I am back in Las Vegas for a month, drove down and brought my bike.   I biked alot last summer in Washington, both Seattle area and Lake Chelan.   I participated in an Olympic distance Triathlon in July and accomplished 2 Century Bike Rides (100 miles in one day) in Sept.  The Centiry rides were really, really hard.   It took alot of determination and  training to do it.   But I did do it!    Not bad for a 45 year old guy with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis!

I do like to walk,  (I am doing the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk to benefit the Susan G Komen Foundation in Sept. which is 60 miles over 3 days.    I lost my little sister 3 years ago to breast cancer so it is a cause near and dear to my heart.  I walked 8 miles on Saturday when I got back to Las Vegas, the sun was out and it was 65 degrees and beautiful.   On Sunday I rode my bike for the first time in 4 months, I rode up the Red Rock Canyon West of Las Vegas.   I went 25 miles and was really exhausted when I finished.   Here’s a couple pics of the scenery from my bike ride.

I haven’t been eating very well lately.  Eating more meat than I should be.   I still eat alot of veggies, salads, take my udos oil, vitamins, greens and Wheatgrass Juice.   But I’ve not been eating as much veggies and I’ve been eating things like pizza and cheeseburgers every few days, more than normal.   I know it’s not good for me, but I really crave fatty foods.   Which is double hard because I have a slow metabolism and gain weight really fast.  I have gained 17 pounds since Sept. when I was doing all the biking.   I have been working out, walking, swimming etc.. 2-3 days a week but it’s not enough for me.

I was on the road for work in Lake Havasu City the past couple days, and I didn’t that well so today I got frustrated and decided it time to get my act together again.   I’d been planning on doing a juice cleanse, so I committed to starting tomorrow for 9 days.   I will make my juice: carrot, apple, beet ginger (all organic)  and mix with my UltraInflamX   Mix  3 times a day.  I will also have a smoothie once a day.   I put Organic Soy Milk, a banana, some fresh pineapple, frozen blueberries, antioxident juice (Noni, Mangosteen Acai)   and an apple (all organic)  in my Vita Mix  and it makes a great healty smoothie loaded with nutrition.   I will continue with Wheatgras Juice, Udos Oil (Essential Oils), green drink and vitamins.  I got some new liquid vitamins to try, supposedly has better absorption.  I got multi-vitamin, mineral supplement and glucosamine / chondroitin/ MSM.    They are liquid so I poured a tablespoon of each into a shot glass with my 1 oz. of Udos oil,  the vitamins actually made the udos oil taste better.

I really stepped things up  at the gym today, I hired a personal trainer to help with some core training for the next month, to teach me some core exercises and light weightlifting to tone and get in better shape.  I am lookin forward to learning.

With the cleanse, personal traininer, and committment to exercise (either bike, walk, swim or train) every day for the next month,  I look forward to seeing where I am at with my health in a month.   Oh yeah, I will also do colonics next week with the cleanse to help eliminate toxins out of my system.   Of course I will be drinking my 100 ounces of water a day as well.

After the cleanse I will eat primarily veggies, and continue juicing and smoothies as well, with some fish for protein.

Wish me luck… I’ll keep ya posted on my progress!

I try to get my nutrition through natural, organic foods and fresh vegetables.   I also take a few supplements daily.  In addition to my Udo’s Oil and Wheatgrass, I take a multi Vitamin, Glucosamine Chondroitin, vitamin B12, Vitamin D and MSM.   As with all supplements I believe you have to take them consistently for a long period of time to truly benefit from them. Consistency is key.

I learned about wheatgrass juice a couple years ago.  Organic Wheatgrass juice is loaded with Minerals, about 80% of the minerals in existence.  I have a wheatgrass juicer at home.  When traveling I usually try and find a fresh juice shop like jamba juice that will make the organic wheatgrass juice for me.  All the benefits without the clean-up!    I take a 2 oz. shot of wheatgrass every day that I can and I know it has helped with my Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Like any supplement or health food, the benefits come over taking it consistently over a long period of time.

Fresh juice has many health benefits.  Fresh juice provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fresh enzymes and more.  I have juice for health organic nutrional juicingbeen juicing since about a year after my Connective Tissue / Autoimmune diagnosis. I try to juice every day.  My favorite is apple, carrot, beet ginger, parsley, celery, cucumber and kale.  I only include 1 apple and 2 carrots as they are loaded with natural sugar, but they do make the juice taste better.  It tastes great and is very good for you.  I believe juicing is one of the many things that have contributed to my optimum health and combating the inflammation from Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis autoimmune and connective tissue disease.

I use a Breville Elite Juicer. It is awesome –  juices greens like kale and spinach well.

There is always clean up with a juicer, but it only takes a few minutes.  Well worth it.  When I am traveling as I am right now I definitely miss my juicer. I usually try and find a health food store or juice bar where I can get fresh organic juice.

We are travelling to Maui for a couple weeks and I am packing my vita mix blender in an extra suitcase so I can  make my organic green smoothies on the road.Now that’s commitment to healthy ant-inflammatory nutrition! Have a great day – happy juicing!

When I was diagnosed with MCTD or Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, an Autoimmune disease consisting of a combination of symptoms of Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Scleraderma, my Rheumatologist prescribed prednisone, an antiinflammatory Steroid, to calm my immune system and reduce the inflammation in my body. It worked wonders. Within 3 hours of taking the prednisone I felt like a new man. Life went on and I was out jogging again in no time.

After a few months I went to see another Rheumatologist at Virginia Mason in Seattle, who recommended that I try to stop taking Prednisone, that long term usage could do damage to my internal organs. Over the next month I decreased my prednisone dosage, and soon was prednisone free. Unfortunatly this was short lived, as I started having symptom flare-ups. Sore throat, temperature fluctuations, joint swelling, severe sunburn, followed by severe fatigue and depression. I had to take prednisone again.

I was determined to get off the prednisone, it was hard because the Prednisone made me feel so much better.  It has taken years, but  2008 is the first year I havemade it through the entire year without any prednisone.  I still carry a bottle with me when I travel, just in case I have a severe flare up.

Up till last year (2007) I was still taking Prednisone for flare ups 2 -3 times a year.   Flare ups usually brought on by lack of sleep and emotional stress.  I have to be careful and remember to take good care of myself.   I did have a few flare ups in 2008, I  but I was able to get them under control without using Prednisone.  Mainly by getting caught up on sleep, eating healthy, and drinking lots of water.   If I go 2 -3 days with only 5 or 6 hours of sleep I am way more likely to have a flare up.  Gotta get my beauty sleep!

Update – Since 2008 I have taken Prednisone 3 times, so and average of a couple weeks when I have a bad lupus or rheumatoid arthritis flare, once every 2 or 3 years.

To reduce inflammation I have to be consistent with my nutritional regimen and cut out sugar, meat, wheat / gluten and processed foods.  Definitely makes a difference!

Here’s to living prednisone free and living happy and healthy Beyond Inflammation, autoimmune disease, connective tissue disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and MCTD!

If you are interested, you can read My Story.  I have battled MCTD, an Auto-Immune Disease consisting of a  combination of symptoms from Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Scleraderma.   I have learned to manage my health through exercise, nutrition and  meditation.  I rarely need to take Prednisone.

I will share information and add content about many topics relating to my health, nutrition and lifestyle.  Including the many emotional challenges and set backs along the way.  I may have been diagnosed with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and MCTD but I’ve learned to live despite it.

I am LIVING an active lifestyle again. Feel free to share your auto-Immune story on this blog site, whether Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, MCTD, MS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or other connective tissue disease.

We can share our experiences to help others. I also encourage you to read about how I have achieved optimum Health and Nutrition in my journey Beyond Inflammation, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.