BUT FIRST, WHAT IS INFLAMMATION? FOR REAL THO...WHAT IS IT?
I started seeing a trainer a couple of months ago and the first thing he said to me was: “Your body is inflamed.” I was like: “What, me? No way, I’m a health coach – I eat so healthy. That’s not possible.” Turns out, he was right! My body was inflamed. Gasp!!
Inflammation is actually a good thing. Like when you twist your ankle and it swells or you get a bug bite and it gets all red and puffy…that’s inflammation – your immune system’s way of letting your body know to send help to these areas.
When you consume toxins or are in stressful environments, the same thing that happens to the mosquito bite on your ankle actually happens to your insides. Gross, right? You can’t see this (well, you actually can – more on that in a second), but chronic – or long term – inflammation can lead to a variety of diseases you don’t want: Cancer, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, Type 2 Diabetes, Arthritis, etc..
Ok, back to the seeing part. Your fat gets inflammation too. So that means it appears bigger than it actually is. It also means there isn’t oxygen flowing to that area, which makes it much harder to lose. Ever had a stubborn area that just wouldn’t slim down? Well…it’s probably inflamed.
SO...WHAT CAUSES INFLAMMATION?
SUGAR – your donut is more like a nonut.
ALCOHOL – upsetting, I know, but alcohol is one of the most inflammatory substances.
BAD FATS – vegetable oils (canola, soy, sunflower, safflower), margarine, trans fats. This limits most fried foods, especially in restaurants where you don’t know what oil they use.
PROCESSED FOODS – my rule of thumb is anything with a wrapper. Eat real food.
GLUTEN – most of the gluten we consume comes from genetically modified wheat, which your body has a hard time digesting.
ASPARTAME – say goodbye to diet sodas! They will still make you look fat.
HOW DO I GET RID OF INFLAMMATION?
Besides not eating the above, I’d recommend incorporating the following into your routine:
ONE / EAT HEALTHY FATS – coconut oil, avocado, omega 3s (the real deal or supplement form, aka fish oil), olive oil, nuts, butter, ghee….
TWO / SPICES – there are tons of anti-inflammatory spices, my favorite being turmeric. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, works best when combined with black pepper – bizarre, I know. You can add turmeric (and black pepper) to meals, or you can get a curcumin supplement. Check the ingredients to make sure it has peperine in it, which is the active ingredient in black pepper. A winning combo!
THREE / FIBER – eat more raw fruits and vegetable, or get a soluble fiber supplement.
FOUR / GREEN TEA – ok, good news matcha latte lovers. Keep it up.
FIVE / EAT YOUR GREENS – your Grandma was onto something. Eat lots of green vegetables…every day!
SIX / MAGNESIUM – people with high inflammation often have low magnesium levels. Try taking Natural Calm at night, a great supplement that will help you relax and sleep well, in addition to restoring magnesium levels.
SEVEN / SOY – drinking soy milk or eating tofu is surprisingly very anti-inflammatory, but make sure to buy organic, non GMO soy.
EIGHT / EXERCISE – yet another reason to hit the gym. Not only does losing weight decrease stress in your body, but getting your heart rate up will also help lower inflammation.
NINE / CHILL OUT – go to yoga, treat yourself to a massage, meditate…anything that makes you zen out and destress.
TEN / SLEEP – aim for a solid 7-8 hours of sleep a night to make sure your body is adequately rested.