A new start with the diet…. So far so good!

Something I have been considering for quite some time now is a change in diet in an attempt to reduce my RA symptoms… I wrote about it in Food Glorious Food, I’d been sceptical and also scared… I love food, I also love eating healthy, but I’ve always enjoyed a treat, a beer, a brew, a steak… The list goes on.

But the pain remained and as I draw closer and closer to my due date I worry… Will I be able to function as mum?! How will I cope? So since being off work (sine the 25th July, going back on Wednesday 3rd though!!) I have looked further into this option, I’ve read around quite a few places (by no means all… But I’d still be reading if that were the case!), and I decided to take the plunge. A few weeks back I had swapped from milk to soya for my brews and cereal, and had noticed a bit of an improvement, but after some serious consideration, I decided to go the whole hog and start an elimination diet…!

One of the main reasons I had felt sceptical was that I struggled to find the information I was looking for, but just kept coming back to the Paddison Programme, I’m sure he has a huge amount of information to provide, but I some how feel uneasy about paying online to get advice…. Especially since I couldn’t find anything else… Then one day I was on a RA Facebook group and someone mentioned Rheumatoid Arthritis Managed Naturally, so on I went and found so many answers to so many of my questions. Plus lots of files and resources, and information about where to look. AWSOME!! I straight away bought the Paleo Approach and the cookbook, and The Gerson Therapy book (there are LOADS of other resources out there, not just those two books, it’s just they are the ones I’ve started with!)…. I know… Why am I happy to pay for advice via a book, but not online, well 1) the information in the book is available else where, it’s just easier to read all in one place in a book. 2) I like books, and they are full of references, 3) my studies taught me to be sceptical of web based information! (Despite more and more information these days being web based!). Plus I’ve found some blogs that give me recipe ideas, such as Paleo Mom, and I’ve got myself back onto Pintrest in an attempt to scrap book together recipe ideas and inspiration. Planning planning planning, because it’s going to be so easy to pick up a Danish if I’m out and haven’t planned something ‘elimination’ friendly!

On august 21st I started a brief food diary of what I was eating,with the view to starting my elimination diet on the Tuesday 26th. In the run up to starting my diet I ate RUBBISH!! Not overly intentionally, but I kept thinking if this is the last time I get to eat a Danish pastry, I’m going to have it!! I’m sure that’s human nature….?!

Tuesday 26th came around, and the diet began…. I have eliminated: dairy, gluten, nightshades, legumes, citrus, seeds and nuts, meat (except Turkey, fish and wild game), certain cooking fats (currently using avocado oil, coconut oil and a little olive oil), alcohol (not hard being 7 months preggers!!), caffeine, sugar…. They are the main things I think!

I’m aiming to stick to this for about 3-4 weeks, then start some very gradual re-introductions, with a view to finding out what, if any are triggering my flares and making me feel so rubbish.

When you look at what I’ve cut out, it looks like there’d be nothing left to eat, but… In fact there is plenty to feed a hungry pregnant woman, and thankfully due to the fish and wild game, I don’t feel like I’m depriving ‘bump’! Yes…I have to prepare it ALL, no convenience any more (thank god I’m off work at the moment!), but it feels good to be eating nutritionally!

After my re introductions, I really hope to be able to follow something along the lines of the Paleo Approach, as it makes since to me, and it is pretty much all the foods I love to eat… It’s just I have to make them, rather than buying from a supermarket! Which again, is no bad thing, especially if it means I’m healthy! But I’m willing to accept a more vegetarian diet if needs be to keep me well.

So…. How has the first nearly week gone I hear you ask….? Well, a hell of a lot better than the acupuncture and hydrotherapy!!

In the last 6 days, the swelling in my right knee and left ankle has reduced, including the pain (although not gone!), I am sleeping through the night, maybe waking briefly for the odd position change, pain in my hands and feet is still present in the mornings, but it’s only lasting about an hour, and instead of it taking 4 minutes to put on my socks (yes, I timed it!), it now takes me seconds :-D. my hands look wasted, which they might be… My grip certainly isn’t what it once was, but it could also be they they aren’t fat puffy mits anymore! My fingers still have thick joints, swell a bit and are stiff… But I have had RA for 7 years! This weekend, I have been able to go up and down stairs one foot in front of the other (not every time, but I’m still chuffed!), and I don’t always have to hang on to the banister rail. I’ve been on more dog walks, some even on consecutive days, and yesterday managed a lovely 3+ miles walk in the woods (furthest, and most undulating walk I’ve done since being pregnant!). And I am even able to clean the kitchen whilst the dinner is cooking, including un-stacking and re-stacking the dishwasher!!

Now don’t get me wrong… I still have pain, I still have stiffness, I still feel fatigue… But it is all much less, and considering this is all in 6 days… I’m pretty chuffed!

Of course, I’m aware, it could be many variables leading to these changes…. 1) the rest from work is finally giving me some benefit 2) placebo? Is it the positive mental attitude from the reading around of something I believe should work (only after reading the science!)? 3) maybe baby is finally kicking out some steroids like all my midwives and consultants kept telling me it would…. Or is it the diet?! I guess time will tell!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Elimination diet… what have I been eating…??! | Always Look on the Bright Side of RA
  2. Trackback: Elimination Diet… Where I’m up to – A Summary! | Always Look on the Bright Side of RA
  3. Trackback: Increased knowledge leads to so many more questions!! I guess I’ll just keep reading!! | Always Look on the Bright Side of RA

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