Changes …

Three days ago I made the decision to eat healthily and mindfully again. By that I mean I’m staying away from junk foods, those simple carbohydrates like candy and cookies, potato chips and crackers, white bread and pasta. They all convert directly to glucose after you eat them, causing a sugar surge in the body that can cause all kinds of damage over time.

Oh, my, what a temptation. Oh, my, how unhealthy this stuff is!

I’ve always had a really hard time not eating these foods when they’re readily available. They’ve been especially difficult for me to ignore since I’ve been staying with my mother. She loves them all and can eat them without gaining weight or having other problems.

I’m not blaming Mom for my own gobbling of foods that I know are bad for me. Just because they’re handy is no excuse. So, after several false starts, I’ve dumped that feeling of hopelessness and finally reached the mindset I need in order to eat better.

Why am I telling you this? Well, to share some goodish news. For last few days my long-term, RA-flared hands and wrists have been a little less painful. Does consuming fewer carbs have anything to do with this pleasant turn of events? What about eating lots of leafy greens and other veggies?  Or the fresh fruit I’ve been eating instead of handfuls of cookies or (hangs her head) jelly beans? Could those healthy complex carbs I’ve stuck to, like wholegrain bread, pasta and brown basmati rice, be having an effect on my RA?

Maybe. But even if not, there are a lot of other benefits to eating with care.

Kate, who writes the blog “Cooking with Arthur” is a clinical nutritionist in the UK. She has psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis in her lower back. Kate notes that for each pound of weight lost, you reduce the stress on your knees by four pounds.  And it’s been proven that eating with care so that you reach a healthy weight (not necessarily the bantam-weight society dictates) makes you feel better and reduces your chance of getting diabetes, cancer or heart problems, as well.

I don’t know if suddenly changing my diet is why my hands feel a little better,

This is a much healthier way to eat. Note there are not even any wholegrain foods in this pyramid. I haven’t been able to do that well, yet, but I’m working on it.

particularly since the response came so fast. But I do believe that it can’t help but be helpful over time. Although I’ve given up a lot of ground in the weight loss battle over the last eight months, I’m finally back on the wagon now. I know from experience that I’ll feel better physically as the weight slips away again.

And I’ll feel better mentally, too. When I’m overweight, I feel blumphy, sludgy and slow. I dislike the way I look and the way my clothes fit (or don’t fit, unfortunately). I’m uncomfortable and uneasy in myself, if you know what I mean.

As those extra pounds come off, though, my spirits rise. I feel better overall. I know I look better, which makes me feel more confident. More cheerful.  Getting back to a healthy weight makes me stronger. Tougher.  More resilient. I move more, but with less effort. It’s a win-win situation.

Do check out Kate’s blog. She offers autoimmune arthritis-friendly recipes that are chock full of vitamins, fiber and protein. That’s wonderful by itself, but even better, her recipes are simple and delicious.

And I’m making some changes.



5 thoughts on “Changes …

  1. I definitely notice a difference in my joints when I start eating too much sugar. Sugar is a known inflammatory food, whereas many fruits & veggies have anti-inflammatory properties. I can’t say I stay away from all sweets (they are such a weakness!), but it’s definitely something I have to reign in. I know how hard it is – but the fact that we notice a measureable difference seems to help a little. Good for you for making a change – hang in there!


  2. I will be giving up processed white foods starting tomorrow. Its good to see that someone is seeing benefits with this type of diet. RA seems to want to come out of remission but I am not going down without a fight!


  3. Well good for you! You hit my weakness right on the head with this post. But I have been doing OK with avoiding the worst of the junk stuff. Now I do eat alot of natural stuff but even that can still be classified as junk when we are talking chips or ice cream. But to be honest I still can’t give up ice cream all together. So I spoon it out very very carefully. Good luck on your new healthy life style. I have no doubt you will feel better and hopefully old ra went the way of the junk food 🙂


  4. Thank you Wren, this is a very timely post. I have been planning on starting to eat better and get back to working out consistently again. You just gave me the extra little push that I needed. Congrats on feeling better and moving around better too!


  5. Wren, I just came across hear to see what you were up to and saw this lovely post. Thank you so much for your kind words about the blog – I was having a major arthritis grump today and just hearing that it is useful to others in the same position is incredibly cheering. Really hope the site helps and if there is a favourite recipe you want me to give an arthritis friendly makeover, let me know. I love a challenge!


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