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  • Writer's pictureLisa Smith

What a Nutritionist Eats for Gut Health

Updated: Jun 4

healthy salad

Welcome to the heart of my kitchen!

As a Nutritional Therapist with a passion for guiding women to wellness, the contents of my fridge reflect a holistic approach to nutrition and vitality.

Lessons from My Nutrition Journey

During my years of studying nutrition, there was an overwhelming pressure to navigate the labyrinth of a perfect lifestyle—eating immaculately, steering clear of toxins, and making every meal from scratch.

Embracing a Balanced Approach

However, it is the evolution of my perspective that has been transformative. I've come to appreciate the vitality that comes with embracing the world we live in and working positively with it. Much like my long practised minimalist approach to my wardrobe and beauty regime, quality over quantity. I've adopted a more relaxed stance to health and nutrition in general. I still need to work on my love of all things tea and cookbooks, which often leads to an overflow!

Navigating Modern Life

There's no denying toxins are a huge human problem, it's impossible to avoid them entirely. Trying to live perfectly can be a stress-inducing endeavour in our modern reality —like so many things in life one-size-fits-no-one and more often than not balance is the key to flourishing.

I firmly believe a moderate mindful approach, one that aligns with the rhythms of contemporary life, is not only achievable but also practical. It's about making the most of the resources available to us, navigating the complexities of nutrition in a stress-free manner.

Meal Planning & Prep

Meal planning is great for taking the stress out of eating healthily, I made this a habit when my children were young. I think it saves both time and money.

Planning our meals also means I only have to shop once a week, alongside a regular veg box delivery. I cook from scratch about 3-4 times a week and use leftovers from the freezer on busy days, or when I don't feel like cooking.

My Panasonic bread maker is a modern marvel that makes the practice of baking healthier bread so easy. You can't beat the smell of freshly baked bread! I also love the process of baking sourdough by hand, using wholegrain and ancient grain flour blends with a variety of seeds.

Once you've tasted proper homemade bread, there's no going back! I use my bread machine a couple of times a week and couldn't be without it now. I haven't bought a shop loaf since I started using it. I buy most of my nuts, seeds and grains from Forest Foods Online

Why I Bake Bread At Home

The majority of shop bought bread is made by a technique called the Chorleywood process, invented decades ago, to produce fast commercial breads. These breads are normally full of additives to prolong shelf life too.

The result of this is that many people complain of bloating, inflammation, food intolerance and uncomfortable symptoms after eating shop bought baked goods. The industrialisation of bread and other baked foods for convenience has been detrimental to both public health and the environment.

There is a disconnect between agricultural practices, baking methods, and consumption patterns which has exacerbated the damage to our health and well-being and the planet too. We urgently need to reconnect using a lifestyle medicine approach as the foundation for fixing our disconnected systems.

Mindful Eating

This mindset, facilitated by mindfulness practices, has not only brought a sense of ease but is also proven to make a meaningful difference to health. Research has consistently shown that mindful eating and reducing stress improves gastrointestinal and digestive function.

A realistic approach to nutrition with support from a nutrition practitioner is key to successfully building healthy habits that last.

By staying present and mindful in our choices, we can achieve balance and well-being, harmonising with the dynamic, modern world we inhabit.

What A Nutritionist Eats In A Day

Let’s take a look at some of the staples that make a regular appearance in my fridge and explore the evidence-backed health benefits they bring.

Assorted Seasonal Vegetables and herbs:

A rainbow of vegetables is a powerhouse of essential nutrients, fibre, and antioxidants. My food prep normally involves washing and prepping some veg so it's ready to use.

I also make ratatouille or a tray of roasted vegetables and a big pan of soup or stew in the winter so that I can have some ready in the freezer. Variety is key for health, try to buy different vegetables each week and don't forget the leafy greens. My grandma was right when she said they're good for you!

Eating a variety of vegetables can support hormonal balance, boost digestive health, and provide a myriad of vitamins and antioxidants crucial for overall well-being.

Berries, Apples, Lemons, and Limes:

Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre, these fruits are not only delicious but also contribute to weight management and hormonal health.

Berries, in particular, are renowned for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties. Buy frozen berries when not in season. My lovely Labrador really enjoys frozen blueberries, he normally has one for a treat after his breakfast - I don't spoil him at all!

Mixed Salad Leaves and Tomatoes:

Salads are the unsung heroes of any nutrition plan. Packed with vitamins and minerals, they promote satiety, aid in weight management, and contribute to radiant skin. Tomatoes, rich in lycopene, offer additional benefits for heart health.

Hummus and Olives:

A tasty duo that adds a Mediterranean touch to meals. Hummus, made from chickpeas and extra virgin olive oil, is one of my most regular food prep items because it’s so quick and easy to make. It is a great source of protein and fibre which is ideal for a snack. I love it sprinkled with za'atar. Olives are another easy snack, they provide healthy fats and antioxidants.

Dairy Products:

From milk and butter to yoghurt and cheeses, organic dairy products are a source of calcium, essential for bone health. Probiotics in yoghurt support gut health, contributing to digestive wellness.

I often make my own yoghurt but I also like strained Greek yoghurt because it's so thick and creamy. However you like it, it makes a simple breakfast with nuts and berries. Yoghurt is also useful for making curries and my favourite zaatar flatbreads which are delicious with hummus.

Protein Powerhouses:

Tofu, organic chicken, lean steak mince, salmon, tinned mackerel and eggs form the protein foundation. These options offer a diverse range of amino acids, supporting muscle health, hormone production, and providing sustained energy.

Fermented Foods:

A happy gut nurtured with fermented foods is a key player in hormonal balance and overall well-being. I normally have some kefir, sauerkraut and miso paste in my fridge.

Stir-fry is my fail safe meal because it’s easily adapted and packed with fresh, fibrous vegetables. If in doubt about what’s for dinner or I need to prepare something quickly, it’s normally going to be some sort of colourful stir-fry with noodles or rice in a tasty broth! Miso is an umami-rich paste that not only elevates the flavour of stir-fries but also brings the benefits of probiotics.

Sweet Indulgences:

Dark chocolate, dates, and maple syrup satisfy a sweet craving while bringing along antioxidants and essential minerals. I love baking cakes and cookies for special occasions, sometimes with a healthy twist.

Most homemade sweet foods are better than the processed, overly sweetened and often additive laden shop bought treats. I normally reduce the sugar by 10-15% which doesn't tend to affect the taste or texture of most recipes. Moderation of course is the key to indulging, enjoy mindfully!

Assorted Nuts and Seeds:

A nutrient-dense snack option, these provide healthy fats, protein, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Nuts and seeds contribute to heart health, hormone balance, and radiant skin. I sprinkle these on most of my meals and often make a batch of protein energy balls.

There are of course some variations on this, I enjoy trying new things and try to vary what I buy to ensure we are eating a diverse diet. That's the key to gut health.

Online Nutrition Advice in Manchester & Across the UK

Lisa Smith Nutritionist

I am a BANT registered Nutritional Therapist and health coach offering online nutrition advice for clients in Altrincham, Manchester and across the UK. I specialise in metabolic health and weight loss for women, from perimenopause to menopause and beyond. Cheshire Nutrition is based in Altrincham, Manchester. I work online with clients across the UK.

Book your FREE 30-minute online consultation today to discover how personalised nutrition can help you lose weight, improve your health and thrive in midlife!


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