Monday, May 21, 2018


So a few things have happened since my last post.

Firstly, I have purchased the Paddison Program for RA and I'm giving it a huge effort. The Paddison Program recommends a strict diet of no meat, no dairy, no oils, and no cereal grains. So a few days into the plan I started on my last post, I gave up all oils and animal proteins. I have been meeting my caloric needs with beans, quinoa, buckwheat, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. I NOTICED A HUGE IMPROVEMENT IN MY ARTHRITIS almost immediately.

Another new change I have made is that I do not take any supplements on the Paddison Program. So all of the supplements I mentioned in my previous post are currently shelved. For someone who is taking prescriptions for their arthritis, I would recommend doing the diet without changing your regular prescription routine. You and your rheumy would have to change your medications together. Paddison recommends telling your rheumy when you start the diet and getting your CRP tested at the onset and then monthly after starting. If your rheumy sees your CRP going down (which it inevitably will on this diet!) then he/she should be willing to decrease your meds.

The reason I have never tried a vegan diet like this before is because of a blood type diet book I read a while back. According to that book, people with my blood type (O positive), are meat eaters. I assumed that meat was 'healing' for me, and I ate a LOT of it. I must admit that when I first began a meat based paleo style diet several years ago I noticed a great improvement in my pain levels. I am clearly a person who does not handle cereal grains well, and cutting them out was wonderful for me! I have always recommended a paleo style diet when people ask me what I do to treat my arthritis naturally, however now I see that there is an even better way.

I am now confident that just cutting the cereal grains (all gluten containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye along with other cereal grains like corn and oats) is just not enough to really get out the RA. So removing animal protiens of any and every kind is the next step for me, and it's wonderful!!

In an interview he did with Dr. McDougal on U-Tube, Paddison explains that when he took oils and fatty foods out of his diet his 'healing' went to a whole new level. I have to agree with him.

If you have arthritis the way that I do, then you know 6:30 AM is usually not a very 'mobile' time of day. However, I am happy to report that this morning I very easily rolled out of bed, and walked (notice I'm not using the word hobbled here) out the door for an early morning jog, praise the Lord!


This is huge people! There is something to this diet!

Later this week I'm going to do the Paddison cleanse, and then begin his elimination diet. Essentailly, I'm doing the Paddison Program in reverse, I cut out all the forbidden foods and started on his 4th phase maintenance diet until I was ready to go back and start from step one. A juicer is required for the cleanse, and I didn't have one, so I started where I could. When my juicer comes in I'll be on track to start at the beginning. I can only imagine what it will be like to get even better!! Thank you, Lord for foods that don't offend my immune system!


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

12 Weeks to Feeling Groovy

I am on my 3rd day of a twelve week 'cleanse'.

I must say it is working out quite well, I'm feeling great right now. I have to admit that I cheated a little and actually started about 15 days ago. Two Sundays ago my friend Kristy and I decided to go meat free for one week. Also, we ate nothing processed or artificial. I had a Herxheimer Reaction around day three that included a nasty migraine, feeling weak and tired, and pretty sick. At the end of that week, she said she was down five pounds and feeling good, so she decided to go for another week. I decided to join her, but I had meat twice that week. Then this past Sunday I decided to continue on for the next twelve weeks on the following plan. My hope and expectation is that my weight will be right, my joints will be loose and flexible, and I'll have plenty of energy. Groovy, right!?!

Twelve Week Cleanse to Reduce Inflammation:

  • Before Breakfast pull coconut oil for at least fifteen minutes.
  • Make organic green tea with a small spoonful of coconut oil in it. 
  • For Breakfast:
    • Including any or all of the following: grapefruit, honeydew, cantelope, kiwi, pears, apples, bananas, or any other fruit. I may or may not have some nuts as well. Also, I'll probably pop a few dates . . . oh yummm! Also, I might use some Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats from time to time. 
  • Take morning supplements.
    • D3, selenium, iodine (Lugal's), probiotic, B12, Amla
  • Spend some time outside with actual sunlight shining on my actual skin. Usually cleaning up around our property. 
  • For Lunch:
    • More fruit: watermelon, pineapple, mango, apple, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, and or anything else I can find at the market for a good price. I might have a spinach smoothie. More nuts/seeds. Raw vegetables: carrots, celery, salad, etc. I might make some guacamole, or some hummus as well.
  • For Dinner:
    • My family has requested we eat meat for dinner. So I will cook a healthy meal from scratch trying to use meat to flavor the food instead of serve as the main component of the meal. Ingredients that may be included: Black rice, red rice, anasazi beans, black beans, sweet potatoes, all forms of vegetables, olive oil, coconut oil, hopefully this gives you a gist. We end up eating soup or salad quite often. Also, we may might have banana ice cream in the blender for dessert. 
  • Evening Supplements:
    • Same as above.
  • Drink water spiked with Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother) throughout the day. 
When meal planning, I like to channel two main sources. First Dr. Joel Fuhrman's nutritarian philosophy on food has been highly influential for my husband and I. Secondly, Dr. Roby Mitchell's anti-critter Bali diet is one I love to draw from as well. Further, paleo recipe's are usually great options too! 

So there are a lot of delicious foods to indulge in on my cleanse. You might notice of few things missing: wheat, dairy, anything processed, anything artificial, sugar. I have found that these things feed arthritis and make it grow . . . arthritis food, if you will. 

In my next post, I'm going to tell you the secret to exercising with arthritis! See you then.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Babies Do That

So, I had a baby in May of last year. She's now almost 11 months old. She is the reason I have not made a post on this blog in so long! But, she's totally worth it, of course!

The last part of my pregnancy and the first several months postpartum I did not feel well at all! After her birth I had some really bad reactions to some of the supplements I have been taking for years including my natural thyroid and adrenal supplements. Also, those early months with a new one can reek havoc on my diet, which did not do me very well, either. 

I have tested positive for EBV (Epstein Bar Virus) in the past, and I wonder if her birth and all of the hormones going on with that caused some kind of resurgence of EBV in me. This article really got me thinking: 

So here I sit 11 months later ready to get back in gear with my supplements and my diet. Although I have done well on a paleo style diet, and I still think it's a great choice for anyone with any auto-immune problems, I'm going to do an 12 week cleanse. 

My plan is to eat mostly raw, and mostly vegetarian. I will eat meat one to two times a week. 

I start tomorrow, we'll see what happens!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

RA Tip #1: Eat a Strict Paleo Diet

You might be amazed to find out that diet and RA go together like Mork and Mindy. You might be even more amazed to know that if you do a water fast for 7 days, you will likely be arthritis free by the end of the week! When I did a 7 day fast, I was literally able to BOUND down the staircase, walk on my tippy toes, and even though I was tired and HUNGRY, my body felt good . . . like when I was a kid good. It was totally surreal!! Nowadays, I can usually cut out a flare up with a 3 day fast. Sometimes I will do a strict water fast, sometimes I will include vegetable juice, bone broth, or coconut water. It takes a lot of discipline, but when you're in pain . . . the motivation is there! Joel Fuhrman wrote an extremely informational book about the amazing power of fasting called Fasting and Eating for Health. I highly recommend it!

There are numerous anecdotes in many books and all over the web about folks who thought they had RA, but changed their diet in a simple way (cut out gluten, dairy, night shades, or fill in the blank) and their RA completely disappeared! The problem is that the irritant seems to be different for each person. The reason I recommend a strict paleo diet is that it eliminates all the heavy allergens that are likely causing you trouble. It is extremely low in inflammation, and it eliminates processed foods of any kind. Further, there are tons of paleo recipe's available making it much easier to know how to eat! The cookbook Against All Grain, written by Danielle Walker, is prefaced by Danielle's story of suffering from severe autoimmune disease and how she used the paleo diet to heal herself. The only exception to the paleo diet would be soaked, sprouted, and fermented grains and legumes. Grains, beans, and dairy are forbidden on the paleo diet; however, if you soak or sprout grains and beans they become much more digester friendly, their nutrient content increases, and they are no longer dangerous to most folks with auto-immune issues. I recommend Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon when it comes to soaking, sprouting, and fermenting!

If you don't think your diet is triggering you arthritis, I dare you to do a fast! Let me warn you, though, sometimes fasting can release a boatload of toxins that can trigger headache and flu-like symptoms. This phenomenon is known as the Herxheimer Reaction. Prior to my seven day fast I had been eating a very clean diet for several years, and I had done several short (1-3 day) fasts that probably filtered out most of my toxins. Therefore, I did not experience any uncomfortable fasting symptoms during my long fast . . . besides the uncomfortable feeling of hunger! But if you are new to this sort of diet, you really could be miserable for a few days. Take heart, once you get all those toxins out they're gone for good (unless you eat them again, of course).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Post That Started "OK With RA"

I am so glad you stopped in to visit this site! It's difficult to find information out there about those of us who choose to treat our chronic illnesses naturally, or without the use of prescription medications. I expect that this blog will be a place of honesty, laughter, and hope for my RA sisters (and brothers)!!

This blog is the result of a post I made a few weeks ago on a different blog. In it, I dealt with the issues of pain, suffering, and my faith in Jesus Christ. Chronic pain has a way of making us ask the hard questions. I should probably explain that about 6 months ago my husband and I sold our business, our belongings, packed up our kids, and moved to Mexico to do mission work . . . more on that later ;)  So without further ado, here's the post that started it all:

STRUCK DOWN, BUT NOT DESTROYED (2nd Corinthians 4:8)

Life here in Mexico has been passing peacefully. Luke has finished the classroom portion of his school, and we have begun the "outreach" phase of his training. The outreach portion has been broken up into three segments. Segment one is hosting "Hijos Del Rey" camp which means "Kids of the King". It is a camp for local kids in the area who are Christians. My oldest 2 kids have been blessed to take part in this camp and I have been amazed by all that the Lord has done in their hearts during this time. Campers receive teachings, time for 'adoracion' (praise and worship), workshops (either music, dance, or drama), small groups, and more. We have been blessed to spend time with the kids and teenagers who are here. My little guys attract a lot of attention from the local teenage girls because of their blond hair and light eyes. Often times I look into the crowd to find one of my  littlest three posing for pictures. They call my kids "guerito", I think it means "little blondie". Seems like I hear that word everywhere I go, especially from the sweet little Mexican grandmothers that we happen across.

The next segment of our outreach will last almost three weeks. We will be travelling to Puebla and Mexico City to do evangelism. The kids and I will join in for this portion. I am really looking forward to it. The kids and I are going to try to learn a few new christian kids songs in Spanish to sing with/for the kids on this leg of our journey. I will post more about this phase in the next few weeks.

The final leg of outreach will be in a city a few hours south of where we are here in Chapala. Luke will take part in this journey, but the kids and I are going to stay home. At that point, Luke will have completed his schooling. We plan to attend a meeting in Kansas after his graduation in September with another couple from the base, and then we will be in Amarillo (Lord willing) to visit our family and friends.

So what does all of this good news have to do with the title of this post? Well, I'm glad you asked.

To answer that question, you need to know a little bit of my back story. During my first pregnancy with my daughter, about 10 years ago, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It completely rocked my world. I went from being a very active and energetic person, to a person whose fingers were to weak to pull up the bedsheets at night, and who couldn't stand up straight when I got out of bed. Over the past 10 years I have had my fair share of physical suffering. In the worst times, I couldn't walk or function. I was utterly miserable. The Dr. I went to at that time advised me to start taking a biologic drug that would prohibit me from safely having any more children, and that would certainly have negative long term side effects on my health. I was left asking myself some really hard questions.  Why me, God? Am I still important to you? Do you want me to suffer and struggle? Do you love me? Did you ever really love me? I had moments when I felt like I had been robbed of the healthy active life I had been planning on living. In many ways, I thought my life was over. To put it simply, I had been struck down, way down . . .

As the years passed, the Lord showed me how to care for myself in a way (mostly through diet) that all but eliminated my pain, without taking any toxic prescriptions. Not only that, He blessed my husband and I with 4 sons. I have been able to care for my home, my husband, and my children all with fingers that may not look exactly like yours but can get the job done just as well. He has used my arthritis to teach me humility, compassion, empathy, and more. He has allowed this disease to reveal to me that which is important in life, and that which is not. He has used it to make me thankful, and to reveal to me beauty that would have been overlooked before. Today, I am living a very active life in Mexico doing exactly what the Lord and I want me to be doing. Ten years ago I never would have imagined the life I have now was a possibility. My life was not destroyed by rheumatoid arthritis, in fact I am thriving.

A lack of pain and suffering in life does not equate to being loved by God. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Pain and suffering in life are to be considered "all joy" to the believer who believes that the struggle being faced is evidence of sonship to almighty God. Suffering is required to produce the character traits the Lord is trying to develop in His children to "make them perfect". Suffering makes us more like Christ. Suffering gets the attention of the world. Hard times have come, and more are brewing on the horizon. This is not a lack of love from our Father. When we find ourselves in the midst of agony, and the inevitable question comes to mind, "Do you even love me, Lord?" The answer is to be found on the cross, not on our personal comfort scale. At the cross He proved His love. At the cross He gave us new life that is being renewed by Him day by day, although outwardly we shrivel and waste away.

On the day I die, when I trade my temporary body in for an eternal one, I hope that God and I have a good laugh over the condition of my body. Some parts will be shrivelled from arthritis, others will be stretched from pregnancy and nursing, my brain will be full of our conversations, my hands will have been used to bring nourishment, comfort, and sometimes even to usher a new life into the world. My skin will have wrinkles and sunspots. My toes will not all point in the same direction. But I hope and I pray that every part of my body will have been made accessible to the Lord, no corner kept for myself, and God and I can look on my body and see that it was His more than mine. And on that day, all the pain and suffering will have been well worth it.

"Fallow Ground" by A.W. Tozer:
Sermon on suffering by Matt Chandler: