Once again, I'm amazed at how helpful a short cleansing diet is for me. I've had a wonderful summer that's included 'wining and dining' my way through vacation and numerous events with family and friends. Well, the result is that I now have more aches, pains and just feel out of sorts and sluggish.
Can your diet cause joint stiffness, arthritis and physical sluggishness?
As many of you who know me are aware, this is an ongoing issue for me. Patients who are interested in using dietary modifications to address their own health issues ask me about what I do for mine, so this post is a short description of this summer's dietary cleanse. I'm on day four and it's really doing the trick!
I am a doctor and I do a cleansing diet to reduce arthritis and stiffness.
A quick recap of my story:
A few years ago, my aches and pains reached a point where I couldn't ignore them anymore and I had 2 choices:
- take medicine forever and modify my life, or
- try to figure out if there was a cause that I could identify and avoid.
At the suggestion of a non-medical person I tried a cleanse (see my winter detox cleanse post) and it was like a miracle,
by day five of a cleanse, I had no aches, pains, arthritis etc. and surprisingly, I felt invigorated. - Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey
I've since worked to figure out what's with my diet that 'poisons' my system and it's pretty much what's in the 'wining and dining' life that's such a part of my wine country existence; the more 'wining and dining', the more pain and the more 'out of sorts' I feel. Just a little and I can recover pretty quickly when I'm back to eating simply, but after two months of this summer's festivities, I'm pretty sore and stiff.
After this summers 'wining and dining' indulgence, I feel very 'off' and achy, and to be honest, I think it shows in how I look; my skin's a little sallow, there are subtle bags under my eyes and I'm packing some unwanted belly fat on my 50-something year old frame. Time to reset my system with a cleanse!
A Gentle Summer Cleansing Diet for Arthritis and Stiffness:I'm using the same format that I posted in the winter (Martha's Vineyard Detox) but modified:
- I'm using the cleansing support herbs, aloe vera juice at night and one or two green drinks during the day but I'm not doing the supportive therapies mentioned in the book this time around.
I'm eating most of my meals instead of drinking them. This means eating an entirely alkaline diet of only veggies and fruit (my garden is kicking them out by the buckets!) I'm eating all I want and all through the day. Everything I'm eating is organic and fresh. I'm also making green smoothies out of fresh produce (favorite is a carrot, kale, apple or pear and a little avocado for richness).
- I'm not adding any oil to my food (a biggie for me because I love olive oil and we produce it on our property). This should help me lose some weight.
- I'm eating no sugar at all in anything (no agave or honey either).
- I'm still having flax seeds and slivered almonds every morning and occasional quinoa (a somewhat alkaline grain) with my veggies when I feel a need for food that 'sticks to my ribs'.
- I allow myself unsweetened soy milk in my tea, and occasional tofu with my veggies.
- I'm avoiding coffee and drinking only tea for caffeine (coffee makes me hungry and sets up cravings).
- I'm using salt, herbs and spices.
- I'm drinking a lot of water and at least a full bottle of Pellegrino each day (sparkling mineral water is alkalinizing to the body).
- I've started drinking a bottle of water with a tsp of chia seeds shaken up in it (surprisingly satisfying and loaded with omega 3's. I got this great idea from the Healthy Librarian's blog called Happy Healthy Long Life - boy, I love social media!)
- I'm still having 4 oz of kefir in goat milk at bedtime for my probiotics (this is the only animal food I'm eating and I may make my kefir in soy milk on the next batch I prepare).
After two wonderful months of 'wining and dining,' it's now surprisingly delightful to have simplicity, to eat from the garden I love, and to feel refreshed and pain free. My complexion is glowing and I feel healthy, lithe and well. I'm thankful that I've found a path that works for me.
If you want more skin health and wellness tips from a doctor and one of the first holistic Board Certified Dermatologists, I invite you to sign up for my free eNewsletter here.
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