How I Combat Pain Naturally and 2 Recipes!
I am a very active person. I get up and run at 6-11 miles or bike an hour almost every morning, I stand all day at work, and I like to go for evening walks. I try and take care of myself the best I can, but sometimes I get sore. When I was younger, I would always just take an advil when something hurt. But then after having a stress fracture 6 years back, and being told not to take Advil because it would prevent it from healing faster got me thinking. What if I could use natural things to help with pain or prevent it? Sometimes it felt like the Advil was maybe just masking it and not getting to the root of the problem and not only that, I looked into it further and it is really not good for you to take Advil a lot. I know Advil is anti-inflammatory, but there are other things I can do and do now to decrease inflammation.
I try to include things in my diet that fight inflammation like turmeric, ginger and alkalinizing foods like plenty of veggies. I do enjoy sweets in moderation, but I am no longer eating all of the refined sugars and processed foods that I used to that can be pretty inflammatory to the body. I also only enjoy a glass of wine once in a while as opposed to drinking several glasses a day or way too much on weekends, which can also be inflammatory to the body. Also, I listen to my body and know when it needs rest. When I was in my early 20s I was all like..."what is a rest day?" But now I know when I need it to prevent injuries. In fact it is crucial to preventing them.
Also, I take Arnica Montana after a hard run or when I am feeling sore, because it naturally helps the body heal. It seems to help a lot! Even for headaches. I haven't taken Advil in a long time since to this wonder. I take it in the homeopathic form and it works well. My Mom used to tell me I should take it when I used to race and I did not listen. I should have, and I wish I had taken it sooner. Also, if my muscles are sore at the end of the night, I make a warm bath (like jacuzzi warm), about 1 cup Epsom salts, and about 10 drops lavender essential oil. This helps draw out the soreness and relaxes me before bed. You can also make a smaller version in a basin just for your feet. Honestly this was the only thing that helped when I had plantar fasciitis.
Every morning in my breakfast I like to try and include some of those anti inflammatory items like ginger and turmeric. Most of the time it is in my overnight oatmeal, and I have been making the same spiced oatmeal lately (which I am sharing the recipe for with you today). It tastes like gingerbread kind of. It is a simple mix of just oats, chia seeds sometimes flax seeds, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. But I love it! It is not too sweet but so good (if you want it sweeter you could always add something). The other thing I am sharing is a sunshine smoothie with some anti inflammatories as well that is sweet and delicious perfect for a hot summer day when you want something a little more refreshing. There are good quality turmeric pills available on Vitacost.com if putting it in your oatmeal and smoothies isn't your jam (and I admit, I do just take the turmeric pills sometimes).
Spiced Overnight Oatmeal
1/2 cup raw rolled oats, or gluten free oats
1 heaping Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
3/4 cup filtered water
sweetener of chice if desired
Mix all ingredients together in a jar or bowl, cover, and let sit overnight (or at least a half hour),
Note: you can also mix in vanilla protein powder as I sometimes do, but it may need a little more water.
Vegan Sunshine Smoothie
1 cup raw coconut water
Juice of one lime
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Stevia to taste (optional)
1 small chunk ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1 scoop raw vanilla protein powder (Garden of Life and Sunwarrior are good brands)
2 carrots, chopped
1 banana, frozen and cut into pieces
2 cups frozen diced mangoes
2 cups frozen diced pineapple
In a high speed blender, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth, using the tamper to press the shake down into the blades. Pour into 2 tall glasses, and serve!