We first heard about Leafie from the guys at Hunter & Gather, who told us about a couple with an amazing story. Justin and Claire are testament to the real food movement. Not only did they resolve their son’s chronic eczema by following a gut healing, low carb diet, they went a step further when their daughter, Leafy, was diagnosed with a seizure condition. They researched and started her on the Ketogenic Diet which drastically decreased her daily seizures within days and continued to over the next weeks and months. And now they’re helping others do the same.
Tell us your story:
We’re a fairly typical family, 2 kids, 8 hens, based in rural Leicestershire.
We always thought we ate healthily but having children made us rethink and make some tweaks to our foods. Our paleo style eating came from our experience with our son’s years of painful and distressing skin problems, including eczema. After endless attempts to help him with nothing working and steroid creams making matters worse we turned to real foods nutrition, applying a strict no grains, dairy or sugars nutrition protocol. His skin cleared and we were hooked!!
We had further huge health concerns to deal with as our baby daughter was diagnosed with an epilepsy condition after suffering from hundreds of seizures. Again we turned to real foods, this time with the Ketogenic diet, which turned her health around within days.
With such powerful personal experiences I am determined to help others, so have become a qualified Nutrition Advisor and now help families to improve their health through food changes.
So how did you come up with the idea for leafie.org? Leafie has come about from our experiences of using food to tackle our children’s drastic eczema and epilepsy, without medication. Also shaped by my experience of working on national food programmes, including within schools.
These experiences have fired us up to tackle the inequalities around access to good food and help others to reconnect with real food for their own and their children’s health.
Tell us more about Leafie.org?
Leafie is our new non-profit nutrition support organisation aimed at families.
We are creating resources that families can tap into to start to improve their eating habits, learn about the different healing diets and be inspired by the achievements of other families that have turned their family health around by changing the way they eat.
We have already added some amazing family stories of managing severe health conditions with real foods. Including ultra colitis bowel disease, cervical cancer, child brain trauma and development delays, as well as our own experiences of managing severe epilepsy and eczema in our own children.
What support are you looking for and how can people get involved?
People can support our food as medicine campaign by sharing our crowd fund link widely, donating where possible and sharing their skills and expertise with our cause.
We are looking for media and copyediting support in particular as we finalise our FREE Sugar Free Family eCourse.
How did you come across the Paleo/keto diet? Was it all your own research?
We found the Paleo and Keto way of things through blogs, forums and like-minded people that were beginning to debunk the conventional dietary guidance.
Our first big nutrition step was to take on board the Weston A Price food principles, which highlighted the significance of a real foods approach to any eating routine.
What was the biggest turning point?
There have been a number of “ah hah!” moments. Having children was a key one, which led us to review, learn and improve our eating habits. Then our son’s eczema began all of the research and eventually the specific diet that helped him back to clear, smooth, itch-free skin and to sleep again for us all.
How do you get your kids to eat this way? Any top tips for other families?
I am now a qualified Nutrition Advisor and through my Leafie Clinic I help with a number of food and digestion related issues as well as helping families and schools to adapt their food routine and learn new skills.
This issue comes up a great deal for families changing their foods. I would say to try to bring all members of the family on board with healthy food changes, so that one person is not eating the new meals alone in the home and being tempted by old familiar foods.
One way to get children on board is to offer them the opportunity to ‘pimp’ their meal with added extras, for example with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds on their breakfast or a handful of mange tout with their lunch. This can soon open up new tastes and possibilities without the battles.
You guys are also behind the GoodFats Tallow and Rudie’s tallow-based skin balms that we sell here on Paleo & Co. Tell us about those products.
GoodFats Tallow: We make and supply premium grass-fed beef and lamb traditional tallow fats. These nutrient dense fats are stable at high temperature and contains highly beneficial fat soluble vitamins A, D, K and E as well as Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits.
When we adapted to our Paleo diet we could not find diverse sources of healthy saturated fats, so we learned how to make tallow, then set up our high quality production supplying farms shops and markets and now online through Paleo & Co!
Rudie’s tallow-based skin balms these are the balms we used to treat our son’s skin. The tallow ingredient is biologically compatible with our skin, our body’s largest organ and has natural antimicrobial properties. Perfect to nourish and protect eczema or dry, cracked, weathered skin paleo style!
Any good recipes you can share using your tallow?
This amazing golden omelette.
What P&Co product do you love (other than your own)?
We love Hunter & Gather avocado oil; we love it on our aubergine pizza bakes and a good glug on salads and veggies. We are also mad on their avocado mayonnaise. Top tip: it tastes fantastic in egg mayo lettuce wraps!