There are two types of inflammation; acute and chronic. Acute comes quickly and leaves fairly fast while chronic inflammation lasts much longer (months or even years). A poor diet, stress and sedentary lifestyle can all contribute to the latter. Chronic inflammation has been proven to lead to and aggravate many diseases and conditions including but not limited to; Asthma, Arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Crohn’s, Depression, Endometriosis, Eczema, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.
I have a few conditions which inflammation is at the root of (including Endometriosis). I’ve always been interested in natural healing but never really researched it until about 8 months ago. I decided I was sick of feeling sorry for myself and wanted to take control of my own health rather than it controlling me. I saw a Naturalpathic Doctor, Dr. Jordin Wiggins, who gave me great insight into the root of my issues. For starters she wanted me to try an anti-inflammatory diet.
What happens in the gut won’t stay in the gut! From your bowels to your brain, everything in between is affected by your gut. Your micro-biome is boss!”, Rachel Senko – Gutsy & Glowing
Once I committed to the diet I saw real changes! I am still in the process of implementing some of these changes, but I have already noticed a real difference. My pain, endometriosis and depression symptoms all improved. It is more than just food related it is a holistic approach to manage inflammation which requires commitment.
8 Steps to Reducing Inflammation
- Remove the 3 common triggers; Dairy, Gluten and Corn
- Remove Red Meats, Processed Meats and Sugars as they are pro-inflammatory
- Swap unhealthy processed sugars for healthier natural alternatives like maple syrup, stevia, etc.
- Aim to eat 1lb of fresh vegetables per day (think salads and fruits)
- Reduce caffeine (try decaf coffee and herbal teas)
- Reduce your toxic load – check your environment for toxins (in cleaning products, plastic food containers and wraps, etc.).
- Aim to stay in a healthy weight range for your height (these healthy changes should help to stay at a healthy weight)
- Exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes per day. Regular yoga practice has been linked to decreased inflammation and stress levels.
- Use Frankincense, and Copaiba essential oil internally daily to reduce inflammation and topically at the point of inflammation
- Try an Aroma Touch Experience to reduce inflammation, detox, boost immune system and more. It is AMAZING for those with chronic illness and disease.
- Leafy Greens (Spinach, Kale, Collards etc.)
- Fruit (Apples, Strawberry, Blueberries, Oranges, Cherries etc.)
- Olive oil
- Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, etc.)
- Seeds (Chia, Flax, etc.)
- Red Meat
- Processed Meat
- Fried Foods
- Soda / Pop / Fizzy Drinks
- Refined Carbs
Estrogen Increasing Toxic Products
- Plastics; wrap, food containers, utensils, straws, etc.
- Prepared foods in plastic containers
- non-stick pans
- Cosmetics and Perfumes
- Cleaning Products
- Try natural products instead.
UPDATE: June 10th 2019
My health has continued to improve physically and mentally and I know these changes have made a huge impact on that. When I stray from following these guidelines I pay for it. There has been times when I just wanted that fluffy gluteny bun, or pretzel and I had it. I don’t feel guilty when I choose to deviate from my healthy food choices as that can create an unhealthy relationship with food. I do however take time to reflect on how it made me feel to eat it (which is usually heavy, bloated, and crampy) and if it was worth it. Well I realized the few minutes of enjoying it isn’t worth the hours of pain and inflammation I deal with as a result. I still have ‘cheats’ here and there at family events or when I don’t have any GF bread in with normal bread, but less frequently and knowing full well it isn’t best for me. Recently I have been more successful with it, I keep GF bread in the freezer at all times and if I am really craving carbs and if don’t have gf bread I will have oatmeal or nuts instead. As a food lover it hasn’t always been easy to change how I eat (for health or ethical reasons), finding healthy swaps for the foods I miss has really helped me be successful with it. Sometimes I will have the odd alcoholic drink (or the very odd time I’ll have a few) and I always end up regretting this one too. If I have 1-2 I end up dehydrated, with a headache and bloated. If I have 3+ drinks I end up hungover of course, but sick for a few days at least, in pain, crampy, bloated, etc. etc. Luckily there are loads of healthier swaps for alcohol too like; non-alcoholic beer, sparkling soda (I love compliments Italian blood orange soda), non-alcoholic wine and cider, mocktails, and so many more.
Even on the days I cave, it is still a success because I am always doing the best I can and improving. The more I learn about wellness, diet and disease and implement the things I learn the easier it is. I feel amazing when I do the things and feel shit when I don’t do the things. It’s simple. This is a lifestyle change, not a diet. Making these changes can be the start of your healing journey, so be kind and understanding to yourself. Find your inner strength to cut back on the foods and things that cause you harm and implement healthier alternatives. Remember progress is always more important than perfection. I promise that you will feel SO much better when you make these changes. Visualize how you you will feel after you have made some of these changes. What emotions will you feel (Joy, peace, freedom, lightness, etc..?), how will you look? What expression do you have on your face? How does your body feel? Considering these emotions makes it much more likely you will succeed as it links the feeling of having achieved it to your memory which pushes you to be stronger and more resilient to meet your goals. I recommend doing a visualization exercise daily and keeping a journal while making these changes to help keep you motivated, on track and accountable (with yourself). You are strong, you are resilient, you are capable.
If you make any of these changes I would LOVE to hear what you think and how it made you feel! Reply in the comments below, DM me on IG or FB or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Jordin Wiggins – Naturopathic Doctor