Many of you may not realize that inflammation could be the cause of why you just don't feel well. While inflammation is the body's natural response to an injury and in this case is beneficial for the body to heal, inflammation throughout the body when there is no injury is very harmful. Inflammation is the root cause of most chronic illnesses today. So, how can you know if you suffer from inflammation? How many of you....
- Eat processed foods?
- Are stressed?
- Eat white sugar and sweets?
- Do not eat green leafy vegetables?
- Have taken lots of antibiotics?
- Are overweight?
- Do not take a probiotic or eat fermented foods?
- Eat dairy?
- Eat fried foods?
- Eat wheat?
- Use synthetic sweeteners?
- Consume food additives (in many processed foods on the market)
- Eat gluten?
Think Outside the Box when Buying Healthy Foods
I know.. you're thinking, "Geez, what CAN I eat?" I used to wonder the same thing years ago before I decided to change my lifestyle habits and make health one of my top priorities. The truth is, there are SO many great and nutritious foods you can enjoy and they don't have to break the bank either. Many of my clients tell me that organic foods are so much more expensive than non-organic foods. And, while in some cases that's true, you can find many organic options in places like Trader Joe's, Fairway and even your local supermarket since the demand for more nutritious foods has grown in recent years. I actually bought some amazing "super foods" in Home Goods and TJ Maxx recently!
Why are Processed Foods So Bad?
Are you aware that most processed foods are located on the shelves of the aisles in a supermarket. The reason for this is that to allow a longer shelf life and keep their flavors, most processed foods are stripped of the beneficial nutrients, including enzymes and fiber that help the digestive process and they are loaded with preservatives (to help them stay on the shelves for long periods of time) and chemicals that enhance flavors. These preservatives and chemicals are FOREIGN to our bodies and our bodies just don't know what to do with them.
For example, anything made with white flour is devoid of the beneficial fiber and nutrients which are found in the bran and germ of the wheat grain which is stripped during processing. Since the body does not know what to do with these food-like substances, and since there is no fiber to help it along its way, they stick around in your gut longer which has a detrimental effect on your digestion. Also, most of these food-like substances are high in sugar, fat and salt -- leading to cravings for more of the same since your body is not getting proper nutrients.
How Does Stress Cause Inflammation?
Your gut health is influenced by your emotions and experiences. According to Yoga Magazine, "when your body is flooded with the stress hormones Adrenaline and Cortisol, sending it into "fight or flight" mode, energy, blood, enzymes and oxygen are diverted away from your digestive organs to your muscles and brain, to help you escape from danger. This reduces your gut's ability to process and absorb nutrients from food effectively and can lead to heartburn, nausea, stomach pains and lack of appetite. Long-term stress is linked with serious digestive problems including stomach ulcers, leaky gut and IBS."
Take Baby Steps
I remember feeling overwhelmed when I began my journey to a healthier lifestyle. What I have come to realize is that it IS a journey and you need to take one step at a time and eventually you will open your refrigerator to many more whole foods than you had in the past. Your cabinets will start to house raw organic almonds, organic walnuts, hemp seeds, flax seeds, raw cacao, etc. As with any changes in life, it takes that first step to begin the process. Why not take yours today?!
Bloat Be Gone!
Yep.. once you start to incorporate more organic, whole foods (lots of dark leafy greens), whole grains, probiotics, good water, super foods, etc. into your diet and control your stress level through meditation, yoga and Pilates, your body will release its hold on toxins and you will begin to feel more energetic, lighter and overall healthier than ever before -- no matter what your age!
So, now that spring is upon us and the sprouts are appearing, think about getting in shape (internally and externally) so you can enjoy the life you deserve. It's never too late to make changes.
I'd love to hear from any of my friends who have made some of these changes and are feeling the benefits..