Stop PMS

How To Stop PMS Once And For All

Is your life alternating between good and bad weeks? Do you want to finally stop PMS? You’re not alone. Around 75% of women worldwide struggle with mood swings, headaches, insomnia, bloating and other PMS symptoms that jeopardize their work performance, relationships, and well-being up to 2 weeks every month. But isn’t that just part of being a woman? Shouldn’t we just accept it as a normal part of our hormone cycle?   No. On the contrary. Although it’s normal to go through a few changes as your hormone levels fluctuate to prepare for menstruation, the symptoms you have from PMS are NOT normal. Much more than a woman’s issue, PMS is your body’s painful cry for help. Something isn’t right with your hormones.  

What Is PMS?

Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS involves the nasty physical and psychological symptoms 1 to 2 weeks before your period. Typical symptoms are acne, anxiety, bloating, depressive feelings, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, tender breasts, cystic breasts, weight gain, water retention, and heavy, painful or irregular menstruation.  

If every month feels like a wild rollercoaster with symptoms like these, continue reading.


From Root Cause To Solution

PMS indicates a disproportionate ratio of estrogen to progesterone, resulting in estrogen dominance. This means you either have too much estrogen or too little progesterone. Renowned Women’s Health doctor Sara Gottfried, MD, compares the relation between estrogen & progesterone with fire & ice  

It’s estrogen that makes us feminine, but it’s progesterone that keeps us happy, slim and balanced.

  Now, progesterone naturally drops mid-thirties. But it’s becoming increasingly common to experience low progesterone levels already at an earlier age for generation stress. My own progesterone already dropped at an all-time low at age 24. Unfortunately, hormone-disrupting diets, increased levels of stress and sugar hormones, obesity, aging, and everyday exposure to hormone-disrupting cosmetics and environments, all make sure your estrogen levels keep on rising. Too much fire, too little ice. A hotbed for estrogen dominance.  

Why Should You Stop PMS?

On top of all the nasty symptoms and a blocked metabolism, if not properly balanced out, estrogen dominance may lead to endometriosis, fibroids, hormone-related cancers (such as breast cancer), and metabolic syndrome.    

Click here to join Laura’s Masterclass: The PMS Cure – Food & Lifestyle for Pain-free Periods.


4 Simple Steps To Stop PMS

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve got to boost your progesterone and lower your estrogen levels in order to stop PMS. Here’s how.    

1. Work on Your Stress Resilience

Excess stress is everything that brings your body too much out of balance. Stress raises your stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Unfortunately, the stress hormone cortisol ‘steals’ from your hormone progesterone, resulting in low progesterone levels and thus estrogen dominance. So, if you want to boost your progesterone, make sure you’re engaging in enough self-care time.  

2. Lower Your Sugar Intake

Unfortunately, excess sugar is another trigger of PMS. You need the hormone insulin to get sugar into your cells where it can be burnt for energy… But if there’s too much insulin flowing around your system, your cells become resistant to it and your liver will convert sugar into fat cells. And too bad that fat cells work like estrogen-factories. The more fat cells you have, the more estrogen you’ll produce. So, insulin resistance and estrogen dominance block your metabolism and make you resistant to lose fat.  

3. Leave The Red Meat, Dairy & Alcohol

Another important factor to stop PMS is to improve your estrogen breakdown. And if you are overloading your liver with other jobs, such as filtering out the toxins from red meat, dairy, and alcohol, it won’t have enough power left to clear up the excess estrogen. So, why are meat and dairy so toxic? Think about it.  
  • It’s become a standard practice to give cattle dewormers and antibiotics to help them put on weight. But this practice makes the affected livestock resistant to so-called superbugs.Superbugs are bacteria that have grown resistant to antibiotics. In 2016, the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said that antimicrobial resistance is a “fundamental threat” to global health and safety, with an estimated 700,000 deaths each year due to drug-resistant bacteria!
  • Animals are also given steroid hormones to help them grow and fatten quicker. When you consume that meat, you’ll consume the same growth hormones that’ll fatten you too.
  • Then there are POPs (persistent organic pollutants), that may act like fake estrogens in your body and raise your estrogen levels. Some have also been shown to harm the gut barrier – leading to inflammation and negatively affecting the microbiome.
  • And let’s not forget what animals are fed! By consuming that meat will automatically consume what the animal has eaten. If that’s genetically modified grain, that will enter your body too.
  In addition, every day you’re exposed to chemicals in your diet and environment such as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, alcohol, cosmetics, cleaning products and polluted air. And your liver simply won’t know what to do to filter out all these toxins, so it sends them to your fat cells to protect your organs from toxic overload.   But when also your fat cells are full of toxins, they’ll be released into the bloodstream, which sends a message to your body to store even more fat. And… remember? More fat equals more estrogen production! So. If your estrogen levels are sky-high and you want to stop PMS, try to stay away from red meat, dairy and alcohol for a while and see what happens.    

4. Help Your Liver & Large Intestine Flush Out Estrogen

Whenever your liver and large intestine are congested with sugar, hormonal waste, chemicals, and toxins, it can’t properly break down and remove estrogen from your body anymore. The elimination pathway is blocked and estrogen accumulates in the bloodstream keeping you stuck with all those nasty PMS issues. So, what we really want is a clear garbage process.   For that, we need to optimize the detoxification helping the liver and the large intestine with the right nutrients. Hormonal waste, chemicals, and toxins are fat-soluble. It’s your liver’s task to convert it into water-soluble waste so your body can eliminate it via sweat, urine, and bowel movements. In short, the essential nutrients for liver & large intestine detoxification are:  

1. From Fat-Soluble Waste to Free Radicals…

    • Glutathione: found in carrots, broccoli, avocado, asparagus, and spinach
    • B Vitamins: found in vegetables such as dark leafy greens, poultry, eggs, fish, poultry, whole grains, beans, legumes, avocado, broccoli
    • Vitamin C: found in guava, black currant, red pepper, kiwi, orange, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, kale, parsley, brussels sprouts, grapefruit, peas, cauliflower

2. …to make Free Radicals into Water-Soluble Waste…

  • Amino acids: found in good quality organic poultry, fish, shellfish (if you’re vegan take amino acids as supplement!)
  • Selenium: found in Brazil nuts, poultry, eggs

3. …to help Water-Soluble Waste leave the body via Large Intestine!

  • Dietary fiber: up your vegetables intake so that the waste can bind in the large intestine

Click here to join Laura’s Masterclass: The PMS Cure – Food & Lifestyle for Pain-free Periods.


 Bye, bye PMS!

  All in all, it’s unfortunate that hormonal imbalances are often ‘treated’ with hormonal replacement therapy. It’s not uncommon for doctors to prescribe birth control pills or other synthetic hormones to treat your symptoms. By now you know that this does NOT solve the underlying problem. A lot of symptoms caused by hormones can be fixed naturally by addressing diet and lifestyle first, before turning to medicine.  

You no longer have to accept feeling anything less than the most productive, energetic and happy version of yourself.

  For years I struggled with PMS. My cycles were as short as 17 days. I was feeling down, held fluids for days, and woke up bathing in my own sweat. On top of that, I felt like someone was stabbing my breast tissue with hundreds of knives. But my PMS issues have disappeared ever since I changed my diet & lifestyle. And if I can do it, you can do it too. Can’t wait to get started and seeing real results? Learn to eat the right nutrients and adopt the best lifestyle habits for your body type to fix YOUR hormones and feel good again with The Personal Body Reset.   Do you think estrogen dominance is causing your PMS, weight gain and other health problems? You can now join me in my latest free webinar The PMS Cure, where I’m going to show how to eat and live to battle your estrogen dominance, stop PMS and create a body and life you love.   So tell me, beautiful. Are you suffering from premenstrual syndrome? Are you as desperate as I was to stop PMS? What are you doing to restore hormone balance in your body?   We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Because your message might be that one thing someone really needs to hear today. We often go through the same thoughts and struggles without even knowing it.   Also, when you know someone who’d love this, why not forward it to them right now? So grateful to have you with us, love! Stay on your health game and keep going for your dreams.   Laura x      
Baker, L.J. et al. (2012). Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): A peri-menopausal perspective. Maturitas, Volume 72(2), 121-125. Direkvand-Moghadam, A., Sayehmiri, K., Delpisheh, A., & Kaikhavandi, S. (2014). Epidemiology of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Study. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR, 8(2), 106–109. Farasati, N., Siassi, F., Koohdani, F., Qorbani, M., Abashzadeh, K., & Sotoudeh, G. (2015). Western dietary pattern is related to premenstrual syndrome: A case–control study. British Journal of Nutrition, 114(12), 2016-2021. Girman, Andrea et al. (2003). An integrative medicine approach to premenstrual syndrome. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 188(5), 56-65. Gottfried, S. (2013). The Hormone Cure. New York, NY: Scribner. Hulpach, A. (2016, September 21). UN meeting tackles the ‘fundamental threat’ of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The Guardian. Mohebbi, M., Akbari, S. A. A., Mahmodi, Z., & Nasiri, M. (2017). Comparison between the lifestyles of university students with and without premenstrual syndromes. Electronic Physician, 9(6), 4489–4496. Vitti, A. (2014). Woman Code. New York, NY: HarperOne. Read More
Bone Broth

Chicken Broth: Why It's So Healthy + How To Make Your Own

Chicken Broth 101

I’m often asked about my nº1 recipe. Is there one recipe I’d recommend everyone? Yes! Our super-healing chicken broth!

A true beauty food (ciao collagen!), nutrient-dense (hello 19 amino acids and minerals!), easy-to-digest, repairs gut and flora (thanks to the gelatin).

It’s a goodie for your hormones and immune system too.

Best of all: it’s easy and cheap to make!

I love the healing power of food. Chicken broth is definitely one of my favorites.

Chicken broth isn’t some new-found trend. Our ancestors already cooked bones and ligaments of animal parts for days until these released compounds and minerals like gelatin, collagen, calcium and magnesium.

Have you ever wondered why people tell you to enjoy chicken broth when you’re ill? It’s because chicken broth is thé health-boosting-superhero to turn to when you’re feeling under the weather.

It’s packed with goodness: healing and protecting your gut, increasing immunity, battling inflammation and it has amazing nutritional value.

So, let’s state the obvious here: why not have it on your better days as well!? We’ve included an easy recipe for your own homemade chicken broth at the end!

Chicken Broth Health Benefits

1. Restores Gut Health & Promotes Healthy Digestion

A healthy body equals a healthy gut. Your gut lining is one of the most important barriers to keep unwanted intruders out of your system.

When you are on a ‘standard’ western diet, loads antinutrients, toxins and bad bacteria enter your body and damage your intestinal walls.

The damage can develop to such a degree that it turns into a “leaky gut” syndrome, causing all sorts of health issues such as digestive problems, migraine, auto-immune problems and in some cases even depression.

But guess what? The gelatin in chicken broth heals the mucosal layer in the gut, re-sealing it and restoring gut health. It also prevents damage, improves digestion, and cures chronic diarrhea + constipation.

2. Reduces Joint Pain And Inflammations

Chicken broth contains a golden combination of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). That’s quite a mouth full but I bet for some of you the ‘glucosamine’ part will ring a bell somewhere.

Glucosamine is commonly given as a supplement to cure joint pain and is even prescribed for chronic joint diseases. It stimulates collagen production, repairs joints and reduces pain & inflammations.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Powerhouse

Chicken broth also enhances anti-inflammatory capacity thanks to the amino acid glycine.

Glycine is closely related to the immune and digestive system, and an important building block for many different acids that keep your body healthy. It helps your body with the detoxification of toxins and even helps to break down fat!

4. Beauty Food: Improves Skin, Hair & Nails

Chicken broth works miracles for your skin, hair and nails thanks to the proline-containing gelatin.

Proline is a cornerstone in collagen production and helps building skin & muscle tissue. Collagen is essential for keeping a healthy and fresh-looking skin texture but also helps in wound-healing processes.

Why buy expensive beauty treatments containing collagen when you can fuel up naturally from the inside out?

5. Improves Bone Growth And Repair

Chicken broth is rich in minerals (the good ones!). It contains calcium, magnesium and phosphor.

As you slowly cook the bones you’ll notice they get all weak and crumbly… That’s because all those amazing bone-building minerals are getting absorbed into the fluid.

Adding something acidic to your pot before turning on the heat will maximize the mineral uptake, so we’ve included apple cider vinegar in the recipe below.

6. It’s Sooo Easy

You literally throw everything in a huge pan with some water and let it slow-cook for a couple of hours (bonus points: your house will smell awesome while your broth is simmering).

If you make a whole bunch you can put it in the freezer for later. And you no longer have to throw away left-over veggies and peels because you can just throw them in your simmering pot as well. Cooking doesn’t get much easier than this…

Now that you’ve seen all health benefits, I’m sure you can’t wait to make some of your own. Here’s our go-to-recipe to help you get started!

Bone Broth

Super-Healing Chicken Broth

Preptime: 5-10 minutes | Cooktime: 4.5 hrs


6-8 organic free-range chicken wings (or 2-3 legs or bones)
8 cups / 2 l water
1 onion/leek, roughly chopped
3 carrots (big), roughly chopped
5 celery stalks roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled, cut once
1 inch / 2 cm of ginger, roughly chopped
2 handful of your favourite herbs (parsley/mint/cilantro/thyme)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp of sea salt
optional: 3 bay leaves, whole


Step 1

Add all ingredients in one pot and slowly cook for 4.5 hours or overnight.

Step 2

Take out the bones and meat. (You can use the meat with fresh veggies, 1 cup of the broth and water to make your own chicken soup.)

Step 3

Pass the stock through a sieve. And there you have it! Your own health-boosting chicken broth!

Store + Use

Keep the excess broth up to 4 days in the fridge and up to 3 weeks in the freezer.

When using chicken broth in recipes, make sure to skim off the fat layer and only use the fatless consistence.

You can use the chicken broth for: cooking vegetables (in a small layer of broth) / preparing stews or soups / making salad dressings (for your salads-in-a-jar) / DIY stock cubes (pour broth into ice cube tray and freeze) / enjoy anytime as a hot healthy drink.

Did you already know chicken broth was this healthy? How did yours turn out?

Let me know when you try out this recipe — I’d love to see how it turns out! Submit your photo in the comments section below, and/or tag us on Instagram using @healthcoachfx and #healthcoachfx.

Photo Credit © healthcoachFX

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Stress body

3 Ways Stress Affects Your Body & How To Stop It Immediately

Health is much more than drinking green juices and hitting the gym. If you never catch your breath, wake up feeling tired, anxious, emotionally drained, and can’t rid stubborn abdominal fat, chances are you’re chronically stressed.
Not all stress is bad. Good stress is our best friend, spurring us into action and saving our lives in acute fight-or-flight situations. It helps us when we need to perform our best.
But our body doesn’t differentiate between good and bad stress: it can only respond in one way. It’s the chronic stress and our body’s natural, evolutionary response that’s causing all sorts of health problems, including weight gain.
Don’t worry just yet; you’ve come to the right place. Let us help you understand everything you need to know about stress and what you can do to reverse its effects. We’ll guide you through it!

So, What Exactly Is Stress?

Much more than an emotion, stress is a hard-wired physical response travelling throughout your entire body. An acute stress reaction instantly activates our HPA-axis while our body quickly releases Cortisol and Adrenaline. These hormones urge our lungs to quickly pump oxygen into the blood stream, raising our heartbeat and blood pressure to deliver the energy we’d need to escape the stressor.
Stress requires so much energy that the body puts all other things hold. You stop repairing your tissue. You stop renewing your cells
Now, if our ancestors would escape a lion, they’d return to their daily activities, and their acute stress response would shut down.
But nowadays, we’re living in a world with an overdose of non-stop psychological and social stress. We worry about our jobs, arguments at home, upcoming tax bills, annoying colleagues, traffic jams, mortgage, the health of our loved ones, unanswered emails and climate change.
In addition to that, we are collectively overworked, trying to get more done than we’ve got time for while constantly blurring the line between private and professional spheres with our mobile gadgets.
As a consequence, we consume more sugar than ever before, and live in an overwhelming information age that we can’t properly deal with.
This chronic stress is the evil kind of stress but triggers the exact same primitive fight-or-flight response in our bodies as running from a lion! No matter if good or bad; our bodies know only one way to respond to stress.

It’s All About Energy

Chronic stress kicks our natural energy distribution out of balance.
Let’s say you are stressed over the course of three months. That means your immune system will steal energy from other systems for three months to feed your innate survival fight-or-flight response. All so that it has enough fuel to feed your muscles, heart and breathing until you ‘escape’ your stressor.

Your body will basically think it’s running from a lion for 3 months.

There’ll be no energy left for other essential systems – such as your digestion and reproduction – which is why chronic stress leaves you to feel irritable, forgetful, overwhelmed, isolated and sleep deprived.
Ideally, your immune system only awakes for an acute stressor and isn’t in constant action during the day. Unfortunately, nowadays we shoot in stress mode too often and too long for our bodies to handle. During those typically long episodes of stress, our energy distribution is completely thrown off, resulting in all types of health problems.

What Does Stress Do With Our Bodies?

Our bodies aren’t evolutionary prepared to deal with the relatively unfamiliar stressors of modern life. In fact, our human DNA only changes 0.1% every 10.000 years. We haven’t been able to genetically adapt to the circumstances we’ve created since the industrial revolution.

1. Chronic Stress Makes It Impossible To Lose Weight

The stress hormone Cortisol increases your appetite because of the body’s extra need for energy, but also because a stressed body can only run on sugar and metabolise carbohydrates to get energy.

Sugar Cravings…

During a stress reaction, Cortisol increases your blood pressure and together with Adrenaline helps accelerate your heartbeat and breathing. This sends glucose to the blood to help free up enough energy for the muscles and the brain. Consequently, a fuel shortage arises, and sugar guarantees a quick energy fix, making us excessively crave sweet foods.
Over the last 50-100 years, a lot of new stress stimuli entered our lives, making it almost impossible for our brains to get enough glucose (sugar) to deal with all these stressors and process them. Our Western civilisation adapted to this, offering carbohydrate and sugar-rich foods wherever we go. Comfort foods and drinks have become the quickest solution to our stress-related energy dips.
Read also: Always Hungry? How To Kill Your Sugar Addiction Before It Kills You

Exhausting Your Insulin Factory…

You need insulin to get glucose (sugar) out of your blood and into your cells. Unfortunately, stress hormones make it difficult for your pancreas to secrete insulin. But it gets worse: the overload of sugar (that you consume to make up for the energy shortage during a chronic stress reaction), makes your pancreas hyperactive. Over time this hyperactivity disturbs your cells in the pancreas to such a degree that it won’t be able to produce sufficient insulin anymore.
Our absurdly high sugar intake eventually exhausts the pancreas, our insulin-factory, which explains why obesity and diabetes-II have become a silent epidemic of our time.

Bye, Bye, Fat Burning…

As long as you are stressed, burning fat becomes almost impossible. So you can run that treadmill all you want, but if that only causes an even higher cortisol production, it will only make you gain. That’s because your cells need oxygen to be able to metabolise fat into energy. Unfortunately, stress keeps oxygen from reaching your cells, leaving you dependent on carbohydrates for your energy. Hello, sugar cravings!
It’s therefore not a coincidence that fast food chains, soft drink companies and vending machines have boomed since the eighties when the developed world saw steep economic growth. Corporate culture and its eat-or-be-eaten attitude became glamorised, altogether spiking our stress levels to new, unfamiliar heights.
Are your stress hormones messing with you? Take our free hormone quiz guide to more peace in everyday life here.

2. Chronic Stress Shrinks Our Brains

The impact of stress stretches beyond the shape of your body. Neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, recently found that chronic stress triggers long-term changes in brain structure and function.

High levels of cortisol over long periods of time wreak havoc on your brain literally causing it to shrink in size!

Chronic stress shrinks your pre-frontal cortex, which is responsible for regulating behaviours like concentration, decision-making, judgement and social interaction. It also kills, shrinks and causes loss of synaptic connections between neurones in the hippocampus, the part of your brain that is vital for learning, memory and stress control.
When the hippocampus weakens, so does your ability to manage stress, as well as to learn and remember things. Shockingly, chronic stress eventually sets the stage for more severe mental problems, like depression and eventually Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Chronic Stress Makes Us Sick

A chronic stress response not only changes your brain but also damages many of the other organs and cells throughout your body. It lowers immune function, disrupting the body’s ability to heal itself, making it vulnerable to infections.
The Adrenaline pushes your heart to beat faster and heightens your blood pressure. Too much of it eventually results in hypertension. At the same time, an overdose of cortisol disrupts the function of your artery walls, one of the contributing factors of cholesterol plaque in the arteries and even arteriosclerosis. These two processes combined become a ticking heart-attack-and-stroke time-bomb.
Chronic stress also disrupts your intestinal nervous system, which is responsible for moving food through your gut, leading to irritable bowel syndrome. It can also increase your gut sensitivity to acid, making you more prone to heartburn. Stress even negatively affects the quality of your gut bacteria, upsetting your digestion and leading to poor overall health.
Most alarming though is that cortisol makes us store a dangerous ‘visceral’ fat layer around our organs. Visceral fat increases the production of your immune system’s ‘cytokines’, which further increases your risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance.
Stress even accelerates the ageing process by shortening telomeres (the ends of our chromosomes). Telomeres are responsible for the preservation of your genetic code during cell division. With each cell division, the telomeres get shorter which is why we naturally age. But when telomeres become too short too quickly, a cell can no longer divide and dies, resulting in accelerated ageing.
Other health problems linked to chronic stress are anxiety, ulcers in the stomach, headaches, acne, hair loss, sexual dysfunction, fatigue and irritability.

Start Reversing The Effects Of Chronic Stress

There’s no need to get stressed about being stressed! There are many ways to reverse the effects of chronic stress! Of course, life will always keep throwing challenging situations at you, but what matters is how you cope with them.
We highly encourage to start valuing stress reduction in everyday life; it’ll change your life in all sorts of positive ways. And think of it this way:

You cannot be there for your loved ones, team or clients, if you don’t put on your own oxygen mask first.

Now the extremely stressed-out bees always tell me: “I ain’t got no time for that! Relieving my stress is a luxury I can’t afford!”
My answer to those of you is the following: You’re of no use to this world when you’re burned out, depressed, in a constant state of anxiety, and when you lose your health.

The Most Powerful Stress-Busting Tools:

Need to calm down and get a hold on your stress? You’re happily invited to our our free masterclass. We’ll tell you all about the hidden stressors in your life and how to eliminate them.
Adding adaptogens to your diet can be beneficial to deal with stress on daily bases to promote hormone balance naturally. We like using the products from YLUMI. They just use premium food supplements based on traditional chinese herbs, medicinal mushrooms, essential vitamins and minerals. All 100% vegan, free from pesticides and heavy metals, preservatives and colors, lactose and gluten free. Get 12% OFF their whole edition with the code [HEALTHYSPARKLE12]
Now I’d love to hear from you. What’s the single biggest obstacle standing in the way of your stress relief? What action can you take today to overcome that hurdle?
Your beautiful fellow go-getters and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. What you’ve got to say may help and inspire others to embrace self-care too!
Also, when you know someone who needs to hear about the effects of stress and how to reverse it – forward this to them right away.   Love, I’m so grateful to have you here with us! Namaste. x


Bergland, C. (2016). How Does Meditation Reduce Anxiety at a Neural Level?. [Weblog]. Retrieved from
Bergland, C. (2014, 12 February 2014). Chronic Stress Can Damage Brain Structure and Connectivity. [Weblog]. Retrieved from
Bergland, C. (2013). Cortisol: Why “The Stress Hormone” Is Public Enemy No 1. [Weblog]. Retrieved from
Bergquist, S. .H. (2016). TED Ed. Retrieved from
Chetty, S. (2014). Stress and glucocorticoids promote oligodendrogenesis in the adult hippocampus. Molecular Psychiatry, 19(0), 1275-1283.
Epel, E. (2009). Can meditation slow rate of cellular aging? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1172(0), 34–53.
Kapanen, K. (2015). What Meditation Does to Your Brain. [Weblog]. Retrieved from
Segerstrom, S. C. & Miller, G. E. (2004). Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry. Psychological Bulletin, 130(4), 601–630.
Sanders, R. (2014, 1 January 1970). New evidence that chronic stress predisposes brain to mental illness. [Weblog]. Retrieved from
Ted. (2016). TED Ed. Retrieved from

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Gut Problems

The Ultimate Guide To The Gut & How To Hack Gut Problems

We’re all far too familiar with bloated bellies, rumbling intestines, and days you can’t get off or even close to the toilet. Gut problems are uncomfortable and can be quite embarrassing.

Surprisingly, many other symptoms are gut-related too, but not recognised as such!

A healthy gut is crucial for keeping your body in good condition and shape. That’s because your digestive system:

  • Absorbs essential nutrients, such as vitamins, healthy fats and proteins.
  • Provides the first and most important barrier against unwanted intruders.
  • Recognises the good and bad bacteria, making sure to keep the bad ones out of your system.
  • Produces some vital neurotransmitters and hormones.
  • Plays a huge role in a healthy immune reaction.

A dysfunctioning digestion is not only a burden in everyday life; it has a damaging impact on the rest of your body and overall health as well.

When experiencing gut problems, the intestinal barrier is often damaged, causing the wrong substances and bacteria to “leak” into your body, your immune system to overreact, your energy distribution to go nuts, your hormone levels to bounce around and placing physical stress on your body, which leads to mental stress as well.

With vital functions like that, you can imagine that a problematic gut won’t just set off various symptoms and diseases; it’ll cause weight problems too as you won’t be able to process nutrients the right way!

Gut problems are therefore one of the real reasons you aren’t losing weight, or even gain weight.

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can heal your gut, restore your gut flora, rebuild that intestinal barrier and live happily ever after with a healthy digestion!

The Importance Of A Healthy Gut

The gut absorbs foods, eliminates toxins, produces several hormones and neurotransmitters, and has some crucial immunological tasks. Not too bad for a slimy, wrinkled, worm-like organ located somewhere in the bottom of your belly, right?

But in all seriousness: many diseases and symptoms can be traced back to poor gut health. We’re talking about auto-immune diseases, arthritis, weight problems, skin issues such as acne and psoriasis, migraines and even some psychological illnesses.

Digestive problems aren’t ‘normal’. It’s your body telling you that something isn’t right.

The Signs & Symptoms Of Gut Problems

This a tricky one. A lot of symptoms and diseases originate in the gut (yes, it’s that important!), so almost everything can be traced back to it. Here’s an overview of the most “every-day” signs and common gut-related symptoms:

  • Flatulence/gas forming
  • Obstipation
  • Weight loss problems
  • Mucus with the stool
  • Bellyache
  • Bad breath
  • Sticky or mushy stools (these “sink” to the bottom of the toilet)
  • Floating stool
  • Skin problems (such as acne)
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Eczema (especially on hands)
  • Cracked feet and/or hands
  • Having frequent colds
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Lower back pain
  • Breathing/asthma problems
  • Vertical crack in middle of tongue (from front to back)
  • Periodontitis
  • Gingivitis (= mouth gum infection)
  • Sinusitis (sinus infection)
  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Fungal infection of the nail

Stages Of Declining Gut Health

Stage 1: You Stop Burning Fat

Digestive problems keep you from losing weight because bad gut health causes your immune system to overreact. And an overactive immune system is one of the biggest roadblocks when it comes to losing weight.

This is quite an extensive picture to grasp, but we’ll try to explain it as simple as we can:

The immune system is activated when invaded by toxic substances, harmful bacteria, and viruses. Your gut is one of the most significant barriers stopping these invaders from entering your body.

If – due to poor gut health – your gut fails to stop the enemies at the gate, your immune system is automatically activated to protect your body and clean up the mess.

Now here comes the tricky part. Your immune system needs fuel to keep you safe and runs on glucose (sugar). As long as it’s active, it will keep seeking more glucose resources.

If your digestive system were healthy, your body would be able to extract glucose from your fat cells by burning fat (yay!).

But, when you face gut problems and have less metabolic flexibility, fat burning becomes impossible. Your body is then forced to switch to a state of “sugar burning” (not so yay..) to keep feeding your overactivated immune system. In this metabolic state, it becomes impossible to lose weight.

A chronically active immune system causes a problem in your energy distribution, sending your sugar cravings through the roof. Eventually, this results in insulin resistance, meaning glucose (sugar) cannot enter your cells anymore and is automatically stored as fat.

Read also: How To Kill Your Sugar Addiction Before It Kills You

So, to summarize this vicious circle:

1. Bad gut health leads to an overactive immune system.
2. An overactive immune system needs a lot of glucose (sugar).
3. Your body continuously craves sugar to keep feeding your immune system. An overload of sugar makes your cells insulin resistant.
4. The overactive immune system and insulin resistance further decline of your gut health: increased blood sugar levels damage your gut flora and the energy that goes to your immune system further deprives your digestive system.

In short: bad gut health leads to an overactive immune system which makes losing weight impossible.

Stage 2. Your Body Enters A State Of Low-Grade Inflammation

When the immune system is activated too often, your body enters a state of low-grade inflammation: meaning you’ll suffer from a chronic infection, without the real fever.

You feel a lot less energized, fall ill regularly or suffer from an overall “uneasy” feeling, without having a clear sense what it is that makes you feel this way. Your immune system is all the time dealing with the inflammation caused by toxins leaking through your gut lining and has trouble fighting off any other bacteria or diseases.

Low-Grade Inflammation & Cytokines

Some of the primary substances in your body involved in anti-inflammation are cytokines: messengers that work to fight off infections for a short amount of time. These troopers are released in particularly big amounts when your body gets into a state of low-grade inflammation.

Unfortunately, high levels of cytokines disrupt the hormonal function of insulin and leptin. This makes you even more susceptible to insulin resistance and will further increase your body fat percentage.

Stage 3: You’ll Develop A Leaky Gut

In the long run, poor gut health combined with low-grade inflammation causes your gut to get permanently “leaky”. Toxins and toxic anti-nutrients then leak non-stop through your “perforated” intestinal barrier. A leaky gut triggers numerous health issues and is a source of many autoimmune- and other diseases.

Here’s an overview of the most common signs and symptoms of a leaky gut:

  • Lack of drive/motivation
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Heavy/frequent mood swings
  • Sleeping problems
  • Skin problems
  • Heartburn
  • Polyps
  • Bad breath
  • Food intolerances
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Bloating / Constipation
  • Skin problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight gain
  • Joint Pain

Associated illnesses:

  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Thyroid issues
  • Alzheimer
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Skin Eczema
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Migraines
  • IBD
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Food Intolerances

How Do I Restore My Gut Health?

Don’t worry just yet! You can reverse low-grade inflammation, insulin resistance, a leaky gut and all its symptoms with the right diet and lifestyle.

But, because you need to repair, repopulate and rebuild, there’s some serious work involved. Here are some practical tweaks to help improve your gut health:

1. Avoid Toxins & Toxic Anti-Nutrients

By removing toxins and toxic antinutrients from your diet, you avoid damaging your intestinal lining.

You can find toxic antinutrients in grains, beans, peanuts, soy and consuming too much vegetable oils.

Toxins from alcohol, cigarettes and the environment aren’t just damaging your gut lining; they also keep your liver way too busy! When this detoxifying organ is preoccupied with toxins, your body has less power left to deal with any unwanted substances that enter your digestive system.

2. Remove Sugar From Your Diet

Sugar does NOT do your gut health any good. It accelerates the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi such as candida. The larger the amount of bad bacteria, the less space is left for the good bacteria to thrive.

Try lowering your sugar intake as much as possible if you’re serious about your gut health.

Cutting out sugar can be pretty hard since it’s hiding everywhere! Most processed foods contain sugar, but eating too much fruit can also spike your blood sugar levels.

3. Fibers, Fibers, Fibres

Fibers promote a healthy digestion cleaning out the little bits and pieces that get stuck into the folds of your intestinal wall.

When hearing the word ‘fibre’, you might instantly think about stashing the whole grains on your plate. But did you know there are LOADS of fibers in veggies too? Vegetables don’t contain the toxic anti-nutrients that grains have and have all the vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy gut and body.

Try to get more vegetables in your diet. In fact, try to eat veggies with every meal! Even breakfast: some mixed vegetables with scrambled eggs in the morning gives you energy throughout the day.

4. Take (Extra) Care Of Your Mouth Hygiene

Did you know your mouth has its very own bacterial flora? Your mouth flora has an enormous impact on your gut flora and is the first “gatekeeper” of your digestive system. Everything that enters through here ends up in your gut! So it’s paramount to keep your mouth healthy.

Make sure to floss and brush sufficiently, and stay away from aggressive mouthwash products or toothpaste that’s heavy on the whitening.

5. Also…

Make sure to get enough sleep, de-stress, and try to avoid dairy products.

Ready to really step up your gut-healing game? Are you done with bloating, constipation, weight loss issues, and other digestive problems? Find out whether our 6-week coaching program The Personal Body Reset is something for you.

Now tell me, love – What surprised you most today? Is there something you can do to improve your gut health?

Your fellow go-getters and I would love to hear your thoughts and burning questions in the comments below. We often go through similar thoughts and struggles without even knowing it.

Also, when someone you love would benefit from knowing more about gut healing, why not share this with them right now?

So grateful to have you here, beautiful!
Keep on sparkling. x


Bengmark, S. (2013). Gut microbiota, immune development and function. Pharmacological Research, 69(1), 87–113.
Bischoff et al. (2014). Intestinal permeability – a new target for disease prevention and therapy. BMC Gastroenterology, 14(-), 189.
Grimble, R. F. (2002). Inflammatory status and insulin resistance. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 5(5), 551-559.
Guarner, F. & Malagelada, J. .R. (2003). Gut flora in health and disease. THE LANCET, 360(-), -.
Fasano, A. (2012). Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases. Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology, 42(1), 71–78.
Fernández-real, J. M. (1997). The TNF-α Gene Neo I Polymorphism Influences the Relationship Among Insulin Resistance, Percent Body Fat, and Increased Serum Leptin Levels. Diabetes, 46(9), 1468-1472.
Round, J. L. & Mazmanian, S. K. (2009). The gut microbiota shapes intestinal immune responses during health and disease. Nature Reviews Immunology, 9(-), 313-323.
Suzuki, T. (2013). Regulation of intestinal epithelial permeability by tight junctions. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 70(4), 631–659.
Turner, J. R. (2009). Intestinal mucosal barrier function in health and disease. Nature Reviews Immunology, 9(11), 799-809.

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Sugar Addication

Always Hungry? How To Kill Your Sugar Addiction Before It Kills You

Always hungry? Are you having a hard time skipping meals?
Are you craving something sweet after every meal?
Are you fighting with skin problems such as acne or skin tags?
Have you gained weight recently?
Love handles perhaps?
Is your energy at an all-time low?
Or have you lost hair, libido or satiation?


If you said yes to two or more of the questions above, chances are you‘re developing a sugar addiction.

Don’t worry; it’s not your fault! I know you’re not putting sugar cubes in your mouth. But sugars are hiding in bread, milk, tomato sauce, drinks, and pasta too! We’re biologically wired to crave sweetness, and with so much sugar around these days, we’re bound to get trapped in its shackles.

After a chronic consumption of high sugar and fast carbs, your body thinks it’s become dependent on sweetness to function but just doesn’t metabolize it anymore. Excess sugar makes your cells insulin resistant: sugar can no longer enter your cells and is stored as fat instead.

No need to panic just yet!

Everything our body does is a way to protect itself or prepare itself for a difficult situation. You do have the power to reverse the effects of chronic sugar consumption before it is too late!


How A Healthy Body Works: A Beautiful Energy Factory


What Is Sugar?

You find sugars in carbohydrates. We can classify carbohydrates into “simple” and “complex”.


Simple Carbohydrates:

  • The most basic units of carbohydrates are monosaccharides, such as glucose and fructose (fruit sugars). These simple sugars immediately enter the bloodstream via the gut cells because of their singular molecular structure.

  • Table sugar is sucrose. Together with maltose and lactose, they fall in the carb category as disaccharides. Your body needs to split disaccharides into singular fructose- and glucose molecules before it can absorb them.


Complex Carbohydrates:

  • Starches and fibers are long chains of joined glucose molecules, also known as polysaccharides or complex carbohydrates. It’s much harder for your body to break these long chain structures down. Digestive enzymes first have to cut the chains into smaller pieces, before the body can absorb them. Although polysaccharides are a form of sugar, they rarely taste sweet. Starchy foods include rice, potatoes, corn, and wheat, as well as earthy veggies such as pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato and red beets.


How Is Sugar Turned Into Energy?

The only real function of sugar is to give your body energy. When the mono-, di- and polysaccharides are broken down into singular glucose- or fructose molecules they end up in your bloodstream. But to transform the sugar into fuel, it has to be ‘burnt’ in your cells.

That’s where insulin comes into action. This hormone functions as a gateway to get sugar out of the blood and into the liver and muscle cells, where it can be combusted into energy. A healthy pancreas produces exactly the right amount of insulin to keep your blood sugar level balanced.


What Happens When You Eat Too Much Sugar, Too Often


Our ancestors got 22-40% of their daily caloric intake from carbohydrates, mostly from nutrient-rich plants and fruits.

Nowadays, (in our convenience-driven society), our daily carbohydrate intake is often around 60 to 70%. With industrialization came the processing of foods. Sadly, industrial food producers often add high amounts of simple sugars, such as fructose and glucose, to promote a sweet taste to sell more. Think of processed grain products and corn syrup in many snacks, sodas, bread, cereals, noodles, muesli bars, sports drinks, juices, condiments and low-fat yogurt drinks.


Did you know that added sugar is hiding in 74% of packaged foods?


When you eat or drink too many sugars at once, your blood sugar will quickly spike, followed by an abrupt drop. When you do this often, your blood sugar will continuously fluctuate between highs and lows. The problem is that your body’s blood sugar regulator – insulin – cannot properly deal with this.


Insulin Resistance

Every time your blood sugar rises, your insulin-factory (pancreas) is activated. At a certain point, it won’t even bother stopping insulin production anymore. This insulin overload makes your cells insulin resistant; meaning insulin cannot bind to the cell any longer, making it harder to get sugar out of your blood and into your cells.

When this happens your body will face non-stop sugar cravings, because of the sugar shortage in the cells, even though you have more than enough sugar in your blood! Eventually, chronic insulin resistance leads to diabetes-II. At that point, you can’t produce enough insulin on your own anymore to lower your blood sugar levels.


Fat Storage

The overload of sugar that isn’t released as energy first ends up as your energy reserve, or glycogen, in muscles and liver. But when your glycogen-storage-capacity is full – so when you eat too many carbohydrates, too often – sugar is stored as fat.


Metabolic Syndrome

Research has proven a direct relationship between overdosing on sugar, especially simple sugars, and an increase in obesity. Sugar triggers inflammation, cholesterol production, acidity, accelerated ageing and bad gut flora.

In the long run, these things become a vicious circle, ending in metabolic syndrome, in which the patient suffers from a combination of diabetes-II, cardiovascular disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or other chronic ailments such as Alzheimer’s, certain types of cancer, macular degeneration and tooth decay.



Listen to your sugar cravings: this is your body telling you that something isn’t right. Take it as your cue to change something in your life!

Your body will always feel like something’s missing if you keep fueling it with fat-free yoghurts, bread-like products, diet sodas and processed empty calories. These products are void of the nutrients your body really needs.


Our 7-Day Sugar Detox Challenge is a great starting point to break up with sugar for good!


Why Do We Love Sugar So Much?

How come we eat more sugar than is good for us? Why do we enjoy its taste? And most importantly, how can we fix it?


1. Why Are You Always Hungry? Are Sugar Cravings Genetic?

For thousands of years, the sweetness was scarce, only available at limited times, in limited amounts and limited places. When your ancestors would’ve found a sweetly ripened fruit, they would’ve hit the primal jackpot!

From an evolutionary perspective, sugar is energy that can be stored as fat. Fat is incredibly useful for survival during food-scarce times such as cold winters.

So our love for sugar is genetically programmed in our bodies. That’s why we can’t help ourselves when it’s around. We need to put it in our mouths! It’s our instinct! Sugar even triggers reward systems in our brains, much like other addictive substances such as alcohol and drugs.

The problem is that sugar no longer comes as a limited edition. It’s everywhere. We eat it all the time. And much to our dismay sugar comes with ugly side effects like weight gain, skin problems, fatigue, and disease.



Look, we get it. The thought of giving up sweetness is agonizing. But hey, why not start swapping your simple sugars for complex carbohydrates? Focus on the nutrient-rich colorful, earthy veggies, instead of the empty processed carbs. Swap sodas for water, low-fat yogurts for full-fat yogurt and sugary cereals for oats.


Our 7-Day Sugar Detox Challenge is designed to guide you through this transformation and delivers daily tips + inspo to your inbox.


2. Are Stress & Brain Power Driving Your Sugar Consumption?

Unconsciously, we’ve collectively decided to live a convenient and modern lifestyle that isn’t all that optimal for our health.

We eat too much, too often, and too many carbohydrates. We eat inflammatory foods and leave the anti-inflammatory ones off our plates. We’re exposed to hormone-disruptive pesticides, plastics, and chemicals. We stress ourselves, work long hours sitting in head-heavy jobs, which require us to be alert, productive and creative at all times. We fail to nourish and succeed to exhaust.

In the end, it’s all about energy. With all those physical and mental burdens, our immune system and brain require a non-stop energy supply, causing a problematic energy-distribution in our overall body.

We need oxygen in our cells to be able to burn fat. But it’s impossible to burn fat during physical or mental stress when oxygen in the cells is absent. During stress, we’re bound to anaerobic (oxygen-free) sugar burning.

So the body’s only solution to deal with modern life is turning to glucose for energy, leading to those stubborn sweet cravings. Vending machines, kiosks, and fast food chains benefit from our ‘work hard, play hard’ culture, fulfilling your sugar sensors with candy, frappuccinos, muffins, fries, fruit juices and sodas on your commute and at work.

Also read: 3 Ways Stress Affects Your Body & How To Stop It Now



Stress is sometimes unavoidable. But if you’re freaking out every single day, it’s time to hit the brakes. Join our FREE masterclass to learn how to eliminate the hidden and also not so hidden stressors and hormone disruptors in your life!


3. Are You a Sugar Metabolizer?

Why do some people gain weight so easily while others eat double the portion without a problem? It comes down to metabolic differences. Your metabolism determines how your body transforms food into energy.

There’s a myriad of factors that influence your metabolism. From the foods you ate when you were younger to the level of stress in your life; from the number of inflammatory foods you eat to your daily exposure to toxins (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, heavy metals, preservatives, and plastics).

In fact, your metabolic programming already began in your mother’s womb. If your mother had a limited intake of food while she carried you (due to stress, illness, disordered eating or war), you’re metabolically programmed to store fat more easily: all because your fetal body has been exposed to times of scarcity and maybe even starvation. If you, her child, then continues to grow up in a world where there’s plenty of food and sugar available, you are more likely to put on weight during your lifetime.



There’s a way to turn this around! Ideally, you’ll want to make a metabolic switch from always-craving-sugar burner to steady-fat-burner:


The Metabolic Switch


From Always-Craving-Sugar Burner To Steady-Fat-Burner

You don’t have to go carb-free but rather reduce your caloric carbohydrate intake to a maximum of 40%.

By eating less processed sugars, you train your body to extract energy from fat again. You can compare fat burning with burning nice and dry logs in a campfire. They provide a calm and long-lasting combustion.

And hey, most people don’t realize it, but did you know that vegetables are carbohydrates too? Vegetables are a great way to get your carbs: much better than the ones you get from processed foods!

A rich variety of mostly plant-based whole foods, such as fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and some animal proteins like poultry and fish, provide your body with essential micro- and macronutrients needed to calm your systems, giving them the chance to recover.

You’ll help your body get rid of excess fluids, fat and toxic build-up. As a result, you’ll digest better, absorb nutrients, alkalize, detoxify, impede inflammations, balance hormones, support gut and strengthen immunity.


Easy Fast-Start With Our Personal Body Reset Program!

If this sounds overwhelming, our 6 Weeks Personal Body Reset program could be a great solution. It’s designed to heal your metabolism and body with personalized nutrition, exercise and stress relief. We focus on getting healthy and living a life apt to your body and mind type.

Real food, and eating better, not less. No diet powder, shake, tablet or calorie-restrictive diet on earth will get you the same results. Just follow your unique roadmap and recipes while you restore your body into a clean, lean temple that feels damn good to live in!


Tell me, love. Do you want to break up with sugar? What action can you take today to start that process?

Your fellow go-getters and I would love to hear what you have to say in the comments below. Your words might spark a wave of empowerment in somebody else!

Also, when you know someone who needs to hear about the effects of sugar and how to fix it – forward this to them right now.

So happy to have you aboard beautiful!

Keep aceing your health-game. x


Andreas et al. (2000). Chronic Subclinical Inflammation as Part of the Insulin Resistance Syndrome, The Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study (IRAS). American Heart Association, 102(1).
Avena, N. M., Rada, P & Hoebel, B. G. (2008). Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 32(1), 20–39.
Cordain, L. (2005). Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81(2), 341-354.
Haiyan et al. (2003). Chronic inflammation in fat plays a crucial role in the development of obesity-related insulin resistance. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 112(12), 1821-1830.
Lieberman, D. (2013). The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease. (1st ed.) Pantheon.
Mohammed et al. (2016). Dietary intake and the dynamics of stress, hypertension and obesity in a peri-urban community in Accra. Ghana Medical Journal, 50(1), 16-21.
Reaven, G. M. (1988). Role of Insulin Resistance in Human Disease. Diabetes, 37(12), 1595-1607.
Shulman, G. I. (2000). Cellular mechanisms of insulin resistance. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 106(2), 171-176.
Spector, D. (2014, 25th April). An Evolutionary Explanation For Why We Crave Sugar. [Weblog]. Retrieved from
Sugarscience. (2013, 17 November 2013). SugerScience The Unsweetened Truth. [Website].

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Laura Profile Round


Laura van de Vorst

Laura van de Vorst is a certified functional nutritionist, hormone expert, women’s health biohacker, entrepreneur and speaker. Her message - that women can naturally free themselves from suffering anchored in hormonal imbalances - has empowered thousands of women across the globe to take back their life and activate their wildest dreams.