In this episode, Claire Cameron from the Small Steps community talks about her journey from PCOS diagnosis to pregnancy. She discusses food, natural therapies (including acupuncture, TCM and chiropractic), exploring your options, and figuring out what’s right for you and your body.
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Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Lisa: Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the podcast. Iâ€™ve got someone here today who Iâ€™ve gotten to know in Small Steps, but Iâ€™ve also been stalking her a little bit online, because she has her own blog, and Facebook page, and she does lots of videos. So, Iâ€™m really excited to be talking to her in real life. Feel like I know you Claire. Hello, and welcome to the podcast.
Claire: Hi Lisa, thank you very much.
Lisa: Today weâ€™re going to be talking about quite a few things. When I asked you Small Steppers to share your story, I get a bit of a background, and there are a few things that stood out from your story, that I think would be really great to talk about.
So, guys, weâ€™re going to be touching on things like growing up as a fussy eater yourself, I think that was really, really interesting. And definitely would love to chat to you a bit more about the fertility issues that you had, and finding out that you had PCOS.
Then, I thought that also, the part about food shaming was really interesting. How family and friends react when we decide to go down a path thatâ€™s a bit different to the norm. And then, I think, weâ€™re definitely going to have to talk about â€˜no quick fixesâ€™ and what itâ€™s like following experts when youâ€™re trying to learn about all of this stuff. So, look, clearly itâ€™s just going to be a five- or six-minute chat! So, can you just share a little bit about your food journey growing up? I loved hearing about that.
Claire: Alright. Well, started off, apparently I ate absolutely everything, and my mum was amazing. She cooked us, you know, liver, and brains. I donâ€™t know where she did all her research, because back then there probably wasnâ€™t all the information there is now, but she fed us absolutely everything, and I ate it all, until I was two.
Round about two, she said I just shut my mouth, and refused to eat anything other than chicken, carrot, cabbage, potato, white bread, sausages, and that was about it. My poor mother, she said she stressed, and stressed, and stressed, and then eventually she just-, oh, and apple. She just gave up, and fed me what I would eat.
Mumâ€™s an amazing cook, so I actually missed out on a lot of food. My sister ate anything and everything. Younger sister, but yes, I continued on that for probably until I was about seventeen, Iâ€™m embarrassed to say. I did introduce a few little things, but it was a pretty standard diet for most of my growing up.
Lisa: As a mother, in my head, Iâ€™m like, â€˜You little shit!â€™
Claire: I hate myself! And now, when my three-year-old, heâ€™s a little bit fussy, Mum just laughs. Sheâ€™s like, â€˜Itâ€™s karma coming back to bite you!â€™
Lisa: But what was going on for you? Like, why didnâ€™t you experiment with food, or eat different foods? What was it?
Claire: I really donâ€™t know. I think that I had some textural issues. I donâ€™t think that was really a thing back then, but, like, sloppy foods, and stuff like that, I wouldnâ€™t eat. And visual stuff, like, Iâ€™m talking ridiculously fussy. Like, if my chicken breast-, Iâ€™d only eat chicken breast. Like, if it had the littlest black bit on it, Iâ€™d cut that off.
It was like, yes, I feel so sorry for my poor mother. It was extreme. I donâ€™t know, looking back, maybe it was food anxiety, or something.
Lisa: But that is a long time to have it. Like, you know, thatâ€™s your whole childhood. I mean, at least you did eat some proper food.
Claire: Yes. I did eat quite a few vegetables. I think there are a few more on there. Thatâ€™s not right, I did have milkshakes, which Mum made, and sheâ€™d put raw egg in it, which we didnâ€™t know about until a lot later, and almond meal. So, she was pretty good at sneaking stuff in.
Lisa: Bless her. I need to do an interview with her about fussy eaters! Imagine.
Claire: Sheâ€™d love it!
Lisa: Okay, so what happened in 2010 then? What changed for you in 2010 with food?
Claire: So, in 2010, my now husband and I went to Europe for five weeks, and travelling around. So, we went to France, Italy and Spain, and translation. And the food there, it was tricky for me to get my stock standard food, so I started trying a few things, and surprise surprise, food was actually nice.
I was in this one place in Italy, Cortona, where apparently they had the best Bruschetta in the world, thatâ€™s their claim. And it was amazing! So, from then, I started eating a bit more food, and then I came back from five weeks in Europe with a few extra kilos, as we do. And that was right about when Michelle Bridges came out with her twelve-week challenge.
So, I did that, and having the recipes in front of me, and prescribe what you had to eat, sort of made me try more food. So, I wasnâ€™t having to look for the recipes and say, â€˜Oh no, I donâ€™t like that, I donâ€™t like that.â€™ I just did what she told, and thatâ€™s not my thing now, but doing that just opened up a whole new world of food for me. So, it sort of all started from then.
Lisa: Thatâ€™s amazing. I mean, itâ€™s amazing that you would have such a limited palate, and then you would just go, â€˜Wow, no, actually food is quite awesome.â€™ And, you know, the end of this story is, as I said, youâ€™ve got your own wholefoods blog, and your kids are eating a wider range of foods than you had by the time you were twenty.
Claire: Pretty much!
Lisa: But then, there was another part of your story that, kind of, forced you further down into the world of food. And that was when you were trying to have a baby. So, talk to us a little bit about where you were at, at that stage. Because a lot of people talk about going the â€˜natural routeâ€™ for things, but not, perhaps, understanding what that means, and how hardcore it has to be, and all that kind of stuff.
So, first of all, tell us what it was like struggling to have a baby, and how confusing that was. And then, when it lead to your diagnosis, how that made you feel.
Claire: So, Iâ€™d been taking the pill for nine, ten years, as a lot of people did. There wasnâ€™t all the information there is now. So, I stopped taking it, I think it was in about the May of, oh God, whatever year it was, and I didnâ€™t get a period for nearly six months. And then when I did, it was sort of all over the shop.
My skin was terrible, it was awful. We werenâ€™t getting pregnant, obviously, because you canâ€™t if youâ€™re not having cycles. And I was talking to a friend, on the beach over Christmas, that year, so it had been about seven months. She had just graduated from medicine, I think, and I mentioned it to her, and she goes, â€˜Oh, well, maybe youâ€™ve got polycystic ovaries.â€™ Iâ€™m like, â€˜Sorry, what?â€™
So, went to the doctor, as soon as I got back from the holidays, and did all the blood tests and everything, and said, â€˜Yes, it turns out you do.â€™ I was devastated, to start with, because I didnâ€™t know what it was. Itâ€™s talked about a lot more now, but back then, it just wasnâ€™t. You know that people have polycystic ovaries, and they canâ€™t get pregnant, but nobody really knew what that meant.
So, went to a fertility specialist, and the doctor said, â€˜No, youâ€™re within the healthy weight range.â€™ Thatâ€™s the first thing they tell you to do, is lose weight. I was in the healthy weight range, there was nothing really specific that they could fix. The only solution was taking Clomid to try and give me cycles again.
Lisa: Oh yes, kick-start the-,
Claire: Yes. Which, I had in my head that the pill was what started it all, so I didnâ€™t want to take another pill to try and fix what the other pill had caused. So, I started looking more into alternatives.
The fertility doctor was actually really supportive. He basically said, â€˜Youâ€™re not going to get pregnant unless you take this.â€™ Alright, â€˜What else you can you do for me?â€™ He said, â€˜Well, I can order you blood tests, so you can see when youâ€™re ovulating.â€™ So, we went with that, so I went home and just started researching.
I found one website-, so there was barely any information about natural stuff, it was everything telling you about all the medications. One website, where the girl talked about oestrogen overload and polycystic ovaries, and related it to food, and plastic, and beauty, everything.
I did exactly the opposite of what you recommend, which is not what I would recommend to people, and completely overhauled everything. Like, I got a garbage bag, it was like those ads, got rid of everything in the house and started again. Iâ€™ve gone on a bit about it.
Lisa: No, itâ€™s interesting because people get stumped at this point. I mean, now Iâ€™ve interviewed Nat Kringoudis many times.
Claire: I love Nat, sheâ€™s one of the people who I started following as part of this.
Lisa: When people hear about-, and Iâ€™ve got her Womenâ€™s Health Series on my website, so people can buy it, and itâ€™s five different interviews, and we cover so much stuff.
Claire: Yes, that was awesome. I watched those.
Lisa: Yes. Well, you can literally see lightbulbs going off, for me. I canâ€™t really hide what Iâ€™m feeling, you can just see it. And when you start to learn about hormones, and how important that they are in our body, and each one regulates different things, and has kick-off effects for others, then all you think about it, â€˜Okay, well what can I do so that these can operate in a normal way?â€™
Because, as she says, like with weight, itâ€™s a symptom of something else, and hormones being off. Or, not getting a period is a symptom of something thatâ€™s not right, and you just have to do a little bit of digging. And the way that our oestrogen can be impacted by things in our everyday environment.
You and me, weâ€™re the same vintage. Like, I go to my parentsâ€™ house, and they still have those air fresheners in the toilet, and all sorts of things that now-, there are so many of us waking up to the fact that that is messing with stuff inside us that we could never have known, without people like Nat, and obviously, the websites that you were looking at.
Alexx Stuart is a great one, too, for the low tox stuff. Because if we donâ€™t have them right, then other things just donâ€™t work. But did it surprise you, what you were finding out? Were you a bit shocked, horrified? Like, what were the emotions, and feelings, that-, â€˜Hang on, I canâ€™t have a baby because what?â€™
Claire: Yes, horrified, and angry, I was, to start with. And I still am angry about all of this. So much of it is-, not brushed under the carpet, but put in front of people, and, you know, if you donâ€™t go and do research, you see that something, â€˜Yep, this is the way to go,â€™ you accept that. Unless you actually question somebody, you donâ€™t find all this other stuff, that, â€˜No, thatâ€™s actually not the way to go, and that, actually, is doing you more damage than good.â€™
It just does my head in. Like, the supermarkets, and medical things. There are so many medical professionals that are still so narrow-minded in their thinking. It just makes me really angry. Yes, so coming back to your question, when I first started reading all of that, yes, I think anger was probably the first thing. And really overwhelmed.
I think, looking back, I probably got seriously anxious about it all. Like, a little bit obsessive, because Iâ€™d read that non-organic chicken has seriously high oestrogen in it. Donâ€™t take my word for any of this, but the hormones in chicken are worse than other things. So, somebody would serve me chicken, or Iâ€™d go somewhere, and Iâ€™d get a bit panicky about eating that.
So, it was really hard to get around. Iâ€™m probably only just coming back to-, not normal, but without, like, â€˜Oh my goodness, I canâ€™t eat this. This might have some nasty thing in it.â€™
Lisa: Yes. Oh, look, yes. We can definitely talk about that, because I think the anxiety is real. And you did mention, also, about your son at birthday parties. When you have these beautiful kids, and youâ€™re trying your best for them, and then theyâ€™re just going, and theyâ€™re eating all the things. That can be really hard.
So, going down the natural route, focusing on oestrogen, was there anything else that you did in order to get your body into a state where you fell pregnant? And how long was the time that it took?
Claire: So, that was the January I was diagnosed. So, one of the other things Iâ€™d read, which I probably should have mentioned earlier, was that acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine had-, there had been amazing results. Because Iâ€™d discovered Nat Kringoudis, and obviously, Iâ€™m not in Melbourne, so I couldnâ€™t see her.
But through my amazing chiropractor, I found some people that were actually just up the road from me. Like, I could walk a block away, and saw this lady. She was amazing. So, I started having acupuncture, and taking Chinese medicine, which tastes like dirty water thatâ€™s been through disgusting drains. It was awful! I had to have that morning and night. But she got my cycle regular in a couple of weeks. So, her success rate after three months is something like 97%.
Lisa: Get out of town!
Claire: She said she has a lot of patients who are doctors, because theyâ€™ve tried the medical route, and havenâ€™t been successful, and they come to her. So, I was pregnant within three months of starting with her.
Lisa: Thatâ€™s just-, I mean, what? I think so many people see the natural route as risky, and also, and this is what I loved about what you said, as well. There are no quick fixes. And I think so many of us are just, like, â€˜Quick, whereâ€™s the pill?â€™ Or, â€˜Quick, whereâ€™s the this?â€™
Or, even when it comes to transitioning our diets, â€˜Iâ€™ll do whatever you say, letâ€™s just do this properly.â€™ Or when it comes to any type of healing, or any type of lifestyle change, we have to be prepared for it to take time.
Claire: Yes, and itâ€™s sort of conditioning. I donâ€™t want to go on a tangent.
Lisa: Tangent away!
Claire: The medical side of things has a lot more money than the other things. So, thatâ€™s what we hear, of course, more than anything else. Weâ€™re sort of lead to believe that thatâ€™s the way to go, and the other things, the other options, â€˜Yeah, might work, whatever.â€™ But some things might actually work a lot better than the medical option.
I know my husband had a bit of a hard time getting on board with the options. So, I had to give him a deadline for when I would try the next medical step, if the acupuncture, and all the other things, didnâ€™t change. Luckily, I didnâ€™t have to give in to that.
Lisa: Well, you know, Nick is really open-minded, but I struggle with that too. Iâ€™ve never shared this before, but our youngest daughter, when she started walking, her left foot was really turned out, and she would drag it. It looked like she was a little bit disabled, in her foot, when she was walking.
I kept on thinking, you know when everyoneâ€™s un-co-ordinated? But then, at about fourteen months, I was like, â€˜This isnâ€™t right. This is actually getting worse,â€™ and I took her to the GP, and she said, â€˜Look, Lisa, she is going to need surgery to turn that around.â€™ I was devastated, and she said, â€˜But theyâ€™re not even going to look at her until sheâ€™s eighteen months.â€™
I thought, â€˜What? I donâ€™t want them to break her little leg. This is awful.â€™ So, I went straight to my chiropractor, and within, maybe, four weeks of going each week, the foot was turned around. And we probably did weekly for two months, and now sheâ€™s got a perfectly normal foot, and leg.
Claire: How scary is that?
Lisa: It was probably from when she was born, and she was just tight all up her left side. So, what it was, he was just doing, he wasnâ€™t even touching her foot. It was just loosening up all the side of her body, so the muscles could perform in the way that they were meant to.
I was like, if I didnâ€™t have him as an option-, and I was so anti-chiropractors. I saw two in Sydney, that promised me theyâ€™d turn my babies, and they didnâ€™t, and I was like, â€˜Chiropractors suck! I donâ€™t believe you. Bloody whatever,â€™ and then I was so desperate, in Brisbane I found another one, when I was pregnant with my third. And heâ€™s changed our familyâ€™s health in so many ways, but I still find it hard to convince Nick that itâ€™s money well spent for our family.
Iâ€™m always like, â€˜But you saw what happened with her foot.â€™ Imagine I didnâ€™t have that, and I didnâ€™t look for anything else, and then our eighteen-month-old was having surgery on her leg that was perfectly fine.
Claire: Yes, I know. Itâ€™s terrifying. And if youâ€™d gone ahead and gotten the surgery, you wouldnâ€™t have been doing the wrong thing, because youâ€™re following who you think is an expert.
Lisa: Thatâ€™s right.
Claire: Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s so scary. Yes, but you do have to find a good chiropractor. Iâ€™ve been through a few rubbish ones, but my chiropractor is amazing.
Lisa: I totally agree, you do need-, but also, I find that with GPs too. There are some fantastic GPs, and also, I just want to say, flat out, Iâ€™m not saying one is better than the other, or that I went down the right way. Absolutely not, and some people absolutely need the surgery. Iâ€™m just saying I got a second opinion, it was a lot less harmful, and Iâ€™m glad I did that extra bit of digging. Iâ€™m just glad. So, thatâ€™s it. Big disclaimer.
Claire: And the listening to your gut, I think, is the big thing. But yes, you went, the surgery just didnâ€™t sit right with you, with an eighteen-month old.
Lisa: Well, thatâ€™s exactly right. Okay, so tell me what itâ€™s been like for you. Obviously youâ€™re mumâ€™s a pretty good cook, sounds like she fed you food that was real. But what have you uncovered through your journey? What are the most important things for you, to do with food, that youâ€™ve, kind of, uncovered bit by bit? Whatâ€™s your food philosophy these days?
Claire: I guess my food philosophy would probably be-, what do I say on my website? Wholefoods, made from scratch, basically. But easily, and I say a lot that Iâ€™m lazy, but in a good way, as in, like, if thereâ€™s an easy way to do something, Iâ€™m going to find it.
Yes, I have two little boys, I donâ€™t have a lot of spare time, but thatâ€™s important to me, is making things with real ingredients, and staying away from packet stuff, and all of that. But yes, in an easy way. Because so many people think, you know, if you make things from scratch, it takes so much time, and itâ€™s so difficult. But once you start doing it, itâ€™s just not hard. And sourcing the best ingredients possible, which is always a work in progress.
Lisa: I loved when I interviewed Jude Blereau once, and sheâ€™s, like, â€˜You know, this is a process, and it can take two years, it can take five years. It can take as long as you want it, to, sort of, switch things around, and a lot of it does come down to the sourcing of the things that you need.
Itâ€™s not an overnight thing, unless youâ€™ve got nothing else to do with your life, and can focus every minute. Which, letâ€™s face it, I donâ€™t know, I donâ€™t have that time. But how did people around you react to the changes that you were making?
Claire: Well, I probably donâ€™t talk about it all that much with many people. I think one of the things is, itâ€™s really hard to talk to people about if youâ€™re choosing organic, and doing all of this, when theyâ€™re not, without making them feel like youâ€™re judging them. Because, like, this is my choice.
Iâ€™m not saying that itâ€™s right for everyone, or everyone has to do it, but I find it really hard to talk to people who donâ€™t do that, and make them understand. Iâ€™ll tell you this story. We went to the coast for Easter, and stayed with my mum, sent her a shopping list. And she said she was in Coles, looking for all the organic things that Iâ€™d requested, and she ran into another lady that looked about her age, and sheâ€™s there looking on the list, looking at the shelves, and said to her, â€˜Can I help you with something?â€™
Oh, and the lady had nappies, and something else baby-related in the trolley. The woman said, â€˜Oh my God, everythingâ€™s just organic,â€™ and Mum said, she laughed, and they both had a bit of a laugh about both their daughters sending them lists with all this organic stuff. You know, there was no organic around when we were growing up, it was just food.
I think thatâ€™s, sort of, a hard thing as well, that youâ€™re seen as being, like, difficult, a little bit, when youâ€™re asking for organic things. Even asking at the butcher, â€˜Is this free range? Is this grass-fed?â€™ I know you shouldnâ€™t, but I feel a bit like Iâ€™m being difficult.
Lisa: Yes. Or, itâ€™s that itâ€™s alternative, when in fact, just having food thatâ€™s free from crap should be our norm.
Claire: Exactly, and thatâ€™s whatâ€™s so hard to deal with, I guess. I was talking to somebody once, the owner of a cafÃ©, and he said he wishes it was spray-free, all of that, and then the other food was labelled with â€˜sprayed with this chemical, sprayed with this chemicalâ€™. And what a difference that would make in peopleâ€™s minds, rather than having â€˜organicâ€™ and â€˜regularâ€™.
Lisa: Huge difference.
Claire: Yes. Because thatâ€™s the reality, is that this is how it should be.
Lisa: This is altered.
Claire: Yes, exactly.
Lisa: Yes. People always ask me, â€˜How much do you have thatâ€™s organic?â€™ You know, we got home from holidays yesterday, at about 5.30pm the plane landed, and I had no fruit, veggies, or anything. And so I raced up to Coleâ€™s and just grabbed what I could, because Iâ€™ll get to the markets on the weekend, but I just donâ€™t let it panic me.
I think people have this idea that weâ€™re, like, a totally organic, you know, everything from scratch. I had no baking done, you know, I was absolutely not prepared. I could have smashed a banana cake out and put it in the freezer before I left, but I was just thinking about getting on that plane and going to see my family. So, Iâ€™m buying these little-, from the baby section, these little gingerbread men, Iâ€™m throwing them in their lunchboxes today.
I certainly donâ€™t live a 100% organic life, and I think, for me, a lot of the time, itâ€™s about making a choice between how stressed out I get about this stuff, and how that stress is impacting my health, and then is transferred onto my family.
Because what Iâ€™ve realised is, when kids go to school, there is a lack of control that comes in, big time. And all the amazing work that youâ€™ve done, up until that point with your kids. It is like, my kid is asking me for Oreos in his lunch. Heâ€™s never had one in his life, but they look so amazing.
You know, you have to let go. So, I just guess I wanted to ask you, before I ask the small step that youâ€™ve got for everybody. How have you coped with that? Because you mentioned before that it, kind of, lead to a little bit of anxiety around food. Once we know what we know, then we have to live in the real world. So, how do you balance all that out? How have you decreased the stress around food?
Claire: Yes, I did panic a lot about it to start with. Like, it was okay for the first year, eighteen months, but once my oldest started getting to the stage where theyâ€™re having birthday parties, and cakes, and seeing what all the other kids were eating. I think it was just that second birthday parties, I would just freak out at all the food, and Iâ€™d be trying to keep them away from it.
We had one thing, I think it was early last year, where he went a little bit crazy on cupcakes, and he was not well. His little tummy just couldnâ€™t handle it. I think I was doing Small Steps for the first time, at the time, and I went on and wrote in the Facebook group, â€˜I donâ€™t know what to do. How do I stop him doing this?â€™
Nearly everyone just commented and said, â€˜Youâ€™ve just got to let it happen, and let him learn himself. Try and fill him up before you go, and just donâ€™t stress about it, because you stressing about it makes it a stressful situation for him, as well.â€™ Which, I donâ€™t want him to have any kind of stress around food, or anything like that.
So, I just tried to accept it, that I have to know when Iâ€™m giving them food, itâ€™s the best I possibly can, and that theyâ€™re going to eat other stuff. They go to daycare now, and they supply food there. And itâ€™s good, they have a chef there, but itâ€™s not all food that I would possibly serve. So, Iâ€™ve just had to learn to let it go.
Which, yes, it was difficult, and still is difficult, but Iâ€™m so much better at it than I was. So, I guess the main thing is just knowing that what you do makes up the bulk of it. The 80/20 rule. That makes up the bulk of it, and whatever else happens, it happens.
Lisa: I also think that there are times when theyâ€™ll be older, and itâ€™s easier to talk to them about it. You know, I find toddlers arenâ€™t rational creatures, and my son, he will still, at six, just go to the birthday parties and just eat all the things. Whereas my daughter will be like, â€˜Hmm, itâ€™s not making me feel very good.â€™ â€˜Okay.â€™
What we talk about now is checking in with our tummies. Our tummies usually know when weâ€™ve had enough. So, we need to check in with our tummies, and if weâ€™re at birthday parties, weâ€™re like, â€˜Hmm, is my tummy feeling good, or is it feeling like itâ€™s had enough?â€™
At a birthday party just recently, my son gave me the rest of his cake, and he said, â€˜Mum, I think my tummyâ€™s saying itâ€™s had enough.â€™ And all heâ€™d really done is eat all of the icing, all the way around, and left the cake. And then he did it when we were down in Melbourne. My mum had just made her fried rice, and theyâ€™re like, â€˜Oh yes, my tummyâ€™s saying Iâ€™m full. My tummyâ€™s saying itâ€™s had enough.â€™ â€˜Finish your dinner.â€™
Now theyâ€™re just, â€˜How can I use this to, kind of, leave the table and go and keep playing Lego?â€™ or something. But itâ€™s really interesting when you can talk to them in a different way because theyâ€™re getting older, and I think that their journey through food, the fact that theyâ€™re growing up in a time where their birthday parties that they attend, theyâ€™re real, and thatâ€™s their version of party food. And I canâ€™t control that. They need to learn the lessons for their life.
Thatâ€™s how I feel. I know that there are a lot of other people who disagree, and who might take food for their children, and all that sort of stuff. But I just have this feeling, like, the more we ban things, the more we say, â€˜No,â€™ the more that they want it.
I was doing a big clear-out of our toy room just before we left, in the school holidays, and I found these random wrappers, of lollipops and things, behind the cupboard where all the toys are. So, heâ€™s obviously stealing stuff, and just going and eating it, and just hiding the evidence. And I think, I donâ€™t want that for our family.
Yes, so itâ€™s just this constant work in progress, I am finding, raising kids in a way where they understand, they know what â€˜healthyâ€™ is, and I am learning about what healthy means for me. That is, also, just taking care of myself, and letting stuff go through to the keeper.
Claire: Yes, exactly.
Lisa: I was about to say sometimes we can know too much. I donâ€™t think so, I think sometimes we can hold ourselves hostage.
Claire: Yes, to the information. Thatâ€™s very true.
Lisa: So, to finish up, just because I went off on a big tangent, or twenty! What would you say is the small step that you would share with other people?
Claire: I would probably say starting with a meal, or an ingredient, that you have regularly in your house. Like, okay, I donâ€™t know about everyone else, but we have burritos a lot in our house. It used to be, you know, your Old El Paso box, you get seasoning, sauce, and tortillas. And if you look at the back of all those packets, there are a lot of numbers, and a lot of ingredients, and not great things.
So, I would say, having a look and seeing how you can improve on that. So, the seasoning is really, really, really easy to make. Burrito or taco seasoning, itâ€™s literally, like, five herbs and spices, youâ€™ve probably got them in the pantry already. You can make up a big batch of it, and store it in the cupboard. You can just add them at the time. So thatâ€™s one little thing. If you have burritos every two weeks, thatâ€™s a small step.
Then, the meat you use. What sort of meat do you buy? Can you upgrade the meat? I know youâ€™re big on upgrading meat, Lisa. Then, the tortillas. Can you buy a better brand that doesnâ€™t have so many ingredients in it? Or, can you make them? I make my own tortillas, and itâ€™s actually really easy. I did this Facebook post last year. Went to serve dinner, it was, like, 8:00pm. Iâ€™ve normally got tortillas in the freezer, because I make them, and there were none there.
I went into panic mode, â€˜Oh my God,â€™ and my husband was saying, â€˜Iâ€™ll just go and get some.â€™ Our local IGA closes at 9:00pm. â€˜They can be awful, all the nasty things in them.â€™ Alright, and he said, â€˜Itâ€™s 8:00pm, letâ€™s just eat dinner.â€™ So, he went and got them. You know what, Iâ€™m going to see if I can make tortillas in the time it takes him to go and buy them and come back.
The shop is literally, like, a few blocks from our house. So, maybe a five-minute drive, and I managed to make ten of the twelve tortillas, in the time it took him to get to the supermarket and back. Then I compared the ingredients â€“ this post went crazy â€“ the ingredients on the back of the tortilla packet, and then the ingredients in my recipe, which is like, flour, water, baking powder, and salt.
People were just amazed at the difference between making it from scratch, and, you know, buying it. So, itâ€™s not really that hard to do, it just seems hard, I think. One thing weâ€™ve, sort of, got in our heads is that if you can buy it in a packet, or, you know, like a pasta sauce, or a seasoning mix, if you can buy it premade then it must be difficult to make from scratch. Whereas really, a lot of the time, the oppositeâ€™s true. Theyâ€™re just so easy to make, youâ€™ve just got to start making them.
Lisa: I know, and you just need to start somewhere. I really like that idea of choosing something thatâ€™s on high rotation, that you could make a really big impact with. Yes, I really like that. It might be something with dinner, you know. I would also say, you know, find something that wonâ€™t shock the family. Like, â€˜Eat this!â€™
Claire: Yes, exactly. Theyâ€™ll still taste the same.
Lisa: And itâ€™s really hard to go from something like Nutrigrain to homemade granola, or something.
Claire: Yes, a little bit too extreme.
Lisa: Do it in stages, so that people donâ€™t freak out.
Claire: Yes, because I think thatâ€™s one big misperception, is that a word? That the health versions of things are not nice. Whereas the healthy versions of things can taste exactly the same as the packet, itâ€™s just got much better ingredients, itâ€™s much better for you.
Lisa: Yes, I totally agree. My simple, rich, Bolognese. Better than any sauce Iâ€™ve ever tried, because I made it exactly how I wanted. Itâ€™s literally, all I have to have on hand, I just have to have pantry staples on hand all the time, and I can mix them in a way that works. So, you know, tins of tomatoes and passata, and then I know Iâ€™ve always got the other things that I need to add in there, to just make it outrageously delicious.
Thank you, Claire, for sharing your story.
Claire: Thatâ€™s alright.
Lisa: I think itâ€™s a lovely one, and I think so many people, so many people-, Iâ€™ve got so many friends who struggle with fertility. Friends, family, everyone around. And everyone has their own journey through it, none is right or wrong.
I love that yours was one step after the other, after the other, and you have come such a long way from the girl who ate cabbage and chicken, potato, and apple, and carrot. That food can be enjoyable, and that food basically healed your body, and got you pregnant. Itâ€™s amazing!
Claire: And the second time, it took no time at all. Didnâ€™t really have to think about it.
Lisa: And also that the struggle that you guys had, as a couple, and your fertility issues, has actually been such a blessing, because now, look at what you know, and how youâ€™re bringing up those boys. As compared to if youâ€™d fallen pregnant straight away.
Lisa: Well, Iâ€™m so glad youâ€™re a Small Stepper. But if people want to follow you, where can they go and do that? Letâ€™s give a plug for your stuff, because itâ€™s awesome.
Claire: Thank you Lisa. Well, my website is clairekcreations.com and Iâ€™m ClaireKCreations on Facebook, and Instagram, as well.
Lisa: We will put links to that underneath the show notes, so that people can click and start to follow you. And, you know, you keep it real too. Thereâ€™s a lot of realness in your videos.
Claire: Iâ€™m very real, yes! Probably too real, sometimes.
Lisa: I donâ€™t think we can be too real. Everyone else is dealing with the same stuff.
Claire: Exactly, yes.
Lisa: Well, thank you so much for sharing with us today, Claire.
Claire: No, thank you.
Lisa: Very much appreciate your time.
Claire: Alright, thanks Lisa.