You may be wondering, why am I talking about an anti-inflammatory nutrition when my blog is about interiors! I get it, but hear me out. First, I also share some lifestyle content and recipes. But, most importantly, creating healthy environments with neuroarchitecture principles in mind cannot be a stand-alone. When you’re passionate about a healthy lifestyle, a lot of things follow suit. And, so did my (our as a family) nutrition!
How did this change start?
It all started around the time I began to find interest in neuroscience. It was also a time during which I was researching to help my eldest boy with his attention for school. But, as I was looking for natural alternatives, I also had a follow-up with my new doctor. I had been on a waiting list for a family doctor for almost 10 years, but that’s a story for another time! If you’re in Quebec, Canada, you know what I mean).
One of my follow-ups was about my daily stomach pains. I had been diagnosed about 10 years ago with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Some time after, I was also diagnosed with food intolerances to lactose and fructose for the most impacting ones. And if you’re familiar with this, especially when it comes to fructose, that meant most fruits and veggies. So, my diet was really hard, and I had to constantly make exceptions. I also had to eliminate high FODMAP foods that are actually healthy, such as garlic, onion, broccolis, etc.
Only problem is that it was becoming much worse. At that time, I was also going through a lot of stress and this obviously doesn’t help. However, I could not sustain this, not a single day would pass without being in pain. So, my very kind new doctor sent me for a few more tests, including gluten. I had initially been seen by a gastroenterologist and dietician, who simply gave me the list of all foods (a looooong list) to avoid.
So I seeked another professional advice
So, I went to see my doctor for the results, turns out everything else was ok. I was not intolerant to gluten. After several questions and a discussion, she told me that the only way to manage symptoms was to go on anti-depressants to relax the muscles of my digestive system. That would be a solution I’d probably have to take for life. Whaaaat!!! Yeah, I had heard right, she said I did not really need any supplements for vitamins nor avoid any type of food. So, I just had to take the medication to have a better quality of life. I of course thanked her and said I’d think about it, which I knew was out of the question.
I went back home totally confused and feeling quite down, I could not believe this was my only option! As I mentioned, I had already started researching many alternatives for my son. And so nutrition came out over and over again. So I made it a mission of mine to dig deeper… And, oh boy, how misinformed we are even when we think we eat healthy! We weren’t the people who’d always eat junk food. We cooked most of the time and yet, the discoveries I was about to make were astounding!
Most of my sources first came from guests on podcasts I usually listen to, that I then followed and researched. From one expert or doctor to another, I read and researched and compared facts and data for many weeks. In early 2023, I felt I had enough information to pull the trigger!
So, what is it exactly that I eat?
I’m going to keep it simple, but if you want to go deeper into the subject of anti-inflammatory nutrition, there are many resources online to get your started.
I removed a few items from my diet altogether, or reduced them to a minimum. These are gluten, sugar, mostly refined, processed foods, soy and corn as well as dairy. Now, I like to be balanced in anything I do. And so, I may make exceptions every now and then, like for instance when we visit friends and family or eat at the restaurant. But overall, I have been trying to be selective and keep the exceptions minimal.
few changes That made a difference
- Find many substitutes to ingredients I use like mayonnaise, soy sauce, pasta and milk.
- Opt for vegan option in products like butter.
- Make sure our diet is protein rich and that we eat in a certain order: veggies, proteins followed by carbs and sugars.
- Try to go for grass fed and organic where possible.
- Practice intermittent fasting.
- Reduced coffee to one a day most of the time, and opt for a matcha in the afternoon instead.
- I’m still working on increasing my daily water intake.
I’ve also established a morning and night routine. It’s not directly related to food but definitely a part of a healthier lifestyle.
How do I cook an anti-inflammatory based nutrition?
When I first started my anti-inflammatory nutrition, I was trying to research and look for recipes and replacement ingredients. However, once you understand how to read labels and ingredient lists, what you should be prioritizing and taking out of your nutrition, it becomes easy. Now, I take almost any recipe I usually make and adapt it for a healthier version. Otherwise, I simply replace ingredients for the substitutes I found. It’s really not complicated at all to eat healthy.
What are the impacts?
Well, ever since I changed how we eat, we have seen many benefits:
- I have no more or almost never stomach pain which I believe was due to inflammation.
- I got rid of the bloating the cramping and so on.
- I also feel more energized and don’t usually feel the need to snack or crave sweets.
- I lost the excess weight I had put on and I feel better, even though this change didn’t aim at weight loss, it did help me get back to my previous weight.
Overall, it has been such a positive change, and I am so glad I learnt more about all this. I always thought I at healthy but what I thought was, is in fact not! As I mentioned, if you’re looking to adopt an anti-inflammatory nutrition, please do your research and ask your physician or a functional medicine doctor as every case is different and may require special attention to some things.