Food, Mysterious Food: What to Add; What to Cut
Recently, I was listening to a podcast, and the ‘gut’ came up (as it does in literally every health conversation these days), and the scientist mentioned that when you begin to eat differently (and therefore change your gut bacteria), you begin to crave different foods and your taste buds change according to your gut bacteria. Pretty sure I didn’t just explain that properly but the gist is that what you crave and what tastes good to you is determined by your gut bacteria. 🤓
This is really good news for you if you’ve miserably struggled through diets or ‘lifestyle’ plans just craving the forbidden food, knowing that on your ‘cheat’ day, you will make up for it.
So maybe a better way is to add the nutrients your body needs and just focus on that, initially. Here are a few things that you can add to your diet that will get your gut on the road to recovery. 🙌🏽
Soluble Fiber feeds beneficial gut bacteria, which in turn benefit the digestive tract and the brain. A robust gut microbiome (environment) also helps maintain your energy balance and get rid of toxins. Studies show that 20 grams a day of soluble fiber in your diet increases your life expectancy. Modified citrus pectin has been shown to greatly increase the rate that the body expels the toxic heavy metals, lead, arsenic and cadmium.
It turns out that flaxseed fiber separated from the rest of the seed is better than flaxseed (due to the high unstable omega-6 oils). Avocados and artichokes are a surprisingly good source of soluble fiber. And psyllium (ground into a very fine powder, so that it doesn’t irritate your gut) is a good source of insoluble fiber, along with celery, fennel and cruciferous vegetables.
Add foods that are alive to every meal. And by alive, I mean raw and from nature. Have some fruit with your breakfast and a large salad for lunch. Serve dinner with a salad appetizer (this is what I have been doing lately and I’m loving it). It just feels good. And it will help you get some of the fiber that we mentioned earlier. The other night I didn’t have any lettuce so I had a carrot and blueberry salad appetizer, with The Middle Eastern, a drizzle of evoo and a splash of white balsamic vinegar. It was so good. And easy too. I basically just grated a carrot!
Add in some high quality fats, mostly saturated fat along with some omega 3’s. Remember that you are aiming to avoid excess amounts of omega-6 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on your food or make a salad dressing with avocado oil or MCT oil.
Fat Soluble Vitamins D,A,K,E (they dissolve in fat instead of water; they work together and you need all four at the right levels) and minerals are essential to the smooth functioning of your body. Most people don’t realize that, if they are eating a standard Western diet, they are likely not getting sufficient amounts.
And that’s it! Obviously, there are a bunch of things I could add but I’ve tried to focus on easy (not painful) ways to take one small step and get a lot of bang for your buck. And if that got you all pumped up, and you’re a person who likes to go hard (and cut instead of add), below are a few suggestions on what to cut. 👇🏾
Cut out added sugar. I feel like everyone knows by now that added sugar is SUPER bad for you. But it tastes so good (and it’s addictive) so it’s SUPER hard to eliminate. Also, it’s in EVERYTHING, so there’s that. Look at ingredients in the stuff you buy; sugar shouldn’t be the first ingredient. Or second. Yes, I'm talking to you. 👀 It hides behind names like dextrose, fructose, maltose, evaporated cane juice, rice syrup and so many more.
The more sugar you eat, the more you crave, so start by trying to get your added sugar intake down to 25 grams of added sugar per day. Sweetened beverages are probably a good place to start.
Replace your Oils. Refined vegetable oils such as sunflower, corn, soybean, canola and cottonseed oils trigger inflammation in the body. They become even worse when they change from liquid to solid (as in the production of margarine or shortening).
Replace them with grass-fed butter, ghee, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, tallow or lard.
Cut out ultra-processed foods and grains. These are created by scientists with the exact perfect mouth feel and flavor to cause you to compulsively overeat. They are also loaded with lots of hard to pronounce ingredients that do the devils work. 🤣 Good rule of thumb is if you can’t find those ingredients in your kitchen, then it’s probably ultra-processed.
If you’ve read this far, you’re officially a part of the UMAMI Army! Yaasssss!! Now go out and make Bermuda a better place. All the best to you. 😊