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Beating the Belly Blues

 
Hello again!!!! My apologizes for going MIA on y'all. I thought I would give myself some grace during the transition from two to four kids...overnight. We are nothing but overjoyed with the addition of our identical twin girls, Reese and Rio, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it's friggin' HARD work!!! There is nothing like doing multiple babies at ONE time. On top of attending to two active boys, ages 5 and just turned 3. It is anything but quiet around my hood.

Today however, I did have some time while my angels are napping and my boys are at school. I thought I'd log onto the blog and see what's shakin. Surprisingly, you're all still giving Hailey's Helpful Hints some love despite my absence. In fact - my one post "Tame the Tum - Spare Tire or Stress Bulge?" continues to get blown up on Pinterest! Who would have thought 4,946,000 people would be interested in such an article?? And no that's not a typo - 4 MILLION+ peeps. I too am shocked. And so thankful for the readers!!

So as I sat here thinking about what to blog on, I figured it's only appropriate to provide some helpful tips on something you all interested in - belly fat and bloating!

Sadly belly fat doesn’t just innocently sit under your skin and force you to loosen your belt another notch. It lives deep in your body, around your organs. And according to Dr. Oz, that deep fat is a troublemaker. It cranks out hormones and proteins that can trigger chronic inflammation and raise your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even colon cancer.

Did you know?

You need to eat fat to lose fat. It’s time to stop being fat-phobic and start focusing on getting the right fats. Eating healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats - those are the types found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts - may trim what’s around your middle. One study found that people who got 25% of their daily calories from healthy fats gained less belly fat than people who ate fewer healthy fats.

Belly fat hates whole grains. That’s why you should love them. Refined grains like white pasta and white rice tend to feed a muffin top and may increase your risk for problems like diabetes, too. But eating whole grains like quinoa, barley, and whole wheat pasta might boost weight loss. In one study, people who included whole grains in their diets lost nearly eight pounds in 12 weeks, while refined-grain eaters lost only about six.

Belly fat thrives on stress. When the pressure's on, your body produces the "stress hormone" cortisol, which makes fat pile up around your midsection. Pretty discouraging when are surrounded by stress all day, everyday. Try these instant calmers and start getting stress under control in as little as 60 seconds.

Are you one of the many that wake up with a flat belly only to find that by the end of the day your stomach looks like you are 6 months pregnant? Ugh, isn't that the worst?? So many women are misled that they need to get on the floor and bust out 1,000 sit-ups. Not the case. According to gastroenterologist Dr. Robynne Chutkan, below is a step by step plan - that you can start today - to eliminate hidden causes of tummy trouble and beat your bloat in the kitchen.
 
Step 1: Start your day with an anti-bloat elixir - Many people are jinxing themselves right off the bat by reaching for bagels or sugary cereals first thing in the morning. These foods clog up your system and set you up for day-long gas buildup. Instead, get your system moving right away by blending together this fiber-rich elixir that helps food move through your digestive tract.
Aim to get 25 grams or more of fiber a day, but if you normally eat a low-fiber diet, start slow and gradually increase the amount. If you notice a little extra bloating at first, don't be deterred – most people's bodies will adjust to increased amounts of fiber over time.

Step 2: Supersize your lunch - Many people eat their biggest meal at dinner, but eating too late at night can cause a log jam in your gut. To help beat bloat, you should enjoy a three-course lunch instead. Make sure your lunch includes about 10 grams of fiber to help keep your food moving. Here's a good example of a fiber-rich, delicious lunch option:
  • First course: Salad (add in all your favorite veggies and a light dressing)
  • Main course: Grilled fish with sweet potato and a cup of steamed broccoli
Step 3: Eat a finely chopped dinner and avoid leftovers - Now that you've had your supersize lunch, go for a one-course, easy-to-digest dinner. Big meals and big bites can be hard for our bodies to digest in the evening. Chopped food can facilitate digestion and leaves less empty space trapped in the belly. A bowl of chopped chicken, veggies and rice is a great option.
The second dinner rule is no eating leftovers. You may think you're doing yourself a favor by bringing home your leftover food for later meals, but allowing certain starches like pasta, rice and potatoes to cool and then reheating them can change their molecular structure and make them more likely to plug up your colon and cause significant discomfort.

Step 4:  Cut out dairy - Unfortunately, to say goodbye to bloat, you may have to say goodbye to dairy as well. At some point in their lives, nearly 75% of people experience lactose intolerance, which may be permanent or temporary. A little bit of lactose intolerance can contribute a lot to bloat.
Here are some easy swaps for dairy lovers:
  • Drink almond milk instead of cow's milk in your coffee, cereal, or smoothies
  • Try coconut-milk ice cream instead of regular ice cream
  • Try vegan cheese instead of normal cheese
It's important to make sure you're still getting plenty of calcium in your diet, but you have plenty of non-dairy options. Among them are salmon, sardines, mineral water, oranges, almond milk, sesame seeds and many nuts.

Bonus tip: Try fennel seeds - If you need a quick remedy for sudden bloat, try fennel seeds. They help melt away gas bubbles and only cost pennies a pinch. Try chewing a half-teaspoon before every meal.

You can read more about busting bloat in Dr. Chutkan's book, Gutbliss: A 10-Day Plan to Ban Bloat, Flush Toxins, and Dump Your Digestive Baggage.

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