The close link between eating and the psyche.

My own reflection and experience with the boost of vegetable intake and subsequent change of the profile of gut bacteria, have made me aware that the diminishing appetite is also accompanied with a change in my general psychic state, towards less anxiety.

Reflecting on this effect I found that for me personally hunger and unconscious fear are intimately connected. I think that it is not so strange that the organism may generate fear as a response to hunger, since for millions of years hunger has been the greatest threat to existence.

If one can accept this, then one can perhaps also accept that the absence of hunger may have a profound effect on the level of anxiety,- that one carries around.

There is a lot of evidence that the psyche and eating is closely linked and often is a great individual challenge. There are today 30 million Americans with eating disorders  and it is asserted that approximately 10% of westerners will be affected by an eating disorder at one point of their life.

I’ve never myself been diagnosed with an eating disorder but I did  physically feel terribly inadequate as a teenager. I responded by engaging in sports to the extend that for certain periods in my life one might  consider it a mild case of training disorder.  I lost weight and accompanied with this felt much better. When for periods I stopped training due to injuries etc. I quickly regained the lost weight, – and felt terrible.

We talk about eating to feel happy and  as a reaction to diminish stressful emotions, anxiety and sorrow. Some  abstain from food to regain a feeling of control of their life or to gain strength in circumstances that seems threatening. We can probably all relate to at feeling of guilt when we overeat and perhaps even depression with our physical appearance or condition. Finally we see how obese people including children, are traumatized by the surroundings reaction to their condition.

Bottom line for me is that one of the greatest benefits of obtaining relief from excessive appetite e.g. through using the healthy smoothie routine, is the tranquility and absence of anxiety which one may experience.

My own experience was that I was able to sleep better, and my general state was improved with diminished anxiety and stress.

4 scientific testimonies of the gut bacteria’s and GLP-1 hormone’s, effect on the parasympathetic system and the psyche:

  1. A very recent article in The Lancet describes how treatment with GLP-1 has astonishing effect on Parkinson; In 2014 and 2015, 60 patients with Parkinson received GLP-1 or placebo injections. At the end of the study the 31 patients that received GLP-1 had not worsened, but their Parkinson had decreased. The 29 patients receiving placebo had worsened. We are likely to hear a lot about this in the near future, as it is a significant medical breakthrough.
  2. Rodent studies have shown that GLP-1 can stimulate rats to improve memory.
  3. A study in the UK has shown that GLP-1 has a positive effect in stopping the further development of  Alzheimer. Very large studies involving thousands of Alzheimer patients have begun to further study and document these effects.
  4. That the gut bacteria has an effect on the psyche has been shown with rodents, where nervous mice had their gut bacteria wiped out with antibiotics. Then gut bacteria from normal,- not nervous,- mice was transplanted, and it was observed that the mice then became “not nervous”.

Smoothie results and how to sustain them.

People who have taken up the smoothie have used it to great effect. I wish to showcase a couple of stories here. And also mention something about the danger of regaining weight after weight loss.

Lars and Rasmus have both agreed to be interviewed and I plan to make a small video with some more details shortly.

Lars 54 :

My neighbor I discovered a few years ago has type 2 diabetes. What I didn’t know was that he had serious problems controlling his blood sugar  in spite of receiving  some of the best treatment in the world, from “Steno Diabetes Center” and “Rigshospitalet”.

For the past 10+ years he has been unable to get his pre prandial (before meals) blood sugar levels into the recommended range and it’s been steadily rising.

6 months ago he started to make smoothie every morning and after 2 months he saw that his blood sugar had fallen for the first time in 10 years from 12 to 10 mmol/l. Last month when he was at his regular quarterly checkup, his before meal blood sugar had reached the target below the recommended 7 mmol/l.  It’s a truly spectacular result given the history of his illness. According to Lars it is also achieved by increasing his daily exercise routines. He is of cause continuing his regular medical treatment, but now supplemented with the smoothie routine.

Rasmus 44 :

My brother in law is a large man, a great cook and lover of food. For the past 10 years hes been gaining weight to the point where he was almost reaching 100 kilos and a BMI close to 30. I started him up on the smoothie at Christmas this year. Shortly after he felt that he was able to control appetite with the smoothie and this gave him the courage to take a hit at a diet. He’s always been very physically active but has in general not been successful with diets. Not so this time! He went on a 1.900 calorie diet, including 1,5 l of smoothie daily, + a lot of exercise.  These days (after 8 months) he’s approaching the end of his diet and has lost 17 Kg’s. He is continuing the smoothie after the diet in order not to re- gain weight.

Keeping the weight gain may be difficult.

It’s very important to continue the smoothie routine also after the weight loss target has been reached. A recent study from Copenhagen university published in Journal of Indocrinology found that up to 1 year after loosing weight the body keeps releasing hunger stimulating hormones. This explain the yo-yo weight phenomenon that obese people often discover; that shortly after loosing a lot of weight they are unable to keep it and quickly regain the lost weight.


Keeping up the smoothie always may be difficult and it may be necessary to reach out to ready made solutions. Look out for soluble fiber products like; Psyllium-Husk , Chia seeds, raw Potato starch, Hi Maize, Inulin, Pectin and more all contain 50-90% soluble fibre (or resistant starch). A couple of table spoons  at breakfast added to Muesli or even drunk in a glass of water will keep the gut bacteria happy.

This will boost your soluble fiber intake also when the smoothie isn’t available.


Why is keeping normal weight so difficult ?

If you are an athlete and train 10-15 hours per week your daily energy consumption may be as high as 5-6.000 calories and you will still not gain weight.

The rest of us have a energy expenditure of 2-3000 calories depending on our activities, our body weight, and the average temperature in our direct environment.

It’s no big surprise that the athlete feels hungry and eats a lot. When he stops his career he is bound to feel less hungry – and he does. At the same time most ex-athletes have problems not gaining weight. This fact should give us a hint that energy consumption is not fully dependent on our energy expenditure.

We see the same phenomenon in obese people, they feel appetite which isn’t related to their energy expenditure.

The common explanation is that the ex athlete or obese person has a psychological dependency on the pleasure from eating high calorie food. It’s  a common assumption that an overweight person may be helped to change his life style towards less energy consumption and a higher energy expenditure through diet and increased exercise. Health authorities certainly have been promoting this life style change for 40 years now. The same authorities also see that in general this strategy has failed spectacularly and we humans are collectively becoming alarmingly overweight in the West and in the emerging economies.

Does it mean that we all have a psychological dependency on the pleasure derived from eating high calorie foods ?

No, – in reality  athletes are strong willed and overweight people do not have weaker wills than the rest of us. Both athletes and obese have a bacteria profile that work to make them gain weight. If we all had the same profile we would also feel increased hunger!.This insight have been provided in very resent studies into the mechanism’s that regulate appetite.

In one study, rodents given a high calorie food containing sugar and fat did not become less hungry, but due to a hormonal response ( increased ghrelin production), they became more hungry (and obese).

When the obese mice had their gut bacteria exchanged with gut bacteria from lean mice their appetite was reduced and they began to loose weight.

The same phenomenon is found in humans; The interaction between the bacteria and the metabolism causes us to gain or loose weight.

Now if we see that the food we eat causes us to have a specific profile of gut bacteria and these bacteria in turn cause us to release either appetite increasing hormones like grehlin (and insulin), or appetite reducing hormones like GLP-1 and PYY, then it becomes clear, that lifestyle changes may not be a matter of a strong will or a well planned diet and exercise program.

This insight offers a rather satisfying answer to why the health authorities advise to change lifestyle has had so little effect: The advice hasn’t taken the appetite regulating hormones into account, but relied on the simplistic assumption, that a human will feel full when he has eaten sufficient food to cover his energy expenditure.

We may use the insight to develop an alternative approach or method to dieting and staying slim.

We must eat to change the microbiata in the gut, in order to avoid releasing appetite increasing hormones and instead produce appetite reducing hormones. If we can achieve this then the recommended lifestyle changes  will actually be achievable, because we are helped by the hormones.

It’s not good trying to work against hormones,- they tend to win in the end. Fortunately for most people it’s relatively simple to change the profile of the gut bacteria,  by increasing soluble fiber intake e.g. by increasing daily intake of vegetables to the recommended 800 g.  The change will happen in approximately 48 hours.

My latest smoothie aim at providing this change and it has a high content of soluble fibers.

If you produce smoothies or similar you may yourself experiment with recipes; I use this webside to look for soluble fiber content in new ingredients:

Fiber Content of Foods

My latest smoothie is easy to make it’s tasty and high on soluble fibers:

150 g sweet potato

150 g spinach

1 peach

1 green banana

150 g strawberries

1 grapefruit

20 g of ginger

150 g peas

150 g pointed cabbage

500 ml. water.

I sometimes drink smoothie at lunch instead of water. I do it because I actually like it and not because I’m trying to change my lifestyle. I find changing lifestyle works best if it’s easy, tasty and effective. The smoothie works for me and has done so increasingly for the past 18 months.

Healthy greetings Ole

Kaisa’s recipe

Kaisa  (10) is not convinced that smoothies need to taste of spinach. So she has modified my recipe slightly , – its very very nice :

  • 100 g. Spinach, – Neutral taste and high content of soluble fibers. (3,5g/100g)
  • No pointed cabbage !.
  • 300 g Strawberries, – Taste and high content of soluble fibers(2g/100g)
  • 150 g. Carrots, – Relatively high content of soluble fibers.(2g/100g)
  • 30 g Ginger, – Taste and no content of soluble fibers.(0 g/100g)
  • No peas !.
  • 1 Apple, -Taste and high content of soluble fibers.(2g/100g)
  • 1 Orange -, Taste and high content of soluble fibers.(2g/100g)
  • 300 ml of water, to blend.

A total of approximately 20 g. of soluble fibers,- not bad.

Please see video instruction here :

She has also invited me to try another of her smoothies the taste here is more like a milkshake.:

  • 2 Nectarines, taste and relatively high content of soluble fibers (1/100g)
  • 250 g Strawberries, – Taste and high content of soluble fibers(2g/100g)
  • 150 g. Carrots, – Relatively high content of soluble fibers.(2g/100g)
  • 20 g Ginger, – Taste and high content of soluble fibers.(2,5g/100g)
  • Juice from 1 lime (no fibers)
  • 400 ml of skimmed milk. (no fibers but high grade protein 3,5 g/ 100)