My guest this week is Jenny Carr, a leading inflammation expert and international best selling author of ‘Piece of Cake: The Secret To An Anti-Inflammatory Diet’. After surviving a near-death experience due to an autoimmune condition, Jenny is on a mission to aid others in healing through teaching how to implement and maintain an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Jenny specializes in helping children and parents reverse symptoms from chronic illnesses like autoimmune diseases, behavioral disorders, and physical and mental disorders. All without feeling deprived and overwhelmed.
In this episode, Jenny and I discuss how incredibly impactful an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle can be for families. Jenny provides parents with practical tips on how to help their children identify, address, and engage in treating inflammation. Children on the spectrum, with ADHD, ADD, anxiety and behavioral challenges have seen life-changing effects by the safe elimination of toxic ingredients such as processed sugars while following an anti-inflammatory diet. Learn more about Jenny here.
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What is Inflammation?
- Acute inflammation – when our body reacts with inflammation to support the healing process
- occurs when we break an ankle, sprain a wrist, have a cold or flu
- Chronic inflammation – inflammation that represents ‘toxins’ and shows itself uniquely for each individual whether it be physically or behaviorally
- Appears uniquely for everyone because it targets areas each individual is susceptible to
- Can be linked to symptoms such as chronic stomach pains, digestive issues, bloating, headaches, skin conditions
- Can come from genetic predisposition or overused weakened areas
Chronic Inflammation in Children
- Inflammation is linked to many different behavioral symptoms
- Sensory conditions
- ADHD, ADD
- Chronic anxiety
Helping Children Find and Understand Inflammation
- Find ways to help the child understand and identify what is happening with their body. By doing so, the child will feel more invested in making changes to better themselves
- Ex: Draw a stick figure and have the child point or draw an ‘X’ where they notice something hurts or something is wrong
- If of writing age, encourage them to write notes of how they are feeling
What Causes Inflammation?
- Our diet
- Stray from food-like products and replace with actual whole foods
- Lack of water consumption
- We tend to replace water with other beverages like juice, soda, and coffee
- Water is key to the methylation process in our liver that allows our body to process toxins and inflammations
- Stress lies at the root of inflammation
- Societal pressures continue to rise for both adults and children
- Lack of rest
- Not getting enough sleep does not allow your body to heal and regenerate the cells needed to help rid the body of toxins
- Our thoughts or mindfulness
- Emotional wellbeing links directly to stress levels in both children and adults
- Environmental toxins
- Parasites, household cleaning products, personal care products
Top 6 Inflammatory Foods
- Processed sugar – there are over 50 names of processed sugar!
- Wheat – most wheat is highly genetically modified and processed containing many pesticides
- Cow Dairy – has large protein molecules that are harder for the body to break down
- GMO (Genetically modified foods ) – found in wheat, corn, soy, cane sugar
- Inflammatory Oils – vegetable oil, canola oil, corn oil, and even seed oils
- Seed oils that have been heated change on a molecular basis and can cause inflammatory responses
Where to Begin: The First Step to an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- Instead of trying to cut all inflammatory foods at once and start with the most harmful of them all – processed sugars
- Cut processed sugars from your diet and swap them with non-inflammatory sugars such as:
- Pure maple syrup, raw honey, whole, and dried fruits
- Addiction to processed sugars and cravings are very intense when removing them from any diet
- Have clean, sweet treats on hand for you and your child that are made with non-inflammatory ingredients to aid with the transition
The Clean Eating Kid Challenge
- Visit thecleaneatingkidchallenge.com to get a FREE copy of Jenny’s advanced reader book where she outlines many helpful tips for parents and children such as:
- Helping you improve chronic symptoms in your children
- Teaching you how to adapt to the anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle
- Walking you through the grocery store aisle and giving you the tools to know what to buy and what to avoid
- Steps on how to stop cravings in their tracks, and so much more!
Where to learn more?
- Jenny’s Website
- Instagram: @jennycarrhealth
- Twitter: @jennycarrhealth
- Jenny’s Facebook Page
- Jenny Carr’s Books on Amazon
Episode Intro … 00:00:30
What is Inflammation … 00:02:22
Chronic Inflammation in Children … 00:04:28
Understand Inflammation … 00:08:57
What Causes Inflammation … 00:16:34
Top 6 Inflammatory Foods … 00:20:23
Where to Begin …. 00:25:10
Sugar Detox … 00:33:00
Episode Wrap Up … 00:34:10
Dr. Nicole Beurkens:
Hi Everyone, welcome to the show — I am Dr. Nicole, and today I have the pleasure of having Jenny Carr as my guest. Jenny and I both share a passion for helping families understand nutrition and how to use food to feel and function at our best, and I’m really excited to delve into the topic with her of ‘Anti-inflammatory’ eating. And if that sounds like a big complicated thing to you don’t worry about it, Jenny is going to break it all down for us and give us some simple action steps that we can take to better support our kids.
Let me just tell you a little bit about Jenny — She is a speaker, a leading inflammation expert and the International best-selling author of ‘Piece of Cake: The Secret to an Anti-Inflammatory Diet’. She survived a near-death experience due to an autoimmune condition, is healing through upholding anti-inflammatory living. Jenny is on a mission to help others do the same, whether it’s recovering from an autoimmune disease, reversing chronic physical disorders or easing behavioral or emotional conditions. Jenny specializes in helping families reverse these chronic symptoms by adopting and maintaining anti-inflammatory eating without feeling deprived or overwhelmed, which I think is key.
So think cupcakes, pizza, bread, muffins, the anti-inflammatory way. Jenny’s been featured in all kinds of major media outlets and offers coaching as well as online courses, and she is a mom of 2 and lives in the mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Jenny, welcome to the show, thanks for being here!
Thank you for having me, I’m so excited to be here!
So let’s delve into this because I know that the term ‘anti-inflammatory eating’ can feel like a big word and can feel overwhelming. I’m sure that there are people going, what in the world! What do I need to know now about that? Let’s start out — can you just talk about what inflammation is, and how it’s affecting us in ways that we might now even realize. Because that’s a good starting point, most people don’t understand that.
Yeah, it’s really interesting. Inflammation has become a buzzword in the last 5-7 years it feels like. But it’s a buzzword that we still don’t really understand, and we don’t always understand if it’s really impacting us. And so the way I like to help people, the really simplified method of identifying if chronic inflammation is impacting you. And I use the word ‘chronic’ because acute inflammation is when we break our ankle, when we sprain our wrists, or sometimes if we just get the cold or flu.
Our body actually has inflammation that shows up to support the healing process, so that actually is beneficial for us. But chronic inflammation is this kind of slow, smoldering inflammation, which I like to swap out the word inflammation with toxins.
Because really, toxins are what cause so much chronic inflammation along with stress and some other things we can talk about here, but chronic inflammation gives us chronic symptoms. So it’s not like if you happen to get food poisoning or you happen to have a really random one-off health experience that doesn’t feel good, right? That’s not chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is showing up in our body when we have consistent bellyaches or digestive disorders, bloating, chronic headaches when we have chronic skin conditions. It shows up uniquely for each person. So the reason it shows up uniquely is because inflammation targets the areas that we are most susceptible to. And sometimes that can be from genetic predisposition, sometimes it can be from overuse, sometimes it can just be an area that isn’t quite as strong as the others.
So inflammation will go to those areas. So it shows up for us physically as some of those examples I just gave. But also it can show up in especially our younger generation, we’re seeing this more and more, in behavioral symptoms. ADD, ADHD, my son had a sensory condition, autism, it impacts people with autism. There’s a whole slew of behavioral — and also chronic anxiety and chronic depression are directly linked to inflammation. So we’re seeing that the emotional, the behavioral and the chronic physical symptoms are all tied with this inflammation.
So if you’re still like, I’m not totally sure if I have chronic inflammation, I would like to give you this little trick: If you imagine that you have a magic wand, right? And just think if my body could feel like the most vibrant, amazing, healthy body ever and you had a magic wand and you can change anything, scanning from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, physically — what would shift? And this can be a tricky question because sometimes we get used to feeling bad.
Feeling these subtle… I remember that I felt nauseous for years and I was tired for years, and I just kind of said that’s just me — that’s my body, I’m just used to it. But that’s not… we actually can erase so many of those symptoms and feel vibrant health. So just take a moment to kind of scan your body and say like, what do I change? Whether it’s chronic, whether it’s subtle or nagging — maybe your body is screaming at you and is in a ton of pain, maybe there is a chronic illness that you’re dealing with. All of those come from chronic inflammation.
I think it is so true that we just get used to some of those symptoms and especially for kids. Sometimes kids who have had things like chronic headaches or chronic tummy aches or itchy skin or whatever it might be — they don’t even know that it can be any different, right? It’s just always what their experience has been of being alive and being in the world — and so they don’t even know that people aren’t supposed to have those things. And so I think that’s a really good point to really stop and think for ourselves and for our kids: What are the things that we are just sort of putting up with or that we’ve gotten accustomed to that maybe indicate that there is some of that inflammation going on?
Yeah, it’s really important and there is a quote from Katie Couric, I don’t know if you’ve seen this or heard of this, but she said in the documentary ‘Fed Up’, is that it is the first time in history that our youngest generation is predicted not to outlive their parents. When I heard that, it shook me to the core. And the reason this is is because of all the toxins in our society, in our food and environmental toxins, stress — all of these things that cause chronic inflammation.
So this is why I really focus specifically on inflammation, it’s because so often — even if we can’t get a full diagnosis of what’s going on, we just have all these different, weird things and our body just feels off, right? Maybe we have a diagnosis — I have a severe Lyme Disease and a crazy parasite infection, there are holes in my organs that ate away my endocrine glands, that almost killed me — those were causing massive inflammation in our body. Either way, whether it’s diagnosed or undiagnosed — if we can remove the chronic inflammation, we will feel better. That’s the bottom line.
Yeah, I think that’s a great point and I often will describe the concept of inflammation to kids by kind of what you said earlier, that when you have an acute thing happen like, say well if you get a cut in your hand or something like that, you want your immune system to respond to that and you should have inflammation there for the healing process.
That means your immune system is doing what it needs to do to heal that area. But sometimes our immune system gets stuck in a mode of fighting things in our body and that’s the chronic inflammation where that immune system is stuck so our body is fighting and fighting and fighting these things that it shouldn’t have to be fighting. And that’s the stuck-ness then that we get into that pattern of having that immune response that then over time makes us feel worse and worse and worse and gives us all of these symptoms.
Yeah, absolutely — that’s a great way to do it. And if anyone’s listening and they’re also trying to figure out how to have this conversation with their kid — if they’re like, “Ooh! I think my child has inflammation!”, I think it’s so important to help our children understand what’s going on with their body, not just to tell them, right? Which I love the conversation that we’re sharing.
I like to draw stick figures and then have the kids point or draw an ‘x’, mark different spots on the stick figure — the stick figure represents your body, that doesn’t feel great. And then you can write little notes up by the head. It can even be like, “I have a hard time making friends, and maybe that’s because they have anxiety, or there could be other reasons due to their health and wellbeing that’s stopping them from making friends or stopping them from achieving what they want to do in sports.
It all becomes related in helping them first identify how their body is feeling and how it’s impacting them. I feel like that is such an important first step in getting kids on board with this process — which I’m kind of jumping ahead, but I felt the need to say that!
Yeah! I think that’s so true because the more kids can understand about what’s going on in their body, the more they are invested then in making some of the shifts and doing some of the things that we are going to talk about that are going to help with that. So I think that’s great! You shared a little bit already about your story, but I know this is really a personal mission for you as far as helping individuals and families regain their health through anti-inflammatory eating. Can you just share a little bit briefly about your personal story with that?
Yeah. So there are two different stories, which is why my first book, ‘Piece of Cake: The Secret to an Anti-Inflammatory Diet” was inspired because I did almost die from Lyme and this parasite infection, I mentioned that. It was so severe, it had gone into my brainstem, it had gone into my nervous system. I was bedridden for years. When you are a parent of two young children, that is a whole process to have to figure out. Like you just said, you can’t help your kids do homework, you can’t cook and clean, you can’t get out of bed. That’s a whole different thing, we’ll talk about it a different time, but the other story, my next book that’s coming out next fall, ‘The Clean Eating Kid’, that was inspired by my son.
And I always say our children are our greatest teachers, right? It is amazing and so when my son was first born, the first year and a half of his life, he was very sick and at the time — I knew nothing about inflammation. I thought I ate healthy, I was an athlete, I used to run marathons — I was like oh, I am a healthy person.
And I would get my son, give him the organic formula or the organic baby granola bars, organic baby and health food products, but I didn’t know that they were chock-full of organic inflammatory foods. Just because it’s organic doesn’t always mean it’s great. And what happened was he had tons of ear infections. So chronic ear infections, every other month he was on antibiotics for like a year.
And I didn’t know any better, I was a first-time mom and I wanted to help my son feel better and they were chronic, adenoid infections and chronic tonsils infections, he got abscesses in his throat, we were in the hospital, in and out of the hospital 4 or 5 times, multiple times when he stopped breathing.
Like his life was threatened, we ended up going to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City to have his tonsils removed because the doctors locally wouldn’t do it because they were so severely inflamed. And after the surgery, he had recovered, but he wouldn’t eat or drink, so they wouldn’t let him leave the hospital and they said take him for a little walk and see if that will get him thirsty. So we took him for a 5 or 10-minute walk down the hallway.
We came back and within about 12 seconds, all of a sudden his monitors flatlined and he completely stopped breathing and it was code blue sirens, 12 doctors surrounding us and like 7-seconds flat, and they’re like, “Are you okay?” And I said, “I think.” — I didn’t even understand what was going on, to be honest, and I said — “I think I’m okay. What’s happening?” They said, “We’re bringing him to ICU.” And I remember thinking, “I am not okay. I am not okay.”
So it was so many different chronic symptoms that kept building up, building up. And then we ended up in the hospital, we were in the hospital for a little over 4 weeks. And when we came home, he ended up with a sensory condition. I don’t know if he had it before and we just didn’t know, or if all of the medication that he had over that time… I’m not sure of what exactly happened but we found out when he was one and a half/two years old that sensory condition is on a spectrum, right?
So kids can have a sensory condition and not be very impacted, and others more severely impacted. He would get a drop of water on his shirt and he would scream and he tried to tear his shirt off and he would say, “It hurts, it hurts — mom it hurts!” He struggled with his focus in school, he struggled with transitions, he struggled with when he got frustrated — he couldn’t communicate with friends. He was having difficulty making friends.
He couldn’t… we live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, it’s snowing, it’s freezing cold outside in the wintertime, he couldn’t put multiple layers of clothes on to go outside in recess. It would take him the entire time to get dressed. By the time he was dressed, everyone else was coming in. And so when I finally figured out what was going on, because we just thought, “Oh, terrible twos.” When we finally figured out what was going on, I said, “Okay. I have changed my diet.” and follow this anti-inflammatory protocol, which I’ll share with you guys in a minute.
My mom changed it — she started to heal from Lyme, I had all these chronic symptoms just due to the stress of having my child in the hospital. I was tired, bloated, gaining weight, hormones out of whack. And when we changed our diet, my mom and I, everything — all the symptoms melted.
So I said, if it worked for us, let’s do a science experiment. I love science experiments. Let’s take two weeks, follow this protocol — I’m going to make everything for Josh, because he would come home and he would eat clean and then he would go to school and have snacks and lunch there.
So I made breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks, everything for two weeks and his sensory condition improved unbelievably in that two-week period. I said okay, let’s keep going. In two months it was 85% better, and there are still traces, we still have pieces that we have to deal with, but he went hunting with his grandpa this fall, and he had jeans, which he never used to wear jeans and he went into the water. I was like oh, my gosh!
That is such a big deal! It’s just amazing what he was able to accomplish since then. And that became my mission. I have a little boy who now significantly, his life has significantly improved when he follows anti-inflammatory eating. So was mine, by the way. But at the time, I was teaching and I was working like 55-60 hours a week. I had a little nugget at home, I was like, how do I do this in a way that is not overwhelming for me and so that my son and I don’t feel deprived? So I don’t want him to have food issues growing up. So how do we do that? So that really became my mission.
I love it and I know that there are so many parents listening who can totally relate to your experience with your son around the sensory issues and just all of that. So let’s delve into how you did this. Talk about what causes chronic inflammation and we’ve touched on that, and also then, from a food standpoint — what the top inflammatory foods are because I think that that’s really central to this discussion about what parents can start to do to impact this from a food standpoint.
Yeah. It’s so important. So the top thing that causes chronic inflammation is diet. Diet is so huge and it’s probably the number one thing that impacts us because we eat every day and our food has drastically changed. So much of our food is food-like products rather than actual whole foods. So food is huge. Not getting enough water.
Instead of drinking water, we drink coffee. Instead of drinking water, we drink juice for kids and sodas. We’ve replaced water with so many other beverages and water is key to the methylation process that takes place in our liver and actually up-regulates or opens up our detox pathways and allows for us to process toxins and inflammations. So besides just staying hydrated, there is this other process that it supports your detoxing and that’s really important.
Stress. Stress is huge, and we’ve known this one for a really long time. I remember growing up and everyone saying stress is the number one predictor of heart disease and heart attacks. But what we didn’t necessarily know at the time, or at least what wasn’t mentioned in the media, was that stress is causing chronic inflammation and again that inflammation is at the root.
And today’s modern day society, our kids and us, all of us are working so hard — there’s not enough time in the days, that we extend our day into the evening, we get less and less sleep. There’s more and more pressure on us to do more. There’s even a general societal belief that the busier we are, the more accomplished we are. And our kids are starting to get like that, right? I was looking at my kid’s schedule last night for after school this winter and I was like, this is crazy! We’ve got to pare it down a little bit. So that is a big one, and rest.
So that really ties in with stress and being really busy. If we don’t get enough rest, again our body heals so much overnight, our liver goes into overdrive at night to help, which the liver processes so many of our toxins, right? So if we’re up, if we’re not sleeping, if we’re not resting, we can not regenerate the cells in our body that we need to.
And what is the last one? The last one is just our thoughts, we can be so critical of ourselves and that really ties into stress, but our own thoughts, our own mindfulness, if you want to call it, or awareness, whatever it may be can have a huge impact. And I think that’s especially important with all of us, but especially our children.
Their social/emotional wellbeing is, I want to say it’s everything — it’s not everything but it’s close to everything. It makes a huge impact. So those as well as environmental toxins. And that’s where like the Lyme and the parasites are environmental toxins or even household cleaning products or personal care products that we put on to our body, all of those can have toxins in them, which can make a significant impact on the levels of inflammation on the body. So that’s like, phew. Have you just heard that? That’s overwhelming.
Well, but I think it’s important for people to understand that inflammation is exacerbated by a variety of things, and those are really many of the same areas that I talk about with families, in terms of getting a handle on symptoms with their kids. We’re talking about food, stress, sleep — all of those kinds of things. So I think food is a really good place to start, because it’s a concrete place to start where we have control, right? Even as a parent, if you feel like you don’t have control, you do have control over the food that you’re bringing into the house and what you’re teaching your kids about food. So I think it’s a really practical place to start. So let’s talk about the top six inflammatory foods. What are the ones that really drive inflammation for us and our kids?
Yeah, and this is what I took out when I focused on Tosh and did that two-week science experiment, right? This was kind of my protocol, and I’m going to, after I share this with you, even pare it down to a simpler way, so bear with me here, if this top 6 feels overwhelming I have an easier solution even beyond, but here they are, right?
Top 6: Processed Sugar — There are over 50 names of processed sugar. It’s crazy and some of the names like ‘brown rice syrup’ sounds super healthy — highly processed, number one most inflammatory thing you can put into your body along with alcohol, which for kids, we don’t have to worry about alcohol, but good to know as a parent, right? So processed sugar. And by the way, I’m going to be giving you all a free copy of my book if you want and in the book, ‘Piece of Cake’, I list out these over 15 names of the processed sugar, just so you can get your eyes on it and have a handle.
So processed sugar, alcohol, wheat and that, if you think about our grandmother, the bread that she used to make, that was a totally different food product. Our wheat has been so highly genetically modified, highly processed. Unless it’s non-GMO organic, which is really difficult to find for wheat, there are tons of pesticides in it, roundup, there’s a lot of news right now about roundup causing cancer, etc. So wheat is one of those top 6 inflammatory foods.
Then we move on to cow dairy. And I specify cow dairy because cow has a protein molecule, which is quite large. And our bodies from when we’re born to around 3 or 4, we actually create — what’s the right word… an abundance of digestive enzymes to help break down these large protein molecules. That’s because, from that evolutionary standpoint, we used to nurse our children for quite some time. And so around the age of 3 or 4, those digestive enzymes begin to get depleted and we can’t break down the large protein molecules found in cow.
However, goat and sheep milk and dairy have smaller protein molecules. So not for everyone. If you can’t do casein and goat, sheep or cow, it’s not going to work. For a lot of people, when you are looking for a cow dairy alternative, especially when we’ve got younger children and trying to give them milk, a goat milk is a really great swap. So cow dairy is at number 4, I think. Let’s see here, processed sugar, cow dairy.
So, GMOs — genetically modified foods. And the top GMOs are wheat, corn, and soy and cane sugar. But we’re not eating processed sugar, so we don’t have to worry about that one, But wheat, corn, and soy. So if you buy anything with corn, wheat or soy, which by the way is 97% of all food products, you want to make sure it’s non-GMO and ideally also organic.
That will make a huge difference. That causes leaky gut, directly tied to autism, autoimmune disease, a lot of different components. And then the last is just what I called inflammatory oils. And this is vegetable oils, canola oil, corn oil, and even seed oils like safflower oil that have been heated. So if it’s a seed oil and it hasn’t been heated — awesome.
But if it’s been heated, it changes on a molecular basis and causes an inflammatory response. So we want to be careful with that because a lot of health food companies put safflower oil in their chips and those have been fried and heated and that causes an inflammatory response.
Yes. Well, it is so helpful to have the specific inflammatory listed out and I think this is why in general, when I talk with families about reducing the amount of processed foods in their diets, this is why in general, when I talk with families about reducing the amount of processed foods in their diet, this is why.
Because so many of the ingredients in the things you are talking about are in virtually every packaged processed food item and that’s the challenge, right? Is when you’re feeding your kids that stuff, it’s easier and maybe stuff that they’re used to and their friends are eating what they like, but it’s got a lot of these ingredients that really drives inflammation.
So talk to us about your secret for following an anti-inflammatory diet because I think what you said is so true, it’s like okay — now as a parent I have this information, I know that these foods aren’t great for my kid to be eating, might be causing or worsening some of the symptoms they are having, but oh my word, how do I do this?
Yeah, where do I begin? How do I do this? When I give this list, people say, well that’s everything! That’s all the food! Now what? Officially, we are doing the 0-calorie diet! I’ve created this streamlined process and what I realized is, so often in our society, a clean diet — we hear gluten-free and dairy free. Those are the big things.
Gluten-free and dairy-free, which is great, right? Obviously, those are some of the 6 top inflammatory foods. But here’s what I discovered you guys, processed sugar, because it’s the #1 most inflammatory thing we can put into our body, that FDA actually came out with a statement a number of years ago saying that if it was put into the market now, processed sugar would be deemed an illegal and a toxic drug.
The FDA is a very conservative organization that would not normally come out and say something like this, sugar corporations smacked that statement down, there was a massive lawsuit, but the fact that it came out shows how incredibly harmful processed sugar is to our body from an inflammatory standpoint.
It causes toxins, right? So what if instead of focusing on gluten and dairy and inflammatory oils and all these other things that can be overwhelming — what if we just focused on one thing? And that can be processed sugar.
What if we swapped processed sugar out with options that taste similar but don’t cause inflammation, such as pure maple syrup, raw honey?
These are naturally occurring sugars that haven’t been processed, that don’t cause an inflammatory response. Whole fruit, dried fruit — I love baking with dates, I use dates in my baked stuff all the time, it tastes amazing.
Or you could even do liquid stevia or monk fruit, which is not a sugar, but it is a naturally-derived sweeter that also doesn’t cause an inflammatory response. And is a great way, like I use stevia in my kid’s hot chocolate, right? With raw cacao, a little bit of stevia, some vanilla extracts, some coconut milk — it’s like the best hot chocolate you’ve ever have in the world.
So there are these ways that you can swap out the processed sugar with sugars that don’t inflame. And when you do this, by default, those top 6 inflammatory foods fall to the wayside for the majority of the time. It’s their cousins like you said, it’s in all processed foods.
So when you find a company that uses coconut sugar, or uses pure maple syrup — not always, but more times than not, they are in integrity and they’re really trying to make an effort to have their product stand for health. And so they are also non-GMO. And they also are often gluten-free, they also typically follow the elimination of those top 6 inflammatory foods. So focus on processed sugar. Swap it out for the non-inflammatory sugars. Start there and actually that’s what my book is really all about.
That’s a great tip — and such a simple starting point for people, that if you are feeling overwhelmed at the idea of having to read labels and think about all these different ingredients that just focusing on reducing sugar and getting rid of processed sugars really does help you in all of those areas and that’s true, because if you start going to the store and looking at the labels, or even what’s in your cupboard right now, looking at the ingredient labels on there, what you’ll see is a lot of those inflammatory ingredients tend to come together, as you said. So if it’s got processed sugar in it, it tends to have a lot of the other things in it.
And one of the cool things about where we are now with people’s awareness and companies trying to create products to meet the needs of people with chronic inflammation, people who are interested in better supporting their health with food, there are so many more options.
When I was working with families 10 years ago, 15 years ago or more around removing gluten or not doing processed sugars or things like that, people were really stuck with having to make everything from scratch, figuring it out themselves.
And now, today, there are so many more options. Not just recipe-wise, but even packaged stuff. Because companies are responding to that. So if you as a parent have been reluctant to consider shifting some of the foods that you are feeding your kids because you think it’s going to just be an impossible thing to do, I really think you will be pleasantly surprised how many options there are even for packaged things that you can send in lunches and stuff like that. There’s just a lot more available now that fits within the realm of what you are talking about with trying to get rid of those primary inflammatory types of ingredients.
It’s so huge and I think it speaks to the movement that is taking place. People are recognizing, our food companies are recognizing, our society is recognizing how important food is. Food is medicine and it has the power to heal us or degenerate the cells in our body, truly.
Degenerate our health and well-being and the fact that there are so many companies that are standing up in integrity, and there are a lot that are sneaky about it and not in integrity, so filtering through those can be a little bit of a process, but once you do, it opens up to the door to, okay — I’ve got soccer practice, my kid is starving — I have like 10 minutes, instead of going to McDonalds and going to the drive-through, I’m going to run to the grocery store, I know what to grab.
That’s easy and quick, and that’s huge. ‘The Clean Eating Kid’, my book that is coming out, the second half of the book, I walk you down the grocery store aisle as I show you all of the different foods that I put in my grocery cart. What’s really interesting is that since writing this book, right? And it’s under editing now. So it’s been a few months that it’s been completed. And just in the time that I wrote this book to now, so many more food companies are popping up, that I’m like I need to add more to this book. It is so cool to see this movement that’s taking hold, it’s awesome!
Yeah, I love it. I love that you really break it down for people and I think that I just want to encourage people: Take that first step of starting to look at the processed sugars and just looking at the chemicals in the food and generally. I always say to people, a good rule of thumb is: If you’re looking at an ingredient label and you can’t pronounce many of the ingredients or they are not things that you can pull out of your pantry and say, oh yeah — I cook with this, it’s probably not something that’s going to support inflammation reduction. It’s not something that’s going to support health.
So just giving people some simple tools and starting to look at that, I think is great. Now you’ve got so many great resources available to people online, on your website and I know that you’re running a Clean Eating Kid challenge that’s coming up, so tell us all about that, how can people access some of the resources that you’ve got to tap into what you’re doing?
Okay, so I’m going to add one more thing if that’s okay, because as we’re finishing this conversation, I’m like — I can’t leave the audience without this one other piece of advice — and that is when you guys are looking to swap out processed sugar, especially for your children, there’s a real addiction that takes place when we have processed sugar in our body, a chemical reaction. And so the cravings become really intense when we take them to get away for a couple of weeks.
So having sweet treats on hand that are clean, that are non-inflammatory and letting your kid just have them. Let them choose them, go to the grocery store and really try not to restrict that too much to begin with, that is a key piece to moving away from processed sugar. I just had to add that because it is so, so important.
And I’m glad you did because the sugar detox thing is a real thing. Like that really happens. It happens for us as adults too. So support yourself and your kid by having some sweet things that don’t have the processed sugars available.
Yeah, totally! Do it together. So you can find out more and you can learn more about what we’re talking about here — I am running a Clean Eating Kid challenge, it’s actually called ‘The Clean Eating Kid Challenge’. You can go to www.thecleaneatingkidchallenge.com and sign up.
You will get a free copy of my advanced reader book, The Clean Eating Kid — which has not come out to anyone! No one else has seen this. So, I’m super excited, like I said, it’s still under editions, but you’re going to see you’ll get to walk through a grocery aisle with me and see images of all the foods, ingredients — it’ll give you so many ideas of what to put in your pantry and so many great food swaps for you.
It also walks through those top 6 inflammatory foods, how to swap them out, tricks to get your kids to eat more or drink more water or move their body — really adopt this anti-inflammatory living and lifestyle as well. And so again, that’s at www.thecleaneatingkidchallenge.com, you can also view my website at www.jennycarrhealth.com.
Great. And we’ll have those links available in the show notes as well, on the website so people can access those and get those resources, and I really appreciate you providing people with a pdf copy of that book that coming out, because I think that’s going to be so helpful to practically walking everybody through how to do this, and I think this is one of the challenges, right?
Is sometimes as parents, we know what we’re supposed to be doing, but in the business of life and the overwhelm of life, the how-to or the actually doing it can be the barrier there. And what I love about what you are doing with people and the book and just all the information that you’re providing, is you’re really focus on the ‘Here’s how to do this.’ Because you’ve done it as an individual, as a parent with your kids, and I think that’s really awesome.
Well the gap between knowledge and action is where so many of us fall down. Most of us probably know sugar is not great for us, right? But the application, like you said and so that is my challenge because again, I have this little boy whose life completely transformed when he ate this way, so how am I going to apply this for the next 18 years of his life? I had to find an answer. So the simpler we can make it and the tastier we can make it, that is where the application becomes quite easy once you take a few weeks to adopt and kind of work through changing things a little bit.
Awesome. Well, Jenny — I really appreciate you taking time to be on the show and sharing your personal story and your practical tips, I know that people will find this helpful, so thank you so much for being with us.
Thank you for being here, your work is amazing, and I am just honored to be alongside you.
Thank you so much. And to all of our listeners out there, check the show notes to be able to get the information on those links that Jenny provided and we will see you on the next episode!