**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!

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.