To really understand what inflammation is let’s first start with where the major concepts of inflammation began, back in the Roman days thousands of years ago. The Romans described inflammation as 4 symptoms:
- Calor (heat)
- Rubor (redness)
- Tumor (swelling)
- Dolor (pain)
These symptoms occur because of increased blood supply to the infected area.
Now when we talk about inflammation, we aren’t just talking about the body’s response to trauma – let’s say, when we first sprain our ankle. Yes, this type of inflammation (acute inflammation) occurs allowing an increased blood supply to the infected area. However, this is not the only cause of inflammation.
Hmmm….so inflammation is bad, right?
Well, yes and no. The inflammatory process is designed to defend and repair the body against pathogens and trauma (a process with a purpose!). The immune system’s inflammatory response uses a complex exchange between different branches of the immune system. Certain signals are conducted that transfer information to sensors, which perceive foreign substances, danger or damage, into a sequence of biochemical cascades. These branches are essential to our survival, as without them we are asking for a death sentence. Therefore, having a balanced inflammatory process is needed to ensure our health and survival.
Aside from the above-mentioned acute inflammation, we also have chronic inflammation. Foreign invaders (such as bacteria, viruses and toxins) are just a few of the harmful causes of chronic inflammation. You might not be able to see or feel the inflammation, like you would a sprained ankle, but overtime these causes can lead to a whole list of health issues, including:
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
- Body aches and pains
- Skin outbreaks
- Accelerated aging
- Resistance to weight gain and weight loss
- Frequent infections
These above are just a few of the signs and symptoms the body portrays, informing us of health issues that must be addressed. When the dysfunction occurs due to a host of systemic imbalances, inflammation becomes the root cause of all diseases. Diseases such as:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Liver disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Parkinson’s disease
So, whether the immune response is initiated by the release of debris from injured cells, AGEs (advanced glycation end products) or oxidized LDL, or the exposure to environmental or antigens (pesticides, PBCs, etc), a chain of specific pathways are initiated, leading to the increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. By getting rid of the inflammation you are able to improve your overall health.
You might be asking, “so how do I turn off the heat, redness, swelling and pain?“
Simply put, through the foods we eat!
Certain foods are able to “put out the fire” while other foods “fuel the fire.” Pro-inflammatory foods cause the body to continue to fuel the inflammation keeping us in, or working towards, a chronic disease state. While other foods are anti-inflammatory, helping to suppress the entire inflammatory response.
A big pro-inflammatory substance that most people consume way too much of on a daily basis is SUGAR!
Sugar is, of course, in candies, donuts and desserts, but they are also hidden in every day foods. Most people don’t even know they are eating sugar. Many foods that some might think are “healthy” are actually pro-inflammatory.
- Fruit yogurt
- Spaghetti sauce
- Soda, vitamin water and sports drinks
- Granola cereal and granola bars
- Dried fruit
- Juices, such as V-8 juice and apple juice
- Condiments, such as ketchup and thousand island dressing
To minimize inflammation, it is wise to limit the amount of sugar intake. That means for women it is less than 24 grams per day and for men less than 36 grams per day. The task might feel daunting at first, but in looking at food labels and seeing how much sugar and inflammation your body is truly taking on will definitely be worth it.
An important thing to remember is that the structural and functional cellular level of inflammation is closely interrelated. Inflammation is not an isolated occurrence, but instead is greatly intertwined with the overall health of your body.
We only get one body, which currently works so hard to perform at it’s best every day for you. Let’s allow it to have an impeccable balance with limited pro-inflammatory affects, enabling you to live a healthy, active life.
Sharing quality time and lots of laughter with loved ones this holiday season helps to build not only healthy relationships, but helps to improve the health of your body on a cellular level. In a nutshell, laughter helps improve the immune system, thus reducing chronic inflammation.
Some common sources of inflammation
- Diet (high omega 6:3 ratio, high sugar, high flour)
- Unfriendly gut bacteria (creating a healthy gastrointestinal microbiome is critical!)
- Antibiotic use
- Toxic metals and other toxic compounds
- Too little or too much exercise
Components commonly missing in individuals
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Adequate exercise
- Sufficient sleep and rest
- Properly coping with stress
- Laughter and a positive mental attitude
- Sunshine and Vitamin D
- Vitamins, minerals other nutrients
- Friendly gut bacteria
We are all unique. When it comes to our health, some individuals might have inflammation due to excess amounts of certain components while others might be deficient in others. The simplest method for reducing chronic inflammation is to eradicate these imbalances thus, allowing us to live our daily lives healthier and happier. If we don't have our health, what else do we have?
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season!
Have you ever ran a half marathon or a marathon? How about running one in consume?
We had a blast running the St Jude 1/2 and full marathon as Chewy and Princess Leia. We ran the first half together, side by side, stopping for photos with the kids (and the big "kids!") along the way. Chewy continued on rocking it to 26.2 with even more high-fives, pictures and cheers. The St. Jude kids were a true inspiration. You are our heroes!
Chewbacca and Princess Leia running down Beale Street!
Princess Leia and Chewbacca running the
2014 St Jude Memphis 1/2 and full marathon.
Thank you @tronchin for capturing this special moment at mile 22 for us! :)
So, what's our next event?
Stacy and Will are raising funds for Team ZERO (ZERO Prostate Cancer Endurance Team) and competing in IRONMAN Chattanooga on September 27th, 2015 and we need your help!
By being a part of Team ZERO we are not only supporting friends who are fighting prostate cancer, but also supporting research that enables a better and more thorough understanding about prostate cancer from prevention, diagnosis, education and treatment aspects. Research can not be conducted without financial contributions. Through research and science we are able to learn, thus helping more people minimize the negative impacts of prostate cancer.
Join us in the fight against prostate cancer by sponsoring us with a donation to help save lives.
If our goal of $5,000 is met, Will (my fiancé who is also doing IRONMAN Chattanooga) is going to run the last 26.2 as Chewbacca!
For more information, check out our latest blog post about prostate cancer.
Every bit counts!
A great article in today's Memphis Daily News Small Business Spotlight about Acceleration Sports. We had a wonderful time last week with Don Wade (writer) and Andrew Breig (photographer) watching one of our small group training sessions. A huge thank you to Amy Barry and Sherri Kimery for showing Don and Andrew how it's done. We discussed wonderful and extremely important nutrition topics on what the body needs to function properly, great topics as always!
Check it out here or read below:
Trainer and nutritionist Stacy Peterson (right) of Acceleration Sports stretches with client Amy Barry, who had never considered working with a personal trainer until she met Peterson. (Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)
Acceleration Sports Gets All Ages Stronger
By Don Wade Updated 1:52PM
Print | Front Page | Email this story | Email reporter | Comments (0)
If personal trainer/performance coach Stacy Peterson could help volleyball players at the Hutchison School, including their own daughters, then maybe she could help them, too.
That was the thought process last May when Amy Barry and Sherri Kimery started training sessions a couple of times a week with Peterson.
Kimery, 50, and Barry, 44, came to this revelation from different places, with Kimery saying, “I hate to exercise; this is the longest I’ve exercised in my whole life.”
Trainer and nutrtionist Stacy Peterson (left) of Acceleration Sports stretches with client Amy Barry, who had never considered working with a personal trainer until she met Peterson.
Barry never had considered a personal trainer because “I’ve always been self-motivated.”
Yet on a recent weekday morning in Barry’s East Memphis home, Peterson was putting them through their paces. Using a spare room downstairs where a ping pong table was folded up halfway and pushed toward one wall, they stretched on mats, used dumbbells as heavy as 40 pounds, and worked on their “weak areas.”
For Barry, that meant addressing her back and core. For Kimery, lower back issues had once been such a persistent pain that she had been going to the chiropractor every week. She says she has been just once since May.
A lot of the exercises Peterson has them doing work the lower back, glute, hamstrings and calves – areas, Peterson says, that are weak in a lot of people.
“We’re big posterior chain chickies,” Kimery said, referring to the area of focus.
Peterson, 33, has been operating Acceleration Sports – www.accelerationsports.net – since 2006. While a Division 1 swimmer at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she earned an undergraduate degree in kinesiology. She then studied abroad and swam with the Australian National Team.
“I played every sport imaginable when I was a kid,” Peterson said. “I loved sports.”
So it was natural for her to go into coaching. “I’ve never had a nine to five job,” she said.
She did have a couple of 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. jobs. She worked as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at both the University of California San Diego and American University in Washington, D.C. She obtained a Masters of Arts degree in coaching and athletic administration at Concordia University, Irvine, and is working on her Masters of Science in human nutrition and functional medicine.
“She’s not just our exercise trainer,” Barry said. “She’s our full-wellness person.”
Peterson trains athletes of all levels – everything from youth competitors to middle-aged moms to ironman competitors to Division 1 athletes. In all cases, she believes nutrition matters. In summary, she says additives and processed foods are bad and “dark, leafy green vegetables generally are good; I know they’re not the tasty, yummy Oreo.”
Oreos are not Kimery’s temptation. When she started working with Peterson she had a nasty Diet Coke habit, sometimes drinking as many as eight in a day. She’s kicked that, but is hanging onto red wine – in moderation.
“My nutritional vice,” Kimery said, although there are plenty of studies that claim red wine in small amounts has healthful properties.
Peterson charges $75 per hour for one-on-one training, $45 each for semi-private training (two people), and $35 each for 3-5 persons. She also has team rates.
She is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She also holds swimming, weightlifting, and holistic health certifications and is certified in CPR/AED.
Peterson also has found the personal training business to be a better fit and more rewarding than working on staff at a university.
“You’re working 14 to 16 hours a day. Really doesn’t make for much of a life,” said Peterson, who strikes the right balance of pushing clients and kidding with them. “I love working with people, helping them achieve their goals, to feel better, and to live healthier and happier.”
And without giving up red wine.
With the skin being the largest organ in your body it needs nourishing not just from the outside, but from the inside out. Our body is so amazing in so many ways, and especially when it comes to our digestive system and our skin. A healthy digestive system enables our skin to be healthy.
Most of us are aware that putting aloe on your skin can soothe a burn (either from the sun or from cooking), cuts, bruises, acne and eczema. But aloe does not only help heal our bodies when applied topically, but when digested into our digestive system too. Topically we apply aloe vera. Though we don’t ingest aloe vera, instead we ingest aloe vera juice!
Aloe vera juice can be included into certain clients’ daily food consumption, such as in smoothies, to help address specific digestive troubles. Some of these common ailments cause heartburn, ulcers, intestinal inflammation and/or diarrhea, to name a few!
Looking at the health of your colon through the quality, quantity and consistency of your poop to determine your individual health status can tell us a lot of what is going on inside your digestive system.
By taking a peak at the porcelain bowl, you may come to terms that your digestive system could use some soothing support.
So, what type of aloe vera juice might you consider consuming?
Aloe vera juice should be consumed internally for best digestive results, such as the Lily of the Dessert brand (either the whole leaf or inner fillet), which is often organic and packaged in glass bottles at most health food stores.
Why is aloe vera juice so good for us?
Similar to how aloe vera soothes a burn on your skin, when aloe vera juice is consumed orally it soothes the lining of the intestines. It has been labeled a superfood after numerous research studies identified the 75 healing compounds including natural steroids, antibiotic agents, amino acids, minerals and enzymes. Some positive digestive benefits of aloe vera juice:
- Promotes the production of good bacteria in the gut
- Improves bowel regularity without causing diarrhea
- Helps to improve yeast in the alimentary canal
- Balances acid and alkaline levels in the stomach, which helps alleviate over-acidity, a common cause of indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn and ulcers
- Slows the transit time of certain foods to allow optimal protein digestion and nutrient absorption
- Suppressing internal systemic inflammation from specific anti-inflammatory enzymes within the aloe vera juice
How much aloe vera juice might you consume?
If you are trying it out by yourself, I would suggest starting slowly and building as necessary. One ounce of aloe vera juice mixed with water or in a smoothie can be a good starting point.
If you are working with a holistic health coach, nutritionist or integrative health practitioner, find out the right amount for you and progress from there. Finding out the right dosage for you is something we can do together through holistic health and nutrition sessions to ensure you are consuming the appropriate amount that will improve your digestion and elimination using protocols that will support your colon.
Be sure to take a glance before you flush each day, helping to heal so many aspects inside and out.
Hello, my name is Stacy Peterson, licensed Functional Nutritionist and Holistic Health, Wellness and Strength & Conditioning Coach with a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine practicing whole-foods nutrition and physical training to individuals around the globe.
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