good for you. In the US, our lifespans are shortening, over 1/3 of the US adult population is classified as obese and degenerative diseases are now considered the norm as people age. Chronic inflammation is rampant and is the precursor to most degenerative diseases. Even many of our young people may sadly never know what it feels like to be a normal weight, to be vital, active and proud of how their amazing youthful bodies look!
Part of the problem is that on a deep level, we humans are programmed to just be happy that we can have a full belly! Finding and having enough food to eat for ourselves and our families was vital to our survival and cause for celebration through most of human history. Unfortunately, in our time, many, many corporations that manufacture ‘food’ products make a fortune by ruining people’s health and they simply do not care. We can no longer just assume the foods around us are good for us and our families. So, for those people who have no real passion to invest their time and effort into researching healthy eating, taking ownership of their food space may seem like a daunting task. Many people are too busy, stressed, fighting food addictions, etc. to feel like they have the space to explore the world of healthy eating.
For this reason, I think it’s a great idea to look at your diet in a new light: not to be in so much effort and judgement of how you eat, but to begin to focus on including as many delicious, vital and powerful healing foods into your diet as you possibly can! In reality, it’s the tiny steps that are taken that build success. Putting your attention and energy into positive changes instead of trashing yourself actually changes your brain! Small changes made over time add up and can pay off big. Focusing on a big life changing new way to eat more often than not leads to eventual failure: when life gets stressful or overwhelming, we will tend to go back to what is comfortable and easy. Small changes repeated daily over time form new neural pathways in the brain. That means your body has a new habit it can depend on and you no longer have to think too much about it for it to work for you.
Because we are all so different it’s tricky to make specific suggestions, but here are a few ideas:
EAT GOOD FATS! Some fats heal the body, improve cell function and are a superior fuel for the body and some are just plan awful for your body. Some good ones: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, even a Krill oil supplement. Coconut oil is one of the best for cooking with high heat as it does not easily go rancid. Using most oils for deep frying makes them rancid, especially those french fries at the restaurant: they may be using the same rancid oil for days on end!
EAT MORE VEGGIES! The plant based diet revolution is upon us. A great movie to check out is ‘Game Changer’, which shows how athletes are increasing their performances dramatically by switching to a plant based diet. Oprah recently announced that she is eating only plant based one day a week. You do not need to go totally vegetarian to reap the benefits, again, small steps can add up! One of the reasons that plant based is so good for you is that the soluble fiber in your diet is what the friendly microbes in your gut - your microbiome - loves to eat. Which brings us to:
EAT LOTS OF FERMENTED FOODS! Kefir (cow, goat, coconut and more!), sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, the list goes on and on. Fermented foods are crazy good for you and help support your microbiome which in turn supports a huge percentage of important functions of your body, including helping heal inflammation. In some cultures a bit of fermented veggies are included in each meal (such as kimchi) as they also help digestion.
Recently AARP published a long article entitled “The Cure for EVERYTHING. Researchers have linked inflammation to nearly ever critical disease of aging.” This amazing article does a great job of explaining how chronic inflammation is a major killer of Americans, and the main cause is the infamous typical American diet!
Here is a recipe i thought you all might enjoy for an anti-inflammatory drink from India called GOLDEN MILK. You can build a good habit by having a glass daily. Turmeric is one of the very best anti - inflammatory foods, but it is not easily absorbed by the body, and requires some fat and some black pepper for the body to use it to it’s fullest. In addition, it’s delicious!
- 12 oz coconut milk
- 2 large pieces of fresh turmeric grated or 3 tbs turmeric powder
- 1 small to med. piece of grated fresh ginger or 2 tsp. of ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder or other chai tea spices (optional)
- 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
- Sweeten with honey or maple syrup or a bit of stevia, etc. if desired