Things may seem rather quiet around here, but I can promise you that the quietness on my blog is a reflection of the busyness in my life and the chaos in my head. I have found the jump from two kids to three mind boggling. It is exhausting, relentless, and tedious at times. Conversely it is also wonderful and fun and hilarious. But if I am to be honest, more often than not, I am overwhelmed. Postnatal depression and anxiety is a beast like that.
There are many things that can trigger PND and anxiety, and there have been some huge challenges and events for me over the past 12 months alone. Anxiety and depression have been an on and off battle for me for as long as I can remember but a few years ago I managed to get to a great place in managing it.
With the help of a great practitioner I discovered the huge benefits of fermented foods and nutrient dense foods. I had no idea at the time how a few simple but crucial changes could make such a massive difference to my mental wellbeing. These changes brought about 3 years of having absolutely no anxiety or depression whatsoever. Those 3 years were fabulous and incredibly freeing and helped me realise how poor my mental health had been for so many years.
Needless to say, it was such a blow to regress and succumb to terrible anxiety during and after my (very unexpected) pregnancy with my third child. I felt so nauseous and exhausted in my pregnancy that I couldn’t manage to feed myself properly or think about doing anything except the absolute essentials. I was also working very part-time on call as a midwife while mothering a toddler full-time and didn’t discharge my last client until 6 days before my baby boy was born (he came along much earlier than anticipated)! When I look back at what was happening, it is no surprise that I developed PND on top of everything else.
Thankfully I am coping better each day and managing to get back into fermentation and nutrition, which honestly reduces my anxiety and depression almost entirely. My fabric dyeing adventures and knitting projects have also been my saviour. I find creating to be one of the most important things for my mental health. But fixing my gut imbalance has been pivotal in managing my anxiety and depression and I am so grateful to have the knowledge I do in order to improve my mental health. I have always loved to cook, but food has become so much more than fuel. I love the quote by Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
For now, I will leave you with one of my regular lunch meals, which is also a great breakfast or dinner meal too. It is loaded with protein and healthy fats, which I have found very helpful to combat the extreme hunger produced by extreme mothering! Protein and healthy fats have been important in helping my brain function well. I look forward to sharing more on this topic in future posts.
This recipe is for a basic noodle omlette, which can be added to and improvised depending on what you have on hand and also what your preferences are. I would love to know what you think of this dish and feel free to leave a comment on any variations you try!
And on a last but very important note, if any of you are experiencing or have experienced depression and/or anxiety, you have all of my love and support! It is a brutal thing to endure. I have no reservations in talking openly about mental health. It shouldn’t be a taboo topic. Big love from me.
Basic Noodle Omlette
ghee or coconut oil for cooking
1 garlic clove – minced
2 large free-range eggs – beaten
1 tsp fish sauce or tamari or soy sauce
1 green spring onion – finely sliced
small handful of cilantro/fresh coriander – chopped
1 large handful of cooked pea starch cellophane noodles or rice vermicelli noodles (in a pinch you can use rice sticks or slightly thicker rice noodles or even egg noodles) – follow cooking instructions on the packet and undercook the noodles ever so slightly
A wedge of lemon or lime
Fresh mung bean sprouts
Options for different add ins:
1 small carrot – grated
handful of tofu or tempeh – sliced into thin pieces
4-6 prawns – peeled and de-veined
mung bean sprouts
- Cook your noodles slightly less than the time given on the cooking instructions so the noodles are just about cooked but not soft or mushy. Rinse in cold water after cooking and set aside to drain.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the fish sauce or tamari or soy sauce and mix well.
- Heat ghee or coconut oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Once hot add the tofu, tempeh or prawns and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side (the tofu or tempeh should be golden or the prawns should be cooked). If not using tofu, tempeh or prawns, proceed with step 4.
- Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. You can add grated carrot and peas at this point too if using. Add noodles and spread them around the pan and then quickly pour the eggs over the noodles. Reduce the heat slightly to a medium/low. Sprinkle the spring onion and fresh coriander on top and use a spatula to press the beaten egg mixture to spread them evenly over the noodles. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. At this point the top of the omelette will still be undercooked and you can flip half of the omelette over on itself or you can flip the whole omelette over like a pancake. Continue to cook for another minute or so and flip over again. Cook until the egg is just cooked but not burned.
- Serve with a squeeze of lime or lemon, some mung bean sprouts, fresh coriander and kimchi. You can also add a little bit of hoisin sauce.