Mum who used food to help children’s chronic health conditions will speak at Frestival

A woman who used food to help heal her two children’s drastic health problems will speak at a Shropshire festival that celebrates free-from foods and how to help those suffering with allergies.

Claire McDonnell Liu and with her family - husband, Justin, and children, Rudy and Leafy
Claire McDonnell Liu and with her family – husband, Justin, and children, Rudy and Leafy

Frestival 2019 will take place at the West Mid Showground on May 18 with organisers aiming to introduce people to all sorts of free-from foods such as wheat, gluten, dairy, meat, nuts, animal products, palm oil, sugar and even plastic.

Claire McDonnell Liu is founder and nutrition advisor at, the Leicestershire based non-profit organisation she set up with her husband Justin.

She will be speaking at Frestival plus delivering a workshop on cutting sugar in everyday foods and using food as medicine.

Both Claire’s children, Rudy and Leafy, suffered from chronic health conditions as young children but improved remarkably since switching to a real food lifestyle.

Claire said: “What we put into our bodies is so important. Through our family story, we have learnt that food can make a huge difference to how we feel and our health.” provides information and nutrition programmes on losing weight, cutting down on sugar and improving energy to individuals, families, students and business employees.

The organisation provides a sugar-free family online learning course, with recipes, swaps and tips from NHS doctors, food and health professionals.

The couple deliver talks and projects to help individuals, schools, organisations and communities make healthy, real food a part of their lives.

Claire’s son Rudy, now aged 8, suffered from a collection of skin conditions; eczema, urticara, alopecia.

The NHS provided emollients and steroid creams but Claire’s own research led her to focus on treating the underlying causes.

She introduced ‘gut health’ foods and removed any potential inflammatory foods, including gluten, sugar, refined and processed foods.

Rudy’s foods of grass-fed butter, low starch vegetables, high quality meats and bone broth worked so well in calming down his skin reactions that he was itch free within only a few weeks.

Rudy’s skin continued to recover and was smooth and glowing within only three months.

Out of the blue, Claire’s daughter, Leafy, suffered from a frightening, lengthy febrile seizure at only six months old, diagnosed as a febrile seizure.

Leafy began to suffer from regular seizures, until she was experiencing different types daily, many resulting in ambulance trips and stays in hospital.

Claire and husband Justin again turned to foods to help manage their daughter’s health.

They started Leafy on a specific diet, the popular ketogenic diet, proven to be highly effective for managing seizures, mental health such as depression, bipolar and ADHD, certain cancers, diabetes as well as for weight loss.

Within days, Leafy’s seizures had significantly reduced and her health was returned. She continued to make great progress on her high fat, low carb diet and five years on she is happy, healthy and mainly seizure free.

Claire, a qualified and experienced nutrition advisor, said she loves working with people on their personal food plans, as well as with staff and students in workplaces and schools to educate and support on food habits for long term health.

Claire said: “I’m delighted to be asked to talk at this year’s Frestival.

“Food is a powerful tool to protect and improve our health, as well as a great joy.

“I enjoy helping people tol make positive food changes to enhance health, energy, skin, weight.

“The difference that changing your foods makes can be life changing, as our family found.”

Organiser Ian Bebbington said: “We are delighted to welcome Claire to the Frestival team. She has some real health insights to share and it will certainly be a fascinating talk and workshop. We look forward to hearing her story.”

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