The Lifebox X Happy Bread Company Gut Health Series…….Part One


03 May 2016

Welcome to our Gut Health Series.

Throughout the month of May we will be posting a weekly blog from the sensational Karen Collins, founder of the Happy Bread Company, to coincide perfectly with the inclusion of her inspirational HBC Happy Tummy Mix into some of our Lifebox range this month!

Over the four week series she will be discussing in detail the link between bacteria and its food of choice to enable optimal gut health featuring how to best use grain, plant-based foods and meat to treat digestive issues and maximise your overall health and wellbeing.

We love Karen here at LB. From the first minute we spoke to her we knew she was a keeper. Intelligent, instantly likeable and above all carrying such an intense passion & knowledge around her favourite subject matter gut health. Karen has one main goal; to share her knowledge and personal discoveries with YOU……IBS and digestive issues along with other common health issues can be significantly reduced just by eating the right “real” foods.

I will let Karen introduce herself and her fantastic creation HBC……over to you KC x


The Gut Series – Part One

An introduction to Karen Collins, Founder of The Happy Bread Co.

Firstly, full disclosure- I am not a Doctor, I am not a Nutritionist, I am a Baker with an avid interest
in science and eating well as a form of preventative medicine. My Dad was a science teacher and
horticulturist and so I guess it’s unsurprising that science was my best subject in school. Since
then, I have continued to read science papers my whole life to better understand how to treat my
Throughout the month of May I am going to share my accumulated knowledge on this subject in
the hope of raising awareness around the seriousness of IBS and help you clear up yours if indeed
you suffer with it.

So here’s my story and why I want to rid the UK of IBS.

At 6 months of age I was an incredibly happy baby. My Mum couldn’t understand why I started
crying all of a sudden. Too many clean nappies later she realised where the issue lay. A swift trip to
the Doctor and I was unblocked back to being a happy baby! This would be the first occasion of
many throughout my life where the simple act of going to the toilet marked the worst part of my
day. Safe to say, that for most of my life, until I took my gut health seriously, I was constantly
constipated and bloated. Not an ideal way to spend your teens and grow into an adult. It gave me
immense body issues affecting my mental health.
In a time where we didn’t know so much about the different roles select food groups play I
innocently started eating in a way that unknown to me was actually aggravating my IBS. I stayed
away from fat altogether (a food group crucial to ridding constipation and will be discussed later in
the series), I did dynamic exercise and overdid it (should have been doing more gentle yoga
movements), because I was avoiding fat I was avoiding essential probiotic foods and though I was
eating lots of carbohydrates I was eating non-fermented bread and a lot of wheat (turns out I was
massively gluten-intolerant).
As part of a family where auto-immune diseases run high and having lost my Mum to cancer at a
young age it was in my mid-twenties that I’d finally had enough! My symptoms had worsened.
Along with stomach cramps and bloating my tummy used to break out in a rash immediately after
eating gluten and my eyes would water up and sting. I had almost constant shoulder pain. I
became an anxious wreck!
Aged 25, I tackled my gut issue in two ways.
I read as many science research papers investigating the gut and their findings as humanly
possible thereby increasing my understanding of how to eat for my IBS and more importantly –
As a bread lover and baker I knew from my new education that the right kind of bread would help
increase my daily insoluble fibre intake thereby easing my symptoms. Turns out our gut bacteria
actually loves fibre from grain (discussed later in the series)!
After years of recipe development I finally created an organic, gluten-free, fermented loaf that
completely got rid of my symptoms! From sometimes only poo’ing once every 3 weeks I now went
every single morning like clockwork! And today I go two times a day. I felt triumphant!
Key to my success was understanding exactly what my gut bacteria liked for breakfast, lunch and
dinner. I was eating for them and they ended up making me feel very happy indeed!

The Happy Bread Company's "Happy Tummy Mix" features in the Everyday, Womens & new Luxury Lifebox throughout May!

The Happy Bread Company’s “Happy Tummy Mix” features in the Everyday, Womens & new Luxury Lifebox throughout May!

Throughout parts 2, 3 and 4 I shall be discussing the role fats, fermentable foods, probiotics, salt,
carbohydrates and fibre play in keeping you in good gut health. I shall give you lists of ideal foods
to choose from for mealtimes and ways to optimise each meal for better gut health.
We all have different gut bacteria populations and some perform better than others. Eating to
multiply your good bacteria is key to resolving your IBS issues.
Though I suffered with IBS constipation I shall be addressing both types to help those of you with
the diarrhoea kind also.
Discipline is key to conquering IBS and sticking to what works for you. Try never get distracted by
what others are doing and how others are eating. Eat for your own very unique gut bacteria and
they in turn will reward you with a tummy who almost sings! 🙂
I feel very grateful to now be helping people across the UK with their tummy issues through The
Happy Bread Co. and feel privileged that the Chia Teff Loaf which came to life in my kitchen 5
years ago now nourishes so many people with IBS across the UK.

Finally, a HUGE thank you to the unstoppable, life-force who is Jenny, Founder of LifeBox for
giving IBS the airtime it deserves!

Happy tummy day you!
Let’s get your bowels performing like rockstars!
Until next time…
Big bread love,
Karen xxx

Check out more of The Happy Bread Company…click the pic below

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Supporting Treckstock

15p from each box is donated to Trekstock!

There are more than 100,000 young adults living with cancer in the UK today. They lack support because little is known about the challenges they face and few services are dedicated to them.

Trekstock is committed to understanding and supporting their needs, so that no young adult has to face cancer alone.

Find out more…