Diet Fail 2019 – Day 8: More of the Same but There’s Yogurt to be Made…and Terror in Tummyville

As I haven’t been on any sort of diet for a while prior to my restart 8 days ago – unless you consider shoveling as much crap into your maw a ‘diet’ – I have not been eating my ‘magic yogurt‘. I frankly do not recall how old the last batch is – maybe a month or more? I keep it in the back of the fridge where the veggies freeze (because GE Profile refrigerators SUCK!) and had a cup the other day – it looked and tasted fine.

So I decided that on this day I would try making another batch according to my obsessively-detailed instructions and hoped the age of my yogurt would not cause me to wait 36+ hours to find a massive Instant Pot-full of Yogurt Fail.

Actually, I learned a bit of trivia: what I’m making isn’t yogurt, at least in the US. Yogurt is a legal term for fermented products using very specific bacteria – not the bacteria L. Reuteri that I’m using. Instead, it’s a ‘fermented milk product’ that just so happens to look like yogurt. I believe – but have not tried – you can take any probiotic with active cultures, run it through this process, and end up with something similar. I was thinking it might be an interesting way to see if other probiotics actually contain live cultures – or as another hack: if you’re paying through the nose for a probiotic and you can grow it yourself, you’ve now got an endless supply of your favorite probiotic and never have to pay those price-gouging bastards ever again! (I have no idea if this would work – mere speculation).

As yet another aside to an aside, the probiotic I currently take – than name escapes me because they all have names that sound the same – just like every Chinese restaurant is ‘Happy Lucky Golden Red Dragon*’ or some random collection chosen from a set of about a dozen words…but I digress within my aside of an aside.

So my probiotic with the name that sounds like every other probiotic claims ‘100,000,000 live cultures. Guaranteed’.


How could I – or anyone else including them for that matter – know if there is 100 million live cultures in that capsule? And How can I possibly take them up on their guarantee? “I’d like to return these as there wasn’t 100,000,000 live cultures in the capsule I took and you guaranteed there would be.” Their claim is utterly preposterous. It would be an interesting conversation.

Do they think we’re idiots?

Yes. Yes they do.

“Heck, Festus, it dun say on the box gah-run-teed! Gotta be true!”

And now for something completely different…

I ate the same as yesterday, but a bit more. I haven’t been getting the necessary calories, the body recognized that, and wanted more. I happily obliged.

What did NOT make me happy was the fact I thought I had escaped the ‘Raging Trots’. It has been my experience in the past that early on in switching over to keto, my gut will get a little…sensitive at least one or two days. It usually happens within the first week and it’s over – once over the hump, my plumbing is usually well-behaved on a keto diet.

This time it came a little late. Glad I wasn’t on a bus, in a meeting at work, or at some public place without public restrooms.

And I sure do pine for the days when matchbooks were everywhere so I could have lit a match – or 7.

It’s another mystery – I can only guess it is a further adjustment my body makes as the ‘keto adaption’ proceeds. As I understand it, you’ve got about 1,000 known (and x number unknown) species of bacteria in your gut that you absolutely need to live. This stuff works – somehow – with your ‘second brain’ – your gut. Did you know your gut is autonomous from the brain in your head? I’ve heard you’ve got more serotonin in your gut than your brain (hence the gastric problems people on antidepressants suffer). The number of neurons in your gut are about the same count as the amount in the brain of a German Shepherd. The complexity is such that there’s only the Vagus nerve that connects your brain to your gut for high-level communications. This is used for things like telling your brain NEVER to let you ever eat potato salad again after you got that food poisoning at aunt Edna’s picnic. You can cut this nerve and sever connections and your gut will continue to work just fine.

I’ve speculated that our gut brain is our true brain. We’re just a tube where food comes in one end and waste comes out the other. Evolution allowed for this second brain in our heads to form and the first brain didn’t mind – as log as it helped to get it fed. The brain in our gut sees our obsessions with things like smartphones, politics, and the Kardashians as pointless irrelevancies – tolerated as long as that fat neuronal swelling at the top of the thing makes sure the food keeps coming.

This second brain acts as a conductor of sorts, trying to manage the symphony of digesting food, absorbing nutrients, manufacturing Vitamin C in the colon, dealing with toxins, etc. – and doing so by negotiating with an unruly mob of trillions of bacteria that all have their own agenda – their own self-interest.

Different foods foster the growth of different bacteria and reduce the populations of others. “They’re goes the neighborhood!” Say the carb-loving bacteria as the bacteria that thrive on a keto diet move in and their kids leave their bicycles out on the lawn overnight.

I imagine the tummy-rumbling to come from this dramatic change – and let’s not forget that all those neurons in the gut suddenly have to get used to ketone bodies instead of glucose as fuel. It’s a traumatic time for everybody in Tummyville: signals probably get missed, valves get opened when they should have been shut, the wrong button gets pressed – it’s just chaos until the systems adapt and get things back under control in the new keto environment.

Until then I form a close relationship with a bathroom I warn others in the household to steer clear of, and become especially anxious about toilet paper inventory.

*After my Chinese restaurant name comment and has a suspicion the Internet would contain a one of these.


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