ADHD is one of the most common types of neurodivergence in children. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most heavily medicated from an early age. My guest, Dana Kay, joins me to talk about how she reduced her child’s ADHD medication, improved his diet by removing inflammatory foods, and helps other families thrive with ADHD.
Listen to the Episode
Common Side Effects of ADHD Medication
- Loss of appetite
- Inability to sleep
- Comedown effects like worse tantrums
- Weight loss and growth stunting
About Dana Kay
Dana Kay is a Board-Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and the founder of the ADHD Thrive Institute and The ADHD Thrive Method 4 Kids program. As a mother of a child with ADHD, she knows firsthand the struggles that come with parenting a neurodiverse child. She also knows the freedom that is possible once parents learn to reduce ADHD symptoms.
Dana has been featured in Forbes, Authority Magazine, Medium, Influencive, Thrive Global, and various others. She has also been a guest on multiple parenting and ADHD summits and podcasts.
Her mission is to help families reduce ADHD symptoms naturally so that children with ADHD can thrive at home, at school, and in life.
The Importance of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Dana Kay shares her experience as a parent to a child diagnosed early with ADHD. She explains how the first treatment option offered was a medication that came complete with a whole host of side effects for her child. And the treatment for those side effects? You guessed it, more medication.
Dana knew there had to be a better way to treat her child for his ADHD symptoms and the medication’s side effects. She started looking at the food her child was eating, a standard American diet, and discovered that gluten, dairy, and soy, inflammatory foods, contributed to his ADHD symptoms.
When she started implementing an anti-inflammatory diet, Dana explains how she started seeing improvements in her child’s symptoms within just a few weeks. By removing these trigger foods, Dana found her child started healing naturally and was able to reduce and then completely come off his ADHD medication.
Reducing Inflammatory Foods in the Diet
Unfortunately, inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, and soy are prevalent in the standard American diet. Dana explains the importance of reading food labels and finding out where these ingredients live. She also gives some great examples of kid-friendly anti-inflammatory meals and says that her Instant Pot and slow cooker are commonly used tools in her kitchen.
Dana recommends the whole family adopts an anti-inflammatory diet. She says to start small, even by replacing your breakfast with anti-inflammatory foods, before overhauling your whole diet.
Finally, Dana talks about some of the supplements she uses and the importance of including these vitamins and minerals in your diet. Her list includes, but is not limited to Omega 3, Zinc, Spore-Based Probiotics, Curcumin, and Magnesium.
Are you concerned about your child’s ADHD symptoms or the side effects of their medication? Do you or your child have unexplained gut issues? Call the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic today and schedule your first appointment at 319-363-0033.
“Trust the process. Once you start reducing inflammation in your child’s brain and their body, their palettes start opening up and they start trying new foods. They’re able to sit still at school, they can focus better, and they can manage their emotions.” [10:24]
“To go from having IEP services to no longer needing them just because you’ve changed the diet, I mean, it’s a no-brainer. Why isn’t this the first line of defense that doctors are giving when a child’s diagnosed with ADHD?” [16:24]
“Eating the rainbow is what we say. You want to get fruit and vegetables that you can eat the rainbow, all the different colors. With fruit, I do say at least two servings per day. Fruit does contain natural sugar and with our kids who are hyperactive, we want to keep that sugar down, even if it is natural. We definitely avoid refined sugars.” [29:25]
“Start with breakfast, it’s super easy. Once you’re comfortable with that, maybe do one dinner a week. Doing one thing at a time is okay. If you take that one step forward, you’re still moving forward to your goal. Take it slow, start gluten-free, and do it one step at a time.” [31:00]
“In order to heal the gut, you have to remove the foods that you’re sensitive to or it will be this vicious cycle.” [32:33]
“Food is the foundation of health. If we pound our bodies with inflammatory, processed foods, our longevity is going to be severely affected. I always say, when you’re building a house, if you don’t have a solid foundation, your house will fall down. The body is the same. Diet is the same. Immune function is hindered when we eat inflammatory foods. We’re not just putting ourselves at risk for obesity issues by poorly eating, we’re also putting our bodies at risk for every other disease out there because we’re hindering our ability to fight off infection and bacteria.” [37:48]
In This Episode
- The limitations and side effects of treating ADHD with medication [5:00]
- The common side effects of ADHD stimulating medication [5:45]
- How the standard American diet can contribute to ADHD [8:30]
- What happens when you implement a low inflammatory diet [9:30]
- Why eating inflammatory foods impacts neurotransmitters and contributes to ADHD [12:00]
- What happens when you remove the trigger foods from your child’s diet [14:00]
- Where inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, and soy are in the diet [20:00]
- Some examples of anti-inflammatory and kid-friendly meals [25:00]
- How to start making healthier changes to your diet [30:00]
- What supplements to consider [34:00]
Links & Resources
6 Day Slow Cooker Meal Plan Free Gift
Dana Kay 0:03
If we pound our bodies with inflammatory process foods, our longevity is going to be severely affected.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:12
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Donna Kay who is super passionate about helping kids with ADHD thrive. Today we're going to talk about why it's vital to get rid of inflammatory foods in the diet, discuss what foods are the best to eat and why. And lastly, dive into why we should look to food first when we are addressing symptoms and trying to heal the body. Let's get started.
Welcome to another episode of The your longevity blueprint podcast. today. My guest is Donna Kay who's board certified holistic health practitioner and the founder of the ADHD Thrive Institute and the ADHD Thrive method for Kids program. As a mother of a child with ADHD she knows firsthand the struggles that come with parenting a neurodiverse child, but she also knows the freedom that is possible once parents learn to reduce ADHD symptoms. Donna has been featured in Forbes authority magazine medium influences Thrive global and various others. She has also been a guest on multiple parenting and ADHD summits and podcasts. Her mission is to help families reduce ADHD symptoms naturally so that children with ADHD can thrive at home, school and in life. Welcome to the show. Donna.
Dana Kay 1:35
Thank you very much, Stephanie. Thanks so much for having me. Super excited to be here.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:40
So we have to start with your story. Of course, we always start this way. So how did you become specialized in helping kids with ADHD?
Dana Kay 1:47
Yeah, no, definitely like, believe it or not, and I don't tell many people this, I actually used to be completely removed from from the health and wellness space. And I was actually an accountant. Don't tell anyone. And I plan to continue in that field my whole career. And I might have done so if my concerns over my own son's health hadn't grown grown as much as as it did. You know, we suffered from meltdowns, and they, they became more dramatic. And his energy seems so much higher than every other child his age. And my gut really told me there was something else wrong, there was something that we're missing. Now. Eventually, his tantrums became so severe and his teachers started noticing the differences as well.
And he was diagnosed with ADHD and immediately we were given a prescription medication. At first, you know, I was really, really relieved, you know, thinking we were finally getting the help that we needed, but then the dosage increase, and he was four years old at this time. Okay. So, you know, you just think about that he was four years old, the dosage started to increase, the side effects became worse and worse. And his doctor actually gave him another prescription to counteract the side effects of the first medication. And this continued until my four year old was on four very strong medications. And that was when I was just like, No, this is not okay. And when my my whole career path completely changed, and I began learning about, you know, how food can affect so many aspects of our lives.
And once I learned about the importance of food on behavior, you know, and I actually saw the changes in my own son, you know, I couldn't keep that information to myself and I went and, you know, back to back to school, you know, did my bachelor's in holistic health science, did specific certifications in you know, nutrition specifically for kids with autism and ADHD and similar disorders, and just studied and studied and read and read and read and read now, my son's in middle school now, he is thriving, he's not on any medication hasn't been on any meds for years. I'm lucky enough to be able to help so many other families get to that same point as me and it was really, really, really difficult for me. And it just does not need to be as hard as it was for me for other families. And that's why I do what I do.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 4:25
You listen to that motherly intuition and look where it's led you.
Dana Kay 4:31
I know it was it was just, it was a time in our lives. And I you know, even though it was so extremely hard. I am so grateful that I went through it.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 4:41
Yep, yep. So you advocate for a food first approach to healing the body. So explain more what that means.
Dana Kay 4:49
Really, honestly, when children are diagnosed with ADHD, the first course of treatment that most doctors suggest is medication. They're given that prescription, okay, that's all they're given. How many of them don't tell parents that altering the diet can significantly reduce ADHD symptoms. And that's what happened with my son. When he was diagnosed, our doctor didn't mention any other course of treatment, and the only one he told us about was medication. And unfortunately for us, the medication did more harm than good. And with each new medication, our doctor suggested, my son had a new side effect.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 5:27
Can we talk about some of those? Can we, I mean, there's a time and a place for medication. I'm a, you know, functional medicine practitioner and also integrative. So we integrate or combine sometimes not always, but medications with lifestyle, diet changes, supplements, but sometimes medications come at a price. So can you share with the audience just for some of those parents who might be listening? whose children are on such medications? What are some of the common side effects of these? These more? You know, Stimulant medications? Yeah,
Dana Kay 5:52
really good question. And I completely agree with you there is a time and place for medication, but to be constantly increasing the dose and adding new medication to treat those symptoms. It's not okay, especially for a young child. Yeah. So you know, for my son in particular, and the you know, there are that standard symptoms that can come out. So things like loss of appetite, he would never eat at all during the day. And then he would just like, chow down in the evening, inability to sleep. So you know, the stimulant medication, it's emulates the body, it, he couldn't sleep, we would have to give sleeping medication in the end, because he just couldn't sleep. And we all know kids when they don't sleep, it actually turns
Dr. Stephanie Gray 6:35
out even worse, and then the parents can't sleep and then
Dana Kay 6:39
Exactly, exactly. So there was that we also had this come down effect, you know, it's medication, it's amphetamine medication. And so it was like he was on drugs. And at the end of the day, he started to come down off those drugs, and we would have more worst tantrums than what we had prior to even starting the medication. And for us, that was the hardest, because, yes, he was focused at school. But then in the evening, our whole family life was in a state of disarray. And I used to tell my husband, I really don't like my son, and you know, as a mum, and that the guilt that comes with that is huge. So those meltdowns just got worse, his anxiety, he never suffered from anxiety before, but the medication created anxiety. So, you know, he used to be such an outgoing child. And when he was on the medication, you know, just the anxiety of going to school or anxiety going to a new place, it just became too much. So for us that those were the the main ones, and he lost weight. He stopped growing. And you know, this is the core time in a child's life where they need to grow, they need to put on that way to feed their brain and all of that stuff.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:59
I want to talk about feeding the brain, I want to talk about what foods do more harm than good. And what foods do more good than harm, right? Yeah, definitely.
If I can interject one more question. If you're comfortable sharing, I'm putting you on the spot here. Can you share with the audience what type of diet he was on at that time? And then what changes you made throughout the process as well? Can you throw in some of those details for us?
Dana Kay 8:21
Yeah, for sure. So looking at a standard American diet, I know I don't sound like I'm from America, but um, I am. I mean, no, I'm not originally from America. I'm from Australia, but I do live in Washington State. And so, you know, we were in America at the time, and he would have just the standard kid food. What's that? You know, he would have chicken nuggets. We didn't eat that badly. I didn't think our diet was that bad. But he would have, you know, you'd go to birthday parties and have the candy, he'd have the cake. But we would eat, you know, steak on the barbecue, we would eat fries, we would eat, you know, just a standard diet. It wasn't that bad. You know, it wasn't like we were going to McDonald's.
Every single day of the week, we were just eating a normal diet. He would still have some vegetables, he would still have fruit. But he would have, you know, toast in the morning or cereal. He would have a sandwich for lunch, which is just normally what you think that is the right thing to eat. And so it wasn't that bad. It wasn't amazing, but it wasn't that bad. Sure. And so, you know, the changes that you know we really started to make was to try and reduce that inflammation in his body, in his brain and in his gut. And for me and for all of the clients and families that I work with. It's implementing that low inflammatory diet that really is when you start to see the change. And for me, the key things to take out are gluten, dairy, and soy.
And I am honestly amazed every single time when we remove those things from the diet and we replaced them with whole with micro nutrient rich foods, they start to see changes. And sometimes even within a couple of weeks, you know, the tantrums start to weaken and be fewer and farther between. And their palates also open up. About 70% of the kids that we work with are picky eaters, and they come and one of those biggest obstacles for them, they're like, Well, how on earth is my child going to eat that food, and I'm like, trust me, trust the process. Once you start reducing inflammation in their brain and their body, their palate start opening up and they start trying new foods, they're able to, you know, sit still at school, they can focus easier, they can manage their emotions, one mom told me that her son's handwriting even improved, I mean, who would link handwriting to taking out three top inflammatory foods, it's just so amazing how much you know, gut health and brain health and body health can affect every aspect of our life.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 10:58
I totally agree. Chapter one of my book, Your longevity blueprint is all about gut health, really repairing the gut lining, removing gut infections, and also removing food sensitivities. I don't talk a lot about the relationship between doing that and improving ADHD. But in my book, I talk about a lot of the other organ systems that are positively influenced by you know, reducing the the foods that you're eating those inflammatory foods, so minimizing headaches, or menstrual cramps, or whatnot. So I think this is extremely important, but we don't really think that ADHD is a trigger from eating those inflammatory foods.
So I like how this episode is entirely donated to that, because I think it's just neglected and not something that parents are always thinking about. And when they're already stressed out, they might give their kids crackers, because that's all that's handy, and their kids having a tantrum. So just give them what they want. And unfortunately, that can just be the vicious cycle it can we can you explain to us a little bit and I can expand on this also, why eating those foods? When they cause inflammation? how that impacts neurotransmitters? And thus ADHD? Can you expand on that a little bit?
Dana Kay 12:01
Really, really good question. So probably your listeners of the podcast, have heard a lot about the gut brain connection. I don't know if that's one of the things that you've talked about. But you know, the gut talks to the brain via, you know, a two way chemical messenger system. And so if one of those is not functioning, well, then that messages system between the two of them is not going to function well. But the gut is also responsible for making 95% of our serotonin and 50% of our dopamine, which are our happy, feel good neurotransmitters or hormones in our body that regulate our mood, you know, they maintain our emotions and our mood balance, and also our cognitive function.
And so if the gut is not functioning, well, we can't create those wonderful neurotransmitters, so we can regulate our mood. Think about it. A tantrum is related to mood, it's related to emotions. And so if your body is not producing those neurotransmitters, then of course, you're going to be sad, of course, you're going to have this up and down and up and down. And the biggest thing like with gluten, gluten is inflammatory probably for most people, I will say, No one should really be eating gluten. Because what it does, it actually contributes to something called leaky gut.
And again, I'm sure that many of our listeners have heard you probably talk about leaky gut. And so that's why we take that out so we can really heal that got, we can reduce that inflammation, we can optimize the gut brain connection. And we can start the body being able to create these wonderful neurotransmitter transmitters that they need to feel happy and relaxed and content.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:45
Thank you. Well said well said. So what happens when families remove these inflammatory foods? So gluten, dairy, and soy are your big three top triggers to inflammation which impair our body's ability to make the neurotransmitter so we can feel good, right? So then what happens when we remove the foods? Can you share some success stories, maybe some patient cases of individuals who have been in your program,
Dana Kay 14:07
I can tell you story after story after story after story, honestly, it is. It's amazing. I as a part of my program, we have group coaching calls, and we have them five times a week, every week, because to remove gluten, dairy and soy out of a child's diet is hard. And I'm sure parents out there thinking well how on earth am I going to do it? But every day, I'm amazed at the stories that I'm told. I had one family and this one you know I talk about quite a lot. She has three children, three boys. Two of them have got ADHD and one's got autism. So she has a tough between two of her boys last year. They had been expelled from school 30 times in the year and she was about to have to quit her job while she was about to lose her job because every time she got called from the school sorry, suspended, not expelled. There's a difference, about to get expelled?
Well, every time that she got called to the school, she had to leave her work. And you know, obviously her work was not very happy about that. And that's when they started the program with me. Within 12 weeks, we changed the diet, we took out gluten, we took out dairy, we took out soy, we started feeding the body, feeding the brain, you know, there's some really great foods that you can do to feed the brain as well. We bought in some key supplements to really help with that process. And this year, they have not been suspended once, and her children are actually winning awards, and they're getting straight A's. The change within 12 weeks is insane.
And so and this happens time and time and time again, I can tell you story after story for all the parents listening out there, they will know that right now is most schools are doing parent teacher interviews. This week, the number of posts in the group saying that I just got back from my school parent teacher interviews, and the change in the child from last year has been immense. And we've had people that have lost their IEP program. So IEP is when is an individual education program where when you've got a diagnosis, they get extra services to go from having those extra services to no longer needing them just because you've changed the diet. I mean, it's a no brainer. Why isn't this the first line of defense that doctors are giving when a child is diagnosed with ADHD.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 16:42
You might not know this, but building a healthy gut or gastrointestinal system is one of the most important things you should be working on to maintain your health and longevity. That's why actually in my book, Your longevity blueprint, I devote the entire first chapter to the gut. I like to compare the gut or gastrointestinal system to the foundation of your home, you have to have a strong gastrointestinal system upon which to build great health. So with that in mind, I want to share a few tips to help you do just that. The first step with improving your gut health is to clean up your diet, removing inflammatory foods, foods you may have sensitivities towards and treating gut infections. Like I mentioned, I get into this in a lot more depth in chapter one of my book.
Once you've done that, however, there are also some amazing nutrients that exists to help you heal further to have my favorite your longevity blueprint combination powder products for helping patients heal their guts are called gut shield and gi support. Gut shield contains several important ingredients including glutamine and zinc. Glutamine is the most important non essential amino acid for gut healing and zinc is a top mineral for gut healing as well. Got shield also contains n acetyl, D glucosamine and aloe vera and acetyl D glucosamine is a mucin precursor that has been shown to increase the production of mucus within the GI tract.
This is beneficial in coding the tract and protecting it. That shield also contains diglycerides licorice root extract also known as DGL, a form of licorice root that does not contain glycerides in which can raise blood pressure. Licorice has been known to treat and heal ulcers, it works as a demulcent. to sue the irritated tissue. It's antispasmodic, anti inflammatory and anti allergenic Aloevera has been used throughout history to promote a normal inflammatory response. You may have used it on your cuts, scrapes or burns as a child studies have shown the aloe vera is also specifically beneficial to the gastric mucosa in part through its ability to balance stomach acid levels and promote healthy mucus production.
All these gut healing nutrients are packed into one little scoop of powder that can be added to a beverage of your choice or mixed into a smoothie. I recommend patients consume this consistently for at least three months for gut healing. My second favorite product for gut healing is called gi support a gut healing protein powder containing glutamine as well. The difference here is that gi support is also loaded with natural anti inflammatories like turmeric, it also contains arabinogalactan ZZ which serve as prebiotic fiber and it contains green tea extract also known as EGCG. A potent antioxidant that further helps to reduce inflammation. It's the Cadillac of gut healing patterns because it has protein, the amino acid glutamine, prebiotics, anti inflammatories, and antioxidants all in one scoop.
And yes, it can be combined with gut shield. Consider taking the synergistic one daily while focusing on cleaner eating. These products aren't needed forever, but they sure help expedite the healing process of your gut lining. Check out more product information on our website and use code heal gut for 10% off either product that's got shield or GI support at your longevity blueprint.com. Now let's get back to the show. Good question. Good question. That's encouraging that patients can their lives can be turned around rather quickly. It sounds like I mean, these kids behaviors can change rather quickly. So let's break down again. We have talked a lot about these foods, these inflammatory foods on the podcast but where are parents going to find a lot of gluten, dairy and soy? Where are they going to find those as far as removing them and then we'll get on to some maybe meal examples and foods that fuel the brain. But first, where are they finding these inflammatory foods?
Dana Kay 20:06
They're everywhere. You know, when you eat toasts in bread, it's in bread, in the cakes in the muffins in cereal, you'd be surprised. Sometimes it's even in medication. Sometimes it's in, you know, your personal care products, it hides in pretty much everything. Interestingly, the other day, you know, we were just going through some of the things in the course. And we were looking at what we had written back in the day, when we first created the list of where they could find it, you can buy a packet of instant potato mash. Firstly, I don't know why potatoes should be in a packet as an instant potato mash, but that instant potato mash has gluten in it. And so you really need to follow a step by step plan.
And have you know, that guidance of where it is hiding because it hides in everything, especially gluten. Now dairy, for example, it hides in all the milk that you drink, that cheese, you'll find also muffins will have dairy in it, banana bread will have dairy in it. And so a lot of the places that gluten is hiding is also, you know, dairy is hiding in as well. Now, soy people come into the program and think Oh, soy will be the easiest, I hardly ever eat soy. But when you turn, turn over that package of a package good, you will be surprised how many times it will say contain soy. And so what we're actually
Dr. Stephanie Gray 21:32
gluten free foods, a lot of gluten free foods. First ingredient is soy?
Dana Kay 21:36
Yes, exactly. And you know soy in its own right is not great because soy can mimic estrogen production. And it can cause an overload of estrogen in your body which affects your hormones. It also is one of the crops that are the top GMO moms. Yep. In the whole of America along with corn and soy, GMOs, genetically modified organisms, they affect the body as well. There's not huge amount of research in what you know, there's more and more coming out every day. But there's not a huge amount of research out there. That is traditional medicine and saying that GMOs are bad for you. But they are and they cause inflammation. Totally I'll
Dr. Stephanie Gray 22:15
just mention to the audience too. We should throw this in. Even though in this episode, we're talking about helping kids with ADHD. Everything we're saying here applies to adults, adults with anxiety and depression and insomnia. So as I've shared a lot of my story, just through episodes, and through my book, and one symptom that I commonly get, which is mostly under control at this point, is palpitations and tachycardia. And when I eat gluten, and soy, so I first took gluten out of the diet, and the the fast heart rate definitely calmed down. But I slowly found things like soy sauce, right? Were causing palpitations as well. So soy is an excitotoxin. It'll cause excitotoxicity and anxiety and whatnot, even in adults. So I love that you were talking about soy, because we haven't talked a lot about soy thus far on the show.
Dana Kay 23:03
Yeah. And that's why, you know, I take these top three things out, and you're so right, it can help anyone like we've got when the families go through the program, a lot of them do it as a family unit. And not only do all these changes happen in the kids, they happen in the parents as well, like, you know, they dropped way they, you know, they I had this one, dad was like, Oh my gosh, I used to have swollen ankles. Now my ankles are back to normal size, just from going on this diet hit that the cholesterol I have, you know, a number of families, they've dropped 30 points. They've never been in normal range in their whole life. Until they went back into they did this program their doctors, like, what are you doing? And they're like, we implemented this diet for our child. And he's like, keep doing what? Yep, exactly. So
Dr. Stephanie Gray 23:50
in your program, you walk families through making all these changes. Good,
Dana Kay 23:54
good guess step by step, because it is hard, especially with children, the amount of the rip out, they're given to children, at school at birthday parties. It's hard. And so we help them through all of those challenges. And it's not like, you know, it's different for a child than doing it for yourself. And, and so we're really helping them and tailoring it to each family but also to a child's life.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 24:21
Sure, sure. For those parents who are listening, they're probably going to want some, you know, yes, you should take her her course. But in you know, a few minutes here, can you share some meal examples for kids that are gluten dairy, soy free, right, that contain foods that feed the brain that reduce inflammation and help with focus and concentration and growth and development? whatnot? Yeah, for sure.
Dana Kay 24:45
We, as parents, we're always so busy, and a lot of families just don't have the time to you know, spend hours and hours in the kitchen and I'll let you in on a secret. I don't love cooking. Okay, and you know, I was Always the family member that would bring something from the supermarket already pre made to our family functions to the potluck or whatever. And so, you know, when I started making all these changes back in the day, my whole family were just laughing at me. So I will tell you everything that we teach in our program helps families make it quick, make it easy. I think the biggest tip for that is like an instapot slow kick up cooker.
And you know, I'm actually going to be sharing a free guide for your listeners today is like a six day slow cooker meal plan. Because when you're rushed for time, you just throw everything in and then when you're, it's dinner's ready. You know, a lot of the things we eat we we love using our grill, grill, you know, steak and chicken and all of that sort of stuff. But fish also really feeds the brain and a lot of kids won't eat fish. What we do suggest in the program is bringing in a good quality fish oil or a cod liver oil. I do prefer having a cod liver oil because you do get a bit of added vitamin D and vitamin A in it as well. And so those Amiga threes, like that's probably one of the most researched supplements for ADHD is a good quality fish oil. Sure.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 26:16
You've probably heard a lot about fish oil. It's one of the most common supplements available after all, but have you wondered if you should be taking it and why you might want to think about it. The simple answer is yes. If you don't have access to fresh fish several times per week, you can likely benefit from supplementation and may even need to. I test many of my patients fatty acid levels and have found that the overwhelming majority of my patients are low in omega threes. omega three fatty acids are essential cornerstones of human nutrition. They are deemed essential because we need them for proper health, much like certain vitamins and minerals, but unfortunately, we can't produce them on our own.
As a result, our only option is to consume these fats either through our diet or through supplementation. omega three fatty acids are known to benefit cardiovascular health, support healthy brain function and cognition and have been proven to maintain a healthy inflammatory response. For all these reasons. Achieving the proper balance of omega threes is an important health strategy one for which most people require supplementation. Simplified visual can help improve your cholesterol glucose helps your memory reduce pain, even headaches and menstrual cramps.
I typically start my patients with one to two grams or 1000 to 2000 milligrams per day of combined Ecosa pentameric acid which is EPA and docosahexaenoic acid, which is DHA daily, are your longevity blueprint Omegas are stabilized in vitamin E oil and rosemary extract is used to ensure maximum purity and freshness. This exclusive fish oil is purified vacuum distilled and independently tested to ensure heavy metals pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs are removed to undetectable levels. Plus, our official has the shortest see to shelf time meaning from fish to bottle or capsule of only three to six months as compared to the industry average of 18 to 36 months. Seriously.
That means most of the fish will you buy over the counter is old, oxidized, rancid and not helpful that fish oil purchased over the counter could be three years old already before you ingest it. Yuck. With over 10,000 published studies in the last three decades, EPA and DHA from fish oil are among the most researched natural ingredients available and have a long history of safety and efficacy. Check out more product information on our website, your longevity blueprint.com and use code omega threes for 10% off now let's get back to the show.
Dana Kay 28:32
We really just ate simply you don't have to be a gourmet chef so you know we have either a maid or a seafood or you know a really good protein and we put it with some vegetables. Some families we teach to go grain free some we don't teach to go grain free just to go gluten free will depend on sort of the level of inflammation in their body. And so you know just having a balanced plate of protein, healthy oils, you know those healthy oils are really also going to feed that brain you want that good fat that's going to get into the brain as well. You know having that balance of protein, oil, carbohydrates, vegetables and those foods that have that great micronutrient rich you know vitamins and minerals in them.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 29:17
And what's your take on fruit? I usually recommend lots of colors deeply pigmented fruits are good. What's your thought on that?
Dana Kay 29:23
Yes. So you know obviously eating the rainbow is what we say is you want to get fruit and vegetables that you can eat the rainbow all the different colors in there with fruit you know I do say sort of two servings of fruit a day because still does contain natural sugar. And with our kids that are hyperactive, we do want to keep that sugar down even if it is natural. We definitely avoid refined sugars. I always suggest any maple syrup or dates to sweeten any of your baked goods rather than those refined sugars. And so fruit you know two to three servings a day is usually about what I suggest
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:02
I agree to. So if you could share one piece of advice with someone who's just starting out eating healthier, what's your one piece of advice,
Dana Kay 30:09
my one piece of advice is definitely to go gluten, dairy and soy free. I know that sounds sounds like a unsurmountable task. But if you're going to start somewhere, start with gluten at the top inflammatory food and start small Rome was not built in a day, you do not need to make all the changes at once in that day. So start small, maybe start with breakfast, breakfast doesn't seem that hard. Take out gluten in breakfast, you know, maybe bring in some eggs, good quality, nitrate, nitrate free bacon, I love overnight oats, you know, make sure your oats are certified gluten free. For sure, and a lot of families make that mistake. But I definitely teach that in the program because it can actually be you know, cross contaminated with that gluten. Start with breakfast. It's super easy. And once you're comfortable with that, maybe do one dinner a week, adding one dinner a week, you know doing one thing at a time is okay. If you take that one step forward, you're still moving forward to your goal. So take it slow, start gluten free, but do it one step at a time.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 31:21
I like that I like that. Do you offer food sensitivity testing to your clients? Or? What? Yeah, what role? Do you think functional lab testing kind of plays in treating the body?
Dana Kay 31:31
Honestly, I'd say about 50% of the kids that I work with, we change the diet only. And we don't need to go further to functional lab testing. And so I do like to see that first because you know, functional lab testing is a little bit expensive. It's not covered by insurance. But you know, we always see changes with diet. But if we don't see enough of what we want, then I definitely do suggest that we go down to functional lab testing, you know, and part of that is looking at the gut, how is the gut functioning, and we do a gut stool test food sensitivities, because when you've got leaky gut, the foods that you eat the most often are the ones that are in your gut that can go through the holes into the bloodstream, and your body starts recognizing them as a pathogen or toxin, and turns on the Zener. Yeah, exactly.
And turns on this inflammatory response every time you eat that food. So in order to heal the gut, you have to remove the foods that you're sensitive to, or it's going to be this vicious cycle. So we do a stool test, we do food sensitivity testing, we also do something called an organic acid test, which is a urine test, which is such a good bang for your buck, because you get over 70 different important markers, and how the body is functioning, your detoxification pathways, your mitochondria, which is you know the powerhouse of the cells in your body. It's looking at yeast, it's looking bacteria, some parts of mold as well, you would be surprised how many kids have mold toxicity and it's not talked about.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 33:03
I know, I would not be surprised. listeners would be surprised. Because I see their parents. And I do I think of Okay, so I'm treating these parents and I have to tell them your children and your animals. You also have the same NOC code, they have the same exposure. So they could also be suffering, sadly. So I love that if you're listening right now, and you're wondering what oat testing or organic acid testing is, that is something that we run typically through Great Plains here, we also run a nutritional evaluation through Genova diagnostics. So if you're listening in your current patient, you may have already had a Nutri eval run, which contains a lot of organic acids, as well. So both those tests are awesome. I think they they help provide a guide as far as what supplements patients need to be taking exactly. Everyone's bio
Dana Kay 33:43
individual, you can't you know, what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another person. A lot of parents fall into that trap. They read on a Facebook group that, oh, magnesium was like the bale and endo for my child, and they get so excited, and then they bring on magnesium. And some of the time, it actually makes it worse. So it's really about focusing on that bio individual and seeing what's going on in their body and developing a protocol for their body
Dr. Stephanie Gray 34:11
totally agreed. Although, for listeners, can we mention what some of the common supplement kind of needs or nutrient needs are? So you already mentioned the importance of supplementing with omega threes? What are some others that you find many patients are deficient with that need to supplement?
Dana Kay 34:27
Yeah, definitely look, um, zinc is actually a really common one, especially if you've got a picky eater. Zinc deficiency actually can cause your tastebuds to change and the food that you eat can taste gross, and that can be how picky eating starts. But what happens unfortunately, it might have started with zinc deficiency, but then it causes this vicious cycle and it becomes a habit. So you might rectify the zinc deficiency, but then you've actually got to break the habit in which we help our families like I haven't had a PDA to that I haven't been able to help to date. So that's a common One good quality probiotic, I prefer using a spore based probiotic which basically recedes the gut rather than just putting specific strains in there.
It's kind of like gardening, where you put the seeds over in the garden and you let your gut grow what it needs to grow. So that's always one that I suggest, I also suggest, usually immunoglobulins in Yeah, which is a bit funny, which helps reduce the inflammation and helps the gut. And so that's a good one that I suggest as well. I use a lab called microbiome labs for both the spore based and you might use that or you might use something different. We carry
Dr. Stephanie Gray 35:37
all kinds of products. So yes, we carry those but we also are your longevity blueprint brand. We have the immunoglobulin product, we call it that SB IgG. And for listeners think of that as a pathogen binder, it's going to help bind bacteria, yeast, other pathogens to get them out of your body so they don't get recirculated. So yes, those using those immunoglobulins in the past few years has been a big game changer. So I definitely agree there. Do you use like gut healing protein powders, like with turmeric, glutamine?
Dana Kay 36:04
Yeah, look, I also, we use a curcumin and resveratrol combination product to help again, reduce inflammation. I generally, when we get protocols, that's when I bring in those other like gut healing supplements. So to start, I don't just generally like willy nilly, you know, say use that, but I'll use the the probiotic or use those immunoglobulins. We'll use the curcumin and resveratrol to reduce inflammation in the brain. And the body, I'll also suggest a magnesium because most people are deficient in magnesium, so important for over 300 biochemical product processes in our body. And so most people can benefit from it. Some people don't. But majority of people do benefit from
Dr. Stephanie Gray 36:50
magnesium can be very helpful from a sleep standpoint, or is there anything else that you recommend, actually for sleep, like to calm kiddos down? I don't see kids, I have other practitioners at my clinic who do but I don't see kids. So I'm just curious to know what else you would recommend. Look,
Dana Kay 37:04
normally the sleep issues are due to an underlying cause, isn't it? So parasites, for example, come alive at nighttime. And there is a reason that they've got sleep issues. I don't love suggesting melatonin, you know, for a short period of time. It's good to use for kids just to get them back into the routine. But you know, we want to just make sure why we're why they're unable to sleep
Dr. Stephanie Gray 37:28
instead of just soy and gluten at dinner. And yeah, exactly.
Dana Kay 37:31
Exactly, exactly. So once we rectify all of that, you'll be amazed how much better the kids will sleep?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 37:39
Sure, sure. So we've talked about how important the foods we eat play a role with ADHD, right? But what about with longevity? What's your thought on that?
Dana Kay 37:48
Food is the foundation of health, okay, if we pound our bodies with inflammatory process foods, our longevity is going to be severely affected. Okay. I always say that when you're building a house, if you don't have a solid foundation, your house will fall down,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 38:10
I say the exact same thing and you have to have one of my books.
Dana Kay 38:14
There you go, that's fantastic. And the body is the same, okay, diet is the same. And you know, immune function is hindered when we eat inflammatory foods. So we're not just putting ourselves at risk for obesity related issues by poorly eating, we're also putting our bodies at risk for every other disease out there because we are hindering our ability to fight off infection and bacteria and to have our body functioning. And in a state of optimum health. That's what it's about, let's achieve optimum health rather than fighting symptoms when they come up. Because if we achieve optimum health, we won't need to get to that stage, we won't need to throw on the medication that is needed to reduce those symptoms because we are still in a state of optimal health and food very, very, very much plays into all of that.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 39:09
Totally agreed. Let's go back to this free gift that you have expand on that again, the
Dana Kay 39:14
I think six Yeah, I didn't go into much detail. Yeah, let's
Dr. Stephanie Gray 39:17
circle back around to that. And I'll post a link for this in the show notes of course.
Dana Kay 39:21
Okay, great. So I've given a six day slow cooker meal plan because I do know that families struggle with time. And you know, bringing in things like a slow cook can really help with having dinner ready at the end of the day without having to spend hours in the kitchen. And so I really wanted to provide your readers with something to help them with that help them with that time. And all of these recipes are gluten, dairy and soy free. And not only are they dinners but they are also snacks and breakfast all made in the slow cooker. So lots of recipes in there. And it's a full six day meal plan. So if you want It's a follow it for every day, you could do that. Or you could just use the recipes of the ones that you like.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 40:05
Awesome. I want to take a look at that to where listeners can connect with you and kind of find out more about your program.
Dana Kay 40:12
Yeah, definitely. So our website is called the ADHD thrive institute.com. So you can go to that Facebook page, you can find us under the ADHD Thrive Institute, Instagram is at ADHD Thrive Institute. So lots of easy ones like that. We also have a free Facebook group. And it is if you've got a child that has ADHD, or anxiety or similar disorders, we moderate a free Facebook group, it's called the ADHD parent nutrition support group, there is about 16,000 members in it. I'm in there two to three times a week doing free training. We're always giving free recipes.
But the main thing is, you are surrounding yourself with other families who are going through what you're going through. And the level of support that you get inside this group is amazing, you'll realize that you're not alone, because it can be isolating. When you've got a child with ADHD or similar disorders. You feel like you're the only person that is going through this. And it's tough, and it's tiring, and it's emotionally draining. And so when you come into a place that has this community, all of a sudden, you know, this weight gets lifted off your shoulders. So you know if that's your thing, if you know Facebook groups are your thing, then this one is really, really amazing. So that's the ADHD parent nutrition support group.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 41:40
Awesome. Sounds exciting. As we wrap up this episode, I conclude each episode asking my guests their absolute top longevity tip. So maybe this has to do with diet. And maybe it's something you've already said, or it could be something entirely different. What would your top longevity Tip
Dana Kay 41:54
Be? Well, it's definitely definitely what I've already been talking about, and that the foods that we eat are the foundation of health. And so we want to make sure that we are feeding our bodies, we are feeding our brain, we're feeding our God with foods that are actually going to make us thrive, and that are going to make us have wonderful longevity. And so definitely it is all coming back to that foundation diet is the foundation of health.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:23
Love it. Love it. Love it. Well, thank you so much, Donna, thank you for coming on the show. I encourage parents to remove the inflammatory foods from their children's diets to support their healing journey so they can thrive clearly that's your mission. So thank you so much for coming on the show.
Dana Kay 42:37
You're more than welcome. Thanks for having me.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:42
I know it can be overwhelming as an adult to take gluten, dairy and soy out of the diet, let alone then also take them out of your child's diet. But as you heard today, removing these inflammatory foods can make incredible changes happen quickly. I love how she said to trust the process. Start with gluten free eating and master that first like she said one step forward is still moving forward. Let's together grab her six days of slow cooker meals link of which is in the show notes. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck, you can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the Course tab.
One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you learn on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative as always, thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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