Inflammation – what is is, how to know if it affects you, and what do to about it. Need to know if inflammation is a trigger in your life and health? This post is packed with information to educate and empower!
Today’s post is written by my dear friend and leading inflammation expert, Jenny Carr. Often times we hear the term inflammation but like me, don’t always know what it truly means in regards to the effects inflammation has on our bodies. So I brought Jenny on to give us some insight on this condition and how you might be affected!
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a buzz word all over the place these days, yet many of us don’t fully understand what it is and how it may be impacting our well-being in more ways than we realized.
As Dr. Mark Hyman MD, and world renown inflammation expert often expresses, “Chronic inflammation is the root cause of nearly all chronic symptoms – physically, mentally and even behaviorally.”
Chronic inflammation on one person may show up in the form of symptoms that look vastly different from that of another. What’s important to remember is that chronic inflammation can cause chronic symptoms, which are defined as any discomfort (whether it be physical, mental or behavioral) that show up consistently over the course of two months or more.
Common Symptoms Caused By Inflammation
Let’s do a quick activity together. Take a moment to close your eyes and scan your body from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Often our symptoms are shouting out at us – causing heightened awareness of pain or discomfort. Make a note of these loud symptoms that are chronic. Now, once again scan from the tips of your toes to the top of your head to identify the more subtle symptoms. We often become so use to these quieter symptoms that they form our new norm, and we forget what it feels like to be symptom free.
The louder the symptom, often the more urgent a change towards healing and anti-inflammatory eating is necessary. The problem is that our society has learned to lean heavily on medications such as ibuprofen to silence pain, or tums-like medications to make our stomachs stop talking to us. These are just a couple examples of how we often disconnect from our body – eliminate the symptoms temporarily without healing the root of the issue – inflammation.
The most common, non-diagnostic symptoms people experience from chronic inflammation are: low energy, poor sleep, inability to lose excess weight, digestive disorders, depression or anxiety, and aches and pains throughout body. While your symptoms may look different than others around you, check out the short list below to see if you experience any of these diagnosed conditions with an underlying root of inflammation.. (Side note – this is not a complete list, but gives you a sense of how inflammation can impact us.)
· Autoimmune Disorders
· Bipolar Disorder
· Brain Fog
· Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
· Celiac Disease
· Chronic Headaches, Muscle Pain, and/or Rash
· Crohn’s Disease
· Developmental Delays
· Food Allergies
· GERD/Acid Reflux
· Hair Loss
· High Blood Pressure
· High Cholesterol
· Imbalanced Hormones
· Joint Pain/Stiffness
· Juvenile Diabetes
· Lyme Disease
· Multiple Sclerosis
· Poor Sleep
· Seasonal Allergies
· Sensory Conditions
And the list just goes on and on….
Healing Inflammation with Food
This is why I refer to anti-inflammatory eating as the magic bullet for healing inflammation with food. If we can remove the inflammation that is at the root of nearly all ailments, conditions, and diseases, we remove the reason for that condition to show up in the body. And while inflammation does not show up solely from diet, it does tend to be the biggest influencer we can change to reverse or significantly improve many symptoms.
What You Can Do Right Now To Eliminate Inflammation
You may be thinking to yourself, ‘yep…I definitely have extra inflammation in my body,’ so what do I need to do to make it leave?
To help you with this anti-inflammatory eating journey, I have compiled a list of the top 6 inflammatory foods along with substitutes that allow you to eat many of the foods you enjoy, but with ingredients that give you health, rather than take it away.
Processed Sugar: Swap out processed sugars for raw honey, pure maple syrup, unrefined coconut sugar, liquid stevia or fruit.
Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs): The most common GMO foods are corn, soy, wheat and cane sugar. When purchasing foods, especially those listed here, always look for the certified Non-GMO label.
Wheat Flour: Swap out wheat for almond, coconut or cassava flour. While there are quite a few gluten-free flours on the market, these are my favorite for making baked goods.
Inflammatory Oils: Swap out high processed oils such as vegetable oil, canola oil, safflower oil and partially hydrogenated oils for high quality omega-6 and omega-3 oils. The best source for oils are from extra-virgin coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, hemp seeds, avocado or avocado oils.
Cow Dairy: Swap out cow dairy for that sheep or goat alternative. Around the age of 1.5-2 year, our bodies significantly decrease in the amount of digestive enzymes created that specifically help to digest dairy. The molecular make-up of the sheep and goat dairy is more easily digested in the human body because the protein molecule is much smaller. Plus, you typically avoid the added growth hormones and antibiotics when eating sheep and goat dairy.
Alcohol: Swap out alcohol for water, bubbly water, coconut water, Kombucha drinks (without added sugar), tea or cold pressed juices. Pour into a fun wine of cocktail glass to add a little extra sparkle to it!
Paleo Lemon Bars
These grain free, paleo, dairy free lemon bars are a perfect anti-inflammatory dessert
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: 12 bars
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 5 tablespoons raw honey
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons lemon-infused olive oil (from www.genesis-kitchen.com) or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut flakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Grease 8” square baking dish and dust with almond flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon raw honey, and vanilla.
Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour until thoroughly combined and press the dough into the prepared dish.
Bake for 15-17 minutes until lightly golden.
While baking crust, prepare the toppings.
In a blender combine the other 4 tablespoons of oil, 4 tablespoons of honey, eggs, and lemon juice. Process on high until smooth.
Remove crust from oven and pour the toppings evenly over the hot crust.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the topping is golden.
Sprinkle the unsweetened, finely shredded coconut flakes.
Let cool in the dish for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 2 hours to set.
Cut into bars and serve.
Fluffy Sandwich Bread
This paleo, grain free sandwich bread is delicious and perfect for an anti-inflammatory diet
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 1 loaf
- ¾ cup almond butter (Sub with sun butter if you prefer no nuts)
- 6 free-range eggs
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup ground golden flax
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 4” loaf pan with parchment, grease well with coconut oil.
In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend allowing the eggs to froth.
Pour mixture into greased and lined pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan by pulling up on the parchment. Set on wire rack to cool completely.
It is time that we as caregivers rise up and adopt self-care for ourselves. We must be the change we wish to see in our children, and in our world. In order to do that, it is up to us to make healthy eating a priority and self-care a given. I always say, it is the gap between knowledge and action where so many people fall down. Are you ready to close that gap? Do it for you. And do it for your children. There is no greater gift in life, than that of health. And healing inflammation with food is a simple way to take health into your own hands.
For more information on inflammation, join Jenny Carr’s free Facebook group, Freedom From Inflammation.
Jenny Carr is a speaker, MOM-prenuer, leading inflammation expert, and the international best selling author of Peace Of Cake: The Secret To An Anti-Inflammatory Diet. She survived a near-death experience due to an autoimmune condition, is healing through upholding anti-inflammatory living, and is on a mission to help others do the same.
Whether it is recovering from an autoimmune disease, reversing chronic physical disorders, or easing behavioral and emotional conditions, Jenny specializes in helping people reverse these chronic symptoms by adopting and maintaining anti-inflammatory eating without feeling deprived or overwhelmed. Think cupcakes, pizza, bread, and muffins – the anti-inflammatory way!
She offers VIP coaching as well as online courses. Jenny has been featured by The Food Babe, Dr. Mark Hyman, US News & World Report, Aman Resorts, MindBodyGreen, and Well+Good.
Jenny enjoys playing, working, and living in the mountains where she resides in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with her husband Brock and two kids, Tosh and Chloe.
Learn more at www.jennycarrhealth.com