YOU Magazine Feature: Gabriela Consults - Grace Fodor

Is intermittent fasting the secret?

Grace Fodor, 55, lives in Surrey with her three daughters and runs her own pro-age cosmetics brand, Studio 10. Grace eats well but struggles with sleep, low energy and wants to promote longevity through her health and lifestyle choices.

"From 50 onwards, you're investing in your future. I want to be fit and strong and look my best. I'm very invested in the idea of beauty from within. At the moment I don't sleep well, I'm low in energy and I'm running on adrenaline. I'd like to boost my immunity through my diet and talk about supplements. I've got no idea what I should be taking." - Grace 

Gabriela Peacock and Grace Fodor

Gabriela: Could you describe your goals and your general rationale?

Grace: I’ve always been focused on eating well and being generally healthy. But I’ve just moved house, I work very hard and am spending a lot of time commuting between my home and London.

Usually, I try to go to the gym three or four times a week, but because I’m spending more time commuting, I’m missing the gym.

If I’m exercising during the week, I’m mindful about what I eat, but once one thing breaks, you create a negative cycle. At the moment, that’s where I am. I’m craving sugar and I’m not exercising. I need to break the cycle.


Gabriela: How are your energy levels during the day? Do you wake feeling refreshed?

Grace: I don’t sleep very well. I wake up at 5 am and struggle to go back to sleep because I’m thinking about my to-do list and work. That’s making me feel tired during the day, and I know that my cortisol levels are quite high.

Gabriela: Do you have energy dips up and down during the day?

Grace: I don’t think so, but I’m shattered by evening.

Gabriela: Do you drink coffee?

Grace: I’m not a coffee drinker, but when I’m at home I have four or five-pint mugs of strong tea every morning. I don’t drink enough water. Probably one glass a day.

"Menopause would be my first reasoning, but Omega 3 deficiency is very common – many of my patients seem to be deficient." - Gabriela

Omega 3

Gabriela: Do you have any brain fog?

Grace: I’m sharp at remembering things, but at the moment I’m not as alert or sharp. I’ve been taking HRT for just over a year, but it’s hard to know whether my tiredness, stress and brain fog are due to my lifestyle or my hormones.

Gabriela: Menopause would be my first reasoning, but Omega-3 deficiency is very common – many of my patients seem to be deficient. Do you have any bloating or indigestion?

Grace: No bloating. I get heartburn from really spicy foods. Having never had allergies, I’ve started to get something almost like hay fever. I wake up with a blocked nose and sneezing. It’s really odd.

Gabriela: Histamine sensitivity is incredibly common, especially in women in their forties and fifties. Mature cheese, dark chocolate and red wine are particular culprits. If your sinuses don’t get better, then I’d recommend seeing your doctor. What supplements are you taking on a regular basis?

Grace: I don’t know which supplements I ought to be taking. At the moment I’m taking resveratrol, turmeric and co-enzyme Q10.

Green smoothie

Gabriela: And what about your daily diet?

Grace: When I’m at home, I don’t eat till about midday, although around 11 am I have a smoothie made with avocado, spinach and lettuce with almond milk. I love it. For lunch, I have protein – chicken, fish or mincemeat, and lots of salad or vegetables. I like rye bread, and I have boiled eggs, which I keep in the fridge the whole time, and I love cubes of cheese.

I have an afternoon snack around 4 or 5 pm. It’s often crisps or a biscuit, which is a bad habit. I eat protein with loads of vegetables for dinner but recently I’ve started eating chocolate, which I’ve never craved before.

Gabriela's Recommendation:

I think you’ve identified your problems. You have really high-stress levels, you aren’t sleeping well and you’ve lost your gym routine. What is stressing you, in particular, is not having a plan. I think you need a good supplement regime, to do some exercise for your mental health and to destress.

I’d recommend my 16:8 intermittent Fasting Programme, which will restore the structure you’ve lost thanks to its daily cycle of eating and fasting windows. It’s easy to follow, and the kit contains all the supplements, information and support you need. You simply need to select an eight-hour window in which to eat, and a 16-hour fasting window that works for you.

The only problem is your black tea. As soon as you have that in the morning it’s creating a blood sugar spike, which is going to crash about half an hour later. I’d recommend decaffeinated tea or red bush tea, which is good for your liver, as well as eating a few almonds to ensure you have protein alongside your drink.

Your lunch is perfect, but you need to focus on your snacks. Aim for your boiled eggs or maybe hummus, and always carry a protein bar in your bag. Have half of it when you’re peckish to maintain blood sugar.

That way, because your blood sugar has been really well balanced during the day, you’ll end up eating less in the evening, and then you have your 16-hour fasting window. You will feel altogether more in control.

 YOU Magazine Feature - Gabriela Peacock, Grace Fodor

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