Fertility and Pregnancy Diets. Interview with Esca Nutrition and Dietetics

Having a baby isn’t the easiest of rides – even from the struggles of trying to conceive through to delivery. No one said it was going to be easy (although if you’ve had an easy ride of both falling pregnant through to the birth of your healthy little bundles then COUNT YOURSELF VERY FORTUNATE!).

However, I have always believed that what we can do to help ourselves along the way really does count. In recent times I’ve got to know Sarah Farren, a registered dietician for the NHS and also founder of Esca Nutrition & Dietetics, offering simple, evidence based dietary advice for a variety of concerns and individual needs.

Sarah offers private appointments with home visits and she also runs group workshops too. Pregnancy is a popular subject she is requested for, from pre-conception and fertility diets and what to eat during pregnancy too and here she shares her insight in to why yours (and your partners) food intake is important for when trying for a baby…

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Let’s talk vaginas with ease, with Eve…

How much do you know about vaginas? Yes that’s right, I just said the word VAGINA! Ask your boyfriend, husband, brother or father if they know what a vulva is! Your partner may have been down the “business end” during the birth of your children and still not know what a cervix is!

A shocking 25% of men aged 18 – 24 claim to know nothing about gynae health, or that gynae health is not a male issue.

Well, listen up boys! If your female partners, relatives and friends are diagnosed with a form of gynaecological cancer, you will want to support your loved ones and be informed. Every woman who is diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer has a man in her life who cares about her.

As sexual partners, you are relied upon to spot any symptoms your partner may be unaware of. It is then also your life-saving responsibility to inform your sexual partner (or for some of you reading this – partners!) of any findings – it could save their life.

Far too many men and women don’t know the signs and symptoms of gynae cancers or are too embarrassed to do anything about them and we need to be more open with each other. Regardless of how many years, months, days or hours (!) you have been intimate with a partner, just think, you could save a loved one’s life by finding the confidence to speak up, and this post will help you to do so…

Let’s talk facts. In the UK alone, over 21,000 women are diagnosed with a form of gynaecological cancer each year. This equates to 58 women being diagnosed every day. Sadly, 7,700 of these women will succumb to one of these cancers, which is of course is 7,700 too many. 😦

I have a long standing relationship with The Eve Appeal, the only UK charity raising awareness and funding research in all five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal. It gives me such pleasure to continue working for them and help drive awareness of their latest campaigns – #IamAdam (for men to become more aware) and #knowyourbody (including a quiz for everyone to take part in).

Here I speak to Athena Lamnisos, Chief Executive Officer of The Eve Appeal who answers many important questions which will be useful for all of us. She talks signs and symptoms, how to approach a sexual partner if we’re concerned, why it’s important for men to be informed, how we can help spread awareness and get involved as well as an update of future screening tests for women (more than the cervical screening already on offer).

Thank you for reading. And please, to all men and women out there reading this post – share, share share!

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No nuts for my granola!

It’s been an AGE since I posted a recipe. This year I haven’t had the chance, energy or desire to experiment much in the kitchen – pregnancy related aversions may be to blame perhaps?!

That might be news to some of you! I’m 26 weeks pregnant and my relationship with food has changed somewhat. I felt nauseas, but I didn’t suffer with (too much) physical sickness and I haven’t really had “cravings” other than a bowl of Shreddies for the occasional snack (I NEVER usually eat cereal).

Eating a healthy balanced diet in pregnancy can be a challenge when all you want is stodge (especially in the first trimester). I do like to play around with my breakfast recipes and as you’ll see from my historic food posts, breakfasts tend to be my go to for when I do experiment. I  get bored of the same breakfast everyday and one isn’t always organised enough to have fresh fruit in the house!

My recent (and successful) experiment is my granola recipe! Shared for you here…

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My breakfast bowl for champions!

When the sun makes an appearance on a weekend, there’s nothing I like more than to start my day sitting in the garden with my breakfast whilst catching up on my emails,  Instagram feeds (yes ‘feeds’ plural – mine and my cat’s!) and Snapchat stories from all my friends drunken adventures the night before…

When it comes to breakfast I am fairly regimented. I do like my homemade muesli – either dried and I add milk or yoghurt, or when I have time I’ll prepare my bircher muesli. Click here if you haven’t see my bircher recipe.

For me, breakfast is an opportunity to get the nutrients I need to set me up for the day and also to ensure I have a meal that is filling (I’m a guilty snacker). Considering the amount of thyroxine I take, it’s important for me to have a morning meal that isn’t going to have me slumbered on my desk and crashed by mid morning!

Not forgetting that bikini season and beach time is fast approaching! Insert *face palm* of why I didn’t start my bikini diet sooner…

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10 ways to help a friend in *genuine* need

“A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.”            Winnie the Pooh

The honey-obsessed, naive and rather slow-witted bear also once said, “Life is a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved,” as well as “some people care too much, I think it’s called love.” Despite the need to “think” ever so often, this charming Pooh Bear was always willing to help his friends.

You may have a friend or loved one who finds themselves in a “pickle” – i.e. loss and grief, a severe health issue, heartache, an abyss of anxiety and stress, a feeling of worry and sadness for a loved one, a marriage break-up, money issues, a job redundancy instigating a feeling of failure…the list of “pickles” amongst us all is endless (sadly).

Of course a cuppa, a chat and maybe a few tears is great therapy, but should you know someone who requires some extra special love and attention, here are some suggestions I have come across that are so wonderful, thoughtful and helpful in so many ways…

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