Jonathan Hunsaker: Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Empowering You Organically. I’m your host, Jonathan Hunsaker, joined by my cohost, TeriAnn Trevenen.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Hey, everyone.
Jonathan Hunsaker: We have a very special guest today, Dr. Phyllis Books. Dr. Books, thank you for joining us.
Dr. Phyllis Books: It is my pleasure to do anything organic with you.
TeriAnn Trevenen: I love it. Love it, love it.
Jonathan Hunsaker: TeriAnn, you want to give us a quick bio?
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yes. Dr. Books is an author, educator, doctor, and new thought leader. Working with children, adults, and entrepreneurs, she offers a holistic, narrow science-based approach to reversing dyslexia, ADHD, head traumas, and many chronic issues in as little as five days. She’s been featured in major media outlets, such as Fox News and Los Angeles Times. Dr. Books offers a refreshing solution to conventional treatment workarounds.
Jonathan Hunsaker: This is exciting. It’s kind of maybe a back to school special that we’re doing here, although you say everybody could really use this information. And so, I’m just—I’m very excited to have you on the podcast today. Thank you.
Dr. Phyllis Books: My pleasure. Back to school is a good time for us to be talking.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Absolutely.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Absolutely, yep.
Jonathan Hunsaker: So, tell us, how did you first get interested in nutrition? Give us a little bit of your history and your background.
Dr. Phyllis Books: You know? I grew up organically on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. So, I came by the whole thing quite naturally. And I actually wanted to be a Home Ec teacher. I don’t think that even exists anymore.
TeriAnn Trevenen: No, it doesn’t.
Dr. Phyllis Books: It’s way, way far gone.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yep.
Dr. Phyllis Books: But so, I grew up learning how the soil affected the nutrients, and how the crops were affected by what was going on in the soil. So, I came at this whole thing very naturally. And what actually shocks me so much is what people don’t know, because they didn’t have my background. So, as I said, I grew up in this whole world, and then I got into education.
And there were a lot of things going on in education that didn’t really make sense from an educational point of view, but when I stood back, when I could come back, looking at a bigger picture, I, then when I could look at things more organically, or where things—how we got out of balance in nature, and how that affects us in school and how it affects our children, then I started putting everything together.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Love it. I’m going to tell you right now that I’m going to be very passionate in this podcast, because all of the things that we’re going to cover today are things that I have two little girls, and I have noticed how much nutrition impacts them overall. Like just right out of the gate, I’ve got to say, I have a daughter who is really struggling with sleeping in, restless legs syndrome, and issues with her body.
And I cut dairy out. I had someone recommend to me to cut dairy out, and it improved her sleeping, and her habits, and her body. And so, I am so excited to be talking about this today, because I definitely have been blessed in my life to be connected to nutrition and how much it impacts our bodies. So, we’re so excited to learn more from you today, and I do think this is a great back to school topic to be talking about, because I don’t think we think enough about our children and their nutrition and how that’s impacting their body.
I mean I think we think about it from time to time for ourselves, but I don’t know that we think about it as much as we should for our children and how much it’s impacting the health, overall health of our children and our society. So, going into that, why do you think nutrition is such an important part of learning and behavior? Speak to that a little bit.
Dr. Phyllis Books: Well, I work with children who have lots of allergies, or who don’t necessarily have good nutrition. And so, that means if you were—if you were like a car, and you put sugar in the fuel, you know how that messes up the car? I mean [crosstalk 0:05:45]
Jonathan Hunsaker: It destroys it.
Dr. Phyllis Books: And so, the same things happen with us. When you give a kid too much sugar, he doesn’t—he or she doesn’t do very well in school, especially not while the sugar is running—while the sugar is running the system. So, I watched in a classroom, as a teacher, and I’ve watched as a doctor in my office, and I hear stories all the time from parents about why their kids aren’t paying attention and how they’re—they’ve got brain fog, and how they aren’t sleeping well. And one of the common denominators in all of those things is nutrition.
So, if you’re putting poor fuel in the car, you know, you’re not going to—the car’s not going to run as well. You can’t put a cheap grade of fuel in it and expect it to run. And the same thing is true with our nutrition. If you eat—if you’re eating sugar products, or you have a lot of processed food, or you have places where kids are allergic, it sets all these red flags and all these inflammation markers so that children, all of a sudden, can’t learn.
And it’s not that they don’t want to learn, it’s not that they—impossible for them to learn, the nutrition is really, really affecting their ability to concentrate. [0:06:55] And that may—if we look at it short term, what they’re doing in school. But really, it’s their success in life.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Absolutely. So, I mean is sugar the main culprit? I mean if you had to pinpoint it. Or are there several things that are—that we need to look at for their diet?
Dr. Phyllis Books: Well, I say, for three weeks, if you would cut out wheat, dairy, and sugar, and just watch what happens. And of course, it’s easier if the whole family does it. But usually, people lose weight, and their brain fog starts disappearing, and a lot of other symptoms that they never associated with food start clearing up, like your daughter’s restless leg, or things like—people have no idea what the connections are between some of their symptoms and the nutrition.
Jonathan Hunsaker: So, is the wheat mainly the gluten side of it? So, I mean if you were to find an ancient grain wheat, is that acceptable? Or would you just say, “Let’s just cut wheat out totally to be safe,” for that first three weeks?
Dr. Phyllis Books: For the first three weeks, I’d cut it out. Because if they do have a real gluten insensitivity, or a celiac, it doesn’t matter what the grain is, it’s still going to be an issue. So, for three weeks, I would just live with it. And for most parents, they look at it in absolute shock. “What will I—” Because these are the foods that their children eat the most.
They have their Goldfish for snacks, and they have their breads in their sandwiches, and their cereal. And I’m saying, “Can you find substitutes for three weeks?” And people, you can just see their eyes go into like terror, because they honestly don’t know what to feed their children. If they haven’t been brought up with all the vegetables, and fruits, and smoothies, and protein shakes, etcetera, the idea of not having Goldfish is—they don’t know, they just don’t know where to go.
TeriAnn Trevenen: All that you feed your kids. And it is—
Dr. Phyllis Books: Exhausting.
TeriAnn Trevenen: —amazing how that, it’s just like what will they feed their kids if they do that? And it’s interesting, because the times are changing and shifting. I was just at Whole Foods the other day, and this has nothing to do with dairy and gluten and sugar, but there’s a point to this, that there was Gatorade that’s USDA-certified organic.
Like they’re—no, I see your face. When I saw this USDA-certified organic Gatorade, I was like “Times are changing.” People are paying attention. But the beautiful thing is, is nutrition and food are evolving, and there are so many options of gluten-free foods now. Gluten-free pancake mixes, gluten-free I mean breads, things that you can feed your kids that have quinoa, and other things in them that are really good and you can get away from that gluten. So, I think people get really nervous when they hear that, but what they don’t realize is that it’s changing. Things are changing when it comes to that. There’s so many options out there.
Dr. Phyllis Books: You know? If you live in Austin where I do, it’s mecca for all kinds. So, gluten-free is all—gluten-free products are almost as much as the non-gluten-free products in the grocery.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Phyllis Books: But think, for Amazon, even if you live in where—in a West Texas town, or somewhere where you don’t have access to fresh food, you can still order things off of Amazon. So, you can still order gluten-free products, and as you said, you can make excellent pancakes and waffles. There are all kinds of things that are available. It takes a little—it takes a little re-orienting. But actually, once you actually do make that shift, the whole world opens up because there’s lots and lots of gluten-free choices.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Well, and I think—
Dr. Phyllis Books: [crosstalk 0:10:27] same place.
Jonathan Hunsaker: I think it’s interesting, too. I mean we talk; I think kids, it takes two weeks for their taste buds to turn over. And so, if you do three weeks of no sugar, and you’re giving fruits and vegetables and things instead, your child’s cravings will totally change in that amount of time as well. And so, they’re not going to—they’re not going to have that withdrawal that they’re going to have day one and day two from the Goldfish and the sugar all the way along.
That’s going to change, and then they don’t want the apples. I remember my daughter, we call them apple fries, right? They’re cut apples with cinnamon on them. And early on, it’s like “Hey, these apple fries.” Now, she craves it and she’s asking for the apple fries. And so, it’s a matter of—it’s tough, but parenting is tough in general, so why not just add another thing to it for a couple weeks and see how much easier it gets afterwards?
Dr. Phyllis Books: You make a good point that parenting is tough. It’s because we don’t get to take the easy way out. If we slide on this, we pay for it every time later on.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Every day.
Dr. Phyllis Books: Every day, and it’s going to be more expensive, and the consequences are bigger as they get older. So, it’s just buckle up your seatbelts and it’ll—it’s worth the ride.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah, absolutely. So, how do you think nutrition impacts learning and behavior in school? You know, it’s an interesting conversation, and it’s a hot topic right now. ADHD, people not being able to focus. And right now, we’re in this habit, as a society, to just put medication into systems. “Here’s this, here’s this. This will fix it, this will fix it, this will fix it.”
Speak to that a little bit in what you’re seeing the trends and the research and how nutrition is tied to that huge issue we face as a society right now, where kids are really just being kids, and maybe their behavior is stemming from what they’re eating, not from some other—some other aspect of their life.
Dr. Phyllis Books: You know? When I have children—people fly in from all over the country and all over the world to see me, and they have—one of my requirements is that they stay off sugar for six weeks. But if they’ve read my book, Reversing Dyslexia, I have a chapter in there on how to prepare nutritionally to come see me.
And that is just what we talked about before, about cutting out wheat, sugar, and dairy for three weeks. And what the parents say, before they ever come in, it’s like “I can’t believe how much difference that made. I mean it was amazing how the behavior is changing already.” So, but with the ADHD diagnosis, which is more and more common, and so much of that is nutrition-related. And allergy-related.
So, when I work with—I had this one little boy that they didn’t want to let him back in school without his Ritalin because he was so hyperactive. But when I treated him for allergies, and we, one by one, eliminated them, all of a sudden, the ADHD disappeared. Because in his case, it was really food-related. It is not always—
ADHD is more complicated than that, but there’s a huge element of that, just as there is in autism. Autism is a complicated issue, too. But the food allergies and the gut issues, gut issues are just huge. Gut issues, we hear so much about the microbiome. That’s a hot topic right now, too, is the kids’ immune systems are compromised, sometimes almost since birth. So, we, we just have a big issue.
TeriAnn Trevenen: It’s a huge issue. And I don’t want to minimize the fact that dyslexia, ADHD, and autism are very real things, but I think that they’re over-diagnosed in the sense that I think a lot of the issues we’re seeing are actually behavior impacted by nutrition, not a serious issue. And the problem that we face there is that the children who really do suffer from those things, it’s like it’s a struggle for them, but then all these other kids are getting grouped into that struggle with them, where really, if you change their nutrition, you change what they’re eating, you look at the allergies, they wouldn’t be grouped into that group of dyslexia, ADHD, and autism.
So, on both sides of the spectrum, we’re impacting kids who don’t really have it by putting things in their body they don’t need, we’re impacting kids who really struggle from it and what they really need to be successful. And it all boils down to, on this end of the spectrum of kids not really suffering from it but being linked to food, we’re seeing more and more issues stem from it. It’s creating all these issues in society that we have to face now, with pharmaceuticals, with depression, with things in our kids that kids should not be experiencing as children.
Dr. Phyllis Books: Totally. One of the things I wanted to talk about was depression and suicide. Because they’re increasing at alarming rates in this country. You’re like “What is that about?” And part of it is our toxic world, you know? The pollutants that are in the world, and the chemicals that the children are exposed to, and they don’t know how to get it out.
And then, our lifestyle has gotten so busy and frantic that kids don’t have down time, they don’t have time to learn to self-regulate and to just learn how to manage themselves. And so, because the world is so fast, the fast answer is to take a drug, or do this or that, instead of lifestyle changes, which means slowing down, paying attention, being present at the meal. When you sit down to eat, it’s not fast food everywhere. When you sit down as a family, it’s not just food that’s nourishing, being together as a family is nourishing. And that’s feeding us on other levels. And we minimize how important that is.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Absolutely.
Jonathan Hunsaker: I love that point. I mean because we’re just bombarded with technology now, right? And so, when I was younger, it was the TV that was raising the kids, right? Stick a DVD—
Dr. Phyllis Books: Right. That was the boob tube, yeah. The babysitter.
Jonathan Hunsaker: You’ve got the DVD player, and there you go. And now, it’s iPhones and iPads, and other tablets and phones. And you go out to a restaurant, and the parents stuck the iPad in front of the kid to entertain them while you’re at the meal, rather than, like you said, slowing down, I mean enjoying some nature, go on a walk. I’m sorry, but what’s outside in my backyard doesn’t quite compete with all the flashing, blinking lights on that game that’s going on, on your tablet, versus just watching the leaves blow and the bird fly by. And that down time is needed. We have no time to slow down.
Dr. Phyllis Books: Exactly. And when kids are—when kids get hyper-excited, and they’re in this constant stimulation, it’s not good for them. [0:16:55] I mean we all need down time, and they—to me, a basic requirement is for every hour you’re on screen time, you spend an hour outside.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Love it.
Dr. Phyllis Books: You spend an hour away from the screen. Because you have to balance it. It doesn’t mean you have to be totally away from it, but you can’t let it run your life, because then they don’t sleep well at night, they don’t rest and restore. It’s almost like they’re in fight or flight, and they don’t have the time to replenish and restore and just breathe.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Absolutely. And I think it’s the over-stimulation of the mind and the body. Their bodies don’t have time to breathe, because they’re constantly bombarded by sugar and toxins, our minds are constantly bombarded by all the flashing lights and the stimulation.
Dr. Phyllis Books: Yes.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Like our mind and our body are on overload, and you wonder why we’re facing all these symptoms. But it’s not a wonder. We know why it’s happening; we just aren’t talking about it enough. So, let me—
Jonathan Hunsaker: It’s happening to us, too, though, right? I mean we’re leading the charge as the adults, as the parents, constantly looking at our phones, “Let’s go, let’s go. We’ve got to go to school, we’ve got to go to gymnastics. We’re late for the—” you know? We’re feeding into that entire thing, too. I think it’s easy for us to talk about it and say, “Oh, we’ve got to do this for our kids,” and it’s just as important that we look at ourselves and realize that we’re creating that environment.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Right.
Dr. Phyllis Books: What are we really teaching our children? Yeah, what are we teaching them by example?
TeriAnn Trevenen: Absolutely, yeah. Well, let me ask you a question. You talked about, before you’ll even see patients or clients, that you’ll ask them to stay off of sugar for, you said six weeks?
Dr. Phyllis Books: Mm-hmm.
TeriAnn Trevenen: So, when people come to you and you say six weeks off of sugar, what are some things you would recommend to people? Because this is real-world stuff. Like it is a struggle to not have sugar in front of your kids. Everything at the store is just full of processed foods and ingredients and sugar. What are some of your tips for people when it comes to, it’s almost like an elimination diet, if you will, the gluten, the dairy, the sugar? What are some things you would say to people who are listening, who are like “I could never do this,” but it is possible? What would your advice be to them?
Dr. Phyllis Books: Well first, first of all, I want to define what sugar is, because in my world, it’s pretty much anything that tastes sweet. So, even fruit, like for that six weeks, they limit their fruit also, because that’s a fruit sugar. And so, I say, “You can have raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries,” because those three have a—have a low-glycemic index. And so, your energy doesn’t spike up and down. But if you have—like apples have 15 or 30 times more sugar now than they had 70 years ago.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Wow.
Dr. Phyllis Books: So, isn’t that shocking, how they mutated?
Jonathan Hunsaker: Wow.
Dr. Phyllis Books: So, even though apple used to be like a perfect food, just like wheat used to be in the days of the Bible, wheat didn’t have nearly as much gluten in it as it has today. So, in its old forms, was okay, but today, sugar is just implanted into everything. It’s in hot dogs, it’s in tobacco, it’s in—because it’s so addictive.
So, we just have to watch. So, I say, first of all, when I say sugar, I mean pretty much anything sweet, you can have those berries, and you can sweeten with stevia and xylitol, because those are safe sweeteners and you can cook and you can bake with them, and so on. But really, it means orange juice and apple juice are not okay for that six weeks. So, because people really need to be educated. And they go “Well, what about agave? What about honey? What about maple syrup?” And I go, “They’re all sugar. They’re all sugar.”
Jonathan Hunsaker: And I’m going to ask a “What about…?” What about erythritol? What about monk fruit? Are those—is erythritol the same? Because we use it here, and I’d love your expert opinion.
Dr. Phyllis Books: Well, to me, erythritol is a lot like xylitol. And for a lot of people—it’s a sugar alcohol. And so, for some people, it upsets their stomach a little bit.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Yep.
Dr. Phyllis Books: So, not everybody can have it. But for a lot of people, it’s just a godsend. And some erythritol is actually comes from corn, which—
Jonathan Hunsaker: It needs to be USDA certified organic erythritol. I’m 100 percent in agreement.
Dr. Phyllis Books: I know. You think the erythritol is like fabulous, but you still—I’ve had people be allergic, and we’d check on the label, and it’s—the origin was corn.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Yep.
Dr. Phyllis Books: So yeah, so erythritol is better than a lot of things for most people. And monk fruit is supposed to—I just bought some myself recently, and there’s another one that starts with L that—
Jonathan Hunsaker: Lucama could go get it out of the pantry right now, because I’ve got a bunch of it. So yeah.
Dr. Phyllis Books: Right. So, I think they’re better. And you know, for me, when I think about either putting honey in coffee instead of sugar or something, it’s harder to get. So, just even the—it still works down to sugar. But the fact that it’s less available is, in and of itself, attractive. It’s still sugar. But so, my first thing is really educate people about sugar, and then to read the labels, because the kids get to be the sugar Nazis.
They will go in my cupboard, too, and they’ll take their parents, and they’ll go “Look, Mommy. This has only 6 grams of sugar, and this has 12 grams.” And so, they, after a while, the kids want the parents to just be—the parents want the kids to be quiet, because the parents don’t want to know how much sugar there is.
TeriAnn Trevenen: I love that. I love that plan. You know? It’s so funny, we’ve had this concept on the podcast before, talking with another individual about being the CEO of your own body. But as we’ve been talking, I’ve been thinking about that today. For a certain period of time in our children’s lives, we guide what they do. And really, teaching them. I love that you talked about that with the labels. Why are we not teaching our kids to understand the foods and the labels, and allowing them to start shifting into being the CEOs of their own body and health journey?
Dr. Phyllis Books: I’d love to.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Because it’s not long before they’re gone, and if we haven’t given them the tools to be successful, then they have to go and figure it out, too. We have all this information and knowledge. Why are we only doing this for ourselves? Why are we not teaching our kids how to read the labels, how to know what’s good and what’s not good, what’s processed, what’s not processed, what’s sugar, what’s not sugar? They don’t understand, and if they did, it may change the way they see things and feel about things.
Dr. Phyllis Books: Absolutely. And you know? They’re available, not gullible, but they’re open. They want to know. And they notice what makes them feel better and what makes them feel worse. And so, they’re really educatable. More so than parents at some point. Because they’re—when I taught, I liked teaching middle school, because the kids are kind of geeky and fun, but they’re still open, they’re still malleable and you can get information in. And when kids really understand this sugar thing, they—they really stay with it. And when they stay off sugar, for some kids, it’s like six weeks and one day, they’re planning what they’re going to eat.
TeriAnn Trevenen: I love it.
Dr. Phyllis Books: And then, they come in two days later so miserable, because now they’re reacting, because they haven’t had it for so long, and that one candy bar, headaches, nausea, all this stuff, and going “It was almost worth it.”
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah, I love it. That would be—that would totally be my daughter who’d totally do it. It’d be like “We’re doing it for this long, and the second I’m off, I’m done.” And I can just imagine how she would—how she would react to that, and how interesting that would be. But good life lessons at the same time, to really see how you feel one way versus the other.
Dr. Phyllis Books: And to me, it’s a good way of teaching, starting to teach chemistry and biochemistry to kids. When I have them in the summer, a lot of times, I will—I do summer programs. But some of the time we spend in the kitchen. And it’s “Even though your Mommy and Daddy don’t fix food this way, let me show you.”
We get out several different brands of nut butters, or different things, so they can try. And then, we’ll make hot chocolate with—some with stevia, some with xylitol, and different things, and they get to taste which one. And can they tell a difference? And so on. So, they get to be like scientists. I say, “Your body is a big science experiment.” And actually, they like it.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.
Jonathan Hunsaker: I love that. So, let me ask you, because you mentioned something a little bit ago, we were talking, and you brought up allergies. And so, I know you talk about eliminating dairy and sugar and wheat, because that could be an allergen in and of itself, any of those three. Can you go deeper into the allergies and what’s your finding, what you’re seeing?
Dr. Phyllis Books: I would love—I would love to, because I spend a lot of time on allergies. When I first started doing this work 30 years ago, about 40 percent of the time, there was—children had allergies, and there was a time I would turn to the mom and say, “Okay, now it’s time to start the allergy—go to the allergy doctor.”
And they would roll their eyes and go “One more doctor, more money,” etcetera. So, I started learning different techniques where I could do it in-house, as long as they were already there. And it’s miraculous what changes you can see. And when you—so what—I use a combination of chiropractic and acupuncture, done by tapping on the body and rubbing, not typical chiropractic and not typical acupuncture.
But the concept is, it’s like there’s a plugged drain, like along the stomach meridian, or the liver meridian. There’s places where it’s clogged. And so, by doing this tapping or rubbing, you can actually go in and clear the channel. And so, when you do that, the interference is removed, and then the body acts as if it’s not having an allergic reaction. And so, the body can—
TeriAnn Trevenen: Wow.
Dr. Phyllis Books: It’s fascinating. And so—
TeriAnn Trevenen: So fascinating, yeah. I can only imagine.
Dr. Phyllis Books: People are always—the body can be kind of reprogrammed, because when I do the acupuncture part of it, it’s like closing the gates. So, I say “Take this information, you’re going to work with it now for the next 24 hours.” And there are 12 major organs in the body. Every organ has two hours of prime time. So, for the next 24 hours, it’s going to go from organ to organ to organ, unclog, unclog, unclog. And then, at the end of that time, they’re usually clear of the allergen, which is—
TeriAnn Trevenen: Wow.
Dr. Phyllis Books: —totally different from mainstream way of—because I just had a little girl in this morning from New York, and I said, “Now, we’re going to check the allergies.” And she started getting all scared. And I went “Oh, we’re not doing shots.” Because that’s what people think of with allergies.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.
Dr. Phyllis Books: So, I do it that way. But then, you find out. And then, sometimes there’s an emotional connection. So, you weren’t allergic to something, and then one day, you are. Well, what happened? Many times, there was an emotional event or something that happened, and then you ingested the food or the pollen, smelled the pollen or something, and your brain mistakenly puts those two things together. So, when I can go in, then I have other ways of going in and assessing when the problem started, and what the issues were, and so on. And then, you can clear that emotional connection. Then, you go back and clear the allergy, and then it’s done. It’s just done.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Wow.
Jonathan Hunsaker: It makes total sense, thought, right?
Dr. Phyllis Books: It does.
Jonathan Hunsaker: I mean our mind can connect all kinds of things. We, our bodies react the same to stress, whether it’s a mental stress or physical sprain of the ankle, or things like that. And so, it makes total sense. And I don’t think that we make that connection enough. We love to compartmentalize things, because it’s easier to understand it, as opposed to really realizing that we’re fully connected across the board, from the nutrition to the thoughts to everything.
Dr. Phyllis Books: There is a whole ecology, and you disrupt one part, and everything else is affected. Absolutely. But this is a whole natural way of looking at allergies. And people love when there’s an emotional connection, and I’ll say, “Something happened around the age of 2, and it was around loss, and it was about your father?”
The kid doesn’t know, so I say to Mom, “Hey, do you know anything about this?” And, it’s a whole thing. And it just opens the door, Pandora’s Box, when you realize how important some of those issues are that we thought the kids didn’t even notice, and how much it’s really impacting them. A lot of times, it’s really some of the most fun part of the treatment, because people’s eyes just light up because they start making connections that they never thought about before.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Absolutely. So, I want to touch on one more thing. We briefly touched on depression, suicide, ADHD, autism, all of those things. If you were giving advice to parents who were raising children for the first time, and how nutrition can impact learning, behavior, emotion, what would you say to them? What advice would you give to them, starting out, to set the course for a better life for their child than maybe what we’re currently doing as a society, in mainstream society? What would be your advice to them?
Dr. Phyllis Books: Well actually, my first thought was I would probably start with the parents in saying, “You have a little being in front of you now, and you want to give them the best life possible, which means you have to come forward with your best self. And that means, for you, paying attention to nutrition as well.”
Because if you’re not sleeping well, if you’re at the end of the day, and you’re going to sit down and do homework with your child and you’re exhausted yourself, you’re going to end up in fights. So, you need to learn how to do self-care and self-responsibility for yourself, and model that for your children. Model the whole self-care and self-regulation thing for your children.
And then, when it comes to the children themselves, I would say to “Like make a game of food.” As soon as they can, when they go to the grocery store with Mommy, is shop the perimeter at the grocery store. How many different color vegetables can we come home with today? When you get all the colors there, there’s a color game for kids, but it’s also nutritional, it’s making the children look at how many vegetables and fruits are available, and not having a narrow diet of only mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and the white foods.
So, it’s just educating them. And also, being a good example and eating your broccoli, and so on. And encouraging them to try, you have to try two bites of everything. You just have to try it; you don’t get to be too picky in this house. And the rough thing is if they don’t like the food, then they don’t get to eat. It’s like, oh, that’s a tough one for parents to do. But the parents who do have kids who either starve or eventually get with the program.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Then they get with the program.
TeriAnn Trevenen: That’s so good.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Stay strong. I promise you; they will eat it.
Dr. Phyllis Books: That’s why I said being a parent is not an easy issue. I mean you have to be really strong and stick to what you believe, because it’s easy to give in. And boy, you know this if you have dogs or cats, too, you give in to them once, and they know. They know how to play you, and the kids know how to play you and wear you down until you eventually give in.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.
Jonathan Hunsaker: For sure.
TeriAnn Trevenen: I love what you said about children watching their parents, though, and that being the first thing. Because I’ve noticed that in my life, as I’ve gone though my health journey and changed my eating habits and my working out habits. We go on vacation, and I still work out every day. And my kids are like “Mommy, Mommy, I want to come to the gym with you.”
And even though they’re really not working out as hard as me, they want to get on the treadmill and walk, and I let them. And when they see what you’re eating, they may not always go to everything you’re eating. Kids see things, they’re like “Ew, what is that?” They don’t want it. But they see the choices you’re making, and it flows into their brain, it wires their brain for “What my mom is doing.”
And the self-care as well. “My mom went and did this for herself.” But I also think that’s important for our kids. We run our kids all the time, but it’s like do we ever stop and say “What are you going to do for yourself today? You were at school all day, you were busy.” I thought about that as you were talking. I never say that to my kids.
Like “What would make you feel good today? What would make you feel happy today?” I don’t think we ever think about that for our kids. We think about we need to do self-care for ourselves, but do we train our children, when they’re having a hard day, “Do you want to just stop and lay down for a while? Do you want to go outside? Do you want to do this?” I don’t think we ever make that conscious connection to our children, because teaching them self-care starts at their age, too.
Dr. Phyllis Books: Absolutely. It’s a really, really good point you bring up. “What would it take for you to feel happy again? What would—” When they come home from school and it’s been a tough day, “Would you like—what would make you feel good? Do you need to play puzzles for a while? Do you need to do this or do that?” And they’ll figure out what they need. But a lot of times, when the kids come home from school, they’ve been good all day at school, and they are not nice when they get home.
TeriAnn Trevenen: That’s so true.
Dr. Phyllis Books: They’ve held it together all day, and then you’re going to see some of the worst behavior, or they just go to their room. They just need quiet time. They need to go do their Minecraft for 30 minutes or go play with Legos or something. That’s—they—just give them space, they’ll figure out what they need.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.
Jonathan Hunsaker: I mean what are your thoughts around technology at that point? Because I know that then, “Well, let me turn on the TV,” or “Let me have the iPad.” And sometimes, I use television as a little bit of down time, but I don’t know that it’s really giving them the down time that they need as opposed to turning it off and let’s just relax.
Dr. Phyllis Books: You know? I think, if you put a limit on it, you say “You have 30 minutes where you can use—” screen time, no matter what screen that is. 30 minutes after school, and then that’s it. So, but really, for grownups, it’s a way of just zoning out. But for kids, I’m not so sure it actually relaxes them. There’s this blue light in there that actually keeps them in fight or flight. And so, I don’t know that it actually relaxes them. I think it keeps them more stimulated.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah. That’s a really good point, and really doing things that let you relax and calm down. I think even with adults, too much screen time, or using that as your way to zone out, versus reading, or meditation, or soaking in the bath, or taking that time to go get a massage, or if you love to paint, painting. I think we’re losing that connection more and more with ourselves and things that really help creativity and help us to be calm and relaxed. Through TV, and technology. I think it’s just like you said.
Jonathan Hunsaker: The phones.
TeriAnn Trevenen: With kids, it can be even the same with adults, and I think we’ve lost the art of really taking care of ourselves. That doesn’t mean TV and electronics, it means getting in tune with what really fills us. And that can be hard to do.
Dr. Phyllis Books: When you look at all the chronic diseases that grownups end up with, most of them start out with lifestyle, places that we thought we could cheat Mother Nature, that we didn’t have to sleep enough. I used to think sleeping was a waste of time, because I didn’t understand that our brain actually works harder when we’re sleeping than when we’re awake.
I just wanted to do everything. So, I just didn’t sleep very much. And now, I just—that was such a mistake. But just those lifestyle changes really, those are the things that keep us healthy. And so, it’s really a choice of health. And as we say, you pay now or you pay later, so why not enjoy yourself, and slow down and have your children do that too?
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Absolutely.
TeriAnn Trevenen: I love it.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Alright, Dr. Brooks, before we get to your final question, which I know you’re going to ask, tell our listeners more about how they can find you, the books that you’ve written, your website. Can you just share some information so people know how to get in touch with you?
Dr. Phyllis Books: Sure. Well, my name is Books, and if you’re dyslexic, that’s the last name used by Dr. Nightmare. But it’s like B-O-O-K-S. And so, my website is DrPhyllisBooks.com, and that’s D-R-P-H-Y-L-L-I-S-B-O-O-K-S.com. Easy, easy. And I have—so I have a book called Reversing Dyslexia, which is The Natural Way to Improve Learning and Behavior, and then there’s a book that’s written about me, called House of Miracles, and it’s about 25 stories of people that I’ve worked with and all kinds of different stories.
And then, on my—so on my website, there’s lots, like lots and lots and lots of information. So, I have classes for parents, and classes for professionals. And I’m really wanting to do more with nutrition, because parents really need that so much. But there’s a lot of information just on the website. And I’m in Austin, Texas.
And I have these 5 and 10-day programs. I do 5, 10, and 10-day programs and 10-week programs. And in that time, we can pretty much change the neurology, get the—and work on the belief systems and so on, so that you can sort of reboot and go back on a different track. So, the thing is, help is really available.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Love it, I love it. And then, I love all the information you’re putting out there, and all the work you’re doing. I think when it comes to children and adults, and shaping our lives, the work that you’re doing is so critical in getting back to being the CEO of our own bodies, taking care of our health, having human connection and interaction, and allowing our children especially, the best shot at living a healthy, long, happy, fulfilling life.
So, last question, and we ask this of everyone on our podcasts, and I put people on the spot, but if you could share one message with the world in regards to the work that you do, and it was the last thing you could share with the world, what would you say to people?
Dr. Phyllis Books: I’d say—I would say there’s so much help and so much health available. But it means looking in a new direction. If you look in the same old places, you’ll find the same old solutions, which may or may not work. So, again, you’re in charge of your life, and it means don’t ever give up, and just know that there’s hope and there’s help available. And you’re the one in charge of finding it. Just you can’t give up on yourself.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Love it. I love it.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Absolutely. Dr. Books, thank you so much for taking the time with us. We’re going to have links to your website, links to your books, links to everything on our website, EmpoweringYouOrganically.com. Make sure you go there if you want to read the transcripts, see the show notes, listen to this over and over again. Be sure to subscribe to our iTunes podcasts. It helps us get the word out and we can continue to share all this amazing information for free with the world and help the world become a healthier, happier place. Dr. Books, thank you so much again. TeriAnn, thank you.
Dr. Phyllis Books: Thank you so much. It was a pleasure.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Thanks, everyone.