We all know it’s true – if we eat better we feel better (duh). It’s a universal truth.
But for someone with an autoimmune disease, it’s so much more. Because it isn’t just about feeling better. It’s about not feeling awful. I’ll explain.
Having an autoimmune disease means your body is attacking itself. It’s immune system going berserk and attacking healthy cells, affecting one or many different types of body tissue, including joints, organs, skin…nothing is off-limits. In my case, having Rheumatoid Arthritis means that the inflammation in my body has gone wild and is attacking my joints. The pain I felt before I started managing my disease with medicine was indescribable. Simple things like putting on a seatbelt, turning over in bed, holding a cup of coffee…well, they weren’t simple – they were extremely painful.
Fortunately, I have been able to manage the disease with medication for the last 10 years. I also try to avoid foods that cause inflammation (sugar, dairy, gluten) because these kinds of foods exasperate my condition – kind of like throwing gasoline on a fire. But because the medicine works so well for me, it’s easy to forget how awful I felt before. Which makes it easy to convince myself that it’s OK to have that pizza, or ice cream, or sandwich….whatever. But that’s a slippery slope, because before I know it, food with sugar, dairy and gluten have become a big part of what I eat. And I wonder why I don’t feel good(?!).
Recently, I’ve started to notice pain in the joints of my hands. In fact, one joint on my left hand is starting to get the RA “look” – raised up and enlarged. It’s been a good wake-up call and reminder that my RA is not cured (it never will be) and that I have to eat better to feel better…and not feel awful – for now and the long-haul.
You may not have an autoimmune disease, but I’m guessing that you understand the slippery slope of making bad food choices. So what should we do?
It takes 21 days to change a behavior. My behavior change is eliminating sugar, gluten and dairy (from cows). What food behavior do you want to change to feel better? Want to do this together? It can be whatever you need it to be – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we start. And we can help each other. For 21 days, starting today.
Are you ready? Follow me on Facebook for 21 days of daily (hourly, as often as I need it) inspiration.
Let’s do this!