Inflammation

What’s so important about inflammation?

Discover 12 Powerful Ways to Reduce Inflammation - small3Inflammation causes pain, swelling, heat, redness and loss of function. Left untreated, it can lead to bodily tissue destruction, fibrosis and necrosis. Remember, pain is a signal that something’s wrong.

Who has inflammation?

Inflammation is a root cause of many chronic illnesses such as autism, ADHD, allergies, asthma, eczema, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Help!  How do I reduce it?

Sign up for this free report!  In it, I’ll show you many simple things you can do with the foods that you’re eating to reduce inflammation.  And when that happens, you may not have as much pain, stiffness and swelling.

 

The Sugar Addiction

The Sugar AddictionI was watching “Hungry for Change” this weekend, and it was validating to hear other health experts say what I’ve been saying for a while:  sugar is as addictive as cocaine or heroin.

Seriously, it’s one of the hardest things in my work as a health coach:  to get people off of sugar.  People are like, “Nuh uh, you stay away from my sweets and my chocolate and my bread!”  Bread is glycemically equivalent to sugar, so a bread addiction is a sugar addiction, as well.

We all (I hope) know that sugar consumption leads to our obesity problem, but it also is a major contributor to chronic diseases and conditions because it is extremely inflammatory (oxidative) within the body.

Even if people know this, there’s definitely a cognitive dissonance when it comes to sugar, probably because of its addictive nature.  I’m always astounded at the amount of sugary foods on display at school parties and PTA functions.

I’m not saying I never indulge, but it’s an occasional treat, not a daily or a many-times-a-day thing.  I’ve discovered through years of being hypoglycemic (at least since a teenager) how to manage my sugar cravings so they’re not controlling me and my emotional reactions. Plus, I don’t want to become a type 2 diabetic like my mom was or my other family members are.

I can always tell when something I’ve eaten has sugar in it because I get very agitated and antsy – what does this do to our kids?

Chef Jamie Oliver makes an excellent visual point by dumping out a wheelbarrow full of sugar on a TED stage to demonstrate the amount of sugar that a child gets from just flavored milk in a 5-year period.  How much sugar do you or your children eat every day?

 

Stress and Food Choice

Stress and Food ChoiceYou’ve heard it before:  everybody is super-stressed these days.  Personally, I think a lot of it has to do with technology creep into our daily lives.

Technology was supposed to make our lives easier, and it does, but it also has allowed work and distractions to creep into our personal lives, causing stress because there is no separation and no boundary between the two.

I grew up in a family that had a chemical/technical translation business in the home (before there were personal computers!), and it was dysfunctional enough then without the separation of work and personal lives.

I think it’s worse for people these days.  No one really goes on a true vacation any more because everyone brings their smartphones with them, which allows employers, clients, soccer teams, etc., to reach them even during down time.

So what can you do about it?  Here’s one very important thing you can do, and I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, because if you’re stretched for time with an overloaded schedule, it’s one of the things you’re likely not doing on a daily basis:  cut out the processed food.

Stress and food choice can be like a chicken-or-the-egg game:  which came first?  Processed food can exacerbate stress, and stress can lead to processed food cravings.

What Is Processed Food?

When I say “processed food”, I mean anything that comes in a bag, box or can.  I also mean 99% of all restaurant food and prepared foods because these typically contain ingredients that I don’t consider healthy, such as added sugars, preservatives, additives, canola oil, soy oil or other vegetable oils.  (Want more info about these unhealthy oils?  Check out the Weston A. Price Foundation.)

The main reason to cut out processed food is because doing so will have an enormous impact on your health, both now and in the future.  You’ll feel better, have more energy and get sick less often.  You’ve probably heard this before, but why is this the case?

Processed foods typically contain refined sugars/carbohydrates and refined oils, two of the most unhealthy “foods” there are.  Not only do they cause inflammation, which is a key component of any chronic health condition, but they also cause reactive hypoglycemia, which stresses your adrenal glands, which reduces your ability to handle stress and lower inflammation, which means you crave carby/bready/sugary foods that can raise your blood sugar quickly.  It’s a vicious cycle.

In addition to being nutritionally deficient, these “foods” also cause nutritional deficiencies in order to metabolize them.  It takes something like 50 molecules of magnesium to process one molecule of sugar.  With Americans consuming 130 POUNDS of sugar every year, it’s no wonder most people are magnesium deficient these days!  Magnesium is a critical mineral that is essential for relaxing the central nervous system.

Here’s What You Can Do

So here’s what you do:  once or twice a week, cook a big batch of something that’s easy to throw together, like chili or stew.  Eat half during the week, and freeze the other half for later.  Do the same with whole grains, like brown rice or quinoa; you can freeze whole grains, too.  (Need recipe ideas?  Click here.)

Every day, you’ll need to cook fresh vegetables.  Sounds hard, but it’s not, and it really doesn’t take too much time.  My favorite ways for cooking them quickly are roasting with a little olive oil and sea salt, steaming or sautéing with garlic, olive oil and sea salt.

Try this for a week or two, and see if you don’t feel better.  I’m betting you’ll be able to handle stress a whole lot better than you did before.

Top 10 Reasons Why Fresh Food Is Best

Top 10 Reasons Why Fresh Is Best

Eat like your grandma did, and your health will improve!

  1. Fresh food tastes best: I think we’ve gotten away from knowing what real, fresh food tastes like. Chef Jamie Oliver is famous for going into schools and asking children to name the vegetables he holds up. Very few can correctly identify them because they never eat them!
  2. “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison” (quote by Ann Wigmore): If we have to detoxify from the processed food that we eat, then our bodies are not able to properly detoxify. Eating whole, fresh foods made from scratch ensures high nutrient levels.
  3. Our “food” isn’t food if it’s packed with artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and long chemical names: “The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry Is Destroying Our Brains and Harming Our Children” is a book that shows us how food additives contribute to declining mental health. Your brain and your child’s brain are starved for nutrition, and they’re not getting it if your “food” comes with a long list of chemicals in the ingredients.
  4. Artificial colors, flavors and preservatives can cause ADHD symptoms: The Feingold diet for ADHD shows how all of those pretty blues, yellows, reds and other colors in our kids’ fun foods can cause spaciness or hyperactivity, especially in children. Artificial flavors and preservatives, especially BHA and BHT, do the same. Food isn’t fresh if it’s got these ingredients in it.
  5. Canned foods have high levels of endocrine-disrupting BPA, BPS and phthalates: That plastic lining on the inside of your canned food is doing more harm to your health than you think, as it can lead to hypothyroidism and gunk up your cells’ mitochondrial dysfunction. Plus, the food is definitely not fresh!
  6. Even frozen food isn’t fresh: The late Dr. Annemarie Colbin, author and founder of The Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, said that freezing fruits and vegetables ruptures the cell walls of the plants, thereby reducing the nutritional value of the food.
  7. You can add love to your food when you cook it: Have you ever noticed how much better food tastes when it’s homemade or made by your mom? Some people think it’s love that makes the food taste better.
  8. Processed food contains more sugar and/or high-fructose corn syrup: Robert Lustig teaches how harmful sugar is to our health. I know you’ve read that statement before, but did you know that sugar is the most inflammatory food there is AND it feeds cancer?
  9. Processed food typically contains unhealthy canola, soy and other harmful vegetable oils: I know you’re scratching your head at this one. It took me a while to wrap my head around it, especially because many “healthy food” magazines tout the benefits of canola and other vegetable oils. The Weston A. Price Foundation shows us how the extreme processing of these oils leads to rancid oils containing high amounts of inflammatory free radicals. Grandma didn’t eat these oils, and neither does my family!
  10. Fresh food has more nutrients: Compared to “healthy” fast food alternatives, fresh, homemade food has more nutrients plus the love you put into it!

BOOK REVIEW: IT’S ALL GOOD, GWYNETH PALTROW’S COOKBOOK

Gwyneth Paltrow It's All Good book coverMy husband bought me a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, “It’s All Good:  Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great” the other day for my birthday.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised!

She openly talks about the health problems that she had that led to her needing to make dietary changes.  I can relate because I’ve had to do the same for myself and my children.  [Read more…]

REMOVAL OF ALLERGENIC FOODS HELPS ASTHMA AND ACID REFLUX

toddler with inhalerMy older son got sick a lot, especially after he started preschool when he was 3.

He would go to preschool for a week then be out the whole next week because he was sick; the preschool didn’t want kids coming in who were sneezing and coughing.

Constant Sickness Turned to Asthma

When he was 4 years old, he had a severe asthmatic episode after we went to Los Angeles to visit my husband’s family.  [Read more…]

WHAT IS GUT DYSBIOSIS?

fungal myceliaGut dysbiosis — this topic is the motherlode.  It’s one of the two core (in my opinion) reasons for the explosion of chronic childhood illnesses we see today.

Gut Dysbiosis:  A Common Link Among the Epidemic of Children’s Chronic Illnesses

First, let’s discuss the numbers behind this epidemic:  How many kids did you know when you were growing up that had autism, ADHD, acid reflux, allergies, asthma, developmental delays and/or mental health issues?  [Read more…]

STATIN NATION: THE GREAT CHOLESTEROL COVER-UP


For a limited time, you can watch the documentary film “Statin Nation:  The Great Cholesterol Cover-up“, which walks through published research studies showing that there is no lowering of risk of death from heart disease by taking statin drugs, which approximately 40 million people are taking, despite the FDA’s recent warning about them.

You can read more about the dangers of statins in my recent blog post about the topic here.

Some of the known dangerous side effects of statins are memory loss (transient global amnesia), type 2 diabetes, muscle pain and weakness and heart failure.  Are these risks really worth it, especially when considering that what is now considered high cholesterol used to be considered normal cholesterol? [Read more…]

Statin Dangers

Statin DangersStatins are increasingly being prescribed to bring down high cholesterol levels, which are thought by many in the medical community to be dangerous. I disagree.

Your brain and neurological system need cholesterol to function. As Dr. Sherry Rogers says in her September 2007 edition of her “Total Wellness Newsletter” (I highly recommend you subscribe to it to keep yourself updated about how doctors aren’t paying attention to health problems created by toxicity, nutritional deficiencies and side effects of prescription medication):  “Robbing the body of cholesterol synthesis deprives the brain of dolichols, messengers or neurotransmitters, damages our NF-kB production that then ushers in:

She then goes on to say that they can cause sudden amnesia. That’s a scary thing to think about: what if you’re on statins and you’re driving a car and all of a sudden you get amnesia?

Recent research has shown that statins also increase your risk of diabetes.

Remember, cholesterol is NOT the enemy – inflammation is!  Cholesterol is simply the band-aid that is trying to protect your body from chronic inflammation.

In addition, remember that if you’re lowering cholesterol, you’re also lowering levels of hormones that are made from them, like progesterone and testosterone, which is why a low sex drive is also a side effect of taking statins.

Dr. Rogers points out in her February 2011 edition of “Total Wellness Newsletter” that “plasticizers and phthalates… are the number one culprit for a rising cholesterol or other lipid abnormalities. Plus they trigger the inflammation called arteriosclerosis.”

Most doctors simply don’t take into account the effect of toxicity on our health, but the research is there if they look for it.

Here are some great resources for educating you and your doctor further about statin dangers and the demonization of cholesterol.  This is just a small sample of the over 900 studies that have shown the dangers of statins:

 

INFLAMMATION AND AUTISM

fireNew research suggests that mom’s inflammation during pregnancy contributes to a higher risk of autism.

Inflammation was measured by the amount of C-reactive protein (CRP) in a pregnant woman’s blood.

Results were striking:

  • Pregnant women with CRP in the top 20th percentile have a 43% increased risk of having a child with autism.
  • Pregnant women whose CRP is in the top 10th percentile have a whopping 80% higher risk of having an autistic child.

If you have any kind of chronic allergies, asthma, chronic runny nose, autoimmune, rashes, pain, swelling, digestive issues, etc., you have chronic inflammation.

 

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