Water Fasting Day 3

May 14, 2010 at 2:28 am (Lupus, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Day 2 was a little rough, but I feel pretty good today. The best part is, I’ve been completely off my meds for 4 or 5 days now and I have had no lupus symptoms return, knock on wood!

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Water Fasting Day 1

May 13, 2010 at 1:23 am (Lupus, Uncategorized) (, , )

I am staying at True North Water Fasting Facility in Santa Rosa. It is run by chiropractors which, I am well aware, freaks many people out. But the guy who runs this place, Dr. Alan Goldhamer, D.C., is very experienced and highly intelligent. Chiropractors approach healing naturally, not prescription drugs, which I now think should be the primary approach. Dr. Goldhamer started this operation over 25 years ago. They’re still here and have steadily grown, which I think says a lot. Some people come here to water fast. Some just come to eat the healthy foods, recondition their palates, and learn about healthful living.

I’m sure water fasting sounds absolutely ridiculous or unnecessarily extreme to many. It did to me when I first read about it. But I’ve come to understand that it is a vigorous way of cleansing the body and reprogramming the taste buds. I am motivated to do it for my condition. I have read several books, namely Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s, that insist that therapeutic fasting and a whole food plant based diet can have a significant impact on autoimmune disease, even curing it though it is supposedly incurable. I’m not sure I would do it if I weren’t sick. But I am willing to try anything to avoid a life of medications and possibly serious kidney complications down the road.

The facility here is a converted apartment complex. My suite is a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment with a flat screen TV, a lounge chair, twin beds, a couch, a dining table and, ironically, a kitchen. No one would claim that this place is in anyway fancy or luxurious, but it is certainly comfortable and clean. One apartment has been converted into a dining room, with food served in a buffet (I did eat the day of my arrival). It consists of a cold salad bar with fruit, two hot dishes like soup or rice, and a couple of plain steamed vegetables. The only condiments are water based salad dressings, vinegar, lemon wedges, raw seeds, and no-salt seasoning. The food is colorful and fresh with lots of variety, but it is plain, as no oil or salt is used in the preparation. The adjoining apartment is the kitchen, and there is a dedicated chef who prepares all of the meals. There is also a multi-purpose room that includes a kitchen, which is used for cooking and exercise demos.

Upon my arrival, I was shown about the complex by the resident naturopath (I think the interns usually do it, but she was busy). He went over my medical history and explained how things work here. I also met with the MD and had a urine analysis and blood tests done. Because I prepared by changing my diet before I came, I was allowed to start my fast on my second day. I have been eating a vegan diet for 6 months, and I ate a very clean, low oil and low salt diet of mostly fruits and vegetables the week before I came.

Today was not so bad. I was hungry when I thought about food, but it seemed more mental than physical. I’ve started a video diary to describe my experience. Sorry I’m blinking a lot… I think I was a little nervous 🙂

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Self-Education

May 12, 2010 at 4:03 am (Lupus, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

After reading “The Lupus Recovery Diet”, I continued my self-education by reading “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell, “Fasting and Eating for Health” and “Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D., “The McDougall Program” by Dr. John McDougall, M.D., and “The Pleasure Trap”, by Douglas Lisle, Ph.D. and Alan Goldhamer, D.C. All of these books told me that serious dietary changes could affect autoimmune disease in a significant way. The consensus was that the optimum diet for people with autoimmune disease, is the same diet that is capable of stopping and reversing other serious conditions like diabetes and heart disease. I figured that if all of these smart people believed it, and even had scientific evidence to back it up, it was worth a try. After all, what could it hurt?

So in November of 2009, I became a vegan. I stopped eating all animal products and tried to cut out almost all processed foods. I knew that I should eliminate sugar, salt and oil as well, but that came about more gradually. It’s very hard to eat only plain whole plant food, when you’re used to eating a standard American diet, and you’re surrounded by people who are eating a standard American diet. I was also still cooking for my family and watching TV, which you you start to notice when you’re not eating it, is inundated with advertisements for tragically unhealthy food. After a few months, I also cut out gluten (mainly wheat products) because I learned that it could be causing some of my problems.

I did well on this diet. I felt better, though it was usually hard to tell whether it was from my meds or my new habits. I stopped drinking caffeine, which was a big change, and cut out alcohol completely. I gradually reduced the processed foods I ate, as well as added salt, sugar and oil. I lost at least 15 pounds from the time of my diagnosis until now. But I always felt I needed to do more. The more I learned about my medications, the more I wanted to stop taking them. Plaquenil can cause permanent retinal damage!! Nobody could minimize the seriousness of that. I only had to read a couple of blogs of women my age having hip replacements because of bone necrosis causes by prednisone before I knew I wanted to get off that too. And while I’m grateful for the effectiveness and relatively minimal side effects of Cellcept, I wanted to get off that too, particularly because I want to have a baby and you can’t get pregnant on it because it causes birth defects.

So, on to the next step… WATER FASTING! (Water fasting should only be done under qualified medical supervision).

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