Belly bloat is an issue we all deal with — and it's pretty unpleasant. So, what can you do about it?
First, here's what's causing it: Bloat is a buildup of gas in the abdomen, usually caused by digestion or swallowed air. Feeling bloated can result from an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. This bacteria ferments food, creating gas that causes bloating. In other words, you feel like you’ve been blown up like a balloon.
You could also be experiencing belly bloat because your body is retaining water. This happens when you eat too much salt — high levels of sodium result in water retention. Not only can bloating and water retention be uncomfortable and less than attractive, it can be downright painful. Here is a meal plan to help you beat the bloat.
Feel free to mix up these options throughout the week. There is enough variety that you won't get bored!
1. Egg scramble: With leftover grilled salmon, asparagus, 1 teaspoon of dried basil and 1 cup of green tea
2. Two hard-boiled eggs: With steamed spinach, sliced tomatoes and 1 cup of dandelion root tea
3. Watermelon cucumber smoothie: With 1 cup of dandelion root tea
4. 1/3 cup of oats: With unsweetened almond milk, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, cinnamon and 1 cup of green tea
1. Spinach salad with lemon herb chicken: Dress with fig, raspberry or orange vinegar, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of chopped pecans
2. Chopped romaine salad: With cucumbers, carrots, 4 to 6 ounces of steamed shrimp, 1/2 avocado and balsamic vinegar
3. Steamed asparagus and sliced fennel salad: Top with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, lemon and 4 to 6 ounces of poached chicken
4. Tuna salad: 1 cup of romaine lettuce, 1 plum tomato, 1/2 cup of artichoke hearts, 4 to 6 ounces of canned tuna in olive oil over a bed of greens
5. Greek yogurt marinated chicken: With tomato, cucumber salad and 1/3 avocado
2. Dijon salmon: Add 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard on 4 to 6 ounces of salmon and top with 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley; bake at 350 for 10 minutes
3. Steak and potato: Grill 4 to 6 ounces of grass-fed steak, serve with roasted fennel and 1/2 baked sweet potato, with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
4. Sweet potato plate: 1 small or 1/2 large sweet potato with 1 cup of sautéed spinach, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1/4 lemon and 4 ounces of grilled chicken
5. Pork tenderloin and bok choy: 2 cups of bok choy sautéed with 2 teaspoons of avocado oil, and served with 4 ounces of pork tenderloin, grilled
6. Green-tea marinated cod over lentil-currant salad: 4 ounces of cod filet, 1/3 cup of lentils and 1 cup of baby spinach
1. Gut health smoothie: 1/2 cup plain kefir, 1/2 cup papaya and 1/4 avocado
2. Sliced cucumbers: With 2 tablespoons of guacamole
Try this plan for a week and hopefully you'll be feeling bloat-free by Sunday!