Oh my goodness, I wish I had known Lauren Gayfer, aka The Fairy Food Mother when my two children were babies. It would have been fabulous to have someone wave a magic wand and restore my energy levels and help me through the “witching hour”!
Lauren, a nutritionist based in Redbourn knows what it is like to raise young children and to deal with flagging energy and lack of sleep. She has combined this knowledge to bring friendly and helpful nutrition advice to local mothers, that is realistic for already busy lives. As Lauren explained to me as she sipped herbal tea (me coffee, eek…) there are so many resources for babies, but where is the support for the mums? Good food can nourish you, help you look fabulous, boost your health and wellbeing, help with hormonal imbalance, support you during pregnancy, reduce stress, and help you “get back on your feet” at a time when you have many demands. Lauren launched her local business at the beginning of this year and has already met lots of women who have benefited from her advice. One said “thank you for making me feel human again”, which I am sure has appeal for many new mums reading this. Lauren has talked at local NCT groups, and treated the Southdown Bumps & Babes group to home-made muffins containing ingredients to boost milk flow!
Lauren’s view is that eating well is not about giving up lots of foods, but about eating what your body needs. She told me about how important it is to eat regularly, and about having quick and nutritious snacks and meals to hand such as vegetables and nuts to stave off hunger. She gets asked “tell me what to eat” and Lauren’s approach is to dispel myths and give guidance for what does work – quite simply “eat what you recognise”. Lauren explained that she doesn’t agree with the “low” fat approach of many diets and packaged foods, saying that it’s added sugar that is the real problem. Eating fresh food, that hasn’t been processed, will nourish our bodies without adding chemicals and toxins. Lauren says keep it simple – “eat what grew on a plant, or fed on grass”. It makes perfect sense, but I’m sure many of us make poor choices, especially when tired or stressed; having a gentle nudge can only be a good thing.
Lauren has worked with pregnant women, people trying to conceive, new mums, breastfeeding mums, and clients who need support to lose weight as their children get older. I was fascinated to hear about how food can help boost your immunity – as a parent with school-age children I have just had months of colds and bugs – Lauren’s sensible advice is just as relevant ten years after babyhood!
If you would like to talk to Lauren, you can book a free 15-minute nutritional evaluation (firstname.lastname@example.org 07710 151503). You can then work out together what will work for you. Lauren is running a “Spring Cleanse” package to help clients recover after the grotty winter we have just had. The course lasts for 4 weeks and includes a super food green powder that you add to smoothies to give a boost of nutrients. The cost is £89 – money well spent if you feel revitalized and ready for summer! For private consultations, prices are £60 for an initial consultation lasting 60-90 minutes. Follow-ups are £45 or clients can book a discounted package of two (£95) or three (£130) consultations in advance. At the moment there is 10% off packages and consultations. Lauren can come to your home at a time that suits you (and your children!) and can talk via skype if that helps!
Lauren has given us some tips that are perfect for new mums out there, but really are just as useful for any stage of life. Lauren looks sparkling with health – it works!
FIVE TOP NUTRITION TIPS FOR BUSY MUMS
• Don’t leave house without a snack for yourself – a small Tupperware of mixed raw nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin and sunflower seeds will stop you for reaching for sugary snacks and drinks
• Be prepared for the witching hour – 4-5pm is a classic low blood sugar time of day. Make sure you have a little something to get you through it such some oatcakes with nut butter or wholemeal pitta with houmous
• Don’t be fooled by fat-free foods, they’re full of sugar and won’t fill you up – swap a fat-free sugar-laden yoghurt for natural yoghurt with sunflower seeds and honey
• Avoid the morning rush by making breakfast the night before. Soak porridge oats in apple juice with frozen berries overnight and stir in some natural yoghurt in the morning.
• Continual tiredness is not necessarily part and parcel of being a mum. You may need to get your iron levels or your thyroid checked.
ENERGY-BOOSTING SMOOTHIE RECIPE
Smoothies are a quick and easy a way of getting a high concentration of nutrients in one hit. This recipe is packed full of complex carbohydrates and essential fats which will keep you going for longer and antioxidants to boost immune system. Cinnamon has been proven to balance blood sugar levels which will help to avoid cravings.
1 small banana
Large handful fresh or frozen mixed berries
1 tbsp sunflower & pumpkin seeds
1-2 tbsp porridge oats
1/4 tsp cinnamon
250mls rice, almond, oat or coconut (Koko) milk
Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and drink immediately. The kids will love this and have no idea how healthy it is!