What is the One Exercise I Can Do to Flatten My Belly?

A few classes ago a semi brand new to yoga student asked me "What is the one exercise I can do to flatten my belly?" With a shy and eager to know the answer grin she awaited my response. I've been in the body business for a long time and I've come to realize in this moment I can keep her inspired or never see her again. Having answered this question so many ways over the years, the best answer is the hard to digest truth that there's not just one exercise rather exercising the ritual of just showing up on the mat and being consistent about it. She smiled, expressed her gratitude for my response but I knew deep down I didn't give her the quick fix answer she wanted.

Leaving her, the yoga school and making my way to the market I thought more about this question and how I could simply answer it. As I shopped through the market and hand picked vegetables and fruits, loaded my car and went home to cook I realized what I was doing is part of the answer. The lifestyle choice of carving out the time to shop, chop and dice fresh and natural produce rather than just eating anything out there.

With this being said my 2nd best and equally important answer to flattening your belly is getting a cutting board, a knife, fresh produce and cooking away. Admittedly I'm a working Mama who drives all over the place and generally can be found with my laptop at Starbucks eating a bagel with light cream cheese on early days or eating a veggie and cheese sandwich at lunch time. However what I'm consistent with is 5 to 6 nights a week the cutting board, knife and fresh produce is ready to go.

During the summer I use a huge wok to stir fry my cutting board creations. I'm vegetarian yet my 3 boys aren't. Once or twice a week I will cook them fish in a separate pan yet my veg dishes are so tasty over brown rice or pasta they rarely ask for more than I'm preparing.

Below are 5 Veg meals on the cutting board from last week's dinners.

www.fieldroast.com Italian vegan grain meat, yellow corn, heirloom cherry tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash. With a dash of vegetable oil in the wok lightly stir fry the sausages first then add a bit more oil and add in the vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste.

www.soyvay.com Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce, extra firm tofu, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash. Pour a little vegetable oil in the wok, add tofu and stir fry until the tofu turns blonde. Add sauce and simmer for a bit. For this dish I stir fry the veggies in vegetable oil in a separate wok then add salt and pepper to taste.

Tofu, kale, vidalia onion, yellow corn, red bell pepper, zucchini. Splash a little vegetable oil in a wok, add tofu and stir fry until blonde. Add soy sauce for flavor. In a separate wok add some vegetable oil and the vegetables leaving the kale out until the last few moments of stir frying. Add salt and pepper to taste.

www.fieldroast.com Smoked apple sage vegan grain meat, vidalia onion, yellow corn, yellow squash. With a little vegetable oil in the wok first stir fry the sausage slices. Add a bit more oil and stir in the veggies to cook. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

www.anniechun.com Gluten Free Teriyaki sauce, tofu, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash. Put a little vegetable oil and tofu in a wok and stir fry until it turns blonde. Add sauce and simmer. In a separate wok and veggies and a bit of vegetable oil and stir fry. Salt and pepper to taste.

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