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Changing my plate – energy for 3 kids under 5

This post is part of a regular series focusing on making small changes to improve our health. I shared my journey with changing my diet and moving to a clean eating approach which you can read here. I also had the lovely Katie Rainbird from Katie 180 undertake an analysis of my food intake for one day in that post, which was another step in the right direction.

Together we also offered the same opportunity to readers of Planning With Kids. We were blown away with the response and while I can’t guarantee will get to all of them this year, Katie has been busy working on many of the submissions already and we will publish as many as we can.

It is not possible for Katie to cover off everything in these posts. The aim is for her to find some small things you can change to what you are putting on your plate to help you achieve your current goal for your eating habits. You can read previous Changing my plate posts by clicking here.

Changing my plate – Simone’s day

image_katieKatie Rainbird (AKA Katie180) is a Sydney-based Nutritionist who is just as likely to be found jogging as she is baking. She is a mother to two, a keen home cook, prefers to get around in her workout gear and has a major passion for the written word. You can learn more at

Katie reviewed what a reader Simone submitted that she ate in a 24 hour period. This is what Katie had to say about her day:

What is your current goal with your eating habits?
Trying to eat a more balanced diet to provide me with the energy I need for studying full time and being a mum to three kids 5 and under (including a 1 year old who I’m still breast feeding). I would also like to lose a few kilograms.

7am: strong plunger coffee with soy milk and either rolled oats with soy milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, coconut, banana and a little honey or wholemeal toast with butter and Vegemite.

After reviewing your diet I have reviewed some articles on the relationship between dietary soy isoflavones and risk/symptoms of endometriosis. I feel that it would be worthwhile experimenting with eliminating or at least significantly reducing your intake of soy. So start with the soy in your oats: replacing it with almond milk. Switch from wholemeal bread to a sourdough (an artisan loaf from a sourdough bakery), it’s fermented and easier to digest. If you find this to be expensive then buy a loaf just for yourself and keep feeding the kids the wholemeal.

12pm: Wholemeal sandwich with hummus, tasty cheese, lettuce and tomato or a veggie burger with Lebanese wholemeal flat bread, hummus, cheese and salad or leftover tomato based pasta with cheese.

Try switching to a goat’s milk feta or curd to spread onto your wraps and stir through salads, even though it’s still in the “dairy” food group it’s often far better tolerated. Think outside of hummus for a plant protein source: mix your beans and grains up. You can take a tin of four bean mix and toss it with some olive oil, lemon juice, fresh diced herbs and season it then use it as a salad base or smash it onto a wrap or roll along with some soft cheese and fresh cut tomatoes or cucumber. Sprouts are an excellent source of plant protein also. Add a handful of raw or activated nuts to your lunch line up.

6pm: homemade pizza with tomato paste, mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella.

To this I would suggest adding a generous serve of silver beet or some other dark green leafy which can wilt down into the tomato sauce. Dark green leafy vegetables will provide you with iron. Also a smattering of toasted pine nuts for flavour, crunch and extra protein.

Snack 1
0:30am – an apple and a handful of walnuts


Snack 2
3:30pm: strong coffee and homemade banana muffin with oats, chia, honey and cream cheese ‘icing’ with honey and vanilla.


Snack 3

Snack 4


Nutritional supplements
Women’s multivitamin one a day.
It might be an idea to pop into a health food store and buy some spirulina tablets. Ask to speak to the resident naturopath or nutritionist and tell them you have endo. from what I can deduce via resources I’ve just read over, these ought not exacerbate symptoms.

Daily fluid intake
8-10 glasses of water, 3 strong homemade plunger coffees with soy milk and 1 tea.

Great water intake. Try to eliminate one coffee per day and replace it with a detox blend – something with fennel and nettle and spearmint that will assist digestion and help the liver and kidneys do their job of clearing metabolites from the system.

Any further information you’d like to share or special dietary requirements to factor in?
I am a long term vegetarian but find that because I am so time poor (and usually sleep deprived!) and am focusing on making sure that the kids eat well, that I run out of time to plan my own meals and snacks and feel I may not be getting enough nutrients, especially with breast feeding. I also have IBS and endometriosis and am intolerant to eggs (fine in muffin mixes etc but on their own make me feel very nauseas and as if I have been punched in the stomach!) and don’t deal well with milk, too much yoghurt and cream.

Ok, as I’m nearing the end of this project with Nicole, I’m going to go out on a limb and just write with abandon from my heart (and risk my reputation, ha!) and go with my gut. For IBS I’m feeling half doses of slippery elm bark powder (1/2 a teaspoon) mixed with water into a paste then topped up with water to a full glass, drink before meals three times per day. AND I know you’re pressed for time but the Smiling Mind App for daily meditation may very well assist you with managing stress and as such, IBS flare ups. For endo, try to reduce your soy intake and coffee intake and you may like to try a natural progesterone supplement or cream, I have done some reading on its potential to affect breastfeeding and there is a risk of it causing side effects but it’s estrogen that impacts on supply (lowers it) not progesterone. Do consult with a qualified therapist before going ahead.

I also feel that it would be a great thing to acquire a thorough hormone analysis, tracking your estrogen and progesterone throughout your cycle, so as to pinpoint or rule out estrogen dominance. I’m wondering if there may be endometrial tissue on the bowel which overtime has caused the IBS? Is this something you’ve had investigated? And with three children under 5 and a vegetarian diet, with endometriosis and the heavy bleeding – I’m just itching to get your iron studies done too! So many pricks and things to sort out I know but get onto it so there can be precise action put into place. First thing to do: see a GP (a holistic one if you can find one) for a referral for hormone studies and also iron and thyroid studies. Second thing to do: make small changes to diet as recommended. Third thing to do: try the Smiling Mind app.

Further reading and recipes


Katie is a qualified nutritionist (Adv. Dip. Nutr. Med.).

Any diet or lifestyle changes that you implement as a result of reading this blog are your own responsibility.

This blog does not provide medical advice, any particular health conditions must be managed by your own health professional.

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.