Rosemary Ferguson, the former model turned naturopathic nutritionist, shares her thoughts on motherhood, juice and healthy eating
How did you end up focusing on food?
I have always been interested in healing and self care. I think I focused on food because, for a start, I love it, and it seems obvious to me that food is the first port of call for taking care of yourself.
Your grandmother owned one of the first health-food shops in the country. Did you learn a lot from her?
Being surrounded by that sort of energy rubs off, and it becomes part of who you are. I know that it definitely made our whole family very receptive to, and big believers in, alternative medicine.
And what is it about juice in particular?
Juice is just a great vehicle for boosting your nutrition, and it’s very accessible for everyone. It is simple and easy to make, and a great addition to your daily routine. In a world where most food eaten is a variation on the colour beige, a juice is a step in the right direction.
Has becoming a mother changed your perspective on food?
Yes, definitely. I think you become much more conscious when you are solely responsible for someone else’s food intake. It is a big responsibility. Another thing that changed was cooking. I started cooking properly when my first daughter was born and I love it – I love what you can do with food. And what food can do for you.
Are your girls willing guinea pigs when it comes to trying out your juices and recipes?
They try everything and they don’t hold back with their critique. But they actually eat really well, and are happy to experiment. When I was writing my book they would come home from school to glasses of juice lined up on the counter and they would try them all and give a thumbs up or down.
Do they ever have treats?
Oh, my poor children! I have always given them super healthy food, but when we go to a friend’s house they are in the snack cupboard straight away. It is embarrassing! We always laugh, but then I was the same as a child. They are children, though, and I know that no extreme is good. I want them to have a healthy relationship with food and themselves, so a bit of everything is ok: soul food, health food, happy food, body food, you need to feed all facets of life.
Mothers-to-be need extra nutrients & are often coping with fatigue / stress in the run-up to the birth. What juices should they be making?
There is an old adage that being pregnant isn’t an illness – and that is exactly right. Women I speak to feel empowered and energetic when they are pregnant, and often full of energy. I think juices of any sort are a good way of boosting nutrients. I would look at the stress juices especially, because it is true that pregnant women feel very pressured with the upcoming birth and need help relaxing.
What would you advise for new mothers who are dealing with sleep deprivation & low energy levels?
Nourishing your adrenal glands and trying to keep your blood sugar balanced is key. Try to eat small and often, whether that is three meals and two healthy snacks or five small meals. Don’t let yourself get to the point of starving.
Are any of the juices adaptable to give to babies or toddlers?
I think smoothies are great for toddlers. They are a brilliant way of getting kids involved with food and tastes. Including groundnuts and seeds would be good for protein and growing bones and bodies. And you could try to add more vegetables gradually as their taste buds develop.
Any nutrition advice for new mothers?
New mums may be low on nutrients, especially if they are breastfeeding. Iron can be a particular problem, so eating plenty of green vegetables such as spinach can be useful here. Increasing iron in the diet means more red blood cells and more oxygenation.
If you’re not already a juicing convert, what do you need to get started?
For smoothies, you need a blender – you can use a hand blender, Nutribullet, Vitamix etc. For juices, you need a juicer, and you can get masticating juicers that crush the juice from the fruit and vegetables or you can get centrifugal juicers that whizz the juice out. The most common is the latter and it is important to get one with a fast motor, the higher the power the better.
Rosemary shares a few of her favourite juice recipes from her latest book here. The perfect way to cleanse, heal and revitalise!
Photography: Nassima Rothaker, Istock