**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!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Moving along!

Hello everyone!
Been a long time..... almost 3 mths.  I have been busy taking care of myself and continuing to try to cure my RA... and with quite a bit of success......

What I know for sure....
- RA gets worse when you are stressed.  Even when my eating was 100% clean, when I got stressed out, I would flare.  I have been undergoing lots of changes in my life.   I'm ok, don't worry ;)  But I guess all change causes stress!!

- What you put into your body, directly affects RA.  I was sick and lots my appetite for about a week and my RA was awesome.  The upside of being sick!

Stuff I have been doing... and I think it's been helping...
- Acupuncture in my hands & feet 1x per week
- Large dose of Vitamin C, given intravenously (Dr. Seth also puts in licorice and Vit B)
- Hydrotherapy- every once in a while... great for stimulating the immune system
- Vitamin D, everyday
- Some powdered bad tasting thing that I have to admit I have not been taking.  Maybe that will be my New Year's resolution......

How are you guys doing?  What do you find hekps?

I've been off prednisone for a year now!  And still don't take any of the big bad drugs anymore... 

I've got some exciting news- I'm having a website designed for my Fitness company.  I'm very excited and will let you know when it's live!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Positive update

Hi Guys!
Sorry I've been MIA for a little while.  Busy summer, spending lots of quality time with the fam and some travel.  Things have been going well with my RA... some flare ups but expected ones.  I am about to try a new method- a 4 day rotation diet, that was recommedned to me by my dear friend and RA mentor, Cam, over at http://www.arthritis-alternatives.com/  I highly recommend her blog- she has great info!  I will let you know how it goes!

On an amazing note, I am so happy to report that we got news today that my mom, who has been battling stage 3 Lung cancer, is cancer free!!  She is a real fighter and we are so proud of her. 

Life is pretty damn good.  xo

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Old news & some new!

Hi All!

Hope all my fellow RA'ers are doing well.  I'd be interested to know if any of you out there have modified your diet and are feeling well??

I have been meaning to write a little "year in review" for some new stumblers.  I get a lot of questions asked and I realize that a year's worth of posts are a lot to go through! (and it doesn't help that all posts are listed from most recent to oldest)

Here's a basic summary:
Mid July 2010:  Received news from Rheumatologist that I needed to go on Remicade (IV infusion drug) on top of my other meds as my disease was progressing.  Other meds were: Naproxyn, Plaquenil, Humira injections & Prednisone.  Came home upset and desperate for a gentler approach.  Found these web sites containing cool info on healing RA through diet :  http://www.frot.co.nz/dietnet/reviews/mcferran01.htm  and
http://jhackett_ra.tripod.com/story.html  I decided to give it a shot!  Had my family read and got their approval/ support.

Aug 1/2010:  Started my elimination diet.  Tough few days but miraculously by day 4, I could make a tight closed fist upon waking.  I hadn't done that in years (and while on meds I should add). 

Next 6-8 mths:  Highs & Lows... adding foods too fast and winding up in major flare ups, and with no meds.  Always felt in control and was able to get myself back under control.  Had some amazing weeks where I felt the best I had in years.  Was able to open cans, and pick up dumbells first thing in the morning.  Got some devestating news that my mom had Lung cancer.  I didn't write much about this, but I'm so happy to report that she's doing well and is going to make it :)

Last 4 mths:  Have not been as strict as I was in the first 12 months and have paid the price.  I've made the mistake of adding back some healthy foods assuming that they wouldn't hurt me.  Just because a food is healthy, doesn't mean it's actually good for me and my RA.

A typical good day for me (that doesn't cause flares)
- small black coffee w stevia
- clean chocolate protein shake w unsweetened almond milk
- apple or berries for snack
- spinach salad: avocado, cucumber, walnuts, goat feta w olive oil & little bit vinegar
- nuts or veggies for snack
- bbq chicken or steak with veggies

Things that cause me to flare:
** It should be noted that I love these foods.  I sometimes dream about these foods.  And if I indulge in item # 1, it often leads to the consumption of all of these foods :(

Where I am today....  I am back to eating very clean and am feeling pretty well.  Not as good though as when I first started this journey.  I am basically eating "paleo"  (like our caveman ancestors ate- meat, fruits & veg)  I have added certain foods that I never tested (coconut milk, coconut oil)  So I went to see my Naturopath and he did a food sensitivity test (some say it's a waste of $$, I was willing to give it a try..the more assistance that I can get, the better!)  Flare ups hurt a lot and I am not afraid to admit when I've screwed up and need a hand.  Anyhow, results come in about 2 more weeks.. so we'll go from there.  I saw my rheumatologist last week for the first time in a year and he told me he'd like me to try another biologic injection...no thank you.

Wow, what a long post.  I realized too, my blog is a little boring, no snazzy pics but what really would I take pics of, my creepy hands or golf ball heels?  No thanks!  Instead here's a pic of me and my main man ;)  Although he's got his mouth full :(


" The idea on the medical horizon is that chronic inflammation is a root cause of degenerative disease.  It is time for medical schools to improve nutrition education.  If physicians are trained to use "food as medicine" they may not need to rely on drugs and their distressing side effects to treat the inflammatory process"

-Dr. Andrew Weil

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Plan & IgG test

Thanks for all the nice posts.  It really helps me along and helps keep me motivated!!  Keep em coming :)

I emailed my Naturopath Doctor (he's awesome) and filled him in on my status and desire to try this IgG blood test and he's arranged for me to go in tomorrow for it so that's great that I don't have to wait long.

I'm getting a lot of people inquiring what exactly I eat and what I've done over the past year.  It's a lot of posts to read so when I have a few minutes (no 2 yr. old hanging off me!)  I am going to post my year in review - some ups, downs, struggles and victories! 

Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Appt. & Update

I had my appointment with my rheumatologist.  He came in smiling and opened up with "Wow, I haven't seen you in a year and you look great."  I proceeded to tell him that I was great and very pleased with my RA for the most part.  I had decided not to go into all of the detail of what I have done, I just told him I made some nutrition changes and food eliminations and have been managing very well with no medications. 

Now, to give some background- these last few months I've been about 50/50 flare up to normal.  I have had a harder time keeping my RA under control with the added stress in my life and a struggle to stick to a very strict food plan.  I have realized that for me, I have to be 100% on with my food in order to feel good.  If I stray, even just a little bit, I flare very easily.  I know I can do it, I just need to go back to the drawing board to know exactly what is and isn't allowed.

My doc did a joint evaluation and told me I have 15 effused joints.  Last July I had 16.  He told me that even though I am not feeling as much pain as I used to, that while there is inflammation, there is damage occuring.  He's sending me for hand and feet x rays, blood work and will see me again in 4 mths.  He also sent me home with info on a drug called Simponi.  I don't intend on trying it.

So, what to do.... well, as mentioned- I have no intentions of going back to any big bad drugs (with the exception of the odd tylenol or naproxyn if I'm really bad)  My plan is:

- go see my Naturopathic Dr. and get a blood test (IgG test) to help identify major & obvious food sensitivities
- continue to eat only clean and whole foods (ie. no processed foods, packaged foods, chemicals, etc)
- continue to take my probiotics, good quality vitamins & supplements
- go back to my earlier days of being on my elimination diet and not guessing that a particular food must be ok (even if healthy- still may be a problem) * I have read so much lately on how healthy coconut is (milk and oil) and I went ahead and added it without properly testing it.

Anyone else out there experiencing this?  What do you recommend- starting over?  Detoxing and adding foods back in 1 at a time??

I'm coming up on a whole year of eating super clean !  I haven't fallen off the wagon and gone on a crazy binge on my fave foods (large cheese pizza, DQ Peanut butter cup blizzard, fresh warm bread to name a few)  It's been hard but I'm still on this mission and I know I will get there but it will take lots of perseverance and time. 

Any advice or thoughts are always welcomed fellow bloggers!  Thanks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Motivated & Coconut milk

Hi All,

I'm doing well, have my eating under strict control!  I changed a few things since my last post- one being removing all grains totally (no more rice crackers or rice cakes) and no more cheese at all (my beloved goat feta).  Oh and I also stopped the V8.  I have added fresh vegetable juice made by either my juicer or booster juice.  It contains only beets, carrots, apple and ginger.  It's pretty tasty.  Oh and I have discovered coconut milk.  I blend it in my magic bullet until it gets whipped like whipped cream and pour it over berries.  It's so yummy and seems to be a popular treat amongst health food bloggers so I thought I would give it a shot to keep things interesting.  It's very natural and I don't add any sugar or anything to it.  It tastes amazing!!!

I got a call from my Rheumatologist to remind me of my appt this Thursday.  I knew it was coming but didn't know so soon... so that is driving me to get these hands and feet in top notch shape so I can show them off!  I'm anxious to see what he will say when I explain that I am still not taking any medications....  My only worry is these large bumps on the back of my heels.  They are painful and don't seem to go away even when my feet and hands are well under control.

Wish me luck and I'll follow up later this week after my appt!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2 days down

I decided that I would write down all my food here to keep me honest.  The time I did my absolute best was when I was doing that.. so the blog may get a little boring with lists of food but I think it will help.

Over the past 2-3 days I've had:

Breakfasts:  V8, raspberries, hard boiled eggs
Lunches:  Walnuts, rasisins, goat cheese, spinach
Dinners: steak, brocolli, spinach salad
Snacks:  Nuts, apples
Drinks:  Coffee, unsweetened choc. almond milk and tons of water!

** No more cheese sneaks!  No more rice crackers (I was eating wat too much of them)  No more hummus for a while and definitely no more jujubes and arrowroots!  Ouch.

The dinner plan for tonight is bbq chicken breast and more steamed brocolli. 
I can feel my flare lessening....  a few more days and I'll be back to my happy high energy self. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another new beginning

I've turned into a "once a month blogger."  Perhaps that's why I have gotten myself off track :(  Don't get me wrong, I am still very strict for the *most* part.  But as we know, that's not good enough when you are managing a chronic disease with nutrition and choosing that instead of heavy medications.  You need to be 100% on or you won't feel 100%.  At least that's what I've found.  I went close to 8 mths with almost no cheats! 

My family has been dealing with some major stress since my mom was diagnosed with Lung cancer.  She is very sick right now and it's incredible hard on all of us.  I won't get into detail, but I'm sure that the worry, stress and sadness surrounding her is a large part why I am flared up. 

I'm also flared up because:
- at the hospital they have a great salad bar and I've been throwing some cheese into my salad along with a great tasting unknown salad dressing!!
- I've been buying my husband jujubes (his fave) and even though I swear to him that I didn't eat all the red ones.... I have indeed been eating the red ones (and the black ones!)
- I have continued my sneaky love affair with my son's arrowroots.  While I don't think 1 or 2 really hurt- I never stop at 2.  I have been known to put back a sleeve! 

So, because today I woke up feeling especially sore and annoyed with my body.  Because I logged into my blog and re-read so many of your enocuraging comments.  Because I have to stay strong for my family right now.  Because I know how good I felt for so many months and that I have full control of that... I am officially back to being the boss of my RA.  I will start updating again regularly since I think that helps.  I will only eat foods that are on my safe list and I will stick to it!!  Take your creamy cheddar cubes and delicious red jujubes and shove it. 

I'm back!!

ps- your comments really help me along! Please keep them coming and let me know of your successes!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Clean eating = happy me!!

I'm very happy to report I'm feeling great.  Had a few set backs over the last few months but one thing remains true and consistent, and that's when I clean up my diet, my arthritis improves drastically. 

I'm still sticking to the same foods that have helped me over the last 9 months.  Wow, 9 months since I started this "experiment" and I haven't had to go back on my long list of big bad drugs! (Humira injection, prednsisone, naproxyn, plaquenil)  I'm so happy that I stuck through it and have reached this point.

How are you all doing out there?  Are you finding relief through elimination diets?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ahhh...that's better

After a rollercoaster of feeling really bad, then ok, then good then really really terrible....I think I've finally got back to a feeling of good.  I have narrowed down my flares to SUGAR..... My absolute favorite thing!!! 

See, I don't mind not eating corn or banana's or wheat..... I get my cheese fix from Goat cheeses.  But the sugar... there's just nothing like a good decadent piece of cheesecake or a hunk of velvety milk chocolate.  And the wine... it seems that what they say is true, it's full of sugar.  Perhaps I should learn to drink vodka soda's for a treat?  I like my unsweetened chocolate milk with stevia but it just doesn't fill that "treat" void.

I went a solid 6 months being super strict and not cheating.  For the most part, I felt terrific.  Then all of a sudden I really seemed to get off track.  Anyway- I feel remotivated and strong.  In fact, I'm afraid all these flares have caused some permanent damage to my feet. 

To all my fellow RA sufferers.... do you have large ugly balls of inflammation on your heels, well more above your heels?  This is new for me and I'm trying to figure out if it's RA related or perhaps injury from all the exercise that I do??   They are literally the size of big grapes and they are so sore.  It really hurts to put on shoes. 

Anyone have this?? 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Quick Update

I am so much better.  Since Sunday I have been super careful and back to my safe foods.  I can't believe how much pain I was in.  That'll teach me!! 

It's funny because I am reminded of how much fatigue comes into play with RA.  I always used to think my only symptom was stiffness and pain in my hands and feet.  When my rheumatologist would ask about fatigue I would always shake my head no, I'm good.  But now, I feel it.  Maybe its because I'm off all my drugs so I have lifted the heavy fog.  I woke up today with tons of energy and the ability to make a couple of fists again!!

It's Diet people.... I tell ya :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Yikes....I've been in bad shape for some time now.  It has been accumulating over the past 2 months or so.  I was doing so well that I started to get a little bold and have some "non legal" foods!  Just a bit here and there.... some dark chocolate and wine...then a cookie....then more wine.  Then a little grated cheese in my salad.... 

I was coping ok with a little bit of the returned pain and stiffness but I'm officially out of control in a bad flare at the moment.  I think that when I'm good, I can tolerate the odd little treat (for me that's white wine or cheese or chocolate)  but when I'm already in a bit of a flare it's a bad idea to have those foods and that's where I've gone wrong.

Since Sunday I have gone back to a super duper clean diet.  No sugar whatsoever and no dairy or wheat.  A typical day is something like :

Breakfast:  Sunwarrior protein (clean & vegan) with water, flax seeds and blueberries
Snack:  Apple
Lunch: Salad with cucumbers & avocado (no nightshades) dressing- olive oil and vinegar
Snack: Nuts
Dinner:  Chicken and brocolli

I do have a lot of stress in my life at the moment with my mom being ill...I realize that this can impact my RA.

I am going to see my Naturpath doctor tomorrow so I'm hoping he can fix me up before I grab for my naproxyn & prednsione!  (just kidding.... I won't)

That's it for now!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Things that make you go hmmmmmm

Well I'm getting out of my flare slowly but surely.  It seems to take a good 4 days. 

I had an interesting visit with a new friend yesterday.  I was at Chapters perusing the Arthritis section and a nice man came by and I noticed he was doing the same.  I took a peak at his hands and realized that he definititely was a sufferer of arthritis as well.  I started a conversation with him and we ended up chatting for about 30 minutes.

He had some very interesting thoughts on RA after much research.  I thought this would be a good forum to throw those ideas out there to see if any of you have heard about these theories and see what your experiences have been.

My friend (Louis) read that RA can stem from a root canal, resulting in a deep infection in your mouth.  It sounded far off when he first mentioned it but then I got to thinking and I had a root canal when I was 17 (my first bout with RA started around that time, I think 18)  then it went away for close to 10 years.  But about 5 years ago(when my RA came back)  I had to have that same tooth worked on again.  I had damaged gums around that crown and an infection so they extracted it and now I still have a gap.  Coincidence? 

My younger brother has Ulcerative Colitis and RA.  He's been suffering since he was about 16.  He also had a root canal when he was younger due to a fall in gym.  He knocked his 2 front teeth out.  He has had trouble with those 2 teeth ever since. 

The other interesting piece of info he gave me was on "oil pulling."  I had come across this in previous research but never gave it much thought.  It's kind of gross but I'm considering giving it a try.  You take about a teaspoon of oil in your mouth and swish it around for 15 min.  You spit it out (don't swallow it- as it becomes toxic)  It draws all the toxins out through your mouth.  I haven't done a lot of research on this... but likely will and post more.

Interesting eh!  Things that make you go Hmmmmmm

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scatching my head.....

Super weird, out of the blue major flare up!!  I am a real hurtin unit.  Seems as though I've eaten something that I shouldn't have and boy am I paying for it.

It's been a very long time since I've felt like this.  I need to go back to a simpler diet to get myself back to feeling good. 

Could the weather be a factor?  Stress??

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Long over due update

Well it's been quite a while since I've updated.  We sure have a lot going on in our lives at the moment.  Lots of good things too thank god.

My mom was diagnosed with Lung cancer back in December.  It has been a real rollercoaster these past few months getting a firm diagnosis, getting the facts, and starting treatment.  We are all extremely positive and I know that things will be ok.  It will get much worse before it gets better, but I know it will get better.

Through my process of healing my RA with nutrition and gaining all this amazing insight to alternative therapies, we have found an amazing Naturopath doctor to work with mom and now I'm seeing him as well for my RA. 

For my mom, he has recommended therapies like hydrotherapy, castor oil packs, Vitamin C through IV, acupuncture, probiotics, juicing vegetables (she tried it and hated it ;(  nutrient dense high calorie smoothies, special compounds, and chinese tea.  Mom is doing amazing and trying everything.  I know it will help with her immune function and energy levels!!

After hearing him recommend all these therapies to my mom, I realized that there is probably more that I could be doing for my RA.  I have come a long way but I felt ready to go further.  I met with him and we discussed everything I've done thus far.  It was really nice because I could tell he cared and he was impressed that I've been able to go off my meds and stay fairly strict on this diet.  (I hate to call it a diet, that makes it sound like I'm trying to lose weight... I prefer nutrition plan?)  Anyhow, he has lots of ideas that I'm very excited about.  I really really want to try the Vitamin C IV but he told me to slow down... not yet ;(  We are going to be focussing on healing my gut.  Yep, that "Leaky Gut Syndrome" thing again.  He's quite concerned about all those meds I ingested over the last 3-4 yrs.  Especially the prednisone.  Here's the plan for the next 4 weeks:
- Good quality probiotics (which I believe really help me- I ran out and was lazy and flared...)
- Chinese tea that he mixed for me (for gut healing)  (1-2 cups per day or more)
- Homeopathic little pill called RHUS-TOX (1x per day)
- Castor oil packs on my abdomen (2-3x per week)
- Hydroptherapy (1x per week)  *This was neat- I did it yesterday for the first time! 

I'm rammbling.. but I'm excited to have some new things to focus on.  My RA has been well under control and I'm doing great.  I've cheated a few times (not fallen off- just a few cheats along the way) and boy do I pay for them!!!!!!! 

I will go into more detail on the hydrotherapy and castor oil packs in a few days.
Hope everyone is well!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tried & True

So, I've been back to eating in my own kitchen.  Back to having control.  Back to eating clean and nutrient dense food.  And my flare up is better each day!

On another interesting note- my son (who is 2 and has major food allergies to dairy, eggs & nuts)  has had an old problem of itchy eczema pop up on his lower legs.  He had severe eczema as a wee baby, so bad we were frequent visitors to the hospital with him.  He had been allergic to wheat back then and when we removed it, the eczema disappeared!  Anyhow, all this to say that since we got back home 5 days ago, I removed wheat out of his diet again (allergist says he's no longer allergic)  but his legs have cleared significantly!!  It goes to show that just because you aren't allergic to a food,  doesn't mean you don't have a sensitivity to it. 

I still believe so many more people can find relief of their health problems through diet.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm back!! Again!

Hopefully all of my followers haven't forgot about me!  It's been over a month since my last post.  As mentioned in an earlier post, my family was faced with some shocking news about my mom's health.  My RA was the last thing on my mind obviously.  She's not out of the woods by any stretch, but we know she will get better after a long road :)

As for my RA...I had it under control and was feeling fantastic!  I've basically steered clear of dairy, sugar, corn, any chemicals (MSG and anything else I can't pronounce!) banana & wheat.  I managed to get through Christmas and New Years with no flare ups.  Then last week I went on vacation to Palm Desert and we ate out every night.  I was nervous but figured I could order carefully and stay out of trouble. 

Not so much.....  after my first meal I felt stiff.  Then it got worse as the week went on.  I arrived home yesterday and am back to being vert strict.  I know why it happened (no real control of what they are spraying or injecting into meat or on salads/veggies)  and I know what I need to do!!  I would guess a few more days of swollen knuckles and feet, then I will start to feel better again.  I will keep you posted!!

Oh and the fatigue that comes along with it- I had almost forgot that part!  On that note, I'm off to lay down!!