One of my favourite quotes is “We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” ― Confucius. It really is true. Since being a mum, I have cared more about myself, I make healthier choices, I want to be well so I can be present and active in my daughter’s life. Maybe even one day in my future grandchildren’s lives. Our relationship with food and illness has become so disconnected, so I am interviewing Harley Street Nutritional Therapist Vicky Godfrey of A Natural Path to find out more.
Hi Vicky, welcome to No Mum Is An Island. I am a great believer that no mum (or dad) should have to do everything herself, we can’t possibly know it all, and we need all the support we can get, there is a wealth of information out there to help us upgrade our parenting experience, to make our lives easier and this website is a hub for just that! We love that you have upgraded your life by becoming a Harley Street Nutritional Therapist to support the healing of your family and clients.
What made you become a Nutritional Therapist?
I started going to India lots in early 2000, and before I knew it I was going to India yearly for a month to practice yoga. It was the only thing I had found that helped my monthly migraines. I would go to India for 1 month do yoga daily and not have a migraine for 6 months. ( I have suffered monthly since I was 14 yrs old and tried so many mainstream and alternative therapies and yoga is the only thing I’ve found worked.)
So in 2011 I trained as a yoga teacher, to learn sequences I could do for myself to prevent my migraines. I never knew what a journey it would take me on.
Whilst on the 200 hrs yoga teacher training course we were taught a lot about how a yogi should eat, and learned a lot about ayurvedic medicine, which was a big learning curve. The career I had as a tv producer with long hours, travel and under consistent stress, I knew I wanted children at some point and I couldn’t see how I would find time to see my children if I stayed working in the tv industry. I wanted to find a new career that could balance work life and homelife that I could actually spend time with my children. The extra plus was that I would learn about food!
The Naturopathic nutrition course I did at the College of Naturopathic medicine really opened my eyes. I remember a light bulb moment at the end of year one and I was like wow – food really heals the body. I came on the course to learn to eat better and learn about food, I didn’t realise it was also going to teach me how to create the right environment for the body to heal , and use food, supplements, and lifestyle to heal so many diseases. The body is such a beautiful healing machine. And when it becomes at Dis-ease we work to bring the body back into balance and harmony.
You are an advocate of Naturopathic Nutrition what is that and how does it work?
Naturopathic nutrition is using Diet, lifestyle and supplements to bring the body back into balance. I work with a functional medicine approach and we look to get to the root of the problem. Many individuals that come to see me that have been through the medical system and their symptoms are getting worse, or they are getting new symptoms. Generally as the root of the problem hasn’t been found, or worked on. If you have a headache a doctor will give you a paracetamol. In “naturopathic nutrition” we ask the question – Why are you getting a headache? Are you dehydrated, are you lacking in Mg, and address the root of the problem.
When we take a consultation we spend 60 – 90 minutes with a client, asking all questions back to birth, and family medical history, so we can build a picture of systems under stress (digestive, immune system, nervous system etc) and then I work with the client to bring their body back to balance using diet, lifestyle and supplements. As a Naturopathic Nutritional therapist, you have worked to support many individuals with numerous illnesses and imbalances.
What do you think parents can do to build their immune system so they don’t get all the illnesses children bring home?
Don’t use bacterial wipes and bacterial soaps, children need to get mucky and dirty. I went to a talk by a GP once, and she said the healthiest immune systems in children come from the dirtiest of houses. Makes me feel better sometimes when I think of that quote, when life and work life has taken over the house duties 🙂
Depending if a child was breastfed, natural birth or C Section, will depend on the natural probiotics in the gut. We sometimes suggest probiotics if C Section, or bottle fed, sometimes probiotics or colostrum. But it really does depend on the individual case.
You offer fantastic workshops for parents teaching about Natural Remedies for children. What should be in a first aid kit of natural remedies for children and why do you think so many families are turning to natural remedies for their little ones?
If I was stuck on a desert island and I could only take one vitamin with me. It would be Vitamin C. There are over something like 80,000 studies on Vitamin C. It’s fantastic at supporting the immune system, the production of collagen in the body, wound healing, adrenal support and the list goes on.
Vitamin C can’t be toxic to the body, and we wee out what we can’t hold on too, therefore you can never overdose a child, you may cause the runs 🙂 But its great at supporting the immune system to fight infections.
My other favourite for little people is Elderberry syrup, it has antiviral properties that attack the virus. I get so much feedback from parents how they little ones improved really quickly after a few spoonfuls of elderberry syrup. It really is wonderstuff.
My other favourite is a homeopathic kit from Ainsworths, it has 42 remedies in it. Now I know Homeopathy is controversial, but the royal family uses it for a reason. I have seen some remarkable instances where using Belladonna, for instance, has bought a temp down from 39.8 to 37.8 in literally 5 minutes. It hasn’t always worked like that, but I have had some great experiences with it. Plus Arnica is a godsend with 2 boys and their constant bumps and bruises. I highly recommend having a homeopathic kit in the home, there are all sort of remedies for chicken pox, vomiting bugs, cough etc.
The natural remedies for kids workshop is an hour long and we also cover burns, broken bones, temperatures, how paracetamol works in the body and can prolong a virus in the body. The bodies way of riding an infection or virus is by heating up to kill it. So the more we suppress the fever, the longer it will take for the child’s immune system to fight it.How can we support our child’s immune system naturally?
Probiotics (food form is always the best but if you have fussy eaters, then powdered is fine. It’s tasteless and easy to hide in food or drink.
I give my children Cytoplan gummies bears and smart focus fish oils as maintenance. I then know they have their baseline nutrients going in to support their little bodies growing. Ideally, you would do it with a wide range diet, but my too can sometimes be picky and fussy about their foods. And I want to know their bodies are supported by as many nutrients I can get in.
Vitamin D is crucial to the innate immune system. So 15 mins a day no sunblock is a must. If living in the UK then it’s much harder to get the needed required sunshine in the winter. GPs now assume that everyone is vitamin D deficient in the UK in winter. This can really put the immune system under stress.
Cancer is a worry for many parents and you work very closely with individuals with cancer, what can we do to help prevent cancer in our families?
I am seeing such a rise in cancer in children, and we are seeing the biggest amount of brain tumors in teenagers we’ve ever seen (approx 16 yr olds. Our environment is really toxic, the most toxic it has ever ever been. We currently have 84,000 known chemicals in the environment, this from pesticides, plastics, parabens, Sulphates, wifi, mobile phones, microwaves, pollution, toxic air, toxic water, hormones in water (Fish are changing gender due to the overload of the oral contraception pill in our water systems) they can clean the water, but not the hormones. Our food chain is more polluted than ever.
So to protect/ prevent as much as you can see below-
My top tips for being cancer free.
- Eat Organic when and wherever you can.
- Don’t put mobile phones near your head, and try to keep it off the body as much as possible. Carry it in a bag rather than a pocket.
- Turn your router off at night and make sure your phone is not on at night, put on airport mode.
- DO NOT eat any processed food.
- Try to breath through the nose, We have nose hairs which protect it going to our lungs. When we breath through our mouths, the polluted air goes straight to our lungs.
- Have a half a plate of vegetables with each meal, ideally rainbow coloured and lots of green leafy veg.
- Start the day with a green smoothie or a green vegetable juice. To prevent against cancer, its all about nutrients, making sure the body has enough good stuff going in!
- Sadly the western diet is now heavily processed, laden with bad cooking oils, and chemicals and E numbers. Cook from scratch! Read labels!
- Minimise or eliminate sugar from your and your children’s diet.
Are there any key foods that parents should really reduce or stop to support our children’s bodies?
Cheesy string things (Eat normal real cheese if you want cheese)
No margarine! Eat good butter, avocado, nuts and seeds, olive oil
Bin the vegetable oil and all the other bad oils. Stick to olive oil and coconut oil.
Really minimise sugar. We are having an obesity crisis and diabetes type 2 crisis and its all down to sugar mainly.
I used to believe if it was on the shelf it must be safe to eat. Let me tell you now it isn’t. Choose food that looks in its original state.
Is there any other advice you want to share that can support parents to upgrade their own bodies and their children’s?
These are my top tips:
- Smoothies are a great way to start the day. Your body gets a boost of nutrients first thing after it’s fast as you were sleeping. Smoothies also support the liver, and being preventive to chronic disease the gut and the liver are the first two places to start doing work on yourself.
- Eat oily fish x per week. For the omega 3 oils. If vegan or vegetarian supplement with a vegan plant version.
- Sleep – make sure you get enough sleep. Digital detox 1 hr before bed.
- Eat at least half a plate of green leafy veg or salad with EVERY meal and mix it up with other rainbow coloured veg. This will really support your detox pathways. In this ever-increasing toxic world we are living in we need more support from nutrients to help the body deal with our environment.
- If you have digestive problems go and see a naturopath or a nutritionist and get it sorted. You need to make sure you at absorbing your nutrients to stay healthy.
Find out more about Vicky and the work she does at www.anaturalpath.co.uk
For healthy food inspiration see below: