Behaviour change is hard work.  It takes commitment, determination and doggedness.  I would much rather tick something off my “To Do List.”   Changing my diet to support my microbes is not going to be a one off tick box kind of thing.  And I suspect that starting off with these words rather than the word “vagina” as I did last week, may do serious things to my reader numbers – we shall see!

Caring for my microbiome is going to be one small step after another which will imperceptibly turn into a worthwhile but challenging journey. The graph will zig zag all over the place but so long as the general trend is in the right direction, that will be good enough.

But this DOES mean changing the trend.  And that means behaviour change – around food in so many ways.  Around how I meal plan, what I buy and what I no longer buy, around what constitutes a treat, what constitutes comfort and what constitutes nourishment.  I can’t keep hijacking myself.  Which makes me want to type a swear word. Because it is hard work – especially because I am not just trying to do this for me.

Last night I cooked a fabulous Hearty Italian Vegetable and White Bean Soup recipe (without the additional salt) from The Happy Pear by David and Stephen Flynn. It happens to be a vegan cook book but don’t let that deter you! I got a 50% success rate amongst the children.  Admittedly, the youngest 25% said it was DISGUSTING but I think that may have been to do with the spinach.  I loved it and had the remains for lunch today.  Beans two days in a row.

hearty-italian-veg-soup

Click here for the recipe.

I have set out below, how I am changing the trend in this household and, as time goes by, you will find out the reasoning behind these decisions as I explain more about what is going on inside our guts:

  1. Increase plants and legumes (beans lentils, chickpeas and the like) i.e. fibre;
  2. Minimise sugar – unless it has a piece of fruit round it. I can’t think of anything positive to say about sugar.  Save that it tastes good in our mouths and combined with fat does a great job of stimulating our dopamine receptors.  Which makes it addictive. Which is not good.
  3. Minimise refined carbohydrates – white bread, pasta, rice, pastries – you know the culprits. These effectively turn to sugar and wreak the same havoc on the microbes.

My go to recipe books at the moment are:

River Cottage Veg Every day; and

Hugh’s 3 Good Things.

I was going to write about dementia, since it was in the News today. There is a great deal of evidence now linking dementia with the state of our microbiome.  There is no cure.  In a way then, I have talked about dementia – I have talked about dementia prevention.

I end as I began today – behaviour change is hard work but there are so many good reasons for changing behaviour.

Text © 2016 by Joanna Webster

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