THE Healthful Living ADVOCATE News · Views · Perspectives · Truths
November/December 2007


Welcome to the Autism Issue of The Healthful Living Advocate!

At Healthful Living, we are advocates for supporting the natural health and healing systems of mind and body. Nowhere could this be more paramount today than with the epidemic of autism, as well as ADD/ADHD, or one of several other developmental disorders. Collectively, we are re-learning the influence we have over our physical health, through the foods we consume, the stressors we are exposed to, and how we choose to look at life. This expanding intuitive and scientifically discerned knowledge re-empowers our belief in the ability to heal.

It has been demonstrated that autism is treatable, and that recovery is possible. We encourage families to consider biomedical and nutritional interventions, as well as other therapies that provide options for children with autism.

This Autism issue provides new insight about autism, informative interviews by and with Julie Matthews, and meaningful articles from Nourishing Hope friends and colleagues. PLEASE forward this newsletter to friends, relatives, and others seeking support for autism.

Martin and Julie Matthews

Web page version of this newsletter

in this issue...
  • Autism Expert Interviews with Julie Matthews
  • Gut-Brain Connections Help Validate Nourishing Hope for Children by Julie Matthews
  • PRESS RELEASE from Healthful Living
  • GFCF Tips from Sueson Vess
  • Out of Autism by Raun Kaufman
  • Food Fear Factor by Betsy Hicks
  • Julie in Toronto - PRESS RELEASE
  • About Nourishing Hope

  • Gut-Brain Connections Help Validate Nourishing Hope for Children by Julie Matthews

    The scientific and medical industry's increasing attention to and discussion of various "biomedical" (although they don't use that term) concepts and interventions for autism is promising. The media's attention to the subject is exciting. While there has been a small group of passionate doctors and researchers who understand the connection between the body's biochemistry and autism for years (particularly ARI and DAN!), they did not get much "mainstream" attention until recently. Parents would find these doctors only through referrals from other parents. We have Jenny McCarthy to thank for sharing her heartfelt story, and explaining the gut-brain connection to millions of people using language a child can understand.

    Now, journalists and program hosts are interviewing doctors like Jerry Kartzinel and Kenneth Bock. News agencies are running stories on autism and diet - speaking to researchers and doctors like Martha Herbert and talking about scientific connections. Even a Senator (and presidential candidate) is declaring the need for help for autism.

    Researchers and clinicians are discovering and talking about:

    • The gut-brain connection
    • Scientific basis for dietary intervention
    • Cellular changes consistent with immune activation in the same areas where white matter enlargement was found in the brain
    • Calcium channel abnormalities
    • Methylation insufficiencies

    Why is this so important? It shifts the entire premise of autism from solely a brain disorder (limited perspective) to a whole-body disorder (broader perspective). It also changes it from a fixed genetic disorder to the notion of autism as an acquired disorder - considering the role of environmental influences. This understanding and perspective expands the opportunities for intervention significantly. If autism is seen as a brain and psychiatric condition, only drugs and behavior modification are the primary interventions. However, if autism is seen as a biochemical imbalance that effects various systems including the gut affecting digestion, the immune system affecting inflammation, and the brain affecting cognition, behavior, and emotions, there is now something that can done to treat these symptoms. By better understanding the systemic connections with autism, we can support each child's opportunity for recovery and a healthy and happy life.

    What can you do? Eliminate foods that are not tolerated and may directly affect neurotransmitter balance - wheat and dairy and additives including MSG are essential places to start. Introduce healthy foods that support digestion and supply valuable nourishment is a powerful area parents have control. Adding nutrients that are essential to brain function and biochemical pathways is an area of importance that can help children. I discuss all of this in detail in Nourishing Hope where I present the scientific rationale for nutrition intervention for autism and provide a comprehensive holistic approach to implementation.

    Here are some ESSENTIALS for Parents, Relatives, Caregivers and other's who face naysayers of diet, biomedical, or alternative therapies for autism:

    • Spend time at Autism.com reviewing research, videos, parents' real experiences
    • Tune into the POSITIVE media coverage for Jenny McCarthy, Dr. Kartzinel, Dr. Bock, and others who are speaking truth about autism being treatable and recovery being possible
    • Connect with online support groups like Yahoo, for biomedical and diets
    • Listen to Dr. Herbert's interview on CBC News (send to others) and read her website
    • Read Is the Cure for Brain Disorders Outside the Brain? in the Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine Journal
    • Pick up the Autism Journey Guide from TACA and diet specific books by Lisa Lewis, Elaine Gottschall, and Jaquelyn McCandless, available at Autism.com
    • Be enthused by the exciting new Autism Collaboration's "Parents as Partners" Research Initiative
    • Inform your primary care clinician - provide them a copy of ARI's Effective Biomedical Treatments and copy of Nourishing Hope: Nutrition Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders

    The more researchers and clinicians work together and are open minded about ideas from passionate parents, the faster and better we can help these children.

    As a Nutrition Consultant specializing in ASDs, I understand and have witnessed the positive impact that nutrition and diet can have - and am frustrated when facing those who do not see, or will not believe that something right in their hands could make a difference. Reality is stronger than denial however, and parents' passion for answers, I feel, will ultimately affect change from a system that hasn't provided needed help. There is hope, children are recovering.

    I wish for this trend to continue - that more pediatricians, teachers, therapists, researchers, aid workers, etc., learn and realize that there are options, that there is something they can do, that they do not have to accept unfounded and hopeless prognoses for their children. May we soon see schools, businesses, and governmental institutions eliminating offensive foods from their menus and offering REAL foods instead. May more parents and grandparents become involved in cooking and eating healthfully together as families - traditional foods heal. May our insurance institutions reimburse families for the cost of therapies that make sense and can help.

    To this promise for the future I remain committed to nourishing hope.

    PRESS RELEASE from Healthful Living

    Science helps validate special diets for Autism, hope may be right in parents' hands
    New scientific data and opinion supports nutrition and dietary intervention as helpful for those with autism. Newly updated book by Autism diet expert, Nourishing Hope, explains the scientific rationale for applying special diets.

    San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) November 27, 2007 - For every one in 150 children diagnosed with autism, traditional thinking recommends only behavior and communication therapies and medicines to control symptoms. Julie Matthews, Certified Nutrition Consultant and author of Nourishing Hope, knows that something is missing. Treatment options have been limited due to a narrow perspective of autism as strictly a brain, or 'psychiatric' disorder. "Fortunately, science is now rethinking autism and new data supports the notion that special diets can help," Julie says.

    Scientists from the University of Western Ontario recently linked a compound produced in the digestive system (also found in wheat and dairy products) to autistic type behavior, which may demonstrate that what autistic children eat could alter their brain function. Commenting on the study, Dr. Martha Herbert, Assistant Professor in Neurology at Harvard Medical School, recently told CBC News in Canada, "Now we're learning that the brain and body can influence each other. There are chemicals produced by and influenced by foods that can affect the brain." If you remove those foods, that negative impact can stop.

    The new edition of Julie's book, Nourishing Hope, highlights recent research in biochemistry and nutrition for autism, and explains the scientific rationale for dietary intervention to help restore health. Doctors and researchers are now recognizing what nutrition experts like Julie have known for years, that the brain is "downstream" from the body's biochemistry, and not the sole origin of the problems seen with autism.

    Indeed, the editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Mark A. Hyman, M.D., posits a new "systemic way of thinking" about autism in his current editorial, Is The Cure For Brain Disorders Outside The Brain? He states that nutritional deficiencies or imbalances can explain some symptoms of autism and that "the body's influence on the brain must come to the forefront of research and treatment."

    To help with autism, Julie recommends avoiding gluten and casein (wheat and dairy) because these foods are known to affect a brain response similar to morphine leading to foggy thinking and food cravings in children. Next, she suggests introducing foods that are easy to digest, rich in good bacteria, and packed with nutrients such as homemade broths, naturally fermented foods, and pureed vegetables hidden in meatballs, as well as supplements such as cod liver oil, probiotics (good bacteria), B6, magnesium, and zinc.

    Children with autism tend to have very limited diets, so the idea of removing wheat and dairy can initially seem challenging to some parents: however, Julie provides encouragement by explaining, "Once you remove the problematic foods that can be addictive, children often expand their diet tremendously." Thousands of parents who've applied nutrition intervention attest that what they feed their kids clearly makes a difference.

    Since parents determine children's diets, this major key to autism is literally in their hands.

    Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant specializing in autism spectrum disorders. She speaks at national autism conferences, and leads cooking demonstrations on traditional healing foods. Julie has a private nutrition practice and weekly radio show in San Francisco and assists families from around the world.

    For more information visit NourishingHope.com

    LINK to PRWEB Press Release.

    GFCF Tips from Sueson Vess

    Sueson Vess is a Professional Chef who has celiac disease and cannot consume gluten. She has become an expert at preparing gluten free and other foods requiring particular dietary restriction. Sueson's written a cookbook, prepared instructional videos, runs a support group for those on the GFCF Diet, and is a frequent speaker/guest chef at conferences across the country. At the Autism One Conference, Sueson, Betsy Hicks, and Julie Matthews present a day long cooking education and demonstration for parents of children with autism. SEE VIDEOS OF THE COOKING DAY HERE

    Equipping the GFCF Kitchen

    Pantry basics
    Flour: Stock two GFCF flour blends; one with xanthan gum or guar gum and another without any gum. Use the blend containing xanthan gum for baking and pancakes. Use the other flour for breading meat, thickening soups and gravies. Authentic Foods (authenticfoods.com) makes Multi Blend Gluten Free Flour with xanthan gum. Bob's Red Mill (bobsredmill.com) makes Gluten Free Flour Blend (without zanthan) or make your own from recipes found in Special Eats Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Cooking by Sueson Louise Vess (specialeats.com), Cooking Free by Carol Fenster (savorypalate.com), Cooking Gluten-Free! by Karen Robertson, or Gluten Free Baking by Rebecca Reilly.

    Sweeteners: Non-cane sugar alternatives include agave syrup, honey and maple sugar or syrup. Use in place of cane sugars.

    Fats: Stock healthy fats (all non-hydrogenated) for cooking and baking. Grape seed oil has a mild flavor and high smoke point and is good for sautéing and baking. Olive oil is a better butter replacement on vegetables. Coconut oil is good for baking and spreading. Ghee (clarified butter) is considered casein-free and may be used in moderation in cooking. Coconut and palm oils are also good for frying. Whole foods: Purchase organic or non-GMO produce, free-range poultry, organic, uncaged eggs, grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish.

    Whole grains: Stock up on rice (brown, white, black, red and wild) and other GFCF grains like quinoa, millet and amaranth. Quinoa and amaranth are ancient grains high in protein, fiber and taste. Use these grains in place of couscous or pasta.

    Gluten-free pasta: There are many good-tasting GFCF pastas. Tinkyada brand is widely available, tastes good and is made from brown rice. Do not overcook GFCF pasta.

    Non-dairy milk: Almond, rice, hemp and coconut milks are useful in GFCF cooking and baking. Use them in place of dairy. Almond, rice and hemp milks are thinner so use slightly less (you can always add more).

    Nuts and seeds: Purchase raw (unsalted) preferably organic nuts and seeds for making trail mixes, homemade granola, for baking and snacking.

    Equipment basics
    The following equipment will simplify and enhance GFCF cooking:
    • Good sharp knives and a knife sharpener
    • Blender
    • Food processor
    • Cookware: stainless steel, cast iron, stoneware or glass (do not use aluminum or nonstick cookware)

    How to Begin Following the GFCF Diet




    Week 1

    Step 1

    All gluten and dairy containing snack foods

    Healthy snacks like homemade trail mix, GFCF granola bars, fresh fruit and veggies, fruit leather (pure fruit).

    Make it fun. Cut food into shapes or small bite-sized pieces, use acceptable dips. May use crunchy GFCF chips and GFCF pretzels.

    Week 2

    Step 2

    Processed foods

    Nutrient-rich whole foods. Your children will not starve. If they are eating only processed foods they are already under-nourished. Keep foods simple and nutritious.

    Week 3

    Step 3

    Sweetened beverages, juices, soda, dairy

    Water, naturally sweetened drinks and non-dairy alternatives. START SLOW! Blend cow's milk with non-dairy milk and gradually increase non-dairy and decrease dairy; dilute juices with water the same way.

    Week 4

    Step 4

    Dairy (including casein) from diet. Maintain this diet for a minimum of one week before making more changes.

    Keep gluten in the diet while your child adjusts to dairy-free foods. Keep foods simple. Find foods that your child enjoys eating.

    Week 5

    Step 5

    Gluten and dairy from diet.

    Prepare simple GFCF meals that are within your child's texture needs. (See menu for suggestions).

    May use GFCF mixes for cookies, and treats adding nutritious foods like pureed squash, shredded carrots and zucchini. See resources.

    Week 6

    Step 6

    Gluten and dairy from diet plus eliminate soy, corn and remove or greatly reduce sugar.

    Homemade GFCF meals and snacks with healthy whole foods. Use natural alternative sweeteners to replace sugar. Do not use artificial sweeteners. Save treats for special occasions rather than daily.

    Week  7

    Step 7

    Artificial colors and additives like MSG, nitrates, nitrites, other toxins

    Unprocessed, organic fruits, vegetables, GF grains, meats and fish. Read labels carefully. Read "Excitotoxins – the Taste that Kills" by Russell Blaylock.

    1 day at a time

    Step 8


    Gratitude and confidence – continue to seek support from others as you make these changes.

    Making gradual changes is key to sustainable success. Read Sueson's article, "The Family Table" in an earlier newsletter. VISIT Sueson's website for more information including recipes and meal planning.

    Out of Autism by Raun Kaufman

    Autism spectrum disorders are on the rise. A condition that once touched less than 1 in 10,000 children in the United States today affects 1 in 150. Unfortunately, most parents of children receiving an autism diagnosis are told that their child's condition is an irreversible, lifelong affliction, leaving many parents devastated, with little or no hope for their children's future improvement or recovery. More than 30 years ago, my parents, too, had a son diagnosed with this disorder: me.

    At 18 months, I was diagnosed as severely autistic, with a tested I.Q. of less than 30. I would spend my days endlessly engaged in repetitive behaviors such as spinning plates, rocking back and forth, and flapping my hands in front of my face. I didn't want to be touched, I never looked at other people, and I did not give the slightest response to the calls and requests of the people around me. I was "in my own world."

    My parents were told to expect no change in my development. I would never speak, never have friends, never go to school, never learn to communicate with others in any meaningful way. The professionals recommended eventual institutionalization.

    My parents, however, decided to make a complete departure from traditional methods of "treatment." They designed and implemented an innovative and groundbreaking program that was both home-based and child-centered: The Son-Rise Program®.

    After working with me for over three years, my parents achieved what the experts had deemed "impossible": I recovered completely from my autism without any trace of my former condition. After living a normal childhood, then earning a degree in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University, I went on to direct an educational center for school-aged children. I now lecture internationally, as well as being the CEO of the Autism Treatment Center of America.

    Thankfully, parents today do not have to face the lack of support that my parents faced, nor do they have to settle for a prognosis of hopelessness. After my recovery, my father, Barry Neil Kaufman, wrote a book relating our story entitled Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues (later the subject of an NBC television movie). Then, in 1983, my parents founded what is now known as The Autism Treatment Center of America, located in Sheffield, Massachusetts. This non-profit, charitable organization is dedicated to helping parents and professionals caring for children with autism, PDD, autism spectrum disorders, and other related developmental challenges. We teach a system of treatment and education designed to help families and caregivers enable their children to dramatically improve in all areas of learning, development, communication, and skill acquisition. Having worked with thousands of people worldwide, we continue to see results that have forever changed the face of autism and other developmental disorders.

    The foundation of the program rests upon this idea: the children show us the way in, and then we show them the way out. In this way, we establish a mutual connection and relationship, which is the platform for all education and growth. Then, we can teach our children everything we want them to learn with exponentially greater success, speed, and ease.

    One specific technique derived from this principle is joining. This means that when a child is doing a particular repetitive, exclusive behavior (i.e. stacking blocks, flapping hands, etc.), we do not try to stop the child from doing this. On the contrary, we do this activity with him! This unlocks the door to the child's world.

    Another key technique is to facilitate skill acquisition by capitalizing on each child's own motivation. Since, for these children, traditional learning modalities will rarely be appealing, we customize the presentation of curriculum to match the child's highest areas of motivation. This way, we use the learning skills and interests our child already has instead of trying to "run against the wind" by teaching in a way that doesn't work for our child.

    After decades of helping people with autism before it was "cool," before anyone cared, we am excited to see that research is finally beginning to catch up principles, like those above, that were previously dismissed. But, as a society, we still have some distance to travel on one front in particular: our denigration of hope and our penchant for dire predictions.

    I am still sometimes accused us of advocating "false hope." Some assert that I cannot guarantee that all children will turn out like me. This is true. No one can guarantee that. But does this mean that parents should be discouraged from hoping for their children? Does anyone really believe that our children are better of with a life sentence than an open door and an outstretched hand?

    When I was diagnosed with severe autism, my parents decided to see possibilities where others saw none, and it was this perspective that enabled my complete recovery. I don't believe anyone should ever have to apologize for giving their child a chance. Hope leads to action, and without action, none of our children can be helped.

    Raun Kaufman is CEO of The Option Institute and The Autism Treatment Center of America. LISTEN TO JULIE'S recent interview with Raun.

    Food Fear Factor by Betsy Hicks

    I grew up in a family of seven children (five of them being football playing boys). When I think back of how my mother used to feed us all, I remember certain tricks that she had. Meat was rationed, bread was a staple, and no one was allowed to be picky. I can still remember having to sit at the table, after the dishes were done, because I wouldn't finish something on my plate, and finally when my favorite TV show was on and I was desperate to escape, I would close my eyes and gag it down. My husband's memories are the gratitude of having something to eat. Working up a ferocious appetite on a farm all day as a young boy into his teens, he would have never dreamed of telling his mom, "I don't want this, make me something else".

    The new generation of children will tell different stories. They will say, "And then mom came home with Mountain Dew--PLAIN Mountain Dew, can you believe it? I told my mom, 'march right back to that store and get me the RED kind, because this simply won't do'." Maybe that sounds extreme, but Americans are so spoiled by year round produce and eternal shelf life products that we have lost appreciation for food.

    This fall, my husband and I decided to take a trip to Thailand. Why Thailand? For beaches, affordability, but mostly food. How excited to be in a country where gluten and dairy were only imported and the norm was fresh, organic, and flavorful. I dreamed of the street vendors and walking with my husband, tasting a little something here and there and expecting nothing less than to be deliciously dazzled. After all, I am NOT a picky eater so the idea of trying new food is a joy.

    Our first walk through the streets of Thailand triggered a host of smells, somewhat like a mix of an outdoor BBQ, a can of tuna, and two week old garbage. I saw parts of fish I didn't know existed and textures that frightened me. The more I saw, the more I became paranoid. In a very nice restaurant in Bangkok I saw snake on the menu. I ordered a Thai roll that claimed to have a surprise. My conversation with the waiter went something like this, "I'd like the Thai roll please, but what's the surprise?" I asked. "I'm not sure, madam." He answered. "It's not snake is it?" I said. "No, it's not snake." He said. "Is it anything that any American would be afraid of?" I persisted. "I don't know, what are you afraid of?" he questioned. "Pretty much snake and anything that is not viewed from the outside of a fish." I said. "You will be fine", he replied

    And fine I was; it was delicious. Two days later I was eating a bowl of soup in a Japanese restaurant on my way home through Tokyo. I bit into something and gagged. I was sure it was an eyeball of something. After further inspection I discovered it was a mushroom. However, if it HAD been an eyeball, I would have held out for days without food in order to not revisit that texture, even though the taste was bland.

    I thought about all of the children I have worked with over the years. Why was my fear of food in Asia so heightened? Why was I afraid to even try anything that I didn't know what all of the ingredients were? In most of the cases it was more about texture than it was about taste. Our mouths get used to the way certain foods feel. They gravitate for familiarity. When a new texture is put in a place that it normally doesn't visit, it's like telling your kids you're going to Disney World and "surprising" them at the last minute and telling them you're going to Washington DC.

    Now the parent may say (and I hope they do), "but even though they like the comfort of macaroni and cheese, I need to make them eat vegetables." So, don't go to Washington DC. Instead take them to Disney World and make them go to the Hall of Presidents. It only lasts a half an hour and they still get what they want. The analogy I'm stretching for is meeting your kids half way. Here is the conversation I would have had with my daughter about the Japanese soup.

    "Agh, there's an eyeball in my soup," she'd gasp. "Honey there is not eyeball in your soup," I'd calmly say. "Oh yeah, then what do you call THIS?" as she'd fished out the slimy round thing. "It's a mushroom. You like mushrooms," I'd reassure. "I like mushrooms where mushrooms are supposed to be and when mushrooms taste like mushrooms--this tastes like an eyeball." she would persist.

    Now for those of you identifying with this story, where did I make my first mistake? The first mistake was that I left way too much to imagination. This is a tough call for parents, because I do endorse sneaking in vegetables in many foods, but only when the texture has been modified (such as pureed). Knowing that my daughter likes mushrooms, I could have inspected the soup with her in advance and helped her prepare her mouth for what was going to be swimming in it. Most kids do fine with pureed vegetables because they don't change the texture, but if you want your child to eat bok choy, then start by shopping for it together. Show your child before you cook it what it looks like. Have them taste a little bit raw and cut it into small enough pieces that they are not overwhelmed.

    Adults and children can change their habits. We all need to broaden our menu repertoire. This week when you are shopping, buy something in the produce department that you have never tried before. Gradually work your way into new spices, herbs, fruits, vegetables and meat. No criticism from me, however, if you leave out the reptiles.

    Betsy Hicks is an author, diet counselor, and the mother of a son with autism. She and her husband, Dr. John Hicks, operate Pathways Medical and Holistic Health Advocates.

    Julie in Toronto - PRESS RELEASE

    Julie Matthews to Speak to Parents and Professionals in Toronto.
    Free workshop about the benefits of Diet & Nutrition for Autism Spectrum Disorder Children

    Over 300 Parents and professionals are scheduled to attend a Parents Listen Speaker Event in Toronto, on Saturday December 1st, from 10:00 AM- 3:00 PM, at Ryerson University, 55 Dundas Street West.

    With 1 in 150 children being diagnosed with autism and mainstream channels offering little or no immediately helpful treatment options, local parents are taking matters into their own hands. Certified Nutrition Consultant and Autism expert Julie Matthews will speak in Canada for the first time to parents and professionals about the significant impact of diet on children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Attendees will learn why proper nutrition is essential for these children, various autism diet options, and the "when," "why," and "how" to get started with implementation. Dietary intervention can affect dramatic improvements in children's behaviours and the scientific community is increasingly validating this approach. This workshop will include a presentation, food preparation demonstration, and several opportunities for interactive questions and answers for people wanting to begin, refine, or deepen their knowledge of dietary interventions. Matthews' Toronto appearance is sponsored by Parents Listen, a local parent led organization. Parents Listen events focus on empowering parents to direct their own child's recovery by expanding their knowledge of safe and effective treatment options.

    Julie Matthews speaks at various conferences throughout the United States including Defeat Autism Now! and Autism One. She is the Author of Nourishing Hope, a comprehensive guide to the specific and unique biochemistry of autistic spectrum disorder children. She is a Certified Nutrition Consultant with a practice in San Francisco where she consults with families and practitioners from around the world. She is the host of two radio programs and teaches classes on ASD diets including GFCF, SCD, Body Ecology, Feingold, low oxalate, and more.

    Parents Listen was created by Michael and Kelli Pallett, parents of Jordyn, a 4yr old boy diagnosed on the Autistic Spectrum at 2 years old. While languishing on waiting lists for two years, with no expectations of help from the Ontario government, they started looking elsewhere for options, and discovered that a wealth of opportunities were available that parents could implement right away - and that can have immediate benefit. Kelli and Michael created Parents Listen, a free speaker series where experts with extensive first hand experience with autistic children come to Toronto and speak to parents and professionals. Topics focus on effective support and treatment options for autistic children that parents may otherwise be unaware of. The speaker format gives parents the opportunity to listen, but also ask questions and interact directly with experts and other parents who have successfully employed the methods discussed, so they can best determine what's right for their child. "It is amazing to me," Michael Pallett said, "that after receiving a diagnosis that your child is autistic, the primary support offered to these parents is simply a place on a waiting list. There is nowhere that parents are directed while they wait, that offers anything concrete to do in the home which can impact their children right away. But we have found that there are many things parents can do, that can have immediate positive results for their kids."

    Autism is not a disease, rather a little-understood disorder that affects the brain in an astounding 1 in 150 children in Canada ; a rate which has increased by more than 10 times in the last decade. While the cause of autism is unknown, many researchers believe it is a combination of genetics and environmental factors, including viruses, chemicals, over use of antibiotics, and heavy metals including lead and mercury.

    Parents of children newly diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders have had limited access to therapeutic services, and financial supports, offered by the government of Ontario. While the government has recognized the need for these services, due to various court cases and funding controversies, the waiting lists for children in need have grown longer and longer. Meanwhile, the stress and financial burden on these families is severe, noted by a rate of divorce reported at 80% for families of children on the Autism Spectrum [stat: Autism Speaks and Autism Society of America].

    To arrange for Interviews or Media Passes to the event, please contact Michael Pallett at (905) 302-3750. For more information on Parents Listen contact http://ParentsListen.org

    LISTEN to Julie and Martin talking about the upcoming Toronto event on Reality Sandwich Radio (5 mins).

    About Nourishing Hope

    Nourishing Hope - book by Julie Matthews, Certified Nutrition Consultant
    Nutrition Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Why Diet Can Help and a Holistic Approach to Implementation

    NEW Updated & Expanded EDITION - October 2007

    Click to see front & back cover

    Nourishing Hope is a compendium of seven years clinical nutrition experience and intense research. It outlines all of the major autism diets including GFCF, SCD, Body Ecology, Feingold, Low Oxalate Diet, Weston A. Price, and more. The book provides a comprehensive understanding of malfunctioning metabolic processes and explains the impact of nutrition on the biochemistry of children with autism. Detailed steps for dietary intervention are included and a roadmap for getting started, evolving, and customizing the varied approaches. The book contains practical insight garnered through parents’ anecdotal experience with nutrition & diet intervention - even for picky eaters!

    Nourishing Hope contains:
    • The role of genetics and environmental toxins
    • The impact of nutrients on biochemistry and healing
    • The most beneficial dietary options for autism
    • A holistic nutrition approach to determining and evolving a diet

    Click here to visit Julie's
    Nourishing Hope - AUTISM BLOG
    Information • Interviews • Insights

    "Nourishing Hope by Julie Matthews, is doing just that for parents of autistic spectrum children. Julie joins a small group of doctors, researchers and parents who believe there are reasons to be hopeful and interventions worth trying. Nourishing Hope covers the complex topics of environmental, biochemical, and nutritional factors affecting our children with clear explanations and helpful suggestions. This is an important addition to the library of "must read" books for parents of autistic spectrum kids and the doctors who treat them."

    - Lisa Lewis, Ph.D., Author, Special Diets for Special Kids

    “Julie is a gifted nutritionist. She elucidates the nuances and biochemical imbalances involved in ASD with a clear understanding of how to use nutrition and natural supplements to correct these imbalances. I encourage parents and practitioners alike to read Nourishing Hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of how to optimize the health and well-being of these truly special children."

    - Elisa Song, M.D., Pediatrician and DAN! Doctor

    "Nourishing Hope is an excellent resource for both families with ASD children and the clinicians treating them. Julie Matthews has done a superb job in bringing together vital, complex information and distilling it into a single no-nonsense, easy-to-use guide through the maze of ASD interventions, and succeeds in doing just as it claims: Nourishing Hope."

    - Kara N. Fitzgerald, N.D., Department of Science & Education, Metametrix Clinical Laboratory

    "Julie Matthews’ approach to nutrition, diet and supplementation provides a unique blend of traditional and holistic approaches. Her mastery of these is superb and very practical."

    - John Hicks, M.D. Medical Director, Pathways Medical & Holistic Health Center

    “ Nourishing Hope is one of the best books written on dietary interventions for autism. It approaches treatment completely unbiased as opposed to ‘it worked for my child so it will work for yours.’ Julie appreciates and understands the differences in the need to customize.”

    - Betsy Hicks, Diet Counselor, Pathways Medical & Holistic Health Center

    PREFACE (from Nourishing Hope)

    Since I began my professional studies in holistic nutrition and biochemistry, I have been particularly fascinated with nutrition for human development—that is, nutrition for children. From the onset, I investigated how artificial ingredients, low nutrient foods, and sugars were implicated in a wide range of newly epidemic disorders in children, particularly ADHD, type 2 diabetes (“adult-onset”), heart disease, and even autism.

    Once I discovered that imbalanced biochemical pathways influence the symptoms of ADHD and autism and that food, nutrition, and proper supplementation can have significant impact on these disorders, I was drawn to learn and understand more. There are many people striving to help these children: parents, doctors, caregivers, educators, therapists, advocacy groups, nutritionists, researchers and research groups. If all of these people could better comprehend these factors and influences, we could use our collective knowledge to better help these children and their families. As I researched important subjects such as liver function, endocrine imbalance, the immune system, and food sensitivities, I would always ask the question, “How is this implicated in autism spectrum disorders, and how do we impact it through nutritional or supplemental interventions?”

    Nourishing Hope is the culmination of seven years of research into and clinical experience with autism spectrum disorder and the affects of nutrition, environmental factors, and biochemical imbalances on these conditions. In this time, I have consulted with hundreds with children on the spectrum, read countless books and research papers, routinely attended (and now present at) leading conferences on the subject, interviewed leading-edge researchers, and collaborated with dozens of doctors and their patients.

    My work continues steadfastly. I consult with parents and physicians through my office in San Francisco, and clients across the world by telephone. I am driven to share what I have learned and continue to learn. We all must share what we know so that all children on the spectrum and their families may harvest the life-bringing energies of hope. I believe that all people are worthy of (and deserve) hope—it is an inherently human capacity that, when nourished always leads to some positive outcome.



    Underlying Causes
    and Contributors to ASDs

    Holistic Nutrition Approach

    To order a copy of Nourishing Hope,
    $29.95 (plus $3 shipping),
    and for more information

    Autism Expert Interviews with Julie Matthews

    Julie was Interviewed by Betsy Hicks on Autism One/Voice of America radio. Betsy is an author, diet counselor, and the mother of a son with autism. They talk about varied diet approaches, recent news about gut-brain connection, learnings from varied cultures, tips and suggestions for applying diet and nutrition, and much more stimulating conversation between two practiced autism diet and nutrition specialists. (11/6/07).

    Click to Listen

    Julie interviewed Raun Kaufman on her San Francisco radio program about the Son-Rise program, a totally unique treatment for children with autism. Raun inspires listeners to broaden their perspective and hope for children with autism and empowers parents with new options that can have immediate affect. Julie and Raun discuss the influence of belief systems, emotions, and environmental factors that are keys to maximizing children's potential for recovery and well being. (11/15/07)

    Click to Listen

    byJulie Matthews:
    • Kara Fitzgerald: Metametrix Clinical Laboratory
    • Michael Lang: Brainchild Nutritionals (detox protocol)
    • Dr. John Hicks: Pathways Holistic Medical Advocates
    • Mark Schauss: Crayhon Research
    • Devin Houston: Houston Nutraceuticals
    • Liz Lipski: Digestive Wellness for Children
    • Jane Hersey: Why My Child Can't Behave
    • Holistic Autism Panel Discussion with 3 DAN! Practitioners: Dr. Elisa Song, Dr. David Traver, Julie Matthews, NC
    • Sally Fallon: Nourishing Traditions Cookbook (Weston A. Price)
    • Susan Senator: Making Peace with Autism

    by Julie Matthews

    December 6th
    Isaac Eliaz MD, MS, LAc

    Pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, author, lecturer, researcher, product formulator and clinical practitioner discusses his autism treatment approach.

    December 13th
    Susan Owens, MAIS, RA
    Noted expert of the Low Oxalate Diet for autism discusses her new website and expanded offerings for parents. Julie and Susan discuss current thinking in dietary interventions.

    Available at
    Reality Sandwich Radio

    about a private
    nutrition consultation
    with Julie Matthews

    at the Spring DAN! Conference. The autumn conference video and other presentations from the Anaheim DAN! will soon be available here.

    on Culinary Day at the Autism One Conference with Sueson Vess and Betsy Hicks.

    Autism One videos.


    20 minute excerpt
    "Making your own Homemade Sauerkraut,"
    from Julie's hands on
    Traditional Healing Foods
    cooking class

    soaking nuts and grains for increased digestibility.
    READ ABOUT soaking nuts in an earlier newsletter.

    READ ABOUT Julie's Traditional Healing Foods for children on the autism spectrum COOKING CLASS

    In October, Julie presented her work with autism to fellow nutrition colleagues at the National Association of Nutrition Professionals annual conference. Interest in the field of nutrition is growing rapidly as science and common sense come together. Great strides in many areas of nutritional application were highlighted.

    Listen to
    an Interview with Julie
    about Nourishing Hope

    Julie Matthews
    Classes and Events...

    Traditional Healing Foods for ASDs

    Recipe for a Healthy Family

    Nutrition for Pregnancy and Preconception

    Cooking for Baby

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