So far, Optimal Diet proportions haven't shown me much progress ... but stress has been an issue for months here. Stress is the very worst thing to have to deal with while trying to eat for health and fat-loss!
(Our sunroom-and-garage addition planning is getting finalized, though. We have our favorite construction guy on board -- that's one source of stress removed; we've chosen the hot-tub, fireplace, floor tile and doors and windows. Floor plan is as carved-in-stone as is humanly possible. Whew. Found someone to take care of our dog and bird, too, after our usual TWO dog-sitters had conflicts with our vacation dates. BIG "whew.")
So for the next two weeks -- i vow here with witnesses! -- i'm going to be very, very good. I may not achieve "perfect" but i WILL be that way inclined. One glass of wine with lunch and dinner, not imbibed in advance. Wine is an important digestive aid with me, but if i start my first glass while i'm cooking, i have to pour another when we sit down to our meal. One glass is not moreish but two are -- sneaky stuff! And three glasses of wine IMPAIRS digestion. :-)
No potatoes. Minimal lettuce. Be wary of inulin. Be wary of ANYTHING that causes bloat! Avoid goitrogens. Buy a cucumber. Squash (two types in the fridge already) seems to be trouble-free in the serving sizes i favor. Half-cup of rice causes no problems.
Because all carbs are not created equal, any more than the various types of fat are! Not even all SATURATED fats are. The human tendency to categorize and compartmentalize just doesn't work well when it comes to food.
It's more than just "gut health" -- there, we find, various gurus STILL try to fit everyone into a single niche. I for one do not think that everyone SHOULD strive to be able to eat "everything." Even if we all were to have the same microbiome, our genetics would assert themselves and demand that we not eat something which other people can center their entire diets around. The gut-bugs that are ideal for MY ancestrally-appropriate diet are not the gut-bugs that are optimal for my friends whose people are NOT from the British Isles and northern Europe. We should, most likely, NOT be eating the same kinds of foods when you get beyond animal parts.
I was eating very cleanly when i discovered a problem with nightshades above the half-cup-serving size. Ditto for cashews cooked into dishes (again, a half-cup of roasted salted ones don't give me any trouble). Real fermented sauerkraut brings on hypothyroid symptoms. A small salad made at home is fine; a large salad served in a restaurant has "digestive discomfort" written all over it. Peanuts, too -- but if i soak and cook dried legumes MYSELF i can get away without the fermentation that causes the misery.
It's all VERY individual. If your body says "NO," i'm not sure why some people want to force it to go there anyway.
Some people absolutely DO NOT TOLERATE gluten, ... and some have fructose absorption issues, or lactose or alcohol processing limitations. Should they try to consume the stuff anyway, just because some people claim to thrive on it?
If you know what you can eat so that your own signature biota are happy, why do you want to push them beyond that? Because "nine cups of colorful vegetables per day" improved the health of SOMEBODY ELSE? Why should i think that would work for ME, if ONE cup of colorful vegetables can make me miserable? "You have to feed your good bacteria" -- but who says you DON'T have the right bacteria FOR YOU already? Unless you've killed off your microbiome with antibiotics, or intoxicated them with excess sugar, or suffered the foreign-invasion of food-poisoning, does something really NEED to be done? ...Maybe it does, but the point is, it's YOU who should reach that conclusion, not some guru extrapolating from a few success-stories to the greater population.