Dana Kay is a Board-Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Practitioner and the CEO and founder of the ADHD Thrive Institute and the creator of the ADHD Thrive Method 4 Kids program. Her mission is to help families reduce ADHD symptoms naturally so that children with ADHD can thrive at home, at school, and in life.
393: Helping ADHD with Nutrition
Kids with ADHD and their families may struggle from tantrums, and stress. They are often adding in multiple medications to help their child. But what if many of their challenges could be relieved through nutrition? Dana Kay, founder of the ADHD Thrive Institute comes on to talk about how families can reduce ADHD symptoms naturally.
Helping ADHD with Nutrition - Dana Kay 
*This is an auto-generated transcript*
[00:00:00] Dana Kay: That was when I was like this does not seem okay. I was trusting the experts and I continued on this path, and that's when I said I think we need to try something different.
[00:00:18] Hunter: You are listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 393. Today we're talking about helping ADHD with nutrition, with Dana.
Welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Mama, we know that you cannot give what you do not have. And when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.
I've been practicing mindfulness for over 20. I'm the creator of Mindful Parenting, and I'm the author of the best selling book, raising Good Humans, A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and raising Kind Confident Kids.
Welcome back to the Mindful Mama podcast. I am so excited to share this episode with you. Today's very interesting. But listen first, please hit that subscribe button so you don't miss any episodes. And if you get some value from this podcast, please go over to Apple Podcasts. Leave us a rating and review.
It helps the podcast grow and it takes 30 seconds. I hugely appreciate. In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Dana k a board certified holistic health and nutrition practitioner, and the founder of the ADHD Thrive Institute and crater of the ADHD Thrive Method for Kids Program. Dana has been featured in Forbes Authority Magazine, medium Thrive Global, and various others, and we're gonna talk about how to help kids with ADHD and.
May have a kid with ADHD issues in that family, you're probably struggling from tantrums and stress. You might be dealing with multiple medications. And this episode is talking to Dana has a perspective that many of these challenges could possibly, might possibly be relieved through nutrition. So we're gonna talk about how you can reduce those ADHD symptoms naturally.
We're really gonna dive into inflammation and the gut brain connection. I hope this episode is helpful for you. Let's get to it. Join me at the table as I talk to Dana. Kay.
Dana, thanks so much for coming on the Mindful Mama
[00:02:38] Dana Kay: podcast. Thank you for having me. I'm really excited to be here. Hunter,
[00:02:43] Hunter: I'm excited to talk to you and we have talked to different people about adhd and I'm excited to talk to you with this perspective from the nutrition standpoint and to dive into that.
But first, I'm curious about how did you get interested and how. Become fascinated in this issue of ADHD and nutrition.
[00:03:04] Dana Kay: Yeah, look, I'm definitely fascinated and I, the more I am in it, the more I am fascinated. But believe it or not, I was actually completely removed from this space. I was actually in accounting and I actually planned to be an accountant, for my whole career.
And that was, my dream to be a businesswoman with an office when I was a little child. And I, I got that dream. When I had children, that all changed as most things do when you do have children and my son. Was born really healthy, but as he started to get older, age 2, 3, 4 my concerns over his health started to grow and he would be extremely hyperactive compared to other kids.
He'd be bouncing off the walls. He would be not able to sit still to eat breakfast or dinner. He would have these meltdowns and I think the meltdowns were the hardest because it just completely puts the whole family on hold. And, they got more dramatic as he got older and not got less.
It was the terrible twos is always bad, but for him, it actually got worse and worse. And my gut told me that there was something missing. There was something was not quite right. And I'd ask his teachers and his pediatrician and they'd all just say to me, oh he's a boy. It, that's exactly what boys do.
And, but I knew that something was wrong. And at the age of four, wow, four years old that's when sort. Preschool teachers started to no notice, a little bit of a difference, and he was actually diagnosed with ADHD and we were immediately handed a prescription medication. Wow. And between you and me I actually felt relieved and I relieved. I was relieved with the diagnosis. I wasn't a bad mom. It wasn't my Parenting that was doing this. No. And I was relieved with the medication thinking, we were gonna finally get the help that we needed. And there was gonna be a pill that could fix our family. But at first it was great.
I couldn't wait to give a doom and it was really good. He started to settle down a bit. He started to focus better. His tantrums got a little bit. But then we started to see, at the end of the day, these mammoth meltdowns come out. It was like all being pent up all day long, and then they would just explode in the evening.
And that's when the doctor increased the dose and then the, the side effects became worse. And so the doctor added on another medications or second medication on top.
[00:05:42] Hunter: What were the side effects? So the effect was that it was supposed to help him calm down and be able to focus more for, he wasn't like just sitting down and doing schoolwork,
[00:05:52] Dana Kay: but no, it was more to, help with the tantrums, calm his body down so he could sit and eat dinner then.
, and, be able to just sit at school or preschool or whatever in for more than one minute sort of thing. And so the symptoms for him what happened was first, Obviously he couldn't didn't wanna eat much. He started to lose weight. He wasn't able to sleep, so we had to give melatonin every night.
Wait, so this is
[00:06:20] Hunter: on the medication, these are the side
[00:06:22] Dana Kay: effects, right? Yeah, definitely. Okay. And so that's when the doctor added another prescription in the afternoon. So he was on two and the side effects continued and got worse. His meltdowns actually got way more severe in the afternoon because he was like coming off the medication.
And then the doctor added a third medication. Wow. And this was when he was five and he was on three medications. And then he started to get really anxious. He was never anxious before. Started to get really anxious and the doctor wanted to add a fourth medication to treat the anxiety, which was an S R I.
And that was when I was. This does not seem okay. I was trusting the experts. Thinking that your pediatrician knows best. And, I continued on this path and that's when I said I think we need to try something different. And that's where my career path completely changed. I dove into all the science and the research and the published studies.
I went back to school. I did my holistic health and nutrition degree. I did multiple specific certifications in this particular area for children with these neurodevelopmental disorders, and I really learned that ADHD symptoms and associated symptoms or disorders, Can be reduced naturally. I learned how food can affect so many aspects of our lives.
And today my son is thriving. He hasn't been on meds for years. He's almost 13. He's in middle school. He's a straight A student. But most importantly, He's happy. My family's happy and we now have peace and calm in our house that I just once craved. I used to dread every morning waking up, what mood was he gonna be in?
But, once I learned all of this and once I saw all of the changes could have on my own family, I really couldn't keep this information to myself anymore. I really didn't. Anyone else to have to go through the struggles that my family went through. And over the years I've been lucky enough to work with close to a thousand other families, help them get to the same place as me, but just so much quicker and without as much pain.
[00:08:35] Hunter: Wow. Wow. That's amazing. And it's is it inter so fascinating. because in the, this standard American medical degree they're not taught a lot about nutrition. This is, we have a, some health issues happening in my family with my husband and nutrition and what he's eating seems to be a big part of it, but it's so frustrating for us because we know we go to just the regular doctors.
It's not even considered in any way, shape, or form. Like there there's just no dis, which seems puggles my mind because it makes such a big difference and I can't believe that we're not, that our doctors aren't learning more about it or considering this idea at all.
[00:09:21] Dana Kay: Yeah. It boggles my mind every single day.
I've got families. This one family has three kids, and two of them have got ADHD and one has autism. And their two of the kids had been suspended from school 35 times last year. Oh, she went through my program, changed their diet, added in a few key supplements, and these kids have not been suspended.
Once and they are thriving and they're winning awards and they're actually excelling. And so when that happens, I just, it makes me actually quite angry. We went to our pediatrician, I said, I'm gonna change my son's diet. I wanna do some testing on the gut, see what's going on in the gut brain connection.
And he said, don't bother. None of that works. That's what he said to me. Oh, wow. We don't have that pediatrician anymore. But yeah, nah. Yeah. Yeah. It's just not, look, doctors are taught one thing and that's okay, but they're only required to do one. Hour of nutrition training in their whole degree.
So they just don't have the information. And so everyone's a specialist in what they do. They can't know everything, no one can , but I just wish that , it would be more mainstream. I wish that, my book. Thriving with ADHD would be handed to a kid that's diagnosed at the age of four rather than that prescription medication.
[00:10:41] Hunter: Wow, that's fascinating. So let's go back to your story. So you, your son, your pediatrician saying, let's give him the fourth med, and what was the first thing that you did? So you took him off completely and started to I. You tell me .
[00:10:58] Dana Kay: Yeah, sure. So look, no, I didn't take him completely off the meds straight away.
And I never suggest to families to do that. You always have to work in con consultation with your doctor. Cuz you've gotta go off slowly. But we didn't even consider taking him off until about four months into our journey. And the first thing that we did an, and I did it the wrong way because, I didn't have the guidance and the support.
And so what I teach in my program is very. I basically did some functional lab testing and I removed out all the foods that he was sensitive to on day one, including gluten, dairy, soy, and about 40 of his food sensitivities. And I did that on day one. Wow. Let's just say I had multiple pot panic attacks on the floor in my bedroom, and so no, do not follow what I did.
And. Really what I teach families is about, we really wanna reduce inflammation in the body, and that inflammation in the body comes from multiple aspects. And one of those aspects. So one of those foundations is diet. And so we do remove out the top. Three inflammatory foods and they are gluten, dairy, and soy.
And these are the top three culprits that are driving inflammation in the body, in the brain, and in the gut, and they're highly inflammatory and they can lead to an immune response or an inflammatory response, and also lead to increased intestinal permeability, which is known as leaky.
[00:12:29] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.
Why do we want to reduce inflammation in the body to help ADHD?
[00:12:42] Dana Kay: It's really good question and I like to look at it. I like to use this analogy of a bucket. Okay. And we are all born with a bucket and we want that bucket to be empty when when we are born and we want it to stay as empty as possible throughout our life.
Cuz that will lead to. Health and that will leave to wellness and thriving. And when we are born if someone has has be ha had a bad pregnancy that kid's bucket might have a little bit of gunk in it already when it's born. My son for example, he went straight into the nicu.
He was, had premature lung disease. He was on a C P A P machine and he was given medication and antibiotics. And so when he came home, Bucket was probably already three, a quarter full. Okay. And so we wanna maintain that bucket being low. And throughout the years that bucket fills up. It might fill up with, toxin exposure from, pesticides.
It might fill up from having bad packaged foods that are loaded with chemicals. It might fill up from heavy metals, heavy metal exposure. It might fill up cause we live in a moldy. Now some people, their body works really well and can empty their bucket along the way and keep it low, even if they're exposed to these things cause they've got optimized detoxification pathways.
However, some people don't, their genetics predispose them to have, bad detoxification pathways so they can't empty their bucket. Now what happens is as we fill up our bucket, it gets very heavy and it's all of a sudden gets so full that it's. Spills over into our body and that's when all these symptoms come out.
Okay? That's when these symptoms of tantrums and meltdowns and hyperactivity and, inability to focus or brain fog, that's when all these symptoms come out. So the goal is, and that's all inflammation in the body. So if your kid's melting down at the age of six on the floor multiple times a day, That is not normal.
A kid at six should not be going through that's their body telling you their bucket stepped over. Their body is riddled with inflammation and it needs to get checked out. It needs to start reducing that inflammation and work out how we can reduce that inflammation for that kid to thrive.
Because that meltdown every now and again, yeah, that's normal. But if they last for hours on end or they're going multiple times a day, that's not normal and something else is going on. Does that make
[00:15:09] Hunter: sense? So basically the inflammation, the body's unable to handle that. The child who's acting badly is feeling badly, right?
We know that. So they're feeling badly inside. And the inflammation is some. Linked to causing these symptoms of, all those things you talked about. Brain fog, inability to focus and things like that.
[00:15:32] Dana Kay: Yeah. But way more than that, I'm just focusing it on a d h, adhd, that inflammation is driving disease.
Okay. And so you said that your husband has some health concerns right now. There's probably his bodies in a state of inflamm. Is it coming from the gut? Is it, most of it's coming from the gut. 80% of our entire immune system is within the gut walls. And when we are exposed with all of these things, whether it be antibiotics, antibiotics actually change the whole gut microbiome.
And they try to kill off the bad bacteria, but they also kill off the good bacteria. So when you stop them, Your body can't actually fight off bad bacteria in the future, and so you get this overgrowth of this bad bacteria. Now the gut is connected to the brain and it's connected by two-way chemical messengers.
So if you've got a broken down gut and you've got that overgrowth of that bacteria that's traveling through, Those connection that highway into the brain and causing things like brain fog and inability to focus and attention issues, all of those sort of things. But also that leaky gut is connected to things like allergies, asthma diabetes it goes on and on.
And when I talk about these three. They create inflammation, but they also create that leaky gut, which also creates all of these other symptoms because of that gut brain connection and because how connected the gut is to every part of our body. I'll give you an example. We had a family that did my program.
We changed the whole family's diet, including the parents and the mother had terrible hip inflammation and was waiting for a specialist appointment at the doctor. And 10 weeks into my program, the doctor rang and said, come on, let's get you in. We've got an appointment for you. Let's do some investigation of what's driving that inflammation.
Let's get you on some medication. And she said, I don't need to come in anymore. It's complet. Disappeared. This woman couldn't even get out of bed before and 10 weeks into my program of changing her diet, reducing that inflammation, bringing in some supplements to heal her gut. It's.
[00:17:41] Hunter: So gluten and dairy and soy, you said are the most detrimental, but a lot of people do okay with these foods, right?
Like we know that dairy was, we had some sort of, mostly Northern Europe. We evolved to be able to digest dairy. I personally can't digest dairy. I have an allergy to it. Maybe you don't know the answer to this question, but like, why do we have problems with gluten, dairy, and soy?
Some of us have these problems and some people are having cheese and crackers every night before
[00:18:14] Dana Kay: dinner. Yeah. Because their bucket is not full. Okay. And, or their body has optimized detoxification pathway so they can continue to, or they actually don't know that they're sick.
And so symptoms don't come out until your bucket tips over. And so they may be, causing damage or they might be when they get older, when they get 60, they might all of a sudden have all of these issues that come out cause their bucket starts to tip over. Everyone's so different.
Everyone gets exposed to so many different things. Everyone has different genetics and I tie it to genetics because, there is a lot of these genetics that will affect how you can detoxify toxins from your body. There's also genetics on how you actually digest food. So if you combine a couple of these, genetic mutations in your body, all of a sudden, You can't digest gluten and it causes these problems.
It breaks down the lining of the gut. It causes this leaky gut and it actually causes it in everyone. Okay? But some people can overcome it or their bucket's not full or they can heal itself by eating something different. And it will affect everyone in a different way. And it's really all about when does that bucket tip over?
Else is going on in the body that contributes to it.
[00:19:38] Hunter: Oh, I just wanna say, I mean for me, this is interesting that kinda the way you're talking about this cuz I'm reading a book about, the environment and climate and things like that. And what he's talking about is complex systems.
And this is sounds very much like our body. right? Is this very complex system, right? Where, in a complex system, it heals itself. It heals itself to bring it back until a point, a tipping point. And then it's just, it can be incredibly hard to come back from, which is what has happened is happening, right?
I in lots of, environmental crises and things like that. But it sounds like I guess I'm drawing a parallel between that and our bodies, which are also obviously very complex systems, right? Where it it's okay. It's okay until it's finally
[00:20:20] Dana Kay: not. Exactly. And when that bucket tips over, that's when all the symptoms come out.
And then you've actually gotta do a lot of work to really, reduce those symptoms, reduce that inflammation, heal the body to allow it to function at its best. Now I'm gonna just tie your point to a study. That was done that in 2018 it was determined that 54% of American children have a chronic disease or illness.
And so that figure was only 15% a couple of years before that. And looking at that increase from 15% to 54%, that is. . And when I say chronic illness or disease, one in two have anxiety, asthma, type one, type two, diabetes, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, heart problems, allergic conditions, learning disabilities, hyperactivity, sinus infections, ear infections, one in five have allergies.
One in six have developmental delays and one in 68 have autism, which has just been revised. I think it's been revised now down to one in 32. And why do you think that this is Rise is occurring so rapidly? And it's because it all begins in the gut, but also we are exposed to more and more toxins.
Earlier on, our food supplies getting worse. We're so busy that we're relying on so much more packaged foods. And as I said earlier, 80% of the body's entire immune system is within the gut wall, along with billions of nerve cells and an extensive amount of beneficial bacteria. So every part of our health is quite literally connected to everything that goes on in.
And so we really need a focus on making sure that gut is functioning well so we can feel better. So we cannot have these symptoms anymore, and we can function at our best. Wow, .
[00:22:19] Hunter: It's a little bit scary, this idea of all of this challenge and I'm, I wonder are we heating that differently than we did in my generation?
Per se. I ate a lot of, Cheetos at school. I was a kid and chocolate milk,
[00:22:37] Dana Kay: it's not just that it's not just food. I know if we go back the generation prior to us, it was a lot healthier. Moms wouldn't, go to the offices much. And so they would, be stay-at-home moms.
They'd be cooking home meals and things like that. Kids would be out into the, in, in playing in the backyard for hours and hours on end. Now, They're inside, they're sitting at a desk. They're on their iPads, on their computers for a huge part of the day. They're getting exposure to the EMFs that are coming off that where exposure, where exposed to a lot more toxins.
The amount of, genetically modified food these days to what it was previously has just changed dramatically. Foods that are sprayed in these PEs. Soy in particular, is one of the largest crops that are sprayed with pesticides. 95% of soy is genetically modified. And the food supply, they wanna make it cheaper.
And so they're genetically modifying these crops, including corn that's coming into our food supply. And we are relying on so much more packaged food than what we used to. So we add that all up. , all of a sudden our buckets are filling up a lot quicker than what they used to. Okay.
[00:23:56] Hunter: So if kids who are having all these challenges may wanna change their diet of parents who have kids with ADHD may want to, take out gluten, dairy, and soy, what are some things that they can eat more of?
[00:24:12] Dana Kay: Yeah, for sure. And look it's really not just kids with adhd, it's really everyone. And it's not just about what to take outta the diet is most importantly about what to put back in the diet. And as far as what to eat it's my best tip is to focus on whole nutritious, fresh fruits and veggies.
Grass fed animal proteins such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs also plenty of healthy fats that feed the brain, which is what we need. Avocado, amiga, coconut oil olive oil. You also wanna be drinking plenty of spring water because the waters of supply also is filling, it's filled with chemicals.
Every state has different levels. It's really quite amazing to look at your water supply in your state. And so I just. Focus on drinking spring water but also water helps detox the body. If your bucket is full, you wanna detox it out. Water helps remove toxins that are already there. And these provide our body with the nutrients that need so that it can function at its best.
And for me, I think when buying ingredients are buying product packaged food, my rule of thumb is to avoid anything you can't pronounce. If you can't pronounce it, put it back. And usually. I like to look at packaged foods that have five or less ingredients, cuz the more ingredients they have, the more, preservatives and artificial flavors and artificial colors and things like that.
And I just wanna point out it's really interesting that, so in America, for example, the recipe of ketchup in America is different to that of Australia and the UK and Europe. And if you have a look at the ingredients in exactly the same brand, in America, it's full of high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and things like that.
Whereas in Australia, in the uk and in Europe, it has none of that.
[00:26:02] Hunter: That's true. We've experienced that ourselves. We took our girls to Ireland in 2016 and had a great time and the way back certainly wouldn't approve that. But anyway, we gave them whatever our leftover euros and said, go buy whatever you want.
They came back with star. And, we opened up the candies and the lemon was white. All of them were very pale. There was barely any color in any of the candies that are normally in the United States. Bright red, bright yellow, bright green. And it was, it's because those food colorings, these chemicals are banned in the rest of the world because there are legitimate scientific studies that have shown connections between those and.
Kids' health and kids' attention and ability. Hyperactivity. Hyperactivity, yeah,
[00:26:48] Dana Kay: exactly. Yeah, definitely. . And like that's one of the studies that I always talk about. And it's interesting in, in, in Europe they actually when a study comes out the like the fda, where they approve all the food and all of the supplements or whatever in Europe you actually have to prove to the FDA that it's not bad for you.
Whereas here in America, you have to prove that it's. That it is like you have to prove that, that it is bad for you. Like it's the opposite of each other. Sorry. I don't know if I, I messed that up the way I said that.
[00:27:22] Hunter: No. What you, yeah, what you mean is like that it's assumed that it's safe in Europe.
You have to prove that it's safe. It's assumed that it's not safe. They have to prove that it's safe. Yes. And here it's assumed that it's safe, which is dangerous, right? That's not Yes. A cool way. That's what they do with a lot of chemical, the chemical indu industry here in the United States.
[00:27:42] Dana Kay: exactly. And look, there are a lot of studies out there that also support the food changes in A D H adhd. There was a study done in 2015 and it concluded that 64% of children diagnosed with ADHD were actually experiencing a hypersensitivity to food. 64% of that study. I wonder what might happen if these children change their diets and remove foods that they were sensitive to.
Is it possible that these ADHD symptoms would disappear or become more manageable? There was another study that showed that 56% of ADHD kids tested positive. For food allergies compared to less than 8% of kids in the general population. And that tells me there's a clear correlation between ADHD and food allergies.
And I could go on and on. I don't think you want me just to throw studies out there. But yeah,
[00:28:40] Hunter: stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcast right after this break.
So I have a husband who I can't eat gluten, and it's a pain in the butt, man. I have to say as somebody, I personally have no problems with gluten as far as I know. And I used to bake my own bread and make my own muffins and do all these things and I don't do that anymore. It's, It can be challenging to, we're very adapted to it now, but taking out gluten and dairy and soy, that can be a real challenge for parents.
And especially if you are, you have two parents who work full-time. You may want them to just be able to grab a granola bar to bring to school or eat school lunch or whatever that is. It can be a full-time job to prep all those. What are your, some of the ideas or ways that you have to help parents simplify this and make this less an honors change?
[00:29:44] Dana Kay: Yeah. Look I get it. It seems so overwhelming at first, and it is a challenge, but it does become your new normal. And so just as you maybe do Taco Tuesdays, every. We just look at how do we make that gluten, dairy, soy free? And it's actually really easy with tacos. But you know what I tell families is, and this is what I didn't do, and that's why I teach them, is this, is that Rome wasn't built in a day.
And transforming your family's diet won't be complete in a day either. And it's okay to take it slowly. It's okay to take one step at a time. And if the pace that's doable for you is one change per week or one change every two weeks, then that's perfectly okay. Families need to give themselves permission to take it slow.
Okay? This is, it's not a diet it's not a phase. It's a permanent lifestyle change. And when it becomes part of your lifestyle, it becomes second nature. And it's really not that. And so we really guide the families step by step and slowly through the process there are better for you alternatives for everything.
You know there are, I've got hundreds of recipes for muffins. I've got hundreds of recipes for gluten-free bread, so I can totally share some of those with you afterwards if you wanna get back to baking. Yes, , me and my husband both work full-time. We are super busy. We've got two busy. And we don't even think about it anymore.
And when you make slop small, slow, it changes. All of a sudden you turn around, you're like, ah, this is our new normal. I don't have to think about it anymore. We go out and eat all the time. I don't even call up and to see what's going on. Cause I know that there will always be something that we can eat.
And, my son goes to birthday parties. My, my kids go here, there and we always find something to eat. And it's this mindset shift. A lot of the time it's us as parents that going, oh my God, that seems so overwhelming. I'm not gonna be able to. , but when you make small, slow changes, It's super easy.
Start with breakfast. Okay, let's clean up breakfast. When you are happy with that and everyone's happy, then go, okay, every Monday night I'm gonna do a new dinner, or I'm gonna look at what meals I make in the family and I'm gonna spend 30 minutes. And just change a few things to make them gluten and dairy free and or doing one meal a week.
So doing these small, so slow steps actually like, adjusts it really slowly and it's part of your normal lifestyle and you don't think about it. So it is, it does seem so overwhelming, but really, like this is what we're, what I'm an expert in and all of my program is designed to take, family step by step.
Day zero today six months down the track. In getting them where they need to go without as much stress as, when I did it all by myself and I had multiple panic attacks on the floor. It's, it is overwhelming at first, but it's not impossible. And when you get there, it's wow, I've done it and.
How we live
[00:32:49] Hunter: life. What about the expense? Having food that doesn't have pesticides can be expensive. Gluten-free breads gluten-free price. The gluten-free pasta is 12 ounces. When all other pasta is 16 ounces, they just give us a bit less and they charge that much more. Yeah. My personal beef, can you tell?
Yeah. But anyway. How can listeners make healthy eating more affordable? Yeah, look, that's a
[00:33:11] Dana Kay: good question. And I'm gonna answer it in a couple of different ways. The first one, I would like to say that, yes, it is more expensive and I would love this to change. I would love to see healthy food be the same price or even cheaper than the processed.
C r a p food, but that's a tangent for another day. Now, there are definitely things that we can make it healthy eating, more affordable. One thing I think is more of a mindset shift. It's not a way to save money, but one thing that really help me to get through this in terms of adjusting my expectations in what I'm spending on food, is to remember that even though.
These foods are cheaper. The bad foods are cheaper for you, and they may seem easier and better for the budget today. They actually cost us more in the long run. For us, it was in the form of tantrums and meltdowns and upset tummies and a life that was so chaotic that every morning I'd dreaded waking up.
And so for me, that mindset shift was, , it helped me a lot because I would much rather have a higher grocery bill and a happier, healthier family than a lower grocery bill and have constant tantrums and meltdowns and a child whose body was racked with inflammation. So that's the first thing that I will say.
But also I will say that eating healthier, maybe more expensive upfront, but in the long run, when we are taking care of the body and feeding it the foods that it. Families save money with future medical bills. Like your husband's going through some medical challenges now. And that costs money.
And if we can, stop that before it actually happens, then you know, we will be so much better off. Medical bills are way more expensive than healthy food. So let's get to the tips cuz that's not what you wanna hear. But there are many tips that we, that I can share to save money. And the first one is meal plan.
Meal plan. . Meal planning is probably the best thing families can do to save. Nutritious food cuz it prevents us from running through the drive through or grabbing convenience food that actually costs more money and aren't as nutritious. And planning meals also enables us to group meals together that have common ingredients.
We can choose meals that make great leftovers. We can make meals ahead of time with common ingredients and freeze them. Cooked or uncooked. You can buy food when it's on. And put in the freezer. I also like to look at the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 from ewg.org. And they have these, and they put them out every year.
And the Dirty Dozen is the foods that have the most pesticides on them. So you definitely wanna buy organic for those ones. And then the Clean 15 are the ones that have the least amount of pesticides on them. And so you can buy non-organic for those. And then everything in between is based on your.
Cuz every family's budget is different. And so while buying organic for everything is best, I don't do it for everything, but there are things that I definitely buy it for. And I, stay with the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15. The other thing is, when you buy, produce, buy, produce, when it's in season from a farmer's market and sometimes local farmers may not be certified organic.
They don't use pesticides and they just can't afford to get the organic label. So that's a really good way of doing it as well. And staying away from processed foods, while they are more convenient, they cost a lot more money and they aren't as nutritious. And what we wanna do is choose foods that are whole and give the body the nutrition it needs to heal, and then you're actually saving money that way.
You said you made bread in the past make bread from. Or don't use it at all. You don't really have to have bread. We don't eat bread. Occasionally we'll buy gluten-free bell bread is, it is really expensive. So I often, suggest if you've got a bread maker, make the bread yourself and there's some really good mixes.
Or you can make your own you can make home, pancake mixes at home as well. And I could go on and on. I've got lots more if you want me to keep going. ?
[00:37:06] Hunter: No. Okay. I think we're getting the. I wanted to ask about this because actually this is something that we've been experiencing recently.
My husband has gone to a functional medicine doctor for his, and you talk a little bit about like the role of functional lab testing in supporting adhd. What is that?
[00:37:27] Dana Kay: Yeah. I like to think of a, like a microscope, looking deep in the body. And we use functional lab testing to identify those hidden stresses in the body, things that are going on.
And they're different than just a traditional medicine. Traditional medicine looks to diagnose and treat the symptoms of what's going on. Functional medicine looks. Why are you having those symptoms? Let's get to the root of what's actually going on. Target that, and then the symptoms will disappear.
Traditional medicine will give a pill to reduce symptoms, but they don't go away. They just reduce while you're taking the pill. But we find, with functional medicine is really to get to the root of what's going on and look at it from a holistic point of view. It's not just diet, it's not just supplements.
It's not just, functional lab testing and seeing what's going. It's a multiple things. It's diet, lifestyle, rest, exercise, stress management, supplementation, and when you bring that all together, it provides this really great plan to get you to a place where you need to go. Now, in particular, in ADHD, there are four base tests that I suggest to families that I'm working with.
They give us a really good idea of a good starting point, a good high level picture. I, we can look at so many more, but these are a really good starting point. One of them is a stool test, and that gives us a clear picture of the state of the gut because the gut-brain connection in ADHD is huge.
I've talked about that vagus nerve and that two-way chemical messengers that travel from the gut to the brain, but also. 95% of serotonin and 50% of dopamine are made in our gut. And these are our happy, feel good neurotransmitters or hormones that help manage our mood, regulate our motions, and maintain our cognitive function and emotional dysregulation is massive in ADHD.
And so let's work on the gut. The serotonin, the dopamine are made so the body can actually make more of it itself rather than just using medication that optimizes, what you've got or, boosts up what you've got. So the stool test will look at what's going on in the gut, is there inflammation?
Is there, leaky gut? Is there, are you digesting your food properly? And That way. The next test we look at is a food sensitivity panel, and that looks for inflammatory reactions in the body to certain foods. Now, food sensitivities are different to allergies, true allergies you, you can't really heal from.
But food sensitivities are causing inflammation when you've got inflammation in your body. You've got symptoms, but when you've got inflammation from foods, it actually further breaks down the lining of the gut. So it's like this vicious cycle that you've got going on. Something in the body has caused leaky gut and these foods leak through into the bloodstream.
The blood, the body determines that it's something foreign and that's the way that we are designed and it turns on this inflammatory response to try and kill it off. But in doing that, it further breaks down the lining of the gut and then we get more food sensitivity. So it's this vicious cycle. We take them out to heal the gut and reduce inflammation, and then we add them back in later.
The third test that we look at is something called an organic acid test. It's a urine test. It's a really awesome test because it looks at over 70 different important markers in the whole body and how it's functioning. It can show you the need for specific nutrients such as B vitamins which are really important for our compromised kids.
Diet modification, detoxification pathways, as I was talking earlier, are they able to empty their bucket? It's looking at those neurotransmitters, the serotonin, the dopa. Is looking for yeast and mold and things like that. And then the final base test that we use is something called a crypto pyro test.
And pyros are a normal chemical byproduct in the body, and they attach to vitamin B6 and zinc and draw these elements out of the body when they're excreted through the urine. So if someone has elevated pie rolls in their urine, it can result in a dramatic deficiency of zinc and b. and it's frequently identified in ADHD depression, aggression and includes symptoms.
Things like poor tolerance to physical or emotional stress, poor anger control, mood swings, poor short-term memory, aggression sensitivity to light and sound. And a lot of those symptoms are that of adhd. So that's why I find those four based tests to be a really good overview of the.
[00:42:04] Hunter: Wow. All right, so for the parent who is interested in these things, this is, you're getting all this incredible information from Dana.
Kay. I really really appreciate it. So this is a change that we are looking at like throughout our lives, right? How quickly can some of these, as people start to change diet, how can, how quickly can some of these symptoms change?
[00:42:31] Dana Kay: Yeah, and that's a really good question. The day that we start, the body starts to change.
But I can tell you with my son we took out these foods literally two or three weeks later. He was a different kid. It. Amazing. For some kids it can take three to six months. And some kids it can take up to a year because their body's in such a state of dysfunction. It really depends on the child, but you can have some dramatic changes really quickly and the day that we start, the inflammation starts to reduce.
And it's just a matter of time that we are able to reduce it enough to actually see the symptoms meld. One of the biggest changes we see straight away is a reduction in meltdowns, a reduction in tantrums, their frequency, their severity, their length of time, how often they happen.
And for that we, and if there are any parents out there that are listening that have kids with ADHD and that have tantrums, that's the hardest symptom I think that it is to manage because it puts the family on hold it. The home, such a stressful place to be in. And so to know that's the first thing that actually changes is so comforting because that's the hardest.
[00:43:45] Hunter: Dana, I really appreciate you coming on the Mindful Mama podcast and sharing everything you know here with the listener. For people who wanna find out more where can they. Yeah.
[00:43:58] Dana Kay: My book was launched probably about two months ago. You can find that at the ADHD, sorry, HD thrive institute.com/book.
You can find out more about working with me at ADHD thrive institute.com. I'm on Instagram, Facebook, and other social platforms at ADHD Thrive Institute. .
[00:44:20] Hunter: All right, I think we got that. That's. Thank you so much. I think it's such a way to take something that was such a huge challenge and so much suffering for you and your family and turn that around.
And I can relate to that myself and I really appreciate the work that you've done and for you sharing your voice here today. Thank you
[00:44:38] Dana Kay: so much for having me. It was really good to talk to you.
[00:44:48] Hunter: I hope this episode was helpful for you. This is such a challenging issue and maybe the gut brain connection is gonna be a piece that really helps for you. I hope that is and if it is helpful for you, please go over and leave a Apple Podcast review. It just makes such a big difference and and I appreciate it so much.
I wanna give a shout out to M E R M E, Reynolds Craft, who left a five star review on Apple Podcast. They said thank you. Thank you for your wonderful, helpful, and reassuring podcast. I appreciate you and the dialogue with your guests. I'm always learning something, feel inspired, and feel better about myself and my family after listening to your podcast.
Yay. Thank you so much for that review. It makes such a big differe. I hope you have a lovely week, my friend. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for the feedback, all those wonderful things. Thank you for reading, raising Good Humans. I haven't even told you yet. Oh my gosh.
Second Book is coming out on August 1st. August 1st. Raising good humans every day. 50 chapters, short chapters. I'm so excited about it. Shefali. Sabari is doing the forward. Fabulous. I'm so excited. So keep an eye out for that. Make sure you're on my mailing list so I can let you know all about it. Okay.
That's all I got for you today. Wishing you a lovely week, my friend. Thank you so much for listening.
[00:46:30] Dana Kay: I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change
[00:46:33] Hunter: your relationship
[00:46:34] Dana Kay: with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better and just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse, it's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.
It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children and feeling like you're connecting. With them and not feeling like you are yelling all the time, or you're like, why isn't things working? I would say definitely into it. It's so worth it.
It'll change you no matter what age someone's child is. It's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working, or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to shift.
Everything in your Parenting,
[00:47:34] Hunter: are you frustrated by parent? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?
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This is an opportunity to really discover your unique lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go. Mindful Parenting course.com to add your name to the wait list, so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment.
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