By Claire McDonnell-Liu

We’re a happy, active, noisy family, all thanks to real food!

My two young children, Rudy and Leafy, suffered from awful health problems when they were very young and changing the food they eat has transformed their health.

The food families eat each day plays a vital role in our health and I am proud to support Real Food Day to help change the UK’s food policy and culture. Instead of making us sick, real food can really help us to live our best life.

Rudy’s sugar free food

Rudy used to suffer from severe skin conditions. Within weeks of changing his food his itching and skin reactions had stopped, allowing his red raw skin to recover until glowing. His distressing eczema, alopecia and urticaria symptoms have not returned since.

Focused on supporting his gut health we cut out processed foods and sugars, including foods that convert to sugar; so no dates, bananas, pasta or cereals. Instead Rudy enjoys grass-fed butter, quality meats, vegetables and bone broth – real foods.

Rudy and Leafy enjoying making an omelette

Rudy making an omlette

Leafy’s ketogenic real food

Leafy suffered a frightening febrile seizure at six months old. This was unfortunately the beginning of an extremely tough chapter for her as she experienced thousands of seizures over the next 18 months, which had a massive impact on her health and on us all.

We started her on the ketogenic diet, known to be very effective in reducing seizures. It made sense to us to try diet changes before anti-epileptic drugs, with their extensive list of potential side effects.

Her Keto diet changes her body’s energy source to ketones (from fats) instead of glucose (from carbohydrates). Burning fat for fuel in this way reduced her seizures quickly and dramatically, from over 60 daily to one or two yearly.  Her whole health improved too and bit by bit normal family life returned.

Her diet is very much real food based, for all of the wonderful benefits of nutrient rich real foods. She eats seafood, olives, avocados, meats, salads, vegetables, seeds and nuts – and she loves it!

Together with my husband, Justin, I run a non-profit organisation delivering real food projects with schools, universities and community groups.

Try our Sugar-free family online course for first steps on removing sugar, the stuff is everywhere!

Click here to download the Real Food Day family activity pack and feel free to watch Claire’s presentation “Food First: A patient perspective” from the Public Health Collaboration 2018 conference.