Madrona Nutrition and Fitness: Recipe and Nutrition Guide

Madrona Nutrition and Fitness:
Guide to Wellness through Holistic Diet
and Lifestyle

Rachel Fiske
Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant,
Certified Personal Trainer

Monday, September 26, 2011

Referral Incentive Program!!!

Hello everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to read the latest news with Madrona Wellness.

I am in the process of working on growing my private practice for Holistic Nutrition Counseling, and because of this am offering an incentive for referrals. To see more of what I do nutritionally, please visit my website-as many of you have already and I'm grateful: I work with clients on an array of conditions such as stress, fatigue, insomnia, digestive distress, immune health, blood sugar regulation, weight loss, and more. If anyone you know is in need of such services and you refer them, upon purchasing a nutrition package, you will receive either a 30% discount on nutrition counseling for yourself, or 1 free personal training session.

I work with clients in person in the Bay Area, or via phone or skype.

Please let me know if you'd like more information or have any questions, and also just a friendly reminder that I greatly value not only your business, but feel  fortunate to be a part of your personal path to wellness!
Rachel Fiske, Holistic Nutrition Educator, CPT-NASM

"The human body heals itself and nutrition provides the resources to accomplish the task." ~Roger Williams Ph.D

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Inflammation and Diet

A friend asked me yesterday which foods are important for cooling inflammation, and I thought this would be an excellent topic to address! You've all heard me use the word 'inflammation' many times, so lets take a closer look at what is really going on in our bodies when inflammation occurs, and what this can mean symptomatically. Keep in mind, most conditions/disease have their root cause in systemic inflammation!

Disease (think: dis-ease) is a sign of some sort of unbalance in the body. When our internal homeostasis is disrupted somehow, various symptoms and disease can ensue. This sort of disruption can be caused by a wide variety of both physical and psychological (mental/emotional) factors (remember that stress-disease connection). On the physical end of things, disease is often a result of nutrient deficiencies in the body due to a poor diet, toxic exposure (foods and other environmental toxins), poor nutrient absorption, and therefore poor cell function. Henry Lindlahr, M.D. in his book Philosophy of Natural Therapeutics, states that:

"...if the diet consists of an excess of low-quality proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, tissues will inevitably be clogged with 'morbid matter'...or toxic accumulation...this can interfere with vital cellular functions, thereby becoming pathogenic to many systems in the body. The buildup of toxins in turn supports cellular degeneration, moving the system toward disease, rather than supporting the cellular regeneration needed for healing."

The diseases/symptoms that can follow this type of toxic accumulation can manifest as different things depending on the individual. A few examples would be skin rashes, allergies (food and environmental), asthma, auto-immune conditions, and cancer. Remember that as Dr. Lindlahr points out, our bodies are sending us a clear message that we are not effectively able to rid it of toxins in some capacity.

So Where Does Inflammation Come In?

According to Jessica Black, N.D. in her book The Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Recipe Book, "Inflammation is the first response by the immune system to infection or irritation." Think, if you break a bone or get a cut, we experience swelling, redness, pain, etc, which are all signs to protect this area from further damage. However, when we experience systemic inflammation (internal), it becomes a bit more difficult to make such obvious connections. Ignoring these signs longer term, however, is what creates much disease as discussed above.

Lets take a quick look at prostaglandins, which are fatty acids in the body responsible for controlling inflammation. There are 3 types that serve different functions. The first is PGE1, which helps prevent inflammation, improve immune function, and decrease blood pressure. The 2nd is PGE2, which promotes inflammation and suppresses immunity. PGE3 also prevents inflammation and increases HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol). This inflammatory cascade is much more complex, and I encourage you to do some outside reading! Dr. Jessica Black's above mentioned book is a great resource. Certain foods promote certain prostaglandins, and this is where eating an anti-inflammatory diet comes into play.

Signs and Symptoms of Inflammation can include food and/or environmental allergies, asthma, digestive disorders (IBS, IBD, Chrohns, etc), auto-immune conditions, pain, fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, depression, heart disease, and cancer. These are just some of many!

What Are Anti-Inflammatory Foods?

Considering that we are exposed to a myriad of toxins on a daily basis through both diet and our environment (especially for us city-dwellers), it is of great importance to control the factors that we are able to! Think of all the toxins we ingest with poor quality foods: pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotic residues, and more. Yuck! These foods eaten regularly (think a Standard American Diet/SAD), cause poor cell function, inflammation, and disease. By eating the right foods, we can support our body's ability to eliminate necessary toxins. According to Jessica Black, this is why many times people with common allergies to grass, pollen, etc will see drastic improvements when they cut out allergenic/irritating foods because their body is better able to process grass and pollens.

Foods that contribute to inflammation include processed carbohydrates and sugars, primarily. These are  extremely low in nutrient content, and are actually anti-nutrient foods, meaning in order to process them we are expending more energy than the foods are providing for us. Below I will provide a basic list of some main inflammatory foods:

  • Processed carbohydrates (flour, breads, pasta, wheat products, gluten, cereals)
  • Processed soy (any soy that is not fermented, which is miso, nato, tamari, and tempeh).
  • Grains and Legumes can be very inflammatory for some and should not be the staple of your diet (yes, even whole grains!)
  • Nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, gogi berries, tobacco). Many people with joint pain and arthritis find that cutting out nightshades which contain inflammatory compounds helps tremendously.
  • Sugar!! Pretty much all sugar and artificial sweeteners are inflammatory. Stick to moderate amounts of raw honey or grade B maple syrup. 
  • Hydrogenated oils and fats (margarine, anything hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, any vegetable oils). Cook with more stable, nourishing oils/fats like grass-fed butter and coconut oil.
  • Commercial dairy products
  • Peanuts/peanut butter
  • Soda, most juice (unless fresh squeezed), excess caffeine/coffee, alcohol
  • Corn products
Seem overwhelming? Just think of all the foods you CAN enjoy!

  • Unlimited vegetables and fruit (preferably organic and seasonal whenever possible)
  • Organic meat, poultry, seafood (yes, nitrite/nitrate free bacon is ok!)
  • Organic eggs
  • Lots of healthy fats! Coconut, butter, ghee, olive oil, flax oil, raw nuts/seeds and their respective butters, avocados). Focus on getting lots of omega 3 fats in your diet (cold water fish, flax oil).
  • Herbal teas, fresh squeezed veggie juice (and fruit but in moderation), lots of water for flushing toxins.
  • Anti-inflammatory foods like garlic, ginger and turmeric.
Here are some great websites with anti-inflammatory recipe suggestions:

This is only an introduction to the very complex topic of inflammation, but I hope it is helpful! Also important to note that stress and lack of sleep play a huge role in inflammation, but this will be for another article. Please contact me with further questions, or if you suspect signs of inflammation and would like to seek further help.