Tips For Avoiding Body Inflammation
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Tips For Avoiding Body InflammationCreate A Stellar Diet For Self-Care
If you’ve been wondering exactly what is the crazy sexy story behind my cookbook Crazy Sexy Kitchen, here’s the 411! It begins with my Crazy Sexy Diet (CSD), a nutrient-dense, plant-happy approach to eating and living that harmonizes your beautiful body at the cellular level. Tasty beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, veggies, fruits, fresh juices and smoothies, plus other culinary delights (that you make yourself) are your new best friends. This way of living is beyond a diet. It’s a celebratory lifestyle that’s healthy, awake, and engaged. Now that’s SEXY!
CSD is based on a few guidelines that will help you create a stellar self-care game plan. My guidelines aren’t rigid; rather, they’re meant to give you a basic structure that will allow you to flourish. But if/when you fall off the wagon or take a scenic side road into a vat of cookie dough, enjoy it! Then get back on track and blaze on. To help you shape your plan, I break the dietary guidelines into two categories—what creates health and what robs it. And the determining factor of whether a particular food is a friend or foe is inflammation. Inflammation drastically reduces the quality and quantity of your life. It saps your energy, weakens your immunity, darkens your mood, and steals your beauty. Long story short, foods and lifestyle practices that ignite an inflammatory response just plain suck.
Inflammation is the root cause of many, if not all, chronic diseases. Cancer, heart disease, arthritis, allergies, asthma, Alzheimer’s, digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, even obesity and diabetes each have major inflammatory components. We’ve all felt the swelling and burning associated with a twisted ankle or scraped knee. How about the hard-to-swallow pain that accompanies a sore throat? That’s inflammation at play, doing its job by defending us from invaders and injury. Immune system cells swoop in to either attack the culprit causing the commotion and/or fix the situation. It’s all good in the ‘hood as long as this response is kept in check.
But there’s a silent (yet violent) kind of inflammation that can take place without you even knowing it. What you eat, drink, and think (stress!), environmental toxins, smokin’, boozin’, and even a couch-potato lifestyle can create a fiery cascade of inflammation in your body. When your body hits an inflammatory overload, your defense system gets so overwhelmed and confused that it literally doesn’t know the difference between the invader and you. As a result, your well-meaning immune system turns on itself, destroying healthy cells, tissue, and everything else in its wake.
As part of your anti-inflammatory wellness plan, I encourage you to reduce or eliminate all icky foods that irritate your body. Like what? Well, most of the vittles commonly found in the acidic Standard American Diet (SAD)—meat and dairy; refined carbohydrates; wheat; processed foods made with high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and trans fats; and let’s not forget the chemicals, drugs, and anything you can’t sound out phonetically—even if it’s vegan. Processed is processed. Nothing compares to Mother Nature’s bountiful garden. Therefore, the more complete and intact your foods, the better they are for you.
A great tool to help you attain your anti-inflammatory lifestyle goal is the pH scale or acid/alkaline balance. Highly acidic foods drain your energy bank account while alkaline foods boost it. Everything from healthy cells to cancer cells to soil quality and ocean life is affected by pH. The term pH stands for “potential hydrogen” which is the measure of hydrogen ions in a particular solution. The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is and ranges from 0 to 14. Seven is neutral. Below 7 is increasingly acidic, above 7 grows more and more alkaline. As with most health-related barometers, balance is everything.
Your body is designed to operate within a narrow pH range. For optimal cellular health and happiness, your blood pH must be slightly alkaline (a pH between 7.365 and 7.4). Your body will do anything to maintain proper balance. When there’s even the slightest chance that you could become overly acidic, your remarkable body will mine minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium from your bones, teeth, and organs to neutralize the acids. You can probably guess where the Standard American Diet falls on the pH scale. It’s an acid bath!
Tilting the pH scale back in the alkaline direction is easy with a diet filled with mineral-rich plant foods. Pretty much all veggies, some fruits, wheat-grass, dark leafies, sprouts, green juices, green smoothies, and certain unprocessed grains, beans, and nuts help make your blood and tissues more alkaline. On the other hand, meats, dairy, eggs, sugary goods, highly processed foods, coffee, and alcohol make your blood and tissues more acidic. Load up on the alkaline foods the majority of the time, and your body will thank you! Plus, eating these treasures floods our bodies with chlorophyll, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and oxygen.
For more tips on taking care of yourself with the Crazy Sexy Diet plus lots of recipes that make healthy eating delightful and delicious, see my cookbook and manual of encouragement, Crazy Sexy Kitchen.