Eve Kalinik wholeheartedly believes that having a healthy attitude and approach to eating well isn’t about unnecessary restriction but having an entirely inclusive, wide and diverse repertoire with our food. A self-confessed gut enthusiast she believes that maintaining good gut health is at the core of our health and wellbeing and published her first book BE GOOD TO YOUR GUT in September 2017.
Her philosophy is working towards an authentic life-long positive attitude of eating well. No quick fixes, fads, rules, detoxes or diets but rather a balanced and functional approach that supports the gut and the body on a deeper level to increase vitality and a consistent feeling of well being. Most importantly not forgetting to wholeheartedly enjoy the process of eating.
We caught up with Eve to find out more.
– What does the expression ‘food is medicine’ mean?
I think this can be interpreted in many different ways but for me I consider nutrition one of the crucial underpinnings of creating a healthy body or ’system’. Of course it isn’t just as simple as eat well and you will be well but certainly, I believe, its one of the factors that can help us to be in optimum health “With that I also think that when we have good food it is to be savoured and enjoyed and not to think of it as too ‘prescriptive’ so to speak. We don’t want to take the joy out of eating after all! However if one isn’t investing in things like daily movement, mindful practises and having joy in their life alongside a healthy diet then it’s only addressing one part of this. All of these contribute to our overall health and longevity in my opinion.
– What do you feel are the greatest global health challenges facing us today?
I think many people living in a more affluent society forget that there are those who suffer starvation and extreme poverty every single day. There is still a lot of work to be done to help address this massive imbalance and the huge amount of food we waste. Clean running water is also another luxury that many of us take for granted as well. Even basic healthcare is such a privilege that is often taken for granted. I don’t really know where to start with that question. However, I do think we need to acknowledge how much lifestyle choices play in the role and development of chronic diseases that include poor dietary choices, lack of movement, stress and overuse of certain meds that I hope that with more accessible knowledge this can start to shift but it will take time and investment on many levels. With that though I think that a lot of the ‘fake’ health headlines can be damaging and misinformation can lead to misguided self diagnosis so there is definitely a balance to be had there as well. I also think that mental health is something that needs more attention and even though the stigma is being lifted it is a slow process and with the onslaught of daily social media that we have now I think that can also have a pretty significant contributory effect.
– Please share your top 5 tips on keeping a healthy diet on a daily basis.
INCREASE YOUR REPERTOIRE I’m all about diversity in the diet as this increases our range of nutrients and fibre, the latter that crucially helps to feed the microbiome (aka the trillions of micro-organisms that live in the gut). Often we stick to the same foods and dishes on rotation but a little bit more daily diversity does wonders particularly when it comes to veggies. Get them in…in all colours and in abundance.
BE INCLUSIVE – avoid self diagnosed intolerances and buying into fads and instead eat without the temptation to scape-goat or label foods as ‘bad’ or ‘good’. Food is food at the end of the day. If you genuinely have an allergy thats one thing but to forgo foods with little knowledge I think can be bordering on dangerous from a nutrient perspective but also the negative effect it can have on your relationship with food. Don’t waste a day restricting when you don’t need to.
A LITTLE OF WHAT YOU FANCY DOES YOU GOOD – one of THE most common questions I get is ‘what is the healthiest sugar’ and in short there isn’t. So my point is this…if you are going to have something sweet or sugary then have straight up sugar rather than artificial sweeteners. Just do it in moderation, as in not daily or in excess. Boring but I think true. Artificial sweeteners that you find in many diet products and such like they can negatively affect the microbiome, and in case you hadn’t realised, I’m a fan of nourishing the gut, so avoid those types of chemicals where you can.
EAT FATS – having saturated fats such as organic butter, coconut oil, ghee and even pastured lard have myriad benefits to the body including providing direct sources of anti-inflammatory substances so I would encourage having these regularly, almost daily, in the diet. Unfortunately saturated fats have had a bad rap in the past when thats simply not the case. And not to forget about including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as avocados, olives, oily fish, nuts & seeds and cold pressed oils such as olive oil.
CHEW WELL – before we even get into WHAT we are eating its important to look at HOW you are eating. Movement through the gastrointestinal tract and even optimum absorption can be affected by simply not chewing enough. We do have teeth for a reason and it costs nothing to take time to eat each and every meal.
– Why is it important for us to have a healthy gut?
There are so many reasons why we need to support gut health and the more research that is coming out on the subject makes this even more apparent. Gut health isn’t just about managing digestion but it has a significant role to play in the immune system (80% is located in the gut), production and synthesis of certain vitamins, nutrient absorption, managing inflammation, weight and hormone balancing. Even conditions such as depression and anxiety could have some links to compromised gut health mood since it is believed around 90% of serotonin dubbed our ‘happy hormone’ is produced and managed in the gut.
– How will you be sharing your knowledge at Amorevore?
I hope that I will be able to ignite some real passion and interest around the subject of gut health. I think that once someone starts on a journey of discovering more about the gut it is a bit like going down the rabbit hole but in a really exciting, truly fascinating and certainly eye opening way.
– There are some health industry myths out there misinforming people about how to be healthy – whats your thoughts on the darker side of the health industry?
I do get bored of the incessant, silly and often misguided rhetoric around health and nutrition and the obsession with diets, fads and extreme regimes that can seemingly have very intelligent people ‘hoodwinked’. However we do have our own minds and that means always being critical in our thinking and not to just take what you have read or what people are saying on face value. Do your own research and consider if something is right or not for you. It is your body after all.