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Health & Wellbeing

  • InHealth & Wellbeing, Recipes, Seasonal events

    Easy banana pancakes recipe for Pancake Day

    The easiest banana pancakes recipe you’ll ever find.

    When it comes to pancakes, there are really two types that the kids love.

    Then big flat traditional crepe-style pancakes or the fluffy fatter ones.

    Both are a super simple and have their merits.

    The difference between pancakes

    The traditional pancake is more exciting for kids to watch being prepared, and the icon of Pancake Day.

    It’s the one that you can legitimately serve up as an entire meal on Shrove Tuesday, with no guilt. If they want to try to beat last year’s record of how many they can eat, then that’s fine too. It’s only once a year, after all.

    Not only does the flipping process makes it more fun, but they can get involved with the preparation too. Older kids can help by chopping fruit to add to pancakes, and younger ones can get messy adding their toppings themselves.

    And if it’s too much of a rush to squeeze in after school, no doubt it’s what they will be enjoying at nursery, school or playgroups as part of learning about Shrove Tuesday. So again, no guilt.

    But then there’s is a whole other type of pancake for kids to try.

    The smaller fatter ones require less preparation, have extra fruit hidden in them, and are naturally sweet, so need very little toppings adding.

    They are great for using up bananas that are a bit too squishy to be appetising, and ideal as a toddler snack or for baby-led weaning.

    And like the traditional pancake recipe, kids can eat a load of them without any worry about stuffing them with junk.

    So here’s our tried and tested family favourite recipe.

    banana pancakes recipe

    Easy peasy lazy banana pancakes recipe

    I originally made this recipe up based on an even easier version of these yoghurt snack pancakes when me daughter turned 1.

    The recipe for the pancakes that includes yoghurt is super easy, but I wanted something with even less ingredients and time to prepare. If you can’t even be bothered to reach onto the top shelf and grab the flour, you can even make them without that too.

    I even make these with protein powder as a recovery meal when I’ve come back from a run. I wouldn’t recommend giving that to kids though. Keep that as your own post-exercise recovery treat.

    So, 2 (or 3) ingredients that can be adapted to suit the whole family. What could be easier?

    Easy banana pancakes recipe

    The recipe made 6 pancakes.

    Ingredients

    • 2 bananas on the softer side
    • 1 egg
    • Half a cup of self raising flour (optional)

    Method

    • Mash up the bananas in a bowl.
    • Add an egg and mix in.
    • Add the flour to thicken the mixture if using.
    banana pancakes

    Mix mashed banana with a few lumps, the egg and flour together in a bowl

    • Heat a pan and add some butter or oil (1 teaspoon of coconut oil) on a medium heat.
    • Add a spoonful of the mixture to the pan, flipping using a flat cooking utensil when it looks like the side is cooked.
    banana pancakes

    Spoon the mixture into a pre-heated oiled pan

    • Once both sides are cooked but not burning, remove from heat and leave to cool slightly before cutting into bitesized pieces of strips if easier to handle for baby-led weaning.
    banana pancakes recipe

    Cook both sides until the mixture sets

    • Add a little honey (optional) and your toddler’s favourite fruit such as blueberries. Add a dollop of natural yoghurt too.

    Enjoy!

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  • InHealth & Wellbeing, Resources

    Miscarriage support in Warwickshire

    Find miscarriage support near you

    Did you see the miscarriage research that has just come from Imperial College London?

    The findings from the recent study showed that miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy can lead to ‘long-term post-traumatic stress’. In fact, they went on to state that one in six women experience these effects.

    650 women who had experienced an early pregnancy loss took part in the study. Consequently, it’s the largest ever study into the psychological impact.

    The results from this miscarriage research revealed that one month following pregnancy loss, 29% suffered post-traumatic stress, 24% experienced moderate to severe anxiety, and 11% had moderate to severe depression.

    Nine months later, 18% of women had post-traumatic stress, 17% anxiety, and 6% had depression. 

    It therefore highlights that we need more miscarriage support and aftercare.

    Experiencing miscarriage

    Sadly, here at Warwickshire Kids, we’ve been through miscarriage ourselves so we know just how devastating it is.

    No matter how many weeks pregnant you are, you lose your baby and all of the dreams you’ve already made.

    After that, the woman then has to ensure invasive medical procedures, the horrible physical process, and the longer-lasting after effects. Partners are often expected to ‘get on with it’, but they too are, of course, affected by the loss.

    One of the main reasons that it is so hard to understand is that there are no answers or reasons why. In fact, a lot of parents feel that they can’t talk about what has happened. It might even be that they don’t know who they can reach out to. In addition, other people don’t always know what to say or say the wrong thing to a grieving parent.

    This can make you feel very alone, so it is no wonder that it can cause mental health issues.

    Support for miscarriage

    If you have experienced an early pregnancy loss, your recovery and how you try to come to terms with it will be completely personal.

    Perhaps you’re a talker and could benefit from counselling? Maybe you prefer to read other’s stories? Whatever it is, for your own wellbeing, we recommend finding out what miscarriage support is available to you.

    There are 250,000 miscarriages and 10,000 ectopic pregnancies every year. In other words, you are not alone and not to blame in any way.

    Here is a list of organisations that you can contact for support to help with your miscarriage recovery.

    Miscarriage support will vary depend on your location, but we hope that you can find something.

    Helplines

    Miscarriage Association – helpline 01924 200799 (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm)

    Tommy’s – helpline 0800 014 7800 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) or email at midwife@tommys.org

    Child Bereavement UK – helpline 0800 02 888 40

    Sands – helpline 0808 164 3332 or email helpline@sands.org.uk

    Cruse Bereavement Care – helpline 0808 808 1677 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm) and a network of local branches where you can find support.

    Samaritans – helpline 116 123

    NCT

    Clinics

    There is an amazing resource under Professor Quenby who holds clinics in recurrent miscarriage in Coventry. You will need to speak to your GP to be referred.

    Support groups and counselling

    Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support – (Nuneaton, Bedworth, North Warwickshire) email at sophiagroup16@gmail.com. Support group on the first Tuesday of each month at Combe House, George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

    North Warwickshire Counselling Service – (Nuneaton) 024 7632 0095 nwcs.nwcs@btconnect.com

    The Acorn Centre – (Nuneaton) 02476 381878 info@acorncentrewarks.org.uk

    Hope Group – (UHCW Coventry) – pregnancy after loss

    Life Charity – (Leamington Spa) 01926 312272

    Online support groups

    Tommy’s Facebook support group – a safe destination for the baby loss community

    Public group – Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support

    Closed group – Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support

    Closed group – Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support – DADS

    Read more about the miscarriage study at https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/194715/miscarriage-ectopic-pregnancy-trigger-long-term-post-traumatic/

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  • InHealth & Wellbeing

    New year fitness tips for 2020 – Guest post

    As we wave off 2019 and welcome 2020, a lot of us will make plans for the year ahead.

    Often, even with the best of intentions however, we’ve given up on them by mid-January. This is especially true when it’s new year fitness goals.

    It’s not our fault though. When you have children, jobs, pets and a life, there can be lots of distractions. In fact, our goals may never have been achievable in the first place.

    So would you like some realistic new year fitness tips for busy lifestyles?

    Well, it’s your lucky day.

    We asked Sinéad O’Connor from Back To It Personal Training to give us her expert advice on how to set realistic fitness goals that we can stick to.

    Back to It Personal Training

    Here’s what she says.


    New Year, new you…

    Or rather, New Year, same you, only a much better version.

    There is so much focus on the whole ‘New Year, New You’ idea, and I think that it’s nonsense!

    With 52 weeks of the year, although we do like to over-indulge in December, the damage isn’t done in a few weeks of festive feasts. Yes, we all like to treat ourselves, but 1lb of fat is made up of 3,500 calories, so it’s a little more than the odd mince pie! 

    When it comes to setting new year fitness goals, just remember that you need to have balance to succeed. If you don’t eat, drink and do the things you love, then you will be miserable, and so will those around you.

    Try to consistently eat moderately and train often for both physical and psychological wellbeing. 

    I know it’s easier said than done however. Even when you are a personal trainer.

    Balancing exercise with parenting

    I am a mum of 3 boys under 3 with no family support locally. As a result, like most other families, I struggle to get everything done. I have to be everything to everyone who needs me, and still find time for myself.

    Something always gives, and it is usually my health and wellness.

    In 2015, I ran the London marathon. I was the fittest I had ever been, and whilst training I fell pregnant with my first son Harry. After he was born, I went back to work after a few months and hardly saw him. I didn’t exercise as much because of my 50-60 hour weeks, so I got bigger. I then fell pregnant again when he was only 4 months old.

    During my second pregnancy, I put on 4 stone and suffered from SPD. I decided to start studying to make a career change because I wanted to do something which I was really passionate about. I also wanted to help others in the same position as me. 

    After my second son was born, I took a major risk and left my job running a successful health and racquets club to start up my own business, specialising in pre- and postnatal fitness.

    And that’s where Back To It Personal Training was born.

    Fast forward 2.5 years, and my third son is now 11 weeks old. During this pregnancy however, I stayed active and carried on working.

    I set myself little goals each week, and even managed to grow the business despite the obvious challenges.

    Goal setting

    To help me to manage the business, I took on a lovely lady called Laura to deliver my classes whilst I concentrated on baby and ran the business from behind the scenes. She is now running her own classes for BTIPT and we have doubled the amount of classes we offer. As it turns out, Laura was one of my clients and a mum who also decided to re-train and do something she loved.

    I suppose the message is to never feel trapped. No matter what your fitness goal is, set small steps to achieve them in the longer term. By making time to be active and working hard, it will happen!

    Photo by Alexa Williams on Unsplash

    New year fitness tips for making a healthy start to 2020

    There are plenty of excuses not to exercise.

    We all do it, and worse still, we then crave quick fixes because our body isn’t getting enough protein and healthy fats. Did you know that if you don’t consume enough of these 2 macronutrients your blood sugar can rise and fall at an abnormal rate? This causes those darn sugar cravings!

    Here are some really simple new year fitness tips for you to make some positive changes in 2020.

    1. Get to bed early. Ok so I know that this isn’t always possible with youngsters around, but try and do it. Just 1 extra hour a night could be an extra nights sleep over the week. Sleep, or lack of is definitely the solution and cause to everything in my opinion!
    2. Find out what your BMR is. Without this, you are pushing water up hill. Create a deficit (if required) in line with you goal. Track your calories, allow for treats, and don’t make yourself miserable!
    3. Drink at least 2 litres of water per day. Buy a big enough bottle, fill it at the beginning of the day and make sure you drink it all.
    4. Get support. Tell people around you that you are trying to change so that they can support you.
    5. Find a training buddy. Or perhaps a group because they will push you to train, even when you don’t feel like it.
    6. Be consistent. It’s the only way to get long term sustainable results.

    Home workouts

    It’s not all about going to the gym either. Make exercise work around your family.

    Here are two quick workouts you can do from home, even with the kids around. You don’t need any special equipment and they are guaranteed to make you sweat! Do these at least 5 times a week for 6 weeks and track your calories. You will get results!

    AMRAP 15 (As Many Rounds As Possible in 15 min)

    Write down how many rounds you did and set challenges to beat your record each week to track your fitness progress.

    If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook there are always other exercises you an switch and change to keep things fresh:

    • Mountain climbers x 10
    • Jumping jacks x 10
    • Sit ups (ab crunches for ab separation) x 10
    • Press ups (knee adaption for ab separation) x 10
    • Sumo squats x 10

    Tabata 

    4 minutes of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest and 1 minute break before moving to next exercise:

    • Sargent jumps
    • Rock press
    • Squat
    • Tuck up (ankle tap for ab separation)

    And finally

    Don’t follow the fad diets and quick fixes. They don’t work in the long term. The science is really simple; create a calorie deficit and burn more.


    If you’ve been inspired by Sinéad’s words, drop her an email at mail@sineadoconnor.co.uk or send her a message on Facebook.

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