I have tried many alternative health and nutritional aids, read many books and attended seminars. If you are interested in my book recommendations, visit my Recommended Reading page. You can click on the links and order the books directly from Amazon.com at discounted prices.
Let’s Start with Nutrition. What I have learned is what is helps my Lupus | Rheumatoid Arthritis |Connective Tissue Disease | Autoimmune Disease and what hurts. I have a short list below. Basically, I have learned about Alkaline vs. Acid. Food and drinks that make your body more Alkaline seem to help with inflammation. Acid foods seem to worsen inflammation.
I am not a doctor or a nutritional expert, my recommendations come from my own experience over 8 years of dealing with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The best recommendation I can make as far as nutrition is to try and eat as much vegetarian as you can. The more raw, whole, organic fruits and vegetables you eat the better. I have struggled with this. I have found a balance that works for me. I eat approximately 70 % vegetarian. Once or twice a week I allow myself some meat. I love a good burger or a steak now and then, but only as a treat. I have learned to cook some pretty good vegetarian dishes and I have listed some of my favorites on my Recipes page of this website.
Fresh organic fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and more.
I eat veggie burgers, veggie tacos, veggie spaghetti, veggie stir fry, veggie wraps and of course veggie salads. I eat a lot of spinach in everything I make. I have learned to cook some very satisfying vegetarian dishes. Check out my Recipes for some ideas or just be creative and experiment for yourself. The more vegetarian I eat, the better my body feels, and the better my digestive process works. Eating mostly vegetarian also helps keep my weight down which helps my joints. I have always been a husky guy and gain weight fast if I don’t eat healthy and exercise. Eating vegetarian also helps keep my cholesterol and blood pressure low.
Dairy and Milk Products: I have eliminated most dairy milk products from my diet. I don’t drink milk at all, I do still eat cheese though I try to minimize it. I eat a little sour cream now and then with my veggie tacos but not too much. My big vice is espresso lattes, but today I drink them with soy milk. Soy is a great source of protein as well. I’ve talked to others that use rice milk in place of milk.
Fish and other Protein Sources: Since I don’t eat a lot of meat I get my protein mostly from soy, black beans, garbanzo beans, fish and eggs. Believe it or not there is protein in vegetables as well. Some experts believe that we can get more than enough protein just from our vegetables and beans. I think it is up to each individual to experiment and see what works for you. No, I’m not a vegan nor do I want to be. Fish like salmon and halibut are a great source of protein as well as Omega 3 Essential Oils. I eat fish 2-3 times a week.
Essential Oils: As previously mentioned, fish is a great source of essential oils, as are some raw nuts and oils that come from nuts. Essential oils are called “Essential” because your body needs them but does not produce or manufacture them internally so they have to come from an outside source.
In addition to eating fish I also take a liquid supplement called Udo’s Oil 3*6*9 a product made by Dr. Udo Erasmus and available at almost any health food store. I drink a couple ounces a day. Some people don’t like drinking it straight, it’s kind of like drinking liquid butter as far as the taste. A trick I learned is to squeeze the juice from a small piece of fresh pineapple into the Udo’s Oil, the pineapple juice sinks to the bottom of the oil and is the last thing you taste when you drink it. I use a garlic press to squeeze out the pineapple juice. The Udo’s is a combination of different oils from nuts and designed to give your body the proper combination of omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids for maximum absorption into the body. I believe that Udo’s oil taken daily over a long period of time has done wonders for my Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Wheatgrass Juice: I try to drink 2 ounces of fresh, organic wheatgarss juice everyday. I have lived in a small town for the past 6 years, so I have to make it myself with a wheatgrass juicer when I am home. I travel a lot for work so I am not there that much. I love Jamba Juice! They are in almost every metropolitan city I have traveld to in the US, and it is only a few dollars and change for a double shot (2 oz. of wheatgrass juice, they do the work and clean-up. Wheatgrass juice is loaded with minerals, a large percentage of all the minerals known to man. If I am in a place I can’t get fresh wheatgrass juice, I have some powdered wheatgrass supplements I mix with water and drink.
Green Drink: Green Drink is a powdered supplement that comes from all sorts of vegetables and grasses like wheatgrass and others, and again is loaded with vitamins, minerals and amino acids. You just mix it with water and drink it down. I learned about green drink at a Tony Robbins Seminar and use a product that his company manufactures. You can purchase it at www.TonyRobbins.com
Water: I can’t say enough about water. We all know we need to drink more water but we don’t. We are dehydrated most of the time. I have worked really hard at drinking more water. I have a water purifier on my sink at home and a brita in the fridge. When I do buy water I only buy trusted brands of purified water. Today you can even buy filters and water that is alkaline. Very Cool! A rule of thumb is to take a small drink about every 5 – 10 minutes. I was taught at a Tony Robbins seminar that I need to drink half my weight in ounces every day. So I weigh about 220 lbs so I try and drink approximately 110 ounces a day. Yeah I know, lots of trips to the bathroom! It’s not so bad. Your body uses water to flush your system so it aids in removing toxins from your body.
I use a reusable water container most of the time, but when I don’t have it with me I buy plastic bottles of water, but try to recycle them. I wish they had more recycling receptacles in public spaces. I hate throwing them away, but sometimes have no choice. I am aware of the problem of plastic bottles filling up the landfills so I do make an effort to recycle most of the time.
Sugar: I don’t really have a sweet tooth, so sugar isn’t a big deal for me. I don’t drink pop or sodas very often, they are really bad for you and loaded with chemicals and calories. The occasional root beer at the movie theater is about it for me. I do enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate as a treat. I rarely eat desserts. I have been told excessive sugar intake can contribute to inflammation so I try to keep it to a minimum.
Supplements: I’m not big on lots of supplements. I do take a multi vitamin and I also take Glucosamine , Chondroitin and MSM. That’s about it for me besides my green drink or juice plus. I once saw a naturopathic doctor for my Lupus / Rheumatoid Arthritis who had me taking dozens of supplements and it made me sick to my stomach, so I have settled with just taking a few that I have found to make a positive impact for me.
Juicing : Fresh Juice! I love it! I have a juicer at home and make my own. One of my favorites is Carrot, Apple, Beet, Ginger juice. When you are drinking fresh juice you can taste the freshness and it just feels healthy going down and you get all the fresh enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Cleansing and Juice Cleanse: I have been doing juice cleanses for 8 years, ever since I was first diagnosed with MCTD (Mixed Conective Tissue Disease) which is a combination of Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Scleraderma. I have a different take than most people I talk to who do a cleanse because I believe in nutritional support during the cleanse vs. just juice.
The purpose of a cleanse is to aid your body in eliminating harmful toxins and chemicals that build up in our bodies and can cause health problems. Our environment, processed foods, non-organically grown fruits and vegetable, the air we breathe, it is all contaminated and we ingest all sorts of toxins everyday. Some of the toxins get eliminated, but our bodies can only eliminate so much at a time, and some of the toxins build up over time and our stored in our cells.
I believe in cleansing, but I also believe in healthy nutritional support while I do a cleanse. I do a juice cleanse 2 times a year, usually for 7 – 10 days.
Here is what I do. Prior to the cleanse I eat strictly vegetarian for at least 2 -3 days. This gets my digestive system cleared out and ready to go for the cleanse. I also do that because the first time I did a juice cleanse I had been eating meat the day before which tends to clog my system or at least slow the digestive process, and when the toxins were being released into my system with the cleanse they couldn’t get out of my body fast enough and it caused a lupus flare up. I haven’t had that problem when I eat nothing but veggies for a few days first.
I use a product called Ultra InfamX, which was recommended to me by a Naturapathic doctor in Seattle. It is a powdered supplement designed for eliminating toxins in people with inflammatory diseases . It has rice protein and all kinds of vitamins, minerals and amino acids so it gives your body plenty of nutritional support throughout the juice cleanse. It has worked well for me.
I make fresh jusice with organic apples, carrots, beet and ginger, then I mix the UltraInflamX withthe juice and drink it three times a day. Between my cleansing shakes I drink lots of fresh vegie juice and a whole lot of water. I also like to go to the gym and sit in a sauna and sweat out those toxins. I can’t stress enough to drink alot of water. 5 – 10 days and I am refreshed, cleansed and ready to eat again.
After the juice cleanse I usually ease my digestive system with only veggies for a day or two before adding other carbs or any animal or fish protein. The other thing I have done during a juice cleanse is colonics. I was introduced to colonic treatments at Tony Robbins Seminar, which is by far the most comprehensive health (and Life) seminar I have ever attended. I highly recommend it. Colonic treatments infuse your colon with purified water and aids your body in eliminating built up toxins and fecal matter from the walls of the colon. It works. I felt a little nausious after the first treatment, but by the third I felt great. I highly recommend colonics as a part of your cleanse, but also must add that you should consult your doctor first.