My new Obsession: Juicing

Sage juicer proI’ve become somewhat addicted to my new gadget. I think it may verge on the line of obsession. Behold My Juicer!

My new toy! Sage juicer

My new toy! Sage juicer

Sometime last year, I watched a douc-film: ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’

It grabbed my attention. I watched with ears perked and eyes focused, indeed if I were a dog my tail would have been wagging also.

It left me wanting to know more. Not that I considered myself Fat sick or nearly dead (well, at least I hoped none of these applied to me)! I’ve always felt my attitude towards food, drink & what I put into my body to be a healthy well rounded one. I’m not a follower of ‘faddy diets’ and believe in a ‘lifestyle’ rather than any ‘diet’.

This is partly due to the fact that I can’t have gluten (coeliac disease) & a fructose malabsorption, but also because I’ve always been keen on health & fitness. What is good for me may be different for you & the key to success is what works for you as an individual. To maintain any kind of ‘lifestyle’ or ‘diet’ change I’m also firm with my philosophy ‘everything in moderation’.

Because of the nutrition issues I have, I am always keen to increase my understanding of the different approaches to boost health (I guess we could say inner health). So I didn’t look to this as a diet but rather how to supplement nutrients to my body in a way that was fresh, clean & good for you. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the results.

First off I ought to explain to you from the knowledge I have been given, what is involved with ‘Fructose malabsorption’ (& then you’ll understand why I’ve come to be rather happy with juicing). In the simplest sense, fructose is a naturally occurring sugar found in various fruit, honey and agave nectar. Dieticians & the medical world refer to it as a FODMAP (Fermentable, Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols). FODMAP’s are basically poorly absorbed foods. The FODMAP diet essentially excludes all food that contain any of these FODMAP’s & is recommended to those who suffer IBS & similar gut disorders. It’s bloody boring & not much fun, at all.

This means that in theory I can’t eat more than 1 portion of fruit or veg at any one time. Whilst I followed this, I can confirm it did work & I was symptom free. But it’s all a bit bland. & crikey! I missed my fruit & veg. Now here’s the interesting bit: when I ‘juiced’ these offending fructose-containing foods I’ve had no problems drinking them! I think this is something to do with the fibre: Juicing removes the insoluble fibre from fruit & veg & I believe this is what enables my body to digest them. Ok, it also removes other good stuff in the process, but c’mon: it’s swings & roundabouts! If you cook fruit & veg you remove some of the nutrients too.

Lovely Carrot & Orange, & carrot, orange & beetroot

Lovely Carrot & Orange, & carrot, orange & beetroot

Juicing is probably no healthier than actually eating your fruit & veg whole. But if like me this isn’t an option then juicing opens up a whole new chapter. I’m sure it certainly can’t do you any harm by topping up your nutrient intake this way. I’ve certainly felt an improvement.

As far as some of the ‘reported health benefits’ it’s been said juicing can: boost your immune system, help give your digestive system a rest from fibre, aid digestion, help remove toxins from your body, reduced risk of cancer,  & help loose weight. Don’t quote me on this, as I haven’t seen any scientific evidence to back it up & I’m not a doctor.

Joe Cross & Jason Vale: probably the 2 market leading names in juicing

Joe Cross & Jason Vale: probably the 2 market leading names in juicing

There’s a wealth of information available at your fingertips online about juicing & an overwhelming amount of different machines available to purchase. Initially I bought one of the cheapest on the market: Cookworks £40. It was atrocious! The pulp was so wet I had to put it back through the machine again, every time. & the shoot was too small for whole apples therefore it seemed too time consuming (cutting to size & feeding pulp back through the shoot). My new weapon of choice is still a ‘budget’ machine, but is tons better & is the ‘Sage’ juicer pro. In fact it is the same one Joe Cross uses in his Documentary (just sold under a different name in the UK).

I affectionately call this Snot juice. But don't be deceived by the colour i's super yummy!

I affectionately call this Snot juice. But don’t be deceived by the colour it’s super yummy!

I’ll share with you my favorite juice recipe so far:

  • 6-8 Kale leaves
  • 2 cucumbers (whole)
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach
  • 2 green apples
  • a few slices of cantaloupe melon

Juice ‘bars’ are popping up all over the place, & I stumbled across this one locally to me this week: Saints & Sinners, Petts wood

Saints & sinners, Petts wood. Bear making himself at home!

Saints & sinners, Petts wood. Bear making himself at home!

Fantastic feel inside the juice bar. Really funky interior design features

Fantastic feel inside the juice bar. Really funky interior design features

Mmmmm, fresh & tasty juice

Mmmmm, fresh & tasty juice

If even after reading this you’re still not quite ready to dive head first into the wonderful world of juicing, then visiting a juice bar is a great place to start.

From my own personal experience, I honestly can’t speak highly enough of juicing. It’s added some much needed variety & colour to my diet. I boldly quote ‘YOLO’ (you only live once), so why not give it go & see what it does for you?



An afternoon stroll…. Dulwich Park

After what feels like an entire season dedicated to rain, we were rewarded with relatively pleasant weather on Saturday..can i get a ‘hooray’?. All be it a lil‚Äô nippy, it was dry! & The glorious winter sun made the occasional appearance *round of applause please*

Donning our warmish attire, we all bundled into the car & headed out to make the most of the afternoon. We popped over to Dulwich park, where Bear thoroughly enjoyed running in & out of the shrubbery with Daddy not far behind…

Watch out Dulwich park...wild child on the prowl

Watch out Dulwich park…wild child on the prowl

Bear engaged in one of his favorite skyward-bound activities-plane spotting .…

"pooh, plane!!"

“oooh, plane!!”

The dulwich park wildlife...

The dulwich park wildlife…


After a burst of energetic enthusiasm, it was time to ward off a chill by seeking a warm drink & a nibble from the village shops.

taking in the views On the way to the village

taking in the views On the way to the village


We stumbled upon Gail’s artisan Bakery. It was bursting at the seam with villagers & that’s sure to be a good sign so we dived in.

Little village bakery...

Little village bakery…

They had a nice selection of drinks, pastry goodies & a couple of gluten free choices. We were Happy campers! I had a tasty Green Tea & gluten free coconut macaroon, Bear & Daddy shared a couple of cookies‚Ķ…Someone likes chocolate

'Chocolate chops!!!'

‘Chocolate chops!!!’

Walking back from the village we took a little detour through Dulwich picture gallery.

Dulwich picture gallery

Dulwich picture gallery

The architecture, style & design of this place are very pleasing on the eye. Investigating it further will have to wait for another time as a little someone had a chocolate-induced-sugar-rush on the horizon & frankly a gallery is no place for this melt down to take place!

Dulwich day out I do love visiting this village; it has such a friendly feel. You feel welcomed & as if you’re part of the community, not something that you’d usually expect in a ‘London’ suburb. & Is it just me, or do you find the sun always shines in Dulwich?

It’ll probably be another year now until we visit again; we really should visit more often. If any of you have a ‘secret gems’ hidden away in Dulwich Village be sure to share them with me & it’ll give me the oomph to get back there sooner to investigate……

Tongue Tie & Breastfeeding

Make yourself a cuppa & grab a yummy biscuit. Lets get stuck in, read on….

Did anyone watch BBC news breakfast on Tuesday morning? The chances are, that if you’re reading this you probably did. Or you’ve landed here after scoring the internet for advice and help on tongue tie. Before my little bear was born, I’d heard the phrase ‘tongue tie’ being used in a jovial way for when you got your words all muddled up. Shortly after his slightly dramatic entrance into the world I had the displeasure of understanding it’s origin. Not a laughing matter I assure you. I won’t give you the medical low down, you can read that here:

I will tell you about my experience, and I hope in some way it can help anyone going through a similar situation.

You can see left, how restricted Bear's tongue movement is. & right- nickname bear, & a bear by nature!

You can see left, how restricted Bear’s tongue movement is. & right- nickname bear, & a bear by nature!

As you read on, it may be difficult to wrap your head around why I seemed so hell bent on pursuing breastfeeding, given everything I came up against? & In retrospect 2 years down the line, I often think ‘Wow, I was stubborn’. I feel so grateful that I had such an amazing support network around who backed me for persevering with breastfeeding, yet were really reassuring that if I wanted or needed to switch to formula this was perfectly ok too. I feel like I made the best decisions for Bear & me, at that particular time & that’s the most important thing. Would I handle it differently now? Maybe, maybe not. I’m satisfied I coped the best way I could back then. Ultimately I did what I intrinsically felt was right in that moment.

So I said bear made a slightly dramatic entrance into the world. The point is regardless of how he arrived, he did. He was healthy, here & that was the ultimate goal. After a ridiculous amount of hours in ‚Äòactive‚Äô labour on just gas & air, I had an epidural & eventually ended up needing an emergency C-section. It couldn‚Äôt have been further from my ‚Äòhypnotherapy-water-natural- birth please‚Äô but I‚Äôd always remained realistic, that these things no matter how well you prepare yourself, just don‚Äôt always go to ‚Äòplan‚Äô. As crazy as it sounds, I think it’s fair to say I always like to feel ‚Äòin control‚Äô & I may be stating the bloody obvious, that during the birth process this gets thrown out the window (along with all your heirs and graces)! But having total control taken away & being told ‚ÄòWe have to deliver your baby with medical intervention/ major surgery‚Äô I think sent me off on a crusade afterwards. I wanted to do everything within my power to be ‚Äònatural‚Äô & ‚Äòbreast is best‚Äô blah, blah, blah. When I was in a very sorry state with nipples so severely damaged that I‚Äôd rather have been in labour again, this was my driving force. Slightly crazy. No, downright bonkers really.

Baby bear: the first few weeks. As close to a breastfeeding picture i would allow to be taken!

Baby bear: the first few weeks (hours old, days old, weeks old). As close to a breastfeeding picture i would allow to be taken!

I knew from the very first feed in hospital something was wrong. I took full advantage of the nursing staff around & asked if he was latching on properly at every opportunity. They reassured me that his latch was great & it was just because my nipples needed to ahem, ‚Äòtoughen up‚Äô (What? Really?) & Explained that once milk production started it would be fine. Being a ‘first time mummy’ I just accepted this advice, I knew no different. & It‚Äôs hardly a hot topic whilst you‚Äôre pregnant, talking about what happens to your ‘udders’ in the early stages of feeding. I avidly followed a certain baby magazine & not once did I see any articles about breastfeeding hurting. You just presume that baby goes on & ‚Äòvoil√†‚Äô they feed. At least, that’s what I thought.

I had to stay in hospital for a couple of nights & I feel this was the worst but part of the whole delivery/ post birth for me: there you are, with your new bundle of joy, you‚Äôre recovering from major surgery, your husband/ partner is not allowed to stay, you‚Äôre all on your own. & Your baby just won‚Äôt stop screaming (Even though he‚Äôs become a permanent fixture to you breast for what feels like all night). You‚Äôre sharing a room with 3 other mother & babies and one rude, condescending mum turns to you and says ‚ÄòYou need to feed your baby‚Äô. Now, had I my wits about me I would have responded to her with my sharp tongue. But I felt like there was something seriously wrong with bubba’s feeding & her comment only served to increase my worry.

Baby bear starting to look skinny-worrying times

Baby bear starting to look skinny-worrying times

When I returned home, M commented on how much bear cried. Was it normal for a newborn to scream that much? Talk about feeling helpless. At 5 days old, my lovely photographer friend Lyanne visited to do a newborn shoot with us. She gets you to feed baby so they’re ‘milk drunk’ & snoozy, it makes for some great pictures (see below)! But little bear just didn’t want to cooperate with this. Ly observed Bear feeding & advised me to check with my midwife if he was tongue tied so I did, straight away. This was dismissed immediately.  Ly wasn’t convinced & neither was I, so I asked for second & even 3rd opinions. Dismissed every time, I resided myself to the fact that breastfeeding was just this bloody painful & required me to shed a tear every time a feed happened. I envied seeing women so easily feeding their child.

Little bear at 5 days old.

Little bear at 5 days old.

Mummy & baby bonding time, bliss! & a Photo shy but ever so proud daddy......

Mummy & baby bonding time, bliss! & a Photo shy but ever so proud daddy……

At 3 weeks old, I will say I hit a brick wall. I just couldn‚Äôt carry on being in so much pain. I wanted to enjoy & savour every precious moment bonding with bear, not fearing the pain. With so much conflicting advice about mixed feeding I just didn‚Äôt know what to do. I visited a local drop in feeding clinic where a lovely lady confirmed Bear was in fact severely tongue tied (90%). How the bloody hells bells, did that keep getting missed?! A referral to Kings Collage Hospital London was made for a ‘tongue division’, but I was warned this would take at least 3 weeks. Panic ensued within me. By this point, Bear had lost weight & it was starting to get very worrying: my GP & midwife were really concerned. I could not wait 3 weeks. I wouldn‚Äôt. It was early December, what if we had snow & it was delayed even further? In sheer desperation, I searched high & low and found a lady who would come to you & perform the procedure. I researched her & asked my local feeding clinic: although legally they weren‚Äôt allowed to recommend anyone, they said this particular lady was well known & had a great reputation. My husband M & I affectionately referred to her as ‚Äòthe boobie lady‚Äô, her name was¬†Ann Dobson.¬†She deserves a medal. I’m not sure what we would have done without her. She had visited us within a day of calling her & performed the tongue dividing procedure immediately. Unfortunately Bear had to have this operation repeated a¬†few weeks later due to scar tissue formation.

Eventually he started feeding better, I was able to express milk as well as breastfeed to top him up (& allow my nipples to heal) & he would have a little formula to help him along also. I‚Äôd suffered 3 bouts of mastitis, and severe nipple trauma & started to make a slow recovery from this. At 5 months I had taken all i could, & it was a easy transition to formula (I’m still not sure my nipples have forgiven me for the sheer bloody torture!)

We were extremely fortunate to have financial assistance from family to be able to afford a private practitioner, for which we are ever so grateful. This isn’t going to be an option for everyone, but what mother with a newborn will be prepared to wait 3 weeks when their child is already suffering? It’s incredibly frustrating that this can be so easily diagnosed & treated; yet there just doesn’t seem to be enough sufficiently trained ‘medical’ staff for this. I stumbled across a petition today calling for a mandatory check for tongue tie as routine postnatal examination We can only hope, right?

I can hardly believe that in just over 2 years this is the first time I‚Äôve heard tongue tie being discussed in the media. I‚Äôm so pleased it’s being explained on a platform such as the BBC & it can only serve to help raise the profile of this condition.

Super Busy Mum
All About You Link & Pin Party

Feel Good Friday

It’s raining outside. No, make that pouring. Great weather for amphibians, hideous weather for us Homo sapiens.  Forces of nature aside, it is a Friday. So I thought I would post a little ‘Feel Good Friday’ inspiration!

When life gives you rain, make rainbows:

When life gives you rain, make rainbows

When life gives you rain, make rainbows

I haven’t seen a rainbow in years, & in the last few weeks I’ve seen a couple of these beauties. Rainbows are magical, don’t you think? Whilst on the subject of magical, has anyone found a leprechaun with his pot of gold at the end of these ‘bows?

& finally a ‘Feel Good Friday’ Quote from Spiritual Vibes ‏‪@kamranbedi

When you say ‘yes’ to life, you turn on a magnetic energy that starts to attract good into your experiences. Remove fear & negativity.

Onwards & upwards folks! To quote my two year old ‘Rain rain go away, come again another day’! Actually no, we don’t need you ‘another day’ just go away. For now.

Happy Friday y’all!


Predatory thinking: Dave Trott

Bookworm alert: Predatory Thinking: A masterclass in out-thinking the competition: Dave Trott.

What do you see, a hare or a fox?

What do you see, a hare or a fox?

Don’t judge a book by its cover as they say. Or more appropriately in this case: by it’s title. If you did, you might question weather this book is a Bear Grills survival guide, a self-help book, or moral-boosting coaching advice for the elite athlete? Alas you would be mistaken. For this book is a must read for anyone who possesses a ‘creative mind’ (or at least thinks they do). The book sells itself as a ‘masterclass in how to think creatively and outwit the competition-in ordinary life as well as in business’. I found it fascinating and incredibly inspiring. Don’t be intimidated because it’s written by a dude in advertising, it’s an all round engaging read.

Now, I don‚Äôt get to read books very often since having a bambino, as that would require ‚Äòspare‚Äô time. This is something of a novelty to me (& most parents out there). Last month however, I found I had an entire afternoon with just my own company. Travelling across London on the train & a very lengthily hospital appointment wait (horrible places-hospital waiting rooms). So what better opportunity would I have had to occupy my mind & get stuck in with this book? I flew through it at the speed of light. Ok, maybe not that fast. I am a mere mortal after all. I found myself having a little giggle here & there. I had far too many ‘light bulb’ moments that I couldn‚Äôt count them all. I‚Äôve made so many marks & highlighted oodles that I may as well have just fill in the entire book! I was kinda in awe by what I was reading & I finished it the same day! In all fairness, it is written in an almost bullet point style which helps speeds things along.

I don’t want to come over all-emotional on you, but after reading this I felt a certain sense of enlightenment, refreshed and raring to go against the world. Nothing will get in my way! Seize the day! Until, in walks my little bear needing his bottom changed-back to reality. On a serious note, this book is brilliant. It gets you to view the world from a different angle & question everything. The author uses some fantastic examples, and amazing quotes. & There is definitely an aspect of moral boost to it. I’ve always thought I had a ‘creative’ mind, & this book confirmed it. Now I just need to find a way to put it to good use………..

With my enquiring mind, I have a question for the author Dave Trot. Were you testing the readers of you book to see if we were truly paying attention? I quote part 3:¬†‘90% of advertising doesn‚Äôt work‚Äô. Yet moving to page 48 where you talk more in detail about this: ‚Äòthe worrying number is the 89%‚Äô & ‚ÄòThe question is, will anyone even notice it?‚Äô. Hmmm? Well I was paying attention in class!

Great book Mr. Trott!