Have you ever hit your finger or thumb with a hammer while aiming for a nail?
Instantly, you feel pain and your finger starts to throb like in the cartoons . . . where it swells up really big, turns a bit red, and you can feel your heart beat in your fingertip for a little moment . . . or maybe longer. You know what I am talking about, right?
That, my friend, is your body’s natural inflammatory response. It also happens when you have a head cold, stomach bug, wound, or pretty much every other type of injury or illness. In these cases, inflammation is a good thing. It’s necessary to ward off those viruses and bacteria. It helps us heal, renew, and thrive.
As with anything else in life, there sometimes exists too much of a good thing. When your body is inflamed for short periods of time, that is natural and constructive. When it’s constantly in that state, that’s when the problems start. Our bodies tell us this is happening in many ways – fatigue, insomnia, unexplained pain, digestive complications, frequent infections, and many others. Sadly, these signals are usually things that we shrug off or brush aside. I realize how easy it is to reject or ignore our bodies and the clues they give us. This happens when we say things like “must have been something I ate” or “I had trouble sleeping again, . . . Oh well." 🤷🏽♀️ While those symptoms may be dismissed as just regular life stuff, they are likely your body’s way of expressing a cry for help.
Chronic inflammation can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common is stress. Stress caused by the usual culprits (work, family, finances, school, current events, etc.) or by something you most likely don’t even realize is causing stress. The food you are eating. I am not trying to scare you or bring you down, but I do want you to stop for a moment and think. Consider how your body reacts when you eat certain foods. Are there any connections you can draw between your body feeling a certain way and a food you eat or drink often?
Perhaps you already know there are foods your digestive system doesn’t agree with. You may even already be avoiding those.
Or maybe this line of thinking is completely new to you and you haven’t realized until now that every time you drink a milkshake, you get a stomachache.
This might not apply to you, or possibly you can’t think of any solid examples right now, which is totally fine.
As your "favorite health coach", I am not asking you to change anything at all. All I am asking is that you just stop to notice. Cue into this line of thinking over the next week or so. If you find yourself in a spot where you see patterns in the way you feel, try to link it to a certain food or type of food.
My goal is always to help you feel your best, to live your best life, and to be able to change the things that are standing in the way of that. Just taking a moment to notice what might be going on in this regard is a baby step in the right direction.
And as you know, no matter where you are on your health journey . . . baby steps are what will lead you further down the path to feeling great.
Here's to Keeping it Simple and Sustainable,
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