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Over the years I’ve developed a real passion for gut health and how it affects the rest of our body and for children’s health. Given the rapidly changing diets and lifestyles of the families I work with, gut health has become a major issue and this in turn is affecting our health in a variety of different ways and that of our kids.
Processed foods have become more prevalent in the diet, what used to be considered “treats” are now every day foods. With lives being so busy it becomes very easy to go through the “drive through” or to stop and grab something quick for the kids knowing they’re going to eat it.
The problem with this approach is we are experiencing quite significant health issues as adults at an earlier age than we once were but even more alarming is our children are developing health issues such as obesity, metabolic syndrome and fatty liver in their teens or even pre teens. These are diseases we would normally expect to see in people that are middle aged and older so to see it in kids is quite a concern.
There’s also something emerging called “malnubesity” which is becoming very common in Western society. In simple terms this is where too much energy is being consumed and that energy is coming from ultra processed, high calorie foods that contain little to no nutrients.
This means people are overweight or obese, however, because all of their calories are coming from processed and packaged foods, that contain little to no nutritional benefits, their bodies are starved of nutrition.
Looking at all of these issues and working with a variety of people over the years I came to the decision to focus on a couple of main areas:
The best way I felt I could do this was to delve further into a couple of protocols that I have personally found beneficial as well as developing a program to help families navigate the difficult task of working with their little fussy eaters.
When talking about gut health I tend to focus on The GAPS Diet (something we did as a family with great success a few years ago for my son who has Autism) and also The Wahls protocol.
One thing to note is I do work closely with my patients to develop in-between options for those that may struggle with what can be the difficult nature of these protocols or who aren’t quite ready to do them in their entirety.
So in brief, what are these protocols and what do they do. Below I have some links that will give you a bit more information but for the short version here we go:
The GAPS Diet:
This was originally designed for children on the spectrum, learning difficulties or mental health issues, to support their gut health and ultimately improve their behaviour and concentration.
With the success of The GAPS Diet with these kinds of issues it was only a matter of time before I began using this protocol on patients with other health conditions such as hormonal issues, autoimmune conditions, allergies, fatigue and general gut health problems.
I have found this has successfully supported a number of my patients over the years where other protocols haven’t.
The Wahls Protocol:
Designed by Dr Terry Wahls to treat her Multiple Sclerosis in a more holistic manner this protocol has reminded us of the significant need the body has for whole foods and fresh vegetables.
The protocol is designed to become a long term lifestyle change which we do over time to ensure success.
Both The GAPS Diet and The Wahls protocol have their place in our lives depending on individual circumstances.
What’s important to remember is there’s always a way to improve our gut health and our nutritional intake, we just need to find the right support and do it at a pace and in a way that works for us.
Then finally we have The Fussy Eaters Program (which is coming soon):
This is an area I see families struggle with time and time again and to be honest, it was an area my family struggled in with my son, who many of you know has Autism, as generally their diet is very plain with a restricted number of foods they tend to consume.
My program, once finished, will help support you to implement strategies to help you get your little one to broaden their choices in the foods they’re willing to consume.