Good Guts? Week 2

Giving Gratitude to My Meals

Are you grateful? Having already written about gratitude last week, it has become rather evident to me how spoilt we are, and how soft that makes us. Our house has had no heating for a week, and by Friday the hot water had gone too. A disaster for some, but I have finishing my showers with freezing cold water for over a year, so i just switched to totally cold so the girls could stay clean in relative comfort. A slight digression? No, as that comfort relates to hunger too. There are times when we feel absolutely famished, or we get angry and stressed and blame it on low blood-sugar levels. A week of calorie restriction (approx 500kcal/day less than i require – I lost 700g, just over 1lb, by the end of week 2) made me appreciate my food so much more. When you only have 1 or 2 meals a day you slow down, chew your food more, and appreciate every last morsel. Like many of you, we have been guilty of settling down to watch a movie over dinner. This has made me realise how much I am missing out on by cramming so much in (time and mouth)

Week 2 sees me entering a more calorie restricted phase, with shakes instead of breakfast and lunch. However, as I am active I am continuing with snacks as and when I feel the need. Remember that the purpose is not direct weight loss, it is gut health. The very small meals will mean that my digestive system does not have to work so hard, giving it a bit of a ‘rest’ to build up the bacterial cultures of my microbiome. I was very surprised to find that most of the time I didn’t fee the need to have snacks. all the gas aside, I felt fully sated.


Seemingly poor sleep last night BUT full of energy. Still missing coffee. Central heating system has finally crashed, so it is a little bit chilly around here. I am aware of the cold but don’t actually feel cold. I will need to exercise later to ensure I stay warm.

Poor sleep was down to gas. After yesterday’s fartypants I thought I might be over it, but no. I was aware of gaseous emissions throughout the night, and when I went to the loo about 5 I had a little poo as well.

The having to wee at night is increasingly annoying. It has definitely been worse since i started the challenge and I would like to know why. I have been lead to believe that a large part of the issue is blood sugar levels. This diet is supposed to steady them so why would it make it worse? There are other drivers of course. My age means that I will almost certainly have an enlarged prostate, which will make it tricky. Or am I simply not drinking enough during the day and unconsciously back-loading my fluid intake? Need to experiment with this and take some stringent records.

Breakfast – Synergy Biome Shake – plant based protein.
Snack – Banana & Almonds 30g
Lunch – shake
Evening meal. Chilli with sweet potato
In addition to the meals I am having an l-arginine supplement first and last thing, and a daily greens drink mid-morning and mid-afternoon


6 poos. Seriously? What is that all about? I am wondering if it the Rooibis? It was really nice with oatmilk, but last week I switched to almond. It is sweeter than I would like, but ok. I have been aware of a bit of bloating and gas after drinking it. The label, I notice, says not to add to hot water. hmmm… The first was at 4:30 in the morning (so it can’t just be the tea!). Despite this i woke at 6:45 feeling fully rested (and in need of the loo again) Maybe my guts have been full of food for months?

Breakfast – Synergy Biome Shake
Snack – Apple & Almond butter, 1 tbsp
Lunch – shake
Dinner – Sausage (Gluten free) ratatouille with home grown green beans. A side dish of socca – a sort of chickpea pancake/flatbread. Utterly delicious and it helps boost the calorie intake with a much lower GI that wheat or corn.


4 poos today. Morning was normal, but the afternoon was peculiar. It seems to be a build up of gas but not in my stomach. way further down than that, and i feel the need to poo, but when i go it is gas and a little bit of (clean) water. I need to do some background reading to fully understand what is going. A brief skim of the internet would indicate it is one of about 3,000 fatal diseases, or a normal response that you body may have when you are not eating very much.

Breakfast – shake
Lunch – shake
Dinner – turkey meatballs with veg and a side salad with hummus


Feeling great today! no gas – I have ‘progressed’ to Redbush sans milk. I hope this isn’t the future. I want milk in my tea. I am acutely aware that I have had no hunger pangs, and no food obsessions this week. I don’t think it is just that I am sated. There is an awareness that I do not necessarily need to weat as much all the time (see the Intro). Watching Mary Berry & Nadiya has been a delight. Looking forward to cooking variants that I can eat over the next 10 days before I sit down, a week on Monday, and have a whole cow pie to myself. I do believe that the thought of coffee didn’t cross my mind once today. Bit shocked my that.

Breakfast – Shake
Lunch – Shake
Snack – boiled egg and asparagus
Dinner – chicken thighs with oven roasted veg
Snack – coconut yoghurt with half a mango and crushed pumpkin seeds


Jumping Jack Flash, its a gas, gas, gas. Ugh. It is disappointing when you feel full of energy, you are less bloated, your trousers fit so much better, you are sleeping more soundly, and are still full of gas. decision made, I will drop the daily greens to one tomorrow, and avoid on Sunday in case of problems out running

Breakfast – shake
Lunch – shake
Snack – Ultimate gluten free crackers, freshly baked.
Dinner – Chicken, a sort of ratatouille using my homegrown tomatoes
Snack – coconut yoghurt with half a mango and crushed pumpkin seeds


Painfully full of gas at the start of the day. Just like Monday, I was awake and on the loo at 5, this time was just gas but it didn’t feel like that beforehand. Easy run in the morning felt okay. definitely empty-legged and lacking power. I suspect calories, a lack of them, will be the culprit. Feeling much more slender round the waist. Still have some work to go to reduce lower back fat. Spent the afternoon digging in the garden, no further gas issues. We got rather carried away with the evening meal, which had so much salad I wasn’t sure I could finish the plate. I had also cooked some delicious onion bahjees to up the veg and calorific volume. Felt stuffed afterwards, but not gas problems. I had been concerned that I would not be well fuelled for tomorrows half-marathon. Only time will tell.

Breakfast – shake
Lunch – shake
Dinner – pan fried cod, half an avocado, brocolli and a huge plate of salad


So much better today. The plan was to run the virtual Staten Island Half, which meant being dropped off at Waddesdon, then running across fields to Long Crendon, with a final loop accompanied by Jan’s brother, Robert. My legs still feel half empty, yet my energy levels are high. It is a slow run, lots of stop-starting as I get my bearings, and I had forgotten how much harder it is in the legs compared to running on streets. I also experimented with snacks, taking some of my Ultimate Gluten Free Crackers. I ate two during the run. Physiologically it will not have made a difference, but mentally it was great to chew some food. Lunch was the roast lamb that I had totally ruined yesterday. We have been spoilt, with Jan’s mum cooking roasts every week for what seems like forever. I don’t think I have ever cooked a roast lamb before, shocking I know. I made the amateur error of flitting between two recipes. All was going well until i decided to drop the oven temperature and slow roast instead. I then didn’t check it, or cover it. It looked terrible, and the blackened veg was almost beyond salvation for a gravy. Turns out it tasted fabulous, just not exactly moist.

I skipped the daily greens drink today and had almost no gas at all. Tomorrow I will go back to the one drink in the morning and see how it goes. Having a roast with no yorkshires, or roast potatoes, and only a splash of gravy didn’t feel ideal after being out running for two and a half hours, and there was a definite craving for real food so in the evening I had fish and salad. The normal routine after a long run is to load up on calories with plenty of carbs to refuel my body. Usually this results in tiredness monday, with no running, and feeling awesome again Tuesday. We will see what affect the reduced carb has.

Breakfast – Shake
Lunch – Roast lamb, loads of veg, socca.
Dinner – Cod, hummus, olives, peppers, socca.

More articles

Get content like this sent directly to your inbox!