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The Goldilocks Gut

What Is IT?


The "Goldilocks Zone” is classically depicted as a "just right” condition - the perfect habitat for thriving and prosperity. It’s a borrowed concept across various time-frames and mindsets, including children’s tales such as ‘Goldilocks and The Three Bears,’ entertainment like 'Monty Python’s Three Doors,’ and even philosophical or religious practices, such as Buddhism's ‘Middle Path.’

Humor aside, this "just right” concept finds its most fundamental application within our bodies, specifically in our guts. You might wonder what we mean by “it’s all from our gut.” Simply put, it refers to our microbiome - the myriad single-celled clusters that combine elements of both nature and nurture. This internal world, now popularly referred to as ‘The Microbiome,’ is where the Goldilocks principle truly comes to life.

The Internal Metropolis

The Microbiome & Our Gut

Think of our environment's intricate, interconnected network of buildings, nature and roads structured around bricks and rivers. Surprisingly, the structure of our microbiome mirrors a metropolis woven together by mucosal webs. It’s a bustling hub of single-cell organisms, each with unique tastes, needs, and cravings, thriving on diversity and routine.

These micro-residents play a critical role in our lives. They shape our preferences, mold our experiences, and even dictate our emotional states. Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, how you deal with heartbreak or even your reaction to a snowy day, your microbiome plays an influential role.

These microscopic organisms orchestrate our metabolic processes and contribute to our physical and emotional states - those “I Feel Like...” moments. They continually adapt and improve, making labels like “good or bad” grossly oversimplify this complex and ever-changing entity.

However, when out of balance, discomfort can occur. There’s no blame to pass around, but keep in mind that your microbiome might need some fine-tuning. So, the next time you’re feeling down or loathing Mondays, it may not be all in your head - your microbiome could be crying out for a tune-up.

A Candid Guide


The intimate relationship between our gut and microbiome is fundamental - the gut serves as the largest sanctuary, a residence for our biome.

This bustling hub is a dynamic, meticulous, yet instinctively organized control center mediating all our bodily and emotional functions, whether favorable or otherwise - originates from these ecosystems consisting of various ranges of enterotypes that make us, well, "unique.” This web of intricacies craves "white glove” care to maintain its ideal efficiency.

Habit 1

Satiety more than fullness

The Hara Hachi Bu Style

Satisfying your appetite begins with maintaining a state of around 80% fullness. This approach allows room for your digestive process to effectively break down, absorb, and metabolize your food without overclocking the system. Remember, this isn’t an occasional strategy but one that requires sustained awareness. Cultivating the ability to recognize when to say ‘No More' or ‘I'm Full’ is crucial to this practice.

Habit 2


Diverse, Colorful and Alluring Plates

Imagine having to eat your favorite meal for the rest of your life. Would you still look forward to the next plate of the same dish? Perhaps not, and this is where your microbiome comes in.

Incorporating 30 unique ingredients across the week gives your gut the capacity and resilience to absorb, repair, and adapt. This doesn’t necessitate large portions; you could be accomplished with various botanicals to enhance the flavor and depth of each dish.

This begins with intentional eating—complementary, cohesive, and sometimes slightly unconventional. Unique processes of combining multiple single ingredients together through methods of aging or fermentation result in creating a concentrated whole ingredient - layered like an onion with rich phytochemicals becoming a double boon incorporating both required diversity and purity. 

 The layers of complex phytonutrients added not only make your food work for you but also keep your microbiome from ever feeling bored. Perhaps it’s time we start viewing food from the perspective of individual ingredients rather than solely their macro and micronutrient derivatives.

Habit 3

Constructive Imagination

With Simple Techniques

From diversity, let’s evolve a step further by adding interesting culinary processes and techniques. With many of us strapped for time, simple techniques can significantly speed up meal preparation. Whether steaming, freezing, pickling, air frying, sautéing, or bruléeing, experimenting with various cooking methods can unlock unique dimensions in your ingredients.

This makes every bite, big or small, exciting and enjoyable, lightening the psychological load often associated with meal prep or cooking. It encourages proactive care towards the experience of each meal, rather than just hurriedly consuming food.

And let's be honest, both quickly eating or taking the time to savor a meal can have their place; however, the right balance of creative imagination and technique can enhance feelings of satisfaction and gratification, stimulating our motivation receptors.

Habit 4

Slurpy, Sippy, and Effortless

Is Always Better Than Chewy

Contrary to common belief, it can benefit the gut to incorporate more soft, delicate, and easily digestible foods that require less chewing. This could include items like smoothies, teas, soups, and porridges that offer a silky experience for your palate.

Think of it as a sensory ASMR experience for your microbiome. Such foods enable your gut to digest and absorb nutrients effectively because the ingredients have been finely broken down through heating, aging, and roasting. This allows absorption to start right from when the food touches your tongue.

In contrast, the chewing process, which can sometimes be imperfect, increases the chances of indigestion and prolongs the digestive process - from travel through the gut to transition into the colon. However, if you miss the texture, you can always top off these softer dishes with something crunchy or chunky for a playful contrast.

Habit 5

A Staple For Good Mood

Setting A Rhythm Of Anticipation & Satisfaction

Just as a little black dress is a versatile staple in your wardrobe, it's crucial to have a staple treat in your dietary routine. This favorite indulgence sends proactive signals to your microbiome, setting a rhythm of anticipation and satisfaction that punctuates your day. This could be anything from a bar of chocolate to your preferred latte or a whole experience of enjoying dim sum while catching up on your favorite Netflix series.

The late Queen Elizabeth, for example, punctuated her day with a daily teatime that included crustless smoked salmon sandwiches and chocolate biscuit cake, served with Earl Grey tea or Dubonnet. For others, it might be as simple as sardines and couscous with a London Fog. The choice is yours, but having a staple treat can help train your biome ecosystem to understand the rhythm of your day, marking its beginning, middle, or end with a balance.

Habit 6

Small, Slow Or Both

The French Layers

Every sip and bite, regardless of size, should be thoughtfully considered in terms of flavor, function, and texture, as we've explored through the discussion of habits. Another essential habit to consider is the way we enjoy each mouthful. Whether taking small, slow bites or combining both, the approach matters. This is inspired by French culture, where a typical lunch may take up to two hours, allowing for slow, small bites and a perfect pairing of flavors.

Scientifically, this practice allows the digestive system to communicate seamlessly with the brain's reward centers, sparking excitement and signaling the digestive system for an efficient process. This slow, mindful eating encourages the gradual release of serotonin, leading to a quicker sense of satiety, thus reducing the risk of overeating, cravings for post-meal naps, or feelings of heaviness.

To integrate this habit without feeling like a chore, consider a method I like to call 'layering your fork'. This approach allows you to pace yourself, giving your digestive system time to process each bite and thus simplifying your experience after each meal.

Habit 7

Start With An Aperitif and End With A Digestif

Prepare Your Gut, Savor Your Experience

Let's add another layer to your eating habits: starting every meal with an aperitif. This pre-meal drink opens your appetite and prepares your gut to welcome and enjoy any delicacies you have planned. The tradition of having an aperitif comes from Italy, the land of pasta, pizzas, Ossobuco, and many other rich and carb-laden cuisines. They certainly appreciate a good aperitif, traditionally a Crodino or coffee. The botanical-rich Crodino, crafted in the Italian Alps, is usually used to ensure digestion proceeds smoothly and prevent bloating after a large meal.

There are other aperitifs that can soothe your gut, relax your body, or awaken your appetite, setting you up for an enjoyable meal. Let's remember to end the day with a digestif, too. After numerous meals and experiences engaging your neuronal signaling, your gut-brain axis needs to replenish, rest, and recover. Most importantly, it should facilitate digestion while at rest smoothly. Adopting this practice can lead to fewer instances of heartburn and constipation and an overall better feeling about indulging in your meals.

Habit 8

The Perfect Timing

For An Imperfect Planner

How our gut operates during wakefulness and rest is as contrasting as day and night. Tailoring your routine with complementary yet contrasting elements allows your biome to rest, reset, and repair throughout the day actively. For instance, you might enjoy spicier, mintier, fruitier, and savory palates during the day and transition to creamier, sweeter, and woodsy/lightly citrusy flavors in the evenings. This lets your sensory state adapt to the ebb and flow of our natural chemical stimuli.

Timing is crucial; optimal snacking time is around 4.30 PM onwards or during tea time. The ideal breakfast is light and served at the break of dawn, between 6.30–7.30 AM. Dinner should commence 3-4 hours before your designated rest time. A nightcap is a great way to kick off your wind-down ritual, preparing your oral biome, gut digestion, and sensory functions for restful sleep. Keep in mind this is just a general guideline. Each unique biome might need a different timing and habit pattern for the best experience – it all hinges on timing.


Curate at Your Own Pace and Possibility.

Navigating the intricate world of our microbiome might initially seem daunting, but with a little effort and understanding, it becomes an empowering journey. Recognizing that we all come from different backgrounds, with varying levels of resources, time, and commitments, it's essential to approach this guide with flexibility. Tailor these habits to your individual circumstances, making incremental changes as they suit your lifestyle.

Caring for our microbiome isn’t just another health fad; it's an intimate form of self-care. The benefits ripple outwards, influencing our physical health, emotional well-being, and even our daily interactions. We urge you, regardless of where you stand on your health journey, to take that first step. Whether it's integrating one new habit or diving deep into all eight, every effort counts.

It's time to unlock your body's true potential and experience those golden "just right" moments. Embrace the challenge, adjust as needed, and most importantly, listen to your body. Your journey towards a thriving microbiome starts now. Make it uniquely yours.

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