It’s not what you think, yet you will find it hard to see changes without implementing these changes first.
Everyone is fascinated with going gluten free and dairy free, and these things can be very important for any gut dysfunction (whether occuring with autism or otherwise).
However, what comes before?This podcast gives you 5 non-negotiables, the changes that we must make first.



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Disclaimer: The information in this Podcast is for educational purposes only. Vaishnavi Sarathy, Ph.D. is an educator, not a doctor, specifically not your child’s doctor. Please consult your physician before implementing any supplement or diet recommendations.

Audio Transcription: 


Hey there, welcome to the 31st episode of functional nutrition and learning for kids, your podcast, always bite-sized 25 minutes or less, deals with the spectrum of nutritional and learning strategies for children with disability, whether autism Down syndrome or cerebral palsy advice, My full name is Vaishnavi Sarathy. I’m a chemist and educator and nutrition consultant. And some of the things I love doing are teaching math and chemistry to middle and high school kids.

This podcast is born out of my strong belief that sound nutrition and an equal education are the birthrights of every child. In fact, they are nonnegotiables. Maybe you’ve seen my TEDx talk, or maybe you know a little bit about how I got to this place. But let me tell you that it was through the life of my non-speaking son through being inspired by him. And he experiences Down syndrome, autism, and we even suspect cerebral palsy.

For years he struggled with focus with being able to sit even for a few minutes. There were days when he would laugh maniacally without control, and seemingly without even the ability to stop. And there are days when he had intensely low energy where he couldn’t even lift his eyes to look at objects. Today, those days are few and far between. And I have two things to thank for sound, deep nutrition, and the Rapid Prompting Method. RPM, an academic tool that led us to open communication with my still non-speaking son. And there isn’t one without the other.

This always reminds me of Harry and Voldemort. By the way, when I was recording this podcast when I was writing this podcast, rather, I was really confused about whether the tea is pronounced or not. Is it Walding? More? Is it Voldemort? Is it Wally? Will I ever know? Anyway, coming back to the point neither can live while the other survives. Sound nutrition is of no use without the presumption of competence and presumption of competence does not heal inner gut issues, blood sugar imbalances that often lead to focus hyperactivity, aggression, discomfort in your body that we often see in our kids, right. So perhaps you’re here to hear what the five diet non-negotiables are.

I’m hoping I did say five, right? I know, I promised a few at the end of my previous podcast, I can’t remember if it was seven or five, but we’re going to go with five. Okay. But before I start telling you what my five are, what do you think they are? So this is action time, right? If you could put me on pause right now. Please come back. Okay. Put me on pause, get a piece of paper and a pen, and write down what your inner knowledge already is. So let’s not be like Voldemort, let’s be like snake completely woke mean and clear-headed, right? We all know what to change. Or sometimes we think we know what to change, but how to change is the problem. So if you think that you already have an idea of what needs to change in my kid’s life, write this down and then unpause me.

If among the things that you wrote, you said sugar, that is totally going to be my number one today. We need to get refined sugar out of our diet, and I did say out, but change doesn’t happen in a sweep. It happens in many small actions. Have you heard of the term crowding out, you know, as opposed to complete avoidance? My favorite functional nutrition teacher Andrea Nakayama often talks about crowding out foods. And sometimes, you know, I can seem a little obsessed with no sugar, no sugar, not a drop of sugar and all of that. But we are starting here. So let’s crowd out let’s bring in other things. And now I’m going to give you a five-step strategy just for sugar. Okay, so let’s talk strategy if you need to take notes, take notes.

Number one. When there is a choice, use maple syrup, raw honey, or coconut sugar instead. And let’s make sure that his choice every time you want to the sweet right look for recipes that allow you to have a choice. Number two, remove vite sugar even terminado from your home or make it difficult to access.

Number three, it should be a big deal to eat something with white sugar. It should be a luxury. Number four. Introduce your child slowly to the idea of savory breakfasts why breakfast, this is probably the number one area where many of us introduce sugar, allow sugar into our lives, right? Number five, ditch the bottle of juice if you need juice, juice it fresh, there is a difference. Again, you can pause me if you want right now to write down these five things. If you want more of why we’re doing all of this episode today.

A great place to visit. In short, sugar depletes nutrients or precious micronutrients that our kids are already deficient. sugar causes addiction. You know, you’ve heard about the whole mice cocaine story, perhaps sugar causes blood sugar imbalances, the symptoms of which so closely mimic ADHD symptoms such as lack of focus and hyperactivity. Whether or not sugar is a toxin, because this is all around us, right? People are saying sugar is a toxin. In our context with our kids, it is undesirable number one.

Sugar is not your Waldemar. It’s worse. It’s Dolores Umbridge. You agree, right? Otherwise, we might have to part ways right here. Not about the sugar, about Dolores Umbridge being undesirable number one. Coming back, what else seems a little off that needs to be changed. Number two on my list is not food. It’s a meal breakfast, the food that you have in breakfast, the impact of the food that you have in breakfast can cascade throughout your day, especially if your breakfast imbalances of blood sugar, like a bowl of cereal and milk, is going to do you know my personal experience when I even have raw honey in the morning. Without enough fiber and protein. My subsequent blood sugar crash causes such fatigue that often I need a nap a lot of my friends know this is my post-breakfast nap rate. And yes, that’s just me, that’s not you or your kid.

This is just an example. But there are many kids out there jumping on sugar like nobody’s business in the form of cereal. And you know, pastries and so on. And a lot of times, it’s much harder to see what the effects are in children. Oftentimes, just revamping your breakfast can revamp your child, your child’s focus and energy is to remember that hyperactivity can happen as much in a state of low energy, right? You’ve heard about wired and tired and so on. And that makes sense right? Now stabilize blood sugar with a breakfast that contains fat fiber and protein. This is always our mantra.

I have a challenge coming up actually starts today May 1. It’s called The Seven Day breakfast challenge. But you’re welcome to sign in into the challenge until tomorrow. And I will be leading everyone who signs up through seven days of energy-boosting mood-balancing blood sugar-stabilizing breakfast for kids. This is the best time to sign up. Just go to tiny url.com forward-slash Breakfast Challenge 2020 Obviously there are no spaces again tiny url.com forward-slash Breakfast Challenge 2020 Okay. We’re actually trying our best to even get vegetables into our breakfast during this challenge.

Let’s see how that goes. Coming back. I want to give you an example of when my son eats breakfast. He eats lunch after four hours. That’s how stable is blood sugar is when my daughter eats breakfast she snacks within an hour and a half. Okay, and she eats oatmeal. Instant oatmeal but I’m not kidding you. My son eats crepes made out of soaked lentils, some spices, and a few veggies. These are savory crepes made with key after having a matcha latte with MCT oil and stevia. I know even I don’t eat like that. Okay, and my daughter totally doesn’t eat like that. But this didn’t happen overnight. And neither is that the goal right now. As I said, my daughter eats instant oatmeal with chocolate chips.

My husband eats cereal and milk many days so we’re definitely living the spectrum of eating healthy. Okay, and I’m going to tell you what I before we move on to item number three, I want to tell you that the magic of a good breakfast cannot be overstated. It was one of the key factors that shifted my son’s focus. Number three is eating food. What kind of rule is that? Eat food don’t eat nonfood. You see people putting one drop of food coloring or casually eating that blue icing on a cupcake. Those sprinkles you know those multicolored sprinkles are often on cakes and cupcakes but who knows where else maybe ice cream? Nonfood? We’re not even getting into studies in this episode. Maybe we will. But that’s not my plan right now.

There is research linking several food colors, artificial food coloring to symptoms of ADHD. When we are trying to heal, it is best to stay away from food that is not food. What else is not food. Preservatives are not food. If they’re stopping pests, they’re also doing some crazy stuff to your gut microbes right now. No, I wanted to stay away from studies in this episode, but I can’t help myself because I found this 2019 study and you can look it up. The title is that human gut microbes are susceptible to antimicrobial food additives in vitro. And I’m just going to quote from the abstract of this study.

I quote who We speculate that permanent exposure of human gut microbiota to even low levels of additives may modify the composition and function of gut microbiota and thus influence the host immune system. Whether the effect of additive modified gut microbiota in on the human immune system could explain in part, at least, the increasing incidence of allergies and autoimmune diseases remains to be known. So this is a pretty common narrative these days, everybody knows that. With an enormous number of symptoms that we experience, diseases disorders are intricately related to the composition of your gut microbiota. So need to be careful, right packaged food sources, radiolabels, what else is not food? Anything that doesn’t grow on a plant or doesn’t have ice? Maybe other than mushrooms? They grow on trees, right? Sometimes oysters, they don’t grow on trees or have eyes.

You know, I think you get the idea that oysters are food. Not for me, but generally their food. When we’re serious about healing about using food as a means to optimize health we need to get serious about eating real food. Okay, that’s it for number three, eat food, don’t eat nonfood. And number four is eating whole food. This is a blood sugar and nutrient density thing you know this right? The more we get into the habit of refining our foods. I love this word. By the way, refining it speaks of fancy ladies with rich accents and stylish clothes and expensive private schools No. Refined doesn’t work with foods. The more we refine, the more we limit our microbiome, our nutrient density, and our fiber. Let’s try to stay away from this refining of our grains, our oils, what else do we refine it stop with this intense, unnecessary polishing of our foods. Just eat the whole thing.

I mean, there is nuance we don’t eat the whole fish with skin and bones. Right? Like I don’t know, maybe you do. But generally not maybe like you do eat sardines sometimes. But let’s use common sense on this one. But sad when you can eat the whole grain when you can eat the whole food. cold-pressed oils especially right? Number five. This is the first controversial topic of today shouldn’t be but apparently, it is. Eat organic. See, I didn’t even get to gluten, dairy, and all that stuff. And I bet when you were coming into the five non-negotiables, you were expecting me to say gluten, dairy, corn, and soy and stuff like that, right? We’re not even there yet. There are enough non-negotiables to get there are enough ways you can optimize your breakfast without even going there.

Julie Matthews is a nutritionist who works with many kids with autism had a virtual summit recently. Have you ever been to a virtual Summit? It’s a mad rush to listen to all the speakers in one day. So you don’t have to buy the package. Just kidding. For me actually, that’s true. But that’s how summits work. So if you all actually want to listen to all the lectures, buying the package is the best idea. Actually, I think this week, Julie has a free rerun of her Summit. It’s called nourishing hope. Anyway, I had the good fortune to listen to her interview, Jeffrey Smith, who’s this fantastic advocate and activist and he talks about organic food, avoiding GMOs, and some very other very important stuff. But it is amazing the impact going organic can do on you. Common pesticides like glyphosate are supposed to not affect humans. But surprise. We know that they affect our microbiome.

In fact, that is the understatement of the year. Jeffrey Smith shares about some remarkable healing that happens when you eat organic and he shares about that in his talk if you can catch that this weekend. Oh yes, I know that’s elitist and expensive. And I don’t have a solution for that yet. Maybe one day it won’t be but it is in my not so humble opinion an extremely worthy investment. If you can, especially when you’re doing foods like wheat corn. Of course, I would much rather you didn’t do wheat or dairy. Of course, I would much rather you didn’t do dairy or meat. Okay. Going organic is critical. So there you go. Here are the five non-negotiables one refined sugar number two a solid good blood sugar balancing breakfast. Number three, eat food. Don’t eat non-food. Number four, eat whole food. Number five, eat organic.

Now, thank you for listening. It’s just me today so you didn’t get any relief there. But I’m starting the breakfast challenge today actually. So please come join me at Tiny url.com forward-slash Breakfast Challenge 2020 You know how to spell everything I’m guessing here. It is free. And I will be guiding you every day. There is a Facebook group for support. I’ve just created it. There are options for picky eaters, okay.

I’m going to give you options so you can possibly eat the same breakfast every day by making small variations to get diversity to support your microbiome. Don’t you want to know what happens when your kids eat an anti-inflammatory blood sugar balancing energy-giving mood-balancing breakfast for seven days? I do. And I hope you enjoyed this episode and my daughter’s music that comes with it. And I’ll see you next Friday with an interview with Dr. Janet Seigler of Living Proof Institute where we will be talking about functional neurology. Bye.


The 5 Diet non-negotiables