Armed with the information that my body was hurting due to inflammation I looked out for an anti-inflammatory diet.
I already knew that changing from a standard diet to one that contained more vegetables and fruit had made a difference.
At that time it was without exercise. The food change alone helped. In an effort to get healthy I lost 50lbs. So far, in total I have lost 104lbs.
Anytime I go back to my old ways of eating the pain returned. When I went back to juicing and eating a plant-based diet the pain disappeared. It was at that point I put two and two together.
What is an anti-inflammatory Diet?
Long-term inflammatory responses in our body result in illness and disease. An anti-inflammatory diet includes foods that will help us reduce these inflammatory responses.
To eat an anti-inflammatory diet you must avoid processed, fried and junk foods. Remove sugary processed foods and eat refined, nutrient-rich, whole foods.
It is a long-term approach to active, healthy eating rather than a diet. A lifestyle change forever is the best way to look at an anti-inflammatory diet.
Some of the ways of eating you might want to follow include:
Rich in Omega oils and other fats that are great for our body, fish, whole-grain vegetables, fruit and even some red wine this way of eating is popular to help remove inflammation.
It is a diet that is free from refined oils, avoids highly processed meats/foods and is low in trans fats. All the things that are shown to cause obesity, cancer and diabetes.
A very popular way of eating is going 100% plant-based by avoiding all animal products. Eating nothing but plants definitely have amazing benefits for our health. There is so much scientific evidence out there it is hard to ignore. I could never go 100% vegan because I believe “a little of what you fancy…” is a good thing.
Raw Food Diet
Another 100% way of eating but it contains more live, fresh raw and partially cooked foods. There is very little cooking involved and a dehydrator is a necessity if you want to avoid boredom. I love including raw food into my way of eating.
This is my preferred way of eating because it offers me more choice. I eat 100% plant-based at home but every now and again I like to eat fish or meat.
I limit meat and fish to once a week or less whenever possible.
If I am a guest and am offered meat or fish then I will eat what I am given. If I am out I will choose a plant-based option if it is available and a vegetarian one if it isn’t. I am fairly lose with this because sometimes I just really fancy a burger.
I still enjoy the odd egg but dairy is totally out for me and I avoid it at all costs. Even milk in my tea is not acceptable anymore. I would rather go without tea or bring my own soya milk.
Doing It Your Way
You can of course make up your own anti-inflammatory diet. All you have to focus on is eating wholefoods, live foods, nutrient rich foods, and foods of all colours.
Dark foods are important – dark red and green are the best. Things like spinach, broccoli, kale, plums, red/black grapes.
Also include red/yellow vegetables and fruit plus white vegetables like cauliflower. While all vegetables are brilliant I do my best to stick with non-starchy vegetables. I think about vegetables that grow above the ground and focus on them.
Include a mixture of vegetables and fruit. Do your best to mix in new things rather than sticking to the same ones over and over.
Eat plenty of legumes including chickpeas, black beans, lentils etc
Get your oils from avocado, coconuts and olives. Plus include small amounts of nuts. Eat pine nuts, walnuts, almond etc
Make sure your fish is healthy (not farmed) whenever possible and enjoy eating oily fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel.
Enjoy using herbs and spices in your cooking because I believe food is boring without it.
When it comes to drinks I stick with water but will also drink green tea (macha if possible), moringa and add lemon/lime into hot water.
Plus I enjoy dark chocolate and red wine in moderation
Cooking For Health
When it comes to cooking foods steamed and baked is always better than fried whenever possible.
Including raw foods (e.g. a green salad with each meal) is also recommended.
My personal preference is to avoid anything processed whenever possible. For me this includes bread and pasta. I eat rice and potatoes but do my best to avoid pasta and eat bread in limitation. This is my own preferred way of eating.
Feeling Alive Again At 53
I can honestly say that eating an inflammatory diet has changed my life for the better in my 50s. Having gone down from a size 24 (USA size 20) to a size 16 (USA size 12) it has been worth giving up cake, fried foods and junk food. I still enjoy them in limited amounts but I really do prefer the feeling of eating something healthy and nutritious.
I have changed my health and my weight without exercise and now it is time to build muscle and improve my fitness levels.