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5 Tips to Reduce Inflammation

March 25, 2013|159Comments|


When I started connecting the dots between my diet and lifestyle, chronic inflammation and disease, I felt empowered to take charge of my health. Why? Because our daily choices are the root of chronic inflammation.

Over the past decade, I’ve renovated everything from my grocery cart to my makeup bag to my mind in an effort to upgrade my immune system. And as I moved from a stressful life full of fast food, toxins, and bad boyfriends to a more balanced existence filled with plant-passionate nourishment, inner growth and conscious living, I started experiencing the perks — chronic inflammation decreased and my body started working with me to heal and rebuild.

Want to start connecting the dots in your own life? First, let’s learn about acute and chronic inflammation, since they play very different roles in our everyday health. Then, we’ll cover the causes of chronic inflammation and how to reduce its impact on your health.

What is inflammation?

Acute inflammation is your body’s natural and helpful immune response to tissue damage. When you fall off your bike, the cut swells, reddens and feels … inflamed! These are all signs that your immune system is busy at work sending white blood cells to the site of your injury to repair the tissue. In this situation, inflammation is our friend — we couldn’t live without it.

Chronic inflammation is your body’s confused and damaging immune response to a barrage of environmental, physical and mental invaders, which come in the form of things like poor diet, toxic chemicals and stress. I’ve written about chronic inflammation in all of my books because it’s such a huge piece of our health challenges today. It’s also the type of inflammation we’re focusing on in today’s post. Here’s chronic inflammation in a nutshell from my latest book, Crazy Sexy Kitchen:

…There’s a silent (yet violent) kind of inflammation that can take place without you even knowing it. What you eat, drink, and think (stress!), environmental toxins, smokin’, booz- in’, and even a couch-potato lifestyle can create a fiery cascade of inflammation in your body. When your body hits an inflammatory overload, your defense system gets so overwhelmed and confused that it literally doesn’t know the difference between the invader and you. As a result, your well-meaning immune system turns on itself, destroying healthy cells, tissue, and everything else in its wake. It’s like when Al Pacino played Tony Montana in Scarface. He mows down everything in sight, yelling, “Say hello to my little friend!” In a word: shit.

Some of the causes of chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is triggered by numerous factors, but most of them are within your control and can be avoided or replaced. Take a look at this list. Anything sound familiar?

  • Poor dietary choices: processed foods, too many animal products (factory farmed are the worst offenders), sugary drinks, trans fats and certain unhealthy saturated fats, and excess alcohol.
  • Gut health issues
  • Food allergies
  • Chronic infections (bacteria, viruses, yeast, parasites)
  • Stress and exhaustion
  • Sedentary lifestyle

There are countless other causes of chronic inflammation, but these are some of the biggies. If you don’t think that these things are a risk to your long term health — think again. Next stop, the toll they take on your well-being.

The results of chronic inflammation.

Over time, chronic inflammation wears out your immune system, leading to chronic diseases and other health issues, including cancer, asthma, autoimmune diseases, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, osteoporosis, and even (gasp!) appearing older than your years. Unfortunately, these challenges are often only treated with drugs and surgery, which may provide temporary relief from the symptoms, but do not treat the root of the problem. In addition, these drugs (and their side effects) sometimes only add to your health problems.

Could it be that many of the pills in your cabinet are just band-aids and that the key to health lies in your daily diet and lifestyle choices? That’s certainly what I’ve found to be true.

The integrative MDs I know and trust are helping their patients identify and address their health issues by looking at the way they lead their lives and nipping their inflammation-happy habits in the bud. If possible, find an integrative doctor who can help you along the way and target your unique needs. They can also test your blood for inflammation (make sure your doc requests a CRP—C-reactive Protein test).

Although this may seem overwhelming, it’s actually the opposite. The following tips will empower you and help you reduce inflammation over time. Try a few (or just one) of these suggestions on for size and see how you feel. As always, slow and steady wins the race (or in this case, puts out the fire!).

How to reduce chronic inflammation.

1. Eat more plant-based, whole, nutrient-dense foods. Crowd out the inflammatory foods we discussed above (refined sugar and flour, processed junk, animal products, etc.) by adding a variety of plant-based whole foods to your diet. These foods will flood your body with the vitamins, minerals, cancer-fighting phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber it needs to recover from chronic inflammation. Need recipes? I’ve got you covered! Check out the KrisCarr.com recipe page, Crazy Sexy Kitchen and Crazy Sexy Juices and Succulent Smoothies. Watch these videos if you’d like to see what I’m eating (morning, noon, and night) and what I’m cooking up in the kitchen — Vegan Penne a la Vodka anyone? Isn’t fighting chronic inflammation delicious?

2. Focus on gut health. Your gut holds approximately 60-70 percent of your immune system, so it stands to reason that it would be a great place to reduce chronic inflammation. And if your gut is in bad shape, you can only imagine that your immune system is in some serious trouble. Check out my tips for improving gut health here. A great way to start is by taking a daily probiotic (just make sure it’s high quality — Dr. Ohirra’s, Primal Defense, Healthforce Nutritionals (Friendly Force) and MegaFood’s Megaflora are good brands).

3. Identify and address food allergies and chronic (or hidden) infections. You could be fighting a losing battle if you’re ignoring potential food sensitivities and/or infections. If your body is working to cope and fight these challenges everyday, you can bet that you’re stoking the fires of inflammation on a regular basis.

Gluten, soy, dairy, eggs and yeast are common food allergens that might be distracting your immune system every time you sit down for a meal. These allergies can be identified with a blood test. Check out Metametrix lab for a complete food allergies test.

Become a symptoms detective. Only you can determine how you feel when you eat, which is where an elimination diet comes in handy. While following the elimination approach, you remove all common allergens from your diet and then slowly reintroduce them, one by one. Talk to your doc about these options, and do some independent research at Google University.

Another possibility worth exploring is chronic infection (bacteria, viruses, yeast, parasites). These guys could be hiding out in your body just under the radar and dragging your immune system down. You have a couple options for testing — look at your bloodwork and/or your poop. It may not be pretty, but knowledge is power, so be brave and have your stool checked. As I mentioned in my recent blog on gut health, you can have your stool analyzed also by Metametrix or Genova Diagnostics. This analysis will identify parasites, abnormal bacteria, yeasts and other gastrointestinal issues, which will help you create a game plan that targets the infection, ideally with the help of an integrative MD or naturopath.

You may also want to look into Leaky Gut Syndrome, a condition that can result in damage to your intestinal lining. When this occurs, bacteria, undigested food and other toxins can literally “leak” into your bloodstream, triggering an autoimmune response and a host of painful inflammatory symptoms. A simple urine test, such as Genova Diagnostics’ Intestinal Permeability Test, will tell you if you need to plug up those leaks — so to speak.

4. Relax and rest more. Your body is hard at work repairing and restoring your glorious cells while you sleep. Most doctors recommend seven to eight hours of sleep per night. If you’re cutting corners in the snooze department, you’re cheating your immune system, which means it needs to kick into high gear in an effort to keep you well (hello, inflammation!).

Stress goes hand in hand with a lack of sleep and a laundry list of demands in our daily lives. Unfortunately, when you’re stressed out all the time, you’re also producing more of the hormone cortisol  — inflammation’s BFF. It stands to reason that you can easily reduce chronic inflammation by focusing on stress reduction, whether it’s through more sleep, yoga, meditation, long walks, less technology or a much needed vacation. You know I love to take every opportunity I can to remind you to take a chill pill!

5. Reduce toxins in your food, home and personal care products. Your body’s alarm system goes off when you absorb toxic chemicals and pesticides through your digestive tract and your skin. Cut down your exposure by eating organic foods whenever possible and choosing non-toxic personal care and cleaning products. EWG’s Skin Deep database, tips on homemade cleaning products and Clean Fifteen/Dirty Dozen charts will help you determine the healthiest choices for you and your family.

There are many more ways to reduce chronic inflammation, but these five suggestions are a great place to start.

Now, I want to hear from you. Did this post resonate? And if you’re struggling with a health challenge, what have you found to be most helpful in reducing inflammation?

Peace & firefighters,

Kris Carr



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159 responses to 5 Tips to Reduce Inflammation
  1. HI Kris,
    This article is just awesome. My chronic inflammation was as a result of environmental allergies which also meant i had food allergies. My body and immune system spent most of it’s time dealing with my allergies and little time on healing my body. My Naturopath recommended an allergy desensitization technique (AACT) for both my environmental and food allergies. We also did a lot of work on my gut using whole food supplementation. I feel healthier and my immune system is stronger. I no longer have the allergies : )

  2. I totally get what you are saying. I know for sure that when I cut gluten, dairy, soy and sugar from my diet, my inflammation blood markers went down and my thyroid panel improved. I also had thyroid nodules, and have no other explanation for their disappearance on my recent ultrasound, other than changes to my diet.
    One thing I really have to work on is the stress side of things. Just when you think you are managing it, something comes up and sets you right back. I guess its not about the amount of stress you have, it is how you manage it. Thanks for this info, it really reasonates with me.
    Ann

  3. Howdy Kris, You have inspired me to detox, stop drinking coffee, cut out process foods and sugars and up the greenery in my diet! At the moment I have a coffee hangover but know that will pass. I’m sure my stomach is smiling as I type…
    I use eucalyptus oil and lemon as cleaning agents. This mix seems to work on most things; stainless steel gleams and the bath tub sparkles. In a spray bottle with the dash of eucalyptus oil add water and a good squeeze of lemon and voila!
    Thanks Kris for all the information and the way you put it all together.

  4. I need to jump into this with both feet, I am currently suffering from yet another bout of diverticulitis, seems I have a flare up every 6 months at scan time. If I could just flip a switch to turn off the stress and then make myself eat better…

    • Hi Patty – I was in the hospital six times in one year with diverticulitis. I have been on an anti-inflammatory diet, and life style and the difference is amazing! Happy to share ideas with you. You can find me at jv.onthego@gmail.com. It makes a world of difference.

  5. thank you! i’ve shared this to my facebook page with my friends and holistic nutrition clients!! simple tips which everyone should consider and hopefully adopt in their diet and lifestyle.

  6. I created my own cleanse last week and it was great! (one day raw, 3 days juice, followed by one day raw.) Already gluten sensitive, can’t eat dairy, don’t eat meat except fish, I depended on eggs A LOT before my cleanse. I also happen to have a funky GI tract that is tre sensitive!
    After no eggs for five days during my cleanse, I have to wonder if those guys are a major source of body discomfort for me.
    I see them now in my fridge and think I’ll keep them at bay. When I begin eating them again, I’ll be paying attention to how they affect any inflammation in my body – thanks for this reminder!

    • What the chickens eat and what they may be medicated with (antibiotics) will be passed on to you. Same for all foods, really, but mostly animals…

  7. Bonjour!

    Merci Kris!!

    I truly appreciate the consistent reminders and support I receive in my inbox from you on a regular basis. This is a great post! Is there a way to be super healthy and also “cheat” a little sometimes? In regards to inflammation? I am a HUGE fan of juicing (just finished some fresh beet, carrot, ginger, mint, grapefruit from a Parisian market) and I used to work as a raw vegan chef in San Francisco. I did feel amazing when I was 100% raw, but at this point in my life as I travel constantly I find it a little less stressful when I don’t get uptight about eating 100% clean. Is there a way to awesomely balance a healthy life with some flexibility especially when under a hectic schedule or living situation?

    Thank you so much for being you!
    You are one of my role models!!

    Cheers,

    Aliza

    • Of course Aliza! Let this way of living be your overall compass, but you don’t have to stick to it perfectly all the time — especially if you don’t have health issues. Many ppl are in constant pain and they really need to stay true to this advice until they feel better. After which point they can explore. For some there’s more wiggle room than for others. We’re all so different and we come to the party with our unique strengths and weaknesses. Your body will tell you when it’s time to clean up if you’ve drifted too far.

  8. This post came at just the right time! I am day 6 into my new vegan lifestyle. I’m lactose intolerant and I’ve never eaten much eggs – plus I have been vegetarian for two years – so the difference isn’t that big. However, I woke up today with a really icky belly and at first I couldn’t understand why. However – after reading this post – I think it might be the soy chai I had yesterday! I hardly ever drink soy, so it makes sense. Thank you for raising my awareness and focus on food allergies and sensitivities.

    You rock!

  9. A great start!

  10. Hi Kris. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, and after I finished treatment in 2011 I changed my diet and my lifestyle. I started eating plant based with very little gluten and soy, and I switched out any as many environmental toxins as I could. (Inspired mostly by Crazy Sexy Diet!) Before doing all of this I got sick with viruses and bronchitis several times a year, and had regular flare ups of diverticulitis.
    After eating plant based for about 5 months I saw a naturopath. She did lots of testing and she told me that I had one of the lowest levels of inflammation that she had ever seen!!
    I have not been sick with anything – not even a sniffle – for almost 2 years, and have had no evidence of cancer for over 3 years now!!
    These changes make a difference!!!

  11. What urine test checks for leaky gut? I need to know what to ask my doctor for since he i not holistic. Also what is your opinion of iodine deficiency?

  12. What a great wealth of info to find on a MONday (MOON) morning !!!!!!!
    Your the best Kris – I will share with many people that I love and that
    need this information – I myself am in the middle of getting all my test back
    from what is causing the attack on my immune system – IT”S a PUZZLE
    All i know is that by following Dr Terry Wahl ‘s diet – which you can also
    view her TED talk online – I fell in 3 months – a whole new me – Like you say
    It is exciting – the natural high we can produce VS. the burned out over
    productive drained self !
    Thank you from my deep heart for helping so many
    and last night I viewed the TED Talk by Robyn O’Brein = WOW !!!!!!!
    WOW WOW a must see for your fans xoxooxoxoox
    Happy Spring xoxoxo and full moon energy xo

  13. Wow!! Kris, you’ve done it again! You are always spot on with your info. You have an incredible talent for pulling together a treasure trove chocked FULL of extremely valuable info and sharing it in a very understandable and enjoyable way. I always look forward to your highly informative and motivating emails.

    Just a quick mention: Speaking as a now-retired dental hygienist (holistic mostly), I would like to highlight the impact of oral-systemic conditions. I am very happy to learn some healthcare professionals are now connecting the dots between oral problems (root canals, mercury in silver fillings, tooth decay and periodontal disease) and the rest of the body and their important role in chronic inflammation. YEA!! Yep, the same blood that flows through our brain, kidneys, gut, heart, fetus, etc. flows through our teeth and gums and can take bad boy bugs along with it if they are living and thriving in the mouth. And, unfortunately, many people are unaware of the presence of oral disease (even oral cancer) because most oral diseases are so sneaky and don’t cause a lot of ruckus until they have progressed past the early stages. So, I would encourage all to take the bull by the horns and keep your kisser clean and healthy! Makes for better smooching too—HA!

    • Lana! Such a great point and important topic! I really need to do a post about this. Thank you, thank you.

      • Kris,
        You do an awesome job of a write up on a complicated system but extremely critical to our health. I would love to see you write about the need for dental awareness and mouth health. Here is an extremely interesting YouTube on mercury and fillings. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9ylnQ-T7oiA#! I thought because I had “gold caps” I was safe from the mercury stuff but come to find out it’s in those too! bummer for sure.
        I understand Dr. Oz just touched on mercury in fillings and he got slammed by the ADA, no surprise there. I remember hearing the joke told in dental school “drill them, fill them, bill them”. How sad is that?
        You have such a wonderful platform for creating awareness and this is another great one for you to spread the word about and as a fellow health coach I will happily forward to my small group.

    • I’ve heard this before. But what is the solution for all the dental work that’s already been done? I’ve had almost all of my metal filling removed but what about root canals? How do I get rid of them? Have the teeth pulled out? Please advice what the solution to this would be. Thanks a lot. I’ve been wondering about this for awhile.

      • Hi Michelle,
        As you might guess, the mouth is a very complex area of the body and it would be impossible to make recommendations for anyone’s oral treatment without fully examining and evaluating their condition. However, there is a great book, “Mouth Matters” by Carol Vander Stoep, RDH, BSDH which I have found to be invaluable in assisting people in locating and learning how to work with a good biological dentist. Carol has been recognized and interviewed by Dr. Joseph Mercola, who is an alternative MD. I hope you will follow up with your desire to have a healthy mouth. Your body will certainly benefit from it! Good luck!
        Lana Rich

      • I would like to know this too :) Thanks!

      • Good question. I’d like to know the answer.

    • Thanks so much for discussing this topic!! It never gets any attention and is rarely talked about. Oral cancers are becoming more and more common these days. I know this because I was diagnosed last year. I am about 1 year post surgery. I now have a prosthetic mouthpiece to fill in for the chuck of my mouth that had to be removed. The care and maintenance of my mouth is now such a huge part of taking care of myself. Oral care is so important and so many issues can be avoided with the area if we paid more attention to it

  14. Thanks so much for this information. I have been dealing with swollen eyelids on and off since October and been to several docs they can’t tell me what is causing it. I have cut out dairy etc I will be cutting out more as well as changing my cleaning products . And I will change the probiotics I am taking to ones you have recommended. Also do you know if any integrative MD’s in houston?

  15. Thank you so much for this! I love when you write about health issues. You have a way of breaking complex info into the understandable!

    Vivienne

  16. Excellent topic to share! I learned about inflammation 7 years ago when my doctor told me that my chronic inflammation would mean that I would never know my grandchildren. I was only 40 years old at the time. I was so confused, as it wasn’t like I had cancer or something. She explained that it was like microscopic razor blades running through my circulatory system and that over time the cumulative damage would be felt. My doctors tried to help heal my chronic infections, but traditional medicine only exasperated the problem. My life changed when I brought the adequate nutrition into my life. I started taking a very high quality, food based nutritional supplement. Within 2 months I was feeling better. My annual blood work showed improvement in all markers, and the best news was that my inflammation marker was finally in the healthy range. My lifestyle continued to change to include more whole foods and healthy choices. I believe this shift saved my life, and now I will know my grandchildren.

  17. Thank you for posting this! Lots of valuable information. You hit it all on the nail and I look forward to checking out the other links :-) I decided yesterday that I was going to put my blinders on and for 1 day (and hopefully more) I’m going to nourish my body so I can feel better. I don’t have any major issues to speak of, but lots of pesky little things that I know are from inflammation… ‘sinusitus’ (junk in my sinuses), a lump in my breast that benign of anything, but obviously shouldn’t be there, a clogged saliva pour that comes and goes on the roof of my mouth (yes, ew) and I’m pretty sure it appears after I eat like crapola, etc. etc. I’m going to be 30 in less than two weeks and though I won’t be super proud of where I’m at besides the fact that I have THEE best family on earth – amazing husband and 5 girls!!! I want to be on the road to health and get rid of my sugar addiction. I REALLY like learning that it’s real and I’m not just crazy and have no discipline whatsoever. Thank you thank you thank you! Keep up that good work Kris. I hope when I learn to walk the walk that I can share this message too. Truth is beautiful.

  18. Hey Kris thanks for sharing this empowering info. I was recently told that I needed to be treated for MS but I disagree. What I need to be treated for is food sensitivity and inflammation. Which I can pretty much do myself with help from great resources like yourself. Thank you for sharing your wonderful spirit and advice with us. I eat pretty clean now. But I started a few years ago by eliminating processed foods just because I knew they were not healthy for me and my family.

    But it’s really been a process getting to where I am today. I didn’t just wake up and eat clean. And I still have days when I don’t. But I’m a lot further ahead and I feel 10x better than I did a few years ago when I was eating total garbage.

    And I still don’t have the luxury of eating all organic fruits and vegetables but I eat them anyways. I know for a fact that they’re a lot better for me then boxed foods any day.

    Cheers!
    Michelle

  19. NO QUESTION of the truth here! A touch of arthritis is my litmus test for inflammation – a bit of gluten here, a touch of stress there, and I’m in pain. Live life with the checklist you show, and I live beautifully pain free. I’m actually grateful my compass is subtle and not acute. But I do take it seriously as I want each day to be incredible! Thanks for all the fun recipes and spirit – indeed healthy is yummy.

  20. Hi Kris,
    Love your post! I continue to battle severe IBS and need to eat a grain free diet plus no sugar/eggs/dairy/soy/alcohol to reduce the pain. I’ve done lots of changes which have put my inflammation markers in “normal” range and that is eliminating the above, eating fermented foods with each meal, JUICING veggies regularly and eating a diet of 50-80% veggies and 50-20% meats plus yoga. I would love one day to eat less meat and more grains for protein. I would love more than anything to liberalize my diet and have a cocktail once in a while! I am going to check out those labs you recommended as I’ve asked my ultra-reputable, NY GI doc to put me on anti-parasitics but he has refused, as well as the GI doc before him. I’m convinced there’s a parasite component so I will now take matters into my own hands and hopefully get more answers…thanks so much for the recommendation. Hugs!

    • Hey Ali, did you have any luck finding a good doctor in NYC to do the tests that Kris mentions? I too see a reputable GI doctor and general doc but neither really believe that parasites, yeast, inflammation can be causing a host of health issues I’m going through. You would think it would be so easy to find a good alternate doctor in NYC but I’m having no luck. You can email me too at kellypeppers@gmail.com
      Thanks!!

  21. I’ve recently started to realize how extremely important our gut health is. I really appreciate the great information you provide us :) I’ve started taking oil of oregano when I feel I need it, as well as S. Boulardii probiotic, and I try to eat 2 cloves of crushed garlic daily.
    I would love to begin switching my makeup to a safer brand. It is overwhelming figuring out where to start. Do you have any brands that you can recommend that work well for you?

    • Wendy, I’m not Kris obviously, but I do know a little about safe makeup brands. :) I make natural skincare (Blissoma) and so I sell side by side with some really great, safe companies. Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques is a wonderful brand that is woman and independently owned. Great products, reasonable prices, very safe. http://www.TheNatureofBeauty.com also carries a wide range of safe makeups. I use Logona and Lavera most often for my powder and blush – they are European BDIH certified natural brands. Couleur Caramel also makes great color cosmetics if you want more intense shades (I use their eyeliner) and RMS Beauty is very well respected for simple, extremely clean, high performance cream blushes and concealers. I have used all of these and really like them.
      I also make seriously natural skincare as I mentioned above, by the brand name Blissoma if you want excellent skin nutrition to go along with your makeup.
      Hope you find what you are looking for! :) I am battling some inflammation in my back lately and have been taking a lot of Chlorella (very helpful for pain, inflammation, and detox), and just added Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme to my daily regimen. Yoga at least 3 times a week has been key as well. The pain was so bad I couldn’t sleep more than 2 hours comfortably but with these changes and some acupuncture it is doing better finally. I’m going to have to stay on top of it though. Taking care of yourself well is the best love you can give yourself. :)

  22. Thanks for this, Kris! My mom passed away from cancer a few years ago (as did her brother, and many family members on her side of the family have had cancer, as well), and this was a total wake-up call for me to start getting serious about my health as to avoid a cancer diagnosis in the future. Lately, it has becoming more and more apparent to me how crucial reducing inflammation is in order to avoid cancer. Of course, there are other factors involved, but the more I read, the more I’m convinced that this plays a huuuge part.

    I recently got myself tested for food allergies, and discovered I’m allergic to yeast, and I cringe when I think of all the years I spent eating bread, etc. and what I must have put my immune system through! I was surprised to find out it’s a very common allergy, and most people don’t even realize they have it until they get tested / eliminate it from their diets.

  23. Hi Kris!

    Thank you so much for posting this article. Some of the subject matter is scary for me — I’ve put off food allergy tests because I’m nervous about what I’d find — but I’m in my late 20s and and suffering from chronic pain so maybe it’s time to stop being a wuss?

    Keep being awesome!

  24. I love your inspiration, website and emails. I have been struggling this past year to to put myself back together so to speak. I got myself into some real trouble with unhealthy behaviors such as over- exercising, prescription diet pills, OTC diet products and dealing with some personal issues… I crashed into heavy drinking on top of things, this is where spiraling down happened really fast. Thank Gawd I have kids because my angel that watches over me said Stephanie you are going to die if you don’t make some changes. Scary. My first step was to get off of the toxins but it wasn’t even close to being easy.. To make a long story short I did find your page which was extremely inspiring for me. I resonate with a lot of your stuff. I can’t thank you enough for being you & inspiring me with your stories. Making me look into myself & say “Are you slowing down? Are you taking care of you?”
    I know you inspire millions but here is a genuine thank you from one 44 year old lady who needed you.

    • Good for you Stephanie, I wish you well in your continued quest to become whole again. Be your own best friend and treat yourself no different than you would nurture your child.

  25. H said on March 25, 2013

    If you have a virus that will not ever leave your body, does that mean that you have lost the battle? Is it then just to keep minimazing the inflammation by eating plant-based food etc.

    H from Finland

  26. This is a good reminder of easy way to be an inflammation warrior. I continue to have extremely high levels of inflammation in my blood tests even after working hard on diet and having a healthy lifestyle and doctors can’t seem to figure out why. I appreciate the additional tips on how to investigate further for other things that might be going on to create my high inflammation levels. This was a great read to start my week off right….

  27. I’m have been seeing my NMD for over two years and have adopted most of the things you mention (and more)! I still have an elevated CRP number and can only conclude that there is some environmental toxin that I need to deal with. What recommendations do you have for make up and hair color? I wear very little make up–usually only when going out and I use the hair color products from Whole Foods.

    Keep up the good work! Karen

  28. Thank you so much for providing the links to the labs for testing. It’s all so overwhelming and I wasn’t sure who I could trust. If I’m going to spend the money out of pocket to test for allergies and gut health I need to know that these tests really work. Thank you!

  29. This is a very timely post. I’ve been a less than healthy vegan for 6 yrs, even though I thought my diet was healthy. I’ve recently been experiencing inflammation-based auto immune conditions (RA, chronic hives, pain), and am ready to finally are the dietary and lifestyle changes that I need to reclaim my quality of life. Thank you.

  30. I learned a number of years ago that chronic inflammation can cause all kinds of issues. I finally learned I have celiac disease, and cut out the gluten. Well, I had also had years and years of horrible seasonal allergy issues and symptoms that were barely tolerable with two prescription medications. Eight years into my gluten free lifestyle, I still notice the seasonal allergens when they are in the air, but I don’t even have enough of a reaction to them anymore to even merit taking an OTC medication for them. I’ve come to believe that once I cut out the gluten, my body’s total inflammation load went WAY down, and now seasonal allergies barely affect it anymore.

  31. Great article. I was recently diagnsed with Hashimoto’s and your article explained better thatn almost anything I’ve read how food and toxins affect your body. Also, loved you in “Hungry for Change”. Thank you!

  32. HI Kris!
    Chronic inflammation: a big area of concern is our teeth and gums! I have found a totally AWESOME routine to add to my dental hygiene. It is the ayurvedic technique of oil pulling. It works like this: I take a nice round tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil into my mouth, it melts and I swish it around for at least 15 minutes, first thing in the morning, and before I go to bed at night. I’m having my shower, getting dressed, etc. I don’t swallow, but spit it all out. The lauric acid in coconut oil draws all the pathogens, all the bad bacteria and all the plaque right out of my mouth,big time! I follow up with a heaping teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in hot water, right into my water pic. Woohoo! I will be doing this routine for the rest of my life.

  33. Thank you for all the continued great info. With the help of many I have completely changed my lifestyle and inflammation is a huge component. I’ve been faithfully taking Aloe Gold. A bio available – bio active aloe vera. Super healing to the gut!!! As well, this company has a stellar natural anti- inflammatory It has actually out performed the leading pharmaceutical in 5 clinical trials Dialing down on the chronic inflammation is so important daily, just as you say Kris. Mentioning a product line is probably not what you appreciate here on this blog. But, I simply can’t keep this to myself. It’s about embracing all modalities to stay on a path of health and happiness Looking forward to reaching year 120!!! I am just half way there. Lots to live for!

  34. G’day Kris! First of all, it’s been awhile since your NYC book signing with Chad but I wanted to let you know what a pleasure it was to meet you both, I really enjoyed the demo and brief chat! I was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine physical.. I have lost three aunts (sisters) to three types of cancer. Chronic inflammation within the body very often goes unnoticed until much damage has already been done and it contributes to a number of complaints and diseases. This is such an important subject and I believe knowledge is power so thank you for being you and sharing your experience and knowledge with everyone! I swear we must be kindred spirits! ;) I decided not to tell anyone about my diagnosis, I was determined that this would not be how my story ended and got busy “rewriting”! I lived on the Gold Coast of Australia for six years and that’s where my journey back to health began. I began ferociously educating myself and changing my diet, my habits, personal and household products used, my thoughts, self talk, taking inventory on the quality of my relationship…etc. It didn’t happen over night, and I am still fine tuning as I age but I’m healthier and happier than I’ve ever been and on top of that I really know my body now and I listen intently to what it has to say. Everything is connected so it’s about finding that healthy balance and what works for you specifically. I’m happy to say I am cancer free and working on plans for my walkabout completely around Australia for Olivia Newton-Johns Cancer and Wellness Center in Melbourne. When you love yourself enough to set your own health and wellbeing as a priority, every other part of your life improves!! Brilliant Stuff!! ;) Take care..be your beautiful self and have an insanely happy week ahead!! x

  35. Kris, this is fabulous. As an RN who recovery from fibromyalgia and became a wellness coach after doing all the things you mentioned, I applaud YOU! This is going right on my FB page. The only thing I also had to do was to work out stressful relationship issues and find a sense of home in the world. That’s what I do with women now, look into how they over give, feel unworthy of wellness and keep sabotaging what they know they should be doing because they haven’t embraced the power within them to fill their own needs. Thank- you for this post! It’s fantastic.

  36. Thank you Kris! This is so timely for me. I’ve stopped eating my chief allergen (yeast) for ten days and I feel better and look better. Now I understand better why it always feel better when I do this.

  37. This has been my health soapbox since reading your book, ‘Crazy Sexy Diet’. And I’ve spent nearly a year learning about what foods are good for MY body and what lifestyle helps the most. As an avid soccer player growing up I was frequently suffering from injuries. Once I hits my 20′s, I felt like I was constantly falling apart, whether it was knee pain, a pulled back, bunions, or whatever the pain I assumed my soccer days were over. So I sat around and did nothing, making it even more difficult to work out when I felt the random urge to get off the couch. Starting this year I gave up glutens, caffeine, and dairy and got serious about staying active. (Eliminating these foods also made huge improvements in my endometriosis symptoms!) Over the past 3 months I’ve starting cycling, yoga, and now after 8 years I’m back to playing soccer. I know how to eat to prepare for a game, I know that ginger helps reduce my soreness and aches after games, I know that sugars will only increase my joint pain during workouts and slow me down. I now am able to pin point pain and ask myself ‘what changes do I need to make today?’ Focusing on eliminating inflammation has been life changing! Thank you!

  38. Thanks for the info and all of the links to the topic of inflammation, I have a lot to learn and to research. What is the name of the urine test that will reveal leaky gut syndrome?

  39. I’ve been researching this for the last two weeks. I’ve got such BAD pain in my hips, pelvis and knees. It’s the most severe in the early morning and when sitting/laying down. I am always exhausted and I’ve got “brain fog”. My GP thought I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and sent me for blood work. No RA, but I did notice I had elevated C-Reactive protein levels, which signal an inflammatory issue going on. My mom pointed me in the direction f JJ Virgin’s book The Virgin Diet which discusses how most (if not all) of my symptoms are possible inflammatory responses. She has you cut out her 7 hi-FI (food intolerance) foods for 21 days, and then add 4 of them back in one week at a time to see how you feel upon doing so. She mentions a lot of the same stuff as you do; gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, sugar and artificial sweeteners, and finally, corn. She doesn’t have a problem with meat as long as it is organic, free range, etc.

    I happened to see you on a documentary on Netflix and looked you up, and here you are saying basically the same thing she does! I’ve been himming and hawing over whether or not to take the plunge and do an elimination diet to see what is triggering all of this crap, and I keep finding more and more reasons to do so.

    I think I will do it. And hopefully I will feel better!

  40. HI Kris, I am so glad you wrote about the importance of rest and relaxation – so many advise sleeping 7 -10 hours at night, but neglect to talk about taking a break to rest during the day. Just slowing down a bit is a huge help to that already stressed system! It sends a completely different message to the body.
    LOVE this post!
    Robin

  41. The pills in your medicine cabinet are not just a band aid but are part of the problem. All pharmacuetical drugs cause an acidic environment in the body, which in turn promotes chronic inflammation in the body. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the only way to longevity.

  42. Kris, what do you think about acidophilus pearls as a probiotic? I can’t seem to get any of the brands you mentioned in the UK without it costing much more than I can afford.

  43. What about gastric bypass people? We r supposed to eat protein no carbs. Thz protein drinks are full of all kinds of stuff so are the protein bars. We have to keep sugar under 7 grams per serving as well. Seems hard to eat really healthy now. Suggestions?

  44. Hi Kris!!

    I’m so glad I’ve come across your blogs. I think you give amazing and spot on advice. I especially enjoyed your article on adrenals. I feel as though I should fill you in on a little secret. Most people don’t know much or anything about it and others think its witch craft and quackery. Those that experience it know the benefits of it, but may not understand it very much. It has to do with how well your body functions, even if you’re doing everything right. It’s simple really. What do you think would happen if your nervous system had interference that restricted how well the brain and organs and immune system communicate? Have you ever thought of this concept? Most haven’t, I was one if them. So how do we find out if we have interference? How do we get rid of it if we have it? See a chiropractor and get an adjustment. Yep, those guys locate subluxations and remove them so the body can work right. If the nerves that lead to your adrenals are getting squished from a misaligned spine how well do you think your adrenals would work. Not as good as they could if there was no interference. Make sense? If you want to know more or need a referral to a chiropractor that believes in an eat well, move well and think well philosophy (unfortunatly not all chiropractor are created equal) let me know!!!! I work for an amazing chiropractor that refers all over the country and can help make all this make sense, even though I know you get it, you’re a sharp girl!!!! Hope this is helpful and take care! In Health, Shannon

  45. I was so leary about reading your book when I was first diagnosed with Lymphona. There is nothing sexy about cancer, I thought! Well, there is something crazy and sexy about me, I learned (or remembered). You have helped me to continue my health journey, live it with my husband, and share it with my kids. It is such an exciting way to live. I am a passionate juicer, and my kids will even taste test what I make. It has brought excitement into our home at a time that could have been scary and intimidating!

  46. ALL of this is so important Kris! What awesome information. A few months ago my doctor suggested I might have food allergies so I went no wheat, sugar, alcohol, dairy and caffeine. After three days of headaches BLAMMO! I felt a thousand times better – no foggy brain, no stiff joints. All of these suggestions are so so great. Thanks so much for writing about this! I feel like I learned about inflammation just in the nick of time.
    ps- I phased back a little caffeine and a little dairy on occasion :)

  47. you bet it resonated. I have been ill for over a year, and not one Dr. looked beyond the immediate symptom. I stumbled upon your blog, and have been slowly coming back to life.
    It wasn’t easy starting from scratch but I’m not one to give up. Thanks you, Crazy Sexy Lady!!!

  48. Thank you, Kris! This is totally helpful but I am sort of freaking out about all the bad stuff in products my family uses on a regular basis. How did you weed it all out? Where is a good place to start?

    • I have found that there are lots of eco products out there to choose from. It can be hard though as some of them don’t clean as well. There are also completely natural ‘recipes’ for cleaners like lemon juice and water, vinegar and lemon, lemon juice with bicarbonate of soda for tough stuff, or bicarbonate of soda and water as a soaking or cleaning solution. A quick search has brought up this website for instance http://eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm. I have generally found that if I avoid things with bleaches, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, parabens and petrochemicals, that has had a big impact on the health of my skin, and the amount of respiratory colds and sinusitis, I and my partner have got. Ecover is the brand I use in London, so I am not sure if this is available elsewhere. Or you could go the whole hog and replace everything with an upright steam cleaner, which is what we are considering. It still does not avoid the need to use cleaning products in some areas, but certainly I think is a real toxin free solution

    • I am not Kris obviously, but having battled sinusitis and candida for years, found lots of solutions for trying to clear out my environment of toxins, starting with cleaning products.

    • Ann, I recommend watching Hungry for Change. It’s on Netflix if you have that. http://www.hungryforchange.tv. There was a great recommendation in the movie answering just your question. It says to just start including more healthy items…more vegetables, more fruits, finding organic/healthier replacements for the products you normally use. Try an almond milk instead of diary, etc. Just incorporate new foods slowly, as you learn (and you will learn), and eventually the good/healthy will just crowd out the bad.

      I thought that was one of the best recommendations I have seen. It can just be too overwhelming otherwise.

      Good luck!
      Julie

      p.s. If you have a Whole Foods, you can even go to their customer service and sign for a tour of their store, their products and how to save money when you shop.

  49. Hi Kris,
    Thanks for the tips, you are awesome!!

  50. js said on March 26, 2013

    Cutting dairy made a huge difference in the way I felt. Unfortunately cheese is one of my loves, so I have fallen prey to indulgences, but switching from milk to almond milk and non dairy creamer and only doing cheese as a treat every few weeks has cleared up my skin, reduced puffiness in my face and given me less headaches.

  51. Hi

    I have been an avid reader of yours for a little while now. Although I live in London with the help of the internet I have had no problem following you!

    For the past two years my 21 year old daughter Jessica has been having all sorts of health problems (mostly tummy related) and has now after loads of tests been diagnosed with Crohns.

    I have passed on all your amazing insights and knowledge to her (although she lives away from home at University) and have just sent her a juicer!

    I feel sure her health will improve by following you.

    Well wishes,
    Nicole.

  52. I’m fighting ovarian cancer. One of the first things to arrive from my brother was a Green Star juicer and every book you’ve published. Thanks for being here for me, even if you don’t know me. I take your advice to heart and I’ve never been healthier-or been sicker-in my life. With your help I’ll beat this.

    • Hi Laura,
      I also fought ovarian cancer (and a very rare form) 2 years ago, and won the battle, I was 28. I got through surgery and chemo but I was also inspired by Kris to change my lifestyle, and haven’t stopped since.
      I’m sure you will beat it and become an inspiration for many more people!
      I wish you all the best!!!

  53. OK…I know this to be true. I’m 63 years old, and about 7 or 8 years ago, I was having a terrible time with both of my knees. I went to the doctor, and he ended up betting me $100 that within 6 months I would be begging him to replace both of my knees because they were so arthritic. That didn’t sound like the kind of party I wanted to go to, so I began looking around for a REAL fix. I went high raw for about 8 or 9 months….quit smoking…lost a bunch of weight….started exercising….and slowly but surely my knees got better. It started getting really cold here in Vermont….started cooking, but stayed vegan. Last summer I broke my right foot and tore the left patellar tendon…got an x-ray on both, and the same doctor came in and said..”I don’t see much on that left knee, but I have good news. You don’t have a drop of arthritis in that knee.” I was so shocked, I never mentioned the $100 bet. But needless to say..I won’t be getting my knees replaced!

    • Connie (and Kris) , you rock, just the story I was looking for. I am in my early 40s and although I surf, ski and do lots of yoga I have also partied like a banchi (I mean really partied) for way too long, And I have for a couple of years been suffering from terrible tendinitis in my elbows that doctors so proudly refer to as golfer’s elbow (I don’t do or dig golf) and inject me with cortisone to settle down (until it comes back).

      Having had the joy and delight of recently seeing Hungry for Change and then stalking Kris’ sight have embarked on a nutritional approach (including reducing and maybe in due course eliminating the real evils). Just the start of the journey but intuitively know this is going to cure me.

      Thank you

      • Hey Paul,
        Check out Martha Peterson’s website http://www.essentialsomatics.com. She regularly blogs about how Hanna Somatics can help to reverse chronic musclar tension which leads to a variety of issues like frozen shoulder, Plantarfascitis, IT Band syndrome, arthritis, hip, knee & back pain to name a few. I think you will find this really helpful and complimentary to a nutritional approach.

  54. Dear Kris,
    Just a simple thank you for sharing your perspective, resources/links, and logic about wellness. It helps!
    Very best,
    Kathryn

  55. Wonderful post and so true about the silent and destructive force of inflammation on our bodies. AlI your suggestions are really important- for me it’s avoiding dairy and yeast and maintaining gut health with aloe vera juice, probiotics and magnesium.

    For me, environmental factors have always been my overriding weakness. I did a lot of travelling as a kid and I think my body was shocked with the changes it experienced (I have observed the same from the rest of my family in terms of the inflammatory type symptoms they developed over time–migraines, arthritis, dermatitis, food intolerances). I was born in an environment that was much cleaner I think–the depths of Southern Africa tends to have less of the toxins, chemicals, fumes, moulds, close quarter living and damp conditions that the developing world has created through big towns and cities which contributes to inflammatory environmental conditions. So on the toxins front, we are looking to get an all purpose steam cleaner which will reduce the cleaning products and also address the environmental toxins in the apartment.

    Your post has really resonated with me in terms of the sedentary lifestyle and stress. In a weird way, both stress and the sedentary lifestyle are both putting my body under more stress and inflammation. So to manage this, I not only need to rest and actively relax more, but I actually need to get active as well!

    I new thing I noticed recently is that when I don’t get my 2 litres of water a day for a consecutive period of time–which I really struggle with over winter, I can go from one cold to another and postnasal drip and sinusitis can set in. Think there must be a link with flushing out of toxins and assisting the body to fight the inflammation??

    Incidentally a great thing for treating sinusitis and other forms of pain and inflammation are infrared lamps. I discovered them through my mother in law. In Germany, infrared lamps are used by new mothers in the wards for the pains after childbirth or for headaches or other aches and pains as the first response, rather than popping a pill. I find it can really help with the inflammation and tension associated with certain pains and definitely beats popping pills–some I which I think may also contribute sometimes to inflammation.

  56. Aw, this was a really good post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a really good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

  57. I am fighting stage 4 ovarian cancer. The first thing that arrived in the mail after my diagnosis was a Green Star juicer and every book you’ve published and your DVD. All thanks to my brother and his lovely wife Lora.
    Thank you Kris. You are helping me every day. I’ve never been healthier and I’ve never been more sick. You’ve made the learning curve manageable, you’ve given me hope that I can beat this, you’ve given my friends and family a reason to join me in my quest for health and wellness.
    Laura

    • Blessings to you on your journey. I so believe in Kris’ holistic approach to healing. As she says, “let your food be your pharmacy”. Best of luck! Ann

    • My thoughts are with you during such a difficult time. My mom was diagnosed with the same in Feb 2011 and I sent her Kris’s DVD’s and books too. May you draw on the community and your family as a source of strength and inspiration and know that even people that don’t know you support you.

      • God Bless, I very recently found out that I may be in a similar boat – stay strong and don’t give up ever … xoxo

  58. I stopped all dairy a year ago, and when I have slipped up, my body tells me with aches and pains especially my lower back (it hurts!). I have found cheese is the worst for inflammation for me because it has more concentrated casein in it than all the other dairy products. So to make myself feel better, I just avoid dairy altogether. Dairy is so overrated in this country thanks to the Dairy Association. It all comes down to profits.

  59. I loved this article! I’ve actually been working on this very thing and over the last couple of years figured out exactly what you wrote about. I haven’t lost that much weight (which I could stand to lose), but it’s amazing how much swelling I didn’t know I had. Puffy eyes are gone, ring & watch are loose, no more edema in my ankles, etc. Thanks for sharing your story!!

  60. I will absolutely be trying that vegan penna la vodka.

  61. Thank you for posting about inflammation!!! I’ve been swollen for nearly the last 10 years of my life because of food and environmental allergies I didn’t know I had. I found an amazing allergist that takes a whole body approach – reduce the intake of allergens AND we do frequent blood panels to measure levels like thyroid, kidney, liver function. He put me on a rotation diet to reset my body’s reaction to foods I’m allergic to – it’s gonna take from 2 to 3 years, I believe my future self will thank me. I was wanted to share with you a few great tips about inflammation and some of the stuff I’ve learned along the way. Yeast is a body beating beast!!!! An easy way for removal (after I started eliminating processed sugars) I took a spoonful of oregano oil every night for a few weeks before bed. I’ve also heard grape seed oil helps kill it in the body, too. As for probiotics, I Enzymedica (Digest Gold + Probiotics). I don’t take it daily, though, only when my stomach isn’t feeling great or even before I eat food someone else has prepared to help smooth digestion in case they’ve used something I’m allergic to. Again, THANK YOU FOR THIS ARTICLE!!!! I blog about this very thing that I’m fighting in my own life and having a community to refer back to is a blessing. :) My blog also is http://allergyfeet.blogspot.com – I have lots of recipes for food and homemade products to reduce any and all inflammation from allergic reactions.

  62. I love this stuff! It’s where my head is at too. I’ve been seriously working on my diet since I had cancer and this rings true, taking it to another level with inspiration!. I’m trying to make a difference with kids who are dealing with illnesses my children’s book is about stress, diet and feeling loved. http://www.TobyBearStories.com
    I would love your feedback. :-)
    PS Crazy Sexy Kitchen is on my list and soon to be in my kitchen! You’re great, Thanks!
    XO, Lisa

  63. YES! YES! YES! After TWO straight years of CHRONIC pain and inflammation, I finally found someone who could give me an answer!! PARASITES, LEAKY GUT AND YEAST! Which also led to my autoimmune disorder. Finally on the way to healing this thing and hopefully getting out of pain once and for all! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  64. What a great article! I have had fantastic success over the past year with #5 – reducing toxins in my personal care products. I have struggled with cystic acne since age 9 (I’m now 36), but no doctor ever shared with me how the products they were recommending (Cetaphil, Purpose, Clinique, etc.) could actually do more to exacerbate and inflame my acne versus make it go away. It was EWG’s Skin Deep database and a good friend that led me to start using Ava Anderson Non-Toxic’s skin care line, and my acne has been reduced to a point where it is nearly gone. No more cystic acne for me! The transformation has finally given me the self-esteem I had always longed for! I’m starting to use more and more of Ava’s products and each one that I purchase replaces a toxic product in my home. My skin is more radiant and my home has never been cleaner. I am so happy! Less inflammation AND less clutter sure are a win-win for me.:)

    • I am struggling with the acne thing too..did you do anything else to heal this aside from using these skin products? I use organic skin products and am very careful to read up on toxic ingredients- but may have to try this one.

      • I have an issue with acne, but it’s entirely hormonal – it occurs at a certain time during the month – and I can feel my face feeling greasier. It’s like clockwork. Every month. I had another problem that I looked up a home remedy for – they said to try apple cider vinegar. It cured the issue I had originally taken it for, but I also noticed the monthly acne blowup didn’t happen this month. It’s only been a month, going to wait and see what else happens. Hope this is an ongoing cure for me. Too soon to tell though.

      • Hi Leanne,
        I read Loren Cordain’s Paleo Diet book a year ago and have been off all grains, dairy and sugar since reading the book. Changing my diet has had a wonderful effect on my skin and I have had very few breakouts. I have noticed in particular that dairy has a devastating impact on my skin. When in transit on holidays recently I had to make do with a salad that had feta in it. The next day I had two pimples emerge. My skin had been perfection for months and months. My skin is very scarred as a result of acne and I wish I had known the link between dairy and acne 30 years ago when I was a teenager. I have found getting stressed about things is definitely a trigger for acne too. I would definitely recommend giving up dairy/grains/sugar and see what happens.

        My rheumatoid arthritis is gone and psoriasis is almost gone too. I find anything that raises my blood sugar levels really impacts on my inflammation levels/pain in my joints…it can be something as seemingly natural and harmless as a cherry or lychee so I’ve had to keep my fruit levels low too. I also try to stick to low saturated fat meats like fish, chicken and turkey as I find fatty meats impact on inflammation as well.

    • I’ve had furuncles (mostly on my butt) since I was very small, not much more then a baby. I had them all the time and often several at a time. They are something I got from my mothers father, who died age 42, when he was so ill from furuncles, the doctors decided to operate him. They shouldn’t have done that. Any way, I had them for many, many years, untill I was in my mid thirties. At that time I realized that I always got furuncles when I ate pigs meat and that they started to heal when I did not eat anything with pig in it. So I stopped eating pigs meat and ta da! No more furuncles. That’s about 20 years ago now and I have been fine ever since.

      Nobody ever told me that pigs meat could do that (although the German word for furuncles is “Schweinsbeule” which means pigs furuncle and that probably should give you a hint), but I can’t imagine that my grandpa and I are the only ones reacting to pigs meat in that way, so if you have furuncles, see if you can get rid of them by not eating pig.

    • It seams like I can’t post any thing on your site. First I got at message about an internal error and now I get a message that it looks like I’ve already posted my comment. But it doesn’t show up. So here it comes again:

      As a comment to Erins comment I would like to share my experience: I’ve had furuncles (mostly on my butt) since I was very small, not much more then a baby. I had them all the time and often several at a time. They are something I got from my mothers father, who died age 42, when he was so ill from furuncles, the doctors decided to operate him. They shouldn’t have done that. Any way, I had them for many, many years, untill I was in my mid thirties. At that time I realized that I always got furuncles when I ate pigs meat and that they started to heal when I did not eat anything with pig in it. So I stopped eating pigs meat and ta da! No more furuncles. That’s about 20 years ago now and I have been fine ever since.

      Nobody ever told me that pigs meat could do that (although the German word for furuncles is “Schweinsbeule” which means pigs furuncle and that probably should give you a hint), but I can’t imagine that my grandpa and I are the only ones reacting to pigs meat in that way, so if you have furuncles, see if you can get rid of them by not eating pig.

  65. Thank You so much Kris, You are an angel from heaven .

  66. Great article. My husband is a chiropractor and I work in the office. I can’t count the number of patients who come in with severe inflammation. I will pass this on.

  67. Wow..the Universe has been sending me many messages lately about inflammation (this article being one of them!), and I see myself with many indicators this could be behind some of my unresolved health issues. I have done so many things to heal around diet, cleaning up my thoughts, and growing spiritually, and still some issues hang around, and new ones are popping up. I just got tested for food allergies with my Naturopath, I suspect I may have some food intolerance’s/allergies that are hindering my healing. Allergies=inflammation. I hope I am onto something!

    I listened to your podcast with Gabrielle Bernstein yesterday about Meditating in the kitchen. Loved it so much…love your teachings, you are a true inspiration!

  68. Negative emotions like fear, anxiety, anger, hatred, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, guilt and self-hatred all raise stress hormones in the body. And chronic stress suppresses your immune function and promotes inflammation.
    Dealing with negative toxic emotions is critical to healing, along with a massive diet and lifestyle change.

    Also biopsies and surgery can be a double-edged sword.
    50% of cancers (including skin) are cured by surgery alone, but the other 50% aren’t.
    As it turns out, the inflammation created by the body to heal a surgical trauma can also be a highly permissive terrain for cancer.

    Research at John Wayne Cancer Institute in 2004 demonstrated that breast cancers that are biopsied several weeks before removal resulted in a 50% greater incidence of metastases in sentinel nodes, than those who had no biopsy, only surgery.
    This may be the result of cancer cells leaking out of the biopsied tumor which are then fueled by inflammation response of the the would healing process.

  69. I started making changes about 2 months ago. I have mixed connective tissue disease and therefore I don’t need to eat anything that can increase any inflamation, so far I’ve eliminated all dairy except for 2 things and I need to find a replacement for them, I still use half/half with my coffee and I use whey protein powder. I stopped using sugar substitute, I use agave instead, and started with green juice and green smoothies. I now use seltzer water instead of diet soda. I’m working on making all the right changes, I’ve also started buying organics but I’m having a lot of trouble finding organic cucumbers.

  70. Hi Kris!

    Thanks for your great articles. What do you believe/know about our ability to heal from food intolerances/allergens? I read your article on healing our gut recently, thought you might have some insight into this. If we were to heal our gut through a plant-based lifestyle, can we eliminate food intolerances?

    Kind regards,
    Dana

  71. Kris I teach parents who have children (very young to late teens) that have learning, behavior and mood challenges how to help their children overcome this without prescribed drugs – http://www.parentstakecharge.com
    Parents are amazed to learn about the role that stress and inflammation plays in triggering these problems. They also delighted to discover that their child does not have a ‘disorder’ – a word that mainstream doctors use too often for children who struggle to learn, feel good or behave in appropriate ways. Unfortunately doctors are treating the external symptoms and not the underlying root causes and so millions of children are being medicated, rather than looking for what is causing the stress and inflammation. Once we find and treat the root cause/s, the so-called ‘learning or mood or behavior disorder’ goes away. I am so glad that you are informing others about inflammation. I love the way you write and the amazing information you share. Thanks!

  72. Please check out my website. This type of gardening will change the world. President Clinton is an advocate of The Tower Garden!! Thank you.

  73. Spot on with your advice Kris. If I follow these tips in my daily lifestyle, my asthma and eczema are significantly better. As soon as I get out of this routine for whatever reason, things can flare up again. The more we can integrate this good practice into our usual lifestyle the better equipped we will be to resist the times when this is less easy to follow.

  74. Hear, hear. I’ve been shocked to realize the role that stress alone was playing in my health. I don’t think I ever *really got* how powerful it is until now. Briefly, I have some congenital spinal issues. They are not very serious in the scheme of things; some naturally fused vertebrae and a spinal curve so mild it doesn’t even rate at scoliosis. But, all my adult life, I have become used to some degree of pain. In the past few months, it seemed I’d taken a step function down: I was in serious pain all the time. I have a very, very clean diet and do all of the things Kris says here except for… stress. I was still working 50-60 hours/week at a doomed start-up, an emotionally toxic environment.

    Well, I just up and quit my job. Didn’t change anything else. I spent a month not working and now have a contracting job that I have self-limited to 32 hours/week. And guess what? No pain. None. This is the first time since age 18 that I have NOT worked crazy hours and the first time in my adult life with no pain. If that’s how stress was manifesting on the outside of my body, think of what my cells looked like! I don’t care if I make less money; I’m not selling my health (literally selling my body, if you think about it) ever again. I cannot believe the difference just working less and having more control over my time has made in my health.

    Now I just have to work on my bruised ego from not being in a “powerful tech” position in organizations that hire me – which is far easier than living in pain, let me tell you! ;)

  75. Great stuff. Thanks, Kris!

  76. I am trying to figure out which probiotic to try out. I currently use an over the counter one but would like to try a better one from the list without suffering any side effects. I tried the Dr. Ohirra pills in the past and I was doubled over in cramps/discomfort for days. So if I have a more sensitive stomach which of the above is best?

  77. Great summary. Low grade inflammation triggered by wrong foods is not yet recognized by the mainstream, we neet to get this information out.

  78. I could have sworn I posted this comment yesterday, but my question is this: Is it still worth it to juice if I can’t juice organically? My husband and I are really trying to save more in other areas so that we can spend more comfortably on all the healthiest of foods, but I hate paying retail and frankly right now I buy what’s on sale, organic or not. Is it still better to juice than not juice if some produce is organic and some is not? I’m always on the fence about this and *hoping* the negatives of conventional produce are outweighed by the positives of juicing, but I’m never 100% sure. Thanks!

  79. Hi, great article on something I’m trying to learn more about. Thanks so much for doing a post about this!!
    I already know I have thyroid issues and adrenal fatigue. I suspect I have inflamamation and food allergies too, and am trying to get all this stuff under control. I just moved to a smaller town and am having a hard time finding a doctor to help me with this, much less an integrative type physician. Any ideas are welcome. I went to the metametrix site, but it looks like these are tests your doctor has to request. Is this right?

  80. I am suffering from chronic inflammation, my sister was just diagnosed with lupus disease which we know is an autoimmune issue, my mom has gout, my grandmother had arthritis and I have had aunts uncles and cousins with numerous kinds of cancer..so I know that I need to get my diet and health under control asap…
    I just want to say I am so glad I found your website it has been very helpful in my journey to becoming an icon of health for my family
    Thank you for this article
    Tonya Wallace. . . . AKA Skinnygirl2013

  81. Thank you so much for the information. I am the process of recovering from surgery related to bulging disks and bones spurs along the spine in my neck. I am only in my 40′s and have advanced arthritis of the spine. Dietary options and supplements at this point are my best bet in slowing down the progression of this condition and reducing inflammation. I wished I had taken time to research the foods I ate years ago…it may have made a difference. Your tips confirm what I have been researching.

  82. I completely can relate to this post….and agree with it.

    I started on an ANTIOXIDANT-rich diet….more ORGANIC fruits & veggies + groceries, FREE-RANGE chicken and beef, etc. AND STARTED DRINKING MONAVIE MX Juice as my supplement. I have never felt better. Fighting inflammation has been key to me feeling 100% better – from my sleeping habits, to my waistline, to my energy level……amazing transformation.

    THE KEY TO KEEPING AMERICANS HEALTHY IS IN OUR DIET! BOTTOM LINE!!!!!!

  83. Sam said on April 4, 2013

    Hi Kriss,

    I was wondering if you have heard about the ALCAT test. It’s a test you can do with your blood that can tell you what you are sensitive to. Any feedback about this?
    Thanks!

  84. Kris, I love this article. I have been folloiwng you since your first documentary. I am 5 years cancer free! I followed your plant based diet and juicing after having twins with breast cancer. I eventually strayed and lost focus and commitment. I am happy to say some of that focus was swept away by having a third baby, post cancer and Tamoxifen (miracle #3)! I am now going to get back on the health wagon, with the goal of losing weight and healing inflammation. Question for you: have you heard of Isagenix? This company offers nutritional supplements in the form of both vitamins and shakes, for both meal replacement and better nutrition. The shakes are whey protein (gluten and soy free). They also offer a ton of other products, including Isagenix Greens. In one scoop, you get the recommended servings of vegetables, antioxidants, rice fiber and probiotics to support healthy digestion. Wondering if you know anything of this company and the products? Loking forward to another cycle of detoxing and feeling better! Thanks for the reminder and tips!

  85. Thank you for this valuable information, I’m going to print it out for safe keeping.. I’ve been using ibuprofen to relieve inflammation, but I’d much rather focus on some more natural solutions to my problems. Thanks!

  86. Love letter from a crazy sexy fan in Utah…

    I love this! Especially when you talk about focusing on gut health and the simple steps to reducing inflammation.

    I have your first book, LOVE IT!!!!!!! Cannot say that enough.

    You inspire me girl. I love your recipes, your style and shee whiz, girl, you make me laugh each time I open it! :) I will keep on fixing food the kris carr way… and do it a little more often thanks to this post!

  87. I thought you would like to know that while I was ungoing an operation for Stage I cancer, one of the nurses at the hospital recommended that I check our your book. I’m following her advise.

  88. I am 42 years old and I was diagnosed with with rhuematory arthritis, lupus and mixed connective tissue disease over the past 15 years. I have been on just about every medication out there. Sometimes they work for awhile then stop. And I move on to the next. I am in constant pain and very tired most of the time. After a trip to Mayo clinic left me without any real answers I decided to start juicing, eliminated meat and greatly reduced carbs. I am desperately trying to find ways to reduced the massive amounts of inflammation in my body.

    • I had always a lot of pain in my upper-back for unkown reasons. Some day i came across the tip to eat more plant-based, whole, nutrient-dense foods like you described above as point number 1. Doing so while working out and doing lots of exercises for my upper back has helped me to reduce the pain almost that it’s gone now. The pain might have come from living too much of the “couch potatoe” lifestyle, because when i started to exercise i felt soo much better and the pain was instantly reduced. Also, i am going to take advantage of your tip to rest and relax more, because i feel like i should get more sleep at night. Thanks!

    • You may want to try having your bare feet touching dirt, sand, grass or concrete of 30 mins a day (more if you can) and see if you notice a difference. This is called ‘grounding’ or ‘earthing’ and is said to reduce inflammation. It is free and you have nothing to loose by trying it. :) You can sit and read a book while doing this, you don’t have to be walking around barefoot.

  89. This is great. I was following the diet but will be stocking up more on the natural prebiotic and probiotic list to give it a boost. Thank you. :-)

  90. I heard you speak at Hay House event in NYC so I bought crazy, sexy, diet and promptly put it aside. Then I broke it out 10 days ago, went to the farm stand and have been green juicing, gluton free, dairy free caffeine free and meat free for 10 days. I cheated this morning and had a coffee and felt like crap all day!! I am happy I did though, it reinforced what it feels like to feel well. I don’t think I really knew what that felt like before. Thanks!

  91. Hi Kris,
    I would like to express gratitude and thank you so much for your inspirational journey as a cancer thriver. I, myself, am a thriver from borderline ovarian cancer and was introduced to your book shortly after my diagnosis. I have since followed your website as I finally found support I could related to. As you can imagine, not very many women are crazy sexy cancer survivors at the ripe old age of 30. I have just started taking my journey towards health and wellness as a result of watching ‘Hungry for Change’. I am grateful for everyday my feet hit the ground as I work towards better health and a holistic self. I congratulate you for having the courage to face this head on and helping others in their own discovery.

    Many thanks

  92. I appreciated fining this article since I am facing one health challenge after another this year and am realizing the connection with inflammation. I have a high stress job but am starting organic veggie smoothies and probiotics. I am wondering, what do you thinkg about the use of aspirin or other NSAID to kickstart my progress? I recently read another article that daily is associated reduced cancer risk. Thanks.
    Sheila

  93. Subject: Animal Meat: Do agree with you if your refer to Scavenger Animals and Fish, which add toxic matter to your body and contribute to inflammation.
    Otherwise: Organic Lamb, Goat, Beef and Poultry plus Fish add all of the essential Amino Acids (Plants do not), All amino acids must be present at the same time before they can be utilized as protein.

    People who consume Scavengers, Pork and the long list within the Fish, Beef and Bird family blind writers to become champions for vegetarians, while ignoring the benefits of healthy meat.

  94. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I in finding It really helpful & it helped me out much. I’m hoping to provide something again and aid others such as you aided me.

  95. paul said on May 13, 2013

    I just wanted to thank you for this article. I’ve had some health challenges for about the last year and a half, mainly myofascial pain and vertigo. There is no doubt what we put into our bodies and the way we live our lives have a much greater impact than most of us realize. I just started an elimination diet about ten days ago and the changes I have been feeling and observing have been positive. Number one, the blemishes on my skin from both acne and psoriasis are clearing up.

  96. Here are the Top 10 Foods to Decrease Inflammation, according to Dr. Jeanne Wallace, PhD in nutrition.

    http://zesterdaily.com/cooking/top-10-foods-to-decrease-inflammation/

  97. Amy said on May 23, 2013

    Hi Kris. Great article. I was diagnosed with IBS and my dr believes it caused by bad bacteria in the gut so he wants to treat with a specific antibiotic for 3 weeks followed by a high fiber diet and daily probiotic. I’m a little apprehensive about taking an antibiotic. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

  98. Thanks Kris! I needed this!

  99. Couldn’t have said it better myself, Kris. Every single one of your points is so critical to reducing inflammation. Thanks for posting!

  100. I found adding milk kefir grains to my diet really helped. I bought a small amount online and make fresh kefir every day. It has helped my stomach tremendously!!

  101. I am surprised that Kris didn’t mention being barefoot on the ground… Much research has been done and has demonstrated the great benefits of being barefoot on dirt, grass, sand or concrete. I have heard it said to be one of the most powerful ways to reduce inflammation. The negative ions that come off the earth are very healing. :)

  102. Sara said on May 23, 2013

    I have erosions in my colon but the inflammation and pain has reduced since I started taking aloe vera. Amazing! I live in the tropics and here we often have a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori that attacks the stomach. Recently I was diagnosed with it but don’t want to take antibiotics to cure it. Any idea would be most welcome. I can’t take acids, lemon, apple cider or anything acidic because or the erosion in my colon. Thank you!

  103. Great article! Unfortunately, I don’t have access to a GP that can just do all these tests as the NHS in England is quite restricted in what they can do. I have started taking charge of my health problems, of which I have many! Every blood test they give me says inflammation and they don’t know where and don’t really investigate too much.

    I take so many meds. I have some Chronic illnesses. Restricted finances as well don’t help, but I am trying! I will read all about your recipes etc. and look forward to finding things that really help me.

    Thanks again!

  104. I know that I need to do this but I only do it for a few hours or a few days and then go back to my old ways. Why is it that I cannot make the changes I know I need?

  105. Hi Kiris,
    I loveeeeeee this! Great information. I have recently found out I have Candida and have really been focusing on my gut and immune system. I love you so much and thank you for all that you do.
    Tracy

  106. GREAT GREAT Article. It was full of useable and easy to understand information. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

  107. Thank you for this well rounded article addressing many approaches to reducing inflammation!

  108. And here are the top 10 Foods to Reduce Inflammation, according to the many studies.
    http://zesterdaily.com/cooking/top-10-foods-to-decrease-inflammation/

  109. Hi Kris,

    Found your site a couply of weeks ago and follow you on FB and are reading more and more on your site and blog! Love it – your energy is a great push and help to keep me heading in the same direction : )

    I’m more and more in to juiceing and Rawfood, after being diagnosed with colitis ulcerosa and told I need to be on medecin for ever and what I eat doesn’t matter…… by the doctor!

    I just have one question after seing your Jucing – I tend to blend my with water is that ok or better do just dring the show? Does the oxygen “eat” the good enzyms? I don’t have a juicer jet but do them with my handmixer and put them through a sieve.

    Keep up the fun and positive work!

    Cheers
    Sofia

  110. Howdy! I simply want to offer you a big thumbs up for the excellent information you have got right
    here on this post. I am returning to your web site for more soon.

  111. Hello Kris,
    I love your attitude and info on healthy living!

    I had chronic, heat-related edema for 24 years and I am 44. In the last year and a half, I went gluten-free. That showed some improvement with the inflammation. But, after a cleanse earlier in the year, I decided that I would move it up a notch by cutting out dairy, too, and reduce my coffee intake to see if I could attain an “edema free summer”. And, I only had about 2 days during this entire summer thus far of major inflammation compared to 6 out of 7 days of the week!

    However, my naturopath found this week that I am still having chronic inflammation through a blood test, but at least I have made an improvement from the ankles down! My candida imbalance has improved. And because it has she found unwanted bacteria hanging out in my blood. So, on we go getting closer to a healthier self.

    I have now decided to go vegan from pescetarianism and swap java for yerba mate’ to see if I can get greater health in the digestive arena.

    Thank you for all the wonderful guidance and for sharing all of your learning with us!

    ~ Lorelei

  112. My son is 9 years and for over 1 year has been suffering from inflammation of the eyes. He sees an eye doctor, rheumatology and renal. They are not able to find the source of the inflamation. My son has been on steriods and pressure meds to help him but he has glacoma and catarats as side effects. I don’t know what to do any more i feel scared and dispret to help my baby.

    I ask anyone if you able to help us please do!!!
    Sylvia and Joey

  113. My husband has chronic inflamed epididymis (for the last 8 months). He has had an ultrasound and cat scan. They did find 2 cyst, but there is nothing really they can do. They gave him antibiotics to take for about a month, but they did not help. They just advised him to take advil and live with the pain. He does need to loose some weight and is stressed with work and a new baby (aren’t we all? :) Has anyone had this problem? Any ideas for what could be causing this or what could help with the pain? Thanks!

    Lindsey

  114. I was diagnosed with Celiac Spru in 2009. Although my house & diet are Gluten free, I still have food reactions. I seem to be playing food police all of the time. I found your information helpful. I will seek out your website and books.
    sandy

  115. Thanks for some insights!

  116. Great article here. Thanks.

  117. Thank you so much for the information. I have recently been diagnosed with an allergy to Linalool and am desperate to find a way of living with this and becoming healthier.
    Regards
    June

  118. Thanks Kris…
    Always great to be reminded to steady on xo

  119. Thank you so much for this post and all your posts, indeed!

    I found it very helpful to understand why I am having multiple and recurrent signs of inflammation in my body. I have been always allergic since I was little, having different immune system manifestations over the past 35 years, skin dermatitis, rosacea, digestive issues, and pain in my legs due to inflammation of my ligaments. A recurrent mistake I have been doing is not having enough patience to let my body readjust and heal itself, I always end up at a regular doctors office and taking prescriptions to work on symptoms instead of the underlying cause. Even though my traditional doctors are good and nice people, my intuition and readings like this are encouraging me to seek an integrative medicine specialist.

    I really like the way you present information in your blog posts, books and videos. It is very clear, funny, laid terms. I am thankful I found you one day listening to Hay House Radio.

    Thank and God bless you.

    xo,
    Silvia