I’ve been struggling with chronic inflammation for the past 12 years.

As an 18 year old kid, I would have these inflammation attacks that would wake me up in the middle of night leaving me paralyzed. 

This stems from a combination of a fractured back injury at the age of 11, and an auto-immune disorder called rheumatoid arthritis.

This led me down a road to figure out how to use food to cure my inflammation.

I learned there’s an answer right in front of us – the more fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains we consume, the less inflammation.

But what was even more surprising was the highest inflammatory foods come processed and from animals.

Here’s a short list of inflammatory foods: – It includes Meat, Fish, Dairy, Refined Sugars, Processed Oils. 

“Wow, so I have to cut out many of my favorite things.” I thought to myself. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry. 

After I got over the emotional impact, I had my next thought, “where will we get my protein? “

The answer is potatoes, breads, pastas, beans, legumes and greens. 

But this still left me with the underlying question.

Will I get enough protein? 

I needed reassurance from a legitimate source.

So I’m going to share a direct quote from Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD, a world renowned physician at the Cleveland Clinic and former Olympic  rowing champion.

Dr. Esselstyn has used a plant-based, whole foods diet to reverse chronic inflammation, cancer, and reverse even the number one leading killer in the US – heart disease.

Dr. Esselstyn believes that due to the structure of the American factory farming industry supplying our schools, restaurants and supermarkets with subsidized animal proteins, that the leading killers in the United States are due to an overconsumption of meat, dairy and processed oils. 

But let me get you to his quote. Dr Esselstyn says,

“The protein available in a diet of whole grains, legumes, fruit and beans, and red, yellow and green vegetables is adequate to nourish even professional champion athletes such as those who compete in the iron man races, professional football, mixed martial arts, track and field. Avoid protein drinks. The extra protein is truly unnecessary and has the potential for harm if it contains animal protein.”

Wow, I thought to myself. So I made the decision to change my diet. This was a year and half ago.

To this day I eat primarily plant-based, whole foods and it has completely lowered the inflammation in my body. 

About 1.5 years into the change, I had just recently decided to try to incorporate the occasional farm raised animal or wild-caught fish into my life. We’ll see how it goes…

I just stress that if you feel there’s something wrong with your diet, just pay closer attention. 

Do this by continuing to educate yourself and having the conversation with people who have actually tried things. And then try things yourself.

There’s certain people who are trying to sell you and there’s certain people that are trying to help. My gut tells me Dr. Esselstyn is trying to help.  And I’ve put his plan into practice for a year and a half… and it works. 

But whatever you do, put together a plan. It’s  never best to change your diet on an empty stomach.

If you want to get started on your shopping now, this article is helpful

If you’re interested in my plan that I followed, it’s clearly outline in Dr. Esselstyn’s book linked here.

We have zero association to him and get nothing in return for the referral. We’re simply sharing my experience to facilitate a conversation towards change.