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November 4, 2016

It’s important to fuel our bodies with all they need to perform the many jobs required of them from pregnancy through to motherhood. Nutritionist Melissa Percival has some delicious ideas for healthy eating for mums and mums-to-be.

Meal Ideas

These tasty suggestions are designed to help you avoid energy slumps throughout the day and sugar cravings in the afternoon. Pregnancy and motherhood are demanding, so always listen to your body and eat as much as you need.  



  • A shake with 1 cup of milk or milk substitute, 1 cup of spinach or kale, 1 banana, 1 tbsp LSA, 1 tsp cacao, ¼ cup of psyllium husk
  • ¼ cup of nut and seed mix with ¼ cup of psyllium husk and  1 cup of Greek yoghurt
  • ⅓ cup of rolled oats, 1 cup of milk or milk substitute, 1 tbsp LSA and a kiwifruit and soak overnight



  • 4-5 corn thins with vegemite, avocado and slice of hard cheese
  • Stir-fry of broccoli, carrot, cauliflower with olive oil, garlic and ginger and a fist-sized portion of chicken  
  • A shake with 1 cup of milk or milk substitute, 1 cup of spinach or kale, 1 banana, 1 tbsp LSA, 1 tsp cacao, ¼ cup of psyllium husk



  • Be Natural Trail Bar or homemade Brain Balls (See recipe below)
  • Banana
  • Handful of tamari almonds



  • Red meat Steak well cooked with greens and kumara mash or chips  Veal well cooked with asparagus or green beans and corn  Mince patties
  • with a green salad and sprouts
  • Chicken Roast chicken and roast vegetables Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with garlic, ginger, olive oil  Chicken and chickpea salad with beetroot, tomato, cucumber
  • VegetarianFalafel patties and salad with green beans  Chickpea salad with grated carrot, beetroot and pumpkin seeds  Zucchini fritters with stir-fry tofu


Tip 1 - Digestion

Focus on digesting your food properly, as this allows your body to break the food down for energy. Your gut is actually  where 70 per cent of your immunity lives, as well as your happy hormone, serotonin.

A few things to try:

  •   Start your day with lemon in warm water
  •   Chew your food at least 20 times
  •   Avoid water with meals
  •  Eat every four to six hours (or more if breastfeeding)
  •   Eat high fibre meals
  •  Take a daily dose of probiotic before bed


Tip 2 - Energy Production 

Energy is created within a mitochondria (a component within each cell), so it’s important to support and increase mitochondrial function. This can be done with nutrition, hydration and power naps. 

A few tricks:

  •   Ensure your urine is clear (this indicates you’re well-hydrated)
  •   Include greens and grains in most meals
  •   Don’t start your day with refined sugar
  • Watch portion sizes – your stomach is the size of your fist so don’t eat any more than two fist sizes of protein, fat or carbohydrates. Most veges are water soluble, so you can eat more of them
  • Take a multivitamin daily

Tip 3 - Cortisol & Melatonin

Cortisol is your energy hormone, it works with the sun during the day. Melatonin is your repair and replenish hormone, which works with your sleep and rest. The more you’re awake the more you eat away at your cortisol levels and melatonin stores.

It is important to support these stores by:

  •   Diaphragmatic breathing
  •   Restoration yoga 
  •   Getting sunlight 
  •   Chamomile tea 
  •   Avoiding refined sugar and junk food



Bliss Balls

Brain Balls

1 cup of walnuts

¼ cup of chia seeds

1 cup of desiccated coconut

⅓ cup of cacao powder

6 fresh dates

1 tsp. vanilla essence

⅓ cup of water

Place all ingredients in a food processor and combine well. Roll the mixture into small balls. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to
seven days.

Makes 16.

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