The Difference Between A Campfire And A Wildfire

Inflammation is a word that we are all hearing much about and there can be a lot of confusion about what it really means.  All inflammation is not all bad.  It’s similar to the difference between a campfire and a wildfire.

Our bodies were designed with an incredible capacity for wound healing and protection from foreign invaders via acute inflammation.  Physical damage activates good immunity that starts a chain reaction of healing events.  There are five basic beneficial, localized responses to injury that happen in acute inflammation:

  1. Pain
  2. Heat
  3. Redness
  4. Swelling
  5. Temporary loss of function

An army of good blood cells rush to the site to begin the healing process.

Swelling increases the permeability of the blood capillaries in the area, allowing healing nutrients to move into for repair.  Acute inflammation is necessary to protect the body just like a campfire is a great way to keep warm on a cold night, cook a delicious meal, or enjoy the beauty of nature.  A campfire is controlled and has a purpose.  When the campout is over, the fire is easy to extinguish.  

On the other hand, a wildfire is destructive.  It typically happens “by accident” and can begin with a few sparks hidden under a pile of leaves.  If given the right set of circumstances, like dry land and wind, these sparks can rapidly spread out of control. Rather than enhancing life, the fire can steal it.  Chronic inflammation does the same thing.  

When this natural, protective mechanism doesn’t turn off, it starts to damage the tissues of the body.  Chronic inflammatory diseases include common causes of death and disability such as Type 2 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Asthma, and Cardiovascular Disease, just to name a few.  Chronic inflammation is silent at first.  But, as it persists and damage is done, the pain begins.

So, how can you know your level of chronic inflammation before the pain starts?  Next time you have a blood test, ask your physician for a “high sensitive C-reactive protein” measurement.  This is a good benchmark; you want a number less than one.  START SOMEWHERE knowing some common factors that increase your inflammatory index and then change just one thing to get into a healthy range:

  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight
  • Eating processed foods
  • Gum disease
  • Stress
  • High blood sugar

There are many more, but the above list is a great place to start.  LIVE YOUNGER by addressing the cause of problems, not just masking the symptoms.  Think of the difference between a campfire and a wildfire.  Enjoy the warmth of the campfire while doing everything in your power to prevent the wildfire.  You can do it.  I will help you.

#AskDrDebbie:  “How much fiber do I need each day and how can I increase it?” – Paula F.

The amount of fiber required by your body depends on your caloric intake.  I would recommend about 15 grams for each 1000 calories.  If you eat a basic 2000 calories a day, then aim for 30 grams.  Here are some delicious ways to add fiber to your day, including the approximate grams of fiber:

  • Apple – 4.4 grams/medium
  • Black Beans – 15 grams/cup
  • Blueberries – 4 grams/cup
  • Almonds – 4 grams/ounce
  • Brussel Sprouts – 4 grams/cup
  • Blackberries – 7.6 grams/cup
  • Avocados –  6.7 grams/half cup
  • Oatmeal – 4 grams/cooked cup

Fiber definitely helps us each LIVE YOUNGER.  It benefits bowel health, decreases cancer risk, and makes you feel fuller so that you want fewer calories.  START SOMEWHERE today enjoying fiber-rich foods and increase your vibrancy.

STRAWBERRY, PISTACHIO + GRANOLA YOGURT BARK (Hello Glow)

You will need:

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, grade B
  • ½ teaspoon matcha
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios
  • ½ cup granola

Here’s the drill:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, maple syrup, and matcha. Pour yogurt into a foil-lined baking pan. Top with strawberries, pistachios, and granola. Freeze for 2 hours. Break into bark and enjoy!

Here’s what I’m focusing on this week: “This is my command — be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

The Difference Between A Campfire And A Wildfire

The Difference Between A Campfire And A Wildfire