December 28th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

As a former competitive eater, I’m no stranger to eating more than I should. But trying to stay away from the food you crave around the holidays can be really difficult. So what do you do? We asked Elizabeth Somer, our expert nutritionist and dietitian, how to avoid feeling bloated and, more importantly, how to stay satisfied without being stuffed.


Who hasn’t had one of those days when you can’t get your “fat” jeans to zip up? Your eyes are puffy, your canvas shoes are too tight, your stomach resembles a water balloon, and you feel like you’ve gained 10 pounds since lunch. One in every 10 people report being frequently bothered by bloating. The good news is, all of this is avoidable!

Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD; image courtesy of

Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD; image courtesy of

There are two basic causes of bloating. First, if you are puffy all over, that’s water retention. The one-two punch to beat it is to cut back on sodium and consume more water. (That’s right, consume more water!)

Give up the salty junk, like processed and fast foods, and consume more liquids to dilute the sodium in your body so your kidneys can flush out excess fluid. Watermelon is Mother Nature’s natural diuretic. It’s 92% water, low in sodium, and rich in another mineral – potassium – which makes it the perfect combo for flushing out sodium and being bloat-free. Compliment that watermelon snack with enough water throughout the day so your urine is pale yellow.

Second, if it’s only your tummy that’s pooching, that’s probably gas. Typically, too much gas-forming foods, such as legumes, sugary or highly refined grains, and even dairy products and wheat for some people, can cause gas when bacteria that live in your colon dine on leftovers your small intestine didn’t digest. The result is bloating and discomfort. Cut back or cut out these foods, eat frequent small meals, and avoid chewing gum, drinking carbonated beverages, and wolfing down a meal where you swallow air that ends up as gas later on.

As always, if your discomfort or bloating is chronic or painful, you should consult your physician to rule out a serious medical digestive disorder. But if it’s just water retention or gas, following these tips should help you beat the bloat in 2016!


Tags: , , ,
Posted in General | Leave a Comment »


August 7th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

This month, we’re featuring the National Watermelon Promotion Board’s lead nutritionist, Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD as she gives us tips to get our kids to eat healthier.


Feeding your children right might seem like one of life’s greatest challenges, but it’s a lot easier than you think. The most important factor in making sure your children eat a good diet is that you eat the same and at every meal. You model the behavior your child will imitate. If you or your spouse turn up your nose at broccoli, you can bet those “little trees” won’t grace the lips of your child. 22

Another important rule to remember when it comes to food and kids is that it is the parent’s job to prepare and offer nutritious foods. It is the child’s responsibility how much and even whether she eats. Forcing food doesn’t work. Instead, offer only nutritious foods. Let your child pick and choose which of those foods he or she wants to eat. That way, you avoid the dinner-table power struggle. Of course, that starts with stocking the kitchen with only nutritious, real foods, including colorful vegetables and fruits, low-fat milk products, legumes, whole grains and nuts. If all your child has to choose from is nutritious foods, he or she automatically will make good choices.

Use your child’s sweet tooth to your advantage. Skip the sugary, processed desserts and, instead, serve watermelon. Watermelon is available year-round and is packed with nutrients your child needs, such as vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber and lycopene.

Because it is 92 percent water, it’s also a fun way for your child to stay hydrated. You can blend watermelon into smoothies, slip a slice into a sandwich to add moisture without fatty mayonnaise, or place a bowl of watermelon chunks on the table for your child to snack on while doing homework. At dinner, children can make their own kabobs using chicken, vegetables and watermelon pieces. You might even entice them to try salad if there is a bit of sweet watermelon added to the bowl!

Coaxing your children to eat more colorful vegetables requires a game plan. Serve vegetables in different ways. If your child won’t eat steamed carrots, try serving baby carrots with a dip or shredded carrots in a taco. Keep portions small in the beginning, such as two baby carrots or a teaspoon of grated carrots. Also, add vegetables to your child’s favorite foods, such as green peas to chicken noodle soup. Or, hide vegetables. Puree vegetables and add to stews, soups or sauces. For example, add grated zucchini to muffins or spaghetti sauce.

Your child’s diet provides the building blocks for a growing body and brain. Healthy habits formed today will pay off a thousand-fold down the road with better health and a sharper mind!

UP NEXT: I left my watermelon in the car!

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Nutrition | Leave a Comment »