Polymyalgia & an anti-inflammatory diet

We have just spent the weekend with a family friend who is suffering from POlymyalgia. having known him my whole life, it was awful to see someone in such pain -he put up a valiant effort with guests there, but his pain was evident.

As a Health Coach, I do not have the answer to everything but I am always interested to learn more so I started researching possible natural assistance to help treat the polymyalgia.

First of all, what is it?
common inflammatory disorder that causes pain, usually in your shoulders and upper body. Inflammation is your body’s natural response when it’s trying to protect you from harmful germs. Inflammation works by drawing extra blood and white blood cells to whatever part of your body it’s trying to defend. This increase of fluid can cause swelling, stiffness, and pain (reference: http://www.healthline.com/health/polymyalgia-rheumatica-diet#overview1).

As it is an inflammatory disease, assistance with a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods can assist. As we are all bio-individuals, we react differently to certain foods so try to keep a food diary & see whether certain foods have a positive, negative or neutral effect.

My top 10 anti-inflammatory foods:

  1. Salmon
  2. Sardines
  3. Walnuts & almonds
  4. Flaxseed & flaxseed oil
  5. Olive oil
  6. Oranges
  7. Green leafy veg including collards, kale & spinach (whatever state our health is in, there is no diet/lifestyle that doesn’t benefit from more leafy greens)
  8. Turmeric – one of my favourite things to add to dishes, delicious in a curry, or through eggs (either powdered or finely grated fresh)
  9. Berries – raspberries, blueberries, cherries
  10. Herbs & spices including cloves, cinnamon, rosemary, ginger, sage & thyme

I also highly recommend easing up on inflammatory foods including sugary products (juice, biscuits & soft drinks), cooking oils (that you would deep-fry food in), alcohol, refined grains (white flour, pasta, biscuits & pastry). More controversial & again I urge you to TRY for a week, or perhaps longer – ease off the dairy & see if you notice any difference. If you’re a meat eater, source the best possible quality meat, ideally grass-fed & grass-finished & only consume meat every third day, or even less frequently.

I love this simple article on 7 days to an anti-inflammatory diet – plenty of easy swaps, if you try to make one change per day.

I am not a Doctor or qualified Nutritionist, always see your Doctor if unsure.

Foods that fight inflammation-infograph

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banana berry smoothie bowl

There’s something indulgent but delicious about having a smoothie bowl for breakfast. I absolutely love this combination & could have a variation of it most days for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

INGREDIENTS
2 bananas
1 cup frozen organic berries (berries tend to be highly sprayed crops so I recommend buying organic where possible)
2 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked in 1/4 cup water for 5 minutes
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons cacao (cacao is the raw, unprocessed version of cocoa so contains many more nutrients)
OPTIONAL: 1 tspn cinnamon powder, 1 tspn vanilla powder, flaked almonds to top

METHOD
1. Turn the stove onto low – in a small pan, mix the cacao & coconut oil
2. Once chia seeds have formed a gel, tip bananas, berries & chia seeds into the blender, along with vanilla & cinnamon if you are using it. I use an Omniblend which is great for smoothies. Blend until well combined. I like mine thick but if you prefer it more of a ‘drinkable’ texture, add a little water / coconut water / coconut milk / almond milk.
3. Pour banana berry mixture into a bowl
4. Slowly pour the cacao mix on top – it should set almost immediately into a crunchy ice-magic like sauce
5. EAT!

 

Berry & Apple crumble smoothie | vegan DF GF RSF

Refined sugar free, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan.

Baked apples
2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored & quartered
1 tspn cinnamon
1 tspn ginger
Bake at 160 degrees for about 20 mins, wrapped in baking paper & foil.
Remove from the oven, open up & let it cool down.

Bake the crumble at the same time as the apples (each only need a small oven tray)
1/3 cup almond meal
1 tspn coconut
2 tspns coconut oil
1 tspn rice malt syrup (add more if you want it sweeter but the smoothie is already sweet enough)
Mix all ingredients together
Bake at 160 degrees for 7-10 minutes.
Keep an eye on it – if it starts going brown, take out immediately.

Blend:
Baked apples (once cooled)
1 orange (zest & all of inside)
1/2 cup frozen berries
1/4 cup Natural Raw C coconut water

Pour the smoothie in the glass then top w crumble.

The flavours are very wintry – the combination of baked apples, cinnamon, ginger & orange are lovely.

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