Saturday, June 15, 2013

A new way of eating

Well, things have gotten interesting around here in the food department. While I don't post about my rheumatoid arthritis often, becaue it has become so linked with my diet, I wanted to share with you some interesting information that perhaps you may be interested in applying to your own health.

So, to make a long story short...I've been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for a year and a half. The hardest part for me is the joint pain and the fatigue. It's like having the flu without any cold symptoms. When it's bad I can't get out of bed. I'm cranky. I'm sore. I'm no fun to be around. The doctors have suggested going on some pretty strong meds for the rest of my life. For someone who doesn't even take Tylonal, this is hard to stomach. So I did my research and explored other options. 

Which leads me to the important role that food can play in your health. A few weeks ago, I won a food sensitivity testing from Doodle's preschool and last week, I got the results. It turns out I am "highly sensitive" to a great number of foods: eggs, legumes (all beans except adzuke, mung and black eyed peas), apples, strawberries, all dairy (even goat's milk). well, those are the big ones. 

How does this relate to my RA? Researchers are now discovering that food sensitivites can bring about an inflammatory response in your body. Bombard your body with foods you're sentive to day after day, year after year and you can develop all sorts of illnesses including autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cancer to name a few. (*I am by NO means a doctor and I am NOT giving medical advice here, just sharing my own experience in hopes that you will ask your own questions). So the idea is if you avoid these certain foods, your body's system can recover and settle and the symptoms will go away. 

Let me tell you by experience this is easier said than done for this here foodie!!! But I'm trying! The nutritionist who did my testing also explained that it's a good idea to have your diet be on a four day roation system, that way, no one food is repeated until four days later, so that if you do react with some inflammation, you give yourself four days to recover. She placed all the foods I am able to eat into four I just see what day I'm on and only eat food from that particular column (this goes for drinks as well...before, I was using coconut milk all the time! Now I alternate between coconut, almond, hemp, flax and rice. 

I am on day 7 of this diet and I have to say that two days ago, for two days straight, I experienced a full 48 hours of being symptom free (for the first time in a year and a half) it felt miraculous and I am so motivated by the results that I am trying my hardest to stick to it!!

So, if the recipes seem a bit different in the next coming months, this is why. In a few weeks I'll be able to add back my sensitive foods, one at a time and see if I am still reacting to them. If I am, I'll need to wait another 6 months before trying them again. 

Here are some online resources if you're interested in the subject of food elimination!

Alcat Testing (this is one of the diagnostic tests I used)


  1. it is hard.. but it's so worth it!

    i have a collection of AI issues, including dysautonomia (my central nervous system is fried and unable to regulate even such thigns as body temp, heart rate, digestion, etc...) RA, a neuro issue they think (after several years of symptoms and testing) might be MS (but which we thought was parkinson's so I'm thrilled with MS as my option), fibro, chronic fatigue, and sarcoidosis (where my body takes Vitamin D, from any source and uses it to leaches calcium from my body, developing little clumps similar to tumors in my organs and lymph nodes and calcium becomes bone spurs and kidney stones. YAY! so i avoid the SUN and dairy like the plague! LOL! A glass of milk can leave me bedridden for a week...)

    What you said about feeling like you have to flu all the time... yeah. that's basically it...

    I learned a LOT over the last few years. I commend you. it's so difficult to make all these changes... and to stick to them. it's easier tho once you start looking at an ice cream cone and seeing it as not being able to climb the stairs because your knees hurt. I still have to take the meds... I'll start on a cocktail of chemo drugs again this summer likely for the rest of my life. last time i stopped, i just got worse. i will NOT go back on prednisone or any other steroid again, though. EVER. unless they can without a DOUBT tell me i will be dead by morning without it.... and then i will STILL have to think about it...

    But.. I avoid milk (and products), and try to eat pretty much gluten free. There's also lists out there of anti-imflammatory foods. You might take a look at the anti-inflammatory diets and include it with your sensitivities and see if it doesn't help. sometimes just getting the inflammation system wide under control can help quell those out of control food *non-allergies*. also a tart cherry supplement (an herbal available at the grocery store or health food store) has done more good for me for pain and inflammation control than ANYTHING else. I can actually tell tomorrow if i miss my dose today....

    we also got rid of ALL ALL ALL artificial sweeteners, sodas, and I avoid as much HFCS as I can in this day and age. if you haven't ditched those yet, i would HIGHLY recommend it. We eat predominantly fresh fruits and veggies, and I drive an hour for pasture fed hormone free beef and pork, and free range chicken for eggs and chicken. (They're a small butcher, so other than the gas to get there, I stock up my freezer once a month based on sales-one month might be a freezer full or pork the next chicken, then beef.... and we keep it all in rotation buying what we need to keep from eating the same thing every day... although honestly, probably 4 days a week is grilled chicken in a marinade f jams i make at home, balsamic vinegar, and EVOO....

    good luck! i'm excited to see what recipes you share!

  2. Yikes! Good luck, Jennifer! You'll have to let me know which of the four columns baked-goods falls under, then I'll bring those over on that designated day sometime soon. ;)

  3. Thanks so much for sharing Mel. It's amazing how much our bodies go through! I hope you are feeling better. This whole shift in cooking and diet has been such a learning process, but I know it's working, evidenced by the fact that I ate a slice of pizza a few days ago and all my symptoms came back. That's motivation enough to continue. And Kasey, check out the cookie recipe I posted today!!! I can totally eat them!


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