I've tried every low-inflammation diet out there. Every. Single. One. There were times where I was eating only vegetables and meat and there were times when I fell off the wagon and ate everything in sight.
On the most restrictive diet I was losing too much weight and my quality of life suffered. No one wanted to invite me out to dinner or to a party, because they knew there would be nothing for me on the menu. On the standard American diet my aches and pains were unbearable. I couldn't sleep at night, because of the aching in my back and hips. I'd spend hours tossing and turning.
Enter The Lyme Diet. Dr. Nicola McFadzean's plan is the perfect balance. Don't get me wrong, compared to the standard American diet, it is extremely restrictive with the basic principles being no gluten, no dairy, and no sugar. But compared to an incredibly restrictive diet, like the autoimmune protocol, it is a diet you can stick to while still being able to dine out and not spend every waking hour cooking from scratch.
Like most anti-inflammatory diets, there are restrictions on gluten-containing grains and dairy, but unlike some anti-inflammatory diets, one is still allowed eggs, rice, beans, and potatoes. I think any anti-inflammatory diet has to be individualized. Personally, I avoid eggs, some types of beans, and limit my grain intake to 1-2 servings a day. Over time, I've been able to determine which foods increase my symptoms and limit those in my diet.
The Lyme Diet is also a quick read. It's not published by a major press, so there are some aspects are slightly unpolished, but, for me, it didn’t take away from the information presented. This is also a comprehensive book about Lyme and wellness. It gives clear and concise suggestions about things like detoxification, supplementation, and natural treatments. There is also a list of resources and referrals. After reading this book, I hesitated to put it back on my shelf, because it feels like it should always be with me.
Many doctors have told me, "You have to live your life." If I have a cupcake at my sister-in-law's wedding, it's okay. I might have physical consequences, but if most days I stick to the diet, it’s better than no days.
Happy National Random Act of Kindness Day. #RAKday
To celebrate I kept track of all the random kindness I received today. It was an achy head and back sort of a day, which made the kindness that much more meaningful:
-A week ago someone left a box of tea on the microwave by my office at work. It’s been lovely to have a cup every morning. This morning, because of their kindness and sharing, I had orange spice.
-My coworkers were so patient with me and my random chatter.
-A busy coworker took the time to proofread an email for me and gave me good advice.
-At Trader Joe’s they opened a new lane just as I was bringing up my groceries.
-In the parking lot I backed out a little too quickly and blocked a woman walking to her car. I mouthed "sorry," and she gave me a friendly smile, instead of a dirty look.
-My dog, Scooter, welcomed me home as if I was the greatest thing to ever happen on Earth, ever.
-I received a thoughtful Valentine's Day card from my Godparents.
-My husband walked the dog twice, so I would have time to squeeze in dinner before a meeting at church.
-At the meeting the opening reading was "Gratitude" by David Whyte. It was such a kind gesture to share such a meaningful passage. Now I share it with you:
By David Whyte
Gratitude is not a passive response to something we have been given, gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. Gratitude is not necessarily something that is shown after the event, it is the deep, a-priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life.
Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is a privilege; that we are miraculously, part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape.
To see the full miraculous essentiality of the color blue is to be grateful with no necessity for a word of thanks. To see fully, the beauty of a daughter’s face in the mountains, of a son’s outline against the sky, is to be fully grateful without having to seek a God to thank him. To sit among friends and strangers, hearing many voices, strange opinions; to intuit inner lives beneath surface lives, to inhabit many worlds at once in this world, to be a someone amongst all other someones, and therefore to make a conversation without saying a word, is to deepen our sense of presence and therefore our natural sense of thankfulness that everything happens both with us and without us, that we are participants and witness all at once.
Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity of presence, both through participation and witness. We sit at the table as part of every other person’s world while making our own world without will or effort, this is what is extraordinary and gifted, this is the essence of gratefulness, seeing to the heart of privilege. Thanksgiving happens when our sense of presence meets all other presences. Being unappreciative might mean we are simply not paying attention.
From "GRATITUDE' From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. ©2014 David Whyte
I must say recognizing kindness made a tough day easier for someone with Lyme. Maybe we should look for kindness every day. Feel free to comment with any random acts of kindness, today or any day.
"Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you." - Princess Diana
Today is the 13th annual American Heart Association's National Wear Red Day and February is American Heart Month. I wear red in honor of all of the women with heart disease and all those who have lost someone to this terrible disease. The scary truth is that at this time 1 in 3 women die of a heart attack or stroke. We can do better.
Many of those with Lyme disease suffer from heart complications and possible Lyme carditis, when the bacteria enters the heart and interferes with the electrical signals.
For more information on this great cause visit the website and wear red: Go Red for Women
"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." - Winnie the Pooh
I'm Kerry and I was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in 2016. This is a positive space for those of us coping with Lyme disease and other invisible illnesses.