4 Steps to keeping the family's immune system & gut healthy over the holiday period

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Yay, school is out, it's the festive season and it's summer holidays. So much to look forward to!

Let’s not be fooled into a false sense of security just because the weather has warmed up. The truth be told, the bugs are just as rampant in the summer.

The primary reason why the immune is weakened is through poor nutrition & STRESS!

For this reason, we don’t want to let our guard down in terms of nutrition & wellness.

Let's be honest, for the few days over the festive period, all eating standards will go out the door (WITHOUT GUILT), but we definitely not for the WHOLE of the holiday period. This is just counter productive longer term.

It is best to maintain ideal nutrition & wellness 80-90% of the time. My preference is 90% because at 80%, this leaves room for up to 4 meals in a week that can slip and personally I think this is too much. At the end of the day, start where ever you are, and improve one step at a time.

The main focus during the holidays and just about EVERY day of the year should be on the following:

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  • WHOLE REAL FOOD
  • Plenty of vegetables – get creative how you can get this into them. This time of year is perfect to have the rainbow cut up and served with your favourite dip
  • Healthy fats – think nuts, seeds, olive oils, butter, oily fish, avocado and full fat dairy if tolerated
  • Minimal fruit - remember to eat seasonal. So many awesome fruits this time of year such as watermelon, peaches, cherries, berries, mango
  • Pasture fed protein
  • Clean Water
  • Fermented foods & drinks
  • Broth & gelatin

Steps to keeping the family's immune & gut healthy:

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  1. Wholefood ONLY 80-90% of the time.
  2. Include gut healing foods DAILY. In this blog I detail how you can easily include gut healing foods daily without even trying
  3. Make Healthy Swaps 80-90% of the time:
    1. Margarine =====> Butter
    2. Vegetable Oils=====> Olive oil
    3. Flavoured, preservative laddened crisps =====> plain chips, better quality or air popped popcorn
    4. Sugary Yoghurt =====> Greek yoghurt topped with your favourite fruit, granola and a swirl of maple syrup or honey if you need a sweetener
    5. Soft drinks =====> Water, make your own fermented drinks or flavoured coconut water (you still need to check the ingredients and sugar content of these)
    6. Commercial ice-creams ====> Make your own with 4 easy ingredients or make a smoothie and freeze into popsicles. Even better, add a quality probiotic and then you will have a probiotic smoothie/popsicle
  4. Keep hydrated with clean water mainly. The body is 60-70% water.

Just keep in mind, food is medicine and it is lways fueling one of 2 things , sickness or health. What do you you choose?

Relaxing the rules every now and then is unlikely to have a detrimental effect longer term, provided you know how to press the RESET button. Enjoy the summer, choose wisely and most of all be peaceful, happy and grateful.

xx

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Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness coach with a special interest simplifying and implementing gut healing nutritional protocols using a personalised wholistic step by step approach.

 

The Lessons I Learnt during 2017

As I start to wind down from what has been a challenging yet rewarding 2017, I wanted to reflect on the year that saw so much personal growth for me and the lessons I learnt along the way and how I want to enter 2018.

I've had my own coaches and mentors this year and they have been priceless as they've guided me through not only my professional journey, but that of self too.

Here are some the lessons that stood out for me and in no particular order:

1. Find the gold in EVERY challenging situation

Always find the rainbow...

Always find the rainbow...

I've come to know and understand that in EVERY challenging situation, there is a golden lesson and a rainbow. We just need to be present enough to see it. We need to keep the faith and belief that we are protected and everything will work out the way it should. This lesson was by no means easy, but this mindset is what kept me going plenty of times in the face of wanting to give up or succumb to a victim mentality.

2. Great health is soooo much more than just the food we eat

I've said this numerous times that nutrition is pivitol and synergistic for good health, but this is only one piece of the puzzle. You are truly misguided if you think that there is NO impact for choosing to eat good food 80-90% of the time. There will be consequences, if not now, down the track, especially for our kids who are already in a health epidemic according to the World Health Organisation. Yours like mine, are already part of the statistic, however it CAN be turned around, IF you choose to. So there really is no argument whether we need to eat wholefood to experience good physical health. As Nike says - JUST DO IT! However, optimum health is truly a wholistic approach of mind & body and true health cannot be experienced without the balance of these 2. Our mental and emotional state matters just as much to our health as does our physical state. This has become abundantly clear to me this year and probably would not have believed it until I experienced it myself. I am grateful, that I am open and teachable

3. Be who you are unapologetically

I'm not going to lie to you, being in this space is incredibly difficult for me and not to mention so far out of my comfort zone, I cannot even begin to tell you. It has taken a while and much soul searching to understand who am I in this space. If I'm honest I was trying to be someone I'm not because I wanted to be liked, after all who doesn't want to be liked? But this has felt very much out of alignment and I've come to realise that it is OK to be me and that some people may not like that, and I'm OK with that too. I am pretty much a no nonsense, no BS, straight to the point type of person (with love and compassion) who is immensely passionate about empowering and supporting one family at a time to eat one HEALING wholefood at a time to break this vicious health epidemic we are in.

Be who you are and don't apologise for it. You are perfect just the way you are and rock it - there is no one like you and you are by no means flawed.

4. We are so much more in control of our destiny than we think we are

There is not much in this human experience that we can control, but what we can control is what matters the most and can determine our outcome:

  • The food we choose to eat - ALL in our control
  • The thoughts to we CHOOSE to think - ALL in our control
  • The actions CHOOSE to do or not do - ALL in our control

Focus on what you CAN control and let the rest go. There is actually so much choice that we do have

5. The art of letting go and surrendering

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This ties in with the above and lesson and was not an easy lesson for me to learn this year. As a recovering control freak, I was very much attached to an outcome and devastated when it was not achieved. This caused so much unnecessary angst. My own mentors kept telling me, to let it go, but I refused until I got smacked so many times, I finally decided to listen....what a concept! It has actually been so freeing to practise this mindset the second part of the year. I am now a firm believer of "What will be, will be"

6. The work is in the rest

My mentors told me. Yep, sure I know what you mean. Upon further thinking, I was like, no actually I don't know what you mean. Eventually I came to understand that we need to STOP from time to time and just be and become present, ideally daily and multiple times during the day. It is during these REST breaks that our best work is done, i.e. answers to life's questions (your subconscious is talking to you ALL of the time, but you need to be in state to hear it), your creativity flows and solutions to problems show up. Neuroscience tells us that the brain needs to reset often during the day, it likes specific tasks. This is how I decided take this information on board and rest everyday:

  • I have a golden hour (ideal) or golden what ever time I get before the family wakes for the day. This has truly become non negotiable for me and has made a massive difference to my mindset for the rest of the day, not to mention the flow on effect for the rest of the family. I use this time to exercise, meditate, reflect, read etc. If for whatever reason I cannot get my full hour, I use the time I do have and do what I feel will best serve me that day. This is not easy or convenient, but then again, nothing worthwhile is. I am prepared to sacrifice some sleep for inner peace. It is so worth it!
  • I have a timer set on my phone that rings every hour. I use this 30 seconds to one minute to regroup, refocus and make sure I'm on track to get done what needs to get done in a peaceful and calming manner for the rest of the day.

These small consistent tweaks have made a massive difference to my mindset, productivity and energy during the day, which has resulted in a much calmer household....most of the time! It has also meant that when I do slump, I bounce back that much quicker because of the new level of awareness of self.

Reflecting on all of the above lessons, I have so much gratitude for what I've learnt as I know I'm not the same person I was at the start of 2017. The words I choose for 2018 are flow and ease taking the above lessons into account and how I even further connect to self and do what makes my heart sing.

What lessons have showed up for you in 2017 and how have you decided to enter 2018? I'd love to know....

On that note, I will be taking a much needed rest break myself and spent quality present time with my family.

Lots of love Chantal XO

Tips for Dealing with Fussy Eaters......

Hands up mummas who have a FUSSY EATER!! I feel your pain....

Understanding that there are fussy eaters.....and then there are FUSSY EATERS. If you are not aware of my story, I had a very FUSSY EATER! I think my kid invented the term!

No amount of cognitive behavioural techniques worked, so much so that he was referred to a childhood psychologist at 15 months of age.....SAY WHAT!!! Over the years I've been to at least 5 pediatric dieticians to resolve the issue and NOTHING!  Eventually it became clear his fussy eating was a symptom of a root cause, in his case, a very unbalanced gut microbiome and nutritional deficiencies. Once this was resolved.....MAGIC, the fussy eating was also resolved. You can read more that here.

Then the are kids, that are just fussy eaters because of a learnt behaviour and will easily respond to some cognitive behavioural techniques. This is the category that most children fall into.

One of the biggest take-aways in all of my years speaking to various professionals trying to resolve this issue for my son, was that as parents, it is our responsibility to choose what they eat, it is their responsibility to actually put the food in their mouth. Sounds so simple right, but I can tell you it was one of the hardest concepts to carry out when you are knee deep with a child that refuses to eat MOST things you provide, unless it was something on the the accepted child food list. What can I say is that when the root cause was resolved, the fussy eating also resolved and never to be seen again! What bliss that was.

So, how do you deal with kids that are fussy eaters due to learnt behaviours? These tips come from a culmination of working with various professionals trying to resolve the symptomatic behaviour. There were common threads from ALL of them.

Creative Solutions to problems.....

Creative Solutions to problems.....

Here are some tips when dealing with a fussy eater, that is generally healthy otherwise:

  1. You provide the food and leave it up to them whether they choose to eat it or not. If they choose not to eat it, do not give any attention to it – that is exactly what they are looking for
  2. Let them know it’s their choice to eat or not eat, but there will be NOTHING else served up till the next meal or snack....which is typically 2.5-3hrs later, so they will not starve. They will probably be more inclined to eat at the next meal
  3. Get them involved in the meal planning and meal preparation. Such a pain I know, and I had so much resistance to this, but when they feel included in the decision making, they are more inclined to at least try the food
  4. Be a good example yourself and eat a varied nutritious diet
  5. Do not offer food as a reward, this sets up the wrong message early on about food
  6. Keep meal times as relaxed as possible, just know that after you have served the meal, your job is done. It’s now over to them to eat. It's a good time to practice gratitude for the day. If you feel you are being triggered by their resistance, come up with strategies how you will handle the irritation and anger. A gentle reminder again, once the food is on the table, your job is done!
  7. Serve food in buffet style, especially good for older kids – gives them a sense of control
  8. Trust their self regulation – they know when they have eaten enough and when they need more. We tend to kill this for them, by constantly coercing them to eat more, when in fact, they have just had enough. This really stung for me as I'm a recovering control freak..lol

Ways to improve nutrition :

  • Smoothies  - there is so much goodness that can be added to this drink;
    •  Wholefood super powders – this is one is my favourites from Nutra Organics
    • Additional fats such as avocado, nuts, coconut oil and butter
    • Ground up seeds such as sunflower or linseeds which are also great sources of essential fatty acids, zinc and calcium
    • Berries – fabulous source of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants
    • Clean protein powders. Another favourite of mine from Nutra Organics
    • Hydrolysed gelatine for gut healing goodness
  • Avoid serving fruit juices at meal times, these can act as a filler and serve empty calories. Water is best.
  • Wholefood and variety is the biggest key
  • Serve vegetables multiple ways. E.g My kids are not a fan of eating straight broccoli or cauliflower, but blitz it, tossed in olive oil with spices and it will happily be eaten. Don't give up, be creative
  • Foods high in Vitamin C such as red and green capsicum, parsley, berries and cabbage. These foods will also aid the absorption of iron from foods.
  • Overall, always try to incorporate a protein, fat and fibre at each meal.

If after doing all of the above consistently for a period of time and you are still concerned with your child’s health, then contact a qualified health practitioner to further assess.  Remember, nobody knows your child like you do and go with your GUT instinct...pardon the pun :-).

I also offer 90 Min Nutritional Audits. The purpose of these sessions are to:

  • Help you gain clarity for your health & wellness goals
  • Identify potential roadblock & solutions
  • Define a clear actionable plan for you to follow
  • Recommend nutritional improvements based on a food diary review
  • Any other quick wins, based on your Health & Wellness Goals.

If this is of interest, contact me to schedule your appointment.

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Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach that has a special interest in helping stressed and overwhelmed mums heal their children with wholefoods using a personalised wholistic step by step approach.

Healing Eczema a 2nd Time & the lessons I learnt along the way!!

In the interest of being of very open and transparent, I have really been fighting with myself whether to share this or not. I felt like a fraud basing my success on healing my son’s very bad eczema naturally as a baby, and for it never to be seen again until mid last year.

Checking in again with my purpose, vision and passion for what I do, it was to inspire, support and empower as many families on similar journeys to make lasting nutritional & wellness changes to lead a healthy happy life.

With that in mind, I decided it was only right to share my recent experience. After all, living optimally is journey and not a destination and definitely not linear.

You would have thought I’d be all calm and relaxed about this seeing we had been through all this before, but instead I was blubbering mess when the penny dropped as to what was happening.

In fact I freaked out (that is putting it mildly) and so did my husband. It was pure and utter FEAR, as a storm of unpleasant feelings and memories came flooding back. It was a place I NEVER wanted to visit again.

The crazy thing about it, was that the eczema was no where near as bad as he previously had it and it was very localised.

No amount of logic and rationalisation could remove the fear and utter devastation I was feeling. I just kept on thinking “I can’t do this again”. As he is older now and could understand more, his view was “Mum, you fixed this before when I was a baby, you can do it again”, but deep down I thought what if I can’t.

He contracted the molascum virus which is common and ordinarily harmless, however it triggered eczema again.

After wallowing in my own self-pity, I decided to pull up my big girl pants and start the healing process AGAIN. As always, it was a multi-faceted approach.

I sort help from a qualified health practitioner to assist with supplementation as it was obvious his immune system needed some help to fight this virus.

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During the healing process we focused on all 4 key foundations of health and these were the steps that I took:

Nutrition:

Undertaking the GAPS protocol a few years ago, he was already base-lined so I did not feel the need to put him on another cycle again. Instead I took the principles and put them to work. One week a month for 4 months we completed a mini healing protocol, i.e his diet consisted of all soft easy to digest foods such stews, casseroles, soups and plenty of broth, meat and well cooked vegetables. The remaining time the focus was on quality wholefoods with plenty of vegetables, quality protein, quality fats, minimal grains, gluten free and healing foods such as broth and fermented foods on a daily basis

Microbiome

This time I stool tested him and identified that he was particularly low on a specific strain of beneficial bacteria and we supplemented him on a single strain for a period of 3 months.I also ensured his diet contained plenty of PREBIOTIC fibre to help the current beneficial flora to flourish.

Toxicity

By default with what we were doing, we were allowing the body to naturally detoxify itself. Some supplements were also added to assist with this. See below. He also bathed daily in either epsom salts or bi-carb soda to further assist the detoxification process. We are typically a low tox house, so that side of things have always been taken care of.

Emotional Well-being

This was a biggy, more for me than him. It was probably the area that had the greatest impact on his recovery......much to my surprise and a concept I was really RESISTING.

When I consulted the book “The Secret Language of Your Body” Eczema was seen as a result of anger, resentment and frustration. Given his nature of being so grounded and pleasant, I could not understand how he could be experiencing these emotions. After digging some more, I became to understand that this was energetically being fed off me........say WHAT!! I was in fact experiencing these trapped emotions and I was the one who needed to work on my emotions. I used the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) along with a few other strategies to shift this and I saw dramatic results in his skin within 24 hours. I was GOBSMACKED. This was months after working on all of the other aspects above which were yielding results, however actively working on this foundational pillar just really sped up the healing.

I no longer could ignore the impact and connection our inner being had to our physical well-being AND that of our children.

Supplements we found useful and their purpose

  • Colostrum for immune support
  • Saccharomeycess Boulardii – to promote growth of beneficial bacteria and yeasts
  • Activated B – to assist with methylation & detoxification
  • Liver Support – further aid detoxification
  • Single strain & broad spectrum probiotics – promote beneficial bacteria growth
  • Fulvic Minerals – supplementation of trace minerals
  • Essential fatty acid Fish Oil. – good for skin health
  • Vitamin C – Immune and collagen

Other Treatments we undertook

  • Homeopathy to further support healing and he really responds well to it
  • Cranial osteopathic adjustments
  • EFT to support his emotional well-being during the healing process

Please note, I provide this list for informational purposes ONLY and everything listed has been prescribed by a qualified health practitioner purely based on my little man.

Please consult a health care provider before deciding to consume any supplements for health benefits

My takeaway lessons from this experience:

  1. Health is not a destination - it's a journey and you need to be aware, flexible and adaptable
  2. Knowledge is power and empowering. It doesn't matter how many times you need to press the RESET button, you have the tools and knowledge to be able to it
  3. Do not underestimate the power of emotional well-being and it's impact on physical health, i.e. FIRSTLY for ourselves as mums AND then teaching our children how to be emotionally intelligent.
  4. You need work on EACH of the 4 foundations to resolve any health condition long term.

I am pleased to report that his eczema healed beautifully once again, and in fact he so much more stronger and resilient because of it, as we did not try to suppress the condition or the virus, but instead worked at the root causes, supported and allowed the body to heal itself.

I now actually have gratitude for this experience as it has brought a whole new understanding of what it means to be truly HEALTHY and with an innate knowing that you CANNOT just focus on nutrition, EACH of the 4 foundations needs to be actively addressed which I do in my signature 1:1 Healing with Wholefood Program.

If you are stuck on your healing journey, either for yourself or your child, get in contact with me for a 30 minute FREE Health Mapping Session to see how best to move you forward.

 

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Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach that specialises in helping stressed and overwhelmed mums heal their children with wholefoods using a personalised wholistic step by step approach.