The Green Life with Leonora Bamford, founder of My Baba

by Clare Neill,

We recently met with Leonora Bamford, the mother of two beautiful children and founder of MyBaba.com a wonderful resource for expectant and existing parents.  The website aims to help and inform with lots of news, reviews and expert opinions. As something of an expert herself, we asked Leonora a few quick questions and she was kind enough to give us her thoughts.

 Leonora Bamford, MyBaba.com

How do you balance running My Baba, being a busy mother with looking after your own health?

Since having children my health and beauty regime has definitely taken a back seat. Now the children are at nursery, I do have more time for my work and I always make time for eating with the children every day. I'm a copious list maker, and if I do this before I go to bed it relaxes me knowing what i've got on the following day. I try to fit in the gym a few times a week, and my kids love stretching with me in front of Postman Pat in the morning. 

What is your favourite quick and easy weekday supper?

I'm mad about pasta, and I love making proper Italian tomato and basil sauce with a touch of mozzarella. I fry up an onion, celery, a carrot and some garlic, then throw over a few tins of plum tomatoes, a spoon full of sugar and a slug of both olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Leave it for as long as you have, and then put if through a mouli, if you don't have one, a blender works too. If you need to get extra veg in there, it's so easy to do and they'll never know! 

My fridge is full of fresh fruit and I love making fruit faces on a plate for pudding. Quick and easy! My children love cooking with me and we try to make at least one new quick and easy recipe each week. Annabel Karmel is my hero. 

How do you make sure that your children eat healthily?

I'm really lucky because both of my children have always been good eaters. I think it helps that I eat with them, and we often cook together. We're lucky to have a great butcher, fishmonger and green grocer at the bottom of our road so we often set off and make cooking dinner a fun little outing. 

They have a good balanced diet, but on the weekend I'm much more relaxed and there are more treats all round. 

What are your go-to healthy snacks? 

Daylesford Energy Bar if I need a major pick me up, or I love my children's Yo Yo Fruit Roll Ups by Bear Nibbles. 

What is your favourite way to work out?

If I have the time, I would do yoga and pilates every day. I love walking with the children and the dogs in the park. 

What advice do you give to busy mums who find it hard to make the time to eat well?

Don't be too hard on yourself! If you get the chance, try making one new thing for the family each week. If you have five minutes to spare, (likely!) check out food blogs or apps on your phone. There are so many to choose from and lots of inspiration. 

Start the day off well with a good breakfast and try not to eat on the run - easier said than done! 


Chocolate mint coconut slice from Polly Noble

by Clare Neill, , link

The whole team loves to try different raw recipes and when I saw this one on Polly Noble's newsletter I knew I had to test it out. I thought a birthday was the perfect excuse. The team loved it so much that I wanted to share it, with Polly's kind permission. 

Polly is renowned in the raw food world and is an inspiration. Her website is full of recipe ideas to keep you healthy. The picture below is not quite how mine turned out (I was missing the spirulina when I did mine) so I thought I'd include her picture as it would inspire you more! Happy creating!

Raw Peppermint Coconut Slice

Base:

  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 tbl coconut oil

Place the nuts, salt and coconut in the food processor and whizz to a flour consistency. Add the coconut oil and mix to combine. Turn out the mixture into a cake tin lined with cling film or plastic wrap so removal is easy. Place in the fridge to set. 

Filling:

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup water

Combine the dates and water in the food processor until a paste forms.

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tsp spirulina, chlorella or green powder

Add the coconut milk, peppermint extract and vanilla. I used a teaspoon of spirulina to colour it as I wanted a green cake! Any green powder can be used and the amount up to you but beware that some powders taste stronger than others. Pour the filling onto the base ensuring an even finish and place back in the fridge for 3-6hours.

Topping:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbl cacao powder
  • 2 tbl maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp stevia

Place all ingredients in a mini-blender and combine. Once the filling is set (2-3hours), using a jug, pour the chocolate over the filling in whatever design you like and sprinkle with coconut/cacao nibs/goji berries – your choice!

For the original article on Polly's site please click here.

 


What the experts eat: Nutritional Therapist Amelia Freer

by Christina Agnew, , link

We've known the lovely Amelia Freer for a while now, and have watched her justifiably shoot to superstar nutritionist fame with her practical, empowering, intelligent approach to food. Over an iced green tea and a Jax Coco in her bright, white, herb-filled kitchen we quizzed her about the secrets to radiant eating.

How would you describe your food philosophy?

I love food! I really want to encourage the enjoyment of it and break the concept that being healthy is about deprivation and misery. I aim to inspire my clients and show them that healthy food can be happy food and of course incredibly beneficial for their long term health.

What does your typical breakfast look like?

Usually a green smoothie with lots of health-promoting foods and powders added and a green tea. Sometimes avocado on buckwheat crackers with cherry tomatoes and some tahini.

What single dietary change makes the biggest difference to your clients' health?

Cutting out sugar. Also cooking from scratch/eliminating processed foods and ready meals.

What are the benefits to health of eating gluten-free, and are there any considerations to bear in mind?

Any health condition COULD be exacerbated by gluten. This is not at all to say that everyone has gluten sensitivity or that all illnesses are caused by gluten. However, everyone should at least consider if they might be sensitive to it if they have health issues, particularly autoimmune conditions. Sometimes going gluten free can make someone feel worse before they get better so it is always best to do it under the guidance of a qualified professional who can support the body as it shifts into a less inflammatory state. The majority of gluten free products aren't healthy options at all to eat so really becoming informed about health foods and what your diet does and doesn't need is key.

I personally noticed an incredible improvement in my mental clarity and memory as well as digestive health when I went gluten free and if ever I do eat it, I quickly get a foggy head, aches, pains and bad skin. For me, it really isn't beneficial to how I feel and look. But removing it isn't always enough and this is where my functional medical training comes in and I can support clients appropriately with testing and supplements to help them heal any damage that may have been caused by gluten. I am a good friend of and huge supporter of Dr Tom O'Bryan (www.theDr.com) who has educated me enormously on this subject and I really feel passionate about spreading the wealth of information that he has collated. I am currently completing the exam to become one of the first Certified Gluten Practitioners (CGP) in the UK.

What are your desert island food essentials?

Avocados, water, broccoli, cashew nuts, apples, extra virgin olive oil, some chickens (for eggs), lemons and earl grey tea! Hopefully there will be coconut trees on the island!

What is your favourite quick and easy weekday supper?

Poached salmon and steamed greens - I always use lots of herbs and good oils to avoid meals being bland.

How do you balance your busy work schedule with looking after your own health?

It's a challenge! I have to plan ahead and when I don't it all goes wrong. I cook and prepare in advance as much as I can so that I'm not caught out hungry with nothing to eat. And I make sure that the options in my fridge and cupboards are only healthy ones!  



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