Transformation – Phoenix Ugrenovic

july 2016 - cropped*This month’s Profile of the Month is a little man with a different story. This isn’t a story of weight loss, or building of strength or fitness. It is a story of a little person’s fight for quality of life. This story is about our gorgeous little man, Phoenix Ugrenovic. Phoenix is the son of one of our training clients Marissa. He is 5 years old and has a story that many parents can relate to. When Marissa brought Phoenix in to see me for Applied Muscle Testing she was beside herself. She had ‘tried everything’ and nothing seemed to help her little boy. He was constantly tired yet wired. He was grumpy and snappy, sluggish and in pain. But nobody could give Marissa or Phoenix answers. I didn’t know if I would be able to help, but I was certainly going to try. After muscle testing Phoenix I found he had a few allergies that were affecting his mood, his mental state, his energy levels, and his skin, to name a few things. Marissa was very proactive about eliminating these allergens from Phoenix’s life after my findings and recommendations, moving forward. She had lot of questions, as we all do when starting out on a new journey, but together we helped her, Phoenix and the entire family transition into Phoenix’s new lifestyle. The change in Phoenix was evident almost immediately. Phoenix was never able to sit still for more than a few seconds; 12 months on he sits on a chair during Express Circuit watching mum exercise, without budging for half an hour. Either that, or he plays in the kids’ room quietly entertaining himself or playing with the other children. I can’t tell you what it does to my heart and soul, to see this little boy so free of the internal turmoil that was tormenting him and his family, to see him so peaceful and happy. He is such a loving, beautiful and respectful little man. I am so excited that Marissa was happy to share his story, because I know Phoenix is going to bring such hope and happiness to so many people everywhere. It’s amazing what something as basic as food can do to and for a person. God bless little man! I adore you! Here is Phoenix’s full story.

“Phoenix has always been a very active kid. He started running at 9 months old and was always on the go. That is no exaggeration. He had no interest to sit and do any activities, was always busy running around exploring, jumping and climbing!  Loved to play outside, ride his bike and scooter and be at the park. He never watched TV, and if he did it was standing so he could run off after a couple minutes. Full of energy. As a baby he had quite bad colic and didn’t sleep well at all. At the most he would only ever sleep 8-10hours overnight as he got to be a toddler. 

Around November 2014 it started to become apparent that he had no energy to do the things he had always enjoyed. He started sleeping 12-14 hours over night and was waking up as though he had not had enough sleep, was wanting to fall asleep during the day and had ratty overtired behaviour from first thing in the morning. He was difficult to manage, didn’t listen and was always bored. But always complained he was too tired to go to the park. He complained a lot that his legs were sore all the time and they got too tired riding his bike or scooter. He was constantly sick with a runny nose, fever cough and congestion. He would always complain of having a headache. His fatigued was so bad; I didn’t know what was wrong with him. His behaviour was terrible, he was intentionally, and frustratingly defiant. He couldn’t concentrate and focus on anything, and was antsy all the time, fidgety, and couldn’t sit still. He also always had a rash on his face and nappy area.

He had always been a great eater, and I would have considered him to have had a healthy diet, without knowing what I do now. He had the occasional snack that was chips or chocolate or biscuits, but mainly he ate cheese, crackers, dips and fruit and yoghurt for snacks. Main meals were weetbix, toast, sandwiches and meat and veg in some form. Fairly “normal” and within line with all the things recommended at his age.

Today, almost 12months on since first seeing Terri, Phoenix is 5, and I have a completely different child. I have my happy little boy back. I’m sure he has grown, developed and matured over the last year in his own right, but the improvement we noticed after only 2 weeks of changing his diet was amazing. 

He now has the energy back to be active and on the move again. He has an interest in sitting and doing activities. He can focus and concentrate better. He listens (sometimes!) but can definitely process things in a more reasonable manner. He’s not agitated anymore and has a calmness about him at times that I’ve never seen in him. He’s happy and not fatigued. If he gets sick with a runny nose, it doesn’t affect his day, it barely slows him down. He’s hardly had any major illness in the last 12 months. His rashes have cleared up, and nappy area only flares immediately after being contaminated. He now even sits and watches TV!

I was lead to having applied muscle testing done as I was at my wits end and didn’t know what else to do to help Phoenix. For months I had been working with my GP who had numerous blood tests done, referred us to other specialists including an optometrist for his headaches and tiredness, podiatrist for his aching legs, and a Pediatrician who also did a skin prick allergy test, which all came back negative. He also saw a Chiropractor who manipulated him and also did muscle testing and told me he was allergic to gluten and dairy. I found I needed more info so I booked to see Terri.

It was found after our consultation, that Phoenix was allergic to gluten, all components of dairy and pistachios. 

I was overwhelmed with the changes I needed to make but am so thankful I had great support and heaps of info given to me by Terri. It was difficult initially to find the right ingredients to use for seasoning while cooking that would also be liked by Phoenix and the whole family, but once I got the hang of it, it really was not as much trouble as I thought. Terri was also great in showing me some packaged snacks that are fine for them to eat. I stick to what I know now and don’t stray far from that. 

The biggest challenge would have to be trusting other people, especially Childcare and family, that they are understanding the importance of checking ingredients and ensuring that meals are prepared separately. Everyone has been great so far, a few slip ups, but what I need to remind myself is that it’s not done intentionally, it’s just lack of education and knowledge about it. I find majority of the time it is easier if I pack food wherever we go, so that I can guarantee nothing is contaminated and I know what he’s eating. Childcare have been fantastic ensuring that he doesn’t feel like he’s missing out, and encouraging the kids to respect Phoenix because he has different food, not isolate him.

We honestly could not be prouder of Phoenix for how well he has adapted. I was nervous about him acting up and refusing to eat, but in reality, not much has changed for him. He still eats good meals, is allowed some packaged snacks, and has plenty of fruit and veg. I didn’t give him enough credit, because from the get go he completely understood when we explained to him that he wasn’t able to eat certain things anymore because that was what was making him sick and tired all the time. We told him he was initially only allowed to take food from mum and dad, and if anyone else offered him food he had to ask if it was gluten and dairy free. He nailed it instantly. I actually couldn’t believe how easy it was. No tears, tantrums or whinging. And no jealousy when he sees someone else eating something that he used to enjoy eating himself. 

I’ve had a lot of people comment to me that he’s changed so much and really settled down, not such a pocket rocket anymore. One of the teachers at Childcare once said to me she just thought he was hyper all the time because that was just how he was, but now she can see how much he has calmed down. 

Both myself and my husband are super proud of him, and wouldn’t change a thing. Changing our diet and lifestyle has been the best decision we have made.

If you are experiencing similar concerns with your child, then having AMT done is well worth it, given the ongoing support you receive to help get you through any changes you need to make. If simple changes to diet help make them happier and healthier and easier to enjoy, then it’s well worth the little bit of a difficult time you may have, implementing those changes.” – Marissa Ugrenovic, Wollert

*Training and Weight Loss Disclaimer