Hard to imagine it, but Elle Macpherson spent years feeling tired, bloated and plagued by sugar cravings. But a new way of eating gave her energy, balance and glowing skin. She explains how

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About four years ago I felt tired, bloated and generally out of sorts. I had been taking lots of synthetic supplements that weren’t working for me anymore.

I visited my nutritional doctor, Simone Laubscher PhD, who explained to me how an acidic and unhealthy gut can negatively affect your life. She introduced me to the idea of an alkaline diet, which meant overhauling my lifestyle. One of the biggest changes was swapping my diet to a more plant-based one. When you are nourished and maintain a healthy pH balance, it assists with lowering acidity in the body that can lead to inflammation, low energy, weight gain and accelerated ageing of the cells. It made a huge difference to my life, the way I felt and my gut health. I noticed changes in just two weeks. I felt less fatigued, had more vitality, my skin wasn’t dry, I stopped craving sugar, my mood stabilised and everything became more balanced.

It made me realise what a profound impact good nutrition can have on the way I feel and how this can show on the outside. I have learnt that by reducing acid-forming foods and replacing them with ‘live’ nutrients and raw vegetables and fruits, the body can return to a healthy balanced state and allow the digestive system and liver to rest and recuperate. That's why we developed The Super Elixir Alkalising Greens  made from 45 premium wholefood ingredients, carefully selected to work together, to ensure maximum absorption.

having a healthy gut means I get sick less often and my energy levels are much higher which means I can accomplish more in my day and sleep better at night

My favourite gut-friendly foods

I have replaced red meat with fresh line-caught fish and ramped-up my daily vegetable quota (espcially greens). I generally have my greens with whatever I eat at lunch, which is often a salad with a base of pulses, lentils or quinoa. I load it up with leafy greens and other vegetables, especially kale, spinach, sprouts and rocket.

As well as my daily doses of  The Super Elixir , I take our Nourishing Protein  powder that deliver the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which are so vital for a healthy and well-functioning gut.

Recently I have invested in a dehydrator . Cooking food can strip it of its nutrients. I like the idea that preparing my meals at a lower drying temperature, means they taste great but still have their proper nutritional value.

The gut book I recommend

I love Gut’ by Giulia Enders . It’s very approachable and is written in a highly engaging way. She makes talking about wellness interesting and fun.

MORE GLOSS: 7 books to buy to keep your gut healthy 

I know my gut is out of whack when…

…I don’t sleep well, gain weight and retain fluid. My hormones feel out of balance and I lack energy and vitality.  The symptoms I have experienced, in both acidic and alkaline states, have proven to me, that good health really does start with nutrition. I find having a healthy gut I get sick less often and my energy levels are much higher which means I can accomplish more in my day and sleep better at night. Being healthy on the inside also shows on the outside. My eyes and skin are clearer, my hair and nails are stronger.

Lifestyle is key to good gut health too

I am much kinder to my body now. On waking, instead of bounding out of bed and hitting the gym, I meditate -  being calm allows me to listen to what my body needs for the day ahead.

For my body to work optimally, balance is important and so much of our food, processed for convenience can have little nutritional value. ‘Empty’ processed food of low nutritional value, stress and modern living habits, and not enough nutrients from natural food nutrients can mean our bodies are not functioning at their optimal healthy rate, throwing our system into an imbalanced state.  I always start the day with filtered water and two heaped teaspoons of The Super Elixir  and lemon juice, or a green juice packed with vegetables and lemon juice. It sets my body up and it feels good knowing I have had all the essential nutrients my body needs to operate at optimum level.

I travel a lot, which can upset digestion

Hotel food and crazy hours can really throw me off track, so I make sure I am well-hydrated (drink plenty of water) and rested, and try and avoid eating heavy meals, which affects my digestion. I always take my iPad full of books and movies before getting some sleep. I use our Sleep Welle remedies to help me unwind.

For me, it is the perfect prescription for sleep-on-the-hop. Our Sleep Welle Fortifying Tea  is delicious and an effective tonic for sleep. It contains valerian that improves sleep quality and hops for calmness and relaxation. I also spritz some of our Sleep Welle Calming Mist on my pillow or on the plane. It contains essential oils such as lavender and chamomile to reduce tension. It means I wake at my destination feeling rested and ready to go.

Love, Elle

Shop Elle's gut top 3

1. The Super Elixir Alkalising Greens Caddy with 30 servings £96 , 300g.   Super Elixir Refill  (also 300g) £62

Made from 45 premium wholefood ingredients, carefully selected to work together to ensure maximum absorption. Do as Elle does and mix two teaspoons (10g) in water, coconut water, almond milk, juice or a smoothie, or sprinkle it over a yoghurt. Enjoy once a day in the morning or afternoon.

2. Nourishing Protein Powder, 500g, £48 

A tasty vegan protein powder from plant-based ingredients such as peas, dandelion, pomegranate and sprouted brown rice to maintain blood sugar levels, combat stress and provide a healthy metabolism. It's flavoured with delicious raw Peruvian cacao It has all 9 essential amino acids.

3.   Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ, by Giulia Enders.  £9.09.

An updated edition of the award-winning publishing sensation. An engaging and funny must-read for anyone interested in gut health.

www.welleco.com  Find all  Elle's monthly columns fo r  Get  The Gloss here.