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Giving up the guilt or Pesto Salmon, quick & easy!

Every now and then, for a joke, I suggest to the LH that we have another baby. He knows I’m not serious, but it doesn’t stop him from having a little choke on his whiskey.

We’ve come up for air after those sleep-deprived early years and starting over would be a major adjustment.

It’s just that after doing it twice, I think it would be nice to do it all again with the benefits of experience!

Part of me wonders, if I did, would I actually be able to do it better this time?

I come from a big, nurturing, family-orientated family. It was a huge surprise to me then when as a new mum, I found that I wasn’t very good with babies.

I welcomed both of our girls with the heart-stopping, all-consuming love I was expecting, but I just wasn’t great at the practicalities.

Breastfeeding was difficult, swaddling was impossible …. I even found it hard to hold my girls. Their little heads kept falling off my shoulder. What kind of mum was I?

At preschool I forgot water bottles and permission slips and was always in a rush. I was either on time but unprepared, or prepared, but late.

And on the miraculous occasions when I managed both, I looked like hell. Juggling a job with my aspirations as a mummy was tricky.

I watched the others and wondered how they got it all together so seamlessly. And for the longest time, I was my own worst critic.

But finally, at some point, in the middle of the crazy work-life struggle, something changed. It’s not that I stopped trying to “do it all”, I just stopped trying to do it all perfectly.

So this morning, on the dot of eight, when we were already late, I wasn’t all that surprised to find Chloe’s wet gym kit still in the dryer.

I set the dial to “high”, waited another ten minutes, tried to clean up the kitchen, gave-up, and went back to the laundry room. Her T-shirt was 90 percent dry and it would have to do.

We got in the car with Chloe still in her vest. Sitting in traffic, I put the hot air on at full blast and finished drying her T-shirt in front of the air-vents.

In that moment I could have given myself a hard time. But today I gave myself a high-five.

My big kid was in class, in dry clothes and sent off with a hug and a kiss. She was a bit late, but you know what? The world was still spinning.

In my Natural Kids class, “guilt” is a common theme. Everyone’s comparing themselves to a nutritional ideal, but you know what? That ideal, doesn’t exist.

This is my job and even I don’t get it right all of the time.

Life happens, and just occasionally, that might mean cookies for breakfast. Ironically enough, getting my children’s nutrition perfectly right was one of the first things I learned to let go.

I realised how important it was for my girls not to attach what they ate (or didn’t eat) to my emotion. That makes food far too powerful. I wanted to keep food simple and fun.

Part of keeping things simple has been to be more realistic about what we can actually achieve - especially at the end of a busy day.

Sure we make some elaborate meals, but I also have lots of quick and easy options too. And the good news is, those don’t always have to come in a frozen box.

There’s always a place for chicken nuggets and fish fingers, but I discovered another recipe last week that is super-simple and cooks more quickly.

I have always been terrible at cooking fish (hence the fish fingers) but wish I’d realised how easy fish is to poach!

So simple in fact that you have to give it a try. Let me know how it goes!

Pesto salmon, quick & easy

You need: (per person - volumes vary depending in adult or child)

1 small salmon fillet (if possible organic farmed, or wild), skinless and boneless

1 serving whole-wheat or brown rice pasta

1 handful peas

1-2 tbsps pesto (regular or Amore pesto paste which is dairy free)


1. Poach the salmon in water or chicken/vegetable broth by immersing in not-quite-boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Make sure the water is deep enough to just cover the fish.

2. Check the fish is cooked through, drain, flake and set to one side.

3. Meanwhile cook the pasta as per package directions. Add the peas to the water two minutes before the pasta is cooked. Drain.

4. Stir the pesto through the pasta and peas, add in the flaked salmon, toss and serve!

(You can upgrade this by replacing the pasta with quinoa and making the pesto yourself - if you have time!)

The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is the Managing Director of Natural Ltd and a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a Registered Dietitian. For details, please go to www.natural.bm or call 236-7511. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda