Beat the Bloat with Juice!

Juice for bloating

No one really wants to talk about bloating – that horrible feeling of being filled with air, or retained water – but I bet you’d like to know how to stop it. Nothing is more maddening when you’ve achieved a beach-ready body than experiencing bloating, right ladies? So here’s the skinny on getting rid of bloating for good.

1. Find the source

Bloating happens when there is excess gas in your intestines, or when you’re retaining water. Sometimes these can result from hormonal shifts that are out of your control, but usually, the instigators are well within your power to stop. Diets high in salt and processed foods tend to cause water retention, since the salt dehydrates your body’s tissues (causing cells to soak up fluid like little sponges until the salt is flushed out). And, drinking too much alcohol or soft drinks can fill you up with air. Cut out processed foods and drink less, and you’ll not only beat the bloat, you’ll look and feel better too!

2. Juice it out

Lemon: When drinking water doesn’t work quite fast enough to flush out the bloating culprits, try adding lemon. It’s a natural laxative and diuretic that helps remove excess salt from your body.

Cucumber: Cucumber is another great juice for beating bloat since it already contains a lot of water and is a natural diuretic.

Dandelion greens: Dandelion is wonderful for detoxing your body and is an anti-inflammatory. So if toxins or inflammation are irritating your digestive tract, juice some greens along with your lemon and cucumber. Hey, this is starting to sound like a great recipe!

3. Exercise

Stay moving throughout the day, and excess air won’t have a chance to sit in your stomach! It’s all part of a healthy lifestyle.

You know what else is part of a healthy lifestyle? Intelligent Gourmet! When was the last time you dropped by?

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Eat This Food Once a Week for a Better Memory and Healthier Brain

Fish and alzheimer's

Having a few more “senior moments” lately? Forgotten where your keys are a few too many times this month? Walk into a room and wonder why you came in? They happen to all of us, and we joke about them with our friends, but for those concerned about getting Alzheimer’s or dementia, these moments are no laughing matter. However, new studies on Alzheimer’s prevention are coming out with some interesting suggestions – one of which is to eat more fish.

UCLA resident radiologist, Dr. Cyrus Raji, lead research that found that people who eat fish regularly have bigger, stronger, healthier brains, which protects against Alzheimer’s and dementia.

How often do you need to eat fish to reap the benefits? Just once a week.

But there’s a catch to ordering the catch of the day: While any kind of fish is beneficial, the benefits tank when the fish is fried. Nix the fish sticks.

Cultures with more fish-heavy diets around the world, like the Japanese, have significantly fewer cases of Alzheimer’s disease. But it’s not just the fish intake, it’s the entire lifestyle. Alzheimer’s has been linked to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes – which can all be controlled through diet and exercise.

Here’s one of my favorite fish recipes. You’ll be amazed at how delicious salmon is with a hint of vanilla!

Garam Masala-crusted salmon with mint-yogurt sauce

Ingredients: salmon fillets with skin on, 1 whole vanilla bean, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), garam masala, Greek yogurt, mint, fresh greens, figs (optional).

  1. In a pan, heat EVOO with 1/2″ fresh vanilla bean, infusing the oil over medium heat.
  2. Coat a salmon filet in garam masala liberally, and place it in the pan, flesh-side down, with the oil and vanilla.
  3. Sear the salmon, then flip and finish cooking skin-side down.
  4. Pro-tip: You know the salmon is perfect when it begins oozing out white all over.
  5. Mix a tablespoon of Greek yogurt with fresh torn mint.
  6. Plate the salmon over fresh greens (with quartered figs if they’re in season), and top with a dollop of yogurt sauce.

How Clean Is Your Juice Cleanse? Check the Sugar Content

How clean is your juice cleanse?

Most of us – at least most of us reading this blog – monitor our intake of refined sugars very carefully. We use stevia in our coffee and agave nectar in tea and lemonade, and sure, once in a while we’ll indulge in a sweet dessert. What we don’t want is our healthy diet infiltrated by sugar in sources we’d never suspect, like high-end fruit and vegetable juice cleanses.

Recently, we’ve been looking at the nutrition labels of high-end bottled juices, and we were shocked by what we found. While the calorie counts ranged between 100 to 200 per bottle (not unreasonable, depending on the ingredients), we realized that nearly all of those calories came straight from sugar!

The worst offender was one 12oz bottle of green juice which had 38 grams of sugar (that’s just under 10 teaspoons). The same amount of sugar content in 12oz of Coca-Cola. To put that in even more perspective, the World Health Organization recommends a total of 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.

Your Juice Diet Could Destroy Your Teeth 

Chewing whole fruit does amazing things for your teeth. An apple or carrot may contain quite a bit of sugar, but they also act as natural “toothbrushes,” scraping off plaque with each bite while stimulating saliva to wash away cavity-causing bacteria. But, when you wash your mouth in 38 grams of sugar without the saliva-inducing, plaque-scraping structure of the whole fruit, the sugar sticks to your teeth and feeds the bad bacteria responsible for tooth decay.

In most sugar-packed juice blends, apple juice – a very high-sugar fruit juice – is ingredient #1, with healthy additions like spinach, kale, carrots, ginger, and turmeric coming in near the bottom. The spoonfuls of sugar may “help the medicine go down,” but the health costs of drinking between 50 to 100 teaspoons of sugar for each of the three days of your average juice cleanse is … disturbing. You could eat chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have had less sugar by the end of the day than if you drank five of these juices.

Not All Juices Are Like That

A well-balanced vegetable and fruit juice can taste great without relying on sugary fruit juices as the primary ingredient! At Intelligent Gourmet, we rely on refreshing cucumber, nutrient-rich greens, alkalizing citrus, and protein-packed nut milk to create juices that are balanced and chock-full of natural vitamins, minerals, and medicinal herbs, without all that sugar.

Do you know what’s in your juice?

turmeric juice

Negative Calorie Foods and Diet Freebies – Fact or Fiction?

vegan food tampa bay

Can you eat all the fruits and vegetables you want and still lose weight?

Are there negative-calorie foods that burn more calories to digest than they contain? 

Is there such a thing as a diet “freebie”?

Some weight loss plans will tell you that vegetables are “free foods” – as in, you can have as many as you want, not count them in your daily calorie total, and still lose weight. But is that right? Kind of.

It’s true that you’re very unlikely to eat so many vegetables that you’d gain weight from them, unless you dress them up with oil, butter, cheese, or sauce. The ratio of fiber and water to calories in non-starchy vegetables means that you’ll feel full on them faster, avoiding over-eating. But they still have calories. And, even with celery, you’ll consume more calories than you burn with chewing and digesting those stringy stalks. 

No, there’s no such thing as a freebie when you’re counting calories, even if it’s celery. That said, you are likely to lose more weight if you eat lots of celery (minus the peanut-butter), because of its filling-fiber to calorie ratio. 

Can a Vegan Diet Help You Lose Weight?

Olivia Wild, Natalie Portman, and Beyonce went vegan and lost weight – and Mike Tyson lost 100 pounds with a vegan diet. More and more celebrities are cutting out the animal products with visible results, and you’ll get the same results if you adopt a vegan diet the right way.

Doing Vegan Right

  • Avoid processed foods, including pasta and sugar
  • Balance your diet with healthy fats and protein from nuts, beans and lentils
  • Treat starchy vegetables like the carbs they are, and eat them in moderation (ie. limit your intake of baked potatoes smothered in butter-like vegan spread)
  • Include whole grains in your diet, like black rice, brown rice, barley, whole rye, buckwheat, quinoa, freekeh, etc.
  • Going vegan does not give you carte blanche to eat all the fat you want. Healthy fats in olive oil, nuts, and avocado are vital to your mental and physical well-being, but you can overdo them.

You don’t have to go vegan forever, unless you want to. But eliminating red meat and processed foods from your diet will help your brain chemistry re-set, making junk food much less tempting. 

Yes, adopting a vegetable-based diet is a great way to lose weight – but don’t do it for the “freebies.” Do it because it will help you look better, feel better, and live better. It’s the Intelligent Gourmet way!