Having healed a disease through the power of plants, a positive mindset and supplementation, I am living proof what food can do to your health, wellbeing and body. If my diet is dominated by meat, wheat, milk, cheese, refined and processed foods, I become extremely unwell, under weight, and usually hospitalised.
However when I fill my body with an abundance of plant-based foods or as I call it beauty food feasting; leafy greens, root veggies, g.f. whole grains, sea vegetables, nuts, seeds, green juices, fresh soups, smoothies, with occasional wild fish, or organic meat, I am symptom, and pain free- that saying I still live with Crohn’s disease every day, and I have to be mindful of my food, and environment …lack of sleep, stress, and socially over doing it triggers it as well. Anyhow back to my point here, I wanted to touch on the topic of inflammation and how we can detect silent symptoms before they worsen into a chronic illness and disease.
When your diet is dominated by meat, wheat, dairy, refined sugar, processed foods and alcohol it is a recipe for inflammation. Inflammation is how your body responds to injury, on a physical stand it is red, hot, painful, and swollen, however on a cellular level, this is where chronic disease breeds which can also be known as chronic inflammation.
There are indications of inflammation which you should start to pay attention to: the more you start to feel the benefits of the plant based nutrition, the symptoms should be able to heal naturally, as our body has an amazing way of bouncing back with plant based nutrition, a positive mindset, mediation, supplementation and slowing down.
Here are some silent signs you could have chronic inflammation inside your body
• Joint and lower back pain
• Active I.B.S, colitis, Crohn’s disease.
• Constipation and toilet troubles
• Auto immune disorders
• Belly fat and being overweight
• Hormonal imbalances
• Eczema, rosacea, skin rashes
• High cholesterol
• High blood pressure
• Prominent visible wrinkles
• High blood pressure
• Heart disease
• Chronic pain
• Easily ill with infections
I remember one of the many times I had to get my blood taken back in my teens, and my ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate which is used as a way to monitor or indicate the level of inflammation in your body) at the time mine was around 40 which is very high, normal is between 1-10. When I was having a flare up, my ESR was normally in the high range, after I had gotten sick and tired of being sick and tired and prescribed strong pills, and potions, being tube fed and hospitalised frequently by doctors, my parents sought help from a well known naturopathic doctor which was life changing to say the least, fast forward a few months, my ESR was around 9, no joke!
It currently today is between 5-7 as I get checked every few months to monitor my auto immune disease….. and it all came down to a few things a pre-dominantly plant-based nutrition, some fish, occasional grass fed meat, with very little wheat, gluten, dairy, refined foods, as well as adding a long list of life supporting supplements, fresh juices, resting and staying positive; to this day, lack of sleep, stress, and a diet dominated by the inflammation causing foods, has huge impact on my health, I become unwell, sick, and very tired.
If your diet is dominated by meat, wheat, gluten, milk, cheese, butter, processed/ refined foods, alcohol, and caffeine then chances are you are deficient in key nutrients and overly toxic, which leads to inflammation in the body. Try to focus on the 80/20 approach to your meals, 80% predominantly plant based nutrition and 20% to the others. This is healthy balance to ensure you are focussing on foods to fight inflammation while not having to forbid some of your favourite things like wine, chocolate and cheese.
Not so friendly foods like lots of meat, wheat, butter, cheese, milk, ice-cream, refined sugar, gluten, simple carbs like white bread, refined snacks, and processed foods, can trigger the onset of inflammation, however plant based foods, can actually reduce your symptoms. When you start to heal your body holistically through plant-based nutrition, supplements, and a positive mindset, it is amazing what the results are…and I am living proof of this!
Beauty food feasting benefits that boost, balance and beautify your body from the inside out.
• Strong immune system
• Glowing skin
• Clear complexion
• Strong nails and lustrous hair
• Good digestion
• Better mood and memory
• Less bloat and belly fat
• Slim waist line
• Better sleep
• Inflammation fighting
• Combats oxidative stress which accelerates ageing and lifestyle illness
• Less aches and pains
• Loads of energy
• Balanced hormones
• Age defying
Beauty food feasting
• Staple starches
• Loads of leafy greens
• Sea vegetables
• Gluten free whole grains
• Nuts, seeds
• Healthy fat like nuts, seeds, avocado
• Cold pressed oils coconut oil, avocado oil
• Super foods like spirulina, chlorella, Acai berries, maca, baobab, ashawanda,
• Turmeric daily ( potent anti-inflammatory ) and premium omega 3 fish oil
• Dark chocolate ( 2-3 squares day)
Moderation ( 2-3 x a week)
Some organic wild caught fish, free range organic eggs
Organic poultry/ beef
Cheese from sheep milk like manchego, pecorino, organic feta, hollumi.
Premium red wine, tequila, gluten free vodka,
Rosè, or white wine in the summer try as a spritzer with sparkling water and ice.
Ditch all together or very rarely ( Try without for a while, to really help your body heal 100% and look for healthy swaps )
Gluten found in wheat, barley, spelt, oats, soya sauce, beer, vodka, cows milk, refined, processed foods, and junk food
Be a food detective and pay attention to labels
I don’t want to tell you to forbid foods, but simply focus on the beauty food feasting list to naturally crowd out the other stuff so you can feel healthy, rock a glow, have loads of energy, boost your immune system, melt fat, banish bloat, and sleep better, which basically is why I like to call myself a flexitarian, focusing on natural nutrition, but not depriving myself of other foods.
Standard american meal
Breakfast Coffee, toast, fruit juice
Lunch: Baguette sandwich fruit juice or soda pop, bag of crisps or a energy bar
Snack: Chocolate bar and energy drink
Supper: Spaghetti Bolognese
Dessert: Piece of cake
Beauty food feasting
Upon awakening: Lemon, turmeric, honey, hot water
Breakfast: Green smoothie
Mid morning Matcha latte, dairy free flat white, or tea
Hydration: 8 glasses of mineral water, other hydrating liquids is fresh veggie juices and herbal teas.
Lunch: G.f. oats topped with avocado, nuts, seeds, berries and maple syrup or sumptuous salad or chunky soup or fresh sushi box.
Snack: Cold pressed juice green juice, popcorn, or vegan ball
Supper: Generous portion of seasonal sautéed greens with side of grilled wild caught organic salmon
Dessert: Herbal tea with some dark chocolate or small coconut yogurt with sprinkle of nuts/ seeds.
During the week, I suggest you start your day with the Elixir of life wellness shot ( lemon, luke warm mineral water, raw honey, turmeric, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar) and a satisfying green smoothie to give your digestion a break for the other meals, the first list is also fab for a brunchy style lunch or an indulgent breakfast on the weekends that will keep you energised all afternoon not to mention full of beautifying properties.
Here are 28 meal ideas
Brunch style lunch or hearty breakfast
• Scrambled tofu cooked in coconut oil with chopped avocado and tomatoes, and g.f toast.
• 2 pieces of gluten free whole grain toast with spread of coconut oil and almond butter with a side of mixed berries
• Gluten free oatmeal bowl topped with nuts, seeds, apple, cinnamon and maple syrup with a side of green salad.
• Bowl of homemade muesli of almonds, goji berries, brazil nuts, walnuts, mixed seeds, black berries with almond milk and raw honey with a side of green salad.
• 2 slices of gluten free toast with almond butter and a with a blueberry, blackberry, spinach, cucumber, celery, smoothie.
• Beauty bowl made with gluten free oats. teff or quinoa, almond milk and coconut oil, topped with chopped avocado, blueberries, blackberries, nuts, seeds, and pure maple syrup.
• Gluten free pancakes made with g.f oats, 1 banana, and egg topped with blueberries, blackberries, and maple syrup.
• Free range eggs with tomatoes, avocados, and peppers.
Lunch ideas: From door to desk, meals made in minutes that will energise you all afternoon, store your sumptuous salads in medium mason jars for ready to go healthy meals.
Start with the dressing, layer your way up. For extra crunch add extra nuts & seeds.
• Greek Salad: Layer from bottom to top, mixed olive oil, balsamic vinegar, diced green peppers, red peppers, cucumber, lettuce, tomato.
• Chopped Salad: Layer vegan creamy dressing with diced lettuce, tomatoes, grilled tofu pieces, avocado pieces, and corn.
• Pomegranate Delight: Layer mixed balsamic, olive oil, raw honey, spinach, cucumber, pine nuts, green pepper, and pomegranates, vegan cheese.
• Mango Tango: Mixed olive oil, lemon, black pepper, chopped mango, black beans, avocado, sweet corn, lettuce, red onions.
• Radish Fever: Layer mixed balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic and raw honey, sliced radish, chopped lettuce, clementine pieces, shaved almonds, and chopped carrots.
• Spicy shrimp mix: Layer in mixed chilli sauce, tamari sauce and raw honey, sautéed mushrooms, chopped lettuce, diced avocado, chopped red pepper and green pepper.
Supper should be warm, savoury, light and satisfying; a perfect way to end the day and eaten at least 3 hours before bed time.
• Grilled salmon and sautéed seasonal greens like courgette, broccoli, and asparagus.
• Seared sea-bass in chilli flakes and fresh lemon juice with sautéed seasonal greens.
• Mince vegan meat ( g.f) topped over broken corn chips, chopped tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado, and lettuce.
• Grilled white fish with cauliflower rice, and slightly cooked carrots and corn.
• Spicy green veggie stir fry
• Plant-based tacos
• Gluten free pasta topped with sautéed mushrooms, kale, broccoli, and grated vegan cheese.
• Roasted sweet potato, butternut squash, carrots, topped with pomegranates, toasted pine nuts, and a side of grilled tofu steak.
• Cold pressed green juice with one of the following
• 1 cup of popcorn (non microwaveable)
• Carrot sticks with hummus
• Apple and almond butter
• 2 plant protein vegan ball
• Handful of almonds
• Handful of trail mix home made
• Boiled egg
• Plant based protein bar that uses dates to sweeten not cane sugar.
The key to eating well to help fight inflammation is proper planning, smart shopping and meal prepping if you prefer to take lunch to work. Do a declutter of your kitchen, throw away foods that are not natural, or nourishing, or as I say “ out of sight out of mind”, if I had Cheetos and Doritos stocked in the house, trust me I would be hoovering those down daily. Try to include plants at all meals, as well as getting them through home made smoothies, veggie juices, sides and snacks. Simply switch to a plant based mindset, and plan your meals around plants, make other stuff the condiments, small sides, or treat meals occasionally. If you are suffering from more than 3 symptoms, perhaps try plant based 95%-100% until your you feel better, than slowly introduce your favourite treats 20% of the time. Listen to your body, and remember each time you eat, you have a chance to feed or fight inflammation, so when you become mindful of your meals, it is truly empowering to be in control of nutritional habits that you know are nourishing, beautifying, age defying and inflammation fighting. When focussing on pre-dominantly plant based nutrition you are giving your body a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Remember small changes create long lasting results.