Liz Earle MBE is a wellbeing entrepreneur, TV presenter and the number one bestselling author of over 35 books on a range of health, beauty and wellbeing topics, including her latest bestsellers The Good Menopause Guide and The Good Gut Guide. A global brand pioneer, Liz co-founded (but is no longer connected to) the multi-award winning Liz Earle Beauty Co., before moving on to launch Liz Earle Wellbeing. She is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine (published internationally by Hearst), founder of Liz Earle Fair and Fine, an award-winning range of Fairtrade gold botanical jewellery and hosts the popular Wellness with Liz Earle weekly podcast.
What prompted your focus on gut health for The Good Gut Guide?
My research and writing have always focussed on how we can improve our outer beauty and inner wellbeing – I've long been fascinated by the increasingly recognised link between the gut and our physical and mental health. Modern science and medicine are only just uncovering the secrets of gut health and why it has the power to totally transform our bodies from the inside out. I wrote The Good Gut Guide to bring this research to a wider audience, as a practical way of putting this information into practise with family-friendly recipes.
How did you choose the recipes for The Good Gut Guide?
I selected my all-time favourite gut-friendly meals for The Good Gut Guide – tried and tested recipes loved by my friends and family. These include salmon and leek chowder, miso stir-fry and my superfood sunshine salad. One of my family’s favourite gut-friendly meals from the book is kimchi marinated steak followed by griddled pineapple with ginger and star anise. The steak dish is packed full of goodness with the garlic, onions, pak choi and kimchi all working to help feed the bacteria in the gut. In addition, the pineapple contains the digestion-improving enzyme bromelain, which has been used since Roman times as a digestive aid.
What made you want to write your latest book, The Good Menopause Guide?
Like most women, I had no real concept of what the menopause would be like until I started to consider my own personal journey – I found it baffling that there was so little information available to me and the millions of others who were at a similar stage of life. Advice was muddled and contradictory rather than positive and practical, so I decided to write The Good Menopause Guide and my follow up e-guide The Truth about HRT. I hope everyone who reads the book and e-guide will feel confident they that have the tools to feel and look their radiant best. I also want our daughters to embrace the menopause (and the earlier peri-menopause stage) as simply another phase in life that is both natural and liberating.
What's your favourite guilty meal, and your go-to healthy one?
One of my favourite current recipes is from The Good Menopause Guide - baked sweet potato burgers made with kidney beans and chickpeas. Healthy, delicious and full of phyto-oestrogens! We all have guilty pleasures and for me it’s the odd square of dark chocolate from time to time.
How does diet affect menopause?
Food has such tremendous power to help and heal our changing bodies, especially in later life when we rely on greater levels of nutrition to sustain us as we age. The recipes in The Good Menopause Guide, and in the menopause section of the Liz Earle Wellbeing website, include plenty of helpful ingredients to create fantastically nourishing meals. Many of my special ingredients include phytoestrogens, which provide oestrogen-like compounds that occur naturally in the plant kingdom to help ease menopausal symptoms, but they're also tasty and nutritious. Phytoestrogens can be found in legumes and pulses, such as beans, lentils and notably soya beans which are popular in Japanese foods such as tofu, tempeh, seitan and edamame.
What are your biggest confidence-boosting tips?
Trust your gut instinct! As I discovered when writing The Good Gut Guide, our gut is linked to our brain via the largest nerve in the body (the vagus nerve) and those inner feelings we get when we instinctively know something to be true is so often proved right.
With such a busy lifestyle, how do you maintain a healthy diet?
I think the key is preparation – for example if I know I have a really busy day I’ll prepare a tasty packed lunch the day before. One of my current quick-and-easy favourites is pomegranate, kidney bean and roasted buckwheat salad with herbs and goats cheese which is delicious, filling and good for you, too. I also make sure I keep healthy snacks such as nuts and berries to hand to avoid temptation whilst out and about. I like to make a batch of date, apricot, raisin and oat bars at the beginning of each week which are full of brain-boosting goji berries and cranberries, so I have something tasty to reach for when I'm on the go. I always have a small pack of plain almonds to hand, too as an emergency go-to snack!
What food can't you get enough of?
I start my day with a glass of kefir, a live super-yoghurt drink packed with powerfully beneficial probiotics – I find this gives me a real boost in the morning and has made a big difference to my overall wellbeing.
What healthy eating tips or tricks do you have?
Good gut health has the power to totally transform how we look and feel, and by taking a step in the right direction with a daily dose of probiotics, you can make a real difference. Start by making one small change to your diet by adding some probiotics in the form of plain live yoghurt or fermented foods such as kefir.
Liz Earle MBE, will be hosting The Handmade Festival on Sunday 15th September 2019. Liz will also be hosting a number of sessions where she'll share her top tips for nutritious snacks and treats as well as hosting a session all about The M Word.
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