Food, stress, inflammation, and health
Inflammation, food allergies, and food reactivity are on the rise, making optimal health harder to achieve. We wanted to know why there are so many issues with foods these days, and what people can do to feel better.
Jill sat down with holistic health coach Amanda Giralmo of WellthieLife to talk about food, chronic inflammation, and how we can make better food choices to support our health. Here’s what she learned:
Discovering our life’s true path often starts with fixing a problem within ourselves. For Amanda Giralmo, founder of Wellthie Life, bringing herself back to health and wholeness after a difficult divorce helped her uncover her passion for leading others to their best selves. She tells us how she found the strength to take that journey.
Did she feel she needed permission to take that journey, considering it meant taking time off and focusing on herself? We asked her how she came to that very necessary decision.
The experience brought her to where she is now, helping others as a certified holistic health coach focused on lowering inflammation. So, we asked her, what is inflammation, what causes it, and why is it so bad for us when it becomes “chronic”? Amanda explains the importance of the gut microbiome and how long-term inflammation damages the good bacteria we depend on for optimal health. (Ever heard the expression “leaky gut”?) What are the long-term consequences of inflammation?
Chronic inflammation caused by eating the wrong foods can be constant, if you consider how often we eat. Fifty million people – at least – suffer an autoimmune disease in the US. Knowing the right foods to eat for our bodies can help us avoid that fate, Amanda says.
So what are the symptoms? So many people have chronic inflammation due to eating foods they’re sensitive to, so clearly we’re not all as in-tune with our bodies as we should be. How can we know we need to change?
How does this condition start? Amanda tells us that formation of a healthy gut goes all the way back to how we’re born and our very first food. She also tells us what we do as adults that can cause inflammation besides eating the wrong foods.
As Amanda knows from her own personal story, stress is a major cause of inflammation. She talks about how stress affects us and what happens when we’re not able to “rest and digest.”
OK, so we’re chronically inflamed. If that inflammation isn’t reduced or eliminated, what can happen? The consequences can be pretty dire, Amanda warns us. Hear why you want to reduce that inflammation, like, yesterday.
What’s the difference between a food allergy and a reactivity or sensitivity? Both are signs of chronic inflammation, Amanda tells us, but allergies may be easier to detect. Because sensitivities can be slow and sneaky, we tend to just live with the discomfort for years. Amanda gives us the simple diagnostic.
Does aging have anything to do with inflammation? Yes, says Amanda, particularly in women, the lack of reproductive hormones makes chronic inflammation more apparent in women in midlife. She tells us the thinking around the intersection between inflammation and menopause.
Amanda has developed a three-phase program to help her clients eliminate harmful foods from their diet. Through the program, clients heal their bodies by identifying what causes the reactivity and learning to avoid or manage those triggers – with Amanda providing resources, guidance, and support throughout.
The program takes time to work through: Amanda gives us an idea of how long it typically takes to begin healing the chronic inflammation. And you don’t get to cheat, she warns us: eating a trigger food will set your body back to start.
It’s not an easy process, but the results can be well worth the effort. Amanda shares with us a client’s experience of losing weight, regaining energy, and generally feeling like embracing life again.
The role of “coach” gets interesting when the goals are so intensely personal. Amanda tells us about keep clients honest and their need to confess and apologize when they cheat or backslide. “I’m just here to play support and accountability,” Amanda says, “It’s all about what they need to do for themselves.”
If you need Amanda, how do you find her? The quickest way is by going to her website: wellthielife.com. (It’s a great place to find a whole lot of information, incidentally.) The initial, 50-minute consultation with Amanda is complimentary. It’s important to find a coach who’s a good “fit,” Amanda tells us, so choose your coach carefully.
Many thanks to Amanda for sharing her expertise with us. Also, be sure to check out her Guided Meditation for Beginners, a six-minute start to a better day. You can find her meditation in the sidebar of gennev.com.
Want to learn more about how to eat for optimal health? Check out our podcasts with nutritionist and Food Peace advocate Julie Duffy Dillon: Making Peace with Food and Accepting Your Midlife Body. And don’t miss Michelle Cartmel’s blog on How to Shop the Bulk Aisle to access all the nutrition and remedies for women in midlife and menopause.
If you’ve done a “detox” or otherwise taken on chronic inflammation, we’d love to know what you did and how it worked for you. Tell us about your experience in the comments below, on the Gennev Facebook page, or in Midlife & Menopause Solutions, our closed Facebook group.