Gut Health

Laura Stirling, A Day In The Life Of

May 16, 2024

Laura Stirling, Bant Registered Nutritionist

Nutrition is one of the core pillars at Brain Health Network. Not only does nutrition impact our overall being, but through the gut-brain axis it plays a key role in our brain health and cognitive functions.

We were lucky enough to sit down with BANT registered Nutritionist, Laura Stirling, DipBCNH, IFMCP. Laura graduated in nutritional therapy in 2007 and worked in functional medicine laboratories for 14 years, providing education and training to practitioners across a wide variety of specialist testing.  

Laura has a (complicated!) personal interest in brain health, having had a brain hemorrhage in 2023, and is confounding her specialists by continuing to make an extraordinary recovery, which she is convinced is in part due to luck and in part due to nutrition and lifestyle implementations. Brain Health is now the focus of her specialist interests. 

A day in the life of …Laura Stirling

6.30am: I wake up at 6.30am and head to my two year old daughter’s bedroom. Her day starts with cuddles, milk, books and a lot of stuffed toys. We then brush our teeth together, get dressed and go downstairs for breakfast.   

7.30: Breakfast for two! It’s a black coffee for me, with high fibre gluten free sourdough toast, butter and tinned mackerel with kimchi on the side. My daughter has the same, without the coffee, thankfully. Her interest in kimchi comes and goes, but it’s such a great food for gut health that I try to encourage her to have it.

8.00: I start the car and take my daughter to nursery. We are lucky enough to live in the countryside so everything is a drive away. Her nursery isn’t too far, but during the journey we chat & sing so her mind becomes stimulated ready for learning and social play in the day ahead.

Woman Taking A Brisk Walk Through Forest Pass

9.00: I get home from the school run around 9am and make time to do 30-60 mins of exercise. It’s usually strength and conditioning, full body workout or a Peloton spin bike session.  Sometimes I’ll go for a brisk walk instead which is always a great way to get my mind and body moving. When I get home I take a quick shower and begin the working day.

10.00: For the next three hours I crack on with work. I am self-employed and work on whatever is most pressing at the time. This could be writing lectures, updating presentations for our mentoring program, meeting with mentees on zoom or reading articles / papers on topics of interest at the time. It really does vary. During this time I’ll also make my way through my emails. Clearing my inbox, clears my mind.

1300: Lunch time. Quite often, I’ll have a home-made salad with either cold fish or meat accompanied by a baked sweet potato. My strategy for lunch is to put as much colour on the plate as I can find in the fridge, but I also rely heavily on our slow-cooker so lunch is often left-overs from the night before. I try to eat away from my desk, stepping outside for some fresh air and sunlight.

13.30: I have 1.5 hours left of child-free working time so it’s time to pick up the pace! I have quite a few colleagues stateside, so because of the time difference, I’ll normally arrange zoom calls during this hour which is very productive.

15.00: I’ll close down my laptop and head off to the nursery to collect my daughter. 

Woman Unloading Vegetables On To Counter top

16.00: When we get home, I take my daughter into our back garden (weather permitting) where we have a small vegetable patch. I try to engage her while I tinker. I am relatively new to the world of home-grown vegetables, but I adore the process and of course the health benefits. I’m hoping that I can pass this enjoyment onto her.

17.00: Supper time. If my husband is away, then it’s just my daughter and I. Our weaning journey and her love of food hasn’t been easy, but the more involved she is in the process of cooking, the more she has gotten “into” food. So, on nursery days, I try to have something on the hob or slow cooker that she can taste or stir before I serve it. I always put a little on a plate for me too so she feels as though we’re eating together. Ironically she normally prefers whatever is on my plate. She’s a big fish and broccoli fan… for now!

18.00: It’s bath time … the winding down process begins.

Sun Glare Through Tree Canopy

19.15: For about 45 minutes I listen out for my daughter as she settles. This is one of my favourite times of the day.  I catch up on messages, but I have deleted social media from my phone so that I can prioritise meditation. I don’t do this daily unfortunately, but when I do, I can really feel the benefits so I aim for a few times a week.

20.15: If my husband is home we will eat dinner together and if not, I’ll eat a bigger supper with my daughter and then use this time to prep food for the day ahead, set up the slow-cooker and organise the house.

21.30: Bedtime and no phones. I read a book, relax and aim to have the lights out by 10pm so I get a good night’s sleep for the day ahead.

Head over to our Nutrition and Gut Health pillars to find out more about why what you eat is so important for your brain health. 

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