I can do one day, it’s all the other days I’m afraid of.

15 Jul

A number of health issues have brought me to the point of planning a move to a 100% gluten free (GF) vegan, and (what the hell) raw-ish diet. The root cause of these issues is, I believe, an auto-immune disorder that was potentially triggered by  the malaria pills and/or the vaccines I received when I traveled to Africa in the spring of 2006. Those things threw my already susceptible immune system out of whack – and now it is all in a tizzy, attacking me and my parts when it should be protecting me and keeping me healthy!

I live a pretty healthy life already – no cleaning chemicals in my house (only vinegar, baking soda and Norwex); the little meat that I do eat is local and organic 90% of the time, organic veggies (local CSA in the summer), I don’t drink from plastic water bottles, my food is all stored in glass containers and recently I have severely restricted my use of the microwave. But still, my immune system continues to overreact…

I  have endometriosis. I have been trying to manage pain with diet/natural remedies for a number of years and I believe it has made some difference. Many many resources suggest a GF and vegetarian diet for endo working from the idea that part of the problem with endo is inflammation and gluten and animal protein promote inflammation. I have been clinging to the GF bandwagon off and on for about 2 years. Actually, let’s be honest – usually the wagon runs me over. Lately though, darling Karina has made my GF life a lot more bearable and I also have a great “Endo Diet” cookbook. And I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I do enjoy it when I do.

Recently I was diagnosed with an autoimmune hypothyroid disorder…which is the proverbial straw on the camel’s back. I ran off to Laura (the naturopath) and she threw the word ‘Vegan’ out there. Not making me do it, but strongly encouraging me to think about it. And think about it I have. Chicken and fish and cheese and eggs and and and…being Vegan is a big friggen deal – no animal products, period. Now, just for fun – throw gluten-free into the mix. You know that GF bread that I love? Yeah, it’s got eggs in it – so out it goes….

The theory is that since my immune system is over-reacting to EVERYTHING, we need to settle it down so it will stop attacking me and leave me in peace. Hopefully a GF, more raw and vegan diet will allow my body to rest, relax and begin to heal.

So, for the rest of the summer I will be strictly GF and no red meat. I will begin to eat more vegan-type meals, omitting animal products when and where I can, all the while mentally preparing myself for the three month trial period of being a strict GF-Vegan. I will do this from September 1 – December 1, at which point I will reassess my health, feelings etc and either choose to stay the course for awhile longer, or throw in the towel and eat a big fat bacon cheeseburger!

That this is overwhelming is an understatement! It sounds easy, but when I really start to think about it I realize how much work it’s going to be. But, something has got to give or my body is going to continue to breakdown at an alarming rate. So mentally, I will do like AA does – one day at a time…I know I can do one day.

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6 Responses to “I can do one day, it’s all the other days I’m afraid of.”

  1. Dieuwke Thornton July 16, 2010 at 2:28 am #

    Hey Rhea,
    Sorry to hear you are having such a rough go of it….I hope and pray that it will work and that your body will begin to behave. Good for you for having the guts to try something new and tough to take care of yourself.
    see ya soon!
    Duke

  2. heidi July 16, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    Wow Rhea, what an undertaking! My sister-in-law did the same diet (actually, it was probably even more restrictive with about 30 foods ingredients she could eat) due to an autoimmune issue as well. She did it for 2 years and then, perhaps her body was healed enough physically or perhaps there was a miraculous intervention but she is now eating anything she wants and not having any issues at all. 1) i hope it doesn’t take 2 years for you and 2) I wish you all the best and hope your body can heal as well. And seriously, come September 1, you will have to come over for dinner so that you get a break from all the cooking you’ll be doing (there’s very little places you’ll be able to eat out except perhaps Bread and Roses Cafe).

  3. Anna Marie Stewart July 16, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    Wow, this is quite the life style change! I pray for strength for you as you take this one day at a time. It is amazing how many products have some relation to animal products. and to be GF as well- it will be difficult. I have not needed to face this type of diet change, but with a child who is lactose intolerant I know the difficulties it can be by eliminating only 1 ingredient from a diet. Sending Strength for today and Bright Hope for tomorrow. Cheers, Anna

  4. Jen July 16, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Hey Rhea
    Glad you are blogging about your journey with this. You can note the great days and the days you feel like crashing the bandwagon into a pole. You have our support! I hope it helps your body get back to a happy state. In fact, we should do dinner soon. I’d love to learn how to make a meal 100% vegan and GF! Praying for strength for you.

    J

  5. Tricia July 19, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    Rhea, I also am glad that you are blogging about this! As hard as it will be, I hope it will be fascinating and enlightening for you too – I appreciate what you will share, and might just join you in doing some of this too. I hope it works! I know you can do it! You are strong and creative :).

  6. Elyse August 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    This is awesome, I’m glad I found this blog, it’s so interesting!

    Be careful with doing raw, it is super hard on your digestive system and most people don’t get a lot of vitamins from it because their body doesn’t digest it properly. 🙂

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