#43 Holistic Management of Epilepsy in Children - with Sonya Reynolds

The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast

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THE PODCAST

"At least 40% of the Australian population who have epilepsy are children. So it's really important that you get their seizures under control because every time they're having a seizure it can affect the brain; that's when their development can begin to regress."

Sonya Reynolds | Holistic Health Coach & Nutritionist Tweet This!

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SHOW NOTES

In Episode 43 of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, Natalie Douglas, Kate Callaghan, and their guest, Sonya Reynolds (Holistic Health Coach & Nutritionist) discuss how epilepsy is treated and the benefits of holistic epilepsy treatment for children.

  • What is epilepsy and how common is it in children?
  • Sonya’s personal experience with having a child with epilepsy
  • The biggest challenges children and parents of children with epilepsy face
  • Dietary strategies in management of epilepsy in children
  • Supplementation and the role it can have in management
  • Lifestyle tips and tricks
  • Advice for parents starting out in incorporating holistic management strategies 
  • How and where Sonya practices
  • Sonya’s tips for leading a happy and healthy life as a Mum of 2 school aged children

Sonya Reynolds is a Nutritionist, with over 10 years industry experience. Sonya specialises children’s nutrition and has an abundance of experience working with children with special needs. This passion was born from her own personal experience with her beautiful daughter which you can hear more about in the podcast. Sonya currently practise online via Skype and in person at Studio-You clinicin Birchgrove which is in Sydney’s Inner West.

You can find Sonya here.

Sonya Reynolds
Holistic Health Coach & Nutritionist
https://sonyareynolds.com.au/

Intro 0:00
Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, where you’ll find the inspiration and answers to how you can become the healthiest, happiest version of you, using whole food nutrition, smart supplementation, movement, and lifestyle hacks. Your host, Natalie Bourke and Kate Callaghan, a degree-qualified Dietitians and Nutritionists, certified fitness instructors, speakers, and authors, with extensive knowledge and clinical experience in the wellness industry. So sit back and enjoy the show.

Natalie K. Douglas
Hey guys, welcome back to the podcast. Today, we are actually doing something a little bit different. So, Kate isn’t with me today. However, I do have my beautiful friend Sonya Reynolds. So, Sonya is a nutritionist with over 10 years of industry experience. She specializes in children’s nutrition and has an abundance of experience with working with children with special needs, which was actually born from her own personal experience with her beautiful daughter, which we’ll chat about a bit more soon. She currently practices online and in person at a studio called Studio You clinic in Birchgrove, which is in Sydney’s in a West. And I will put links to Sonya’s website and social media and all that jazz in the show notes. So feel free to check that out. So, Sonya, welcome to the podcast. How are you this morning?

Sonya Reynolds 0:39
Thanks, Nat. I’m so excited to be on your podcast. Thanks for inviting me.

Natalie K. Douglas
More than welcome. So our first question that I’ve just decided we ask all the guests now is, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

Sonya Reynolds
I absolutely loved that that was your first question being a total foodie like you are. So, I have found the best way to manage my blood sugar and my weight is that I’ll have a good-quality carbohydrates in the morning. So I’ll do gluten-free oats and then what I’ll do is I’ll bump up the protein with a really beautiful protein, usually from a rice protein or a protein or hemp protein source. And then the thing I think is the key to my breakfast is that I include MCT, so medium-chain triglycerides, which are great for brain function, which we’ll talk about today. But I feel like I’m firing on all cylinders when I have the MCT, and then I have some mixed berries with frozen organic mixed berries mixed in with that. So it’s yum.

Natalie K. Douglas
Oh, I love it. So how do you put the MCT and do you just pour it over the top?

Sonya Reynolds
Yeah, I just pour it over the top. And I even use it with the kids. And it just looks oily but it doesn’t taste like anything or smell like anything.

Natalie K. Douglas
Oh, amazing.

Sonya Reynolds
So it’s a really good way to get that great nutrition in there as well.

Natalie K. Douglas 3:03
I love it. Well, good stuff. So hopefully someone can steal that idea and have it for breakfast.

Sonya Reynolds 3:11
Yeah.

Natalie K. Douglas
So, today, we’re actually going to be talking or like, focusing our chat on treating children with epilepsy because it’s not something that I specialize in myself. And so I thought, why not get someone on the podcast that does. And also someone who really has some firsthand experience in dealing with this, both in clinic and in her in her own children so or in her own child. So before we do jump into that, can you let us know? How, like, what is epilepsy for those that are listening that don’t know? And how common is it particularly in children?

Sonya Reynolds
Yeah, it’s a great question Nat. So the epilepsy, the epilepsy, epilepsy is a disease in which someone can have a seizures, so it’s part of it. And there’s about 50% of epilepsy that they actually don’t know what the cause is. And they can be multiple seizure types as well. So part of the disease is that these people can have atonic warnings, which are the big ones that you probably recognize epilepsy. There are also small ones where people can basically have their eyes rolling to the back of their head and having really mini little, what’s called a myoclonic seizure. So there’s lots of different seizures. And what people may not know is that every time someone’s having a seizure it is having an effect on the brain in the sense that it can cause damage, which is why it’s really important that you get again, seizure control, because every time you’re having that seizure, it can affect the brain.

Natalie K. Douglas
Interesting.

Sonya Reynolds
Yeah, look, I know, I didn’t know that until I had experience with epilepsy. I just thought someone had a seizure. And, you know, potentially they got over. I didn’t know that the actual seizure could damage. So that’s why, as I said, it’s really important to have seizure control. And that’s why it’s the when practitioners, you know, neurologists are treating epilepsy, that’s their primary goal, sometimes to the detriment to the person’s well-being general well-being unfortunately. But you want those seizures under control. In regards to how many children, so at least 40% of the Australian population who have epilepsy are children, and there’s over 250,000 people in Australia. So there’s a significant population with living with epilepsy in Australia at the moment, and nearly 40% are children.

Natalie K. Douglas 6:02
Wow, that’s insane. And I did not know the numbers were that high. That’s crazy.

Sonya Reynolds 6:08
Yeah, yeah. I know.

Natalie K. Douglas
And so, what actually drove you to specialize in this area?

Sonya Reynolds
Great question. So, I remember learning about epilepsy when I was studying, and I was like wow, that is really hard. I never get to see anyone with epilepsy. I don’t have to worry about that.

Natalie K. Douglas 6:31
Yeah, yeah.

Sonya Reynolds 6:34
And then when my daugher. So my daughter Imogen’s now are nearly 10. She was born with, I don’t like to say the word normal, but she was born with no conditions or anything. And she was making all of her milestones and growing, and what she had with a sudden onset, epilepsy at three and a half. So one Saturday evening, we’re just at home and she started falling all of the time. And that’s that myoclonic seizure is telling you about with their eyes, basically bowling to the back of the head, and then they can hit the deck. So they can fall anywhere. And she just kept falling over. And I’m like, gee, she must be really hungry, her blood sugar might be low, typical nutritionist.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, yeah. Just feed them.

Sonya Reynolds
And then, I looked at her and Tim, my husband said to me, Sonya, Imogen’s eyes are flicking in her head, and I’m like, oh, you’re drama queen. What are you talking about? And I turned around and looked at her and her eyes were freaking on and off. And she go into flicks and then come back and just go in watching the TV because I don’t know that they’re having the seizure. Honestly, I don’t think, and she’ll flick, flick, flick. And we just looked at each other and we’re like, oh my God, like what it is. We didn’t know what it was. It didn’t look like a seizure to us.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Sonya Reynolds
So we called the ambulance and they were there within minutes, thankfully. And the seizures kept getting worse and worse and worse and worse and progressing and progressing. So if you don’t get the seizures under control, they can keep progressing. And then it became her full body and it took over a day and a half for her to be diagnosed with the epilepsy. So that’s how I became involved with it. What she has is a really rare, aggressive epilepsy, where she has subclinical. So you don’t see them seizures in her sleep. And as I was describing earlier in the podcast, if you don’t get the seizures under control, these kids can regret. So our daughter went from meeting her milestones to becoming nonverbal back in that phase, drooling when she was about five years of age, that was that her very lowest point, very worst. So, I became a specialist because I had to be because she was drug-resistant. What that means is that there were three or more drugs that didn’t control her seizures. So I had to find alternative ways to manage her epilepsy alongside those medications. So I had to get, you know, use my nutritional understanding of vitamins and minerals of therapy, and really look at outside of what the paradigm that I’ve been given to complimentary therapy.

Natalie K. Douglas
Wow, that it sounds like it would have been not only a huge emotional learning curve, but you know, a huge intellectual learning curve, because as you said, I mean I was the same when I was faced with, you know, epilepsy or treating epilepsy, like it comes up when you are going through studying, or just when you’re doing extra learning and whatnot, you kind of always think, oh, like I won’t need to treat that like, whoa, that sounds complicated. But like you said, you were kind of forced to. And I think, you know, when there’s also, when it’s so close to you, you, there’s that extra motivation to really find out what exactly that you can do. But I can imagine that there would have been a lot of challenges along the way. And I know that you obviously treat a lot of children with epilepsy besides your daughter. And I guess I’m curious to know, what are the biggest challenges that you see, I guess, both children and parents of children with epilepsy facing?

Sonya Reynolds
Yeah, I love that you asked that question. So, something that you just said as well. One thing that took me a while to, I sounds like I just got straight onto it and started sorting out her epilepsy. But it took me a good year and a half to really get my head around these really complicated conditions. And emotionally, it was really difficult because when she was really sick, we’re at the hospital a lot and we’re very sleep deprived. And we would just surviving. So a lot of patients that come to me, their parents throughout their weekend, they just need some sort of support. So the biggest challenges that I see if I see a lack of seizure and control, even though they’re on medication. So, as I said, there’s that refractory epilepsy that they’re not getting seizure control, and that is common about wanting treating people with epilepsy won’t gain seizure control. So it’s there’s, there’s a demand for these sort of support. The other reason that I have parents come to me or even adults with epilepsy I see as well is that they want an enhancement of their quality of life. So if they’re going to have these medications that they have to have. And there’s no judgment in that, my daughter is on anti-epileptic medication as well. It save lives, what can they do alongside that medication, so that they can have an enhancement of quality of life. For example, a lot of the anti-epileptic drugs have B-vitamin deficiency as part of their side effects. So as you knowing Nat, B vitamins, pretty much do everything in the body. They’re involved in a lot of enzymatic reactions, our energy, our mood, our neurotransmitter production. So one of those sort of 101 treatments that you can do that, that really benefits people’s lives. So, that’s the other thing. And basically preventing brain, I don’t, I want to say injury, like basically assisting these families have their child to learn and develop more in a linear way. Because there is, as I’ve said that, that non-linear learning that can go on. So that’s where I see the biggest challenges, it’s a quality of life and seizure control.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Sonya Reynolds
And for me, to help the parents feel like that they have supported well, part of that support team. And in fact, one of the reasons why I became a life coach is because I want to help those moms especially kids to be able to manage their children and have their quality of life too. Because if you’re not going well, if you’re not feeling good, it’s really hard to and I know from personal experience too to manage your kids with additional needs.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s such a good point to make. And, you know, I didn’t mention at the beginning, but Sonya is a life coach, as you just mentioned Son, and I have totally witnessed you help a lot of women that are even just, even just the parents of children without special needs. Just supporting moms to continue to live a healthy happy life. Because, you know, it’s, it’s easy to put everyone else first and forget about forget about you. So I really like that that’s part of the focus, especially when there is that extra demand of having a child that, you know, maybe you know, it has something like epilepsy or has any kind of, you know, additional need or extra thing to consider as well. So, I want to switch gears slightly now and really get to chat to you a little bit about what maybe are your top dietary strategies that you found to be effective in both your personal and clinical experience in treating epilepsy in children. And of course, a reminder to everyone listening that this isn’t prescriptive advice. This is, we would always encourage you to work with a practitioner but we’re just simply putting some things on your radar here. So, Son, what what’s kind of worked for you or hasn’t worked for you, and what are your go-to’s at least as a starting point?

Sonya Reynolds
Yeah, that’s a great question. There are some really key dietary interventions that I do look at. And it’s really interesting, even just treating my you know, and now the patients. How certain things keep coming up, and I’m I’ve written a bit about it as well and research quite a bit. So, what they found is that the kids with epilepsy tend to have a more likely, I shouldn’t say, an allergy to cow’s milk. So one of the first things that I will do is I’ll have a look at the kid’s, the child’s you know diet and see what they’re eating, and if there’s a lot of dairy there, there are some simple changes that we can make. So that those children aren’t having the cow’s milk protein. So you can still look at having ghee, which is the fat. But yeah, one of the first things I would do would be look at dairy and as I’ve said that is by some research. Another interesting thing is that the kids with epilepsy tend to be higher in celiac disease, then the control that they were comparing them to sugar.

Natalie K. Douglas
Right.

Sonya Reynolds
And what they found if they, if the child was diagnosed with epilepsy, and they removed the gluten as soon as possible to the epilepsy on set. They had a better seizure control than if they didn’t.

Natalie K. Douglas
Wow. Interesting.

Sonya Reynolds
Does that make sense?

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So gluten and dairy-free would be a really good starting point. And look, that’s something that Kate and I do talk about a lot. So definitely resonates with, I’m sure a lot of people that are listening. Are there any other things that you would adjust or that you particularly focused on? I mean, I know that the idea of the ketogenic diet will come off as a question. So if you can address that, in your experience, that would be great as well.

Sonya Reynolds
No question. And one thing I want to add, when we say cow’s, when usually that’s dairy and gluten. I think alarm bells go off in people’s brain because they feel immediately overwhelmed. So one thing that I would say, that’s where practitioner can come in, and really tease out what could be most appropriate and give you ideas to support that. So for me, even when I was removing these allergenic foods, you know, I did too overwhelmed as well, especially when you have a higher sort of mental load as you do with potentially a child with additional needs. I think just flagging, don’t worry, you know, we’re not just going to rip them off cow’s milk and you know, send you into a, you know, a downward spiral need to support there. But yes, as you say, definitely looking at ketogenic diet interventions for children and adults with epilepsy. Now, let’s make it really simple because I think there’s a lot of information out there. And again, it can be overwhelming. So I personally use the ketogenic diet with my daughter, and it was a game-changer when she was very sick, as I said she had, she was getting no seizure control. So we introduced the ketogenic diet as the last resort. And I think that’s the issue here is that what you can do is you can potentially be more fat-friendly and fat leaning without having to go into full ketosis. So just backtrack to what ketones are, they’re the byproduct of breaking fat down into energy. And there’s actually really still unsure exactly how to ketosis is beneficial to the brain but they think it’s because the way that that the ketones work is that they’re anti-inflammatory. And that they helped to provide energy to the mitochondria, which is your powerhouse T cells. So you, I’m sure you know all that Nat but I think it’s always a good reminder.

Natalie K. Douglas
No. Absolutely.

Sonya Reynolds
And so, ketosis even the new thing either. I think it’s really interesting to remind people that Hippocrates, so way back in the 5th century, he was talking about fasting to manage epilepsy, and what ketosis does, is it mimics fasting.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Sonya Reynolds
So, I think we need to remember that this isn’t a new thing, but we just have to use it in a really modern smart way. So using good quality fats, enough adequate protein, and low carbohydrates. Which can be difficult for parents, especially kids, kids love carbs.

Natalie K. Douglas 20:39
Yeah. Kids, man, and I love carbs.

Sonya Reynolds 20:46
Yeah. Yeah. I love carbs too. So, I think, this is something that you would absolutely do with a practitioner, but something that I would recommend is using the medium-chain triglycerides in the diet. It’s even a starting point, Nat, because those medium-chain triglycerides, can’t even say that, medium-chain triglycerides are converted straight to ketone. So, they’re really nice anti-inflammatory used as energy for the brain. They are little simple hacks that you can do without having to go through ketosis that, you know, would need to be closely monitored.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, totally. And look, I love that approach because I do think that it can be really overwhelming. And I also, like I’m totally on board with, I really believe that at least at the beginning of a journey like this, it’s invaluable to invest your money and your time spending with like, like on a practitioner, like yourself Son because it’s, it’s not that there’s lack of information, if anything, it’s that there’s too much information.

Sonya Reynolds
Too much. Yeah.

Natalie K. Douglas
And if you, if you try and do everything, you’re doing nothing. And so, it’s really important to get someone that can be objective to that, that situation, and take the lead off, take the decision fatigue out of it, and just say, this is what you should do, and also work within what’s realistic for you. Because what might be realistic for one mother with a child that has epilepsy or special needs or anything like that might be a completely different situation for another. And that’s where it’s just invaluable to invest your time and money to speak like in speaking with someone that knows what they’re talking about. And then you know, once things are on the right track, you can start to do a bit more experimenting on your own or, you know.

Sonya Reynolds
Yeah.

Natalie K. Douglas
Start to pull away from that one-on-one support as much. But I totally think that that’s, that’s really super important. And doing it in a way that works for you. So some people really like the all-or-nothing approach, but others really like the step-by-step approach where you just start to make one change, and then another change, and then another change. And no way is right or wrong. The right way is the way that works for you and someone to help you go through that process is just is so valuable.

Sonya Reynolds
And you know what I found. And thanks Nat, and what I found really interesting as well is, I like to eat as a family. So I will make keto-friendly meal. So we’re no longer on a strict keto diet. We did it for two years, ketogenic diet. And then the modified Atkins diet for epilepsy, which has more protein, which we found was more suitable for our life long term and for my Imogen as well. And then now I just do keto-friendly. And I’ll include some brown rice with their meal, or some gluten-free pasta, or something like that. And, you know, good-quality veggies, and I’ll chop them up really finely because there are lots of vegetables that are low carbohydrate that you can include, and you can hide. But a really easy family-friendly meal is a yummy curry like a red curry, which is too chilly.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yum.

Sonya Reynolds
It’s got the coconut milk in it. And then you can have you know, all your different yummy veggies like your broccoli, and your cauliflower. And then what we can do is add the rice to the kids or even do cauliflower rice, if you want to go with that, those carbohydrates as well, just monitoring them. So there are ways that you can eat as a family as well. I think that’s something that takes the overwhelm out of it as well.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, totally. You don’t want to be cooking a billion different meals. I think that’s really important.

Sonya Reynolds
No.

Natalie K. Douglas
And one thing that me and Kate are very passionate about is that there should be no such thing as kids’ food. Because really, it’s all just food and what an adult eats to a large extent should be what a child eats as well. So none of these kids menu bullshit that we see all around, so I would definitely on board.

Sonya Reynolds
They’ll kill you those meals.

Natalie K. Douglas
I know.

Sonya Reynolds
The kids’ meals. Oh.

Natalie K. Douglas 25:00
I know. I mean sometimes, I remember like once though, I really wanted something that was on the kids’ menu, because I wasn’t a kid, they wouldn’t give it to me. I was like, what? Come on, I’m like the size of a child. First world problems.

Sonya Reynolds
I love it.

Natalie K. Douglas
So okay, so that’s kind of gives us a lot to start with. And to move on with the diet strategies. And you spoke a little bit about supplements and the role that that can play. So you mentioned B vitamins. You also mentioned MCT oil.

Sonya Reynolds
Yeah.

Natalie K. Douglas
Is there any others that maybe someone could discuss with their practitioner that might be beneficial in this particular situation?

Sonya Reynolds 25:47
Yeah, so I find the keys to most epileptic is that I’ll do a B complex, because depending on the different medications, mainly the different efficiencies of B. But as we know, the B vitamins all work in unison together, they turn each other on and off. And so, I always do a B complex. And magnesium is another one that’s really important for epileptics. It’s found that most epileptics are low in magnesium, which I think is really interesting. So, usually, I’ll look at calcium, magnesium, depending on what’s going on. Of course, it’s all personalized description but I’m just thinking generally.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, yeah, totally.

Sonya Reynolds
And I look at their zinc levels as well. And the reason being is that what I and I’m sure you do this too Nat. These magnesium and zinc are really important, as I said, about those enzymatic reactions. They’re also really important for neurotransmitters. So things like glutamate, GABA, serotonin, dopamine, they’re all neurotransmitters. And these, the zinc is a mineral that’s going to help in their production. So you would potentially check this child level of this or you would at least give them a base level. So again, it’s about dosage and personalized prescription. Something that also say that was really important, especially if there are any allergies are probiotics, and there’s a lot of information out there, isn’t there Nat?

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Sonya Reynolds
About the gut and their connection. I don’t need to go into that but what I think is really interesting is that you know, predominantly our gut is made up of our immune system. So, you know, knowing that there’s the gut immune connection. There’s the gut-brain connection. I think probiotics, and prebiotics, and gut healing is really imperative with the kids too.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, absolutely.

Sonya Reynolds
Now, I’ve probably said a lot. The last thing that I’ve used quite, quite well, is krill oil. So krill is a type of, I want to say seizure but it’s not it’s krill.

Natalie K. Douglas
It’s like an algae, an algae. It’s what the fist ate.

Sonya Reynolds
Yes, it’s what the fish ate. It’s tiny, tiny little krill. And what, it naturally contains is, it’s got EPA and DHA. So, you know, I’m sure everyone knows about that by now. So it’s anti-inflammatory good for the brain, the DHA specifically, but it also naturally contains phosphatidylcholine, and this basically creates the barrier around our cells. So it’s really important for communication between the cell. And also, acetylcholine contains the phosphatidylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that’s involved in the neuromuscular function. So basically, it’s talking about nerve conduction as well. So there’s sort of things that I have found really good responses with my patients. So for example, when I say a really good response, I’ll find that my patients have better clarity, better word, finding ability then will come they’re less what a family definitely pictures they can have quite tensed muscles, Nat. Like if you feel them, they’re like they’re in a spasm even. So just found that those sort of nutrients really helped with their mood behavior. Yeah. And that sort of muscle tension that they experienced.

Natalie K. Douglas
Right. Interesting.

Sonya Reynolds
I would go on but they are my key.

Natalie K. Douglas
Alright. We’ll stick with those ones. But if you go do one more specific ones that you particular use, they can hook into see you. But there are some really good ones that people can get started with or talk to their tech practitioner.

Sonya Reynolds
And definitely be working with a practitioner. You know, these kids, if they’re on, even if they’re on one medication. You really need someone who understands the medications and potentially their nutritional deficiencies.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Sonya Reynolds
Yeah.

Natalie K. Douglas
Absolutely. Alright, so that’s supplements. Now the next question that I have for you is, does lifestyle play a role in management of epilepsy? So is that important, and how have you managed to implement that with your clients and with your, with Imogen as well?

Sonya Reynolds
Look, it’s really interesting. Yeah, absolutely lifestyle does. My parents that come to me has figured out sort of those 101 things, but if someone’s starting on the epilepsy journey, you really need to look at sleep. Sleep is absolutely imperative for these kids, sleep deprivation can cause seizures. And it’s happened with our daughter, multiple times when we’ve tried to sort of, you know, do things a bit very differently. Unfortunately, she’s getting better as she gets older but we’ve definitely had seizures, what it’s called breakthrough seizures because of sleep deprivation. And illness, interestingly, she can get a an infection. So you really have to take them in a bubble but I believe in that but, you know, just be aware of, you know. That’s where probiotics come into play, as well, they can reduce Upper Respiratory Tract Infections. So just making sure that kids have a general baseline of well-being because illness can increase seizures. And it’s something that people don’t talk about enough. And then what I found in clinical practice is that exercise, it’s a bit of a taboo subject with epilepsy and exercise because some of these kids aren’t able to, to do as much exercise or can potentially have some coordination issues and fine motor skill and, and coordination issues as I’ve said, but exercise is really important for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress as we know, and it modulate neurotransmitter systems as well. So I believe that some sort of manual therapy or like occupational therapy should be really important to the management of seizures as well. So yes, exercise even if it’s swimming. Obviously, swimming is a bit of an issue because of if their seizures aren’t controlled, you don’t want to swimming in the water. But even some sort of little athletics or dancing. Something to create muscle that can create mitochondria as well as, you know, give them a sense of confidence as well, Nat, because you know, they may have missed out on some of the stuff too.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, absolutely. That’s really good. Really good tips. And I’m glad you addressed that as well, because you’re right, sometimes that does just get missed out. And I guess our last, well, the last question I really wanted to ask. Well, second last question maybe was, what advice would you give to a parent listening who maybe has a child with epilepsy, and who wants to explore a complementary medicine or Holistic Management practices as part of their overall strategy? Where should they start?

Sonya Reynolds
Yeah, that’s a good question. So, I would work with someone as you said, because it is complementary medicine, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t just have to do antiepileptic medications and you don’t just have to do you know ketogenic diet. You can do things together and so help with the overwhelm, I would work with someone. So, I look at a naturopath, or a nutritionist, or dietitian, someone that knows medications and, and vitamins and minerals of therapy, that’s what I would do. I would have a look around and see, you know, what they can do for you. And even as, as you said earlier, start with just one change, one tweak that you could really help just manage, help manage the condition. But that would be my advice to work alongside someone, knowing that you don’t have to do one or the other. You can do it together.

Natalie K. Douglas
I love it. That’s, I totally, and I totally, totally agree. And I know Kate would agree as well. Now on that note, how and where can people actually find you? So I did mention at the beginning, but I just wanted to reiterate that you do, you are in clinical practice at the moment.

Sonya Reynolds
Yeah.

Natalie K. Douglas
We do, so and we do actually have an international audience. So we have listeners in New Zealand, the UK, the US. I don’t know where else, but they’re the ones that I’m aware of, and obviously, Australia or parts of Australia. So, I know you obviously practice in person, but you, you also offer Skype or what how do you actually practice?

Sonya Reynolds
Absolutely. So, what’s been really amazing about my journey with my family’s journey with epilepsy is that because I talk and write about epilepsy and different interventions and nutritional interventions. People come and find me, particularly people in regional Australia, I can’t say Australia. So, I can absolutely help people by Skype as well. Yes. So if you want to find me, the best place to find me is SonyaReynolds.com.au and you can send me an email and we can chat about how I can work with families or parents. And again, you can go to my website and have a look at me and see what I’ve written. There’s some great resources there that people can use even to just stop reading about what they can do. But yeah, I can absolutely help people online. But I’m in Birchgorve at Studio You. So, it’s studio-you.com.au and I absolutely love working with each patient. And I know I can help people have better quality life.

Natalie K. Douglas
Absolutely. And I’ve seen, I can be a testament of that because I’ve seen Sonya work a magic time and time again. And it’s not an area I specialize in, and hopefully won’t be forced into it at some stage in my life. Because I obviously, you know, I have my passions and whatnot. But, you know, it’s, I think it’s so invaluable to see practitioners who are passionate about what they’re doing and are really, have your best interest at heart. And as you know, particularly interested in the area that you are trying to get healthier in or get healthy. And so please do contact Sonya if you know anyone or you yourself need some help. So make sure you in, you know, share this information with your friends and your family as well. Now, Son, before we wrap up, my last question for you, which is totally nonrelated to what we’ve been talking about, well, kind of.

Sonya Reynolds
Great.

Natalie K. Douglas
What are your three non-negotiables in your day to help you lead a happy and healthy life?

Sonya Reynolds
One thing that I believe makes me a happier person is the ability to be flexible, especially with kids. So you may have a routine that you will have to do especially with, you know, cooking, and cleaning, and getting the kids to school, and all that sort of stuff. And what I find is when I’m really rigid and inflexible, I can feel quite anxious. So my nonnegotiable is just trying to go with the flow. And this is what I’m trying to do Nat, I’m not saying I’m perfect rather, but flexibility is one of the things. And how I do that is that my real nonnegotiable is that I meditate. I say daily, but I probably say five days a week, and that would be a guided meditation. I used that I have a podcast app. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that one Nat.

Natalie K. Douglas
I have. Yeah.

Sonya Reynolds
And there’s lots of different practitioners giving guided meditations on anything, anything, and everything. So I try and do that every day. Again, without being a perfectionist. You know, I probably say five, five times a week.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah.

Sonya Reynolds
And lastly, the other nonnegotiable is walking, moving meditation. Chinese, I find that getting the kids in and out of the car and driving them here and going to work. So what I’m trying to do is, get me out of my head is like, it’s like go for a walk. So for me, that’s a real nonnegotiable even if it’s just walking the dog. I’m dog sitting at the moment. So I’ve been walking the dog but you know, keep the like, we’re all like, we’re all like animals. We all need to be walked.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah. Totally.

Sonya Reynolds
So you know, go and get, go and get your walk. And that’s when I feel good.

Natalie K. Douglas 39:40
I am glad no one puts me on a late though. I think I enjoyed that.

Sonya Reynolds 39:44
Like enjoy it. It might be fun. Joking.

Natalie K. Douglas
Too funny. Too funny. All right. Well, Sonya, thank you so much for joining us. And I’ll make sure that we link to Sonya’s website and social media channels in the show notes and also in the Instagram post that is going to go out relating to this podcast. Thanks for joining me Son and have a lovely day.

Sonya Reynolds
Thanks, Nat. It’s been such a joy. Thanks for letting me be part of your amazing world.

Natalie K. Douglas 40:16
You’re welcome. See you later.

Sonya Reynolds 40:19
Bye.

Outro
Thanks for tuning in to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. Remember, we love to make the show relevant to you. So, if you have any questions or topics you’d like discussed on the show, simply submit them to [email protected] or [email protected] and we’ll get them answered for you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on iTunes and share it with your friends and family too. Need more personalized nutrition advice? Why not invest in a consultation to accelerate your journey to your optimal health. You can find Nat over at HealthByWholefoods.com.au and Kate at TheHolisticNutritionist.com. See you next time guys.

OUR MISSION

The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast - with Natalie K. Douglas and Kate Callaghan

Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast!

If a professional, polished, well-edited podcast is what you’re after…then we’re not for you!

But if you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers and authentic heart sharing then we are your ladies.

We also have the most practical tips on holistic and alternative health care too 😉

Have a question that you want answered on the podcast or want to be interviewed? Get in touch!

YOUR HOSTS

Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas ("Nat") is a Holistic Dietitian and Nutritionist dedicated to Thyroid, gut and hormone healing.

Nat shows stressed, burnt out, overwhelmed women how to value their worth again, change their mindset habits, prioritize healing, and reclaim their vitality. Guaranteed.

Her clients say she’s the right girl to see if you’ve tried the conventional approach and nothing has worked.

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan is a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach who specializes in women's hormone healing.

She recognizes that there is no “one size fits all” diet or “magic bullet” which is going to cure all illnesses.

She focuses on having a thorough understanding of your personal goals, needs, likes/dislikes, support networks and lifestyle in order to create a food and lifestyle approach that suits YOU.

OUR GUEST

Sonya Reynolds | Holistic Health Coach & Nutritionist

Sonya Reynolds | Holistic Health Coach & Nutritionist

ABOUT SONYA

Sonya is a passionate, down to earth and fun loving Nutritionist and Life Coach.

She loves working with Women and children, helping them to live their best lives via Nutrition and lifestyle coaching. She believes in PROGRESS over PERFECTION.

She has personally used food as therapy especially when her eldest daughter was not responding to her anti-epileptic medication. She believes in eating REAL food.

Sonya has also undertaken training in Theta healing , a meditative form of healing undertaken in a Theta state.

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