When a child is diagnosed with a serious, rare or chronic illness, daily routines can often fall by the wayside, as you take on the additional responsibilities that come with caring for your child.
Unsurprisingly, stress can be at its highest, with fatigue and sleepless nights likely to be a problem. All of your time and energy being used to provide support and care for you child, not to mention the additional stress of trying to juggle the demands of keeping the household running, especially if you have other children to keep in a 'normal' routine.
It is during this time that being there physically and in good health yourself is an absolute must. Although it may seem that putting yourself last is the only way, the truth is that this can lead to an increase in your own health challenges. One of the things you can do differently is choose different food to nourish and support YOU.
When we are tired we often reach for quick and easy meals that are high in carbohydrates, sugar and bad fats. Often these can give us instant energy and a pick me up, however as fast as you pick up, the downward slope is just as fast. These foods are often devoid of vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy, sharp and pull you through the ‘fight flight’ rollercoaster.
When you are stressed your body releases a hormone called cortisol from your adrenal glands. Cortisol helps us deal with situations by increasing adrenaline, increasing blood pressure, releasing sugars into our blood stream and switching off our immune system so we can go into ‘fight flight’. The problem is when we stay in this stressed state, these functions are happening all the time. This is where health issues can start to occur. It is easier said than done to just get out of your stressed state when you have a sick child, however you can support your adrenal glands nutritionally to be able to cope better throughout your family's journey with serious illness.
Below are some tips to help support you and your family:
Below is an example of a basic, nutritious diet for a day:
Eggs (scrambled, poached or fried) with some cooked vegetables – tomato, mushroom, avocado
Oats with full fat yoghurt and blueberries
Full fat Greek or coconut yoghurt (avoid sweetened) with a handful of almonds
A piece of fruit
Left overs from dinner
- OR -
Chicken or salmon/tuna wrap with lots of salad such as baby spinach, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, capsicum
Carrot/celery sticks with a dip or a 100% nut butter
- OR -
A piece of fruit
Meat, chicken or fish with spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots drizzled with lemon and olive oil
- OR -
Chicken curry with vegetables and ‘cauliflower rice’
Little Heroes Foundation is excited to be supported by Nicole James, an Adelaide-based Clinical Nutritionist, who works with corporate businesses, not-for-profit organisations, Aboriginal women going through drug and alcohol rehabilitation, local government, and individuals. She is committed and passionate about making a
difference to the lives of all individuals educating the importance of
using Food as Medicine. With 18 years experience in the
medical industry, Nicole is aware of the physical and emotional benefits that can be gained from a balanced, nutrient-rich diet. Her experience in these two worlds also enables her to provide a balanced approached in both her
education and treatment of all her clients.
"If you would like more specific dietary advice for anyone in your family, I would love to help you. Please call 0478 295 595 to make an appointment!"
Nicole James (BSc, BHSc Nutritional Medicine)
M: 0478 295 595