Bathroom Business Part 2: What To Do About Bloating and Farting + Super Easy Instant Pot Lentils

whole food plant based lentils instant pot

Let’s talk about bloating and farting while on a plant based diet.

There are a ton of reasons to start making out with a plant based diet. Or maybe you’re done making out and you want to do the damn thing already. Enough foreplay – it’s time to close the deal. Awesome.

Eating a plant based diet can be protective against certain types of cancers. It can lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. It’s also the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off.

It helps heal the gut. It clears up the skin. It helps you sleep better. It can prevent and even reverses type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It can protect against autoimmune diseases, including Alzheimer’s. It gives you a ton of energy. It clears up allergies and eczema. It strengthens the immune system. And as we discussed two weeks ago, it helps you shit like you’ve never shat before.

I’m not saying eating a plant based diet is a miracle cure for anything and everything that can go wrong. I’m saying that it can protect against a lot of unnecessary bullshit. Specifically, degenerative diseases and chronic illnesses that are caused by lifestyle choices.

Okay, so far so good. Eating more plants is a good move. Eating fried Twinkies or bacon wrapped anything – not so much. So let’s say you make a plan to eat more plants. A plant plan if you will.

You grocery shop. You cook. Dinner is ready and you’re pumped to eat a huge bowl of kale, quinoa and other yummy plant goodness. You eat. It’s yummy. You feel amazing. Life is good.

And then you start farting EVERY TEN SECONDS.
Holy gas machine – this was NOT part of your plan!

The next day you’re not farting as much so you make dinner for your boo. You make a batch of bean chili, some cornbread and a big salad. You have dinner. It’s super yum. Things are peachy. And then the bloat starts and your tummy puffs up like a fucking blow up doll. Damn it!

You thought this clean eating business was going to impress, but instead, you’re having to convince your bae that you’re not 4 months pregnant and that it’s just a PLANT baby.

Eating plant based is beautiful and stunning for so many reasons. Being bloated and farting all the time are not two of them.

Let’s take a look and find out what’s going on in that beautiful bod and how you can help your digestive system settle the hell down.

Oh look, what do we have here? It’s a little thing called FIBER, and when your body isn’t used to it, it’ll let you (and everyone around you) know ALL about it.

Here’s the deal. Animals have bones to hold them up; plants have fiber. So when we drop animal based foods and processed foods from the diet and we focus on plant foods, we go from a low fiber diet to a high fiber diet. And this is a fabulous thing.

Fiber keeps us from being constipated. It reduces inflammation in the body. It acts as a prebiotic, feeding our gut’s good bacteria, producing a thriving and healthy gut environment (which helps everything from staying slim to feeling happy). And fiber keeps us full and satiated for long periods of time.

Fiber is one of the good guys and it’s more important than most people realize.

As a side note, people could definitely relax about getting enough protein and instead, focus on getting enough fiber. It’s nearly impossible not to get enough protein – yes – even if you eat plant based. But a diet lacking in fiber is the norm these days.

Less than 3% of people living in the U.S are deficient in protein, whereas 98% of the American population are lacking in fiber.


Okay – so fiber is a good and important thing – the only problem is, when you’re new to the plant club, you don’t have an abundance of fiber eating gut bacteria yet, and so your body responds in uncomfortable and loud ways. POOOOOOOOT!

Here’s the good news. The more fiber you eat, the more you grow your fiber-eating gut bacteria. And when you have a shit load of fiber eating gut bacteria, your bloating, farting, and weird poops will taper off. This can take anywhere from two to four weeks.

There’s really no way around this – it’s just part of the process and the body will adjust with time. That isn’t to say that one day you will stop farting. Oh no – farting is part of life. On average, people fart 14 times a day. So your booty bombs might taper off, but they’ll never go away completely. Embrace the farts.

Whether you’re brand spankin’ new to this way of eating or you’ve been eating like this for a while, the tips and tricks below will help your digestive system turn down the party in your tummy.

I’m giving you the first 10 tips this week and 10 more next week. By the time this is all said and done, your tummy will find peace and quiet and you can eat as many damn beans as you can handle without blowing the ass whistle.

1. Plant fiber is the number one food to grow a good gut garden.

Onions, garlic, leeks, lentils, celery, asparagus and artichokes are all fantastic for the gut and are considered prebiotics. The indigestible plant fiber of these foods aren’t well broken down in the small intestines, so it continues into the colon where it gets fermented and turned into food for our gut bacteria. This helps our good gut bacteria thrive and multiply.

So even though these are the foods that make you fart in the beginning, these are the same foods that help you eventually fart less. So keep eating them – the more fiber filled plant foods you eat, the better equipped your bod will be at handling them. Our Plant Based Meal Plans are packed with prebiotic foods on a weekly basis. Follow along and your gut garden will grow like wild. Not a great visual – I realize.

2. Slowly add fiber into your diet.

It might be too late, but if you don’t eat like a rabbit yet, start with one big salad a day with lots of different veggies. Do this for a week and then add in some beans every other day. Do that for a week and then add in some whole grains. It’s not harmful to go from no fiber to lots of fiber in one go, but you will have less booty bombs and plant baby bumps if you introduce it slowly into your diet.

3. Eat slowly and chew your food really damn well.

This one annoys me but it’s actually really helpful. Digestion starts the moment food enters the mouth. The more thoroughly we chew our food, the less work the body has to do in breaking it down and distributing it where it needs to go. Chew each bite until there is no more texture and then don’t take another bite until you swallow your previous bite. This is something that everyone can benefit from, especially if you have farty, bloaty issues.

4. Do not drink water or anything else with your meals.

Our digestive system is equipped with digestive enzymes that help break down food so we can absorb nutrients. If we drink anything (even water) along with our meals and snacks, it dilutes these important enzymes and the bod will have a hard time breaking down food, putting a strain on digestion. Drinking water 20 minutes before we eat and an hour after we eat is recommended.

5. Drink a glass of warm water with a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar twenty minutes before you eat for less bloat and gas after you eat.

I haven’t tried this personally because I’ve been eating like this for a long time and I digest plant fiber like a boss, but this has worked really well for people that I’ve worked with.

6. Eat smaller portions more frequently throughout the day instead of fewer bigger meals.

This is especially helpful if you experience painful bloating. Eating smaller portions helps ease the load for the digestive system.

7. Avoid coffee and alcohol.

Both are acidic and they aren’t gentle on the tum.

8. Soaking your grains and beans overnight before cooking them

It will make them easier to digest and leave you with less wind coming from behind.

9. Skip canned beans and cook your beans with Kombu (a type of seaweed).

If you do buy canned beans, buy Eden brand because they use kombu when cooking their beans.

10. Puree your beans and legumes until you adjust to all the fiber.

This will make them easier to digest. Making hummus or blended split pea or bean soup is great if you’re new to eating beans and legumes.

Holy fart bomb – that was a lot. Incorporate these tips into your routine and watch the belly discomfort ease away.

Today’s recipe is packed with prebiotic goodness. This simple soup is a staple in my house. I love having it in my fridge, ready to heat up when I’m hungry.

I will happily eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Add in some leafy greens if you want to take it to the next level.

whole food plant based lentils instant pot

Super Easy Instant Pot Lentils

Author: Molly Patrick


  • 1 cup dried brown lentils 200g
  • 1 cup onion 80g, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced
  • ½ cup carrot 70g, chopped
  • 1 cup celery 130g, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes in their juice 14.5 oz / 411g
  • 3 cups water 709ml
  • ¼ cup parsley 10g, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • A few turns cracked black pepper


  • Rinse and drain the lentils and set aside for now.
  • Turn on your Instant Pot and choose the “sauté” setting. Keep it at “normal” heat and allow it to heat up for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes, adding a tablespoon of water and stirring when they start to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the garlic, carrot and celery, and sauté for 2 additional minutes.
  • Hit the “cancel” button and then add the tomatoes, lentils and water.
  • Place the lid on the cooker and make sure the valve is in the “sealing” position.
  • Choose the “manual” setting and set the timer for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, allow the cooker to naturally release for 10 minutes, and then do a quick release to release the rest of the pressure.
  • Open the lid, add the salt and the parsley and stir.


Loaded with prebiotic goodness

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with planting some good shit in your inner garden.

Get a weekly dose of inspiration to eat more plants and celebrate imperfection

Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Alicia on June 30, 2016 at 7:56 am

    What is the healthiest oil to cook with and what is an, “Instant Pot?”

  2. Sophie on July 5, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Molly, have you been listening to / reading Dr. Robynne Chutkan? I picked up on the lovely term “gut garden” and the multiple references to a healthy micro-biome. Dr. Chutkan is so badass. I listened to her talk in Rich Roll’s “Live Dirty, Eat Clean” podcast the other day. Now I feel even better about the fact that I don’t shower every damn day.

  3. Sian on August 24, 2016 at 9:17 am

    I’m currently eating a bowl of spicy mushrooms and peas and it’s way spicy. But I remembered in this post you advocate for not drinking water or anything with meals – how do you do this if your meal is super spicy? Would this be an exception or do you recommend sucking it up?

    • Molly Patrick on August 24, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      If your mouth is dying of spice, go for it!


      • Jamie on December 19, 2017 at 2:25 pm

        5 stars
        I learned from my Indian and Pakistani friends to use lemon if what you are eating is too spicy. I add lemon to marsala often because I always get it too heated.

  4. Diane Johnson on December 21, 2016 at 4:40 am

    Clean food, sure, but why all the dirty talk? Completely unnecessary. Very repulsive, actually.

    • Luanne Teoh on December 22, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      We’re not for everyone, that’s for sure and that’s just how we roll. We write exactly the way we speak. There’s plenty of other clean blogs more appropriate for your liking that you are free to visit just like we’re free to write whatever we choose on this blog 🙂

      • Sarah on February 25, 2020 at 6:17 am

        Dear Ms. Johnson, indeed, Ms. Teoh did warn you with regards to her writing style in a round-about-way via the title to her blog : “”. Like she says, each to their own I guess.

  5. Kelly on December 31, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    I’m making this for my New Years Eve dinner! I added some kale because it’s about to go bad. I’ve heard that because they look like coins, some people see lentils as lucky, especially during the new year. Probably the lentils will only bring me good luck because they are nutritious and I’ll feel better.

    I don’t know if you even read these this late, but happy new year, Molly (and Luanne)!

  6. Christina on February 1, 2018 at 1:18 am

    5 stars
    Thanks for the recipes!! Made a clean break to vegan about 8 days ago and had some immediate unpleasant results. I am SO happy that you cover so much ground here…and unapologetically talk about real sh*t like the insane gas and bloating.
    Glad I’m not alone.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on February 1, 2018 at 9:07 am

      Thanks for stopping by and we hope you enjoy the recipes! Hope your system adjusts soon so you are not too uncomfortable.

      Team Dirty Girl

  7. Bogdy on August 20, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    I would like to double the recipe. How much time do I add to the instant pot?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on August 20, 2018 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Bogdy, The time will remain the same even with doubling the recipe. Enjoy! ~Karen

  8. Mary on November 3, 2018 at 8:24 am

    OMG, this post made me laugh out loud so hard! This is exactly how I would talk and explain things if I had enough ambition to do a food blog (which I don’t). Thanks for the advice about gas and bloating because I thought that was just my own personal issue/hell.

  9. Debby on August 15, 2019 at 5:27 am

    I’ve been wfpb for 4 months now and I cannot get past the bloat and super bad gas. I’m going to try your suggestions but it seems things should have calmed down in my gut by now. It’s hard to be social when you stink all the time.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on August 19, 2019 at 5:29 pm

      Hi Debby, That’s no fun at all. Four months of non-stop bloating and gas is a long time to have discomfort. Rinsing grains really well (especially quinoa) is super important and…how are you preparing your beans/legumes? You might try changing it up. Avoid cooking beans in a slow-cooker because they just don’t get hot enough to inactivate the lectins in the beans. Stove top cooking or a pressure cooker is best. And, soaking beans makes a huge difference (Molly’s #8 above)!! Adding a small amount of baking soda to the water when you begin the soak is also helpful. If you try the suggestions and STILL have an issue, you very well could have some type of food intolerance and that would be something to investigate further with your doctor and possibly a registered dietitian. I hope you find some relief with these tips. ~Karen

  10. Sherry M on September 23, 2019 at 10:07 am

    How could I make this without an Instant Pot? Could I put it in a slow cooker/crock pot? Maybe just let her go on the stove for a good while?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on September 23, 2019 at 11:58 am

      Hi Sherry, Check out this recipe for seasoned lentils that includes stove top instructions. It’s a good reference to make the recipe on this post that is tailored for the IP. You should be able to cook lentils in a slow cooker just fine. Generally, though, it’s better to cook legumes / beans on the stove top or in a pressure cooker for better texture and digestibility. ~Karen

  11. Donna Flaherty on November 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    This Instant Pot recipe requires 3 cups of water for 1 cup lentils and 20 minute cook time. This is the same amount of time and water that is written on the bag for stovetop instructions. I think there is too much water and too much cook time. Would you please look into this as I’m not sure. I could be wrong, too.

    • Molly Patrick on November 14, 2019 at 4:31 pm

      Hi Donna,
      This is actually more of a soup than just lentils. That’s why there is more water.
      It could probably go for less time – 15 minutes would probably work.
      I just wanted the flavors nice and steeped.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Kelly on March 16, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    I laughed hysterically while reading your blog. I don’t know the last time I laughed so hard. Thanks for the info on how to introduce a plant based diet to your gut. Can’t wait to cook up my first batch of lentils. As our nations closes down and we’re all facing the challenges of staying home for several weeks, I figure this would be a great time to entertain myself with booty bombs in the privacy of my own home. Let the farting begin!

    • Molly Patrick on March 16, 2020 at 7:35 pm

      Happy to entertain!
      Booty bombs for the win!!!

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