Food as Medicine: Leafy's Story

By Team

24th January '18

"I’m Claire McDonnell, qualified Nutrition Advisor, mum and therapeutic diet keynote speaker in the UK and USA. Finding the right nutrition for our daughter and son’s health conditions at the right time prevented dire long term health consequences.

We plan to provide nutrition information and resources that we needed as a family when our children were most poorly. We don’t feel that finding the right information should be left to chance.

Our Food as Medicine story

When my otherwise healthy baby daughter Leafie was only 6 months old when she experienced her first seizure. It lasted a terrifying 25 minutes and she was bluelighted into the local hospital for treatment. Unfortunately lengthy and distressing seizures began to reoccur until little Leafie was suffering a debilitating 60+ daily seizures a day. Her overall health, sleep and ability to enjoy a typical childhood were being taken away and our young family were suffering from exhaustion and distress.

We researched until we came across a Canadian parent’s blog that had used a diet to reduce their young daughter’s seizures. The more we read about their Ketogenic diet the more impressive it appeared.

We started Leafie on the Ketogenic diet around her second birthday, enjoying a ‘keto’ birthday carrot cake as one of her first foods. Within 2 days of her diet
changes the majority of her seizures (up to 45 minutes long) had stopped and three years later most have not returned. Leafie’s sleep, confidence and smile returned swiftly, she became her happy, active, bright self again.

As well as the astonishing change in my daughter’s health this is also remarkable as the diet is well known, with much evidence behind it demonstrating how successful it is in treating seizures and yet it is rarely considered as a treatment option.

Our confidence in the ability of food to improve health came from having also
restored our son Rudie’s skin to glowing health after 2 years of eczema, hives and alopecia, again all through diet! Again nutrition was not a consideration in his treatment by the medical community.

Our Project Leafie appeal
With experience of taking on severe eczema and epilepsy with foods we now want to help other families to find the diets that can help their health too!

We quickly raised over half of our campaign target of £6,000! We need to raise Claire £6,000 total so that we can:-
• Provide a free family nutrition introduction course
• Populate our website with evidence and information to help families
get started
• Publish family’s stories of using nutrition to manage a variety of health
conditions; included Bowel Disease, Epilepsy and Eczema. "


Read more on Claire, Leafy and Rudie's experiences with a Ketogenic diet on their campaign page: