You and I have “met” each other because in our house we have someone (or more than one) person suffering from inflammation that is out of control. It leads to our children’s PFAPA and episodes, as well as other issues that you may not even realize are linked to inflammation.
I am here to tell you that primarily the items in the store that we don’t think twice about eating are actually FILLED with inflammatory agents. They have been created by man with chemicals that alter how our bodies react naturally, and cause and lead to disease (especially inflammatory disorders).
Why haven’t you been told? Honestly the food industry is HUGE and spends a lot of money (because they make a lot of money) on these products and they want to keep them out there. It’s a slow process that happens over time, so people never slow down to think it is the food supply.
The GREAT news is that you can make just a tweak here and there in what you are eating, and your kids are eating and just avoid the whole chemically processed foods that increase inflammation all together.
Step 1: Identifying foods in your pantry, fridge or freezer that could be contributing to inflammation
This is the first step to understanding what is going on. In order to do that – you need to know how to sort through the labels and look up ingredients. Here is an article that will help with this process.
Once you understand what you are looking for, it’s time to brainstorm things to replace them with instead. Here is a simple article about starting with breakfast for example. On my other blog there are also lunch tips, and dinner tips and tools to help with this transition.
Tip 2: Start shopping the outer aisles, or skip and just go right to the market
The easiest way to avoid much (not all be sure to still read labels at a Farmer’s market) of the inflammatory agents is to shop fresh and shop local through a farmer’s market. You can speak right to the farmer, or someone who works at the farm and you can find out how the animals were raised, treated, and if they have been exposed to corn feed, as well as other chemicals or medicines that could then be passed through the food supply. If you don’t know much about grass fed, grass finished, or pastured animals – check out all of Michael Pollan’s books. They are eye opening. In short, you want to try to avoid anything that has been fed corn or soy feed all together. But remember, toxic load is most important to consider.
What meats and foods do you eat the most daily? Those are the foods you want to be the most clean. That is where you want to avoid the corn and soy feeds all together.
Example: For us it is chicken. We eat primarily seafood and chicken, with maybe 1 day a week probably not even, of beef. So my focus is on pastured, grass fed, chickens. I buy the whole chicken and use all week if economical, if not, then pieces of the chicken from a farmer at the market who told me how he handles his chickens and he processes them himself. I also buy wild caught seafood at the market. We also enjoy a lot of eggs and some dairy. I get this at the market as well from grass fed and finished cows that are pastured. I also enjoy goat products and yogurts and the same applies here. These are daily used in our house and so they are the most important to get in this clean way.
If you are in the supermarket and just can’t get to or find a farmer’s market, you can still do this and it’s not that expensive (note: the farmer’s market will be cheaper if possible). But you can shop Walmart, Aldi or Wegmans for many of the same items at a decent price. You are sticking with the fresher foods that will expire and go bad if not used. You only enter center aisles for condiments (check the label), and toiletries.
Tip 3: Make All of Your Meals At Home
I know this may seem overwhelming, especially if your family has a history of going out to dinner or getting take out. Believe me, you are not alone as primarily those are the methods used in the U.S. to feed families today. BUT I am here to remind you that you have given over ingredient control to whoever is cooking that meal, OR worse, it is totally processed and not even from nature what you are choosing to consume.
My cooking at home a few things happen. You have chosen low or non-inflammatory food ingredients to cook with already giving a lesser chance of inflammation from eating. You are able to control the nutritional value as well – making sure you are getting plenty of vegetables first, followed by a condiment of meat, or even meat-free some days. The meat you have chosen is from a clean source and hasn’t been tainted with corn or soy. (These are very processed, genetically modified and cause much more than just inflammation in the body). Check out this article here to learn more. My cooking at home a few things happen. You have chosen low or non-inflammatory food ingredients to cook with already giving a lesser chance of inflammation from eating. You are able to control the nutritional value as well – making sure you are getting plenty of vegetables first, followed by a condiment of meat, or even meat-free some days. The meat you have chosen is from a clean source, and hasn’t been tainted with corn or soy. (These are very processed, genetically modified and cause much more than just inflammation in the body). Check out this article here to learn more.
You will also have complete control over servings, and give yourself a chance to take a look at a serving size. You will also regain your family meal time. This helps kids learn so many things, and generally has been shown to help their mental health, school performance, not to mention their physical health and nutritional values.
If this all sounds great, I want to also share with you my class that is starting next week (join us anytime, starting now). Eat Your Way Out is a roadmap and step by step process that we used to get off of processed foods, and start making real food meals at home. These meals lowered both my son’s and my own inflammation. I am unmedicated for SLE (lupus), and my son has decreased his episodes to only a few months per year. (I will say that he by far eats more processed food because he is exposed at friend’s and school and has yet to come to a full conclusion/stop on processed foods – he is only 8). I can tell you that through our journey the closer we got to a complete elimination of processed foods the more control we all gained over our health.
At the end of the day – take a look in your pantry, fridge and freezer. Read your labels and use the Google to see what I mean. Check out what processed foods are, what real food is and wonder to yourself if this truly could be the answer for you. Grab any or all of Michael Pollan’s books, and check out my blog at simplymindfulwellness.com where I talk about real tips, tools, helpful freebies and so much more to help you with this process.