String of bad luck.

inflamedsmileyfaceI’ve had a string of bad luck.

In the past month I’ve had an infected tooth, a virus that was suspected to be mono (but wasn’t, thank goodness!), and now a sprained ankle (wish I could say it was because I was doing something cool…but sooo not).

The funny thing is, the most common comment I’ve received is… “But you’re a health coach?!”

I smile (sheepishly/confidently) and must respond with, “Yes, I try to eat really healthy for MY body (not perfect), move my bum, and find ways to bring meaning, purpose, and pausing into my life. But I’m human AND I lived 23 years of my life with a seriously TERRIBLE diet (i.e. severe lack of nutrients).”

It’s not always easy to share when I get knocked down, the sugar cravings come back in full force, or I’m having a tough week. We can all hide behind our computers, social personas, and phones nowadays, but where is the support, vulnerability, and trust when it comes to that?

Instead of pretending, I want to share with you my tips on how to overcome the bumps in the road and get back to living life fully (and quickly)! What is great now when a string hits me… I know what to put in place to help heal my body faster – especially when it’s all tied to inflammation.

You may suffer (now or later) from… colds/flus, gut/digestion problems, acne/skin issues, an infection, arthritis, ANY chronic illness/disease, sore muscles/joints, teeth complications, cholesterol, high blood pressure, insomnia/poor sleep, and more. All of these are directly tied with inflammation. There’s a secret that just isn’t being talked about and I want to let you in on it.

What is inflammation?

We may think of inflammation as a zit, skin rash, sprained (and swollen) ankle, or even an inflamed digestive tract, which are all specifically located incidents of inflammation. But what most people don’t realize is that inflammation isn’t always isolated.

Inflammation can be found throughout the entire body and we might not even know. Inflammation is simply a natural bodily response of self-protection. When the body is irritated or something harmful enters/touches/irritates it, the body naturally tries to remove it and begin the healing process. Without this process, the body would never heal.

So from this we see that inflammation can be helpful and necessary, but when it’s prolonged and especially spread throughout the body – that is when we get ourselves in trouble.

What is inflammation connected to?

  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • IBS/IBD
  • Allergies
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Type-2 Diabetes
  • Cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Depression, anxiety, overwhelm.
  • Auto-immune diseases

How to reduce it:

1. (Fermented) Fish Oil: One of the best ways to reduce inflammation in the body is with concentrated  omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil is an amazing source for this and can be taken daily as a supplement or cold-water fatty fish routinely added to a diet (2-3x/week). When looking for a supplement, cost generally equals quality but the key pieces to focus on are purity, sourcing, and type of fish oil. Fermented cod liver, sardines, and krill are best.

flaxseed2. Eat Anti-inflammatory Foods: What does this include? Berries, cold water fish, flax seeds/oil (pic at right), hemp seeds, dark leafy green vegetables, sulfurous vegetables (onions, cabbage, garlic), walnuts and almonds, anti-inflammatory spices (ginger, rosemary, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove), purified water.

3. Avoid Eating Inflammatory Foods: What does this include? Omega-6 fats (olive oil, sunflower, canola oil, soy, safflower, corn, vegetable oil, etc.), dairy products, partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats), fried foods (frying process changes molecular structure of oils to become rancid and toxic), packaged/processed foods, sugar (even high sugar fruits!), and gluten/wheat. All of these have been found to cause a silent but steady inflammatory response in the body.

4. Identify food allergies and sensitivities and eliminate: The most common ones today are gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and peanuts, but there may be other sensitivities looming (especially foods that you eat multiple times per week or day). An elimination diet works best to uncover these sensitivities.

candle5. Reduce stress. Take a 10 minute walk outdoors and focus on your breathing. Take a yoga class  that focuses on breath and stillness. Add in a magnesium supplement to replenish magnesium in the body often used up during times of stress or inflammation. Magnesium will help the muscles and mind to relax and allow you to get a better, more restful, night of sleep. Or, take a bubble bath, light a candle, and crank up the classical music.

RECIPE: Fall Harvest (Anti-Inflammatory) Salad

Serves 4

Salad Ingredients: 

  • 4-5 c. of chopped dark greens (arugula, radicchio, endive, kale, spinach, swiss chard, etc.)
  • 1 ripe pear, cored & diced
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • ¼ c. pecans, chopped

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¼ c. hemp seed oil or flax seed oil
  • ¼ c. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. dijon mustard (or any mustard)
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. raw honey or 5-7 drops stevia
  • fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

Directions: Combine all dressing ingredients in small bowl and whisk until well blended. Toss all salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!

Optional Add-ins: 

  • Chicken
  • Quinoa
  • Wild salmon (or any fish)
  • Cranberries (apple juice sweetened)
  • Sweet Potato, cubed and cooked

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