My juicing journey has come to a close! It feels amazing to be done, to know that I did it, and it's over! I survived! I didn't get the results I was hoping for, like I mentioned before, which means I still have lots of work to do, but just seeing this thing through to the end has lit a fire under me, and I know I can do whatever it takes to lose it all. I didn't quit when it was tough, and that makes such a big difference to me mentally. So much of weight loss is a mind game, and knowing that you're strong enough to see something through is really empowering and encouraging. It lets you know you are strong enough to not quit in the middle.
I lost 6 pounds between days 40 and 60. It seems like so little now, but 6 pounds can take me a year to lose with other methods, and I'm that much happier without those 6 pounds on me. I have 15-20 more to go, which seems doable now. I love how much that number has shrunk! The first thing I ate on day 61 was sauteed mushrooms with onions, which I had been craving. They were bursting with flavor and just the fact that they were warm was so satisfying! I missed hot food so much mainly because I did the detox in the winter. Sometimes I just wanted the comfort of a hot meal so badly, and even if I was starving, I'd have to force myself to drink my cold juice. A hot meal even boosts your mood and makes you feel taken care of, and I know that's why I was down at times--I just wanted some comfort in a bowl of hot soup! The other love of my life, guacamole, was calling my name next, so I spread a bunch on a large rosemary cracker, and got full off of that so quickly! Then I had a salad from Costa Vida for lunch and finished it for dinner. My stomach didn't hurt a bit, though people told me I'd have trouble when I started eating food again. I think the trick is to keep your meals small, mostly vegetable-based, and introduce meat a little at a time. If you have a big burger all at once, of course your stomach's going to hurt. I really wanted to try adding in one thing at a time, like a backwards elimination diet, but I didn't have the self control for that. I thought I could figure out if it was wheat, or eggs, or dairy, or maybe sugar that was causing my pain, but that would have taken a lot of meal planning and prepping, and I just wasn't up for that at the time.
I lost my list of things I wanted to mention or things people asked about, so if I don't cover it, just ask in the comments section. Every once in a while I did some research about curing arthritis online to keep me motivated, and it always came back to food. Most doctors that focus on natural remedies and healing of the disease rather than prescribing medicine for the symptoms all agree that rheumatoid arthritis (and other autoimmune diseases) are linked to the food we eat. Our digestive system is the second biggest brain in the body next to the brain up in our head, and it controls many of the body's functions. If it is out of whack and not functioning properly, diseases start to develop. Sometimes the offending food is dairy, sometimes wheat, or even eggs, but a lot of times it's meat. Let me just cut and paste this passage in here from the True North Health Center website so I don't have to rephrase it:
"People in other cultures work just as hard as Americans do, and a certain percentage of those populations probably have genetic predispositions similar to those of Americans. But people in those cultures tend not to develop arthritis at anywhere near the same rate as in the United States. Why? It appears that diet is a major factor. In cultures where people eat very small quantities of animal fat and animal protein, there is a much lower incidence of all kinds of arthritis. When these people relocate to a city or country where people eat the same type of diet that we do in the United States, their incidence of arthritis increases dramatically. That is a clear indication that the westernized diet is involved in the development of arthritis. The two biggest dietary culprits seem to be animal fat and animal protein. Rheumatoid arthritis is rare in societies where animal products are seldom eaten, such as in Africa, Japan, and China. And when rheumatoid arthritis does develop, it is usually much milder and is associated with much less disability than in the United States."
There is a thing called a leaky gut, which sounds strange but it makes so much sense. When you eat meat, most people's digestive system breaks down animal proteins into tiny particles that are then released in the body, but some people's intestines fail to break the proteins down, and large proteins get through the stomach wall into the body. Animal proteins get lodged in various places throughout the body, where they cause inflammation, because the body recognizes them as foreign objects (antibodies) and attacks them. When these proteins lodge in the joints, you get pain, swelling, and redness because your body is attacking them there in its attempt to get rid of the foreign objects.
I found another amazing website with so much good information on it. This passage from Dr. Fuhrman's website is pretty amazing stuff, especially the second paragraph:
"As long as you are still breathing, it is still possible to improve your health with improvements in lifestyle and nutrition. It is typical for people to see a variety of great changes when they adopt the high, nutrient diet-style which I recommend. Besides reaching an ideal weight and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, other problems are resolved too. For example, it is common for those with attacks of recurrent herpes to stop experiencing attacks. Those with indigestion and reflux don’t need their acid-suppression therapy anymore. People stop getting hemmorhoids. Their body odor improves. They have better stamina and think more clearly, and their skin tone and color improves.
Chronic disease and disability is not the inevitable consequence of aging. Chronic illnesses develop from a lifetime of stressful factors that continue to interfere with the bodie's ability to heal and regenerate. The body is a remarkable self-healing machine, and a long life, free of common diseases and premature aging, is available for those who seek it. Superior nutrition is a blessing given to us by nature (and modern science) to protect ourselves and give us a happier and more vibrant life.
Longevity and resistance to diseases result predominantly from four simple factors. These are also the main factors that enable people to reverse diseases. They are avoidance of toxins, avoidance of both nutritional excesses and deficiencies, meeting the emotional, nutritional, rest and activity needs of the body, and a rich supply and diversity of phytochemical substances."
Isn't it so encouraging that you have the power to change your health? A scary diagnosis doesn't have to mean the end for you, it just means you have to make changes in your lifestyle, and if you're willing to do that, you will reap the rewards. Big money is made on the drugs the pharmaceutical companies manufacture to treat these widespread diseases, not to mention the doctors that have no monetary incentive to prescribe a natural remedy to their patients. You would think money wouldn't be the driving force behind the decisions of our doctors, but it is, and they don't have our best interests in mind. RA drugs in particular have very scary side effects, and people don't think twice when they start to use them. Many of them actually cause cancer, so you have to choose--cancer or arthritis? They all have scary side effects and result in a shorter life. I wish people wouldn't settle for such scary side effects, and take their health into their own hands instead of trusting doctors that aren't trained in medical school about natural remedies.
My pain was gone by the end of the 60 days, but it has since reappeared, which reaffirms my belief that the inflammation in my joints is tied to food. The pain is nowhere near where it was when I started juicing, but it's back and I know it will get worse and worse if I don't figure out what specific foods are contributing to it the most. I could never be a vegetarian, but I know I need to stick to mostly vegetable-based meals to keep the pain in check. It's an amazing feeling to be in control of my own body and not have to take stronger and stronger pills as the RA progresses. Juicing is going to be a permanent part of my life, and I plan on doing as many 10-day fasts, coupled with exercise, as I need to do to lose the rest of my weight.
Besides the links I have mentioned above, the Goldberg Clinic website had some good information about reversing arthritis naturally, especially in this article. The site actually has information on many different diseases, not just RA. This and this article were both helpful as well.
I hope the links I've provided give you a good jumping-off point in your research. I really believe in what these people are saying, and I'm confident their suggestions will help me live pain-free for the rest of my life. I don't want to be medicated and disabled, I want to be free from all bondage and able to do whatever my heart desires! This one, beautiful, precious life is so short and so fragile, and I don't want to waste one bit of it.