Monday, January 2, 2012

More Than Just a New Year Goal

We all have our regrets after the holidays.  We eat too many cookies, stuff ourselves with ham and potatoes, and graze through counter tops covered in decadent sweets.  My indulgences, however, won me a world of pain this year, and I'm determined to get my drug free, pain free life back on track with a healthy diet of veggies, soy, fish, and whole grains. 

For  moment, lets rewind about 12 years.  When I was fourteen-years-old, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  As if a fourteen-year-old doesn't have enough to deal with, right?  To treat it, doctors prescribed increasingly powerful doses of DMARDs and NSAIDs, until I was on three to four medications at a time.  Being on all these anti-rhuematic drugs, my immune system took a dive and I was always sick.  These medications also made it very difficult to start a family.  Finally, I began to control my RA with diet and weened myself off of this powerful stuff.  I took out the meat and added a ton of veggies.  Fish became my favorite source of protein and omega-3s.  I wrote down everything I ate for five months and quickly learned what made my pain better or worse.  In February 2011, I was only on a low dose anti-inflammatory, and we were happy to find out that our little Everett was on the way.  Because RA goes into remission during pregnancy, I went back to my old eating habits.  Lets just say that I missed meat... a lot.  Unfortunately, it was tough to jump right back into healthy eating habits with a newborn, and now I'm right back where I started. 

Just as the doctors warned me, the RA is back with vengeance at 7 weeks postpartum.   If I want to keep nursing my sweet little boy, I'll have to control it with as little medication as possible again.  I did some searching again, and found a helpful visual to guide the new diet.  Check out the link below to see Dr. Weil's food pyramid for an anti-inflammatory diet.

This is basically the same diet that I was on in 2010 with a few extras such as soy and flax seed. I'll be searching for yummy recipes that satisfy my taste buds as well as my husband's.  Here's one that I tried this week.

1 large eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch slices
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 16 oz can of spaghetti sauce
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
whole grain pasta, cooked

Dip eggplant slices in beaten egg and coat with bread crumbs.  Saute the slices in olive oil until tender and browned on each side.  (about 3 minutes per side)  Sprinkle with mozzarella for the last minute of cooking.  Place eggplant on top off cooked pasta and cover with sauce.  Enjoy!


  1. Hi Sarah! I will follow you blog! I think I may be needing your recipes. Not sure if you remember, but Keith's mom, Grammy has Reumatoid too. Well it tends to be hereditary & we think Keith has it now too. I will be calling today to make an appointment for him. The digits of his fingers & both knees have been bothering him for at least the past month. Also, we are on a mission to lose weight & get healthier too! So I am so happy you are doing this & will be watching you & working on this with you too! I love you! Audra

  2. The hands is the worst because you use them so much. Sorry to hear that he's not feeling well. Glad that you're following. I'll keep the recipes coming, and let me know how Keith is doing.

  3. i'll have to find the recipe, but we used to a homemade chinese food night. and there is this one veggie dish that is amazing. next time i'm at my parents, i will look it up for you :)

  4. Mmm, I make a sesame noodle from time to time. I'd love to have another Asian recipe.