lisa snowdon

Getting a Gut Start to 2023

We teamed up with our favourite TV presenter and gut-health fanatic, Lisa Snowdon, to bring you the hottest wellness trends to get a gut start for 2023*.

We’re talking gut candles. Perfect for anyone who suffers from irregularity and in the hottest scents of the season, diarrhoea and constipation. Throw in a session with a bowel counsellor, ready to restore trust between you and your gut. Saving the best for last, allow us to introduce you to the anal crystal. You simply pop it up your bum and feel your bowel chakras realign.

*COME ON! We know January is full of health fads. We’re here to cut through the crap and get into those gut health tips that are backed by science.

We asked Gastroenterology Dietitian Dr Sammie Gill to share easily actionable gut-health habits that will really make a difference.

Eat with your microbes in mind 

Think about what you eat on a regular basis and ask yourself how you can make it more gut friendly. Here are a couple of ideas… 
  • If your go-to is pizza on a Saturday night, next time pile it with veggies, drizzle with olive oil, add a handful of nuts and a salad on the side. Even better, make your own from scratch and go for a wholegrain base. 
  • Instead of crisps as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, go for a more gut-friendly version such as handful of nuts or popcorn. 
  • If you’re a chocolate fan (who isn’t?), instead of milk chocolate that contains a minimum of 25% cocoa, try a higher cocoa content chocolate bar next time (50% or higher). The higher the cocoa content, the higher the polyphenol content. Or, if you’re standing firm with milk chocolate, melt down and dip fruit in (strawberries, raspberries and bananas work really well!). 
  • If you’re a fan of mince-based dishes such as bolognaise, chilli and lasagne, swap out half the mince for a can of lentils or mixed beans next time.  

Think ‘adding in’, rather than ‘taking away’

Move away from the ‘good’ food, ‘bad’ food mindset. All foods have a place in the context of gut health. The science shows us that diversity is key for a healthy gut microbiome. Adding in should be the priority! 

Instead of picking up your regular white loaf of bread, why not try an authentic sourdough, corn-based loaf, rye bread or a seedy-based one? If you usually choose regular red tomatoes, why not try the red, orange and yellow punnet next time? If you like peanuts, go for a nut mix, or instead of frozen peas, choose the mixed veg variety with sweetcorn, carrots, and green beans.  

Focus on the gut-brain connection

There is a lot of chatter that takes place between the gut and the brain. Keep it in check by starting the day with ten minutes of mindfulness, diaphragmatic breathing exercises, gentle stretching, or yoga.  

Create a plan with SMART goals

Specific – state exactly what you’ll do. Ensure it’s clear and defined. 
Measurable – keep track of your progress over time (you could use a journal or an app, for example).  
Attainable – allow it to stretch you but remain within achievable limits. Keep it realistic. 
Relevant - ask yourself why you are setting this goal. Consider if it’s a short-, medium-, or long-term goal.  
Timely – set a clear time frame and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to reach your goal. 

As a starting point, a SMART short-term goal might be ‘I will eat one extra portion of fruit or veg every day’ or ‘I will have one ‘meat free’ day per week’. A long-term SMART goal may be to build upon a short-term goal. For example, ‘I will eat five portions of fruit and veg every day’. 

Looking for more?

5 Things You Need to Know About Your Gut
7 Changes to Make Today to Improve Your Gut Health
Why Supporting Your Microbiome is so Important