When my son was born, my husband and I began a journey that has changed us forever. But it wasn't just the normal one that happens when you become a parent. Our journey was also about raising a sick child into a healthy child, an increasingly common journey for new parents, as we watch the numbers of chronically ill kids increase to epidemic numbers, including allergies, autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression, IBS, Coeliac disease, Auto-Immune disease, psoriasis, asthma, eczema, etc.
Our son was showing symptoms of allergies at 3 weeks old. By the age of 18 months, we received the devastating diagnosis that he was allergic to ALL food, and that he should not be allowed to eat at all. It was a highly traumatic thing to hear, especially when I was made to feel that my natural mothering instinct to feed my child had made his condition much worse. Through necessity, we submitted ourselves to the information that is readily available, in doctors and specialists offices. These doctors and allergists worked hard to help us to manage my son’s symptoms, in particular to stabilise his growth and weight, so that he was no longer failure to thrive (he was born in the 97the percentile, and by this stage he had dropped steadily down to the 25th percentile). This stabilisation was done through the use of hypoallergenic formulas and sometimes up to 7 different medications a day, including antihistamines, Nexium and various steroids.
It was necessary, and this process saved his life, but it was not healing: it was symptom management.
After 2.5 years on this protocol, we had painstakingly worked our way up to about 4 safe foods (rice, pears, corn and pork), but in the following year, he started to deteriorate again, was sick all the time, developed asthma on top of everything, and started reacting to his safe foods. It was a scary time for us, completely hopeless. When we hit rock bottom, he was in the hospital with gastritis, and was having an allergic reaction to the rehydration fluid.
At this point, my husband and I decided that we had to dig deeper to find the root cause and a permanent solution, something our specialists were not inclined to do.
We started reading any medical literature that we could get our hands on, that was hopeful and that resonated with logic. We discovered so much research by many GPs, neurologists, dentists, nutritionists, and parents from all over the world who had been through our experiences, and who had found the root cause of the epidemics that are sweeping through our western cultures, particularly around mental health and allergies. Even better, we connected with people who have been pioneering the solution. These people are my heroes, mainly because of their dogged determined approach in the face of continued criticism and rejection by mainstream medicine and dietary bodies, but also because of the support and advice that they freely offered us from the other side of the world.
EAT REAL FOOD.
We moved my son onto the GAPS protocol, a medical diet established by the remarkable Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride. It is a strict, specific protocol of real food, high in good quality fat and nourishing traditional foods like meat broth and fermented vegetables. It works by fixing the damage done to the gut lining and the gut's micro flora through generations of modern lifestyle abuse and the gradual increase of fake, chemical rich foods into our everyday diets. Because our son's symptoms were so severe, we followed this diet to the letter, and reaped incredible healing results. Within weeks, he was no longer anaphylactic to eggs, dairy or almonds. 2 weeks before we began, my son had had a severe airborne allergic reaction because we had walked into a café where eggs were being cooked. You cannot imagine the weight that is lifted off a mothers shoulders when a child heals from anaphylaxis. In the ensuing months, he passed food after food.
Five years later, he has only 4 remaining allergies, and none of them are life-threatening.
When we started, he had 44 allergies.
So like I said, our son changed our life.
We eat only whole, real food now, and the whole family has reaped the benefit of improved chronic health. We have transitioned onto a few grains and starchy foods now, which was another reason I loved this protocol. It wasn't an 'eat this way forever' kind of deal, although once you start, it is impossible to ever go back to the SAD and sick-making way of eating. We eat sourdough bread, corn on the cob, sushi, and even takeaway food, but only every now and then. We avoid sugar and processed food as much as possible. Good quality food was never the problem. The state of our gut health, toxins, and poor quality 'cheap' food was the problem. Before GAPS, I suffered from depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and joint inflammation. My daughter had regular eczema and rashes, was a chronic bedwetter, and was on the ADHD spectrum. My husband developed adult-onset allergies to fruit and vegetables, and my son, on top of everything else, had Sensory Processing Disorder.
All of these diagnoses have now been removed. Our family is just thriving, and it is so very HOPEFUL and JOYFUL.
What we have learned is this:
Food is Medicine. It is available without a script. Our grandmothers knew how to use it, we just need to relearn those lost lessons.
This website is dedicated to educating and sharing with parents and people all around the world who are suffering and need some HOPE and JOY back in their lives. This website is about teaching people about how to get back to the nourishing traditions of our grandparents, so that we can start to think about reversing the trend of epidemic chronic health issues such as allergies, autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression, IBS, Coeliac disease, Auto-Immune disease, psoriasis, asthma, eczema, etc.
NOTE: I am NOT a doctor, I am a mother who healed her children of allergies and food intolerances. I want to share the information that I have gathered on this journey, in case it might be of use to YOU. If you or your child is suffering from anaphylaxis, I know that you know that any testing should be performed by your doctor or allergy specialists in an environment that protects you and your child.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or testimonies of your own.
Here's the blog I wrote about the miracle...
Before and After Gallery
This photo was taken in October 2013, 2 weeks before we started GAPS intro. Danny was on 3 safe foods, very thin and pale, and allergic to 44 foods, anaphylactic to at least 10.
This photo was taken in Jan 2014, after 2 months on the GAPS intro diet :-) We saw amazing immediate results, he was now eating 20 plus foods, all organic and homecooked meals, lots of broth, and most amazingly, eggs, almonds and dairy, his first and worst anaphylactic allergies!
And this photo is taken after 9 months of healing on the Full GAPS diet. His skin is awesome, his weight is solid, and his hair has changed to blonder after his thyroid healed!
My daughter's tummy was very bloated and hard like a ball before GAPS. People used to comment that she was 'chubby', but she was actually inflammed. Her tummy is now soft and pliant :-)
Before we had pale, rashy skin. After we have beautiful peachy chubby babies
Jan 2013, our kids were pale, with dark smudges under their eyes and swollen bellies. We didn't really notice until they were healed.
Jan 2014, the kids were now more solid, soft, pliant tummies, peachy golden skin, and no more smudges under their eyes
Nov 2012: before GAPS I was carrying too much weight, suffering from depression, aching joints, and IBS
Dec 2013 (6 weeks on GAPS intro) Besides the obvious weight loss, my health was so drastically improved: I no longer have knees and shoulders that ache, I no longer suffer from depression, and I can eat food I have always struggled with, like cheese! My IBS symptoms are hugely reduced.
Danny on his 6th birthday, just a normal healthy child, no longer the boy who couldn't eat.
My beautiful healthy babies
Before GAPS, Danny was anaphylactic to egg, even airborne traces of cooked egg would give him a reaction. Now look at him!
Essential food number 1!
Essential food number 2: fermented food, like sauerkraut, sour cream, yoghurt and kefir.