Is lactose intolerance as common as you think? What it is, how to test + my lactose intolerance results

Is lactose intolerance as common as you think? What it is, how to test + my lactose intolerance results

I’ve written quite a lot about food intolerance since I’ve suffered with a lot of digestive issues myself and needed to control them to optimise my own health. While I gave an overview of types of food intolerance in this guide, I’ve not covered lactose intolerance specifically.

A lot of people seem to report lactose intolerance, but it actually seems to be commonly misunderstood. Did you know, for example, that lactose intolerance is thought to affect only around 5-16% of people in the UK? A far lower number than I often see being thrown around on social media.

Because of these kinds of misunderstandings, a lot of people self-diagnose or follow overly-restrictive diets.

There was a point in time where I suspected that I had issues digesting milk. I didn’t know if it was due to a milk protein, lactose, or perhaps something else in my diet entirely, that I happened to consume at the same time.

While I have tried to reduce my cow’s milk intake for sustainability reasons anyway, I felt it was important, from a health perspective, to better understand what could be negatively affecting my body. So, I took a lactose intolerance test.

This article draws from my own experience as well as research into exactly what lactose intolerance is, why the rates vary among different populations around the world, how you can test to see if you actually have it.

But before we get started, here’s a fun fact: when I was younger, I thought that ‘lactose intolerance’ was ‘like toast and tolerance’ and was some kind of idiom that I didn’t properly understand yet.

Thankfully, I understand it now. So here we go.

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Guide to Omega Fatty Acids + Supplementing with Omega-3

Guide to Omega Fatty Acids + Supplementing with Omega-3

The importance of omega fatty acids in your diet can’t be ignored. Omega-rich foods are crucial in my diet and omega supplements are a non-negotiable staple in my supplement stack. If you want to optimise your health, you may want to pop them in yours too. Here's why:

It is said that we evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 of approximately 1:1 [ 1 ]. In Western diets, this ratio is now said to be at least 10:1, with some sources suggesting that some individuals have a ratio as high as 25:1.

Essentially, we are getting too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3. And it’s making us sick.

These shockingly high ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 are one of the reasons why many diseases that are caused by or linked to inflammation (arthritis, allergies, heart trouble, Alzheimer’s, depression and cancer) are becoming epidemics in Western countries.

I have a chronic condition myself, Cystic Fibrosis, which is characterised and worsened by inflammation. So I’ve learnt as much as omegas from how to optimise your omega-3 to omega-6 balance and omega-3 and -6 testing, to the different types of omega supplements.

Unsurprisingly, the deeper I delved, the more questions I had and no single book, journal or web page could answer them all comprehensively. So this article pulls most of what I learnt together in a way that I hope will help you too. For that reason, it’s a bit of a long one - more of a guide, really (okay, it's an absolute monster of an article!) - but I’ve done my best to split it up into easy-to-digest sections. 

I hope that you learn at least one thing from it and that it inspires you to make simple changes to improve your health long-term. 

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How to choose a Level 2 Fitness Instructor course: my Experience with Lifetime Training

How to choose a Level 2 Fitness Instructor course: my Experience with Lifetime Training

Last year I qualified as a Level 2 Fitness Instructor with Lifetime Training. I did this as part of the FitEx Award, which also includes 2 Les Mills modules.

There seems to be a rise in people looking to take fitness qualifications, either to move into an active role within the fitness industry or to simply improve their own knowledge. (Are you the former or the latter? Let me know in the comments section!) With this, lots of people have questions about what the courses entail, how you can prepare for them and what they qualify you to do upon completion.

Especially since course providers aren’t generally very forthcoming with the intricate details of their courses, it makes it really hard to compare options. So, I’m sharing my experience with Lifetime Training in the hope it might give you a little insight...

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I quit my job to save my health

I quit my job to save my health

A lot of people have a job that negatively impacts their health to some extent. It might be mental health, or it might be physical health. Perhaps your stress levels are too high, perhaps you don’t sleep properly, perhaps you skip meals or buy junk food or have extremely low activity levels because of your job. If so, you need to make a change. 

Employers may tell you ‘health comes first’. But often, it seems insincere: something that HR have told them to say so that they don’t get sued for neglecting occupational health.

Sometimes when people have said it, ‘health comes first’, I’ve believed that they really do think that health _should_ come first. But does it? No. Not until you’re hospitalised (or threatening to leave your job) and they are forced to be accommodating or risk losing you permanently. Or, even if they believe it with every bone in their body, perhaps they just don’t have the resources or authority to actually make ‘health first’ a reality.

But whatever the situation, you should never let it get to the point where your health tangibly declines before you or your employer starts valuing it. 

It’s 100% true that if you do not make time for better health now, you will have to make time for illness later.

So, with this in mind, I quit my job.

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What You Should Know About Antibiotic Resistance

What You Should Know About Antibiotic Resistance

There are few public health issues of greater importance than antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in terms of impact on our society. This is a global crisis. And no, I’m not being dramatic. I've been affected by it myself.

While this is an issue far bigger than any one of us, we do have some control over it, if we each take responsibility and act now. By educating ourselves, and sharing information with our friends and family (and anyone else that will listen!), we are playing an important role that shouldn’t be underestimated. 

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Can Magnesium Spray Enhance Your Recovery?

Can Magnesium Spray Enhance Your Recovery?

I’ve tried out a lot of products in the past that are said to aid muscle recovery and reduce soreness, from bath soaks to arnica creams. None of them were noticeably effective at all, and in any instances where I detected a negligible difference in my recovery, I could never say with any kind of certainty that my recovery was down to a single product; it could just as likely have been due to eating better or getting more sleep.

Except for one.

But first, here's what you need to know about transdermal supplementation....

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4 Must-Read Books for Better Health + Nutrition

4 Must-Read Books for Better Health + Nutrition

The main point I want to make with this article is that the vast majority of the information in these books should be common knowledge.

I can’t stress that enough.

It horrifies me to think that this incredibly valuable information is out there, pretty much for free, and yet some people are never exposed to it.

Here are 4 must-read books to help you improve your health + nutrition.

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The Need-To-Know on Your Pelvic Floor + How Elvie Helps You To Do Your Kegels

The Need-To-Know on Your Pelvic Floor + How Elvie Helps You To Do Your Kegels

Ladies, do you do pelvic floor exercises? 

Honestly?

I’m sure, like me, you’re aware of how important they are. Yet, also like me, when it comes to training these muscles, you’ll probably remember that they exist every fortnight or so, and exercise them by squeezing ‘down there’ how ever many times you deem useful (10, 15, 20 times?) before getting distracted by something else.

Needless to say, there are lots of things wrong with training your pelvic floor muscles in this way:  
* You don’t really know if you are squeezing the muscles correctly  
* You aren’t sure if you are squeezing for long enough, hard enough, or a many times as you should  
* You don’t have any way to measure your progress  
* It’s boring as hell, making it very easy to become distracted

Thankfully, some very clever ladies out there have designed a sleek little gadget and app called Elvie to overcome all of these problems.

But first, here's why doing kegels is important in the first place...

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Healthy Things To Do In Rio De Janeiro

Healthy Things To Do In Rio De Janeiro

I was lucky enough to spend a week in Rio de Janeiro with Swisse - the official vitamin choice of Team GB - soaking up Brazilian culture and the excitement of the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Olympic Games represent health, fitness and dedication like nothing else and it was incredible to feel a part of them when in Rio.

Of course, the Olympics only last a couple of weeks in August, and the Paralympics a couple of weeks in September 2016, so not everyone will have the opportunity to experience them when visiting Rio de Janiero. Thankfully, there are lots of other things you can do if you want to experience a fit, healthy and inspiring trip to Rio...

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