I’m No Superman

As I write this post at 4:50am, I am reminded of the pain and suffering I continue to go through during my rehabilitation.  I have an auto-immune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) and have been medicated with an auto-immune suppresor called Enbrel since 2003.  While Enbrel has carried me through these 9 years, it has only masked the symptoms, but never treated the cause.

In January of 2012 I discovered a holistic way of treating the cause by not eating starches, or commonly known as the Low Starch Diet (LSD).  I’ve sought out multiple nutritionists and focused mainly on fruits, veggies and nuts.  Additional research lead me to understand supplements to heal the areas of my body that have been severely damaged by AS.  A little over a month into the program, I stopped taking Enbrel completely, but I paid the price.

I have been on the LSD diet for 2 1/2 months while being off Enbrel 1 1/2 months.  During that time, I have fought pains, stiffness, and swelling in areas I’ve never dealt with before.  I’ve relied on my parents helping me out of bed when I could not do it myself.  I’ve come out of the chiropractor’s office shaking and bewildered due to (much needed) the spinal and neck adjustments.  And my sleep continues to be intermittent – I wake up 2-3 times per night knowing that my body is desperate for full nights of sleep.  I put up with a lot, but I’m no Superman.

As of last week I’ve decided to improve my quality of life and become more functional by allowing Ibuprofen into my diet and use as much as I need to get me through the rest of the days/weeks/months until my body heals itself.  Up until this point, I’ve always convinced myself that any time of medication will somehow stop the process of healing my body.  Only a few days into this regiment, I found out how much I was wrong.  When healing the body from AS, you need to always be moving, sleep as much as you can, and take in quality whole foods (no processed junk!).  With Ibuprofen, I take my normal draining days and reduce the pain & inflammation by 80%.  In turn, I sleep longer.  I move more.  I function.  And now I’m taking less naps during the day, I’m able to bend and be more flexible, and I’m getting longer nights of sleep.  So the recovery time the body needs is getting met whereas before I couldn’t due to all the pain and inflammation.  And when the body gets enough days to recover, I will ween off my Ibuprofen as it only stays in the body for a short period of time with no major side-effects.

If you’re ever feeling guilty of taking low-dose NSAIDs like aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, etc., consider your recovery time over your fear of medication.  While we’d all like to be Supermen and kick AS ASAP, we need to remember that pain and inflammation don’t need to follow you while you’re fixing your body.  Keep up the good fight and God bless you on your journey to 100% health.

Day 20 Food Reboot

“Uniqueness” of the Day:  This is my hardest day.  My head isn’t in doing this that much after last night’s horrible smoothie.  Most of today is smoothies and tomorrow are soups; knowing makes it even tougher.  And what makes it the hardest is I’ve gotten the worst shooting pains today from my AS (getting in & out of bed is like getting out of a bed of nails) I’ve had in weeks.  I got an encouraging phone call today from Jamie and got some fantastic recommendations from her new doctor – Dr. Furhman.  I learned that I need to really amp up my Vitamin d3 intake (more than the sun) + you can do up to 300 billion Probiotics per day (currently doing 10 billion) in smaller doses.  Basically, you can’t have enough of those since my gut has a lot of work to do in repairing.

Waking Up:  Went to bed at 11:30 and got up at  4:45am, got water & stretched until 5am, went back to bed & got up at 7:15am.  Stiffness in mid-lower back & left hip sends pain when I twist too much (it’s not much though).  Right hip, behind the right leg & right buttocks area are inflamed + I’m getting the worst shooting pains I’ve had in over a week.

Breakfast:  Green Smoothie
  • 2 bananas, peeled (subbed 1 banana, 1 kiwi)
  • 1 cup pineapple, cubed
  • 1 cup papaya, cubed (papaya not ready, subbed 1 mango)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of dulse flakes
  • 1 tablespoon bee pollen
  • 1 small slice of turmeric (look at #11) & ginger root – both reduce pain & inflammation
  • 6 to 8 ounces filtered water
Directions:  Blend together water, bananas and papaya / mango. Then add romaine lettuce and pineapple. Bend for 30 seconds or until smooth.

Synopsis of Breakfast:  Tastes fine & much less thicker than yesterday dinner’s smoothie.  Also a little ginger & tumeric goes a long way.  So don’t cut too big of a piece when you start out.  Also some smoothies will mask it better than others.  Makes around 30 fl. oz. or 2 glassfuls.  Lastly, I’ve noticed my stomach making lots of noises.  Maybe it’s due to the turmeric / ginger root?

Lunch Menu: Green Smoothie
  • 3 bananas, peeled (subbed 1 banana, 1 mango, and 1 kiwi)
  • 3 cups pineapple, cubed
  • ½ avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 3 cups kale, chopped
  • 6 to 8 ounces filtered water

NOTE: If this smoothie is to big for you to drink all at once, drink half
for lunch and the other half mid afternoon.  I decided to make a 1/2 smoothie for lunch & half for the afternoon.  I cut the recipe in 1/2 and made one batch during lunch & one in the afternoon.

Directions:  Blend together the water, bananas and avocado. Then add remaining ingredients and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.

Synopsis of Lunch & Afternoon Meal:  The pineapple makes this too acid-like (especially since I had some in the morning).  The taste is fine overall, but doing 1/2 now & 1/2 later worked out well.

Dinner Menu:  Fruit Salad

Directions:  Slice bananas and mangoes. Add blueberries. Squeeze juice from orange over salad. Add remaining pulp.

Synopsis of Dinner: This one was simple and a welcome change.  I ate the rest of the filling from the collard green wraps from yesterday along with some blueberries & strawberries.  The Day 19 filling had a bit too much cayenne pepper, so the berries offset the taste allowing a savory / sweet taste while making the meal neutral each time I had the berries.

Evening inflammation check:  Fought inflammation and shooting pains all day long.  If this continues tomorrow, I’m taking my Enbrel as it’s been exactly two weeks since my last shot (Day 7).

Gas / Bloating Check:  Had a few BMs today but gas & bloating was manageable.  As with a few days this week, the amount of food can make my stomach / intestines feel stuck or backed up.  This is due to all the food I’m eating.

Nutritionist Meeting

Today was a bombardment of facts I knew very little about.  What I thought I was learning wasn’t good enough.  In essence, this was the “new” new of 100% healing.  I met with nutritionist Jamie Russell at her home in Sarasota, Florida along with her partner Nicki and their friend Neia.  While I won’t go into her credentials, I know I can trust her to make the right decisions regarding my health.  She has been put in my life for a reason and I have full faith she will lead the way holistically through food as medicine.The day started off with the understanding of why I went the route of going through Western Medicine.  Even though statistical analysis proves that we spend more medicine, we are also one of the most unhealthiest nations in the world.  I learned today it has everything to do with how Western Medicine treats only the symptoms.  For the Pharmaceuticals there is no money in curing.  But there are billions to be made in keeping people medicated.Next was the importance of probiotics.  They’re basically “good bacteria” that helps the lining of your intestines and heals the cells so they can absorb nutrition.  Without probiotics, the nutrients mostly just flush away.

Then I learned all about alkaline & correct Ph in the stomach.  From a range of 1 to 14, your stomach acids should remain at an alkaline level of 7.  Eating meats can really throw off Ph because of how hard / long it takes to digest.  Vegetables / fruits and other raw foods are assimilated much quicker and heal the body.

I also learned why raw food is better than cooked.  It turns out that vegetables are alive with nutrients.  When you cook them past 118 degrees, they die.  What you’re mainly left with is lots of fiber.  In order to get the maximum potential of a vegetable, you need to make it uncooked (at the very least cooked under 118 degrees) and blend it together with other fruits.  It allows you to consume the most amount of food and assimilate in the body the quickest.

In regards to treating A.S., I learned on Wednesday 1/11 how the “no starch diet” or NSD rids my body of a nasty bacteria and doesn’t cause my inflammation to happen with my autoimmune system.  I find that Bob Connors explains the cause and solution quite well:  http://www.sickopportunity.com/?p=53  It’s a major breakthrough that lead me onto a wonderful support group / forum:  http://www.kickas.org/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=7&page=1

Since November of 2011 I have been going to Jubilee Chiropractic:  http://jubileechiropractic.com/  They treat sublixation (misalignment of the spine) and correct the white tissue in my body.  I took a recent picture of me on a Segway last weekend and compared it to my posture in early 2010.  I’ve shown it to a few people and they’ve agreed that it’s quite a significant change.  Besides the visual change (and not fighting gravity), alignment of the spine allows your neurotransmitters (think of them like pipes) to communicate how they normally should (nothing blocking the open pipe).  With a misaligned spine, it compresses disks and cuts off that circulation.  Today I’ve completed my 1st month of home rehab (20 minutes with head weights and 40 minutes with the Denny Roll).  In combination with a raw food food and low / no starch diet, and you’re well on your way to 100% health.