You always meet the best people at the back of the room. I met fellow introvert Michelle at the back of the audience at IDEA World Blogfest. She’s my sister-in-iron who teaches women to love themselves, to be strong and how to fight back when necessary. I encourage you to check out previous post she wrote for me about childhood obesity as well as her own fantastic blog at www.michellecfitness.com. – Pamela
If you’re working out regularly, then you probably understand the concept of using food for fuel. One thing many of us deal with, but have no clue how to address, is inflammation. In this article, I will attempt to give you valuable information on fuel sources as well as some interesting tips about inflammation and its role in your fitness level.
We all need all 3 macronutrients to survive. The exact amount of each is up to your body and goals. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy as they are broken down easily. With that knowledge, you can plan to excel by placing your highest carb intake around your workouts. Protein helps to repair the damage brought on by workouts and the stress of daily living. Aim to get .6-1.2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (again, up to goals) per day and try to spread the intake out evenly. Fat keeps you full and helps repair and grow hair, skin and nails. It also aids in digestion. Sprinkle it throughout your day for satiety and gorgeous good looks.
Now, let’s tackle the inflammation issue. Honestly, inflammation gets a bad rap. The natural inflammatory process helps to save our lives and was intended as a natural defense mechanism. Think of it like this: you’re flipping through a fitness magazine and getting super pumped about improving on your already pretty awesome behind, when all of the sudden the paper strikes against your finger issuing a pain response that can bring tears to your eyes. You just got a paper cut. Your brain knows you have been attacked by the magazine and sends reinforcements. This garners swelling, redness and heat on the battlefield of your finger. This inflammatory response saves you from nasty buggers trying to break through the protective surface of your skin.
When does beneficial inflammation become a disease? Well, due to the state of life and chronic stress, plus beat down immune systems, chronic inflammation happens on the regular. The good news is that you CAN make some simple changes to send the signal to your brain and immune system to simmer down. Try one or more of these now and get started towards more pain-free days.
- Drink your water.
Even a mild state of dehydration can increase inflammation in the body. So, plan on taking in half your bodyweight in ounces each day to keep yourself covered.
- Eat real food.
I’m a big fan of supplementing with protein shakes to build some muscle, but at the end of the day real food will provide the much needed micronutrients you need to fight inflammation all day long.
- Shop the produce section mindfully.
Vary the colors in your diet and always buy in season. How do you know if it’s in season? It will be the cheapest produce you find.
- Add fish to your diet.
Adding fish, especially salmon, twice a week helps to calm down inflammation before it starts.
- Move it, move it.
It can seem counter intuitive to move when you aren’t feeling your best, but this is a law of physics! A body in motion tends to stay in motion. So, whether you like to dance, swim, lift, yoga, bike, run, skip or play at the park, keep your body moving.
- Adjust expectations.
If you do suffer from inflammation, adjust your day to day expectations of your body.
- Try adding this anti-inflammatory soup to your weekly meals….
Weekly Anti-Inflammatory Soup
Seriously, I make this once a week and we eat off of it all week long. Pair it with chicken for more protein OR fish for more inflammation fighting power.
FIRST, please do not boil all your veggies in water or stock for soup…..that’s just nasty. Also, realize you need to wash stuff and I shouldn’t have to tell you that.
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 whole head of garlic, diced
- 6-10 carrots
- 4-5 celery stalks
- 1 container pre-sliced mushrooms (unless you fancy slicing them)
- 2 diced bell peppers
- Small red potatoes to your heart’s content
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
- Hot water, cause it’s soup DUH
I NEVER Measure seasonings and we have different tastes anyways. Pick and choose what works.
- garlic (yeah, we love garlic in this house)
- smoked paprika
NOTE: turmeric can be used in small doses and is great for reducing inflammation
Pay attention now……
In a soup pot, place coconut oil, onion, garlic and salt. Listen for it to talk to you.
Then, add your mushrooms and cook a few minutes until they become quite soft and start to cook down a bit.
Next…add everything else EXCEPT water.
Cook down, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Finally, cover with hot water (seasonings should already be in), bring to a boil, cover with a lid and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
What you have left is a fantastic and extremely tasty vegetable soup, ready to go to work in your body and warm up those Fall woes.
And your family will thank you for not boiling everything in water…..cause that’s nasty