Michelle Strong, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, is one of our community partners and is our guest author this week. She is the founder of the Strong Nutrition and Weight Loss clinic (www.strongnutritionandweighttloss.com)– a boutique nutrition practice for weight loss and prevention/ management of chronic illness. Her approach is integrative and addresses the emotional connections people have with food instead of the simplistic and outdated calorie-in vs. calorie-out mentality.
‘Tis the season, New Year’s Resolutions are (hopefully) full speed ahead and with that come the inevitable slew of injuries associated with post holiday indulgences. So whether you fall into this group, the weekend warriors or you slug it out with your driveway each snow day, follow this advice to reduce inflammation ASAP and start feeling like your old self.
Inflammation is an immune reaction in response to infections, wounds or any type of physical damage to tissue. If you turn over your ankle shoveling the driveway, often you will feel heat and swelling in the area. This is acute inflammation and is necessary to the healing process. Alternatively, chronic inflammation is a long term reaction in the body; this does not serve the body in the healing process, and in fact in creates more damage the longer it lasts.
Although different, both acute and chronic inflammation benefit from similar nutritional recommendations to improve recovery and healing.
- Take it Out: Don’t add fuel to the fire. Think about inflammation as heat or fire in the body. Would you add gas to an uncontrollable fire? Nope, so we don’t do this in the body either. Think about sugar as gas. This “food” triggers the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines which just makes everything worse off.
There are so many types of sugars out there to beware of, but for simplicity, stay away from processed white sugars (fruit is ok). Avoid (like the plague) things like candy, alcohol (sorry), white breads, crackers and pastas and foods that have added sugars like flavoured yogurt and cereals.
- Add it In: There are so many healing foods out there and generally, we ALL know what is good for us and what isn’t. However, there are some KEY antioxidant rich beauties that can speed up healing time. My 3 favourite are: Turmeric (also ginger and cayenne and black pepper), plant based fats (coconut oil, olive oil and avocado) and Fermented Foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir).
Often I will pass along this recipe and have client drink it daily (if not daily, at least during their recovery time). This is tasty and perfect for these chilly Canadian mornings.
Turmeric Tea Recipe (How to Make Golden Milk)
Prep: 2 mins / Cook: 3 mins / Total: 5 mins / Yield: 4
Turmeric tea (also called golden milk) is a great way to get the benefits of turmeric daily. Find out how to make this ancient health-boosting drink in under 5 minutes!
- 2 cups of milk of choice (almond, pecan, coconut, and dairy all work in this recipe) or use bone broth in place of the milk for a more hearty tea
- 1 tsp turmeric or turmeric spice mix
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)
- tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup to taste (optional)
- First, blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Then, pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
- Drink immediately.
- Slather it on top: In conjunction with the above, there are also topical options.
- Topical use of turmeric mixed with an oil like coconut oil (watch out this stains!)
- Essential Oils: there are multiple options out there; I like Deep Blue and Frankincense (by DoTerra), these I find are the best to ward off pain caused by inflammation. These can be used along with coconut oil and massaged into the sore area.
- Epsom Salts. Soak the injured area in a warm bath of salts (and with the oils listed above).
For more information on inflammation including a tasty inflammatory busting smoothie recipe, click here: Enjoy!