London Free From: Balancing Work, Life & Nutrition

Huge thanks to our amazing photographer, Marian Chirianu from Studio 15, details below

Wow! Our second event was even bigger and better than our first, with tickets again selling out! We had a fantastic time on the 9th October this month and we wanted to tell you all about it – and also, for those that attended, we’ve also out together a summary of the questions and answers from our fantastic informative panel of nutritionists.

Balancing Work Life Nutrition

Entitled: BalancingWork, Life, and Nutrition,the event was designed to help those who had busy London schedules (don’t we all??!) to have a better idea of what to eat, and how to look after oneself – and give people an opportunity to ask all their health and nutrition questions to some experts. After a word from the Eat Safe team, we cracked on by introducing our expert panel!

The Eat Safe team

And what experts they were – Lara Jezeph ( is a nutritionist and health coach who focuses on the gut, Kate Whitelock ( is a nutritional therapist and focuses on stress management with her corporate clients, and Adam Stansbury ( is a personal trainer who, as a vegan himself, endorses plant based diets. After some fantastic free-from snacks andsome mid-week wine & beer, we settled down to ask these three some questions – their answers are summarised here.


Could you share some of your knowledge on improving the health of your gut – and how specifically someone on a busy schedule could make changes to their diet to help, whilst on time constraints? 

LARA: Preparing yourself for a busy week by prepping your food in big batches, such as on a Sunday. And also remember that gut health isn’t all about food – stress factors and sleep are a big part of it. Fermented foods are good but if the gut is REALLY inflamed, start small – a spoonful a day for example. And the best thing for rebuilding gut lining is bone broth – great from Waitrose or Tesco on a busy schedule! Full fat natural yoghurt too, if you can tolerate dairy.

There is a big relationship between stress, and the gut. What’s your advice about the best practices to relieve stress whilst dealing potentially with high-stress work and long hours?

KATE: Stress comes in many forms – emotional, chemical, nutritional. These stresses can cause leaky gut, which causes intolerances to get worse. One of the most stressful things you can put your body through is uneven blood sugar – the first thing to do is EAT BREAKFAST, full of protein. Make sure you eat protein with every meal, including snacks. Swap white for brown in terms of carbs, and be aware of hidden sugars, including natural sugars! Coffee is also terrible for your blood sugar. Avoid it on an empty stomach and limit yourself to one or two a day. 

What have been your honest experiences of changing from meat to plants, in terms of the effect on your body – and how do you get enough protein?
I lost weight in the first couple of months due to my body being used to animal proteins – but once my body adapted, my weight came back up, my strength came back up. And as for protein, unless you are incredibly active, you don’t need loads of protein – but I make sure I eat a nutrient dense, diverse diet – and also I use plant-based protein powders.

Where’s your best trusted, quick lunch/fast food places that won’t leave us feeling guilty?
LARA: Wholefoods has great choice – but my go to is always Pret. Amazing vegan foods with sauces on the side. Their salmon teriyaki pot

is great for the gut! Carrot and Veg Cleanse juices from Pret and Itsu

too are fab.

Most of us drink alcohol – what are realistic limits we can set ourselves, and are some alcohols better than others?
KATE: In the run-up to a heavy drinking period, take care of your liver with foods such as beetroot, cruciferous vegetables, lemon. Also, BLOOD SUGAR again. Less carby sugar options – wine/beer isn’t great. Distilled spirits are the way to go, with slim tonics. After a heavy night, have some warm water with lemon and turmeric – to flush out your liver.

What would be your advice to someone who wants to get together a training programme that they can stick to?
ADAM: Don’t set yourself up for failure! Better to start small and build it up slowly, this allows your body to adapt too. 2/3 sessions a week, if you can do more some weeks, great! You need to allow your body time to recover too as the muscle build actually happens in between workouts. If you can, train in the morning and get it out the way.

Q&A Question: I’ve heard intermittent fasting is the way to go – but to do that you have to skip breakfast, would you recommend that?

KATE: It depends what you’re trying to achieve and your own body and how you’ll cope with that. Some people enjoy it, others find it reallydifficult so I think you have to experiment for yourself.

LARA: It can be good to give your gut a rest, as there is longer in between meals – but possibly tricky to do this on a busy schedule.
Audience member: Intermittent fasting really worked for me. I built up to it gradually over 6 months, and my blood sugar has balanced out and I feel great. But cut down on the fruit!

KATE: Yes! One part fruit to seven part veggies. 

Q&A Question: If you have a stressful life which is leading to nutritional issues, what is the place to start with that?
KATE: Nutritional therapy will look at the underlying imbalances between things and look at the whole picture really. Whilst traditional medicine looks at the symptom, a nutritionist will look at the cause and how that relates to your whole system rather than bits at a time. Use BANT to find your nutritionist, as it’s an accredited body.

Q&A Question: What are your views on fats & vegetable fats?
I eat a lot of fats – seeds, nuts, avocados. 
KATE: Coconut oils or animal fats are best to cook with – seed and nut oils, don’t heat them. Also think 20-1 omega 3 to omega 6. Avocado, flax, olives.
LARA: Some of my clients respond really well to a high fat diet. There’s a lot of scaremongering around fats – but most fats are actually good, what we really should be avoiding is sugar.
ADAM:  Different people do differently on different diets – it’s all about experimenting on what works for you.

 Q&A Question: If you drink/eat the same thing every day, is it bad for you?
If you take it to the extreme, yes, but if you’re talking just one thing every day, it’s fine.

 Q&A Question: I tried the whole 30 diet last year – which was great, I felt amazing. But at the end of the thirty days, I’ve found myself intolerant to loads of things. How bad is it for the body to go to the extreme but then add stuff back in or have it once in a while?
ADAM: It’s probably the body’s reaction to things you really shouldn’t be eating anyway – your body has just become more sensitive to it now you’ve cut it out. As for going vegan, I would do so slowly – try a few days a week at first, to not shock your system. It’s about progress, not perfection.

 Q&A Question: How come intolerances and allergies come from nowhere, what causes them?
Lots of things can cause intolerances. It can be small things… like a period of bad sleep, hormones changes, changes in diet, changes in medication, courses of antibiotics.
KATE: And it may feel sudden…but it can be 10 years of small biochemical changes, which then you get a TRIGGER like Lara says – so it’s trying to figure out the underlying imbalances that have caused it.

Final question: What would be the one, most important piece of advice that you can give our guests tonight about their health and wellbeing?
LARA:  Listen to your OWN body. Don’t listen to the rest of the world – record things, and take note of your own symptoms.
Don’t keep the system running – you’ll hit a wall. And I would encourage mindfulness in any form – 5 minutes per day, perhaps of meditation.
Eat more plants!! No matter what diet you follow, everyone can benefit from eating more plants. AND – it’s a journey, not a destination. There’s always something to work on, and find pleasure in that journey.

Big thanks to Marian Chirianu from Studio 15 for the wonderful photos of the event! Go check them out!

Thanks for reading, and make sure you follow Eat Safe on Facebook to be the first to hear about our next fantastic event!

The Eat Safe Team x

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