The proof was next to me in the mirror during a recent vacation with friends. While changing into our swimsuits to hit the beach I stood in the mirror next to my friend who was 5 months pregnant and we did a side-by-side comparison. I must preface this with the fact that I AM NOT pregnant and have a reputation amongst my friends for having the most enviable flat tummy, which half the time I am scooping in a la Pilates style to hold onto my crown. I always kept my secret mute knowing that my tummy tended toward distention, but after a week in Mexico eating tacos for almost every meal and drinking tequila before noon, it was undeniably unscoopable. And severely bloated! My belly equaled the distention of my pregnant friend.

Once home I had a mission to find the source of it and through research, phone calls and experimentation I think I am on to something. I am going to see a nutritionist and a doctor to be sure there is nothing more serious happening and to see about food allergies, but these small adjustments in my diet and exercise routine have made a big difference in keeping my bloat at bay.

Take a GOOD Probiotic and Helpful Supplements

I realized the potency of a probiotic matters. While more expensive, they do pack more punch to keeping digestion healthy and helping to curb bloat. I take 1 probiotic in the morning and a 2 or 3 digestive enzymes at each meal (I carry them in my purse). Vitamin B-12, and a magnesium supplement.

#2 a MUST Do

Ok. Here it is. I don’t poop enough. Enough said. That was my first clue of where I might begin eating better in order to clear the pipes better so there isn’t a bloat-causing backlog. Starting the morning with a green smoothie breakfast starts me with hydration, fiber, and protein and kick starts the metabolism so things get moving more. Blending using the vitamix is better for me than juicing as the fiber present in a blended drink versus just juice is what really helps.

De-Bloat My Diet

Most of us get only 5 grams of fiber a day when we actually need 25. Eating Oatmeal and beans more is one trick. And eating less sodium (salt) so I don’t retain as much water is another awareness I’ve adopted. To downsize my sodium intake I’ve eliminated processed meats and bottled salad dressings and frozen waffles (a favorite of mine). Upping potassium is also an important player against bloat. Avocado, mushrooms and tomatoes in omelets or salads are excellent.

What to Drink?

Tea in the morning. Tea in the afternoon. Tea in the evening. Tea most of the time, I’ve learned. It calms the gut and can lessen gas especially mint and ginger teas. While I do love a margarita I can usually enjoy it just as much without the alcohol, which can cause bloating.  So during beach days I’m opting for virgin drinks.

My 10-Minute Get Moving Model

The Hundred: The breathing and elevated heart rate get my blood flowing and give my center a subtle wake up call.

Rolling Like A Ball: The movement helps loosen things up and aids in going to the bathroom

Criss Cross: Rotation brings blood flow to the intestines and soothes the stomach.

Yoga Twist: Sit up with one knee bent and the other leg lengthened in front of you. Twist your body and place your elbow in front of the bent knee while you twist back. To deepen this I wrap my arms around my body so they can connect from under my knee.