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Anti- Inflammatory Diet Benefits: a Real Life Story

Clean Cuisine strives to help others understand what an anti-inflammatory diet / lifestyle looks like, how adopting this way of eating and living has changed our lives and how it can benefit your entire family and potentially change your life too. When we hear from our readers who share their life-changing and inspiring stories after following our program we are always overjoyed!

Here is a one real life story we just received from Leigh Ann, who followed the program outlined in our latest book, Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Program that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel. This one really hit home with us because Leigh Ann is Ivy’s same age and also a mom. Not only did she eliminate chronic pain but she has lost 20 pounds (and counting) and she is finding she has no desire to go back to her old ways. Leigh Ann went “cold turkey” and started seeing results in days. Her story is very inspiring.

A Clean Cuisine Real Life Story

Dear Clean Cuisine Family-

My name is Leigh Ann and I am a 38 year old Mom of two. For about two years I have had terrible joint paint from arthritis along with chronic hypertension (since my first pregnancy at age 23.) I was taking 4 ibuprofen pills, 3-4 times a day. I was fed up with feeling 20+ years older than I am. About 5 weeks ago, I did a goggle search on an anti-inflammatory diet and disease prevention and your Clean Cuisine book was one of the results. I am not sure exactly what originally drew me to your book, out of the others, but I purchased it from Amazon and read it that day. Ivy’s story resonated with me.

My first thought was NO WAY! I could never do this! Then I thought about how awful I feel day in and day out. So the next day I went cold turkey. I stopped all my horrible food habits – diet coke, copious amounts of sugar, refined flour, and drive thru’s. I have always cooked from scratch but with, what I now know to be, highly processed and dirty foods. All of my “good” foods were not on the Clean Cuisine program. From day one I have stuck to your lifestyle and, honest to goodness, within DAYS my pain was almost non-existent. I have not taken an ibuprofen since about day 2. Everyone I know asked if my withdrawal symptoms from my former diet were killing me (caffeine, sugar, etc.) And, I can honestly say no!

I believe that once I started giving my body the whole foods, there was no “fix” I needed. As if getting rid of my pain were not enough, for the first time in YEARS, my blood pressure is normal to low. I asked my doctor about a week in if she thought a diet for inflammation could help me and she said “No, that is ridiculous.” I am so happy I ignored her! I guess I kept thinking, if all these foods were in the Garden of Eden they must be what God intended us to eat. 😉 I am thrilled with how your lifestyle has changed mine, and my family’s. I just wanted you to know.

Leigh Ann H
Akron, Ohio

Leigh Ann

Photo of Leigh Ann

Interview with Leigh Ann

Leigh Ann, thank you so much for contacting Clean Cuisine. We were so pleased to hear your story! Can you tell us a bit more about how you got started following our anti inflammatory diet? You said you went cold turkey; did you literally throw out all the food in your refrigerator and pantry?

I began researching (and by research I mean Googling) Anti-inflammatory diets and Clean Cuisine was one of the books that came up in my search. I downloaded it to my Kindle app immediately and read most of the book that day. Something in Ivy’s story deeply resonated with me and I decided I really had nothing to lose since I was feeling so bad, physically. The next morning I went to the grocery store and began stocking up on essentials; super greens, almond milk, veggies, fruit, quinoa, etc. I began that day to eat the way Clean Cuisine teaches. However, I did not throw all my existing food out because I have a husband and two teenage girls who were a little more reluctant than I was to begin this new lifestyle. However, I am slowly replacing all of our unclean, highly processed foods with great clean foods. I am not sure I will ever be able to fully eradicate double stuffed oreos from my husband or girls’ diets, but a woman can try! But, for dinner every night my family eats whatever I make and all I have made since beginning this, are Clean Cuisine approved recipes.

Can you give us an example of your daily diet before you read the Clean Cuisine book and an example of what your daily anti-inflammatory diet looks like now?

My typical day before was sugary cereal, or no breakfast, fast food or junk food, for lunch, dinner was meat and sometimes a veggie. I was a big dairy consumer before. Not milk, but cheese, sour cream, butter and half and half in my coffee. And, I had lots and lots of diet coke and sugary snacks.

My typical day now begins with a smoothie. I use about 2 cups of super greens, almond milk, flax, 3 different colored fruits, and chia seeds. Lunch is a HUGE salad (of embarrassing proportion) with veggies, black beans or other beans, hemp seeds, and any other items I can find to throw in. It is never the same 🙂 Dinner is usually a very small serving of “good” pastured chicken, beef or fish (more in the serving if it is fish) and again lots of veggies. I only drink water, green tea or white tea now.

You said you feel so much better since you have changed your diet. What tips can you give others to get started and stay on track?

I sit down on Sunday and look through Ivy’s posts on Pinterest or the Clean Cuisine website recipes and plan out our dinners for the week. Since my mornings and afternoons are pretty standard, that is not as big a deal, I just make sure I have choices. I have switched HOW I buy food, also. I read labels, I buy organic and I ask questions at the meat department about where the meat is from. I buy everything I can at our regular (cheaper grocery store) and then finish up my weekly shopping at our local health food supermarket. We are on a tight budget, as most of us are these days. My biggest fear was that I could not afford to eat clean. I am spending a little more, but my tests results from the doctor just this week show that I am actually reversing damage in my body by eating this way. My other fear was that I would get tired of eating this way and having smoothies and salads every day. But, I found when you use different combinations of fruits and veggies no smoothie or salad ever tastes the same.

When I started I told myself, “even if I only do it 75% of the time, it is better than now”. The funny thing is I really have no desire to go back to my old habits because of how great I feel. I find a lot of inspiration on Pinterest following Ivy and others. I know this is cheesy but I always think “failing to plan is planning to fail” and that is so true on this plan.

What would you say has been the biggest reward, physically, since adopting the Clean Cuisine anti-inflammatory diet and changing your way of eating?

The absence of my pain is huge and such a blessing in itself! The second best thing is, I am already down 20lbs and the weight keeps coming off.

Have you convinced anyone else to make the changes you have made with Clean Cuisine?

I am a walking infomercial for Clean Cuisine. My sisters and Mom and Dad have all read, or, are reading the book. I have two friends who have purchased it and countless others who continually ask me questions about this journey based on the results they see in me.

This is so inspiring, Leigh Ann, is there anything else you would like to add?

One thing I would encourage anyone trying to stick to Clean Cuisine, is to find restaurants in the area that offer Vegan options or that have options you can go to in a pinch. No one wants to cook every night 🙂

I truly wish that I could help people understand, that if I can do this, they can. It can change their life! Any amount of change they make will make a difference. We do not have to live half-lives settling for treatments and prescriptions. We can repair our bodies from the damage. The change I felt, even as early as 7 days in, is my motivation!

Share YOUR Story!!!

If you have followed the anti-inflammatory diet outlined in Clean Cuisine and would like to share your story with us, we would love to hear from you! Please email We will send you a special appreciation gift for taking the time to reach out to us.

If you are having trouble sticking to the Clean Cuisine anti-inflammatory diet program or feel you could benefit from some additional nutrition counseling and guidance please contact one of our Clean Cuisine Nutrition Consultants HERE.

Ivy Larson

In 2010, Clean Cuisine was launched because Ivy Larson wanted to share her anti-inflammatory lifestyle and delicious recipes using ingredients in their most natural and nutrient-rich state. In 2020, Ivy passed the website to Aimee and Madison. Since then, they have been adding new recipes and nutrition posts while updating old recipes and articles. Thanks for visiting Clean Cuisine!

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