Hi Lisa and Alana, you’re better known as The Mac Twins, Virgin Radio presenters and DJs whose list of credits are too long for me to do justice to! What have been your career highlights so far?
Lisa: Last year we played to 80,000 people at Twickenham and then got on a train to Scotland to host and DJ in front of another 80,0000 people at Hogmanay – that was a pretty big week ha!
Alana: Building a business from scratch has meant theres highlights (and lowlights!) every day, but our first production run of our new products was a pretty emotional one as it took a lot to get there.
What are your professional backgrounds and how did you end up doing what you do?
Lisa: Very randomly! I was a theatre producer before Alana and I decided (or were persuaded) to give presenting a go – and it started to snowball very quickly – before we knew it we were presenting on BBC radio 1xtra and DJing at the Olympics, its been quite the ride.
Alana: The Gut stuff was also very random, the very short answer is…we volunteered for twin research at Kings College and had our guts analysed as part of the research and thus our passion for the gut and its brilliance began.
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
Lisa: That’s such a tough question – I’ve always been endlessly inspired with people who reinvent themselves – Miley Cyrus is a great example of the confidence that can bring.
Alana: Calvin Harris – he started from scratch and worked his way right up to the top through graft and hard work.
You’re founders of the Gut Stuff, a company that empowers gut health, provides resources and makes everything from gut treats to at home fermenting kits. What inspired you to set the company up?
Lisa: Firstly it was just a passion project to tell our friends and peers about the microbiome and all this incredible research we were part of…
Alana: Then we started to realise the gaps within nutrition advice and the food industry and really wanted to make change.
You seem to have a no-nonsense approach to gut health, which is refreshing, as there’s a lot of overwhelming information out there. What would your advice be to someone who wants to start looking into theirs?
Lisa: Go back to basics, transport yourself back to biology class and learn about the physiology of all the incredible parts of your body that work together! We really found that when writing our book with all of the fantastic experts, the body is so complex but incredible!
Alana: Change your mindset to thinking about adding things (fibre, variety, fermented foods!) rather than restricting things – for too long we’ve associated good gut health, with detoxes, cleanses and cutting things out and it doesn’t have to be the case.
Can you sum up the importance of a good gut for mental health?
Lisa: The gut and the brain are intrinsically linked with communication going both ways, from the gut to the brain and the brain to the gut – you can think of it as two pals keeping each other company.
Alana: These pals ‘chat’ both physically via the Vegas nerve (like a telephone wire) and chemically (like wireless) through hormones called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters play a key role in regulating how your gut works and your mood.
As multi-hyphenates, is there a specific passion or drive that links together everything you do?
Lisa: I think it simply boils down to connecting and empowering people – whether that’s through music, the radio or through their guts!
Alana: Yeah I think it comes down to human interaction really, and really being able to help people – whether that’s with letting go on a night out or with helping educate them around their health and wellbeing.
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
Lisa: Building our team and the business and hopefully really making change!
Alana: Empowering gut health in as many people as possible and executing all the plans for the business we’ve been brewing up…