Coke Bloat: Not Just For Lindsey Lohan

Last Friday we went out to dinner with friends.  In honor of the occasion, I spent 20 minutes getting ready and all but flew into a red cotton dress that feels like I am wearing pajamas.  The dress accommodated my watercraft-sized breasts nicely but, more importantly, was two sizes too big.  As nervous as I was of having a wardrobe malfunction and exposing my kapows to Pepe, the restaurant owner, I was more thrilled I could pull off an empire waist without looking 6 months pregnant.  As luck would have it, my bodice clung firmly in place and my stomach appeared relatively flat.  That was Friday.

On Sunday, emboldened by Friday’s success, I put the dress on again.  It didn’t look the same.  In fact, I looked “end of first trimester.”  I chalked it up to bad angles, stretched out cotton, and the heat.  I decided to take off the dress and put on jeans instead.

On Monday I put the dress on again, this time for an appointment with my nutritionist.  Only this time, I didn’t look “end of first trimester.”  I looked “on my way to Lamaze, somebody hand me a pickle.”  I stood there in disbelief, staring at the tight, round belly jutting past my breasts.  Now, mind you, my breasts do more than their share of jutting, so for my stomach to actually gain the lead is akin to two Quarter Horses vying for victory in the last 10 meters.  It was a tight finish, but the spoils of victory went to the basketball in my torso.

I ripped the dress off and kicked it across the room.  Then I put on jeans and a parachute and went to my appointment.  Sitting across my nutritionist a scant hour later, I presented my case.  Actually, I presented my belly.  I stood up, pulled my parachute taught across my mound of flesh and exclaimed, “Now, what, pray tell, have you to say about this?!”

She looked me over calmly and said, “Is it possible you might be pregnant?”

I gnashed my teeth and considered violence.  “No, but thank you for confirming my worst suspicions!”

“Are you sure you can’t be pregnant?”

It took some doing, but I convinced her I was not about to whelp children, puppies, or kittens.  Having ruled pregnancy out, she concluded I suffered from “veggie bloat.”  Veggie what?  I was dumbfounded.  She was amused.  She asked me if I had any of the typical bloat producing vegetables, cabbage and broccoli being two of them.  I looked back on my 4th of July weekend and acknowledged that I had hot dogs and sauerkraut in every possible variation.  As a side dish, always broccoli or salad.

My nutritionist considered the case closed, but I wasn’t convinced of her diagnosis.  How can I put this delicately?  It’s not like I spent the weekend whistling Dixie. I think I would notice my stomach filling with 10 pounds of pressure, right?  Suddenly I thought of the old, tin pressure cooker my mom used to cook tough meat when I was a child.  My eyes grew wide remembering the burst of steam escaping from the valve.  I didn’t want to know, but I had to ask.

“How does the bloat disappear?” I asked, my voice cracking at the end.  If I went off like a pressure cooker, The Mister would never, ever let me live it down.  I imagined him 50 years from now, still chuckling from the grave.

“Oh, there’s nothing to it.  Just don’t eat any bloat producing vegetables and within 24 hours everything will break down on its own.”

She was right.  My stomach disappeared as quietly (thank God!) as it arrived.  I can resume wearing a dress that feels like pajamas.  Everything is right in the world once again.

And now, as a PSA for those who toy with the idea of wearing empire waist dresses, a list of fruits and vegetables that have the potential to make you look like a former child star on a bender.  You can thank me for your flat stomach with books, iTune cards, and items featuring elephants.

  • Legumes (kidney, pinto, lima benas)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Lentils
  • Onions
  • Peppers (green, red)
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Raw Apples
  • Watermelon
  • Iceberg Lettuce
Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Vanessa says

    It seems like one can never win when dieting. That’s half my menu of healthy foods for the week. Le sigh.

  2. says

    I was just thinking the same thing…now what do I eat, LOL??

    But this definitely makes sense. Does your nutrionist work via e-mail? :)

  3. says

    Carey–I have no idea, but that’s a great question! You should email her and ask. :)

    I asked Diane what I should eat, too, and she said it’s easier to take the list to the market and buy around it. So, that’s what I did. I’ve been grilling up eggplant (delicious!) and asparagus. I also bought zucchini and squash.

  4. says

    I eat mainly a vegetarian diet but do eat some fish and eggs. That list is almost my entire stock of food in the fridge. I know it sucks to be bloated but doesn’t drinking water help to clear it? I guess I’d rather have broccoli bloat then other things that could be in my tummy. I guess the reality is no one gets fat from eating too much broccoli! haha..I wish I could say that is what happened.

  5. JJ says

    I used to have this problem too. Especially with the mass quantities of cabbage I was eating. The secret miracle cure is Enzyme Capsules. I’ll go home tonight and look at the label. THEY WORK.

  6. roni says

    this is most of my healthy foods too! i’m always bloated but i figured it’s my carb dependency. i guess this is adding to that. yikes. i tried grilling some veggies last week but the eggplant was so bitter. does yours come out that way too? the zucchini/squash were better…

  7. says

    Roni–Sometimes eggplant can be bitter. I try to buy only eggplants with green caps. If the pickings are slim, I’ll get one not quite as fresh and slice it salt it, and then rinse of the condensation that comes to the top after about 20 minutes. That seems to help–although I have heard mixed reviews. Some people swear that is an old wives trick that doesn’t really work.

  8. says

    Loved this, I have experienced the veggie bloat (gives me more pain than anything – no fun), usually when I’ve eaten way more than my normal serving of something or something I haven’t had in a long time. All of the foods on that list are very healthy and if in the diet regularly, shouldn’t cause this problem on the regular. I would absolutely not avoid having these awesome foods in your diet, just in smaller portions and not every single day. (Although, right now, I probably eat 1/2 to an entire watermelon a day – it makes summer better!)

    I agree with JJ, enzymes work WONDERS for breaking down food better and can pretty much eliminate any sign of veggie bloat even when you do indulge in some extra kraut. My colon hydrotherapist recommended a great one that’s been doing wonders for any residual bloaty type stuff I had going on, I rarely experience it anymore no matter what I eat. I am a high raw eater so fresh fruits and veggies are the staples in my diet, cutting them out (along with their essential nutrients) is just somethin I can’t do! Plus, if I couldn’t eat watermelon, I’d likely go back to binging on caramel twix or something like that.

    OH! this is one pointer i MUST share, don’t ever eat any melons within an hour (before/after) anything anything else (if possible of course)… always eat them alone. Melons digest VERY quickly and if you eat with something else, the melon digests and is not allowed to pass through your system as quickly as it would like, so it ends up causing fermentation type stuff to happen in your gut with the other food thereby absolutely creating a bloat/gas problem.

    carrie´s last blog post..what’s on your list?

  9. says

    Carrie–no worries on me eating melons EVER. I absolutely hate them. I can’t even smell a cantaloupe without gagging. :)

    I agree that you shouldn’t eliminate these foods from your diet permanently–just when you plan to wear an outfit that requires a flat belly. :)

  10. Kristi says

    Why, oh why, can’t we smell a Twix without gagging? Never fair…

    I wish I had an aversion to chocolate cake… :(

    Thanks for the informational and always entertaining blogs…. and, you are gorgeous!

  11. says

    Jules, as always! LOL LOL LOL ROFLOL….But you mean if I stop eating those foods people will quit asking me when I’m due? And am I sure? And am I sure it’s only 1??? Oh. Guess you meant for those who really aren’t pregnant. And don’t have about 6 inches of fat on top of the pregnant belly.
    I’m so glad you have found out the answer and that it was a, ahem, *quiet* answer!!!! 😀

    Cara´s last blog post..July 4th Festivities!

  12. JJ says

    To prevent bloat: Source Naturals Essential Enzymes. I used to take 2 or 4 with my meal and it totally cured the bloat and pain. Ta da!

  13. Mindy McHardy says

    Wow! I could have written this and I am so glad you did!!! I thought I was the only one who could pass through the trimesters in days…it takes one to understand that you did not end up looking like a house because you ate like a house. Many have looked at me like I have 3 heads when I claimed veggies were the culprit. I went to my nutritionist insisting I can’t digest veggies – he concurred and suggested I cook the crap out of them – it will reduce the nutrients but the way it was I wasn’t getting the nutrients anyways since my body was not breaking them down. So my steamer is my new best friend and I too can wear my favorite frocks without wanting to cover up. Thanks for the post I loved it!

  14. says

    I thought this only happened to me… I was in a car accident and the EMT was saying, “Mam… how many months along are you?” When I got to the ER, same thing. “Mam, sometimes women don’t realize they are pregnant. Just looking at you, we’re going to have to do a sonogram.” Ugh. This was,very funny and pityful in a girl-I-feel-your-pain sort of way.

    Dina´s last blog post..Daylilies

  15. says

    I am laughing at the post and all the comments : )
    Like a few other have said, this is my list of favorites. I would even suggest yoghurt and perfume companies make cantaloupe products.
    Anyway, I was once given a sheet of foods recommended for different blood-types. That makes as much sense as any other diet out there… it is funny how we are all the same but have different tastes. That’s a subject for NOVA though….

  16. says

    I laughed my way through this whole post. Please write a book, I would LOVE it!!!! We would ALL love it.

    You just listed all of the vegetables and fruits I eat. Guess I need to change my veggies and start taking my probiotics again, because over here it’s a train wreck below the boobs.

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