Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Journey to Health

It's been almost 2 months since I shared about my diagnosis and since so many of you have been kind enough to email asking how I'm doing, I decided to take a break in regularly-scheduled programming to share a little about my journey thus far.  It's my hope that by sharing what has worked for me, it will help encourage others who are also battling autoimmune diseases.

Immediately after hearing the news from my doctor, I threw myself head-first into researching Lupus.  I wanted to know everything I could about what I was facing and, in many ways, acquiring as much information as possible somehow made it feel a little less frightening.  Knowledge=power.  The more I searched, the more stories I came across about people who had adjusted their diet and significantly decreased their symptoms and recurring flares.

I was very hesitant about starting a restrictive menu plan because of my history with eating disorders, but it's amazing how your perspective can change when your only other treatment option is steroids and chemo drugs.  I won't lie...it has been a difficult transition for me.  Though I'm a fairly healthy eater, I really LOVE to bake and truly mourned the loss of my desserts & the ability to indulge my sweet tooth.  It's also hard as a wife & mother having to prepare a meal for my family and then take the time to make something completely separate for myself to eat.

I am so thankful for the encouragement & advice I received from others who are on similar journeys and for those who shared their knowledge & experience with me.  Two of the books that I read to help educate myself (both of which I highly recommend) were Eat The Yolks and The Paleo Approach, which explain in great detail the affect of food on the immune system.  I've also learned that planning meals ahead is so important to success - these are some of my new favorite cookbooks that have helped make the conversion to this new diet much easier:

Now that I have been following a Paleo diet for well over a month, I can honestly say that the benefits far outweigh the sacrifices.  I have more energy, my joint pain & swelling has decreased and all my rashes have cleared up.  It's been so amazing to realize that I have the power to heal my body one meal at a time and I know that it is a much better solution than prescribed medications, which would only serve to mask the pain.

When I first received my diagnosis, I felt like it was the end of life as I knew it and that things would never be the same again.  And, in some ways, that is true.  But now I can clearly see that remission is possible (& hopefully just around the corner!) and it feels good to be taking back control of my health, knowing that I can affect the outcome.  Thank you all so much for your continued prayers & support - I am grateful beyond words to have such an amazing community surrounding me & cheering me on.

Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional, nor do I have any medical training. 
Everything shared here is my personal opinion, based on research that I've done & what has worked for me.


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