22 Years: ONE Empowering Idea for ADHD & Autism


MartinJulie_December2019This summer marks 22 years sharing ONE life-changing idea for ADHD & Autism that’s helped countless children and families worldwide. This ONE idea, Nourishing Hope – giving special attention to the food and nutrition children receive is fueled by scientific inquiry and personal passion and drives an evolution of thought about the epidemic of childhood disorders.

Nourishing Hope has become a global movement of like-minded people sharing a message of hope and healing for our children and families. More than just “awareness” that autism and ADHD prevalence is increasing, we empower those affected with known avenues of support, helpful actions, and straigtforward truths. 

Read about the journey below – it began with Julie’s passionate curiosity and now engages parents and health professionals around the world. ONE thing is clear – that when families embrace the concept and practice of nourishing hope – things improve. And, often for the entire family. When you behave in alignment with what you believe, the likelihood of sustaining the behavior and seeing desired results goes up immeasurably (that’s solid science).

NutrientsCoverAndPaperBecause hundreds of scientific studies identify food-related symptoms and behaviors in children with ADHD, Autism and more, and thousands of parents from around the world report that diet changes equate to measurable improvements in health, cognition, and behavior – one could argue that dietary intervention is THE most scientifically sound, proven, and safe approach to helping.

In 2018, Julie/Nourishing Hope, co-authored and published “gold-standard” scientific research that validates the straightforward approach she’s been sharing. Read Julie’s blog where she explains all about “Comprehensive Nutritional and Dietary Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder—A Randomized, Controlled 12-Month Trial,  and learn how nourishing hope can help you too.

From 2021-2023, Julie enhanced her credentials earning a Master’s degree in Medical Nutrition, with distinction, from Arizona State University.

And in 2023, she co-authored a second study alongside James Adams, Ph.D. from ASU, titled Ratings of the Effectiveness of 13 Therapeutic Diets for Autism Spectrum Disorder,” that was published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine.

No further evidence is required to validate that going from NOT being calculated about Food and Nutrition intake, TO being calculated, is worthwhile.

Every person benefits from nourishing hope!

What is nourishing hope?Pencil-Girl_ONLY_200px

For those new to Nourishing Hope/Julie (and Martin) Matthews, here’s some of the back story of nourishing hope came to be.

As many recall, autism rocked the world in the Spring of 2005, when rates were skyrocketing and David Kirby published the book “Evidence of Harm,” a global wake up call that stirred great controversy and action. While some people became polarized in “debate” over varied facets of causation, others focused on autism recovery and the actuality that ASD is a full-body disorder, and that improved health, learning, and behavior was possible. That’s where Julie Matthews’ work fit in; she’d been studying/practicing nutrition and autism since 2001, and knew unquestionably that diet and nutrition could influence the trajectory of autism.

As a couple, choosing to be in life and “business” together, we committed to teaching and impacting others with the greatest of integrity. Knowing that autism was fraught with controversy, we opted to focus on sound science and common sense.

Julies_OriginalAutismPaperBy 2005 we’d distributed several hundred copies of Julie’s original research paper, titled: Autism: Biochemical Influences, Environmental concerns, Nutrition Intervention. Families and clients were so thankful that Julie had shared this information and provided such thought-out and researched guidance. The information was changing lives and we quickly learned it was powerful.

To reach more people we decided to turn the research paper into a book. But we felt that this knowledge tool required a powerful phrase to convey its value. So we created an intentional visioning session to give a power name to Julie’s interest and work. We wanted to convey:

  • Hope is real – recovery from autism is possible!
  • Attention to food/nutrition matters!
  • Abundant science supports doing this!
  • Just take action – it’s always worth it!

And with those intentions; through meditation, linguistic iterations, and thesaurus consultations – Julie blurted out “nourishing hope” – and our new world began!

The phrase summed up the “take away” of Julie’s research while simultaneously inspiring the most prudent recommendation. We know that…

  1. Autism (and related) is a full body disorder, varied systems and biochemistry are affected, and food and nutrition influence these systems, and…
  2. That specialized attention to the food and nutrition these children receive is warranted and beneficial. That’s ONE Empowering Idea!

nourishinghope_logoFrom that day, Julie and I (Martin, her husband and business partner) became dedicated to families of children with autism and other special needs. We support a global message of hope and have become the voice of children and families that understand the influence of food and nutrition upon the disorder of autism. Taking charge has helped their children improve and demonstrate potential that was previously unrevealed.

Whether choosing to omit using an artificially colored reinforcement treat, or following a full-on GFCF diet and making your own sauerkraut (or anywhere in between) – you are nourishing hope! And why not? Choosing food and nutrition strategically is a way of thinking and behaving that makes sense. Your actions aim to aid the body and improve its health and systemic functioning.

And for autism and related disorders, overwhelmingly, we know that scientific inquiry points us in the direction of strategic consideration of the food and nutrition people receive (i.e., following some specialized and personalized diet).

Are you nourishing hope?

22 Years Empowering Families

NH_BookCover_IPPYIn the fall of 2005, after years in practice, at the Long Beach Defeat Autism Now! Conference, Julie gave their Director Maureen McDonnell a copy of newly titled “Nourishing Hope.” Things instantly clicked between Defeat Autism Now (DAN!) and Nourishing Hope, as Julie brought deep science and knowledge of the instrumental role of nutrition to the conversation about “autism diets.” Julie/Nourishing Hope championed the “diet/nutrition” message for their conferences for several years, also introducing live Cooking To Heal learning events at DAN! Conferences. See her introduction to a thousand parents here. Julie also spoke at Autism One, NAA, USAAA, Autism Society, and in Canada with Autism Today, and Australia with the Mindd Foundation several times. She and Martin launched their own live events too, holding one-day autism nutrition education workshops and creating Autism: Hope in Action conferences. Julie has shared the nourishing hope message in more than 60 cities around the world.

AF_RocketScienceInfJulie/Nourishing Hope has published scientifically referenced articles with the Autism File Magazine, the Price-Pottenger Foundation, and multiple other media sources. She’s appeared on countless radio programs, podcasts, television news programs, and even hosted her own live broadcast radio program in San Francisco for nine years. She’s been interviewed for documentaries, invited to expert panel discussions, contributed to major university research, and is routinely invited to speak at major conferences on autism, mental health, and beyond. Julie sits on several scientific advisory boards, championing the science and application of specialized diet and nutrition. She has motivated audiences of 15 to 1500.

In 2009, “Nourishing Hope for Autism” won an IPPY Award for “Most Progressive Health Book,” (press release here) and in 2013 Julie was honored by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals for her contribution to the field of holistic nutrition science.

In 2014, Julie/Nourishing Hope expanded efforts by launching advanced training in BioIndividual Nutrition for healthcare professionals. Though some nutritionists tout a singular dietary approach (diet dogma), Julie has always expressed that there is no one-size-fits-all diet – that customizing one’s diet and nutrition approach is essential. Julie directed her years of research and demonstrated methodology into a training course for leading edge professionals to teach the best of what she has learned. The mission of the BioIndividual Nutrition Institute is to establish the legitimacy of patient specific (personalized) diet and nutrition protocols for the prevention and healing of all chronic health conditions. Julie has hundreds of nutritionists, dietitians, integrative and functional medicine practitioners in her BioIndividual Nutrition program,

In 2018, “Julie Matthews – Nourishing Hope” appears alongside respected scientific researchers as “gold standard” evidence in published that supports the practice of improved diet and nutrition for autism (and much more!). You can read that study for free right here.

For two decades, Julie Matthews (Nourishing Hope) has been focused on informing and empowering families and clinicians that:

  • Scientific inquiry supports giving strategic attention to improved diet and nutrition for ADHD, Autism, and more.
  • Dietary improvements benefit every child
  • Cooking, shopping, etc.. is doable under nearly every circumstance

Nourishing Hope has touched families in 190 countries – tens of thousands have benefited by embracing this process. The concept and practice is universal. No matter the nation, culture, or perceived limitation, positive accounts of children improving by nourishing hope are plentiful.

Today, the world knows more about the very things “Nourishing Hope” comprised years ago: hundreds of new studies being published corroborate Julie’s initial research including:

  • Influence of our environment
  • Common physiological, biochemical, and metabolic concerns
  • Benefit of diet/nutrition improvements

See our Media Page here...

Side note about Julie Matthews

10_Years_Of_Hope2Since her professional nutrition career began in 2002, 2024 marks twenty-two years that Julie’s been focused on helping children and families. Her knowledge and know-how was earned through YEARS of research/clinical experience and countless Saturdays as an allergen-free alchemist (i.e. chef) – in the kitchen, grocery store, or library, learning to “make it work” for even her most challenging clients.

To even further her knowledge and outreach, Julie is earning a Masters degree in Medical Nutrition and penning her next book via a major publisher.

From the beginning, Julie has concurrently been focused on Nutrition for Healthy Pregnancy and Baby, putting all of her research, knowledge, and experience into teaching prevention/promoting health. And she’s practiced what she teaches – becoming pregnant at age 39 and delivering her healthy baby girl safe at home, with midwife, doula, and husband (me!) assisting.

Julie_taiko_cupertinoFew of you know that Julie is also an accomplished Fire Poi dancer – which is all about movement and flow – and can be done with lights or fire! Roller skater too! And she’s a Taiko performer, banging on huge Japanese drums. Her range of interests, passions, and talents is vast – stemming from I believe, a fundamental love of life, people, and happiness. As her husband, life companion, and business partner I cherish every day with her and remain committed to co-creating, sharing, and impacting the world together.

Do you believe that food and nutrition matter for autism? Have you experienced the influence of making a diet change? Are you nourishing hope?  Share your comments below.

Author: Martin Matthews

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of BioIndividualNutrition.com. Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.


  1. Thank you for spreading the real food, gf way of living for Autism/ADHD and all people for optimal nutrition/wellbeing. As a mother of an adult with Aspergers – and the founder of a food company that creates delisions gf, real food options – we share many of the same passions. I’d love to find ways to help support you and nourishing hope.
    Please reach out to me if interested in collaborations.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.