What is inflammation and why should I care?
Everywhere you go these days there is a lot of talk about anti-inflammatory diets and to be honest the information is developing so quickly, it takes work to keep current. Lets start at the beginning. What is inflammation and why should I care?
Allow me to geek out for a moment. The word inflammation comes from the Latin “inflammo”, meaning “I set alight, I ignite” and there are times when inflammation can actually be a good thing. It helps our bodies heal when we get sick or injured. Inflammation increases blood supply to the damaged area…bringing infection-fighting heat and signaling the brain to send white blood cells to fix the damage. Unfortunately sometimes the body is constantly inflamed and when it is and there are no foreign “invaders” to attack, it is no longer helping but instead may actually be causing poor health. Many conditions have been proven to be related to this silent epidemic, including some cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Are you highly inflamed?
Does this make you curious to see if you have high inflammation? While not everyone needs to be screened, a doctor can order a test called hs-CRP (high sensitivity c-reactive protein test) to check your levels. Typically this test is given if there is a family history of heart disease or some other conditions such as a history of auto-immune diseases. But keep in mind, while the docs can run that test, it is usually late in the game to start reducing inflammation. It can be done, but would be a reactive approach. A preventive approach would be to know that each of us need to limit the amount of chronic inflammation in our bodies by getting plenty of sleep, reducing stress, and limiting inflammatory foods.
Chronic inflammation can destroy your health. Use the inflammation checklist to uncover how many inflammatory factors are currently affecting your life and whether an anti-inflammatory diet could make a difference in your health.
Are the foods you eat taking charge of your health?
Studies have shown that there are foods that trigger inflammation and foods that help reduce inflammation. Being overweight in itself may contribute to chronic inflammation, especially extra fat carried in the stomach area, and studies have shown losing weight can cause inflammation numbers to decrease. By modifying your diet to limit the “bad” foods and increase eating the “good” foods you have the opportunity to take charge of your health. Download our FREE Anti-Inflammatory Foods List and get started today.
Both the SHAPE ReClaimed and the Paleo/Anti-Inflammatory diets, as well as many others, stress the importance of these “good” foods. Vitality Consultants can help by teaching you to prepare meals that are made with real ingredients, very minimal processing, easily digested and naturally appealing to your senses. Give us a call at 314-799-0216 or send us an email at info@VitalityConsultantsLLC.com to get started.
How about a couple of anti-inflammatory recipes so you can see how easy and delicious this lifestyle can be.
Take Me to the Caribbean Smoothie
- ½ cup pineapple chunks
- 1 banana peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup coconut yogurt
- ¼ cup coconut milk or almond milk
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 4 ice cubes
- Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.
- If you do not use fresh pineapple, try to use frozen. If you must used canned pineapple, be sure that there is no sugar added.
- You can eliminate the ice if you use all frozen fruit.
- Whenever you have bananas that have over ripened, peel them and slice them. Place the bananas in a zip top bag and store in your freezer to use for smoothies and other great recipes.
- Prep the ingredients the night before so you can jump out of bed and blend.
Orange Chicken Wraps
- 1 ½ lbs ground chicken or turkey
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ white onion diced
- 4 oz veggie shred cabbage, carrots, broccoli
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
- 1 Tbsp rice or white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos coconut aminos or tamari soy sauce
- ¼ tsp ginger grated
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot
- Zest from one orange
- 1 head butter lettuce or napa cabbage
- Jalapenos sliced
- Sriracha sauce
- Green onion thinly sliced
- Black and white sesame seeds
- Combine sauce ingredients and whisk until dissolved. Set aside for later.
- Heat medium skillet and add olive oil. Cook chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper for 4-5 minutes or until browned.
- Add onion and veggie shred and cook for 3-5 minutes or until onion is translucent and veggies are slightly tender.
- Add sauce and cook until thickened.
- Garnish with green onion, orange zest, jalapeno and sesame seeds and serve wrapped in lettuce or cabbage leaves. Top with sriracha sauce for some extra zip if desired.
Rustic Beef Ratatouille
- 2 ¼ lbs ground beef
- 1 ¼ lb eggplant peeled and cut into 3/4 in cubes
- ½ lb zucchini chopped
- ½ lb yellow squash chopped
- ¼ lb red onion halved and sliced 1/4" thick
- 22 oz diced tomatoes drained
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ Tbsp garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1 pinch dried
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- 2 cups 16 oz beef broth
- 2 cups water
- ¼ Tbsp dry basil
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add eggplant, zucchini and squash to a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
- In a large skillet, prepare ground beef until cooked through. Drain any grease. Add tomato paste, broth, water and basil. Simmer until all flavors are well blended.
- In a separate large skillet, heat oil until almost smoking. Add onion to the pan and reduce heat to medium-low, stirring until golden brown. Add garlic, cooking until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Stir in herbs and salt & pepper to taste. Add ground beef mixture, eggplant and zucchinis and toss.
#FeedYourVitality #AntiInflammatory #FightDisease
Want free anti-inflammatory recipes, downloadable resources and efficiency tips and tricks from a professional chef? Of course you do! Click here for the secret sauce!