Listening to my instincts and going with my GUT

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With the country in lockdown, I was determined that my time during this period would not be in vain. I had a number of plans for 2020 and as most were now shelved, I had taken to networking virtually and taking some online courses to utilise my time.

My first training session was with Bettina Siddiqi, a LinkedIn Specialist, who helps clients to grow their business on line. There, I gained valuable insights and I also met Evie, a Nutritional Therapist that specialized in gut health.

I had heard this term banded about well before the coronavirus, had always wanted to know more, but never had the time. Now that the virus was literally in the air, and as I could potentially get infected at any time, my desire to ensure my immune system was strong, so I signed up for Evie’s “Immune Support workshop” I needed to keep strong, not just mentally but physically in lockdown.

Originally, I had thought that Gut health was just about eating well. However, after Evie’s online workshop I learned more that will stay with me forever. Here’s what stuck out for me:

Lemons – there is a about 31mg of Vitamin C in a Lemon. I could not believe it; I did not know that Lemons even contained Vitamin C. I learned that I could squeeze the juice from the lemon onto my salad to get a good dose (which would also increase absorption of iron) and grate the rind also. A lemon is now my salad dressing of choice, moving forward.

Red Pepper – This contains about 250mg of Vitamin C. Evie advised that a raw red pepper could be eaten as a snack during lockdown with a dollop of humous. I could not believe it, again, I never knew a red pepper contained that much vitamin C. I knew the game was up, my days of snacking like a coach potato were over.

I learned that the body does not produce Vitamin C, but my body needs it and these foods are an easy way to increase my dose.

Vitamin D – I learned I need to take 2000Iu’s a day and that we can suffer deficiency of Vitamin D in this country through lack of sunlight. Despite this our bodies still need to take it.

I knew this, I am from a family with a history of osteoporosis, so I ensure I take a supplement. What I did not know, was that, there two types of Vitamin D, D2 (plant based) and D3 (animal based), and our bodies need D3. I can ask my doctor to test my levels, also, I never knew this. However, Evie can conduct these tests as part of a 121 session for her clients. So, two for the price of one.

Selenium – We need 100mcg’s per day and that this is important for a strong immune system. My ears picked up; Evie advised that I can find my daily dose of Selenium in one or two Brazil nuts. Job done, great, these are now added to my weekly online shop. If only I could get a delivery!!!

Magnesium – I need about 400 mg’s a day and this mineral can be found in leafy greens. I can cope with this, I thought, the summer is coming, I can fill my salad plate with this.

Zinc – I need about 15mg’s a day. If take this in pill form it should be accompanied by a small amount of copper. We need Zinc for our immune system and metabolism function. Great, another useful tip to boost my immune system.

Despite having only met Evie recently, she knows her stuff and imparts her knowledge in a way that is interesting and energizing. She is more than happy to impart some of this knowledge for free. During these shocking times, I know she wants to continue to make a living, but I can see that she also is passionate about helping folks with their diet. I liked this too.

For a small fee I was entertained by a charming host, who in a short space of time has thought me, as far as I was concerned, the basis for looking after my gut and immune health, during the lockdown. The pepper and lemon will now always be in my shopping basket.

Check out more of my writing on

You can find Evie at and

Bettina Sidiqqi, for LinkedIn Solutions at

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