World Digestive Health Day – ‘Be Good to Your Gut’ with Eve Kalinik
29th May 2018
To celebrate World Digestive Health Day, we caught up with Eve Kalinik, Nutritional Therapist and author of ‘Be Good to Your Gut’. Known as the ultimate guide to improving gut health, ‘Be Good to Your Gut’ features 80 delicious recipes to feed your body and mind. Here’s an insight into Eve’s top tips for a healthier and happier gut…
What was your inspiration for writing ‘Be Good to your Gut’?
As my practice has developed, so has my specialised area in the gut, and I have to say in many ways gut health found me many years ago. Nevertheless, as I have come to understand (and very much continue to do so) the complexity and sheer magic of our wondrous gut, it becomes even more fascinating and inspiring for me. It was therefore a very natural progression to write a book on the subject. My intention really was to help translate some of the more technical science terminology into digestible nuggets of info, and to reflect that in food with 80 recipes in the book that complement the information in each chapter.
If you could only recommend one thing to kick-start the journey to a healthier and happier gut, what would it be?
I would say (and Frankie would too!)….RELAX. We can never be in the ‘rest + digest’ mode at the same time as ‘fight or flight’, so every time that we are constantly running around like stress heads and never giving any down time or the body to go into the parasympathetic relaxation mode, then we will fundamentally be compromising the health of our gut.
What are the top 3 gut-friendly tips that you incorporate into your everyday life?
Chew your food thoroughly
Take time over meals and eat without distraction
Take a daily probiotic like SYMPROVE
What myths surrounding gut health and digestion do you believe are the most misleading?
I think it’s the overly restrictive diets and self-diagnosed food intolerances that can be misleading, as they may not even address symptoms but more seriously restricting food groups without a categoric reason; this can often leave someone in a deficit of nutrients and can have a broader impact on health and wellbeing.
Is stress a big factor in contributing to an unhealthy gut?
Yes. As mentioned above, since many of us are chronically stressed, it’s no wonder that digestive conditions are on the increase. Mindfulness might feel like an overused word and I can see why some people roll their eyes, but it needs to be a crucial part of being well. It doesn’t require meditating for hours (or even meditating in the strictest sense at all), but even getting outside and having a daily walk can give pockets of recovery throughout the day.
What are the top 5 foods that you would recommend avoiding for better digestion?
I’m not a fan of using the word avoid or eliminate. There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ or ‘good’ food. Food is food. I fundamentally believe that working on the general health of the gut and where possible (allergies aside) opening up someone’s repertoire of foods, rather than narrowing, is far healthier for gut, body, mind and taste buds!
Which of the dishes on the Squirrel menu would you recommend for helping towards a healthier gut?
Personally, I love the Guac ’n’ Roll as it has a nice mix of veggies, pulses and grains that provide plenty of fibre and that helps to feed microbes in the gut. I’m also a massive Mexican food fan, so anything with those kind of flavours will have me smiling… And, as previous point, that also does wonders for the gut too!
“My passion for nutrition comes from a true love and appreciation of food… I’m a massive foodie”.
Eve wholeheartedly believes that having a healthy attitude and approach to eating well isn’t about unnecessary restriction but having an entirely inclusive, wide and diverse repertoire with our food.
A self-confessed “gut enthusiast” she believes that maintaining good gut health is at the core of our health and wellbeing and published her first book BE GOOD TO YOUR GUT in September 2017. Her philosophy is working towards an authentic life-long positive attitude of eating well. No quick fixes, fads, rules, detoxes or diets but rather a balanced and functional approach that supports the gut and the body on a deeper level to increase vitality and a consistent feeling of well being. Most importantly not forgetting to wholeheartedly enjoy the process of eating.
“Eating for the soul and connecting joyfully with our food can be just as important as what is on the plate in front of us”.
Eve considers eating well one of THE most empowering things we can do for our health and self-awareness being an important part of this. As such she regularly host interactive workshops, talks and retreats with various media, brands and wellbeing companies. Alongside this she writes a monthly REAL NUTRITION column in PSYCHOLOGIES magazine and, as the resident FOOD GURU columnist for MATCHESFASHION.COM, tackles various nutrition related topics that she sees as current, relevant and often very confusing. She is also one of the tutors for THE GUARDIAN masterclasses that aims to educate, debunk and demystify a lot of the rhetoric around healthy eating.
Eve is a registered member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). She also holds a BA degree in Psychology.