Uncategorized

22 May
0

Comments

Soap awards and super Chia!

What lovely start to my week attending the British Soap Awards with Tom and my gorgeous Corrie Family!

image7

image1Massive congratulations to Sally! Sally won ‘Best Comedy Performance’ and of course the very special award for our beloved Anne Kirkbride.

Such a joy to celebrate her wonderful life in this way – what an absolute legend – God bless you Anne!

image3

It was also lovely to get my glad rags on and have my hair and make-up done. Thank you so much to Mark Melia for my beautiful lemon yellow bespoke dress and to Carly and Collette for my gorgeous hair and makeup :-)

image4

I have grown accustomed in the last few weeks to PJ bottoms and Tom’s hoodies…God bless dry shampoo – every new mum’s God send!

image2

So it felt lovely to feel like a such a glam girl for the night. I had a fab time catching up with my beautiful pals Hayley Tammadon and my room-mate Brooke Vincent and Tom was beside himself that he’d met one of his all time heroes – Martin Offiah!

image6

image5

 

imageAnd as always Phil Schofield looked after us, kept the all the audience in line, and did a fab job of hosting!

Going to these awards always makes me beam with pride to be part of something so special. The medium of ‘Soap’ or ‘a continuing drama’ as I prefer, reaches out to so many people on so may levels.

Actors in ‘soaps’ work incredibly hard, the hours often very long and we handle some really sensitive storylines, that can raise awareness and can sometimes help so many people. So a huge well done to all the cast of these programmes and all the actors nominated – you all do a fab job!

I’ve been filming something else this week that I know you guys will love! Tis, however #top-secret at present! I can’t wait to share with you! I had such a great time! Will keep you posted..

image8

This week I’d like to talk about Chia seeds. Something that I’ve only just discovered really! They’re so easy to use and have lots of health benefits! Chia seeds have recently become one of the most popular ‘Super Foods’ . Chia seeds are nutrient dense and are great for boosting energy. They have even been linked to healing diabetes. Originally grown in Mexico, the seeds were used for their medicinal properties and nutritional value.

They were even used as currency! “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance. Apparently just 1 spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours. (Thus I concur – if they’re good enough for Aztec Warriors then us mum’s need a sack load!)

These smashing little seeds are packed with Antioxidants – Antioxidants speed up the skin’s repair systems, and prevent further damage. So eating chia seeds can prevent premature skin aging due to inflammation free radical damage. Chia is also super-high in fibre. One serving can provide the recommended fibre intake for the day. Also great for blood sugar regulation these wonderful little seeds, have loads more benefits and are fab as part of a greens drink or smoothie! Chia down!! I’ve found a good recipe for a little Chia seed treat!

Perfect Paleo Chia Seeds Muffins!

INGREDIENTS

• ½ cup coconut flour

• 2 tablespoons chia seeds

• ¼ teaspoon baking soda

• zest from 2 lemons

• pinch of salt

• ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

• ½ cup almond milk mixed with ½ teaspoon liquid stevia or ½ manuka honey 4 eggs

• ¼ cup coconut oil melted

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl add coconut flour, chia seeds, baking soda and pinch of salt and mix together thoroughly so the chi seeds and baking soda are combined in the coconut flour well.

3. In another medium bowl crack eggs and add, vanilla extract, almond milk mixed with stevia or honey, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar.

4. Add lemon zest to the dry ingredients you just mixed and pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix very well.

5. Pour into paper muffin cup lined regular muffin tins or greased muffin tins ¾ way to the top.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or when pierced with a toothpick and it comes out clean.

7. Pull out of the oven and twist out of muffin tin and place on a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!!

Stay happy, stay healthy and Dream BIG

Love

Auntie Cath

Xxx

14 May
0

Comments

A visit from my telly mum and snuggles with Alfie

We’ve had a busy week this week.  Which included a surprise visit from my gorgeous ‘telly-mum’ the lovely Michelle Collins.

It was so lovely to catch up and of course she enjoyed some snuggle-time with Alfie.

image2

Tom went away on a stag do last weekend – I think he actually got more sleep on the stag do than he’s presently getting at home!

So when he returned we made sure we had lots of family time with some lovely trips out – Alfie had a ball. He’s really starting to make us giggle now with his little chuckles and smiles – too cute! 

image1

At eight weeks post pregnancy now is the time that Alfie and I have a check up (and little man has his jabs). A lot of mums choose not to go to their 6-8 week post pregnancy ‘check’ because they ‘feel fine’.

I think it’s really important to go. Your body has been through quite an ordeal. You’ve carried another human for nine months and then you’ve gone through childbirth!! Some people take a long time to recover from this.

I’m not just talking in a physical sense. I’m talking ‘mentally’ too. I’ve been on cloud nine since Alfie was born but I’m in no way denying that giving birth and being a mum can be a challenge.

If you’re feeling a little lost or overwhelmed then you need to get those feelings out.

If not to a doctor then at least to your other half or a good friend. Post natal depression can be hard to diagnose, especially when you’re feeling so tired from those night feeds, you may just blame your feelings on lack of sleep.

image

A happy mum = a happy home and a happy baby. If you feel that you’re struggling with post natal anxiety or depression there’s lots of great help and advice available: 

This website is fab and very much there to listen and help:

http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk

Moodswings Charity can also help – a wonderful charity that I continue to support – they offer help to anyone enduring any type of emotional distress:

http://www.moodswings.org.uk

Tom has been training me in our home gym at weekends and I’ve been loving it!!

Getting stronger and stronger is such a buzz – and lord knows I need my upper body strength back these days. How heavy are these car seat/prams/babies?

I’ll be hench in a few months! Training with lack of sleep is so hard – sometimes you’ll benefit much more from a nap. Failing that a black coffee with coconut oil and one of these bad boys will sort you right out!

Auntie Caths ‘Mum-Bombs’

Ingredients

3/4 cup  oats
5 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp unsweetened raw cacao
1 Tbsp black or white chia seeds
4 Tbsp Manuka honey,
2 Tbsp cashew butter or organic peanut butter

Directions

1. In a medium bowl mix all dry ingredients.
2. In a large bowl then mix all wet ingredients. Then add dry mix.
3. Chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge then scoop into rounded tablespoons and roll into those little balls of goodness and Energy. Store in tupperware  in the fridge – great when you need a boost!

Big Thank you to all of you that are voting all things #Corrie for this years ‘Soap Awards’ – we really do appreciate it. There’s still time to vote here!! 

http://www.britishsoapawards.tv

Thank you for reading – As Always!! I’ll be bringing you all the gossip from the weekends ‘Soap Awards’ next week!! Cant wait to catch up with everyone :-)

image3

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream Big!

Auntie Cath xxx

09 May
0

Comments

Coeliac Awareness, results from training and a trip to the theatre

We have a princess!!! No, not myself or Antony Cotton – Princess Charlotte!! And what a little beauty she is… Congratulations Kate and William! (One is quite sure that the ‘royals’ read one’s blog). Can we just take a moment of appreciation for Kate’s appearance upon leaving hospital?? A mere 12 hours after giving birth, Kate looked as though she was off to dinner! Full face of make-up, gorgeous blow dry, beautiful dress…. more to the point, she was walking normally?

cath-1

I reckon as soon as she got home, the make-up came off and the trackies went on!! I can’t begin to imagine having to do a press call after childbirth, the poor woman! I couldn’t have done that for all the tea in China. When I left hospital I couldn’t walk!

 

In short I looked as though I had flown to Australia and back… 5 times… in economy. Hats off to you Kate – that must have taken some doing!!

This week I went for a fitting for my Soap Awards dress. This cheered me up no end! Not just because the dress is beautiful but because Mark Melia only took my measurements two weeks ago and he had to take the dress in a good couple of inches! Finally starting to get my waistline back :-) My yummy-mummy gym sessions haven’t been in vain! Really excited about the Soap Awards as its a chance for all the cast to get together and I’ve missed everyone so much!! It will also be mine and Tom’s first night out since giving birth to our gorgeous son Alfie 7 weeks ago, I guarantee we’ll be looking at photos of him 10 minutes into the night…

cath-5

This week is Coeliac Awareness week. My father in-law to be is a coeliac Meaning he can’t consume gluten i.e –   wheat and related grains, including barley and rye. Some people might think – ‘So what? A celiac can’t eat bread’… its a lot more than that. Not only can the symptoms of undiagnosed celiac disease be incredibly uncomfortable and make you very poorly, they can also lead to much more serious complications further down the line. I am not a celiac, but I am wheat intolerant and I also struggle with IBS – so to an extent, I can absolutely sympathise with sufferers. This has only ever been a positive thing for me – as it means that I eliminated processed foods such as cereals, pasta and bread a long time ago. Thousands of people are undiagnosed, when really its as easy as keeping a food diary to help diagnose the disease. Symptoms of coeliac disease include:

 

  • diarrhoea,
  • bloating,
  • gas
  • swollen ankles
  • anaemia,
  • fatigue,
  • vitamin K deficiency, and.
  • excessive bruising and bleeding.

If you have any of these symptoms, especially after eating food containing Gluten – then its worth a visit to the doctors! You can also find more information and guidance here:

https://www.coeliac.org.uk/get-involved/awareness-week-2015/

cath-4

I enjoyed a trip to the Octagon Theatre in Bolton this week with my pal Karen. One of my favourite playwrights -Jim Cartwright, is debuting his new play there- ‘The Ancient Secret of Youth and The Five Tibetans’ . What a wonderful play. I knew it would be – Jim never fails to grip an audience with his incredible imagery. A wonderful cast including Denise Welch – who really shone for me with her energetic, heartfelt performance. The style of this play was quite different to Jim’s previous work but his usual awesome monologues that wind you slightly and wrap your heart strings around a bobbin whilst making you question how you’ve been living your life – were there in all their glory. It’s one of those plays that as an actress, you’re dying to get up and bathe in his use of words – how much you crave to be given such glorious monologues. Thought provoking, funny and incredibly moving – if you get chance to watch it- go.

cath-3

Here’s an awesome recipe for you- high protein, packed with omega 3 and easy as hell- perfect for the BBQ… If we ever get the bloody weather!! Another fab recipe from my dad Graham!

 

G-Unit’s Tandoori Salmon

 

 

  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 300ml/10fl oz natural yogurt
  • 4 salmon fillets

Place all the spices in a bowl and mix with the oil and yoghurt. Smear the paste all over the fish and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. Once marinated – cook for 3-4 mins on each side – job done! Serve with a green salad! Yum! Really nice cold too, if you need snacks the next day.

cath-2

In a bit campers!

Stay Happy, stay healthy and Dream BIG!

Love Auntie Cath

xx

30 April
0

Comments

Alfie Goes to Weatherfield!!

The ‘little Pickle’ – our boy Alfie had his first trip to Weatherfield this week. It was so weird going back to the cobbles after so many weeks. It was wonderful to see everyone, and little Alfie was spoilt rotten with some gorgeous gifts from my ‘telly-sis’ Jane Danson.

cath30-4

Ryan (aka Jason) was utterly besotted with our little chap…I didn’t think I was going to get him back! They might have to write this little dude in! Ha.

cath30-2Everyone always remarks on how alert Alfie is. He has been just so from the moment he was born. The midwife remarked how advanced he seems to be – I truly believe its down to the copious amounts of Omega 3 I consumed while pregnant!

cath30-3This aids brain development – and without blowing our own trumpets too hard – this is one alert child! I couldn’t help but beam with pride as I showed him off to my lovely ITV family. I fear I am quickly turning into one of those mothers that bores people to tears with pictures of their baby… But I don’t care :-) I’m loving it.

cath30-5

Post pregnancy bodies. Let’s chat. Let’s lay it all on the changing table and throw any negativity in the bloody trash alongside the nappies -where it belongs!!! Every time I pick up a magazine, someone, somewhere (normally someone who doesn’t have children) has something negative to say about a ‘celebrity’ post pregnancy body. “Celebs struggling to lose baby weight” … “Celeb under pressure to drop baby pounds”… “Celeb fears she’ll never get her body back”.

Yes I have gained weight, yes I have gained the odd stretch mark, but you know what- I have just gained a son. Which totally over-rides everything!! And that is coming from a self confessed gym/health and fitness freak. I ate well, I exercised sensibly- that is as much as one can do while pregnant. I think it high time that we celebrate new mums bodies!!

Those little stretch marks are not something to be frowned up on- they are marks of a great achievement – they should be celebrated! After going through pregnancy I have a whole new respect for mums. I feel like running upto women on the beach that have that gorgeous little post-pregnancy mum-Tum and telling them how amazing they are!! We can change media perception together. Instead of pressure, eating disorders and unachievable , uneducated diets – let’s share healthy tips and recipes and concentrate on being a mum, being happy and being healthy- the RIGHT way!!! If you’re a new mum- do not let anything cloud over this special time you have – you won’t get it back. Eat a healthy balanced diet and keep active- be healthy for you and your baby. Do NOT starve yourself on some faddy diet created by a random celeb with no nutritional education behind them. It won’t last, it’s not worth it, and you’re new job is far too important.

You need your energy from the right foods, not synthetic supplements and dangerous energy drinks. I’m going to be sharing this new chapter of my fitness journey with you each step of the way. Let’s do it together!!

Gradually easing myself back into training alongside world renown expert Nick Mitchell, I’ll be sharing the highs, the lows, the protein, the carbs, the laughter and no doubt the tears!! I won’t be playing ‘guessing games’ and experimenting with fad-diets. I’ll keep bringing you facts, positivity and some damn yummy recipes! Sounds better than a crazy juicing diet right?? Tell you what- the results will last too!! So mummy’s! Enjoy your little one!!! That is priority- we can get fitter together the right way, in the right time!! Auntie Cath has spoken!!

Now then – I’ve been picking Glenn Parker’s brains again (GPTransformer), now that I have started training properly again, its a good time to review the basics and make sure I’m performing exercises properly! Here Glenn explains the ‘Reverse Pull-Down’… awesome if like me, you want to look fab in those summer, backless dresses ladies!!

cath30cath30-1

Reverse Pulldown

Experience: Beginner
Primary Muscle Group: Lattisimus Dorsi
Secondary Muscle Groups: Mid Back, Shoulders and Biceps
Mechanics: Compound
Force type: Pull

1. Set up the reverse grip Pulldown by placing a wide grip bar to the machine. Select your starting weight and adjust your thigh and foot position.

2 While in a standing position grasp the bar with an underhand grip (palms facing towards you) and slighter wider than your shoulders.

3. With grip on the bar and arms extended. Sit yourself down onto the machine which should slightly bring the weight off the stack.

4. Back straight and chest high and your eyes facing forward. Under control and without leaning back bring the bar to your chest.

5. Brief pause then extend your arms back to the starting position. Do not let the weights touch the stack.

Movement tips:

6. Initiate the movement from the Lattisimus Dorsi and not the biceps.
7. Squeeze your Lattisimus Dorsi (back) at the bottom of the movement and pause 1-2 sec.

Until next time! Thank you for reading!

cath30-6

Stay Happy, Stay healthy and Dream BIG!!!

Love Auntie Cath

xxxx

27 April
0

Comments

Super Sun, Swaddles and Scallops!

Busy week! Making the most of the sun, we had a walk over to Old Trafford with Alfie to try out a new sports themed hotel in Manchester for lunch- it was fab.

unnamed4Alfie has started smiling now (be still my beating heart!!) is there anything better than smiling babies!! He’s loving all his visitors and lunches out!! Don’t you feel like a different person when the sun is out?! I know I do – I’m much happier in summer, I hate winter! I’m a real ‘sun bunny’.

unnamed1 It’s no coincidence that the majority of us feel better in the summer -that is indeed why most of us choose ‘sunny’ destinations when it comes to holidays. The summer sun is pretty addictive. That’s because there is a chemical change in our brains when we have been exposed to sunlight.

unnamed3 The best-known benefit of sunlight is its ability to boost the body’s vitamin D supply; most cases of vitamin D deficiency are due to lack of outdoor sun exposure. Vitamin D research has repeatedly shown that vitamin D can improve a number of brain disorders, including depression and dementia—the worst form of which is Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin D in the body, which is essential for many functions such as:

bone health

anti-cancer

supports the immune system

protects against dementia and brain aging

good for loosing excess fat

essential for decreasing symptoms of asthma

strengthens teeth

I take vitamin D3 on a daily basis for all the above reasons. Another supplement I swear by is Zinc . I chatted to health and fitness expert Glenn Parker this week about the benefits of Zinc:

Glenn Parker:

unnamed

Importance of the Mineral “zinc”

1. Plays a primary role in hormone production. The higher zinc levels in the body the greater the production of testosterone, Growth Hormone and insulin like growth factor (IGF-1) now that has to have a greater benefit in training and recovery.

2. That brings me on to fertility. For the male it helps to maintain sperm count and mobility. It also keeps serum testosterone to normal levels.

In females zinc can help treat menstrual problems.

3. Zinc also helps to boost immune function.

4. Zinc is an excellent anti-oxidant

5. Zinc is also amazing for your skin. It can help repair damaged tissue and heal wounds.

This is just some of the major benefits of zinc.”

Mum Moment:

One of the best things I’ve bought as a new mum is a swaddling cloth – there are various brands available. Let me tell you – it’s a God send!! It’s ideal for babies as it creates a cosy womb like feeling for them and stops them from startling awake. It also held support their head and neck. You just fasten the Velcro to keep them snug as a bug in a rug! Wish they did adult sizes- looks cosy as toast!

unnamed2

 

One of my favourite foods is scallops. Yes they’re expensive but lovely for a treat! They are SO good for you and they’re uber quick and easy to cook. Scallops are more than 80 percent protein. One 3-ounce serving provides around 20 grams of protein and just 95 calories! They’re also a good source of magnesium and potassium. A lush recipe for summer? Here you go!

unnamed5

Death Breath Scallops

Ingredients

3 tbsp garlic, minced;

2 tbsp lemon juice;

2 Large knobs of butter

2 pounds large scallops;

Salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation

Heat a pan over a medium heat and melt the butter . Add the minced garlic for a minute,

Add the scallops and cook for a few minutes on the first side so they are halfway cooked. Turn the scallops and finish cooking until they are firm and opaque.

Put the scallops aside to a plate and add the lemon juice to the hot butter and garlic in the pan. Season to taste;

Serve the scallops on a bed of spinach and cherry tomatoes with the lemon and garlic butter sauce on top. Spinach and asparagus go very well with scallops so I see some asparagus on the side.

Until Next Week Campers!!

Stay Happy, stay healthy and Dream BIG

Auntie Cath xxx

17 April
0

Comments

Coconut babies and Theatre!

I’ve been a busy bee this week! We had a glorious start to the week with the wedding of my beautiful cousin Kimberley. Congratulations Kim and Mark!! Such a lovely day and Kim looked so gorgeous.

cath171cath17

Alfie and I have been squeezing in as many cuddles as possible this week :-) Everyone keeps telling me how fast time will go – they’re right! I can’t believe he’s almost 4 weeks old already. The days are flying by! So I’m determined to make the most of every second. He’s had lots of visitors this week too!

cath172

The lovely Antony Cotton and Brooke Vincent have bobbed over for tea and cuddles and I’ll be taking him for his first visit to the cobbles next week :-) When I first started to bathe Alfie- he wasn’t very impressed. Babies under 6 weeks HATE being naked. They feel cold and vulnerable. But in these past couple of weeks he seems to love bath times. He hasn’t a scooby-do what’s going on- but he just kinda floats about with a look of complete wonder and contentment on his little face. It’s adorable to watch. We’ve been using organic coconut oil on his skin afterwards – it’s fantastic for skin and completely safe for babies.

cath175

Coconut oil is very good at hydrating skin. It conditions, moisturizes, and softens skin. It isn’t full of water or petroleum like some of the other products available for babies. Coconut oil naturally helps to clear away dirt and dead skin cells AND it even has some antibacterial properties – getting rid of harmful bacteria. Plus my baby smells like a summer holiday all day long :-)

This week Viv Nicholson sadly passed away. My deepest sympathies go out to her friends and family. Viv Nicholson won £152,319, 18 shillings and 8d on the Littlewoods Pools in 1961 -which was a fair old amount in those days. The equivalent of around 3 million today!

cath173

Viv famously announced she would no longer be sensible or boring and ‘Spend, Spend, Spend!’ (A girl after my own heart!) Her story was turned into a hit musical of the same title – with a book and lyrics by Steve Brown and Justin Greene and music by Brown. Viv’s life consisted of five husbands, expensive sports cars, fur coats, alcoholism , and sadly bankruptcy (Sounds like an episode of Corrie right??). My good friend Katy Dean is currently starring in the musical at The Union Theatre – recently nominated for ‘Best Actress’ at the Off West End Awards. Review for this cast and production have been fabulous. I went to drama school with Katy – she is such an outstanding actress and singer – if you get chance to go and see this production its an excellent portrait of a very interesting life. And very much proves the point – ‘Money does NOT buy happiness’.

http://www.uniontheatre.biz/spend-spend-spend/4588452199

Talking of theatre- we went to see ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ this week. A musical very close to my heart, as I played Mary Magdalene sometime ago. Tom hadn’t seen the show before so we went for a bite to eat first and made an evening of it. Our first little night out since having Alfie…To be fair we were looking at photo’s of him on our phone most of the night and couldn’t wait to get back to him!! Another piece of magical theatre is no doubt Jonathan Harvey’s ‘Beautiful Thing’ currently playing at Salford’s Lowry Theatre. One of my favourite plays by one of my favourite writers – if you get chance to see it – Tis a must!! http://www.thelowry.com/event/beautiful-thing

cath174

Now then, around this time of year I get a real cob-on with the pollen count! Anyone else suffering with Hayfever? ladies, its even worse for us, if like myself you’re a ‘girly girl’ and love your make-up. Its not about having mascara streaming down your face is it? Well, help is at hand, in the form of face-angel Armand Beasley.

I called him last week to ask his advice on what we can do to stop our lovely summer faces sliding off! He gave me some great advice – and so, because I love you lot…here its is! Hope it helps some of you!

Avoid An Eye Sore!

If you suffer from ‘allergic rhinitis’ you may be dreading the spring and summer months. Yep, hayfever can be the bane of people’s lives especially girls who love the glamour of eye make-up…
Well there are a few things that you can do to ease those nasty symptoms besides minimising mucus building foods like dairy.

From a topical perspective when it comes to eye makeup you should keep it simple. Swap your powdery shadows for a cream or ideally coconut oil based shadow

Obvious culprits for aggravating already sensitised eyes are loose metallic shadows and glitter. Using your ring finger to sweep the cream shadow all over the movable part of the eye…and of course, make sure that your hands are scrupulously clean as pollen, pet hair and dust love finger nails.

Avoid any shadows that have a red or blue undertone to them as these can accentuate any redness whereas green or neutral tones can help minimise redness.
Curling the lashes will help to make the eyes look wider and to ease puffiness of irritated eyes try the cooling aloe vera & honey eye mask that I showed you how to make last week.

Mascara is a key player in making women feel glam but this can also be one of the main irritants to sensitised eyes, so try brands that do good natural/organic mascaras.

Always make sure that you change your mascara every three months to minimise bacteria on the lashes as hayfever sufferers can be prone to conjunctivitis so NEVER share your mascara!!
Gentle removal of eye makeup is also important…so invest in a super gentle eye makeup remover or my favourite desert island product…organic coconut oil will also do the trick.

When your outdoors make sure you wear sunglasses or spectacles to help shield your eyes from that pesky pollen!

Thanks Armand!

Until Next Time Campers!

Stay happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG!!

Auntie Cath

10 April
0

Comments

Feeding baby and feeding me!

Half way into my pregnancy I started to research ‘feeding options’. I have been very fortunate that I am able to breastfeed and I’m really enjoying it. There are of course some great formula milks available these days, that cater for many of babies needs. But I can’t help but be in awe of breastfeeding and the benefits for mum and baby! I think if you’re able to breast feed – its so worth looking at the many pro’s of doing so. Here are a mere few!! I think you’ll be pretty surprised at how amazing your body can be.

catherine

Super Boobs!

*Pneumonia, colds and viruses are reduced among breastfed babies

*Breastfeed your baby and you reduce his risk of developing some conditions, such as type I diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.

* Women who breastfeed have a lower risk of post menopausal osteoporosis

*Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome by about half.

*It’s more likely that neither of you will become overweight if you breastfeed .

*Breast feeding burns calories! Between 400-500 per day on average!!

*The oxytocin (the love hormone) released when you feed your baby helps your uterus contract, reducing post delivery blood loss.

*Breastfeeding can decrease your baby’s risk of some childhood cancers. It also lowers the risk of pre menopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer for us mum’s!!

*It’s also higher in protein and lower in sugar than formula milk!

Its got to be worth a shot right mum’s? Not to mention how lovely it feels to be feeding your baby :-)

This week we read in the press that a young mother of three Amanda Booth, 28 from Middlesborough died from Cervical cancer. Amanda had been too scared to go for a routine smear test, after she had experienced abnormal bleeding. Reading her story filled me with so much sadness. Amanda knew she had made a huge mistake by not attending her appointment and spent her last days urging other women not to make the same mistake. My deepest sympathies to her family.

There have been several similar stories over the past few years- many of the patients – very young women that were deemed ‘too young’ for smear tests. I am backing the campaign to lower the age of smear tests. In my opinion if a woman of ANY age displays ANY of the symptoms associated with cancers of the female reproductive system – she SHOULD have a smear test. It’s simply not worth the risk. One of my own friends went to the doctor many times – with lots of symptoms. Pleading with doctors many times… finally being diagnosed with cancer …in its later stages. This is an outrage to me. With constant tragic stories in the press of women who had either been ‘too young’ to have a smear test or whose symptoms were ignored several times… how are we allowing this to continue? This is something we need to make a stance on together. With the help of several celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Michelle Heaton helping to raise awareness – now is the time for us to listen and fight for more care to be taken- for women not to be fearful of smear tests and to get the age lowered for smear testing as soon as possible. There are several signs of cervical and Ovarian cancer. If you have experienced ANY of these symptoms – get it checked out – PRONTO:

Vaginal bleeding or discharge from your vagina that is not normal for you.

Pain in the pelvic or abdominal area (the area below your stomach and between your hip bones).

Back pain.

Bloating, which is when the area below your stomach swells or feels full.

Feeling full quickly while eating.

A change in your bathroom habits, such as having to pass urine very badly or very often, constipation, or diarrhoea.

Between periods

After or during sex

A vaginal discharge that smells unpleasant

Discomfort or pain during sex

If you’re feeling nervous about going for a smear test – you’re not alone and there is plenty of support out there! You can find more details and support here:

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/cervical-cancer/about/cervical-cancer-symptoms?gclid=CjwKEAjwo5OpBRDU64qO07OXq00SJADn5hYn10RFoc2DZjj_DBvCDJJvCGvRdxxhdsoXBAcUfjcFchoCVXrw_wcB&dclid=CKyb0MKn5sQCFS6RwgodMjYAyQ

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/diagnosing/how-cancers-are-diagnosed/cervical-screening/what-is-cervical-screening.html

We had a gorgeous Easter weekend with some lovely country walks and family-catch ups!

catherine1

I swerved the Easter bunny this year as I’m on a healthy eating mission! Even though (credit where it’s due) my lovely mother-in-law to be Dianna, made a beautiful gluten free Easter cake. I managed to merely admire this chocolatey wonder …and munch on blueberries instead! If you’ve over indulged over Easter and fancy a bit of a choccy-detox, here’s a fab, cleansing drink to help you out! Just whizz this lot up in a blender! Ideal before breakfast (NOT instead of!! You NEED protein at the start of the day!). I have one of these upon waking and then follow up with eggs and salmon for example.

catherine3

Cath’s Cleanser

INGREDIENTS:

3 sticks of celery
4-5 kale leaves
1 green apple
one generous handful of flat leaf parsley leaves
1 lime
1 lemon
1 inch of fresh ginger

catherine2

Yes- I’m chomping at the bit to get back in the gym, and I’m feeling really good so it’s hard not to just dive in and throw some weights about. But it’s so important to allow your body the right amount of recovery time after child birth. So it’s lots of walking for me and Alfie till I am fully rested and repaired! Remember – to rush recovery is counter productive. You’ll suffer more in the long run!! Enjoy the rest if you’re in the same position!! I’ve been keeping up meditation and relaxation too! And had a gorgeous post pregnancy massage with my lovely pal Ashleigh at her spa. So important if you carried lots of tension in neck and back while carrying baby .

Until Next Time!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG

03 April
0

Comments

Fats! The Good, the Bad and the very Ugly!

Thank you all so much for your lovely words of congratulations for our son Alfie! So much appreciated! We’re doing just great :-)

I managed to spend some lovely time with my gran, mum and sister pre-Alfie for Mother’s Day. Tea, Paleo cakes (recipes to follow!) and gossip enjoyed by all :-) Also had some time with my lovely cousins and their new cavapoo puppy ‘Boss’ – we’ve fallen in love with him! (Is now a bad time to ask Tom for a dog??)

cath1

I’ve been having lots of greens drinks this week to help cleanse my body and balance out hormones. Absolutely no sugar and loads of fish – lots of healing foods too. Conscious as always of giving my body what it needs, and I’m feeling really good for it :-) You really ARE what you eat!! Give your body what it needs and you’ll reap the rewards and then some in terms of energy, complexion, growth and repair. 

An article in a tabloid earlier this week appeared to be panicking about the fat content of nuts and avocados…??? Without explaining that these fats are GOOD fats. Your body NEEDS them. They’re perfect snacking foods! Making them a part of a balanced diet will actually keep you fuller for longer and probably help you to lose weight if you’ve got the rest of your nutrition clued up! You’re body needs these good fats!! Are you trying to lose weight? Well then, have a small amount of good fat at every meal. No I haven’t lost the plot! Good fats digests slowly, so you’ll feel satisfied for longer, meaning you’ll eat LESS overall! It’s not just about weight management of course, you also need fat to help you absorb vitamins A, D, and E, and they are vital for your nervous system.

cath2

Some of my favourite snacks and cooking ingredients include: Almonds, Walnuts, Avocado, Olive Oil, Peanut Butter (organic), Olives (green or black), Sunflower Seeds. These are what we call ‘Monounsaturated Fats’ (MUFAs), they raise good HDL cholesterol, lower bad LDL cholesterol, and protect against the build up of plaque in your arteries, they also help settle blood sugar levels.  As you know I eat a lot of salmon, mackerel and flaxseed (I put flaxseed in my greens drinks for easy consumption). All of which are classed as ‘Polyunsaturated Fats’, they also lower your LDL and are PACKED with essential omega-3 fatty acids — which boost brain function and help strengthen your immune system AND improve your mood. We getting the picture yet?? To save your confusion over which fats you should absolutely NOT eat — the fats you need to be avoiding are ‘Trans Fats’. These are made from unsaturated fat that’s been chemically altered to prolong the shelf life of certain foods e.g. margarine (which up until recently we all thought was better for us… because some dufus in a lab years ago said it was! Wish I’d listened to Gran when she said butter was best!), and obvious culprits like doughnuts, chips, biscuits, cakes and other crap. Trans fats raise bad LDL and lower good HDL, increasing inflammation throughout the body. In short — these foods and this type of fat are a one-way ticket to hotel heart disease! KEEP AWAY!

cath3

My lovely pal Armand came over this week and showed me a really easy eye mask recipe that you can make at home. It’s perfect for us new mums when your face needs to look awake!! I’ve tried it a couple of times — it’s so refreshing. Armand shares the recipe with us:

“This perfect pick-me-up mask is a real treat for tired peepers. The ingredients are pretty easy to get hold off but I would always try and go for organic brands if possible, so have a search on the Internet for health food stores that stock them ( even some larger supermarkets have introduced a Wellness section). Mix 2 teaspoons of chilled Aloe Vera ‘whole leaf /inner leaf’ ( make sure it’s the thicker gel like juice and not just Aloe Vera juice as it will be too watery) with 1 teaspoon of organic cold pressed honey (Manuka is the best but a locally sourced one would be great too) and ‘hey presto’ you have a soothing yet revitalising eye mask.

You should have enough for quite a few applications. Store in a glass jar and pop it in the fridge. Use you ring finger to apply the gel to the orbital bone of the eye socket, starting from the outer edge of the eye and sweeping under the eye toward the inner corner, then just under the brow back to where you started. Pay special attention to the outer point, the central point under the eye and the inner corner by gentle pressing in these three areas to help aid in drainage.

Leave on for 20mins. You can even add a couple of slices of cucumber on top for an extra pamper as cucumber contains silica, antioxidants and ascorbic acid which can all help with puffiness and darkness. To remove gently wipe away with a damp muslin cloth or rinse off and gently pat your face dry. For maximum results use twice a week. (@armandbeasley).”

Much cheaper than some of the eye masks available behind the counter and it actually works! Give it a go!

cath4

Now then campers!! I’ve found a lovely Easter treat that’s easy to make, tastes awesome and not an E number or an additive in sight! I made these last year and everyone loved them! So they’ll be pride of place on the Easter Feast again this year!

Lush Lemon Paleo Cupcakes!!

1 Cup of Almond Flour

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3 eggs
3 tablespoons raw honey
Zest and juice of one medium lemon
2 tablespoons apple sauce
1 tablespoon unsweetened vanilla almond milk
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

For the coconut whipped cream:

One 14oz. can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1-2 tablespoons raw honey
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with 8 cupcake liners. Fill the rest of the muffin cups with water. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, sift together almond flour, flaxseed, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil, eggs, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, apple sauce, milk, and vanilla until well-combined. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined. 

Distribute batter between prepared cupcake liners, filling each liner about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Let cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Before preparing coconut whipped cream, place your mixing bowl and beater in the freezer for five minutes.

Remove can of coconut milk from fridge and flip it over. Open the can and pour out all the water. The solid coconut cream will remain at the bottom of the can. Scoop this out into your mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add honey and vanilla, and beat until incorporated.

Spread coconut whipped cream onto cupcakes and serve. Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge.

HAPPY EASTER GUYS!

Stay happy, stay Healthy and DREAM BIG!!

Love Auntie Cath 

xx

16 March
0

Comments

Healthy fish and bake for heroes

Now, we’ve all heard the ‘old wives tale remedies’ for babies past their due-date…”Due date” – theres a dubious phrase! In this country we class a ‘full-term’ pregnancy as 40 weeks, but in other countries its 39, 42 and 43 weeks!

cath1

My lovely friend Lucy Jo Hudson gave me some fabulous advice a couple of months ago – keep busy on your due date!! Only 5% of babies arrive on this ‘guesstimate’. If you sit around the house waiting for baby to arrive on your ‘due date’, chances are you’ll be disappointed! Especially if it’s your first baby. So, off I went – on my due date, to have a day packed with pampering and socialising!

cath

Speaking of cooking! I have a gorgeous recipe this week – inspired by a trip to one one my favourite Restaurants – ‘Australasia’ in Manchester . Tom took me there this week for a lovely lunch.

cath2

My favourite dish there (I say ‘favorite’ I’m borderline obsessed) is the ‘Black Cod’ – it’s utterly DEVINE. I order it every time I go – without fail. I keep promising myself I’ll learn how to make it. And this week – I did! #clevercath . It’s easy to cook, relatively inexpensive and is PACKED protein! Not to mention my favourite little things – Omega 3 fatty acids! We all know fish is wonderful for our health. Cod contains a wide variety of great vitamins and minerals. Including:

• Vitamin B6

• Vitamin B3

• Vitamin B12

• Vitamin D

• Omega 3

• Phosphorus

• Potassium

• Tryptophan

• Selenium

A four ounce portion of cod contains over 50 percent of the daily recommended value for protein guys! BOOOM!

I eat loads of fish especially cod, tuna and my beloved salmon. The health benefits are huge so give this little treat a try – let me know what you think!

Cath’s Clever Cod

1/4 cup sake

4 tablespoons white miso paste

2 Tablespoons of Organic/Manuka Honey

1/4 cup mirin

4 black cod fillets

(I made the Miso Marinade a day before cooking and marinated the fish): Bring the sake and mirin to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Turn the heat down to low then add the miso paste, and whisk. When the miso has dissolved , turn the heat up to high again and add the honey, keep whisking – and don’t burn the bottom of the pan! Remove from the heat and Cool to room temperature.

Pat the black cod fillets dry with kitchen towel. Slather the fish with the marinade and place bowl and cover tightly . Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

cooking the fish: Preheat oven to 200. Heat an oven-proof skillet over high heat. Put a little oil in the pan (I like coconut oil), then place the fish skin-side-up on the pan and cook until the bottom of the fish browns and blackens a little (3 mins-ish) . Flip and continue cooking until the other side is brown then transfer to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily. We served with stir-fry greens – simples!

This week I’ve been supporting ‘Help For Heroes’ by taking part in ‘Bake For Heroes’. Raising money for charity AND baking cakes?? Whats not to love? It a great idea and its so easy to get involved. Click the link below to see how you can help and join in. Its a great thing to do as a family – the kids will love it! :

cath3

Bake For Heroes:

http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/bake-for-heroes/how-to-get-involved/

Till next week my health bunnies!!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG!

Love

Auntie Cath

xxx

06 March
0

Comments

No Smoke without Fire and Sweet Treats!!

Something that never ceases to amaze me is seeing a pregnant woman smoke.

Its something I saw only recently…wait for it…outside a hospital!! I had to try so hard not to march over there and knock it out of this ungrateful mother-to-be’s hand.

I am fully aware of how powerful addiction can be and I do empathise – really I do. But when you are carrying something so precious – what right do you have to impose those harmful chemicals on another human being? From the moment I found out I was pregnant I questioned EVERYTHING I put into my body.

Cath-1-a

I think if expectant mum’s who are struggling to quit smoking just had one look at how harmful it can be to their child – that would be enough to stop. Every cigarette you smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, so smoking when you are pregnant HARMS your unborn baby. Cigarettes can restrict the oxygen supply to your baby- THUS their heart has to beat harder every time you smoke. In case thats not enough for you (if not …why the hell not?)

Here are some of the other gains to be made from giving up cigarettes during pregnancy:

• you will have less morning sickness and fewer complications in pregnancy

• you are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby

• you will reduce the risk of stillbirth

• you will cope better with the birth

• your baby is less likely to be born too early and have to face the additional breathing, feeding and health problems that often go with being premature

• your baby is less likely to be born underweight: babies of women who smoke are on average about 8oz lighter than other babies, which can cause problems during and after labour. For example they are more likely to have a problem keeping warm and are more prone to infection

• you will reduce the risk of cot death, also called Sudden Infant Death (find out about reducing the risk of cot death.)

Something else to be aware of is second-hand smoke. On the odd occasion that some rude person has ‘sparked up’ near me whilst I’m pregnant – I remove myself from the area immediately .

Second-hand smoke can reduce birthweight and also increase the risk of cot death. Babies whose parents smoke are more likely to be admitted to hospital for bronchitis and pnemonia during the first year of life.

More than 17,000 children under the age of five are admitted to hospital every year because of the effects of second-hand smoke.

Now if all those facts and figures aren’t enough for you to put that poisonous little cancer stick down…then…well…may Karma forgive you!

To find out more about quitting and to get support, call the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 0224 332.

…….

I’m still with child. I feel as though I have been with child since 1942.

As always (and against other mums advice) I have been keeping myself busy!! I have a couple of really exciting projects in the pipeline that I simply can’t wait to share with you!!

I’ve been doing lots of studying and writing – all will become clear soon!! I’m very excited for the year ahead! Thank you for all your kind words in regard to Eva Prices ‘exit scenes’ in Coronation Street last week. I’m so pleased you enjoyed them. I adore working with Ryan Thomas who plays Jason and we both really appreciate your support!

Cath-2-a

Speaking of my ‘telly fella’ , Ry came to see Tom and I this week with his beautiful daughter Scarlett, and gave bump one last cuddle before … Well… before bump is a BABY!!

In the past few weeks I’ve struggled with pregnancy water retention. My hands and trotters look like big fat sausages and my cheek bones have all but disappeared:-( .  However there are things we can do to help this!

Cath-3-a

Here are a few tips, if like me you struggle with water retention at any point:

• Step up protein intake! More protein encourages your body to shed excess fluid

• Acupuncture

• Cut back on dehydrating drinks such as coffee, tea and alcohol (Obviously if you’re pregnant alcohol should be removed from your diet anyway and caffeine intake should be reduced according to trimester and current health)

• Drink more water!! Water retention comes from a lack of water because you’re body doesn’t know when it will get more water so it retains the water that it doesn’t get- so help kidneys to flush out excess fluid

• Girls – check your menstrual cycle – I always retain water for a period of time during my monthly cycle

• Write a food diary – you might see connections between certain foods and periods of swelling

• Cut high sodium foods out of your diet – salt absorbs water and causes water retention

• Eat a healthy, balanced diet that contains a lot of vegetables and other high-fiber foods

Thank you to my uber talented pal @calumtierney @terencepaul who cheered me up no-end this week by making me feel like a ‘yummy mummy’ by giving my hair another make-over.

Cath-5-aCath-6-a

What a difference a visit to the hairdressers makes when you’re feeling fed up eh? Well, I don’t want to have roots and split ends the first time I meet my son now do I? ;-)

Plus – how relaxing is an Indian Head massage while having your hair washed? I must have fell asleep for a good 30 mins at the hair bowl! God bless them for not waking me up! Ha ha ha – thank you Calum!

This lovely day was followed by an uber indulgent cheat meal with my fiancee Tom. Possibly the last cheat meal of my pregnancy so it would have been incredibly rude not to have had that huge brownie with ice-cream…right?? We shared it…honest.

Cath-4-a

Speaking of brownies – here’s a fab recipe I came up with for my little cousins who – like most kids adore chocolate and adore cake. I wanted to make them a healthier version of ‘Brownies’. They’re easy to make and a lot better for you than the regular supermarket brands that are filled with sweeteners and E-numbers. Give them a go! Lovely little treat!

Auntie Cath’s Paleo Choc-Choc Brownies

Ingredients

• 2 cups of Cashew butter or Organic Peanut butter (

• 3 eggs

• 1 cup of Manuka Honey or raw organic honey

• 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

• 1/2 cup of raw cocoa powder

• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/2 cup organic dark chocolate melted

• 1 very ripe banana

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 180

2. In a large mixing bowl, blend your almond butter and eggs to make a smooth batter

3. Add in the honey and the vanilla and mix well

4. Add the salt, baking soda, and then SLOWLY add in the Cacao powder (or else you will take a chocolate powder bath like I did the first time)

5. Now fold in the melted chocolate and banana, and mix well

6. Grease a baking dish with coconut oil bake for 30-35 minutes – then witness the fitness!!! YUM!

Stay Happy, stay Healthy and Dream Big!

Love

Auntie Cath

xx

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer