I recently had the very great pleasure of recording a podcast with the author and science journalist Maria Borelius. Her book, ‘Health Revolution’ has been translated from Swedish, her mother tongue, in to English, and it is selling like healthy hot cakes! The book chronicles her journey from being tired, unwell, menopausal and overweight, with sugar cravings and brain fog to being fabulous, fit and mentally so fired up that she has since written another book called ‘Bliss’.
Maria’s enquiring mind demanded that she undestood why she was feeling so low and so began her quest, traveling the world from India to LA, from Canada to the English countryside (that’s where I come in) and many places inbetween to ask experts in their field to help her help herself get well. In the process she came to realise that all of the places she went to and the specialists she spoke to, believed the same thing – that managing inflammtion in the body is fundamental to being able heal and thrive mentally, physically and spiritually.
The book is personal, often she is staggeringly honest and vulnerable and she never becomes virtiolic or preachy. There is struggle, failure and ultimately understanding and resoluton that certain dietary and lifestyle interventions, when done well and in a balanced way for the longterm, allow the body to beocme less inflamed and therefore more able to heal, renew and restore.
Unbenownst to me at the time, I play a small part in Maria’s quest for health. Maria came to Grayshott Medical Spa where I run a 7 day gut health regime. We discussed what gut health means; the microbiome; the influence of what we eat on our gut microbes and how they have a phenominally far reaching effect on every system in the body, not least managing our inflammatory responses. We discussed how every time we eat, or choose not to eat, we are having an influence on our health and therefore, choosing to feed the gut micorobes and our cells well, along with good sleep, stress management, appropriate exercise and regular relaxation, all contribute to our total, longterm well-being.
You can listen to the podacast HERE to find out not only what we talked about. There is also a podcast with a dermotologist, who talks about nurturing your body, and therefore your skin, before going for cosmetic enhancements, and a professor of psychiatry talking about inflammation in the brain.
Have a listen, read the book or simply consider that our day to day actions can be inflaming or de-flaming our bodies and brains. Inflammation is an essential acute reaction to injury or infection that saves our lives. Chronic inflammation, associated with poor diet, lack of sleep, chronic stress etc. is profoundly depleting. It is so very important to understand that while the body is inflamed, it is being damaged and it cannot heal.
My Essential Tips for Reducing Systemic, Chronic Inflammation:
- Eat better – reduce all sugars and grains and avoid as much as possible refined cooking oils such as sunflower, corn, vegetable and soy etc.
- Reduce your eating window to increase your fasting window i.e. 16:8 as often as possible
- Feed your gut microbes with a wide range of fibre-rich foods (vegetables, berries, kiwi, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds (esp. if soaked); eat live, fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, kimchi, live yogurt, traditionaly made cheeses and drink kefir and kombucha
- Use raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in dressings and as an anti-inflammatory and digestive aid by adding a little to some water and drinking at the start of your main meal
- Have lots of good quality olive oil. The more peppery the better as this is a sign of polyphenol content, a type of antioxidant that your gut bugs love
- Sleep more
- Take time to stop, reflect and relax more
- Walk in the countryside
- Develop a daily practice of meditation or mindfullness in some form that suits you
- Exercise in a way that you love, not loathe and allow recovery time in between. Too much exercise is inflammatory
- Be inspired
- Have gratitude
Maria and I are planning to run some weekends at Grayshott Spa late autumn, where we will give a talk together, host an exclusive lunch and take those who have signed up on a walk and talk around the beautiful grounds. If you are interested, let me know.