10 ways to reduce bloating

In this article I will only talk about a temporary bloating, caused by food or hormonal phase (women period). But if you are experiencing bloating for long periods you need to consult with your doctor. 

This isn’t a topic I thought I would talk about one day because I barely had that problem before. But since I live in Florida, I have noticed that I am experiencing this issue more often, probably because the food composition is less healthy than in Europe. 

First of all, bloating is not a severe health condition if it last only for a day or two. You will feel super uncomfortable in your clothes and you belly will be bigger than usual. You can be bloated for various reasons :

  • An excess of salt in your food (added in extremely high quantities in processed foods).  
  • Too much carbs in one day (or one meal), particularly the simple carbs such as white pasta/bread, chemical drinks, sugar treats. 
  • You are eating too much: your stomach has the flexibility to grow bigger. But if you try to stuff it too much, you are most likely to end up with a baby food bump.  
  • Sodas and sparkling beverages fill your stomach with gaz and it take time to evacuate it.
  • You have constipation: it can be caused by your food, your drinks, a lot of stress or other health conditions. If it persists more than a couple of days, call your doctor to check if you need a prescription.
  • Dairy products: I know they kind are the devil in USA with gluten products. The farming processes are way more chemicals than in Europe so yes, you can develop an intolerance to dairy products. 
  • And this one is for all women out there (you know what I am going to talk about): periods ! As if we didn’t had enough inconveniences in our body this time of the month, bloating can be one more in the list. Personally the two first days of my period I get so bloated it looks like I am 3 months pregnant and I can’t put on some pants…  

Here are 10 ways to help you reduce bloating : 

  • Eat slowly, not too much food and stop before you feel full. 
  • Increase your organic food intake, cook as much as you can and avoid processed foods.
  • Reduce your salt consumption.
  • Water is the only beverage your body actually NEED. The rest is really just for pleasure so keep the consumption of other liquids to the minimum. 
  • Add complex carbs to your menu: fruits, vegetables and whole grains products.
  • If you think you might be intolerant to dairy products you can stop them for a couple of weeks to see how you feel and then adjust.
  • During your period, drink more water and avoid processed foods and chemical drinks. Exercise can also help reducing the discomfort. 
  • Avoid chewing gums : you bring on to your belly a lot of swallowing air.
  • No more than 2 or 3 sugar-free products : they contain sugar alcohol !
  • Avoid certain kind of foods such as beans and lentils : they are high-fiber foods that make some people produce a lot of gas.

On my side the biggest changes I had to make was to purely not eat any American dairy product even though I still eat my imported French brie (thank you WholeFoods).

Also, I am making a huge effort to take time to eat my meals slowly. Being on the go all the time and eating too fast was one of the worst thing for me. 

I hope this can help and if you know some other helpful tricks let me know !

5 reasons to cook from home

I am not the cook of the year, but I do have a taste for homemade recipes.

It reminds me of the moments I spent with my mom and siblings in the kitchen, preparing dishes and desserts for special occasions.

My actual struggle is to find a way to use wisely my time: I don’t have a lot of free hours to cook very sophisticated meals every week. But I like to cook because it has a lot of advantages.

Here are the 5 most important reasons to prepare home food:

  • You have more control on the amount of sugar, fat and extra chemicals that you put in. The biggest issue with industrial food is that despite what brands try to make us believe, we never really know what’s inside. Even if it looks fresh and clean, when you start looking at the labels and see the number of additional components it makes you dizzy. FYI, it’s always better to buy products that don’t have more than 3 or 4 ingredients, with industrial and organic food (we can be fooled by organic brands too, don’t forget their point is to sell).

  • You save money, a significant amount of money. Take a couple of minutes and write down in a piece of paper your weekly or monthly food expenses. You are going to quickly realize how much not cooking home can actually cost you. There are the food carts not really optimal (when you go to the supermarket without a list or a general idea of your meals), all the food deliveries you can get at night and during the weekends (thanks UberEATS), the restaurants or takes out at lunch time in the office… When we spend all that money little by little every day, we don’t realize how much it is. It’s a good time to re think your budget, spend more on quality food on your local supermarket and maybe choose 2 days in the week to eat out in a very good restaurant. This way, you gain quality on your food and your wallet.
  • You save time later on: I do my food prep of the week on Sunday, depending on the recipes it can take me between one and three hours. It allows me to then, save time every day, I only have to heat up my dish in the micro wave or the oven. It’s also a way to save energy: you know when you come home, you are hungry, and you scratch your head in front of the refrigerator and you end up ordering a delivery… That’s another benefit of meal prep.
  •  You explore and experiment new recipes! I have my classic recipes, the ones I do quickly because I know them by memory. But I can get bored, I need diversity, so I regularly try new recipes, or I try to change a few things on my classic ones. Sometimes just another vegetable or spice can change the taste. Because my budget is limited and I don’t want to spend 4 hours on the kitchen, I usually stick to recipes with between 3 and 5 ingredients.
  • You create a moment of sharing and making memories with your loved ones. As I said, when I was a kid and a young teenager, it was always an amazing time to be with my mom or grandmother, cut vegetables or having my hands on flour preparing some cakes. Now these moments are rarer as I live abroad but I get to spend time in the kitchen with my boyfriend and his family. It’s a super cool way to bond and learn new things about each other cultures.  

As for my experience, cooking at home it’s a saver of both time and money. Also, it allows you to enjoy quality food at home and when you eat out. 

Why you should make smoothies

If you live in a rich society you are probably experiencing the same daily rush as I am.

You know the “get up, exercise/do yoga/do meditation (or a combo of the 3), work, eat properly, read and go to bed” ?

How the hell in all of this are we supposed to find time to do a good grocery shopping, cook properly and take time to actually sit and enjoy our meals ?

Since I left Europe the amount of time I spend eating has significantly reduced. I usually have my lunch in 15 minutes, 30 minutes for dinner when I am lucky.

I know it’s terrible for the digestion and I should take time to eat more consciously but…hey ! I eat healthy first, let’s take this thing step by step. 

I am always looking for ways to improve my meal prep and make my life easier. Preparing a smoothie has come to one of the best options. I usually prepare a mix of several fruits, or fruits and vegetables and for after my training, I love my combo banana-protein powder.

7 reasons to make smoothies more often:

  1. The most obvious one: it taste good
  2. It helps you keep regular meals during the day with a busy schedule
  3. It allows to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables (generally we don’t have enough)
  4. It boost your protein intake (which also tend to lack of quantity and/or quality)
  5. It helps fight the cravings
  6. It boost your metabolism
  7. Depending on your ingredients it keeps you awake in the morning or help you to sleep

Let’s be honest here: my smoothies never look as good as the one in this picture. I don’t take time to make them pretty for pictures. My goal is to prepare smoothies that are tasteful and with a big amount of nutrients. If it’s pretty, it’s a bonus.