By Molly Patrick
Jun 28, 2016
Let’s talk about bloating and farting.
So there are a shit 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. Got it.
And this is awesome. Eating a plant based diet is protective against certain types of cancers. It lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. It’s by far the best and most effective way to lose weight and keep it off.
It helps to heal the gut. It clears up the skin. It helps you sleep better. It prevents and even reverses type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It protects 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.
Allow me to hold the infomercial train for a sec and clarify something. I’m not saying that eating a plant based diet is a miracle cure for anything and everything that can go wrong. But I am saying that it protects against a lot of unnecessary bullshit. Specifically, degenerative and chronic illnesses that are caused by crappy 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 beyond 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.
So fiber is one of the good guys and it’s more important than most people realize.
As a side note, people need to 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.
Alrighty – 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 my first 10 tips this week and 10 more next week. By the time this is all said and done, you’re 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. My Plant Fueled 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. Today’s recipe is also a prebiotic party.
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 a ton 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 pisses me off for some reason, but it’s actually really helpful. Digestion starts the moment that 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.
This is a big one. Our digestive system is equipped with digestive enzymes that help break down our food so that we can absorb nutrients. If we drink anything (even water) along with our meals and snacks, it will dilute these important enzymes and the bod will have a hard time breaking down our 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 super acidic and they aren’t gentle on the tum tum.
8. Soaking your grains and beans overnight before cooking them 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 just 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 come back next week for another round.
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.
Super Easy Instant Pot Lentils (loaded with prebiotic goodness)
- 1 cup dried brown lentils 200g
- 1 cup onion 80g, diced
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 cup carrot 70g, chopped
- 1 cup celery 130g, chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes in their juice 14.5 oz / 411g
- 3 cups water 709ml
- 1/4 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.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with planting some good shit in your inner garden.