It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
When our baby daughter, Leafy, suffered a frightening seizure at home we had no idea what was to come.
When more seizures followed a pattern emerged; blue lights to hospital, assessments, nights in hospital wards, medical tests, fear and exhaustion.
Despite the frightening length and regularity these incidents were diagnosed as Febrile Seizures, caused by temperature spikes from ill health.
We carried on as best we could, juggling caring for our 2-year-old son whilst trying to manage Leafy’s reoccurring long-lasting seizures.
As time went on she endured many more seizures. Her worst time was when chicken pox was shared around locally and she caught the infection. Leafy suffered seizure after seizure in 30-degree heat while covered in hundreds of itchy, angry pox marks. It was a real low for us all. We watched her small body struggle so much and were not able to help her.
Something was clearly not right, so we started researching. We read late into the nights, on the triggers, the seizure syndromes and the treatments and eventually found the Ketogenic diet.
The possibility of an evidence based diet that is effective in controlling seizures through food alone seemed golden! We read up on everything we could on following a keto diet, learning the practicalities of how to follow the diet, the potential side effects and how to sensibly mitigate those.
When Leafy was diagnosed with epilepsy, aged 2, we took the decision to start her on the Ketogenic diet straight away. Food before medication.
Within days the diet began to have a hugely positive impact. Her shortest seizures, she was having up to 60 per day, stopped and have not returned. Her longer seizures reduced in length and frequency from 3 per week to fortnightly, and continued to reduce.
Along with dramatic seizure reduction Leafy’s sleep improved, she was brighter, less distressed and wobbly on her feet. We were getting our daughter back again!
We opted for the Modified KD. It has a lower fat to carbohydrate ratio than Classic KD. With MKD Leafy eats a wide range of low carbohydrate vegetables with moderate protein and liquids and still a good portion of healthy fats.
Medical KD often relies on formula foods and highly refined oils. We opted for good quality nutrient dense whole foods. To optimize her nutrient intake carbohydrates are from low starch vegetables and salads, and her wide range of good fats are from animal sources, nuts and seeds.
Her typical favourite meals include paleo muesli, almond orange cake, cheese and salmon omelette, aubergine pizza and raspberry ripple ice-cream.
The healthier Leafy became through diet and the more I learned about our bodies’ need for healthy fats and whole foods, the more concerned I became with how crazy mainstream foods and diets are.
I have re-trained as a Nutrition Advisor and now support other families to rebalance their foods and take their health back into their own hands.
Leafie is named after my happy, vibrant daughter and reflects my passion for sharing what I have learned.
I’m also mad about good fats and taking on the saturated fat myths. I now supply fantastic quality tallow culinary and skincare products—Goodfats.
I was so inspired to find Mark’s blog. I admire the work he is doing to shatter the prevailing food myths and to bring whole food into the primal low carb movement.
Leafy’s family is starting a non-profit organization, Food As Medicine—Leafie.org, to help other families learn about and institute diets that support the healing of various health conditions. You can read more about Leafie.org, contribute to their campaign, or share it with your social media circles here.