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7 Uncomfortable Rules of Life Everyone Knows, But Only a Few Follow


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Life rules are complicated. People play by different rules.

But there are fundamental principles top performance use to guide their actions — they make sense to them. But they may be less comfortable for you. It pays to know them though. Or better still, it’s important to know what works for those who are winning.

Most people never manage to learn them — they choose to do the same things over and over again but expect different results. That’s insanity, argues Einstein.

1. Life is a competition — but it doesn’t have a singular definition of winning

It’s a painful thing to believe, but in reality, it’s true. We are all players trying to make our way and win the complicated game of life.

We are all competing. We are all competing for the same things in life — money, status, recognition, the next best thing, etc.

What do you do for a living? Someone is busy trying to replace you with a code. That high-paying job or contract you want? So does somebody else.

“People dress up to win partners. They interview to win jobs. If you deny that competition exists, you’re just losing. Everything in demand is on a competitive scale. And the best is only available to those who are willing to truly fight for it,” argues Oliver Emberton, founder of Silktide, a writer, pianist, programmer, and artist.

In truth, you should compete with yourself — to get better or become a great version of yourself. Being in competition with yourself is the healthiest competition. Nobody needs to lose for you to win.

Set the bar for yourself. Channel your competitive energy to meet your own standards and expectations. Be the driver on your journey to success.

The blessing of modern civilisation is that there are abundant opportunities to get what you want if you are ready to embrace the messy middle — disappointments, failure, perseverance, and setbacks.

2. You’re rewarded by the volume of people you can impact

In life, what you think doesn’t really matter — it’s what you do that gets rewarded. The world doesn’t judge you by what you think but by the actions and risks you’ve taken.

Write an unpublished book, nobody cares — put it out there or better still, get published and suddenly people want to know your story.

Cancers researchers are rewarded less than supermodels. A salesperson is rewarded based on the number of people who become customers.

If you are a freelancer, your income is determined by the number of clients you serve. If you run an online business, the more views the better.

Venture Capitalists begin to notice your startup if you are attracting more attention and subscribers.

Life is a numbers game.

3. Winners leverage multiple skill sets

Life is a continual progression of skill stacking. The relevant skills you learn today can be used not just tomorrow but for the rest of your life.

What got you here, may not get you to where you want to be tomorrow. Instead of mastering one skill, build a skillset

Learn new skills, often unrelated, and then combine them to make yourself more efficient, or valuable.

Tim Herrera of New York Times explains, “The idea is that instead of focusing your efforts on becoming singularly great at one specific skill or task, you should strive to get proficient at a few related skills that can be woven together into a wider skill set that does make you singularly good at your profession or some general life ability.”

Individual skills are common. Combinations are rarer.

If you want to raise your value, take a step back from your core strength, and consider building a broader combination of them.

The small slice of time you devote to learning about a new skill that piques your interest can pay off for the rest of your life. Failing to learn key skills can have a lasting impact on your career.

4. Life is a long game — your strategy (decisions and choices) determines how long you last

All players die after about 29,000 days or 80 years.

Your daily choices are shaping where you end up — happy, healthy, fulfilled — or miserable. If you apply the right rules at every stage of your life, you might last a little longer.

That’s why your strategy is important. Because by the time most of us have figured life out, we’ve used up too much of the best parts. But it’s never too late to apply the rules like your life depends on them because it does.

5. Happiness is being responsible for your own experience

“Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life,” says Mandy Hale, a blogger turned New York Times best-selling author, speaker and creator of the social media movement.

If you expect others to make you happy, you will always be disappointed. Being responsible means not blaming others for your unhappiness.

The all-important truth about happiness is this: your happiness depends much more on your attitude than it does on objectives or external circumstances.

Instead of looking to get happy from a person or a job, or an external factor, view relationships and/or work as outlets for happiness, and focus on how you can give more happiness.

Everything outside yourself can help you get better in life, but they are not the means to your happiness.

6. If you are waiting for others to help you enjoy life, you are in the wrong lane

We all want to enjoy life and not just a fraction of it. Don’t sit around and expect the fullness of life to come to you.

Lean into the little joys in life when you find them. The simple things are the most extraordinary things that sometimes makes life easy to manage.

Enjoying life is not just about that one-off vacation or bonus. There is more to life than those short-lived moments of calm and dopamine release. The little moments you are not noticing are the true pursuits that can guarantee every joy. True happiness is about embracing the little joys in life.

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives, as the adage goes. The habit of taking even mild pleasure in small things is life-changing.

Here is a thought-provoking statement by Brian Krans that encourages us to schedule time for ourselves, our relationships, and what we care about:

“Are you happy? Have you ever been happy? What have you done today to matter? Did you exist or did you live? How did you thrive? Become a chameleon-fit in anywhere. Be a rockstar-stand out everywhere. Do nothing, do everything. Forget everything, remember everyone. Care, don’t just pretend to. Listen to everyone. Love everyone and nothing at the same time. It’s impossible to be everything, but you can’t stop trying to do it all.”

7. Life is not a sprint or marathon, it’s a maze

Stop approaching life like a sprint.

Stop thinking that you can put in a pile of effort and rapidly reach your intended finish line. Appreciate the process and work your way to the top.

Real-life has no signs, and no straight lines. There’s just a maze of infinite options: Some paths, like some careers, take five times longer. Some paths, like some relationships, are dead ends.

A maze is full of choices, challenges and questions. And it’s subject to many external influences, both good and bad.

Like any maze, we should expect to get lost and backtrack. In fact, everybody does — getting back up and finding the right path is what separates winners from everyone else.

There are only two ways to advance your life — move forward when you can or step back, reconsider your options and try something else.

The greatest mistake many people make it standing still for too long. They get stuck, refuse to think, give up, or stop living. There’s always a way when you feel stuck — you’ve not figured it out yet.

Late Dog that Saved Pregnant Owner from Deadly Accident Cloned to Meet the Children He Saved


Marley's clone Ziggy has the same markings and personality as the hero dog, according to the pup's owners

By Kelli Bender 
February 18, 2020 05:24 PM

Marley the Labrador retriever was always the dog dictionary definition of a true companion.

David Tschirhart got the dog as a puppy, and as the little pooch turned into an older adult canine, Marley saw Tschirhart through many of life’s exciting and overwhelming chapters: graduation, moving cross country, marriage.

“He made many moves with my wife Alicia and I. He was always aware and adaptable. He learned to live in a tiny Manhattan apartment,” Tschirhart, an attorney in San Diego, California, told PEOPLE.

Marley’s most amazing and heroic moment of awareness came in 2014, when he was 12 years old and towards the end of his life.


It started when Tschirhart, his wife Alicia — four months pregnant with the couple’s first child at the time —  and Marley all decided to go on hike to the top of San Diego’s Battle Mountain. About a quarter mile into their hike, through terrain that was more rugged and steep than expected, Alicia went off the path to find a walking stick to use for the rest of the hike.

“I had Marley on a leash,” Tschirhart recalled. “All of the sudden Marley darted out in front of me and started clawing the ground where Alicia was reaching out her hand.”


Confused at first about what Marley was reacting to, Alicia and Tschirhart looked down and realized that there was a coiled rattlesnake inches from Alicia’s hand. Luckily, upon Marley’s intrusion, the snake rapidly slithered away from the group.

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“We were in shock. Neither of us had seen the snake at first.” Tschirhart said. “We were on a hill, with no people around, far from home, and Alicia was pregnant — it could’ve been disastrous.”


The owner added it wasn’t until he and Alicia, also an attorney, arrived home that they both realized what Marley had really done.


“We got pretty emotional when we got home. We realized the situation could’ve been deadly for my wife and the baby. Marley had really saved us,” he said.

A few months later, thanks in part to Marley’s heroics, the Tschirharts welcomed their first child, a girl name Madeleine. Unfortunately, shortly after Madeleine, now 5, was born, Marley was diagnosed with cancer and passed away.


Before Marley died, Tschirhart learned about ViaGen Pets & Equine, a company that will preserve your pet’s cells and clone a beloved furry friend.

“I felt like Marley was a huge part of our lives and had been such a hero at the end, and for as special as he was, we wanted to keep that connection,” Marley’s dog dad said of the family’s decision to think about cloning Marley. “So we had ViaGen store the cells in hopes that one day we could bring Marley back into our lives.”

“Marley was passing away over Thanksgiving, which made me worry about the logistics of preserving his cells,” he added. “ViaGen was just amazing. They made sure everything happened on track and we got a good sample. We were able to say goodbye to Marley knowing he was preserved.”


After a few years passed and the Tschirharts welcomed another daughter, Colette, now 3, the family decided it was the right time to clone Marley and bring a copy of their brave dog into their lives. The Tschirharts waited to clone Marley until their family was stable, and they knew that Marley’s clone was going to be their next child for some time.

“Being able to bring Marley’s presence back to the kids that he saved is very special for us, and I know the kids are excited about all of that. We have told them the stories about what happened with Marley before,” Tschirhart said, adding that he also waited to clone Marley so his children would be at an age where they could participate and enjoy raising a dog too.


RELATED: The World’s First Cat Clone, CC the Copy Cat, Celebrates Her 18th Birthday in Texas

“I wanted to see the joy they feel, that is something I didn’t get to experience with Marley.”

The first glimpse of that joy occurred in Dec. 7, when Marley’s clone, Ziggy, was delivered to the Tschirharts.

According to Tschirhart, the girls fell for the puppy instantly.


“They love having a dog that is theirs,” he said.

Tschirhart and Alicia have also enjoyed their first few months with Ziggy, both because of the joy any puppy brings and because, even at a few weeks old, Ziggy reminds them so much of Marley

The owners say the dog has the same markings on his ears, the same set to his eyes, the same gentleness around children as Marley. These are similarities that allow the couple to fondly remember their hero dog every day, while also celebrating having a new puppy in the house.


“It’s a chance for our whole family to remember Marley and also make new memories,” Tschirhart said. 

Tschirhart and his family are looking forward to a summer full of trips with Ziggy, especially weekend visits to the local dog beaches, which was one of Marley’s favorite activities.


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#1 Proper Diet

I can hear the groans already. And your doctor probably already told you this too. That’s because eating right is critical to good health. Not just for your heart, but every aspect of your well being.

But here’s some good news. You don’t have to give up everything you love and eat like a rabbit the rest of your days to enjoy a healthier life. In fact, just some small changes can make a big difference.

Watch your coffee

Many people may skip breakfast (not a good idea), but find their morning coffee an absolute must to get their day started. Fine. But how is it prepared? Do you use whole cream? Add sugar to your coffee? Try replacing cream with milk and sugar with a natural sweetener like stevia. The closer to black you drink your coffee and the less sugar used, the better.

Change Plates

Portion size is one of the things nutritionists and doctors like to harp on. They have a point. But many people I know, particularly here in America, feel like they are getting only half a meal unless they fill up their plate. Here’s a simple remedy to eat less: use a smaller plate. Believe it or not, this really works. You can load up on a medium-sized dinner plate and still end up eating less than you would have using a full-size dinner plate. And since you’re taking less at a time, you naturally end up eating less.

Watch out for fat food

Did I say fat food? I meant to say fast food. Sure, it’s convenient. And it is faster and less expensive than eating in most sit-down restaurants. But more often than not there’s little difference. And the worst thing is the nutritional content of most fast food meals is sorely lacking. But that doesn’t mean you’re home free at a fancy restaurant. Watch out for foods on the menu described as crispy, fried, or served in cheese, butter, or a cream sauce. Better choices are usually steamed, grilled, broiled, roasted, or stir-fried. And finally, take it easy on breads and pizza!

#2 Exercise

It’s hard to discuss health without bringing up exercise. That’s because our bodies weren’t made to just sit around. If we want to remain healthy and active, we need to BE healthy and active.

#3 Quit Smoking

>Quit Smoking

Smoking dramatically increases your risk of health problems. It significantly reduces levels of the protective HDL cholesterol while increasing the ability of LDL cholesterol to form arterial plaque through the effects of oxidation. The good news is stopping smoking makes an almost immediate impact on cholesterol levels, with levels back near a non-smoker’s range within six months of stopping.

While quitting smoking may be one of the hardest things you ever do, it is well worth the effort.

Find reasons to live longer and focus on those as the “reason why” you’re going to quit. And be sure to save some of the money you formerly spent on cigarettes to treat yourself as a reward!

#4 Supplements


Increasing your intake of fatty wild fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna, herring, and bluefish, is a good way to increase Omega-3 intake. Even easier is to take a natural fish oil supplement. Increasing Omega-3 fatt acids has been proven to lower triglycerides and also to lower LDL cholesterol when you also decrease the amount of saturated fat you eat. Fish oil has also been linked to less artery-blocking clumping activity of blood platelets.


Garlic has been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol and improve the overall ratio of HDL to LDL. Most proponents of using garlic for health suggest using only fresh garlic. One great way to get more garlic is to add a clove of garlic to other vegetables in a juicer for a great-tasting health cocktail.

Did You Know?

Garlic is thought to:
Manage cholesterol levels
Reduce joint pain
Lower blood pressure
Boost your immune system

For maximum health benefit, eat garlic raw and crushed or very finely chopped.

No discussion of heart health would be complete without mentioning ubiquinone, or Coenzyme Q10 (normally shortened to CoQ10). One of the main reasons statin drugs are so dangerous is they dramatically decrease your body’s CoQ10 levels. CoQ10 is critical for turning food and oxygen into the actual energy your body’s cells use to function. And your heart needs as much as 10 times more CoQ10 than any other organ in your body!

CoQ10 is usually consumed from eating fish, heart and liver, and vegetarians can also find somewhat reasonable levels (though only about a tenth of meat) in soybeans, grapeseed, sesame seeds, peanuts, parsley, spinach, avocados, and nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios. If you want enough to protect your heart though, you should take an actual CoQ10 supplement – and you should consider it vital if you are on any kind of statin drug.

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Changes in tax law you should know about this year


Standard deduction

After the standard deduction doubled in 2018, the number of taxpayers who claimed it instead of itemizing on their taxes jumped sharply. This year, an estimated 90% of taxpayers are expected to claim the deduction.

The deduction has also been increased this year to keep pace with inflation. Single individuals now get a standard deduction of $12,200, and married individuals filing jointly qualify for a standard deduction of $24,400. Individuals who qualify as head of household get a standard deduction of $18,350.

Some people may still want to run through the exercise of deciding whether to itemize or not. The decision comes down to whether your deductible expenses are greater than the standard deduction. Tax preparation software or a tax professional can walk you through this with ease.

Health insurance

New this year: There is no longer a penalty on federal taxes for not having health insurance — something that was put in place by the Affordable Care Act. So while "the mandate for having insurance theoretically still exists," you won't pay anything to the feds should you choose not to follow it, Jonathan Medows, a CPA based in Manhattan, told CBS MoneyWatch.

However, taxpayers should note that four states, along with Washington, D.C., retain their own penalty for lacking health coverage: California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.  

Medical expenses

Historically, if you had medical expenses equaling 7.5% or more of your income and you itemized your deductions, you could use those medical expenses to reduce your income — thereby paying less in taxes.


Last year, the minimum amount a person was required to spend was going to reset to a higher amount, but Congress stepped in at the last minute to keep it at 7.5%.

"If you have a medical condition and you have unreimbursed medical expenses, you should be able to itemize more," Medows said. "This should be beneficial for a lot of people."

Divorce is now tax-neutral

Anyone who got divorced after 2018 and pays alimony can no longer deduct alimony payments. And ex-spouses who receive alimony are no longer required to claim it as income. Got divorced before 2018? The old rules still apply unless you update your decree to state specifically that the new rules are reflected.  


Congress recently passed a bill that include several tax "extenders," which renew tax provisions that had expired or were going to expire soon. Here are a handful that you may want to note:

  • People who are required to pay private mortgage insurance along with their mortgage can once again deduct it. Kathy Pickering, chief tax officer at H&R Block told The Associated Press that this represents a substantial expense for some — in the $2,500 to $4,500 range.
  • Another home-related extender: a $500 lifetime credit for making certain energy-efficient improvements to your home, such as buying a high efficiency furnace. While many people have already taken advantage of this in years past, Pickering said newer homeowners may want to consider if they can benefit.
  • People who suffered a foreclosure and had their debt canceled just got some relief.

The IRS considers that canceled debt as income and therefore subject to taxes. However, there had long been a provision that would waive this if the foreclosure was on a primary residence. Last year, that wasn't the case.

The waiver has now been reinstated and is extended retroactively, so people who had to pay tax on a canceled debt of this sort can file an amendment. Pickering said this is a provision that affects few people but "has an extraordinary financial impact."


The IRS has been trying to keep up with the popularity of cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin. For now, such digital currencies are generally seen as property, not currency. That means anyone who trades in it faces the same tax implications as if they were trading stock.

The IRS last year put many taxpayers on notice about improperly reporting their crypo transactions, or even failing to report them altogether. As such, the agency is increasing its educational efforts and criminal investigations. 

Additionally, all taxpayers will must answer a question about their involvement in any virtual currency transactions. If they have received, sold, sent, exchanged or otherwise acquired any cryptocurrency, they must fill out a new form.

Tax experts say there may still be some confusion, but suggest that anyone who does trade cryptocurrencies should keep close track of all their own activity to make sure they are not stepping on the wrong side of the law.

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12 Things Doctors Want You to Know


Photo by YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV from Shutterstock

Doctors are our guardian angels and no matter how hard it is to change our not-so-healthy habits, they will always have the best pieces of advice for us. With that in mind, here are 12 habits doctors wish you’d adopt after 40.

1. Confront your bad habits

Your vices can seriously damage your overall health. It’s true, with age comes wisdom, so take a closer look at the bad habits that are ruining your health.

“If you smoke, drink more than you should (more than one drink for women and two for men per day on a regular basis), gamble excessively … or struggle with other forms of addiction, it is critical to confront those bad habits and take action,” says Lisa Doggett, MD, a family physician based in Austin, Texas.

“The consequences of unchecked vices can increase with age, and reaching out to a physician, supportive friend, or other resources in the community can make a big difference.”

2. Prioritize preventative health

Make sure you schedule your annual physical exams! “Rates of chronic disease increase significantly as we age,” Doggett says. “Conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension can be detected early through routine medical visits, and early treatment reduces the risk of heart disease and other complications.

Cancer rates also rise as we age, so screening tests become more important in our 40s.”

3. Catch enough zzz’s

Getting enough sleep is really important and once you get into your 40s, you might need to reassess exactly how much sleep you’re getting.

“The quality of our sleep tends to go down with age, partly due to increased life stress and also due to hormonal changes that occur in both men and women over 40,” says Ivana Chapman, a fitness and nutrition coach based in Toronto. “Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep will enhance your immune system, reduce stress levels, and optimize your recovery from exercise.”

4. Keep technology out of the bedroom

“When it comes to sleep, 40-somethings are the worst. Most of their sleep disturbances come from overuse of technology—the blue light emitted from smartphones, computers, and televisions disrupt the natural circadian rhythm because it inhibits the production of melatonin,” says Walter Gaman, MD, co-author of Stay Young: 10 Proven Steps to Ultimate Health. “Avoid electronics two hours before bed and opt for a great novel instead.”

6. Stand up at your desk

“Many of the jobs that people in their 40s have call for heavy computer work. While your fingers may be going ninety to nothing, your large muscles are sitting stagnant,” says Gaman. “Sitting really is the new smoking because living a sedentary lifestyle increases inflammation and inflammation is the root of most chronic disease.”

7. Train with weights

“Training with weights two to four times a week builds muscle and maintains bone density,” explains Chapman. “It also makes it easier to maintain your weight, since a leaner body with more muscle is more metabolically active and burns more calories all day long.”

8. Eat more protein

Protein is an essential macronutrient that can help you lose weight and keep your belly full. Always remember that it’s important to eat the right kind.

“Building and preserving precious muscle isn’t possible if you’re not taking in enough protein,” says Chapman. She notes that the USDA’s recommendation—5.5 ounces of protein daily—is “unnecessarily low, and [they] don’t represent the amount of protein required for optimal health and muscle maintenance and growth.”

9. Add more nuts

Over the course of 20-plus years, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health followed up with nearly 156,000 men and women in four-year intervals. Their research, which was published in the British Medical Journal in 2019, determined that subjects who ate a daily serving of any type of nut had a lower risk of weight gain and obesity.

“Adding one ounce of nuts to your diet in place of less healthy foods—such as red or processed meat, French fries, or sugary snacks—may help prevent that slow, gradual weight gain after you enter adulthood and reduce the risk of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases,” study author Xiaoran Liu, PhD, said in a statement.

10. Protect your gut

“Eighty percent of your immunity is in your gut,” says Gaman. “Protecting your microbiome should be top priority. Do this by avoiding artificial sweeteners and increasing your intake of prebiotic- and probiotic-rich foods, like yogurt, sauerkraut, and asparagus.”

11. Breathe deeply

“I take 30 seconds to re-center,” says Michael Sinel, MD, an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA Department of Medicine. “This can be done simply by taking three slow deep breaths, by inhaling for four seconds and exhaling for six seconds. This helps me to clear my mind so that I can focus.”

12. Meditate

Do not underestimate the power of meditation! “Our world is far too fast-paced and there are far too many perceived threats in it for our amygdalae to manage,” says Jonathan DeYoe, author of Mindful Money and founder of DeYoe Wealth Management in Berkeley, California. “Mindfulness practice, like meditation, can slow our natural reactivity and help us think through better solutions.”

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Foods That Trigger Inflammation

1. Simple or Excess Carbs

Poor blood sugar control is one of the absolute major driving forces behind chronic and systemic inflammation that wreaks havoc in the body. If you’re active and have lots of lean muscle, the carbs you eat and directed primarily into your muscle tissues and stored as glycogen. If you’re sedentary, overweight or out of shape and don’t have a lot of muscle, excess carb intake quickly gets converted into fat and stored in the liver or on your body.

Inflammation is a hallmark symptom of most obese individuals. (2) The accumulation of fat around the mid-section is visceral fat, also called white adipose tissue (WAT), that acts as a powerful trigger for inflammation. [tweet_quote] The more extra weight you’re carrying, the greater your inflammatory levels. [/tweet_quote]

The chronic internal fire of weight gain also causes significant oxidative damage to cells and tissues, leading to an inflammatory response. The more weight gain, the more oxidative stress, the more inflammation in the body. It’s a downward spiral that can make it very difficult to shed those unwanted pounds.

2. Too Much Gluten

Gluten can be a very problematic food because it exerts a major detrimental impact on your gut. The research has shown that gluten-containing foods interfere with the function of an intestinal protein called zonulin, wreaking havoc on your digestive system. Zonulin effectively acts as the gatekeeper of your intestinal tract, responsible for regulating your intestinal permeability by keeping your gut cells tightly packed. The gliadin protein found in gluten interferes with your zonulin function, leading to increased intestinal hyper-permeability or leaky gut. (3) Ultimately, this leads to an inflammatory response by the body.

Interestingly, this gut damage occurred in all populations, not just celiac patients. Furthermore, if you’re overweight, it significantly worsens your zonulin function and predisposes you to an inflamed and leaky gut. (4)

3. Too Many Pain Killer Medications

Over-the-counter medications to treat pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, are the most common drugs recommended to treat pain. If you’re overweight or sit at a desk all day, you’re much more likely to suffer from chronic joint and muscle pain. While NSAIDs can help in the short-term, in the long-term they take a serious toll on your digestive system.

A recent study found that chronic use of pain killer medications like ibuprofen significantly damage the lining of the gut and increased likelihood of a leaky gut. (5) Of course, when the gut is damaged inflammation is the first response to injury, so you actually worsen your long-term systemic inflammation.

Other common causes of chronic inflammation include a diet too high in omega-6 fats (i.e. typically vegetable oils), chronic infections, high stress levels, nutrient deficiencies or over-exposure to environmental toxins.

The Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Addressing the root causes is the first step to cooling chronic inflammation and increasing your intake of powerful anti-inflammatory foods is the next step. Add the following ten foods to your diet regularly and protect your body from dangers of inflammation.

1. Cold-Water Fatty Fish

Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, these smoked salmon pinwheels make the perfect dairy-free appetizer or light snack.

The extra-long chain omega-3 fats EPA and DHA help cool inflammation by supporting the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, powerful hormone-like substances that turn down the body’s internal fires. (6) Cold-water fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring and black cod should be staples in your diet. A typical 3-4 oz. servings contains about 500-750mg of EPA and DHA.

2. Grass-Fed & Wild Game Meats

Toss together juicy steak, toasted broccoli, and a savory dressing in this one-pan meal. Meet your new weeknight favorite!

We’ve been told for decades to avoid red meat, however when you feed cows grass like nature intended, it’s incredible how the distribution of healthy fats and the quality of the meat radically changes for the better. Grass-fed beef and wild game meats have much greater levels of extra-long chain omega-3 fats EPA and DHA compared to standard agricultural practices. (7) Add these nutrient-dense foods to your nutritional arsenal to fight off chronic inflammation.

3. Turmeric Root

Turmeric root is a staple of Indian cuisine and contains a specific compound called curcumin that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. Curcumin inhibits the COX-2 enzyme, just like ibuprofen, to reduce inflammation and accelerate healing. (8) Although not as potent as an NSAID, the natural herb has the benefit that it does not cause ulcers, liver and kidney damage, and leaky gut like chronic use of NSAIDs.

4. Ginger

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Like curcumin, ginger acts as a potent anti-inflammatory that inhibits the COX-2 enzyme. The research shows the consumption of ginger can reduce inflammatory markers after only 7 days. (9) If you enjoy juicing, add ginger to your favorite juice, sprinkle on top of salads or meals, or add into herbal teas to boost your inflammation protection.

5. Leafy Greens

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Leafy greens are packed full of antioxidants like vitamin AC and E that protect the body from the oxidative damage that occurs with chronic inflammation. Be sure to eat leafy greens daily, such as kale, spinach, arugula, chard, radish greens, mustard greens, salad greens, etc.

6. Hot Peppers

Capsaicin’s are the active components of hot peppers that give them their spicy kick and they also help act as potent anti-inflammatory. Capsaicin’s impact inflammation via your brain, interacting with a specific receptor to increase BDNF (brain-derived neuropeptide factor) that cools inflammation and combats low mood. (10) Try sprinkling cayenne on your food or in your smoothies and add hot peppers to your meals to take advantage of the anti-inflammatory benefits. Just don’t go overboard, moderation is key here.

7. Blueberries

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The perfect breakfast addition to your morning smoothie or afternoon snack also provides a nice anti-inflammatory and antioxidant punch. Dark-colored berries contain quercetin, a potent antioxidant that protects your body against the oxidative damage caused by inflammation, whether from a trauma or simply being overweight. Furthermore, the polyphenols in blueberries also trigger the genetic pathways that provide a great COX-2 anti-inflammatory effect. (11)

8. Beets

Brighten up your dinner plate with this pillowy Beet Gnocchi topped with walnuts, mint, and fresh lovage.

Beets are an incredibly nutrient-dense root vegetable packed full of the antioxidant betalain, as well as being a phenomenal source of dietary nitrates that help to boost arginine levels and support better flow to accelerate healing and recovery. (12)

9. Pineapple

There is nothing like a cold, sweet pineapple on a hot day to quench your thirst and sweet craving. Your joints also love bromelain, as its been shown to reduce swelling, bruising, healing time, and pain after injuries and surgeries. (13) If you choose to supplement with bromelain for joint support, be sure to take it on an empty stomach. If taken with meals, bromelain will act as a digestive aid and not an anti-inflammatory.

10. Broccoli

Broccoli is an absolute superfood. It packs a major antioxidant punch, is loaded with powerful phytonutrient glucosinolates, and contains anti-inflammatory bioflavonoids like kaempferol that help cool inflammation and fight off the effects of weight gain and oxidative stress. (14) Make broccoli a staple in your diet to reap these benefits.

The-10-Best-Anti-Inflammatory-Foods-infogTo keep inflammation under control, address the root causes and maintain a healthy weight (and body composition), avoid excess gluten and omega-6 vegetable oils, and do you best to avoid medications or use sparingly when needed. Combine this with adding these 10 anti-inflammatory regularly in your nutrition arsenal and your body, your brain and your health will thrive.

The good news is that leaky gut and chronic inflammation can be healed and eliminated by changing your diet and your lifestyle.

Here is my 6-step guide to eliminate inflammation and avoiding a lifetime of chronic illness.

1. Do an Elimination Diet for 21 Days

Cut out gluten, dairy, sugar – including soda, processed and packaged foods, and alcohol. The 21 day mark is important because it takes at least 21 days for your immune system to fully turn off it’s reaction to an intruder it has seen, so you won’t fully know what life is like without the foods you eliminated until you get to that point.

2. Take Specific Supplements

Support your elimination diet with specific supplements like the ones I use in my practice. Be careful of supplements you buy over the counter – many have found to be counterfeit or contaminated. It is best to work with a licensed health practitioner who has access to tested reliably therapeutic supplements. The top supplements I typically recommend taking to lower inflammation are:

  • An L-glutamine-based supplement that includes aloe, licorice, and zinc-carnitine, all of which help heal the lining of the intestines.
  • A probiotic containing the best-researched strains of probiotics especially lactobacillus and bifidobacteria species.
  • A berberine-based antimicrobial herbal formulation to help reduce the presence of harmful bacteria in the gut.
  • A fiber supplement that contains both insoluble fiber that supports regular bowel movements and balanced blood sugar, as well as soluble fiber that feeds the important bacteria that help regulate the immune system.
  • A multi-vitamin that supports phase 1 and 2 liver detoxification and anti-oxidant production. Anti-oxidants are important because they soak up the free radicals that are produced as part of the inflammatory process and that cause DNA damage and faster aging.
  • A fish oil supplement with at least 2000 mg of EPA/DHA, the important omega 3 fats that have been shown to reduce inflammation by blocking part of the inflammatory cascade process.

3. Follow the “Plant Based Paleo” Approach

Replace your old way of eating with what I call a “Plant Based Paleo” approach. The following is a breakdown of what kinds of foods I mean.

  • Eat at least 20 grams of non-dairy protein with every meal. Options include a plant-based protein shake like the rice-protein shake I use, or responsibly raised, organic, and hormone/antibiotic free chicken, beef, turkey, eggs and fish.
  • Eat organic vegetables with every meal, favoring cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, collards, and Brussels sprouts which support the liver’s detoxification process, and leafy greens like mustard, chard, beet greens and spinach which are packed with important nutrients like calcium and vitamin C.
  • Eat a rainbow of vegetables on every plate – each color represents a particular subset of phytonutrients that our bodies have evolved to use as cofactors for thousands of enzymatic reactions.
  • Consume lots of healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil which is packed with anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids, borage oil, walnut oil, and sunflower seed oil. Chia and hemp seeds also make excellent high protein healthy fat based snacks.

4. Avoid Taking Drugs

Avoid medications like NSAIDs (aka ibuprofen) and antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. These drugs are toxic to the health of your gut.

5. Take Stress Seriously

Find ways to build relaxation into your life daily to counteract the effects of the modern, always on the go lifestyle. Meditation has been shown to have all kinds of lasting effects on the nervous system, the cardiovascular system and the digestive system and helps people be more effective in their lives.

6. Stop Eating Processed Foods

Avoid processed foods that contain refined flours and sugars by cooking your meals and eating at healthy restaurants that use organic, quality ingredients from local sources.

If you think you are suffering from the effects of inflammation, following this plan is an excellent place to start the process of unraveling your inflammatory picture, getting to the root cause of your immune system’s dysfunction, and cooling the fires of inflammation for good.

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