As summer approaches, many of us are starting to notice how we look in that summer dress or bikini and more importantly, we are noticing how we feel in our summer attire. No one wants to be walking around the beach feeling bloated. It can effect our posture and our attitude when we feel the pressure from bloating. The term “food baby” commonly used by millennials to describe the effects of feeling way too full after a meal. But even if a “food baby” is the least of your concerns, let’s go over some great ways to keep that belly feeling healthy this summer!
As a millennial woman in the health and fitness industry, avoiding bloat is a crucial to me. Not only to look good, but to feel good. You’ll be shocked to notice how much your confidence will go up when you don’t feel bloated. So I've created some awesome tips that I live by to look and feel good. This article isn’t just for younger women however, or even for thin women, or even for just women in general. It’s for everybody – men and women of any age. Because while some of us don’t physically see side effects from bloat, all of us still feel it.
To get ready, I want to share with you my rules of life when it comes to how I approach my health and fitness and appearance. Apply those first before using my tips:
Rule 1: Love your body.
No matter your shape or size give gratitude to your body. If you don’t like something, love yourself first. If you want to change something or maybe you have a summer goal to put on more muscle in your glutes and shape that booty, set the goals to achieve that! And if you ever don’t know where to start send me a DM on Instagram @nikkiannespahn. I’ll be there to assist you!
Rule 2: Know your body.
What’s so great about being human? Every single one of us are different and unique. We all have a different genetic background, various blood types and so much more that makes us all different. A vegan diet that works for one person may be awful for another. Be informed about your background, genetically and through blood work with your local naturopath.
Rule 3: Remember to have fun and don’t stress – you only live once, enjoy it!
Don’t stress about your body type, or a number on the scale! If you ever find yourself stressing out about it, remember that the hormone cortisol is released during this time. What does this hormone do? It slows your metabolism and adds to the level of fat in the body being produced. So chill out, take five deep breaths, clear your mind and realize you are beautiful!
MY 10 TIPS
(1) Start each day off with lots water!
I’m talking first thing in the morning. And not just an 8 ounce glass. When you wake up you want to flush your system. Go to bed the night before with a full water bottle next to your bed (the biggest you can find) and when you start to wake up, start drinking. If you don’t drink water often you may find this a challenging new habit, but your belly will love you for it. Do it for two weeks straight and you’ll start to notice the difference. I first learned about this practice as an aspect of daily routine from different cultures. The original suggestion I received was to drink 40-70 ounces. Which is insanely difficult! I suggest you try it out, but as long as you are drinking a minimum of 16 ounces first thing in the morning you’re going to feel amazing! Your skin will look healthier, you’ll be more hydrated, and that tummy is going to look great! It’ll jump start your metabolism, flush you out, and get your body ready for food! And make sure to continue to drink lots of water throughout the day!
(2) Swap Out Your Raw Veggies
I know what you’re thinking… the veggie plater makes such a great treat at the BBQ. But please, for the sake of your belly, lose it! On the veggie platter, our biggest enemies are the cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower. Also, be on a lookout for kale and cabbage. These four raw veggies contain raffinose, which is a complex sugar that humans are unable to breakdown. Because of this, these veggies make you gassy. If you really want to harvest their vitamins and minerals there are a few tricks you can try:
- Steam them, or cook them and add rosemary, bay leaf and/or ginger. This will help break down the indigestible sugars that they contain.
- You can also add an anti-inflammatory spice such as turmeric, which will provide some relief from indigestion.
- If you’d like to avoid them all together, though, check out the healthy snacks in tips 3 & 4 below.
(3) Eat Kiwi & Dried Dates to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
A kiwi a day keeps the constipation away! And dates will also be a great helper with this! It’s impossible to feel slim, let alone look slim if you have a belly full of… well… crap! Literally. So, make sure you are eating these in substitute of popsicles and other sugary snacks. If you are really craving a cold snack, stick a popsicle stick on a shaved kiwi and pop it in the freezer. In a few hours you will have a natural yummy frozen treat! Kiwis have a lot of fiber which will keep things in the body keep moving out smoothly. Dried dates, besides tasting amazing, are also great for the body. One thing about dates is they “contain a bunch of soluble fibers. Soluble fiber is essential for good digestive health because it draws water into the digestive tract.”
(4) Eat Avocados When You Need a Quick Snack
Hungry? Stay away from that processed bar and grab an avocado! Not only are they super filling, “they’re rich in monounsaturated fat, a nutrient that helps banish bloat, quell hunger pangs and fry stubborn belly fat.” I like to eat my avocado with a little bit of pink himalayan salt accompanied by a pinch of cayenne pepper which is a metabolism booster!
(5) Eat Iceberg lettuce in Your Salad Instead of Other Leafy Greens
I know what you’re thinking – Nikki, iceberg lettuce is not healthy for you! But it does have a water content of over 90% which is great for hydrating your body, and on a hot summer day, we could all use of that! “Half a head of iceberg lettuce has significantly more alpha-carotene — a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant — than both romaine and spinach. What’s more, iceberg carries more satiating water than romaine, spinach or kale, making it a belly-filling force to be reckoned with.”  While I love an organic spinach and kale salad, I do notice lots of bloat afterwards. Pay attention to your body to notice if you experience the same thing. For the summertime, it may be a great time to switch to iceberg salads for lunch. Maybe save the spinach and kale for cooked meals or add them to your eggs in the morning. Cooking your spinach helps your body processes spinach by breaking down the fiber. Too much fiber can make you a bit bloated, and nobody wants that. Flavor your steamed spinach with herbs like rosemary for a tasty dish at night. Make sure you mix in other items to this meal and don’t eat too much of this fiber rich veggie. If you want a large salad try out the iceberg lettuce with some sliced cucumbers, you can drizzle it with lemon juice and sprinkle on some sea salt and pepper!
(6) Eat a Healthy Probiotic Yogurt
This can be super tricky for some vegans out there, as most organic probiotic yogurts at the store are not dairy free. Vegans will have to look for the coconut types. Probiotic yogurt is a great option to start thinking about for breakfast! Remember not all yogurt has probiotics – so make sure you find a brand that does! You’ll also want to make sure you find one with low sugar. You can throw it into a morning smoothie or garnish it with organic nuts, strawberries, real honey, and chia seeds! Keep that gut healthy with some good bacteria!
(7) Walk after your meals
Go for a nice stroll after your meal. A quick pace walk for about 30 minutes right after eating can help with long term weight loss goals. “Repeated hyperglycemia after meals causes hyperinsulinemia and a resultant resistance to insulin, which is problematic for people who have mild diabetes mellitus or are at risk for diabetes mellitus, and for people with obesity, because insulin is the obesity hormone” Even going for a quick little 15-minute walk can aid in digestion; helping the food move through the body. Walking can prevent bloated tummies, indigestion and heartburn. So get moving!
(8) Drink this at night to transform your day-time belly!
Cucumber Metabolism Booster!
A bunch of cilantro
½ a Lemon
2 tbsp. Grated Ginger
2-3 tbsp. Aloe Vera juice/meat
4 ounces of cold filtered water
A Dash of Cayenne Pepper – optional
Directions: Blend all ingredients in magic bullet or blender of some kind.
Cucumbers reduce stomach fat while being loaded with fiber and low in calories. They are also high in water content and they are great for summer time snacking! Cucumbers along with lemons are great detox agents. Lemons help flush out stored toxins in the body that can block fat burning elements from doing their job. Cilantro is another extremely low calorie food with great benefits; they are filled with antioxidants and very important vitamins and minerals that ease water retention without causing belly bloat. Ginger and cayenne will both kick your metabolism into high gear and create heat in your body. For the aloe vera aspect of this mix, we recommend picking it off of a plant, just squeeze out the meat of the plant into your magic bullet or blender. Warning, this plant does not taste very good, so don’t use too much. Aloe Vera has the power to delay the growth of free radicles in the body due to its natural antioxidants. It is also an anti-inflammatory and helps the body get ready to processes energy and aids in reducing your BMI (body mass index).
That’s all for now! If you’ve had any personal success with any of these tips please let us know either by commenting below or sharing your story with us at @makes3organics on Instagram and using #organicforeveryone.
 (LaMotte, 2017)
 (Smith, n.d.)
 (Wolf, n.d.)
 (Smith, GET A FLAT STOMACH AND STAY HYDRATED WITH THESE SUMMER FOODS, n.d.)
 (Smith, GET A FLAT STOMACH AND STAY HYDRATED WITH THESE SUMMER FOODS, n.d.)
 ( Hijikata and Yamada, 2011)