How to Fight Inflammation Plus 3 Simple Steps to Get You Started Today

It was a little over a decade ago that my life changed drastically. I was a typical 22 year old woman living in Manhattan, constantly on the go and working in the corporate world at VOGUE and Ralph Lauren, just trying to live life and pay my bills. I had no idea that the next 10 years of my life would be filled with battling and overcoming chronic illness. Throughout the last 10 years ago, I suffered from numerous health issues, including Lyme disease, PCOS, Hypothyroidism, Candida, C-diff Colitis, Leaky Gut and more. At one point, I was given 24 hours to live with C-diff colitis with barely any hope that I decided to take control of my life and turn it around. 

Read more: What is Candida?

When Western medicine and doctors couldn’t help me anymore, I decided to turn to Functional and Integrative medicine instead. I knew there was more of an underlying issue as to why my legs, belly and really entire body were constantly swollen, why my joints and muscles were always causing me pain and why my entire immune and digestive system were shutting down on me.

It wasn’t until I stopped taking the pharmaceutical cocktails of drugs that were being prescribed to me and stopped masking the underlying issues, that I was finally able to start fixing the imbalances that were accumulating throughout my body and really, started to heal. This journey inspired me to help others avoid the traumatic experiences I went through, and so, here I am 10 years later and I’m sharing my first best-selling book, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body, with the world.

Read more:  Reversing Chronic Inflammation Naturally

At the time I didn’t realize how important it was for us, as humans, to fully detox our bodies from harsh chemicals, toxins and inflammation. During my 20’s I was constantly battling inflammation and struggling with how to control it. Chronic inflammation is usually the result of a system imbalance.

Functional Medicine doctor, Dr. Mark Hyman, MD states that, “hidden inflammation is at the root of all chronic illness we experience — conditions like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, depression, cancer, and even autism.”

Meaning, that inflammation is actually the cause of so many of our health problems, but it is often overlooked and diagnosed as something else, which in turn forces people to treat the wrong symptoms, taking medicine they shouldn’t, and making the problem worse.

The healing process really begins when you reset your body and find its natural balance. Inflammation can be caused by everything from stress, mold, pesticides, mercury, hidden parasites, bacteria and viruses as well as by eating an inflammatory diet consisting of table salt, sugar, white flours, refined vegetable oils and processed foods. All of these foods lack nutrients that our body needs on a daily basis to function properly. I know this can all seem a little overwhelming, but that’s why I love doing what I do and why in the end I’m so grateful for the last decade and everything I have been though, because now I can help others look and feel their best and help them to really take back and enjoy the beautiful life they were given.

Read more: 5 Reasons Processed Foods are Killing You

Here are 3 steps to help you fight inflammation and start feeling like yourself again: 

1. Eat A Clean, Whole Foods Diet

Most health related issues begin in the gut, so it’s important to maintain a healthy diet in order for your digestive system to work properly. Cutting out inflammatory-causing foods such as gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugars and anything processed is the first step. It’s key to replace them with good, healthy fats and whole foods. Our bodies need healthy fats to function properly and our hormones also need fat to be at their optimal potential. Anti-inflammatory foods such as raw walnuts and ground flaxseeds, which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids as well as fermented vegetables, dark leafy greens, fresh ginger, turmeric, cloves, blueberries, garlic, cruciferous vegetables and fresh rosemary are all ideal for fighting inflammation.

Read more: Fighting Inflammation with Food

2. Detox Your Cleaning and Beauty Products

Inflammation is a result of stress. When you have a cut or wound, inflammation is a good thing to help protect against that “stressor” on your body. However, when your body is exposed to chemicals and toxins, your body goes into defense mode, causing chronic inflammation to occur. What I wasn’t aware of, until I got sick, was that products we use everyday are filled with harmful chemicals that end up in our bloodstream. When you’re using that cleaning spray to wipe off your counters, or using that soap to wash off your hands or dishes, instead of getting rid of bacteria and germs, you’re actually exposing yourself to chemicals that are absorbed through your skin. This also applies to your favorite makeup products. Every time you use brands are full of chemicals and parabens, you are directly putting toxins into your pores through your concealer, mascara, lip gloss, etc. Acne is also a source of inflammation, so when your skin is already irritated from dirt build-up, the last thing you want to do is apply a chemical-laden facewash and moisturizer to your skin, making the problem worse. Your skin is your body’s biggest organ, so anything that comes into contact with it or applied directly to it, is absorbed into your bloodstream. Switching to non-toxic household cleaners, personal care products and makeup is necessary to reduce your chemical exposure, which in turn lessens the body burden your body has to face on a daily basis. Remember, your liver has to work extra hard to process all of these extra toxins. Give it a little break and try detoxing your bathroom and makeup drawer!

Read more: How Petroleum in Cosmetics Ruins Your Skin and Your Health

3. Reduce Stress and Get More Sleep

Stress is toxic to our bodies and immune system. Stress plays a major role in your hormones and can cause your adrenals to get out of whack, leaving you tired and drained on a daily basis. When this happens your body isn’t able to detox properly. When you have stress in your body, your muscles and joints get tense, which can cause backaches, headaches, sore and weak muscles and of course, inflammation. It’s important to detox your life from the hustle and bustle and negative energy that you may be surrounded by at work or at home and just take time for yourself through meditation, deep breathing and relaxing. In order to fight against inflammation, it’s vital that you get the proper amount of good sleep so your body can reset and recharge. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Sleep is necessary for your body to recharge, detox and heal itself from your day (the foods you eat, the chemicals you come into contact with and the stressors in your life). 

To learn more about my journey from chronic illness to vitality and learn more ways you can start fighting inflammation today, visit my website, and check out my new cookbook, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body, which is filled with over 200 plant-based anti-inflammatory recipes that are free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, corn, refined sugar, white flours and other inflammatory foods. This book is a roadmap to detox your food and your life no matter what symptoms you may have.

By Amie Valpone| June 21, 2016
Categories:  Restore

About the Author

Amie Valpone

Amie Valpone

AMIE VALPONE, HHC, AADP is the Editor-in-Chief of She is a chef, culinary nutritionist, professional recipe developer, food photographer, writer, and motivational speaker specializing in simple gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free “clean eating” recipes. After visiting countless doctors and the Mayo Clinic with no results, Amie was able to heal herself from a decade of chronic pain and multiple ailments, including Lyme Disease, Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome, Hypothyroidism, Adrenal Fatigue, Leaky Gut, and Heavy Metal and Mold Toxicity. Amie cooks for a variety of clients, including celebrities and people with busy lifestyles, who enjoy healthy, organic, whole foods. Her work appears on Martha Stewart, Fox News Health, WebMD, The Huffington Post, The Food Network, and PBS, and in Glamour, Clean Eating, SELF, Vegetarian Times Prevention, and many other magazines and media outlets. 

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