Safe, Quick and Easy Travel Foods


Do you want some low-histamine, anti-inflammatory hot foods to eat when traveling or a healthy anti-inflammatory staple option to grab on the go? I will be traveling to the Natural Products Expo West this March so while I was deciding what travel foods to bring I thought you would enjoy a post about safe travel foods that actually give you some nutrients and keep you full.  Travel food is such a hard thing not only for someone following a low-histamine diet (when everything should be mostly fresh) but for everyone! 

Here are a few staple snacks that I love!!

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Favorite Snacks

Freeze dried fruit from Trader Joe’s, dehydrated beets from Trader Joe’s (yes I am a fan) and I love these Mary’s Gone Crackers the Real Thin Crackers. Other freeze dried fruits and crackers or sweet potato chips will also be good light staples for snacking on the plane. You still get all of your vitamins and minerals from freeze dried fruits so this is a better choice than dried. Beets are one of the most concentrated antioxidant sources so these are super for boosting your antioxidants when on the go. The Terra chips that have root vegetables and beets are great too!

Make Your Own Low-Histamine, Anti-Inflammatory Ramen

Make Your Own Low-Histamine, Anti-Inflammatory Ramen

Make Your Own Ramen

I was so excited to find these millet and brown rice ramen noodles by Lotus Foods that provide 8g of protein and are gluten free and the best part is there is no high histamine seasoning included. This is so exciting since you just have to get boiling water which is available everywhere and a medium-large coffee cup or large bowl to make your own low-histamine, anti-inflammatory ramen for on the go.

I like to use a freeze dried vegetable like peas (which has some protein!!) and add some dried minced garlic and onion for flavor and a pinch or salt. Voila a filling delicious anti-inflammatory meal on the go!

Make Your Own Oatmeal Packets

Make Your Own Oatmeal Packets

Make Your Own Oatmeal Packets

Don’t waste money on instant oatmeal packets, make your own! This staple is for anyone traveling (or even just rushing to work in the morning) that’s ready quickly and easy to make.  Combine freeze dried fruit, I usually pick blueberries, chia seeds, a pinch of sugar in the raw, maple sugar or coconut sugar, oats (all purpose) and boiling hot water for an amazing morning oatmeal which can travel. 

Hopefully these quick to prep, healthy foods will help you on your next busy day or trip!

If you are looking for more ideas pre-order a copy of The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook today! Coming out 2.5.2019.

Eat for your health!

Resolution #1: Eat More Plants & A Mediterranean diet Base


Big News! The Mediterranean Diet was named the top diet for 2019 by the US World News and World Report. Need help following A Mediterranean Diet?

The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook can help! The Book is based on foods commonly found in the Mediterranean Diet, which are also low in histamine and anti-inflammatory.

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January is the season for resolutions and is a nice time to start new healthy habits. The goal is to find some healthy habits that you can maintain throughout the year. One of my favorite resolutions is to Eat More Plants. We know that fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds are rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plants are the basis for an anti-inflammatory diet because the phytonutrients in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains decrease inflammation in the body. Plant rich diets have been shown to decrease inflammation, reduce high blood pressure, and reduce the risk for heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Along with phytonutrients, plants give you a healthy dose of fiber to help reduce cholesterol and keep your colon healthy.

So how can we make and keep our resolution to eat more plants? Below is a sample meal plan to help you on your way! The plan below will get you 10-11 servings of veggies and/or fruits in a day!

Goal: Eat 9-11 servings of fruits and vegetables per day

(A serving size equals - 1/2 cup cooked vegetables, or 1 cup raw vegetables, or 2 cups of leafy greens)

Breakfast:

Choose a smoothie! Use 2C of fruit and 1/2C veggies like spinach or even carrots. Use a plant based milk and protein powder or add chia seed and flax seed for protein and good fats and fiber. (2.5 servings fruits/veggies)

1C Sweet potato hash with eggs (2 servings veggies)

Egg sandwich with arugula, sautéed onions and avocado + 1 apple (2 servings fruit/veggies)

Lunch:

4C salad with greens and chopped veggies and 4oz lean protein + 1C berries (4 servings fruit/veggies)

Vegetable soup with beans (2C) + 1 serving whole grain crackers + 1 mango (3 servings fruits/veggies)

Rice noodles with veggies (1C) + pesto + 1 apple (3 servings fruits/veggies)

Snack: (1-2 servings fruit/veggies per choice below)

Veggies and hummus

Freeze dried fruit

Fruit with nut/seed butter

Sweet potato chips (a bit of a cheat I know!)

Dinner:

1C roasted brussel sprouts, 4oz salmon, 1C cauliflower rice (4 servings veggies)

Turkey meatballs with 2C spaghetti squash and sauce (4 servings veggies)

Chicken and veggie stirfry (2C veggies) over brown rice (4 servings veggie)

Tip: use starchy veggie replacements like spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles instead of pasta or riced cauliflower instead of rice to help boost your veggie servings even more!

Hopefully this plan helps to give you some ideas of how to get more plant foods in your day! Pre-order a copy of The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook today!

Eat for your health!

Sources:

1) Anti-inflammatory effects of plant-based foods and of their constituents. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19685439

2) A plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5466941/

3)https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/02/health/mediterranean-best-diet-2019/index.html

Immune Boosting Foods

It is that time of year. The sniffles, coughs and fevers from getting the cold or flu. The body is designed to fight off infections by our powerful immune system. Stress, lack of sleep, poor food choices and certain medical conditions can make our immune systems not work as well so we will discuss some foods that can help your body fight off the next infection.

Ingredients for Immune Health this Winter

Eat foods with Probiotics which are found in yogurt, keifer and kimchi. It has been found that probiotics may boost your immune system. A large part of our immune system is housed in our gut so take care of it! Eat a probiotic rich food daily. For those of you with histamine issues probiotic foods are usually off the menu! You can use a probiotic supplement instead. Choose a supplement with bifidobacterium infantis which doesn’t promote histamine production in the gut. Eat foods with good prebiotic fibers to take care of your gut as well like asparagus, oats, beans & sweet potatoes.

Eat foods with Zinc which is found in chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and dark meats. Zinc has been shown to reduce cold duration and is important for keeping your immune system in top shape.

Eat foods with Vitamin C which is important for keeping your immune system strong and may help decrease the duration of your cold. Use peppers for a  lower sugar option which actually provides more vitamin C per cup than oranges.

Eat foods with Flavonoids which are the phytochemicals found in berries, tea and even dark chocolate. These flavonoids keep the immune system strong and may even reduce the risk of getting a cold or other upper respiratory infections.

Eat functional foods like elderberry syrup and honey. Elderberry syrup has been shown to prevent flu infection and can reduce flu duration. Honey is a natural immune system booster and a natural antibacterial food.

For the whole video clip and more info click the link below!


https://www.mychamplainvalley.com/news/local-news/keeping-your-immune-system-healthy/1668573023

Immune Boosting Mocktail

 

Makes 4 servings

 

1C V8 fusion blueberry pomegranate juice or another berry juice

1 orange cut into slices

1 liter of club soda

 

1.     Freeze the juice into ice cubes (at least 2 hours or overnight)

2.     In glasses place juice cubes, top off with club soda and garnish with oranges.

 

Histamine Intolerance & DAO Enzyme

DAO Boosting Salad

DAO Boosting Salad

Do you get headaches, bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, acid reflux, a runny nose or flushing after eating aged meats, cheeses, barbecue sauce, balsamic vinaigrettes, wine, soy sauce or even avocados? If so you could be someone with histamine intolerance. Histamine intolerance is condition where individuals most commonly have a decrease in the enzymes DAO (Diamine Oxidase) and HMNT (Histamine N-methyl transferase). If these enzymes do not work properly the body cannot break down histamine as efficiently and the body can get overloaded with histamine which leads to a variety of symptoms.

Research has recorded the effects of histamine intolerance for years. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that approximately one percent of the population has some degree of histamine intolerance. The full roster of symptoms includes: acid reflux, allergic reaction, arrhythmia, asthma, brain fog, congestion, diarrhea, joint pain, flushing of the skin, headache, hives, and hypotension.  That’s not a large percentage, but it still adds up to a lot of people. Many more people have a histamine related condition such as allergies, migraines, asthma, chronic hives, IBS, and interstitial cystitis. Changing the diet may also help in these conditions.

Studies also show us that a low-histamine, anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce many symptoms of histamine intolerance in Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (a condition where there are too many overactive mast cells in the body that release too much histamine).

Researchers have found that patients with migraines, eczema and hives, have lower DAO enzyme levels. Studies found that following a low-histamine diet for 6 to 12 months, helped to increase patients DAO levels and decrease histamine related symptoms. Medical research indicates that the most effective ongoing therapy for histamine intolerance is the limitation of histamine-rich foods.

Histamine is also only one side of the story. When histamine is released in the body it is joined by many inflammatory molecules that increase systemic inflammation in the body. Using our super anti-inflammatory foods are just as important as avoiding histamine to help reduce symptoms.

So how can we improve our DAO enzyme levels and reduce inflammation?

Give your body the RIGHT nutrients:

  • Vitamin C (good sources are red peppers, most fruits, and veggies)

  • Vitamin B6 (good sources are turkey, banana, chickpeas, salmon and other meats)

  • Magnesium (good sources are swiss chard, black beans, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds

EAT a low histamine and anti-inflammatory diet to decrease your circulating histamine and inflammatory molecule levels and improve your DAO enzyme levels.

The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook will go in detail on the research of how the low-histamine & anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce the symptoms of histamine intolerance, mast cell activation syndrome, allergies/asthma, eczema & atopic dermatitis, interstitial cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The book will provide a roadmap to following the diet and yummy irresistible recipes. Here is a DAO Boosting Salad recipe to get you started!

DAO Boosting Salad

Rich in the right blend of nutrients to support your body’s breakdown of histamine. Tons of vitamin C, antioxidants, magnesium and B6.

Makes 4 servings

Salad Ingredients:

4C mixed greens

1 head of broccoli chopped into small pieces

1 sliced red pepper

1C chickpeas

2 scallions diced

1 carrot shredded

1/4 C pumpkin seeds

Dressing:

1 tsp ginger freshly grated

1 clove garlic

1 Tbs coconut or brown sugar

1/4C sesame oil

1 Tbs chia seeds

1/2 tsp salt

  1. Chop and combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the dressing separately and toss well with salad. Enjoy right away.

Resources:

Izquierdo-Casas J, et al. Low serum diamine oxidase (DAO) activity levels in patients with migraine. Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry. 2018; 74 (1): 93–99.

Kovacova-Hanuskova, E, et al. Histamine, histamine intoxication and intolerance. Allergologia et Immunopathologia (Madrid). 2015; 43 (5): 498–506.

Magerl, M, Pisarevskaja, D, et al. Effects of a pseudoallergen-free diet on chronic spon- taneous urticaria: A prospective trial. Allergy. 2010; 65 (1): 78–83.

Maintz, L, Novak, N. Histamine and histamine intolerance. American Journal of Clini- cal Nutrition 2007; 85 (5): 1185–1196.

Maintz, L, Bieber, N, Novak, N. Histamine intolerance in clinical practice. Deutsches Ärzteblatt. 2006; 103 (51–52): 3477–3483.

Maintz, L, Benfadal, S, et al. Evidence for a reduced histamine degradation capacity in a subgroup of patients with atopic eczema. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2006; 117 (5): 1106–1112.

Music, E, Korosec, P, et al. Serum diamine oxidase activity as a diagnostic test for hista- mine intolerance. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2013; 125 (9–10): 239–243. http://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23579881

Wantke, F, Gotz, M, et al. Histamine-free diet: treatment of choice for histamine-in- duced food intolerance and supporting treatment for chronic headaches. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 1993; 23 (12): 982–985. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/ doi/10.1111/j.1365-2222.1993.tb00287.x/full

Lighten Up the Holidays!

Winter Cabbage Cranberry Salad (Recipe Below)

Winter Cabbage Cranberry Salad (Recipe Below)

Do you ever worry about weight gain during the holidays? Not only is it a busy time of year but food tends to be everywhere. Parties, holiday meals and food gifts can make it challenging. I have a few tips that can be helpful for managing this holiday season while eating great and taking care of your body too.

  1. Eat Mindfully

    This means you can have bites of some treat foods, just don’t go overboard. Don’t munch on snacks at a party if you are not hungry, but if you are hungry have a sensible portion.

  2. Walk More

    Many of us overeat when we have a holiday meal or party. The food is just so good! Walking helps to reduce blood sugar levels and improves digestion.

  3. Change up the Meal

    Many holiday foods are healthy, some others just need to be tweaked! Check out the recipe for mushroom and onion green beans a mock up of green bean casserole that is only 75 calories per serving vs. the traditional 200 calories per serving. Using mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes can also save you over 100 calories per 1 cup serving. We know that plant foods are better for us so load up on the veggie sides!

  4. Go Easy on the Carbs

    It is so easy to load up on potatoes, rolls, stuffing and then 1-2 pieces of pie. Try picking fewer carby sides with your turkey and veggies, so you can save more carb room in your day for a good slice of pie! Aim for 1/4 plate of starchy sides to save room for pie. Moderation never tasted so good. Try the winter cabbage cranberry salad (recipe below) as another veggie side that provides a nice crunchy bite and cranberry flavor.

  5. Eat Pie

    Treat foods are soul foods in my mind. They are delicious make us happy and are an important part of the holiday season. Eat mindfully, a reasonable portion and enjoy without guilt.

Enjoy these recipes on your holiday table this year!

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Mushroom and Onion Green Beans

Makes 6, 1 cup servings

Ingredients:

4C fresh or frozen green beans prepared

1 large onion sliced

1 clove minced garlic

1C sliced white mushrooms

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 Tbs butter or vegan butter spread

1 Tbs olive oil

 

1.    Combine olive oil, green beans, onion, mushrooms, salt and pepper in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee until onions are golden, green beans and mushrooms are cooked. In the last few minutes of cooking add butter to create a creamy sauce and serve.

 

Winter Cabbage Cranberry Salad

 

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 small head of shredded green cabbage

1C dried cranberries

1 small head of shredded purple cabbage

1/2C slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds

 

Dressing:

2 Tbs maple syrup

1/4C olive oil

Pinch of salt

2 Tbs cranberry juice (unsweetened)

 

1.Add all salad ingredients into a bowl.

2. Toss dressing in a separate bowl and toss to coat salad. Serve immediately.

5 Foods to Eat Every Day

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Let’s aim to eat well every day. There are a few foods that if you can get in daily you will be able to give your body a mega antioxidant boost. The foods below will boost your antioxidant and vitamin intake while reducing your inflammation. These foods are affordable, and good to stock up so you can encourage healthy eating without requiring that extra grocery store or specialty shop trip. Try the prep ahead smoothie kits below!

Berries & Cherries

These fruits are rich in flavonoids and antioxidants. They are also rich in fiber and spike your blood sugar less than other fruits.

Tip: Try frozen berries in smoothies or overnight oats if fresh berries are too expensive or are not in season. Also try picking a bunch of berries next berry season and freeze to use throughout the year!

Leafy Greens Like Kale, Mixed Greens & Chard

Deep dark greens are high in antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.

Tip: Chop up any green and sautée to reduce down. Add reduced greens to meatballs or meatloaf to hide some more greens (from your kids) and add some more greens to your day. Add a handful of greens to your morning smoothie for an extra morning boost.

Complex Carbs: Oats, Brown rice & Quinoa

These whole grains are rich in soluble fiber, complex carbohydrates and B vitamins. Don’t be afraid of good carbs!

Tip: Cook up a large batch of quinoa or brown rice and freeze in single serve 1 cup portions. This is a mega time saver and can be the base for many dishes.

Root Veggies: Sweet potatoes, carrots & winter squash

Deep orange foods give us huge boosts of vitamin A, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.

Tip: Keep these veggies on hand, they don’t rot quickly like lettuce and cucumbers so you can always have one of these staples available even when your pantry is bare.

Ginger

This root is a wonderful anti-inflammatory agent and can be eaten in many forms. Try in tea, shredded into vegetable dishes, rice dishes or even egg dishes.

Tip: Pre-grate some ginger and keep it in a closed container in the refrigerator. Use a microplane grater to break up the tough root.

Prep Your Own Breakfast Smoothie Kits!

Makes 1 smoothie

Ingredients:

1/2 C greens

1C frozen berries

1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 Tbs chia seed

1C milk of choices or water

1/4C oats

Add greens, berries, ginger, oats, chia seed to freezer safe bags. Make 3-4 of these if desired to keep in the freezer. Simply add to a blender with 1C milk of choice in the morning for a quick breakfast on the go with some serious anti-inflammatory power.


Quercetin: An Anti-inflammatory and histamine Lowering Flavonoid

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The old adage eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away, has some truth to it. Apples are not only a delicious fall favorite, but are also rich sources of vitamin C and this weeks featured flavonoid - quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid with high antioxidant action and also acts as a mast cell stabilizing compound.  Not an apple person?  Other food sources with high levels of quercetin are berries, grapes and onion.  

What is a mast cell stabilizing compound and why should we want to eat bioflavonoid heavy foods?  Some individuals with histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome have overactive mast cells which can increase a variety of symptoms that are affected by the release of histamine and inflammatory molecules. Symptoms can include allergies, eczema, atopic dermatitis, interstitial cystitis, migraines, flushing, acid reflux, and diarrhea among many other possible symptoms.

Flavonoids have been shown to prevent some allergies and reduce allergy symptoms.(1)  For histamine intolerant individuals, quercetin has been found to stabilize mast cells and lower histamine, prostaglandins and cytokine release, equal to, if not better than, the common mast cell stabilizing medication called cromolyn sodium (a commonly prescribed medication for individuals with mast cell activation syndrome).(1)  Quercetin works as an anti-inflammatory compound by reducing release of inflammatory enzymes cyclooxyrgenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX).(2) In other experimental studies quercetin has been shown to reduce asthma and allergic rhinitis symptoms (sneezing, sniffling).  In one study, it was found that individuals who ate just two apples each week, had a lower incidence of asthma because of their quercetin intake.(3)

To make sure you eat at least two apples this week, try making this fall harvest buddha bowl!  Rosemary roasted chickpeas, roasted apples, onions, sweet potatoes and beets creates a warm flavonoid rich meal to help lower inflammation.  The recipe below makes 4 portions, so I made one bowl for me and froze three servings for the weekday lunches. The oven does all the work so it is quick and easy to prepare.  The roasted apples and sweet potatoes provide a delicate sweetness to this filling bowl. For more antioxidant rich meals, pre-order The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook, coming out February 2019.

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Fall Harvest Buddha Bowl

Makes 4 servings

Time: 45 minutes (including roasting time)

Ingredients:

1C dry quinoa

1 sweet potato

1 large golden beet or 2 small

2 apples

2 Tbs olive oil

1 large red onion

1 sprig of rosemary

1C chickpeas

pinch of salt

1. Add 2C of water to quinoa in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil with the lid on. Once it is boiling drop heat to low and let it simmer until all the liquid is absorbed about 20 minutes. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, slice beets, sweet potatoes, onions, apples into 1/3 inch pieces. Drizzle 1 Tbs of olive oil on the sheet pan and lay vegetables and apples on in a single layer. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until golden brown and tender.

3. While the vegetables are cooking, toss the chickpeas in 1 Tbs of olive oil, and add about 1 Tbs of chopped rosemary and a pinch of salt. Spread evenly onto a sheet pan and bake for about 15 minutes until golden. Set aside.

4. Assemble your buddha bowl! Add quinoa, veggies, and chickpeas. With another pinch of salt over the top or a drizzle of olive oil you are ready to eat.

Sources:

1.Zuyi, W, Bodi, Z, et al. Quercetin Is More Effective than Cromolyn in Blocking Human Mast Cell Cytokine Release and Inhibits Contact Dermatitis and Photosensitivity in Humans. Plos One. 2012. 7(3) e33805.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3314669/

2. Yao, Li, Jailing, Y, et al. Quercetin, Inflammation and Immunity. Nutrients. 2016. 8(3): 167.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808895/

3. Mickek J, Jurikova, T, et al. Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response. Molecules. 2016; 21(5): 623.

http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/21/5/623/htm

Veggies for Breakfast!

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When people think of breakfast, most people think of grains, dairy and maybe some fruit. However, breakfast can also be a great meal to sneak some veggies into the very beginning of your day. You should aim to consume at least 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, because fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients and inflammation busting antioxidants which will help reduce inflammation.

I like to eat as many colored vegetables and fruits as I can each day to get the most variety in taste and in nutrients. Each different colored fruit or vegetable yields a different phytonutrient. For example, orange veggies, that I feature today, like sweet potatoes, squash or pumpkin contain betacarotene, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. All of these nutrients help to keep your immune system strong and skin healthy, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk for colon cancer, asthma and heart disease.  

Competing to see who can eat the most different colors is also a good way to challenge kids to get more veggies into their day. Have a list of veggies by color and see who can get more colors in their diet each day. It is easier than you think. To help you get started, here are two of my favorite veggie breakfast options that are low in histamine, high in antioxidants and of course orange! Using squash or sweet potatoes are a great option since they are high in nutrients and naturally sweet.

Vanilla Squash Oatmeal: Perfect for Fall!

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C Oats

  • 1/4C pumpkin or squash puree

  • maple syrup to taste

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 3/4C milk of choice

  • Simply combine oats, pumpkin or squash puree, milk of choice, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Microwave for 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and oats are tender.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Carrots with Fried Eggs

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, diced

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 2 carrots cut into 1/4 inch pieces

  • 2 Tbs olive oil

  • pinch of salt

  • 4 eggs

  • Roast sweet potatoes, onion, carrots tossed with olive oil and salt at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Then fry up eggs and serve over veggies.

Tip: Make a large pan on the weekend and freeze up single portions and just reheat during a busy weekday morning.

For more amazing high nutrient recipes pre-order The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook!