Hi guys! I have missed writing to you every day this week, ah! Though the September Series of blogging every day has come and gone, blogging will forever have such a huge place in my heart. I have been running all around this week getting ready for our trip to NY this weekend/all of next week — eek!! I am so excited.
Today I wanted to chat with you about my top 5 tips for reducing inflammation in the body, especially for those of us who suffer from inflammatory diseases or even just the occasional bloat which of course relates back to inflammation as well.
When I got diagnosed with MCAS (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome) earlier this year and found out it was part of the reason why my body was reacting to everything around me (I mean everything — from food, to scents, to animals, to changes in my routine, to travel, everything) it made me realize I really needed to step my anti-inflammatory game up.
I have been dedicated to my health and well being for a long time, but I think wellness is one of those things where when everything seems to be going just fine… you just live your life and let a few things “slide” if ya know what I mean. I was letting a ton of things slide, and eventually everything piled up & I became an inflamed, rashy MESS.
I mean, you guys remember what I looked like a few months back. RIDDLED with eczema and a total & absolute mess. Here is a photo in case you don’t recall…
Being covered in head to toe eczema & hives was one of the hardest experiences of my life. I can’t even begin to express the sheer amount of extreme discomfort I was in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For eight months.
Doing a 2 week water fast at True North helped a lot with the rash itself, but the inflammation has persisted. I have gotten my histamine levels down from 1300 (pre-water fast) to about 700, and I am hoping they continue to go down from here. Just for reference, a normal number is about 30. Yes, THIRTY. 3-0. And mine were a 1300.
Lyme disease, co-infections, and mold illness all add to elevated histamine levels and super high inflammation. When the body is swimming in bacteria and disease, it naturally becomes very inflamed. But even for those of you reading who do not have a disease or chronic illness of any kind, you can still be inflamed.
In fact, most of us are inflamed! It is just part of our culture these days and living in the ever-polluted world that we do.
I have been so dedicated to reducing inflammation in my body to feel better overall and ultimately get my life back. I am still on that train, as it is a LONG process, but I have made a ton of progress. The above photo was taken in April, and now by early October I can safely say I have not had a MAJOR rash outbreak since late June. I still get patches and extreeeemely itchy areas of skin, but it is nothing like the head to toe pain I was experiencing before.
Ok, so here are my tips for reducing inflammation in the bod & living the most anti-inflammatory life possible…
5 TBB Anti-Inflammatory Tips //
1. Living an alcohol-free lifestyle.
This one might sound obvious, but there is a reason I am including it and making it number one on the list. I feel like alcohol is one of those things that often goes under the radar in a healthy lifestyle. I have so many friends who are very health-conscious during the day/week, and they like to let loose on the weekends with drinks or even nightly with wine. There is nothing wrong with that for a perfectly healthy person — to each their own, and I wish I could be more lax with alcohol and let loose more often.
But for those of us who deal with inflammation and chronic illness, alcohol is one of the absolute worst things we can put into our bodies. It’s pure toxicity for us, really. The first thing my Lyme doctor asked me when I was diagnosed was, “Wait, you don’t drink alcohol, do you? Because if you do I would highly suggest stopping.” And the reason for that is alcohol aggravates the body, dehydrates us, and makes the liver and kidneys work extra hard to detox it from the body when the liver & kidneys are already perhaps compromised from inflammation and disease.
Many of us who suffer from extreme inflammation issues have compromised detoxification pathways. This can be for a variety of reasons… it could be a genetic mutation (like in my case I have something called the MTFHR gene which greatly compromises my detox process), complication of chronic illness, or simply toxic buildup from your lifestyle or environment. That means that our bodies have to work SO HARD to detox even the most “normal” of things… even something like a potent perfume that the woman next to you in the coffee shop might be wearing (I experienced that this morning).
So if our bodies are already in overdrive trying to detox, introducing alcohol into the mix is a recipe for disaster. If you notice that you get extra bloated, puffy, hungover, or sick from alcohol, it could be an indicator that your body can’t handle it right now. I am not talking about forever — but at least for me right now cutting alcohol out of my life has been a huge saving grace in my healing process and in reducing inflammation.
2. Celery juice every morning & all around staying SUPER hydrated.
I write this blog post AS I sit here sipping on celery juice! Everything I know about celery juice I learned from the Medical Medium, so I would highly recommend checking out his site to get the entire DL on why it’s so amazing for us. In his words, he’s “seen thousands of people who suffer from chronic and mystery illness restore their health by drinking 16 ounces of celery juice daily on an empty stomach.” SAY WHAT?! I mean guys, with an intro like that it’s worth a try.
Celery juice calms inflammation, contains many potent mineral salts that keep our kidneys and adrenals functioning and raise our gut’s hydrochloric acid to help our body break down food, restores our body’s pH balance, and cleanses and repairs the stomach and liver. It is full of essential vitamins and nutrients, and is also one of the most antibacterial foods on the planet. For those of us with thyroid issues, celery has the ability to cleanse the thyroid of toxins and bolster production of the thyroid hormone T3.
AND according to MM it flushes out viruses and eases digestive health. Those are just a few of its benefits, not to mention it is extremely hydrating. Which brings me to my next point… staying HYDRATED to reduce inflammation is key.
I like to start my day with 16 oz of celery juice, then drink a large warm water with lemon before I have anything else. I drink at least 8 glasses of water a day but I recommend even more to really flush them toxins out and stay as hydrated as possible!
3. Reducing or eliminating coffee.
I know, so sad! I wrote this post recently on eliminating coffee & some of my fave coffee alternatives, from matcha to mushroom coffee to adaptogenic elixir blends. Trust me, I love coffee. I am a coffee addict at heart. I CRAVE it when I wake up. But reducing it in my life has greatly enhanced my healing and has helped so much with reducing inflammation.
Also, when I got tested for food allergies earlier this year (multiple times) COFFEE was literally the only thing that showed up, so my body was trying to tell me something. I still have a nice decaf coconut mylk latte once or twice a week because I LOVE it, and I do believe when something makes our soul happy it is worth incorporating into our lives here and there if we can handle it.
But eliminating that daily cold brew really, really helped me. Coffee is full of positive things like polyphenols and fiber, but for those of us with inflammation issues it really wreaks some havoc. If you feel okay having coffee my biggest tip would be to stick to one cup a day. It’s overdoing it with the coffee that really messes with us.
If you are suffering from extreme inflammation, eczema, or histamine issues I would say cut coffee out for now. That’s not to say you can’t add it back into your life when you’re feeling much more ready to, but if you’re truly ready to put your health & healing first it’s gotta go for at least a little while!
4. Eating an SOS-free plant-based diet (or plant-based at the very least).
You can read more about the salt-oil-sugar free plant-based lifestyle that I lead in this post that I wrote a few months back, and you can read an update about it here. A brief rundown about the SOS-free vegan life is that it is an anti-inflammatory way of eating that includes no added salt, oil, or sugar. Doctors like Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Michael Klaper, and Dr. Alan Goldheimer have studied it extensively and concluded that for people with disease and chronic illness (and even people without it), it is the most inflammation-reducing and heart-healthy diet on the planet.
I am not here to preach to you or tell you to be vegan. Been there, done that and I don’t believe in telling you to eat a specific way or ascribe to a specific label. But if you’re looking to reduce inflammation in your body, upping your plant intake and reducing your added salts, oils, and sugars will help a LOT.
I have gone off of the SOS-free train a few times in the last few months for various reasons, and every time I do it is bad news with my health. A little bit of salt here and there has been okay for me, but oil really does me in. And super salty restaurant foods just kill me! Once your tastebuds get used to it you’ll see — you get used to it and foods in their natural, most nutrient-dense form just taste the absolute best.
And if SOS-free is too much for you, just eating more plant-based foods, specifically leafy greens and other green veggies will help a LOT. Juicing kale, ginger, and beets is another fave of mine for getting more anti-inflammatory plants in my day to day.
5. Taking anti-histamine supplements.
Ok, this one has been huge for me! I take a supplement every day called “HistDao” and another called “AllerDHQ” both from the brand Xymogen. I don’t see those on Amazon, so a comparable one you could buy online is here.
I also take several tinctures per day of anti-inflammatory herbs that are prescribed to me by my Lyme doctor, so I would highly recommend finding a doctor or Chinese Medicine Practitioner who can help you find the right blends for you.
There is no “magic pill,” but I can definitely say that when I went off of all of my supplements for my fibroid surgery last month (I was off of them for 3 weeks), my inflammation came back with a vengeance. My face was more inflamed than EVER before… and all around I was much more itchy and puffy.
There are so many great supps out there so I would encourage you to keep finding what works for you! An omega helps with inflammation a lot too. My favorite omega supplement is called Omega the Great, which you can find on Hum Nutrition‘s site (use the code SOUL for 20% off of your first purchase!!).
Alright guys, I hope these tips & tricks help!! I am always here to share more so just tell me what else you want to hear on this subject and I am happy to dive deeper. I can think of about 293829 anti-inflammatory tips off the top of my head!
And definitely do check out the Medical Medium, he is full of so much knowledge. I just ordered his Thyroid Healing book and I cannot wait to read it…! x