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The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Aug 14, 2019

My guest this week is Julie Matthews a Certified Nutrition Consultant and published nutrition researcher specializing in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders. She is the author of the award-winning book, Nourishing Hope for Autism, and co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients.

Julie’s approach is based on the BioIndividual Nutrition® needs of each person and stems from her 17 years of work with autism. Using autism as a model for complex chronic disease, her approach and methodology have helped practitioners specializing in varied disorders aid in the improvement of the health and healing of their clients through strategic BioIndividual Nutrition and dietary intervention. Julie has a private nutrition practice in San Francisco, California, and supports families and clinicians from around the world with her nutrition learning tools and professional training courses. 

In this episode, Julie and I discuss and demystify many popular special diets for children with autism and neurodevelopmental needs. Julie shares her expertise on a variety of diets such as gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, low-oxalate, paleo, & GAPS diets. Children struggling on the Autism spectrum and those with neurodevelopmental needs can greatly benefit from specialized nutritional and dietary interventions that aim to target their specific needs for optimal results. To learn more about Julie click here.


Episode Highlights

Research On Special Diets for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Needs

  • Research shows that kids with Autism have more gastrointestinal issues 
  • Study published in Nutrients based on a multivitamin mineral formula, digestive enzymes, carnitine, epsom salt baths, and a healthy gluten-free, casein-free and soy-free diet 
    • After one year:
      • an almost 7 point improvement in non-verbal IQ
      • 4.5 times developmental age improvement
      • Improvements in anxiety, depression, irritability, language and more!
  • Gluten and dairy are two of the most difficult inflammatory foods for the digestive system


Soy-Free Diet & Why Any Diet Must Be “Healthy”

  • Soy, is similar to gluten and casein in that it can be difficult to break down and cause inflammation
  • Why a “healthy” diet is important
    • There are countless food products that are labeled and technically free of dairy, gluten, and soy but this does not constitute them as being healthy
    • Many foods contain artificial dyes and flavors which can cause hyperactivity in any child
    • The more organic, the better
      • Avoiding GMOs and pesticides (known neurotoxins)
    • Any time the diet can be healthier, you are going to find a happier and healthier result!


Low-Oxalate, Paleo, & GAPS Diets

  • Low- Oxalate Diets (LOD)
    • Reduced consumption of high oxalate foods such as certain greens (ex:spinach), beans, legumes, nuts and nut flours (ex: almond flour)
    • Can help reduce inflammatory symptoms
  • Paleo Diet
    • Grain-free diet which cuts beans, refined sugars, and dairy
  • Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet 
    • Grain-free diet which cuts refined carbs, dairy, starchy vegetables and mucilaginous fibers
  • For more information on ‘Why Diet Matters’ click here.


What Is The Right Diet For My Kid?

  • A step-by-step process is best
    • Do your research
    • Evaluate the symptoms
    • Take your time through the process
  • Jumping in to anyone diet without the right steps and you may find yourself or child with other symptoms and issues
  • There is no one right answer or diagnosis for everyone 


Taking The First Step

  • Avoid junk food, artificial colors, preservatives, and sugars
  • Start with cleaning up the diet you currently have 
  • Evaluate what you are feeding you and your child now and see what the differences are before you start a specific diet


Where to learn more about Julie Matthews...


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Need help with improving your child’s behavior naturally? 

  • My book Life Will Get Better is available for purchase, click here to learn more. 
  • Looking for more? Check out my Blog and the Better Behavior Naturally Parent Program - a resource guide for parents who want to be more effective with improving their child’s behavior. 
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