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EP27 - Food Allergy Series Part 1 - Introduction to Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Episode 272nd November 2021 • I AM MOM Parenting Podcast • Dimple Arora & Shaista Fatehali
00:00:00 00:37:34

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Food allergies are quite common in our society, especially amongst children. During this four-part series on food allergies, we educate parents on all aspects of navigating life while having a child with food allergies.   In this first part, we aim to truly educate the food allergy community with the awareness and knowledge necessary to recognize and manage food allergies and sensitivities in your child.

 

Be sure to listen for:

·      What the top food allergens are

·      How food allergies manifest in the body

·      The difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity

·      What happens to the body during a life threatening food allergy and how to treat it

·      When to introduce foods to babies to build immunity

·      The role family history plays in food allergies

·      How a mom’s diet can affect a baby

·      The possibility of outgrowing food allergies

·      How to know when your child has a food sensitivity vs. food allergy

·      Why food sensitivities develop in kids and adults

·      How to treat and heal a damaged gut as a result of food sensitivities

·      Why eliminating foods is not enough to heal a damaged gut lining

·      What parents should do to prevent their child from having a fearful relationship with food

·      Teaching kids how to navigate their own food allergies

About the Hosts:

About Dimple Arora – Founder of Mindful Evolution

Dimple Arora is the founder of Mindful Evolution (ME) — a parenting movement that aims to empower parents and their kids towards positive transformation and life changing results...one thought, one emotion and one choice at a time.

Dimple is an expert in women and teen empowerment and specializes in helping individuals reduce the debilitating effects of stress and anxiety using mindfulness, nutrition, EFT tapping and other energy psychology modalities. Dimple is a Certified Life Coach, EFT and NLP Practitioner, Holistic Nutritionist and Energy Therapist. She holds degrees in mathematics, business, and education and was previously employed in the corporate world and as a high school math teacher.

You can book a complimentary coaching call with Dimple on her website at https://www.mindfulevolution.ca and connect with her on social media. 

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dimplemindfulevolution

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dimplemindfulevolution


About Shaista Fatehali – Founder of Thrive Kids

Shaista Fatehali is the founder of Thrive Kids BC where she works with children and families to help nurture connection, empower a sense of self - worth and discover what is needed for individual families to thrive. Shaista is a speaker and the author of the children’s book BACK HOME; which has received accolades nationwide. She is a certified children’s and parent life coach and works with clients to build soft skills such as interpersonal awareness, effective communication, emotional agility emotional regulation, problem solving, transition planning and mindfulness . As a teacher and mother of two young girls, her true passion lies in giving her children, her students and clients the tools to reach their most true authentic selves.

To book a complimentary call with Shaista or to learn more about Shaista and the programs she offers at Thrive Kids BC, please visit her website at https://thrivekidsbc.ca/

 

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/thrivekidsbc/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thrivekidsbc

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thrivekidsbc/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaistakabafatehali/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6UbuEK9ErHTqafEZ9ufB8w

 

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Transcripts

Shaista Fatehali:

Imagine being present, calm and connected, while creating a family environment where everyone can thrive.

Dimple Arora:

Welcome to the im mom parenting podcast, providing inspiration and actionable steps to manifest the meaningful and magical life you desire for you and your family.

Shaista Fatehali:

We are your hosts dimple, Aurora, founder of mindful evolution and shape that the daily founder of Thrive kids.

Dimple Arora:

Thank you for sharing the I am mom journey with us. Let's get started. Hey, welcome back to the I am mom parenting podcast, we are super excited. For this month's series, we're going to be bringing you have a four part episode series on food allergies. So we know this is a very, very tough area to navigate for parents. And it can bring up a lot of fear, and a lot of confusion. And the list of top allergens keeps growing. And we want the food allergy community to have more awareness and to really understand what's happening with their child. When dealing with food allergies, we know that there are different different advice is offered everywhere, from your pediatrician to your naturopath and nutritionist. And sometimes the advice given can be contradictory. So we are here to help you lessen the confusion and give you some more insights on this area.

Shaista Fatehali:

This is such a great topic. And I know I personally know a few people who have kids that have food allergies, to a great extent, right, like I'm talking allergic to all, not just the the top food allergens. But beyond that, right. And I always am in so much art and admiration on how they're able to navigate through that, you know, with even things like birthday parties or when it comes to trick or treating, and Halloween and their kids are never feeling like they're missing out. And through this series, we have a lot of, well, two really great guests that we're going to be bringing on. And in addition to that, we also have our very own dimple Aurora, who is going to today share with us her expertise around food allergies, and dimple is a nutritionist as well. So she has a lot of knowledge in this area. So I am really excited to learn a lot from you dim ball. And I'm sure that everyone listening is also really excited to hear a lot. Now you talked a little bit about the top food allergens. What are the top food allergens he would say

Dimple Arora:

the list keeps growing. I want you to remember any food can be an allergen, actually, but there are a list of top allergens. But before we start, I just want to give a little bit of a disclaimer here. Before we go into this information, so we are not doctors and we do not diagnose or treat or cure or prescribe any medication for conditions. So whatever you hear on this podcast today, it is not a substitute for medical treatment, or naturopathic treatment or chiropractic treatment or psychological treatment or psychiatry care. We hope that you will still continue to consult your professional medical care and your pediatricians for more further advice. So the top allergens that are responsible for actually 90% of all food allergies are cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat and soy. So now recently they've added sesame seeds and sulfites is also on that list. And people get a little confused when with tree nuts. They're not sure what tree nuts are but tree nuts are almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts. pistachios and walnuts.

Shaista Fatehali:

So is that so let's say someone's allergic to Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, but not Aleste. Do they still have a tree nut allergy?

Dimple Arora:

They have a tree nut allergy, but it's specifically towards those nuts. So for example, I can have most of the nuts on this list. But sometimes I react to macadamia nuts or hazelnuts, which is interesting, right?

Shaista Fatehali:

That's exactly the same. That's why I asked that question. Because yeah, I live off of all meds and like pecans and walnuts, but for some reason, if I, you know, when you get those nut packs or whatever, they had, like Brazil nuts in there and mega nuts sometimes, and if I accidentally eat that, I'll have an allergic reaction.

Dimple Arora:

Yeah, it happens. It's and you know what, you may be sensitive to those nuts and reacting to the actual maybe the pesticide that it's sprayed with or some other compound. That's some additive that's been added to it. Right? But you could also just be sensitive to some of them and not all of them.

Shaista Fatehali:

Yeah, and sulfites, what are sulfites?

Dimple Arora:

So, sulfites are naturally found in some foods, a lot of times like dry fruit. But they're mostly used as an additive. So to maintain food color or the shelf life, so it like it acts like a preservative to prolong the shelf life of a of the dry fruit, for example, and to prevent the growth of like fungus or bacteria. So it's interesting because they're used on fresh fruits and vegetables, it's actually banned in the States. Oh, because, yeah, on fresh fruits and vegetables, because it can cause a lot of unpleasant symptoms for people. So even somebody who has asthma, they can their symptoms can be exacerbated with sulfites, or it can irritate the lungs. Right? So it's, it's not really the most pleasant food additive.

Shaista Fatehali:

I feel like, like when you mentioned that it's one of the top food allergens, like didn't know like, that's something I'm not aware of. And so bringing that to awareness and attention is so golden. I feel like we shouldn't know that. Right? Like you might eat an apple, for example, and have some sort of discomfort and think it's because of the apple, but it's not really the apple. It's the sulfites on it. Right?

Dimple Arora:

Exactly. And you know what's so interesting, there are so many other natural chemicals found in some fruits and vegetables that can actually irritate the body and that we could be sensitive to. So I'm going to talk a little bit about what the difference is between an actual allergy and a sensitivity or an intolerance. But some of those other compounds. It's so interesting, because people could be having intolerance towards them. So things like oxalates, for example, like somebody who eats a lot of spinach, they may not realize that they're having a problem with oxalates or something like nightshade vegetables, so they're high in they're high in salicylates. So salicylates are a natural ingredient that's found in some fruits and vegetables, even some spices. And actually, they are the major ingredient found in some pain relieving medications like aspirin. So somebody who eats a lot of coconut or avocado or tomato, and they have skin issues such as rashes, like eczema or rosacea. They may be irritated by salicylates and not even know it.

Shaista Fatehali:

Wow, see? That's yeah, it's it's pretty amazing the amounts amount of stuff inside food that we wouldn't even know that we can react to. Right. And you mentioned a little bit about the allergic reaction and sensitivity. And with an allergic reaction. Can you just kind of describe what happens,

Dimple Arora:

right? I mean, it's not rare. You see a lot of kids, like you said with food allergies, but it's to have an actual life threatening allergy is is not as common. So what happens when somebody is having an actual allergic reaction to something? Their body is making a protein called IGE. And that will Grab onto the allergen what the body does, it releases a bunch of chemicals into the bloodstream. So like histamine, and that histamine then tries to get that allergen out of your body or off of your skin, or whatever it is. So that's when you see those symptoms like sneezing, or the watery eyes, or the itchy skin or your ears start itching or your throat start itching. That's the histamine response. Okay. And it's actually a really good thing to have that response because it's part of your body's defense system. But when you have a life threatening allergy, what happens is a person goes into anaphylaxis. So with anaphylaxis, the person's throat starts closing up, they might start to have wheezing or shortness of breath. Highs, hives are itching all over and an extreme swelling, so their airway start swelling and closing up their face starts swelling their eyelids swell shot, right, so that's a severe allergic reaction. Okay. And then in that case, what happens is the golden standard treatment for that is up and up front, which is why these kids carry epi pens. Right. So the app a nephron, actually helps to increase the blood flow through the veins, it constricts the blood vessels. So it helps to relax the muscles that are blocking the airways, and allows the breathing to come back to normal. So for me, I am anaphylactic to peanuts. But what's interesting is when I was younger, I had many peanut allergy attacks. And they were very severe, my throat would close up. But just last year, I had an attack. And I ate the peanuts. And nothing really happened to me, I just was feeling itchy and uncomfortable for about two hours. But I didn't go into anaphylaxis. And then, about 10 years ago, I when I had an attack, it was a very delayed reaction that took about two hours for the onset to come. Wow. So So I think what happens is, some people can actually outgrow their peanut allergy.

Shaista Fatehali:

That's what I was going to ask. Yeah, like, is it? I've heard that like, sometimes, when kids are really young, they might be allergic to a lot of things. And as they grow, they tend to outgrow them. Right?

Dimple Arora:

I think with with my peanut allergy, because I've done a lot of work on my body, working with my spleen and the meridian system and a lot of the tapping and reduced all the inflammation in my body to the point where I have no health issues or symptoms. Yeah, I think that helps, right, because my body is not over reactive at this point.

Shaista Fatehali:

Yeah, exactly. And in terms of building immunity, is there a way to do that? I know like for babies, for example, when they start eating solids, they say to give a little bit of peanut butter to first see if there's a reaction and also to introduce it. There's also these like little peanut crackers when there is a reaction. And then the doctor say to give these little peanut crackers because it helps build that, that immunity against a peanut allergy. But is there a specific timeframe that you know of that helps to really build that?

Dimple Arora:

Yeah, you know, the research is always changing on this. And so some places, some countries will say to introduce solids at the four month mark, some countries will say introduce it at the six month mark. But what is becoming consistent in the research now is an introduction to the allergen early on. And often. So there is a period between the six and nine month mark, which is like the window to build the immunity of the child when it comes to salt when it comes to solid food and different food triggers. But, for example, in my case, I didn't give up on the peanuts. I didn't give her Vina when she was little, I think for years, but then one day my dad just gave it to her and she had it and she was fine. But did you do that with with Malaya?

Shaista Fatehali:

Yeah, I did. But there's hasn't been a history of nut allergies and her family. And for my house, she didn't react when she was a baby. So I was really comfortable giving it to her. And on top of that, I eat a lot of nut butter and pin like nuts, right? So it's, I had it when I was pregnant, I had it while nursing. And like, I found that. So if I would eat it, like if even if the oil or whatever was on my hands, I could tell that she wasn't reacting to it. So I felt like it was comfortable enough for her.

Dimple Arora:

Yeah, you know, that's interesting, because you say you don't have not allergies in your family. So if a family if there is a family history of food allergies, or eczema or autoimmune conditions, reshoot research shows that your child could be more susceptible to food allergies.

Shaista Fatehali:

Yeah, no, that's great to know. Because sometimes you think that when there's a history of a specific food allergy, then that's what you should be looking out for. Right? But when you look at someone like a child who has eczema or asthma, you don't necessarily relate it to a food allergy. Right? And you mentioned also a little bit about food sensitivities. So how would I know that my child has a food sensitivity?

Dimple Arora:

Oh, this is such a tough one. So with an allergy, it's pretty obvious the kid is reacting, right? There's usually about a, an immediate reaction up to a about a 10 hour window, where you can see if your child is reacting to certain foods. So when foods are being introduced to a child, it's important not to introduce a top food allergen on the same day. Right? So we always suggest to parents introduce one food every three to four days to see if your child is reacting or not. Right. And you know, what else is really common? This is kind of a side comment here, when sometimes a child has a milk allergy, or cow's milk allergy. And the mom is drinking milk while breastfeeding?

Shaista Fatehali:

Yes, this I know of for sure. I actually know a few parents who had to cut out dairy while breastfeeding, because then we were reacting to the milk they were drinking because it came into the breast milk.

Dimple Arora:

Exactly, exactly. Because that casein protein is is irritating the gut of that child. And and it's giving them so many different symptoms. So let me talk about the difference between food allergies and food sensitivities. And then we can talk about how it actually manifests in the body because both are very different. So the food allergy is more obvious, right? It's a it's a physical reaction. And I mean, that you can see so itchy or hives or a rash, right? Or the, the wheezing, so something more obvious. Yeah. But the food intolerance, it can cause some of the same signs. Right? So that's why people get it confused. But the true food allergy is actually an immune system reaction. Right? And what happens then is, it's again, that IGE response, okay. But food intolerance symptoms are usually less serious and less obvious. So somebody might have digestive distress, right, but they might not know what that they're reacting to a food or having an intolerance to a food and in kids food intolerances can manifest in so many different ways that are not obvious. So for example, even in behavioral problems, even in their attention span, right? Even in their if they could have sleep disturbances, for example, where they have trouble falling asleep, or they have night terrors, or something of that sort, right? A lot of times we see kids with UTIs and status or irritability or or your kids always stuffed up, okay? They're always stuffed up, right? They're inflamed in their their, their body has inflammation, excess mucus, excess inflammation, and also you know what else When they're slow to speak, right, they don't. They need they usually are referred to speech therapy. Yes, but it's a food sensitivity or food intolerance. And you know what else is common? bedwetting?

Shaista Fatehali:

Oh my gosh. like I am, like, legitimately like, shocked hearing this because, you know, like, so like for for many reasons, because when like you, your child is having like a reaction, right? Or like you said, like, some digestive issues, the when you take them to the doctor, the first thing they do is give like medication, right? It's not really related to at least there's no not a lot of verbiage around it being related to food, right? And secondly, like behaviorally, sometimes you just can't figure out what's going on with your child, right? Like, you seem to be doing all the right things, and you don't attribute it to food, Bedwetting, all of that. And they think that is just something so important to become aware of. Because it's not in society's awareness, there may be a little bit in terms of kids who have ADHD and how food can affect their energy levels, but not as a whole. Right. And I think that that has to be more in brought into awareness.

Dimple Arora:

That's so true. And sometimes, when you take your child to the doctor, they may immediately be referred for an allergy test. But a lot of the things that they're sensitive to may not show up on those allergy tests. And sometimes people do blame the food for thinking their child is sensitive to certain foods. But really, it could be anything like their deterred like your laundry detergent, for example. It could be their soap, it could be the the cream that you're using on their skin, like there's so many different allergens that the child can come in contact with. And it is fearful for parents, right? Especially if your child has been diagnosed with a food allergy. Or you know, what's worse, when your child is reacting? And going into anaphylaxis, but they don't know what it is? Oh,

Shaista Fatehali:

I haven't experienced that. But I can just picture myself just freaking out not know, you. So what do parents What should parents do?

Dimple Arora:

That is very scary. For example, if a child reacts at daycare, and they're not sure, you know, what the child came in contact with, right? And, you know, I want to talk a little bit about that the cross contamination, right, because sometimes foods do get contaminated, like they're made in a in a faculty where or in a factory where that, like, you know, how you always read on packages that may contain traces of right. So may contain so like when a company makes a claim that something is free from they're guaranteeing that the food is suitable for the person with the allergy or the intolerance. Right. But it for example, like if they have a kitchen without handles wheat flour, right? They cannot say wheat free or gluten free, they can't make that claim. They have to actually not have to guarantee that has not been cross contaminated with that allergen. Right? So it's really scary for parents, like What should parents do? Right? Like they, first of all, yes, talk to your pediatrician and get an allergy test to find out what your child is actually allergic to right and what they're reacting to. But a lot of times, kids are reacting because they have damaged guts, for example, like they have an overactive immune system, because their body has been for years tending to the stress of these food intolerances and sensitivities. So their body has basically been insulted which makes their sometimes makes their immune system overreact to everything like I did go through a period in my life where I felt like I was allergic to everything. Like I couldn't eat anything right and sometimes it happens after a child has been on many courses of antibiotics. Right? Right. So their micro biome has been affected as been negatively affected, right? Because, to be honest, I don't think people really understand your gut is your immune system 90% of your immune system is in your gut. So if you have been on many, if your child has been on many courses of antibiotics, then they're an and it has not been replenished with the proper probiotics through food or supplements, then that child's got is is going to be compromised, right. And what happens is, this is a common thing that happens, it's called leaky gut. So really, the official medical term for that is intestinal permeability. So we have this, these very tight junctions. So our gut naturally allows these really small particles to pass through the walls through these junctions, these really tight junctions in the lining. So it helps you to absorb your nutrients, right, your vitamins and your minerals, okay. But what happens is, sometimes a child's got is being so constantly assaulted with, say, the casein protein or the gluten protein that they are sensitive to. And what happens is those tight junctions start to open, and the gut lining becomes damaged. And then larger particles start to enter into the bloodstream. And then what happens is the immune system doesn't recognize these particles and sees it as a foreign invader in the body, and then the body starts reacting maybe through a skin rash, or through

Dimple Arora:

different digestive disturbances like this can happen to adults, too. Right? So the body then gets tired of reacting, so it has this damaged gut lining, and it gets tired of reacting and then the child becomes, again more stuffed up or inflamed or gets Exuma. Or, you know, different. Different things can happen like so for example, with adults, when the leaky gut happens in adults, it can cause so many things like IBS, even fatigue, right? Even Even things like I mean, for me, I had a leaky gut, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it can cause migraines. It can cause autoimmune disorders. Hashimotos, thyroid disorders, depression and anxiety. Right? Can it can be caused by leaky gut, because when you think about it, if your gut is damaged, and your immune system lays in the gut, then you're not producing, you're not absorbing the vitamins and minerals that you need. You're not absorbing your protein properly, right? You're not You're not making the serotonin and the neurotransmitters that are necessary to give you the happy mood and make you feel well, so it's all related to the gut.

Shaista Fatehali:

Yeah. There's a lot of there's a lot of talk these days around the gut being the third brain, right? So like the heart, brain, the brain like in your head, exactly. And then your gut frame. Right. And exactly, I find that is so true. What What about in terms of ensuring you have a not leaky gut, like what do you what kinds of things do you do? Like, do probiotics help with that? prebiotics?

Dimple Arora:

Yes. Okay. So, when a child has been, for example, on certain medications or on antibiotics, you definitely want to replenish with probiotics. But you know what, it's not just about that. They're usually what happens is when the the God has been assaulted that way, you could have a development of different pathogens in the body, so different, maybe parasites or extra yeast or mold, right. So it's, it's really, a lot can injure the gut, right? So even like toxicities and different pesticides and herbicides, like so many different things can injure the gut. So what you want to do is really work with a naturopath or a functional medicine doctor, to actually eliminate the toxicities in the body to go on an anti inflammatory diet to reduce the inflammation In the body, and what you want to make sure is that you are healing the gut from the inside out. So not just eliminating certain foods, but actually getting rid of the pathogens that may have developed within the body, because of the of the gut being assaulted.

Shaista Fatehali:

Wow, that is really good information. There's so many, so much awareness that you brought to food allergies and food sensitivities that I know I wasn't aware of. And I know that those of you who are listening are probably also quite enlightened by this, this specific episode on food allergies. And we're going to continue this conversation with a lot of the guests that we have. And we have some really great guests in the next couple episodes that we are so excited to have on. And one is the food, the allergy chef, right, the allergy chef. And we also have another individual who's talking about food allergies, while being vegans. So taking it even up a notch. And how she navigates that.

Dimple Arora:

Can you imagine being vegan, my gosh, and having so many food allergies? No. I just want to end off with saying like if your child what to do if your child does have the food allergies, it's it is not an easy thing to navigate, I know that parents can become very fearful. And you end up living in fear about what your child is eating. So what you want to make sure to do is have an allergy plan with your pediatrician. So educate your teachers on your child's food allergies, educate your child's caregivers on their food allergies, and make sure that everyone knows how to use the EpiPen if your child has one. Now one mistake I see a lot is parents who delay using the EpiPen because they're not sure if their child is reacting or if they should give the EpiPen or not. But if your child is having a reaction, because of a food allergy, definitely give them the epi pen because sometimes the anaphylaxis can get worse if the if there's a delay in using the pen.

Shaista Fatehali:

And we all see them right away.

Dimple Arora:

I should be immediately I mean, I've I've done that myself in my own life. Delay delaying using the pen, and then the attack just gets worse. Right? Right. So and you also want to make sure that you're working with somebody like a nutritionist or a dietitian to make sure that you do have a proper eating plan in place. And what's really important is you don't want your child to live in fear around food. So helping them to build that healthy relationship with food, despite their food allergies. And don't let it be something that dictates their life. I mean, there's so much awareness now. And when kids go to birthday parties, so many places are not free to begin with. And so you want to make sure that you're building a good relationship with food despite the food allergy, so talking positively about it, and not making them fearful that they have this food allergy, but just educating them and giving them the knowledge even at a young age to use their words, to speak up and ask questions and let people know that they have an allergy. So is this okay for me to eat? Right, I'm allergic to this and teaching them at a young age to speak up.

Shaista Fatehali:

Yeah, absolutely. And that I think also builds that in the empowered child right and the confident child and being able to vocalize their, their specific needs.

Dimple Arora:

Absolutely. And, and also, giving empowering the parents with the education is really important, which is why we're doing this series right now because it's not just the food like I said, Any food can be an allergen, any chemical, any dye can be an allergen, any, you know, it can there's so many things that can happen. And like I said, infections can come into the body when the gut is not healthy. So it could be bacterial. It could be fungal it could be parasitical like it. There's so many things that can contribute to a food sensitivity or intolerance, and making sure to distinguish ship from the allergy.

Shaista Fatehali:

Thank you so much to bill for sharing this wisdom with us. I have definitely got some I just have to say it food for thought. Just it really makes me kind of think about everything like you said, not just the food, right? But like, I'm just looking around right now like, okay, like, maybe this could be causing certain things or hater. Could it be like, you know, the laundry detergent, like you said, or? I don't know the soaps anyways, you really got me thinking, that's for sure. And I'm thinking as well when you're,

Dimple Arora:

you know what, I'm so passionate about this because I was that kid, right? I was that kid that had all the allergies and all of the symptoms as a result of it and went through mainstream medicine and I was on all the steroids and I was on the inhalers. And so I was the child that reaped the consequences of living that lifestyle, right. So I like to educate parents on all the ways that we can heal, especially when it comes to the gut. And if your child does not have a food, an actual food allergy, and they are reacting to just some foods because of the state of their body and the inflammation and their gut. It's best to just educate parents on that. Yeah.

Shaista Fatehali:

Amazing. Amazing. Thank you so much. And we hope you enjoyed listening to this conversation as much as we enjoyed having it and we will see you in our Facebook group. And we will talk to you at our next episode.

Dimple Arora:

Bye Thank you for joining us on The im mom parenting journey. If you enjoy today's episode, please follow us and head on over to iTunes to leave us a review.

Shaista Fatehali:

We invite you to check out the show notes for this episode, and click on the link to join our free Facebook community to stay connected and continue the conversation with other like minded moms.

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