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Say CHEESE !!

hippocrates - Food be Medicine

hippocrates – Food be Medicine

Hey there Everyone,

Recently enjoyed time with friends as we traveled enjoying the outdoors.

We talked about how so many foods now talked about as unhealthy for us are actually good for us.

Take for example one of my favorites – Cheese.

Actually saying “favorite” is mild….love cheese with about Anything would be it.

Well, here’s some Awesome benefits of Cheese thought would share with all of you.

So next time you want to enjoy something healthy AND delicious too – Say CHEESE and enjoy some for your health.

Did you know despite decades of the medical establishment recommending a reduced or nonexistent intake of unpasteurized and high-fat dairy, recent research has found that the hearty traditional cheeses commonly eaten in France and other parts of Europe have multiple health benefits.

Here are some excellent reasons to enjoy your favorite cheese with no guilt whatsoever:

Nutrition without allergens

Good quality cheese is essentially fermented milk, made from very simple ingredients: milk, salt, bacterial culture and rennet (an enzyme). Because the milk is fermented, lactose is almost nonexistent in cheese. This is the element that most commonly causes intolerance to dairy. In the cheese making process, bacteria converts lactose into lactic acid. If you want to avoid even trace amounts of lactose, stick with longer-aged cheeses since these have the lowest levels.

Cheese is also highly satisfying and satiating due to the balance of protein and fat, and adds delicious flavor to dishes. Adding fat such as cheese to vegetables actually allows us to absorb more nutrients from the vegetables, because many nutrients are fat-soluble rather than water-soluble.

Anticancer properties

Most “normal” cheese, i.e. pasteurized, homogenized non-organic cheese from grain-fed cows, contains betacellulin, a growth factor associated with cancer. Conversely, raw grass-fed dairy contains high levels of conjugated lineolic acid (CLA), which has been shown to have anticancer properties. Grass-fed cheese contains about five times the CLA of grain-fed cheese. This is a good reason to invest in high-quality cheese originating from healthy animals.

Fat-soluble vitamins

Another reason to seek out top-notch cheeses is the increased nutrient content. When cows (or sheep or goats) are allowed to roam free in the sun, eating green grass, their milk contains incredible levels of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2. These nutrients are understood to support strong immunity, well-formed teeth and bones, and robust eye health.

Cheese - Please !

Cheese – Please !

Vitamin K2 is commonly lacking in Western diets, which is unfortunate as it serves the special purpose of ensuring that calcium ends up in bones and teeth rather than in soft tissues. Consuming vitamin K2 from grass-fed cheese and dairy can help prevent the calcification of arteries and the formation of gall and kidney stones.

High-quality cheese also exhibits a much healthier balance of omega-6s vs. omega-3s. The ratio in grass-fed cheese is the ideal 2:1, while grain-fed cheese leans heavily toward the more pro-inflammatory omega-6s, with a ratio as poor as 25:1.

Enhanced microbiome

A 2010 study published in Immunology & Medical Microbiology demonstrated that daily consumption of probiotic cheese helps to tackle age-related changes in the immune system. The friendly bacteria naturally contained in cheese can enhance the human microbiome and improve a healthy immune response.

Microorganisms on cheese not only preserve the final product and make it aromatic and delicious, but they are also very important for food safety. Many of the bacteria on the rind prevent the spread of potentially dangerous pathogens by excreting inhibitors against other unfriendly bacteria, such as listeria.

Finally, cheese bacteria may help lower heart disease risk. A French study found that those who consume cheese have higher fecal levels of butyrate, a byproduct produced by good gut bacteria. These people also had healthier cholesterol profiles, indicating that the probiotics in cheese help balance the microbiome for improved cardiovascular health.

Beware fake cheese !!!

Take note that all of these benefits are solely associated with high-quality cheese. Spray cheese, plastic-wrapped cheese, or any other type of “cheese product” will undoubtedly contain any number of flavorings, coloring’s and thickening agents, and won’t bestow any of the wonderful nutritional advantages of a real cheese.

Hope this will encourage you to choose quality and choose health for a Boundrylessly Happy Healthy Life !

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Creating a Mind Success

Success-and-Failure

Success-and-Failure

Hi Folks,

You want to be successful, but you don’t know how.

So you read all about the success of other individuals. You got lost in the world of tips, tricks, and courses for success.

None of them worked for you. At the end of it you were still left wondering, “what is it that I don’t have?”

You’re still looking now.

You’ve exhausted your edition of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. You’ve been through hours of listening to those motivational coaches say, “never give up, and you’ll get what you want!” You’ve done it all, and nothing is working.

You’re sick of it, right?

You want something that you can start doing … RIGHT NOW.

You don’t want the “never give up” speech again.

So here is the reality.

Success is something within you.

It’s your daily habits.

Your morning routines.

What you spend your time doing.

It’s not these tips and tricks that others try to sell you.

It’s the way you view the world!

Don’t give up hope…..

Here’s some habits that you can adopt that Will form a successful mind.

Start to Accept Changes

Change is the one constant you can rely on in life. When all else fails you, you can bet that change will be lurking around the corner. With this in mind, wouldn’t it be a smart thing to finally squash that fear of change all together?

Successful people are able to adapt to change. They need to be. If one idea fails, which many will, the successful mind can take that and adapt to the changes presented by the situation.

But how do you accept change?

The way you always have, you just get on with it. Know that it’s there, it’s happening all the time, and don’t let it catch you off-guard. Plan for it, expect it, embrace it, and use it to your advantage.

Start to Set Goals

Not just any goals, but achievable goals. You know when you draw up a check-list, and you tick each individual little job off it? Think back to the feeling of each of those ticks. Think about how relieving it is. Think about how empowered and motivated you feel for the next job.

It’s a pretty damn good feeling, right? Then staring at that completed list at the end of the day, knowing that you’ve accomplished everything you wanted to do for that day. Make your goals that size. Reach your goals every day. Allow that momentum to build, and empower you, every single day! (But don’t forget to schedule your empty check-list days too.)

Also, a study done by Gail Matthews, PhD at Dominican University, seems to support the idea that writing goals is scientifically proven to make us more successful!

Start to Commit to Things

Get rid of those commitment fears. If you want to be successful, you have to commit to things. A new job, a new partner, a new exercise regime, a new magazine subscription, whatever it is — you need to commit!

If you can’t commit when things are going well, you’re going to abandon ship and run a mile the moment you hit some turbulence. This won’t lead you to success. It can’t. You’re not sticking around long enough to reach it.

There’s no real easy way to do this. Though weighing up the cost of the commitment versus the rewards can often be a good start. Regardless, however you decide to face up to it, the end result is the same. You start committing.

Start to Identify Your Purpose

A purpose is the fast-track to success. With your purpose in mind, much like the achievable goals, all that hard work seems a lot more appealing to overcome. When things get rough you can just sit there and say, “Why are you doing this again?” and your purpose will always serve as the motivation you need.

So how do you find your purpose? Answer these simple questions (brutal honesty required):

  • Who are you?
  • What do you want from life?
  • What is it you have that others will benefit from receiving?
  • How are you going to get there?

Start to Believe in You and Your Goals

It’s timeless advice really. You’ve heard it a million times before, but this time you need to let it sink in. If you want to be successful, you have to believe in yourself.

Don’t believe in yourself because it’s your destiny to be successful. Don’t believe in yourself because you’ve got a foolproof plan. Don’t believe in yourself because you really want it. These are fairy tales spun to us, with no real serving purpose whatsoever.

Believe in yourself because you know that you’re going to put in the work. Believe in yourself because you know, as long you’re still breathing by tomorrow, that you will continue to work towards where you want to be. Believe in yourself because you know you’ll overcome the next hurdle you’re presented with.

With this level of self-belief, anything is achievable. You just have to keep going until you get there.

Start to Cultivate Patience

Another timeless piece of advice, inexcusable to leave out of anything discussing success. You need to have patience. Yes some things can happen overnight, but these are often the smaller successes.

It doesn’t matter what it is you want to achieve, knowing how to wait will be a part of it. A successful blog doesn’t launch with thousands of subscribers overnight. A powerful novel doesn’t get written in a day. A superstar fitness model doesn’t miraculously gain his or her physique in 24 hours.

Success takes time. You just have to keep taking every step you can towards it.

Start to Identify Your Downfalls (Then Do Something about Them)

No successful mind is successful if it cannot see where it falls short. It is only in the identification of the shortcoming that it could ever have the potential to be addressed. Many people are their own worst critic though, so it’s not hard to see what needs work.

The hard part is putting in the work. Knowing you’re lazy and doing something about the laziness are two very different things. To be successful you would have to identify that laziness, and then adopt a proactive solution to it. Just saying, “yeah I’m lazy,” isn’t going to get the work done.

The last, and maybe the hardest, part to it all is showing yourself compassion. You’re not going to get it absolutely perfect first try. That’s okay. You’ve got a lot of time left. As long as you’re actually doing something about your downfalls, other than complaining, you’re probably ahead of most.

Start to Identify the Growth in ‘Failure’

Do you know what almost every successful person has in common?

They’ve failed.

Dr. Seuss was rejected by 27 publishers. Stephen King threw his career-launching manuscript in the trash, though luckily his wife pulled it out. Walt Disney was told he had no imagination.

Did any of these give up?

Well okay, Stephen King did for a moment, but the point is they failed and didn’t give up. Instead here they are, names known by almost everyone. These failures only spurred them on to being incredibly successful people. So Acknowledge your ‘failure,’ learn from it, grow from it, and come back better.

The only thing stopping you from trying again is ….guess…..that’s right …. YOU !

Start to Practice EC ~ Emotional Creativity

Emotional creativity, better known as empathy, is the backbone of success. To be able to relate, to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, is what makes you a successful human being.

There’s various reasons why, such as:

  • To be able to serve people what it is they want, which is the key to many successful businesses and careers, you have to relate to their situation. If you lack the emotional creativity to empathize with their situation, you won’t connect well with them.
  • If you’re on your pursuit for success and you’re going to have to climb over some people’s heads, how are you going to stay human doing that? By relating to them. Are you willing to crush other people to get where you want to be? Can you live with that decision? You’ll only know by empathizing.
  • Successful people, at least many of them, are likable. They’re likable because you can relate to them. You can relate because they’re creative enough, emotionally, to appeal to you!

Plus, just as a general benefit, empathy makes you a better human being overall. Putting yourself in someone’s situation is going to lead to better behavior, from you, when it comes to dealing with said people. If you’re not sold on empathy, just read this Psychology Today piece.

Start to Meditate

With the madness of success comes the desperate need for peace. As a successful person, you’ll likely be making stressful decisions every day. If you can’t manage that stress, it’ll dominate you.

Luckily, meditation is here for successful you. With empirically proven health benefits, as outlined in this JAMA article, it’ll help reduce the stress and anxiety of being successful!

So take a couple of minutes out of your day, and really let go. Hit the pause button on everything. It’ll all still be there when you come back, but find time to really just be with yourself. Otherwise that stress could eat you alive.

So there it is. Now all you’ve got to do is put them into practice. Are you ready for success?

Here’s to a Boundrylessly Successful 2015 !!

Being Thankful … and MORE !

Youthfullness

Youthfullness

Hi Folks,

Short post to help you enjoy being thankful this Thanksgiving.

Here’s a few tips to Live and Feel youthful in body and mind…

   Focus on living a life of purpose. Ask yourself, “What is my reason for being?” “What is it that I can focus on that gives me purpose?” Henry David Thoreau once said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” I would add women to that mix too. The majority of people will go through life with no purpose to it. Don’t you be one and if you are, change. Have passion your whole life for life.

   Stop the negative stereotypes of aging and start acting more youthful. That includes getting into exercising more. In a January 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that walking speed is an accurate predictor in how long a person is going to live as well as the quality of life. I would add that stride length is a part of that too. In my case, and as a Baby Boomer, I also engage in Parkour/Free Running, Natural Movement and the martial arts as a part of my overall fitness training. Heck, playing like a kid is okay too.

   Challenge yourself mentally. Learning something new is important for optimal aging and youthfulness. Going back to school, offline and online, will go a long way to keeping your brain healthy.

   Eliminate emotional/mental stress from your life. Realize that a certain amount of stress will be there. You can do things that help to eliminate it. Mindfulness meditation, tai chi, and other mind-body practices are great at reducing distress. Learn to stay more in the present.

   Know that change is part of living and life. Don’t get hooked in wanting to live in the past. Growth only occurs when you accept change. A part of that change can even be with the people in your life. Dick Van Dyke once said that he doesn’t like hanging around people his own age because they act old. By associating with younger people in both mind and body, you’ll go a long way to creating and maintaining youth. By the way, feeling youthful is not the same as acting like an adolescent.

You can live a fully functional and optimal life at any age. It starts with your Attitude. If you really want to, then you will. Believe it and do it. And keep doing it.

Enjoy living a Youthfully Boundryless Life !!

Take it One Day at a Time for Lifetime Health

Celebrate a Simple Healthy Lifestyle Together

Celebrate a Simple Healthy Lifestyle Together

Hi Folks,

Been traveling visiting friends.  Enjoyed a great workout in the park of hill running / walking / hiking  along with some pullups  in tree branches and some handstand pushups (my challenge exercise this month), along with relaxing Tai Chi.

Over the weekend, was chatting with some friends hadn’t seen in ages. We got to talking about the health gimicks on TV, along with how it seemed like it was easier for our grandparents to stay healthy without all those fancy confusing items.

Well, by the end of the debate – conversation we agreed on a few ideas and here they are …

Toss out the junk food. Having junk food in your house or workplace makes it too hard to stick to a healthy diet. If at all possible, toss everything out that’s sugary, fatty, greasy, salty. The best strategy is not having it around. Clean out your pantry and fridge!

Find some healthy recipes and buy the ingredients. There are thousands online. Find one or two to start with, easy ones that don’t take an hour to prepare, and go buy the ingredients today.

Cook in bulk. I find it easiest to stick to a healthy meal plan if I prepare things in advance. So cook big batches of veggie chili or soup, or tofu veggie stir fry, and put the bulk of it in containers in the fridge or freezer. I like to divide things into meal-sized containers so I just heat things up when it’s mealtime.

Stock up on healthy snacks. When you’re hungry for a snack, what will you eat? Have healthy things to munch on at home, at work, and for the road. Fresh fruits, chopped veggies, raw nuts, dried fruits are some of my favorites.

Socialize in healthier ways. Instead of going out to bars or unhealthy restaurants, get together for tea, or a game of basketball, or a walk in the park? Or find a healthy restaurant to eat at, or my personal favorite is a Tai Chi group.

Find a workout partner. Get your spouse, good friend or even a coworker to go on walks with you, or meet you at the gym or a workout class. Having someone do it with you makes it fun and so much easier, and you’re more likely to show up if you have an appointment to meet someone.

Use social media for motivation. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or your favorite online forums for motivation and accountability. Publicly announce 2-week or month-long health challenges, and have people keep you accountable. Try Fitocracy — it’s a social fitness game that can make getting fit fun.

Play outside. It’s important to go outside every day and get some fresh air and sunshine. Move around, take the kids out and play, find a friend and take a walk or throw or kick a ball around. I’m always finding a way to get outside, from gardening my herbs, Tai Chi, walking, or just sitting in the grass to read.

Find healthy options for eating out. Instead of eating at fast food or chain restaurants where everything is deep fried, can you find more local restaurants where there are some healthy options? Make a list, and go to those places when you go out.

Make water & tea your default drink. Many people drink soda or sugar coffee drinks all day. This is not necessary for a healthy or enjoyable life. Water can become your favorite drink, and (unsweetened) tea can be very healthy. I love a mindful green tea ritual once a day.

Schedule active breaks. If you’re on the computer all day, schedule short breaks every 30-60 minutes where you stretch, walk around, maybe do some squats or pushups, drink some water. Exercise doesn’t have to be just once a day.

Get your spouse on board. It’s hard to make changes if your significant other is resistant. So early on in the process (read: right now), share your thinking, share your reading materials, and ask them to help you get healthy. Don’t ever force them to change, but see if they can be on your team.

Start small — don’t overdo it. Big changes tend to be hard to sustain. Make one small change on this list, and then try another, then another. Each step along the way, you’ll get used it and it will become your new normal. No step needs to be very difficult.

Have fun exercising. Create challenges for yourself, and your friends. Find sports you like to play. Use running as a form of meditation. Exercising doesn’t need to be boring or hard — it can be one of the best parts of your day.

Drink red wine. One or two glasses of red wine can be very healthy, and can add some pleasure to your new healthy lifestyle. I’m a believer in making a healthy lifestyle one that you enjoy, so add healthy foods you love, activities you enjoy, a mindful tea ritual, and an end-of-the-day wine ritual.

Explore berries, kale, raw almonds and walnuts, avocado, flaxseeds, quinoa, tofu, tempeh. These are foods that many people don’t eat on a regular basis, and some people have never tried some of these. One by one, explore these foods, as I find them to be very healthy. Some of them take some time to acquire the taste, and others (like tofu and tempeh) just need the right seasonings — they don’t have to be bland!

Add healthy ingredients to your meals. If you don’t want to change your entire diet, start adding some healthy stuff to your usual meals. For example, if you normally eat spaghetti, try ground turkey or meatless grounds instead of beef. Add some finely-diced kale and carrots, and some flaxseeds. You can do this to many recipes.

Try new ethnic foods. Don’t look at changing your diet as a sacrifice. Think of it as a joyous adventure. Want to try going meatless a few days a week? Try some healthy dishes from India, Japan, Thailand, the Mediterranean. It can be a lot of fun, even for the whole family.

Stop smoking. OK, this isn’t the easiest strategy, but it is one of the most important.  Never think it is to late. The sooner you start, the sooner your health will improve !

Diet before exercise. One of the easiest ways to start getting healthier is to start improving your diet — it’s fairly easy to add some fruits and veggies, for example, and maybe cut back on some of the sweets. Starting exercise takes a bit more focus, and doesn’t always get results as quickly. On the flip side, if you start exercising, don’t let that be an excuse to eat whatever you want — it’s easy to negate the benefits of your morning run with a donut and sugary and fatty coffee drink. There’s nothing wrong with with a nice black cup of coffee. In fact sometimes enjoy some organic coffee with fresh herbs such as mint or cinnamon in it makes it a refreshing treat 😉

Please share your ideas ~

Enjoy living a Simple Boundryless Life folks !

Enter the Fifth Gate of Taming Your Mind for Power ~

Power of Positive !

Power of Positive !

Hi folks,

Want to say a big Thanks to those who have liked and supported the recent articles ~ You ARE Appreciated !!

Time to enter the Gateway of Personal Growth ~ Our Fifth Gateway takes us to an Amazing world……

When you hear tame…

What do you think of …..

How about Taming of the Mind?

How about this… Taming as focusing the Mind ~ Different image now?

As we clear our mind,

we can perceive reality simply …

As it Is ~

Folks, it is common to see the world through filters of our belief, opinions, as well as intrepretation.

Consider….

How do you beliefs Shape Your Experiences !!

The reflection of your mind..

Here’s a real world story on the Power of the Mind …. AND why to focus in a Postie on Your Goals !

A real man called Mr. Wright was suffering from lymphatic cancer. His lymph nodes were swollen to the size of oranges, while his spleen as well as his liver had become so enlarged that two quarts of milky fluid were daily drained from them. The doctors felt they had done everything medically possible (for the mid 1950s) for Mr. Wright. They told him to put things in order since he will most likely not survive much longer.

Shortly after this Mr. Wright heard of an experimental drug for cancer being used on patients who had around a three month life expectancy. Wright pleaded with his doctor to administer this drug to him, and finally the doctor agreed not making any promises to Wright.

According to the doctor’s report Wright wasn’t expected to live through the weekend.

However…..

Unbelievably, on the following Monday, less than 72 hours after receiving the drug, Wright was walking around feeling on top of the world in health. The tumors, according to the report had “melted like snowballs on a hot stove.” Ten days his first Krebiozen injection, Mr. Wright went home from the hospital, being determined by the doctors to be cancer free!!

Unfortunately, months later the American Medical Association published a nationwide study on  that flatly stated it was of no value in treating cancer. Mr. Wright read this study, believed it, and his cancer returned. Just two days later…. He died !

So what happened to him ~ he had been told by doctors he was cured of his cancer.

What went wrong?

Mr. Wright used the Power of his Focused (Tamed) mind to believe that the experimental drug WILL cure him and that’s why he survived thus far. Then, Wright attached his emotions (Energy in Motion) and intellect (Tame ~ Focused mind) on the belief the drug WILL cure him so his body obeyed.

Who knows if Wright had not read the study which negated his positive belief.

The point ~ Whatever you believe about yourself, intellectually as well as emotionally, WILL determine who and what you become physically ~ spiritually too !!

THIS is the reason you should guard your thoughts, words, actions and associations.  You should surround yourself with positive reinforcement in what you see, hear, say, and especially Think so when you … Follow through with Positive Action you’ll attain Positive Results !!

 

Folks, here’s to you following the Path through the Gateway of Focused Positive Action while living Boundrylessly !!

Power of Positive Thinking ~

Power of Positive Thinking ~

Enter the 3rd Gate of Energizing Self Growth ~

Enjoy Life ~ Enjoy exporing Self Growth ~

Enjoy Life ~ Enjoy exporing Self Growth ~

Hi Folks,

Hope you are enjoying as well as realizing your wondrous potential for Growth !

Let’s now journey through the Third Gate of Self Growth by Energizing our Body ~ Mind ~ Spirit.

Remember, each … Your Body ~ Your Mind ~ Your Spirit are interacting, blending together your experiences,

what you recieve AND give from your relationships, even your thoughts.

 

When we come to know each is not as much a separate part of ourselves, but one “Vital Ingredient” so to speak in making … even shaping who we are now.  So as we come to understand this, then energizing one part would be incomplete unless we energize all. For in this amazing interaction we will find the Vitality … True Energy to enjoy life, love, all we do !

So to begin, upon awakening, be thankful ~ Grateful for what you DO have in life. Be it family, health, love …..

Next, do some deep breathing (put your hands on your stomach just below your navel)  feeling deep within your breath reaching through to your fingertips, toes, even the top of your head.

Then, when possible, feel the morning sunshine ever so warming, energizing your body, mind, even spirit, as it gently touches you.

Enjoy Life's moments through Your Body ~ Mind ~ Spirit !

Enjoy Life's moments through Your Body ~ Mind ~ Spirit !

Now, get up and stretch. Reaching for the sky as you look up to the wonders of the clouds, how far you can see, feeling the potential awaiting you.

Time to do some yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, activities that help us unite our Body ~ Mind ~ Spirit.

In fact, enjoy some green tea to refresh and energize your body, refresh your mind and lift your Spirit too !

 

Enjoy discovering ways to enjoy ~ express your creativity through these three avenues while Energizing~ Empowering

your …

Thoughts ~

Words ~

Actions ~

to manifest your wondrous Self Growth for this New Year !!

 

May you gain from this series of posts while also challenging yourself to Grow Boundrylessly !!

Energize your Own Potential

Energize your Own Potential

Pain Free…. How !?

Pain free with Healthy Eating ~

Pain free with Healthy Eating ~

Hi Everyone,

Recently my friends and I got together for a hike, BBQ, and chat….in that order.

We enjoyed the outdoors, including an outdoor workout combining feet elevated pushups, chinups from a tree, and hiking as well as running stairs, then for reward a healthy BBQ.

During our chat, we all mentioned how it’s sometimes a challenge to enjoy a workout when something is hurts.

Hears what come out of our chat….

We mentioned how we all want to avoid OTC meds for a more natural solution.

Here’s a  list of some of our favorite super foods that we found helped us fight inflammation:

Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeno peppers – chop these up raw into your salsa for a great kick and pain relieving power

Dry Roasted  Almonds

Dry Roasted Almonds

Dry roasted almonds – grab a handful of these tasty pain fighters for a snack

Carrots

Carrots

Carrots – they aren’t just for Bugs Bunny… enjoy them raw as a snack or on your salad

Broccoli

Broccoli

Broccoli – cooked or raw, broccoli quickly goes to work on inflammation too

Olive-oil

Olive-oil

Olive oil – just a single tablespoon drizzled on your salad has as much pain fighting power as an entire half cup of broccoli

Raw Spinach

Raw Spinach

Raw spinach – hope you love salads because adding some raw spinach to it will pump up your body’s ability to fight off systemic inflammation

Wild Alaskan Salmon

Wild Alaskan salmon – my all-time favorite inflammation fighting food… wild Alaskan salmon is a heavyweight champion in a small package – a 3oz portion can fight inflammation as well as 6 cups of raw spinach!

When I say the word “inflammation,” it’s likely to evoke thoughts of painful joints and muscles, swelling, and a loss of mobility. But did you know that recent research shows that chronic inflammation in your body can lead to serious diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease, to name just a few?

The amount of inflammation in your body varies and is dependent on a number of factors – including your activity level, the amount of sleep you get, the degree of stress in your life, and even the foods you eat. What you have to realize is that these factors are cumulative – meaning they build up over time. And the more that any or all of these factors get out of whack, the risk for disease increases.

Early in life, these levels can be so low that you might not even be aware that you have any inflammation in your body. That’s because our bodies do a fairly decent job of controlling the inflammation – at least for a while. Then one day you wake up and you’re in your 40s and something is just not right. That’s when the fear begins to set in, and you think to yourself: What did I do wrong? or What can I do now to help myself?

The first step is to get your C-reactive protein (CRP) levels tested. C-reactive protein is produced by the liver, and the level of CRP rises when there is systemic inflammation in the body. Ask your doctor about this (you may have to demand to have the test done). All it requires is a blood sample that will be evaluated by your doctor. And because diet can play a large role in how much or how little inflammation you have, you may want these levels looked at by a registered dietician who can help you formulate an appropriate eating plan.

If you have pain due to inflammation, you may choose to take the traditional medical path, which includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroids, and even joint-replacement surgery in extreme cases. The good news is that there are natural ways to fight inflammation without the undesirable side-effects that often result from the treatments listed above.

What you eat DOES make a difference folks !

The food we eat is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to controlling inflammation. The typical American diet consists of too much fat, tons of sugar, loads of red meat, and a frightening amount of processed foods – all of which are likely to increase inflammation and contribute to obesity, which itself is can cause inflammation. By switching to an anti-inflammatory diet plan consisting of healthy whole foods, you can actually decrease inflammation and ease the pain and discomfort associated with it.

The first step is to avoid processed foods, foods high in sugar, and junk food whenever possible. Instead, choose fresh whole foods, especially anti-inflammatory varieties such as lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. But choose carefully. Many vegetables and pre-packaged “health” foods can actually work against you. Use this handy list of the best and worst foods for controlling inflammation:

Some Inflammatory foodsSugar, from any source
Processed foods
French Fries
Fast Foods
White bread
Pasta
Ice Cream
Cheddar Cheeses
Snack Foods
Oils such as vegetable and corn
Soda, and alcohol

My friends and I also noticed we felt our best doing the following …

* Maintain a healthy weight – There is no question that eating healthy is not easy nowadays, whether you’re at home or at a restaurant. But at the very least, you must try to decrease your intake of sugars and hydrogenated oils and increase your daily intake of fiber. Ideally, you should be consuming around 20 or more grams of fiber (that is a ton of fiber, but it’s worth shooting for and remember do add fiber slowly to allow your body to adjust while also increasing natural fluid intake such as pure fresh water).

* Get better sleep – 7 to 9 hours of sleep is a must for optimal health; getting a good night’s sleep is key to controlling systemic inflammation.

* Relax more often to lower stress levels – Find time for yourself throughout the day to focus on your breathing and clear the clutter from your mind; learn to stay focused on the most important tasks in your life. Most of us agreed we do some meditation in the morning to start our day, then at the end of the day to release stress. Also there are times I’ve did it mid-day to enhance mental focus, clarity, and energy too.

* Exercise on a regular basis – People always ask me: What’s the best exercise to do? I always tell them: Do something you like to do and, if your body can tolerate it, aim for 15-20 minutes three times a week.  And MOVE Everyday !!

* Demand to have you CRP levels tested – This simple blood test is the best indicator of the amount of systemic inflammation in your body. Have the levels evaluated by a certified health care provider who can suggest the most appropriate action.

So, live  pain free and Boundrylessly …. Naturally !!