Be Good To Your Gut

 
Muesli with Strawberries

Source: Pixabay

 
A digestive problem can greatly affect day-to-day life, causing discomfort and affecting what we can and cannot do. Being good to your gut can prevent such problems from taking hold or ease symptoms if you already have an illness or disorder. Here are a few ways to care for your gut.

Change your diet

Eating lots of fibre is great for your digestive system – both soluble and insoluble fibres. This includes foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables. Probiotics such as yoghurt and kefir meanwhile can help break down lactose and enhance nutrient absorption. You should avoid eating too many high fat foods – along with all the other negative effects on the body, these are harder to break down and can wear down your gut. Processed fats are particularly hard for the body to digest.
 
 
Drink Lots of water

Without enough water, you run more risk of getting constipated, as you do not have enough fluids to keep food moving through your gut. Even if you have diarrhoea, drinking lots of water can be beneficial in helping to clean out any triggers that could be the cause, as well as preventing dehydration from loss of fluids. It is recommended we all drink two litres of water a day. This equates to 8 eight-ounce cups of water.
 
 
Exercising with weights and step

Source: Free Stock Photos.biz

 
Stay active

Exercise helps us burn fats faster – both fat on our body and fat in our guts. Moving also helps our digestive system to stay active and exercise is also shown to improve our immune system. As a result, gut problems caused by bacteria or infection can be fought off more effectively.
 
 
Try over-the-counter meds

There are plenty of over the counter meds and herbal remedies that can help with an upset gut. You can buy these at your local pharmacy or shop online (there are plenty of review sites that can help when buying meds on the web). Probiotics and IBS have seen a positive link, with some studies suggesting that probiotics can even cure IBS in some cases in the right dosage. Herbal teas and spices such as ginger are also effective for calming digestive problems. For serious cases, it is worth seeing a GP who may be able to prescribe something more effective, particularly if polyps or an abscess is the cause of the discomfort.
 
Stress Release Ball

Source: Flickr

 
Say no to stress

Stress has all kinds of negative effects on the body, one being that it sends the digestive system into hysteria. This is because when we are stressed, the brain prioritised other bodily functions, paying less attention to our gut. This can cause diarrhoea or constipation to develop, as well as overproducing stomach acid, which can bring on stomach aches. Various forms of relaxation therapy can help to relieve stress as well as getting enough sleep.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Disclosure: This post has been contributed.
 
 
 
 

A Weekend In Saarbruecken

 
Apart from brunching with Sherlock Holmes, here is what we did in the captivating town of Saarbrücken last year. We had to compose with the weather being capricious but fortunately, there is plenty to do inside and outside. As the city is relatively small, all sightseeing spots are easily reachable on foot, a big bonus! You can view more impressions of Saarbrücken on Of Lens And Pen.

St. Johanner Markt
As the sun was shining when we arrived, we headed to St. Johann Market Square for lunch. Being an early spring Saturday, the square was bustling and there were not many free tables to be found. There is however no shortage of restaurants and we soon settled on the terrace of an Irish pub. Lovely little shops are aplenty too.

Fröschengasse
Close to the square, this delightful narrow street was once the home of craftsmen and workers. Now rebuilt in the Baroque style, it offers a good choice of restaurants.

Europa-Galerie

Realising that being the Easter weekend, Saturday would be our only opportunity for shopping, we paid the Europa-Galerie a visit. This shopping centre is located in a beautiful building that was once the headquarters of the Saar Mining Company.

Alte Brücke

This old bridge, built in 1546 by Charles V, connects the old Saarbrücken with St. Johann. It was destroyed during World War II and only 8 of the original 14 arches now remain.

Saarkran

Dating back to 1761, the Saar Crane reminds us of the trade past of Saarbrücken. It makes a great sight when strolling along the Saar.

Johanneskirche
Of Neo-Gothic style, St. John’s Church looks impressive as you arrive from the Old Bridge. Used nowadays as a meeting point for demonstrations and peace services, it is surrounded by charming gardens.

Basilica St. Johann
A masterpiece of Baroque style and the work of architect Friedrich Joachim Stengel, the Basilica is well worth a visit. The organ, built in three individual parts that can be played independently or together, is especially striking.

Ludwigskirche
Another work of art from Stengel, Ludwig’s Church has a place of choice in the middle of Ludwigsplatz, surrounded by a palace and civil servants’ quarters. A perfect Baroque composition, visually stunning. Thanks to a painstaking restoration, one would never guess that it was completely demolished during WWII.

Saarbrücken Schloss , Schlossplatz and Invisible Memorial Square

The Saarbrücken castle has been destroyed and rebuilt many times in different styles over the years. The last renovation was done in 1989, when a central part made of steel and glass was added by architect Gottfried Böhm. The Schloss is now an administrative centre and event venue.
The few cafés nearby offer a nice view on the paved Schlossplatz. It is the home of the Invisible Memorial Square, a project of tolerance and fight against racism conducted by students of the Art Academy in 1993. Over 2,000 flagstones were removed and engraved on the back with the names of Jewish cemeteries, before being laid down again.

Museum of Regional History and Saarbrücker Kasematten
Last but not least, under the castle is an interesting museum retracing 500 years of Saarland history and the amazing Kasematten. The remains of the original castle, you can still see a dungeon, fortifications, a shooting range and a ball game hall, all from different eras. Wandering underground in this magnificently lit maze, you certainly get an Indiana Jones feeling!

As you have probably guessed, we were quite taken with the interesting capital of the Saarland region and will definitely return, perhaps this time in summer to enjoy its laid-back atmosphere even more.
 
 
Saarbruecken Germany - Colourful bags outside a home decoration shopSaarbruecken Germany - Tree with fairy lightsSaarbruecken Germany - Antiquariat Martin BarbianSaarbruecken Germany - Schlossplatz - Illuminated castle at nightSaarbruecken Germany - Old wall with ivy and mossSaarbruecken Germany - Saarbruecker KasemattenSaarbruecken Germany - Saarbruecker KasemattenSaarbruecken Germany - Garden outside St John's Church
 

Full photo gallery on Of Lens And Pen

 
 
 
 

King King |
Reaching For The Light Tour 2017 |
Musiktheater Rex

 
Last Friday we caught up with King King during the German leg of their Reaching for the Light Tour 2017. This was our second evening with this multi-award rock blues Scottish band and, just like the first time, we had a blast.

As Alan Nimmo, lead singer and guitar, may have mentioned once or twice, King King has a live album out. Just like all of their opuses, we totally recommend. We will be listening to it while waiting to see them on stage again.

During our chat after the concert, Alan said he had spotted me taking photos. Not surprising, really, as back home I found out there were 380 pictures on my camera… A selection can be viewed on Of Lens And Pen and you can learn all about King King on their official website.
 
 
King King - Reaching for the Light Tour - Alan NimmoKing King - Live Album Deluxe Edition
 

Full photo gallery on Of Lens And Pen

 
 
 
 

Brunch With Sherlock Holmes

 
Last year, our party of four visited the charming town of Saarbrücken. There is more to come about our stay in Saarland and discovering the fabulous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Völklinger Hütte, but for now let’s concentrate on our breakfast with Sherlock Holmes…

I am sure the girls would have loved for Benedict Cumberbatch to join us, but even without his presence, our brunch at the Baker Street Criminal Pub was a very enjoyable experience.

Upon our arrival, we were ushered into the Adventure Salon. Decorated in a colonial style, the room serves as a small museum for the collection of Saarbrücken explorer Heinz Rox Schulz. Admiring his mementoes and photos, we certainly wished we had travelled the world with him… There are also a bar area and another two spacious, interesting rooms in the pub. In the delightful tearoom, you are most likely to order cakes or scones with clotted cream. As for the quite gentlemanly Dr. Watson’s Club, complete with comfortable leather sofas, it is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of sherry or a drop of whisky.

The service was very efficient and friendly. There was plenty to choose from the traditional Full English Breakfast buffet and the homemade soda bread and scones were delicious.

The Baker Street Pub is definitely an address worth remembering, which we will do during our next visit in Saarbrücken.
 
 
Brunch with Sherlock Holmes - Baker Street Criminal Pub Saarbruecken - Outside viewBrunch with Sherlock Holmes - Baker Street Criminal Pub Saarbruecken - TearoomBrunch with Sherlock Holmes - Baker Street Criminal Pub Saarbruecken - Bookshelf and cakesBrunch with Sherlock Holmes - Baker Street Criminal Pub Saarbruecken - Teapot, cups and candleBrunch with Sherlock Holmes - Baker Street Criminal Pub Saarbruecken - Adventure Salon - Abenteuer SalonBrunch with Sherlock Holmes - Baker Street Criminal Pub Saarbruecken