Oh man, just writing about a donut makes me crave that sugary sweetness – you know when Krispy Kreme has their “HOT” sign on – Yum-O! I have a terrible sweet tooth and I’m an emotional eater on top of that, so really my willpower goes out the window when it comes to food. Despite all of these things I also believe that a whole lot of what we put into our body determines how we feel and how we fight inflammation. You know that saying, “Feed a Cold”, well I believe that, anytime someone in my family comes down with a tickle in their throat or the sniffles I immediately go out and buy a papaya. Papayas have a huge amount of Vitamin C and when coupled with Strawberries and OJ you have yourself a smoothie packed with some pretty awesome immunity fighters. (scroll down for recipe)
Over the years I’ve tried many different food plans – in fact I knew it was getting bad when our friends hosted us over for dinner and they asked are you still not eating meat/dairy-free/gluten-free/on a juice fast/not allowed to have garlic/mushrooms/beans? Do you even like food?? Ha! Yes, in fact I love food but the way food is manufactured these days is creating some real issues with inflammation and disease. So here’s what I have tried over the years and through it all I’ve always been dairy-free because of a diagnosis of lactose intolerance since the age of 15. AND I still have my one cup of coffee a day because let’s be honest – I’m only human and I have a special place in my heart for a Starbucks latte.
- Vegan – Least favorite plan – may work for some but I do enjoy meat/fish in moderation and didn’t find any earth shattering results associated with my chronic pain. Favorite Resource: Veganomicon Cookbook
- Gluten Free – Long commitment – have to give yourself some time with this one to see results since gluten can stick around in your system for awhile. Helped greatly with increase in energy and the overall feeling of being weighed down. Favorite Resource: Pinterest for Recipes (just search “gluten free” and pin away!)
- Paleo – I never was strictly Paleo but enjoyed many of their recipes since they steer away from dairy and grains. Here’s a family favorite: Paleo Tex Mex Casserole
- Juice Fast – I would throw these in there every once and awhile just to press the “reset” button on my body and in some ways to torture my inner will power – mostly when my husband would travel since meals were very basic and the kids wouldn’t mind cheese and crackers for dinner. Favorite Resource: Juice from the RAW Organic Cleanse
- Low FODMAP – this is a super restrictive diet and very specific. It is geared more towards someone who is struggling with GI issues or IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). While challenging, I did find the most results with this meal plan and have incorporated a lot of the swaps into my regular diet. I just used the printed out list below of approved foods as my guide and this article when I was ready to try re-introducing foods: Reintroducing FODMAPs I hear they also have an app, I didn’t try this but read that a few people who really struggle with GI issues found this very helpful especially when starting to re-introduce foods.
And now for the Flu-Buster recipe courtesy of the Book Super Smoothies– to your health and the fight against inflammation!
The combination of orange juice, papaya, and strawberries gives this terrific smoothie a triple dose of Vitamin C.
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup quartered fresh strawberries
- 3/4 cup diced papaya
- 1 banana (frozen is best)
Combine the orange juice and strawberries in a blender. Add the papaya and banana. Blend until smooth.
Take one before bed and hopefully there’ll be no need to call the doctor in the morning 🙂
Makes about 2 1/2 cups; Serves 2