If you are dealing with allergies, irritability, and aches and pains like me, it may be a time for a recharge. Stress, sugar, food sensitivities and environmental factors can cause inflammation which can wreak of havoc on most of the normal operations of our body systems, affecting your energy, mood, and cravings. Let’s look at some option for reducing inflammation.
- Eat more plant-based, whole, nutrient-dense foods.
Focus on what you can do to fuel your muscles, brain, cells with good nutrients and avoid refined sugar and flour, processed junk, animal products, etc. by adding a variety of plant-based whole foods to your diet. These foods will flood your body with the vitamins, minerals, cancer-fighting phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber it needs to recover from chronic inflammation.
- Focus on gut health.
Your gut holds approximately 60-70 percent of your immune system, so it stands to reason that it would be a great place to reduce chronic inflammation. And if your gut is out of balance, you can only imagine that your immune system is out too. Try natural probiotics like natural unsweetened yogurt everyday, or a good probiotic supplement. Click here.
- Identify and address food sensitivities and chronic (or hidden) infections.
You could be fighting a losing battle if you’re ignoring potential food sensitivities and/or infections. If your body is working to cope and fight these challenges everyday, you can bet that you’re feeding the fire of inflammation on a regular basis.
Gluten, soy, dairy, eggs and yeast are common problem foods that might be distracting your immune system every time you sit down for a meal. These allergies can be identified with a blood test. Or try eliminating them one at a time. While following the elimination approach, you remove all common allergens from your diet and then slowly reintroduce them, one by one. Consider trying a cleanse too.
- Relax and Rest. Most doctors recommend seven to eight hours of sleep per night. If you’re cutting corners in the snooze department, you’re cheating your immune system, which means it needs to kick into high gear in an effort to keep you well.
Lack of sleep and unrealistic expectations on what your body can handle, keep stress hormones elevated. Unfortunately, when you’re stressed out all the time, you’re also producing more of the hormone cortisol—which keeps inflammation on high. You deserve to take a break from stress even if its for 10 minutes a day. I focus rather on the big picture – create margin, cut back on some things, and spend more time with God and the people that you truly care for.
This is seriously so easy, and so good, and so good for you. When you want something savory, a quick snack, or something you can grab and go!
Preheat oven to 425.
Chicken Tenders, One pound (Iused 14 oz of Bare Naked Chicken Tenders from Schnucks.)
1/2-3/4 cup of almonds
1 tbs of basil
1 tsp of Sea Salt (or 1 table salt)
1 tsp celery salt
Or any spices you fancy
Put almonds in blender and blend until coarse to powdered, and put in a shallow bowl or dish. Add spices and toss. Rinse chicken, and coat each piece on each side in batter. Place in a shallow baking pan coated with spray or melted coconut oil. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned. Check after about 10 minutes to ensure cooked through.
Serve with a green salad and veggies, or portion to go for an easy snack. Double recipe for the family and for leftovers.
You do not have to avoid summer get togethers nor succumb to temptation and pressure. Before you throw your healthy lifestyle off the merry go round, check out these simple summer celebration tips to focus on vitality and victory:
- Drink water, lots of it, and prepare with carting a large container with you everywhere you go. Alternate your water with sugary or alcoholic drinks. Staying hydrated will help you stay full and safe in the heat. Oh, and hit the lou before heading out.
- Pick your battles – pick one. If you have family members, get together or events that you know will tempt you beyond your control, choose wisely what you can live without and consider picking one indulgence. Give up the break room cookies, gooey butter cake, and lemon chocolate pie for the one serving of grandmas homemade brownies you have to have – I mean, she made them just for you. Or the grazing on potato chips and dip, and everything else at the party, for the one scoop of potato salad.
- Eat your normal meals throughout the day of lean protein and vegetables, fruits and nuts, outside of the events to maintain a healthy metabolism and avoid overeating. “Saving your calories” messes with your metabolism and your brain.
- Watch your portions. If you have eaten normally throughout the day, you have no reason to go back to the spread for thirds; and you can still indulge on your favorite treat.
- Politely decline to take home the deserts or extras that are not normally in your eating plan. Aunt Stella will understand if you tell her the truth… you want to be healthy.
Whether you call it commradiere, team work, or group motivation, its all the same thing, we succeed in living a healthy lifestyle when we surround ourselves with others who want to make healthy choices a part of life. According to the Blue Zones project, finding the right tribe can add years to your life than just about anything else. Over the next few months, Ill share habits of the world’s longest lived people. These people were either born into or purposefully choose to create social circles that support healthy behaviors. Related research shows that certain behaviors are contagious, so you attract and stimulate strong social circles by proactively surrounding yourself with the right tribe: people who share your desire to do activities that strengthen your body and fuel your brain, individuals that challenge you to learn and grow intellectually, creatively and spiritually, and people who share the behaviors that you want to be a part of your healthy life. If this is not your family or closest connections, begin by building one at a time, and your right tribe will grow.
Print off this chart and put it on your fridge for tips about what to get on your next excursion to the grocery store.
We know vegetables are good for us, its a mindset we ought to cultivate and celebrate. Everyone from your mama, grandma, or Home Ec teacher has told you but somehow its easier to grab a bag of chips, or pizza when were hungry. And veggies are not sexy right? You are not going to see a sexy supermodel chowing on a bunch of broccoli.
I recently presented to Husch Blackwell for Health Fitness Corp. on Delicious Vegetables and wanted to include some highlights here. According to a 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis showed that only about one-fourth of adults in the US consume vegetables three or more times per day. We have an opportunity to do better, and our health depends on it:
- Fiber in vegetables may help you feel full longer! This is a huge benefit to you if you are always hungry and wanting to watch your waistline.
- Naturally low in calories, sugar, and fat! Yes, even the higher sugar content vegetables and fruits are way better than a candy bar or low fat potato chip.
- Be Healthy, reduce healthcare costs! More nutrients from vegetables are associated with reduced blood pressure, less bone loss, and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer.
One of the most common vegetable myths is starchy vegetables like, potatoes and corn, are fattening. Wrong! You’ve often heard to eat a rainbow of colors. The reasons why? We get different types of nutrients and phytochemicals from different fruits and vegetables. Your meals, snacks, and soups, pastas, and casseroles become much more interesting and exciting when you eat a variety of flavors and textures, and include spices and seasonings to wake up your vegetables. Want to improve your variety? Include more non – starchy veggies in your diet.
Non – Starchy Vegetables (Superstars*)
||Mushrooms (all kinds)
||Cabbage* (green, bok choy, Chinese, red)
||Greens* (collard, kale, lettuce, mustard, turnip)
|Beans (green, wax, Italian)
||Peppers, bell* (all varieties)
||Squash, spaghetti, zucchini
||Sugar snap peas
My weekend indulgence is going to be kabobs, and a Mediterranean salad with lots of fat olives. What about you?
Changing lifestyle habits is hard. Not only are they ingrained into our behaviors, thoughts, and daily actions, they are a part of our culture and the engine of the media. Simply changing one behavior can led to a challenge for other behavior changes. As a trainer, I’m used to addressing the thoughts and emotions that go along with making changes. I wanted to go deeper for my own challenges, and do more to help people with the great challenge of change – our thoughts – so and I began praying for a way to do that. Along came First Place 4 Health, and in October 2013 I began the process of equipping for ministry at my church.
Over these last 12 weeks, our first “Feed Your Spirit” group has completed our wellness class and bible study, focusing on our emotions, our thoughts, our heart, and our physical body. I experienced God working through all these areas in my life in a whole new way. It was as if all the bible studies and leadership training I’ve had over the last 3 years led up to this next step in my journey to know God more and who I am in Christ. For the first time ever, I was able to follow my Lenten sacrifice, and shed light on some significant strongholds in my life. As we studied obedience, confession, forgiveness, temptation, and renewal, I began to see a “new” renewal in myself. The group participants were seeing the same thing, a greater trust in God, as we dug into the word and shared our thoughts on the study each week.
As in Romans 12:2 We are challenged not to conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We receive clarity and guidance in how to step away from the behavior that damages our body and mind, and how to step towards greater wellness and fellowship with others who struggle against the culture too.
New 6 Week Class June 7th: I look forward to the next 6 week summer study and our 12 week program in the fall. I am super excited to see what God has planned for us next! Classes include practical wellness topics in nutrition and fitness, as well as a new bible study. The next class begins June 7th on Sunday mornings. Get more details here. http://www.fp4h.com/feedyourspirit