Anti-inflammatory Eating: Choosing the Right Food to Support and Optimize Body Healing from Inflammatory Illnesses [Interview][Transcript]

Donna_LaBar_Anti_inflammatory_EatingGuest: Donna LaBar
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Author, public speaker and health coach, Donna LaBar, is a passionate coach of natural, alternative and integrative approaches to reversing diseases, getting healthy and staying healthy! Donna has researched many modalities of natural health over the past three decades and has formal training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

Segment overview: Donna LaBar, a certified Integrative Health Coach, talks about anti-inflammatory eating, alkaline/acid balance and an enzymatic approach to health recovery.

Health Professional Radio – Anti-inflammatory Eating

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard for this Health Supplier Segment. In studio with us is Donna LaBar, certified Integrative Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and also the author of ‘Simple Natural Healing’ that was released earlier this year by Morgan James Publishing and she’s with us today to talk about anti-inflammatory eating alkaline acid-based, getting a good balance of alkaline and acid and the enzymatic approach to health recovery. Welcome to Health Professional Radio Donna.

Donna LaBar: Thank you Neal. I’m really happy to be here today. Thank you for inviting me.

N: Thank you. You’re a certified Integrative Health Coach. I’m not familiar with that title. Tell us what is a certified Integrative Health Coach.

D: Well Neal, I have studied natural healing and held the body feels itself for decades and I got my certifications from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition because they study over a hundred different diet in the hope that we would have unique approach to helping people. My certification is that the health coach but I have my approach to anti-inflammatory eating is kind of a program that I’ve developed myself over the year.

N: Okay, anti-inflammatory eating. Are you saying that there are things that we eat that cause inflammation and there are things that we can eat that will not cause inflammation and still gives the same nutritional values?

D: Yes, that’s correct. Many illnesses are considered inflammatory illnesses like diabetes, cancer, chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia and lupus. All these different things that are actually chronic illnesses are all considered inflammatory illnesses as well. There are foods that help the body recover from them and foods that actually delay healing and are … I actually worked with people to clear their plate of potential things that cause inflammation and help them eat in a way that promote their body to clean the lymphatic system, get more nutrients and oxygen into the blood, and things like that just to be able to optimize their body’s ability to heal.

N: If we’ve been eating this inflammatory food for say, 20-30 years and all of the sudden, we listen to you and we found out that, ‘Hey, maybe I need to be eating differently’. Is this an overnight process or is this something that is gradual as far as changing the diet?

D: Actually, people can see a difference relatively quickly within a few days of changing some of their approaches and really it’s kind of a huge week just getting good minerals in them and I’d like to get foods that have a lot of minerals and so again, I’m teaching them how to get the things that’s good for their body as far as moving they’re nutrition forward and what things are going to just really cause the havoc for them. People see a difference in a week, making changes, that was really kind of exciting rather than just pushing another diet down their throat so to speak. This is just totally more new information and new ways to get more enzymes and get your body to be able to support itself.

N: How much of your coaching goes toward the preparation of these new foods that we’re going to be eating or, is it just a matter of just eating the food, or can we begin to cook things differently that are considered inflammatory and cook the certain way they’re not?

D: Well, I have people do both. I have them incorporate more vegetables into their diet because they’re mostly just water, and minerals, and nutrients, and that really help get the body to heal. I have them eat a portion of their food uncooked because once the food has been cooked, the active enzymes that would help digestion and utilization are destroyed. Anything over about 116 degrees cooked, the enzymes they’re no longer [beneficial]. I incorporate active enzymes by getting people to eat a portion of their meal or snack with something alive and that’s just means a component that isn’t cooked. That really goes a long way to help their bodies digest better and absorb better.

N: Are we talking about uncooked food or as you say cooking it to such a degree that the active enzymes are I guess, the organisms that are beneficial, don’t die.

D: Well, the enzymes in food that are natural in its fresh form help the body to digest and absorb. Once the food is cooked beyond 116 degrees, the enzymes are all destroyed. It becomes a totally different process for the body. Body has to create the enzymes to digest the food and when we’re trying to get the body into a therapeutic eating direction, having some food that are uncooked or raw incorporated into every snack and every meal will go a long way to help them digest and get more nutrients into their system from eating the same amount of food.

N: Talk about the need for alkaline acid balance that you speak of.

D: Your body has a natural blood pH of 7.365 and to support that natural pH, you need a certain amount of hydration and that be water and minerals and the water and minerals help keep that numbers supported in the blood. The best way to do that actually is by incorporating more vegetables into your diet because people a lot of times incorporate fruit more still than vegetable and fruit has the sugar content which can half the inflammatory factor and some other negative things that it can cause. I tried to really explain to people how eating more vegetables. If we look at their plate, I like 75% of their plate to be vegetables, maybe half of the 75% would be a salad or some raw vegetables, maybe some berries and the other half of the 75% would be some cooked vegetables and the remaining 25% could be something based on their own intuition of what they like to eat. My whole book is really about 18 chapters on all the different things support the body’s ability to heal and it’s just been so well-received because there’s really different approaches and different ideas that people are really accustomed to hearing. I have a lot of successful events, I personally coach people and do seminars, webinars, retreats, and just really getting this concept of your body’s natural ability to heal. And people are really just kind of take some of these ideas, and go home and incorporate it in and see some refreshing results in a very short period of time.

N: The book is called, ‘Simple Natural Healing.’ Is this to your first work, or your only work, or you have other books in works?

D: I was the co-author in another book called the ‘Energy of Healing’, but this is my first book. I enjoy writing and this is my first project with Morgan James Publishing.

N: What are your thoughts on supplementation? When it comes to beginning to eat more healthy, you’re talking about 75% of the plate being vegetables, you’re talking about raw foods being a portion. What about the supplements when we’re just not able to get some of these nutrients from the food that we’re eating no matter how we try?

D: I think sometimes, especially when people are suffering from an illness, sometimes in order to turn the corner, they do need to supplement to encouraging their body to heal. They might need probiotics and digestive enzymes, they might need to take multi-mineral or more magnesium, say for instance, if they have constipation. Definitely taking some things to heal their gut lining, if they were to have chronic diarrhea. Yes, I do have people use supplements when they are ill and we try and do get their body a healing. But once they’re healed, we tried incorporate foods that do this more naturally and they might just supplement with something basic if they like. But, usually definitely during the healing stage, you have to incorporate some supplements. I do agree with that.

N: When you’re coaching, do you focus on healing overall by changing the diet or do you change the diet specific to a client’s particular needs whether it be a health issue, or maybe a stamina issue, or maybe trying to get off of the stat.., Are your methods like ‘one-shot’ thing and eating this, doing this diet is going to help everything or there’s specific things for specific problems?

D: When I coach people, I actually have fixed levels of eating, I’m looking after bio individuality and seeing what’s wrong, how they are, how they eat now, what’s their life activities are, how their life is going overall, and how they currently eat. When someone was really in bad shape, had no appetite, maybe had a chronic illness that was in extremely disturbing level, or they had cancer, something that was really causing them a lot of troubles as far as eating, I would start them out at a level that would have very little fiber and a way to get nutrition in them just to start the healing process. Then they slowly as their body heal, they walk back towards eating levels that would allow them to eat more raw foods and things. We kind of walk with the individual slowly just based on their own individuality as far as what they can handle and we tried to just keep them stable and quality of life along the way, so it goes slow.

N: What about collaboration with a person’s current healthcare provider, when it comes to integrative modalities and traditional Western medical modalities.

D: That’s really important because most people, if they’re ill, they’re on some medications and they’re seeing their doctor, and you don’t have to have some different things that they’re doing or have done. When we start these some programs toward anti-inflammatory, we try to make sure that they’re seeing their health practitioner regularly to check for instance, their blood pressure and everything, all systems done, check their blood work because the doctors do end up adjusting their med for them as they progressively get better, they need less medication. Things start improving, so it’s really important for me that they stay in close touch with their doctor or their healthcare providers. We’re all working as a team.

N: And where can our listeners get a copy of ‘Simple Natural Healing’?

D: Simple Natural Healing’ is available at all everyone’s favorite bookstores. My website is has a tab that has all of the different bookstores that you could go, to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books, all of them, or you can take a look at the cover and see what it is, and look at some other thing that I have to offer. But, for the most part, everything is free on my site and there’s a link to my book. You can go look any type of book modality you would like you feel to get ‘Simple Natural Healing’.

N: Great. Well, it’s been a pleasure talking with you today Donna.

D: Thank you Neal, I really appreciate being on your show and you have a very happy new year.

N: You do the same. Thank you so much.

D: Thank You. Okay, bye.

N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard, in studio with Donna LaBar, certified Integrative Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at and also at, and you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.

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