A flat stomach at this time of the year seems impossible.
It will be tough, Dr. Vicki Belo says, but it can be done. “We’re just human and delicious holiday food is our kryptonite,” she points out.
“I won’t be a grinch and tell you to stop eating all those goodies,” she adds. “Instead, I’ll share an appetizing holiday menu (for in-between days) so you can keep enjoying the ‘season of eating’ without the bloating.”
Maple Berry Waffle
½ c low-fat plain yogurt
1 c fresh/frozen mixed berries
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 whole-grain waffle
Toast waffle. Add yogurt and maple syrup. Top with mixed berries.
Belo explains why the dish is nutritious: “Berries are high in fiber and rich in antioxidants. Health buffs know that fiber helps speed up your digestion. It acts like a trap for food particles. Food particles are washed out of your system before they are even fully digested.
“Antioxidants help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
“So, the next time you plan your meal, try to include at least half a cup of berries, and have a flat tummy in no time.”
She continues: “Yogurt has probiotics that help keep your digestive tract healthy. This helps lessen bloating, constipation and belly flab. I recommend one to three cups of low-fat or fat-free yogurt daily.”
Grilled Shrimp with Curried Quinoa Salad
5 oz shrimp
2 tsp olive oil
½ tsp curry powder
1 ¼ c water
1 c quinoa
3 chopped scallions
2 c chopped cucumbers
2 tbsp dried cranberries
Toss shrimp in oil. Grill for 6-8 minutes, flip only once.
Boil water and quinoa, cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in curry, cucumbers and scallions. Top with shrimps.
Belo says: “Quinoa, a whole grain, works wonders for your tummy, as it is a great source of fiber. It helps keep you in shape, is good for digestion and helps you feel full.”
One study showed that women who consume whole grains regularly had 49 percent lower risk of gaining weight over time.
A 2008 study also revealed that a group of people who ate whole grains significantly lost more belly fat than a group that ate refined grains.
To have a flat belly, try substituting quinoa for white rice. I guarantee, ½ cup of quinoa per day would do you good.
Waldorf Chicken Wraps
1 c nonfat, plain yogurt
1 tsp thyme
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp mustard
1 tbsp lemon squeeze
2 tbsp mayonnaise
½ c seedless grapes, sliced in half
3/4 c apple, cored and diced
¼ c walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
5 lettuce leaves
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 whole wheat wraps (around 8 inches)
1 lb cooked chicken breast, cut into ½-in cubes
Place yogurt in strainer lined with paper towel. Put strainer over a bowl and keep in refrigerator to drain for 30 minutes.
In small bowl, mix yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon squeeze, mustard, salt and thyme. Add chicken, grapes, walnuts and apple pieces.
Season with pepper.
Place lettuce leaf in a wrap. Spread chicken filling on the wrap. Roll.
Belo says Waldorf Chicken Wrap is a low-calorie menu that will help shrink your waistline: “Yogurt is good for you. Chicken is a good source of protein plus it has leafy greens.
“Lettuce, a good source of calcium, helps cleanse your system. Imagine cleaning a glass with a sponge—that’s how leafy greens cleanse your system.”
One serving of Waldorf Chicken Wrap has about 370 calories. It is not so sinful, yet a delicious alternative to your usual holiday dinners.
Belo gives more tips to keep your tummies flat:
Avoid diet drinks. Diet drinks have a lot of salt and synthetic sugar that make you bloat. If you can’t resist sugary drinks, just drink a small amount and skip the diet version.
Avoid beer. “Beer contains barley which makes you store belly fat. That’s why a lot of beer drinkers have the ‘beer belly.’ If you need to drink, choose wine—it’s anti-aging and good for the heart. Drink in moderation.”
When all else fails, says Belo, technology helps.
The Belo Medical Group is the first in the Philippines to have Emsculpt, a noninvasive treatment that shapes and tones the muscle while eliminating fat for a slimmer and more toned appearance.
“Being in the machine for 30 minutes is like doing 20,000 sit-ups because it gives you 20,000 super maximum muscle contractions,” says Belo.