Episode 14: Wholefood Cooking & Tips To Keep Kids Healthy With NSK Naturopath, Susan Thomson
Today is a very exciting episode as we’re having our very first guest on the Natural Super Kids Podcast! We’re chatting with our very own Susan Thomson, our NSK Naturopath, Nutritionist and Wholefood Chef. She is also passionate in helping families reconnect with the healing power of real food and natural medicines in a practical and sustainable way.
Susan talks about her journey as a health practitioner and how she became passionate about health-supportive cooking, kids’ nutrition and naturopathy. She also delves deeper into her:
- Area of expertise and what she can help you and your family with;
- Training and experience in becoming a wholefood Chef;
- Advice when it comes to overcoming challenges in cooking wholefoods;
- Top 3 tips that keep her own kids healthy.
- Find out more about Susan’s consultations here
- Get on the waitlist for the Natural Super Kids KLUB
- More info on Jude Blereau & wholefood cooking
- Read more info on the downsides of antibiotics for kids
Today we have something very exciting!
We have our very first guest on the Natural Super Kids Podcast! If you’ve been listening along, you know that all of the episodes up until now have been me alone. Solo episodes. But we are going to do a series of guest episodes now because I want to have conversations with like-minded people. Other experts in kids’ health and nutrition, and other people that I feel will bring value to you.
I want to introduce you to our very first guest on the Natural Super Kids Podcast, she is Susan Thompson. Susan is a Naturopath here on the Natural Super Kids team. Of course, it made sense for me to bring her on as our very first guest on the podcast. I just feel so blessed to have Susan on the team. We talk about through these episodes, so many of our similarities in terms of our families. Kind of where we are on our parenting journey. Most importantly, our approach when it comes to health and naturopathy.
Susan is a Naturopath, a Nutritionist and a Wholefood Chef. She has a passion to help families reconnect with the healing power of real food and natural medicines in a practical and sustainable way. Susan has worked as a Naturopath and a health coach in both Australia and New York, where she also trained to work as a chef. She loves to share her favourite recipes and healthy meal-planning ideas with her clients here at Natural Super Kids and all the members of the Natural Super Kids Klub as well.
She is an expert in kids’ health and provides practical solutions for a range of common childhood conditions. Eczema, allergies and digestive issues. Susan has a special interest in the connection between food and mood. Helping families with behavioural struggles, anxiety and attention disorders. She is also a mom of three children. And also has a particular passion for helping exhausted mums improve their energy and vitality. This includes addressing common underlying imbalances in hormone, thyroid, and gut health.
So if you are interested in what Susan has to offer here at Natural Super Kids, you can head on over to the show notes. We will pop links of where you can find more about her consultations. If you’re a Klub member, you will know Susan, she creates a lot of the resources for us in the Klub. She shares so much of her knowledge so generously to our Klub members.
Jess: Welcome, Susan! It’s so nice to have you here chatting with me on the podcast.
Susan: Thank you very much, Jess! Very happy to be here with you. It’s very exciting. I’ve been listening to a few of your new podcast episodes. So excited to be part of it now.
Jess: Yes! I’m excited to have you on as our very first guest to chat. I’ve done an intro to let people know a bit about you. But I’d love for you to share in your own words a little bit about yourself. Your journey into becoming a Naturopath and Nutritionist.
Susan: Yeah, absolutely. So it was quite I guess a long journey for me. There wasn’t a long time you hear about the kind of milestone things like that happen in people’s lives. And for me, it was probably more of an accumulation of lots of little things over a long period of time. That sort of brought me to where I am with my life from both a work perspective. And I guess also from a family perspective with the naturopathy and things as well. Because I came from quite a conservative family, we didn’t know what a Naturopath was. We didn’t do anything outside the ordinary when it came to their health.
Susan: I had lots of antibiotics as a kid, like I guess a lot of people did in the 80s and things too. My pathway into naturopathy was more through I think my love of like food. Which then kind of grew into nutrition. I guess it’s like a pretty normal part sometimes of being a teenager. When you start to discover that how you eat fits how well I guess you think your health at the time. But at the time, it’s probably more about how you look in things as well. So that was my journey into how I could influence myself through food. From then, I had a really strong interest in nutrition.
Susan: I went in and out of different ways to explore that a little bit and studied dietetics for a little while.. Worked in hospitality and food, and things like that. Then I guess what brought me to naturopathy was more a bit of an accidental. Coming to it through looking for a way to study nutrition that kind of really fitted into being able to work, support myself and things as well. A few people talking about it. So it was a bit of an accidental discovery for me, in particularly more through nutrition. As I started to study it, I explored herbal medicine and homeopathy. We did massage and all these things.
Susan: I discovered wholefood cooking through reading some things from Jude Blereau. It was just this gradual sort of learning and then infiltrating into the way that I lived my own life. Things that eventually sort of grew my love for it. That point where I decided that I actually wanted to sort of take a little bit more seriously, I guess. So yeah, and it’s still a constant journey, I guess, in that sense. I’m always continually growing my knowledge of it. I’ve become quite interested in that kind of constant education of it. I got on to sort of study other things inside, first of my Naturopathy study as well.
Jess: Yeah, that’s awesome! I love that and we’ve got similar stories. I mean, I’ve shared my story on the podcast before, I worked in hospitality as well. Now I see that as a way to cut that was kind of linked to what we’re doing now. And that focus on the way that we look. The people that have been listening to the podcast will know. My story with my skin issues as a teenager kind of really made me interested in food. How much of an impact that can have on our health and the way we look, which is what we’re focused on in those teenage years. I also love Naturopathy because of that constant learning. You know, we’re never done. It’s not like we ever kind of know it all and that’s it.
Susan: Exactly, yeah.
Jess: Yeah, a lot of us are so curious beings and love that constant learning. Thank you for sharing a bit about your journey. Can you tell us a little bit about some of your special areas of interest? The areas that you specialise in. So that people listening can get a feel for the sorts of things that you might be able to help their family with.
Susan: Susan: Yeah, absolutely. So I guess part of the journey of me becoming a Naturopath was also really closely tied to my kids. I had kids sort of relatively young. It was like 28 when I had my first one. I was still studying the last years of my Naturopathy qualification. So it really kind of started to evolve, as I became a mom too. More about how I would then integrate that into how I support my own kids. So that’s where my interest in sort of working with kids and things really started to grow a lot more. And I guess I was lucky in being able to sort of experiment with my kids along the way, as I learnt to.
Susan: Then as you said, constantly kind of grew that sort of knowledge as my interest in the area grew. It started to do a little bit more self-development in that way, as well. As I’ve worked for a longer period of time, it’s funny because I’ve thought a little bit over time. In terms of what particular areas I’ve started to work with a lot more. In terms of what we would classify them as like conditions, or particular kind of groups of different kids. Now I’ve started to evolve a little bit and instead of focusing on, “Okay, what can I do to support a kid with XYZ condition?” I really started to look at, “Okay, blood sugar balance.” Like, you know, bowel movements, gut health and sleep.
Susan: Those three things that are like the foundation to so many different conditions that I’ve really started to explore a lot more. Okay, how can I optimiae someone’s blood sugar balance? Someone’s gut health? How can I optimise their sleep? That influences so many different things. Whether it’s anxiety, behavioural problems, growth or immune function, and things like that. If I can really target in those areas, I find I’m getting a lot better improvement and things as well. Rather than just thinking, “Okay, what do I do?” You know, “How do we work with kids that have ADHD?” Something like that…
Susan: So it’s been an interesting kind of evolution in that aspect in terms of specialising in different areas. And again, the same thing with mums too. It sort of really does relate to them too. All of the time that mums that I do see are typically exhausted mums who either have had health challenges themselves. Or have kids that have health challenges. Because of that, their own health is suffering, too. And so a lot of those things really tie into that too.Especially when it comes to their you know, thyroid or their own gut health and those types of things.
Jess: Yes. Oh, yeah! That just makes so much sense. And I think as Naturopaths, from years of practice, we do start to see those patterns, don’t we? No matter what the condition is, as you said, if we can work on some of those fundamentals, like those ones that you talked about. The blood sugar, gut health and the sleep, that can have such a positive flow on effect on all the areas of a child’s well-being. That’s really the crux of Naturopathy, working on those underlying factors that then contribute to better health in all different areas. Systems and organs of the body. I love that you’ve kind of talked about it in that way, because it does make a lot of sense.
Susan: Oh, no, no. I agree. Yeah, it’s interesting. And a lot of the time, that’s what the basis of Naturopathy is. Being able to support the body in times, in sort of helping itself, isn’t it? That kind of self-healing aspect. So if you can really focus on that, and even though they sound like quite simple things, they’re not necessarily. They do take some certain amount of understanding and even like now in terms of the research behind those areas.
Susan: There’s a lot of areas that aren’t necessarily optimal in lots of people’s lives. In modern lives these days. So it’s not necessarily just a factor of just do XYZ. It’s often quite different for everybody in terms of what’s influencing those things as well. And so it’s interesting to understand both their kind of life. But then also the science behind how that works and things to know, sort of using those sides to influence it. Yeah.
Jess: Yeah, definitely. I mean, if we think about sleep as an example. With kids, it’s not as simple as saying they just need to get more sleep. Or they just need better quality sleep. It’s like, how do we make that happen? We know if our kids haven’t slept well, their moods’ going to be affected. Their behaviour is going to be affected, their eating. You know, preferences and habits are going to be affected. Their immunity is going to be affected.
Jess: So, yeah. Like I said, it has all those flow on effects. But it’s like, there’s so much to good sleep for kids. And working on those fundamentals is really important. Also the really exciting kind of aspect to your work, your knowledge and expertise is your wholefood Chef training. Can you tell us a little bit about that side of what you do? The training you did to become a qualified Wholefood Chef? Is that the right term?
Susan: Yeah, absolutely! Yes, that’s what I call it. It’s funny! The culinary school that I went to was all about health supportive cooking. A lot of people in the US did the training for themselves, like natural food Chef. In Australia, we’re a lot more familiar with the term around wholefoods and things like that. But it’s a similar sort of thing, it’s about using ingredients. Cooking in a way that utilises a lot of these wholefood ingredients that we hear a lot more about. Because it can be quite different sometimes to just regular cooking that we might see. Like a Master Chef for a culinary show and things like that.
Susan: It’s more about those traditional values. Along with lots of other different kinds of health-supportive and cultural influences and things as well. So that’s part of my journey as I went to America to live with my family for quite a significant amount of time. We ended up being there almost six years. That was right when my kids were still quite young. We came home a couple of years ago and yeah. How they have that love of food. I’ve always loved to cook and always been quite into home cooking. The wholefoods cooking journeys started when I was studying to be a Naturopath. But I’ve had this dream of always going to a particular culinary school that was located in New York City.
Susan: Of course, never thought that I’d ever get there. Just by chance, I ended up moving over there with my family. I did get the opportunity on The Natural Gourmet Institute. Which has since been bought over by one of the big culinary schools in New York City. I feel quite lucky to be able to have gotten there when it was still in its original form. But it’s basically a health-supportive, cooking school that started in the 70s. Originally from very kind of macrobiotic foundations and things. Then evolved over time to just be more of a health-supportive, wholefoods seasonal meal. It’s very environmentally conscious and things as well.
Susan: I learnt lots of different techniques around how to cook with lots of plant-based foods. It’s very plant-based focused, but then also really cooking with the seasons. Cooking with very traditional kind of wholefoods. Also the macrobiotic sort of type diet, few principles. Ayurvedic principles and those types of things. It was great and it gave me the opportunity in New York City to work in some restaurants. I worked as a line cook in a Michelin star restaurant for a little bit of time. So that was fun being a mum, getting out and work in a restaurant in New York City. Because that was really part of my life so much before that, and then I went on to work as a personal Chef over there helping people more.
Susan: The health practitioner side of me became more of a practical health advice in people’s homes . Integrating those two together and it’s still how I practice now. In terms of I’m very conscious of that kind of food first approach. I really want people to go on their health journeys not feeling like they’re having to give up everything they love in their life. Having too complex, follow family plans for their family that are just not practical sometimes. Or just conscious of the fact that it’s not always easy to change food and change your diet.
Susan: And simple steps to support that that’s going to make it the most nourishing. But also not be too overwhelming at the same time. So yeah, that’s probably my first love when it comes to health. Then there’s other things that have sort of grown around that as well.
Jess: Yes, I love that. And I love that you said, it sums it up that health-supportive cooking school. Because as naturopaths, we know that food and nutrition has a huge drastic impact. It’s one of if not the most important thing when it comes to our family’s health. And I think as Naturopaths, we can have that, well, a lot of Naturopaths have fallen into that trap. Where it’s all about supplements, and making it a little bit more complicated than it needs to be. But if we can go back to those basics of feeding our family, more of those health-supportive foods. As you said, food first is kind of your motto and your stance when it comes to improving kids’ and mums’ health. The clients that you work with.
Jess: I think that’s such a great skill set to have as a Naturopath. We know that food’s so important that you’ve got so many skills and so much knowledge in that area. I’ve learned so much from you when it comes to wholefood cooking and kitchen skills. And so I have our Natural Super Kids Klub members which are very lucky to have your support. Your recipes to follow in the Klub. I know this is a big area and I would love to get you back on the podcast to do a dedicated episode to that wholefood cooking. But can you share maybe just a couple of common challenges people have when it comes to wholefood cooking? And your advice to overcome them.
Susan: Oh, absolutely! I think one of the first things to learn is a foundation you do want to include. Because a lot of the area that we eat, a lot of processed food that are like grains. There’s a lack of diversity in people’s diets when it comes to grains. That’s because of the culture around it in Australia and other countries similar to Australia, like the US and the UK. A lot of places is very wheat-based type diet. Because of that, the variety of different grains that we have in our diet has just started to become more and more narrow over time. So I think when it comes to like wholefood cooking, starting to include some different whole grains in your diet. That’s something that overwhelms people sometimes.
Susan: We are used to them being in quite a convenience form. So when you see something like a bulk food store or even at the supermarket, a whole grain and it’s just a grain. You just don’t have any idea how to cook it. Then a lot of the time the instructions that are on the packet are actually just completely off too. I actually find things like quinoa, that the ratio they put on there is often completely very simple. It doesn’t actually provide any helpful instructions. And so you do get a lot of the time people will make it and then they’ll go, “Ugh, what is this? How can I eat this?” It’s terrible because it just doesn’t work out. So I think you collect a whole grain that you really want to master because they work really well in batch cooking too.
Susan: You can make up like a big batch of quinoa or some brown rice. Then it works in lots of different dishes, you can kind of reinvent it a little bit. It does take a little bit of playing around with it and watching it. I would say the big one with things like quinoa and rice is that often the amount of water that’s in the recipe is typically advised to be a bit high compared to what it really needs. I usually pull that back by about a quarter of a cup, because it works like washing our grains too. So it holds the water in it when you’re washing it, obviously. And then also just having it sit there and rest after you cook it. There’s some really good guidance around there.
Susan: A lot more of the cookbooks that are coming out now do give a little bit more guidance. I know Jude Blereau is really good in her cookbooks. Cooking things like grains and really explaining to people how to cook them. It is worth reading through those types of recipes sometimes . Just starting to learn some of those little basic techniques that at first might seem a little bit of a hassle. But the more you do it like it’s like any skill, then you won’t have to think about it.
Susan: You’ll then get to a stage where you can just throw in these kind of grains that you get from a store. Put it on while you’re doing something else and it will become something that you don’t even think about. It can just take a little bit of thought and reading into it to start with. In order to learn how to cook those grains, because it’s a skill that we’ve just lost over time, I think.
Jess: Yeah, so many great points in there. First of all, we are just not familiar with a lot of these grains. You know, if we haven’t done a lot of wholefood cooking. Or even if we have, like you said, the instructions aren’t often that accurate. It won’t provide the best result but we are so used to so much wheat in our diet. And yet, switching up those grains that such a good tip and will have so many benefits to our families’ nutrition and health overall. Like you said, it’s a skill. We’re all busy these days. Just to spend a little bit of time mastering that skill, even if it’s just on one grain initially, I think that’s a really great tip. Okay, and do you have another wholefood tip for us?
Susan: I think this is more of a basic cooking tip in general. One that sounds simple, but it’s often overlooked is just if you’re going to do any cooking class. You’re not sure what to do, I would say the first one to always start with is doing some knife skills cooking class. Because when it comes to wholefood cooking, like any home cooking, there’s generally going to be a lot more chopping up than what you’re used to. You know, that’s why there’s a lot of things already taught for us. The only problem sometimes like obviously, we all use pre-chopped things when we’re really busy. And if it’s going to be the difference between getting a healthy dinner on the table or not, then it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day.
Susan: But if you do want to save money and do things a little bit more. Where you use the whole plant and cutting it yourself, you will get better flavour that way. And also, it doesn’t lose nutrients as quickly. Because as soon as you start chopping, something happens when storing it. The nutrients start to go from it too. So if you can get to a stage where you’re feeling really confident with a sharp knife and keeping it sharp. It makes that chopping thing so much more enjoyable. It becomes a little bit more meditative instead of being just a chore. It’s because it’s really tiring on your hand and you’ve just do like when you’re cutting up vegetables and all those types of things.
Susan: It can just be about knowing how to hold the knife. Knowing how to hold the vegetable and making sure it’s sharp. That is something that can be taught in a good cooking class or even on YouTube. And then just practice over and over again. It does feel really weird at first when you start doing it if it’s not the way that you bought it. Because our hands kind of build those habits in. It’s not always the way that we’ve been holding it. It might feel really strange at first, but the more you do it, all of a sudden, it just starts to feel natural as well. So yeah, it makes a huge difference.
Jess: It makes such a lot of sense to focus on those skills that we use. Especially when we’re starting to put more wholefoods and more veggies into our diet. There is a lot of chopping up involved. Yeah, so we’ve generally learned, well we haven’t learned knife skills at all, you know? We might have learned from watching our mums who may not have the best knife skills. Or we might have done some homemaking at high school. But I don’t remember that being a real focus when I was doing homemaking in high school.
Jess: This is something that I’ve learned from you that has changed my experience in the kitchen. I agree. I’m one of those people that put up with blunt knives for way too long. And so investing in some good knives, keeping them sharp and knowing those basic skills can make such a difference. I can definitely vouch for that. I thought I was a good cook until I have learned some of these knife skills.
Susan: Yeah, me too! I had the same experience when I went to the culinary school. I had always just taught a certain way too and just thought that was how it was done. And then all of a sudden, I was like, wow, this has just really changed things for me. So yeah.
Jess: It’s amazing, isn’t it? If you are listening and you’re a Klub member, I do also want to remind you that we have some of these trainings from Susan in the Klub site. We have one that is all about improving your kind of, I can’t remember what it was called. It was…
Susan: Yeah, I think it’s about getting ready in the kitchen. It’s about sort of getting prepared before you get in and start cooking.
Jess: Yes, Setting Up For Kitchen Success is what the course is. You can search for that in the Klub site. Then we’ve got a new one that will be in the Klub by the time this episode goes live, which is more focused on kids. It’s for kids to follow along and make a recipe. But within that video, Susan goes through some really basic knife skills for kids. Which I think is a really good skill for us to be teaching our kids through that training. If you’re not a Klub member and you would like to be, I’ll pop a link in the show notes where you can get on the waitlist for our next opening. But yeah, knife skills and grains.
Jess: I love those two tips! We will definitely get you back on to talk through some more practical wholefood tips at some point on the podcast. Moving on to something, I guess on a more personal note, you’ve got three beautiful daughters of your own. I think it’s really interesting to hear from Naturopaths, particularly. And I might have to share some of my tips at some point in a further episode as well. Like the actions that we take to actually look after our own kids’ health. So to finish off, can you share three top tips that you use for keeping your own kids healthy?
Susan: Yes, absolutely. So I’ve got three girls, they’re almost 13, 10 and 7. I think it’s funny, isn’t it? This is something that I do think about some times, especially as I get older. How I keep them healthy these days has definitely evolved over time to probably how I kept them healthy when they were really little. It’s funny talking about that food first approach is definitely something that has always been important to me. And it still is. I would say in terms of my number one tip is getting as much home cooking into them as possible. That’s still something that’s really important foundation for me. Because it is a time in their lives as they get older, where you can’t necessarily influence what they eat as much.
Susan: So the more I can have things prepared for them that they can grab and go when they are at home, I think that’s going to give them that foundation too. But it’s funny as they’ve started to get older, it’s like I could control that a lot more when they were little. And I still think it’s the important time. When they’re at that age where you can have complete influence over what they eat to a degree, it is quite a magic window, I guess in terms of setting those foundations down, because it does help with flavour development and different things. If your kids are at that age, even though it can get frustrating sometimes when they start to sort of refuse things.
Susan: If you can continue to work on those foundations when they’re little even when they start to get a bit older and they move away from that. I do find personally that they do stuff, like they still recognise it. They’ll still pop back into it at times as well. But it’s definitely something that I’ve had to let go of, I guess as I started to get older, rather than. Because I don’t think it’s healthy to be that controlling Naturopath-Nutritionist mum. Yes, yeah. So that’s definitely something that I’ve had to still think it’s very important that the food aspect. I’ve had to really focus on some other things as well, and bounce it out a little bit more.
Susan: I think probably, the one thing that I would say would be the thing that has kept my kids the most healthy over the years. It would actually be having that trust in myself to follow that intuition as a mum. And not buy into like the fear factor a lot of the time. I know that I’ve been in a lucky situation where I am a trained health practitioner. So I probably feel a lot more confident in terms of managing my own kids’ health than maybe what someone hasn’t done. Study in that area or something. But I think a lot of us have lost the confidence in ourselves. You know, being able to manage our kids’ health when they do have minor illnesses.
Susan: I think one of the reasons my kids are healthy and don’t you know, is that lack of intervention over their lives. Like they really haven’t had. Touch wood, they haven’t had significant health challenges come up. I think that in terms of chronic issues, one of the reasons probably is part of that is that lack of intervention that they’ve had throughout their lives. The ability of their body to be able to handle things, and then they support that feeling confident to be able to support that. Because I know as a mum, you know? When your kids are really, really sick. You’re not going to obviously leave them in a situation where they need medical intervention. If they’ll be in a lot of pain or something like that.
Susan: That intuition piece I think, comes in our ability to be able to trust in ourselves and know when our kids really needs some extra help. Or when they just need a little bit of support so their body can kind of get through it themselves as well.
Jess: Yes, so true. And can I just say on that? Yes. I totally agree and I feel exactly the same. But something you said about obviously people listening might go, “Oh, well, it’s okay. You guys are Naturopaths. Of course you guys can trust your intuition.” You know, this is the great thing about having a trusted naturopath or health practitioner. Yes, you might not know the steps to take but you still get that mother’s intuition. That feeling of what might be right, you know? Do they really need antibiotics for this particular infection? Or do you really need to give them that paracetamol right now?
Jess: You know, tapping into that intuition. But then having trusted resources or a trusted practitioner that you can turn to for the more qualified advice is really important. I just love that. That’s such an important point to trust in yourself. Managing that those minor illnesses without pharmaceutical intervention, I totally agree, has a positive long term effect on our kids’ health overall.
Susan: Yeah, absolutely. As you said, there’s always that guidance there if things don’t work out. Like I had a lot of antibiotics as a kid, and my kids haven’t really had any antibiotics at all. So I guess that’s given them the advantage over their gut health to myself. But it doesn’t mean that if you’ve had something going on with your kid where they’ve had numerous courses of antibiotics that you can’t like, but that’s kind of undone. Because I do get that comments sometimes from people where they’re like, I just really wanted to raise my kids in this kind of natural way and never have antibiotics. I feel like I’ve undone all the good work that I’ve tried to delve in their gut health.
Susan: I’m not saying that it’s ideally. We do want to try and avoid antibiotics where they’re not, because they are over prescribed. But at the same time, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do amazing things for their health if they have gone through that. I know from my own health perspective that I had numerous courses of antibiotics when I was a kid. As an adult, I’ve been able to really focus on my own gut health and have come a long way with that myself. Kids’ guts are a much more dynamic in the way they get over things as well. So there’s a lot you can do.
Jess: That’s right and I’m glad that you pointed that out. Because I’m sure there’s lots of mums listening that think, “Oh, well, I’ve failed in that area. They’ve already had antibiotics.” I think it’s really important to move forward. You did the best of what you knew at the time. There’s plenty of cases where antibiotics are warranted. So, we definitely don’t want to avoid antibiotics at all costs but as you said, we know that they’re over prescribed.
Jess: I’ve got a blog post sort of exploring this area a bit more that I will link in the show notes as well. But there’s definitely and I’m sure we’ve both got dozens of examples of clients that we can think of. Where a child’s health, immune health, gut health has bounced back after a lot of antibiotics. So it’s definitely not something that you can’t come back from.
Susan: No, absolutely. Just one comment on that too. I think a lot of people probably aren’t aware of is that they’re out there. The other common medications that we give our health in terms of that just general painkillers. Reflux, medication, stuff do like potentially also affect the gut health like antibiotics too. I think that’s something that’s not communicated a lot of the time by doctors. There is a lot of research showing that now. Because I think we put a lot of emphasis on antibiotics. if that’s the only thing that’s going to affect our gut health. When there is a lot more coming out now about the impact of some other things that we might give commonly as well. So it’s good to just think about all those things we’re doing on a regular basis.
Jess: Definitely. That’s the benefit of having a practitioner like you to support them. Because then you’ve got that intuition but you’ve got that trusted resource. Someone that you can communicate with and get advice from when you are unsure about what to do. It can be tough when you go to the doctor or the specialist. They’re prescribing a medication that you feel isn’t right, or isn’t the best option for your child. Then there can be that pressure. And that’s where having a naturopath or other health practitioner to support you in that way can be really valuable. So what would be your third tip for keeping your kids healthy?
Susan: I think my third one has actually become one of my most important now. Which is just those basics of, you know… I have not being able to influence what my kids eat as much as they get older. I’ve really started to value the importance of those other basic things that we do for our health. Over that which I think for us as a family is really like time outside. Time together and time away from technology. I’ve actually started to really appreciate that even more than the food sometimes. My kids can have a lot more impact on how they’re feeling. Their general health, their overall well-being.
Susan: It’s not that it sounds easy sometimes. It’s actually having to think of our own self-care plus the self-care of our kids. Because they’re not actually gonna think of it automatically themselves a lot of the time. It’s a lot like a modern life. Many of us are sort of working, raising families and doing different things. It does take a lot of conscious thought sometimes to think about your kids’ own self-care when it comes to those basic things. But I do find it makes a huge difference to their overall well-being. It’s something that I put a lot of emphasis on now as I started to get older.
Jess: Yes, I love that, I agree. Anyone that’s been following me for any period of time knows how passionate I am about getting kids outside more. I love that you said spending time together as a family, connecting. I think these things: 1) get more challenging as the kids get older. And 2) they’re even more important as the kids get older, as well. I know where I’m at with a 13-year-old who is obsessed with his mountain bike. All he wants to do is be out with his friends on his mountain bike, which is great, because he’s outside. But any kind of “Oh, maybe we’ll do something together as a family this day.” He’s not impressed.
Jess: So it’s hard when you start to feel them moving away from you. But I think that even those connections in the small moments like sitting down. Having dinner together rather than having the TV on or everyone in separate rooms, you know? Those small little rituals that we might have as a family around holidays. Friday night or homemade pizza night, those little things become so important as kids get older to keep that connection . To keep them away from technology is super important.
Susan: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Jess: They are such amazing tips. Thank you for sharing those and thank you for joining me today. I just wanted to say if anyone is interested in having Susan, as their practitioner, she is available for naturopathic bookings via our website. I’ll put the link in the show notes and you can find out more about that service that she offers. As you can hear, she is an amazing practitioner, and very well-rounded. That’s what I love. I just feel so blessed to have you on the Natural Super Kids team because we just have so much in common in terms of the way that we practice. And our approach to health, as everyone listening has heard, you’ve got that amazing well-rounded approach.
Jess: I’ll pop that link in the show notes and if you are a Klub member, you would know Susan. You have the benefit of getting all of that practical information that she shares in lots of different resources within the Klub. Susan creates all about recipes and I just love your method for your recipes. So detailed and I think just by following your recipes, our Klub members learn so many of those wholefood cooking tips. You’ve also created cheatsheets and video workshops in the Klub as well. If you’re a Klub member, definitely go and check those out if you haven’t already. As I said, I’ll definitely get you back on, Susan. If you’re willing to come back on because we could just chat all day. But thank you so much for joining me.
Susan: Thanks, Jess! I’d love to come back on. I think it’s been really great talking to you.
Jess: Yeah, you too!
Susan: I just wanted to say too, in terms of the community. What you were just talking about with the community that you created is really great for that extra support too. I think a lot of us are feeling a little bit alone sometimes when it comes to their kids’ health. I guess just a final point that I want to make is that, that is the plus side of the community. You’ve attracted through your own work over the huge amount of time that you’ve done at Natural Super Kids is just that community. Because it can really make all the difference if you feel like you’ve got someone to ask these questions to as well.
Jess: Yes, yes. Such a good point. Like we don’t have to do this alone. As we were talking about, you can get a practitioner like Susan on your side. Also, there’s the Klub community that offers so many resources. Then our wider Natural Super Kids Community on Instagram and Facebook. Our website that has so many resources that can help as well. Thank you for mentioning that.
Jess: Have a great day, Susan!
Susan: Thanks, Jess!