Causes of Inflammation and Steps to Heal





Could you have inflammation? Click on the photo to take the quiz and find out.

15 Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods:

green leafy vegetables

bok choy







bone broth


coconut oil

chia seeds






Top Gut Healing Foods:

Bone broth

Plant based collagen

Fermented Foods – saurkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, tempeh, nato, miso

Fruits high in fiber – apple, bananas, pears, strawberries, watermelon, avocados

Vegetables high in fiber  – beets, broccoli, cauliflower, Jerusalem artichokes, brussel sprouts

Sprouted Seeds

Legumes – lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas


Resistant starches from potatoes

Foods high in healthy Omega 3 fats


Remove Food Sensitivities:

Everybody’s body is different. Below I will list some of the most common food sensitivities but know that there are over 176 foods, spices, and additives that can cause your particular body to react and become inflamed. To learn which ones are reactive for you, you can do a Food Sensitivity Test like the ones we do here at JKLWELL Health Coaching which use your blood to see if it will react to the pure food proteins, spices or additives, or do a food elimination challenge. It is easiest to start a challenge such as this with the foods I will list below. Sometimes however, just having a “leaky gut”, ie gut permeability where proteins and undigested food particles leak into the blood system. Healing your gut can heal your food sensitivities. It is kind of a chicken and egg situation. Is it the leaky gut allowing the food particles into the blood stream where they are viewed as foreign bodies and are attacked thereby causing inflammation or is the food sensitivities causing the leaky gut in the first place. One of the best ways to help fix this is to learn what, if any, food sensitivities you have and remove those while eating to promote a healthy gut. Given time, your gut lining can and will heal. Then you can either retest for food sensitivities to see if you still have any or reintroduce foods slowly and watch for any reactions. The positive food sensitivities at this time will likely be your true food sensitivities and should be removed for a much longer period of time if not permanently.


Common Food Sensitivities:



Dairy (Casein and/0r cow’s milk)

Eggs (Whites and/or Yellow)




Tree Nuts


Eating gut healing and anti-inflammatory foods,,and removing food sensitivities will help to reduce inflammation in the body and protect against chronic diseases like autoimmune diseases, heart disease, joint pain, and cancer. The ultimate goal is to return your body to homeostasis. Having a balanced microbiome, having a healthy gut lining, and reducing inflammation can all be achieved with the right food for your body, the right exercise for your body, stress management, and plenty of deep, restful sleep.



To Soy or Not To Soy – Still a confusing question 

Recently I learned that new studies are suggesting that soy might not be as bad as I thought it was in promoting breast cancer. Earlier on in my research, the studies were showing that the isoflavones in soy are phytoestrogens, properties that mimic estrogen and its effect in the body, specifically in attaching themselves to estrogen positive receptors, thereby increasing the amount of estrogen in the body which can cause estrogen positive breast cancers (ER+). Any studies countering this idea were based on Asian cultures where breast cancer incidents are low. My concern in these studies was that they were comparing apples to oranges, there are so many other factors to be considered when looking at Asian cultures vs American cultures, such as environment and lifestyle. I asked that a study be done on Asian Americans and all other Americans and also looking at when they started eating soy and what type of soy they were eating since the majority of American soy products are GMO and processed.

Someone must have heard my call. New recent studies are comparing the risk of breast cancer in Asian Americans and others and looking at when they started eating soy and what impact that may have. They also looked at the source of the soy products.

It would seem, based on these newer studies, that soy in its fermented state like miso and tempeh, is not linked with an increased risk of breast cancer in any Americans studied. Furthermore, for those who started eating soy at a young age, typically in the Asian cultures, it may even have a protective effect against cancer. However, for those who started eating soy in their later years (beyond the teen age years) no benefit has been shown.

Non GMO fermented soy and even non-fermented soy foods, eaten in moderation, do not seem to have enough dietary nutrition to impact breast cancer either way. However, soy based protein powders and bars that isolate the soy isoflavones and thereby provide it in higher concentrations may be linked to increased risks of breast cancer still because of its higher nutrition content of the phytoestrogenic properties. More studies need to be done.

I am still undecided and will continue to research this. As an ER+ breast cancer thriver who ate a ton of soy products before my first breast cancer diagnosis, I am not ready to hop on board the soy wagon. Since my children are allergic to soy, it won’t be back in my kitchen any time soon. For those who are ready to rejoin the world of soy, please eat soy in its natural, non-GMO, non processed, preferably fermented, form.

For those taking Tamoxifen, please note that some studies show that the soy isoflavone known as genistein can actually weaken the effects of Tamoxifen.

*Update: Listening to a podcast with Elizabeth Rider, health coach and chef, she mentioned that there is just as much evidence against soy as there is supporting soy. She too believes that it is based on geneology. If your ancestors have been eating soy for years, your body knows what it is and will handle it well, but if you have not, your body won’t. And again, fermented soy is really the best type of soy that should be eaten, definitely not GMO soy or processed soy like soy lecithin, soybean oil, or soy isolates.



After meeting with another oncologist at Georgetown Medical Center in DC, Dr. Isaacs, and speaking with a  medical oncologist at Dana Farber, Nancy Lin, MD., it was decided that because I have triple positive breast cancer, ie estrogen positive, progesterone positive, HER2 posiitve, with a tumor over 2cm in size (exact size unknown as the plastic surgeon excised some of it so this is based on what is left) that my best course of action is neoadjuvent chemo treatment, 6 cycles, spaced 3 weeks apart. This cocktail consists of TCHP – Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin, and Perjeta. After this, I will have surgery to remove everything, including lymph nodes, and see if the regimen worked. If it did then I will continue with just the Herceptin for the remainder of the year. If it did not, they will then switch me to TDM1 which is a chemo combined with the Herceptin to directly target the HER2 cells. 

This all was a huge source of contention for me. Knowing what I know about chemo, following documentaries like TTAC and Chris Beat Cancer, I really wanted to consider going naturally. What does that entail? I am not completely sure. There is the Gerson Therapy, there is Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr, there is the Budwig Diet, and so many more. There are combos of Vitamin C IV infusions, Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers, Coffee Enemas (though I am seeing arguments against this), Infrared Saunas, drinking tons of carrot juice, and more that I am still unsure of. The expense and keeping up with all of it makes it all not feasible since most insurance won’t cover natural treatment. I know someone who went to the Hope 4 Cancer to treat Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Though she fully believes it is working, the cost is astronomical. I believe it costs about $47,000 for 3 weeks. Then you have to keep up with the treatments at home, on your own. She is gearing up for her second return but it looks like she will need another $20,000. We think Big Pharma is expensive?! Natural treatments are not any less. The price we have to pay for our health is unfair.

Regarding the effects of natural treatment, most the stories I have read are anecdotal, no scientific proof. Some argue for Keto Diets while others state that actually makes cancer grow, I have seen research on both through the NIH where the Keto  starving the tumors was based on a 5 week study, longer term studies showed that the cancer cells adapted, like they are so good at doing, and began feeding off the ketones after 5 weeks.  I already eat sugar free (for the most part), gluten free, and am an ovo-vegan. I have removed my inflammatory foods, so I am not sure if the natural methods will even work. I know this way of life has really helped me keep the cancer at bay for a much longer period of time then expected, but stress…..that’s a whole new area for me to tackle and not easily controlled. I am just grateful that I am so in tune with my body that I am able to know when something is not right and am able to trust in that instinct to get the answers, even though they are not always what I want to hear. So though I really wanted to try natural, it is not feasible and it scared my family, not trusting in it and believing in the science. I decided that since it was all way too controversial, I would try the chemo but support it as naturally as I can.