5 Dead Easy Ways To Kill ‘The Bloat’

Slap the back of my hand if I’m being too over-familiar, but sometimes, when I’m in the shower and I look down, I see… a puffy belly!

This, my friends, is what’s commonly referred to as bloating. Or, The Bloat as I affectionately refer it it. Or ‘Bel’ as my husband calls it, as he annoyingly squeezes it like Play Doh and assures me it’s cute. Cute, I’ll show you cute!

ANYWAY…

Bloating  is often caused by food intolerances (lactose and gluten, I’m talking to you) as well as excessive gas, hormones, and a lazy small intestine that has swapped muscle contractions pushing the gas down the passage for late nights and party pies.

Another common cause is the sugar found in many foods, especially fruits, which is one of the reasons I only eat fruit on an empty stomach. Basically, fruits take minimal time to digest, so if you have it on top of another food group, like say, animal protein (AKA a steak) that needs a lot more time to digest, the fruit will have to wait its turn in the intestines, giving all that fructose time to ferment. Thus, causing excessive bloating and gas. Welcome to Pleasantville!

Bloating leaves your stomach feeling full and tight. It can also be caused by eating too much, or surprisingly, too much of the same foods. Legumes and cruciferous vegetables are common culprits; after all, they did create a saying along of the lines of ‘beans means farts’ – or is that just something my family said? Awkward.

Either way, here are 5 simple ways to tackle bloating and put your belly back in its place:

1. Soak your legumes and grains and cook them with kombu

Grains and legumes contain phytic acid that can interfere with the absorption of essential minerals. The good news? It’s water soluble and by simply soaking your grains and legumes overnight, that problem is sorted. However, by adding a sea vegetable like kombu to the pot, you’re able to make your grains alkaline, as well as infuse them with minerals that reduce gas, improve digestibility, and DECREASE the BLOAT. Yessss!

2. Eat fruit on an empty stomach

For the reasons listed above. Seriously, if you find eating sugar or fruits makes your Bel suddenly grow, try this simple trick.

3. Find out what causes your bloating and eliminate it, or alter how you currently eat it

Many different things cause many different people to bloat. Even stress can contribute. So, play a game of trial and error and see what’s making your tummy unhappy. My triggers are too many cruciferous vegetables in one sitting, barley (I can’t eat it it’s that bad) and fruits.

5. Consider a colonic

BUT only go to a place that has a Diploma from the College of Applied Natural Sciences. In Sydney, I go to Colon Hydrotherapy Centre, but have heard great things about The Last Resort as well.

5. Chew! Chew! Now, chew again!

This one’s pretty self-explanatory: the more you chew, the slower you eat. The slower you eat, the more time you give your digestive enzymes to secrete and as a result of this, the more nutrients you absorb, which then allows your body to eliminate far easier and reduces the incidence of trapped gas and, well, I hate to say it, shit. Sorry!

What are your ways to ease bloating?
Do you suffer from it too?

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx

What’s your workout routine? Mine goes a little something like this…

Confession time: I don’t actually have a workout routine. I don’t care for routines too much – too boring. Same-y. Predicable. And if there’s one thing in your life you don’t want to be boring or same-y or predictable, it’s your workout.

That said, I do try to exercise at least 4 days a week. Sometimes that involves a fast walk in the park, a yoga class, or a Pump class at the gym, and sometimes it means a few lazy downward dogs or a stroll down at the beach. Technically speaking, I know the latter options aren’t really counted as a workout, but something is better than nothing, right? Too right.

So, here’s what a typical week might look like for me…

Monday – Quick Spin Around Centennial Park

What? For those non-Sydney residence, Centennial Park is a delightful park close to the city. It’s our version of Central Park, only smaller and fewer creeps hiding in bushes. I walk and run around the park, then through it, then around and back through, which takes about an hour or so. It’s fun!

Extras: Lunges, tricep dips and step ups on random objects. Oh, and the hubby is threatening hill sprints but we’ll see about that. Might keel over!

Playlist: Florence & the Machine: Dog Days are Over. Hilarious irony in that title but it’s more about the part that urges you to run fast for your mother and fast for your father that really gets me moving.

Tuesday – Boxing

What? I go to boxing with my best mate quite regularly (although we’ve been a bit slack the last few weeks) and Tony, our trainer, literally kicks our asses. You can’t walk for a few days after. Seriously! When I’m not there, I also blow into the ‘family comes free’ offer at my mum’s gym, Vision Neutral Bay. I mainly go there to socialise with a bit of boxing on the side. FUN TIMES! Both go for an hour.

Extras: Dinner with family and friends afterwards. Does that count?

Playlist: A personal request from my crazy mum: Rihanna: S&M. She was mortified when she realised what RiRi was actually singing about. We’re still laughing.

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – Yoga

What? Since coming home I’ve been doing a lot of home yoga practice through YogaGlo.com but last week, I signed up to a little studio in Potts Point (Yoga Village) and went nearly everyday. It’s so good to be back. Prior to Yoga Village I went to Body Mind Life in Surry Hills and did Power Yoga, but right now, I’m on the hunt for my perfect practice. Hatha Vinyasa is proving to be quite beautiful.

Extras: The more yoga I do, the more meditation I do. It’s like their intrinsically linked. Yep, they definitely are.

Playlist: Sacred Earth: Music for Inner Peace.

Friday – Yoga

AS ABOVE.

Saturday – Pump

What? I have the strength of a newborn kitten so one of my main goals this year was to beef up. Haha! Not really, just get a little more lean muscle so that my metabolism could work when I wasn’t and burn fat when I was lazing around.

Pump is a fun way to incorporate a little strength training into your workout, plus, as I don’t really know my way around a weights room, it makes it heaps easier to work different areas without looking completely lost.

Extras: As I’m heading into the gym anyway, I might take myself on a little 10 minute run, or X-train before getting going. Oh, plus Fitness First offer free newspapers to their members. Hooray! That said, I’m not actually a member, I get to accompany the hubby on weekends as a gold member treat.

Playlist: Hmm, anything from ’80s power ballads to the Rocky tune.

Sunday – Rest

Playlist: Noise Boyz: Declaration of Love. Quietly obsessed with this song.

Tell me Happies…

What does your workout routine look like?
Anything like this?

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx

Happy Friday: The Week in Pins

Happy Friday!

Let’s round out the week with an exhibition of feel-good images to remind you that happiness is never that far away. Man, what did we do before Pinterest?

Start the day with the right attitude and will it stay will ’til all hours.

Smile, you look beautiful!

Furry friends are the perfect reminder to live in the moment.

Every action, reaction and emotion makes up a part of who you are. Be mindful of that as you indulge in self-discovery.

Try something new and unexpected. Hey, you just might like it.

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx

Follow Me on Pinterest

Make These Muffins. No Seriously, Make Them

Not to sound pushy, but these are the best bloody muffins I’ve ever eaten.

Here’s the backstory…

I had my family around for a belated Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday and my mum loves muffins. The thing is, she doesn’t care for all the butter and sugar and white flour that often comes with them. Well, she does but her waistline doesn’t. So, she begged me to make her healthy muffins.

So, I did. And they looked like this*…

And were made like this…

1 apple (Granny smith or pink lady)
2 bananas
2 cups of soaked raisins
3 tbls of cinnamon
2 tbls of maple syrup
1 tbls of raw honey
1 cup of ground flax seeds
1 cup of finely chopped coconut meat
2 tsp of bicarb soda
250g (2.5 cups) of buckwheat flour
250g (2.5 cups) of wholemeal or spelt flour
450ml of water

Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl, then, add the fruit, honey, maple syrup and water. Gently stir until the mixture is nicely mixed, but not overworked and spoon mixture into muffin tin. Bake at 180 degrees celcius for about 15-20 minutes. If you’re unsure they’re cooked, poke them with a wooden skewer. If it comes out clean, they’re done. If it’s sticky, they need longer.

You may need to add more water as the buckwheat flour really soaks it up. It’s best to have the mixture slightly runny, rather than thick and dry. So play around with the consistency.

And served with this…

1. Stewed rhubarb (I cooked it with lemon, maple syrup and water and let it slowly bubble down to a nice saucy compote).
2. Tahini with honey.

And ended up like this…

*Disclaimer: That frosty looking stuff on the muffins is, in fact, frost. I forgot to take a picture of said muffins when they were all steamy and delicious looking as they came out of the oven, so had to settle for this poor cousin shot of them now. As they don’t have any preservatives, they go stale in about 3.5 seconds, so as soon as you’re done with them pop them in the freezer and pull out when desired. Let them defrost naturally, stick them in the oven or toaster, or nuke them for 1 minute. Whatever works for you!

What do you think, Happies? Yummy?

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx

Exclusive Video: Tone Your Bum With Emma Seibold

You may remember the post I recently did on the divine Emma Seibold from Barre Body in Melbourne and promising a follow-up video so that you can see what Barre Body is all about (and hopefully do a little sequence of your own at home).

Well, now is THAT time. Emma has kindly filmed an exclusive video just for you, Happies. It’s all about ass toning, which, let’s face it, we all want. She’s going to take us  all on a little 7-minute journey through one of her favourite butt toning exercises, plus a sweet little stretch at the end.

I’m excited. Aren’t you? YES!

Here’s what you need…

A yoga mat, exercise mat or soft carpet and towel

Hey, it might be short but my butt is screaming at me to stop already. Phew! Work those glutes.

A huge thanks to Em for taking the time to create this little sequence for The Happiness Cocktail. Now, let’s all go and watch it again…

Have you watched it?
Did it burn your bum too?

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx