If you’ve ever stopped in to this blog before, you know that I frequently talk about what is ailing me or what new diet I [a] want to try or [b] am currently on. When I look back or even think about its totality, I get it; it’s a rather self-absorbed rambling rant, but it’s not really for you, it’s for me…. to keep track of progress, major setbacks or victories, what’s working and what’s not working. It’s only for you if you: share a problem, you stumble upon this blog, and we can help one another in any way. That is why I share in a public forum. I have gained so much knowledge and support through the Internet, I cannot imagine tackling a chronic illness without it. I truly came into my own in my forties and I continue to grow wiser/calmer/happier in my fifties. I was thrown a bit of hardball with the RA diagnosis, but what the heck, it made me forget about menopause. Menopause, smenopause, if I can thrive with Rheumatoid Arthritis, menopause is not even on the radar.
So, a couple of years ago, I lost almost 50 pounds and I was on top of the world. Then someone stole my wings https://kimmstree.com/2014/06/07/maleficent/ and over the next couple of years, I slowly and painfully gained over half of it back. It feels like more since I also lost some lean muscle as I could not walk/zumba/hike/run like I used to. I cannot blame this all on the RA, making unhealthy food choices is a slippery slope that once you begin to slide down seems like a super slide with no stopping mechanism. Sugar and simple carbs are poison to me; I know this. When I eat them, I am medicating with food. I have done this my entire life. My Mother and Grandfather taught me. Food was comfort, food was reward, food was a drug, and food was an ever present focus.
You cannot read about health issues or autoimmunity [I already have at least 2 autoimmune diseases], without learning that our gut is the new center of our health. Hippocrates, was evidently, right all along when he said “all disease begins in the gut.” Our microbiome is as messed up as our planet. I discovered a couple of years ago that gluten and I didn’t get along and I cut it out. It was no picnic in the beginning, but I am used to it now. I have become quite creative with alternative flours and grains, but I know that I am still allergic to something because of persistent rash on my thigh that reacts to my food intake by inflaming and healing in turns. I suspect I may be sensitive to other grains, lignans, dairy, or eggs.
October is an auspicious month for me. It’s my birth month and I have had two successful beginnings on October 6th. October 6, 1999, I stopped smoking and never looked back. October 6, 2013, I began using Take Shape for Life/Medifast and lost almost 50 pounds in 5 short months. So, on Monday October 5th, I began the Autoimmune Protocol. It basically removes anything that might be allergenic or that tends to promote leaky gut for at least 30 days- it is easier to say what I can eat than what I cannot. I can eat fresh unprocessed meats, broths, vegetables that are non legume, and fruits that are non citrus. I cannot have coffee, sugar of any kind, nuts, seeds, or grains, eggs, or dairy. I am allowing myself only one grain and that is a bit of brown rice, and only if the brown rice is soaked, slow cooked in coconut oil, and then refrigerated for 8-12 hours.
I’m on day 5 and I feel more energized already. Seriously, once the sugar is gone for a few days, it no longer has power over me and I feel back in control. I’ll be writing this month to record how this elimination protocol is going and how I reintroduce foods. If you have tried it yourself, I’d love to hear from you or get a link to your blog.