Battling with Depression . . .
In 2005, at the young of 15, I came back from an Ice Hockey Scholar ship in Ontario, Canada where I buckled under the pressure from the high academic standards, and intensive 4hr a day training schedule.
I felt lonely living in another country. I had no friends and no family.
I came back feeling like a failure.
In all honesty I was in the worst place of my life, I was eating around 5-10 chocolate bars a day and living on junk food.
I was depressed and felt like rubbish for 6 months, stuffing my face everyday and watching the likes of Trisha on Channel 5. Those were the days! Nahhht!
My head was all over the place and the foods I was consuming exacerbated the problem. During this lonely time I studied ‘the human body in great detail, in particular the gut.
For me it’s the number one priority when dealing with new clients.
Over the months of studying I changed my opinion on food, realising foods play so much more of a role in our lives than we think.
Let me share with you a few Knowledge Bombs about the gut that will enhance your life forever more. . .
Healthy Gut . . .
Did you know 70% of your immune system is located in your gut? You must treat your gut like you would your child. . . with continuous love and care.
If you want a rebellious, spoilt child, who will cause you more headache’s than standing next to an amp at a Food Fighters concert????? . . .
Then keep eating pizza, bread, sausages rolls, pasta, white rice, milk, crackers, crisps, ice cream, etc, etc!
I promise you 1000000% that you are sure to get headaches, feel bloated and look like a sack of potatoes. Sound good? No it doesn’t.
I’m not going to go all scientific on you here, after all I don’t want to bore the socks off you!, so you remember absolutely Jack Squat from this article, but here’s an extremely basic explanation…
Food goes in via the mouth, then down the oesophagus into the stomach, then into the small and large intestines where the body processes/utilises food and stores the waste for excretion!
Phew that’s the boring bit over with!
If you consume poor foods, gluten, dairy and wheat products chances are your gut is inflamed. This can lead to leaky gut. In other words feeling bloated and having Michael Jackson dancing bowels (irritable bowel syndrome!) after everything you eat.
You will feel sluggish, and may have headaches. You also have neurotransmitters in the gut, which send messages to the brain. If you consume foods that cause inflammation, and that disagree with the gut, it can cause depression and fuzzy thoughts. How many of you have encountered fuzzy thoughts after a high carby, gluten meal? Hands up?
I have. It’s like waking up with a food hangover!
Let’s kick bad gut in the backside . . .
Knowledge BOMB #1
My top tip to help cool down an inflamed gut is to eliminate the top allergenic foods like gluten, eggs, dairy and peanuts for three weeks. Expect more than just weight loss in this time, you will see improved concentration, improved energy throughout the day, improved sleep patterns, less digestive bloating and less fullness after meals
Knowledge BOMB #2
Feed the good bacteria in your gut by using a good probiotic formula. If you clean up your gut and cool down inflammation, in a very short time you will lose body fat and feel great.
The gut is such an important part of the digestive process, if its not working how can you expect the rest of the body to!
Knowledge BOMB #3
Have you head of intermittent fasting? Not only is it good for losing weight and improving your body composition, but it’s also great for letting your gut heal.
Every time you eat a meal your digestive system is placed under stress because your body has to break down food – I recommend reading this article as I go into more detail on this subject.
If you have a leaky gut and suffer with bloating then reducing your meals down to 1-2 meals per day can do wonders for your gut health.
Knowledge BOMB #4
Improve your sleep. Everything is better after an 8 hour sleep. Sleep is when both your mind and body recover, and your gut can rest and replenish.
In order to improve your gut health aim to get between 7-8 hours sleep per night. There are lots of ways to improve sleep – but here are 7 of my favourite tips:
- Go to bed at around the same time each night i.e. 10pm
- Wake up at around the same time each morning i.e. 7am
- Avoid bright lights late at night
- Turn off your TV, phone and laptop at least 1 hour before bed
- Take a bath before bed, let your body soak and chill for 10-20 minutes
- Make your bedroom as dark as possible – buy black out blinds or invest in a sleeping mask
- Supplement your sleep with magnesium and zinc – here are some more sleep supplement recommendations
Knowledge BOMB #5
Exercise. Of course! Exercise will improve your gut health, burn calories and keep you fit and healthy. Whether you walk, run, cycle, swim, lift weights or do yoga, any form of exercise is beneficial.
One thing I will say is that if you are overweight, obese or are suffering with gut issues then I would avoid any high intensity training until your gut feels better…
For example, burpees, sprints and vigorous exercise can inflame your body/gut (not good). Instead opt for low impact activity and less strenuous exercise such as walking and slow cycling.
I hope you found this article to be helpful. If you are looking for a meal plan that eliminates problematic foods that interfere with the gut, then I suggest you look into a ‘Custom Meal Plan’ so you can skip the queue and get your body back to functioning optimally with a healthy gut.
As always, keep me posted, I would love to hear your thoughts, and answer any questions you may have.