Enjoy Summer-Eat Healthy Fruit While Reducing Pain and Inflammation

This is a fun time of year because it’s not only easier for people to make healthier food choices, it’s easy to find fun, healthy foods. Have you checked out your local farmers markets and food co-ops? If not, this is a great time to locate those nearest in preparation for your summer food shopping. A fun, easy and very healthy food to begin with is “fruit” it’s sweet, delicious and easy on the digestive system. Which is good for those who battle digestive issues such as IBS and IBDs. We’re less likely to crave comfort foods this time of year, so consuming more fruit is a great way to begin our day and a great way to wrap it up, by eating nice healthy fruit filled desserts. Fruit has incredible healing benefits, offering enzymes, healthy carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and cancer fighting tannins & flavonoids. For us Ankylosing Spondylitis & Autoimmune Arthritis Sufferers, fruit also offers amazing anti-inflammatory properties, while reducing pain and swelling. According to the Article: Inflammation and Foods That Fight via Arthritis Today, it is very important to consume a variety of colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables routinely for best results.  This is one of many steps toward achieving and maintaining a healthy “holistic” lifestyle. By eating fruit we reduce inflammation, pain and swelling, while increasing energy levels and wellness.  We also reduce the likelihood of developing age-related and degenerative diseases such as certain types of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.  We also enjoy the added benefit of improving skin appearance, our moods and mental sharpness. Some of my favorite anti-inflammatory & low-glycemic fruits are: berries, cherries, apples, pineapple, grapefruit, kiwi, plums & of course pears. What is your favorite fruit? Enjoy your summer even more by adding healthy, delicious fruit to your diet!

Natural Anti-Inflammatory, Vegan Friendly & Gluten-Free: Roasted Seaweed Snack!

When I talk about healthy gluten-free snacks I can’t help but rave about one of my all time favorites and that’s the Roasted Seaweed Snack by Trader Joes. These small paper-thin snacks are only 30 calories while offering only 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein and 50 mg of sodium.  If you are now thinking, “why on earth would I ever want to eat seaweed” then consider its incredible healing benefits. Seaweed is packed full of Amino Acids, ionic and trace Minerals plus Vitamins, most specifically Vitamins A, B and C. It also contains Beta-Carotene and Iodine, essential for Myelin production which helps to combat symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by nourishing the mitochondria.  Seaweed also contains high amounts of Iron, Calcium, and Fiber, along with the non-essential amino acid Taurine, which is great for alertness and mental clarity.  Incredibly beneficial to those who suffer from *Fibro Fog, memory issues and depression. It also aids in bile production which helps with digestion. Seaweed is also instrumental in naturally lowering cholesterol levels which is essential to heart health. This wonderful super food also has antiviral and antibacterial properties, as well as an abundance of anti-inflammatory properties.  Proving very beneficial to those with chronic inflammatory conditions such as Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).

Seaweed also contains Selenium, Collagen, Asparagine, Boron, Bioflavonoids and Antioxidants. When you eat this amazing little snack, you are strengthening your hair, bones, teeth, gums and connective tissue, while improving your thyroid, eyes and skin.  You are also sharpening your brain, removing toxins from your body such as mercury, lead and heavy metals, while helping your body to fight infection, colds, flu, allergies, and other respiratory problems.  In addition to lowering your risks of breast and prostate cancer. Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snack is vegan-friendly and a great substitution for chips and other high calorie, high sodium snacks. Plus, there is no need to swim to the bottom of the ocean to enjoy this tasty little snack.  They are packaged nicely, sold at your local Trader Joe’s and are very reasonably priced at only $.99. They also travel well for eating on the go and they are quite addicting, so be sure to stock up!

Great packaging, opens easily and travels well. Roasted seaweed remains fresh and in tact.

Beautiful snacks which you can serve on a plate or in the included plastic container. They tend to absorb moisture rather quickly, so be careful of leaving them out for too long.  Especially in humid climates, or you’ll risk losing the crunchiness which is their appeal.

Paper thin, filling and incredibly delicious!

If you like a little kick be sure to try their mouth blowing Wasabi Roasted Seaweed Snack. I like spicy, but one bite of this flavor was all that I could take.  I will say it’s worth trying and if you can’t handle the heat revisit the idea of the original flavor.

Berry, Berry Dairy-Free Smoothie

1/2 Cup of Frozen Blueberries

1/2 Cup of Fresh Blueberries

1/2 Cup of Frozen or Fresh Strawberries

1/4 Cup of Fresh or Frozen Raspberries

1 1/2 Cup of Zico Coconut Water

1/2 cup of crushed ice for a thicker smoothie

3 Tbsp of Nutiva Organic Shelled Hemp Seed

This recipe might vary slight depending on your blender.  If you have a high-powered blender proceed by tossing in all ingredients, if not you might need to premix ingredients or add additional liquid. High powered blenders can easily crush ice while blending whole foods, whereas other blenders might require you to pre-crush ice prior to adding.

Completely optional: Nutiva Organic Shelled Hemp Seed is a great way to add protein to your smoothie, with only 2g of carbs it is very low-carb & low-starch diet friendly.

Guacamole (Inflammatory Culprits Free)

When eating for good health always buy local and or organic and focus on anti-inflammatory foods.  If buying local is a challenge, then consider Trader Joes as an inexpensive options.   Each store will vary in terms of quality, but I personally love the avocados from my local Trader Joes.  If shopping at other stores look for PLU #s 94046, 94225 and 94770 for Organic Hass Avocados.  Trader Joes buys in bulk and ships to each of its stores, so the avocados could be from a number of different places such as; California, Mexico, Chile, Dominican Republic or New Zealand.  Sometimes the country of origin will be included on the label. Another very reliable store is Wholefoods.  They offer both organic and conventional produce. They frequently purchase from local farmers, which is an amazing bonus.  The prices are a little higher as a result, but it’s completely worth it.  When avocados are picked and how they are stored affects their carbohydrate, starch and sugar content and level of anti-inflammatory healing properties. This is why its important to purchase your produce from someone who cares as much as you do. There are many known inflammatory culprits, so my recipes will exclude them.  Peppers being one of them, please feel free to add if you have no issue with this flavorful option.  Be sure to look for an article explaining these known culprits. Enjoy The Positive Pear ‘s version of Guacamole.
Guacamole Inflammatory Culprits Free:
  • 5-6 Organic Hass Avocados
  • 1/4 cup of fresh Cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons minced Shallots (substitution: onion or green onion)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Lime juice (substitution: lemon juice)
Anaheim peppers make a nice addition to this guacamole recipe, if you are fine with digesting these or do not have a chronic inflammatory contion, then feel free to add:
1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped & seeded Anaheim peppers (lime green-not spicy but completely optional)
Rinse avocados. Cut in half. Spoon out pit. Spoon avocado out of peel into medium mixing bowl and mash with fork or potato masher. Add all remaining ingredients and mash to blend. Serve with slices of fennel or celery.

Kale, Cucumber, Lemon & Fresh Juice Recipe

A Great Anti-Inflammatory Green Drink & My Absolute Favorite:

Kale, Cucumber, Lemon & Ginger Recipe:

6-8 clean Kale leaves (any variety)

1 to 2 organic English Cucumbers

1 Lemon

1 bunch of Parsley

1 inch of Ginger Root

1 cup of Water for blender only

If you do not have a juicer that separates the pulp from the juice, then peel all fruit and remove seeds from lemon.  When using a juicer, start with Kale, followed by the remainder of ingredients, strain using a drink strainer & drink. Or combine all ingredients in the blender, in which case you’ll want to make sure that you’ve pealed your cucumbers, ginger and lemon, also removing seeds. (Note: high powered blenders work best for liquefying ingredients) Once blended if your mixture is too thick, simply add water.  You can drink both the pulp and the juice or strain, drink and enjoy.

Purchasing tip: purchase local and organic whenever possible, especially when eating for the purpose of healing or controlling inflammation.

Juice, drink & enjoy!!

Be sure to check “The Positive Pear” article on  the healing benefits of juicing entitled “Can Juicing Cure Disease”

Need a blender or juicer? Check out “The Positive Pear’s recommendations”

Other Positive Pear Recipes: Nutritional, Gluten-Free, Diary-Free, Low-Starch & Inflammation Friendly Recipes