Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Say no to inflammation!

Over the course of the last several months I've had quite a few conversations about nutrition with other bloggers or ?s asked via email and comments. Although I LOVE a good nutrition conversation, since most of my day is spent discussing it at work in detail, I generally just blog about other things so I don't get burnt out. 

I promise I'll get better at doing a nutrition post here and there- first up topic is INFLAMMATON- woo!
So there are certain types of food that cause inflammation- depending on how greatly your body reacts to that food, could be a reason for why it may be difficult to get rid of unwanted weight, controlling allergies, trouble with energy, sleep etc. The foods are (in no particular order) Dairy, gluten, sugar, red meat, and alcohol (ya... all the good stuff)

Last year I did an experiment to see if I could cut one of these out for lent. Although I would have loved to give up gluten or red meat- I didn't have enough time to find replacements to allow for proper nutrition with training (looking for all gluten free products + the only white meat I do is chicken, not a turkey fan and HATE sea food--- pork is NOT white meat) 

Although I don't do a lot dairy, I thought it would be interesting to try to COMPLETELY eliminate it from my diet--- my actual explanation for choosing dairy specifically can be found HERE  There is the obvious dairy: milk cheese, butter, however I went to the extreme and did  no baked goods w/ milk, no chocolate, no items that contain 'milk solids' (which by the way, is in everything- cookies, chips, crackers, dressings etc) 

My one week recap of different substitutions can be found HERE. Unfortunately I got into the busiest season right when lent ended, so I never did a follow up post--- my experience was great- I felt better, more regular, and best of all in the first 2 weeks I lost 7lbs. I still do ranch dressing, chocolate, and cheese, but aside from that dairy is very minimal (occasionally I'll have a greek yogurt here or there) 

In the spirit of eliminating more inflammation causing foods (lets face it, alcohol will not be taken out of the equation) I decided this year to give up 2 things. First up is sugar (except fruit, yogurt and apparently 1 coke that I craved on my 16 mile run)- I think the hardest part is the brand new jar of Nutella my mom sent me for Valentines day--- it stares me down everytime I open my cabinet... that and the fact that a few of my teammates at work are offering up free girl scout cookies.... not just any flavor either... THIN MINTS!!!  

In all actuality- both the Shakeology and chocolate soy milk completely take care of my 'chocolate fix'. If I want something sweet, I just grab fruit or yogurt---I don't forsee the no sweets being TOO big of an issue. 

 The other food I'm eliminating is all meat- originally I said bacon, but decided to go all in- go big or go home!

I like that the no meat forces me to not only look for other sources of protein, but its also drastically prompted me to increase my veggie intake so I have something to eat that is filling. 
A few of my go-to protein sources now:
  • greek yogurt
  • chocolate soy milk
  • Shakeology for breakfast
  • peanut butter
  • eggs
  • nuts
  • beans
  • quinoa
  • barley
I can't wrap my head around a lot of the soy / veggie burger products, maybe in due time, but for now I'm satisfied with my options that I have listed above. 

Tonight's dinner (and probably tomorrow's lunch) sauteed brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots with barley + couscous mixture. 

It hasn't been a full week yet of cutting these 2 food groups out, but I don't notice as big of a difference as I did with dairy immediately- time will tell and I promise this go round to actually document my progress or lack there of.

Do you experiment with cutting out different foods? What were your results?


  1. I haven't eliminated any specific foods, but I'm currently learning about weight-loss and marathon training and nutrition.... it's so complex the way foods work in your body!

  2. I was vegan for 4 1/2 years and it is definitely an adjustment... the biggest part wasn't even getting my body used to it, it was realizing how many things contain animal ingredients! Craziness!

    I'm not anymore due to health issues that I encountered while living overseas (not a very vegan-friendly country over here, lol), and I've found my body responds better on a more, for lack of a better word, "typical" diet... But, I have been eating a lot cleaner recently which means cutting out a lot of processed foods and sugars. I've been baking our breads, making our tortillas and pizza crusts, and most recently I made ravioli from scratch so we can try to avoid excess sugars and salts. So far, so good. :)

  3. 1. Mint ruins chocolate.
    2. Brussels sprouts are yucky.
    3. I love when you post/talk nutrition. Keep it up, I learn something new every time.

  4. well you listed my entire diet at the top of this post (well i mean, i do like fruits and veggies, but i love other things more), so inflammation city is where i constantly reside. :) i just learned this year that i LOVE brussel sprouts.

  5. I'm not a sugar eater so that's not a give up option. But, I've been thinking about giving up meat. An experiment just to see the difference. So far I've only researched it. My hesitation is chicken and seafood are my main source of protein. Some of the "other" sources of protein are high in carbs and I have a mental block when it comes to carbs. Kind of silly now that I say it out loud :)

    How do you like Shakeology?

  6. that dinner looks sooo good!! so far, 1 week into lent and i have lost 4 lbs. no sweets or fried food. i must’ve been eating a lot of chocolate :):)

  7. This is an interesting idea about inflammation. I would like to learn more about this. I don't think I could ever give up dairy but maybe I could give up some sugar and red meat. I don't eat that much red meat to begin with. Interesting post, thank you!

  8. I gave up sugar well candy and cake for lent and am feeling really good, i can't believe how much I had been consuming lately. Dairy and meat would be hard for me to give up. I am learning to cook alternative things like qunioa though