I’ve read the books and tried to put some things into practise but I have difficulty with knowing if I’m doing the right thing or not. My stomach pretty much complains about most things I feed it, so even though I’m trying to follow Michael’s diet plans they’re not working for me enough for me to judge how it’s going.
In my perfect world I’d have someone who would prepare food for me so I wouldn’t even need to go in the kitchen, but that’s not going to happen.
Is there a list anywhere of the foods that cause minimum complaints from the gut, while still providing enough good stuff to maintain a diverse biome? I’d be happy to try and eat just a very small group of foods, but I don’t think that’s the point is it?
I don’t know where to go for help with this. Any suggestions?
The starting point is your detailed food and symptom diary (p.187). The longer and more accurately this is completed, the more likely it is that patterns can be identified. Analyse your diary for the *balance and variety* of food groups and food types, not just for potentially problematic foods. If you need support with the analysis ask your family doctor for a referral to a registered dietician.
Your digestive health is affected by many factors: diet/ nutrition, physical activity, stress, sleep patterns, weight, genetics, hormones, medication and more. Make changes to your diet or lifestyle slowly one at a time (p.190 + 193). Positive, neutral or negative effects can depend on the quantity of a food or food type, and how often it is eaten.
It is possible to minimise kitchen time whilst still eating healthily, especially if you have a freezer, slow cooker/ crock pot, stick blender, microwave oven.
Frozen vegetables and fruits, canned beans lentils and tomatoes, canned oily fish, cooked smoked fish, frozen seafood all need minimal preparation. It is possible to throw the ingredients for a stew/ casserole/ soup into the slow cooker in literally five minutes. Go about your day and come home to a hot meal.
Thanks for your recommendations. I’ve been keeping a detailed food and symptom diary for about 8 days now but the only obvious message I’ve had from it is that I need to totally avoid any sort of bread or cracker. I’ve thought that for a while anyway, so this confirms it.
Having said that, I’ve had the experience of being in Finland many times (I was born there) and eating bread with every meal and only having a problem with it if I eat white bread. All of the rye and mixed grains suit me well. It was the same in Botswana last year, where none of the bread I ate gave me any problems.
I’ve often wondered whether the wheat and other grains we use in Australia is processed more than these products elsewhere, and perhaps that processing takes something out of it that some of us need for digestion. As you say though, another factor may be that when I’ve been in Finland or Africa it’s been on holiday and my mood would have been quite different from the stresses of being at home.
I have a Thermomix so it’s not that hard to make soups easily. I guess my main problem is deciding what to make, so you’re probably right that I need to see a dietician, so I’ll go and see my GP about it.
Modern wheat flour is usually very finely ground so needs little digestion, can be low in fibre and certain minerals, is selectively bred to be higher in gluten. In general the lighter/ fluffier the bread the more likely it is to be heavily processed.
As you realise, the overall impact of the diet and lifestyle are relevant. Which specific bread/ ingredients, accurate serving size, what you eat before/ with/ after (affects gut transit time and nutrition), stress levels, physical activity, sleep patterns, climate ….
So the detail of the food and symptom diary is important, as well as the length of time you maintain it for *before and during* changing the diet. Dr Mosley recommends keeping the diary for at least a week beforehand, and throughout the stepwise process of altering the diet and lifestyle.
Your diary will be invaluable for a dietician too. HTH!
Wheat may be easily digestible but it is also one of the most modified foods we have with decades of selective breeding to refine its (commercially desirable) characteristics. Try switching to spelt which is the ancient grain that started the process off. Because modern wheat is so modified, a hyperactive immune system may go into red alert when ingesting it. In any case I am advised by my GP that wheat puts a fairly decent load on the liver and unhappy guts could do without this. A natural therapist once advised me to “think Asian and Indian” when considering diet at the start of getting myself well and it was a good rule of thumb. (though I went lightly on the hot spices). Use spelt, rye, rice, potato, sorghum, buckwheat, corn flour instead. One you have established a basic range of foods that you will not react to, you can introduce other foods back in, one at a time.
Thanks for your replies, Firefox7275 and MarieO! I feel as if I’m flying blind on this, so I’ve pre-ordered a biome test kit from Microba in Brisbane. Perhaps it will give me enough information to repair whatever is wrong with my gut.