Ban The Bloat This Summer

Are you tired of feeling like you’re still pregnant even though you’ve never had kids or gave birth years ago??? Here are my top 3 ban the bloat tips to help you get back into those pre-mom jeans!

Ban the Bloat Tip #1 – Keep Your Digestive System Happy 🙂 

A lot of times we feel “big” in the middle not because of fat (thankfully!) but what’s going on in our stomach. Keeping our digestive system happy, especially avoiding bloat, can go a long way in helping us look and feel slimmer.

Here are a few tips to ban bloat:

  • Use herbs such as basil, dill, ginger, fennel, and mint – all of these herbs have gas-relieving properties. Traditional Medicinals do a couple of great digestive teas.
  • Introduce fiber-rich food gradually – fiber is great, but if you are not used to a fiber-rich diet and suddenly eat a lot of fiber-rich food, your GI tract will act up.
  • Cook beans properly – soak beans for at least 4 hours, and use spices or kombu to improve digestibility.
  • Notice how your body reacts to vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, and moderate intake if necessary.
  • Look for potential food intolerance (e.g. lactose or gluten) – if your body cannot digest and assimilate these properly, they can cause gas.
  • Yoga poses such as twisting can help relieve gas – these poses stimulate the movement of the smooth muscles of the intestinal walls and help “move things along”. Check out this video.

 

Ban the Bloat Tip #2 – Reduce Fluid Retention

You can easily gain 3 – 5 pounds, even a dress size, if you are experiencing water retention. For most women, hormonal fluctuation is the main cause of fluid retention. Food allergies and intolerance can also be a cause for water retention. Although you may not be able to get rid of all the fluids that Mother Nature imposes on you, there are a few things you can do to reduce the “impact”:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Reduce salt intake
  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Reduce toxic load and detox regularly. This doesn’t mean you have to rush out and buy one of those detox packs at your local health food store where you can only drink crazy shakes and not eat any food. By detox, i mean keep things really simple, just eat real food, avoid sugar, alcohol, dairy & gluten.
  • Use herbs with diuretic properties such as dandelion greens, uva ursi, corn silk, alfalfa, stinging nettle, celery seeds and parsley. Traditional Medicinals does a great diuretic tea.
  • Use an infrared sauna to help relieve stored water
  • Discover if you may have any food allergies or intolerance by doing an elimination diet or seeing your local Naturopath for testing.

 

Ban the Bloat Tip #3 – Facilitate Elimination

Facilitating elimination can help get rid of “dead weight” that is bogging you down. Here are a few things you can do to help “move things along”:

  • Drink fresh juice of carrot and apple to aid colon detox
  • Drink a cup of warm water with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, first thing in the morning – it is very alkalinizing and cleansing
  • Make sure you are getting enough fiber – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, flaxseed, oat bran, psyllium husk are all great sources.Check out the recipe below to help you out.
  • Eat foods rich in prebiotics (garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas) and probiotics (kefir, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi)
  • Exercise regularly – movement helps peristalsis which is the wave like movements your intestines use to help move food, nutrients and waste along.
  • Do yoga poses such as twisting and cat-cow to massage the digestive organs. This is a great video to use

I hope the above tips can help you reduce your bloat, click here for my Bloat Fighting Tropical Smoothie Recipe.

Enjoy!

 

 

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My Top 10 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain

Over a quarter of Canadians are obese – and with that comes many weight-related health issues. Here are the top 10 reasons why Canada has become a country of overweight people – avoid them and you can free yourself from our nation’s “fat trap”:

  1. Too many processed foods – they are cheap and convenient, but they are also full out sodium, sugar, chemicals and empty calories. When your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it will crave more food. So the answer to this one is simple just Eat More Real Food!
  2. Low intake of fresh, whole foods.  Real food is nutrient dense, and when your body gets the necessary nutrients, you will have fewer cravings so again Eat More Real Food!
  3. Sedentary lifestyle – many people are taking in more than they burn so start moving. Doesn’t have to be high intensity crazy workouts, just walking regular will help.
  4. Supersized portions – the larger the portion in front of us, the more we eat so make sure that half your plate is vegetables, a quarter lean protein and the other quarter carbs such as whole grains, starchy veggies or beans/lentils.
  5. Supersized dishware – our plates has become larger and larger. We need more food to fill the plate. Our perception of portion size apparently is affected by the size of the plate. A simple solution is using a smaller plate.
  6. Advertising and marketing – big corporations throw a lot of marketing money on processed foods and making them seem like they are healthy. Don’t be fooled, read the ingredients and nutrition facts to inform yourself as to what you really are consuming.
  7. Misinformation and disinformation – people are confused what to eat. Unfortunately the labels on process and packaged foods are not always telling the whole story. Can you pronounce the ingredients, are they real food? How much sugar and sodium is in the product? Where are the calories coming from? These are the questions you should be asking yourself.
  8. Cost of food – processed, massed produced food, and foods made with subsidized crops are cheaper than fresh produce and other sustainably grown whole foods. High fructose corn syrup is a great example – it is found in a lot of food items we get in the store. Unfortunately spending money of food like products such as these are going to lead you to spend more money on your health when you get sick later on. Set a weekly/monthly budget, plan your meals, leave nights for leftovers and make sure you clean out your fridge before shopping. These are simple ways you can save money by purchasing real food.
  9. Time management – most people are always on the go. They eat while they are doing other things, and this mindless eating often makes people overeat. Many people don’t have time to cook – they depend on fast food, take out, or dining out – most of the time such foods are loaded with fat, sugar, sodium, and hidden calories. Track your time over a day or two and see where you are really spending your time. How much is on Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest, how much time is spent watching TV? Could you reduce these and put that time into the kitchen?
  10. Stress – when we are stressed, our body produce the stress hormone cortisol, which packs a triple whammy. Cortisol slows metabolism, affects blood sugar level, increase fat storage, and promote cravings for fatty, salty and sugary foods. Make sure that self care and stress management is at the top of the list. How much time do you spend on you each day or week? Could you go to bed a little earlier? Hit a yoga class? Read a book? Lock the door and take a bath in peace and quiet? What can you do for yourself today?

 

For this weeks recipe, I wanted to share a super simple option that you can use for breakfast or afternoon snack (just reduce the quantity to half if using for a snack.) Click here for my Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Parfait. Enjoy!

Haven’t Changed Anything in Your Diet But Getting Fatter?

Weight Scale

You are positive that you’re not eating more food or “junkier” food but you’re still gaining weight.

Is this possible?

Yes!  You are NOT crazy!

And here’s why.

We both know that the whole “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic view of weight.

There’s definitely more to the story than just what you’re eating, right?

A lot of this comes right down to your metabolic rate which is affected by things like your activity level, history of dieting, body composition, and even what you eat.

But, let’s go beyond the “eat less and exercise more” advice and dive into some of the less obvious underlying reasons why you may be gaining weight even though you’re eating the same.

Things like:

  • Aging;
  • Hormones;
  • Sleep;

Aging

Funny things happen the older we get.  People commonly experience lower energy levels, more digestive discomfort, weight gain, as well as aches and pains.

Aging can result in hormonal changes for both men and women.  And these can contribute to loss of some lean muscle mass, as well as increases and changes in fat storage on our bodies.

The good thing is that, this is very common and not your fault one bit.

Hormones

Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism and can be a massive contributor to your weight gain.  There are several things that can affect it and throw it off course.

When your thyroid gets off course and produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down.  And when your metabolism slows down you can gain weight.  Even though you’re eating the same way you always have.

Pro Tip: Talk with your friendly Naturopath about having your hormones tested.

Sleep

There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.

And as we age it can become harder and harder to get a good night’s sleep.

The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help avoid weight gain.

It’s true!  Lack of sleep is linked with weight gain.

Who ever thought you can sleep off your weight?

Pro Tip: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.  The first place to start is by implementing a calming before bedtime routine such as switching off all technology at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime.

Stress

It seems to be everywhere!  So many things that can cause stress responses in your body.

And you know that stress hormones are not going to help you sustain healthy habits or maintain a healthy weight, right?

While you can’t necessarily change your stressors you can try to adjust your stress response to them.

Pro Tip:  Try meditation or yoga.  Or even mindful eating.  What about those new adult colouring books that are all the rage now?

Conclusion:

There are lots of factors that can affect your weight, even if you’re eating the same way you always have.  Aging, hormones, stress, and sleep are all interconnected to each other and can all contribute to weight gain, even if you’re eating the same way you always have.

Recipe: Sushi Bowl

Serves 2

1 cup cooked rice

1 avocado (thinly sliced)

½ cucumber (diced)

½ red pepper (thinly sliced)

1 green onion (chopped)

2 tablespoons dried seaweed (arame, wakame, or crumbled nori sheets)

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon sesame oil

½ garlic clove

dash salt and pepper

  • Split the first seven ingredients into two bowls.
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients together to make the dressing.
  • Pour the dressing over the sushi bowl.