Chris and Filly Functional Medicine with Co-Founder Filipa Bellette, PhD

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On this episode of Give Back Model, Christine Petrella welcomes Filly Bellette to the podcast. As a cofounder of Chris and Filly Functional Medicine, a mother, and giver, she begins this week’s episode by talking about the farm she was raised on in Tasmania. She notes that her family heavily valued giving back, and this led her to volunteer to teach English alone in Kenya. While she was there, she quickly came to the realization that she was vastly ignorant of her privilege, and likewise, how she could use that privilege for good.

She decided to get her PhD in Human Rights and was granted her degree the day she gave birth to her first child, an experience that would transform the rest of her life. After going through a rather traumatic birth, Filly suffered months of poor gut and mental health. It was this journey that led her to start Chris and Filly Functional Medicine, an organization that helps parents improve their own and their children’s health. Her company partners with Free to Shine, an organization based in Cambodia that educates and prevents young Cambodian girls from entering the sex trafficking ring. Through her work with Free to Shine, Filly has not only learned that you don’t need a lot of money to give back, but she also learned the importance of self worth. She draws this episode to a rather fitting close by coming to proper terms with her self worth - no longer does she believe that her worth is dependent upon her work. Filly knows now that she is enough.

For more information and other episodes on companies and entrepreneurs who give back, please visit That’s where you can also let Christine know about companies you’ve found that give back, and check out The Give Back Model merchandise, where $5 for every sale goes to charity. Thanks for listening!

The Finer Details of This Episode:

  • Filly grew up on a farm in Tasmania with a family who valued giving back.

  • She volunteered in Kenya alone and came face to face with her own ignorance.

  • Filly got her PhD in Human Rights after realizing that she didn’t have the right tools to help others.

  • Her experience on antibiotics after giving birth introduced her to common problems with gut health.

  • When Filly started functional medicine, she felt like she’d finally found her calling helping high strung parents find their footing again.

  • She and her family participate in a child protection organization, Free To Shine, that supports Cambodian girls to educate and save them from human sex trafficking.

  • Through her work with Free To Shine, Filly learned that you don’t need a lot of money to give back.

  • Filly recalls feeling like her self worth depended on her productivity before realizing that she was enough.


“Their goal is to help high achieving parents with energy, mood and gut issues to end their body burnout for good.”

“Our family culture was very much about giving back to others, and service and showing compassion for other people without really expecting anything in return. So I kind of feel like that was built into our family values.”

“So for the next four months after I had Poppy, I had no sensation to pee. So I was using a catheter to urinate. Because I was prone to getting UTI infections, because I had this internal catheter in 2007, I was on loads of antibiotics, in and out of hospital, catching all the infections still and then going on more antibiotics. So my gut health was kind of ripped raw.”

“I called myself the ‘dragon mom’, I was just screaming all the time, like, the anxiety for me showed up in screaming and losing the plot.”

“Our big mission is to work with high achieving parents to end their body burnout.”

“I thought they wanted something straightforward for us to provide like university tuition fees, but they didn't want anything for themselves. Instead, they wanted for no other girl to go through the horrors that they had been through.”

“I don't have a lot of extra to give; you don't have to give a lot to be able to make a difference.”

‘I was overdoing and overachieving because I felt like my worth [depended upon] what I put out…”

“The Free to Shine organization has enrolled over 750 Girls, they've built 21 houses, they've had over 4000 social work intervention wins, and over 32,000 safety visits conducted, which is a mind blowing number.”


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Chris and Filly Homepage

Free to Shine Homepage

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