5 Ways to Keep Your Gut Happy

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Digestive problems can develop at any age. They may include allergies such as gluten intolerance or conditions such as IBS. Looking after your gut can prevent these problems from taking hold or at the very least relieve the symptoms. Here are just five ways that you can keep your gut healthy.

Stay hydrated

Drinking lots of fluids is essential for keeping the gut healthy. Water is the healthiest drink you can have – we should all be drinking 8 glasses a day. Sugary drinks aren’t so good for the gut – if you’re constantly drinking juice or fizzy drinks throughout the day, it could be worth reducing your intake replacing some of these drinks with a glass of water. Even if you’ve got a bad case of the runs, it’s important to keep drinking fluids to keep your body from getting dehydrated, as your gut is likely to be passing liquid without letting your body absorb it.

Eat probiotics

Whilst unhealthy bacteria can be bad for our gut, there is also good bacteria found in probiotic foods that is essential for keeping our digestion healthy. Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, miso, sauerkraut and goat’s cheese are all great probiotic foods to help get your fix of healthy bacteria.

There are also many supplements on the market for those that don’t like these foods. It’s possible to eat too many probiotics and end up with stomach cramps and diarrhea – you’ll know if this is the case. Be wary of taking antibiotics too often as these kill the healthy and unhealthy bacteria in your digestive tract, often leading to digestive problems.

Stay away from triggers

Many people have triggers that can cause digestive problems. These may be any kind of food and can result in mild to severe side effects. Dairy, wheat, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar are some of the most common triggers.

If you find such foods or drinks are causing digestive problems, you may want to consider limiting their consumption or even cutting them out altogether. Allergies can develop at any age and it can be difficult to pinpoint triggers at first – you may want to start a food diary. It’s common for pregnancy to develop triggers, but these will usually go away after pregnancy.

Know when to see a specialist

Certain conditions could require seeing your GP or even getting an appointment with some gastroenterologists. This could include cases of IBS, stomach pain or bleeding in which off-the-shelf medication has little impact. Don’t ignore these symptoms – in some cases they could get worse if not properly treated as with gallstones and infections.

Reduce stress

Growing research shows that stress is bad for the gut. The stress hormone cortisol puts our body into fight or flight mode, focusing our body’s attention on processes that are needed for survival mode. Digestion is not seen as necessary for a survival situation and so it’s common to end up with digestive problems such as constipation or diarrhea or bloating when under stress as the gut isn’t getting the neural signals it needs. Taking time to reduce stress, particularly before eating, can help to keep your digestion working as it should.


Four Healthcare Products You Should Keep Stocked!

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Considering the majority of people will experience minor pain, problems, and cuts or grazes on a regular basis, it’s surprising how limited our knowledge and understanding of these things tends to be. So, it’s time to start brushing up on your knowledge. Here are a few healthcare products that you should always have easy access to, alongside added information on when is best to use them and in what way!

Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are two of the most commonly taken painkillers. Acetaminophen helps to relieve pain and reduce high temperatures or fevers, while ibuprofen eases the pain as well as inflammation or swelling. What’s more? The two can be taken together, so they generally form the basis of people’s pain relief and most homes will have them within easy reach. While these tablets should be stored well out of the reach of children or pets, it’s best to ensure that you’re stocked up on them at any given time.

Surgical and Compression Stockings

Following any form of surgery, it is generally recommended that the patient wears surgical stockings, otherwise known as compressions stockings. These serve to place pressure on the lower part of your legs to improve your blood flow and circulation. So it’s always good to have some of these stored away at home just in case!

If you haven’t already, invest in Discount Surgical Stockings. As well as serving you after surgery, they can also come in handy if you fly regularly, or are booked onto a long distance flight. Staying still on a flight can increase your chances of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and swollen legs. Wearing compression stockings can counteract the effects of stillness and changes in air pressure during your flight.


While it’s not every day that you will cut yourself, it’s good to have band-aids in your first aid kit should you experience a minor accident of some sort. While it may be tempting to leave small cuts alone, you should always clean them thoroughly and use a band-aid when there’s one available.

The band-aid will protect the wound from external influences, keeping it clean of bacteria or dirt. This helps to speed up the healing process. Band-aids also have the added benefit of creating a barrier between the wound and friction caused by contact with clothes.

Eye Rinses

Whether you have direct contact with your eyes on a daily basis (perhaps you put contact lenses in and take them out regularly), or you barely touch them at all, you can experience tired, sore, dry, or irritated eyes at any given time. This can be triggered by allergies, debris or foreign substances touching the surface of the eye or excessive rubbing. An eye rinse or eyewash can help to cleanse, soothe, and protect the eye’s surface should needs be. This will almost always prove more effective than water alone. So take a look at the different brands and options available to you and keep a bottle nearby.

These are just a few different products that you should always have in your home to help secure your health and wellbeing!

Family, Self-Care

Finding a Balance Between Careers and Motherhood

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Trying to make your career work alongside being a parent is hard. Being a mother comes with a side order of guilt. We feel guilty if we are working and contributing to the family because that takes us away from time with our children. We feel guilty if we don’t work at all, believing that we aren’t putting enough into our home and our bank balances. Guilt is the ingredient of motherhood that often traps tired mothers into a decision about their career that they do not want to make.


When you’ve had a baby, you get two choices, but they aren’t really choices as they depend on your income. You can choose to stay at home and be a parent, or you can go back to work.

There’s a secret third option, in that you can choose to retrain and find a career that suits you better around your children and family. Whether you have decided to stay at home, retrain or go back to your job, you have taken on double the responsibility: you’re a parent and you are an employee.

Trying to find a balance between your career and your newfound responsibility as a mother is tough. It’s not going to be easy to retrain, either, because even if you find a job with flexible shifts like nursing, it’s a long road and not all about Greys Anatomy pants and McDreamy!

You have to try and find the balance between the challenges of shift work and the responsibility of the children at home. It’s important not to compare yourself to other moms out there. It may look like everyone has their act together, but it’s more likely that they don’t, and comparing yourself is only going to make you feel bad about the way that you balance things.

To find more of a balance between home life and work life, you have to treat your home life as important as your career. Family events shouldn’t be flexible because work events wouldn’t be. There is no guilt toward your job because family comes first. Your job may pay the bills at home, but that doesn’t mean you have to live and breathe it. Don’t be too hard on yourself if your schedule changes, but make it clear to your employer that you must be balanced at work. If you choose to retrain into another profession, find out whether your new career path offers flexible working hours or fixed shifts. Your family will rely on you to be there for them and yet you may still need your job for independence. If your job isn’t going to feed into your success, then a change is necessary.

Balancing motherhood and a career isn’t easy, but it can be done with perseverance and patience. It’s a struggle that happens to more than just moms, too, as it’s a human thing to struggle with finding a life balance with work. Give yourself a break – you are human and you matter, too.

Finding a Balance Between Careers and Motherhood - The Southern Smiths: Make sure your kids don't get lost in the hustle and bustle!