Last year I was referred to an NHS dietitian. I did a food diary for her for 1 month. The only thing we could definitely identify as an issue was wheat based products/foods and although I avoided them, no change.
I then, under her guidance tried the FODMAP diet – no difference. Unfortunately that dietitian has now retired and I haven’t bothered to ask for another as I read the Clever Guts books and thought that this was the way ahead.
I started the R&R phase 11 days ago, (didn’t do the diary as I have all the diary data from last year) I’ve pretty much stuck to suggested meals / recipes adding only a good variety of vegetables to them.
It is clear to me that my gut is having difficulty with all this veg / fibre and although it was noisy before, it has now gone up a decibel or 2 with associated increase in wind. I understand that this is due to the increase in veg / fibre but I need to eat a fair amount as I really can’t afford to loose more weight. I’ve been steering clear of potatoes/rice/pasta(wheat free).
I’m considering doing a low fibre diet for a few days just to calm things down but I feel that is a move in the wrong direction.
Has anybody got any suggestions for what I could eat that will maintain my weight whilst following the ‘Clever Guts’ rationale and allow me to back off on the veg/fibre amounts which are clearly having a bubbly field day in my gut.
The detailed food and symptom diary is important to track the balance and variety of your diet before during abd after (compare to official healthy eating guidelines). Also to track the effect of each change on your gut behaviour and the microbiome *as they are now* (post wheat free, post FODMAP, this time of year, current activity level, current stress, sleep patterns and so on).
That is not to say that your older food and symptom diaries are not useful. You might analyse them for balance and variety with fresh ‘Clever Guts’ eyes. What you replaced wheat products with, average daily grams of fibre, type of dairy product, type of fats, brightly coloured antioxidant rich foods …
The meal plans are examples only: your food diaries should help determine which foods types are eliminated or introduced and when. Particularly note Dr Mosley and co “don’t recommend removing too many foods at one time, so it might be helpful to do R&R in several stages.” (p.190) And “inteoduce foods one at a time with a gap of at least three days between each one.” (p.193)
Wholefoods that are calorie dense or higher in fats are best for maintaining or increasing weight. Clever Guts friendly calorie dense foods include very oily fish (mackerel/ herring/ anchovies/ sardines/ pilchards), traditional aged or unpasteurised cheeses, free range or organic egg yolks and whole eggs, nuts and seeds (hazelnuts/ ground linseeds/ chia), avocados, olives and olive paste, extra virgin olive oil, no added sugar whole coconut (toasted chips/ dessicated/ block creamed), coconut oil, low sugar dark chocolate/ cocoa.
Many of these do contain fibre, but the soluble fibre in certain seeds (chia/ flax) and fruits (olives/ avocado) tends to be gentler on the gut than the insoluble fibre in some grains (wheat/ rye) and vegetables.
It is also worth playing with different preparation methods for nuts, seeds or grains to make them easier to digest. For example toasting or soaking in liquid overnight both work well with hazelnuts.
Got interrupted earlier, so forgot to say that the *balance and variety* of wholefoods in the diet impacts the *balance and variety* of micronutrients (minerals/ vitamins/ essential fatty acids) in the diet. This, rather than a specific food allergy or intolerance, may be contributing to your gut issues.
Some micronutrients are not found in many wholefoods so insufficiency or deficiency is fairly common in the West. Examples include vitamin D (oily fish), magnesium (cocoa/ some seeds), long chain omega-3s (oily fish again), haem iron (organ meats/ some fish/ red meat). This potentially impacts gut health: omega-3s are anti inflammatory, magnesium is key in muscle relaxation and nerve function, vitamin D boosts immune system activity.
Although humans can convert vitamin D during exposure to UVB rays (ie. sunlight), this depends on latitude, season, time of day and skin colour. Here in the UK we can only convert vitamin D for half of the year so dietary intake (or supplements for ‘at risk’ groups) is critical.
Many fibre rich wholefoods (wholegrains/ beans/ lentils/ seeds/ nuts) are also mineral rich. The processed, refined or white alternatives may have *some* of the lost micronutrients replaced (depends on product and country). Some ‘free from’ products are very poor nutritionally, just empty carbs.
Firefox what can I say but thank you for all you have written. I certainly have to re read, probably more than once, it all. With no pun intended, it’s a lot to digest.
I get what you are saying re the diary straight away though and have printed off blank ones. My previous food diary is not so thorough.
I’m certainly bought into the concept that my microbiome is needing rebooting. Without going into detail I’ve definitely had events/factors in my life that potentially have put it out of kilter. Many thanks again for your advice and time.
Your stomach acid may be low. you can test for this with bicarbonate of soda. Why not try having a little diluted organic cider vinegar before meals. or as a dressing with the bitter leaves.
Thanks supermum. I have started drinking an a tbspn of apple cider vinegar mixed with water before each meal. I have also cut back on brassica veg. Things have calmed down a bit. Didn’t know about the bicarb test. I just looked it up. I’ll try it out over the next 3 mornings. Many thanks again
Attempts to improve my dietary fibre also turned my system into a gasworks and I too had to manage my intake of brassicas (which I love) and pulses. I’ve enjoyed adding wakame seeweed to my morning miso soup and tofu doesn’t seem to stir up trouble. Eggs and chicken produce evil gas and I’m thinking my gut bacteria must include lots that mess around with sulphur. Does anybody know when Day Two are setting up a lab here in the UK ?
How are you getting on, scunner?