The more body-conscious clothes that have landed in the stores for autumn/winter 2014 are enough to strike fear in those of us with a little ‘Marilyn’ tummy. Actually, whether it’s the season for form-fitting dresses or bikinis or LBDs, many women we know fret about how to get a flat(ter) tummy. So we thought we’d share with you some wisdom from LA-based clinical nutritional Kimberly Snyder, taken from our book The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible (find it here)…
Kimberly (whose clients include Hollywood A-listers such as Drew Barrymore and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie) gave us the best advice we’ve seen on slimming down and sleeking up based on her own book The Beauty Detox Solution, which we recommend unreservedly. Her writing is really down to earth and practical – inspirational, too – and by following her advice, you should see a difference pretty quickly.
The bulk of your meals should be fibre-rich plant foods. To ensure you get lots of raw veggies, which are high in nutrients, vitamins and enzymes, make a big mixed salad for lunch and start dinner with a large green salad.
Try Kim’s Glowing Green Smoothie for breakfast. Use organic ingredients and chop the veggies before blending. Blend 1½ cups water, one head lettuce and a small bunch spinach until smooth; gradually add 3-4 stalks celery, one apple/pear/banana, and juice of half a lemon.
Eat animal protein, including dairy, only once a day. More is too ‘acid-forming’: your body should be slightly alkaline. Get protein from plant foods such as seeds, nuts, quinoa, millet and lentils.
Avoid or eat less cheese. Dairy is difficult to digest so it can lead to bloating and weight gain.
Eat fruit only on an empty stomach, and never for pudding. If you eat it after heavier foods that take longer to digest, the fruit gets stuck and starts to ferment, leading to bloat.
Watch the salt. Too much sodium can cause bloating and puffiness. Add small amounts of high quality sea salt (or Himalayan rock salt) directly to food; avoid processed foods. Drink unsweetened cranberry concentrate with fresh water – sweetened with stevia if wished – to help flush excessive fluids and salts. (That’s a must before red carpet events and awards, Kimberly says.)
Don’t drink and eat at the same time. It dilutes gastric juices and digestive enzymes, and so impedes the digestive process. Just sip a little liquid and chew each mouthful thoroughly.
Avoid all fizzy drinks. The air bubbles in carbonated soft drinks release carbon dioxide in the digestive tract, creating bloating. NB excessive caffeine can also cause bloat.
Get to love raw apple cider vinegar. It acts as a prebiotic to feed the growth of probiotics [the good bacteria in your gut], which help with optimal digestion, elimination and breaking down foods more efficiently – all important for a flatter tummy. Sip one tablespoonful diluted in a cup of warm water 20 minutes before meals; it’s great in salad dressings too.
(NB Anyone who suffers prolonged continuous bloating should consult a doctor.)