Beat belly bloat and feel fantastic this winter, says nutritionist Louise Pyne
As much as we love the festivities, the only downside is starting the new year feeling worse for wear. Overdoing it on the food and drink front can leave you feeling uncomfortably bloated, foggy headed and utterly fatigued. And, if your digestive system needs a helping hand in getting it back to running smoothly as we enter January, a quick reboot could be in order. Filling up on nutritious food and cutting out vices like sugar, coffee, alcohol and processed foods will all help your body get back on track and offset any new year bloating. And to jumpstart your January wellbeing, we’ve compiled two weeks worth of meals and snacks that have been specially developed to nix belly bloating. Our meals are packed with all three macronutrient groups – protein, complex carbs and good fats, and we’ve thrown in a hefty dose of fruit and vegetables to combat bloating and flatten your tummy. We’ve listed seven days of meal ideas, which should be followed for two weeks, and compiled a list of healthy snacks. Each day you should eat three main meals and have two snacks – one in the morning and one mid-afternoon, and, by the end of the two week period, you’ll feel less bloated, more energised and any fogginess should have lifted. Your skin may be clearer and more radiant, and you could lose up to 4lbs. Happy New Year!
Place 50g spinach, 1 banana, ¼ avocado, 1tsp flaxseed and 1tsp greens powder in a blender. Add 250ml coconut water and blitz until smooth.
Add a pinch of dried mixed herbs to 2 beaten eggs. Scramble and serve with 1 slice of wholemeal toast and 100g steamed kale.
Combine 3tbsp oats with 150g probiotic yoghurt and 5tbsp semi-skimmed milk. Add 3tbsp blueberries and 3tbsp raspberries, and ½ apple, grated. Top with a pinch of cinnamon powder and 1tbsp mixed seeds.
Slice 4 cherry tomatoes and 4 mushrooms and bake in the oven at 180°C for around 10 minutes. Meanwhile, steam 50g kale and place with the other vegetables. Make a gap in the ovenproof dish and crack an egg. Place the dish back in the oven for around 10 minutes or until the egg is cooked to your desired consistency.
Place 150g probiotic yoghurt in a bowl. Grate 1 pear and add to the yoghurt. Throw in 1tbsp pumpkin seeds and 1tbsp sunflower seeds. Top with 2tbsp blueberries and a pinch of cinnamon.
Cook 70g porridge oats with 180ml almond milk. Top with 2tbsp grated apple and pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Scramble 1 egg and wilt 100g spinach in the same frying pan. Combine the ingredients with ½tsp of chipotle paste or ½tsp of paprika.
Meanwhile, slice 4 cherry tomatoes and ½ avocado. Layer all the ingredients in a warmed wholemeal tortilla and fold burrito-style.
Start your day off with a flat belly routine
Your brain and belly are deeply connected, so your emotional state affects how your tummy feels. Start the day with five deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and letting your belly fill with air, and then exhaling. Notice how your belly rises and falls with each breath, and feel a sense of calm wash over you.
Start the day with a cup of hot water and lemon. Lemon is naturally detoxifying and the soothing warm temperature of the water will help to stimulate your bowels first thing.
Eat breakfast more mindfully and you’re likely to continue that way for the remainder of the day. Put your cutlery down in between bites and focus on the taste and texture of food to enhance the mealtime experience.
Thinly slice ½ a small fennel bulb and place in a bowl. Add the segments of 1 clementine, 15g grated cucumber and 15g grated carrot. Make a salad dressing with ½ lemon, juiced, 1tsp olive oil and 1tsp orange juice. Serve the salad with 1 grilled chicken breast.
Spread 2tbsp passata sauce onto a wholemeal tortilla. Slice ½ yellow pepper and 3 mushrooms. Scatter 20g mozzarella pieces onto the tortilla along with the mushrooms, pepper and 4 olives. Place in the oven at 180°C for around 7 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted.
Grill 1 beef burger patty. Arrange 1 little gem lettuce leaf on a plate and place the patty on top. Layer the patty with 1tbsp roasted onion slithers, 1 slice of tomato and 1 slice of avocado. Place another little gem leaf on top in place of a bun.
Combine a small can of salmon with 1tsp crème fraîche, 1tsp lemon juice and a pinch of dill. Place 1tbsp grated cucumber and 1tbsp grated carrot onto 2 little gem lettuce leaves and spoon the salmon on top.
Serve ½ carton of spicy lentil soup with a small wholemeal roll and a green salad.
Cook 50g pearl barley according to the instructions. Meanwhile, chop 1 cooked beetroot, 15g cucumber, 3 cherry tomatoes and 1tsp parsley. Arrange the pearl barley in a bowl. Pile on 80g watercress leaves, the remaining salad ingredients, 1tbsp garden peas, and spoon 1tbsp guacamole on top.
Serve 1 small can of reduced sugar baked beans, cooked, inside a jacket potato. Enjoy with a green salad.
Popcorn chicken with sweet potato wedges and steamed greens
Slice ½ small sweet potato into wedges and roast. Dice 100g chicken breast into chunks. Dip in 1 beaten egg and enough wholemeal flour to coat nicely. Pan fry the chicken and serve with the sweet potato and 100g steamed kale.
Spiralise 1 courgette and place in a bowl with 1 small can of tuna in brine, plus 4 sliced cherry tomatoes and 50g rocket leaves. Stir through 1tbsp pesto sauce and top with 4 walnuts.
Arrange 40g baby carrots and 40g baby courgettes on a sheet of baking parchment, along with 1 spring onion sliced. Place 1 salmon fillet on top of the vegetables and drizzle 1tbsp lemon juice over the ingredients and ½tsp dried mixed herbs. Fold up the ingredients into a parcel, twisting the edges to seal.
Bake in the oven at 180°C for 20-25 minutes and serve with 50g steamed cabbage.
Slice 1 beef steak into strips. Fry with ½ a bag of stir fried vegetables and season with 1tbsp reduced salt soya sauce and 1tbsp lime juice. Meanwhile, spiralise 1 courgette. Serve the steak and vegetables over the courgetti and garnish with 1tbsp toasted cashew nuts.
Place 40g cooked brown rice in a bowl. Chop 1tbsp mint leaves, 1tbsp parsley, 15g cucumber and 1 tomato. Mix thoroughly with 1tbsp lemon juice. Serve the tabbouleh with 1 steamed seabass fillet and 100g rocket leaves.
Place 2 chicken drumsticks in an oven-proof dish. Slice 30g aubergine, ½ yellow pepper and ½ courgette. Arrange in the dish with the chicken and season with 1tsp dried mixed herbs. Serve the ingredients with 100g steamed cavolo nero.
Cut 100g lamb fillet into chunks. Pan fry 1 onion and 1 garlic clove, sliced. Add the lamb, ½ tin chopped tomatoes, ½ green pepper, ½ red pepper and 50ml vegetable stock. Cook for 25 minutes or until the lamb is tender. Before serving, stir through 50g spinach leaves and serve with 40g cooked quinoa.
1 apple and 1tbsp walnuts
2 plums and 1tbsp Brazil nuts
1 baked pear topped with 1tsp honey and 1tsp ground flaxseeds
1 packet of baked kale chips
1 protein bar
1 protein shake
2 wholemeal crackers with 1tbsp cream cheese and 3 olives
2 oatcakes with 1tbsp hummus
5 strawberries and 1tbsp cashew nuts
Eat these star foods for a flat tummy all day long
This liquorice-tasting bulb relaxes muscles in the gastrointestinal tract to help banish any unwanted gassiness.
Probiotic yoghurt is crammed with healthy bacteria which helps to keep both your digestive system and immune system healthy.
Oats are high in glutamine, an amino acid which fights bloating and promotes digestion.