Easter is my nemesis!

It's been 2 weeks since I've posted. Unfortunately, I've had a pretty sick baby which left me sleep deprived and exhausted. Babies are inoculated against rota virus but that didn't seem to make a difference. Poor girl, but she's better now. I really hope she never has to go through that again! It's akin to having severe food poisoning - constantly for about a week and a half - terrible!!

To say that I had a couple of cheat days this past weekend would be the understatement of the year! I have to say that I was completely out of control when it came to candy and had some interesting symptoms when I had some gluten as well. Easter dinner (yesterday) consisted of ham, mashed potatoes, carrots with dill and mac and cheese (homemade by my husband) and candy/chocolate/ice cream. I definitely could feel my sugar highs and crashes. The feelings seemed to be amplified since I hadn't had "sugar" per se in 6 weeks. And man, did I feel lethargic during the crashes and schizo on the highs! My husband made this incredible mac and cheese. Now I haven't had gluten in 6 weeks. I had 3 helpings. I had the most intense, stabbing intestinal cramping I've ever felt about 20 minutes later. 10 minutes after that and I spent the evening on the porcelain throne. My body was rebelling, infuriated with the onslaught of the gluten-y mass [re: mess] I ingested. I'm bloated, gassy, foggy and just have a feeling of general malaise. Yuck! I hate this. I've also noted that I'm having soft tissue sensitivity. A precursor to joint pain for me. Meaning that evening the slightest touch on my skin feels like someone has punched me in that spot.

I immediately upped my lupus meds because I knew that the next step would arthritic pain. So far so good. So for the next week, I'm back to my old dosage until I'm back on track. I'm back to strict paleo now. No sugar, processed food, dairy, grains. I hope that I don't have to go through the whole carb flu thing again but I'm thinking it may happen.

The interesting thing is that I'm not feeling guilty or even sad for my weekend indiscretions. I'm actually glad I cheated, I totally understand how different my body feels on sugar and gluten and I really, really don't like it. It's definitely an eye opener, I seriously never want to feel like this again.

Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 15-Ounce Tubs (Pack of 2)So, I started with my coffee with a tbsp of coconut oil, 2 eggs and a fistful of leftover ham - delicious! This is my coconut oil of choice. It's great for baking as it has a hint of coconut flavour. If you want flavourless, you've got to get an oil that's more refined. Love this stuff! It is fabulous in the chocolate chip cookie recipe I posted before.

Alright, I'm spending the next week getting back on track and healing myself from the damage I did over the past 3 days. I'm also going to get back to journaling on a regular basis.

Until next time!


5 weeks!

5 weeks, 5 weeks, 5 weeks!!!!!!! What a difference 5 short weeks can make! It is phenomenal how much different I feel from March 7, when I started this endeavor. I seriously had major doubts, after all, if being a vegan (the most healthy diet according to CW) for 7 months didn't do much what on earth was eating mostly fat (and saturated fat at that) going to possibly do? You couldn't convince me that this much change was possible in such a short period of time if it wasn't actually happening to me!

So, here's my weekly update:

Lupus symptoms - Absolutely non-existent! In the past week, I have not had one ache or pain. No stiffness, no swelling, no pain at night, no fatigue, nada, zip - wow!! I cut my plaquinil dose in half (it's been 2 days) and still no pain and stiffness. I. Am. Going. To. Be. In. Remission. Soon.....

Overall well-being -  I don't know if I even need to respond. I have never felt better (except maybe right after my 2 girls were born). I'm energetic, pain-free, clear-headed. Some people are starting to read my blog and are getting inspired to help themselves and others close to them. This makes me feel so good! I am becoming so passionate about this! I wish I could just convince every person with lupus and RA (and any other autoimmune disease) to just give this WOE a chance - 30 days and you'll be hooked on being healthy!

Weight loss/Measurements - Screw this!! I've been getting a little obsessed over the weight loss and my measurements. Both parameter numbers have been slowly getting smaller but someone over on the MDA forum kicked my butt a little and got me to refocus on getting well, after all, this is why I started this. The weight loss is such a nice side effect but thank you Shat!!

Exercise - I am still following the PBF routine and walking a lot. I'm also part of a running group and I'm trying to work myself up to a 5K. It is slow going and I'm not really sure I like it but I'm going to stick with it a little longer to see if that changes. I think I should be able to run 3 measly miles without having to walk. So that's my next goal. Yes me, a 5K, WTF! Seriously, this was not even a remote possibility 2 months ago!

So, I feel amazing. AMAZING! My next adventure is to start coming up with my own paleo recipes, my kitchen is going to be a lab this week. I'll update with my hits (and maybe even some misses - everyone's palate is different right?).

I also realize that I've been using way too many exclamation points in recent postings. Sorry but intonation is everything and I'm just too excited. I'll calm down soon, promise ;P


And who needs meds?

I cut my plaquinil dose in half on Saturday, now it's Sunday night and still no stiffness or pain!! I even got up and ran with my running group at 7 am (ran/walked a 5K) and then came home and edged the gardens in my front and side yards and then took my 3 year old to a birthday party. I'm exhausted now but not sore.

I cannot believe the energy I have now. I don't think I've had levels like this since jr. high school. Really, it's been that long. It sounds weird but I feel almost free. I am starting to do 3-4 major things in one day. I used to be able to only really do one big thing a day, felt terrible and guilty/lazy for not being able to do anything else.



Doctors may think they are smart but they are clueless

Okay, so I had a Rheumatologist appointment today. I'm am so freaking mad!! I told her I was feeling great and she commented on how great my hands look and that I have full, pain-free range of motion in my arms. I said that since I started a new diet, everything has changed for the better. She asked which diet and I told her "Paleo". She knew exactly what I was talking about and then proceeds to ask if I eliminated all grains or just some. I tell her "all" and she says, "you must have a gluten sensitivity then".

She has never, ever, in the many years of seeing her, ever mentioned anything to me about gluten. She knew I was trying to help myself through diet when I went vegan (pumping myself full of wheat, oats, soy and every other carb known to man - to the tune of probably 85-90% of my diet). But never thought to mention the paleo diet. I asked why she didn't mention it to me and she says that most people just don't change routines. Me, I was killing myself trying to maintain a vegan diet. As a doctor it is absolutely her responsibility to educate and inform. It's my decision if I want to try a particular diet or follow through on any of her medical advice. Makes me want to pull my hair out!! So instead of letting me in on this gluten-free/dietary goldmine, she stood by as I got sicker and prescribed more meds, I got even sicker and still, more meds. I couldn't get out of bed most mornings, I couldn't pick my baby up out of her crib. I'm just furious. Apparently my blood pressure is pretty low (nurse took it 3 times to be sure), 90/65. It's normally about 120/80, when I asked about that she says that a low carb diet tends to reduce general inflammation in the body and blood pressure usually drops a bit and that it's fine. Even that little nugget would have helped me out and possibly put me on a path to low carb.

I just think that if my cousin didn't join a crossfit gym and mention the diet to me in passing on a facebook status, I would still be miserable, in tremendous pain, tremendous stiffness, forcing myself to be vegan because that's the conventional wisdom of what is deemed healthy. So glad I know better now and had the gumption to jump into this WOE wholeheartedly. You truly have to be your own advocate.

Okay, I'm done my rant!!

The good news is that I am starting to titrate down off of the last lupus med I'm on! I'm cutting the dosage in half, so if all goes well, I may be med free in a few months for the first time in 3 1/2 years. I HAVE BEEN ON THIS DIET FOR ONLY 4 AND A HALF WEEKS!! Totally unbelievable! So happy right now.


4 weeks!

Okay, it's been 4 weeks since I began this WOE/WOL. Here is my update:

Lupus symptoms - I feel fantastic. I get a little stiff and sore at about 10 pm but as I have mentioned earlier, it's gone by morning. One morning last week I woke up and the bottoms of my feet were incredibly inflamed and it initially hurt to walk. In thinking why this may have happened, I did eat out for lunch the day before. I remained paleo/primal and had a large salad with roasted lamb. Delish but I think that the extra salt and probably some type of vegetable oil (not straight olive) did me in. It is so much easier controlling my symptoms by feeding myself! I used to love eating out but know I'm just worried about what it will do to me by the next day. I'm at a point now where I need to know exactly what is in my food, I need that control and am actually embracing and really starting to love cooking for my family.

Overall well-being -  I am feeling fantastic, really! I'm a lot more energetic, my lethargy seems to be something that is quickly becoming my past. I'm doing a lot more, it may be that it's the start of spring but I am more enthusiastic about everything - including housework! I'm getting my kids outside as much as possible (between the rain and snow) and walking a lot more and playing more!

Weight loss - weight loss seems to be on fritz. I've actually gained a pound since last week. This has made me a little stressed but I know now that it's just not worth it. I've been reading around the blogosphere and most people say to ditch the scale and base your progress on body measurements. I've been weighing myself every morning and evening. ENOUGH!! I now have 3 body measurements that I'd like to share (and the title of this topic will now be Body measurements). I have lost a total of 6"  in 4 weeks and I think that's pretty great!

Date                   Neck     Bicep     Forearm   Chest     Waist      Hips      Thigh      Calf
03/22/2011      -.25"      -.5"          -.5"        -1"        -.5"     -1.25"     -.75"     -1.25"
to 04/04/2011

Exercise - I am still following the PBF routine and I've been walking a bit more. I have a lot more fun playing with my kids as they are loving the new me!

All in all, this has been a real eye opener. I'm about half way through Taube's "Good Calories, Bad Calories" and I'm mad but happy I found this WOL and am able to educate myself and my family on what is truly the best way to eat and live for health and longevity.

Until tomorrow!


Busy week over

It's been 6 days since I last wrote. It was a busy week with the in-laws visiting, my daughter back to preschool, play dates back in full swing and dance class. I have been feeling pretty good in general. I have been having some inflammation and soreness later in the evenings, closer to the time that I head to bed. I'll take it though, as I'm fine when I wake up.

I've stuck completely to the diet. 4 weeks tomorrow and I haven't cheated once - I haven't really even wanted to except for last night. Luckily my husband talked me out of it. I really wanted some cake, crazy! I'm so glad I didn't, I cannot eat gluten and destroy all the work I've already done. Haven't had any weight loss this week, actually gained 2 I think. I didn't get a lot of time to exercise last week.

I'll report back tomorrow with my measurements and weight.