Hello again…

It’s been awhile since I last posted, the past few weeks have been super busy and ridiculously wonderful.  Milne is growing so fast and doing so many exciting new things – like pulling herself up, standing unaided (ok, for maybe just 5 seconds, but still!) I thought I would give you a wee update on what we are up to and what we are going to be getting up to…

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March has flown by, we started off with LOTS of snow days for Andrew which meant A LOT of fun for the three of us and some sledging.  It was Andrews birthday at the start of the month and we had a wonderful weekend celebrating. If you follow me on Instagram you might know that I have signed up for my next marathon in Leiden on May 27th – really not long to go – so I have been ramping up the training this month and getting out on some longer runs.

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We have also discovered a new favourite pastime – swimming!  Milne loves water and we are having such lovely mornings splashing around in the water together.  Unfortunately our yoga teacher is on holiday for six weeks so we have been practicing at home instead and I completed a 30 day yoga challenge which left me feeling refreshed and chilled every morning!

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Last week we took a trip to Grandpa which was a perfect few days of running, walks and really good food.  We are looking forward to a few days with Granny next month and a fun filled Easter weekend with my little sister.    I am going to be whipping up a few things from the How Not to Die Cookbook which is definitely worth checking out for some delicious and VERY nutritious food.


The How Not To Die Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease

For now, its an early night with our wee one who has just eaten all her peas and sweet potato before bath and bedtime.

Falda

x

Fake news and the unenlightened

I listened to a great interview the other day on radio 4 with an author who thinks we are in danger of becoming an “unenlightened” society.  As a Scot this seems really depressing because of course Scotland was the home of the Enlightenment period.

Despite having unprecedented access to vast information resources it seems that folk need to be more careful than ever believing what they read – “fake news” has made that pretty obvious.

When I make my decisions about the food I consume I check the facts and claims made. I read research papers – okay not always the whole thing but usually the abstract and I also trust some substantial organisations such as the World Health Organisation.  I think the main point is to trust your source – and I do trust mine which is why I can make informed decisions about my health – mostly!

Take a look at our resource page for ideas to start your research.

Ten weeks…

It’s almost ten weeks since Milne arrived and and without a doubt they have been the most wonderful ten weeks.  Every day she is changing – getting bigger, longer, more curious and more alert.  It is an amazing privilege to be able to watch her develop and grow so quickly.  

However, a lot has changed in the past ten weeks which I really wasn’t prepared for. It’s not the big things that have really changed but the little every day bits and pieces I was so used to doing on my own; taking the bin out ( to do this Milne needs to come down two flights of stairs and out to our bin store), going for a long shower – Milne now has a little bouncy seat which I position just outside the (open) bathroom door so I can see her while showering. ‘Nipping’ to Tesco is a past activity.  Now it means taking the time to strap Milne to me and taking a change of clothes, nappies and wipes.

There are hundreds of little things that I have modified so I can do them while caring for a baby.  Although it can be sometimes frustrating, learning to get on with day to day life with her has been wonderful – and everything is so much lovelier with her by my side.  Here are some of my favourite activities to do with her.

Walking: I use my Ergo Baby carrier to make walking with Milne easy – we can literally walk for miles and miles while she snoozes on my chest.  She’s happy and I’m happy.  We usually stop somewhere for a hot drink and so I can breastfeed!

Ergobaby baby carrier collection 360 (5.5 – 15 kg), Dusty Blue

Reading: There is nothing I love more than curling up on the sofa with her and reading aloud- at this age I can read any book I want to her, but I have loved re-reading my old favourites.  We have also been a long to Book Bug at my local library where we are learning rhymes and reading books with a few dance moves!

Dancing:  A few weeks ago I discovered how much Milne likes to watch me dance- I have been putting on fast music and doing silly dances in front of her- she seems to love this and so do I.  We can also dance together along to nursery rhymes.

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Switching off…

The last few months have been HECTIC: from running a marathon, finding out I am pregnant, finishing off my degree and work it has definitely been a busy time.

But the end is in sight and I only have days left to complete my studies, my exercise has become much more gentle and I am feeling ready for the last couple of months of pregnancy.  That’s not to say sometimes I don’t become overwhelmed with the massive change that is about to happen!

Here’s my top tips for switching off and staying stress-free:

  • Longer in bed:  I’ve not been sleeping very well and often when my alarm goes off I am not feeling very rested at all, so this week I am making a conscious effort to stay in bed for an extra ten minutes to slowly wake up and get my day started- so far it’s helped me feel more relaxed to start my day!
  • Take five:  sometimes the bustle of everyday life can be difficult to deal with, especially when you’re already feeling more hormonal and sometimes uncomfortable.  Taking 5 minutes whenever you need it to relax with a cup of decaf tea, a short leg stretch or just with your eyes closed makes a HUGE difference
  • Me time:  We have a busy life with friends and family and having time to myself can sometimes feel like a challenge but keeping an hour or so every day for myself to have a bath, read a book or go for a gentle walk helps me feel refreshed and is something I won’t be able to do as easily in a few weeks!

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My super refreshing fizzy smoothie:

It has been a lot warmer the last week or so and I have been craving something fizzy and cold, if you have too then  try this healthy alternative to sugary drinks:

1 Green Apple

1 Handful Frozen Raspberries

1 Handful Frozen Blueberries

1 Lemon

Water

Whizz up in your Nutri Ninja or similar.

Pour into a tall glass with ice and fizzy water.  YUM!

Still running….

I have just passed the 30 week mark and with only 10 weeks until my due date I am pleased to still be getting out on regular runs (around 4 times a week).  When I found out I was pregnant I thought running would be out the window and replaced by other lower impact activities.  However, after my first midwife appointment in the new year she was happy I had not only kept up my running but had actually run a marathon early on in the pregnancy.    The advice I have been given is to stop running when my body tells me too; if I become uncomfortable or too tired or even if I just really don’t want to!

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Exercising in pregnancy is great for me  because it is keeping me fit and active while giving me lots of happy endorphins and stress relief.  But, not everyone loves running as much as me and while some women can run a marathon at almost full term (this is definitely not me) others struggle with a mile at a time.  Finding an activity suitable for you is what’s important.

Check out the NHS guide on exercising during pregnancy.  

Exciting News…

This year falda_eats has partnered up with Dunbar Morley Associates to bring you Fitness and Wellbeing retreats.  

This winter, Dunbar Morley Associates will be hosting a series of wellness and fitness courses, including: healthy plant based weeks in the sun, a yoga for beginners retreat and health and happiness week with special guest Dr Nicola McNally.

Available winter 2017/18, keep an eye out for more exciting information.  Keep up to date on Instagram and Facebook.

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My body is perfect…and so is yours.

This morning I watched a youtube video which discussed body confidence and referred to self love.  I am a huge advocate of both.  The health benefits both physically and mentally of embracing and looking after your body are essential to health and happiness.  However, what I was hugely disappointed by was the statement that your body is meant to be ‘imperfect’ or comments such as ‘your arms are meant to hug’.

I am irritated by these comments because not only do they validate the idea that our bodies are imperfect and that’s how they are meant to be but also because it is simply untrue.  My body is perfect not because how it looks aesthetically but because of its ability to meet my physical needs.  My eyebrows and eyelashes are not perfect because they are waxed or extended but because they keep dirt and sweat out of my eyes.  My arms and legs have not evolved so that I can hug my husband (although that is a bonus) they are long and strong so I can use them as tools – my legs are strong and lean and allow me to get from A to B and my arms so that I can use them as tools be it in cooking, lifting, holding, or breaking my fall.  My body is perfect because it has evolved over millions of years to be useful.

With the pressures of our society, maintaining this is difficult.  My body is not required to work as hard as my ancestors – I can take the bus, pull my suitcase on wheels, I buy my food from the supermarket without need to scavenge for it.  My body often feels underused.  Of course, this is the case for many bodies and probably why so many people are gaining such substantial amounts of weight – not only are our foods calorie laden and nutrient lacking, we also have no need to use our bodies physically.   It is therefore paramount to use my body to ensure that it remains strong and useful to me.  In pregnancy, I have seen the importance of having a strong and nourished body, with so many changes to my size and the aches and pains as a result not to mention the changes in my hormones I can appreciate the need for a strong body to cope with and thrive on these changes.  Not least, a fit and healthy body which will help me care for my baby once it arrives.

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My body is perfect because it keeps the dirt from eyes, because I can run for 26 miles, because it tells me when I’m tired or hungry and because not only can my body  carry a child I can feed and nourish my baby from it.

A body is not perfect because of how it looks, a body is perfect because it is strong, resilient and nourished.  Be kind to your body: use it and nourish it.  

Travel, Food and Ikea…

After a marvelous trip to the Netherlands visiting Tom and Olivia where I had a great time enjoying their company and good food  I am delighted to be home and relaxed again with Andrew.    That’s it for the next while, no more trips just calmness and preparing for the baby – IKEA is involved.

This week I will also be returning to yoga and focusing on good nutritious clean foods.  My running is slowing down a bit, however it’s no problem as I am walking and carrying on with some strengthening exercises.  All in all I am feeling pretty good!

Here is last Monday’s menu.  Seems a lot but I am filling my boots!

Breakfast 

1 Green Smoothie (kale, spinach, celery, grapefruit, apple and lemon )

1 Bowl of porridge with chia seeds and frozen raspberries

Morning Snack

1 Handful of red grapes

1 Handful of Almonds

Lunch

1 Carrot and ⅓ Cucumber with Hummus

1 Couscous Food doctor Pot

1 Piece of vegan carrot cake!!

Afternoon snack

1 Handful of Almonds

1 Handful of Red Grapes

Tea

3 Bean Chili with rice and rude health (vegan) creme fraiche

Evening Snack

Leftover homemade apple crumble with almond yogurt.

Heart-full or Heart-less?

This week we have listened to daft excuses from coffee drinkers that they can’t either a) pay an additional 25p for their takeaway hot beverage to accommodate the environmental cost of their “disposable” cups OR b) they don’t want to be carrying a “permanent” cup for filling up repeatedly,  for around £3.50 OR c) they won’t take their own flask of coffee with them.

Meanwhile we still have the vast majority of people in the West and increasingly in developing countries, eating up the Earth’s resources, polluting everything in sight for the sake of gorging on animal meat that we don’t even need, unless you live in an Igloo and you have no other recourse than to eat creatures from the sea (which is not the case for most of us!)

What to do, what to do?  How about taking a bit of responsibility and investing in equality and social cohesion?  How about aiming to live in a cruelty free and heart-full not heart-less society?

How about focusing on a wee bit of common human decency that is humane and moral.

 

 

Plant-based retreats…

Lithy and I had a great weekend visiting mum in Spain for Mother’s Day.  The weather wasn’t great but we were high up in the olive grove hills north of Malaga and it was really peaceful.  A trip to Cordoba to visit the third largest Mosque in the World was awesome.  On Sunday Lithy made Mother’s Day pancakes and we had them with strawberries and lemon – fabulous.

We also visited an amazing villa where Mum is hosting all inclusive nutrient rich plant based retreats throughout May.  These retreats will introduce plant based eating to improve health and well-being.  Working in small groups and one-to-one you will work out your own six week plan with online backup. And have an amazing inspirational, relaxing holiday.

If you are interested in long term health and also want to shed a few pounds before summer get in touch with Mum (Susan) directly:  contact@dunbarmorley.com.  

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I will also be on hand helping out although I might be waylaid by the baby.  Every day I can feel more movement and morning sickness has been replaced by lower back aches.  Warm baths and gentle strolls seen to be the order of the day.  

Thank goodness my diet is really healthy.  The amount of food I am packing away right now would have me the size of a tank if I was eating badly.   I just can’t get enough and there is no way I will be slowing down anytime soon!