Friday, December 4, 2015

Stepping up my game for healthy changes

Now that December is here, I am reflecting on my health journey over the past year. 2015 started out fairly strong. However, by spring I began noticing more pain throughout my body.

When summer arrived, it was full of fun in the sun......

.....but my inflammation raged out of control, causing joint damage. So, July 5th I reluctantly added the prescription drug Leflunomide to my morning routine with the hope of preventing further joint damage and ending my chronic pain.  Those of you who know me and follow my blog understand what a huge decision this was for me.  I live my life around nutritional healing. "Let food be thy medicine" has become my mantra. I felt like such a failure and wept while taking the first pill.

The first couple of weeks on the medication seemed to go OK, but then I began having horrible stomach pain and other gastrointestinal issues (I will spare you the details).  The pain became increasingly worse as the days went by.  I finally called my RA doc and he advised me to stop the meds immediately.  It has been 4 months since I stopped and am still having issues. Apparently this drug takes quite some time to get out of your system.

After this experience, I am more determined than ever to continue my healing path through nutrition. Obviously, it is time to step up my game so that I am able to enjoy the many adventures left with my best friend, the love of my life.

I have been reading about Paleo, Whole 30, and other gut healing books.  What I am learning from these books is that auto immune disease may begin in an unhealthy gut.  It is time to give that some serious consideration.  I am also noticing an intolerance to gluten since the medication episode.  I have never had problems with gluten before so this has me stumped.  Never the less, I am avoiding gluten at the moment and seem to feel much better.  I really really really miss my breads and pastas. My waistline on the other hand is not missing them at all :)

Since I love to cook and create delicious healthy recipes, eating a Paleo diet has been discouraging creatively and left me feeling blah about mealtime.  Recently, I shared my struggle with a friend of mine and she sent me home with several Paleo cookbooks that inspired me.  I feel excited about cooking again.  I guess Paleo doesn't have to be boring after all.  I am now looking forward to trying fun new dishes that can potentially heal my body as well.

Getting through the holiday's will be challenging with all of the wonderful treats. I would love to hear your favorite Paleo or gluten-free recipes and tips!


  1. To your health Tonya!!! Where there's a will, there's a way!! You will be successful in your journey....just got to stick with it (easier said than done ;-) I have a nephew that has celiac, he's mid-20;s diagnosed as a young child. I know it can be a challenge, but then like anything else after awhile it will be routine. Here in California so many stores offer gluten-free foods, are they less available where you live? Maybe if you found stores that offer that kind of food, you can stock up, just to get started and then in time "go crazy" making your own delish dinner. Good luck girl!!! xoxo PS: Thank you for your blog ;-)

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. We do have gluten-free options here. You are right, it will just take discipline (which is hard for me) and time to get used to the new eating plan. :)

  2. Good luck on this next part of your journey. Gluten free eating does get easier and paleo will probably be easy for you since you already incorporate so many veggies into your diet. Looking forward to reading about your results.