Okay people - if you've kept up with this blog AT ALL you know that I have tried a dozen different things to stay fit and lose weight. I've been a vegan, a fruitarian, vegetarian, powered-by-Ketones, and a few others, HA HA. Recently I've discovered the incredible quest for a healthy microbiome - Gut Health, if you will. I picked up the book GUT BLISS by Robynne Chutkan and decided to try her 10 Day Gut Bliss Plan.
Her book basically covers all the various reasons why we, mostly women, suffer from cramps, bloating, and constipation. Yeah, shit we don't really want to talk about. Her book is fascinating, enlightening, and just a little gross, ha ha. You have to get over that she talks about poo. There are chapters on digestion, hormones, "sex and the bloat", celiac, inflammation, IBS, leaky gut, and others. Then Part 3 of the book talks about how we eat, drink, sleep, and move our way to "Gut Bliss". The book ends with her 10 day program and some suggested menus and recipes.
These ten days are not going to be easy for me. To succeed at this program, you need to eliminate all those foods that reportedly cause your gut to misbehave. And a lot of these foods are things we normally eat, all the time. Her acronym on how to remember what NOT to eat spells SAD GAS:
Shit. This is not going to be easy or fun. I have heard stories of people detoxing off dairy and sugar; but I've also heard just as many stories of people having a ton of energy and feeling really great without these food products in their system.
How does this affect me directly? Let's see....
SOY - not really a problem. I prefer almond milk to soy, I don't really dig tofu or soy cheese. Does Edamame count? Hopefully not, since it's not really over-processed. I should look that up!
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS - dang it. No Diet Coke, no sugar-free creamer, and no flavor packets for my water! This is a huge staple of my work day because that's how i get my water consumption in. My goal to combat this is to try and make some fruit-infused waters from time to time, drink more green tea, and use that water-log app on my iPhone to remind me when to drink.
DAIRY - I have been trying to get rid of dairy for months. Giving up ice cream is the biggest thing, but this is technically a ten-day challenge so I'm not giving up dairy forever. Just trying to keep it away for ten days and see how I feel. It's entirely possible that I may never go back again. Fingers crossed.
GLUTEN - No wheat, barley, or rye. No bread, no cereal, no pasta. that's a sad, sad thing. And at least for the ten days, I'm going to try not to get hooked on the notion of specific gluten-free products, at least not without reading a ton of labels.
ALCOHOL - this won't be a real problem. We don't drink a lot these days anyway. I can do without that glass of wine or margarita for ten days.
SUGAR - this is probably the toughest one because you really have to read labels carefully with all the hidden sugar out there. If something is low-fat or fat-free, it's probably got a ton of sugars in it. High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sucralose, maltose, dextrose, honey, agave, maple syrup, and stevia. Fruits and veggies are okay - they are natural sugar.
And if that's not enough - here's the additional list of things to limit during the ten days: beans, broccoli, cabbage, carbonated beverages, caffeine, fatty foods, meat, processed foods, and salt.
FUCK. What CAN I eat?????
--Greens. A shit ton of leafy greens
--High Fiber Foods (sweet potato, certain fruits, certain grains)
--Colored Produce - let's try and taste the rainbow, LOL
--Water, Water, and More Water
--Fresh Vegetable Juice
--Papaya and Pineapple
--Fennel Tea (where do I buy that???)
Dr. Chutkan has a recipe for a "Magic Smoothie", containing ripe banana, mixed berries, spinach/kale, ground psyllium husk, flax seeds, and almond or coconut milk.
And speaking of smoothies, it's kind of cool that this other thing happened to turn up in my gmail inbox - it was a 30 day smoothie shred challenge from Thomas and Brooke Tadlock - they are super vegan body builder people. The deal is that you drink 72 ounces of smoothie a day for 30 days. Well, at least that's where they are starting us. They also say that we should focus this week on working out 50% harder than normal. Which, I don't know how that works into my half marathon training, but there you go.
So, there you go. Then 10-Day Gutbliss Plan AND the 30 Day Smoothie Shred Challenge start tomorrow, June 13th. And as always, stay tuned for all my updates.