So the reality of this diet is that so far (a month in) I have NOT noticed any improvement in my symptoms or pain levels (I know this because I kept a food/mood/symptom diary), and the stress of trying to do the diet actually led to a flare...so it has been very counterproductive!! Part of me figures that perhaps it is preferable to take the drugs that I know can help me, rather than give up eating some of the simple things that make my life feel worth living! I can't imagine being happy continuing to deny myself the simple pleasure of making a cake or collecting my own hen's eggs and eating boiled eggs with buttered soldiers. It feels ridiculous to be continuing on this stressful path when life with Lupus is stressful enough and there are already so many things that Lupus prevents me from doing anyway.
So I've decided that I'm going to reintroduce eggs and goat butter again next week and make myself a delicious cake (a gluten free, sugar free cake) to reward myself for getting this far on the diet. I will share the recipe with you!
The fact is that I already ate a very good diet and perhaps was already avoiding the worse case of symptoms that I was likely to get? I was already aware of the things that made me feel unwell such as wheat, caffeine, and fast food so avoided them already and I was always careful about eating sugar, chocolate, cheese and red meat. Perhaps I would have noticed more of a positive difference in my health if I'd previously had a diet of sausages, pizza, doughnuts, ice cream and burgers? Anyway, all this has made me think a lot about Lupus and the things that trigger it, and so I wrote a list of the things that are in my control and those that aren't:
THINGS I CAN CONTROL:
1 my diet and what I choose to buy to eat from the shops
2 what organic food I can grow to eat in my garden
3 what chemicals I choose to use (or not) in my home and on my body
4 purity of my water (we use a filter)
5 how I choose to spend the energy I do have
THINGS I CAN'T CONTROL:
1 my genetics
2 environmental stresses in my childhood
3 environmental pollutants in the air
4 some stresses in my life are unavoidable (my father is very unwell and grief is stressful)
5 the amount that the sun shines
Sometimes Lupus doesn't give us a choice and we have to take the drugs anyway or we need to risk UV exposure to spend some time outdoors with our family, or we don't have enough money to buy all the food of the quality that we would like. It feels better to accept the things that we can't control, and it also feels good to take control of the areas that we do have some choice in. Doing the diet did feel like taking back some control in a situation that often feels out of my control. I have to remember though, that diet is NOT the only trigger, and that taking too much responsibility for being ill (and getting really stressed about it) is NOT healthy!