...scattered about it, some in there overturned war machines, some in the now rigid handling-machines, and a dozen of them stark and silent and laid in a row, were the Martians - dead! - slain by the putrefactive and disease bacteria against which their systems were unprepared...
Do you remember the science fiction novel 'War of the Worlds', by H.G. Wells?
I've always loved this visionary sci-fi classic, so of course I wanted to 'honour' it with a diet!
And I'm very curious about the graphic novels.
In America, The War of the Worlds was made famous by Orson Welles' infamous hoax radio adaptation. Cheeky monkey.
But for those of us who grew up in Britain in the 1970s and 80s, this progressive rock concept album by Jeff Wayne was our War of the Worlds:
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds, Audio from Amazon UK Also find this on Spotify
I'm very excited to hear there is a new version now, featuring Liam Neeson, Joss Stone, Gary Barlow and others (Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds - The New Generation, from Amazon UK), with a live arena tour coming soon!
For updates, check out Ticketmaster: Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds tour here, and the Jeff Wayne War of the Worlds Tour Facebook page here.
You have to hear it 🙂
But I'm getting distracted again: science fiction is so much more fun than dieting.
How is the War of the Worlds going to help us lose weight?
The same way the Earth lost the Martians: with microbes. Because as Jeroen Raes says in this TED talk,
"You are not human. You are a walking bacterial colony"
It's interesting that he mentions the roles of birth and breastfeeding in establishing microbes in the body.
But back to diet and weight loss (bleurgh - science is also more fun than dieting!):
According to Michelle Schoffro Cook, Ph.D., author of 'The Probiotic Promise',
"If you want to lose weight, you must address what's going on in the gut."
(quoted in that illustrious supermarket-checkout-distributed non-academic journal, 'First For Women')
For more of the interesting health science about gut bacteria, see "How Gut Bacteria Help Make Us Fat and Thin" in Scientific American, and "How gut bacteria affects your health: What we know, what we don't," from MPR News.
And although they aren't explicitly linked with a weight loss diet, either by scientists or in their own advertising, probiotics do claim to address what is going on in the gut, while being relatively cheap and easy to get hold of:
Enter our Probiotic Heroes:
I tried both regular Yakult and the light version. Of course I preferred the one with more calories, but I don't think there's that much difference between them 🙂
At this point, I should probably mention that, while any links from this blog could be affiliate links, Yakult isn't endorsing or sponsoring this post (and neither are Jeff Wayne or the late H.G. Wells), and that when I first saw Yakult I thought it looked disgusting.
But it isn't: it's actually really nice.
I've always like orange flavoured yogurts the best, and regular Yakult tastes like a drinking version of that.
I should also point out that Yakult themselves make no claims about losing weight. What they do say is,
"Only Yakult products contain the exclusive L. casei Shirota probiotic strain. It's backed by 80 years of research and is great for the whole family!"
And just to clarify, the 'whole family' means anyone over 8 months, which is fair enough since there are all kinds of things you don't feed to babies.
They recommend drinking 1 or 2 bottles daily to help balance your digestive system and help you maintain overall health.
So I did.
Other Foods With ProbioticsI also ate some other things that I've heard had probiotics in: I ate fruit with natural yogurt, and I ate sausages with sauerkraut, which I'd heard contained acidophilus (though that didn't mention probiotics on the jar so I could have been mistaken).
I wondered when the best times to drink the Yakult would be. First thing in the morning? Last thing at night? With meals? As snacks? The leaflet and bottles didn't say.
My brother, who is a biologist, is quite skeptical about the ability of probiotics to survive stomach acid anyway.
So I ended up drinking them as snacks, and they were pretty good as snacks. I liked them.
They took the place of less healthy snacks, and I wouldn't mind adding them to my shopping budget on a regular basis.
But for the diet? How did probiotics do? Did they kill my inner aliens? I was surprised:
Results of my Diet: Probiotics and The War of the Worlds
Beginning of the week: 226.2 (I know, ugh!)
End of the week: 223.4
So my easy diet / probiotics week lost me nearly 3 pounds - Hooray for Yakult and the War of the Worlds!
Recommended: Yes 🙂
- H.G. Wells: The War of the Worlds (Amazon UK)
- Jeff Wayne and David Essex: how we made The War of the Worlds
- Facebook: Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds
- Ticketmaster: Jeff Wayne's the War of the Worlds Tickets
- Yelp: Reviews of Yakult
- Daily Express: 'I wouldn't buy them' Scientists blast 'waste of money' probiotics that do NOTHING (They can 'blast' them all they like: I still like Yakult)
- Slideshare: Yakult Probiotic Drink Side Effects
- Yakult: Official website
- Food Find: Different Flavors of Yakult from Singapore
- Natural News calls Sauerkraut the Probiotic King
- Scientific American: How Gut Bacteria Help Make Us Fat and Thin
- MPR News: How gut bacteria affects your health: What we know, what we don't
- Probiotic Supplements: Drugstore.com, Walgreens, Target, Amazon UK
- 'The Probiotic Promise': AbeBooks, Barnes & Noble, Amazon UK
"For so it had come about, as indeed I and many men might have foreseen had not terror and disaster blinded our minds. These germs of disease have taken toll of humanity since the beginning of things - taken toll of our prehuman ancestors since life began here. But by virtue of this natural selection of our kind we have developed resisting power; to no germs do we succumb without a struggle, and to many - those that cause putrefaction in dead matter, for instance - our living frames are altogether immune. But there are no bacteria in Mars, and directly these invaders arrived, directly they drank and fed, our microscopic allies began to work their overthrow."
Will yogurt save us in an alien invasion? Post your comments here...