We ask Julia Gruber: How does healthy nutrition work in everyday life?

In the interview, Julia Gruber describes how you can integrate healthy eating into your everyday life and explains the health opportunities the home office offers. In addition, the nutrition expert will tell you her favorite recipe in case you have to go fast.

Julia Gruber is a nutrition coach and intestinal expert. After she and her husband ran a practice in the field of nutritional coaching and intestinal health for over 15 years , she is now concentrating primarily on her podcast Darmglück and the online course of the same name , with which she helps her listeners and customers, among other things, to get used to everyday life to eat healthy.

From her practical experience, she is convinced that health is a holistic combination of nutrition, intestinal health and lifestyle. When measures such as anti-inflammatory nutrition, promoting a healthy intestinal flora, exercise, sleep, mind hygiene and stress reduction are applied at the same time, it is amazing what can be achieved in terms of quality of life even in a short period of time .

Interview with Julia Gruber about healthy eating in everyday life and from home

Ms. Gruber, where does your enthusiasm for healthy eating come from and why is it your intestines of all things that so impress you?

Julia Gruber: I originally come from the hotel business, so there has always been a love for good food and high-quality food. I came to the profession of nutrition coach through my husband, who already had a nutrition coaching practice when I met him.

The enthusiasm for nutrition really came from the sometimes almost unbelievable success of my customers. When I discovered a method that was quick and easy to implement, feedback suddenly came that my customers had more energy again within a very short time , felt lighter, slept better, had less or even no pain. The subjectively better feeling was then also objectively verifiable as blood values ​​improved, which fortunately we had always included in the consultations from the beginning.

We came across the subject of the intestines over ten years ago and it is the central piece of the puzzle for a holistic approach to health. The intestine is our center, our root. It is the place where our nutrients are taken in, where hormones and neurotransmitters are made. To a large extent, it is the seat of our immune system and is closely connected to our brain via the gut-brain axis . No other organ reacts as directly to our thoughts, feelings and, for example, to stress as the intestine.

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That is why all diseases of civilization and, above all, all chronic events such as asthma, hay fever, autoimmune diseases or skin problems always have something to do with the intestines.

But it is important to me to emphasize that if you really want to be or become healthy in the long term, you need a holistic approach . I see healthy eating in everyday life, and especially gut health, as the gateway that enables you to feel so much better very quickly (sometimes within days, sometimes it takes a few weeks) that you are able to move around again to take care of the areas of life that are important to you.

Because it’s not just food that nourishes us , but also things like our relationships, job satisfaction, physical activity, hobbies, training and personal development.

Anyone who is constantly sad, full of pain, exhausted or sickly does not have the strength to take care of these areas of life. That’s why I think nutrition is so important because it brings us back into our strength.

There are foods that are marketed under the name superfoods. What do you think of this and which foods, in your opinion, really deserve the term “superfoods”?

Gruber: I don’t really like the term because it sounds like marketing and hype to me . Most of the foods that are touted as superfoods come from far away and suggest that consuming them alone makes you healthier.

If anything, I would call the following foods “superfoods”:

Regional, seasonal natural food that has been grown sustainably and without toxic pesticides or animal products from species-appropriate and drug-free husbandry.

Most of us were taught in childhood that sugar is not good for us. In recent years, however, white flour has also come under increasing criticism. What do you make of it? Is white flour as bad as sugar?

Gruber: I would like to contradict you a bit: I don’t think that most people are aware of how bad sugar is or why it is so bad. Otherwise the amounts of sweet drinks and candy would not be sold as is the case.

The similarity between sugar and white flour is that white flour can be broken down very quickly by the body and thus causes the sugar level in the blood to rise relatively quickly and also relatively high, as occurs when consuming sugar.

The higher the sugar level, the more insulin your body produces. This insulin quickly lowers the sugar level again and it can lead to hypoglycaemia, which manifests itself in the form of cravings, for example. If you constantly eat too much sugar or even white flour products, long-term consequences for some people can be  insulin resistance, constant hunger, fatigue, poor concentration, increased blood lipid levels, high blood pressure, obesity, a weakened immune system, increased allergies and much more.

As a nutrition coach, Julia Gruber deals a lot with healthy eating in everyday life.

Gruber: What makes white flour even more difficult is that it is mostly wheat flour . In addition to gluten, this wheat also contains gliadin, which causes intolerance in some people. Gluten can also contribute to a so-called leaky gut ( leaky gut syndrome ). Such a permeable intestine can lead to intolerance, inflammatory processes and an overreaction of the immune system.

I therefore recommend that you only consume small amounts of white flour or cereals containing gluten in general . To do this, it pays to be honest with yourself and write down how often you consume it. It is not uncommon for people to eat gluten four to five times a day (e.g. a crunchy muesli in the morning, a few spelled crackers in the morning, a piece of bread with lunch or a sandwich, a biscuit or a piece of cake in the afternoon and pasta as a side dish in the evening).

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Incidentally, I don’t particularly like the word “bad”, because ultimately it depends on the amount and frequency and also on a person’s state of health. Anyone who is absolutely healthy, slim and productive can certainly handle a certain amount of sugar and white flour.

Many people want to eat healthily. Unfortunately, in practice this is often not that easy, especially if you work full-time and maybe even have children. What tips do you have for integrating healthy eating into everyday life?

Gruber: I think it’s easier than many think.

It is certainly helpful not to think too complexly. Cook dishes with just a few ingredients and double the amount of them , so you can eat them twice.

Not particularly popular, but extremely efficient, is to create a menu plan for the coming week at the weekend . This makes shopping easier and also relieves you mentally, because you don’t have to think about what you want to cook at the end of the day.

Another way to save time is to order your food online . Many supermarkets already offer this service. It saves you the drive, the queue at the cash register and the hunt for groceries. It also counteracts spontaneous purchases, which are usually not really healthy and also reduce your wallet.

Another tip is to use kitchen gadgets, such as a slow cooker , where you can put all the ingredients in in the morning and when you get home in the evening you have a great ready-made dish that you can eat right away.

But if you just can’t manage to cook healthily on a regular basis, for example due to a busy schedule. Is it still worth it to force yourself to do it, or isn’t the additional stress you put on yourself in the end even more harmful than a finished product?

Gruber: You don’t have time, you take your time. That sounds brutal now, but you will find time for what you consider important.

My suggestion for people who do not seem to have time for healthy eating is to first ask themselves what good reasons could be for taking good care of themselves. Good nutrition is a basic requirement for concentrated, creative and efficient work.

In the next step, you could take a fresh look at your appointment calendar and ask yourself: Where are things that cost an unnecessarily long time? Could I delegate tasks or maybe even delete them without replacing them? Do I need more time to get things done because I am going unplanned and headless, am tired and listless or do a thousand things at the same time?

And in the last step I recommend regaining the joy of cooking (again). People who have to “force” themselves to cook healthily are mostly people who say of themselves that they can’t cook or that they don’t feel like cooking. Learn a few simple, healthy recipes that will be easy for you to use. You might even get help in acquiring such a basic repertoire of dishes. With a little practice, it is possible to have healthy, tasty food on the table in 20 minutes that will energize you rather than drain you.

Ready meals often contain a lot of sugar, salt and fats and only a few important nutrients. So they usually only provide empty calories. Those who value a conscious diet should therefore avoid them.

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In the past few months, many people have had to work from their home office. What opportunities and risks do you see in this development for health?

Gruber: I definitely see opportunities in the time savings , because I would now estimate that most employees save at least an hour of travel a day if they do their math honestly. You can put this hour to good use for your health by cooking healthily, maybe doing a little stretching during your lunch break or meditation at the end of the day.

In particular, the possibility of being able to cook yourself and not having to rely on canteen food or take-away is a big plus . So it is up to you to take good care of your body and to eat healthily in everyday life.

I also find it positive that you can shape your work environment in a healthy way and that you have control over whether you want sweets, snacks or sweet drinks in the house at all. Many people find it particularly difficult to eat well when colleagues live out their unhealthy habits and they don’t want to be the only ones swimming against the current. At home you can do your thing , without teasing or even being asked to make an exception.

Gruber: From an intestinal health point of view, I could also imagine that many people find it easier to go to the toilet at home and not avoid big business . Not infrequently, constipation results from the embarrassment of people who have to pass stool in a toilet that is shared with others. I have also been told by customers that the employer would not like to see them go to the toilet too often and therefore start drinking as little as possible.

As a dog owner, I still see the advantage that you can be with your dog all day , which in turn will normally have a very positive effect on your stress level.

On the one hand, I see dangers in the area of ​​the psyche , namely that many people at home have the ceiling on their heads and there is also a lack of social exchange.

It could also be tempting to spend lunch in front of the TV , which is not really good for digestion. Eating unconsciously often means that you overeat and that your digestive system does not develop its full potential.

Working from home can also make you forget to take regular breaks and also neglect exercise .

Would you give us a simple, healthy recipe that can be made quickly in everyday life?

Gruber: Please don’t laugh at me now, but if you really want to go fast in everyday life, I’ll make scrambled eggs with vegetables and fresh herbs . For example, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, bell peppers, fry everything very finely, add thyme or rosemary, season with high-quality rock salt, pour two mixed eggs over them and cook until the egg is set. If you bake the whole thing in the oven in the morning, you can even take it to the office and eat it cold. If you like, you can add a salad.

I know that doesn’t sound like a sophisticated recipe, but my credo is actually to cook as simply as possible , because then it doesn’t take long. You get the kick with spices or herbs in your dish.

Dare to cook very simply with high-quality ingredients and you will enjoy the good taste and the light feeling after eating.

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