Lifestyle Change: Clean Eating

Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting itself from infection, illness, or injury.

As part of the inflammatory response, your body increases its production of white blood cells, immune cells, and substances called cytokines that help fight infection.

Classic signs of acute (short-term) inflammation include redness, pain, heat, and swelling.

On the other hand, chronic (long-term) inflammation often occurs inside your body without any noticeable symptoms. This type of inflammation can drive illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, and cancer. Chronic inflammation can also happen when people are obese or under a lot of stress.

Last spring (2018), I tried a high protein/low carb diet. I felt better and lost 30 pounds of the almost 70 I gained when I started taking Tamoxifen. But I got stuck about 4 months ago. I teeter between 178 and 184. I want to get back at the 140 I was before starting these breast cancer drugs.

So, it was suggested I try “clean eating” for a little while or just jump in and make a lifestyle change that is permanent. For me this means eliminating all dairy (I love my ice cream, Greek yogurt and cheese). I am told within one week, most of my problems will start to disappeared! I will start with dairy-free, add the removal of other high gluten foods , then eventually becoming beef-free on top of it. Now, I have already cut out about half the gluten (just by removing bread from my diet) I use to eat.

Why Try a Gluten and Dairy Free Diet?

Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, and dairy products, which are foods made from the milk products of animals, can trigger a variety of unpleasant symptoms or even allergies for adults. The symptoms of an adverse reaction can range from serious to stomach upset or maybe a nagging headache. Oftentimes, it’s only through the trial of a gluten-free, dairy-free meal plan that you can tell whether your body is sensitive to these foods or not. And while eliminating them may improve the way you feel, it can be quite a task to change your diet to dairy free and gluten free foods.

For me as a breast cancer patient, this diet will help cut down on the inflammation of my bones, joints, muscles and nerves, along with all the stomach issues, which all happened when I started taking the hormone blocker, Tamoxifen.

If you’ve experienced a reaction in the past, or you’re wondering if removing these potential triggers from your diet might just help you feel better, there are some extra benefits to consider. A gluten-free, dairy-free diet plan can help repair a leaky gut by restoring a balance of healthy bacteria in the gut and even improving gut discomfort!

Other added benefits? Some people report feeling more energized and less lethargic on a dairy and gluten free plan, and because eating whole foods typically have fewer processed grains and fats, many people also lose weight. More energy and weight loss? It’s worth a try!

Foods to Avoid: Some foods are associated with an increased risk of chronic inflammation.

Consider minimizing or cutting these out completely:

Sugary beverages: Sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices

Refined carbs: White bread, white pasta, etc.

Desserts: Cookies, candy, cake, and ice cream

Processed meat: Hot dogs, bologna, sausages, etc

Processed snack foods: Crackers, chips, and pretzels

Certain oils: Processed seed and vegetable oils like soybean and corn oil

Trans fats: Foods with partially hydrogenated ingredients

Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption

Foods to Eat Include plenty of these anti-inflammatory foods:

Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.

Fruit: Especially deeply colored berries like grapes and cherries

High-fat fruits: Avocados and olives

Healthy fats: Olive oil and coconut oil

Fatty fish: Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies (no go for me…I an allergic)

Nuts: Almonds and other nuts

Peppers: Bell peppers and chili peppers

Chocolate: Dark chocolate

Spices: Turmeric, fenugreek, cinnamon, etc.

Tea: Green tea

Red wine: Up to 5 ounces (140 ml) of red wine per day for women and 10 ounces (280 ml) per day for men

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