Last blog post we looked at the causes of inflammation, today we will look at specific examples in our lives and how we can eliminate them or minimise their effects.
Let's look again at my two rules when it comes to food:
1) It must be a natural food (meat, fruit and veg) that I can make myself (if it is processed then it is made of ingredients I could grow/buy myself and make in my kitchen),
2) Listen to your body and what makes you feel good (as long as that fits in with rule 1).
There is a lot of fear based information around our food not being as nutritious as a certain time frame ago, or certain foods causing cancer or other diseases. I choose to live my life in abundance and happiness. If I lived my life based on fear I would never leave my house and probably die young from the very disease I was trying to avoid because of all the stress! No I don't have a study supporting that claim but do I really need one? Do I need a study telling me that fresh veg from the ground or meat from my local farmer is good and the processed chips/ice cream/lollies is bad? No way I don't! Lets all take a step back and look at the big picture, for millions of years humans have been eating food (plants and animals) and for a hundred or so years humans have been eating man made synthetic food like substances made in a factory. We were sold these 'foods' as a way of convenience, time saving, easy meals, but we never knew the real cost of our health and happiness. The loss of our food culture and family traditions. We need to get back to our roots and eat real food.
Changing your diet can be scary, where to start, what food to eliminate, gluten is bad, dairy is bad, oxylates are bad, and so on and so on, so which one is it?! All of them and none of them. As we are all individuals it is individual what food we like the taste of to what food we digest well and what food suits our metabolism and cultural heritage. Don't fret, it is not so difficult as having to try an elimination diet, do food allergy or intolerance testing or even rotating through the myriad of diets and ways of eating there are out there. It is as simple as finishing all the packets and things in your cupboard (or throwing them out or donating them) and going to a farmer to buy your food. Don't know a farmer? Go to a farmers market, a food co-op or delivery service that sources direct from farmers to you. Your food will taste better, last longer and be better for you.... it will actually be food!! If you hate cooking please don't think you have to become a chef and make the latest and greatest raw food treat, superfood bliss balls or avocado cauliflower thingamajig. Just have meat and three veg then vary the type of meat and veg each night. Once you are confident with that branch out in to some curries or stir fries or soups - it is still meat and three veg but you are just change the format and flavours - herbs and spices are your friends (not the 'sauces' and packets please!).
This is the starting point for everyone. You do not need to pay a nutritionist/naturopath/health guru/social media influencer to get you back to basics and eating real food. Do it for yourself and start listening in to what your body tells you. Get a rash around your mouth from tomato - try only having it cooked, get bloated from broccoli, eat less or cook it really well and mash it with your mash potato. Your body is your guide, your mentor, your guru. Listen to it well and follow what it is telling you.
Of course there are exceptions to the rule (isn't there always), if you have a chronic illness or health concern that is just bugging you and not changing when you move to a whole food way of eating then find that someone who can help you tweak things. Maybe you need some herbs or supplements to kickstart your gut healing, maybe your liver needs some love, maybe there are other stressors in your life (from the following list) that are eating in to any nutrition you get from your lovely new diet and so you need extra support.
With both of these you will need to be patient. Your habits and taste buds will not change over night or even within the first few weeks. Please understand that you can do a big pantry overhaul and completely change the way you shop and eat in a few days/weeks but you may still get cravings and overwhelmed and want to give it all up. You can also change one tiny thing at a time and still have these feelings! Then when you have it all under control and are feeling great along comes a birthday party or Christmas party or wedding. It's fine, eat the food, enjoy the food and enjoy the company of friends and family even more. It is not an excuse to binge and eat all the crap but if you happen to have a biscuit here or a small slice of cake there then don't feel the guilt. If you do binge and eat all the things then still don't feel the guilt. Feel blessed for the lesson and happy that one day you won't need to eat the crap to have the lesson of feeling crap later, you will enjoy the company of family and friends without the need to consume and feel yuck. You've got this, whether it takes days, months or years, you've still got this, so have faith and keep on going.
This is where I am going to leave you otherwise this will turn in to a very long post! We will look at the other causes of inflammation over the next few weeks.