**Update on diet changes & RA

*Update* I am having huge successes in alleviating my symptoms from changing my diet!! Please if you are visiting and have RA...try this. Or contact me... I am not only a mission to fix myself but to help others!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Break & Happy Holidays

Hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner. 

I am continuing to do well with controlling my RA with nutrition.  I feel strong and know that I will continue with this method.  I hope there are others out there finding as much relief as I am.

On a scarier note, we have been faced with some potentially bad news regarding my mom's health.  I have decided to take a break from this blog and focus all of my attention on her and our family.  I believe in the power of positive thinking so send good vibes our way!!  I will be back when I can.

Merry Christmas to you all.  Enjoy your holidays and give your mom's a big kiss. xx

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Understanding RA

Things are going great for me.  My hands & feet are fabulous.  I'm still elated.

But I found a post on another RA bloggers site that makes me realize I am not out of the woods.  This is working for me NOW and I intend on continuing with this journey for the rest of my life.  Hmm...wouldn't it be nice if RA left my body as abruptly as it started.  Has that ever happened?

Here is a link to that post http://warmsocks.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/understanding-not/  Below is a copy. It gives a very real depiction of what having RA feels like.

Imagine getting sick, pampering yourself so your body can recover, but staying sick despite your best efforts. Finally you go to the doctor. Usually the doctor figures out what’s wrong and provides a treatment plan, so you figure that in a few weeks you’ll be back to your old self, healthy again.
Now imagine that you didn’t recover. Instead of returning to health, you return to your doctor. Your doctor tells you that you have an incurable disease. Untreated, your illness can result in kidney damage, heart disease, lung disease, and deformity. Having this disease means that your life-expectancy is ten years less than it otherwise would have been. Within five years you’ll probably be unable to walk.
“Fortunately,” your doctor adds, “in the past ten years, some new drugs have been developed. They will not cure you, but for many people, these medications will postpone the deformity and organ damage. If you’re one of the lucky ones who are helped by these medications, you might not need a wheelchair for another fifteen or twenty years.”
Unfortunately, you can’t take the new wonder drugs. They’re extremely expensive, and you have to try the less expensive medications (the ones that result in the aforementioned debilitation) before insurance will pay to try the medications that have been shown to help.
Stunned, you try to deal with this tragic news.
You’d like a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. As you come to grips with your new reality, friends call. They ask if you’re feeling better, or inquire how it went at the doctor’s office. You’d like some sympathy and understanding. Instead, people respond with:

•Just take some ibuprofen; you’ll be fine.

•You should take glucosamine.

•Oh, I have that in my neck. You should see my chiropractor.

•Oh, I have that in my little finger. I take tylenol when it hurts too bad.

•Oh, I have that in my left knee. I just take motrin.

•Oh, I have that in my shoulder. It’s not that bad.

The average person has never heard of autoimmune diseases. They don’t realize that an immune system gone postal is nothing like the wear-and-tear that some people experience.

Monday, December 6, 2010

So long prednisone!

Good news.  I've officially (and successfully) weaned off of prednisone!  It took a little while but I'm finally done.  I had been on it for 2 yrs.  I went from 20mg, down to 10mg, down to 5mg, then down to 2.5mg.  It is a hard drug to get off of... I had a few days where I felt pretty drained.  But now, I can officially say that I take zero prescription meds and am feeling better than I did when I was on all of them! 

I've also got some other good news...I've heard from a few other RA bloggers out there that they have tried the elimination diet and it's been successful for them too!!  That makes me happy!  I hope more people give it a shot. 

Have a wonderful day all.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bad blogger!!

I've been so busy that I neglected my blog :(

The good news is, I'm feeling excellent.  I have been sticking to my restricted diet and loving it.  I had a small flare up this past weekend though.  My husband and I went to his work Christmas party and I ate steak and potatoes.  I knew I would likely pay for it and I did. I imagine there was cream and butter in the potatoes!  Luckily it was only a day. 

It's so funny because I sometimes shock myself that I am controlling my diet and not cheating.  It just feels so wonderful to feel good and normal upon waking that it makes it easy to eat this way. 

Speaking of food, not much has changed.  I'm still eating the basics (which is actually quite a long list)  I avoid wheat, dairy, corn, sugar and banana's)  I avoid anything with sugar or preservatives.  I eat simple things- salad with chicken, goat cheese & avocado.  I eat nuts and larabars for treats.  Still loving the chocolate almond milk.  I guess you could say I'm sort of avoiding testing foods for fear of a flare up.  I'm ok with that.  I've got enough variety to keep me happy!!

My hands are strong in the morning!  I can change a diaper, open a jar and do up my bra.  They don't look normal (permanent joint damage, swollen looking nuckles) but they feel normal!!  Yay for me.

For all you others out there on restricted diets... are you worried about getting through the holidays or are you prepared?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Perfect combo

I feel so lucky to have the right combination of foods and supplements.  I have been feeling great and loving it.

Not sure what changed... perhaps the new Vitamin D is helping me.   Perhaps I've finally got the right combo of foods- a good mix of healthy and satisfying.  I love my unsweetened chocolate milk and nuts for treats.   I started having some almond butter on brown rice cakes and it's yummy.

I've got lots of energy to work out everyday and my hands and feet work like they are supposed to when I wake up!

It saddens me that some people with RA that are in such terrible pain feel they can't give this nutrition test a try.  What do you have to lose.... you would know if food was the culprit in about 4 days.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Time to regroup!

My corn/ nacho chip test has sent me spinning out of control!  Eek.  That or the cheese that I've been having.  I know it's bad when I feel it in my feet.

It reminds me of when my RA first reared it's ugle head.  I was 18 and had just started working for a hi tech company.  Within days of starting I noticed me feet were really sore to walk on.  I limped around for months.  People would ask what was wrong and I would just shrug my shoulders and say I didn't know. 

Anyway, like I always say- I know what I need to do to get back to good ;) 

I did finally find some new Vitamin D pills.  I took Kat's advice and tried the NOW brand.  Nothing in it other than vit D and olive oil.  Thanks Kat!!  Hopefully that will make a difference in bringing down my inflammation.

My achilles is totally healed up.  I've hung up my running shoes (for now) and have been spinning everyday on my bike on a trainer. 

Question for all you healthy eaters!!  I am looking for good tasting treats.  You know, something that is healthy but doesn't taste healthy.  I have come to terms with knowing that I'll likely not ever get to induldge in some of my faves (cheese, chocolate, warm bread with butter!) But I know there's some good stuff out there!  My current treats are apples and nuts (um, can you say boring!)  I also use unsweetened chocolate almond milk, and while I love it, it's getting a little old. 
So...let me know what your treats are!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Doubts about food test

Well, I've been a busy little girl.  Buying, preparing, cooking all my safe foods.  Things are going swell! 

I did however get to thinking back to my food test and started to wonder how accurate it was/is.  Here is a little blurb about the test:

The Biotron electrodermal testing

device works on traditional Chinese acupuncture points for
sensitivity using low levels of electricity rather than needles.
You simply hold a probe in one hand and the technician
touches your finger with another.

I was desperate when I went.  I was suprised to find that some of my most sensitivie/allergic foods were things I was consuming every day!! (sugar, banana, corn to name a few).

Anyhow, on Friday I decided to eat 3 nacho chips.  The primary ingredient being corn!  I knew it was risky but felt I wanted to test it.  I woke up yesterday stiff in the hands and today while my hands aren't quite as bad, my feet are bad.  So, I agree with the food test- staying far away from corn!  Feels good to really truly believe it now.

Hope everyone is well!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Super duper

The last few days, I've felt super!  I am quite certain that my Vitamin D pills have been the source of some recent flares.  Since removing it, I feel so wonderful again. It really goes to show you that even health products, vitamins and supplements can not be good for certain people.

I still have to go and replace the Vit D.  It's seems to be all I read about, how crucial and important it is these days.  Especially at this time of the year when we see little sunlight. 

I had chili for dinner on Sunday.  It was risky but most of the ingredients were safe, new to the list was tomato sauce and kidney beans.  So far so good and to make sure I tested them again I made a big pot of chili a few days ago and have eaten a few bowls.  I also have had some cheese the last few days.  Cheese has always been one of my absolute faves so it was something that would be nice to be able to have!  So, the list is growing and I'm feeling good!

Today it is Rememberance Day and we are going down to the Mission to volunteer with lunch in honor of my recently passed away mother in law.  I'm sure that once I see the food there, I will never complain that my food list is on the small side.  We are all so lucky.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lucky gal I am

I've spent the last hour or so catching up on some other RA blogs.  I love reading other people's trials & tribulations with this disease.  It makes me realize that when I feel like I am the only one, I am not.  And in fact, I have it pretty darn good compared to a lot of people.  I am lucky that it's not worse.

Surprisingly, I am finding a lot of other young mom's that are struggling with RA.  So many people think that it only strikes old people.  So many people really have to idea what it's like to have RA. 

I'm sure a lot of people who come across my blog think I'm nuts for going off my meds and seeking relief through nutrition.  I wish that some of those people would try it.

Speaking of going off meds, does anyone have any advice on tapering off of prednisone?  I am down to 2.5 and would like to continue down to 0!!

I stopped taking my Vitamin D and I feel good.  Still working at getting back to where I
was and I know that I will be there soon. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Today Part 2!

I have good news... I figured out what caused the flare.... I'm not 100% sure but pretty darn sure. 

Remember a few months back, I went for food sensitivity testing to help me along with this process?  Well my big red flags were Corn, refined sugar, banana, orange, chocolate and my beloved caffeine.

I have been taking 2 Vitamin D pills every morning.  Sometimes one, sometimes two, sometimes one at breakfast and one at lunch.... anyhow, I changed it up and have been taking 3 pills at night right before bed.  I have been doing this for about 4 or 5 days....  and I checked today when I realized that it was the only new thing I've done and guess what it has in it....  CORN!!  Yikes.  My number one food to avoid. 

Problem solved!  I am going back to the way I was eating and avoiding my Vitamin D's for a few days!  I will get a good quality replacement with no corn! 

Big sigh of relief!  I was starting to go crazy!

Back to day 1?

Yikes...woke up very sore and stiff in the hands today.  I'm pretty stumped.  I have been careful and adding food slowly.  I can't see the knuckle wrinkles on a few fingers so that's not good. 

I have a very busy day of appts and clients, not to mention teaching a bootcamp class tonight so I'm going to go back to the food basics (and I mean basic) and I think tomorrow if I'm no better, I will go back to the bare bones and magnesium citrate to start fresh. 

Growing up, I was an avid sleepwalker!  My hubby thinks maybe I'm sleep eating!!  Haha.

Here's my new list of basics:
sweet potato
rice protein with water

That's it!  I still have a ton of faith in this process.... it just seems to be testing me.  Eating out proves to be a bad idea. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Truckin' Along

Well, rough few days... but getting there.  Every time I eat out, although I try to order very carefully, I have a flare.  And the flares seem to last 3-4 days or sometimes longer.  I am being so very careful and drinking lots of water to flush myself. 

I appreciate everyone's opinion/advice on the supplements.  So far, I must say that I don't notice a big difference with anything but I know that they are providing something.  I don't eat fish so I know I am low in efa's.  I will be purchasing a good quality Vit C supplement for sure! 

I know a few people have contacted me and are trying the diet...  Goodluck to you all (you know who you are..)  I'm here if you need an ear or have questions!  It's a toughie!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Question for fellow RA'ers or vitamin people!

So, I am now taking quite a few supplements... and some days I take some in the morning and some at night... and some days I space them out...  I don't really know when to take them...do you?

Here's the list:
1.5 teaspoons of Cyto-Matrix Omega D-3
2 probiotics (HFM Forte)
2 Natural anti-inflammatories (Inflammatrix by Cyto-Matrix)
4 Vitamin D pills
2 Calcium pills
1 Materna (prenatal vitamin....we are planning a 2nd at some point!)

It feels like a lot of pills but compared to some, it's not that bad.  After my friend Cam's post on http://www.arthritis-alternatives.com/  I realize that I should also add Vitamin C to the mix.  Can anyone recommend a brand?  Is the Costco brand ok?

I take 2.5mg of prednisone in the morning.  I am waiting to get to the doc to reduce that!

I typically take the Omega 3 at night.  My thinking is that since mornings are the toughest, that the oil will help lubricate the joints while I'm sleeping?

Is it ok to jam down 6 or 7 pills at one time?  Thanks...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On the Mend!!

Well, it's stopped raining in my world!  My flare is back under control and my achilles tendinitis is basically gone!  I found the most amazing physiotherapist and I've been a good patient, doing my exercises daily.

Food has been back to basics with no new additions to get out of this flare.  I've been learning to love steamed broccoli (key word there is learning!)  I have been enjoying my freshly juiced veggie juice!  Something feels very organic and healthy about drinking beets, kale, carrots and celery.  I think it's really good for my body and immune system.

Something I have learned is I have some pretty strong cravings while I'm PMS'ing!  I'm past it now but I had a few days where I was actually holding onto a bad of chocolate chips!!  It took some major inner strength to put them down!!  haha.

And on that note, I must say that I really love getting people's posts and comments.  It really keeps me going knowing that people are reading and following, so thank you all!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Icky day

How does that saying go... when it rains it pours??  Things were going so great and I ate a few questionable foods and boom, big flare!

I ate Lone Star on Sunday evening.  I had made a healthy beef stew at home with all my allowed foods (carrots, celery, beef) but when I went to my father in laws for dinner and I saw all the beef and chicken, I thought it might be ok.  I only had about 3 pieces of each but boy did it taste good (and different from my plain old bbq'd meat with sea salt!!)  I wonder what exactly they put on it?  Salt, butter, and what else?  Does anyone have any guesses....well whatever it was it sent me into a flare!

Then I really hurt my achilles... after my run and workout on Sat I knew something wasn't right.  When I woke up Sunday, I could barely walk.  Long story short- got to the doc and physio and I have achilles tendinitis.  Very common and very treatable.  Just means I have to rest... (yuck... I'm not so good at that...) and do some rehab exercises. 

Oh well....  it's all part of it.  Live and learn.  The few times I have taken a risky chance, I've flared up.  I need to stick to it, no exceptions!!

On a positive note, I went to NutriChem yesterday and bought some new supplements.  I'm trying the most potent Omega 3 supplement that is on the market.  Cyto-Matrix Omega D 3 Forte and Inflammatrix, which is a turmeric based natural anti-inflammatory.  I'll see how they work!~

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Great article!

Good Sunday morning!  I just came across a super article....  it's nothing that we don't already know but I love reading well written and logical research from doctors to support what I am doing!!  Check it out...


Saturday, October 23, 2010


Things are going great on my end.  I haven't been adding foods as often as I should, but I'm enjoying the use of my hands and feet so much I don't want to send myself into a flare!!  I mean, it's part of the process but I'm being selfish!

My son turned 2 this past week and there were a few parties here for him.  That means some baking (cupcakes) and other treats (pizza, chips, etc)  I fully admit and take responsibility for sneaking a bite of a cupcake but other than that, things have been going very well.

I successfully added pork, which is nice as I have lots of options for dinner now (steak, chicken, pork, eggs, hamburger)

Today I pulled out our juicer and made a nice fresh juice.  I was in a "let's get healthier" mood.... which I tend to do about once a month!!  Haahaa.  I used some safe foods- carrots, apple, celery..and added 2 newbies- beets and ginger.  It tasted good.  My 2 yr. old was even fighting me for it!!  I don't mind letting him drink that!

On another note, I have been researching Omega 3 EFA's (essential fatty acids) and I think I'm going to change my curreny brand.  I was using Nutrasea, then at the recommendation of a friend, switched to Metagenics (which I think is an excellent brand)  but I just spoke to a rep for Cyto-Matrix and it turns out their supplement has much more EPA (1750mg) and DHA (875mg) as well as Vit D (1000 IU).  They also carry a product called Inlammatrix which is what my Naturopath suggested, I just couldn't find it. 

It's too bad my benefits don't cover all these proactive supplements....just the big bad meds that I'm staying away from!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Status Quo....

Nothing exciting to report!  I am doing extremely well, feeling great and trucking along!!  I am adding pork tomorrow!  I successfully added broccoli.

I bought spaghetti squash for my fam so I will likely add that in the next few days.

My hands and feet are feeling normal and well!!  I am running, doing weights, kickboxing and the only soreness that I am having is good soreness from working out!

I am curious if anyone out there has made any diet changes to get RA relief?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Feeling fine....

Well it's been a few days since my last post.  Things have been going extremely well.  I successfully added eggs which has been nice!  I love eggs. 

Then I added goat cheese and shortly after hummus (probably a little too soon)  I have some slight swelling in my hands but it's not very bad.  I'm going to eliminate them both and try adding something else.  Probably a veggie of some sort.  I'm really enjoying roasting parsnips, sweet potato and carrots- it caramalizes them and they taste great!!  Hmmm...anybody have any suggestions for another great "roasted" veggie??  I'm stumped.... 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello All!
It's Thanksgiving and it looks beautiful outside.  One thing I've noticed of late (since feeling good) is that my outlook is much more positive.  I've always been a happy positive girl, but some mornings waking up in so much pain, really took it's toll on me and my attitude. 

Now when I wake up, I feel energized and pain free.  It's like a gift every morning.  I am trying not to take it for granted.  I have realized that I have been successful in relieving my RA pain by changing my diet.  It's so amazing.  I hope that other RA sufferers will read this and give it a shot.  Some people think that eating in such a strict and controlled manner is one of the most difficult things, but really?  If it helps your disease, the way you feel, gives you the option of going off of serious drugs & meds?  Doesn't seem that hard to me. 

Some people have been asking me to update my food list and how I got started... so I'm going to recap ;)  I started my elimination diet on August 1st.  The diet info can be found here  http://www.frot.co.nz/dietnet/reviews/mcferran01.htm

I found this site after I was told I needed to go on an IV drug for my RA.  I was on a lot of meds (naproxyn, plaquenil, prednisone, Humira injections).  This diet changed my RA and now I am in the process of cycling off of prednisone.  Then I won't be on any meds!!

My friend, Cam, has some very informative and great posts (especially her latest about RA and fasting) ... check it out at:

Here is my current safe food list (keep in mind, it has been a process... lots of ups & downs)

Veggies:  sweet potato, celery, carrots, spinach, cucumber
Fruit: mango, blueberries, POM juice
Meat: chicken, beef
Other:  SunWarrior rice protein, rice milk, rice crackers, olive oil, sea salt, flax seed, almonds, eggs
Supplements:  probiotics, omega 3
Oh and just introduced goat cheese yesterday!!

Happy Thanksgiving all!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

RA Awareness

A typical evening for me usually goes something like this... make dinner, eat dinner, put baby down, crawl into bed with my laptop and research RA.  I try to find other blogs like mine and almost every single night I manage to find one about someone that is suffering with RA.

There are not a lot that I can find that are directly related to diet but I'm sure I just haven't stumbled on them. 

It makes me realize that I am one of the lucky ones that decided to try this elimination diet. There are a lot of people that have RA that are on lots of serious medications.  I am still taking 2.5mg of prednsione and I plan to try calling my rheumatologist again soon to request an appt and also request a lower dose prescription.  I feel ready to ditch the prednisone!  It's about time, in Dec. it will be 2 years on them.

I found this great link and decided to share... it's a good description of RA!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kickboxing, running & good eats

Things are going great.  I am feeling well and my hands & feet are amazing.  I have a terrible cold but that's the least of my worries. 

It's amazing how much better I feel mentally when I have no or little pain.

Just getting ready to put my little fella down, have 2 eggs (still testing them out, but so far so good) then a run on the treadmill followed by some kickboxing.  It's also great to get to chose my workouts by how I feel, opposed to, "what can I do while my hands and feet don't work" 

Happy hump day!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Energetic & pain free

Not a lot to report other than feeling fantastic and going strong.  I added eggs yesterday. 

Saturday night I had a few glasses of wine at a friends party and I was hurtin yesterday!!  I have to remember that I don't eat as much as I used to and I can't handle as much wine as I used to as well!!  Lesson learned.  At least I just had a hangover, as opposed to being flared up, stiff, sore and hung over!

I still can't get over how good it feels to wake up with no pain in my hands & feet.  I'm now over 2 months into this diet experiment and I can't believe that diet is such a huge factor in RA.  I believe this whole heartedly.

And..... I have been in contact with other people that are having similar results.  It's so amazing.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ready to run again

Wow, I'm back to feeling the best I have again!!  I realized something huge yesterday!  Since I was taking rice protein and rice milk with zero probs, I started eating rice crackers.  The brand I was buying included only rice and sea salt (no prob right!)  I realized that I bought the no name brand, or actually I think it was the "irresistables" and I ate some a few days ago... here's what's in them:
1. japonica rice
2. sunflower oil
3. corn maltodextrin *YIKES!!*
4. sea salt

Um, there's my problem!!  I know it.  Corn is a big no no according to my food sensitivity testing.

Me yelling at myself "Smarten Up, read labels girl!!!"

Anyways- I've been super good with nothing new or out of the ordinary and I feel amazing again.  So good that I plan to go for a nice run on the treadmill when my babe goes down for his nap.  So funny that I could barely walk on Thursday, yet ready to take on the world & run Sat by altering my diet.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's a NEW day :)

Happy Friday everyone!  I woke up today feeling significantly better!  I didn't eat very much yesterday but I did limit the rice milk and I must have drank about 5 litres of water.  Anyway- it feels good!!

I was up late lastnight researching and I ended up coming across some really great blogs about RA.  I swear most people with blogs are professional writers- they are so well written.  I've added a few new blogs to my side bar- check them out!!

After reading lastnight, it reminds me of a few important factors.  Firstly, most people with RA have what they call leaky gut syndrome (sounds lovely huh?)  Well, this is a very common problem with lots of people.  It is basically little holes along your GI tract that allows undigested food particles into your body.  They say that health starts in the gut and if you do have leaky gut, then you will have health problems.  In a study done, they found out of 100 people tested with RA, all 100 of them had leaky gut!!!  So, it was a good reminder for me to continue taking my probiotics. 

Secondly, I was reminded of how lucky I am to have the option of testing my food sesitivities while going off my meds.  While I try not to complain, there are others out there that are much worse than I.  I actually have it pretty good and the fact that I am able to function and live without any meds (minus prednisone) is amazing.  Some people are in such debilitating pain that they simply can't go off their meds, it's just not an option.  For this reason, I will not feel deprived when I can't eat what everyone else is eating, it's a choice for my health... a smart choice that I have to take seriously.

Here is an article that I came across on a random website...  it was a good read. (A tad long though)  Enjoy!!

Arthritis may be an allergic response to materials in the food supply. Diet

revision may be helpful in reducing the activity of inflammatory arthritis and

in some instances may halt the progression of the disease. There are many

patterns of arthritis. A group of related joint and connective disorders have

been called rheumatic diseases. All these diseases are immune-mediated, and all

are expressions of inflammation in connective tissues. Inflammation damages

joints and surrounding tissues resulting in loss of function and deformities.

Variations in the patterns of these diseases reflect the many possibilities for

immune damage to disturb and distort structure and function. Severity ranges

from mildly painful, chronic activity to drastic, disabling disease. Rheumatoid

arthritis, often severe and disabling, is the dominant rheumatic disease that

can attack all joints in the body.

Rheumatoid arthritis is often considered to be an autoimmune disease. Our idea

is that no disease is just internally generated and must involve outside

contributions. Arthritis is often associated with inflammatory bowel disease.

The mechanisms of food allergy link abnormal gastrointestinal Tract (GIT)

function with immune attacks on connective tissue. In all arthritic patients,

normal GIT function should be rigorously sought by adaptive dietary adjustments.

Simple allergic arthritis is a definite entity that is often not recognized as a

food allergy. Typically, a dramatic, acute, and painful swelling develops in one

or more joints asymmetrically. Eating a food, either an unusual food eaten for

the first time or sometimes a regular food eaten in excess usually brings on the

joint inflammation. This presentation is similar to and often confused with

gout. Any food can cause allergic arthritis. Staple foods such as milk, eggs,

and wheat (rye, oats, barley), coffee, beef, pork, and food additives are the

most common food triggers. Carinini and Brostroff reviewed the concepts of and

evidence for food-induced arthritis. They stated:

Despite an increasing interest in food allergy and the conviction of innumerable

patients with joint disease that certain foods exacerbate their symptoms,

relatively little scientific attention has been paid to this relationship.

Abnormalities of the gastrointestinal tract are commonly found in rheumatic

disease...Support for an intestinal origin of antigens comes from studies of

patients whose joint symptoms have improved on the avoidance of certain foods

antigens, and become worse on consuming them. These have included patients with

both intermittent symptoms, palindromic rheumatism and more chronic disease.

In another study, 33 of 45 patients with rheumatoid arthritis improved

significantly on a hypoallergenic diet. The authors concluded: Increasing

numbers of scientific studies suggest that dietary manipulation may help at

least some rheumatoid patients and perhaps the greatest need now is for more

careful and well-designed research so that preconceptions may be put aside and

role of diet, as a specific or even a nonspecific adjunctive therapy, may be


Unfortunately, dairy products, wheat and its close relatives, oats, barley, and

rye, have proved to be a major problem in the diets of our patients. There are

many possible reasons for cereal grains to become pathogenic. Hypersensitivity

mechanisms triggered by grain proteins, collectively called Gluten, are the

likely cause of the illnesses related to intake of cereal grains. Gluten is a

mixture of individual proteins classified in two groups, the prolamines and the

Glutelins. The prolamine fraction of gluten concerns us the most when grain

intolerance is suspected. The prolamine, gliadin, seems to be a problem in

celiac disease; gliadin antibodies are commonly found in the immune complexes

associated with this disease. Recently marketed grains, spelt and kamut, are

wheat variants (despite claims to the contrary) and are likely to cause problems

similar to other wheat varieties.

A wheat gluten mechanism has been studied in rheumatoid arthritis patients. The

clinical observation is that wheat ingestion is followed within hours by

increased joint swelling and pain. Little and his colleagues studied the

mechanism, as it developed sequentially following gluten ingestion. Dr. Parke

and colleagues concurred with this explanation of the gut-arthritis link in

their report of three patients with celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The

mechanism involves several stages:

* GIT must be permeable to antigenic proteins or peptide fragments, derived

from digested gluten.

* The food antigens appear in the blood stream and are bound by a specific

antibody (probably of IgA or IgG, not IgE class), forming an antigen-antibody

complex, a circulating immune complex (CIC).

* The antigen-antibody complex then activates the rest of the immune response,

beginning with the release of mediators - serotonin is released from the blood


* Serotonin release causes symptoms as it circulates in the blood stream and

enhances the deposition of CICs in joint tissues.

Once in the joint, the immune complexes activate complement, which in turn

damages cells and activates inflammation. More inflammation results in more

pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of mobility.

Arthritis is usually treated with salicylates or related anti-inflammatory drugs

generally referred to as NSAIDs. These drugs alleviate the terrible pain of

active arthritis but do not favorably affect the outcome of the disease. All

anti-arthritic medication can produce asthma or chronic rhinitis and a variety

of allergic skin rashes. Gastrointestinal surface irritation, bleeding, and

ulceration are routine problems of anti-arthritic medication.

The first attack of joint swelling and pain should be treated as an urgent

problem to be solved. Inflammation may damage joints. Often NSAIDs and

physiotherapy are the only treatments prescribed and inflammation is given every

opportunity to ravage tissues. We have seen countless patients, just treated

with NSAIDs, who progressed rapidly to a severe disabling disease, often with

poor pain control. In unlucky patients, severe deformities of joints accumulate

in the first few months of a severe attack. There is a trend to recommend more

aggressive treatments, using drugs that impair the immune response. The best

drug is prednisone, but it is seldom used because it has long-term side effects

which scare both physicians and patients. Prednisone is often a magic drug that

relieves terrible pain and suffering often in the first 48 hours of therapy.

Beyond prednisone, there is a grab bag of immune suppressant drugs to treat

arthritis-chloroquine, penicillamine, gold and methotrexate have emerged as the

favored drug therapies. All these drugs have impressive side effects and great

potential for toxicity.

Our preference is to try to stop the inflammatory activity as soon as possible

with diet revision. All inflammation is likened to a fire. You get out the

fire-extinguishers and go to work. No matter what pattern the immune attack

assumes, our standard defense can be tried first. The Core Program method of

diet revision is used. Food is replaced with an elemental nutrient formula,

ENFood, for a clearing period of 10 to 20 days. Prednisone and/or NSAIDs are

drug options during the clearing period and then the dosage is reduced after

pain and swelling have subsided. Improvement is followed by slow food

reintroduction (see Core Program). Each returning food is carefully screened for

arthritis- triggering effects. You hope that food allergy caused the problem and

that food control can be successful controlling the disease in the long- term.

Nothing is lost by taking this approach and complete control of the disease can

sometimes be obtained. If strict food control proves to be inadequate, then

other drug treatments can be instituted.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Broken feet

Today is not a very good day.  My feet are extremely bad.  It feels as though I have broken the balls of my feet.  I am limping and walking on my heels. 

I'm chalking this up to be a bad flare from last week.  It's just taking a while for it to clear.

I went out yesterday and bought more probiotics and very good quality fish oil.  I am going to drink a ton of water and stick to plain safe food.

One thing that crossed my mind is I'm drinking quite a bit of rice milk.  While there is no added sugar in it, I wonder if the natural sugar in it is contributing to this flare?  Not sure... maybe I should go back to mixing my rice protein with water (gag).

It's got to go up from here!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back up

Just woke up and my hands are terrific.  But my feet are horrible!  I haven't had a foot flare up since before this process, it was in late July that they got bad.  Which reminds me, that I've now been on this elimination diet for almost 2 months.  I haven't had any dairy, wheat, or sugar (except for the arrowroot incident) in almost 60 days!

My joints have never felt better, I used to flare just as bad on my meds.  My mental state and mood is much better too! (not that I was some grumpy old bitch, but I had my days!) and I've lost about 12 lbs. (always a wonderful side effect!!)

I wonder what is going on my feet.  Is it a delayed response from the curry paste that most likely had corn in it?  I don't know, but I have been good and not added anything since that meal last Thursday.  Oh well, I'm going to take it easy today and get myself under control.

I have been running a lot on my treadmill, I guess I have to give that a few days off too (sniff sniff)

Anybody have any suggestions of a smart healthy food for me to try in the next few days (when I'm clear of course) ?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Seeing the light!

I see the light at the end of the tunnel!  I am not 100%, but I am so much better today.  My hands are pretty well back to the way they were, minus a swollen baby finger.  The other odd thing is my feet are sore.  I haven't had sore feet in a long time.

I remember they used to be so bad some days that I could barely walk.  I would walk with a limp, shuffling my feet, trying to avoid putting any pressure on the balls of them.  It felt like I was walking on hard marbles.  Today, I feel a little bit of that, but not nearly as bad as it used to.

My food list is big enough that I am not feeling deprived in any way or craving other foods.  The protein powder that I bought that I didn't love, has really grown on me and I love it now.  I have been mixing it with rice milk.  In the mornings, I mix in mango, blueberries, spinach and flax seed- it's so tasty!!

Few more days of "good" then I will add more!  It feels good to be back on track. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I guess being cocky doesn't get you anywhere!  I have been in a small flare since waking up Friday morning (after the daring beef curry dish).  I deserve it!

After my friend, Nat's post about the corn, I pulled the red curry can out of the garbage and realized that there are quite a few ingredients in there.  Ignorantly, I assumed red curry was red curry. 

Oh well, it's not that bad and I'm already on Day 3, so will be rounding the corner very soon!! 

It's funny because this flare is affecting my wrists more than my fingers.  Bizarre.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Being bold..playing with fire?

Well, today was another terrific day.  My hands and feet feel so good and all my other body parts too for that matter!!  I wake up with tons of energy and it feels great. 

I hope I haven't jinxed myself though... I was a little cocky with my dinner selection this evening and added a few things...  I made a curry beef dish.  I wanted to do a simple stir fry with beef and my allowed veggies but it dawned on me that I shouldn't use a canned sauce and so I pulled out a can of coconut milk and some red curry.  So, 2 new things... I hope they're ok.  Oh and I threw brocoli in.  So I'm lying...3 new things.  How bold am I. 

Fingers are crossed for a good day tomorrow.
ps- my dinner was great and I'm full :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bring on the morning excursions!

What a great day I had!  Feeling so good not only with my RA, but in general.  I think eating this clean really affects one's mental state, strength and determination.

It's funny how we are sometimes programmed a certain way.  We stick to routine and sometimes it takes really out of the ordinary circumstances to change our habits.  For the past 3 years, I have totally avoided planning anything in the morning, or at least the first few hours of the day.  Since having my baby, we have gotten into a routine of lounging around in our jammies, eating breakfast, and not leaving the house until the afternoon (when my hands would finally start to work!).  Now, I am waking up feeling normal and great with the full ability to get dressed, change my boy, dress him, pack him up in the car seat with all those damn buckles!!  I just forget most of the time and stay in until the afternoon.  I will have to make an effort to get out and make the most of our days!

I found a great new way to cook super yummy chicken!  Get yourself a stovetop grill pan.  It sounds silly, it's really just a basic pan but it's got ridges on the bottom to make grill marks.  I swear it makes your chicken taste better! I use olive oil and sea salt and just started sprinkling a little garlic on it. 

Loving being on track!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Feeling "nutty!"

Today was a great day... I stuck to my basics along with my addition of chocolate rice milk (this did make my choc. rice protein powder taste great!) and I added avocado.  I really wanted to add eggs and especially NUTS but I chose to try avocado because it's a healthy fat and I can add it to salads, spread it on chicken and make guac to dip my carrots in!!

I miss my roasted almonds and my Larabars.  I really want nuts!  They say that you crave things that you're sensitive to or allergic to.. so I'm wondering if that may have been where I went wrong last time. 

I have also realized that if I'm ok with rice protein and rice milk technically I'm ok with rice!!  I just don't really like it.  But, if I need a change I may try making some brown rice.

So, here's my current safe list:  carrots, celery, sweet potato, parsnips, peaches, pears, blueberries, mango, chicken, beef, rice protein powder, rice milk.  It's getting there!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Going strong

Well it's been a few days since my last post.  I have been very busy with company staying with us.  The good news is, I'm doing great.  It's been a good run!

I had a few glasses of wine lastnight (let's just say more than my usual 2!) so I was a little nervous that it might send me into a flare but other than a little headache this morning, my hands are great!!  It is however hard to fight a hangover without comfort food and carbs!! 

So, my safe list has grown to include a brown rice protein drink.  I attended a terrific nutrition seminar last week at a company called "The Wellness Group."  It was a very informative seminar on how to feed your children nutritiously.  I spoke to the woman after the class about what I am doing and she applauded me- she is a big fan of elimination diets (yay for me).  She recommended this protein drink which is very clean, it's raw, vegan and organic.  Let me just say it tastes what you would think rice protein would taste like!  Not fantastic, but it's still a treat for me since there is cocoa powder in it.  I am on day 5 of drinking it and no probs. 

Today I purchased chocolate brown rice milk.  I figured it was a fairly safe choice and something that I can blend with the protein powder to make it taste better.

I'm struggling a little bit coming up with ideas of what to add next.  I'm not a rice fan but I like quinoa, so that might be on deck.

For now I'm just going to concentrate on continuing to go slow!  It's truly been amazing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Feeling fantastic

Hi All!  I'm back from the mini vacay and feeling terrific.  Don't have long but wanted to check in and inform you that I am feeling back to the best I've felt.

I've stuck to my guns, entered foods at a slow pace and haven't had any set backs.  I added beef and chicken and salad greens.  This morning I had a brown rice protein shake with very few ingredients.  (A girl can't eat steak every day!)  and I trust this will go well.

Hands are working, I can make a fist and I have loads of energy.  Life is good!  I am back to a really good place.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Stiff Saturday

Today we woke up to a gorgeous sunny day!  It's the start of our "mini vacay"  Yay.  Except I'm still flared :(  But not flared mentally!  I feel strong and I know it's only a matter of days until I am back to that great feeling of being pain free!!  It's just around the corner!

Something that is very encouraging is my new online friend, Moe, has done this elimination diet and is also having some great success!  I am so proud of her for giving it a shot.  Her blog is http://www.fightagainstra.blogspot.com/   Check it out and see how well she is doing!!

I will have limited access to my blog and internet while I'm gone but I look foward to my Wednesday update where I hope to report some good news!

Take care all!  I'm out! xo

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Friday (sort of!)

Well today is better than yesterday- that's a move in the right direction!!  A big thank you to all of you out there who not only read my blog, but emailed or called to offer kind words of encouragement after yesterdays post!  I appreciate it!!

Some of you have growing concerns that what I'm doing may be a little dangerous due to the lack of variety of foods and vitamins & nutrients.  I checked with some of my sources, and while I agree it seems a little drastic, it's far less dangerous than the drugs that I would now be on.  And for those dear friends that don't really know just how painful this disease it, if you knew, you'd know why I am doing this. 

And the good news is- today is better than yesterday!!  That means (by my un-scientific calculations) that tomorrow should be great again! (wishful thinking!)  You should see the bag of carrots I bought yesterday at Farm Boy- it's the biggest bag of carrots I've ever seen 10lbs!!

I even took my mom's advice and bought parsnips and turnips.  Eek.  But to my suprise I sort of enjoyed the parsnips.  I cut them up like shoestring french fries with sweet potato and carrots and I roasted them in the oven with olive oil and seat salt.  I cooked them until they were golden & crispy.  Not bad!  But when I went to make them again for dinner, I just nibbled at a few- I think I am sick of them already. 

I'm heading to my mom & dad's for a visit tonight with my boy.  It's sort of our Friday night ritual.  I say I'm heading over for a visit right before dinner and of course I always stay and have a delicious dinner with them!  Tonight, I will pack up a few carrots and a turnip to bring.  And watch my mom enjoy a nice wine while I curse at her under my breathe!

Stay tuned!  I think tomorrow we will be back to good! xo

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Yikes, today is not a good day at all.  I am right back to where I started.  My knuckles feel like big hard marbles.  I can't make a fist.  I can't hold a coffee cup with one hand.  I couldn't take the lid off of a tupperware for my son.   My hands are throbbing and sore.  This is really tough.  Along with the pain, I feel tired and useless.  And a bit down that I am back to day 1.

I will go back to safe safe safe...  carrots, celery, peaches and sweet potato.  No chicken, blueberries or nuts.  I am however keeping my coffee.  C'mon, I need something to get through today!

On a much happier note- we are going on a mini vacation this Sunday.  We have friends from Phoenix coming down and we are heading to Montreal for shopping and then spending a few days at Mont Tremblant.  The leaves will be pretty.  I was hoping that my food list would have been a little longer than what it is going to be but oh well right?

I've got to pick myself up and dust myself off and know that I have the power & tools to get back to where I was.  Very carefully and documented meticulously!!

Or I could fall off the wagon and eat a large double cheese pizza and drink 2 bottles of wine.. Just kidding!!!  :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Slowly but surely & NSAIDS

Well I certainly woke up feeling a bit better.  If tomorrow isn't back to great, then I will take the advice of my friend and mentor- Cam!  Eliminating a few possible offenders- blueberries, chicken, nuts.   Speaking of Cam, I asked her if I could borrow one of her posts to read.  She has inspired me to keep going and has RA herself, of which she has put into remission through diet!  Her blog is very informative and well written...check it out!!  http://www.arthritis-alternatives.com/

Here is her most recent post.  One that really struck a cord with me.  The particular drug that she speaks of (Enbrel) was one I was just about to go on prior to this elimination experiment!  Scary.

The RA Pharmacy: NSAIDS

By Cameron Salisbury

Skimming the newspaper one morning my eye stopped in the obituaries, on a picture of a woman who looked about my age. The death notice said she had died of ‘complications of rheumatoid arthritis.’

Complications of RA? I didn’t know there were any, but I knew there were plenty associated with the drugs we used to control the disease.

In my rheumatologist’s office later that day I learned that this person was a patient of my doctor and in fact had an appointment scheduled for the next day. Neither the doctor nor her staff was aware that she had died.

As gently as I could I learned the facts: The dead woman had developed a cold while taking Enbrel. She had been taken off the drug but it was too late for her immune system to recover enough to fight off the infection. In the Western world in the 21st century no one expects to die from an infection, but that day, at age 50, this patient lay in a coffin in a funeral home.

I had always adored my rheumatologist, an irrepressible optimist, although I knew from the first that she totally discounted the down side to prescription drugs. They were all good to her. All the time. Despite our friendship, in the far recesses of my mind I silently wondered if she might be a highly educated, highly paid, drug pusher.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when she continued to urge me to take a biologic, as though she had no first hand evidence that these drugs were deadly, as though this patient had not died in her care from the drug she wanted me to take.

Ten years ago David Fox, a prominent rheumatologist, wrote, “The treatment of RA remains insufficiently effective and distressingly toxic for many patients.”

Since then, nothing has changed. It’s important to remember than any drug is an intrusion into the miraculous, finely coordinated microscopic balance of our bodies. The effect of that intrusion can vary according to our own unique biology. Some of us may have a relatively high tolerance for a toxin and others will not. Any drug should be taken with caution and with an awareness that any unusual symptoms we develop could be a drug reaction.

The medical profession usually handles a drug side effect with another drug to counter the unwanted symptoms. Drug interactions with each other are almost never studied, so combining drugs is a walk into risk. The more drugs a person takes, the more side effects s/he can expect, the more unlikely a healthy outcome, and the more likely catastrophe.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

3rd time's a charm?

I haven't been very successful in speeding up the clearing of this recent flare.  Every morning when I open my eyes, I think "today is the day"  and then I attempt a fist and realize that I am wrong.  So desperate times call for desperate measures!  Back to Day 1. 

I had a bit of a debate with my husband over the weekend about my approach.  I think that it is hard for people to imagine how difficult it is to just eat 4 or 5 foods day after day when they are eating whatever they want.

See, the problem isn't cravings, those went away quite quickly.  The problem that I am having is, I have re-introduced foods from what I thought were safe from my first round that I don't know for sure if they ever were.  I then went and got food sensitivity testing and while I believe that was useful, I have done what I said I wouldn't do... used it as a short cut. 

He saw me blending frozen peaches with blueberries and asked me when I tested blueberries.  I couldn't really answer him.  I just knew that I had them before and I didn't believe they caused a problem.  He is taking a more scientific approach and that's the approach I need to take.  1 food per 4 days, no exceptions.  No change in cooking oils or seasonings, just food in it's purest form.  And document, document, document.  Write everything down so there won't ever be a doubt or question of which foods are the offenders.  Makes very logical sense!

I'm mad at myself for half assing this process even though it doesn't feel like I have...but I have.  This is day 41.  In 41 days I have only put healthy low allergenic foods in my mouth (with the exception of those 2 damn arrowroots!) I have not consumed a drop of dairy, wheat, gluten or sugar.  I have only consumed sweet potato, celery, carrots, chicken, eggs, nuts, blueberries, raspberries and apples.  Oh and coffee!! 

It's only a matter of time until I get this right!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


These 2 arrowroots are really killing me!  I suppose since starting this experiment, I have gotten very used to feeling good.  It's making these flares feel really bad!  Thank god I know how to fix them!

I found myself taking short cuts that I think are part of the problem (and possibly part of the flare)  I am so sick of bbq'ing chicken that I purchased a few grilled chicken breasts from the Farm Boy ready made counter.  I asked them how they were prepared and they seemed ok (I'm hoping oregano and rosemary are ok herbs)   I guess it's a little silly of me to assume that herbs would be ok?  I made that same mistake with banana's a few weeks ago!

I also made one more little change- one that I thought was very smart... but maybe not so much now?  I switched from olive oil to avocado oil for my high heat cooking as per my naturopath's recommendation.   We tend to do a lot of stir fry's and I have been trying to switch things up!  Even though it is a cooking oil, it's still a food- so I should still be careful.

I find myself going back to the basics while in a flare.  Bring out the carrots and peaches!  Tonight we are going out for dinner (that's a stressful event while trying to do something like this!)  Between me and my son (allergies to dairy, eggs, nuts)  we are what you call "High maintenance customers!!"  We'll leave a big tip ;)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Arrowroot BLAH'S

Well wouldn't you know it- I am feeling totally crappy today from 2 arrowroots yesterday!  I absolutely can't believe it.  I suppose that means I am way more sensitive to certain things than I ever thought (wheat, corn, or sugar) 

Today when I woke up, I couldn't make a fist.  My wrists are swollen and sore and so are both baby fingers.  I felt foggy and had a slight headache.  I also had a not so nice trip to the loo (too much info!)  Anyhow- a valuable lesson learned!

I guess my dream of being able to consume a little sugar to satisfy my sweet tooth is going to have to remain exactly that- a dream!!  Thank goodness for Larabars!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Arrowroot anyone?

Wake up feeling fantastic today, have a friend over for coffee and our kids are playing.  Fix them a nice healthy snack and then give them an arrowroot.  With my son's serious allergies, there are very little real "treats" he can have.  Arrowroots are one of them!  So, my friend leaves and I have a client arrive.  I personal train her, then come up, put my baby down for his nap and clean up.  There are 2 arrowroots left in the bag.  I do what I would normally do if there was 1 or 2 cookies left- POP THEM IN MY MOUTH!  AHHHHH .  I gobble them down so fast then it hits me that I'm not supposed to be eating those!!  This is my first real screw up!  I get high off the sugar and then run to the box to see what terrible things I have ingested!!! 

Are you ready??  I feel like such a bad girl!
wheat flour
glucose fructose
corn starch

Those are just a few items.  All of which I am trying to avoid.  I wonder what this will do (if anything)  I only had 2 I swear.  I won't lie- I almost dove into a new pack.  I was thinking "why not, I already messed up, might as well enjoy it"  But then I remember my loyal followers and the possibility of causing a flare and smartened up!!

Damn you sweet tasting, melt in your mouth, baby cookies.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Slow but steady

Things are going awesome.  I am taking this nice and slow and probably taking too much time adding food, but it feels comfortable and safe.

To add to my base list, I've got blueberries and eggs.  I am actually quite content with my list although I do need to add more fiber.

Before this diet journey, I was constantly online researching, reading tons of "health" books and I ended up coming across lots of products, of which some I purchased... I'm a total sucker for buying any product that has a claim to make you healthier.  My husband laughs at me when I go to the health food store for fun.   In once case I bought some healthy bars which are wheat and gluten free, dairy free and only contain healthy natural ingredients.  I won't name names...   By the time I paid for the bars and the shipping, they ended up being close to $5 per bar...and they didn't taste good at all.  I've now found "larabar" and I love them.  They are made with only natural ingredients, they have a ton of flavors and while I have only tried a few (that fit in my current diet)  they are yummy!!   And the best part, they are only $1.99 and you can get them at Loblaws!  Nice!

In my near future to try... goat cheese & quinoa !  Wow, my life is exciting!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Normal feels good

Not much to report other than still feeling great.  I am adding foods at a slow pace to make sure I don't have an un-identifiable flare up like last time. 

Someone else with RA is starting this process today!  I am super excited to see how she does and if it helps her!!  Goodluck Moe!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Feeling fine...

Still feeling terrific (minus getting my period)  Boy did that ever hit hard today.  It dawned on me that I've been doped up for the past 3 years on an anti-inflammatories...I guess they've made my periods a lot better.  Oh well, a day or two of feeling crappy is worlds better than being drugged up!!

I'm still keeping it simple with my eating.  Really trying to do this properly although I would love to dive into a large cheese pizza. 

My safe food list is sweet potato (I actually am so sick of these that I may never eat one again) carrots, peaches, chicken, celery, nuts, and I blended a few berries yesterday so I think they're ok too.   I must say that I'm doing well- feeling satisfied and while I tease about craving a pizza, I truly am ok.  Way better than I thought I would be.  See, I love food.  Good food, bad food, fast food, mom's home cooking.  Lots of food.  I thought this would have been harder for me but I'm doing just fine.  I have a bbq Sat to go to and I'm sure there'll be lots of treats so that will be a good test.  I know I won't cheat myself though- I've come too far and I feel too damn good!!

My hands and feet feel awesome.  I can actually lift a dumbell in the morning. 

I'm getting lots of posts & comments from others with RA.  I hope that if anyone out there reading gives the elimination diet a try they let me know! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Results are in!

What a day... woke up feeling great and full of energy...and excited for my food testing appointment!! 

It was so interesting.  They tested over 80 foods.  They used a machine/ technique called "biotron."  Here is what they found.

Foods that have zero benefit to me (can eat sparingly)
- whey
- mushrooms
- candida

Foods that I should avoid
- barley malt
- yogurt
- onion
- baker's yeast
- caffeinated tea

Foods that are BAD, that should be completely eliminated! (yikes!)
- BANANA...crap... I love these.  ** This was probably my big offender a few weeks ago!!
- SUGAR (of the refined form)  After I freaked out, she quickly ran and got some sugar alternatives which all tested ok (sucanat, stevia, honey, maple syrup)
- CORN  (not a biggie although this is found in a lot of foods!
- ICE CREAM (too bad...)
- SMOKED MEAT (no biggie, can't remember the last time I had this)
- CHOCOLATE (what the ......)
- COLA (don't drink it anyway)

So, there you have it!  Not as bad as I would have thought.  After my test, I met with a Naturopath doctor and we had a nice time chatting.  She thinks and supports the elimination diet that I'm on is great.  She would like me to stay away from the above mentioned foods and stay away from dairy & wheat for the time being.  I also spoke to her about some of my other concerns (leaky gut syndrome) and she gave me some high quality probiotics.  I have been reading that it is very common for people with RA to have leaky gut syndrome.  Sounds gross eh.  It's not really... here is the definition:

Leaky gut syndrome describes a condition of altered or damaged bowel lining, caused by toxins, poor diet, parasites, infection or medications, which has led to increased permeability of the gut wall to substances which normally remain isolated in the lumen, away from the body's internal circulatory or interstitial areas. NSAIDS such as aspirin are known to erode the gut lining and cause inflammation, other medications such as corticosteroids suppress immune function and disturb intestinal flora, and antibiotics indiscriminately kill bacteria causing bacterial flora disruptions in the small intestine.
It has been proposed that, when substances such as toxins, microbes, undigested food, waste or larger than normal macromolecules leak through an abnormally-permeable gut wall, they affect the body directly, while others postulate an immune reaction to these substances.

She also gave me some pharmaceutical grade fish oil. 

So, my plan is to keep chuggin along with my e-diet.  Avoid these bad foods and see what happens!  It's all so interesting!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tomorrow's a big day!!

I'm super excited to go to the Carp Eco Centre tomorrow to get food sensitivity testing!!  I'm not using this as a short cut to my elimination diet.  I am using it in parallel to help me figure out which foods I'm highly reactive to.   More information can't hurt right!?

As for my diet- still on peaches, sweet potato, carrots, chicken and had some nuts today. 

Hands and feet still feel GREAT.  Oh and I have a ton of ENERGY!!  I never thought I lacked energy or was fatigued but now that I'm feeling well- I realize that I was in a bit of a funk.  I feel awake in the morning.  I don't sneak naps anymore when my baby is sleeping ;)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rainy Sunday, pain free though!

Today in Ottawa it is wet and cold!  A lot of people with RA associate rain with pain.  I was never fully sold on that as I seemed to have my worst days when the sun was shining.  None the less, today I still feel great!

I am starting to get pretty sick of carrots and sweet potatoes.  Thank god for chicken and peaches.  I'm going to get some fish too since my friend Kat keeps reminding me how good it can be!! 

I think I am making it worse on myself by baking today.  I made some  yummy muffins for my baby and a gluten free home made pizza!  I'm having a tough time but I have come this far, I'm not going to mess it up!! 

My hands and feet feel fantastic and I am full of energy!  Pizza crust is ready...gotta go...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

No pain, no fatigue....

Waking up to feeling this good is like a drug!  When you have been in chronic pain for years- it's truly amazing to feel normal again.

Not only does RA cause extreme joint pain & stiffness, it causes fatigue and a general foggy feeling.  I feel mentally clear, happy as can be, and full of energy.  I'm normally positive and energetic- but not like this.  I suppose the true realisation that food definitely has a large part to do with my particular case of RA is part of it.  I will be able to avoid major drugs and take control of this disease through natural and truly healthy means.

Not sure if I ever shared this but the drugs that I've been on and the drugs that they want me to take have the potential to cause the following lovely side effects:  increased chance of osteoporosis, weight gain, liver and kidney problems, eye issues, an increased chance of contracting respiratory infections,  an increased chance of getting cancer!  Not to mention the stomach issues and ulcers.  The list goes on.  One of the drugs (methotrexate) is an actual chemotherapy drug.  Nice.  That's a bit scary to say the least......

As for my food- still on the basics- sweet potato, carrots, peaches and now that I'm feeling good- chicken as of yesterday.  That's what I'll be eating for the next 3 days and then I will add something new.  Nice and slow.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm back!

I woke up feeling great again!  Yippeeee!!  I knew the second I opened my eyes.  A few days back at the basic foods and I've cleared whatever it was that was causing my joint inflammation.  It's really great.

I was thinking that if it took many more days, I was going to have to give in a buy some fish.  Today I am trying chicken- plain jane style... nothing other than chicken and sea salt.  I will have that for the next 4 days and see.  I'm taking this round a little slower!!

Happy Friday.  Happy ME!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Learn to like fish?

Well it's Day 2 again for me and I'm struggling a little bit.  I just got back from Loblaws and I swear there were blocks of old cheddar calling my name! 

I've stuck to peaches, sweet potato and carrots (barf).  I better wake up feeling better tomorrow!

I just had a nice convo with my husband and it's nice to know he is fully supporting this experiment.  He suspects it's an allergy to eggs as he happened to notice that I consumed a carton in about 3 days. 

On another note, I made an appt to go get tested for food allergies.  I'm not stopping my elimination diet, I just figured that if I can find out if there are strong allergies to certain foods, I won't bother testing them and wasting my time.  I called a Naturopath Clinic and they were so friendly and talked to me for 15 min on the phone.  What a change from my other docs!  Here is the web-site.. it's very well done.

Oh and if I wake up stiff again, I'm heading right to the drug store to buy some magnesium citrate to "clear" faster.  Joy.

All good thoughts!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 18 - A New Start!

Well, I've made a decision.  It's day 6 of my flare and despite my positivity and hope for it to be ending- it's not.  In fact, today is down right bad. 

I have consulted with my 2 mentors!  What I have decided is to go back to the true elimination diet...yes, the foods that I said I might not ever eat again!  But, I've made an error and I'm obviously eating something that is causing my inflammation.  I am back on peaches, sweet potato, carrots & celery.  At least until I clear the swelling. 

Apparently some of our favorite foods can likely be allergens!  For me that could be banana, berries, chicken or potato.  I think I was again naive in thinking that a fruit or veg couldn't possibly be bad for you or cause an allergic reaction.  It also dawned on me (after a post from Moe) that white potatoes are in the nightshade family and it's well known that nightshade foods are often associated with joint pain.  Oops.

So, here's to new beginnings.... again!! 

And I'm no longer going to number my days as the title of my posts.  I am realizing that this is going to be a long and tedious journey, it could take months or years! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 16 & 17

Not too much to report other than I have been good with eating a very safe diet and I can feel that my flare is getting better.  The first thing I do upon waking, is slowly try and make a fist and I know immediately! 

I am so happy that I started this blog and I am happy that I took a chance in posting it on the Arthritis Society message boards.  I've received lots of words of encouragement and lots of other people who are considering giving this type of method a try. 

I mean, what do you have to lose?  If you were diagnosed with a chronic disease that basically had no known cure, would you not want to try to help yourself naturally instead of pumping drugs into your body to mask the problem?

I am in Fitness and I coach clients everyday on the importance of putting only good, nutrient rich foods in their bodies for optimal health.  Whether you have disease or illness or you seem to be pretty healthy- your body deserves to be treated like a temple.  Feed it great nutritious foods and it will be good to you. 

How many people do you know that complain of any of the following:  bloated stomach, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel, migraines & headaches, eczema etc etc.  Food plays a major role in all of these.  We have the power and the tools to investigate and eliminate the offending foods!

All I now right now is when I started the elimination diet- after a few days of feeling bad, my hands & feet had not felt better in years.  My husband pointed out to me that I was using a can opener the other morning.  I hadn't been able to do that in years. 

It's only a matter of time before I feel that good again! 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 15

Boy am I hungry today.  I suppose it's because it's down pouring in Ottawa and I'm stuck inside.  I am eating very safe things today in a strong attempt to help speed up the departure of my flare from Thursday night.  I woke up with stiff hands again :(  But I have removed the nuts and sugar and am back to carrots, peaches, chicken and potato.

Here's a question to all of you... does anyone know of a good way to find an old book that Chapters doesn't carry anymore?  I am looking for a book by John Mansfield called "Arthritis- The Allergy Connection"  I can see that there are some used copies for sale but they come from the UK and the prices are ridiculous.  Who knows- maybe one of you have it, and would lend it to me ;)

What a huge crazy blog world there is out there!  I used to get mad at my husband for always having his face buried in the laptop, now we practically fight over it.  I have found some great supportive blogs all around food and allergies.  Here is something I tried a few nights ago with a boring old frozen banana (and it blew my mind how amazing it tasted!)

Um WOW.  I found it on this blog :  http://www.choosingraw.com/this-post-will-change-your-life/
And I borrowed her picture. 
Thanks to her!!

Enjoy! xo

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 14

Definitely still feeling the affects of either the nuts or dates from Thursday night.  I am in a flare for sure.  I think it seems worse because I've gone off all of my meds (with the exception of prednisone- too dangerous to just stop). 

Today I ate a very basic safe diet (or so I hope).  I am hoping that by tomorrow I am feeling back to good again.   I consumed a berry shake for breakfast (which I added a handful of spinach to- it was surprisingly tasty, couldn't even taste the spinach), celery and carrots for snack, small chicken breast for lunch, and for dinner a potato, small steak and carrots, peppers and onions on the bbq. 

What I am realizing after talking to a few other people that have gone through this process for their RA is that everyone has very different sensitivities.  I think I am a little naive in my thinking that this would be easy- probably will be allergic to wheat or dairy.  I could be allergic to some grains and not others.  Some fruits and not others.  Some nuts but not all nuts.  It's going to take some real patience and time.   Time, I've got lots of... patience.... we'll see :) 

I certainly do feel healthy!  I haven't mentioned it because it wasn't my focus, but I'm down to my lowest weight that I can remember.   My main priority is to feel good and relieve the pain in my joints.  But hey- I'll take the weight loss that's seemingly going along with it!

Here's an updated list of my safe foods (I think....)
Fruit:  peaches, pears, apples, berries (except strawberries for now) banana
Veggies:  sweet potato, white potato, lettuce, cucumbers, tomato, peppers, onion, carrots, celery, spinach
Meat: beef, chicken, pork
Green tea

Let's hope I wake up good again :) 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 13

So today I woke up and I have a little bit of stiffness back in my hands.  I think I need to remember that I am still in the testing phase... not cured!!  I ate what I thought was a fairly safe list of foods although I did consume quite a bit of nuts.  I have had walnuts with no problems and lastnight I ate a larabar which only had 2 ingredients- cashews & dates.  I am going to back off the nuts for a while and re-test in a while.

Other than that I had my usual fruit smoothie (frozen berries, flax, banana and pomegranate juice) an apple, some chicken and some carrots.  Oh and a green tea. 

Could it be cashews?  Walnuts are ok but cashews aren't?  We'll have to see....

I still don't have any desire to put anything bad in my body.  No cravings of sugar, bread, cheese, chocolate or wine.  It feels abnormal to not be craving these favorites!!  In fact, I am the extreme opposite- I find myself wanting to be the healthiest I have ever been.  I even bought spinach to start blending into my morning smoothie. 

Today I am going to be basic and eat only safe foods and get this little bit of swelling under control. 

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 12

Well I must say that I really enjoy posting my success on this blog.  It is neat to know that some friends and family check it!  I really do hope to help in getting the word out there to other sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis.

In fact I posted a message with my blog url directly on the Arthritis Society message boards.  I figured why not?  I've had a few replies of encouragement, and even a nasty message saying there isn't a link between food and RA.  I truly believe otherwise.  Not only have I read other people's blogs who have been helped through diet ( http://www.arthritis-alternatives.com/) and (http://jhackett_ra.tripod.com/story.html) but I have been researching my butt off for the last year on which foods cause inflammation in the body and which ones reduce it.  

Yesterday I added a heaping teaspoon of brown raw sugar to my coffee which I drank late in the day.  This morning I noticed I had a little swelling in my baby finger.  All of my other fingers and feet are still great.  I am going to stay away for about 3-4 days and try it again to see.  The thought of being intolerant/allergic to sugar is a bit scary- I eat healthy normally but I love my desserts.   Does anyone have any recipes for dessert type foods that have zero sugar?  Anyone..anyone?? 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 10 & 11

Things are still going super!  I still feel great.  I added 2 more foods- walnuts and hummus.  

I am thinking about having a glass of milk or a piece of toast- to see what happens.  Dairy and wheat..scary!  We will see.  It just feels so good to feel this good, I know I need to know but I want to keep feeling great.

On a not so good note, my rheumatologist called today and I was speaking with the receptionist.  I hesitantly told her what I had been up to and she didn't sound very happy.  A lot of awkward pauses and silences.  Maybe I should have waited to tell them, it's just so hard not to.  If I do have a bad flare- I will need them.  I'm pretty torn.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 9

Good Monday morning!

Things are continuing to go very well and smoothly!  Lastnight I had a small green salad with carrots, tomato and cucumber as well as oil & vinegar dressing.  I didn't anticipate any issues, and I was right.  I'm glad to get some veggies back into the mix.  Did I mention that I might never eat another sweet potato again ;)

My hands and feet feel super.  I no longer walk funny, with a limp.  My hands work first thing in the morning.  I can change my baby, empty the dishwasher and open jars!  They are still weak, but they work!

Today for breakfast I made  a mixed berry (sans strawberry) shake with 1/2 banana and mango.  Maybe too much "new" food to try but I did anyway.  I blended it all up with some flax and it was yummy. 

I'm getting to the point where I need to throw in some dairy and wheat to see what happens!  I suppose I am delaying the inevitable.

When my baby was 3 months old, he had severe eczema- I mean, go to the hospital numerous times severe.  Then a little later, when he was 6 months old, he went into anaphylactic shock after ingesting some skim milk powder in a baby cereal.  He was then tested and we were shocked to find out he was allergic to: dairy, wheat, eggs, all nuts, soy & sesame.  It was overwhelming to say the least.  I remember we kept saying "where did he get this from, we both don't have allergies?"  Hmmmmm...well now I am rethinking all of that and I'm guessing that my poor baby got them from MOI!  I guess it's still premature to assume but I can't help but think that. 

We'll see in the days to follow!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 8

Today has been another great day.  I had a cup of coffee this morning, sweetened with cinnamon.  I was too afraid to try sugar.  I used to use Splenda, but among researching my RA, I have also been researching nutrition in general as well as anti-aging through nutrition and I found some pretty scary things when it came to artificial sweetners.  It will take a while to get used to it, but it's so much better for me.  I'm at a point where I want to only put good things into my body.  It feels good!

I had eggs for lunch.  This is a food that is fairly high on the allergen scale.  Result = great!  No issues and it's over 4 hrs since I ate them. 

Tonight I am having left over chicken and a simple garden salad (dressed with vinegar).  I don't imagine I should have any problems with that.

Do you know anyone with an auto-immune disease that you think might benefit from doing an elimination diet??

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 7

Things are going great!!  Every day that I wake up, I fear that my stiff and sore hands will have returned but they haven't. 

I had a super day and am feeling so good.  I got up and was out by 7:30, hit the Carp Farmer's market and met with Bob Dobson, of Dobson Farms.  I bought a bunch of grass fed beef! He was so nice and chatted with me for quite some time.   Here is the web site...http://www.dobsonfarm.com/index.html

We had my parents over for dinner and bbq'd some of the steaks and they were excellent!

I also added white potato back in- no probs.  I love potatoes and I have a sneaking suspision that when I add wheat (bread) I will have an issue so I wanted to add a nice filling carb just in case I need to resort back to eating safe things.  I had an apple this morning- also no problems.  Good.

I've got to start figuring out when to try the "biggies"  I guess that's in the next few days.  My gut is telling me dairy is the main culprit!  We'll have to wait and see. 

I still haven't added coffee in!  I think I'm afraid to mess with my new found healthy body.  I do love it though, maybe that will be something for tomorrow.

Here's my "safe" food list to date:
* sweet potato
* peaches
* carrots
* celery
* chicken
* beef
* potato

It's growing :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 6

Well the day finally arrived where I can introduce a few foods!!  In fact, I'm eating a steak as I'm blogging!!  It's scrumptuous!  I hope I don't have any reactions to it :)

It's been interesting.  I had peaches and strawberries for breakfast.  Not a lot of berries, about 3 large ones.  I noticed that I had a bit of a headache after consuming them.  I'm trying not to be obsessive over the way that I'm feeling but trying to catch any abnormal symptoms.  I headed over to my mom's for the afternoon and she had some fresh strawberries so I had 4 more.  Then I got a headache!  This was not a food that I thought I would react to.  I'll try it in a few days again.

For lunch I bbq'd chicken breast.  It was good.  I was more excited for the steak that I was having for dinner. 

Tomorrow morning I'm heading to the Carp Market to pick up some local grass fed beef.  I can't wait to try it.  I have to get there good and early (8am) to ensure that I get some good cuts.  It feels good to be buying locally and supporting our farmers.  I imagine the meat will taste great. 

I haven't yet figured out what to introduce tomorrow but I'm excited none the less!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 5

Today I woke up and was able to make a tight fist with my hands.  This was huge.  I haven't been able to do that for years!!  I am on the least amount of meds and have the almost zero pain.  I am totally in shock of the way that I feel.  I am so thrilled and excited.

I am going to slowly start re-introducing foods tomorrow.  Coffee will be first!  Then I will add some foods that will likely be safe.  I want to build up my "legal" food list and then in a few days test some of the biggies (dairy, wheat, corn, soy).

I'm starting to think that anybody who has a health issue (headaches, bloated stomach, fatigue, IBS, etc)  should give this method a try.  For me, it's been amazing.   So far... I guess I shouldn't get ahead of myself!

The funny thing is, I'm not really craving anything anymore..

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 4

Well, I didn't think this day would come.  I feel good.  My hands are much better.  I am still hungry but in general feeling well.  I am starting to get really excited with the hopes that I can lessen my pain with what I'm eating.

I have been emailing with others that have been successful on getting their RA into remission with food and it's so inspiring.  Now that I am feeling relief, I am kind of in shock that none of my doctors ever mentioned this to me over the years.  Very disappointing but I suppose not surprising with everything that I am reading.

It will be interesting to see what foods will affect me and how.  I'm guessing some of my very favorite foods will be off limits- cheese & chocolate... here's to hoping not!

My last Humira shot was July 9.  I was due to have another on the 23rd.  This makes the way I'm feeling even sweeter since I haven't felt this good on my shot- now I am feeling great off my shot.  I have also lowered (carefully) my prednisone.  I used to take 10mg, then I went down to 5mg for months and just last week went down to 2.5mg. 

I also haven't needed to take my naproxen and haven't taken my plaquenil. 

My knuckles are starting to look more normal again.  They had wrinkles on them this morning as opposed to looking like there was a grape under the skin.

All I can say for now is...wow.

Here is an amazing site to check out   http://www.arthritis-alternatives.com/

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 3

Today is the official half way point of the diet before I start to reintroduce foods.  I don't know how I am going to get through but I will. 

Not much to report other than I seem to be feeling a little better today with not so much of a headache.  I know I'm grumpy though!!  I seem to be mad at everyone that can eat normal food!

I get to test 3 different food on Friday.  They say to test the biggies like dairy, wheat, eggs, corn etc.  I wonder if coffee is considered a biggie?  I will definitely have some meat that day too.  I am afraid of losing all of my muscle mass with literally zero protein. 

Well, off to go eat a peach... later xo

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 2

It's only day 2 and so far this is hard!!  I am so hungry and the sweet potato and carrot thing ain't cutting it!  And the coffee part is killing me.  I swear everytime I turn the tv on there is either a commerical with a big fat steak or cheeseburger!

Yesterday I drank the magnesium citrate drink and oh boy- does it ever work and work fast!!  The pharmacist was right.  Don't try it and leave the house.....

I am basically living off of sweet potato and peaches.  I'm already totally sick of carrots and celery.  That is not a good sign since I have 4 more days to go. 

I've been emailing with the Dr. who came up this this particular eliminination diet and basically begged him to let me have chicken.  No go.  He basically said to suck it up and have some fish!

I have had a dull headache since yesterday at about noon.  Dr. McFerron says that day 2 and 3 are the worst and you should start to "clear" or feel better by Day 4. 

I guess what else makes it hard is that I am still preparing and cooking for my son and husband.  They are eating some of my faves!  My boy gets meat and tomatoes, cucmbers and pita and my husband made himself a delectable ham sandwich with provolone and tomato on 12 grain bread.  What I wouldn't give to have just one bite!!

But this is important so I'm sticking with it! 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Elimination Diet- Day 1

So far Day 1 has been ok.  I went out yesterday and bought all my "allowable" foods.  It's a pretty small list.  All I am allowed over the next 6 days is sweet potato, celery, carrots, peaches & pears.  To drink all I can have is spring water or mineral water.  The only seasoning is sea salt.  That's it.  There are other foods on the elimination diet but none that I like- white fish, rutabaga, turnips. 

I started my day with a glass of mineral water and a peach.

Now I am chugging back my magnesium citrate drink.  That is a drink to "clean you out".  Yikes.  It could be an interesting day.  I asked the pharmacist if it worked fast and how intense it was.  She just nodded and said "Yes, fast and intense"  Oh boy!

The thinking is that this drink will help clear out all the food that I've eaten over the last few days and remove any allergens if I am in fact allergic to some foods.

They say that by day 2 and 3 you feel terrible.  You may experience flu type symptoms and feelings of withdrawal!  I warned my husband that I may be a cranky wife and momma!  I also can't drink coffee- that is tough for me!  The first thought that fills my brain in the morning upon waking is- COFFEE.... Mmmmm.

Hopefully it's an ok day! xo

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cheers to new beginnings!

1st official post.  Never thought I would attempt to blog but I have been so inspired by other peoples blogs & posts that I feel like giving it a try. 

I am about to embark on an interesting journey to try and cure/fix/relieve/improve my health.  I have rheumatoid arthritis and while I typically am a positive person, it's starting to get to me.  Physically and mentally. 

I have a great life, super husband, amazing little boy and great extended family and friends.  I am in the Fitness field and things couldn't be better... except for my RA.

It started when I was 18.  I woke up one day and found my feet and hands were sore.  It progessed very quickly into a debilitating pain that I couldn't understand.  After many appointments and blood tests, the doctors shook their heads and loaded me up on anti-inflammatories.  They worked initally but quickly wore off.  After 6 months of this strange pain, it simply went away.  Gone.  Weird.

Fast forward about 10 years.  I get married in Cuba...go off my birth control and poof- stiffness and pain comes back.  I recognized the pain immediately as the same pain I had before.  I went back to a new rheumatologist.  He diagnosed me immediately as having rheumatoid arthritis.  Yikes. 

Over the past 3 years my symptoms have been up and down.  I've never experienced what they call remission.  Although when I was pregnant I felt much better.  And when I started prednisone I felt much better (temporarily).  Then I tried Humira injections and they worked great for a few months.   I went to the doc a few weeks ago and he suggested trying another injection or trying an IV type drug.  Geez- I don't want to have to go to the hospital to get IV drugs pumped into my veins.  I'm putting the brakes on and taking matters into my own hands.

I started to research alternative therapies and possibilities of food intolerances and what I found is unbelievable.  There are other people out there like me.  Not only do they have RA but they have also had great success by changing their diets and nutrition.  It's a huge commitment and will be hard but I would rather eat well and feel better than continue to pump this nasty cocktail of meds down my throat.

So, tomorrow is day 1 of a strict elimination diet that I found online http://www.frot.co.nz/dietnet/reviews/mcferran01.htm  I am nervous as I know it's going to be tough, but I figure I have nothing to lose.  If this works, it will change my life. 

Tonight we are getting take out from an Italian restaurant and I'm going to indulge in something rich, cheesy and make sure I get a chocolately desert!  Yum. 

Here's to new beginnings!! xo