Banish the Bloat

We’ve all had those days when we just can’t seem to banish the bloat in our stomach areas…here are a few culprits that may be causing your bloated belly…follow these tips and see how you feel.  Many of my clients swear they instantly feel better within a few days after tweaking a few of their daily rituals.

Forgo the Gum

When we chew gum, we swallow air, which can be trapped in our GI tracts and result in an uncomfortable bloated belly.

Ditch the Salt Shaker

High sodium foods such as processed, packaged goods, condiments and many restaurant meals can leave you bloated and uncomfortable, especially if they ‘slip’ MSG in the ingredient list.

Bloater Veggies

We all know broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are sure gas creators, therefore steer clear of these gas guzzlers and your intestinal tract will thank you.


Reach for Potassium

Foods rich in potassium such as strawberries and bananas counterbalance the sodium in your system and will leave you feeling less bloated and ‘puffy’.


The Bloat Culprits:

  • Alcohol
  • Soy Sauce
  • Canned Soups
  • Popcorn
  • Dried Fruit

The Bloat Busters:

  • Blueberries
  • Asparagus
  • Salmon
  • Watermelon
  • Citrus Fruits

Are there certain foods and beverages that seem to leave you feeling bloated?


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Boost Your Immune System

Whether it’s an office cubicle buddy coughing over your shoulder or the changing of seasons, we all need to keep our immune systems healthy.  Here are a few ways for you to be sure to keep you out of the doctors office and feeling great!

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Eat Healthy Fats and Healthy Foods

  • Eat foods that boost your immune system such as mushrooms, cantaloupe, brown rice, olive oil, broccoli, leafy greens, oranges and apples.
  • To build your body’s ability to protect itself from becoming sick, be sure to eat whole grains, fish, poultry, vegetables, beans, fruits, leafy greens and roots.
  • Don’t be scared of Fat-you need a healthy dose each and everyday.  Include healthy fats such as nuts, avocado and olive oil.
  • Reach for foods that are high in Vitamin D such as salmon and tuna.

Incorporate Cancer-Fighting Foods, Spices and Herbs

  • Garlic is a powerful health enhancer; it’s strong properties protect our immune system.
  • Drink black tea and green tea for their antioxidants, tannis, indoles and bioflavonoids, which have all been proven to fight cancer.
  • Take time to consider the use of medicinal plants, which have been a natural resource for curing and easing body ailments for centuries.

Be Active

  • Get walking.  Be sure to exercise for 30 minutes on most days.  Even a walk after dinner can help you digest your food and make you feel energized.

Drink Water

  • Try to drink 6-8 glasses a water each day to flush out the toxins in your  body.

Wash Your Hands

  • Be sure to wash up as often as possible to keep germs from spreading and getting into your mouth and eyes.

Clean Your Cubicle as You Would Your Home

  • Many of us spend more time at our desks than we do in our own homes, therefore be sure to keep your cubicle and desk clean with disinfectants.
  • Many of us eat meals at our desks, which leads to a whole slew of festering bacteria-Yuck.  Be sure to wipe your desk before and after each meal or opt for a chance of scenery and enjoy your lunch in the cafe or outside.

How do you stay healthy? Do you have any tips for boosting your immune system?

Eating a Rainbow of Colors

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By now, we’ve all heard, “Eat your Veggies”, well there’s a whole rainbow out there of amazing produce known as Superfoods.  Incorporating these babies into your daily diet can fight cancer, improve your memory, and keep those nasty colds away.  So, what are these superfoods that everyone is talking about?

Superfoods are fruits and veggies that are full of antioxidants.  It’s easy to incorporate their rainbow variety into your diet; simply mix n’ match various colors for a plate that is not only pleasing to the eye, but your stomach, as well. 

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Yellow and Orange

  • Oranges
  • Cantaloupe
  • Butternut Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Apricots
  • Our yellow and orange fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants that boost our immune systems and provide a nice, big dose of Vitamin C.  Moreover, eating fruits and veggies of these colors help ward off age-related eye disease.  I personally love cooking Butternut Squash and making my Butternut Squash Fries, which can be prepared in minutes and popped into the oven.  Another easy way to incorporate these colors into your diet is combining the above fruits into a smoothie.

    Green

    • Avocados
    • Asparagus
    • Cucumbers
    • Leafy Greens
    • Green Peppers
    • Spinach
    • Broccoli

    These greens help relieve the effects of serious eye ailments such as cataracts and macular degeneration.  Moreover, they help clear the arteries that keep blood flowing to your brain.  My favorite way to incorporate greens into my meals is sauteing spinach and collard greens with garlic and pine nuts.

    Tan and White

    • Parsnips
    • Turnips
    • Cauliflower
    • Onions
    • Mushrooms
    • Bananas
    • Garlic

    These guys  may not have a lotta color to them, however, they pack a serious antioxidant punch with phytonutrients that help protect the heart and fight cancer.  My favorite way to eat the “whites and tans” is to roast parsnips in the oven with a sprinkle of cinnamon and chili powder.

    Blue and Purple

    • Blueberries
    • Raisins
    • Purple Grapes
    • Purple Potatoes
    • Eggplant

    These blue food friends supply us with a healthy dose of antioxidants, which are beneficial for memory and motor function.  I personally love to cook Eggplant Parm–(the gluten free/dairy free way), of course.

    Red

    • Tomatoes
    • Cherries
    • Strawberries
    • Watermelon
    • Radicchio

    Red fruits and veggies contain lycopene and flavonoids are important antioxidants to help fight diseases and various cancers.  Try a rice dish with garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and tomatoes.

    What’s your favorite way to incorporate a rainbow into your daily diet?

    Kid’s are Not Eating Enough Fruits n’ Veggies

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    With the amount of processed and packaged foods increasing everyday in our supermarkets, who’s to say what parents should be feeding their children?  Most parents run into the food store and quickly grab processed, packaged snacks made with alarming additives and chemicals.  If these parents took a minute to glance at the ingredient list, I assure you they would be shocked and return the item back on the shelf.  Do parents know what additives and chemicals these products are dumping into our children’s bodies? 

    As I have mentioned previously in prior posts, we must stick to the outer layers of our food stores and not wander the dangerous inner isles.  The outer layers are where we will find our fresh fruits and vegetables, which are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals for our children’s growing bodies.  Parents need to incorporate more of these  fruits and vegetables into their children’s meals and snacks.   Moreover, parents should set a good example for their children by incorporating a fruit and vegetable such as baby carrots and broccoli or a sliced apple on the table with each meal.  This simple effort will make a noticeable difference in their children’s diets as well as their health.  If children are brought up in a healthy eating environment, they are more likely to continue eating healthy throughout their lives leading to long term health.

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    Findings in the March 2009 Journal of the American Dietetic Association were quite shocking.  For instance, most children consume too much juice; juice makes up about 40% of kid’s fruit intake.  Moreover, French fries are the most common type of vegetable children eat.  Fries account for about 1/4 of children’s vegetable intake. 

    Parents should  eat plenty of vegetables, themselves, as role models.  If children see their parents eating the veggies, they will be more likely to eat the veggies as well.  Continually exposing children to fruits  and vegetables will familiarize them as they grow accustomed to the taste.  Remember, however that their palate is sensitive; their taste buds are more sensitive than ours.  Therefore, vegetables that are bitter to us, may not get such a great reaction from them.  In most cases, you will find that kids would rather eat veggies that are crunchy rather than mushy and soft.  Make it a priority to get your children involved- let them grow their own vegetables at home or let them pick out the vegetables in the store.  This will ensure that they feel involved in the process and they will be more likely to try the vegetables at meal time.  When you are serving meals, make sure to serve the same meal to everyone.  Do not decide to make something special for a picky child because this will only encourage them to continually eat that way.  If you prepare healthy food for everyone, they are going to have to eat this food.  Giving into them will only cause future problems.

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    A great way to add vegetables to your child’s foods  is to incorporate them into their favorite foods!  If you find foods that your children already enjoy eating, such as smoothies, muffins, yogurt, etc you can easily add fruits or vegetables.  Remember that fruit snacks, even those made with ‘real’ fruit, fruit drinks and other artificial fruit snacks do not count as a serving of fruit.

    A few tips to incorporate fruits and veggies into your child’s snacks and meals:

    • Make Your Own Tacos with vegetable toppings
    • Spaghetti with Veggie-balls (You can incorporate veggies into the meat or make vegetarian balls)
    • Banana or Zucchini muffins (you can add dried fruits as well)
    • Make homemade trail mix with dried fruits, cereal and nuts
    • Add berries and bananas to cereals (puree bananas into oatmeal)
    • Mix chopped fruit or dried fruits into yogurt
    • Mix squash, broccoli, spinach, and peas into homemade whole wheat macaroni n’ cheese
    • Puree cauliflower or squash into mashed sweet potatoes
    • Make a smoothie and add fruits instead of juice
    • Set out hummus, guacamole and salsa with raw vegetables for snacking
    • Serve “Ants on a Log” by spreading organic peanut butter onto celery sticks and top with raisins
    • Make your own Vegetable Whole Wheat Pizza- kids can add numerous different vegetable to their personal pie.  Supply them with the dough and sauce and let them top
    • Add vegetables to family casserole dishes
    • Prepare vegetable-based soups (chicken spinach chickpea  soup instead of chicken noodle)
    • Make veggies interesting by serving them shredded or julienned
    • Incorporate spinach, blueberries, oats, and wheat germ into your whole wheat brownie recipe

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    Perhaps the best advice is for parents to be positive role models.  If kids are regularly served a variety of fruits and veggies and watch their parents enjoy them often, they are more likely to eat fruits and veggies as they grow older.  Remember, be patient…kids will slowly become accustomed to the new fruit and veggie tastes.