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I'm Christine

Over a decade ago now, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease which changed life as  I knew it. That pivotal change, led me on a wild journey to regain my health.


I didn't know at the time, but that journey would lead me to something that I absolutely love, which is helping others to redefine, nurture and be empowered when it comes their own health journey and create the best version of them that they can be!

My favourite things

What brings joy and creates that sense of home? What do you reach for to nourish your soul and those you love? Here's where you'll find the things I love, what I can't get enough of and the things that make life a little easier.
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Is Your Gut Healthy?

What makes a gut healthy? And how do you know if your gut is feeling a little under the weather and not performing like it should?

I mean, it would be really nice if it were as simple as putting food in your mouth, and having a neat little package of nutrients travel throughout your digestive tract, all the while being processed, unpacked and delivered as needed, right?

Unfortunately, the mechanics of your digestive system are way more complex than that. Every process throughout the entire digestive tract has a multitude of intricate steps that need to be performed precisely, so that the nutrients you take in can benefit your entire body.

Also, your digestive system doesn’t function as a stand-alone unit. It has an interconnected relationship with many of your body’s other systems. So when your gut isn’t performing at it’s best, it’s not just your digestive system that can be affected. It will also impact your endocrine, cardiovascular and immune system, your mental health and even your physical appearance.

You might also be surprised to know that, on a cellular level, over half of our digestive system is actually comprised of microorganisms!

Have you heard of a ‘gut microbiome’? Did you know that you have trillions of microorganisms, ‘bugs’ (bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses), living in your digestive tract, predominantly in your small and large intestines, hustling and bustling around, livin’ the dream? Hopefully being team players!

So, what happens when that precious nutrient package doesn’t arrive at it’s destination? Or is only partially processed? Or your delivery service goes on strike? What if your microbiome doesn’t want to play nice anymore?

There’s so much to unpack here, right?

That’s why I’m going to mainly focus on how the gut microbiome influences your gut health. Sound good?

Firstly, I’ll outline what a healthy gut is and how to work out if yours might need a little TLC. And then I’ll touch on why gut health is important and how to best maintain it, and, how you might work on improving the health of your gut.

So grab yourself a cuppa, get comfy and I’ll try to be as succinct as possible.

What is a healthy gut?

When your gut is functioning at optimal health, the food and beverages that you consume, move throughout each stage of your digestive system, being broken down into their nutritional components, small enough for your body to process and absorb. Providing energy to fuel your body, and support growth and cellular repair.

However, your digestive system would not be able to successfully complete this process without assistance from your microbiome. These helpful little ‘bugs’ are essential in constructing some of your Vitamins, such as Vitamin K and your B Vitamins, including B12.

They also help you to digest larger food components, such as starches and fibre, and they break them down into a form that your digestive system can utilise. Pretty cool, huh?

Did you know that your gut’s microbiome, is made up of beneficial ‘bugs’ and also ‘bugs’ that can potentially be harmful, cause damage and promote disease. There is a delicate balance to be maintained, so that your gut ‘bugs’ can co-exist harmoniously. This balance is fundamental to good gut health.

How well do you think you’re maintaining your balancing act?

What you consume as part of your diet will directly impact what ‘bugs’ make up your gut’s microbiome. You’re essentially feeding them what you’re feeding yourself! And, just like us, our ‘bugs’ have food preferences. Certain types of microbes will thrive when consuming a diet high in sugar or fat and others prefer a diet high in fibre. This is where that finely tuned balancing act you’ve got going on can start to become a bit shaky.

Why is it important to have a healthy gut?

So what happens when your gut microbiome gets out of balance and why should it matter?

When our gut is healthy, our community of beneficial microbes, actually provide protection from any organisms that happen to come along that may have the potential to cause disease. Think of it as strength in numbers, where the good guys won’t share their food or lodgings, so the bad guys have no choice but to move along or die.

When the balance shifts and your community of potentially harmful ‘bugs’ begin to become the more predominate species, you become more susceptible to developing disease.

As I mentioned earlier, your digestive system has a complex and interconnected relationship with other systems throughout your body, one of those being your immune system.

Your gut wall is where your digestive and immune systems communicate to each other. When your gut is in a healthy condition, this communication is really pleasant, like having a chat and a catch up with a good friend. But, if things aren’t functioning quite as well as they should be, they may not be talking so nicely to each other and the immune system may get some mixed messages.

This is where it’s important that you provide your gut with the nutrients and building blocks it needs in order to maintain a healthy environment, one that your beneficial microbes want to live in. Imagine you’re building them the home of their dreams; that forever home that you never want to leave. We all want that, right?

The foods you consume need to include the nutritional components that will assist you to repair any damage to your gut’s protective mucosal lining, as this is where your microbial communities ‘set up shop’ and thrive.

If your gut’s mucosal lining is inadequate, and your beneficial ‘bugs’ aren’t thriving, the potentially harmful ‘bugs’ might take charge of your prime real estate and essentially ‘trash’ the neighbourhood and cause inflammation and irritation to your gut wall.

When your gut’s protective barrier is degraded and becomes compromised, ‘leaky gut’ can occur. You’ve probably heard of it right? Do you know what it means?

Think of your gut wall like a fence. Your gut’s fence has multiple gates in it, known as tight junctions. If functioning properly, these gates will only allow molecules of a particular size and purpose through them. This is where your digestive system has worked so hard in breaking down essential molecules so that they are a perfect fit to be able to pass through the gate. These gates have also been designed, so that harmful substance can’t fit through them.

But what if gaps start to form between the fence and the frames that keep your gates secured and in place? Allowing larger food molecules, toxic substances and harmful bacteria to pass through. What if your gut’s maintenance crew doesn’t have the nutritional supplies needed to maintain and repair your fence? Or a damaged mucosal lining allows potentially harmful bacteria to keep trying to break through the gate, and they succeed?

And, on the other side of the fence, the immune system, your digestive systems’ neighbour, is starting to pay more attention and even become annoyed at all of the ruckus going on. Imagine how annoyed you’d be if your neighbour was leaving inflammatory trash at your door and even worse, throwing things through the gate and into your pristine property that shouldn’t be there!

Your immune system takes a lot of pride in maintaining it’s property and it has a very short fuse. Which, of course is a good thing! So when your digestive system becomes a bad neighbour and won’t, or can’t perform the required maintenance on it’s gut wall and ends up throwing ‘trash’ into your immune systems property, you know it’s goin’ to call for some back up!

It’s this call for back up, your immune systems response to irritants, that is known as an inflammatory response. And the more back up that’s called for, the greater amount of inflammation present.

Once your gut barrier is compromised and your immune system is angry and is mounting an inflammatory attack, and then you add in some additional environmental stresses, genetic predispositions, sub-optimal health and poor nutrition, you may have just increased your risk of developing inflammatory diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease or Coeliac Disease to name a few.

And, if you already have an inflammatory or autoimmune disease like I do, your risk increases even further, as these conditions already have you in a state of heightened inflammation.

Maintaining a healthy gut is not just important for it’s relationship to the immune system though. What about it’s connection to the nervous system? Have you ever heard of your gut having a second brain? Or, that your mental health could be directly impacted by your gut’s health, through the gut-brain axis?

The John Hopkins Medical Centre have shared that this second brain, your ‘gut’s brain’, communicates back and forth via the vagus nerve, with your actual brain. And, when your digestive system is irritated, this communication can give rise to and trigger a decreased mental state and result in depression and anxiety.

And, when you have a condition such as IBS, or functional bowel problems, including constipation, diarrhoea, bloating or pain, you are more likely to experience this decline in your mental health.

Most of us accept stress as a part of our everyday life. We even build tolerance to it and don’t even realise that we are moving into a chronic state of stress.

How are you recognizing and managing your stress levels?

Did you know that stress manifests physically in our digestive system? And, it can have a direct impact on our gut’s microbiome and overall health.

How will I know if my gut is healthy or not?

Great question! I’ve listed below some signs and symptoms, that may help you to recognise that your gut health needs some attention.

  • Common digestive symptoms include:

    • Bloating;

    • Gas;

    • Nausea;

    • Abdominal pain;

    • Heartburn;

    • Diarrhoea;

    • Constipation.

  • Insomnia.

  • Fatigue.

  • Migraines.

  • Mood swings, anxiety or depression.

  • Unintentional changes in weight.

  • Food Intolerances.

  • Autoimmune conditions.

What can you do to improve your gut health?

The great news is, that there are so many things that you can implement or tweak that will allow you to improve your gut health. And, you may see improvements in some of your symptoms in as little as a couple of days!

I hear you breathing that sigh of relief!

So, what changes can you make right now? I’ve got some great ideas that you can start to implement as soon as you are ready.

These are adjustments that you can begin to make to your daily nutritional, lifestyle and mindset habits.

  • Avoid grains, gluten, dairy (if you have an intolerance), soy/legumes, refined sugars and processed foods in your diet.

  • Include prebiotic rich foods, which are a source of food for your gut microbiome:

    • high fibre vegetables

    • bananas

    • cacao

  • Include probiotic rich foods, which contain live strains of bacteria and yeasts that help to boost the beneficial microbial communities in your gut:

    • fermented vegetables (kraut/kimchi)

    • kombucha

    • yoghurt

    • kefir

  • If you have any intolerances, remove them from your diet.

  • Drink more water!

  • Eat mindfully and slow down when your sitting down to eat.

  • Get a better night’s sleep, aim for 7-8 hours.

  • Manage your stress levels.

  • Make sure you are making functional movement and exercise a regular part of your day.

  • Consult with you Integrative Health Practitioner if you have had prolonged use of antibiotics or other drugs/medications.

It can take up to six months to re-build your gut microbiome to a healthy state. However, once you’ve regained your gut health, you will then need to maintain it. And, this means that it really is a lifelong journey where you can continue to create and build better habits and self-care practices.

What’s also really important to understand, is that what works for you, may not necessary work for someone else. Part of the reason why that is, is your microbiome is completely unique to you, like a microbial fingerprint - certain foods that might help you to thrive, might cause debilitating symptoms for someone else.

I understand that changing your habits, especially ones that take you out of your comfort zone, can be hard and sometimes overwhelming. And, it can be hard to find motivation, particularly if family or friends aren’t supporting your decisions to make the change.

That’s what I’m here for. I’m absolutely giving you permission to borrow some of my motivation, just in case you can’t find yours yet!

Let's recap. I’ve given you an overview of what gut health is, why it’s important and how you can start to make some changes to restore it.

You’ve done an awesome job to get through this resource and I hope that you’re inspired to make a change, no matter how small that change is. Remember, you don’t have to take gigantic steps (and make all of the changes at once) to move forward. Small steps work too!

I’ll be unpacking this topic and many more in future posts, so that you will be able to access as many strategies and resources as possible to help you to feel recharged and empowered to take control of your health.


Make sure you download my Meal | Movement | Mindset Planner below, as this is a great starting tool, to help you to make consistent change towards healing.

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