Stephen Manderson: Fatherhood, the role of chaos and finding ‘me time’

Mental Health

Stephen Manderson, AKA Professor Green, marks Men’s Health Week and Nutrition and Hydration Week by sharing his thoughts on getting help, having a healthy dose of chaos in life and considering gut health daily

In late 2020, Stephen Manderson spoke to Happiful’s podcast about life in lockdown, his future hopes, his absolute passion for his company, Aguulp, and the supplements he’s helped to develop after experiencing a long list of gut issues during and since his own childhood.

Six months later, Stephen has become a Dad for the first time (big congrats!) and shares that he’s happily learning from his son, continuing to make space for therapy and championing gut health and greater knowledge about the gut-mood connection.

Here, he shares his thoughts on men’s mental health, being a parent, the benefits of Aguulp (as well as an offer for Happiful readers), and the three things you can do to improve the way you’re feeling right now…

It’s Men’s Mental Health Week. Although we’re aware that mental health and illness is a 365-day consideration, what message would you like to share with anyone who is struggling in silence with their mental health right now?

To say ‘speak up’ is almost condescending – it isn’t that easy, there’s a reason people suffer in silence. My advice, though, would be that there is help out there and there are resources such as Mind and CALM to name just two, that are unbiased and can further help you in your journey towards feeling better, which you can, and given time will.

Last time you spoke to us on our podcast I am. I have, you shared your lifelong journey with your gut and your mental health. Tell us how learning more about the gut-brain connection through your work at Aguulp has helped you.

A healthy gut leads to a healthy mind, which is more important now than ever and Aguulp was started to help other people learn more about the link between their physical and mental wellbeing.

We’ve long heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’, but the ever-growing bank of information and new science explaining the link between the health of your gut and how what you eat plays a part in your mood, has helped me a lot.

It’s helped me understand a lot more about what I SHOULD be eating more and less of. Putting it into practice is something I’m working on, being a new father and having multiple work streams means I sometimes find myself in the danger zone – ordering food I shouldn’t because time’s got away from me and I don’t have anything prepped in the fridge to eat! It’s always good to batch cook or have some healthy ready-made meals in case of emergency. Alternatively, Giz ’N’ Greens do great pizzas…!

How is being a parent treating you and your partner, and are you managing to look after your own mental, physical and gut health?

It’s already the most rewarding ‘exercise’ I’ve ever been a part of. It’s every bit as all-consuming as you could never imagine it to be. You really don’t know what you’re getting yourself into until you have your own, and I think the best advice is no advice, the fun is in the learning. We can have all of these preconceived ideas of what we want to teach our children but that comes later, first comes us learning from them!

You often share your morning rituals on Instagram, along with working out, walking your gorgeous dogs and taking supplements including Aguulp. Is routine important to you for physical, gut and mental health?

Routine has gone out the window a little of late, it’s been a challenge balancing being a father, partner, work-horse, creative and, last but not least, a person. The first bit we tend to give up is the all-important ‘me-time’ which I’m trying to fit in where I can, even if an hour a week talking to my therapist is the closest I get.

So, in a word, yes, routine is really important but we are man, not machine and I’m a believer in a little bit of chaos being as important as the calm. For anyone struggling to introduce healthy habits, Aguulp’s new 12-week programme is a great way for people to start getting into a healthy routine, as well as taking Aguulp for Gut each day they are also supported with loads of info on how to eat well, get better sleep, unleash the powers of movement.

We hear a lot of people who are confused about what supplements to take and why they should. Any handy advice and why Aguulp is a good supplement to start?

They actually work. That might sound like something everyone would say but we’ve gone through the process of actually proving it, and continue to do so. You only need to read through our customer reviews to see the benefits people are feeling.

With nutrition being such a minefield full of snake oils and pills with poor efficacy (only 5-20% absorption) after the initial decision to use a targeted method of delivery, which was developed and used medicinally (liposomal technology), a hell of a lot of thought and trial went into the ingredients for each specific formula.

Take our immunity sachet, for instance – 98% absorption and more comprehensive than any ‘multi-vitamin’ on the market as it also has Omega 3s, which western diets are hugely lacking in, in addition to all of the Omega 6 we don’t realise we consume in processed foods by way of vegetable oils leaving us vulnerable to inflammation. Omega 6:3’s should have a ratio of 4:1 – in the western world, it isn’t strange for them to be as out of whack as 40:1!

To keep it simple, Aguulp has five core products in the range; each can be taken individually or together; gut, brain, sleep, recovery and immunity. The team are always happy to help people select the best one for them, just contact hello@aguulp.com.

Last time we spoke you mentioned a number of brilliant books you’d read that helped you consider your overall treatment of yourself, including Why We Sleep. Any other recommendations for our readers?

Dr. Mark Hyman had a conversation with Goldie Hawn recently which is a pretty fun listen, her Instagram is worth a nose too – her and Kurt Russell need a TV show… not that I watch reality tv…

Finally, three things a reader can do to reset the way they are feeling right now, in your lived experience?

Phone off, salt bath and then a long walk amongst nature.


Aguulp is offering Happiful readers 20% off Aguulp products, simply use happiful20 at the checkout.

Follow Aguulp and find out more at aguulp.com.

To find the right therapist for your needs, visit Counselling Directory.

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