talkhealth meets... Lauren Windas!

Lauren Windas is a fully accredited Nutritionist and Neuropath. After being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME in 2012, she took control of her condition. Her dedication to self-management led her to learn more about how better diet and lifestyle habits could boost her energy.  Watch Lauren's webinars linked at the bottom of the page.


When did your passion for holistic health begin? What’s your story? 

My interest in holistic health and nutrition began as a result of becoming unwell with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME in 2012. I realised how powerful nutrition and lifestyle changes could be for alleviating and overcoming the various chronic symptoms that I was experiencing. I have been fascinated with holistic health ever since and have enrolled to study nutritional therapy and naturopathy as a result.

When did you realise that you had to turn to yourself and your lifestyle to make changes for better health? 

Unfortunately, I didn’t receive a lot of support for managing my chronic condition from the NHS. I didn’t have the knowledge or answers to understand what was going on with my body, that’s when I realised that I needed to have an active approach to my condition. Exploring self-management techniques was my last resort. I’ve been seeking answers and insights into how I could piece my health back together ever since. It has helped me no-end and I truly believe that it can help others too.

Have you seen an increase in fatigue-related issues over recent years? 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve seen a huge surge in ME/CFS and post-viral cases. People living with Long Covid, which is characterised by chronic fatigue symptoms after suffering from the virus, are dealing with a new phenomenon that is very similar to the experiences of my clients with CFS/ME.

That being said, even before the pandemic I was seeing large numbers of fatigue cases in my clinical practice. Some of this was burnout-related but a lot of it was post-infectious, which is when someone has been ill and reports never feeling well since.

Why is adopting a more holistic, 360 approach to diet and lifestyle so important for better health?

Our nutrition, sleep, mindset, movement patterns and environment all influence our health. They affect things such as insulin sensitivity, digestive health, immune function, mental health, and various other health outcomes. If we all take a second to examine our daily habits and make tweaks here and there, we will reap the benefits when it comes to preventing and managing chronic disease.

You work on gut health, disordered eating and fatigue – how do these relate to one another and why are they both so important?

When I am assessing somebody experiencing fatigue, I look at how the health of the client’s gut and diet might be impacting their symptoms. Often, my clients who are living with chronic conditions have tried various recovery diets. Whether that’s vegan, paleo, gluten-free or dairy-free, sometimes simply navigating these health spaces can contribute to a disordered relationship with food. Fatigue, gut health and disordered eating are also standalone issues that are unfortunately on the rise.

In your opinion, what are the key aspects of a healthier, more productive, life? 

Setting positive intentions for the day ahead is incredibly important. Thinking ahead of time to set agendas can propel you forwards for a more productive day, which can lead to a more productive week and healthier lifestyle. Getting outdoors and exercising is also hugely beneficial for our mental and physical wellbeing. It recharges our vitality and helps us to feel more productive. With that said, knowing when to stop and rest is just as useful. Whether it's meditating for 10 minutes a day or ensuring you have a good night’s sleep, rest is the hidden ingredient we all need to keep healthy and stay motivated.

Why do your clients come to you?

Chronic fatigue is the most common thing my clients seek help for. For this, I start by analysing my client’s diet and checking for any nutritional deficiencies that we can work to fix. I also encourage better hydration as drinking a minimum of 2 litres of water a day can really help to reduce fatigue and increase overall health and energy status.

Keeping an energy diary is also a really useful tool. It can highlight the activities that my clients find the most energy-giving, energy-draining or energy-neutral. This helps them to practise pacing and create habits, events or behaviours that add or subtract from their energy envelope. It is so important for clients to feel educated and empowered by their habits and the influence that they have to improve their feelings of fatigue.

What are some mistakes that people frequently make when they are adopting a healthier lifestyle? How might these be fixed? 

I see people adopting an “all or nothing” approach too often. Those that try to change their lifestyle too radically often end up going to extremes and feeling deprived. This lack of balance can contribute to a downward spiral in motivation levels, leading to a relapse into old lifestyle behaviours.

Also, people try to change their behaviours before analysing the changes in mindset that have to be made to become healthier. My approach is very different. I like to explore the emotional and psychological factors that may be hindering my client from adopting healthier habits before trying to make behavioural changes.

What are your top five tips for nurturing healthier habits?

Variety is the spice of life – Dietary diversity is so important for optimum physical and mental health. Research now shows that the gut microbiome (the bacteria in our digestive tract) is very linked to the health of various body systems. So, eating a diverse diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains, can help to optimise the microbiome and promote overall health.

Be organised – Pick a day of the week to get on top of your meal planning for the week ahead. You can select meals, buy the ingredients and do some batch cooking. This will help you to eat well during the week.

Focus on small changes – Don’t force yourself to jump in at the deep end. It might be reducing the amount of sugar in your tea or coffee or switching refined sugar snacks for a small bowl of fruit or a handful of nuts and seeds.

Stay in your lane – Avoid comparing yourself with others. We are all on a unique journey!

Try to stay positive – Setting positive agendas for the day can help but you should also stay in touch with your mental health. Be willing to talk to those around you about how you are feeling.

Watch Lauren's talkhealth webinars:

talkhealth - Ondemand video - CFS - your route to recovery

talkhealth - Ondemand video - Fighting Fatigue 



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Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. The content however should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments.

Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 18 July 2023
Next review: 18 July 2027