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.

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A wonderful weekend…

Hello!

What a wonderful weekend!

Making good use of our new National Trust Membership we took a trip to The House of Dun in Angus for a beautiful riverside walk – It was amazing.  With Milne strapped to Andrew and wrapped up cosy in her Ergo Baby Carrier, we we were able to take a relaxing walk and enjoy some Autumn sunshine.  For more information about The House of Dun or the National Trust Scotland membership, look here.

On Sunday I completed my goal run – 10k, ten weeks after giving birth!  It set me up for the new week, feeling fast and strong.

This week I have my graduation and Mum is coming to stay with us and joining us at the ceremony.  I can’t wait to spend some time with her and Milne in Dundee, she is going to notice a big difference in Milne’s size that’s for sure.

Hopefully I can also get mum back running, she has had plantar fascia and is pretty fed up with not getting out for her daily miles.  If you have any ideas on how to speed up fixing this kind of injury let me know!

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

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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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.

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!

Nourishment…

 

I attended a wonderful wedding on Saturday with Andrew and Lithy.  It was totally vegan and the food was amazing.  The company was fantastic and we had a superb time celebrating.  Thank you Teresa and David and congratulations once again on what I am sure will be a marvellous journey together.  

I was rereading some newspaper articles about the increasing prevalence of mental health in children and young people.  In one article the graphic that went along with it showed a picture of prescribed pills.

I am no longer a child but, being under 25, I am still technically classed as a young person.  As such, I feel both sad and frustrated at the myriad of reports that seem to consistently give advice from mental health professionals that ignore the issue of nutrition as part of the solution.

If, as parents say here, that children in mental health hospitals are not improving, why don’t we make a focus on what they are putting into their bodies?

When I was younger I had, like many young girls, body confidence issues to the point that I was much too thin and dangerously low in body weight. Mum suggested that I focus not on calories but on nutrition.  She made it acceptable for me to eat very little, but what I did eat had to be fully nutritious.

On that basis I was freed of calorie counting and could stuff myself with the nourishment that I needed for my body and importantly my brain to function well.  Over a short while I began to make better choices because – I slept better, thought better and I had loads more energy.

I am not a mental health professional but surely we should focus on the evidence and collaboration in research that what we eat significantly affects how we think?

Read more on Mum’s blog, this week she is talking about how to put nutrient eating into practice!

Another happy week…

What a great week. The baby is kicking, my grandma called to see how I was doing with my pregnancy and I’m off to see mum in Spain soon with Lithy. Overall, though, I feel I’m bursting with health. Okay, yeah, the hormones get to me sometimes and I get a wee bit weepy, but “happy” weepy!

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I was thinking about an article I remember reading a couple of years ago. It recounted how so called “vegan” parents were charged with abuse because their child was admitted to hospital with a degenerative bone disease which was attributed to the “vegan” diet she had been fed from birth.

Now, I don’t doubt that the physicians were right with their diagnosis – who am I to argue against the medical establishment?  However, my view and practice of living a “vegan” lifestyle is synonymous to me with good health and happiness.

My diet is based around my increasing knowledge of the importance of the range of nutrients that I need to consume to ensure that I maintain optimum health for both myself and the baby.

And my approach to activity is the same.  Sure, I can train for a marathon from time to time and that is a great mental and physical challenge (admittedly not everyone’s cup of tea). On a day to day basis, though, I practice a sustainable level of exercise.  I build it into my daily living. For example, instead of driving or using public transport  walk to work and walk to the shops, carrying my shopping home.  For some folk that would be enough, others might like to add in some yoga or swimming.

Returning to the “abusive” parents above. Surely it is not irresponsible to bring a child up plant based, but rather it is irresponsible to feed a child badly, isn’t it?  Let me know what you think….

Mum has started a new blog check it out here 

This week she is talking about so called “non treat” days.

 

Getting my 10 a day…

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When I start my day with my favourite big green smoothie I am getting at least four of my 10 portions of fruit of veg into me right at the start.

(10 portions is the recommendations from a new study led by Imperial College London)

By lunchtime I will have added at least another two, snacking on an apple or carrots with maybe a veg filled burrito or hearty vegetable soup (or both) at lunch – another two added.

Homeward bound I might go for a mango before my run and then I will polish of a huge salad with dinner maybe with falafel or veg sausages, a further three or more.

So on an average day I easily eat at least 12 portions of fruit and vegetables.  Add to this my daily portions of beans, lentils, rice and nuts and I just don’t usually have space left in me to worry about eating sugary or fatty stuff.

But if I wanted to I would because for one, I am human and just sometimes I want to, two I am pregnant and have cravings and three, well sometimes there is a celebration like a birthday or wedding or just a night out and less healthy foods are available and I don’t want to say “no thanks”.

The balance of my diet is firmly in the “well healthy” quadrant – what about yours?

Mum has started a new blog check it out here.

This week she is talking about the sustainability of the foods served in schools and hospitals.

 

My motto – keep it simple!

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Being pregnant is really sharpening my focus on healthy eating, not just while I am pregnant but how I can sustain this focus when the baby comes.  I know I won’t have as much time to focus just on me because I anticipate that the “wee one”  will take up a considerable amount of my attention and energy however I am determined to maintain my good healthy practices as easily as possible.

So I have created a very simple guide for my daily diet below.    This gives me a nutrient stuffed base of 1300 calories and I top that up to 1800 with additional snacks of either nuts, popcorn, toast and jam or anything else I crave. And on days I run I add a second portion of grains.  My motto – keep it simple!

These numbers are approx

Daily base 1300 calories Calories Protien gms
avocado 320 4
100g beans (red, pinto, chickpeas etc 310 18
30g nuts and seeds 200 4.5
100g wild rice, quinoa etc 310 15
1 kg veg + fruit 200 3
Totals 1340 44.5

As many readers know I have been popping over to Malaga from time to time in the past year to visit mum.  I come back every time healthier and refreshed and usually with weight loss which I don’t even notice happening (although not now I’m pregnant).  This is because of mum’s amazing nutrient dense, plant based meals and the walks and runs we enjoy together.

Now you can enjoy a vegan or wellness holiday organised by mum in the Andalucian hills north of Malaga as well!  These are luxury, all inclusive retreats (just like my stays with her!) with airport transfers, all meals, massage and daily yoga.  There are also workshops and one-to-one sessions with therapist Nicola McNally on the Wellness Weeks.

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You can also tailor a week to suit the needs of groups.  For example if you want to focus on learning about plant based nutrient eating that is sustainable for the long term, mum will run workshops  where you will learn about nutrition and how to make simple menus.  You will also develop a six week plan to carry on with.  AND daily yoga and massage are thrown in as well!  To find out more visit Art and Activity Holidays, Andalucia, Spain

 

Big Announcement…

It has been a wee while since I last posted.  And I have great news that has preoccupied me for the past 15 weeks!

I am going to have a baby, due early August.  I am so excited, have been pretty unwell with morning sickness but that seems to have passed and now I am totally energized and raring to go.

It’s the happiest news ever for my husband and myself and delighted to share with all our friends.

My focus as you can imagine is to ensure that I keep well and active, full of nutrients and enjoy this fabulous experience.

Vegan pregnancy and vegan babies – YES!  And so far no one has mentioned my diet in a negative way – so I think the message is really getting out there – you don’t need meat or dairy in your diet and you need to keep a really good hold on healthy foods.

In the past weeks, when I have felt pretty nauseous, I have been really reliant on green smoothies and lots of fruit – very luckily it just seems to be what I crave!

I will keep you posted with my on going baby news!