The gut. Admittedly not the nicest of words. But us nutritional therapists use it freely to describe your digestive system or, if you’re really squeamish, your tummy! It is so important to look after your gut.
In nutrition college we learnt that the gut is ‘the seat of health’ and Hippocrates taught ‘All disease begins in the gut’. Without a properly functioning digestive system, the rest of your body is not going function properly either. And if we were ever presented with a really tricky case and didn’t know where to start, we were always told to start with the gut. It never failed!
There are 100 trillion bacteria in your body (eeww) and most them reside in your intestines. The food you eat determines the kind of bacteria that enters your gut, and the bacteria is responsible for the overall function of your digestive system (eg. pooing) as well as your immune system, your mood, nutrient absorption, hormone...
It’s no secret that eating too much sugar is quite bad for you. Study after study is now revealing that quitting sugar is so much better for your health. And yet, despite this, we’re still having a pretty hard time giving up.
We now know that sugar is an addictive substance, and when consumed in excessive amounts, causes the release of dopamine in the brain which makes you feel like a rockstar. For about 3 seconds. If that.
And then the brain says, ‘Ooh more of that please, I want to feel like that again’. So you feed it more sugar but the good feeling doesn’t really ever come back and you’re just left with an empty jumbo bag of Minstrels and a huge portion of self-loathing wondering why on earth you did that and promising yourself you’ll never do it again.
A bit like a stinking hangover.
Until the next time.
So maybe instead of focusing on all the terrible things that sugar can do to you – because that’s clearly not...
Tell me if you’re familiar with this picture?
You spend weeks slimming down for your holiday, avoiding all the carbs, upping your gym sessions, picturing yourself in that bikini and keeping your eye on the prize.
“I WILL be thin for my holiday, I WILL be thin for my holiday”
Off you go, suitcase packed, bikini and all, and you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. The hard work paid off, you’re feeling hot in your swimwear, you don’t have to suck your stomach in *too* much and, as long you don’t actually sit down, you’re fairly chuffed with your pre-holiday efforts.
You’ve also completely convinced yourself that you are going STAY thin all holiday.
Fast forward two weeks….
You’ve eaten your weight in the breakfast buffet, drunk your weight in poolside daquiris and are coming home wearing a moo-moo that feels ‘snug’. And now you have to start all over again, but because you...
When transitioning to a gluten free diet, many people are often horrified at the thought of giving up toast for breakfast. But is gluten free bread healthy? Gluten free bread is so widely available now, and some of it is not bad, why wouldn’t you just swap your normal bread for this, slap on some jam, and carry on as you were?
Before delving into this, I want to clear a few things up about toast for breakfast in general. I’m not talking about your artisan, organic, stoneground, bread made in a 17th century mill in the Pennines (this is pretty good stuff), I mean your bog-standard, ubiquitous supermarket loaf.
The concept of bread, and toast in particular, is so deeply entrenched in the British psyche that to suggest removing it is tantamount to chopping an arm off. Yes, there is some fibre in the wholewheat varieties – which we’re told is very good for us – and some might be fortified with a few vitamins and minerals, but on the whole I consider...
We all know the drill. Dry January, January detox, Sugar-free January, New Year’s Resolutions. This year WILL be different. I am going to wake up on 1st January literally a NEW person. I am going to get up to meditate at 5am every day, followed by a green juice, perhaps a few sun salutations, fill in my gratitude journal, be #blessed about something on Instagram, (but not be such a slave to my social media), eat nothing but spinach and chia seeds all month, and lose two stone.
Ok, so I realise that might be slightly extreme, but why do we wake up on 1st January determined to be completely different to the person we were yesterday? And why do we do it Every. Single. Year? One of the reasons I did not jump on the January bandwagon and shove my sugar-free, wholesome, nutrition-ness in your faces is because I didn’t want to dupe you into a temporary fix just for a quick buck. (probably not a great business decision at the time, but bear with…) I’m in it...
If your little ones are imminently breaking up for the summer, and the thought of this is just ever so slightly causing you to rock and back forth and stare longingly at the gin (at 9am), then read on for my Summer Holiday Survival Guide.
Sadly, I cannot promise to eradicate back-of-the-car squabbling, lengthy queues at theme parks, or incessant demands for ice cream, but I can offer some help in keeping your health and wellbeing on track. It's a lot easier to stay on top of your healthy eating when you're in a routine, but this can easily go out the window during the holidays when all the structure has gone AWOL.
Just follow these top sanity-saving tips in my Summer Holiday Survival Guide and you'll be all set for a happy and healthy summer break:
If your usual food shopping routine is going to be disrupted as a result of the kids being around more, then having a bit of forethought on your meals for the week and doing the shopping online will save...
If your holiday is looming and you're starting to panic about getting into a swimsuit and revealing your sausage thighs to the world, then you'll be wanting my 4 tips for getting in shape for summer.
The trick is not to panic and go on some awful cabbage soup or raw courgette diet. Give yourself a good month of being diligent and you should be able to get in shape and shift few a pounds in time for B-day (that's Beach-day!) Be realistic though, if you have got ALOT of weight to lose, you probably should have started a few months ago, so this really is if you need a bit of a flatter tummy and to feel slightly less wobbly when you're doing you're best Pamela Anderson impression.
If you're feeling a bit bunged up in the bottom department, this can cause unnecessary bloating which could be contributing to your muffin top. Getting enough water, and getting things 'moving' dans la...
I love my job. I am one of the lucky few who has followed their passion and gets to do what they love every day. Helping people to improve their health and feel better than ever using great nutrition is just so rewarding. And believe me, I do not do it for the money!
But every now and then, a little perk turns up that makes my job just that little bit more rewarding. After writing and blogging about smoothies and green smoothiesfor what feels like a lifetime, it's wonderful to finally have this recognised.
When the lovely people at Russell Hobbs sent me their brand new 3-in-1 Ultimate Juicer to try out and create my very own smoothie with, I did do a little whoop. I do love a kitchen appliance, and to be sent one by the manufacturers is just a teeny bit exciting!
The 3-in-1 Ultimate Juicer is a juicer, press and blender all in one machine. So you get to make smoothies using a freshly made juice for a delicious flavour, maximum nutrient content and minimal washing up!...
Click on this post to watch the video!
Check out my latest recipe for this delicious and cleansing green smoothie. It's packed full of alkalising vegetables, low-GI fruit and healthy fats which are great for your skin and won't send you on sugar rollercoaster.
You know I love a smoothie! They're easy on the digestion, portable and a great way of packing lots of nutrient-rich colourful vegetables in one meal.
If you need a kickstart to get you back on the health wagon this is a great place to start. It's super simple to prepare and you can enjoy it straight away. I even made a little video!! My first attempt at editing, so be kind!
The full recipe for the smoothie can be found below this clip:
1 stick of celery
2-3" chunk of cucumber
1/2 an avocado
1 dsp coconut oil
1 dsp chia seeds
1 slice lemon, unpeeled
1 chunk ginger
200ml unsweetened almond milk
Blend in a high speed blender and enjoy straight away.
If you love this recipe check...
...when you've fallen off it in quite a spectacular way. I'm writing this for myself as much I am for you because, in the spirit of full disclosure, I have recently fallen off said wagon and I am in the process of climbing back on to it. I say climb, it's more of a hoik.
So what's happened?, I hear you cry! You are The Fairy Food Mother, our shining beacon of glowing health, here to guide us on the path of greatness, one green smoothie at a time! Yes, 'tis true. I am she. However, I am also a human person, with flaws and weaknesses (HUH?!), stress and overwhelm, and absolutely zero willpower when it comes to Easter eggs.
These delectable, oval mouthfuls of chocolatey munchiness have been my complete downfall over the last 3 weeks and have tantalisingly tempted me straight back on to the sugar train which has left me feeling fatigued, fat and fed up. Despite knowing that this continuous excess was doing me no good, I just could not seem to stop myself. The combination of...
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Lauren Gayfer. Don't worry, your information will not be shared.