Chef Ellen


When Confusion Gets the Best of Your Decisions

I recently had the opportunity to interview with a local news station in NY. I’ve included the link for your viewing.

It was a quick segment about beating the bloat in the summer months. While bloat and inflammation are passionate subjects for me, there were many facets I did not get the space to expand on. If you are someone interested in when and why bloat becomes a worrisome concern, read on.

Picking the best food choices is a critical component of health, but other eye-opening lifestyle practices will aid in removing the discomfort of the belly swell. If bloating and discomfort are short-lived, that is normal. However, suppose you are living on antacids or prescription H2 blockers so you can down spicy and indulgent foods. In that case, this would be considered chronic bloat, and in turn, could indicate something more significant and concerning going on within.

Making small changes with food choices, even while attending outdoor summer events, parties, and gatherings, is feasible with some mindfulness. Newer habits become more intuitive when we practice them often. These routines become sustainable when you reap the benefits of fueling your body with the best intentions. In addition, doing so may help pinpoint and alleviate complications of constipation, food sensitivities (gluten, dairy), hormonal imbalances, or gut dysbiosis to name a few.

I recommend filling up with more veggies to feed your microbes and support your immune health properly. Leaner cuts of animal protein and consider sans the bun on occasion. Our country could eradicate many major health concerns by reducing refined wheat consumption and replacing it with whole intact grains. Eliminate the cheese and add a slice of avocado (quality fat) (mustard or pickles, sauerkraut instead of mayo) or lettuce cups and even salad as a base. Animal protein takes much longer to digest, so if you’re loading up on a couple of burgers and dogs, you will be overly full and not getting the best night’s rest as the digestive process taking on this extra burden may affect sleep patterns. Skip mayo-laden salads and opt for more vinaigrette-based options.

With alcohol, use those label-reading skills and look at mixers especially. Watch the regular and “light” mixers loaded with added sugars, high fructose corn syrup, natural flavors (far from natural), and artificial sugars.

When not out and about, cook more at home, control what is added to your food, shop locally, and get to know your farmer. Fall is right around the corner, and soon we will be privy to a new season of fruits and vegetables. All the above will also help avoid low-quality additives and fillers contributing to bloat.

Awareness of factors other than the food on your plate can also aid digestion and assimilate the proper nutrients we need to grow, repair, and thrive. Stress restricts blood flow to the stomach, and long-term complications lead to ulcers and can upset the delicate balance of bacteria in the body. I learned the hard way that chronic symptoms like bloat are our bodies sending us distress signals.

Be mindful, and don’t take your health for granted. As my father loved to state, “When you have your health, you are the richest person in the world.”

“You never get tired of seeing yourself on TV. It’s always extra cool…always a treat.” ~ Ice Cube