What Foods To Eat To Reduce Bloating

Picture of an array of vegetables

That damn B-word…..bloating. It’s not comfortable, fun or cute. Trust me I know.

I was suffering with it, yes suffering (I’m very dramatic in case you didn’t know) 2 weeks ago. In my case I ate a very creamy pasta which did not go down a treat, let’s just say that.

I was up at exactly 2am for a few nights with cramps and trapped wind. I felt so tormented I got out of bed and lay on the carpet in the early hours of the morning trying to do yoga.

Crazy much?

Absolutely, yes but I know you know what I mean.

What causes bloating?

Anything from undigested food, to how you are sitting or how much you are talking while eating. Let me state the obvious, it is clear that you need to pay attention when you eat.

Here are foods to eat to reduce bloating.

Drop Beans and Legumes for Soaked Quinoa
Beans take a long time to digest because they contain a protein that resists digestion until it reaches the big intestine. And friends, that’s a long way to travel and plenty of time to cause bloating and wind along the way.

Instead try eating quinoa that has been soaked for at least 2 hours. Soaking quinoa helps remove some of the phytic acid in the grain which helps improve digestibility.

Reduce the raw greens and up the ante on the steamed or sauteéd greens
Now don’t get me wrong greens are good for you but too many raw greens like kale can be hard for your body to digest.

Steaming or sauteing greens softens the fibres while retaining the nutrients making it easier to digest.

Dairy – avoid the cow and bring on the goats and sheep – especially with yoghurt
Many people can’t digest dairy because they are lactose intolerant. If you feel like you feel extra full after eating a bowl of yoghurt or some cheese try swapping cow milk products for goats or sheep milk ones.

These alternatives are less processed and have different proteins, making them easier to digest.

Cut back on the carbonated drinks and sip on plain water or hot tea
The CO2 used to make the bubbles in carbonated drinks can go straight to your digestive tract and cause bloating.

Instead sip on room temperature water, warm lemon water or tea.
Tip: avoid any liquids for at least an hour after eating. This will give your digestive system time to do it’s thing.

Hack for warm lemon water: make lemon/ginger ice cubes.
Cut up some lemons and I would also add lots of ginger into a small pot. Full the pot with water and let it simmer for 15 minutes or so. Taste and if you are happy with the flavour, drain and set aside to cool. Once cool, pour it into ice trays and freeze.

Every morning, drop a lemon/ginger ice cube into your hot water and drink. Saves you time every morning.

Chew Chew and Chew some more
Slowly chew your food. When you think you’ve chewed enough keep going. Remember your stomach doesn’t have teeth. Give it less work to do in breaking down food by chewing the food properly. This is probably the biggest reason most people feel bloated.

With these swaps and lots of chewing, you’ll be able to leave behind the bloat, feel comfortable and look cute.

Let me know how it goes.

With love as always
LML

The must-have travel checklist post Covid-19

Woman in a hat lying on a sun bed near a pool

This must-have travel checklist is related to a little secret which I’m going to let you in on. I’m on a 90 day fiancé relationship journey. Kinda. Sorta.

Have you ever watched the show? If not, in a short summary, it’s where a bunch of love struck lunatics start online relationships across borders. After some time (usually very short) they decide that they want to be together forever and start a visa process whereby they have 90 days to get married in order for their partner to stay in America. Cue all the DRAMA and entertainment.

The good news is that my lover, well not really since we haven’t actually met in person, is not American but he is across the seas and we do WANT to meet. If you’ve been in a long distance relationship like this then you’ll understand there is a dire need for this to happen.

We are in the throws of a very challenging situation be it that we live in the time of Covid-19 and travel is so restricted.

BUT we are furiously searching for a place that will take us both in with as few hassles as possible.

Almost impossible?

Yes.

Totally impossible?

No.

Hence the travel checklist.

I’m sure we are not the only ones getting itchy feet. You know those end of year travel itchy feet? The festive season itchy feet?

The summer, silly season, sip and siesta time itchy feet?

Whether you’re traveling now, later, locally, soonish or even maybe, keep this for ease of reference.

I’ve created this must-have post Covid-19 travel checklist for us because, well, you know, we’re important and I want us to stay well especially while on holiday or meeting long distance lovers.

Air Travel checklist:

* Mask
* Anti – bacterial hand wipes
* Dis-infectant spray
* Serum or moisturiser to keep your skin moist.
* Knee high compression socks – help improve blood flow
* Gloves – especially if you icky about public toilets
* First aid kit
* CBD drops 100mg for sleep
* Bee Propolis throat spray – natural anti-viral immune system support
* Sleep mask
* Noise cancelling headphones
* Travel pillow
* Blue light blocking glasses – reduces eye strain
* Oregano oil – to boost immunity and keep the bowels regular
* Macadamia nuts – low carb snack

What to include in your first aid kit:
* Analgesic (pain relief) medicine/Aspirin
* Antihistamine tablets for bites, stings or allergies
* Cold and flu tablets
* Cough medicine
* Motion sickness tablets
* Throat lozenges or drops
* Antiseptic solution for cleaning wounds
* Antiseptic ointment to apply to a wound
* Plasters
* Insect repellent
* Diarrhoea medicine
* Antacid
* Antifungal or antibacterial cream
* Rehydrate sachets
* Regular prescription medicines

And if you are thinking, wait a minute, this is too much, trust me, it’s not. Things happen, mostly when you least expect it and it’s better to be prepared than not. I have traveled a lot and been in many a situation where I’ve needed all of these things.

Checklist that says yes and no
Travel checklist

Check, check and double check:

These are the items most people forget to pack:
* Laundry bag
* Reusable shopping bag
* Emergency snacks
* Extra memory card
* Lip balm
* Copies of travel documents
* Flip flops
* Stain remover
* Phone chargers
* Toothpaste
* Swimsuit
* Sunscreen
* Umbrella
* Sunglasses

If you are traveling, planning to travel or staying put, be safe and be well.

And happy travels for now or for the future.

If you have any ideas on where an African and a European could meet safely during this time, drop a comment below. I’d love to hear your comments.

Please share this checklist with your friends, especially that one you are always waiting for because they have forgotten something, missed something or lost something.

With love and itchy feet
LML

Why is social connection so important to our wellbeing?

Silouette of 4 people with their hands in the air

Social connection is important because it improves our physical health and our psychological wellbeing. Urgh…. that’s my comment as an introvert. Really? Like really?

Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship – Brene Brown

Did you know that the happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships?

Yes, that’s right.

Social connection adds to our happiness and wellbeing.

Now I want to tell you that I was happy to hear this but it’s not really the kind of news an introvert likes. I have always preferred keeping my distance from people and now I realize that that isn’t healthy either.

Studies have shown that isolation and lack of connection are a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.

Surprised?

Me too.

In fact, new born babies need to be embraced in order to promote healthy psychological development. The lack of the loving assurance that comes from physical touch can inhibit normal development.

Side note: I believe this to be the same for some adults as well. Some people, you know the ones I’m talking about, just need more hugs in life in general for their overall development.

Now back to the good stuff.

The benefits of strong social connection are:

* 50 % increased chance of longevity

Now I don’t know about you but this appeals to me. I want to live long enough to wipe my partners ass. Some real talk right there.

* Lowers rates of anxiety and depression

(Personal note on anxiety: I used to have it quite badly many, many years ago. At certain times my heart rate would go off the charts and I’d sweat profusely. My doctor prescribed medication for me but I didn’t want to live on medication for the rest of my life nor did I like the way it made me feel. I work at a fast pace and on the medication I felt 100% slower. Sometimes I felt like I was moving backwards instead of forwards. It was very strange and I took the executive decision to ditch the medication altogether.)

* Healthy relationships help strengthen the immune system

Very important during this time

* Helps lower the risk of dementia and mental decline

* Increases self esteem, creates greater empathy and more trusting relationships

Hands linked
Holding hands at sunset

Being that we are in a pandemic
I understand that physical connection may be hard but there are some solutions. As long as we remember that connection comes from the heart, some of these ideas will hopefully help us all stay connected as friends.

Video call as much as possible
It has been shown that video and audio calling produces similar amounts of happy hormone as it does when you see a person face-to-face.

Looking for a good games night? Try the Houseparty app.
You can play a round of trivia, test your skills at charades or even try pictionary.

Host a virtual movie night with Netflix Party.
It’s a free google chrome extension that allows you to watch a movie at the same time as family or friends. It also has a group chat function where you can share commentary and emojis.

Start a virtual book club.
Keep your mind active while remaining connected at the same time.

Start a virtual knitting club.
Since we have been limited in using our sense of touch during Covid-19, this is a great way to incorporate physical touch in our lives. Knitting also helps you stay relaxed and calm. Gather your friends on Zoom and have a little “tit and knit” session. (oh and tit as in tit bit, just in case you were wondering)

And if none of these appeal to you choose one person in your contact list every week and check in with them, get on social media and start engaging ( I have made a few new friends this way, yes very shocking) or call your family and say hi.

Sending virtual hugs and high fives friends. Stay healthy, safe and connected.

With much love
LML

P.S. If you have any other suggestions or if you want to invite me to a games night (at your own peril), drop me a comment below.

Foods That Make You Glow

Pouring olive oil from a bottle

Let’s talk about foods that make you glow AND get you looking at yourself naked in the mirror and going “Hot damn, you’re looking good.”

I’ve been hearing a lot about this lately. How being connected to your sexuality is empowering and to be honest, that is really what this is all about.

Whether you’re stripping down for yourself or for someone else, looking good naked means feeling sexy. And no, you’re never too old to feel sexy.

Below are some of the best foods to eat to give you that extra glow AND make you look sexy naked.

Collagen

Collagen = good hair, good skin and good nudes (and no, this does not mean dick pics gents, please no)

It helps strengthen hydration and elasticity of the skin, which means tighter skin and fewer wrinkles.

Mango

Did you know that the stress hormone cortisol creates belly fat and keeps it stored there? Adding Vitamin C to your diet helps combat the stress hormones.

Mango is rich in Vitamin C and is also known to have high levels of vitamin B-6, which supplies your brain with dopamine, the feel “happy hormone.”

Olive Oil

Have you seen how the people in the Mediterranean look so glowy and live for so long? They drizzle olive oil on EVERYTHING.

Olive oil has vitamin E and K, lots of antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Healthy fat = glow.

Nettle Leaf

Now this I’m excited about. Inflammation is the buzzword of the health industry at the moment.

It’s been suggested that it’s the cause of bags under your eyes and water retention, which by the way sometimes masks extra weight that you’re carrying.

Nettle leaf is a herb and is a natural diuretic that flushes out acid from your joints and muscles and helps detoxify your whole system.

Lean Protein

Have you heard those healthy types always talking about lean protein? Well, they’re doing it because they know something we don’t. It leaves you feeling energized (lighter) and fuller for longer.

If you were getting excited about seeing protein on this list, then take special note that it needs to be a small portion, as in smaller than your vegetables and leafy greens.

And there you have it. Go on and get your glow friends and enjoy that sexy vision staring back at you in the mirror.

With much love and some extra glow
LML