HOLY GUACAMOLE–I haven’t posted since March. In more than two months. That’s the longest I think I’ve ever gone without posting.
I’ve missed you.
Where have I been, you might ask? Everywhere. Or at least that’s how it feels. Honestly, after my last blog post, I kind of knew I needed a break. With school, work and moving into our new apartment, I just didn’t have the time to be posting. I felt burnt out and uninspired–and no one wants to read about that.
So I unplugged. Even my social media use went down, down, down. Instead I studied for my exams (and passed!), started working full time, and got a rescue dog. I’ve also been volunteering at various places–which included preparing the food for George Brown’s awesome Ambition Nutrition Symposium, which was a total blast. I’ve been taking a lot of fitness classes: from pole to dance to running an obstacle course. I went to the Canadian Holistic Nutrition Conference, where not only did I learn so much, but I acquired so many goodies and was able to fangirl a lot as authors signed my books!
The break was much needed, but I think I’m ready to come back to The Nourished Mind. Again: I’ve missed you.
I’ll keep today’s post short, but I thought today we could chat a little bit about bloating, because I feel that when you bloat, it really takes away from your whole day. How often have you gone out with friends to coffee or a movie and felt like you spent the whole time shifting uncomfortably, the waistband of your pants digging into your stomach? Or how many times could you not wear that shirt or dress because it clung just a little too snuggly and highlighted how bloated you feel? Maybe you wake up in the morning, and your stomach is flat and the second you eat or even have a cup of coffee, it’s bloat city for you.
It’s not fun. So today, I’m sharing a few tips that will help beat the bloat and have you feeling comfortable in your own skin!
- Chew your food. Digestion starts in the mouth–when you start chewing your body gets the signal that food is coming and the stomach starts to prepare. Your saliva also contains amylase–an enzyme needed to break down carbohydrates–so if you don’t properly chew your food, it doesn’t get digested optimally, and you find your pants not wanting to button up.
- Don’t eat when you’re stressed out. When you’re stressed, all the blood flows away from your digestion and towards your limbs: getting ready to flee at a moments notice. The result? Bad digestion, gas and bloating.
- Go to the bathroom in the morning. Okay, I can not tell you how often I talk to people who suffer constant bloating, only to find out they don’t poop in the morning! You should be taking a bowel movement first thing in the morning–otherwise it just sits in your colon, and midday you find you start to feel gassy, bloated and constipated. Make it a habit and set aside ten to fifteen minutes in the morning to go to the bathroom (no straining, just sitting!) and get your body used to the idea, that in the morning you eliminate!
- Get your probiotics. Eating fermented foods–like sauerkraut, kombuchu or kefir–is a great way to get in good gut bacteria and improve your digestion. If those foods don’t appeal to you, or you struggle to eat enough, look for a high quality probiotic to keep things regular. When looking for a probiotic, you want to start at a low dose, below 10 billion CFU and build up to avoid unwanted digestive upsets. You also want to make sure it has a variety of bacteria, including multiple strains of both lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.
- Drink peppermint tea. This is great if you’re already feeling bloated, or to drink after eating to prevent bloating, because peppermint tea has a relaxant and antispasmodic effect on your digestive tract!
- Take a digestive enzyme. If food is your foe, and everything makes you feel quite literally like crap, I really urge you to get digestive enzymes. I carry them with me all the time, and take them before I eat certain foods (like starchy carbohydrates or desserts) or even after I’ve eaten something that may have had an ingredient I don’t tolerate as well (like dairy, wheat or soy). Look for a multi-enzyme formula that will break down carbs, fat and protein. The one I use contains amylase, lactase, lipase, and protease, as well as bromelain, papain, maltase and sucrase.
- Drink lots of water. Right when you get up in the morning, drink a large glass of water to kickstart your digestion and get things flowing. Keeping hydrated is an awesome way to make sure nothing stays stagnant and thus has the opportunity to ferment and cause bloating.
- Eliminate food intolerances. It could be that you’re sensitive to certain foods, and that’s what’s causing the bloating, so make sure to rule out food sensitivities. You can get tested for food sensitivities, or you can write a food diary and track what you eat and how you feel after.
- Do some yoga poses. If I feel bloated, I find a great way to alleviate it is to move my body! Cow/Cat pose, Downward Dog and Child’s Pose are all fantastic poses to move that gas and eliminate the bloat!
- Work with a nutritionist. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about where to start to get your digestion on track, work with someone who can break it down into bite-size (eh? get it?) pieces for you. You can contact me here if you’d like to work one-on-one to get rid of bloating all together!
Okay, lots of info, I know. I hope these tips helps & if you have any tips of your own that you use to eliminate bloating let me know in the comments below!
Best of health,