Last night I went all Gwyneth Paltrow and ate an entirely plant-based meal.
I went along to a Supper Club in a community cafe in Caerphilly (I just tried to spell that phonetically and really can’t, google Caerphilly castle-it’s impressive). The venue was the former town library which was upgraded and relocated and now it is used as a community cafe which is also hired out. Which I thought was a really fab idea. I went along with my friend from church whose daughter & friend are the genius chef/creator people behind it. It’s called Nourish Supper Club and has been a sell out success. A superb 3 course meal with no gluten, dairy or grains, using all fresh seasonal ingredients all for £23 per person. Deal. Considering I’d had McDonald’s for lunch I was excited at the prospect of some real food.
“…organic produce direct from local farms…”
So not knowing what to expect at all I was pleasantly surprised when we went in to be greeted with a restaurant set up. We were shown to our table which had our places set out and the menu on the table and a flower centrepiece. Our hostess said we had an extra seat in case I needed room for the baby which was really thoughtful and I just loved that. I had actually managed to get a night off but there were other babba’s brought along which was great. There was definitely a lovely ambience created, with lovely mellow music playing. We had a quick gander at the menu and got on with the important business of having a good natter. We both had the sweet green juice which was lovely (you wouldn’t know there was no sugar in it).
For starters we had soul soup. I am from this point forward going to call all soup I eat soul soup because I think it’s that great a description for soup. It was warm and green and I instantly assumed I knew how it would taste so I was surprised at the variety of flavour in it. There were at least 3 different levels of flavour. The pesto was really earthy and full. I’ve never had fresh pesto before so that was a treat for me and the raw dehydrated pumpkin and sesame seed crackers added that bit of texture. The info on the menu said the food is dehydrated at 42 degrees and this preserves the nutrients in the food.
The main course was a Summer Abundance Platter which was a flatbread, 2 falafel, green salad, cucumber, tahini, and carrot hummus. The quality of the ingredients really shone through in this plate (the lettuce was honestly, really delicious) but what impressed me the most was the inventiveness of the dish overall. The cucumber was pickled which gave another tangent of flavour and it just wasn’t boring in the least. Already I was surprisingly full but had been looking forward to the pudding all week!
I wasn’t disappointed in the pudding. With no added sugar or sweeteners I expected it to be a good imitation of a dessert but it was so much more than that. It was a gooey strawberry sweet loveliness in my dairy free mouth and I enjoyed every morsel. I think every table went a bit quiet on that course. Or perhaps I was just in my own world. Who knows. Anyway I liked the pudding the best.
We came home feeling full and relaxed and knowing each other just a little bit better and it was a really lovely evening. I felt like I had been privileged to have tried and been invited into a way of healthfulness I had never considered before (entirely plant based food) and it was nice for me to go out for a meal and not feel like the awkward customer “Is there milk in this?” . Ellie and Nicola worked really hard to serve everyone and made sure everyone enjoyed themselves and it worked so well. I will definitely be recommending Nourish Supper Club to people. If you know how to say Caerphilly because you live anywhere nearby you can find the Nourish Supper Club page on facebook if you would like to book in for the next one in September.
Ever been so pregnant you just. Can’t. Stop. Crying? Me too. It was such a day as this that brought about plans for my Blessingway.
At 39 weeks pregnant I found I really needed some moral support and while my friends had offered to organise a baby shower for me it for some reason just didn’t feel right. My doula (doula post to come) had mentioned a Blessingway to me during our first meet. I had shrugged it off as a slightly too ‘out there’ for me, but when I found myself needing some woman to woman support it popped back up as an idea. After a short internet nosey (and a whole day of emotional just-because-I’m-pregnant crying), I had some ideas of how to customise my own Blessingway. Continue reading “Blessingway”
Beb’s birth did not go how anyone expected it to. In short, he was breech and nobody had picked up on this until his little bum came peeping out instead of his little head. To top it off, I was in my bathroom at home having had no pain relief whatsoever. He was born not breathing and had to have CPR twice. He spent the first 2 weeks of his life in intensive care; I didn’t get to hold him until he was 8 days old. I would like to say at this juncture that he is currently cwtched up on me in the wrap quite contentedly and has recovered wonderfully well. Thank God. It was an incredibly difficult time for us as a family as you can imagine and we are just so grateful to have our beautiful brave strong boy home with us.
(first hold-8 days old)
We had planned a homebirth right from the beginning of the pregnancy. I had wanted one with my daughter 6 years previously but had been casually waved off, as the wishes of pregnant women often seem to be, so this time around I was a bit more long in the tooth and a bit more sure of myself and what I wanted. The idea being that my labour and birthing experience would be more relaxed overall and therefore easier to cope with at home in my own environment. I had researched homebirth and found that as a 2nd time mum with no medical issues relating to my previous pregnancy homebirth was statistically just as safe an option as a hospital birth. I hired a doula (doula post to come) and found the midwives to be very supportive of the decision this time round.
At 38 weeks I had a major freak out. I went to a midwife appointment and broke down crying; I was scared (I’d found my first birth very hard) so she booked me in to see a consultant to discuss the option of a planned c-section which I promptly cancelled the next day as I was even more scared at the prospect of surgery…little did I know at the time that would have been a better outcome for my baby. Instead I called on my strong mamma friends and had a blessingway (Blessingway post here) which had an amazing effect. It calmed my nerves no end and really propped me up so that I actually went into labour very settled. Shout out here to my awesome, awesome friends.
In the end, I know I made the best decisions I could have at the time, every one of them well thought out and considered with the information I had. I discussed my birth plans with my husband, midwives and my doula, we discussed possible eventualities; haemorrhage, stillbirth, many difficult but necessary conversations and every time it was a case of “this is so very rare, you will be fine”. Unfortunately it just happened that we were one of the rare exceptions. In fact when I went to theatre after the birth I was telling the anaesthetist that usually I am the most average person, who usually falls right in the middle of any given health parameters and she just looked at me like “not this time”.
Thankfully Beb’s birth story has a very happy ending and we as a family are having a wonderful time getting to know this beautiful boy who just hurtled to earth like a comet. My church and I have committed to praying for other families going through similar circumstances. If you have come across this post because you have experienced a similar situation, you might find a whole support system is out there waiting to welcome you at your local church.
Have you experienced anything mentioned in this post? Connect with me through my Contact page.
Bliss is a charity that supports families whose babies need special care:
As I’m sure any blogger will testify, choosing the name for your blog is really difficult! Last week I decided that it was the week I was definitely, definitely, starting *that blog* I had been talking about for nigh on 2 years (2 years!) because you know, moving house with a 3 month old wasn’t giving me enough to do.
So I got down some content at last and I was on the sign up word press page and the last barrier was the rather arrogant what-are-you-going-to-call-this-blog page that just seemed to be boring into my very being. My husband and I threw a few ideas back and forth all of which were rubbish and the evening was wearing on and so I went with ‘The Hippy Christian Mum’ . Signed up and got started feeling pleased with myself only to wake up the next day with what can only be described as a ‘naming hangover’. You know when you wake up hazy after one too many with that feeling of trepidation. That. Only less spewing, thankfully.
The hippy bit.
A few things I do as a mum can be considered ‘hippy’ ‘woo’ ‘alternative’ or whatever. I came to them mostly as a solution to something and I consider most things I do to be ‘mainstream’ but I’m still surprised how many people comment when I’m out and about carrying Beb in his sling. Baby-wearing is a solution to so many mum things, I can’t recommend it enough – for us it helps with Beb’s silent reflux. The cloth nappies decision was a solution to my local authority upping their recycling targets resulting in smaller bins and fortnightly collections. You soon realise the benefits of reusable’s when you’re faced with a fortnight stash of stinky newborn nappies (not to mention all the pretty prints!). Breastfeeding=no brainer, and I think most of us were ‘attachment parenting’ before it became a thing.
The Christian bit.
I believe in God, and the power of prayer. I used to think it was self-indulgent but as the saying goes “you just know that you know that you know.” that’s called faith. I pray aloud, in my head, all times of day and anywhere I happen to be. If I say I’ll pray for or with you, I will. I don’t subscribe to any ethos which hates, shames, or judges anyone for any reason, God’s agenda is Love. Period, full stop, the end. God is love.
The mum bit
Living in desperate hope that my husband’s parenting offsets mine enough that my kids make it through to adulthood relatively unscathed.
Phew it got a bit heavy there for a moment… read more about me in my about page.