I promise, for a period of four weeks, to eat for maximum digestive health in the following ways:
1. Begin each day with a tall glass of tepid water (with a squeeze of lemon), then fifteen minutes’ exercise – all before breakfast.
2. Continue exercising six days a week, except when I’m sick.
3. Drink over a litre of water each day, in addition to other liquids.
4. Eat every meal and snack at a table (not the couch), and remain upright for half an hour after every meal. Take small mouthfuls and chew them properly before swallowing.
5. Never go four waking hours without eating something (and eat small meals).
6. Eat five vegetables (at least one green) and two fruits each day (tomatoes, pumpkin and avocado can fall into either group – my resolution, my rules – and chickpeas are a vegetable).
7. Eat 50 grams or less of chocolate/lollies each day (a giant or deep-fried meal counts as 30 grams, and savoury snacks count as 20g). I’ll have nothing unhealthy for at least the first seven days, beginning today.
8. No soft drink and no artificial sweeteners.
9. I’ll attempt to go without iron tablets – instead I’ll have a vitamin C at breakfast and dinner (dinner is when I tend to eat meat, which is the most absorbable source of iron followed by chicken or fish). I am anaemic, so it’s likely I’ll have to take the tablets, but we’ll see.
10. At least one high-fibre food each day, and at least one does-something-cool-for-your-gut food each day.
bananas, berries, avocado, oranges, figs, pumpkin, mango, pear, prunes/plums
zucchini, brocolli, carrots, green beans, celery, potato
wholegrain foods eg brown rice, brown bread
Does cool stuff:
Here’s all the fresh fruit and vegetables I have in my house (after a mighty preparatory shop), plus some other good gut foods:
At the back there’s high-fibre breakfast cereal, wholegrain rice, chickpeas, tuna, ginger, garlic, tomato, hommus and garlic, mint, beetroot, grape juice, and lemon juice.
On the left there’s pumpkin, carrot, celery, potato, cauliflower, green beans, brocolli, choko, red and yellow capsicum, squash, zucchini, onions, mushrooms and sweet potato.
On the right there’s tomato, avocado, bananas, strawberries, apples, mandarins, grapes and dried figs.
Best new year’s resolution ever! Although. . . I already have a pounding headache from caffeine withdrawal (I estimate it’ll last three days), and I want to kill folks. Oh well.
Today’s vegetables: carrots and garlicky hommus (ie chickpeas) for morning tea; avocado spread on bread with lunch; beans, squash and mushrooms cooked in butter with herbs and last-minute chunks of cream cheese for dinner (which also had a bit of tinned tomato and green capsicum in it).
Today’s fruit: Strawberries and some apple for afternoon tea; probably a mandarin for dessert.
Today’s cool food: fish (tuna for dinner).
Today’s fibre: green beans.
Play along at home: Pick one item off the above list and see if you can join me for a week. Any vegie tastes better if it’s fried in butter and garlic.