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.
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,
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.