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Recently Tilly turned six months old and so we have embarked on sharing some new tastes with her. It’s incredible to think that up until this point – 9 months in my belly, 6 months out of it – my body alone has grown and sustained her.
It’s fair to say I’ve actually been scared about introducing something other than breastmilk to her. I’ve done quite a lot of exploring into health these past few years, and combined with addressing my own health, I now feel acutely aware of how nourishing or damaging food can be to our bodies.
I have a small collection of baby feeding books that cover various approaches to ‘weaning’, and they are The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care by Sally Fallon Morell, Beautiful Babies by Kristen Michaelis, Super Nutrition for Babies byKatherine Erlich and Kelly Genzlinger, and Baby-led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett.
All but the Baby-led Weaning book follow the premise of starting with nutrient dense foods that are gentle on the digestion.
So for her ‘first foods’ we have settled on introducing Tilly to egg yolk primarily, as well as a little liver and homemade chicken broth. We boil an egg (from happy organic pasture-fed hens just up the road) for about 4 minutes until it’s cooked but the yolk still runny.
I have been inspired to approach my pregnancy and parenthood by a wonderful organisation that I came across last year, who celebrate traditional diets and have helped in my recovery from Candida. Following my diagnosis last year with Candida Albicans and embarking on a detox and overhaul of my diet to regain my health, I was told about the Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF).
I’ve been through so many ‘foodie phases’ since my Uni days: eating lots of Asian food; exploring ‘health’ foods; buying organic, then local; being obsessed by buying recipe books and watching cooking programmes; growing my own (which has stuck), and many others I’m sure I’ve forgotten.
Raw French butter
Looking back on this I see how lost and confused I was in this vast world of food opportunities and how I was just desperately seeking something that clicked for me. A way of eating and cooking that just felt right, and natural.
When I started to read about the WAPF everything just seemed to fall into place for me. Here was this organisation encouraging and teaching all about traditional foods and cooking – it was like someone had designed a guide based on what I was feeling inside about food. In a funny sort of way it just seemed so much simpler and less complicated than all the other food ways I’d experimented with before.
And I trusted it. I didn’t worry that in a few months, or years, I’d be told “sorry, that advice we gave you to eat that, well it’s wrong, stop eating it.”
Soaked and dehydrated nuts for yoghurt topping
Last year Mr Rigg and I had been talking about starting a family, but I’d just been feeling so unwell in myself that it wasn’t until I started to heal the effects of my Candida that I thought I could really consider it.
I was seeing fantastic benefits from the detox I was doing, but I was concerned that I was cutting out some major food groups that I felt I needed to be eating in order to be getting a balanced diet. I just didn’t feel it would be right to try and get pregnant as I currently was.
Me and Mr Rigg
I saw all the benefits of detoxing and cleansing my body, or allowing it a chance to heal, but I desperately felt I needed things like dairy back into my diet in order to be in a positive place for my body to create and grow a baby.
Recently I’ve been trying to wean us off cereals – by wean, I mean I’ve just stopped buying it, which for poor Mr Rigg has meant going cold turkey on cereals at breakfast.
If you’re interested why I’m keen to steer away from cereals it’s because I’ve come to realise that there isn’t much good in them, despite what they like to tell us on their TV adverts.
We had this lovely recipe for granola that we used to make, which was delicious both with milk and yoghurt. The only problem is that I’ve also developed an interest in how grains were traditionally prepared, and how they used to be soaked before drying.
This is because things like grains and nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors in them, which unless soaked first, prevent us from absorbing all the goodness in them like vitamins and minerals.
I’ve recently discovered that nuts comes with pesky enzyme inhibitors inside them, that can put a strain on your digestive system and makes it more difficult for your body to absorb all the good nutrients in them. You can overcome this by soaking the nuts overnight before slowly drying them out in an oven, then eating them as you wish.
This is something traditional cultures did and I’m all for learning from our ancestors and the knowledge they gleaned over many many generations.
After enjoying bowlfuls of Greek yoghurt topped with honey and a mixture of crumbled nuts on holiday, I thought I’d give it a go as I really wanted to recreate the mixed nuts ‘crumb’ for my own breakfasts.
Here’s said holiday breakfast…