Episode Highlights

00:02:25 Guest Background
00:07:03 Better choices in food
00:10:32 Why is Fiber so important in our diet?
00:16:05 Are fruits good for us?
00:23:44 Saying goodbye to the pills by eating the right healthy food
00:27:23 Good food tastes good
00:28:55 4 Pillars of achieving gut health
00:31:11 What we eat affects our mental health
00:38:50 Why it’s important to check your health
00:44:53 Fasting is good for the health



Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host Darren Kirby.

Darren: Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for men in their 40s who want to improve their health through nutrition and fitness. This is Episode 107. And on today’s episode, we are speaking with Helenor from Troo Foods. Troo was cooked up literally in Helenor and Mike’s kitchen back in 2017, combining their passions for great taste in healthier food that helps support good gut health. Helenor and Mike and their two children took Troo from being a make your own low sugar granola kit to a range of gut healthy food. But before we dig into today’s episode, guys, I just want to take a moment to mention today’s sponsors, athletic greens. It was created by its founder, Chris, after he had years of gut health issues that left him facing a health crisis with no solutions in sight. Athletic greens has a mission of creating the highest efficacy, bioavailable and nutritionally complete supplement to help your body function as it’s supposed to, no matter your age or activity level. Now, as many of you know, my preference is obviously to get our vitamins and nutrients from food. But without busy lives and busy schedules, it’s not always possible to get the most ideal food that we need in our diets. And so I personally take athletic greens as an insurance policy to ensure that I’m getting my daily requirement of nutrients and vitamins. But athletic greens has an offer for all the listeners of the podcast today. If you go over to athleticgreens.com/fitterhealthierdad, you will get 10% off of your first order.

Hi Helenor, how are you?

Helenor: Hi, Darren. I’m good for Friday. Thank you very much. How about you?

Darren: Yeah, very good indeed. It is sunshiney for Friday as well, which is rare. It’s crazy coldness that we’re experiencing in the UK. But, so for people that perhaps haven’t come across you, can you give us a bit of background on yourself, how you came to start Troo, Why Troo exists?

Helenor: Yeah. So my kind of background is in marketing. I’ve worked in marketing for lots of years with big companies and as a consultant, you know, telling people how to do it. And about five years ago, I figured maybe I’d stop telling people what to do and do it myself. So I set up my own company and at that point I was making granola at home from my kitchen in my ovens and sending it through the post to people. Why granola? because according to my kids, that was the best thing I made. I’m going to start a business, what shall I do? And my son said well that the granola you make is quite nice, it should sell.  And I kind of figured, why not? You know, at the time my husband was getting coffee through the post, you know,  freshly roasted coffee. And I thought, well, maybe I could do freshly toasted granola so shamelessly I copied everything that that coffee brand did and just made it granola rather than coffee. And I used to go to school, pick up the kids smelling of granola and then, you know, it was all good. But I guess there came a point when we wanted to get bigger and we saw that there was a bigger opportunity out there.

And by that point, my husband had come and  joined the team and we were looking at if we were going to do that as a product, what should it be to be the best they could be? You know, and with a background in marketing and brands, I kind of felt that we needed to be really distinct and unique. So we started looking at lots of trends and asking why? Why were people looking at “free from” why were people turning vegan and why? Why were all these things happening? And one of the end points we got to quite often was about gut health. Right. And that’s when we really started on our gut health journey and Troo as it is today came to the fore. And what we say is that Troo in  three words is ” Gut healthy goodness”. And we aim to be gut healthy, not just just about goodness. It’s not just about the products that we make its also in the way that we do business. We want to do things, do things right.

Darren: Yeah, absolutely. And I think, you know, to touch on the point, you said there about why people go for certain brands “free from”. And I think, you know. Generally, the population are always searching for healthy alternatives, despite what the media might paint it as – that we are all unhealthy and all the rest of it. We are all genuinely concerned about our health. And so having a product which is truly, you know, which is truly actually healthy is a rarity, to be honest, because, you know, you know, as a marketing expert, they package all of this stuff up in really creative green packages and “be good to you” packages, not naming any supermarkets. And unfortunately, when you look at the ingredients, which 99 percent of us don’t, that they are far from healthy, far from it.

Helenor: And that  really actually winds me up because there’s no excuse for it. No, no. I get really cross about it, my son has had all kinds of tummy issues in the past, probably always to be fair and we’ve been on exclusion diets where we’ve gone “free from” for a while. Dairy free, wheat free, even on a low Fodmap diet. The thing that angered me and it was anger, wasn’t just disappointment. I was really cross about it . Yeah. Well that something that might be free from gluten, but it will be full of rubbish. Yeah. And it’s just kind of like you take the gluten. Why have you got all of this? And it’s not even food, it’s chemicals. Why do you put all of these chemicals into these products? I don’t want to feed my kids this. Yeah, this is not an option. So you end up making everything yourself, which is OK if you’re like me and really enjoy making food. But if you don’t, people default to these unhealthy options, which you just know, it might be “free from” them and they might meet dietary needs, but they’re actually not fulfilling their needs for  life. I think it’s just wrong.

Darren: Yeah, I completely agree. And I get very animated and on my soapbox about it because my kids I don’t go to the Supermarket that much anymore. But when we do, they complain to me because we spend double the amount of time that you probably should, because I look at labels. Right. You’re not having not having that. And then as a parent, you kind of feel a little bit bad because you feel like you’re restricting because their answer to you is why everyone else is having it. Why can’t we have it?

Helenor: And then don’t get me started on school dinners because I just can’t right now. My son’s trying to get really healthy. And so he’s 13, you know, he wants to look good. And so he wants to be he’s left quite a lot of weight. He wants to  lose more. He’s trying to get more muscley and he’s just like it’s carb-tastic at school. It’s all paninis and pizzas and chips .And that’s not what  he wants. All he wants is chicken breast, lettuce and peanuts. You wouldn’t think that was a really hard or complicated or weird diet that he’s on. And it’s no, can’t have that, it’s not available. And it  just kind of doesn’t have to be difficult to eat well, it really doesn’t, it just needs to get better at giving people choices, better choices in supermarkets, at schools when they’re out and about everywhere. But the choices need to be available.

Darren: Yeah, I think it’s about awareness and understanding. But I mean, we could probably do a whole podcast, particularly on children’s nutrition relating to education, but we won’t go there. 

Helenor: No, we won’t go there today.

Darren: So obviously in the time that we’re at now. I guess food goes through phases, and what I mean by that is we had the whole kind of “gluten free” starting 10 years ago and then maybe about three or four years ago, it was all into protein and now everything’s gut health. Right. So why is it do you think now gut health has become so popular? What’s causing this now?

Helenor: I really do hope it is popular, because it’s fundamental, you know, and I think it’s being led by science. And science is amazing, the things that scientists are discovering right now,  they will hopefully change the way we live forever, because if we want to live to a ripe old age healthily, we have to fundamentally change the way that we are consuming food and that is all to do with our gut health. Everything. If you look at all of the diseases, there’s some statistics that came out a couple of years ago, which were shocking but not surprising. So, you know, up to a third of killer diseases like stroke, cancer and diabetes, all of these things which are life limiting diseases, could actually be prevented if you only ate 30g of fibre a day. And that’s to do with the gut bacteria. You are eating 30g of fibre per day to feed your gut bacteria, prebiotic fiber, that it needs to reduce the inflammation that causes all of these diseases. You know, so it’s not hard. It’s really not complicated. And another one,  less than six months after that research came out, more research came out, was also published in The Lancet saying, well, kosher stuff, which said that twenty two percent of deaths,  over 22 percent of deaths, could actually be prevented if people just ate better food. And we’re actually malnourished in the U.K., how awful is that? That we’re malnourished and it’s because people are eating all of that white processed rubbish. Yeah, it’s not doing them any good at all. We need to really stop and be more conscious than our consumption.

Darren: Yeah. And I think my hope is over what’s happened in the pandemic and over the last couple of years, the people’s awareness has been at least raised on this topic.

Helenor: You have got to hope that.

Darren: Yeah, I mean, you have. But I, I think the massive part that’s being missed right now is that, yes, we have an amazing vaccine, everything else. But they’re not talking about the long term. They’re not talking about why so many people have been impacted by this? Because fundamentally, we are sick. We are unhealthy. And this is not about diet per se in terms of dieting, because I have a big issue with that as well. This is about fundamentally understanding what food and nutrition is and what the body needs. But I think one one big area that people really don’t understand, but it’s been kind of floating around the food industry for years is fibre. So obviously, I’d like to talk to you in depth about this today so that people listening get a real understanding of what fibre actually is and just why it’s so important.

Helenor: Yeah, we are passionate about fibre and every portion of Troo which I think about fibre people find it really hard and when they think they think of All Bran or they think it is like really cardboardy tough food that is not appetizing, is not interesting. Takes ages to cook like brown pasta,  takes twice as long as white pasta and brown rice twice as long. And it doesn’t taste as good and all of these misconceptions about fibre and how you can eat it. We absolutely need to eat more. When we were cavemen, you know we were eating about one hundred grams of fibre a day. Nowadays in countries like the UK, it’s around about 18 and the government and the NHS, the World Health Organization, all of these big health bodies say we need to get 30 grams of fibre a day. Now, 90 percent of the UK population and more women than men don’t get that 30g of fibre per day. And that’s a shocker. It is a shocker. And actually what’s really funny is when you talk to people about it, they think they do. You know, they said, oh, yes, I get my quota of fibre. And when you go through the day with them saying, oh, I have eggs because eggs are really good for protein. I have some eggs for my breakfast and maybe a smoothie. All right, then that’ll be bugger all fibre. But what did you have for your lunch? Well, I try not to eat too much bread, so I won’t have any of that. I’ll just have a little wrap of ham or something like that. Well, not very much fibre there.

 And the people just lose all, completely misconception of what they need to eat. So that’s why we try ,  we’re trying to make it easy. We say you need to eat your 30g of fibre per day and you can do that with two portions of Troo. For each portion of Troo is at least eight grams of fibre or at least twenty five percent of your daily fibre requirement. Now, we’re not all about that cardboardy fiber. We’re actually quite a lot about soluble fiber. So our products contain an ingredient called inulin. It comes from chicory fibre from the chicory root, and it’s a completely natural product. And this has been scientifically proven to help feed your gut bacteria and bring with it all kinds of benefits. Now, inulin, definitely isn’t brown. And it isn’t hard. You know, our syrup looks like a kind of honey and it tastes really smooth. It’s half the sweetness of sugar. So it’s got some sweetness there, but it’s not overly sweet and you can do all kinds of things with it. You know, you can drink, you can pour it over your yogurt, you can pour it over your porridge. You can spread it on your toast, brown toast. There’s so many things you can do, it doesn’t have to be difficult. But the other important thing about fibre is that diversity, because you want to eat different kinds of fibre from different kinds of plant based products because they’re all feeding different bacteria within your guts. So, you know, it’s not just that we would never say live on Troo because that would not be good , good for our bank balance but not good for our bodies.

That wouldn’t be good for the people. So we don’t we would not recommend it. Diversity is really, really key. And you should try to eat up to 30 different forms of plant based fibre a week. Now, that might sound ridiculous. Actually, our granola actually contains eleven in one packet of granola, so it doesn’t have to be hard. The little tips that we have as a family, are that we eat a lot of spicy food and I use mixed spices, so I don’t have to have a whole cupboard full of stuff. Garam Masala contains loads of different spices. Each of them is a plant based fibre, might only be a small quantity, but it will start feeding this bacteria. Even just plain old curry powder, the mixed  Mexican spices, you can buy all sorts. And my favorite is Ras al Hanout its a Moroccan food that’s just packed with all different kinds of spices. And the other one thing that we do go through is packets and packets or little tins, little packets of mixed seeds that you can pick up in all the supermarkets that contain five or six different seeds. Little sprinkle of that on anything, on the salad in your soup, on top of your vegetables in your curry, just almost every meal. We don’t have salt and pepper on top of the table. When people are having dinner, we have a packet of seeds, which might sound a bit strange, but my goodness, it really does make sure you get 30 different forms of fibre in the week.

Darren: Yeah, yeah. I think it’s really important that you highlight that. I wasn’t aware of the spices. But it makes perfect sense. You know, it’s plant based because when you do say to people or 30 different types of plant, they’re like Wow. I know I make a conscious effort every week when I do my shopping to buy a new vegetable that I haven’t tried before. And I think having this balance. Say balance, but a diverse gut microbiome is very, very important because obviously. As I think it is, Socrates said, all disease starts in the gut and, you know, the majority I think the majority of the population and lots of people listen to this, you know have all kinds of digestive issues and it comes from the gut. But where do you stand on fruit? And obviously, fruit contains fibre. So what’s your view on that? Because it obviously contains sugar, but it’s natural sugar.

Helenor: Now fruit, you have to be careful with it. That’s where I stand on it. You know, I kind of think that we should be really clear and the government should be really clear on guidelines when they say five portions of fruit and veg a day, that should be five portions of vegetables or four vegetables and only one of fruit. They’re not equivalent. They’re really, really not equivalent. And it depends on the kind of fruit. You know, my preference is the berries. I really I’m a big berry fan, whether that’s strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, they all contain polyphenols, which whilst they’re not fibres, they also help your gut bacteria. So they are really good for you. And also some of the berries contain a surprising amount of fibre. So you don’t really think about it. But strawberries, on the edge of a strawberry, there’s  little pockets of fibre, this hidden fibre in seeds that are in some of the fruit. So, yes, bananas. Green bananas are good for you, brown bananas are not.  Banana bread is not good for you. Don’t think you’re getting one of your fruits a day if you have a slice of banana  bread. It’s not good. You know, something is better than nothing in a little bit is never going to harm you, but you do have to be really careful, particularly about fruit juice, you don’t want to be glugging gallons of that stuff, you know, it’s not good for your teeth or for your insides. Just in moderation.

Darren: Yeah, absolutely. And I think yeah, I think the whole, I cringe when I hear people say I’m on a  juicing diet because I just thought, well, you’re just ..

Helenor: Throwing away the goodness.

Darren: It’s just having liquid sugar. But yeah, it’s yeah, I agree. Having that diversity. And I think for children as well, making sure that they have diversity. And my take on this is that they might not like all of the fruits you offer to them, but at least they’ve tried it once. That’s my view. They need to try it once,

Helenor: You know, and I’m a great soup maker. I love making soup and I make it every week. I make soup. And often, particularly when my children were younger, I made tomato soup. Right. That had tomatoes in it as well as everything else. And it didn’t matter what it was. Anything in the fridge that I came across , Courgette, carrot, parsnip, anything and I would make.  I wouldn’t just serve it as soup. I would serve a dollop of it in curry or spaghetti bolognaise.  And I just hide it in as many different things as possible. And the kids never complained. They didn’t realize that they were getting tons of vegetables, but you can make it easy for yourself. It hasn’t always got to be a chore. And, you know, I’ve been there where people just and the children and adults alike, the thought of vegetables basically makes people uncomfortable. They just can’t do that. And it’s like, how do you make yourself?  Smoothies and soups- Yeah, that’s how you make vegetables easy if you can’t. I love broccoli, you know, but I know I’m a bit odd. So, you know, you can’t, you can’t always, you have to make it easy and for people to try and adopt these kinds of lifestyles, which will really help them in the end.

Darren: Yeah. And I think that’s the other thing. You know, this is a lifestyle thing and it sounds a bit grand when you say lifestyle change, but actually, you know, it won’t hurt you to just kind of stop and look at your lifestyle and say, you know, what is my relationship with food? Where have I learned my understanding with food? And we all know it’s become from when we brought up our relationship with food and it evolved. But you will do yourself no harm by stopping and thinking, is this right for me? ” Am I getting all the nutrients I need and just asking myself that question and then just trying something different? And the interesting thing you say about some people and vegetables, I coach so many guys who have had scars from their childhood where they will not eat vegetables, they just will not have that actual thought that makes them feel sick. But the problem with that is that they are missing so many nutrients in their diets. And I like to say that that brings on a whole host of other things. But I just want to go back to inulin, because that’s when I came to Troo. And the story behind that was my son was having gut problems. And, you know, I’m fine with them having porridge oats, but I don’t like that package stuff  because of the sugar in it. And so I researched. And then I found Troo. I found your syrup and the chicory root inulin and it was absolutely perfect. And I argue that I couldn’t even tell the difference between this other rubbish stuff and the stuff that I was making at home with whole milk, unhomogenized milk and a big dollop of Troo insulin in it, mix it up on the stove. And it was perfect, very tasty, nice and sweet. But then he was just getting a huge dollop of fibre that really, really helped his gut problems, really helped it. So in the creation of all your other products, I’m assuming that the inulin forms the base to achieve the sweetness, is that correct?

Helenor: So right now it does. Insulin is that in every single Troo, every portion of Troo, and also not as a token, not just so that we can put ‘inulin’ in it. And this is really important for people to realize this is another one of those packaging nonsense is that you have to eat 12g of inulin to have a scientific benefit. Right. There is another packet of granola that does have inulin in it. To get your twelve grams of inulin, you have to eat the whole box, which is not really realistic on a daily basis, is it?  not nice ! But this makes me cross because again, you’re just trying to fool consumers. The two portions of inulin a day that are the two portions of Troo that we would recommend to get you the twelve grams of that you need. And whether that’s the gut mobility,  that motability, really it can help if you’ve got constipation and you know, when you work on Troo, poo continues to become an inevitable part of your life.  I’m disgusted, but I’ve had consumers on the phone. I’ve got some lovely consumers, wonderful Charlotte from Manchester, who has rung me. Her story was a real sad story. She had cancer last year and she had to have I think it was a hysterectomy and she had a really difficult time.

And as a consequence, she’s constipated and she’s one of these people who really want to be fit and healthy. But her doctor said, is this it? Am I going to be on this medication forever? Have you  got something else? And the doctor said, no, you are going to be on that medication because that’s what you need so go back and take this medication. And she rang me up last year and said, I don’t know if you can help me, but I don’t want to do this,  because of how much Troo do I need to have and whether I should give it a go and not. Absolutely. This science, the papers, all the signs that say if you have two portions of Troo a day and that could be a porridge and a granola or a spoonful of fibre, you can mix it up. You should go to the loo frequently. You should, , you should be back to normal stool frequency anyway. She rang me up less than a week later to say I’m off the pills on the Troo, going like a trooper. So, I mean, she was so happy. You know, you just kind of thing, this is surely why we are always popping the pills rather than looking at food as medicine? Because, you know, it can really help you to help yourself with food.

Darren: I truly believe food is medicine. And yeah, I, I think again, coming back to awareness and education is a massive part and I believe we would save the NHS Billions. 

Helenor: Billions, absolutely billions

Darren: If we understood this more…

Helenor: Chicory inulin is a real food is medicine ingredient. You know, it’s there on the glycemic index. So if you use that rather than sugar or honey, you won’t get those sugar spikes that you get when you eat sweet stuff, you know, and all of this has got loads of science behind it. So you get your 12g a day. That’s what you need. And it’s the magic potion. But it is a high Fotomat product, right? It’s really high in fermentable fibres, that to a certain extent, most people are why it’s really effective. Yeah, there are some people who have some form of IBS where they shouldn’t be having high Fodmap foods because it just irritates them. It’s kind of like almost like they’re having an allergic reaction to it inside their tummy. And there’s more and more signs coming out about this. So as a consequence, we are also looking at different forms of high fibre, high soluble fibre products that we can include in our products. So right now, everything contains inulin. But actually we’re looking at what else is out there, where in the future, where can we go?

We’re also looking at ..so prebiotics is the fibre. Yeah, probiotics are the bacteria. And the new stuff that I talked about is postbiotics, which is the kind of it’s the short chain fatty acids and the other things that get released when when the bacteria eats the fibre, it releases the short chain fatty acids and these that this is the exciting stuff that does all the good things. And it reduces the inflammation in your body. It gets everything working properly. And postbiotics is trying to isolate some of those. And we could potentially use that as something in the future. And some of them don’t taste great, though. So that’s the challenge, you know. Yeah. And that’s why we love inulin, because it tastes great and it’s really functional. But it’s just,  we’re always looking to the future. We’re always watching the signs. We’re always seeing what we can learn and how could we incorporate this into a food that can actually be enjoyable and help people?

Darren: Yeah, and I think there’s also a thought that people seem to assume that if it’s healthy, it’s not going to taste nice. Well, I don’t subscribe to that. I mean, you know..

Helenor: Definitely not really

Darren: You’re putting a lot of time and effort into finding other things. And I’ve no doubt you’ll find the new thing, which, again, tastes good. It doesn’t taste rubbish. And I don’t subscribe to it because I think good food tastes good. Yeah. And if you.

Helenor: Well, Chocolate is a classic example, we do chocolate everything we do with chocolate granola,  chocolate syrup because people like the taste of chocolate and there’s this misconception that it’s going to be bad for you, chocolate is not bad for you. It’s the sugar and the fat they put in that’s bad for you. The chocolate, the actual cocoa, is really good for you because it’s full of polyphenols, which are great for your gut bacteria. So for us Chocolate is a win. Yes, it’s a really good thing. But, you know, I’m telling my kids, get stuck into the chocolate. You know, this is all good stuff its not bad.

Darren: No, absolutely not,  again this comes completely back to the understanding, but going a little bit deeper into gut health because obviously you’re kind of shifting a little bit more now and you’re getting more into gut health and testing. You know, I just want to kind of highlight the kind of fundamental elements to gut health, to help, because gut health and mental health are all connected, because we’ve got the vagus nerve between the gut and the brain. You know, if our guts are inflamed, you’re going to get information on the brain. So can you talk a little bit about that, particularly around a lot of guys they struggle with sleep, they with stress and that kind of thing?

Helenor: And these things are a two way street, right? So, you know, you’ve got bad gut health, you’ll suffer from stress, you get stressed, it works in tandem. And if I can tell you when we talk about that health, we talk about four pillars. Diet is one pillar, but so is stress management, exercise and sleep. They all work together to maximize your gut health. So when we’re doing any health recommendations on our website, this health guide, it’s about everything. It’s not just about eating food. We can get you a way there with the food that we encourage you to eat. But you have to try and work on all of those areas in terms of health and mental health. This is a real passion point for us, because my father in law has Parkinson’s disease and my dad has mental health issues. And we’re acutely aware that those are both hereditary, but they’re also changeable and they’re highly related to your gut health. So if you can take care early on, don’t leave it until you’re 70. Get going now. What should I do? What can I do now? And then you’ll get your gut in prime condition and look after yourself.

Then there’s no need for you to get this disease. And Parkinson’s is a really interesting one. Now they are even getting to the point  where they can almost identify the bacteria that could be at the cause. And when they get to this, we may not even have these diseases in the future if we manage to control it properly. It’s super exciting. And the whole, you know, the gut brain axis thinks it makes sense. I know that when I am and I get nervous, the first place I feel it. And these tiny things like being a tiny bit nervous when I fly. I fly a lot, in the process. I am a little bit nervous stepping on the plane in the first place. I feel it is always in my gut. You know, it’s cool. It makes sense. Yeah, but why didn’’t we just think about it before now? I know mental health in Britain is not good. It’s really, really not good right now. So I think that getting people to think a little bit about what they’re putting inside their mouth is essential to make sure we can try and manage this as we move forward.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. And I think there’s a lot of emphasis, quite rightly so, on treating it. But I’ve not seen too much on the treatment of the diet because, you know, particularly in the younger generation, obviously this is talking about dads. But dads are going to have children. You know, if you’ve got children who are consuming crazy amounts of highly processed food, takeaway food, their mental health is not going to be the best. And  because of all of that information, all that bad bacteria is just going to go off into the brain. It’s going to inflame the brain and the mental health results will be obvious. So I think it’s very important that, you know, I’m not trying to demonize takeaways. I like a takeaway every now and then. I’ve got it that often, but I do have one. But it’s just, again, having that awareness that what we put into our bodies does affect our mental health, our physical health, all the whole kind of circle of life, if you like. So it’s very, very important just to kind of mention it, really. But you’ve moved on a step from that with Troo. And if you could if you can share, as you said

Helenor: Today, today and today is the big day. Yesterday we got a delivery of our exciting new product, which is a health testing kit, which I made an announcement on Instagram. I think people are thinking, I’m going to talk to you about an exciting new granola or a new bar or something, but I’m not going to talk about it a poo testing, which will probably be a bit disappointing for some people. But for us, actually, it’s really exciting because we’re going to be the first supermarket brand, if you like, that’s saying, you know what, we are so confident that our products will benefit you. We’re going to let you test and you can see the difference it makes. So these tests retail at £80 but  we’re doing a special offer, for these at £65. And we will always be doing something special on these kinds of products because you want to make it accessible. And it’s not just about the price. The thing that’s really exciting about ours is that you get the results in a week, which I think is why we’ve got the partnership, a lab in Derbyshire who are really great guys and they basically paid postage for you. You get it the next day  delivered by courier to your house.

You do your business, collect your sample, put it in the Royal Mail. Then within seven days, you’ll get an email with your results and it’s a functional test kit. So this is not looking at. The bacteria in your gut, what it’s actually looking at is how is that bacteria working and what is the effect it is having on your health? So it’s about functionality, not just about composition, because this is just really important. The other tests in the market tend to be composition tests. And then they assume from the composition how your gut is functioning, whereas our Test is actually looking at the short chain fatty acids I’ve spoken about before, looking at these within your gut, assessing the levels and then telling you what you can do to optimize them and how you can increase them, how you can increase them so that they can then reduce inflammation and do all the great jobs that they need to do. So, yeah, I’m super excited about it because I’m you know, finally people can test right now, by next week or next week. They could know how good their gut health is.

We’ve had the company that we work with have done a lot of these tests recently. And for most people, the results are not that good. No. And that’s for me a real worry that there’s loads of people walking around Britain whose guts are not in a good state and they really need some help to move them on. So you fill in a little questionnaire when you do your poo sample and then with your results, you’ll get some lifestyle and dietary advice. So we do ask about how much exercise you’re getting. You do need to get out. We’re not talking about running marathons, we’re talking about getting some fresh air and going out and doing some walking, doing what you can to just get that heart rate up, you know, and we talk about how much are you drinking? Those kinds of things are going to have an impact. You need to know about being a spoiler, like you say, about never having to take it away. It’s about getting some moderation back to your life and introducing some good habits so that they do outweigh the bad ones. But, life is about enjoyment and having fun, too. So, you know, it’s about getting the balance right. 

Darren: Yeah. One hundred percent. I couldn’t agree more because automatically when you talk about health and you talk about nutrition, people think, oh, it’s restrictive. I’ve got. No, you don’t. This is the and this is for me, the fundamental element of where the diet industry has led us astray for so many years. It’s not about that. If you have nutrient dense food, I’m getting animated with my hands now! Dieting becomes irrelevant, absolutely irrelevant because the body gets what it needs. But I think more importantly, Helenor it is what you said just there around… And this is another big thing for me is around the data, around understanding ,the analogy that I always use. I would argue that the majority of the people in the UK, specifically guys, take care of their cars more than they take care of themselves. So, for example, if you are a guy listening to this and you get into your car today and the engine management light is flashing orange, you book that straight into the garage, will. Most of us will anyway. Yeah. Why is it then if we get a little warning light in our bodies, we just ignore it or it’s  just not right. And this is where what you’re doing, I think is so good because it’s now giving people the insight. You’re not just claiming on the box you can do this for your gut and your gut will be amazing. You’re actually saying you can do this. We have got and we’re now going to prove it to you. And also, not only that, we’re going to help you fix it, Which I think is fundamental,

Helenor: Because, you know, I’m just so happy about it because I just think more brands need to be doing this thing. You know what? You can’t make assumptions about how you look on the outside and how you look on the inside. It’s not about what’s actually happening in there…. It is also not just about ..you know  thin people also do not have good gut health. Absolutely. No, it’s not just about how you look. It’s sometimes, you know, gosh, of all things going on, it’s really important that people get this insight on the inside so that they can make the necessary changes so that they do live a longer, happier, healthier life.

Darren: Yeah, absolutely. And so when this test comes out, is this going to be available on the Troo website or is this something separate or?

Helenor: You know, it’s going to be on the Troo website this afternoon. We’re literally going through testing, through everything today, through websites. It’ll also be on Amazon. Maybe that’ll be tomorrow. But, yeah, we want to try and make it available to people who literally order on Monday. You get it Tuesday. Yeah, that’s what we do. Some of the tests we take up to six to eight weeks to get the results. Oh my goodness. I can’t wait that long. I had to wait five days for a blood test result and I got really cross and that was from the doctors. But I just kind of think you don’t want to, when you decide you’re going to make a change, you want to do the test to get the results so that you then can act on that. You don’t want to be waiting months and you also then want to be able to do it again and see the benefits that you’ve made, its such a motivator or make you want to do it again?

Darren: Yeah, exactly. It’s no more guesswork. And I believe that we’re in a unique time in society where science is coming out. The data that supports this home testing model that’s kind of evolving. I think it’s fundamental. And I believe it’s something which we actually should have as part of our yearly lives. So as an example, I test my gut health twice a year, I get my bloods tested twice a year, I do vitamin and mineral tests and all these kinds of tests, but that’s me just making sure that if there’s anything going awry, I can fix it. I can change it before I need to go to a doctor or involve a hospital or anything else like that. So it’s about adopting a maintenance method. A maintenance module sounds a bit grand, but essentially just taking care of yourself

Helenor: Is I am really passionate about this too because I have I suffer from anemia and I actually look back and think, God, I’ve been an idiot so many times where I’ve known I am anemic  and I haven’t gone and got the test done because I don’t know why I haven’t done another test. Yeah. And it’s held me back from doing so many things. Now as a child, as a teenager. I stopped playing sports because I was so upset because I got out of breath all the time. I was just anemic. I didn’t know I never had the test. And that actually stopped me from doing that and so much sport. Now, at the age of 50, I started playing rugby for my local women’s rugby team. How mad was that? I just recovered from anemia and I got like I was running, like 5k, I felt really strong and I never felt better. And my biggest regret is that I never got tested earlier. And I didn’t. I wasn’t looking, I wasn’t looking for the signals. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was so busy looking out at everything else happening in the world. I wasn’t thinking about myself. And there is a time to be selfish because the impact that these things have on you is huge. I just kind of I’m really sad about all the things I missed out on.

Darren: Yeah, no, I agree. I think the impact is huge and you can slice and dice it in many different ways to touch on the point that you said about being selfish. But I would argue what is selfish or, are you know, not being more selfish by ignoring it? Because I’ve worked with quite a few dads now who have got type 2 diabetes, who have had mini strokes, who have got liver issues. And the only time they do anything about it is when its happened, right? Yeah. Why not do it? Why not even let it happen? And so we all know specifically, guys, we say, you know, we want to provide for the family. We want to be there for the family. How can you be there for you and your family if you’re not there for yourself 

Helenor: Right, exactly. That’s a really powerful message.

Darren: Yeah. So I was going to ask you for five things you could recommend today for people who could improve their health. But I reckon I can guess one and two anyway.

Helenor: Yeah, you definitely can. Number  one is to absolutely eat more fibre. It  is the number one thing that you can do. Don’t think negatively about it. If you want some inspiration come to our website, we’ll show you how you can eat fibre and have fun. So number one eat more fibre and  number two,  unsurprisingly, eat a diverse range of fibre. So that I mean, those are the two diet tips that we would highly, highly recommend. And number three, sleep. I’ve always been a lover of sleep, but now I track my sleep because it’s not just about the length, its the quality of the sleep. You need to make sure that there’s some amazing books on sleep out there and they really bring your attention to why it is important. Oh, yeah, about it’s a time when your body regenerates, the time when it gets better. It’s a time when it logs all those memories. It’s so fundamental for your physical and mental health and wellbeing you need to sleep. Saying I can get by in five hours is a fallacy. You cannot. This will. Dementia is increasing off the scale. People don’t sleep, it causes dementia. It’s as proven as a proven link. Just get more sleep. I am really passionate about that one. The next one is exercise, which I have never exercised. It has been a struggle for me for my whole life, partly because of anemia  and partly because I’ve never been that sporty. I did the couch to 5k  and actually that just showed me that you can do so many things that you think you can’t,  you’re self limited by your own beliefs. Get rid of those beliefs and give it a go. I’ve also recently got a dog. Oh my goodness. I’m smashing 15,000 steps a day is not a problem. Just do things you know, if you haven’t got a dog , do something else. But exercise is crucial to get your body moving and serotonin. You get the good vibes, you get in the fresh air, it’s all essential. That’s number four and the number five will be a bit of a controversial one. Fasting, So fasting is something which some people think is a crazy idea. Actually, it’s not. It’s really liberating. Now, I’m not talking about going for days and days without eating. I’m talking about just changing the times when you eat. So know if you can do it in an eight hour slot and then fast for 16 hours, it’s really possible if you were to eat from 10 o’clock in the morning till six o’clock at night and fit two or three meals in that in that time, the fasting allows your body time to recover and regenerate. And I would really recommend people give it a go. It’s something I really enjoy. I can do 20 hours sometimes, but you just you just not thinking about food. You’re just getting on with your own way. And both your body and your mind have the time to get back to normal, so I would really, really think, get back to normal. 

Darren: Yeah, I am a huge advocate of fasting for longevity and for cellular health. So the body goes through autophagy after twenty four hours where it cleans out all of its dead cells, for your blood sugar, getting your blood sugar in balance. For all of your intestines, giving it time to relax, you know, we couldn’t just keep running around all day. And then therefore, you know, our gut and intestines don’t want to keep being fed all day. You know, the human body can actually go for a month without food. But unfortunately, the UK and the US are the only two countries where we have an unbelievable amount of access to food 24 hours a day. If you look at Europe, they don’t have shops open, their shops close. They don’t have takeaways all the time. I mean, some of the big cities might, but the majority of European countries don’t. So, yeah, yeah, we could do a whole podcast on fasting, but I think it’s very important and it’s not that difficult right. You sleep for 8 hours hours and you fast. You know, if you try 12 hour fast, for example, you’ve going to do another four hours when you wake up.

Helenor: It’s really not a big eat. And like I said, I find it really liberating. I really enjoy my fast days. I really, really enjoy it. Yeah give it a go.

Darren: Yeah, absolutely. Well, it’s been fascinating to talk to you. I really appreciate you coming on to the podcast. But how can people find out about you,Troo. And everything else.

Helenor: Everything is on our website, which is www.eattroo.com and thats where our shop is. There’s also lots of health advice and we’re also on Facebook and Instagram and we really love interaction. So there’s nothing more that I like,   when one of my customers calls me. Yeah, like Charlotte from Manchester, if people say what makes Troo different from other health brands or the food brands, is that personal connection that we really want to have with our consumers. With every parcel we send we put a handwritten note in it and we really value that. It would probably be better, more business minded of me to use a distribution house. But we’re not going to do that because then we lose the connection with people who he is, yeah, I’m never going to end up with a facility, having that connection with our consumers is really important. Drop us an  email or a  WhatsApp. You’ll get a response-  probably from me!

Darren: And yeah, go and check the website. And I really advise people  listening to this. Please get your gut health checked. You will be fascinated with what it comes back with, but more importantly, you will be amazed at how you feel when you get it balanced.

Helenor: Exactly that, Darren your test is coming out and you’ll get it on Tuesday.

Darren: Excellent. Can’t wait, I love a good test. Yeah,like I said Helenor, thank you very much for coming on to the podcast today and I’ll speak to you soon.

Helenor: Pleasure, thanks very much.

Darren: Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please hit subscribe. And I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review on iTunes. All the things mentioned in the episode will be in the show notes and a full transcription is over at fitterhealthierdad.com