In January, I mentioned that I would be writing about some changes that I made in regard to my diet. If you are a follower of this blog, you may recall that I recently began to dabble in the elimination of nightshades. I had some trepidation about leaning into this but was willing to give it a try.
Here’s a portion of what I wrote regarding nightshades in October 2017:
I have lived with chronic pain for several years; the source of which I am unsure. Perhaps it is a result of my Raynaud’s (an autoimmune condition) or from the arthritis that set in after my discectomy. Regardless, I have learned to live with this adversity. I rarely discuss it, acknowledge it or try to change it.
When I first read about the effects of nightshades on the body I have to admit I was skeptical. There is little scientific evidence that these foods actually improve, reduce or eliminate these conditions.
During the winter months I will continue my research and spend copious amounts of time experimenting with nightshade free recipes in order to have a playbook ready for the next go round, I mean season. Stay tuned!
My time with nightshades never materialized It was not an engagement in hibernation, but a divine intervention that altered my path. As it turned out, the hubby and I tuned into a Forks Over Knives webinar. That forum refreshed our plant-based knowledge and rerouted our path. The message was simple. To thrive on a whole-foods, plant-based diet (WFPB) you need to eat fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes.
Note: The vegan husband follows a flexitarian diet with about a 95% plant-based foundation.
It was time to face the music.
It occurred to us that we didn’t get it exactly right from the start. We were close but we were missing key information about the nutrients our bodies needed to thrive. On a WFPB diet starch based foods and fruit are the stars of the show. Foods like sweet potatoes, corn, peas, brown rice, quinoa, various beans and whole fruit form the basis of this diet. Starch based foods played second fiddle to our mostly vegetable laden lifestyle.
Further complicating matters, a little bit of processed food had, over the years, made its way back into our lives. Store bought humus, once a special guest, began to occupy more real estate in our fridge. My recipes for oil-free, homemade humus began to fade from memory. A veggie sandwich wrapped in a leafy green or a brown rice wrap was replaced with a highly processed wrap. Veggie burgers had a Morning Star label. The huge daily salad morphed, more often than not, into twice to three times a week occurrences. Whole grains and legumes became less frequent patrons on the plate. Hemp? Its tattooed standing on the monthly grocery list had been lasered.
The consequences of our small, but impactful, dietary choices resulted in slow and subtle changes in my health.
As noted, I had Raynaud’s disease, an autoimmune condition. No diet can guarantee perfect health, but it has been reported that a WFPB diet has shown to reverse autoimmune diseases. Alas, since embarking on this diet, I had “developed” one.
In addition, my energy levels began to change. It was a sloth-like, almost imperceptible change that spanned over about two years. Over time I could sense a transformation, but I didn’t recognize it for what it was.
Immediately following the webinar, we instituted the WFPB playbook.
What were the results?
In less than two weeks, my Raynaud’s disappeared. No longer did I suffer from the painful circulatory assault on my fingers and toes. The ulcers that existed on two of my fingers and one toe faded away.
I have endured cold-weather induced asthma for twenty-five years. Recently, I went for a run in 32° weather and didn’t experience any breathing issues – no shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing. I have yet to experience the blast of Albuterol being peppered down my esophagus and into my lungs this winter. My asthma medication has taken a leave of absence for the season. For safety’s sake, I’m guessing my asthma should be tested over time but now all I can think of is …TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF ASTHMA…GONE?
And, the chronic pain that plagued my joints? “Hwyl fawr” (“Goodbye” in Welsh, for the kipper)!
From here on out you can expect to see recipes that are similar to the ones already posted but that better reflect the changes we have made. We still consume vegetable heavy dishes but starches and fruit are their equal partner.
In conclusion, we are wiser, stronger, healthier and more annoying than ever!
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