I am a late bloomer!I discovered my real passions and purpose in life after I had my children and studied a degree in my thirties. People comment on my passion and drive, and I know where it comes from, and I never want to forget, the deep sense of never wanting to feel as I did in my teens, and a drive to do all I can to help others feel good.
By the time my first daughter was born I was already unfolding on my journey to self-discovery and love. I had started to enjoy life and appreciate the small things, I had lost the weight that I was hiding behind and had started to feel beautiful for the first time.
My family and friends wondered at me as I consumed book after book, buying them and taking my daughter’s to the library, taking out every self-esteem and happy child book I could get my hands on, voraciously reading and taking notes. I wanted to do things right! Haha, as any parent knows this is a crazy notion, each child is a precious gift, all different, and we are here to guide them never able to be the perfect parent.
This really is the premise of my first book, Nourish your teens, mind, body, and soul. Whether you are a parent, a guardian, Aunty, Uncle, godparent or a teenager your self. To be ‘the best you can be’ takes an acceptance of embracing your imperfections (the book will be available to purchase from Amazon from next week).
Everything I have learned from my own children, and the young people I teach as well as a myriad of research on mental health, the teenage brain and nutrition is contained in the book. My hope is that you can consult the book at many stages of your child’s development into adulthood for advice and tips, and also remind yourself that you are doing a wonderful job already.
Young people and mental health in the UK
3 children in every classroom have a mental health problem. The statistics are staggering and when you consider the majority of mental health problems are established by the age of 14 years, there is work to be done. In schools, it is suggested that out of an average classroom of 30 15-year-old pupils, 3 could have a mental disorder, 7 are likely to have been bullied, 6 may be self-harming and at least 10 would have been through a traumatic event such as a parental breakup or the death of a loved one. I have witnessed all of the above and ‘Nourishing’ our teens with healthy foods and a toolbox of healthy strategies are keys to supporting positive mental health. The book explains the teenage brain pruning process, which is a major contributor to misreading facial signals and poor decision making and I have to say for me explained a lot!
Imperfect parenting, a little story from this morning
This morning my eldest daughter was annoyed at me for something I didn’t do right ;), and she stormed off, then within a few minutes she came back and apologised. I smiled to myself and realised I had taught her that. I am not perfect, I lose my temper, I get tired and frustrated and say or do the wrong things, but one thing I am good at it apologising and letting my children know they are the most important beings in the world to me, they do not have to be perfect and they are worthy.
Cauliflower and kale scummy spicy curry
- 1 medium head of cauliflower and leaves- separate the florets and chop up the leaves
- a bunch of Kale – wash, and chop
- 2 cloves of garlic – diced
- a quarter of a chili – chopped small
- a tsp of mustard seeds
- heaped tsp of ground coriander
- heaped tsp of cumin
- heaped tsp of turmeric
- pinch of Himalayan salt
- 1 tin of Thai coconut milk
- 150-250g mushrooms – washed and chopped
The evening I made this it was a mad dash for dinner, well who am I kidding that really is most nights in our house, especially as we come into the busy Xmas season. Anyway, it is easy to throw all of these ingredients in the pan together, start with veggies and add spices cook for a few minutes and then add the coconut milk, cook for a further 5 minutes and then add mushrooms if you want to, cooking another 5-10 minutes until the veggies are to your desired texture and enjoy!
Dreamy chocolate truffles
You would never know these were dairy free and nutrient packed! They are a real treat option, perfect for gifts and having guests over.
- 50g walnuts
- 50g buckwheat flour or oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 100g melted cocoa butter
- a tsp of vanilla extract
- a generous pinch of Himalayan salt
- 200g of dates (pre-soak in a water for 5/10 minutes to help blend easier)
- 2 tbsp cashew nut butter
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- coating – 100g dark chocolate – melt
- Place all of the truffle ingredients in a blender and blitz – it does not have to be smooth as this adds to the texture (Melt the cocoa butter first).
- Roll the truffle mix into approximately 24 balls and place in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes (or longer) to harden.
- Melt the dark chocolate (I use Bournville or another dairy-free option) and roll the truffles around to cover in the chocolate, then place them back into the freezer for approximately 10 minutes before serving. Yum!
Chocolate fudge plant-based cake
This vegan cake is a real treat in the texture department! It is so fudge-like and moist it is just delicious. Yesterday I decided to experiment with avocado and banana as these are two of my favourite ingredients in the world not to mention so nourishing. This cake was the result. Remember not to tell anyone the ingredients until they have tasted it. You would not believe it is gluten-free and vegan…
serves approximately 8-10 people
*80g gluten-free oats
*80g buckwheat flour
*1 tbsp walnuts
*blitz these 3 ingredients together then add the rest:
- 1 medium ripe avocado – scoop out the flesh and mash
- 2 small or 1 large ripe banana – mashed
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- a pinch of Himalayan salt
- 3 tbsp date syrup
- 150g dark chocolate (dairy free) – melt before adding
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp oat/almond milk
Melt the chocolate and then mix all of the ingredients well, then place into a 20 cm round/square tin. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes until springs up to the touch.
You can serve warm or cold – enjoy x
Date and walnut power snack
If you are looking for a mid-afternoon pick up or an after work out energising snack, these are the perfect option. Fitting in with my PFF guidance, protein, and fat from the nuts, and both packed with fibre and also natural sugars for a boost.
As always please get in touch with me through my Facebook or Instagram @passion8nutrition or email me firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help. Look out for my sign up to release me, sugar-free for January programme coming soon and my book launch in the new year.
Lots of love and health,