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Natural Health For Life Is A Family-Run Company. We strive to bring you up-to-date and relevant information to help your family be as healthy and productive as possible. Living life joyfully, no matter what challenges it may bring.

My daughter Julia, just two, climbs the ladder at the playground.

My daughter Julia, just two, climbs the ladder at the playground.

My name is Emily, I’m 34, have an autistic son and “neurotypical” daughter.  I also have a privacy-oriented husband who works in IT, here in Seattle, so I won’t talk about him much.

I am striving to find research-based, health-promoting methods to help our entire family live longer, and healthier lives.

Like many of us, I was raised on “conventional wisdom” when it came to my health. I was a State-Level high school athlete in basketball, and cross-country.  I ate low-fat, high-carb meals religiously; and struggled with my weight as a young adult, going from 130 pounds my freshman year of high school, to 160 pounds in college.

When I was pregnant, I gained more than the recommended amount of weight (about 40 pounds with each pregnancy) and lost it quickly (and then some, through exclusive breastfeeding) while my children were infants.  I thought breastfeeding was the best diet ever!

While my first son was a baby, I became more interested in eating healthfully and began leaning toward a vegetarian/vegan diet. I  wasn’t a strict adherent, but I did try to base the majority of our meals around solid high-fiber foods.  I liked lentil and bean soups, garbanzo beans and carrots as a snack, fruit and PB&J’s for lunches, with the occasional can of tuna fish thrown in for healthy protein.

It wasn’t until I started becoming concerned about my son’s behavior that I took a closer look at what was going on.  I thought he was quirky and had “autistic-like” behavior, (later he was diagnosed with high functioning autism, as they call it now… He is on the ASD spectrum, but diagnosticians no longer make differentiations between Asperger’s and Autism, from what I understand…) but I didn’t know what I was dealing with at that point.

One day, I heard a powerful interview on Gut Health on Dr. Mercola’s website, by a doctor named Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (whose son was autistic and now considered cured), who had developed the GAPS Diet, based on the SCD diet earlier pioneered by Elaine Gotschall (SP?).  The GAPS Diet (stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome) proposes the hypothesis that many “mental health” disorders (from autism, to depression, schizophrenia, ADD, food allergies, etc.) and auto-immune disorders  (like eczema, arthritis, IBS and inflammatory bowel disease, etc.) can be caused, or at least exacerbated by toxins realeased by a leaky gut, a condition commonly known as gut dysbiosis.

Through a combination of factors including a sugary diet, overuse of antibiotics, and widespread use of birth control pills; we are changing the population balance of bacteria in our guts, leading to an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts which, on the not-so-bad end of the spectrum, can give us gas, bloating, and mild digestive issues.  In more severe cases, they can actually create small tears in our intestines which allow undigested food and toxins to escape into the bloodstream to wreak havoc around the body.

This leads to a vicious and self-propagating cycle of toxicity and poor health.  The worse our health is, the more likely toxins will build up.  It’s a downward spiral.

Upon discovering the GAPS diet, we implemented it right away, and saw great results in a matter of months.  The diet, is actually more of a protocol, and involves involves a variety of other interventions including dietary supplements (especially fish oil, fermented cod liver oil, probiotics, and digestive enzymes); enemas, eating fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, vegetable juice, and detox baths with epsom salts, baking soda, or seaweed.

My main objection to the diet is that it is not specifically low-carb, and features foods like squash pancakes and dried fruits.  She does recommend that the “treat” foods be limited, and you can certainly do a low-carb version of the diet if you like.  If you’re implementing the diet for a child with autism, go by the book – they will be undergoing enough change with the removal of their favorite “white foods” (often the only foods they’ll eat!).  You can always adapt to the low-carb version down the road.

If you are an adult, looking for optimum health (as I am) then a low-carb version – combining the best of GAPS and Paleo diets is probably best.

Once I saw how effective a change in diet could be on my son’s health, I was hooked.  We have since pursued a variety of health interventions for him – including HBOT Therapy, Methyl B-12 Shots, finding a DAN doctor in Seattle to help us with all the latest biomedical protocols and supplements, and IV Glutathione for 10 weeks.  We have also recently started using a new redox signaling technology which crosses the blood-brain barrier and has promising implications for healing, immune health, and anti-aging.

Through this adventure, I have been consistently adding to my knowledge base, both in health and biomedical treatments to improve the health of kids with autism, and I’ve been learning plenty about taking better care of my own health as well.  (Something that can be heard to remember to do as an autism warrior mom, right?)

It is my hope that with this website, I can present some of the best learnings that I have come across, and make them easy to understand and clear to implement.  I was disappointed that the hospital that diagnosed my son did not recommend ANY biomedical treatments despite the fact that we had already seen tremendous results implementing the GAPS diet 6 months earlier.  Our regular pediatrician missed his diagnosis, (telling us to come back in 6 months…) and the first “naturalistic MD” we tried told us she thought our son would “grow out of most of it.”

Likewise, I was disappointed in my own health care exams. They seemed more interested in screening me for things like breast cancer and doing pap smears; and less interested in taking a look at chronic conditions like eczema and acne (both inflammatory conditions) that I had suffered from since Middle School.  They were like “you’re skinny, you’re fine” and refused to do many of the blood tests I requested (longevity indicators.)

So, I started down my own path to improve my health, inspired by my son’s autistic journey.

In this website, I hope you will find a number of categories of information you will find useful.

1) We have a number of blog articles on autism.  If you are new to autism, and just received your diagnosis, start here.

2) We also have a number of articles on natural health and diet that pertain to everyone, ASD patients, and the rest of us standard “neurotypical” Americans, who are slowly and unknowingly killing ourselves through our free and easy lifestyle.

3) In addition, please remember that even if you plan to live to 120 (as I hope to!) life is short, and time with your children, especially, should be treasured.  I am going to be sharing a number of fun things our family does, to give you ideas for outings and projects you can do with your own children.  These will include many examples that involve my own passion: being outside in the garden: A fun way to connect with nature and improve your family’s health on a number of levels.

So, that gives you a sense of who we are and what we’re about.  I would also like to note that this is a “for profit” blog.  In truth, I am an unabashed capitalist and have included a number of links throughout the site to products on Amazon.com and other websites, where we will make an obscene profit (4% in the case of Amazon) if you buy through our links.

That being said, I’m never going to recommend or link to a product that I don’t truly believe in, and my first goal is to give you truthful information that will help you in your journey to health.  I’m on the same path as you – we are spending hundreds a month on supplements and other products and services with the hope of bringing better health to our autistic son and the rest of our family.  It will cost you the same to buy through our links, as to buy by just going directly to the site… so you can make the choice of what to do.  Some people have a “donations” button on their site, but I am not a charity… I’m a self-righteous Mommy-Blogger, I consider this blog a service, and if you find it helpful, and you want to buy something, please click through my links.

In addition, if you offer, or know of a product or service that you think other families on the road to health need to be aware of, please contact me!  I believe in the power of networking and joint ventures to enhance the rapid spread of the information that we are all so desperate to learn about as we strive to become healthier, age more beautifully, reduce chronic and aging-related diseases!

Now, to get the big picture on your health – please click here to see Emily’s Big-Picture Plan For Optimum Health!