Wednesday, March 30, 2011

IBS Flare Hits Hard

I have been adjusting to eating more anti-inflammatory foods on a daily basis over the last few weeks. In all of my research it seems quite apparent to me that this type of eating lifestyle is helpful for my diabetes, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and liver disease. However I also suffer with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Gastroparesis and Bile Reflux and I have met with nutritionists and physicians who encourage me to eat a diet of bland foods, white bread, and limited cooked vegetables and canned fruits. All of these foods are high on the glycemic index charts.

I've tried eating both types of diets and I'm happier on the healthier choices of the anti-inflammatory foods. BUT . . . I came down with severe symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome this week. After 3 days of chronic diarrhea, nausea and unbelievable stomach pain, I finally contacted my GI specialist. I was prescribed yet another medication to calm down the intestinal inflammation. I noticed how  dehydrated I had become. My hands, skin, eyes and throat were dry and achy sore. As I was able to keep food and beverages down, I found myself gravitating towards the wheat products of "comfort foods" (soda crackers, noodle soups, toast, etc.) and 7-up. Once the symptoms subsided for a day or so, I was back to eating fresh vegetables, fruits and lean meats with little pain.

It will take more time to track the results of eating anti-inflammatory fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and Omega 3 oils. I had IBS flares with blah foods too, so if it's going to happen with either diet, I'd rather have the advantage of eating healthy foods effect my metabolic and immune system in a positive way than not.

If you have had similar experiences, I'd appreciate hearing your insights, how you have handled it and survived.

Thanks for checking in on my blog and I hope you will come back often for further information and updates. Take good care of yourself and loved ones.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Progression of Inflammation - How Did This Happen To Me?

I am learning a lot about the inflammatory process in our bodies. Throughout our life unseen things shape our health. As most people age, they usually progress through three distinct phases of health. To succeed in healthful living, it is essential to understand this progression.

[Level 1 is a non-inflammation, non-insulin resistant state. Our body is able to maintain homeostasis, a stable equilibrium, where our metabolism adjusts itself to maintain a steady weight and fights diseases automatically. We look and feel good. This is the optimal phase we would all like to live in.

But the reality is we encounter infections and eat the wrong foods, we lose our ability to maintain a healthy balance. Infections occur which increase inflammation. Also when we eat high levels of sugars or "bad fats", what we often call our "comfort foods", inflammation increases even further.

Each time we become inflamed, we struggle to get back to normal. But sometimes, we don't quite go all the way back. Our body "remembers" our infection and increases its "ready reserve" of inflammatory cytokines, (
proteins released by cells of the immune system) and thus keeps our immune system on the edge. Unfortunately, while being constantly ready for the next infection, our body experiences the wear and tear interfering with many of our metabolic systems. Gradually, we move into Level 2, which is chronic low-level inflammation and insulin resistance. 

Level 2 involves a
powerful chain reaction. Infection produces inflammation. Inflammation produces insulin resistance. Insulin resistance produces weight gain. Weight gain produces inflammatory cytokines leading to more insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance starves our muscles. They react by sending messages that lower our resting energy. Then, the insulin resistance makes us hungry in an effort to feed our starving muscles. Under these conditions, weight loss is almost impossible. We look "fat" to others, but our muscles "think" we're starving... at least chemically. As a result of this starvation, we crave and finally eat more sugars, fast-burning "high glycemic load" starches and saturated fats. These nutrient-poor foods add to our disease. Eating them is preventing or slowing weight loss in spite of our dieting efforts.

As these conditions worsen, we finally begin to show signs of diseases at Level 3 -- cardiovascular diseases, diabetes,hypertension, Alzheimer's, arthritis, stroke, cancer...  It's a big list.]

Can we stop this unhealthy cycle?

You betcha! [Reverse the inflammation caused by the high sugar, high fat, low fiber foods by eating colorful high fiber vegetables like sweet peppers, kale, parsley, celery, raw carrots, radishes, onions, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, cucumber, apples, pears, berries, nuts, plums, grapes, bananas, citrus fruits and so on. Fatty animal products like red meats and dairy are minimized. Lean cuts of chicken, turkey and fish are encouraged. Olive oils and avocado replace other unhealthy oils from corn, soybeans, safflower, and sunflower or other vegetable oils.

People on this anti-inflammatory diet tend to normalize their weight and reverse their heart disease and diabetes, and improve risks for cancer or heart attacks. Arthritis and Alzheimer's symptoms improve as well]. If you want to know more about anti-inflammatory foods go to

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Foods That Fight Pain

[The five lists below include foods which contain compounds that may have a role in the body's management of pain. If you are considering managing your pain with diet then try including at least one food from each of the lists in your diet each day. Although there is no guarantee that this will banish pain from your life, at least it will improve the nutritional content of your meals. For further information view]


Kiwi Fruit

Flavanoids List

Green Tea


Bell Peppers


Brazil Nuts
Hemp Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Sesame Seeds



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Daily Sample Menu

On a daily sample menu shows you some choices for the Anti-Inflammatory diet.  The menu is listed here and you can go to the website for each of the recipes. If anything looks good, try it! Come back and let us know what you think about them. (Note: Depending on which anti-inflammatory food list you look at, some of the ingredients in the recipes below may or may not be listed as "anti-inflammatory foods".)

Citrus salad with Ginger Yogurt

Indian Spiced Carrot Soup with Ginger

Red Bell Pepper, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Salad with Oregano Dressing 

Pan Seared Salmon on Baby Arugula

Roasted Root Vegetables

** Note to Diabetics: Although grapefruit has positive effects on diabetes, it can interact with medications and lead to serious health consequences. Grapefruit contains compounds that block enzymes' ability to break down certain medications. This leads to medications building up to dangerous levels in the blood, according to the Mayo Clinic website. Consult your doctor before eating grapefruit.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Be Aware of Glycemic Index Carbohydrates

Glycemic Index (GI) defines the differences in carbohydrates according to their effect on blood sugar levels within the body. Foods HIGH on the GI value chart increase blood sugar levels quickly. Foods LOW on the GI value chart keep blood sugar levels relatively steady as they offer the body a chance to digest and absorb nutrients in the foods.  

There are several websites showing Glycemic Index information.  At there is an exclusive international database covering a variety a foods and their GI values and carbohydrate content in grams. also has a food list ranking the GI value of common foods. These websites offer much more information about food choices.

Although the GI factor clearly impacts diabetic health, some research studies show significant impact on other chronic diseases including insulin resistance syndrome (metabolic syndrome), coronary heart disease in women and the risk of gallbladder diseases. By understanding GI values, you may be able to better manage or perhaps even prevent further complications of chronic diseases. By investigating this factor, you become more proactive in your health care.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Look for Information on the Web

I found a video discussion about the anti-inflammatory diet that was EXCELLENT. It was at Dr. Weil's Blog. It's about 8 minutes long and is very realistic in sustaining a healthy way of eating. The location for the video is

Some Foods to Eat or Avoid

In Jessica Black's book listed below, some inflammatory foods I have found to AVOID include the nightshade vegetables tomatoes and potatoes, but also ALL wheat and corn products, refined sugar and flour, and caffeine.

Some SAFE foods for me to include are legumes, chicken, turkey, fresh cold water fish (salmon, trout, tuna), vegetables, fruits (limit to 2 per day - no citrus), nuts, seeds, and rice/rice products. All products are encouraged to be organic so they will not include added hormones, pesticides or herbicides, thus further comprising your immune system.

Inflammatory foods are covered over many chapters, along with recipes. You have to do a bit of reading to understand the triggers of specifics foods to inflammation within the body. I have tried several of the recipes and found them to be extremely easy and tasty. It is also very easy to adapt my own recipes to fit the suggested foods and enter the recipe into for further nutritional analysis and determination of inflammation factor.  This is a very COOL feature of this website. Seriously, it's worth your while to check it out!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Check out Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Recipe Book

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Recipe Book by Jessica Black, ND, is an excellent resource available to people who suffer from chronic diseases. I found the e-book on Amazon and it's been an amazing realization for me. By educating ourselves about our bodies and foods that effect us, we can become empowered to change what is happening inside our bodies.

For me, it now becomes my choice whether I eat for life - or eat to die (do I make poor food choices regarding my diabetes, GI diseases, high cholesterol, etc.) I believe my life is all about balance - mind, body and spirit.