The Gut Makeover: one week in

The gut makeover - Banana bread with berries

So, it has been one week since I started following the Gut Makeover plan, and how’s it been going?

Well, so far, so mixed. Some days are really easy, and some are much less so. Not so much because of the food itself – I’m actually enjoying my meals a lot, and once I realised I needed to really up my portion sizes, I am not sitting around feeling hungry all day. But they definitely need a lot of preparation. I can’t just think “Oh, we haven’t got anything in for dinner tonight, I’ll just have some pasta or a sandwich or something”. I have to be organised, and that’s a bit of an adjustment. Peter and I try to make a meal plan every week, but there are usually a lot of blanks.

I wrote a little diary of the week, to track what I ate and how I felt because at the end of the day, the only person making me do this is me, so if I did notice that my mood was low or I was really exhausted or having constant cravings for pasta or chocolate, then I didn’t want to force myself to do it and make myself miserable! Luckily, that hasn’t happened (so far), so I’ll carry on.

Monday 1st Feb

I ate: Banana bread (using a recipe from the book made with almonds and walnuts instead of flour – this is absolutely LUSH and I will be making a loaf of this on a regular basis now) with berries for breakfast. I was out for lunch with Jen in Earlsfield, and had an amazing frittata thing with kale, butternut squash and chorizo. I’m not sure chorizo is strictly allowed, but I’ve decided that I’m including it. I had a pear as a snack, and then a chicken and sausage casserole with broccoli and cavolo nero for dinner.

I felt: Apart from Peter buying a chocolate tart for dessert, which I obviously couldn’t eat, this was easy peasy.

Tuesday 2nd Feb

I had the same breakfast, followed by a salad for lunch. I roasted some courgettes and tomatoes, then mixed that with smoked mackerel, mixed leaves, avocado, a leftover fig, and a soft boiled egg. I had an apple, a banana and some peanuts as a snack, and then had roasted aubergine, with leftover chicken from Monday and broccoli for supper.

I felt: Tuesday was probably the hardest day of the week. I was in an all day meeting, and at around 2pm I was desperate for a chocolate bar. Instead I had a herbal tea, which was definitely not as satisfying. I also felt quite hungry for most of the afternoon, so had some peanuts and an extra portion of fruit (when Peter brought the torte out again!). I felt great at the end of the day for having resisted temptation, but if I feel hungry, there’s no way I can sustain this plan. With that in mind, I decided to up my portion sizes throughout the day.

Wednesday 3rd Feb

I ate: Banana bread and a banana for breakfast, followed by a version of the previous day’s salad, but with added pine nuts. Dinner was a roasted sweet potato with ham, broccoli and tomatoes (rushed before yoga), followed by cold chips, cod and mushy peas after yoga.

I felt: In terms of the food, it felt like it was already feeling pretty easy. There were amazing liking mini cupcakes in a meeting but I genuinely wasn’t tempted. Not sure that’s ever happened before. Dinner was very poor though, and I think demonstrated the importance of planning when on this kind of plan. On Wednesday I had quite a bad headache all day, which wasn’t amazing. I’d read in the case studies in the book that other people had experienced headaches during the first week, so wasn’t too worried, but not that pleasant.

Thursday 4th Feb

I ate: Banana bread and a banana, followed by a version of the previous day’s salad, but minus the egg and avocado, with added sweetcorn. I had a pear as a snack in the afternoon and then went out for dinner with friends, where I had salmon skewers to start and a lamb casserole for my main.

I felt: The day was fine, and the evening ended up being fine, but my menu choices were very, very limited. The food was delicious and I’m glad I chose what I did, but our starters were meant to be meze, and the one I had was the only thing on the meze menu I could eat, so I didn’t get to dig into the bread and hummus and spinach pastries. That was pretty sad.

Friday 5th Feb

I ate: Total fail with breakfast. I started washing up as Theo started eating, and he was wriggling and shouting to get out before I’d even sat down to eat, so I ended up just having a bowl of raspberries for breakfast. For lunch I had bolognese sauce over broccoli and cavolo nero, and in the evening I had a massive bowl of kale and broccoli with sausages and tomato sauce. I also had a snack when Theo had supper, just finishing off some of the salad bits from the week – a piece of mackerel, some leaves, a pear and some tomatoes. It was a pretty scrummy snack!

I felt: Really good – an easy day.

Saturday 6th Feb

I ate: Baked eggs with mushrooms and tomatoes, followed by a pear for breakfast. Baked sweet potato & pea cakes with avocado, mixed leaves, edamame, sunflower seeds and balsamic dressing for lunch. A banana for a snack at around 4:30, and then pulled pork, boiled new potatoes and broad beans for dinner

I felt: Good! The food today was really, really yummy. Pulled pork probably isn’t strictly on the plan, as it came in quite a sweet barbecue sauce, but man alive, it was good. The sweet potato cakes were also incredibly tasty, and I will definitely share the recipe on here soon, as I’d like to do them again.

Sweet potato and potato tuna salad

Sunday 7th Feb

I ate: A bit of a random breakfast of one sole banana pancake, a fried egg and a handful of almonds. Theo wanted to eat all of my pancakes, leaving me with just one. Sad times. I had a banana for a snack mid-morning, followed by an AMAZING salad of tuna and potato salad with avocado, capers, mixed leaves, sunflower seeds, sweetcorn and sweet potato. Then in the evening, we had a big beef stir fry with tonnes of veggies.

I felt: Pretty amazing. The food was all so tasty, and I was stuffed after every meal.

The verdict so far:

Well, I’m still going into week 2 sticking to the plan, so that’s not too bad. After deciding to increase my portion sizes so that I wouldn’t feel hungry, I think the main things I need to think about is planning. Normally I wouldn’t have the same lunch three days in a row, but it was actually a pretty delicious salad, so I didn’t really notice that as much of a hardship. Next week I’m out again in the evening and then going to a baby shower at the weekend, so that will be an interesting challenge.

I think Thursday night, being out for dinner, was the only time I actually felt deprived. Overall, it’s not been as hard as I thought it would be. I do miss having a chocolate mid afternoon and after dinner in the evenings, but other than that, I don’t really miss anything else so far. We’ll see how I feel in another week!

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