Hiatus

So it is after great deliberation, thought, and discussion with many around me that I tell you all some sad news.

 

The Dietitian Mummy will be on hiatus for 6 months. Last year really took it’s toll on this here mummy and I do believe I took on too much (one of my annoying traits). I ended last year exhausted, frazzled and mojo-less. It was after a rather relaxing break that I realised that it is my choices making my life crazy and that is something that I need to change.

 

This year I am working a new job and it is 1 more day than I have usually been working.  I had no idea just how much of an impact that one extra day would have on our lives. And while it’s handle-able, it is one less day for washing, one less day for cleaning, one less day for actually spending time with my gorgeous girls who are growing up before my very eyes, and sadly one less day for blogging. I have been trying to keep up but I’m just not super woman. And that’s okay. I’m cool with that. Something has to give and unfortunately in this case it’s the blog.

 

I’m hoping that after the 6 months I will be in more of a routine with our new lives and I will have some more time for blogging on this page.

 

Never fear though, the blog will still be here, I will still be on Instagram and facebook, just under my other name homethejaksmade and will occasionally blog about life over there too (homethejaksmade.com).

 

I wish you all the best for the next 6 months. I will be paring back, taking stock (probably making stock too) and living the life of a mum who is happy not being able to do it all 🙂

 

Farewell for now,

The Dietitian Mummy

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Budget week recipes

Zucchini slice

Zucchini slice

So a few weeks ago you would have seen me posting my budget week pics on Instagram and facebook as well as a post on ways to save on that darn food shopping bill. Well there was a bit of interest in the meals I cooked for budget week so I’m going to post the recipes.

My original plan was disrupted (saved) by a few dinner invitations that week but here are the meals I cooked:

Zucchini slice – using eggs as the main source of protein for a meal is a GREAT way to save the moolah. Especially if you have three girls out the back laying those babies for fwwweeeeee.

Jamie Oliver’s meatloaf with home made spaghetti (for obvious reasons I’m not providing the recipe here, but seriously get Save With Jamie if you are budget conscious, it’s a plethora of great information and recipes).

Meat balls and fettucini – using mince is another great way to cut down costs. It’s super cheap. Yes the budget mince isn’t as healthy but my thinking is, if you are cooking more from home you are cutting out a whole whack of nasties and the fat in the mince doesn’t outweigh that.

Enchiladas which includes my recipe for slow cooked Mexican chicken. Slow cooking a meal and re-using it throughout the week or month is super saving, especially in the case of the Mexican chicken because it is bulked up with veggies to make it go further!

Curry sausage casserole – Sausages are a no-brainer really when it comes to budgeting. They are dirt cheap. Not the healthiest, but again cook from home, avoid takeaway and the sausages wont be so bad in the whole scheme of things. I used a recipe out of homesplus magazine. Unfortunately they don’t have their recipes on their website, but you can find similar recipes on good ol’ taste.com.au

 

Curried sausage casserole with brown rice

Curried sausage casserole with brown rice

So here we go…

 

Zucchini Slice – one of our family favourites because it is so well frozen for lunches or quick meals and it’s also amazing cold on a hot summer’s night for dinner.

Ingredients – For 1 large and 1 medium slice (it made 1 dinner for 2 adults and 2 children, and 4 adult lunches).

10 eggs

5 slices short cut bacon, diced

3 zucchini grated

1 onion, diced finely

¾ cup plain flour

2 cups grated cheese

A few good lugs of olive oil

Method

Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees celcius.

Chuck everything in the bowl and give it a nice big mix. Seriously after chopping all the ingredients and mixing that’s ALL!!

Spray your baking dishes with oil spray and pour in. Bake in the oven until the slice is nice and brown on top. Serve with a nice big salad.

The slice will be quite gooey because of the cheese when you eat it hot but once it cools it goes much more firm.

 

Meatballs and fettucini – mince is amazingly cheap and our kids love meatballs.

Ingredients (for 2 adults and 2 children + lunch for the next day)

500g mince, I used veal, pork and beef but feel free to use anything you want.

1 zucchini grated

About 2 cloves finely chopped or crushed garlic

A good pinch of salt

Cracked pepper

1 large jar passata

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 onion diced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt

Olive oil

¾ packet store bought fettucini

Method

Grate the zucchini and squeeze out most of the liquid. Put in a bowl with the mince, garlic and pinch of salt. Squeeze all of it together with your hands until mixed through and then roll into balls. Put in the fridge for as long as you have.

Boil some water and once bubbling, whack in the fettucini. Once it’s cooked, drain and serve onto the plates.

Brown your onion in a pan with olive oil until soft. Then add in the passata, tomatoes, oregano, brown sugar and salt. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.

Heat some oil in a fry pan and cook your meatballs until they are browned on all sides. You can shake the fry pan to get them rolling and cooking evenly. Once they are browned, plop them into the sauce. Cook for another 15 minutes until they are cooked through.

Serve on top of the fettucini with extra sauce poured all over and grated cheese on top. If your kiddies are picky with their plating, serve the meatballs on the side “not mixed in MUMMMMM”.

 

Enchiladas

Ingredients – makes 9

1 container of slow cooked Mexican chicken – see below

9 tortillas

2 green capsicum diced

1 cup grated cheese

½ jar salsa

Mexican salsa to serve with – diced red onion (1/4), half avocado diced, 1 small cucumber diced, 2 tomatoes, squeeze lemon juice, coriander. Mix all together. Please NOTE – this is only a budget option if cucumbers and tomatoes are on sale, if not, make a simple salad of whatever is cheap that week.

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius

Layer a few dessert spoons of chicken down the middle of a tortilla and sprinkle a small handful of capsicum over the top. Roll up the tortilla and put in a baking dish. Repeat until you can’t fit anymore in the dish (I got to 9)

Pour the salsa over the top and sprinkle the cheese. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with a salad (Mexican salsa if its cheap).

 

Slow cooked Mexican chicken

4 chicken breasts

3 jars salsa

1 large tin corn drained

1 tin red kidney beans drained

Method

Put everything in the slow cooker and stir. Turn onto low level and leave for about 6 hours, or until you can flake the chicken easily with a fork.

Once it’s done, flake the chicken off with a fork and mix into the sauce.

Freeze in portioned containers, this will keep for a few months. We did dinner sized containers and lunch sized ones.

We use this for:

  • As a meal base with rice and Mexican salad on the side
  • On top of lunch time salads
  • Mexican chicken hot potatoes
  • Enchiladas
  • Tacos
  • Lunch time wraps
  • Eating plain out of a container because its just so damn awesome.

 

So there you go, budget beauties. If you like them I have plenty more in my arsenal that I can spout out.

 

What are your favourite budget meals?

 

Happy cooking,

 

The Dietitian Mummy

Diets don’t work y’all!

Whos sick of diets? Because I am. Sick to death of them I tell you. Sick of seeing them, sick of hearing about them, SICK of cleaning up after them!

By the time most people come to me for weight loss they have tried a few (or a hundred) diets and come in feeling shitty about their weight, shitty about food and the most shitty about themselves.

I hate diets, I really do and I hope you want to know why because I am going to tell you 😉

Number 1. Weight loss is not one size fits all!
Every SINGLE one of us are different. Our lives, our culture and our family situations. So why on EARTH would one diet fit everyone? If weight loss was one size fits all there would only be 1 diet, not a multi-million dollar industry designed to make money for the companies! If a diet doesn’t work, it’s not you, its the diet.

Number 2. Diets tell us that we are failures.
Not only do they not fit everyone but when we don’t lose weight on them, we are told that we are bad people, we dont have enough will-power and are not good enough. Maybe we should try another diet we are told. I’m sorry but this is bullshit. Diets fail because they are stupid, not the other way around. If you don’t lose weight on a diet it’s likely that it was because the diet didn’t suit your lifestyle or that it was a crazy fad diet OR more importantly because of the all important diet cycle.

And finally Number 3. Diets are desinged to keep you on diets.
People who design diets are clever. They know their way around the diet cycle. They know that if you try one diet, you are likely to try another, and another and this is fuelled by the cycle. Let me explain….

You start the diet cycle by going on a diet. You start well and lose some weight.

Because you restrict your kilojoules/calories your body lowers its metabolic rate (your metabolism) so your body burns less kilojoules than it did before you started the diet.

Your brain kicks in and starts telling your body to store fat because it thinks you are in a famine and need to stock up for survival.

Somewhere down the track you run into some troubles (like a really bad week or a weight loss plateau) and you start feeling the urge to eat crappy food.

You break your diet, eat about a kilo of chocolate and start telling yourself “I’m not good enough” “I’m a failure” “I may as well give up now”.

You give up and put weight back on.

Because of your lowered metabolic rate you put on more weight than you lost and end up heavier than you were before you started.

You start thinking, I need to go on a diet……. and the cycle starts again.

Who does that sound familiar too?? Probably many of you.

But what if there was another way? What if you could gradually lose weight in a supportive and non-diet way? What if you learnt good habits as you went along and felt better about yourself the further along you went. And what if The Dietitian Mummy was about to add in a shameless plug for a new way to do this?

I have been working hard on a weight loss program for busy mums out there that does not involve diets in any way shape or form. It involves learning about why you put on weight in the first place and gives you challenges that help you break these habits for good. It will also involve entry to a closed facebook group where you can ask me questions and also talk to other mums doing the challenges too.

So stay tuned for more information. It’s coming soon…..

 

The Dietitian Mummy.

Nutty Friday – Walnut edition

It’s that time again, time for me to nut on about nuts!

 

Today’s nut is the walnut. I put walnuts in so many baked goods that I make, just a handful chopped in cakes, biscuits, muffins and most importantly today, loaves.

Walnuts_amends

When we were kids, mum used to make this nut loaf all the time. We used to eat it warm, fresh and delicious or a few days old with lashings of margarine. I re-created her recipe the other day in honour of this delish nut.

 

Mum's 1970's nut loaf tin

Mum’s 1970’s nut loaf tin

Mum’s old nut loaf

¾ cup chopped walnuts

1 cup plain flour

30g olive margarine

½ cup honey

½ cup chopped dates

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

¼ cup milk

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Method

Soften the dates by soaking in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain well.

Mix the honey into the butter and add the drained dates and chopped walnuts.

Crack in the egg and give it a good old beat.

Sift the flour and baking powder on top and add the milk.

Grease a nut loaf tin (cylinder tins with a lid for the top and bottom), and pour the mixture into the tin.

Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees) vertically (standing up) for about 45 minutes.

wpid-20140606_152535.jpgVisit http://www.nutsforlife.com.au for more nutty info!

 

Happy nutty Friday,

 

The Dietitian Mummy

 

It’s snack time now….

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Now I don’t know about your kids, but my kids seem to have snacking down pat. Actually I think they are a little too good at it. Miss 3 seems to constantly be looking for food and the most common words uttered by this little human is “I’mmmmmmmm hhhuuunnnnngggrrrryyyyyyyy”. And she has even outsmarted my clever dietitian mummy “you’re not really hungry” tricks like “mum I’m hungry” “are you sure Miss 3” “yes I’m really really hungry” “okay well there’s some broccoli (or some other equally random food I can think of) in the fridge you can have that” “okay I’ll get a bowl!”. She doesn’t care, as long as it’s food, and it’s snacks, she’s keen.  So you can imagine that I am continually looking for healthy snacks that I can have around for her (and her little copy cat) to eat.

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One of the presentations of some research I sat in on while at the DAA conference this month was a session on the snacking habits of Australian kids. Our kids are actually pretty good at snacking. Not surprisingly to a mum with a 3 year old snacker, 98% of kids surveyed had regular snacks.  They also worked out that 28% of total energy came from snacks and about 19-35% of nutrients came from snacks. Snacking is important!!

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What I was really surprised about though, were the most common snack choices had by the kids. The most common morning snacks they found were water, apples and bananas and for afternoon snacks water, apples and milk. This is great and to a dietitian this is promising! To a mum though,especially mums of kids anywhere between 2 and 5 this seems unrealistic. Apples and bananas are great but just those two ideas aren’t really going to cut it!!

 

It took about 30 seconds before this happened

It took about 30 seconds before this happened

So I thought I’d give you a bit of a run down of our favourite morning and afternoon snacks. I’ve tried to make most of them portable friendly, for those ever important play date snacks. In a perfect world, the snacks would all be unprocessed and natural. In my working mum world where time is of the essence, there is a mix of both:

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-fruit. Bit of a no brainer. Most kids like at least some fruit. Present it in different ways to keep them interested. Dipping fruit in yoghurt is always a winner in our house.

-cheese cubes/sticks, cucumber and carrot (for older kids). Mini dips to dip these in make it more fun, try tsadziki or hummus for the healthiest varieties, or make your own cream cheese and avocado dip (literally just mix the two with a stick mixer or blender).

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-popcorn or puffed corn. Puffed corn is a good alternative for younger kids because there is no hard kernel in it and they tend to disintegrate in the mouth easier. Still watch your younger ones with these regardless.

-dried fruit. This is a great one if your little one has troubles with hard poo! Have a variety, not just sultanas, include apricots, pears, dates, and apples.

-snack sandwich. I’ll often make a sandwich to cut up into smaller pieces than usual for a savoury element of a snack.

-mini muffins, sweet and savoury. Try this savoury muffin recipe or for a delish and popular sweet muffin try these berry yoghurt muffins.

-for older kids, nuts, raw, unsalted, any kinds.

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Processed foods

-Uncle Toby’s fruity bites – these little babies have some good minerals (iron, vitamin c, niacin, B1 and riboflavin) in them, they are low in fat and are just under the sugar requirements.

-cheerios – they have added calcium, iron, zinc B vitamins and folate, and are low in fat and sugar.

-rice wheels or sunrice mini bites- these are a much loved savoury snack by the girls. They are a good source of wholegrains but they are high in salt, so I limit the frequency I give these ones. For a lower salt alternative I will sometimes buy the multigrain corn thins and break them up into smaller pieces.

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I hope that gives you some ideas for any incessant snackers out there that you have, just remember with kids it’s all about variety, mix up the snacks and keep them interested.

 

Those chubby little hands

Those chubby little hands

Happy snacking,

 

The Dietitian Mummy

Jamie’s garden

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Okay so I know I bang on about Jamie Oliver a lot but seriously he just keeps kicking goals.

A friend facebooked me about this little book he has come out with as a promo in Woolies and so last night while out getting milk I picked it up.

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It is pretty darn cool and is bang on about everything Ive been rambling about: get your kids growing and get your kids learning about fruits and veggies.

I do understand that it is a promotion and obviously linked to making dollars and not necessarily supporting local farmers but in this instance I’m happy to let it slide because it is a really good resource for your kiddies.

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It’s supported by nutrition australia so you know the nutrition content is tickety boo too!

My favourite parts are…..

The games and cool graphic design

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Growing tips combined with recipes

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The idea of holding your own fantastic fresh feast

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The masses of food education packed into this little book.

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So mums, if you want to get your kids interested in growing, making or just knowing about food, spend the $5 and have some fun doing some of the activities with your little sponges. They seriously will take in so much more information that you can imagine and you are their most inspirational teachers 🙂

Happy reading!

The Dietitian Mummy

 

**please note this is not a sponsored post. I am not affiliated with Woolworths and my post does not reflect support for their practices or views. I am also not affiliated with Jamie Oliver (however much I would like to be) I just think he’s a damn good bloke and kids nutrition advoacte.