The Secret To Good Health, Calm and Confidence
I created my resources so parents could efficiently course-correct their child's health.
Things unravel fast when your child starts to struggle or you get a diagnosis.
Where do you start? What do you read? What do you do to support them?
We're here to help you cultivate the best health possible in your child so they grow, feel, function, develop, learn and focus better... regardless of their diagnosis.
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Our short Biology Of Mood & Behavior seminar explains how we help kids improve mood, learning, behavior, and development without relying on medication.
We work from the premise that a child's body and mind are designed to function well as long as they get the right fuel and aren't overly stressed.
So our work together involves two things:
- Nourishing deeply to provide that fuel
- Removing hidden stress that's making it hard for your child to cope.
It's a process we call Raising Resilience.
Our body works best when it's well-nourished.
Stress - ranging from viruses to school exams to a disagreement with a friend - is an inevitable and important part of growth but requires a lot of nutrition. We want our kids to grow through the stress but to do that they need to be well nourished.
That's why we made nourishment the core of what we do for kids.
Getting kids the right nutrients that suit their specific biology and genetics can actually influence how they express who they are in the world. It amazes me every time I see it.
I have seen shy kids turn into social butterflies.
I have seen obsessive kids stop worrying.
I have seen anxious kids say 'yes' to new opportunities.
I have seen angry kids become loving kids.
It happens when we learn about a child's specific nutritional needs and nourish their nervous system with the building blocks it needs. We use foods first and supplements when we need them.
Our Framework Keeps You Organized
Parents who don't have a framework as they scramble to help their kids end up gathering massive amounts of information without knowing what to do with it. They also end up playing whack-a-mole with symptoms and getting caught up in a guessing game.
I don't want that kind of overwhelm for you.
There are three parts to our Framework and a maintenance phase.
This framework keeps us organized and strategic; it helps you understand why you're doing what you're doing and makes sure you're not missing anything.
This is what our framework looks like:
More Detail On Why This Works....
1. We Nourish.
I always start with nourishment when it comes to kids. We ask, how can we get more nutrients into them?? We use food first, and supplements when we need them.
If we were talking about adults I might not start here, but we're not. We're talking about kids and we have to make sure that they are getting nutritional building blocks in while also developing a positive relationship with food and with you, in the process.
(read this related post: The Top Mistake Parents Make When Changing Their Child's Diet)
Some kids are picky, some have certain genetic needs, some kids just aren't extracting nutrients from food sufficiently. We need to know what's going on with their nutritional status and we almost always find some gaps that need filling.
2. We Reduce Hidden Pressure (aka reduce inflammation).
Stress of any kind - whether the source is outside the body, like a family conflict or an exam, or it's inside the body like a parasite or infection - will cause inflammation and a cascade of hormones.
Think of stress like water filling a glass. We have a remarkable ability to keep our glasses from overflowing and tolerate the inflammation and hormone changes. But we can only manage so much.
When we get close to the top of our glass we start to feel symptoms. Maybe it's headaches, or fatigue, or constipation, or moodiness. Maybe it shows up in our skin or sleep, as angry outbursts or hyperactivity or extensive worry.
When we overflow we get a diagnosis. Maybe it’s Allergy, Autism, ADHD, ODD, DMDD, OCD, Conduct Disorder, Psoriasis or Asthma. The symptoms that used to come and go, just don’t go away and your child meets a certain diagnostic criteria.
Symptoms and diagnoses tell us the body's stress tolerance is becoming overwhelmed.
In this phase of the process we empty your child's glass by finding hidden stressors and reducing inflammation.
There are 5 sources of hidden stress we explore together...
- Foods that might be causing inflammation and irritation
- Imbalances in critical nutrients
- Imbalances and inefficiencies in the gut microbiome
- Exposure to and capacity to handle environmental toxins
- Infections like strep or Lyme
3. We Leverage The Gut-Brain Connection
Your digestive system is an interface between the outside world and the inside environment of your body. It houses most of your immune system and contains more neurons than the spinal cord.
Your gut and your brain are in constant conversation and want that conversation to include messages of safety, calm and health most of the time.
The microbes in your gut educate your immune cells, contribute to the digestion and absorption of your food, help you detoxify, help regulate your appetite, protect us against pathogens, create vitamins, hormones and neurotransmitters.
On and on it goes…. good digestion is key to good health and regulation.
There are three things we need to do in this phase:
- Improve digestive fire so your child extracts nutrients from their food well,
- Restore balance to the gut ecosystem so the body can better self regulate on its own, and
- Establish habits to maintain gut health once it's been restored.
Tip… if there's no conversation in your health care team about what’s going on in your child's gut I suggest you add someone to your team who will have this discussion with you.
The Impact of Stress & Trauma On Mood & Behavior
Early stressful experiences initiate biological shifts that can interfere with the function of the nervous system. Since the nervous system is one of the body's master regulators, this stress can show up as any number of symptoms in any number of areas - from ADHD and anxiety to asthma or autoimmune disease to chronic constipation.
The early stressor(s) could be big T traumas like the death of a parent or abuse, or it could be something more subtle like early exposure to infection or even continual consumption of food that's irritating to the body.
We can look at some of these biological stress patterns to find ways to coax the nervous system back into a state of balance where it can once again do its job of regulation.
The Role Of Functional Lab Work
Functional tests are exactly what you need if you want to accelerate your progress and become efficient with your time and energy.
They're also extremely helpful if you're trying to help your older child learn to take control of their health, mood, and emotions!
These tests are like windows in a house; letting you peer inside so you can see what's going on. We use them alongside our knowledge of how the body works and our detective work around symptoms to decide which diet, lifestyle and supplement strategies will be most helpful to leverage.
The more windows you have from different perspectives, the better sense you get of what's going on with basic pillars of function: hormones, immune function, detoxification, digestion, energy production, nervous system function.
Some of the functional tests we use in conjunction with our medical partners are:
- Nutrigenomics - this gives us a blueprint of your child's genetic vulnerabilities
- Organic Acid tests - this gives us a "snapshot" of what's going on with neurotransmitters, nutrients, metabolism, detoxification
- Methylation, Pyrrole, and Nutrient tests - to tell us about underlying factors that stress out the nervous system
- Stool tests - to assess the state of digestion and the microbial ecosystem
- Food sensitivity testing - to assess whether foods are sources of stress and irritation
Functional lab tests are not diagnostic of any illness or condition. They are tools to assess how the body is functioning so we can find hidden stressors and areas in need of some support.
The Bottom Line
As a practitioner of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and Holistic Nutrition, I don't diagnose or treat specific symptoms or conditions. Instead, I help you understand your child's body, and identify hidden stress and areas that need support.
Calm & Clear Kids is our introductory program to help you get started with first steps without making major family changes.
Our Resilience Roadmap helps you explore your child's body in-depth and systematically with the support of functional lab work, and offers a drug-free approach to helping them feel and function better.
So What Now?
The person you love most in the world is suffering and you want to solve this for them yesterday. I get it. I have kids too.
If what you've read here resonates and you want to connect, there are a few options for getting support.