Real Stories from Real Mums – Kate from Sydney

2013-01-17 20.14.091. How many children do you have & how old are they?
I have one son, Bodhi, he’s 11 months old.

2. What are your 5 must have baby essentials?
My breasts- for the perfect food and comfort on tap anytime!
A heart to heart baby carrier (I have both ergo and beco and we love them both) he feeds sleeps and watches the world in his carrier.
Moo Goo nappy balm.
Love to dream swaddle suit (when he was a newborn)
A breast pump- it’s really been important for our breastfeeding relationship.

3. What are your 5 must have Mummy essentials?
Yoga Nidra Meditation by Dr Siddharth Ashvin Shah
Daily yoga (even if it’s five minutes)
A good natural baby medical reference book. I love Natural Baby and Childcare “Practical Medical Advice and Holistic Wisdom for Rasing Healthy Children” by Lauren Feder MD. She gives list of natural home treatments as well as conventional medical approaches.
Breastfeeding Tea with chamomile flowers
A tribe of mamas to share your amazing journey with!!

2013-01-17 20.17.174. What is your fondest memory of being pregnant?
Ooo I have so many it’s hard to choose. But here are two, which happened in the same week, actually. 1. Going out in a tight black dress that showed my bump and 2. Lying on the cliffs in San Francisco after doing a long hike alone. It was a beautiful moment of contemplation of what my life was becoming with Bodhi growing inside me.

5. Can you give us 5 words to describe your labor?
Exhausting, empowering, stuck, supported, intense.

6. What’s the funniest thing your baby has done to date?
He has started giving mini speeches. It’s hilarious. He gesticulates wildly with his hand while babbling shrieking and carrying on. He loves the reactions he gets. We’ve started calling him the Little Ringmaster, now was just have to find him a tiny top hat and a lion to tame 😉

Bodhi and Kate7. What’s your profession & do you plan on returning to it now that you’re a Mummy?
I had previously been a theatre director and in more recent years I was managing my family’s wine business in the United States. Now I’m back in Australia and I’ve had some time off, I feel like a space has opened up for me to dream up my own business. I have a few ideas cooking up in the realms of community, art and activism. I’ve also starter my yoga teacher training so am looking forward to begin offering donation-based classes in my living room.

8. What advice can you give to expectant mothers?
Get lots of rest, got for walks in nature and do yoga, even if it’s 10min a day of gentle stretching and restorative postures. If you are new to yoga, go to a specialist prenatal class first and the teacher can give you ideas for how to have a regular home practise. Yoga really was the best thing I did to prepare my body and mind for labour and a fast post birth recovery.

Bath 4.5months9. What’s the thing that you least expected about motherhood?
How painful lack of sleep can really be! I had no idea that repeatedly broken sleep could lead to insomnia, which would seriously impact my mental health. I was so despairing, angry and broken for about two months. Yoga Nidra saved me.

10. What’s your favourite weekly activity that you and your baby do together?
Hanging out in the park with our friends: yoga mamas and babies. It’s so wonderful watching the babies interact, and mama to mama time in the park in the sun is so good for the soul. Early days of mama-hood is better with a tribe!

2013-02-04 11.14.56-111. What does it mean to be an “eco friendly” Mummy? & How do you keep it green?
Breastfeeding is totally an eco friendly act with zero food miles!! We worked hard to establish and maintain breastfeeding and did have to use a bit of formula top ups for a while but I chose to make my own rather than give my money to a multi-national like Nestle, plus I think the nutritional value of the commercial brands is questionable. Also to minimize waste, we use a mix of cloth nappies, biodegradable wipes, nappy bags and disposables. Nappies create so much landfill and the modern cloth nappies are cute and easy to use. We also freecycle a lot, we’ve got so much great second hand stuff for Bodhi, pretty much all of his clothes are freecycle or gifts and we scored an amazing big boy cot for him which would have likely gone to the tip otherwise and it saved us $800+ buying a new one! It can be so tempting to buy a lot of fancy new stuff for your baby, but they grow out of things so quickly the greenest and most budget friendly way to go about it is to freecycle, trading and hand-me-downs. Finally, with respect to food, we support local agriculture with fruit and veggie boxes from Food Connect, so now B is on solids he’s having local organic produce as much as possible.

six months12. Even on the hardest day (when you’ve had NO sleep) what still makes you smile?
B’s smile.

13. Do you need to stick to any kind of diet or cut any foods out due to breastfeeding and if so why?
We tried eliminating a bunch of things early on because B threw up at lot (coffee, chilli, dairy, soy) but was so hard for me to do a proper elimination diet during the newborn haze and bubs can throw up for many other reasons. So I quit worrying about analyzing everything I ate and just stayed off dairy because I realized I felt much better without it.

NYE 2012 Five months14. What’s your favourite healthy meal that you serve to your family?
My cooking has changes a lot since having B as I have little time I’ve had to think more strategically about eating healthy on a budget with little time. I’ll batch cook brown rice/ quinoa/ lentils at the start of the week, then I add whatever veggies on hand like chopped purple cabbage, grated carrot, zucchini, corn, sprouts (or roast veggies like pumpkin carrot and sweet potato if I’m really organized) and then mix in something like tempeh bites, falafel balls, a can of tuna or salmon for protein. I might also mix tahini and soy into the grain before adding veggies. It’s super fast and as long as you have a grain, some raw vege and some protein you have a healthy balanced meal. I also love making a slow Bolognese with beef, pork or kangaroo and mixing in kale from the garden at the last minute. (the vitamin c in the greens helps with iron absorption). I serve with variant grains (to not rely so much on wheat) lately I’m loving a brown rice, black barley and daikon radish seed mix.

Bo415. Are there any pregnancy or parenting books you recommend reading?
I love Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, for me it completely normalized the act of giving birth through lots of individual stories. It shows the wide range of normal and helped ease any fears or doubts I had. And for parenting, Heart to Heart Parenting by Robin Grille such a beautiful book sharing the importance of nurturing your child’s emotional development.

Stay connected with Kate at Lick The Bowl

Lick the Bowl is a blog by Kate Alexandra. It’s partly about food, but mostly about life. The recipes are often created in slap-dash style as I document both successes and failures- it’s all part of the story of exploring flavour, technique, new ingredients and old favourites. I also write stories from my journey as mumma, which has been completely transformative for me in the best way!

Going the the markets or grocery store I choose real food for my family that is low in toxins. We shop organic, local, fair trade and ethically produced as much as possible And I love getting a weekly mixed box of fresh fruit and vege from Food Connect! In the kitchen I dabble in raw, vegan, meat lover cooking and when I bake I often like to use alternative flours, dairy alternatives and less processed sweeteners.

I love sharing my passion for food with my family, especially my son Bodhi, I hope that by providing him with a wide range of conscious foods he will grow up a love and respect for the food he eats and where it comes from.

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