mindd business

Well I just sat down to look at my blog and I realised it has been a while since I’ve churned out anything! wow!

Which means life has been full and busy! Phew… I havn’t even kept up with the 52 Project! My problem was my camera cord went missing and I couldn’t load any photos!

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In the meantime, I attended the Mindd Foundation Practitioner training which was truly mind blowing.  So many inspirational health professionals under one roof, and all talking my language (well sometimes it went right over my head, but I tried my hardest to keep up!)

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Rafael popped by for a visit

I learned all about gut health and how it is such an integral part to disease processes, ways which we can heal the gut and improve our health.  In the practitioner training we were part of the Medical Academy of Paediatric Special Needs (MAPS), where the focus was to “provide education and long-term support for practitioners, ensuring the quality and consistency of medical care for children with autism and related chronic conditions.”  Learning all about gastrointestinal health, the microbiome, methylation, toxicity, environmental health, mitochondrial health and how to apply this knowledge to the success in recovering children from Autism.  For me the rockstar of the weekend was discussing nutritional medicine.  I constantly think ‘how can we implement this in mainstream healthcare’, and often feel I just can’t get the ball rolling.photo (4)photo (6)Meeting Dr Leila Masson

So through Mindd, I am starting with my colleagues.  Nurses.

Here is a piece I wrote for the Mindd Foundation to try encourage nurses to start considering nutritional medicine:

Nutritional medicine is part of the foundation of good health. As nurses, it is often overlooked in our practice as we race around and tick off our daily planners, who has time to stop and think about what has been delivered on a child’s meal tray when there is obs to do! It is time it became important, there is so much more to food than calories, carbohydrates and protein. If we begin to look at it from a scientific point of view, and apply our biochemistry knowledge to the pathophysiology of human diseases, we will begin to truly understand.   Understand why it is important that the liver works properly to dispose of old neurotransmitters, hormones and other by-products of normal metabolism, understand that gut flora is one of the biggest players in neurological and psychiatric conditions (Campbell-McBride, 2010), and finally understand how nutritional medicine brings it all together.

What drives the biochemical processes in the body? The simple answer is nutrients. Essentially it is micronutrients that our bodies depend on to maintain proper functioning of all the biochemical pathways. For instance it takes iron to carry oxygen in our blood and deliver to cells throughout the body. Selenium and iodine are required to assist with the healthy function of the thyroid gland. Vitamin D is vital for maintaining normal blood levels of calcium and phosphate, which in turn are required for mineralisation of the bones. Everything that we eat can impact on these biochemical processes, and nutritional medicine is essential when treating symptoms or diseases. Understanding nutritional medicine enables nurses to treat the cause and support the body in healing by pulling back the layers of the presenting symptoms, and discovering they are often the result of poor nutritional factors.

Nutritional Medicine encompasses nourishing the body with many different nutrients; ensuring there is adequate digestion and absorption of these nutrients and taking into consideration the environmental factors that contribute to the quality of the nutrients.

Currently our environment is very toxin heavy. From the crops harvested to feed us fresh vegetables, to the cows reared to supply us with meat, the environment plays a major role in providing optimal quality of nutrients for bodies to digest and absorb and utilize on a daily basis.

The statistics of childhood disease trends in Australia are frightening*

  •  Up to 70% of Australian children are low in iodine, which adversely impacts on IQ.
  •  Today allergies affect 1 in 3 Australian children, Asthma 1 in 4, ADHD 1 in 10 and Autism 1 in 90.
  •  Childhood cancer, diabetes, obesity and depression have each well more than doubled over the past 2 decades.*

*Visit mindd.org/donations for research references

These statistics can be dramatically changed, if health care professionals, such as nurses, begin to understand the importance of nutritional medicine, and learn to how to apply in practice throughout the broad range of nursing modalities. Educating parents is a start, explaining how nutritional deficiencies have a damaging effect on digestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids (Campbell-McBride, 2010). Encouraging families to become interested in how nutritional medicine can help their child with asthma, ease their child’s itchy eczema skin and begin to recover their child from autism.

Nurses skills are needed, because we already understand how the body works and how disease can manifest. Paediatric nurses have direct access to families, and as seen every day in a hospital, these families rely on nurses to have up to date, scientific, peer-reviewed, evidence based information. These families deserve an integrative approach to their children’s health care.

Skills that nurses can offer:

-Good listeners, parents respond well to nurses that listen and offer solutions. Nurses become particularly good at this on a day-to-day basis, as seen by building good rapport with patients and families

-Excellent knowledge of body systems and functions

-Ability to multi-task

-Empathy to families

-Excellent communication skills within a multi-disciplinary team

-Ability to cope under pressure

-Nutritional advice, once given the proper training, nurses can implement this into their health care and plant seeds for families to grow their knowledge

– Developing a network to promote effective integrative healthcare, the more nurses who learn about nutritional medicine the bigger the community and the more we can address some of these serious health issues and concerns

What you can learn:

Tens of thousands of children worldwide are in need of well-trained integrative and biomedical practitioners who can effectively treat the core cause of neurobiological and auto-immune disorders such as Autism, ADHD, allergies and asthma.

MAPS training (The Medical Academy of Paediatric Special Needs) is a structured to provide a clinic-focused, evidence based training in the field of complex paediatric conditions.

Learning objectives: —Environmental Medicine ACM

Achievement of educational objectives, given the allotted time for each presentation:

  • Review normal detoxification pathways
  • Examine the role of environmental toxicology in childhood disorders
  • Evaluate various laboratory assessments and biomarkers as they relate to toxicology
  • Distinguish between acute and chronic toxicity
  • Understand the concept of body burden as related to toxicity
  • Examine the impact of environmental toxicants in children with autism, ADHD and related childhood disorders
  • Identify and review various methods of detoxification
  • Identify ways to implement toxicological related treatments into clinical practice
  • Review actual case histories of patients with autism and other neurodevelopmental problems to understand appropriate testing, workup and treatments as related to toxicology

Learning objectives: —Gastrointestinal ACM

Achievement of educational objectives, given the allotted time for each presentation:

  • Recognize the role that various diets have on autistic behaviours and symptoms and understand how to implement these diets
  • Describe the appropriate testing and workup for nutritional abnormalities found in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Evaluate various laboratory assessments and biomarkers as they relate to the gastrointestinal micro biota and abnormalities
  • Review the role that dysbiosis plays in childhood disorders and treatments for dysbiosis
  • Identify the role that gastrointestinal abnormalities play in children with autism
  • Identify ways to implement gastrointestinal related treatments into practice
  • Review actual case histories of patients with autism and other neurodevelopmental problems to understand appropriate testing, workup and treatments of gastrointestinal-related problems

References:

Campbell-Mcbride N 2010, Gut And Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD,, Dyslexia, A.D.H.D, Depression Schizophrenia, Medinform Pub, Cambridge, UK

inspirational parent: maria shaflender

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I have a passion for children’s health.  I really get that fire in my belly feeling when I meet like minded health professionals…we simply have the best conversations!  One such colleague is the incredible Maria Shaflender, a fellow nutritionist, and Sydney’s answer to better family health.  Maria is the owner of True Foods Nutrition.  As well as running a successful clinic, Maria is passionate about spreading good health through her wonderful workshops.  Based in Bondi, you can come along to a workshop and learn about bone broths, pro-biotic foods, and make some super delicious healthy snacks.  Such a clever, busy lady, Maria is also the mum of two awesome children.  I met Maria while volunteering for the Mindd Foundation, inspiring me with her knowledge, her passion and empathy.  What a mum!

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How old are your children?

I have 2 kids: a boy 7y.o and a girl 5y.o

What is your food philosophy for your children?

“Health through real food”- that’s my motto and food philosophy at home. Wholefoods every day, nothing made in a factory with fake ingredients, nothing my grandparents wouldn’t recognise.

What inspires you to feed your child the way you do?

The difference in their health! Their immune systems, digestive systems, concentration, growth and overall health have VASTLY improved on a wholefoods ancestral/Paleo style diet.

What tips have you got for travelling families?

Pack your snacks and food and take on the plane where possible. I usually pack: boiled eggs, vegies sticks, whole avocados with a plastic knife, beef and kangaroo jerkey and homemade muesli bars/slices. If you can’t bring your own, keep it clean with wholefoods by ordering: eggs with sides like mushrooms/tomatoes/spinach (most cafes manage thisJ), vegies and fruit or good quality wraps.

What are your 3 top snacks?

Kangaroo jerky, nutty bliss balls (both home- made), fruit and vegie sticksballs_600p

How do you look after yourself as well as your child?

Making sure I get enough sleep- I don’t function well on less than 8 hours. If I’m in a good mood, everyone is happy!

What brings balance to your family?

Prioritising the important things: good food and cooking, time together. Involving kids in food preparation and growing herbs and vegies allows them to develop a deep appreciation of real food.

What is your favourite activity to do together as a family?

Go to the beach and make berry muffins! (gluten/grain/dairy freeJ)

Do you have a favourite inspirational quote that lights up your life?

“Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not here yet, focus on today”. No idea who said it, but it reminds me to stay mindful.

You can find Maria over on her facebook page, or find one of her workshops on her website  snacks

Here is a yummy Fritatta Recipe from her wonderful website!

Ingredients:

-2 carrots, diced and steamed for about 15 mins to soften
-3 small zucchini, diced
-1 small bunch of kale, finely diced
-3 slices of turkey bacon, diced (from Sam the Butcher on Bondi rd) or use pasture raised bacon if you eat pork
-1 brown onion, finely sliced
-5 organic free range eggs
-2 tbsp. of butter
-1/2 cup milk (I use raw Cleopatra’s milk)
-1/2 cup grated cheese (I use raw Gruyere or Nimbin natural blocks)
-sea salt

 

How to:

-In a tart dish: place diced zucchini and kale. On a frying pan sauté onions and bacon in butter until crispy. Place bacon and onions on top of zucchini and kale in the tart dish. Sprinkle this layer with salt.
-Place steamed carrots on top in the next layer. Place grated cheese on top.
-In a bowl beat eggs and milk with fork. Sprinkle a bit of salt into the egg mixture.
-Carefully pour the egg mixture over the frittata so that the egg liquid almost comes to the inside edge of the dish.
-Bake in 200◦C oven for 35-45 mins, until the egg mixture is fully set and the top is crispy and golden.