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Fitness Healthy Eating

‘The Bloat’ is real.

yogaaa

Let’s not beat around the bush here, food is confusing, carbs are confusing, and losing weight isn’t easy at all. I thought I would take a different approach and write a blog post aimed for people who suffer with any kind of daily bloating, gluten sensitivity, IBS or suffer from IBD like myself. I have included some tips which have helped me along the way, but stress I am not a nutritionist or doctor so always get a second opinion.

I have received lots of different opinions with regard to my health and was always told a high fibre diet was good for me.. which unfortunately was misleading. Don’t get me wrong, it is all well and good for those capable of digesting food like normal intestines should, however for people who have a ‘food baby’ more than they had hoped, keep reading. I feel this is also quite topical as the rise in obesity/type II diabetes is increasing by a frightening amount.

In my opinion, the most important factors to understand when reducing ‘’the bloat’’ include the glycemic index (GI), gluten and fibre.

  1. Glycemic Index      

A glycemic index, more commonly known as low GI foods is something I adhere to on a daily basis. Carbohydrates are ranked from 0-100 according to their effect on our blood sugar levels. Low GI foods are absorbed and digested slowly, therefore slowly releases Glucose during the day. High GI foods cause an insulin spike in our blood levels. This spike causes the liver to store fat as glycogen, but let’s not get too into the science behind this. There are a number of Low GI Foods which I include in my diet and highly recommend;

  • Rolled oats
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Nuts

I have not included brown/whole wheat breads here as I am not able to eat these with my condition. Some symptoms of coeliac disease/ gluten intolerance are very similar to ulcerative colitis and therefore I will generalise my recommendations here.

High GI foods I would avoid include:

  • Table sugar
  • White bread/bagels
  • Sugary cereals
  • Soft drinks/Sodas
  • Watermelon
  • White rice

Not only will a low GI diet help you burn fat, you will see a major increase in energy levels also. If you do consume High GI foods, make sure to eat them after waking up, as your body has been in ‘’famine’’ for around 7 hours. Also, if you are taking too much whey protein (which I do at times) and find it is causing a significant bloat, try switching to casein for a little while as it does not spike insulin levels as much as whey. Ideally, a person should be taking in both whey and casein daily from their diet to aid protein synthesis and slow protein breakdown, however timing is key so research this.

Although some complex carbs fall into high GI, the only way to know what works best for you is trial and error.

  1. GLUTEN

I’m sure you all have noticed how popular gluten-free diets have become, but have you ever asked what is gluten? Gluten is proteins found in grains such as wheat, spelt and barley. I do not practice a 100% gluten free diet, but I try reducing gluten intake as much as I possibly can. Gluten can cause the body to initiate an immune response on the intestine in coeliac disease patients, similar to that of UC disease. Gluten intolerance causes symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain and flatulence. People suffering from irritable bowel disease will also show discomfort and pain when eating food containing gluten.

Avoid foods with gluten such as; beer, pastas, cereal, sauces, crisps, pizza and fries.

  1. FIBRE

Fibre is the most controversial on the list. Why? Because patients with IBS are told to have a high fibre diet, while patients with IBD are told to have a low fibre diet. Based on family and friends with IBS, I would advise a low fibre diet if you do suffer from pain and swelling of the abdomen after eating. If you do have a disorder remember all of my advice should be overlooked by a physician.  Anywaaaaay, I always have a low fibre diet and believe me when I say the pain is real if I do not follow this.

I will begin with Foods to avoid;

  • Green vegetables are hard to digest (Broccoli, Spinach, Kale (unfort), Brussel sprouts
  • Onions
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat/whole grain breads
  • Be aware of certain spices

When in doubt, Drink peppermint tea!

These conditions can all be brought on by stress. Try to relax and do something you love once a day. Try to exercise, whether it is walking, yoga, or weight lifting. Increasing activity will also aid a better and undisrupted night sleep. Take a bubble bath, light some candles, do whatever needs to be done.

I can also guarantee most readers do not drink enough water. To be honest, the world should add a reminder to their phone.. DRINK WATER NOW. We need 6-8 glasses a day, and that isn’t taking into account extra water loss from activity. Also alternate between green teas as this boosts metabolism.

Sometimes diet isn’t enough to aid symptoms of irritable bowel. Mild medications are available to soothe discomfort and reduce bloating. Discuss further with your medic J

Specifically For Ulcerative Colitis Sufferers <3

  • It is recommended to avoid certain lactose-containing products, which is why I have almond milk instead of regular cow’s milk. It is also lower in calories too! Be careful though, get your calcium from yoghurt, feta cheese or supplements-(do not rely on these).
  • Alcohol causes a flare in ulcerative colitis disease patients and will run down the immune system & increase symptoms such as mouth ulcers and bleeding. Try to avoid as much as possible.
  • A low residual diet goes along way after a bout of steroids and a serious flare. This involves refined foods, well cooked vegetables, fish etc. It’s pretty bland but definitely aids recovery time.
  • Take probiotics daily. This ensures your bowel has the healthy flora it requires and boosts your system against infections of the colon.
  • Sleep is essential for improving and immunity. Try to get 7-9 hours per night.
  • Iron supplements shouldn’t be taken by UC patients as it cannot be properly absorbed by the intestine. Try eating foods high in iron, as well as iron transfusions if anaemia is v. bad.

 

Any questions on above info please email info@bodyfitgeek.com. Also I advise anyone to overlook the above info with a GP if in any doubt as diets and symptoms differ for each patient.

 

Much love, Olivia xxx

Healthy Eating

Food shopping with the BodyFit Geek

Shopping with the BodyFit Geek

As I have previously mentioned in my earliest blog post, what you put into your shopping trolley is what you will eat when you’re craving food. If you throw biscuits & soda into your cart, kiss those abs goodbye. I truly believe developing a physique depends on 70% diet, 30% training. Why? Because you can’t out train a poor diet. Ever. So.. Let’s see what should be purchased at the supermarket. Things I try avoid eating include foods containing wheat, gluten (found in wheat) or processed high sugar and salted foods! I like to eat roughly the same amount of fat and protein a day, with fewer carbohydrates! Here is what the BodyFit Geek puts in her shopping cart and why;

Vegetables

Sweet potatoes – contain beta carotene (precursor of Vit A) which will essential nourish your hair condition.

Carrots – So easy to grate onto any salad bowl which is great for your skin

Red peppers – I add this to almost every dish I make. It is packed with Vit C and adds a splash of taste!

Courgette – I grate courgette instead of pasta and when bulking porridge oats (Zoats) Recipe up soonJ

Butternut Squash – underrated but delish. Vitamin C helps prevent ageing and helps skin glow

Asparagus – A quick & easy addition to add beside a protein meal, helping to reduce bloating and contains asparagine, a natural diuretic aiding the body to detoxify.

Meat & Fish

Chicken Breasts – Great source of protein. I usually stick to 4oz/meal.

Turkey breasts – An alternative to chicken if you have just had far too much! For both, try getting a lean cut that are boneless and skinless. Getting breaded meat defeats the whole purpose! Turkey has a slightly higher protein fat ratio of 27g protein per serving.

Lean Steak Mince – Cook up some chilli con carne with lean mince & chuck in some butternut squash. Delicious dish!

Smoked salmon – I would usually eat smoked salmon with eggs for breakfast every morning!

Eggs Eggs & more Eggs

Eggs are so essential in building muscle & maintaining growth that they get their own food group in my books! Scramble um, fry um, make up an omelette, doesn’t matter as long as you’re eating them! One egg contains 13g of protein at around 150 calories. If you are making an omelette, just use one yolk with lots of egg whites to keep cholesterol at bay!

 Nuts, Seeds & Grains

Quinoa – Low in carb, high in protein, what’s not to love? Contains essential amino acids aiding growth and repair & is perfectly nourishes skin and hair. Oh it’s also gluten free!

Rolled Oats – I would either have them for breakfast with protein powder & berries sprinkled on top, or in the evening I would make them into Zoats*

Brown Rice – Usually a 70g portion per person is plenty to go with protein & fat for din dins!

Walnuts – Contain omega-3 fatty acids and are easy to throw onto any meal!

Protein Granola – If I’m feeling bored of oats or eggs, this is another option for breakfast

Almond milk – Unsweetened almond milk is lower in sugar & calories than cow or goats milk & doesn’t taste that different!

Fruits

Bananas- High in potassium & magnesium which balance electrolytes and has digestive and cardiovascular benefits

Raw Blueberries- known for their importance in maintaining a healthy heart.

Raspberries- Ketones found in raspberries increase fat metabolism in cells and can help prevent obesity. Both berries show anti-inflammatory effects.

Fats

  • There are many types of fats, so be sure to know what you are buying.

Avocado – Packed with vitamins A,C and E a long with iron and other minerals, avocados are perfect antioxidants. They taste great in salad bowls or as homemade guacamole.

Coconut oil – Anything I cook is made with coconut oil, however other nut based butters are just as great!

Peanut butter- Probably the best thing ever. I actually add this into most of my recipes or just have it on some plain rice cakes as a snack throughout the day!

Cottage cheese – This muscle building food contains casein; a slow digesting dairy protein which raises blood amino acid levels. It also contains live cultures similar to that of probiotics, aiding nutrient absorption.

Just fancy a snack? Treat yourself.

  • To avoid packing it in altogether & bingeing on unlimited bars of chocolate or sweets, make sure you cheat a little, but plan the amount & around your training regime.

Protein bars – Quest barrrrrs! Just try a cookies&cream and tell me you don’t love it? Won’t happen.

Chocolate covered raisons – Be careful though, they are high in kcal so a handful is plenty!

Protein shake- Grab some tasty whey or hemp protein powder and make up a shake.

Lenny & Larry protein cookies – Grab these from SuperValu!

Gluten free rice cakes – Add some peanut butter to these or even spread some banana on them.

Frozen yoghurt- A scoop with some myprotein chocolate syrup is a very nice cheat treat !

Things to note

  • What are antioxidants? They combat free radicals to prevent DNA damage. LDL cholesterol must be kept at low levels by preventing oxidative stress. As oxidised cholesterol can lead to artery damage, antioxidants are important in our diet to avoid heart disease and heart attacks. Antioxidants also prevent diabetes complications and have been linked to reducing cancers.
  • Alcohol- Pretty much finds its way into every shopping cart. Again, plan when you are going to drink and how much you will drink. I can’t stress enough how important it is to let your hair down, but also to tie it back up time and time again. Try to go a few weeks without a drink and see how wonderful your body and mind can feel. Moderation is key here.
  • Leafy greens- As you can probably see, these do not go into my shopping cart as I have IBD. However, they are full of vitamins and are great to eat raw so of course buy these if you can tolerate them!

 

Email info@bodyfitgeek for any questions & follow my Instagram- Bodyfit_geek

Hope you enjoyed the blog and thank you all for your kind words and support x