You know how you’ll go from feeling “when are we heading to the lake in my two piece Brazilian bikini” to “when am I going for my second sonogram” when you damn well are not pregnant?
I knew this feeling all too well. I struggled with the love/hate relationship with food for most of my life. I go from “I can eat anything” to a miserable state of bloat and discomfort. I never knew why I could feel lean some days and busting out of my jeans on others. What was going on in my gut!?
Then, I read The Beauty Detox by Kimberly Snyder and was immediately glued to her methodologies. Her premise is all about what is good for your gut and how to eat the right foods in the right sequence.
She explains how most of us learn that if we want to be fit and strong, we must eat “x” grams of protein (which was always animal protein), don’t eat “x” grams of fats within “x” minutes of lifting weights, eat “x” grams of carbohydrates but not more than “x” in this given timeframe. My entire life was built around habits that focused on this very mindset. I was chasing lifting and high protein diets to “feel” good. Little did I know that those very things were setting me back.
I was chronically looking for solutions to solve the following:
- Bloat – like bad bloat randomly
- Mental clog
- Low energy
- Skin reactions
- Overall discomfort
Now, for the good stuff. This is what I learned from Kimberly and how these new habits have affected me. How my day is currently:
- Water upon wakening (roughly 20 ounces)
- Green juice (made at home so I know every ingredient) – celery, lemon, cucumber, red apple, and sometimes turmeric
- Latte – coffee with almond milk
Late Morning/Early afternoon (whenever I’m hungry)
- Oatmeal with almond milk, honey, blueberries (or strawberries)
Lunch – I keep it lighter for lunch because have you heard of food comas?
- Salad with homemade Italian dressing
- Carrots (or other veggie) + hummus
- Sometimes I’ll grab some peanut butter
Dinner – the heaviest meal of the day
- Start with salad (greens)
- Grilled or sautéed vegetables – need inspiration? Order Mother Earth plate at Flower Child! OMG!
- Piece of dark chocolate with caramel (sometimes two pieces) 🙂
The whole idea here is before eating any meals, you should start with the easiest-to-hardest-to-process foods. Below is he breakdown of easiest to hardest:
- Quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc.
- Animal protein – this takes the longest to digest so if you’re going to eat it, eat it at night or else you’ll really get a food coma. The body requires so much energy to digest animal protein that it “empties the bank” in working on other areas of your body such as repairing cell structures and focusing on skin rejuvenation, hair/nail growth, etc.
- Kimberly goes through the whole science behind how our bodies were not designed to really break down animal protein, but I’ll leave that to her to break down for you.
Now, Kimberly does not promote caffeine of any sorts, but if there is two things this girl has to have, it’s coffee and chocolate.
General notes for what I’ve been monitoring:
- Limit dairy intake to just once a week (maybe two)
- Limit gluten intake to just once a week
- Have one meal during the week where I eat whatever I want. Some weeks I do two meals.
- Limit alcohol to once a week (the first few weeks of following this, I didn’t drink any alcohol)
- Start every meal with greens or juice
- If I eat animal protein, I have been sticking to seafood. But, honestly, I have not craved animal protein at all.
- You would be surprised how much protein is in plants and other foods (outside of animal protein)
- Drink lots and lots of water, especially if you’re a coffee-drinker like myself.
You will notice after about a week that you don’t really crave food like you used to. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely crave pizza or sushi like once a week and I indulge in that for that one meal.
Once I got through the first couple of weeks which were really focused on detoxing of the years of junk I had built up in my digestive tract, I treat myself to pizza every Friday night and sushi or chick-fil-A one night during the week. But the key here is to make sure you don’t fall off the bandwagon after these great meals. I indulge but I also look forward to that next morning when I grab my green juice from the fridge because I know how it sets me up for success each day. I’m addicted to feeling good.
Now, I am about 6 weeks into these changes and I have experienced the following:
- Minimal bloat – my stomach is literally the flattest it has ever been
- Slimmed down about 5-6 pounds (from 128 lbs to 122 lbs) and I still have muscle definition
- Mental clarity
- I don’t feel “puffy”
- Skin clarity (not perfect, but much better)
- High energy
- Better mood
Obviously I didn’t notice much in the first couple of weeks. It was around week 3 when I was like “something is changing here.”
I have found that we are all human and we’re so good at forming habits, but I have found that we can develop new habits that include healthy chooses and enjoying the indulgence of foods we crave. Once you get a few weeks under your belt you’ll start realizing how some of the foods you couldn’t live without before now make you feel like crap. For me it was white rice and chicken with a vegetable (and I didn’t even love it, but I did it for muscle growth and strength). I was always left feeling bloated, tired, drained.
The gut controls so much more within our bodies outside of just digesting food. It controls everything from our immune strength to skin clarity. What’s scary is that we can’t just take a simple at home test to find out what’s wrong with us. We are left with having to pay attention to skin clarity, physical changes such as weight gain or bloating, mental clarity, energy levels, etc.
I’m continuing to educate myself more on this, but of course with great results only 6 weeks in to the changes, I had to share with others. I hope others find this helpful and please reach out if you have any questions (of course I am no expert nor am I a doctor) or just want to share how you’ve experienced improvement within yourself.
Here is an image of myself yesterday showing the lack of bloat in the pants that used to be skin tight in the waist.
3 thoughts on “How I Booted the Bloat”
Great post, Nicole!! This is great and I’m definitely going to try this out. It’s going to be a bir challenging for me, because I’m a big meat eater and I don’t like seafood. LOL. But wow! I never knew what impact animal protein has on your body!
Did you eat eggs during this time?
Yay! I’m so glad! Definitely pick up her book. She’ll go into way more detail. And yes, I do have eggs like every once in a while. Not every day.
I love this. I experience the random and inexplicable “busting out of my jeans” phenomenon too – I was blaming it on not chewing veggies well enough – it never occurred to me that animal protein could be the culprit. I’m going to pay attention to that now and see what happens. Great article!