When I was out and about yesterday I stopped in at the local grocery store (Fred Meyer) to pick up a few organic produce store400items for my green juice. At the checkout I looked at the items the people in front of me and behind me had in their carts,

They didn’t have much produce, mostly processed foods, sodas, chips, yogurt, white bread and processed foods. At least one of them bought Organic milk!

I had all organic produce in my cart. To each their own.

Before I was diagnosed with MCTD, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis I never gave  thought to what I ate. I didn’t know any better.  It got me thinking about what I ate growing up.

inflammation disease autoimmuneGrowing up my Mom was somewhat nutrition conscious but we were on a limited budget so we ate a lot of processed foods, canned foods and frozen foods. Who didn’t love kraft Mac-N-Cheese with cut up hot dogs made from animal lips and nitrates, with a little canned pears, cottage cheese and green jello on the side?

She at least always tried to provide the four food groups –   Spam, Gluten, Powdered Milk and Sugar!    Just kidding – she really did try hard and did the best she could according to what she knew and what she had to work with.

I didn’t like vegetables so I didn’t eat them much. You couldn’t pay me to eat a Brussel sprout or a beet!organic vegetables anti-inflammatory inflammation autoimmune disease

Believe me,  my Mom tried!  Beets were like alien invaders that leeched into the rest of the food on my plate rendering them inedible!

Brussel Sprouts were disgusting little balls of green dirt that I wouldn’t feed to my dog – well, that’s not exactly  true,   I do remember slipping a few into my napkin under the table for the dogs consumption! At least someone in the family was getting good nutrition!

What’s with creamed corn?  Corn is perfect on the Cobb. Who came up with that?  Lets throw our corn in the blender, puree it with horse urine and feed it to the kids! Yeah – great idea. NOT!

Then there’s broccoli –   little green bushes that brings Yule Gibbons to mind! “Ya ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible!” Enough said!

healthy organic produce anti-inflammatory prevent diseaseToday my diet consists of mostly all organic produce – a green smoothie for breakfast, green juice for lunch and either a vegetarian and / or fish. for dinner. No gluten. No sugar. No dairy. No processed food.

If I hadn’t gotten sick, very sick, I would probably never have discovered good nutrition or cared about what I ate. Making the shift from eating for pleasure to eating for health came out of pain and fear – the great motivators.

I’m not a health nut – everything I’ve learned about anti-inflammatory nutrition came out of necessity. I had to make a shift in my eating philosophy and habits or I was going to die.

Auto-Immune Disease may be INCURABLE but I believe it is PREVENTABLE!

Here is a list of the DONT’S when it comes to quality Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition.

I like to call them The Four Horseman of the Nutritional Apocalypse!

The Four Horseman of the Nutritional Apocalypse

  1. Sugar
  2. Meat
  3. Dairy – Casein
  4. Wheat / Gluten

They are acidic – make your body more acid than alkaline and can cause inflammation and disease or dis-ease!.

Minimize or eliminate consumption of Sugar, Meat, Dairy and Wheat or Gluten and you will reduce inflammation in your body.

It’s necessary for me, I don’t have a choice unless I want to be in extreme pain.  You may not have health issues today, but what about tomorrow?  Prevention is the best medicine!

Everything I have gone through in life, every challenge, was necessary to break down the ignorant, selfish, egotistical and immature belief system I had toward life, and toward nutrition.

At the end of the day, the pain and adversity I have endured in my life has been the greatest gift because  it is what eventually brought me to a place of nutritional consciousness and gratitude.

Today I take action in my life to help others.  I know that is the cornerstone of my spiritual belief system. My mission is to help educate people about anti-inflammatory nutrition, promote wellness and healthy living.

I am forever grateful for the many health and nutrition mentors who have helped me, held me and educated me along my journey from sickness to health.

My darkest hour has truly become my greatest gift, to myself and to the world.

You can also follow my anti-inflammatory nutritional journey by “Liking” my Beyond Inflammation  “Facebook page, Follow Beyond Inflammation on Twitter or Instagram or Subscribe to my YouTube Video or Pinterest pages.

Have an organic nutritious day – I know I will!

Dave

Here’s my toxin cleansing anti-inflammatory energy enhancing organic juice of the day.  

All Organic – All Fresh. Always! 

1 Apple, 2 Carrots, 1 Beet, Ginger, Parsley, Kale, Spinach, 2 Celery Stalks, 2 Radishes, 1 Cucumber. 

 

It tastes awesome – seriously! 

When juicing it’s important to me to always use organic fruits and vegetables. I have enough health problems and I don’t want to compound them with toxic chemicals and pesticides that can cause even more inflammation. 

I also was taught by my amazing friend and nutrition mentor Amy Arnold to be careful about the amount of fruit I use in my juicing because of the high natural sugar content.  

But fruit does make the juice taste much better. Moderation is the key! Carrots also have high sugar content. 

Thus only 1 Apple and 2 carrots in this juice – the rest just plain ol’ nutritional organic veggies packed with healthy vitamins, minerals, enzymes and yes – protein.  

Vegetables do have protein.  The challenge with getting protein from vegetables is not one individual vegetable has the complete Amino Acid chain to make up a complete protein, which your body needs to absorb and utilize the protein.  You have to eat or drink a variety of vegetables in order to get the complete chain of protein amino acids your body needs.  

An option I sometimes use is I will add vegetarian organic protein mix to my juice ensuring I am getting enough protein and all the amino acids without the meat, dairy or Casein.  

I will use Metagenics UltraInflamx 360 which is an anti-inflammatory blend of all organic ingredients designed to reduce inflammation.  It has a lot of Turmeric in it which is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.  The protein comes from organic brown rice.  

I also use a product called “Maca Up”

It is vanilla flavored (naturally) all organic and is a vegan protein supplement with the complete amino acid protein chain. It tastes incredibly good and makes my juice and  green berry smoothies taste awesome! 

The protein in Maca Up comes from organic peas and organic brown rice. 

I’ve been juicing for around 15 years now – ever since I was diagnosed with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and MCTD or Mixed Connective tissue Disease.  

I believe my healthy nutritional eating habits are the reason I am still above ground today.  

I didn’t think much about nutrition until I got sick and was diagnosed with the auto-immune connective tissue disease. 

Auto- Immune Connective Tissue disease are where your immune system is overactive and attacks your own body.  

I have systemic inflammation throughout my body. 

Inflammation sucks.  Joint and muscle pain, fevers, sensitivity to sun, frequent sore throats, extreme fatigue – these are some of the symptoms I have experienced.

I truly believe that having my green berry smoothie for breakfast and green vegetable juicing for lunch – over time has greatly reduced the amount of inflammation in my body and I am able to enjoy a limited but relatively active and pain free lifestyle.  

If you are suffering from an auto- immune or connective tissue disease like  Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia you might benefit from Juicing Healthy Organic Fruits and Vegetables Daily! 

You should always consult your Doctor or Rheumatologist before starting on a new nutritional regimen.  

My Doctor talked with me 2 weeks ago, he ran some blood tests to check my inflammation levels – they were pretty high.  He told me that most people with the amount of inflammation in their body are not moving around very easy and normally they would prescribe a biologic like Humira or Enbrel.  He said “You don’t need it because You are doing great physically despite the inflammation, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis and MCTD ( Mixed Connective Tissue Disease) 

He also said “just keep on doin what your doing with nutrition! • Ok Doc! Will do!  

I am currently on Prednisone an anti- inflammatory steroid medication,  but down to 5 mg a day and hopefully be done in 4 days.  2 weeks on prednisone for a bad lupus flare and DVT blood clot scare!   First time in 4 years.  My flares are usually brought on by emotional stress or lack of sleep.  This time it was a reaction to the DVT blood clot I had in my leg.  

I pride myself in managing my inflammation and conective tissue issues with nutrition. 

It works for me.  

It’s a beautiful sunny day in Seattle so I’m gonna head out for a ride on my Harley Davidson because – well because I can!  Because I am pain free – just for today!  

Happy juicing! 

Dave 

Prednisone | Lupus | Auto-Immune Disease | Inflammation | Rheumatoid Arthritis

When I was first diagnosed with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and MCTD or Mixed Connective Tissue Disease 16 years ago I was in a great deal of pain. It was difficult to simply get out of bed to go to the bathroom.

The Rheumatologist prescribed daily dose of prednisone which is a prescription steroid anti-inflammatory medicine. Prednisone was a miracle drug for me. My symptoms disappeared almost overnight. I was out walking, hiking and living my active lifestyle again in no time.

Around 90 days into my initial prednisone use I went to see a highly recommended Rheumatologist at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

He told me that long term chronic use of prednisone (more than a year) Would begin to have adverse effects on my body specifically my internal organs. He said I should taper off Prednisone and learn to get by without it.

I tried. I failed. Every time I quit taking Prednisone completely I inevitably had a Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis flare up.

I was frustrated and depressed.

I started learning more about anti-inflammatory nutrition. I started making fruit and vegetable smoothies and juicing. I started eating mostly vegetarian. I started drinking 100 ounces of water a day. Under the advisement of a Naturopathic Doctor I started taking anti-inflammatory supplements like glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and turmeric.

After a couple months I was finally able to stop taking prednisone and not have a lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis flare up!

Over the past 16 years, since that initial 4 or 5 months on prednisone I’ve only had to take prednisone when I’ve had a severe flare up, which on average has been once every 2 or 3 years.

My flare ups usually seem to be triggered by emotional stress.

I hadn’t taken prednisone for over 4 years until 2 weeks ago when I had to go to the ER for a blood clot in my leg. The Doctors were worried I might have a pulmonary embolism which could kill me.

My Doctor says that because of the MCTD, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis and systemic inflammation throughout my body that I was at higher risk of a DVT blood clot ( Deep Vein Thrombosis). I had no idea I was at high risk. Now I know.

Unfortunately now I have to take blood thinner or anti-coagulation meds (Coumadin / Warfarin) to keep my blood from clotting again.

That’s a major bummer as now I have to be extra careful as to not cut myself or fall and get a head injury or bruise because they say I could bleed out internally due to my thinned blood. Crazy! As if living with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis wasn’t hard enough!

My Doctor told me I will be on Coumadin / Warfarin blood thinning meds for a minimum of a year and probably for the rest of my life.

Initially I got depressed but then I woke up a few days into the anti- coagulation treatment and decided that I’m just not going to accept that.

I have managed my inflammatory disease issues with nutrition and decided to research nutrition to thin my blood naturally. I’ve learned a ton in the past week and am excited to implement my new anti-coagulation nutrition plan.

I will keep you posted on my progress in future blog posts.

Back to the prednisone. My doctor had me on 40 mg of prednisone a day. That’s a lot! I didn’t like the way it made me feel, although my Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms calmed down as did the inflammation in my joints, it made it hard for me to sleep and I felt anxiety.

2 weeks into the process I am now down to 10 mg a day and tomorrow go to 5 mg. In 4 to 5 days I will be going off prednisone completely.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been on prednisone. Like I said, over 4 years. While on prednisone this time around I’ve noticed that in addition to having more energy than normal, my brain is working better. My memory is better and I am articulating thoughts better.

I fee normal for the first time in a long time. I had forgotten how good it feels to have energy and think clearly.

I’ve been living with these health challenges for 16 years so my “normal” is joint and muscle pain, fatigue and low energy. God it feels good to have energy again!

My big fear is that when I stop taking prednisone my energy level will go down and my joint and muscle pain will return.

My Doctor ordered blood tests and of course they confirmed the MCTD/ Lupus / Rheumatoid Arthritis / inflammation throughout my body.

In fact he told me that normally with results as high as mine he would prescribe Enbrel or Humira biologic injections to try and reduce the inflammation in my body.

Then he asked me what I was doing to control the inflammation. He didn’t understand how, with as much inflammation as I had going on in my body how I was even walking around comfortably let alone riding a motorcycle, waking for exercise and living a fairly normal life.

I explained my nutritional regimens to him and he said “well, whatever your doing, keep doing it because it’s working.”

He also said that the biologicals like Humira and Enbrel come with a myriad of challenging potential side effects and he wouldn’t prescribe it unless I absolutely needed it.

I am enjoying being on the prednisone and having less pain and more energy.

I am going to stop taking the prednisone next week and hopefully won’t have any flare up symptoms. I expect for some of the pain, inflammation and low energy fatigue to return but I’m used to that.

In response to the recent DVT blood clot health scare I’ve taken my nutrition program to another level. I’ve been doing my nutritional organic green berry smoothies every day and eating a lot of organic veggies for many years but I only have been juicing twice a year when I do my juice cleanses usually for 7 to day 10 days each time. I started juicing every day again.

Funny how when your told your life is on the line the the motivation to do better shows up.

I’m juicing every day now. I have a green berry smoothie for breakfast, organic veggie juice for lunch and a vegetarian meal for dinner. I am also taking all my anti-inflammatory supplements every day like vegetarian liquid glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Udo’s oil, fish oil, vitamin D, B12 and turmeric.

I am determined to live prednisone free, reduce the inflammation in my body naturally and also to thin my blood naturally and get off the blood thinners.

I even finally started writing a book on anti – inflammatory nutrition for people with auto immune diseases like MCTD, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. I’ve been writing every day.

If you suffer from any inflammatory auto- immune disease, please subscribe to this blog site and keep checking back for new articles and nutritional information.

My girlfriend Brandi has been very supportive through all of this. I am grateful to have such an amazing, loving, accepting, patient and kind partner in my life.

She s a great chef too! We’ve created some amazing organic vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free, sugar free recipes that taste amazing. We’re working on some videos which we will be posting on this website soon. She’s the cook and I’m the smoothie and juice guy. We make a great team.

Until next time…. Live with passion and purpose!

Dave

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I am grateful for so many things in my life today.  My health, my family and friends and all the wonderful things I am learning about health and nutrition today.
I have been eating very healthy – doing all of my nutrition smoothies and juicing and wheatgrass and Udo’s oil and supplements and eating veggies and green drink and drinking lots of purified water and the list goes on.  I feel wonderful when I eat this healthy!   Then Thanksgiving comes – Turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing (with sausage) Gravy  and OMG!  I splurged a bit – I made some roasted sweet poatatoes myself -they are loaded with nutrition and ant-oxidants.  I felt horrible after.  My stomach hurt and I was bloated.  I woke up the next day (today) not feeling too well. Kind of like a bad food hangover!  Amazing how sensitive my body is to “bad for me” foods when  havent been eating them very often.  The GOOD NEWS is I am back on track today and feeling better already!   I have discovered roasted veggies and they can be really delicious.   The more veggies -organic of course and the the bigger variety the better.  Here’s a picture of a recent roasted veggie meal I made – was so yummy!

Roasted Veggies

I added a liitle olive oil and seasoning – then broiled both sides.  Yams, red peppers, asparagas, zuchini, portabello mushrooms, tomatoes,  and i added some roasted acorn squash, lightly steamed spinach with lemon and freshh avocado to the meal.  Delicious and nutritious!  Also good on the grill.

I am learning so much about nutrition.   Science is helping us understand more and more about what our bodies need to be healthy.   I have discovered a new acai juice product that is absolutely amazing.    There are over 1000  nutritional properties in Acai.   The juice I take is a patented flash frozen acai combined with many other healthful fruits.  Loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients.   I’ve been drinking this juice for about a month now and it has made a major impact on me.  I have more sustained energy than ever.   It is amazing to me how how well our bodies do when given the proper nutrition on a consistent basis.     Email me if you want info on the juice product I am taking.  It tastes great too!

I have been working very hard the past couple months to take really good care of my health and try to get my body more alkaline.  From doing a 10 day juice cleanse, to colonics and eating mostly vegetarian.  I have eaten almost completely vegetarian the past 2 weeks, no meat or dairy.   I did have eggs one day and fish (salmon) another. I have excercised for at least an hour a day, mostly biking and walking.  One day I walked 10 miles and another I biked 50 miles.   I drink 100+ ounces of water a day and I’ve taken my shot of Udo’s Oil evry day along with my liquid Vitamins, green drink, glucosamine -chondroitin-MSM, and also wheatgrass juice every day.

Since I started testing my alkalinity I’ve never been under 7.0  which is barely alkaline. Today when I tested my alkalinity / acidity I was 6.0  which I didn’t even think was possible!   I am so excited that all my hard work is paying off.  I want to get my cholesterol checked again to see how low it is now.  My goal is to keep it under 150.

The key to alkalinity is eating a whole foods vegetarian diet with lots of whole grain fibre, fruits and vegetables.  Taking my greens, udo’s Oil and wheatgrass drinking lots of water and exercising helps as well.  I am in the best physical shape since I was diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Scleraderma) 10 years ago!  Get healthy – get alkaline!

Wow! I can’t believe a month has gone by since I’ve written a post on here!  Shame on me.  I’ll do better!  I am reading a great book, “The China Study”  by T. Colin Campbell PHD.   It is all about one of the  most comprehensive studies of Nutrition ever conducted.   The China Study confirms my beliefs about animal protein.

When I was first diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleraderma)   I was very active, jogging, hiking and working out at the gym every day. On the advice of a friend I was taking a high protein supplement shake and eating high amounts of protein every day.   I always felt that the high protein diet I was on had something to do with the onset of my disease.

The China Study just confirms my assumptions.  I remember when my parents tried “The Adkins Diet”  and I told them I thought it was an unhealthy diet.  Too much protein and fat.    It’s not healthy.   The China Study addresses animal protein and possible connections with Cancer, Heart Disease, cholesterol, fat intake and more.  It is a fascinating read if you are into healthy living.  It talks about a plant based whole foods diet being the answer. No Dairy, no meat or eggs, no fish, low fat.  Lots of fresh organic fruit and veggies is the way to go.

I still eat meat myself, but in moderation.  I do eat fish and eggs also, but again in moderation.   I’ve been eating either oatmeal or my fruit smoothie with soy milk in the mornings.  Lunch is usually a 6″ inch subway veggie sandwich on whole wheat with no cheese or I’ll make a green salad.   I had a veggie burger tonight and some asparagus for dinner, I also make a great veggie stir fry, veggie tacos and veggie wraps.  Last night I ate out with a friend and had the best Veggie Lasagna I’ve ever tasted. YUM!   Cheese, but again -moderation.  When you learn to cook good healthy food it makes all the difference.   I get plenty of protein from veggies, soy products  and the fish I eat.   We really don’t need that much protein, it’s more about getting the right combinations of amino acids form the protein we eat.   But the animal protein, there are detrimental effects on our health long term.   So eat more greens and cut down on animal protein.