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Candlelight and classical music, good food and wine

I was surprised to learn recently that many GPs have not heard of an anti-inflammatory diet. The only option for conditions such as endometriosis, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis being life-long medication. Often with side effects almost not worth the benefits.

Anyone who has learned to manage their own blood sugar with diet, whether diabetic or pregnant, will know that what we eat has a direct, and often immediate effect on how we feel.

Think of how fast-acting caffeine is to your feeling of alertness, concentration etc and consider that every nutrient has a similar effect, in varying degrees.

So, why is inflammation important to all of us? and which nutrients do we need to dampen it down?

Anything irritation including skin conditions, diarrhoea, reflux, mouth ulcers is inflammation.

Anything which responds to histamine or corticosteroids eg hay fever, sinusitis, eczema, dermatitis.

In fact any chronic (long term) condition is seated in inflammation. This is because inflammation is the body's natural - and healthy - response to damage ie inflammation is your immune system mounting an attack.

But did you know that mood-related disorders, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia and chronic fatigue have strong links to inflammation?

All inflammation starts in the gut, your first-defence immunity.

This means to treat inflammation, we must improve the microbiome, which means we must create the conditions which entice the microflora to reproduce.

Like all living things, your microflora are more likely to reproduce under the conditions of "Candlelight and classical music, good food and wine (ferments)"

Nervous-soothing aside, you can liken candlelight to just the right amount of heat. Too rich, too sweet, too refined, too much, will turn up the "fire in the belly" disturbing gastric secretion and damaging gastric lining.

Mucus - anywhere in the body - is a protective mechanism, produced in response to inflammation.

Mucus (produced by the goblet cells) acts as a barrier between the irritant eg trans-fat, and the body's lining (respiratory, digestive, reproductive, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and neural)

Naturopathically, we use demulcents such as slippery elm, licorice and marshmallow (herbals, not lollies) to do the same thing.

Interestingly, demulcents also create the correct pH for the microbiome, and even offer a mechanical "stickiness" for the microbiome to adhere to (inflamed tissues are slippery, think of a skin burn and you'll know what I mean).

The coolest thing is....demulcents and microflora are not hard to come by. In fact, the demulcent-rich herb plantain grows as a rampant weed in our very own Arboretum botanical garden!

Microflora is on every surface, especially those that haven't been disinfected, and which have been exposed to the earth (even owning a pet has shown to improve the microbiome).

So, why am I telling you this?

Because after more than 20-years offering our Do-able Detox Program, we are offering it as a wholistic anti-inflammatory program.

So, what's involved in The Doable Detox?

Firstly, seeing your GP for an updated blood test. You'll need a CRP (C-reactive protein) or ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) BEFORE starting The Doable Detox.

Then, tracking any pain or irritation in your body with a daily journal, pre-detox, during-detox and post-detox.

Then, prep-phase for 3 weeks of clean eating. Clean eating being avoiding processed food, refined carbohydrates including sugar, alcohol and white flours and replacing them with whole food such as glorious vegetables of all colours, pre-soaked brown rice and clean protein sources (vegan and meat-eating options). We also use Self-Worth Practices, including breaking free of coercive, controlling internal dialogue by identifying feelings, needs and making loving requests of ourselves,

Your copy of my Doable Detox Manual available for purchase on Amazon. It guides the whole process from woe to go.

Return to your GP to repeat your blood test after two weeks of continued nutrition.

I'm offering a twice-weekly Zoom get together for those interested in being part of a Detox Group for swapping recipes etc. I'll also be using your feedback for my next iteration of The Doable Detox, due for publication January 2024.

The US are much more progressive than Australia in Integrative Health Care. Read here what The School of Medicine & Public Health at UW have put together on an Anti-Inflammatory Diet.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your place here and let's get cracking!

Alexis Dennehy is a Naturopath, Yoga- & Somatic- Therapist in Graceville. She has special interest in the meditation, yoga, the nervous system and wholistic living. She holds a Masters of Public Health from The University of Queensland and practices translational research in her local community setting.


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