Tips for Beating Backyard BBQ Bloat

With nutritional educator Dr. Julie Gatza (“Dr. Julie”)

For many of us, the warm weekends ahead will be the perfect time to fire up our backyard cookers and fill our patios and palates with the delicious smells and tastes of sizzling steaks, burgers, and links served hot off the grill.

Nutritional educator Dr. Julie Gatza (“Dr. Julie”) is here to share a few suggestions on how we can ensure that not only our taste buds have a wonderful time at our next outdoor cookout, but that our gastrointestinal system doesn’t suffer any painful “barbeque blowback”, including stomach aches, gas, bloating, belching, and constipation.

Here are Dr. Julie’s tips for a trouble-free tummy during the 2018 barbecue season:

  1. Don’t pile everything onto your plate then gobble it down in the same sitting

The brain gets a signal to supply digestive enzymes for whatever food type you eat first. If you start to chew a second and third type of food too early, the signal to produce new enzymes won’t be processed as quickly and the new foods will not be properly digested, causing bloating, gas, heartburn, and stomach pain. Additionally, you won’t get the energy from the food you’re eating because the body will now have to spend energy getting rid of the toxins that are forming from these wrongly mixed foods. Chew each bite slowly, a dozen or more times before swallowing, to trigger the proper enzymes and to aid absorption. Side benefit: You’ll feel full sooner and won’t eat as much.

  1. Steak or potato salad – which should I eat first?

One huge mistake most people make is eating their steak along with a baked potato or a potato side dish — mixing heavy starches with heavy proteins. Eat steaks, burgers, and hot dogs first, slowly. You can have a bite of salad along the way. Once your steak is pretty well gone, after 15 minutes, have some potatoes. Then, if you want dessert, wait about 20 minutes. If you consume heavy sugar or fruit on top of meat or carbohydrate, the fruits and sugars will begin to ferment because they wouldn’t be properly broken down, and that causes a lot of gas.

  1. Avoid trying new unfamiliar foods and strange food combinations

Don’t eat an assortment of “unfamiliar” foods and food combinations. It’s difficult for your body to signal a need for certain enzymes when your body has never experienced a particular food or food combination before.

  1. Don’t eat if you’re too hot, too cold, emotionally upset or physically ill

If your body is under physical or emotional stress or discomfort it will shut down enzyme production and digestive activity, so any food you eat will not be digested and will ferment in your digestive tract. Don’t eat after baking in the sun; cool down in the pool first.

  1. Eat garnishes and veggie dishes that assist digestion

Certain cultures add garnishes, herbs, and spices to help with digestion, like ginger, which is super for digestion. Others add hot peppers, which are a stimulant to the digestive tract and help the body secrete more hydrochloric acid. Some cultures use turmeric to help digestion. Others add pineapple to their meats, which allows the bromelain in the pineapple to help break down the protein. In preparation of Greek food, lemon is used to assist digestion.

  1. Understand the role of “5 key digestive enzymes” and supplement them as needed

As we age, our body’s ability to produce digestive enzymes diminishes. To help break down different types of foods and improve digestion and nutrient absorption, these key enzymes can be taken individually or as a combination supplement (like AbsorbAid).

Protease: this enzyme breaks down proteins and liberates amino acids which are then absorbed through the intestinal walls.
Amylase: present in saliva, breaks down carbohydrates into sugars
Lipase: secreted by the pancreas into the small intestines to break down dietary fats into simple fatty acids and glycerol which can then be absorbed
Cellulase: helps decompose cellulose (vegetable fiber) into simple sugar
Lactase: converts milk sugar (lactose) into simple sugars glucose and galactose


ABOUT DR. JULIE GATZA, D.C. (Dr. Julie) Co-founder of the Florida Wellness Institute

Health educator Dr. Julie Gatza is one of the nation’s top chiropractic physicians with more than 26 years of clinical practice during which she assisted thousands of patients to resolve a wide variety of physical ailments. Using her understanding of the nervous system, nutrition, and alternative therapies, Dr. Gatza’s mission with each patient is to enhance their body’s potential to heal itself. Dr. Gatza regularly lectures and educates audiences on how to maintain optimum health with a focus on the role that digestion plays in maintaining a healthy immune system. She currently serves as spokesman for Nature’s Sources Dietary Supplements.


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