WelcomeHello and welcome to Live Love Balance, the home of natural living solutions. My name is Kirsty Gillmore, and I’m a registered Nutritional Therapist (BA (Hons), dipCNM, mBANT, CNHC).
I created Live Love Balance to share my wisdom of nutrition and toxin-free living across the globe. I want to give you the tools and resources you need in order to heal yourself, so you too can live a rich and fulfilling life.
When I’m not sharing my natural lifestyle hacks with you, I’m compiling nutrition plans for my clients, researching health and sustainability topics, exploring local food outlets, or simply soaking up the good vibes in my toxin free home.
To read more about my journey from sickness to optimal health, continue to read my story below.
If you're looking to upgrade your own health, you can book a personalised health consultation with me, here.
Good luck on your health journey!
It Started with a Smile
My health journey started in 2010, when I went under the knife for maxillofacial surgery. My misaligned jaw had been contributing to my migraines for years, and cosmetically, I was suffering with self-confidence issues. It was time to fix it.
Six months after having my jaw broken and reset, I was thrilled with the results. I had less migraines, and I was smiling with confidence. But it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
I started suffering bouts of bloating and abdominal pain after eating, especially with bread and pasta. Then came the nausea, hot sweats, fatigue, brain fog, constipation, trapped gas, hives and palpitations. Not the kind of Friday night social dinner experience I was looking for.
Feeling Hopeless Yet Hopeful
In 2011, my GP diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and handed me a printout of symptoms I should expect to recieve with the condition. I was told “we don’t know why it’s caused, but it's very common, and nothing to worry about”. But I left the appointment feeling frustrated and hopeless.
I thought, “Just because everyone else is suffering from the same thing, does that make it OK, or healthy? If anything, it opened my eyes further, as I became aware of the IBS pandemic. The widespread sickness that supposedly had no cause or cure.
“Do I really have to endure feeling like rubbish for the rest of my life? How could the body suddenly malfunction without something causing it in the first place?” It didn’t make sense, and something inside told me there had to be a solution.
The Medication Martini
By 2012, I'd had three more operations, after opting for removal of the metal plates and screws that were holding my jaw together. There should have only been one more surgery, but due to healing complications that had gone unnoticed by the hospital, various complications meant that I needed additional correction work.
With each operation, came a host of medications, including anaesthesia, antibiotics and painkillers. I walked away with my large zip locked bag of drugs, and followed the dosing plan advised by the surgeon, with little thought. Meanwhile, my gut symptoms worsened, until I had so much pain that I was forced to find answers, fast.
Chasing the Dream
Working in the fast-paced world of television commercials, in the bustling streets of Soho, London, didn’t help matters. A year earlier, I’d taken on the dogsbody role of a Runner, in order to be granted access to the ladder up to my dream job of a 3D Animator.
On the surface, it was cool & glamorous, the kind of job that people wowed at, when they asked me what I do for a living. But behind the scenes, the story was very different. Sure, I was happy to put in the extra hours to learn the skills needed for my dream job to transpire. But was running up and down stairs, serving coffees to staff and clients from 10am to 5am every day, really worth it?
A Quick Fix
Enduring a 17-hour shift for two weeks flat, gets you wondering if you even want your 'dream' job. The lack of sleep and nutrition led me to crave junk food & coffee. After arriving home at 6am each day, I would have my 2-hour “restorative nap” before getting up at 8am for a new day of work. Walking past McDonald’s without lining my stomach with the Sausage & Egg McMuffin Meal and a latte, became impossible. Red Bull became my best friend to help get me through the day.
My colleagues were the icing on the cake. There were egos everywhere I turned. A manager at one particular studio demoted me for being 'too friendly'! But I soldiered on, determined to not allow anyone to get in the way of my dream job which was waiting for me, at the end of that long ladder. I told myself if I didn't, I'd be a failure.
The Wake-Up Call
Eventually, I decided I would find a company whose values I aligned with. Of course, the new job had to remain located in the same industry, as I couldn’t bare the thought of abandoning the one and only dream. Sure enough, I found the company I was looking for. The people were kind and the team had a positive energy. The finishing time was 7pm; a big improvement, albeit two hours longer than the average office.
I loved the working environment, but deep down, a sense of uncertainty remained. It wasn’t a question of whether I had the capabilities to “make it”; besides, I’d been training more than I had ever done in the 17-hour job. But with a host of health problems worsening, including fatigue, calf cramps, brain fog, and migraines, 80% of my focus was distributed on the subject of health, and only 20% on pursuing my chosen career path.
With every day feeling like a struggle, I kept thinking “Is life meant to be so difficult? Surely there has to be a greater life outside of my current reality?” I only had to look around me on the train to see the gloomy faces and of other commuters as people stood crammed into the carriages like sardines, that I wasn’t the only one suffering.
The Quest for Healing
Determined to find reasons and solutions, I became obsessed with health blogs, wellness podcasts, and food documentaries. I also started attending yoga classes in London after work, which I really helped me relieve my stress and it also unblocked the negative energy I'd been holding in my chest for so long.
Between 2012 and 2016, I researched and self-experimented with my health like crazy. I learnt that the three courses of antibiotics I'd taken for my operations, as well as all the other medications along the way, had upset the natural bacterial balance in my gut. I also discovered that I had a sensitivity to foods containing wheat, which is what was causing most of my symptoms.
I began to understand the reason I felt so unwell every time I ate my Mum’s signature stir-fry. Even without the wheat noodles, I had been reacting to the gluten-containing soy sauce! I had also been unwittingly feeding sugar to a natural yeast that lives in our gastrointestinal tract, called Candida Albicans. The combination of these health errors was causing inflammation in my intestines, which in turn was creating the symptoms.
It made sense; of course there is a logical reason why something stops working in the body. I thought, “If I know what created the problem, then surely removing it will have the reverse effect?” I decided to go gluten and sugar free, to see if that could help. From 2014 to 2015, I avoided both culprits, whilst taking a candida cleansing supplement, gently increasing my fibre intake, and avoiding foods I found difficult to digest, such as brown rice and chickpeas.
The Birth of Live Love Balance
By 2016, my IBS had vanished, my migraines had cleared, and my energy had returned ten-fold. I was amazed! The new lease of energy meant I was able to focus on what I really wanted in life. I felt so inspired to help others do the same, that I set up the Live Love Balance instagram page to share my words of wisdom. My obsession with consuming health information, shifted to producing health information!
My passion for sharing the knowledge became so paramount, that I could no longer ignore the calling. In October 2016, I took a leap of faith, and joined The College of Natural Medicine in London, to study Nutritional Therapy. The following month, I handed in my notice, and quit the job without a new one behind me.
Walking out of the office door and doing the last train commute home, felt exhilarating. For the first time, I felt what it is like to be free! However, the new path wasn’t entirely stress-free. The first month of job hunting brought with it an hourly rollercoaster ride of emotional highs and lows. At times, the fear of not having an income become insufferable. But, I persisted, focusing on the power of positivity and reminding myself that it really wasn’t the end of the world.
Manifesting My Real Dream
After applying to any and every job vacancy online, and handing out CVs in my local town, the old school way, I decided I shouldn’t have to settle for less than I want, and deserve. So I took some time for reflection, and created an outline of the ideal job setup that I would focus on getting. I wanted the job to be low stress, in the area of health, a short commute time, reasonable money, and ideally provide an element of creativity.
I put my mind to it, and set out searching for the real dream job. Within one week, I was given a job at an established supplement brand which just so happened to be located only 20 minutes drive away from my home. I'm still working at that company today, and what's even more amazing is that I get to research and write about health topics, utilise my creative talent from the past, and connect with all sorts of interesting characters across the globe! Some might say it's meant to be, huh?
In 2019, I qualified as a Nutritional Therapist, after three years of training at weekends, alongside my day job in the supplement world. I wrangled a 4-day week, which allows me to run my clinic to help others regain their health, just as I did. It’s been a long journey, but one I will never regret, and will always be grateful for. The aim of Live Love Balance isn’t to tell you all to quit your jobs and venture into the unknown like I did, but I hope to at least inspire you to take back control of your health, and ultimately, your life.