Do you hate having a bloated belly as much I do? It's so uncomfortable. And it doesn't exactly help with that body confidence.
Recently, I dove deep into the depths of my own GI health and have learned SO MUCH that I can't help but want to share with you.
Because bloating is one of the top 3 complaints from my coaching clients and it doesn't have to be that way! There is so much you can do to make your belly happy & healthy.
Here's my story
What I didn't share was that I was also diagnosed with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (aka SIBO). Never heard of yet? Yeah, it's a newer diagnosis, one that the medical world knows very little about.
What is crazy is that I did not even think of myself as having GI issues.
Yeah, I was bloated most evenings and belching is definitely my signature move. But, I went to the doctor interested in holistic approaches to treating other chronic challenges, like an overly active bladder and an overly anxious brain.
As I research these new diagnoses, I am learning how integral gut health is to overall well being, including weight, mental health & even having more energy.
I have also been learning a lot about how unnecessary it is to go around with a bloated belly!
Could you have IBS? or SIBO?
This is a women's health issue. Millions of Americans suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), 2 out of 3 of whom are women.
Maybe you can relate.
Have you ever told a doctor about bloating, gas, urgent sprints to the bathroom or all of the above, only to be told your only option is to deal with it? Has irregularity become your "normal"?
It does not have to be that way.
The emerging research is finding that most IBS cases are actually caused by SIBO, which is treatable!
If you suspect you might have other-than-normal GI functions, it's SO WORTH IT to explore further by meeting with a dietitian (check out our personal coaching options). Getting your digestion in shape means every other function in your body gets the nutrients it needs to thrive.
See how good you can feel!
Here are some tips to get you started right away to improve digestion & reduce bloating.
Top 6 tips for a flat belly
1. Take Probiotics! Flourishing colon bacteria is essential to digestive health. Check out What the Heck are Probiotics and Why Do I Need Them?
2. Eat fermented foods like yogurt (with "live active cultures"), miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha & tempeh. Here's a recipe for scrumptious Probiotic Smoothie.
3. Eat enough carbs! Yes, you heard me right. But I don't mean any old, white-bread carb. I mean real food, complex carbs packed with fiber, like whole grains, fresh fruit, sweet potatoes & winter squash. Fiber get's things moving to prevent constipation and reduce bloating. Check out these fiber-full pumpkin pecan breakfast cookies!
4. Eat small, frequent meals - Unlike large meals that are more difficult to digest and slow down your system, smaller meals get everything going faster. Check out the Zest Approach to learn more.
5. Drink more water (with lemon) - Bloating can be your body's way of holding on to water. Staying well hydrated tells your body it can let go. Hydration also relieves constipation-related bloating. Lemon is a natural diuretic and detoxifier, and it makes drinking water more appetizing. Bottoms up!
6. Consider a low FODMAP elimination diet - Low what?! Don't worry if you've never heard of FODMAPs - it's an acronym for difficult-to-digest starches & sugars. If you're curious if your bloating is related to something more serious, like IBS or SIBO, it's time to contact a dietitian who can guide you through a low FODMAP elimination. If that's you, check out our personal coaching options.
Digestion is a very personal thing and there is no one-size-fits all. That's why figuring out what works best for YOU is so important. We're here to help!
With Love & Zest,
What works for you? Have you found ways to reduce bloating and improve your digestion? Don't be shy! Share in the comment boxes below so we can all learn more!
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