Banishing Bad Microbes - How Angie discovered how to eat for her good gut bugs

October 29, 2020

Hi, I'm Angie!

When I moved to the USA from the UK with my husband, and very quickly we changed our diets to 99% plant-based. However, due to the unbelievably good Mexican food and the unexpected joy of squeezy cheese in a can, we both put on some weight.

I've always had to be sensible about what I ate, and have felt the ups and downs in my mood regularly. My husband gets crazy sugar cravings and never feels good afterward, and I was interested in the idea of unhelpful gut bacteria controlling our moods and our impulses.

"I generally have to be sensible about what I eat as every single extra pound shows when you’re five feet tall!"

The gut microbiome is key!

I first became interested in the gut microbiome and how unique each it is to each person after reading a newspaper article several years ago.

A journalist sent her poo to be analyzed as part of an ‘eat for your particular gut biome’ study. She’d always been super fit but struggled to maintain her weight - nothing seemed to work. I remembered that her results changed the way she ate, so I was hooked!

This really caught my interest in the microbiome. When I read an article about ZOE's PREDICT study looking for volunteers, I thought I’d be the canary to see if it would offer similar insights to the article I’d read so long ago.

ZOE insights

I found the ZOE test really interesting, and was very surprise by my results. Having changed my diet to be more plant-based after moving to the US, I was astonished to learn how differently foods affected my body.

"I was astonished to learn how different foods affect my body. I spent the entire afternoon on the floor in the pantry scoring food using the ZOE app."

Brown rice - not so good for me. Watermelon REALLY not good for my body. Avocado - amazing for me! Oh, and bananas. Who would've thought that bananas were not good for me? This explained why I am the only person who can go to India and put on weight, when everyone else comes back looking svelte and gorgeous!

Starting the ZOE plan

The four-week plan was really interesting. I was very surprised to learn that how and when I eat matters - the time between eating meals made such a difference to my ZOE day scores! While I did struggle with the app a bit, which may be down to technological incompetence, I found the ZOE plan pretty easy to follow.

I definitely lost weight on the plan, most likely due to eating in a manner that was guided by my personalized ZOE scores.

Life since ZOE

"My personalized insights have also made me more aware of the complex bacterial universe inside my gut, and have helped me tailor my diet to ensure the beneficial bacteria prosper"

Since doing the four week plan I have absolutely eaten things that are not the best for my gut microbiome, but have really noticed that they don’t make me feel brilliant the next day - punishment by ice cream and cake - almost like a hangover.

ZOE has informed choices I make while food shopping. My personalized insights have also made me more aware of the complex bacterial universe inside my gut, and have helped me tailor my diet to ensure the beneficial bacteria prosper and the less beneficial bacteria do not thrive.