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6 Wedding Favors Your Guests Will Love

wedding favors

When it comes to the traditional selection of wedding favors out there, it can be easy to get something too cheesy or unoriginal.  It is important when choosing wedding favors to

  • pick something that will bring your guests a pleasant memory of your special day,
  • pick something they aren’t just going to throw away, and
  • pick something elegant that exudes class.  

Here are six wedding favors that embody all of those qualities.

Eat, Drink, & Be Married

Personalized wine glasses, champagne flutes, and beer glasses – there’s a container to satisfy every guest! You can get inexpensive personalized beverage glasses at Cheap Favor Shop.  This gift is certainly useful and when your guests see the elegant inscription, they’ll have lovely memories to match for years to come.

Spread the Joy

What is more adorable than a tiny jam or honey jar?  With a personalized sticker on it with a phrase along the lines of “Spread the Love” or “Meant to Bee,” it’s impossible not to smile at these little guys.  Whether your guests use it to spread some jam on their toast the next morning or to have a little honey with their tea, these cuties will give them sweet memories of attending your elegant affair.  

Love Starting to Grow

If you don’t want to pay extra of personalization, a super simple gift is tiny succulents or bags of seeds.  You can find small, two-inch assorted succulents in sets of twenty at Urban Outfitters.  Or, you can go to Home Depot to get an assortment of flower seeds, put them in separate envelopes, and write something such as “Let Love Grow” on the outside.  This would be a great task for a bridesmaid!  

Brew up a Good Time

Similar to the seeds idea, you could also have a bridesmaid pick up a big pack of coffee beans at Costco, separate them into envelopes (enough for one cup of coffee each), and write something to the effect of “Love is Brewing” on the outside.  This wedding favor is a useful and unique gift for your adoring guests!

A Novel Idea

As an extremely cost-effective wedding favor, have everybody in your wedding party donate any books they’re no longer reading. Each guest can grab a book on their way out.  If you don’t end up with enough books, have a member or two of the wedding party scout used books at dollar bookstores or on Amazon.  On top of the book library, you could have a banner letting guests know to grab one on their way out maybe saying something like “Our Chapter is Just Beginning.”  For the couple who is into reading, or for a smaller budget wedding, a book library is a lovely wedding favor.  

Infused with Love

Infused olive oil is a gift everyone can use.  All you need is some tiny, one to two-inch glass containers, some fresh herbs, and some olive oil.  Put the oil in the containers with the herbs and viola! An elegant wedding favor is born.

There are six wedding favors that are useful, elegant, and unique!  Each one can also be personalized or tweaked to fit the theme of your wedding.  No matter what your guests leave with, their memories of your special day are sure to be sweet.  

5 Ways to Make Your Los Angeles Christmas Joyful

Los Angeles isn’t just for summer vacations.  Christmas in Los Angeles is just as joyful and eventful as the 4th of July – and you can still enjoy the beach weather!  Here are 5 ways to make your Los Angeles Christmas even more joyful.

Music & Shows in the Entertainment Capital

Music certainly sets the tone for this holiday.  You know it’s the Christmas season when stores start playing Christmas music, but there are more ways to get holiday cheer than going to the mall.  Check out losangelestheatre.com to see all the best holiday performances coming up in the Los Angeles area.  If you have your heart set on seeing the more traditional Nutcracker performance by Moscow Ballet, get your tickets early as they sell out fast!

There’s Snow in them there Mountains

Snow in Los Angeles?  LA isn’t known for its white Christmases, but there are nearby mountain areas to put you in the Christmas spirit.  Big Bear Lake has tons of snowy activities for the whole family.  They have a calendar of events and remarkably cozy cabins.  For more ideas on how to get in your fair share of snow this season, check out the activity list on Moms LA.

The Movie Experience

There’s nothing that brings more joy than snuggling up with a hot drink under a warm, knit blanket watching a Christmas movie.  It’s a Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Miracle on 34th St. – all nostalgic holiday classics.  If you want to take the tradition outside and have a little fun, you can always stop by the El Capitan Theatre and see what movies they have for the holidays.  The El Capitan Theatre, owned by Disney, is an old-style theatre built in 1926 with modern cinematic technology.  They offer a truly unique movie-going experience with pre-show entertainment and areas where you can view original costumes and props from the movie.  

The Perfect Holiday Meal

Of course nothing brings joy like good food during the holiday season.  With seasonal vegetables such as pumpkin and butternut squash making their appearance again and decadent desserts decorate dinner tables.  Christmas is a food fantasy.  Make sure your holiday meal is done perfectly this year by hiring a personal chef to make your family a gourmet holiday feast.  (They’ll even carve the roast beast!)  Relax and spend time with your family while a expert chef takes care of dinner.

Nothing Says Christmas like Friends & Family

No matter where you live, friends and family are what make the holidays joyful.  Make sure you take some time away from all the hustle and bustle of the holidays and spend some time with the people you love this season.

Christmas carols on the radio, the Nutcracker live on stage, snowy mountains, immersive movie experiences, meals cooked to perfection, and family are all the ingredients you need for a joyful Los Angeles Christmas holiday…and maybe just one day at the beach. Merry Christmas, folks!

Top 3 Ways to Relax While Visiting Ojai

There is no better way to spell relax than O-j-a-i.  Visiting Ojai, California is never anything short of relaxing in luxury.  With Stunning landscapes and endless activities, Ojai is a vacation you’ll never want to end.  Here’s how to get the most out of your downtime while visiting Ojai.

#1 Retreats

Retreat Center

If you are planning on visiting Ojai, consider joining in on one of their many retreats.  From yoga and spiritual retreats to nature retreats, the city has plenty of themed getaways for anyone looking to relax.  Check out all the retreats offered on the Ojai Valley Retreat Center website.  

Visitor’s Bureau

If you don’t find a retreat that works for you or you want to plan your own stay in Ojai, check out the Visitor’s Bureau site.  It lists every hotel, inn, B&B, and resort Ojai has to offer with all the amenities.  The website also offers package deals for spa services for folks who want a truly luxurious experience.

 

#2 Tastings

Olive Oil

Ojai Valley is known for the way they utilize their beautiful landscape to make responsibly sourced food.  Try something a little different when visiting Ojai and go olive oil tasting at the Regalo Tasting Room at the Omaggio farm.  You can taste cold pressed extra virgin olive oils grown and pressed right there on the farm as well as their selection of gourmet balsamic vinegars imported from Italy.

Wine

Of course, nothing says California countryside quite like wine tasting.  Treat yourself to wine tasting at the Ojai Valley Vineyard Tasting Room.  With their “hands-off” approach, the staff at the Ojai Valley Vineyard let the wine age naturally without too much manipulating or filtering, allowing the unique taste of their wine to shine through.  

Farmer’s Market

With miles and miles of beautiful farmland, make sure you taste what that land has to offer at the Farmer’s Market when visiting Ojai.  You can see exactly where all their produce (and non-produce) is farmed on the website.  If you are visiting Ojai on a Sunday, this is the best way to get a taste of the Ojai community.

 

#3 Activities

Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts

The Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts …celebrates the life and work of Beatrice Wood while presenting exhibitions, performances, and educational opportunities.”  They even offer student exhibits from the nearby Happy Valley School.  You can check out their schedule of events during your stay.

Hiking

There are plenty of hiking trails in Ojai for all experience levels.  If you are looking for something a bit more leisurely to take in that stunning Ojai view, try the Rose Valley Falls Trail.  It is an easy hike that leads to a lovely waterfall where you can enjoy a picnic lunch.  

Art

Ojai is like an artist’s paradise.  If you are an artist or are looking to get into the Ojai art spirit, take an art class!  Ojai offers tons of resources for artists.  Here is a list of the top art classes in Ojai on Yelp.  

With all the luxurious retreats, tastings, and activities Ojai has to offer, you’ll never want to leave!  Make sure you see everything on this list when visiting Ojai to ensure the utmost relaxation.

How to Have a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Gathering at Home

personal chef Thanksgiving

With the whirlwind of the holidays, it’s not always everyone’s favorite time of year.  Thanksgiving and Christmas can be a stressful time for folks.  The last two months of the year are nothing short of busy, but here are some ideas to make your Thanksgiving or “friendsgiving” gathering stress-free.  

A Time for Relaxation

The Game

Thanksgiving is a time for family love, turkey love, and the love of the game.  There’s nothing more American than watching football and eating turkey with your family on Thanksgiving.  Even though I’m not a year ‘round football fan myself, the sounds of football on in the background is a Thanksgiving tradition that immediately sparks my soul with nostalgia.  Plus, the commercials are just as entertaining as the game itself!  Relaxing with the game on is a definite must for a true, stress-free Thanksgiving gathering.

The Parade

For any non-football lovers in the family, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is always a sure hit.  If you can’t be at the parade in person, you’ll definitely want to watch the giant floats and awesome performances from the comforts of your home.  You can learn about the history of the famous annual parade on the parade’s website.  

Charlie Brown

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is another Thanksgiving classic that puts me right in the autumn spirit.  This is usually an after dinner, pumpkin pie a-la-mode activity at our Thanksgivings.  If you don’t already own it, you can buy it on Amazon and get free two-day shipping if you have Amazon Prime.  At the end of a warm, cozy meal there’s nothing better than snuggling up with the kids in the family and sleeping off the turkey with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving lullaby.   

Let’s Play

Board Games

Watching football and a parade on TV is not always sure to keep the kiddo’s entertained for long.  Having board games on hand is a great way to bond with the whole family on this day of gratitude.  Even if there are no kids at your family gathering or friendsgiving, board games bring folks together.  If there are new people at your gathering this year, board games are a great way to bond and get to know them.  If you’re looking for new games to bring out during your Thanksgiving gathering, Barnes & Noble has a brilliant assortment of new and classic games.

Outdoor Games

When people start getting restless watching football, playing your own game of touch-football is sure to make amazing memories.  If the weather permits, touch-football is a great way to get everybody up and connecting.  Whether your gathering has athletes or folks who prefer not to keep score, outdoor games get the good vibes going.  Getting outside is one part of the recipe to a stress-free Thanksgiving.  

Crafts

Having a little craft station set up somewhere is always a hit with kids.  Whether they have pumpkins to paint, paper to print on, or masks to make, crafts can keep kids creating for hours.  If they seem really into it, you could even make an event about everybody showing off what they made after dinner!

The Main Event

Dinner

With all the fun relaxing and playing with your family, it seems like a shame to step away from all of that rare time together to make dinner.  When you hire a personal chef for Thanksgiving, you don’t have to.  Relax, play, and bond with your loved ones at your stress-free Thanksgiving gathering.  Let your personal chef from Hello Cheffy serve you all that warm comfort food.  

Gratitude

In the end, Thanksgiving is a day for gratitude.  Going around the table and sharing what you are thankful for while enjoying a gourmet meal prepared by your personal chef will bring lasting memories.  When you share out loud what you’re grateful for, it truly echoes in your heart any and all abundance you have in your life.  It is important to consciously recognize that if not every day, then at least once a year.

Now that you’re filled with inspiration and resources, go have an amazing, stress-free Thanksgiving!  Whether you’re gathering with your family for a traditional Thanksgiving or your chosen family for a friendsgiving, remembering all that you’re grateful for is what will make this holiday a nostalgic one.  

How Much Does a Personal Chef Cost?

Personal chef cost

If you are curious about hiring a Personal Chef but not sure if you can afford it, Hello Cheffy has your back.  We broke down the details of what exactly you’re getting when you hire a chef. Below we outline elements of a typical Personal Chef cost.

What is a Personal Chef?

Although the terms “Personal Chef” and “Private Chef” are often used interchangeably, they are actually distinctly different.  

A Personal Chef may be hired for special events such as birthdays, anniversaries, or bachelor/bachelorette parties.  A Personal Chef can also be used for short term and long term assignments.  For instance, a family may not have time to do their own grocery shopping or cooking with the arrival of a new baby or when the a household member is recovering from surgery.  In this case, they hire a Personal Chef for a short term assignment.  A Personal Chef may also be hired for ongoing service.  Busy families, senior citizens, and folks with special dietary restrictions are likely to need a chef for long term assignments.  Personal Chefs are often paid a fee for service.  They can be hired through Hello Cheffy for special events or temporary assignments.  

Conversely, a Private Chef is typically hired to come to a family’s home and cook meals on a regular basis.  Private Chefs are normally employed by their client on a part-time or full-time basis and are often paid a fixed salary.  

How Much Does a Personal Chef Cost?

The cost of personal chef services depends on a few factors.  Prices can be made:

  • per meal or per person (with kids usually at a lower price) and/or
  • at an hourly, monthly or event rate 

Keep in mind that for certain holidays–Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day–chefs are in higher demand.  Prices may be higher during these peak seasons.

The distance a chef is required to travel as well as the chef’s experience level are also factors affecting the Personal Chef cost.  Included in the cost of your Personal Chef is:

  • meal planning,
  • grocery shopping,
  • prepping,
  • cooking, and
  • serving, if needed

Hiring a chef is as affordable as dining out. Fees are generally similar to restaurant prices with a few noted benefits:

  • personalized service,
  • service in the comfort of your own home (or venue of your choosing), and
  • no markup for alcohol because you’re able to bring your own!

What Does Hello Cheffy Do?

Hello Cheffy connects you with a chef from an extensive network of Personal Chefs who provide services for special events and short-term assignments. You are even able to calculate a minimum budget on our request page to estimate the cost of an event.  The Personal Chef you select will create a custom menu for you and your guests, based on the quote details you provide.  

Now that you know what’s included in the cost of a Personal Chef and what factors to consider, you can give us your event details, select your chef, and enjoy your restaurant-quality meal made at home!  Hello Cheffy has your back.

Visiting Disneyland – What’s Worth-it and What’s Not

Visiting Disneyland

Congratulations on planning your Disney adventure!  You are about to have the time of your life.  With so much to see and do, make sure you see and do the best things when visiting Disneyland.  Here’s some tips to help you squeeze the most happiness out of the happiest place on earth.

Totally Worth-It

California Adventure
If you’re debating on whether the park-hopper pass is worth the money when visiting Disneyland, the debate ends here.  Do it!  While Disneyland has been the classic, time-honored park since 1955, Disney does not make mistakes creating an experience.  They have done an amazing job on the California Adventure park.  California Adventure has perks Disneyland simply doesn’t offer:

  • California Screamin’ – An actual upside down roller coaster which is not available at Disneyland.
  • Alcohol – Disneyland does not have any alcohol available at the restaurants.  Don’t worry, California Adventure has your back.
  • Hyperion Theatre – A show unlike any other, you can watch a full production LIVE musical of Frozen in the beautiful Hyperion Theatre.
  • Food & Wine Festival – California Adventure also offers their annual Food & Wine Festival with wine tastings and unique food options.

Buy the park-hopper pass.  You won’t regret it.

Grand Californian Hotel
Being one of the three Disneyland resort hotels, this is definitely one of the more expensive places to stay when visiting Disneyland.  However, it is worth the cost.  The Grand Californian Hotel offers all the perks of any of the Disneyland resort hotels:

  • Magic hour – Every guest at the Disneyland resort hotels gets to enter the parks one hour earlier than everyone else.
  • Themed rooms – Each room is unique at all the resort hotels giving your family a personalized experience.  Plus if you let them know ahead of time you’re coming for a special occasion, the staff will decorate the room to suit the occasion.
  • Beyond room service – Any of your souvenir purchases in the parks or in Downtown Disney can be delivered directly to your hotel room so you don’t have to carry them around the park.

All of those benefits are amazing, but when choosing a resort hotel, there is no contest of beauty against the Grand Californian.  Modeled after the Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite, the Grand Californian has a truly “grand” design.  With its rustic mountain feel, the Grand Californian’s architecture and design will win you over making this expense totally worth-it.

Mickey’s Halloween Party
If you’re visiting the happiest place on earth during the spookiest time of year, you’re in luck!  Mickey’s Halloween party does cost extra, but you’ll have so much fun you will definitely want to attend.  Disney does nothing dull.  This freaky festivity will blow you away with special music, decor, and activities:

  • Costumes – Normally Disney’s general rule is that no adults are allowed in costume, but the whole family can dress up for this one!  
  • Candy – There are booths all around the park for trick-or-treaters to get their treats.
  • Special Events – There is a special Halloween-themed parade just for party-goers as well as a Halloween-themed  fireworks show and other various special events.

This event is becoming more popular every year, so make sure to get your tickets in advance.  It’s worth the money just to see everyone’s creative costumes!

Not Worth-It

Tiki Room
There always seems to be a line for the tiki room and it is simply not worth the wait.  If you want to see the show, go for it, but if there is a line just avoid it all together.  The Pineapple Dole Whip right next door, however, definitely worth standing in line for!

Parades
If you have kids and they really want to see a parade while visiting Disneyland, go see the Main Street parade.  That said, the parade is okay, but short lines are better.  While everyone is waiting hours for the parade to start, go on some rides!  Also, stay away from Main Street at this time.  With a lot of the pathways blocked off, it is very difficult to get anywhere quickly via Main Street.

Paying for Pictures
There are Disney photographers all over who will try to convince you it’s worth it to pay for a professional picture of you and your family – it’s not.  You probably have a camera phone.  Even though the quality won’t be as nice on your phone, the cost does not outweigh the quality.  If you really want a professional picture while visiting Disneyland, go for the pictures that are taken while rides are “in flight”.  If your family took a truly priceless ride pic that you can’t live without, maybe it’ll be worth it to you.  But, as a general rule, don’t pay for the pictures!

There you go, a comprehensive list of what is and is not worth-it when visiting Disneyland.  Have fun on your Disney Adventure, and remember, “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” – Walt Disney

Palm Springs Vacation – A Unique Desert Getaway

Visit Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a must-see city with tons of ways to keep you and your loved ones busy.  With plenty to do during all seasons, you can truly have a unique experience any time of year.  Below are just some of the ways to enjoy your desert adventure.

Aerial Tramway

There is no way to beat the breathtaking views than when embarking on this journey thousands of feet above the ground.  Palm Springs’ famous Aerial Tramway takes passengers on a 2.5 mile, 10 minute trip with stunning panoramic views.  The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was completed in 1963 and underwent a modernization in 2000 to accommodate a unique rotating tram car design.  If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience on your Palm Springs vacation, the Aerial Tramway is sure to deliver.

Art Museum

Palm Springs doesn’t stop with its uniquely designed experiences and the Palm Springs Art Museum is no exception.  With diverse exhibitions, tours, workshops, lectures, and education programs, the PSAM has something to do for all ages and interests.  What makes this museum stand out, however, is the Annenberg Theatre built right into the museum itself.  Various film screenings and performances happen every month making this a must-see attraction on your Palm Springs Vacation.

Windmill Tour

Have you ever wondered how energy is converted from wind?  You can find out how the impressive windmills on the hillsides of Palm Springs use wind energy as a sustainable resource on the windmill tour.  You’ll travel on a tour bus to see beautiful desert views and, of course, those magnificent windmills while learning all about renewable energy.  Private tours are also available.

Living Social

If you’re still unsure about what to do on your Palm Springs vacation, check out deals on sites like Living Social.  Choose from a variety of discounted experiences such as luxury spa services, tours, and fitness classes.  If you need something to do on your vacation, there is no shortage of fun on Living Social.

Whether you want an action-packed, adventurous vacation or a kick-back, relaxing vacation Palm Springs has something for you.  What will you do on your unique desert getaway?

5 Staples of a Plant-Based Diet that Are Not Tofu

Plant-based diet

For seasoned herbivores, getting enough nutrients in your plant-based diet is second nature. But plant-based diets isn’t just for vegans.  You likely have many of the staples listed here in your kitchen.  If you’re just exploring the plant-food lifestyle, you might fear that tofu is your only meat substitute. While it’s an excellent source of protein, versatility abounds. Add some or all of the ingredients below to mix up your meal plans.  

Chickpeas

With over 12 grams of fiber and over 14 grams of protein, chickpeas are a great addition to a plant-based diet.  They are neutral in flavor which makes them incredibly versatile as they absorb the flavors of any dish.   Chickpeas add texture and nutrients to otherwise one-note dishes, making them a must-have for the herbivore crowd.  When searching for them in the aisles of Trader Joe’s, they may be disguised as garbanzo beans – don’t worry, they’re the same thing!

Sun-dried tomatoes

Unlike chickpeas, sun dried tomatoes bring a ton of flavor to a dish.  Accounting for 14% of the recommended daily iron intake in a 1/2 cup, these sun-kissed little guys add more than just strong flavor.  Sun dried tomatoes can be eaten on their own as a tasty and nutritious snack.  As a great source of nutrients and flavor, they’re definitely a staple in the plant-based  diet.

Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds are becoming more popular as they contain more protein than chia seeds and flaxseeds.  They are also rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids which makes hemp seeds jam-packed with nutrients.  Add these wholesome seeds atop your salad and enjoy!

Couscous

While not super high in protein, couscous has other nutritional benefits essential to a plant-based diet.  According to organicfacts.com

A single serving of couscous has more than 60% of the daily suggested intake of selenium, making it one of the richest sources of selenium in any food. In terms of heart health, selenium functions as a powerful antioxidant that functions mainly in the blood vessels to reduce the buildup of plaque and dangerous LDL cholesterol on artery and vein walls.  

Set your diet up for success with a healthy serving of couscous.

Edamame
Although watching your soy intake is important, edamame is one soybean that you can make an exception for due to its high levels of iron and calcium.  Edamame also contained anti-oxidants which has great benefits for your skin and immune system. If you eat a plant-based diet and are on the hunt for a tasty snack, reach for the edamame!

There are so many meal options when using these diverse ingredients – you won’t miss meat (or tofu) at all! Next time you meal plan, get inspired by adding in some of these nutrient-rich and delicious ingredients to the menu. And, if you want a new dietary adventure, let one of our expert vegan chefs prepare a plant-based feast for your next event.

Halloween Party Planning for the Party Monster in You

Halloween party

That time of the year is finally here – pumpkin spice themed drinks, sweaters and scarves, cool weather – fall is here!  ‘Tis the season for butternut squash soup, hot buttered rum, and yes, Halloween parties! Everyone is pumped for pumpkin season. Here are some tips for your ghoulish gathering this year.

Get Creative with Theatrical Themes

It may seem like a Halloween party theme is obvious, but there is so much room for creativity!  There are, of course, certain obvious and kid-friendly options such as a Harvest Festival or Nightmare Before Christmas.  These types of Halloween parties are a blast and have so many creative possibilities.  If you’re a more die-hard day of the dead fan, you could base you party off of a more adult movie such as The Shining or Carrie.  However, a Halloween party can really hop with interactive themes such as Murder Mystery or Haunted House.  Theme possibilities are abundant and Pinterest has the motherload!

Enjoy Festive Food

After choosing a festive theme for your Halloween party, you may be wondering what wicked food will match it.  Search no further than your party’s very own private chef.  When you hire a chef using Hello Cheffy, you can discuss a menu sure to make all your party monsters mad with merriment.  Plan everything with your chef from eerie appetizers to devilish desserts – even some creepy cocktails!  The possibilities are endless with a private chef.

Use Décor to Die For

Of course your décor depends on your theme, but once you’ve chosen a theme for your Halloween party, head on over to your favorite discount store!  Pinterest is often the #1 go-to for any DIY party décor.  If you’re not feeling very do-it-yourselfy, places like World Market and Target definitely have your back.  World Market always has unique décor for any occasion, especially holidays.  Target also has amazing décor and can sometimes surprise you with the treasures to be found in their dollar section!

Whatever your Hallow’s Eve theme, there is food and décor to match.  Now you’re equipped with inspiration!  Stay spooky, party monsters.

 

Achieving Weight Loss with Inflammation Fighting Foods

Inflammation & Weight Loss

If anyone has had chronic pain, they have likely heard of the term “inflammation.”  What many of you may not realize is that this inflammation, when it is chronic, may be keeping you from achieving your weight loss potential.

Inflammation means that the immune system is in overdrive.  This is good for the short term like when fighting an infection.  Chronic inflammation causes the release of compounds like cytokines that can cause a host of health issues (like joint pain, inflammatory bowel diseases, allergies, and skin rashes).

Inflammatory compounds have been shown to cause the release of more fat and sugar into the bloodstream, making it easier for the body to build fat tissue.


A Quick Word about Exercise

It is important to realize that exercise increases oxidative stress in the body, but only briefly.  This can actually be a good thing.  But if someone’s immune system is out of balance and they are in an inflammatory state, intense exercise may actually make things worse.  On a similar vein, many people may go to the gym every day to lose the weight, working hard, yet not achieving their desired results.  In these cases the answer is to first reduce the inflammation in the body with nutrition.  Only then will exercise help to speed fat loss.


So let’s take a deep dive into a few food based solutions to reducing your chronic inflammation and improving weight loss.

Eat in diversity

As I said in a previous blog post about Gut Health, having a diverse diet is very important for maintaining a healthy gut, thereby keeping a balanced immune system (most of the immune system is located in the gut) and consequently lowering inflammation.  The immune system is “social” and is happy when it can interact with a wide variety of foods.

 

Eat inflammation-reducing foods

This is a no-brainer.  Just think plants like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.  Some of my favorites are: blueberries, spinach, and turmeric.  Blueberries taste great and have nutrients great for blood sugar balance.  Spinach is full of vitamins and key minerals like magnesium and iron.  Turmeric has been shown to be helpful not only for inflammatory conditions like arthritis but also weight loss. There are many more foods out there that reduce inflammation like beans, pumpkin, oats, oranges, and even proteins like turkey.  Be sure to include a variety of these inflammation-reducing foods in your weight loss diet.

 

Maintain a balanced blood sugar

Excess sugar consumption is inflammatory.  Additionally, eating too many starches or even eating too much protein can disrupt blood sugar balance. (Yes, a high protein diet may sabotage weight loss goals.)

 

Avoid processed foods

They are quick, cheap and convenient.  But, unfortunately, due to their long shelf life, they are full of preservatives and can cause inflammation.

 

Use caution with wheat, dairy, and eggs

They are the most common inflammation promoting foods for people.  But, these foods have health benefits and may be enjoyed in moderation.  However, if someone has an immune imbalance avoiding or minimizing these foods for a while is a often a good idea as they contain proteins that are hard to digest and can irritate the gut.

 

Go beyond nutrition

Many lifestyle choices, such as getting that extra hour of sleep, meditation, or even laughter, can have an anti-inflammatory effect.

So the next time you are at the supermarket, be adventurous and buy that vegetable, fruit, seed or grain you have never tried before.  Your immune system will thank you.

 

Aaron Slotkin is a Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist and licensed Pharmacist. He has seen numerous clients suffering with various health-related problems. Using a holistic approach of customized diet and lifestyle interventions, targeted supplements, and laboratory testing, he has been very successful helping clients achieve their optimal weight and health.  You can follow him on Facebook.