The only body part you want 'Flat as a Pancake'

 

Some people don't mind their big belly. Case in point, this new munchkin that we welcomed into the world a few weeks ago...and the reason I have slacked on posting new blogs. She doesn't mind it when people say "look at those cute rolls", but I guess you might not want to hear the same thing in your swimsuit.  

 

 

How do you combat summer belly bloat?

It's really simple. Really. Even if you don't follow this daily, do it at least 2 days before you know you're going to put on that suit! 

#1 Hydration is key

  • Up that water intake. Drink as much as you can- half your body weight in ounces is a decent start. Ie- if you are 120lbs, 60 oz of water. Can't believe I have to write this but don't drink so much that you go hyponatremic. Google it. 

  • Don't like water? Too bad. Drink it anyways!

  • Plain water is boring? Okay. Add some fruit or cucumber or mint or whatever you want to flavor it. Check this out for ideas

  • What is not hydrating? Gatorade. Yup! If you want to put those electrolytes back in, drink RAW coconut water. Coconut water sitting on the store shelves is about as healthy as drinking sugar water. Harmless Harvest is a great RAW brand or save some $$ and buy a young coconut from the store and crack it open yourself. Bonus- you get the meat too! 

#2 Cut the cow out!

  • Biggest bloat culprit in your diet? Dairy.

  • Avoid milk in your cereal, butter, whey (comes in so many meal bars), cheese, yogurt (contrary to what you believe it's not good for you), cottage cheese, etc.

  • There are so many non-dairy options available so it's not hard to avoid. Check out my Substitutions tab for a few alternative options. 

  • What else comes from a cow? Red meat! Red meat takes longer to digest and more food sitting in those intestines will only make your gut protrude. 

#3 Sugar and white food make that belly pop! 

  • Not just cane sugar but all White food you'll want to avoid to keep the belly flat. 

  • What is white food?Anything made with white flour, cane sugar, breads, pastries, and don't forget, dairy is white too! Coincidence? 

#4 Eat plant heavy!

  • Color, color, color! Get that plate full of colorful veggies. It's no secret following a plant based diet is not only fantastic for your overall health (level out blood sugar, reduce cardiovascular problems, weight loss, etc...) but the fiber in all those veggies will help things "move along" and keep that belly flat.
  • How do you eat plant heavy? Nothing that comes from a package. There. It's. That. Easy. 
  • I have tons of recipes from great sites so check out my Pinterest for ideas.   

#5 When all else fails...Suck it in!

  • No matter how flat your belly is, sucking it in will only help those abs keep it in place!

Got time to watch funny Facebook videos on the can?

Broken Bellies do not always have to come with a diagnosis of IBS, IBD, Crohn's or UC. I know many people that spend way more time in the restroom than they should. If your belly aches and #2 keeps you in there for a decent amount of time (and I don't mean because you're watching hilarious dog fail videos on Facebook) then you need to check out today's topic. 

Avoid Processed foods. Seem simple? Well it is, but takes time and dedication. You probably have some food triggers and while you might not want to embark on an elimination diet, how about starting small and cutting out processed foods? The easiest first step is to only shop the perimeter of the grocery store.

These are small steps but If you take these rules to the store, there's no way you won't feel better and lose some lbs! Here's a quick pic of my latest trip to the store. Does your counter even remotely resemble mine? If you have kids ask them how many fruits and veggies they can name!

 

What you SHOULD eat:

1.    Whole foods are any foods that are a product of nature and have not been manufactured or altered in a lab or plant.

2.    Lots of fruits and vegetables (anything from your local farmers markets are great- local and organic are the best you can get)

3.    Pasture-raised dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt and cheese from animals that were allowed to graze on grass! (I only put this in here because many people are addicted to dairy. Dairy should be consumed only because you like it but beware you are not "doing a body good". Check out 'Fix your Belly' to find out why dairy should be avoided. I'm about 100% sure your dairy DID NOT come from this scenario...

 https://bitofearthfarm.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/isabelles-life-gently-raising-dairy-cows/

https://bitofearthfarm.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/isabelles-life-gently-raising-dairy-cows/

4.    100% whole-wheat and whole-grains (real bread takes 5 ingredients to make so watch out for the 30-ingredient “healthy bread”)

5.    Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)

6.    Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken (preferably in moderation and from pastured animals or organic- but pastured is best.)

7.    Beverages limited to water, REAL cold-pressed juice, coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine!

8.    Snacks like dried fruit (no added sugar), seeds, nuts, REAL POP IT YOURSELF ON THE STOVE popcorn (NOT a microwave bag), roasted chickpeas, whole-food meal bars, 70% or higher cocoa.

9.    Real sweeteners including RAW honey, 100% maple syrup, dates (and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation)

10. Organic is good, Local is better, Local Organic is best!

What you should NOT eat:

1.    No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat/grain…not just “wheat”)

2.    No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda or even Agave.

3.    Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label

4.    No fast food

5.    Nothing you can’t pronounce or don’t know how/where it’s made! 

  

How to Avoid Processed Foods:

1.    Read the ingredients label before buying anything. Up until 7 years ago I only looked at the calories, fat and protein on the ingredients label. While it’s a “nice to know”, the “need to know” is what is in that food. The best way to know how processed the food is? Check what it’s made of. Marketing companies make millions fooling you that food is healthy. If the ingredient list has more than 5 items listed, or most are unpronounceable, odds are your body has no idea what to do with it. Skip it

2.    Increase your consumption of whole foods especially vegetables and fruits. No doubt you’ve heard this time and time again. But guess what? It’s TRUE! The more you crowd out the processed stuff and fill up on more fruits and veggies, the less room you have for the things your body doesn’t know what to do with. And you don’t have to count calories, sugar, protein, or fat in fruits and veggies. Eat as many as you want in as many colors as you can find. Maybe introduce meatless Monday and find a unique veggie dish to try.

3.    Buy your bread from a local bakery. You will be shocked at the number of ingredients it takes to make commercial bread. Real bread is flour, water, yeast, oil and salt. Go to your cabinet and see how many ingredients make up your bread. Many contain 30-40 different ingredients, including white flour and sugar. Why would there be so many on the list if it only takes a handful of ingredients to make bread? In addition to your bread choice, when selecting foods like pastas, cereals, rice, and crackers always go for the whole-grain option. And don’t just believe the health claims on the outside of the box.  Read the ingredients to make sure the product is truly made with only 100% Whole grains – not a combination of whole grains and refined grains which is unfortunately how a lot of “whole grain” products are made. The white flour or other refined grain alternatives are high in calories and low in nutrition.

4.    Avoid store-bought products containing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or anything that has some form of sweetener in the top 3 ingredients. The biggest indication that a food is highly processed is the presence of HFCS or cane sugar.

5.    Don’t order off the kids’ menu. Know why kids love that menu? Because all the food is white! Fried, fried bread, sugar and more fried. I know kids can be picky but if you pay the check you say what they eat. Try a compromise and order multiple side items or share your entree. Maybe have them try something new each time you go out. They don’t have to finish it but they must at least try it. Monkey see, monkey do.

6.    Visit your local farmers’ market the next time you need to restock your fridgeAccording to Michael Pollan (In defense of food) not only will you find “food that is in season, which is usually when it is most nutritious”, but you will also find a large selection of pesticide-free produce and humanely treated animal products. Not to mention it’s better for you and the environment if you consume locally grown produce rather that something that was grown 1500 Miles away.

7.       Lastly, “eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”- Michael Pollan. Want potato chips? Get some organic potatoes, peel, chop and fry them. If every time you wanted junk food you had to make it yourself you would consume so much less, if any! It just goes to prove that having any food, at any time, is leading to the decline in our overall health. 

Miracle in a bottle?

Before you look below for the answer try to see if you can get this. 

What single product should be found in your bathroom AND kitchen and can condition your hair, remove a wart, calm heartburn and lower blood sugar levels?

Okay, now you can scroll down. 

Ta-Da! Surprised? Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV which I will call it from now on) has many, many, many benefits. Now, a lot of these 'consumer experiences' aren't scientifically supported but I'm not holding my breath waiting for the FDA to say that ACV works better than Tums. After all, Tums aren't exactly going to kill you but...

'Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, unusual weight loss, mental/mood changes, bone/muscle painheadache, increased thirst/urination, weakness, unusual tiredness'. Source 

I find it funny that people will tell me how hesitant they are to try a 'natural product to cure something' yet have no trouble consuming energy drinks that are neon colored, or eating a burger made of 147 ingredients or burning their skin off with a wart remover. Is this you, too? Maybe today is the time to make a little change in that thought process. Not to overwhelm anyone, but I have tried many of the ways people say ACV has helped and I'll give you my honest experiences with a few home remedies. Just try it out the next time you want to go to the drug store for heartburn meds, or reach for Dr. Scholls to remove a wart. Seriously, what could it hurt? 

Soothe that upset belly.

Experts say ACV contains pectin. Pectin has the ability to soothe intestinal spasms. Mixed with the antibacterial properties of ACV, adding 2 TBSP to an 8oz glass of water can help soothe that broken belly. I know a lot of people that shoot it straight (not for the novice), some mix it with water and honey or apple juice. Either way, add it to salad dressings, drink it straight or add it to your glowing green smoothie. Consume this miracle in a bottle every day, in any way possible.

Ditch that wart for good!

 I had a wart on my heel many years ago and went to the dermatologist to have her freeze it off 4 times but to no avail it returned. Well, I read about using ACV to remove it and so I did. AND IT WORKED! Not going to lie, I was a little shocked. All I did was cut off a small pieces of a cotton swab, dip in in ACV, put it on the wart and cover with a band-aid. I changed it twice a day and 3 days later I had a tiny little hole where it used to be. It healed up great and never returned. Way cheaper than paying for parking,co-pays, and taking time off work to visit the dermatologist. Can I get those co-pays back, doc?

Hair Conditioner.

So I'll be honest about this one. It works....but you need to be open to the smell of warm ACV. It took about 2 weeks when I was switching to natural hair care products for my hair to detox (read: oily for 2 weeks then was shiny and full). After shampooing I mixed about  4oz in a 12 oz bottle with warm water and poured it over my head. It feels slimy but leaves hair very smooth. Of course it smells like warm ACV, which I didn't mind, but hubby did. And truth be told, my hairdresser said it made her brushes smell like ACV so she asked me to bring in  "normal hair stuff" just the times I saw her. I see her maybe 2-3 times and year because my hair is really healthy and I don't color it. So three times a year I bring in my hubby's shampoo and conditioner.

Put out the fire.

Heartburn is oh so fun! I know a lot of pregnant friends and relatives that said their heartburn was just horrible during that 9 month stretch. I never got the fire but I'm relaying their experiences. My sister said taking ACV was a god-send. I told my friend about it when she begged for a homemade remedy that was safe for baby and she said it worked too. Two for Two. Not to mention it has no side effect profile so it's safe to take while growing that little bundle. Why not see if it works for you? 

Other uses I've heard it works for:

  • Cures hiccups
  • Weight loss
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Boosts energy
  • Soothes a sore throat

Disclaimer- these are based on my experiences, and those of friends and relatives. Make sure you get Raw Unpasteurized Organic ACV with 'The Mother'. 

 

 

It's what's on the outside that counts.

It's pretty obvious what you put in your body is reflected on the outside. Bad diets are notorious for leading to acne, wrinkles, too oily/dry skin, dull hair, brittle nails and so forth. Well, what about what you put ON your body? I'll let that sit there for a second. 

Okay, let's say you said yes. What do you do now? Are you really going to trash all your "good" makeup, nail polish, hair products, toothpaste, mouthwash, lotion, perfumes....? Bet you didn't think about everything on the outside that could impact your insides. I'm not here to tell you to change everything (as much as I'd like to). Just be aware of what you put on your body and while it may not cause a broken belly, lots of cosmetics have very strong links to very bad side effects...like reproductive problems and the dreaded C- word.

Could this be step one for you? Turn around your lotion labels and read them. Understand most or none of the ingredients? Try this homemade recipe on for size. It's way cheaper to make in bulk and I never have to run to the store if I'm getting low. I always have stash on hand to make more. I buy all the ingredients (except the essential oils and Polawax) at Vitacost.com

Lotion Recipe

These are the brands I use to make the lotion. You can use what you like but make sure you understand what is in each item!!!! For example, don't get Shea Butter with 16 ingredients- just plain ole Shea Butter is what you need! I will also say this recipe isn't exact. If you use a little more or less its not really going change the consistency. 

What you'll need: Fills 3 Mason Jars.

  • 3 C Aloe Juice
  • 3 TBSP Vegetable Glycerin
  • 1/2 C Shea Butter
  • 1/2 C Coconut Oil
  • 3 TBSP Polawax (emulsifying wax)
  • 3 TBSP Almond Oil
  • Any Essential Oil scent you like
  • Mason Jars
  • Funnel 
  • Immersion Blender
  • Two saucepans- Pan A and Pan B
 Step 1-3 

Step 1-3 

  1. In a medium saucepan on the stove (pan A), add 3 Cups of aloe juice. Turn the heat on low/medium.
  2. Add 3 TBSP of vegetable Glycerin to pan A
  3. Keep the heat on until you see those little bubbles start to form. If you use a candy thermometer, about 120 degrees should register, but I just look for little bubbles then turn off the heat. 
  4. While pan A is heating up, In a Large sauce pan on another burner (pan B), add about 1/2 C of Shea Butter. Turn heat on medium.
  5. When Shea butter is melted turn, off the heat and add 3 heaping TBSP of Polawax. It will all melt into a clear liquid.
  6. Now add to Pan B, 1/2 Cup Coconut oil and 3 TBSP of Almond oil 
  7. Once everything in Pan B (Shea butter, polawax, coconut oil and Almond oil) are melted together in a clear liquid, its time to mix both pans together with the immersion blender. TIP- if its not all melted and clear, turn the heat back on low just until it is, then turn the heat off.
  8. Take Pan A and slowly pout the contents into Pan B. I'm sure you're wondering when it turns white. Right when you do this! See step-by-step pics below!
  9. Use the immersion blender on high to mix it for at least 1 minute. Wait 15 minutes and mix for 30 sec. Wait another 15 min and mix 30 sec again. When its thickening up a bit, now it's time to pour into the jars. If you let it cool too much it won't pour (it will be thick like lotion) so just re-heat until it turns back into a pourable liquid
  10. Now its time to pour it into the jars. I use mason jars and a stainless steel funnel to pour the lotion. 
  11. Once the lotion is in the jars of your choice, add any essential oil smell you prefer. This batch was lemon but you can use any one/combination you choose. For a standard size mason jar, I use about 25 drops of oil. 
  12. Put on the lids and give it a good shake and let it sit till it's cool. 
  13. The last photo shows how thick the lotion can get. I use the lotion daily (full body) and it will last just shy of 1 month. This is not super greasy lotion either. I lather it all over after a shower and usually a few minutes later its all soaked in. 
 Step 5

Step 5

 Step 6

Step 6

 PAN a ON THE LEFT AND PAN B ON THE RIGHT. pOUR PAN A INTO PAN B SLOWLY THEN USE AN EMULSION BLENDER TO MIX

PAN a ON THE LEFT AND PAN B ON THE RIGHT. pOUR PAN A INTO PAN B SLOWLY THEN USE AN EMULSION BLENDER TO MIX

 step 8 

step 8 

 step 9

step 9

 I use different size mason jars with stainless steel lids but you can use anything. 

I use different size mason jars with stainless steel lids but you can use anything. 

 Its still warm in the bottles.

Its still warm in the bottles.

 all cool and super thick! 

all cool and super thick! 

Lotion without all the nasty chemicals and cheaper??!! Yes, please!

I think I read the average woman has 30-40 products in the bathroom. If you're willing to at least give it a shot, I've attached a few websites that I feel carry very good, clean, skin products. Some can be a little pricey but others are very reasonable. You're going to pay for your health sooner or later. Why not now with good products instead of later with hospital bills? 

 

It's pretty gross if you saw how it's made...

 I promise the next blog will be all about how to celebrate your fixed belly and not on another product to avoid. When doing all this research I kept thinking how depressing it was. I can't eat anything and when I do find something, there's a random sneaky chemical or preservative and back on the shelf it goes. Yes, eating this way can be time-consuming and annoying and tiring and...I lost how I was going to end that on a positive note. Oh yes, a fixed belly where I don't have to know where all the restrooms are and if I'm going to head to the ER that night for a bowel resection. 

You spend so much time figuring out the big food triggers like corn, sugar, and dairy, you may have missed out on a particular ingredient usually listed in the middle/bottom of your new food choices.

What is Carrageenan and why do companies use it?

 In layman's terms, its a thickening agent MADE FROM SEAWEED.  Seaweed is that green stuff in the ocean and its supposed to have lots of mineral and good stuff so what's the big deal.  I hate to do a big long quote but I couldn't sum it up better...or more thorough. Take 20 seconds to read a blurb from this Article ...


Although derived from a natural source, carrageenan appears to be particularly destructive to the digestive system, triggering an immune response similar to that your body has when invaded by pathogens like Salmonella. The result: “Carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding,” explains veteran carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine at Chicago. She says the food ingredient irritates by activating an immune response that dials up inflammation. Her previous work showed a concerning connection between carrageenan and gastrointestinal cancer and she’s involved with ongoing research funded through the National Institutes of Health that is investigating carrageenan’s effect on ulcerative colitis and other diseases like diabetes.
— http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/carrageenan-natural-ingredient-you-should-ban-your-diet

"If you only eat words you understand you'll be in great shape...figuratively and physically"- Me.

How to keep Carrageenan out of your diet:

  1. READ THE LABEL. While it can sneak in, (alcoholic beverages don't have to list it and it is used to clarify beer) most things that need to be thick- even dairy free creamers and yogurt- will have it listed. 

  2. This cool Buying Guide from Cornucopia Institute has a list of companies and products that don't use Carrageenan. 

  3. Just because it's Organic or Non-GMO, carrageenan is still allowed so don't assume! 

 

 

 

Road Trip Time!

You know the feeling when you're on the Turnpike and the sign in orange says "Next rest stop 154 miles"?  Not one construction builder had a broken belly and thought, 'Maybe 75 mi apart is far enough'? Never mind, you haven't eaten or drank anything for the previous 154 miles and are bordering on severe dehydration and starvation, but it is still way more appealing than the alternative! 

Growing up, I never had to suffer through travelling across America to see a big ball of yarn (sorry if that's what you're in to). Family trips weren't more than 6-7 hours but if things weren't sitting well, 10 minutes was an eternity. Frankly, the anxiety is the catalyst and then the domino's all start to fall...usually when you're in the mountains of PA and can't get off anywhere. Bastards.

Even if you're past the age of "road trip!", you still travel. Plane, car, train, bus, or tuk-tuk, its all anxiety inducing when you have a broken belly. How can you make it through a long trip and KNOW that you'll be okay? For starters, figure out your food triggers, or send me a message and I'll teach you how!

How to take a trip and feel fine, step-by-step, food options included.

 actually ENJOYING BARCELONA!

actually ENJOYING BARCELONA!

  1. Know your food triggers and DO NOT cheat at least three days before said trip. Why not? Food intolerance can rear its ugly head (no pun intended) up to three days after you've eaten. Pizza Saturday and flight to Brazil on Monday? May the force be with you :) 
  2. Pack a hard or soft cooler with plenty of real food items and ice packs. Only packing snacks will leave you craving sustenance and you'll be more likely to cheat. See #1 response. 
  3. If what you want to make is a perishable liquid, like a protein-packed smoothie, freeze it the night before to create double duty as an ice pack. 
  4. Healthy snacks and meals will allow you to pass up the rest-stop options so you'll arrive at your destination full, hydrated and feeling your best!

Cooler Items:

  1. Cooked quinoa with chopped up cucumbers, tomatoes (Feta or goat cheese if dairy is not a trigger) and a vinaigrette. I like Barcelona Vinaigrette or any of the Salad Girl options at Whole Foods.
  2. Homemade Guacamole! Bring some Beanitos chips for a corn-free chip option. 
  3. Celery with Peanut Butter is an oldie but a goodie.
  4. Frozen Protein smoothie- 2C water, 4 Tbsp Hemp seeds, 2 Tbsp Chia seeds and 3 dates (or 2 Tbsp raw honey) for the base. Now you can make it fruity with frozen strawberries or banana. Or chocolate-y with raw cacao, banana and peanut butter! 
  5. Fruit salad- Go tropical with cut up Mango, Pineapple, Papaya, Rambutan, and Pomegranate seeds.
  6. Almond/Coconut or any dairy-free Yogurt...or make your own. Find the recipe here
  7. Frozen water bottles
  8. Overnight Oats- Find the recipe here

Snack Items

  1. Dried fruit. Trader Joe's has some great Organic options with nothing other than the the fruit- no sulfur dioxide, sugar or extra flavors!
  2. Raw Nuts- Almonds, Brazil Nuts (great for your hair because of Selenium), cashews, walnuts, macadamia, pecans and pistachios.
  3. Seeds- Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds (benefits
  4. YouBars. Great place to custom make your own meal bars

TIP!!!!! Frozen smoothies can go through TSA security!!! Make sure you sip out any liquid that has melted right before you put in through x-ray. Upon leaving, have the hotel make you a protein-packed smoothie and have them freeze it in your original glass mason jar so you can have something for the way home too! All the food options can go through security so it's no excuse to eat poorly at the airports!



'All Natural' is Totally Healthy, Right?

Have you seen the Ginger Ale commercial where they pull the cans out of the ground, roots attached and all? I mean, it’s so close to a vegetable with all that ginger, right? Or what about Capri Sun,Tyson Chicken Nuggets, or any number of products labelled 'all natural'. Let's take this one step at a time and break down the labels: 

100% Organic = 100% organic. Clearly.

Organic= 95% organically produced ingredients.

Made with Organic Ingredients= Contains at least 70% Organic Ingredients.

All Natural= Jack sh**.

According to the FDA’s website-“From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is 'natural' because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives…”

Deciphering labels isn’t easy, and marketing teams get paid buku bucks to get you to pick up those all-natural granola bars. If the outside of the box said “contains so many toxic chemicals, pesticides and enough sugar to fill a school bus we aren’t sure you can eat the whole box without a lot of anal leakage”, would you still buy it? But slap on the ‘all-natural’ claim and voila you have a consumer. I get that you try so hard to be healthy but if you’re going to the effort, why not just take this little extra step…

STOP BUYING FOOD PRODUCTS THAT SAY ‘ALL- NATURAL’.

 I love the way the video below parody’s the claim and it’s a funny way to let you know that your effort to buy ‘all natural’ is not much more than a marketing campaign. Any food product making this claim has little else to market and in all likelihood is not.

What foods should you spend your money on? There’s a big fat obvious answer, especially for those of you with troubled tummies, but I’m pretty sure you’re still annoyed at me for telling you Oreo’s didn’t come from the ground. Here are a few options for those beginner, intermediate and advanced folks. Some days you might say screw it and want to be a beginner, but please try most days to be the advanced. Your digestion, energy, weight and overall mood will thank you for eating ‘more- natural’! Click on the links to the items below. 

Beginner-

-Annie's Homegrown Organic Cheddar Bunnies, Back To Nature Cookies Peanut Butter Creme, Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps® Deli Style Sesame, Kind Plus Bars

Intermediate-

-Mary's Gone Crackers Love™ Cookies Chocolate Chip, Veggie-Go's Organic Chewy Fruit & Veggie Snacks, GimMe Organic Roasted Seaweed Snacks Sea Salt, Wonderfully Raw Mini Coco-Roons Organic, Absolutely Gluten Free Flatbread Everything, Garden of Eatin' Tortilla Chips Blue Chips, Angies Artisan Treats Organic Boom Chicka Pop® Popcorn

Advanced-

Notice no links here? Anything without a label or less than three ingredients. In short, the perimeter of the grocery store.

*Hey companies, if you want me to dissect your label and taste what you make then send me a sample and I’ll be happy to munch away. 

 

 

 

Travelling with a Broken Belly

You cut out all the processed junk. What do you snack on?!  I put together a list of snack options from  A-Z.  Most are fruits and veggies but variety is the spice of life if you hadn't heard.  At least TRY each letter. Some require fast recipes to go along but send me a message or a comment if you want to know how to eat/prepare anything! 

Snack Options From A to Z

  • Apples, Avocados
  • Banana, Beets
  • Carrots, cucumbers, celery, Chia pudding, crunchy chickpeas
  • Dried Fruits (NO extra sugars)
  • EVO hemp bars
  • Figs
  • Grapes, Granola
  • Hummus with rice crackers or veggies
  • Ice water- add lemon, strawberries, oranges, etc...
  • Jicama
  • Kiwi, Kombucha
  • Lychee
  • Mangos
  • Nectarines
  • Overnight Oats
  • Peppers, Papaya, Pumpkin
  • Quinoa
  • Raisins
  • Star fruit
  • Trail Mix
  • Ugli Fruit
  • Vegan peanut butter chocolate cookies
  • Walnuts
  • Xigua- aka watermelon
  • Youbars.com
  • Zucchini

Green Smoothie

 "How do I improve my belly?" Digestion is a pretty large area to cover and there's no quick fix to transforming your gut.  It doesn't require a MENSA membership nor is it painful (maybe to the wallet). It just takes discipline. So if you want to fix your belly, then fix it.

green smoothie.jpg

What will make a big difference to your gut? GREEN SMOOTHIES!  I made one during Christmas time for my family and accidentally added blueberries. The vibrant green turned into brown and they were less than thrilled to sip away. It tasted great but not the best introduction for novices. You may be thinking it's not up your alley because...

  1. I don't have one of those $1000 blenders 
  2. It's just a trend  
  3. They don't look appealing (and that's being nice)

Here's the thing about belly fixing- you need more veggies in your diet. Dark green leafy veggies are anti-inflammatory!  When I don't drink one of these every.single.morning I feel it in my belly. Switch up the ingredients but you should have 80% dark veggies and 20% fruits. Here's a recipe for a beginner:

Makes about 60 oz so if you have a smaller blender container cut down the portions..

GREEN SMOOTHIE

green smoothie me.jpg

3C Water

1 head Romaine lettuce (doesn't matter the size)

Big handful of fresh spinach 

2 Stalks Celery

1 Apple

1 Pear

1 Banana

1 Lemon ( I peel it like an orange and use the whole thing) 

First wash everything. Fill the blender with the water, stuff in the green veggies (lettuce, celery, spinach) and blend away. Some blenders are better than others but keep blending till it's as smooth as it will ever be. Then add the fruits and blend again. Enjoy!

If you find it too sweet take away some fruit or only use 1 green apple for a low glycemic smoothie. Don't like celery? Change it up. There is no right or wrong way to make a smoothie. The goal is to eat as many veggies early on because as the day progresses future vegetable consumption is decreasing as the vending options increase. 

On a side note- According to the Ayurvedic lifestyle, certain Dosha's shouldn't consume raw veggies. I happen to be Vata/Pitta and add warm to my smoothies (ginger, tumeric) to help balance the dry cold. Find out what you are with the AyurvedicDoshaQuiz 

 I'd love to hear your favorite mix of ingredients so leave a comment!