The other day my daughter suggested that she would like to work on eating healthier, much to my delight. I always feel like I am dancing a fine line with my daughter. It’s hard for me to know when to push the “eat healthy” message and when to give it a break and let her treat herself. On the one hand, I want her to eat healthy, to watch her portion sizes, and to feel good about herself. On the other hand, I don’t want her to obsess over it and make her worth tied to her size. I suppose this is common struggle for many mothers of girls.
(A pic taken of me and my sweet girl back in December of 2014, before starting WW)
A walk and talk with my daughter.
When my daughter expressed her interest in eating healthier I jumped on the opportunity to make it a teachable moment. Right away we took a walk, per her suggestion. While we walked we talked about what we could do differently, together. Then we took a trip to the grocery store simply with the intention of stocking up the cart (and our home) with healthy foods we already liked or wanted to try.
One of the things my daughter specifically mentioned was her belly. . . which just happens to be a problem area for all the women in my family line. . . just sayin’. It comes down to genes and choices. Of course, the genes we can’t do anything about, but the choices we can. So we talked about what smart choices we could make. When we got home we googled foods that are helpful for slimming the midsection.
I see our MPM readers as an extension of our family.
When Sarah and I started the Meal Planning Mommies blog back up about a year ago we talked about what we wanted to accomplish with the blog and one of the things that settled in my heart was this: I wanted to share things on here that I would want my daughter to read (or recipes/meal plans she might want to try) when she is an independent young woman navigating the adult world. I wanted to speak to you, our readers, in a way that I would be proud to speak to my daughter. This is the mindset I am operating out of as I type this post, and it is the driving force behind all of my other “Alisha’s Food for Thought” posts. When I share what I am learning on MPM I try to pass it through the “Would I be happy to have my daughter read this?” test. Having said that, this one passes the test. I hope you find some of the things we are learning helpful to you. Here is what we are learning in our home this week . . .
FOODS YOUR TUMMY WILL THANK YOU FOR.
In my google search I stumbled upon a resource that I found helpful. It was an article on Eat This, Not That. In the article they share 26 foods that will help whittle away your tummy, or in their words, “melt love handles”. They do a great job of going into detail about why each food on their list is good for the gut, so click on the link if you want more specifics on how and why each food is a healthy choice you can feel good about. Here are 20 of the most common foods listed, some of which you may already have in your kitchen:
20 Common “waist whittlers”:
1. Oat bran.
2. Sweet potatoes.
3. Shredded wheat.
4. Minestrone soup.
5. Black rice.
6. White tea.
7. Black beans.
8. Corn tortillas.
11. Frozen green peas.
13. Dark Chocolate.
14. Ezekiel Sprouted 100% Whole Grain bread.
15. “Spa” Water. (ice water with lemons, oranges, or grapefruit)
21. Omega-3 eggs.
The trick to a “healthy gut”.
Once you start looking into the science behind a “healthy gut” you realize there are a lot of factors that play into making your tummy feel (and look) good, but it mostly comes down to what you are eating and not eating. You might notice that after a few days of eating unhealthy foods rich in saturated fats you begin to feel sort of “ick”. There is a reason for that. It’s your tummy trying to tell you something. The quick and easy answer to feeling better again is to up the dietary fiber and probiotics in your diet.** If you want to read up more on this topic I found this article titled, “How to Feed a Happy, Healthy gut” helpful. Here are some foods they mention that are champions for a healthier digestive system:
20 Foods for a healthy, happy gut:
- Brussel sprouts
- Soy products
- Unsweetened yogurt
What’s the deal with probiotics?
If you want to learn more about what’s going on in your tummy and the power of probiotics (without a sales pitch) you can watch this adorable 3 minute video:
Other helpful habits worth mentioning.
Other habits that can lead to a comfortable waistline are drinking lots of water, managing stress, and exercising regularly. Don’t underestimate the power of walking. According this article on Everydayhealth.com you can literally walk off belly fat. One of my all time favorite “walking” workouts to do are the workout videos with Leslie Sansone . If you are not familiar with her workouts you can go here. You can do one of her walking workouts right now in your own home! You will LOVE her, trust me.
Green tea for slimming your waistline.
Are you a tea drinker? Green tea has been a long-time friend of the stomach. Drinking green tea has proven to aid in digestion and weight loss. To read more about some of the benefits of drinking green tea you can check out this quick article here. I am actually sipping on green tea as I type this.
Recipes that will slim your waist.
Come back later this week for a couple of recipes you can make that will put to use some of the things you learned in this post!
What am I forgetting?
Is there something you are thinking of that I haven’t mentioned? Let us in on what you know! We would love to hear from you. Just drop us a comment below!
**If you aren’t eating a lot of fiber-rich foods, increase your intake slowly. Some prebiotic fibers can cause flatulence if you eat too much, too soon. They can also provoke symptoms in some people who have irritable bowel syndrome.
Resources I found helpful in preparing this post: