Tasty Tacos! The Healthy Way to enjoy an old family favourite!
By Carissa Mason, Nutritionist & Go Mum! Advisory Board Member.
Carissa specialises in gut health, IBS in its various presentations, food allergies / intolerances and all aspects of hormonal health. Her nutritional philosophy is to empower women to develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies and simply be the happiest and healthiest they can be.
This is one of my favourite family dishes! It’s cheap, ridiculously easy and fun to make and it caters for everyone’s taste buds!!
What you’ll need:
1 Old El’paso Stand and Stuff Taco kit (Shells, Tomato Salsa and Seasoning)
2 tomatoes (chopped small enough to fit in the Taco shell)
2 Lebanese cucumbers (chopped small enough to fit in the Taco shell)
1 salad onion (diced)
1 brown onion (diced)
¼ fresh (sweet) pineapple (chopped small enough to fit in the Taco shell)
5 Ice-burg lettuce leaves (Shredded)
1 pack alfalfa
300g button mushrooms (chopped)
500 g mince (beef / chicken / pork)
1 tub pot set natural yoghurt (I love Tamar Valley or Jalna)
1 Tin Tomatoes
1 Tin Lentils (washed and drained)
2 cloves garlic (diced)
1 packet Taco seasoning
Jalapeno’s (for those who are game!)
What to Do:
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees (this is for the taco shells)
On your stove top:
In a large frypan heat some olive oil. Lightly fry the brown onion, garlic and mushrooms. Season with Salt and pepper. Add the Mince and cook until browned. Once the mince is cooked add the taco seasoning and mix through. Now add the lentils and tinned tomatoes. Mix though again and allow to simmer for 15 minutes - Stir occasionally.
On your table:
Place the yoghurt, salsa, salad onion, tomato, cucumber, alfalfa and lettuce in separate bowls in the centre of the table. Place a mat / wooden chopping board there also- this can be used for the frypan of mince and taco shells. Put a plate out for each member of the family.
In your oven:
Remove the Taco shells from their wrapping and separate them from each other. I place half a toothpick in each shell – this helps keep them open whilst in the oven. Depending on your oven size place the 10 Taco shells on the steel rack inside the oven. I cook 5 shells at a time and use tongs to place them in the oven and remove them. Cook the shells for about 10 minutes - Or until they have lightly browned on each side. Remove them from the oven and remove the toothpicks.
Place the warm mince on the wooden chopping board in the centre of the table. Give each family member a taco shell on their plate. The rest is up to you! I start with the yoghurt, and then add the mince, then the salsa. I’m a Jalapeno freak – so they are generally jammed on next. Then as many salad toppings as I can get on top!!
This is a great family meal that kids love! Everyone can get involved in the preparation process and pick and choose their salad toppings. It’s super healthy and if you can manage to cram all the toppings into the Taco- it’s pretty nutrient dense. I have at times finely chopped some other vegetables and disguised them in the mince for the non-salad lovers!!
For more amazing food Ideas or to book a nutritional consultation please check out:
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My Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Carissa-Anne-Nutrition-800277830041181/
The Clinic http://www.jessicacox.com.au/
Exercising for Mental Health - by Amanda Bryen, Clinical Psychologist
We all know that we want to (or, need to!) improve in the exercise department. It can be helpful to use the term ‘activity’ rather than ‘exercise’, as it helps us to appreciate that keeping more active in many and varied ways can provide physical and mental health benefits. The current health recommendation is that we keep physically active for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. The mental health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity are numerous - some important benefits include:
As a busy mum however, it's often easier said than done! So what are my top tips for ensuring mums are keeping active not only in order to keep up with their kids, but to ensure their mental well being? Below I have outlined three of my top recommendations for keeping active!
1. Choose activities that you actually like! Don't sweat it out in an environment you don't like, doing exercises you loath! Find what you enjoy – and do it regularly. Find an activity that works for you – and fit it into your life in a way that will work for you. If we like the activity, then we are more likely to do it – and we are more likely to feel the mental wellbeing benefits flow from it as well. We have to actually make time for the activity and schedule it into your diary so that it gets done. Then…just do it! So, if you enjoy walking, walk. If it’s dancing, dance. If it’s swimming, swim. If it’s running, run. If it’s cycling, cycle. Maybe it’s yoga. It is good to mix your physical activities around – change things up occasionally to keep life interesting. Make time for you – it’s called self-care. And as a mum, you are doing something most important - Caring for the Carer!
2. Get active outside in the great outdoors! Outside activity can be particularly good for our mind. Benefits of getting outside for exercise include an increase in sensory stimulation, connection to nature, and production of feel-good hormones (endorphins). Being outside meets our human need for sensory stimulation, and helps to keep us mentally optimistic and motivated. Think about the benefits of feeling the wind against your face and in your hair, seeing and listening to the birds, ducks, kookaburras, and other wildlife in the neighbourhood, smelling the jasmine and fragrant flowers in season, noticing the gum trees and eucalyptus leaves, being in the bush and near waterways, and acknowledging & smiling at others as we pass each other by. When we exercise outside we can practice living in the moment and being aware of what is around us in the natural environment (mindfulness). Our body produces feel-good hormones (endorphins – natural mood lifters & pain relief) when we are enjoying our activities. Being active outside has wonderful benefits for our mental wellbeing as we feel in tune with nature, and more connected with other humans around us.
3. Do it for confidence and wellbeing benefits! Keeping physically active boosts your confidence day by day. When we complete an activity that we value, it improves our self-confidence and overall self-acceptance. By doing a physical activity on a regular basis (e.g., three times a week) we gain a sense of achievement. Little successes add up and help towards feeling a sense of accomplishment and control over your life. Success after success builds confidence in yourself and bit by bit you will become more able and productive in your life. We all need a healthy sense of self-mastery, and keeping physically active can be a good way to achieve it!
Amanda is a Clinical Psychologist and owner of Caring 4 Mums. Amanda offers a dedicated perinatal service for expectant mums and new mums & dads (antenatal and postnatal care). Her services range from caring for the carer (new mums), infant care, parenting information, education & strategies, through to therapy for anxiety, sleep deprivation, birth trauma, anger, and ante/postnatal depression (PND).
Amanda's focus is to provide mums and their families with an approachable, sensitive, and professional service and her home-visit service provides a truly convenient option for new parents. For more information: http://caring4mums.myob.net/ or http://www.gomumgroupfitness.com.au/go-mum-advisory-board.html
At Go Mum! we talk a lot about the seriousness of pelvic floor weakness/dysfunction and communicating the importance of addressing such issues before returning to high impact exercise like running and so on. However, what's important to remember is that amongst all this serious body talk, as women we really do love an opportunity to socialise, have fun and share our journeys with each other.....And that's exactly what Go Mum! group classes provide (in conjunction with all the serious stuff!). We thought it might be nice for you to meet some of our Go Mum! mums and hear what they have to say about life, love, kids, and their Go Mum! experiences.
How many kids do you have, and what are their ages?
I have an 8 month old baby boy named Harrison, who we call Harry.
What do you like best about being a Mum?
I love seeing him grow and learn new things every day.
Were you nervous about getting back into exercise after having a baby? If so, why?
Yes. I wasn’t sure what I would be capable of doing! Prior to my pregnancy, I was the fittest I had been in my life, but during the pregnancy I didn’t exercise as much as I should have. I also wasn’t sure what exercises I should and shouldn’t do after Harry’s birth.
How long have you been training with Go Mum! Group Fitness?
About 6 months
Before starting with Go Mum! what level of understanding did you have about the importance of core & pelvic floor strength for pre and post-natal women? (Out of 1-10, 1 being no understanding, 10 being a guru!).
About a 6. I did prenatal Pilates while I was pregnant and was told about the importance of them. I didn’t anticipate how weak my pelvic floor would be following the birth though!
What do you most enjoy about training with Go Mum! Group Fitness?
At least once a week I get time to myself to exercise. I know that Christine is capable of looking after Harry if he isn’t otherwise occupied. I really enjoy the aerobics circuit that we do.
What exercises do you least enjoy & why?
I’m not a fan of lunges! For the obvious reasons - they hurt!
What are your main fitness/wellbeing goals for 2016?
My long term goal would be to run 5kms. I would like to continue working on my overall body strength and improve my general fitness- particularly improve the stair fitness test that Christine does!
Do you have any tips or tricks for other mums who might be struggling to get back into some sort of exercise regime post-pregnancy?
I think it’s important to get professional advice about what exercises you should and shouldn’t be doing. If you are able to do classes or personal training it is well worth it. I struggle with motivation on my own, and as a Mum don’t prioritise myself if left to my own devices. Even If you exercise with a friend, you are probably less likely to cancel than trying to do it on your own.
As a mum, what are you most grateful for?
I am very grateful for my family. I have the most beautiful, loving husband who supports me and is a wonderful father to our son. Having Harry really brought both sides of our families even closer, and we know that anytime we need either our mothers or siblings they will always help us.
Thanks Leigh for sharing your Go Mum experience with us! If, like Leigh, you're a little nervous about getting back into exercise following the birth of your baby, or, have been out of the exercise game for some time since having kids and would like some guidance, please contact the Go Mum! team and we'd pleased to help!
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