Can Your Diet Affect Chronic Pain?

There are certain foods that are considered to cause inflammation in the body.

While pain is defined as “physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury,” chronic pain is pain lasting longer than three months. Chronic pain affects over 100 million Americans; that’s more people than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. Each September is designated as Pain Awareness Month where advocates like me help to raise awareness about issues related to chronic pain.

The most common forms of chronic pain are from migraines, lower back pain, knees, and neck pain. I happen to suffer from back and neck issues, along with fibromyalgia, and suffer some level of pain daily. Chronic pain can lead to depression, trouble sleeping or concentrating, and is the number one reason for long-term disability care in the U.S. It is very difficult to treat chronic pain. Opioids are often prescribed to people seeking relief from chronic pain, yet only about 23% of people experience relief. This can then lead to misuse, people self-increasing their dosages, and then often an addiction to pain killers.

Chronic pain manifests itself differently in everyone, which also means there is no one size fits all answer to treating it. Drugs, physical therapy, behavioral therapy, or supplements/diet – or some combination of the above – may offer relief. While an imbalanced diet may not be causing your migraines or back pain, it’s no secret that proper nutrition is the foundation to a healthy life, so why not consider your diet when it comes to chronic pain?

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Clean Eating: Red, White and Blueberry Smoothie

Triple Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe

In America, this is the weekend that we celebrate Independence Day, typically with cookouts and fireworks. In the days of Coronavirus, our family won’t be celebrating in the traditional ways. Since late March, we have been doing our best to #StayAtHome. This year that means no BBQs with friends or watching fireworks with big crowds. It will be a simple BBQ at home for the family.

During quarantine I have been practicing self-care with proper eating and extra walks with the dog to get out of the house. These habits also help me to keep the fibromyalgia flare-ups to a minimum. The neighborhood has gotten a bit boring, so this past week I discovered some lovely nearby walking trails. After a particularly long walk this morning, I made this Red-White-and-Blue Triple-Berry-Coconut smoothie bowl that I thought would make a nice 4th of July treat!

Triple Berry Red, White, and Blueberry Smoothie Bowl
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Clean Eating: Peppermint Mocha Mousse

It’s the holidays! It’s so easy to overindulge at this time of year. Even just a nibble here or there adds up. I ❤️ sweets but I try my best not to eat too many at the holidays, so I don’t derail my healthy habits. With my fibromyalgia I have said for years if I eat crap, I feel like crap. The easiest way to avoid the temptations is to make sure I have a little something to treat myself. 😉

This recipe is so simple and you can make it look elegant with a few toppings. And by using full-fat coconut milk, you are getting added health benefits for your heart and immune system. The MCTs found in this milk are good for your gut and the good fats and protein combination help satisfy your appetite.

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Why You Need Collagen

Collagen production decreases about 1% a year after age 20.

Let’s talk collagen for a minute, shall we? Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein. You need it for healthy skin, nails, hair, bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Our collagen production decreases about 1% per year after age 20, so supplementing collagen can help you fight wrinkles, bone loss, and joint pain. As someone who knows all of these things from living with fibromyalgia and osteoporosis I have been using a collagen supplement for a few years now.

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