Inflammation and gut health are the latest buzz words in the health field. But, do you really know what it means and how it affects your personal health? With inflammation driving the top 15 diseases, and with the season of holiday and inflammatory eating in full swing, you should have a solid plan to fight inflammation, because it starts in your kitchen, not your medicine cabinet!
The food you eat can either be the safest
and most powerful form of medicine
the slowest form of poison!
~ Ann Wigmore
What Is It? 
Inflammation is part of the immune system and can actually be a healthy process in healing. You know this if you’ve ever fallen down or cut yourself, and the area becomes red, swollen, and inflamed. In this case, your immune system is activated to heal the wound in rapid time, and the inflammation subsides. The same is true inside your body. Chemicals and foreign, food substances compromise the lining of your gut and activate your immune system. Inflammation occurs internally to fight the invader, but it becomes an issue when inflammation fails to go away and the body is riddled with chronic, systemic inflammation, causing a cascade of health issues. 
What are the everyday causes of Inflammation? 
Shortly put, the Standard American Diet (SAD) causes inflammation, especially pasta, bread, meat, dairy, sugar, processed and packaged foods (think turkey, stuffing, whipped cream, pumpkin pie, and the like!). These are the same foods that generally contain high calories but low nutrients, and their lacking of color is a big tip off, especially when not balanced with healing green, veggies! 

Top gut killers that cause inflammation: 

  1. Inflammatory foods (especially sugar, gluten, dairy)
  2. Chemicals (think Glyphosate)
  3. Cigarette Smoke
  4. Sugars
  5. Pollutants
  6. Colors, fillers
  7. Food-like (nutrient-less) substances 
Even as early as 150 years ago, the pathologist Rudolf Virchow named cancer a “wound that doesn’t heal” after seeing high concentrations of inflammatory cells within malignant tumors. Virchow was right! Systemic, chronic inflammation significantly increases risk of disease since it damages the cells of the brain, heart, arterial walls, and other anatomic structures. Over time, this cellular destruction can lead to various inflammatory chronic diseases.
Top diseases caused by inflammation? 
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • GI issues
  • Obesity
  • Alzheimers
  • Depression
  • Arthritis and Joint Diseases
  • Allergies
  • COPD (chronic Obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Autoimmune
Symptoms of Inflammation
It’s easy to see inflammation with an external wound, such as a cut finger. But with internal inflammation, it can cannot be seen, and so it’s easy to write off inflammation as “old age” or hormonal issues, especially since our brains don’t have pain receptors, so it’s impossible to know when the brain is inflamed from an unhappy gut! Instead, noted symptoms such as lethargy, mood swings, weight changes, bloating or GI issues/acid reflux can be big “tip offs.” 
How to prevent and/or diminish inflammation? 
You’ve already heard of Motrin, or and NSAID (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs). But, anti-inflammatory drugs can block or delay the function of the healing process and in essence diminish or prohibit the body from doing its job. Alternatively, dietary and lifestyle changes can remove inflammatory triggers and can reduce chronic, systemic inflammation. Here are your top picks: 
  • Decrease saturated and trans fats, high glycemic foods, hidden sugars, and stress, 
  • Increase fruits and vegetables, fiber, nuts and fish/fish oil (omega 3s), curcumin/turmeric, green and black tea polyphenols, micronutrients (especially vitamins D and E,  zinc, magnesium, and selenium)
  • Increase exercise
  • Add herbs such as ginger, cannabis, hyssop
  • Minimize alcoholic drinks
  • Increase hydration
  • Choose real foods and if boxed, canned, or packages, read labels to added chemicals and sugars. If you can’t read the ingredient, you don’t need it!

Over this Thanksgiving Holiday, you can actively minimize your inflammatory response by staying clear of the top 7 store-bought foods, which contain preservatives, GMO foods (soy and corn), refined sugars, thickening agents, and chemical compounds.


  1. Canned vegetables – Cans of vegetables typically lack nutrients, have added salt, and are contained in BPA cans. Always go fresh with roasted veggies! 
  2. Aerosole whipped cream/whipped cream – These “fun” cans have explosive capabilities and contain nitrous oxide. What’s more, high fructose corn syrup should never be on the dinner table! Use Coconut Whipped Cream instead!
  3. Boxed stuffing – Hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors, BHA and BHT (synthetic antioxidants that act as preservatives), added refined sugar, and soy ingredients lead the charge on this one! You are better off making a homemade version! None of this should ever go into your body!
  4. Flavored creamers – Refined sugar and hydrogenated oils are just scratching the surface on this one! You are better off with an almond milk creamer or pastured organic half and half with a few sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice!
  5. Canned Cranberry Sauce – To avoid this high in sugar (and made from high fructose corn syrup) traditional favorite, simply make your own with a combination of freshly squeezed orange juice and zest, cranberries, and honey, agave, or maple syrup.
  6. Gravy jars – Full of modified corn starch and caramel colors, you want to avoid this one and make your own from the drippings of your pastured turkey.
  7. Vegetable Oil Sprays – vegetable oil is highly inflammatory; choose avocado or coconut oil instead!
I have put together my list of favorite fall and Thanksgiving recipes, which will avoid these common grocery store pitfalls and will help you to stay on track even over the biggest eating day of the year! I hope you will pick a few to recreate, and please post and tag me @pacerkristen/#pacerkristen with your awesomely healthy meals!
My Health Made Easy Programs are IDEAL for healing and sealing the gut and for dramatically reducing chronic inflammation…perfect anytime, and especially after Turkey Day! Get registered now to have a plan ready for post Holiday eating.