Lorraine, 37, had a stressful middle management role in a corporate environment which lead to acute irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in her late twenties. The condition was so debilitating it became clear that she would have to make changes in her life to improve her health.
And now she has launched Nutritious Lolly – a nickname given to her by friends and family - to offer easy-to-follow, actionable nutrition advice that fits around busy lifestyles.
Lorraine said: “I had a really stressful role in my previous career and slowly but surely it started to get to the point that it was making me incredibly unwell.
“IBS is an acute illness and very quickly it can have a profound effect on your life.
“The traditional ways used to treat IBS didn’t really work for me and, from my own research, I discovered quite quickly just how incredibly important good nutrition is, in not only improving conditions like IBS, but in maintaining your general health.”
IBS and its related symptoms cost the NHS £1.2 billion in 2012-2013. Poor diet and stress are often cited as the main causes.
Lorraine has helped hundreds of people with health and nutrition over the years, including elite athletes like Scottish amateur boxing champion Iain Trotter, who has just signed his first professional contract and credits Lorraine with much of his success.
He said: “My coach and I had to trust in Lolly that my weight would be spot on for every fight. I had more energy for training, better recovery and always felt I could go an extra round.
“I knew the importance of nutrition in my regime but some of the changes that Lolly made to my diet have made a huge difference.”
She has been working on the new brand with web developers, marketing and social media experts and business advisers over the last year, but as well prepared as she is, she’s still nervous about actually taking the business live.
“In some ways, the actual nutrition and fitness part of the business is really the easy part. The thing that’s really taken the time is all the business-related matters. I’ve spent a long time ensuring that I have the proposition right, and that the branding and marketing is where it should be.
“I’ve been working with some very talented people and it’s both exciting and nerve-racking to finally be at the stage where we’re ready to launch.”
Launching a nutrition business in January is a brave decision – as we all lament our Christmas choices and make resolutions, the marketplace is jammed (no pun intended) with health and fitness products. “What makes me different,” says Lolly, “is that I make nutrition and fitness fun and entertaining, as well as realistic to achieve around a busy schedule.
“There are no 'sins' and you don't have to clear out your cupboard of refined sugar,” she says with pride. “It’s a lifestyle approach geared towards changing eating habits and achieving your fat loss goal.
And she accepts that we’re all human, too. “I am honest with everyone about not aiming for perfection. I love chocolate and the odd glass of Prosecco. I teach people how to work the food groups to achieve a high metabolism and burn fat, yet still eat hearty meals at the same time.”
The Nutritious Lolly 6-Week Whole-Body Plan is an online course that incorporates weekly fitness videos and easy-to-follow recipes.
The central point to Lolly’s new plan is that good nutrition leads to healthy digestion, which is central for a healthy lifestyle, something that Lolly says many people forget.
“The 6 Week Whole Body Plan is a plan for everyone,” she says. “I see a Nutritious Lolly book in the future, and an advanced online plan where those who loved and did the first plan will go on a ‘more technical’ nutrition journey, with more intense exercise to fine tune everything even further.”