Multi green matcha protein balls

MAKES 11 balls

INGREDIENTS

⭒ 1 cup cashews

⭒ ½ cup desiccated coconut

⭒ 2 scoop vanilla VPA protein powder

⭒ 1 Tbsp matcha powder

⭒ 1 Tbsp chia seeds

⭒ 1 Tbsp maple syrup

⭒ 2 scoops VPA Multi Greens

⭒ 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter

⭒ 3 Tbsp water

⭒ Good pinch of salt

⭒ Extra coconut for rolling.

DIRECTIONS

➳ Blend cashews in food processor until chunk form

➳ Add all other ingredients, blend until formed.

➳ Pour extra coconut into separate bowl.

➳ Roll mixture into balls, roll in coconut.

➳ Freeze to set

MOTHERHOOD Q&A

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I’m a mum of 2 gorgeous boys, and one on the way (secret’s out!). I work as a women’s health Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist and have a special interest in the journey from pre-conception, through pregnancy and post-partum. This is a phase of life that is just full of change, and being able to support women with their health holistically is a huge

2. What are your self-care rituals?

I love so many relaxation activities, like yoga, dog walks, listening to music, baths (either alone, or with hubby!), and of course dance #physiegirl (if you know, you know)

3. During your pregnancy and postpartum, what are some healthy habits that made you feel your best?

Eating to nourish both bub and myself, and staying regularly active seem like obvious answers from someone like me.

My best (and relatively recent) ritual has been to have my phone automatically set to “do not disturb” mode at the same time every night. Doing this and diming the lights within the hour before bed has made a tremendous difference to my sleep quality. There are so many things that are outside our control when it comes to sleep as parents with young children, and especially as pregnancy progresses, so doing what’s within my control is definitely an important mindset when it comes to sleep.

4. What does a ‘day on the plate’ look like for you?

I’m a 3 meals and 2-3 snacks-a-day-kinda-gal. My own body and brain need the fuel, and then of course right now, I am turning food into a baby so it is a lot more!

On this particular day I had:

– An egg on toast with seared tomatoes

– Coffee, whilst watching Bluey – anyone else a fan?

– Greek yoghurt with oats, mixed nuts & seeds & some fresh fruit

– Schnitzel (left overs thanks to hubby) with salad and wholegrain toast (my go to for carbs)

– Nuts, seeds, dried fruit and wholegrain crackers – this usually sits in my bag as my go-to snack- Banana – I don’t think there is a week we don’t have bananas at home.

-Dinner: chilli con carne + pickled jalapenos + yoghurt and a grainy roll

– Dinner # 2 (eek): sweet corn chicken soup and (you guessed it) toast

– A glass of milk – have always loved this as a pre-bed drink since childhood.

5. What are your currently reading/watching/listening to?

I’m currently re-watching Friends (for maybe the 80th time?), just started watching Scrubs (why have I never before). Re-reading the 12 Rules for Life by Jordan. B. Peterson!

6. Top 3 baby buys for a new mum?

1. Nipple cream/ butter – early breastfeeding can be a challenge, so this stuff really saved me! There is so much to gain from the breastfeeding journey, even if it is short, but do what you need to keep it going for as long as you can, and getting the support and tools you need is essential!

2. Zip suits – those babies become wrigglers so quickly, andgetting them into a wrap can be tough. A quick zip up, especially with transition wings goes a long way.

3. Couldn’t think of a 3rd – I’m pretty minimalistic when it comes to stuff. There is so much you could buy, but if you have family, friends, or even a good swap & sell site, you will be set. You figure out what you need pretty fast, and can usually pick up/ order stuff along the way.

7. Who is your fav Mum instagrammer?

@Maternalinstinctsbyamberly – I just love the work she does, and the content she shares because the fourth trimester is such a challenging phase, but one that can be overlooked especially for mum. Having a holistic approach to supporting breastfeeding is so so important, because it really takes a team!

8. Favourite Mum hack?

When it comes to meal-time with my toddler, rejecting what on the menu has been his favourite new pass-time, and there are so many other mums I speak to who go through this phase. Here is what to keep in mind: – You choose what is for dinner, and your child decides how much they eat. 

So instead of an argument, here are some things to try when they say “I don’t want that, it’s yucky”:a) This is what everyone has for dinner today, but do you want to eat in the yellow or blue bowl?b) It’s ok if you think you don’t like it today, you may like it more another next time, but maybe try a little bit and tell me what you think. Would you like to feed yourself or have mummy help you today?

9. What is your favourite type of exercise?

Anything that is dance related, but I love moving in general. 

10. Do you have any advice for pregnant/new mums?

– Don’t have the same expectations as you did before you were a mum, when it comes to routines like cleaning, preparing meals, and especially sleep. Go with the flow, and remind yourself, it is all a phase. The good and bad things don’t last, but this kind of journey really gives you meaning!

COLLAGEN PROTEIN BROWNIES

(Yields 12)

INGREDIENTS

⭒ 1/2 cup almond butter

⭒ 1/2 cup natural Greek yoghurt

⭒ 1/2 cup sugar free maple syrup

⭒ pinch of salt

⭒ 1 scoop chocolate protein (I use VPA WPI)

⭒ 2 scoops Collagen powder (I use Collagen Pro by VPA)

⭒ 1/2 tap baking soda

⭒ 1 egg

⭒ 1 Tsbp coconut oil

⭒ 1/4 cup cacao powder

⭒ 1/4 cup white choc chips (I use the Noshu sugar free)

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DIRECTIONS

➳ Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Place baking paper in an 8″ x 8″ baking dish.

➳ Place all ingredients (except the choc chips) in food processor. Blend until combine.

➳ Stir in choc chips and pour into baking dish. Sprinkle extra choc chips on top.

➳ Bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow 20 mins to rest. Enjoy!

MOTHERHOOD Q&A

This months featured Mama is Wendy, who is the creator behind Mammas Milk Bar . Her beautiful business provides delicious blends to support mums and their milk supply. I have tried these blends and can wholeheartedly say – they are divine ! This gem was created from a personal experience and has grown into an inspirational business.
Wendy is a mother of 2 and has shared some amazing tips and experiences surrounding motherhood, health and hacks !

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself…

Im Wendy, the mamma behind @MammasMilkBar, mammasmilkbar.com I have 2 wee babes, a mother, sister, daughter and wife. I started Mammas Milk Bar as a passion project after struggling with low supply and finding healthy, low sugar options to boost my supply, as well as finding clean protein safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding when I had morning sickness! It’s now my calling to help other mums with what I went through.

2. What are your self care rituals? Yoga and a few minutes of closing my eyes, deep breathing and affirmations each day keep me sane

3. During your pregnancy and postpartum, what are some healthy habits that made you feel your best?
Definitely cutting out sugar and keeping my diet varied and colourful. Going for 7000-10000 step walks each day was amazing, it made me feel so good to be able to be consistent in gentle exercise.


4. What does a ‘day on the plate’ look like for you?
7AM: Eggs & Toast and a breakfast smoothie to go – Spinach, Blackcurrants, Almond Milk, and a Banana

10AM: Snack on a handful of pistachios and a cup of Green Tea

1PM: Lunch! Smashed avocado on Sourdough, and fruit, whatever is seasonal. Its stone fruit season so a nectarine today

3PM: Seaweed snack, and a hot matcha latte

5PM: Dinner: A bowl of colourful stir fried veges, dinner is usually pretty light and no carbs because I get bloated near day end!

5. What are your currently reading/watching/listening to? Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking Both the book and the Netflix show haha! Listening to: Doja Cat

6. Top 3 baby buys for a new mum? Haakaa silicon pumpHydrogel breast Padsand Mammas Milk Bar Lactation Blends.


7. Who is your fav Mum instagrammer? Apart from @amylb____? Oh too many to choose from! It is such an amazing community. But for a big account, I really like @evachen for her mum boss life and being super authentic

8. Favourite Mum hack? Laying a fresh nappy under babys bum during a nappy change. It catches any ‘accidents’ that could happen mid change!

9. What is your favourite type of exercise?
During winters post baby, you will definitely find me on the mountain snowboarding! And a good hike on a gorgeous trail

10. Do you have any advice for pregnant/new mums? Don’t sweat the small stuff, and tune out the noise. Trust your insticts, you know your baby and yourself the best.

POSTPARTUM HAIRCARE

Prior to bubs arrival I stumbled on the news of postpartum hair loss. Now, I have thin and weak hair on a good day so I wasn’t too excited about this. I started researching the how, why, when and the most important – what can be done. From there my hair journey started and is still in full swing. I’ve learnt some effective and not-so-effective tricks and safe to say- my hair has remained in tact and has actually become longer & stronger! I mention a few supplements below, this is not sponsored- I did originally collaborate with the company, however the results were incredible and I continued to purchase their products. Apotecari Bioactive Hair Care is founded by Simone who is a Naturopath, Herbalist, Nutritionist and holds a certificate in Trichology. Definitely worth checking out!

I’ve trialled a few different products/habits and these are the ones I’ve seen results with, as well as the things I’ve stopped doing…
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❀ Stopped colouring my hair. This may not be an option for everyone, however I found the timing of COVID and bub perfect for staying away from the hairdresser and I do believe it’s done wonders for my hair.

❀ Collagen daily. There is collagen in my Hair Food supplement (by Apotecari), as well as other beneficial ingredients including protein, Vit C, antioxidants & zinc.

❀ A good quality hair supplement- I use both Hair Food & Mane Event by Apotecari.

❀ Only using heating tools once a week.

❀ Sleeping with a silk pillowcase.

❀ Reducing the use of hair ties and using large tooth clips.

❀ Finding effective hair treatments – this is an area I’m still working on. The two brands that make my hair feel AMAZING are Aveda and Kerastase. Both are on the $$$ side, however the results are worth it!

❀ Focus on diet: it all starts from within… eating your vegetables, healthy fats and water – have huge impacts!

❀ Apple cider vinegar: What can’t ACV do? A great at-home, cost effective treatment with amazing benefits. ACV can stimulate hair growth, balance pH levels, enhance shine, treats itchy/dry scalp.
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𝙃𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙖𝙣 𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙮 𝙖𝙩-𝙝𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩:
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↣ Mix a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water.
↣ After shampooing and conditioning, pour the mixture over your hair evenly, working into your scalp.
↣ Let it sit for a couple of minutes.
↣ Rinse it out

SELF CARE RITUAL- Herbal Tea

I have always been a coffee fanatic and now with pregnancy & breastfeeding I have embraced herbal tea. It’s amazing how much I love something when I know how good it is for me. There is a sense of relaxation and calmness when having a pot of tea and in many cultures this is a traditional self care ritual.
I’ve been making this blend daily and refilling the pot throughout the day. It’s perfect for digestion, bloating, and relaxing. Great for reducing both physical and psychological tension.
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➳ 𝘾𝙝𝙖𝙢𝙤𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙚 𝙩𝙚𝙖: calming, mild nervous system sedative.
➳ 𝙁𝙚𝙣𝙣𝙚𝙡 𝙨𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙨: calming & relaxes smooth muscles of the intestines.
➳ 𝙍𝙖𝙬 𝙜𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙧: Warming, peripheral circulatory stimulant, gastrointestinal stimulant. Reduces cramping, gas & nausea.
➳ 𝙍𝙖𝙬 𝙡𝙚𝙢𝙤𝙣: Great source of vitamin C, improve digestion, detoxify, anti-inflammatory
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I like to let mine brew for 30min-1hour, this enhances the bitterness and can really help with digestion. Perfect to keep at your desk or in the kitchen and just keep refilling 👌

THE BENEFITS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Many have already uncovered the holistic benefits of adding drinking apple cider vinegar (ACV) into their daily routines, but for those still striving towards a balanced lifestyle, where should you start with ACV?
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7 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝 𝙗𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙛𝙞𝙩𝙨

  • Improves satiety & regulates appetite
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Eases heartburn
  • Improves digestion
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    𝙒𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝘼𝘾𝙑:
  • in a hot/cold drink
  • A salad dressing
  • Preserve food
  • Remove pesticides from food
  • Hair rinse
  • To treat acne
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Having a healthy morning ritual is a great way to set the tone for your day, so rather than turning to your regular cup of coffee to energise you for the day ahead, why not make the switch to drinking ACV first thing? Recent studies have suggested that regular consumption of apple cider vinegar can help with reducing feelings of fatigue, with the amino acids within it countering lethargy contributing lactic acid build up in the body. Furthermore, for those looking for supplementary ways to help with weight management, research has also suggested that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar could increase your metabolism by ramping up the production of the enzyme AMPK. This enzyme is known for assisting fat burning in the body and hindering fat production by the liver.
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Apple cider vinegar’s many beneficial effects are attributed to the ‘mother’ as a probiotic, the acetic acid produced and the polyphenols present in the apples themselves.

𝙈𝙮 𝙙𝙖𝙞𝙡𝙮 𝙙𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙠:

  • 1 Tbsp ACV
  • A few lemon slices
  • Slices of raw ginger
  • 7-10 drops liquid stevia
  • Top with water

DIGESTIVE & IMMUNE JELLY SHOTS

(Yields 6 large or 12 small)

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INGREDIENTS

⭒ 2 Tbsp grass fed gelatin (natural flavour- I use Nutraorganics)

⭒ 1 1/2 cups water

⭒ 1 whole lemon (juiced)

⭒ 2 Tbsp ginger

⭒ 1/2 apple

⭒ 4 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar

⭒ 10 drops liquid stevia

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DIRECTIONS

➳ Prepare gelatin according to instructions. With Nutraorganics, place 2 Tbsp in 1/2 cup water and allow to bloom.

➳ Place ginger, lemon juice and apple in blender. Blend until liquid form.

➳ Use a colander to drain liquid and set liquid aside.

➳ Add ACV, stevia and hot water to create 1 cup.

➳ Combine the hot water & ingredients to the gelatin and stir until combine. Pour into ice trays and allow to set in fridge for 2hrs-overnight.

PROTEIN LEMON CHIA PUDDING

(Yields 4)
INGREDIENTS
⭒ 1/4 cup chia seeds
⭒ 2 cups almond milk (or milk of choice)
⭒ 1 tsp cinnamon
⭒ pinch of salt
⭒ 1 scoop protein (I use VPA WPI)
⭒ 2 Tbsp sugar free maple syrup
⭒ 2 tsp gelatin
⭒ 2 Tbsp lemon juice
⭒ 1 Tsbp lemon zest
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DIRECTIONS
➳ Hear up 1 cup of milk in a saucepan and add gelatin until it dissolves.
➳ Take off the heat and add remaining cup of cold milk and stir.
➳ Now add all remaining ingredients and mix well. I’ve found using a whisk to be the beta utensil for this 👌
➳ Pour into 4 separate mason jars and place into the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
➳ Serve with additional lemon zest, berries, chocolate- whatever floats your boat!

My pregnancy journey in a nutshell…

That typical saying ‘It’ll happen as soon as you stop thinking about it’ never applied more than with our pregnancy. I always hoped to be a mum and when we decided it was time, I started planning/tracking everything…then my husband went to work overseas. I used that time to balance my hormones through a naturopath and count down until I got to see hubby. We went on a dream holiday to the Maldives and this did not align with all of my ovulating knowledge so I didn’t think about any of my tracking. Turns out I had all my facts wrong! Best Maldives souvenir ever!

I 120% absorbed all the information in the first trimester -which was very overwhelming! I did love reading other mums recommendations based on their experiences, so here is a quick 10 questions surrounding all my favourite Motherhood topics.

  1. Best and most challenging part of pregnancy

The best part of pregnancy for me would have to be the ultrasounds. I would get such a high after seeing her develop. Close to this would have to be seeing how amazing the female body is and the changes that take place to support the growth of a new life.

The most challenging part was the last week where I developed preeclampsia and had very swollen, sore ankles. This led to an induction only a couple of days away from due date. I just remember that week being very uncomfortable.

2. Typical day on a plate

My cravings weren’t too out of control, I just really enjoyed what I would call ‘comfort food’. Lots of carbs! A typical day would be:

Breakfast: Shot of Multi Greens, 2 pieces of sourdough toast with vegemite. Coffee.

Lunch: Wrap filled with salad & chicken – I also became obsessed with vegan aioli.

Dinner: Pasta, burgers, roast vegetables with a source of protein (This changed a lot). Later in my pregnancy we started doing Hello Fresh, which I loved.

Snacks: I consumed lots of snacks. crackers, protein shake with milk, protein bar, Chobani yoghurt, berries, peanut butter

3. Biggest cravings

My biggest craving was subway!

4. Fitness regime

I mainly focused on walking each day – roughly 45 minutes. I did this up until 35 weeks, when I started experiencing lightening crotch – yes that’s a thing! It genuinely feels like a bolt of lightning is shooting into your hoo-ha! It would only last a few seconds and is due to a nerve pinching…so I stopped my long waddles.

I didn’t do any weights during my pregnancy, even though I would do light weight circuits prior. I just really craved walking and stretching.

5. Beauty and self-care rituals

Skincare – there are so many natural and effective skincare ranges out there. I have always been obsessed with skincare and diving into the ingredients. I did use Kora Organics whilst I was pregnant and this range is great! There is a skincare company that I wish I knew about, which is Grace Cosmetics. They have an extremely natural range and majority of the products are safe to use during pregnancy/breastfeeding. They even have a range suitable for bub.

I experienced hormonal acne again late first-second trimester. I was unable to continue using my herbs from the Naturopath and the safest option was to just let it run it coarse. I did find some handy hacks to help with this…

  • Pimple patches – I used these ones – they sell them at Big W, Coles, Woolworths.
  • Witch Hazel as a toner on the breakout.
  • Revolution Skincare Overnight Blemish Lotion – sold at Priceline. I did check with MotherSafe prior to using this product.

6. Favourite resources

Podcasts

  • Hello bump – highly recommend and the episodes are broken down into months, which allow you to relate to what they are discussing.

Apps

  • Hi Mommy (daily updates & has a Hi Daddy option)
    • What to Expect
    • Freya (closure to labour)

Books

  • Not so Mumsy by Marcia Leone (Love this)
    • The Baby Bible by Bec Judd (early in pregnancy I found this really useful/funny!)
    • Beyond the Bump (Good read for in the third trimester)

Websites

  • My Body My Baby www.mybodymybaby.com.au
  • Australian Breastfeeding Association – I cannot emphasise enough how beneficial it is to get the info on breastfeeding! Once bub arrived, I contacted the volunteer helpline from ABN a bunch of times and they are extremely helpful. The website also has fantastic literature on feeding. https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/

7. Top 3 purchases for baby and mum

Top purchases for baby would have to be the carriers (Ergobaby and Zarperbebe), the cloud lounge for the bassinet and a baby swing.

Top purchases for mum would be a pregnancy pillow (especially for when/if you’ve really popped), maternity leggings- The Lululemon Align leggings and a good belly oil (I loved Mamamio and Bio oil)

8. Favourite clothing items

Would have to be Lululemon Align leggings

9. Favourite Mum-inspo

Kelsey Foyd and Marcia Leone for fashion inspo

Krystal Hipwell for health and fitness

10. Advice for new mums

Give yourself time, allow yourself to slow down and have faith that you have all the knowledge and tools to be the best mum to your baby.

Surround yourself with positive influences (especially online), as everyone’s story is different so you never want to misread a photo or compare yourself unrealistically.