Guest Blog: Nicola Manford – Nutritionist, Well Nourished Mama.

Share This Post

Nicola Manford is a mum of 3, Registered Nutritional Therapist and founder of “Well Nourished Mama”.

The virtual chat we had with Nicola was full of useful tips and tricks for busy mums from start to finish! We ran over our usual time and could have carried on all night!

We felt it was only right that we made sure Nicola’s easy nutrition tips for mums had a permanent place on our blog as well as her featuring on our YouTube channel, so here it is!

Easy Nutrition Tips for Mums

The old notion “you can’t pour from an empty cup” is one that we have all heard but maybe don’t stop and really think about.

Motherhood is hard.

It takes energy to show up every day for our tiny humans and do “all the stuff” that we need to do.

So, if you are a mum, chances are your cup is either empty or at least only half full!

The question is how do we fill it up with the right fuel that is going to give us the energy we need to meet all the demands placed on us (and maybe even have a little bit of energy left for ourselves!). It’s all too easy these days to reach for the quick burning fuel – sugar – that will then leave us hungry and irritable afterwards as it may have provided a quick fix but isn’t giving your body the nourishment that it needs to face the day (and the long nights!).

Here are my top tips for nourishing yourself, giving you sustained energy for today and protecting your health for the future.

1. Preparation Is Key – Make nourishing yourself a priority.

It’s so easy as a mum to worry about everyone else and forget to feed ourselves! But skipping meals often leads to quick impulse buys of convenience snacks that are not going to be great options in the long term. Preparation is the key to healthy eating. By preparing as much as you can it makes it easier to ensure you have nourishing options available that don’t require hours of chopping and standing over the oven.

  • Stock your cupboards up with quick meal options such as pre-cooked grain pouches, tinned fish, nuts and seeds, olive oils, herbs and spices, pre-made soups, cartons of black beans, tins of chickpeas and eggs.
  • Batch cook where possible and stock your freezer with hearty stews, curries and bolognaise so that you can have a quick dinner ready on busy evenings.
  • Prep quick snacks to have in the fridge or cupboard ready for when you need a nibble. Examples include, chopped veg sticks and hummus, a trail mix of nuts and seeds with good quality dark chocolate, boiled eggs, oatcakes with guacamole or mackerel pate, apple with nut butter.
  • Take a lunch box to work as this stops you from buying store bought lunch items that are often ultra-processed and not nutrient dense. Cook bigger portions of your evening meal and take leftovers for lunch.
  • Always eat breakfast! This can set you up to make better decisions later in the day. Eggs, a protein smoothie or full fat yoghurt with berries and nuts all only take a few minutes to prepare and will stop you reaching for the sugar at 10am when you realised you’ve not eaten yet!
  • Plan your meals where you can – a boring one but if your week is full of kids clubs, mums taxi service and helping with homework, the last thing you need at 6pm is having to workout what to cook for dinner. By planning meals, especially for those nights you know time is tight, you will avoid relying on convenience foods or take aways.

2. Make Each Meal Count – Be sure what you eat is filling you up and fuelling your body

Protein and good fats are what satiate us so by ensuring that every meal / snack includes some protein and good fat means you will feel fuller for longer and naturally not need to reach for the sugary snacks.

Animal Based protein ideas:

  • Chicken  – buy and cook a bigger chicken on a Sunday to have leftovers that last the week.
  • Red meat  – slow cook cheaper cuts for full flavour.
  • Oily fish  – pre packed mackerel , tinned sardines and frozen salmon fillets are my favourites.
  • Eggs – a complete protein that make an easy meal in minutes.
  • Shellfish – frozen prawns made a quick addition to a stir fry.
  • Organ meat – less fashionable now but super nutrient dense. Look for good quality pate if you can’t stomach them in meals.
  • Dairy – cottage cheese and full fat yoghurt are easy no prep snack options.

Plant based protein ideas:

  • Legumes (Lentils, Chickpeas, Black Beans) Add in to soups, spaghetti bolognaise or prepare some easy dips for a quick snack.
  • Tofu and Tempeh –  Stir-fry with veggies, garlic and ginger for a quick meal.
  • Quinoa –  A complete protein source, buy premade and use as a base for lunch boxes or to replace rice in a meal.
  • Nuts and Seeds – Provide protein and healthy fats. Add to cereal, porridge, yoghurt or eat a handful as a snack.
  • Edamame: Young soybeans packed with protein, add to lunch boxes to boost the protein.
  • Peas (Green Peas, Split Peas): Add to pre-bought soups or chuck into a casserole.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Sprinkle on anything! Has a mild nutty / cheesy flavour.
  • Hemp Seeds: Rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Add to breakfast or sprinkle over your salads.

Try to ensure that half of your plate is covered in non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, mushrooms, courgette, green beans etc as these feed your microbiome for good gut health, provide fibre to help fill you up and contain lots of vitamins and minerals. If you find veggies boring, make them tasty using butter, garlic and herbs and spices or slow roast in olive oil for intense flavours.

3. Try to Replace Ultra-Processed Foods with Less Processed/wholefoods

Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are detrimental to health as they are often high in additives, added sugars, preservatives, unhealthy fats and lack essential nutrients. Research has shown that they are bad for our gut, associated with increased cancer risk, and may contribute to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. They are made to be hyper palatable making them addictive and easy to over consume. One of the most effective changes you can make to your health is to try to reduce UPFs in your diet.

  • Check labels – look at the ingredients list at the back, if it contains long words that you couldn’t find in a traditional kitchen cupboard then the product is ultra processed.
  • Cook from scratch as much as possible – a difficult one for busy mums but the slow cooker and one pot recipes are such time savers with minimal washing -up!
  • Switch sugary drinks for kombucha  – kombucha is a fermented tea drink that contains good bacteria and can be a good alternative if you are hooked on fizzy drinks
  • DIY “take aways” – experiment with home cooked versions of your favourite take away dish. You will be surprised how good homemade sweet and sour chicken can be!
  • Switch to online-food shops – This can reduce the temptation to pick up UPF snack options in store.
  • Set realistic expectations – not every home cooked meal needs to be a gourmet masterpiece! A simple omelette can be an easy way to get in the good fat, protein and veggies with no UPFs! Don’t aim to go for a 100% wholefood diet and it’s not achievable but try to be mindful of what you are eating, check your labels and ask yourself if there is a better option. Keep it simple and aim for a reduction in UPFs – not perfection. It doesn’t exist!

Phew!

We really hope you manage to take away even a couple of tips from here to support you in any way possible (we have to admit we have adopted one or two tips each so far and will continue to try and take on a few more as time goes on).

If you want to watch the virtual chat, you can find it on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ0xbD9eUOQ&t=1184s

Nicola is so lovely, and she believes that every woman deserves to embrace motherhood with confidence and vitality. She uses her academic knowledge, clinical skills and real-life experience as a busy mother of 3, to walk beside her clients, offering the information, support and practical advice they need to ensure that what they are eating is truly supporting their health and wellbeing.

Find out more about her and Well Nourished Mama at http://www.wellnourishedmama.com

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter, so that you can be the first to know about new offers and promotions.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
View our Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

More To Explore

Espresso Martini Cake Recipe

Thank You Penny Zako! A Perfect One for Mother’s Day! Penny Zako is a worldwide AGA brand ambassador, and when our paths crossed thanks to

Subscribe and get 10% off on your next order!
This is default text for notification bar