Kids, kinesiology & kale!
If you don’t look after your body you’ll have no where to live, right? So I’m a big believer in investing in yourself (and your family) when it comes to health and well being.
I’m also a big believer that our bodies tell us when something isn’t right and we must act promptly to avoid further stress and strain and to also look at the cause, rather than just look symptom and a quick fix.
Some of you will remember that back in April, one of my twin sons Monty was rushed to hospital in Jamaica on my 40th birthday and had to have his appendix out a couple of hours later as it was about to burst. It was obviously a fairly stressful scenario to be in and put a huge strain on him physically. He’s never been quite right since, often being tired, lethargic, not his usual self and at first I’d just put this down to general recovery, and the fact that we’ve had lots going on with a big move to Devon from Kent, new school etc. But he was really struggling the last few weeks and I knew I needed to see someone to help him and help me help him.
Specifically I wanted to see someone who shared the same health and well being values as me, rather than a typical medical / GP route. There is without a doubt a place for medicine but my personal belief is that with scenarios and symptoms like this, you’re better off going to see a naturopath, or someone that can help the body heal / recover and improve as naturally as possible. I also had my suspicions that Monty had issues with toxins from the operation and all the needles / IV antibiotics that went with that. And I also knew that whilst my kids are generally healthy eaters (they love fish, fruit, nuts, seeds, rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, they are mainly wheat and dairy free with low sugar consumption), they aren’t good with veg and greens and I wanted to also explore ways I could get more greens into them. I know these are the most important foods to eat as adults (kale has the top mark of 1000 on the ANDI scores – America Nutritional Density) – and of course for children too. Monty also since his operation was finding it hard to swim backstroke and specifically his left hip wasn’t working properly. He would be doing backstroke, kicking his legs and just not going anywhere. I had my suspicions that as your internal / external obliques work in conjuction with each other, something structurally wasn’t right or there was damage from the incision. This was previously his strong stroke and now he was swimming with his leg on an angle and literally no power.
I spent a lot of time researching and found a local detox specialist, kinesiologist and nutritional therapaist called Marc Waterman based in Sidmouth who also brought in some of the naturopath and osteopath angles into his sessions too. (He is SO like Craig Coman for anyone who knew/remembers him!) And I booked the kids in for a double appointment. It wasn’t cheap and it cost me £100. Some people have already said “£100! That’s a lot”, or “whaaaat” but that’s nothing really to what my son’s health is worth to me right? It is quite a lot, especially as a single Mum, but I believe in that you get what you pay for and investing in your health is essential. And I know I had a completely different experience than if I’d taken him to a GP (that is not to slate GPs as such but with just 5 mins or so with each patient, how on earth can you make the same impact as an hour bringing a whole other dimension of treatment and support. Also as Dr Chaterjee is bringing into the mainstream with his BBC series, Dr in the House, the typical GP service isn’t looking at the cause so much, more about prescribing medicine to alleviate something).
In the hour, he asked lots of questions about Monty’s medical history including dietary intake, lifestyle and any stress / traumas, operations, vaccinations etc. And he also asked Monty loads of questions about his eating, energy dips, sleep, thoughts etc.
Then he did some kinesiology on him which is where through muscle testing, the body can indicate where it’s struggling and what it needs. Monty thought it was amazing as it became really clear where his body had an imbalance.
As I thought, the main issue was toxic metals in his body, stemming from the fact he’d had so many needles, IV drip, IV antiobiotics, general anesthetic and numerous blood tests etc. all in such a short space of time. This was probably exacerbated by the fact that I don’t vaccinate my children* and I hardly use medicine in my home. The occasional bit of Calpol is all I’ve ever needed and it really is very occasional. Monty and Harry have only had a couple of days off school in the last five years and I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve given Tabitha Calpol since she was born.
Marc wanted to ensure we helped his body get rid of those toxic metals and one of the ways is to up the greens. He prescribed a series of concentrated green supplements (just 14 days) and talked to Monty about the importance of listening to me more about greens! Then he did something amazing. He started talking to Monty about how greens were the magic formula to become faster at running, stronger on his scooter, being able to do tricks on his skate board, cleverer and all that lovely stuff kids resonate with. He put it into basics… a life with greens would basically be way more powerful. And Monty really listened!
I was also given a hand out about the issues with toxic metals in the body (inc. neurotoxicity from mercury and aluminium in children and foetuses) and the ingredients of the concentrated green capsules. Very informative and helpful!
He then did some work on Monty’s hip, where he had a tight psoas and some clear tension as a result of the operation. And a little bit of gentle structural and cranial work and hey presto there was a big difference. At Monty’s swimming lesson on Monday, he was swimming so much better. Not back to where he was, but a significant improvement 🙂
Then it was Harry’s turn! As a Mum of twins I like to treat them equally, plus I think it’s always good to work on prevention and take command of your health in advance of any symptoms appearing.
Harry’s only issues were some bloating after eating (mainly because he woofs it down so he can get out and play, and moving / jumping / running too soon after eating!) and if he eats sugar – his gut really flairs up after eating anything sugary. I also had concerns that Harry might follow suit with Monty’s appendix issue so I had that tested via kinesiology too (no issues were picked up there) and Harry is apparently a very ‘robust’ child (like his Mum, ha!). The session for him was over in 25 mins with nothing to action other than the more greens / kale message.
He asked Harry what his favourite thing to do was and he said ‘riding his bike’ and Marc said that kale was what will make him stronger, faster, more dynamic, powerful etc etc and explained how kale and greens helped on a cellular level and with blood vessels. Harry loves science and was fascinated. He agreed to listen to me more and get stuck into greens! (Then I had a 35 minute session which I’ll fill you in on next week’s blog!)
But then it was of course over to me to take the advice on board (which I’d paid a lot of money for) and take responsibility for making things happen! As a coach I see people really commit to their sessions with me, take on my advice, make lots of effort to practice and implement, come to the next session armed with more questions, to share breakthroughs, get more advice. But other’s ignore it and it’s all talk. I am committed to my children’s health and I’m certainly not someone who’s prepared to chuck £100 down the drain!
So I immediately googled ‘Kids kale recipes’ and found three that stood out. We’ve tried two so far with incredible success, yaaaay!
The apple / kale smoothie!
The granny smith apple makes the smoothie a really rainbow bright green (rather than looking like a swamp) and it’s with pinapple (I used frozen pinapple) – OMG the twins love it! Monty shouted ‘ I want this everyday, twice a day in fact!’ and they’ve had about eight in the last five days.
The actual recipe can be found HERE, this is my slightly adjusted version:
Handful of Kale
1 granny smith
Handful of pineapple (I buy waitrose frozed pinapple, mango & kiwi)
My kids love pesto so I thought a kale pesto would be a great option and it was! I made a batch using this recipe and then made a second, more mild one (kale wasn’t the issue but a whole clove of raw garlic was!). I have used the actual recipe of kale pesto on literally everything I’ve eaten this week, on salads, on top of hoummas and WF toast for breakfast, I mean it’s just amazing! But theirs needed a little adjustment.
They have theirs with WF pasta and I’ve adapted the recipe to be:
3 cups kale (blanch it in boiling water for 30 secs and then rinse and cool
1 cup of basil
½ cup parmesan
1/24 cup of pine nuts
1/3 garlic glove
I just whizzed mine up in the nutribullet, took me less than 5 mins to make!
My kids love soup and this weekend I’ll be making this soup recipe with slightly adapted ingredients below as I hate paprika and we don’t really eat bacon in our house (unless a special occasion!):
· 1 tbsp olive oil
· White onion onion
· 1 carrot
· 2 sticks celery
· 1 tbsp chopped garlic
· 3 tbsp tomato paste
· 1 1/2 cups butter beans
· 1.5 pints of wheat free vegetarian bouillon stock
· 1 tbsp dried thyme & parsley
· 1 bay leaf
· 4 cups chopped kale , (stems and mid-ribs removed)
· 1 1/2 tsp salt
I’ll then blitz it so it’s smooth and I’m sure they’ll love it
So the three messages I want to share with you are:
1) Think about a different approach when your body is crying out for help. When your body has symptoms, it’s telling you that something is out of whack. Taking medication to fix or mask the root cause is not what your body really needs. Don’t put a plaster on it, find out what you can do to avoid it happening again. There is a place for medicine as I say, but there is also a huge shake up in the medical industry at the moment where new science is proving that old science is wrong. And that so much can be done with a more natural / preventative approach. Natural healing for me is most important, most of the time. I also think that mainstream health advice tends to be very dated and often massively incorrect (blog coming up on some of the terrible things my clients have experienced recently soon!)
2) Invest in yourself. I have a tight budget and wanted to take the boys away for their birthday. But this was more important. I was happy to pay for these sessions and compromise on some fun. Because long term there is no fun if you’re body isn’t working properly! The boys were fine with that and in some ways gave even more value to this session. They have not stopped talking about Marc and what he advised since – pure gold!
3) When you pay to ask someone for advice and they tell you what to do, DO IT! Take it seriously, make time for it and don’t skim it or take short cuts. I’m seeing more and more people cutting corners and making up their own version. I promise it will come back to bite you on the butt!
Oh and the most important message of all…
EAT MORE GREENS AND GET YOUR KIDS TO EAT MORE GREENS!
Not convinced, check out the Andi scores on this fab article HERE
And here’s a summary of the high ranking nutrient dense foods taken from it. Top veggies are kale, collards, mustard greens, watercress, swiss chard, bok choy, rocket, romaine, brussel sprouts…
I hope you found this useful and inspirational and Marc has just agreed to doing an audio interview with him, so look out for that soon and next week I’ll share what he said about me!!
* My twins only had their 8 week jabs in 2008, but absolutely nothing after that and Tabitha hasn’t had any at all. I must stress this is a personal choice based on a huge amount of research I’ve done. And at the moment I am not convinced the ever increasing vaccination schedule in the western world (86 from birth to 16 now in some countries!) is the right way to approach the health and immunity of babies and children. There has also never been any efficacy studies done on vaccinated v un-vaccinated children and so until this is done, I’m choosing to opt out. I must stress I am not anti-vaxx, more pro-safe vaccines!).