Inflammation and what you can do about it….

INFLAMMATION.

I got it.

Actually, it has come to my painful attention that many people walk around with it.

Don’t get me wrong, inflammation is actually a favorable process and much needed in our bodies. Chronic inflammation and inflammatory disease however, is not so awesome.

For our purposes, we’ll be focusing on the latter.

Over the summer, I was experiencing a hodgepodge of different symptoms. Nothing was really WRONG, but everything felt a bit OFF.

I was instructed to take some time off from lifting since it could be overtraining (I was unconvinced as to that, but what the heck). So, I did bodyweight exercise and PIYO for a month….and it just got worse.

SO…I found a chiropractor and started getting adjustments. My upper body was rocking, but my lower body (lower right quadrant specifically) was getting far worse.

Ultimately, I found myself crying in my docs office begging for some kind of diagnosis. To date, we’re still working on an actual diagnosis, but we are closer and finding that my issues are inflammation related.

Before I move on, I must digress for a moment. It is not my lifestyle or contest prep that caused the inflammation (several doctors have assured me of that), rather it is the past sins I forced on my body that more than most likely contributed (starvation, chronic dieting, over training and WAY too much cardio). So….now that I have cleared that up…

Chronic inflammation and pain is no fun, BUT there is something you can do to help lessen the severity. BTW, I wrote an article on this in GORGO mag, go check it out.

In the interest of taking control of inflammation and the fact that it is finally Fall, here is my BEST Anti-Inflammatory Soup Recipe and it will lead the way for an entire series on inflammation.

 

Weekly Anti-Inflammatory Soup

Seriously, I make this once a week and we eat off of it all week long. Pair it with chicken for more protein OR fish for more inflammation fighting power.

FIRST, please do not boil all your veggies in water or stock for soup…..that’s just nasty. Also, realize you need to wash stuff and I shouldn’t have to tell you that.

INGREDIENTS:

1 onion, diced

1 whole head of garlic, diced

6-10 carrots

4-5 celery stalks

1 container pre-sliced mushrooms (unless you fancy slicing them)

2 diced bell peppers

Small red potatoes to your heart’s content

2-3 tablespoons coconut oil

Hot water, cause it’s soup DUH

Seasonings:

I NEVER Measure seasonings and we have different tastes anyways. Pick and choose what works.

salt

pepper

garlic (yeah, we love garlic in this house)

turmeric

smoked paprika

sage

NOTE: turmeric can be used in small doses and is great for reducing inflammation

THE PROCESS:

Pay attention now……

In a soup pot, place coconut oil, onion, garlic and salt. Listen for it to talk to you.

Then, add your mushrooms and cook a few minutes until they become quite soft and start to cook down a bit.

Next…add everything else EXCEPT water.

Cook down, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Finally, cover with hot water (seasonings should already be in), bring to a boil, cover with a lid and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

What you have left is a fantastic and extremely tasty vegetable soup, ready to go to work in your body and warm up those Fall woes.

And your family will thank you for not boiling everything in water…..cause that’s nasty ;)

To your health,

Michelle

 

 

Monday Motivation: Guest post from Sarah Vance that will redefine how you see yourself

Do you ever think that once you get your ideal body that you will finally be content in your own skin?

That once you fit in your desired jeans size- you will never have problems picking out clothes again- because you will love EVERYTHING you put on your body?

 Or maybe you think that once you hit a goal weight- your life will magically change and you will never wake up in disgust with what is looking at you back in the mirror?

I thought these things to- and it wasn’t until years later that I discovered I had it completely backwards.

Hi! My name is Sarah Vance. I am a former bikini competitor, fitness model, and chronic dieter. I spent years searching for the perfect meal plan that would lead me to the ideal body that I had instilled in my head. I spent copious amounts of time ‘fixing’ my body…and when I finally looked like the ideal body that was in my head… I was actually at my lowest point and least confident in my own skin. My fitness regimen and eating habits ruled my life.

Sarah_before

I don’t think my story is uncommon with women- and as a matter of fact it is becoming more common with young girls. We as women feel extreme pressure to look a certain way from society’s unrealistic standards.

I would say the majority of women start a fitness regimen to ‘fix’ their body. Their body becomes their project. The majority of women start their first diet in hopes to mold their body into what they envision in their head.

All this time we are searching to become MORE. More confident, healthier, radiant, happier with our bodies, and sometimes we are looking for more LOVE from ourselves or others.

It wasn’t until I challenged all my ideals, gave a middle finger to society’s idea of beauty, and created happiness in my life that I had all of these things.

I went from tearing myself down, to building myself up in more ways than one. I quit dieting cold turkey (and have never looked back) I stopped worrying about exercising, and focused on moving in a way that is a celebration of my body and what it can do(hello powerlifting).  I started to take charge of my life and spent all the time I spent on obsessing over how many calories were in a piece of pizza or how many calories I burned from a run and put into areas that needed work: My relationship, my job, my internal self, my relationship with food, and my health.

You see: what we all desire is achievable in any body we have, however we go about achieving it in a backwards state of mind.

You see: You cannot hate your body into loving it. It simply doesn’t work that way. Take it from me- I tried that route, and I guarantee that you will not end up in a body that you love.

After I made a huge mind shift something magical happened: Everything I desired that my goal body promised started coming to me….

…confidence.

…love.

…health.

….freedom.

….happiness.

…empowerment.

…trust and faith in myself.

Sarah_after

Am I there? No. I don’t think there is ever a true ‘there’. I think it is human nature to have days where we want to go into an all out war with our body- but with this new found mindset and perspective I can come back to a place of love and respect for my body, and work through what is actually behind those feelings- because when we wake up saying: I am so <fat, gross, lumpy>, and I hate <my butt, cellulite, stretch marks, flabby arms> it usually isn’t about the body itself. Something is behind it, and only you can figure that out.

A question I want you to ask yourself is this: What does ‘there’ look like? What does this woman do, think, feel, act? How does she live her life?

Take a moment and reflect on that- then….see all those things. Now Go Do Them. Fearlessly. 

If you think your body is prohibiting you—sit with that and really break that mind barrier down.  I bet you that your body isn’t holding you back from anything, it is your mindset.

Do you really want to spend more time tearing yourself down when you can start building yourself up? Probably not, and how that has worked out for you this far. It probably hasn’t.

Why not try a new way of thinking and being? You never know- you may see the magic happen like I did, but you won’t know until you try.

Sarah_Vance

Sarah is a body positive fitness coach, nurse, lip gloss lover, barbell slinging, diet-ditching quirky chick. She specializes in helping radiant women learn to cultivate self love, nourishment, strength.  She is a former bikini champion and knows all to well the extremes of the fitness world. She is an ICU nurse who values health and living life to its fullest. Her favorite foods include a juicy burger, sushi, and a great steak. Her favorite hobbies include fishing, reading, watching good movies, and laughing until her stomach hurts.

Be sure to sign up for her FREE guide on how to start loving your body with five simple steps HERE. She will also send you ways to create a positive mindset, how to eat food effortlessly, love your fitness lifestyle, and own your body with confidence.

You can also follow Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

 

I’m BaaaAAaaaack!

Hey stranger!

In case you were wondering, I went on a fabulous family vacation and unplugged ALMOST completely (darn you Instagram!!!!). I highly recommend this. The simple act of removing myself from the constant borage of other’s lives (as social media works now) helped to rekindle some long lost passions and get me ready to tackle some new goals :)

My question for YOU:

How has your summer been? Better yet, how have you kept it healthy? Even better, what challenges are you finding to staying healthy during the summer?

OK, so that was actually 3 questions……answer below in the comments section along with HOW I can help you stay focused and healthy as the summer comes to a close.

What’s cooking now?

Some awesome new content is on the way for the website and social media channels. It’s all about making health, fitness and nutrition more readily available to everyone seeking a healthy lifestyle. You’ll also see the site get a bit of a face lift AND some brand new services will be added as well.

Please, tell me more!

Gladly :)

For starters, I will be experimenting with home gym workouts as opposed to the big gym workouts. Why? Because just about everybody can work out at home in some capacity. I’ll also be filming videos on building your home gym with the focus on the tiny and the large spaces. We’ll also discuss equipment as in what to spend on, what to save on, what to pass up and how to find good equipment on the cheap.

NEW VIDEOS!

My YouTube page will receive a face lift as well and you’ll see weekly videos now. I’m filming Tabata style workouts, warm ups, cool downs, foam rolling, yoga, abs/core, and lifestyle videos. This translates into some free content to help you get moving and reaching your goals.

NEWSLETTER!

You’ll receive a new newsletter each Wednesday which will contain a workout exclusive to subscribers, plus a run down of what I am eating, drinking and just plain loving at the moment. If you aren’t signed up, put your email into the box to the right —–>>>>>>>>>

NUTRITION!

The blog will focus a bit more on the most challenging aspect of health: your food. We will discover new ways of cooking, prepping and eating that will make things easier. If you’re local, I will also have some pretty cool happenings coming soon ;)

EBOOKS!

I am working on new meal plans, grocery lists, mindset books, workout sequences AND a very special book focused directly to a question I get asked all the time (it deals with skin and weight loss, so get ready).

WHEW!

So, if you’re excited then make sure you sign up for ALL the updates ————>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I promise, no spam :) as that is processed and unhealthy…..

I’ll see you soon with all the new content,

Michelle

Strong camp 110 Waiting for something to happen…… :) Photo by Paul Bucetta

 

gym selfie 7jpgHome gym……WORKS!