Hello hello! My name is Laura Higgins, I am 21 years old and I live in a place called Sandwich, (yes, it is a real place I promise!). I am a Marketing student at the University of Southampton and have just completed a marketing placement with Walt Disney Studios where I had the best year!
The last few years have been exciting but a constant struggle to say the least. I have always been an adventurous person who loves sport, socialising and trying new things but about a year ago I found it challenging to do all things that I previously loved to do! I was constantly tired, lacking any energy or excitement to do anything. I had moved to London and desperately wanted to explore the big city with my new housemates but by the time the weekend came round all I could do was stay in bed and recuperate. I couldn’t move or motivate myself to do anything; this was unusual for me and as a fitness fanatic I became depressed at my inability to get out and exercise. I also spent a lot of time suffering from bad stomach pains and aches and couldn’t stray too far from the toilet.
I went to the doctors and they sent me for blood tests and suggested that I could have an allergy to something. The blood tests came back negative to any allergies but flagged that I was lacking in vital nutrients. The doctors prescribed me various nutrient supplements including iron and zinc. After months of still suffering I went back to the doctors and they said that maybe I had IBS. The doctors also thought it could’ve been a hormonal condition and put me on the contractive pill which further highlighted more problems; I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries.
Just before the doctors had planned to put a camera into my stomach, my mum decided to take me to see a nutritionist. Sandra, who is based in Rainham, Gillingham, is a certified allergy tester and nutritionist who has been in the business for many years after learning about the trade when her daughter fell ill with candida albicans.
Sandra did many tests on me and confirmed that I did in fact have a yeast infection otherwise known as Candida Albicans (a pathogen that takes advantage of a disruption in the balance of microorganisms in your gut. This balance of ‘gut flora’ is a crucial part of your immune system and digestive health). The yeast was feeding on everything I ate and taking away the vital nutrients that my body needed from the food I was eating – explaining why I was always hungry and lacking energy! It is also linked to hormonal imbalances and therefore may have been a cause of the polycystic ovaries.
The yeast infection caused many intolerances including sugar (even fructose & lactose), yeast, soya, wheat, caffeine and much more! For months I stayed away from all processed food, sugar, yeast & wheat and took probiotics every morning to rebuild my gut flora.
After months of recuperation and strict dieting I can safely say I am well on the way to recovery and am so thankful I got to the bottom of it!
I am writing this blog in the hope to help others who are also suffering with the same conditions. Unfortunately, IBS is more recognisable by the NHS than candida albicans so those who have these symptoms will often be lead down the wrong route just like I was.
Over the last few months I have been inspired by other food bloggers such as Deliciously Ella, Sarah Wilson, Davina McCall and many others who have cut out sugar and processed food and refocussed their attention on good, organic, nutritious delights!
I have created my own instagram page (@goodflaura) and this blog to share with you all some of the tasty recipes that I create on my road to a balanced gut flora. It is a slow recovery and therefore my recipes are based on natural, organic foods that are refined sugar-free, yeast-free and wheat-free – all foods that are good f’Laura to maintain a healthy gut flora!
Enjoy and please contact me if you have any questions!