sugar fixes of chocolate and biscuits so today it needs to change. I need to feel better!

The fridge and pantry has been filled with good stuff so the best way to get going today has been with a smoothie. This is a pretty gentle one but I’ll be adding some more unusual ingredients in the coming weeks, which I’ll share with you!

There’s some pretty amazing super foods in here, most found in the majority of weekly food shops, others you made need to buy specially.

Ingredients:

  • Berries – one cup (high nutritional value and antioxidants, low in calories. I like frozen mixed berries for smoothies as I save my fresh berries to go on top of cereal. Mine includes red currants, blueberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and strawberries)
  • Avocado – half (healthy fat, high in fibre and potassium)
  • Banana – one whole (high in fibre, great for energy)
  • Chia seeds – one tablespoon (high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fibre)
  • Oats – 1/2 cup (high in fibre and antioxidants, keeps hunger at bay)
  • Fruit juice – 200ml (I like orange usually but today I’ve used Innocent Apple and Elderflower juice)

I hate being exact with measurements so feel free to change it up as you like. This is a really thick and filling smoothie so is also great for breakfast. Chia seeds will also soak up a lot of fluid so drink it fresh! Enjoy!

The Start Of The Weaning Journey

My twins are nearly six months now and so it’s time to think about starting solids. With Thomas, a couple of years ago now, we started off on the traditional parent led route – purees and baby rice, selecting individual fruit and veg at first then combining, keeping a special watch out for intolerances and then introducing meat, fish and textures.

Then one month later he decided being spoon fed was not what he wanted. So baby led weaning it was! Cue self feeding, finger foods, enormous portions (his choice!) and a huge mess! But you know what, he absolutely loved it! Breakfast was weetabix and toast, lunch and tea was whatever we were having as long as the salt levels were minimal. Thankfully I love cooking so preparing no added salt meals was no trouble and also meant I didn’t have to cook twice. It also meant I could eat my own meal at the same time.

Finding low salt snacks and bread was actually pretty hard, so it was definitely easier to cook from scratch at home.

So, here are my top weaning tips from my own personal experience:

1) Expect mess! And a lot more mess. Babies love the feel of food in their fingers…and also what happens when they throw it on the floor! I remember taking Thomas out for lunch to a local pub with some tasty quinoa and apple bites – the mess we made was ridiculous but I did clean it up myself – I don’t expect the staff to clean that level of food destruction! Note to self-don’t take crumbly food out this time!

2) Keep a wipe clean or machine washable tablecloth on the floor beneath the high chair for easy clean ups

3) Avoid high chairs that have lots of absorbable material or whose covers cannot be machine washed – Ikea do a brilliant Antilop highchair that is easy to clean. I’m personally using Fisher Price Space Saving high chairs for the twins so they can be attached to the dining chairs. They also have high backs and are great for support at the six month period (the covers are wipe clean and machine washable too). I find some highchairs have really wide legs so having two in the kitchen as well as the table would be a bit tight!

4) Bibs with full arms are a godsend, especially if they are machine washable – stock up so you have enough for every mealtime. It will save you washing masses of clothes. Alternatively, remove top layers of clothing prior to eating

5) Putting a tea towel on their lap will also catch a lot of crumbs

6) Keep finger food big enough so they can’t swallow it whole and choke, but is easy to pick up and munch on – think chip or finger sized

7) Don’t worry about plates and bowls with finger food-most will end up in the highchair tray anyway and it’ll save your washing up pile

8) We used to squish harder berries such as blueberries under a finger and slice grapes lengthways so they were less of a choking hazard

9) Remember safety is paramount! Never leave your little one unattended whilst eating, they have a very efficient gag reflex but know your first aid and what to do if the worst should happen. I can recommend some great local Norfolk courses – let me know if you’d like details.

10) Don’t worry about the volume of food consumed – babies will still get the nutrients they need from milk, whether breast or bottle feeding. This stage is all about experimenting with textures and tastes and promoting a varied palate. Some will be ready sooner than others

11) Still offer the same number of milk feeds when starting out, they may not decrease for a while yet

12) Make sure you enjoy it too! It’s a fun time and will hopefully encourage you to keep an eye on your own diet and salt intake if your little people are eating the same meals as you

We’ll be trying each method again this time around – parent and baby led feeding – to hopefully find a way that works for all. Spoons are also great fun as I remember – especially the loaded ones! Babies are all different and will have varying preferences and I’m fully expecting this will happen with the twins too. Having a flexible approach to starting solids is best as the journey will probably change along the way!

What are your experiences of starting solids with your little ones and do you have any tips to add? I’d love to hear all about it to help with my own preparation!

The Healthy Eating Begins!

I admit it…I’m a total sugar monster. If it’s not chocolate I can usually be found snacking on ice-cream, sugary cereals, biscuits or my main nemesis – crisps. They are quick, easy, take no preparation and are pretty enjoyable! However…they make me feel rotten.

At the moment I’m still breastfeeding my twins about three times every night and it’s during these awakenings that I tend to feel the worst. It’s probably because I’ve spent all evening whilst they’ve been blissfully dreaming scoffing my face with whatever the pantry offers – I could class it as an evening hobby.

I’ve recently been inspired by a few people who seem to have changed their lives for the better by radically changing their diet. I was shown a book by a relative called Deliciously Ella, by Ella Woodward. Having been diagnosed with a horrible illness she managed to turn her life around and come off all medication by following a strict vegan gluten free diet. I’ve always been sceptical as to whether or not this diet is as healthy as everyone says (and tasty?!) but my husband, having recovered from testicular cancer had researched and had also found similar stories.  Eat better = feel better it seems.

So, I thought, why not give it a go? And to my relief it’s actually pretty good! At the moment I’ve made small changes here and there towards a healthier lifestyle and I’m quite excited about feeling healthier and being more energetic for my kids’ sake too!

So, for your inspiration and hopefully to tempt those taste buds, here’s our week’s fruit and veg shop above! I don’t know about you but I think that looks pretty delicious! What do you reckon?