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What Should I Eat? (Part 1)

what to eat?


Raw, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, fruitarian, alkaline …… the list goes on.


So which one is for you?


We are in a world of fast and ever-changing, and much contradictory information. Food is a huge topic, a commonality of every human on the planet is that they have to eat. But with ever increasing amounts of disease and symptoms of ill health, what the hell are we meant to be eating?


How many celebs, bloggers and authors are out there telling us what to eat? There are many whose lives have been turned around through the adoption of a certain way of eating, and many are purporting that they have found the answer to everyone’s prayers. Many have cured their own diseases such as cancer or MS through radically changing their diet. The funny thing is one person may have cured a disease through a vegan diet and another through a meat based diet. In fact, the same disease might have been cured by two diametrically opposing diet philosophies…. So no wonder we are confused!


So if we see that there are many different eating approaches which have helped people overcome health issues, how come? And why are many of these people shouting about their approach to eating over others?


Because it is all about the individual. That’s why!


Purely from a physical perspective we are all as different on the inside as on the outside, and we have very different requirements from our food. This can be down to our inherited genes, but also down to the external factors such as where we live and what specific stressors are effecting our physiology at any one time. It can also be down to our personal history of eating habits and how out of balance we are currently.


For example, you might have been eating a very heavy meat based diet since childhood, and as soon as you change to a more vegetarian based diet many of your symptoms clear up. On the flip side you might have been a vegetarian for many years and suddenly eating a diet high in meat and fish clears up your symptoms. This is simply the body coming back into balance.


The great thing is, that all this information and confusion is leading us to where the answers really lie… within you! We can get clues and ideas from all the external information but your individual answers lie within. So, Listen to your body!


Feel and observe how your body responds to what you eat. Start to have a proper relationship with your body, whereby instead of ramming it with what you want to eat, you listen to what it wants, as you would a child or partner. As soon as you start a proper relationship, your body will stop having to shout and scream for attention.


Play with the ratios of the 3 main macro nutrients of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Look at how much raw and cooked food you are eating. Then start to notice how you feel after each meal or snack. Do you need more vegetables and less protein, maybe more fats. Is there a certain food which you notice is causing you fatigue, or other symptoms like bloating or spots? Do you feel energised after eating, or need a nap? How long does it keep me satiated for?


Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to look at how you have been eating up until now and then simply flip this round. What have you not been including in your diet, or what have you been eating excessively?




Simply play with it and see how you respond to these little experiments. Be patient and give it time, as some of you will have been so unaware of your response to food it might take a bit of time for the clouds to part and to start to have awareness of your reactions.


I will look at this in greater depth in further blogs but for now, simply observe your body’s messages and respond appropriately. Get your mind out of the way, and don’t listen to others’ telling you what you ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ be eating, YOUR body is boss!


If you have any questions or thoughts on the subjects I would be happy to hear.


Happy eating,


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The Winding Road to Sauerkraut!

A happy businessman lets go of this paperwork! See my gallery for more.

‘So, why sauerkraut?’


Is one of the first questions anyone asks me about my business!


And so, I thought I would open up with the reason behind my starting up Laurie’s Tummy Loving Foods in the first place.


There might be some of you going through a similar situation as I did, or you know someone who is, and I hope it might help those on their own challenging journeys. Some of you might be familiar with this story so I will try to keep it brief, but no promises!


Back in 2004, in my late twenties, I decided (was pushed), to completely change my career from media sales to that of Personal Training. I had always loved sport and exercise, and even though I hadn’t quite admitted it, the corporate world was slowly killing me, spiritually and physically. Yes that sounds dramatic, but when we look at the roles stress and unhappiness play in our health then this is just how it was.


You see, after university I walked the typical, graduate route into a sales job and tried my best to fit in to that world, only to end up feeling useless and like a complete failure. It just didn’t work, no matter which job or which company I tried.


During that time I unknowingly suffered from mild, but chronic depression. I couldn’t get out of bed in the mornings, it took me hours to wake up and actually be able to talk to people, and when I did I was full of anxiety and my brain just didn’t function well. This just compounded the feelings of uselessness and depressed me further.


Physically I had regular bouts of indigestion, constipation, and this annoying ‘gullet’ in my throat which just collected undigested food, interfering with my exercise and generally very uncomfortable. I was also a rugby player but I had such bad back ache that often I couldn’t even tie my boot laces or carry my bag!


It amazes me now that I actually thought this was NORMAL??!?!!?


I really did, I thought it was just a part of life. Didn’t everyone have these issues? Wasn’t everyone just walking around in a haze of low energy, confusion and pain?


So with all these issues, and a couple of failed career attempts under my belt, I thought it would be a good idea to become a Personal Trainer and teach everyone else how to get fit and healthy!


Sounds mad when I hear myself say that now, but actually the PT industry really ignited my fire and gave me the passion to learn and confront my own issues, whilst wrestling them at the same time.


In those days caffeine kept my head and ‘energy’ levels just above water, and booze and pretence helped me to portray a normal, happy enough life.


As a PT I interacted with clients who I could see were suffering similar issues to me. I also came across nutritionists, therapists and well-educated colleagues who helped me identify what was going on with me and work out strategies to get me on the path to better health.


But what really gave me the motivation to work this all out was the fact that I loved what I did and needed to be in the best physical health I could be to face clients at 6am and run along the Brighton seafront! I loved what I did and had realised my life’s path and passion for health, well-being and true healing.


At this time I studied the work of Paul Chek and his excellent Holistic Lifestyle Coaching program, amongst others. It gave me insight to the true foundations of health, and actually how simple true health really should be. On top of that I took a test for food intolerances and cut out some core foods from my diet. The difference this made to me was like night and day.


Instantly I found a level of energy I had not known for many years, my depression faded, my back pain went and my digestive issues pretty much cleared up. But I had to be extremely careful of what I ate and how I treated myself and it was often like walking a tightrope where one slip could make me feel like sleeping for days on end and bring back all the previous symptoms. It was a real insight into how food really does directly affect the mind and body.


Even with these periods of real improvements my journey into true health had only just begun, and although I was improving and becoming aware of how I could help myself, there were still a lot of issues going on.


That was at least 10 years ago and after a 3 year stint as a PT I moved jobs and locations a good few times, but always studied health whilst working with practitioners from all walks of life.


My main physical issues over the past 10 years have been food intolerances and sensitivities, and severely low levels of energy. There were times when I simply ate chicken and brown rice for months on end, as I couldn’t tolerate anything else. There were then times when I couldn’t even tolerate brown rice and chicken! I lost weight, lost confidence and lost a lot of my social life.


The hardest years were alone in my bedroom, angry and depressed about what was happening to me. I hid from many people, not wanting them to see me as I was, whilst during the daytime it was a struggle to put a face on and keep it together.


Slowly but surely however I was making progress, even though some days it felt like It was 1 step forward and ten back. It took me a long time to get to a point of feeling anywhere near ‘normal’ again. But the thing is I have had to accept that there is no ‘normal’ and I am different in my daily needs, as everyone is. It was this belief and desire to be ‘normal’ and fit in which kept putting me back. I kept trying to go back to the person I was, to fit in with my old social groups, to go back to drinking and eating like ‘the good old days.’ I thought I would be truly healthy once I was able to do those things again. The lesson was really to honour my own needs and have the courage to stand by them and be me from now on… either that or suffer.


So, when it came to honouring my individual self, this also meant my individual needs in career terms too. I have never been a person to work for other people, to work to a strict routine and to do things that don’t inspire me. When I realised this need to create a career for myself, it had to be something that inspired me and involved my passions and experience, and that’s when the world of ‘Sauerkraut’ came knocking. In all honesty, it found me.


I hadn’t been actively looking for a business but with all my reading and studying around health and nutrition I came across a few great books; ‘The GAPS Diet’ by Dr Campbell-McBride, Sally Fallon’s ‘Nourishing Traditions’, and ‘The Body Ecology Diet’ by Donna Gates. These highlighted the world and lost art of fermented foods. The thought that these foods could do wonders for my own health issues set me up on a trip to the shops to find some good RAW sauerkraut, but I couldn’t find any??!


My kitchen soon became full of ‘Kilner’ jars full of krauts and kefirs of all varieties. Following a couple of months of experimentation, the path just opened up to creating the business you see before you. I could never have predicted or planned how this business was going to work but the right people and circumstances came to me at just the right time, supporting me fully in the process. Now I know that when you find your true path this is simply what happens.


In terms of true health and happiness, it is not just about what you eat or how much you exercise, it’s really about living a life in harmony with your deepest desires. This again sounds like a bold, and perhaps ‘new agey’ statement, but if you simply look at how stress in your life causes physiological dis’ease, and also often triggers sub-optimal food choices and behaviours, this is the truth.


I am in no way the finished article, and never will be, life is a challenge and health and well-being is a daily choice. However, since starting my own business and creating a life in line with my inner wishes, my health issues have improved greatly. There is always more to learn and other areas of in need of attention, and so it is an on-going process, and one I am happy to share with you.


My healing journey is going deeper now, more into the emotions we hold onto, and how this effects our physiology.


This blog will cover many of my experiences and a lot of the knowledge I have gained over the years. So if you would like to know anything particular or get my take on something then let me know, as I would really like to share my experience with you.


Eat well, live well,


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Launching my Krauts at the N&OP Show



So all of a sudden I had a stand at the N&OP show at Excel full of sauerkraut in bright, shiny, new packaging & with some beautifully designed banners and marketing bumf!


This was the first time I had seen this all together and to the onlooker it could look as if this had all come together overnight with a swift bit of design work and a couple of new recipes, I wish!


Having been working in this business for 4 years now I have come to realize (& been warned) that everything takes twice as long & costs twice as much as you originally planned. Since my first product hit the shelves around 2 ½ years ago I always had this vision in mind for a range of products in the packaging you see now. So I went for it and 18 months ago started to develop the business with this vision in mind.


During those 18 months I have had to do many of the typical things business owners have to do… Finding finance, working 2 jobs, moving home to Mum, investing all the money I had & living a bit of a hermit’s life. It has been well worth it, if challenging, and I wouldn’t swap the experience. Fortunately I have had a lot of support from my Mum (ahhhh) & have always enjoyed a challenge (although it helps when you don’t realize the scale of it until it’s too late!) …it all makes for an interesting life.


I probably had an idea in mind that having gone through the launch of one product, launching three would be pretty simple considering I was now more experienced. But when it came to it, I wanted to create the best product I could, to make sure it was something I would want to buy & eat myself.


This new range incorporates 100% organic herbs, spices & vegetables, and a new, high quality, unrefined, Atlantic Sea Salt. The packs have been developed to be light-weight enough to make shopping & storage a little easier, and with a ‘stay fresh valve’ it keeps the kraut fresh, allowing the ferment gases to escape. On top of that we have 3 varieties, which have been created by myself and constantly trialed and tested to create a small range of different tastes to create & accompany different dishes.


So the vision I had has come to fruition and I am excited to share it and get the products out there to those who need them. The picture you see here is a picture of the vision I had 4 years ago, a vision which has required patience, faith and endurance!


It was 4 years ago that I was trying to find just such a product myself, so I hope you enjoy them!

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