Tag Archives: food

Healthy chocolate crispy crackers

These crackers may not look very attractive, BUT gosh, they are super delicious!

So delicious in fact that I baked a batch whilst the kids were in the bath, then I ate the whole lot!

Needless to say, I’m now baking another batch.
They take no time at all and are healthy and delicious.

#GoodForTheSoul #GoodFoodChoices #Delicious #Baking #HealthyEating #HealthyTreats #HealthyLifestyle #NoRefinedSugar #TasteSoGood

Healthy chocolate crispy crackers.

1 x cup shredded coconut
1 x teaspoon cinnamon
1 x pinch salt
1/2 x cup sunflower seeds
1 x tablespoon chia seeds
1 x teaspoon coconut oil
1 x egg
2 x tablespoon rice malt syrup

Method –
Preheat an oven to 180 degrees.

In either food processor or ThermoMix process all dry ingredients until they resemble an almond meal type texture.

Add the wet ingredients and further blend until the mixture resembles a gluggy thick texture.

Transfer onto a baking tray lined and roll out until the mixture is approx 3mm thick.

Bake on 180 degrees for approx 15-20mins or until golden brown.

Let me tell you where to go.

Let me tell you where to go.

Approx 3 years ago we moved from what I’d know into the unknown. We moved from the eastern suburbs of sydney to the northern suburbs which is dubbed the north shore, but the closest beach is actually about 30-45 minutes away, so go figure.

We moved here for a lifestyle change. We had a 1 year old and were planning on expanding our family. We needed and wanted a bigger home with a yard and area for our children to play. So we made the decision to buy a home that suited our needs but not in our ‘known’ area. We moved about an hour away from our comfort zone to get a bigger house with a large yard at a reasonable cost so that we wouldn’t be in debt for the rest of our time.

At first I will admit it was tough, still at times it is, but we have grown to enjoy our new surroundings and are finding our way.

What I have found though, is that although we have moved into a larger ‘family’ demographic, I’m finding that there are not necessarily a lot of kid friendly places to go, that are not play centres. Or maybe I just have not discovered them?

What I was looking for is somewhere we can go as either a family or where I can take the kids solo or to catch up with friends. Not so much an adult venue, but somewhere that’s nice yet child friendly. Let’s face it, if we are in a family demographic why shouldn’t there be more family friendly venues?

So what I have found are a few places that are now on my regular radar to take my two little people to. These places make me feel welcome each time we arrive. I don’t get snarled at by walking in with my 4year old and a 1yo in a pram. I’m not in fear of judgement of other patrons if my little people make noise and the staff are always relaxed. These places are great in many aspects, aspects that most mothers or parents will agree are important when out and about with children.

Great coffee and menu including food for fussy toddlers.

Relaxed atmosphere.

Friendly staff.

Simple decor.

Affordable.

Don’t mind if little fingers spill food.

Don’t mind if children make noise.

Provide an area for children to play.

Prompt service. We all know kids can get impatient and disruptive if the service takes too long.

So with these in mind, I have listed my favourite places to take my kiddies.

Please note – I’m not affiliated with any of the below. I’ve simply had great service and a lovely time at each of them with my little ones. We actually are regular customers and have not had a bad experience to date (in 3 years).

If you have others, please let me know so that I can try them out also. Always happy for new suggestions.

Piermonte – Terry Hills Flower Market.
http://piemonte.com.au/
This place has an awesome menu and great play area for kids to play that is safe and fenced and in direct eyesight of the seating area so that your little ones can play whilst you eat or have a coffee or juice.

Shores – Hornsby.
http://www.shoresrestaurant.com.au/
There is a cute little kids hub inside the restaurant. It’s got booths for family’s, really yummy food. Great coffee and super friendly staff.

The Station – Wahroonga.
http://www.thestationwahroonga.com.au/
Really good food, great coffee. Not really a play area for kids but the staff are super friendly and easy going and understanding with children and provide pencils and paper for drawing and colouring for kiddies entertainment.

The Fox Cafe – Wahroonga.
http://www.foxcafe.com.au/
A larger restaurant with booths for family’s, very child friendly menu. Great coffee, easy atmosphere, friendly staff and easy to find parking.

Galley Foods – Bobbin Head.
http://galleyfoods.com.au/
On the marina, it’s such a beautiful setting. Super relaxed and again with great food and coffee. They also have live music on most weekends and happy to provide colouring for keeping little ones occupied. You can also feed the fish off the marina whilst waiting for your food to arrive.

ThermoMix heaven….

Easy, healthy cooking.

About a year ago something happened that literally turned things around for me in the kitchen. I met Caroline, my Thermomix consultant. She’s also a mummy with two young children so we clicked straight away over shared experiences.

Together she showed me how this one piece of equipment could help me in so many ways – not just making it possible to make healthy and tasty options but to do so quickly and easily, which of course meant I didn’t resort to store-bought yuckies. And having more free time was a bonus I didn’t anticipate but certainly appreciate.

Now I’m not big on selling things but seriously, this ‘thing’ she showed me, was about to turn my kitchen experience around.

Even better, I could get those nutrients into my littlies, especially my fussy young man, without resorting to a battle. Of course, trying new tastes often results in the reflex spit-out but a bit like the sleeping patterns persistence can pay off and it took less time than I imagined.

Yes, a Thermomix is a considerable investment, but for me it’s also been a Godsend and possibly one of my best purchases as a parent. They also have many options to almost ‘lay buy’ or ‘pay off’ this piece of kitchen equipment. I use mine almost every day and for everything from a smoothie, making porridge, chopping vegetables, cooking a whole meal at once, including steaming vegetable in the varoma, whilst making a pasta sauce in the jug!

This 1 item has eliminated so many from my kitchen. It chops, blends, steams, boils, stirs, cooks, poaches, purées and all on a timer. So no boiling over, burning pans or constant stiring. Best of all it comes with a recipe chip, which is amazing! It has hundreds of easy to make recipes, that takes no time at all to prepare and cook. Well actually this machine pretty much does everything. The LCD screen works a bit like an iPad. It prompts you all the way so you basically cannot stuff up! Easy!

Not only is Caroline always just a phone call away to help with cooking and recipe tips, but as well as a Thermomix consultant I’ve also gained a friend.

Your interested to know more, please feel free to contact Caroline direct. I’ve popped her details at the bottom of this post.

Or jump onto the ThermoMix website and check it out for yourself!

Here’s one of our favourite sneaky veg recipes:

Carrot and Zucchini Choc Muffins

Ingredients:
1 medium zucchini
1 medium carrot
30g raw sugar
130g chickpea flour
30g raw cacao
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch salt
30g almonds
30g macadamia nuts
70g grapeseed oil
2 eggs

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin tray
Grate zucchini and carrot speed 7 for 2 seconds, transfer to a bowl
Add all ingredients from raw sugar to macadamia nuts and mix speed 5 for 6 seconds
Add oil and eggs and mix speed 5 for 20 seconds
Add back zucchini and carrot and mix speed 2 for 5 seconds on reverse
Transfer mixture to prepared muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes
Transfer to wire tray to cool for 10 minutes

I like to serve these with vanilla coconut custard…( one of Caroline’s recipes).

These can even be frozen so you always have a supply on hand!

If you would like to contact Caroline to arrange a cooking demonstration or purchase you own Thermomix you can contact her on 0402 483 803 or carolinesomma@hotmail.com

Dinner battles.

And like so many parents / mothers, I have had many concerns about my children’s eating habits. Mainly my 3 year old who doesn’t seem to want to eat?

After reading this, now I know how much children should be eating, and my expectations for my 3 year old have adjusted. I think I was trying to ‘over feed’ assuming he needed more than he actually does?

I was once told as a new mother, children will eat when they are hungry and not to force them? Don’t make it a ‘big thing’ especially if they refuse as it will only create a negative affect. Possibly have them refuse all meals and create unhappy meal times.

Anyway, good perspective in the below post by ‘The military wife and mom’.
http://www.themilitarywifeandmom.com/the-day-i-quit-dinner-time-battles/

Lunch box ideas?

School lunch box ideas.

With the school term fast approaching I’ve been thinking of different foods that I can use in my little mans lunch box that are nutritious and yummy.

He is a very fussy eater so coming up with different food ideas that he won’t get ‘bored’ of but foods that will also sustain his hunger, give him energy, are healthy options and are a nice variety.

He is only 3 but is very picky. He used to be a great eater and ate everything I have him, right up until he was about 2.5 years old. Then, like a switch, he ‘didn’t like anything’.

I try many options in his lunch box but the majority of the time, the lunch box comes back with the prepared food still not touched. Such a waste of good, wholesome healthy food.

I’ve tried asking him what he would like to eat. He still won’t eat it. I end up packing things that I know he will eat. Not always the healthiest options but he will eat it.

It makes me question, is it better to feed them what they like and want knowing it will get eaten?

Or pack him what I think is a better and healthier option knowing that it may possibly come back home untouched and know, my little guy went hungry as he didn’t like what was prepared for him?

He isn’t one of those children that sees other children eat and decided he wants to eat the same. He isn’t swayed by peer pressure. He is very head strong and is very confident.

So below are some options that I pack for my little guys preschool lunch box. I’d love to hear what you pack in your little ones lunch boxes.

Vegetable pancakes –
Yes I purée vegetables and put it in a pancake mix then make ‘regular’ pancakes. Great way to hide vegetables as my little man loves pancakes but ‘doesn’t like vegetables’.

Cereal –
I pack either Nutri grain or mini wheats. Yes I know they have sugar, but not as much as Cheerios or fruit loops and many other cereals. My little man will eat both and it’s a good easy way to get him to eat whole grains.

Crackers –
I make home made ones with my ThermoMix, they are quite healthy and really tasty. He eats them plain. If I have made a batch I will pack brown rice crackers or vita wheats. Again he eats them plain. Another easy way to have him eat while grains.

Cheese sticks –
A good source of dairy and protien and they keep well. If I have no cheese sticks I will cut up cubes of cheese. Full day of course.

Yogurt squirts –
I pop these in the freezer the night before school to ensure they stay cold for his lunch box. He will only eat vanilla and that’s fine. It’s another way to get dairy in his lunch box and brewing a squeeze pack, no mess and no need to pack a spoon.

Fruit squeeze pack / jelly squeeze pack –
I know some of you will think SUGAR but, I go for the lowest with no added sugar. He refuses to eat solid fruit even if I cut it up, so this way he is still getting fruit, some fibre and it’s a ‘sweet treat’.
I have tried making my own and using the refillable squeeze packs but he won’t touch them. I’m happy to buy them as its something I know he will eat.

Left over cold meats –
Example of i make mini meatballs for dinner, I will cook extra and pop those into his lunch box. He happily eats them cold. Or an extra sausage. Again if u cut it up he will eat it cold. Or even chicken tenders or home made chicken nuggets. So easy to make, good source or protein and iron and he will eat them cold.

Cold pasta –
Befor you think I’m nuts, it’s easy. I cook either shells or spirals, let them cool and put some in his lunch box. He likes cold pasta. I usually do while grain pasta or spinach. He won’t eat the ‘red’ but I find he doesn’t mind the ‘green’ or ‘brown’. Good carbohydrates and being low GI keeps his energy levels up.

Banana bread fingers –
He thinks it’s cake 😉 occasionally he will eat it. Plain though, no butter and it must be cut in rectangles. I again make my own in my ThermoMix so has almost no sugar and I again make it on half kamut and half wholemeal flour rather than plain white. Kamut flour is high in protein. You could also use chickpea flour.

An alternate in the banana bread fingers could be mini fruit muffins? If you make them yourself you can cut down in the sugar. I know some may question why cutting down on sugar in children.

Well 1 it rots teeth, 2 it can cause health issues and 3 if sugar is not burnt within the body from activity or exercise its stored as fat and our nation is already overweight. I don’t see I big issue in using either natural sugar sources such as fruit over refined sugar and I also think so much food has hidden added sugar that by cutting down on some can not hurt.

I don’t send my little man to school with muesli bars as its a nut free environment. I also don’t like the idea of roll up as its loaded with refined sugar.

I’d love to hear your ideas for fussy eaters that won’t eat a sandwich or cut fruit and vegetables.

Email me :
Noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Being pregnant.

Being pregnant!

So I’m 31 weeks pregnant with my little princess and the count down is on!

I’m extremely excited to meet her and give my little man a sister and my hubby a daughter. The latter is possibly not the most appealing as hubby is worried about having a little girl, mainly her teenage years and how he can contain boyfriends, cosmetics, mood swings etc….. The best is yet to come!

This pregnancy has been similar but also very different to my first. I know they say no two are the same but I thought that possibly they could be, same mum – same dad, how different can it be?

Well to start with, my first notably is a boy and I’m expecting a girl.

Secondly even though I had morning / mourning sickness with my little man it was controllable. This time round I’ve felt terrible most days as have literally vomited every day and at no particular time.

Thirdly I have grown an enormous bottom! I carried my little man mostly in the tummy, yes I was big but at least I was still wearing my normal size pants. Ok no skinny jeans but tights and pants still fitted. This time, no chance! My hips feel double the size and yes they look it also, although my tummy isn’t very big? So I guess it’s true when they say you carry boys in front and girls in the back? (Old wives tale)

Fourth is the weight gain. First time around, I put on 17.5kgs….. This pregnancy I have only gained 9kg. I get that I still have approx 8-9 weeks to go but I can’t really see my self adding another 9kgs in that time frame? Well Id be shocked if I did.

Fifth is the sleep, or lack there of. It seems I get really tired especially as I am a stay at home mummy looking after my beautiful 2 year old boy who is super active and has recently decided to reject his day sleep, so from 6:30am until 6:30pm he is a little firecracker! An absolute ball of energy! However when I try to sleep or rest I seem to get energised.

Sixth, being uncomfortable. With everything! I can’t sit comfortably as my tummy seems to be right up under my nose and literally sits on my lap. Laying down I feel like I have an anchor pulling me to the side and let’s not forget the calf muscle aches and lower back pain. Again nothing like I experienced in my first pregnancy. This one has been tough. Especially the body aches.

Seventh, food and cravings. Mmmm well I don’t really feel like eating and the slightest aroma makes me want to vomit. No particular cravings this time around but first time was all about chocolate flavoured milk and chicken sandwiches on white bread.

Eighth would be the wriggles and movement. Gosh my little guy would wriggle and move all the time, however my little miss only at night. Day time she is quite still, well at least I don’t feel her as much but rest assured, as soon as I’m resting it laying trying to sleep, she wriggles and kicks and moves. Perhaps this is the beginning of her sleeping pattern? Is she going to be a restless or sleepless child? Only time will tell.

Ninth is the funny tastes I get in my mouth, sometimes it’s a metal taste almost like I have pieces of metal in my mouth? Or it can sometimes be the taste of acid, perhaps from the vomiting. Mostly it’s a thick non hungry taste almost like ice eastern too much? Bizzar I know but hard to explain.

I know this probably isn’t painting the best picture of pregnancy but I can guarantee that I will defiantly miss being pregnant. I do love and enjoy my tummy and the movement. The bonding where only I can feel her move. The special bond that only a mother can feel as the baby is in her tummy growing. I missed it with my little man and am sure that I will miss it again.

Although it hasn’t been easy I certainly don’t regret any moment of it. I love being pregnant and knowing that I am growing a human who is so innocent inside me makes me feel blessed.

I’m very much looking forward to the next chapter in my life of being a mummy to my two beautiful children. My little man whom is my prince, my darling, my solider, my best friend, my first child, my only boy, my everything and my little princess awaiting arrival.

She will no doubt be my gorgeous little girl, my darling princess, my best friend, my youngest child, my only daughter, my everything.

One child of each sex is all I need to complete my little family. I feel blessed and fulfilled with absolute happiness and excitement.

How have your pregnancy experiences differed to either mine or with each of your children? Id love to hear your stories. Email me noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Guest writer Trish.

I promised I would post / publish some of my guest writers work so here goes.

This is a touching yet sad and truthful note from Trish. She has opened up her heart to tell us her story. Hopefully this will touch others as it has me and make you think more about our words and actions and how they can have a massive impact on other lives.

My regular readers know how passionate I am about healthy eating and setting a good example for our  children. Most of all installing good eating habits in children.

The world is so obsessed with talking about obesity, there are just as many anorexic children or children with eating disorders out there as there are obese or overweight children.

Let’s try work together and bring eating disorders to the forefront also.

Guest writer Trish.

I had an eating disorder from an early age. Both my parents were body obsessed and quite frankly still are.

My mother always on a diet, but she called it ‘healthy eating’ and my fathers long conquest to be muscular and lean with competing in body building.

I remember from when I was about 5 years old being a fussy eater so instead of my parents being persistent, they gave in. I didn’t like vegetables so I was made eat them. Perhaps they couldn’t be bothered, perhaps they didn’t want the fight? Most nights I are plain pasta. Occasionally I would eat lamb cutlets but other than those, not much more.

My mothers obsession with her body image is still very much as it was when I was younger. Her quest to be thin, constantly running and constantly comparing herself to others.

I observed from a very early age and although they don’t assume I’ve taken anything in, this has played a huge part in my life.

I had a fear of food from about the age of 8 or so. No wanting to eat anything that my mother labeled ‘bad’.

I grew up in a household where body image was constantly talked about and both my parents had obsessions with their appearances. Looking back it wasn’t a great loving environment teaching me to love myself and or my body.

My eating disorder started by me saying I wasn’t very hungry, not finishing my meals then completely skipping meals. I would then binge, feel terrible about what I did. Have a huge amount of guilt about eating ‘bad food’ then starve myself.

This followed on well into my teens until a high school teacher picked up on it and spoke to my parents and I saw a doctor. I remember being 35kg in grade 10 so I was about 15 years old.

I still have a fear of food but not as bad as it has been. From all the starving myself and binge eating my hair started falling out, I was constantly tired and run down and caught a cold very easily. This is because my immune system was low as I wasn’t feeding it enough nutrients. It still takes me a while to recover from sickness and perhaps will for the rest of my life?

My parents will never take responsibility for my eating disorder but I believe it is their fault. If they had of instilled good eating habits in me from and early age and not been so obsessed with their own body image perhaps Id have a different mindset and not have put my body through this?

If you have any fear of food or any eating disorder, please seek help. This can and will always affect you in some way otherwise.

Remember a healthy mindset is the first step!

A few easy exercises!

 

 

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So it’s a beautiful sunny Sunday!

Im feeling rather lazy today but this weather is so lovely I feel I need to be enjoying it!

Hubby and I have just returned from a quick escape to the hunter valley to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary.

Yes I over indulged but it was worth it! You will never get any food guilt from me 😉 I love and enjoy food!

So here are a few quick and easy  exercises to help me feel a little more energetic!

Remember exercising and being fit should be fun and not seen as a chore or something you do simply to look good, being healthy starts with a healthy mindset.

If you have some exercise tips, email me. I’d love to share them.

Bath paint?

Bath time fun!

Well my little one loves bath time. Weather he is taking a ‘big boy’ shower or having a soak in the tub, he doesn’t mind.

He has one thousand things in the bath with him which range from toothbrushes, to funnels, to Tupperware, anything he can really find that takes his fancy really, and who am I to stop him exploring and being creative?

So to enhance his creativity just a little more I’ve made bath time just that little be extra special by making bath paint!

Yep you heard it – painting in the bath!

With special paint of course, which doesn’t stain the bath and us easily washed away. How I hear you ask?

With shaving foam!

It needs to be the thick foam almost gel like but don’t waste money on expensive stuff, it all works the same except the more bubbly it is the quicker it dissolves.

So get a silicone ice cube tray.

Fill each hole with the shave foam.

Add different drops of food colour to each hole.

And there you have it!

A miniature paint pallet for bath time fun!

Ps – you can use your fingers to paint or an old tooth brush, or perhaps a real paintbrush, you can pick small cheap paint brushes up at the cheaper variety stores or even the local super market of hardware.

Natural therapies, alternative medicines? Natural IVF?

Alternative therapies and IVF?

Some of you may or may not be aware that we had some difficulties falling pregnant with my now gorgeous 20 month old healthy, happy, busy, boy!

I was told that I had no ‘eggs’ and that I would need to have hormone replacement therapy (HRT) along with IVF.

When I was given this news I was devastated. I thought it was the worst thing I could have ever heard. Such a blow to the ego, why are so women able to have babies so easily and I can’t I was asking myself?

Then anger set in and I was thinking of all the women who neglect their children or fall pregnant to keep or trap a partner. I has all these emotions were running through me. I was 33 years old. Married, trying to start a family with the guy I had been with for at the time 6 years. Why me?

I wasn’t going to let it defeat me. I am a stubborn and defiant personality and I certainly don’t like to loose nor be beat by something. To give up certainly wasn’t in me. I was willing to try anything prior to HRT and IVF.

Not because I am against it, but I wanted to try alternatives as I’d heard how straining on your body and mind both HRT and IVF are and with their costs and risks your still not guaranteed to fall pregnant, therefore is wanted to try other ‘possibilities’ first.

So I went to visit a Chinese Herbalist. He was so lovely, his English was broken but he understood my struggle. He tested my hormone levels via feeling my energies. No needles, no blood samples simply held his hands approx 15cm away from the outline of my arms and head and felt my bodies energies.

At first I thought this was Bizzar but i kept telling myself, whatever works! I really wanted a family with my husband and was willing to try anything!

He made up some specialised herbs for me to take as a tea and suggested I also take other vitamin supplements such as magnesium, iron, calcium, vitamin B and a few others. He also suggested acupuncture, a cleaner diet and meditation. I had used acupuncture previously for a sports injury but never meditated. I am a high energy person and the thought of meditation was a little overwhelming. I had to at least try though. Remembering everyone’s needs are different and these were what my body needed, no necessarily what everyone will need.

I read a few articles and books on self meditation, taking myself to a quiet place abc allowing my thoughts to ‘quieten’. This was very foreign to me and it took many attempts – about 10, before I actually succeeded in meditation. Blocking out sounds and not being distracted I found very challenging. I would meditate every evening. Sitting on my bed or laying. No TV on just me in the dark with my body still and listening to my heart beat. I would slowly tell each part of my body to relax, staring at my toes and working my way up to my brain, with each breath I would feel more calm and at ease with meditation and eventually I could lay alone meditating for an hour.

No I didn’t fall asleep but I would certainly feel relaxed. 🙂

My cleaner diet was, no alcohol, nothing with preservatives or as little as preservatives as possible, (basically nothing from a packet) more fruit, veg and meat. Less processed foods and lower starchy carbohydrates.

I was seeing SYDNEY IVF acupuncture in George street Sydney twice a week for acupuncture, meditating at home daily, eating clean and healthy and took a lot of stresses from my life. Including quitting my job which I loved but my boss was making my role difficult. (If you have been following my previous posts, this is the boss that pursued my friends, ended up dating one and spoke about her in a condescending and revolting manner.) – I quit as I could no longer stand his behaviour. I was unemployed approx a month before I was contacted by my most recent boss doing the same role but with a lot less stress involved , it’s a much larger and more professional organisation with wonderful supporting management and staff.

So with my new lifestyle I fell pregnant. I will admit it still took 7 months but I fell naturally. No chemical HRT no IVF naturally! I felt on top of the world.

So my advice is. If you are struggling to fall pregnant naturally don’t discount HRT and IVF however also don’t be dis heartened. If like me you are open to alternative medicine, go speak to a natural therapist or even an acupuncture specialist. They will be able to help put you in contact with the people who can hopefully help you bring a baby to this world.

I now have my wonderful little man whom I adore more than anything for and am extremely thankful and fragile to have him in my life. If I do encounter these hurdles again I will most certainly try alternative therapies again. 🙂