Diet Matters

Remember the old saying, “you are what you eat”? Is an anti-inflammatory diet right for you?

RA diet anti-inflammatoryWell, when we fuel our body with junk, we get junk. Sadly, many of our health issues are a direct result of the artificial, processed garbage that we pass off as food. It makes my heart sad when I’m grocery shopping and see a momma with a cart full of foods that are packed with preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, bad fats, sodium….. There are so many great options out there, and REAL food tastes SOOOOOOO much better. Plus for those of us dealing with autoimmune issues, it’s CRUCIAL to eat right. (And really, and RA diet is pretty easy once you get a handle on what your triggers are) I understand that for many of us time is at a premium. In fact, it’s one of the top reasons I hear for not making good food choices, so I’ll be posting ways to accomplish saving time AND eating healthy.

And some people may be saying “does it REALLY make that much difference?” Not only do we not get enough nutrients from processed food-like substances, they can also add to our health problems – weight gain, digestive issues, insulin resistance, and more. (Mercola.com) Our HIGH in fructose diets are as taxing on our livers as alcohol and other toxins.

For those with auto-immune issues, I would definitely recommend looking at the Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP). It’s very restrictive at first, but by eliminating foods that tend to be inflammatory triggers, you can determine what foods are best for you to eat. We can call it an RA diet, but it is amazing for any autoimmune issue.

What does an anti-inflammatory diet look like anyway?

My RA Diet is actually a pretty close-to-Paleo diet. It consists chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and we exclude most dairy or grain products and processed food. I’d say we are 80-85% Paleo. We have found what works for us, and that’s what each person/family has to do. Be educated though about how important diet is.

Why reduce or eliminate grain consumption? Increasing numbers of scientists and medical professionals are beginning to make the connection between modern wheat and chronic digestive and inflammatory illnesses. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to pathogens and wounds, but persistent low grade inflammation (LGI) or continual activation of immune cells through incessant exposure to triggers is associated with a host of diseases including cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and depression. Why? Our wheat is overprocessed, treated with pesticides, and genetically modified – it simply is not the same as it was even 50 years ago (paleoleap.com)

And dairy? Get rid of it and you may find your skin looks better, your digestion is improved, you may even lose weight. (eatthis.com) For me, it definitely is an inflammatory trigger.

What I recommend:

  1. Keep a food diary. It can really help you track what foods cause you to feel bad. And then research and menu planning. You’ll find you shop the perimeter of the grocery store – which will save TIME. Visit farmer’s markets. Eat things in season. Try new things. You’ll be amazed at how much it helps.
  2. Read labels. A good rule of thumb is that if it has more than 3 ingredients, skip it. Especially if you cannot pronounce the words!
  3. Menu plan. Carve out an hour on the weekends to prep for the week ahead. Even if I’m popping into the store a couple times a week, at least I know what I’m going for and that can expedite the shopping trip. Prepping snacks like fruits and veggies in advance is a big time saver too. My Pinterest board, “Autoimmune Eating” has some great suggestions for you as well.
  4. Look at doing a Whole 30. It will seriously change your life. And I can recommend some great cleansing products that you can incorporate into it to get the most benefit possible. Eventually you’ll develop your own unique RA diet that works for you.

Diet is one component of a healthy lifestyle – essential oils & supplements are another important aspect. Check out my number one oil and favorite supplements to get on the path to better health!

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