“…a mum to my 3,
football crazy, overly loud, sometimes a bit
annoying, but generally amazing boys!”
Firstly, I’m so excited and honoured to be part of the BROOD family and involved in its first online launch! I hope you enjoy reading my very first article on health and nutrition and I hope you find it provides lots of information, tips and advice for you and your family…Now, to introduce myself properly…
Hi, I’m Kate and my most important job is, of course, being a mum to my 3, football crazy, overly loud, sometimes a bit annoying, but generally amazing boys! Oh and not forgetting our beautiful Bassett Hound, Hettie, who is 15 years old and still going strong – although she has lost the use of some bodily functions, which can be interesting at times! I am married to Paul, who is slightly more annoying than the kids, but we laugh everyday and tackle life together.
I am a Nutritional Therapist and Personal Trainer, alongside the things mentioned above! My journey into nutrition and fitness began after having my first child 12 years ago. I had always exercised and thought I ate relatively well, but I think once you become a parent, you realise just how important being healthy and looking after yourself and your family is! You want to be the best parent and you want your child to thrive, especially in their first few years of life. I returned to the gym and began to find it quite therapeutic. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was bloody awful doing the actual training (still is), but it enabled me to have an hour to myself and I found that I was a better person for having that time out from parenting. This became a regular thing for me and I suddenly grew very passionate about exercise and its benefits, both physically and mentally.
KATE DEVINE. IMAGE © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY
Some years past, a few more kids arrived, and I decided to become a Personal Trainer. By far the most terrifying thing I had done in a long time! Going back into learning after 3 bouts of baby brain, I was surprised there were even any brain cells left to be honest! But, I did it, and qualified 5 years ago and further qualified in Pre and Post Natal Exercise – this was something I found was lacking in the fitness industry during all of my pregnancies. Being as PT is by far the best job I’ve ever had. I get to help people achieve life changing goals and talk all day, every day, and if you know me, talking is the thing I like to do most!
“Pre and Post Natal Exercise – this was something I found was lacking in the fitness industry during all of my pregnancies”
As you can imagine, nutrition is talked about A LOT in the fitness industry, and it was no exception in my gym. I was asked daily about food, something which I was taught the basics on during my PT course, but I was always hesitant to actually advise people on what to eat – even back then, I believed that everyone was individual and no one plan suits all.
The next thing I know, I’ve enrolled myself on a 3-year Diploma course in Nutritional Therapy at The College of Naturopathic Medicine. Remember before, when I said my PT course was hard, well, this course was a whole different level!! Throw a global pandemic into the aforementioned and I’ve got myself a whole heap of craziness, emotional breakdowns and many moments of self-doubt! Thankfully, I carried on and here we are! I’m loving my new career and cannot wait to share my passion and knowledge with you all over the coming months, to help you achieve a lifestyle that ensures you and your family thrive!
Some of you may be wondering what Nutritional Therapy actually is…
In a nutshell, I aim to help alleviate symptoms potentially relating to disease, by treating the person, not the disease, in a naturopathic way by investigating the root cause and providing nutritional and lifestyle advice to help promote the outcome my clients want to achieve.
This is a lengthy process, taking several hours of investigation into current lifestyles and all body systems, functional testing and medical research into each individual case. From this, I can recommend the most effective dietary advice and supplementation and provide bespoke meal plans and recipes to begin this re-set. My ultimate aim is to educate my clients in order for them to be able to make these changes themselves and understand how their bodies work to ensure longevity in the lifestyle changes they are investing in.
A subject that always crops up when talking to other parents is how they are struggling to get their children to eat, sometimes at all; never mind choosing a healthy option. This is something I have come across regularly in my clinic. I have worked with many children, from babies and beyond, helping to deal with chronic colic, intolerances, eczema and allergies to name but a few.
It’s so frustrating trying to get your child to eat. I remember spending MANY hours force feeding my kids smashed avocado and banana, only to have them chuck it on the floor, then being left with no choice but to try a hundred different options just so they would eat something! Usually a packet of Quavers! I sent myself a little more crazy and persevered with the ‘healthy foods’ until they finally accepted them. It has definitely paid off as they all eat really well now, so that’s one epic parent fail I avoided.
The most effective way, I found, to get the kids to eat was involvement. Plain and simple. We sit down over the weekend and have a chat about what everyone fancies to eat over the coming week. There’s five of us so we all pick a day of the week and choose a dinner. On the weekends we’ll have a ‘treat meal’ on the Saturday – make pizzas or have fajitas – and usually a roast on a Sunday. We also have a wipeable meal planner stuck to the fridge and they write on their choice each week and when it’s their meal day, they help me prepare it. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not like the Vontrapp family and sing and dance our way through meal times, and we definitely have weeks where life happens and everything goes to pot; but with just a little bit of organisation and preparation, maybe we can all be singing and dancing our way through meal times!
Here’s an easy, fun and healthy Sunday morning breakfast recipe to try with your kids….
I have added a brief summary of some of the amazing nutritional benefits each ingredient has!
Maybe you can share with your kids, what all the different foods they are helping you prepare, can do for our bodies?
THE Perfect Pancakes
Makes 8 pancakes
2 ripe bananas, peeled – Bananas are rich in potassium which is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure and helps strengthen bones – they are natural antacids, and contains slow release sugars to help maintain a balanced blood glucose level
- 100g quinoa flakes – Quinoa is highly regarded as nature’s most complete plant food as it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fibre, anti-oxidants and phytonutrients – it is also high in protein and naturally gluten free
- 180ml of nut milk – Almond/coconut etc or milk of your choice – rich in beneficial fats
- 1 organic egg – contains protein, omega-3 fats, high in vitamins, zinc, magnesium, calcium and dietary cholesterol (good cholesterol)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract – Vanilla extract is a powerful anti-oxidant, has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and helps improve mental health
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon – Cinnamon is a digestive aid that helps reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes – it is also a first-class antiseptic that can help fight bacteria, viruses and fungal infections – it is rich in anti-oxidants, which gives it a mild analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect
- 1.5 tsp baking powder – while baking powder contains few vitamins and minerals, it still plays a role in maintaining healthy teeth, bones and nails
- Small pinch of Pink Himalayan salt – contains more than 80 minerals including potassium, iron and calcium which aid the bodies natural detoxification process and promote the removal of bacteria
- 2 tsps organic maple syrup – sweeter than sugar so a little goes a long way – it is nutrient rich and full of minerals
- 1.5-2 tbsp coconut oil – high in healthy fats – medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) – which can help lower risk of heart disease and help with weight management by reducing appetite, boosting metabolism, and increasing activity of fat burning cells
- 100g mixed berries/spoonful of Greek yoghurt/coconut yoghurt/crushed pistachios/drizzle of maple syrup
- 2 apples, grated/sprinkling of ground cinnamon/spoonful of toasted flaked almonds
- Place all ingredients for the pancakes (except oil) in a blender and whizz for around 30 seconds – alternatively, mash bananas with a fork and mix in a jug with remaining ingredients
- Melt the oil in a large frying pan on a high heat
- Spoon about 3 tbsp of the batter into the pan and circle about 1cm thick and 8cm wide. Repeat to make more pancakes, depending on the size of the pan
- Reduce the heat to medium and leave the pancakes to set for round 1 min. When they start to bubble, flip each one over and cook for 1 min on the other side
- Remove from the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter. Use a little more oil each time until you’ve made 8 pancakes (you do not have to eat them all, they can be kept in the fridge for 2 days, or frozen – pop them in the oven or fry in a pan to reheat)
- Serve as is, add toppings recommended above or toppings of your choice.
written BY KATE DEVINE
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