Exploring Anti-Inflammatory Eating: Part 3
*Note: This is Part 3 of a three-part series on Anti-Inflammatory Eating. To read Parts 1 & 2, please visit our blog.
For the past two days I’ve been talking a lot about the anti-inflammatory way of eating that I recommend to many of my patients. It’s a lifestyle change that makes a big impact on your health and general well-being. I know this because I’ve seen countless patients experience relief after using this way of eating to detoxify their bodies, but also because of my own experience- I personally eat this way to nourish my body and stay healthy year-round, and I can really tell the difference!
By now, you’ve had a few days to try this new way of eating and start seeing how it helps your aches and pains. Maybe you’ve jumped right in full force, or maybe you’re trying out some smaller changes bit by bit. I want to let you know that any level of change is a good start. We all change in our own way, at our own pace. If you’re impatient like me and want to see big differences quickly, you might decide to switch over to this way of eating all at once, right off the bat. If you like to ease into new habits more slowly, you might prefer to implement a few of the changes I’ve suggested and see how you feel before moving forward. The important thing is to commit to your health, and to commit to eating in a new way. The details of how to implement that change are completely up to you.
No matter how you do it, I’m happy that you’ve decided to take your health into your own hands. I have found it very empowering to be able to influence my own well-being without relying on medications or countless visits to the doctor’s office. To help keep up your positive momentum, here are some additional tips on how to incorporate the anti-inflammatory way of eating into your current lifestyle, even after your first 2-3 week detox period is over:
- Food and drinks should be consumed when warm or hot, NOT cold. The body’s internal temperature is naturally around 98.6 degrees, so consuming cold food or drinks is shocking to the entire system. Your body is forced to expend extra effort to warm up the food before breaking it down, which slows down the digestion and can cause stomach pain and indigestion. If you want to really reap the nutritional benefits of what you’re eating and avoid pain or digestive discomfort, try eating foods and drinking beverages that have been at least lightly warmed.
- Play around with spices! There are many exciting options to increase flavor and make each meal more interesting. Chinese Five Spice blend adds a sweet and spicy depth to any stir fry or tray of roasted veggies. Cinnamon can add warmth and sweetness to your morning bowl of oatmeal. A pinch of cayenne can transform chicken into a spicy treat. If you’re feeling like you’re getting stuck in a rut, bring home a new spice and try out the new flavor.
- Try flavored vinegars! There are many different varieties of flavored balsamic vinegars, which can be drizzled on protein, mixed in with steamed vegetables, or added to simple salads to take each dish to the next level. Of course, the sky’s the limit when it comes to using vinegar. I personally love to mix a bit of Cinnamon Pear balsamic vinegar with sparkling water for a refreshing and flavorful beverage.
- Say a gratitude prayer or take a moment to appreciate your food (silently or aloud) before and after eating (for 15-30 seconds or longer). This will help encourage a more mindful approach to eating, rather than the typical “eat and run” mentality.
- Chew each bite 10 times on each side of your mouth, and use chopsticks to eat more slowly.
- Always eat your food while sitting down. Eating or drinking while standing can cause muscle tension, which can lead to back pain, stomach pain and indigestion.
For more information and useful tips, you can always read my book, Eat, Sleep, and Be Happy, available on Amazon.
As always, I welcome your questions and feedback in the comments or by email at email@example.com.
Check back next week for more no-nonsense tips about natural health!