Weed It and Reap: What Should I Eat? Arthritis, Autoimmune Disease, and Diet

Best Berry Smoothie


Magic ingredient: Coconut Water.It contains easily digested carbohydrates in the form of sugar and electrolytes. Low in calories, naturally free of fat and cholesterol, more potassium than four bananas, and super hydrating.  Best Coconut Water?  According to Portland Food & Drink it’s #1. Coco Community   #2. Taste Nirvana, Real Coconut Water* #3. Harmless Harvest Coconut Water  #4. Trader Joe’s 100% Pure (cold case)

Use fresh organic fruit when possible. Clean, cut and freeze fruit for future use.

Put in blender: what you have available in a mixture of frozen and fresh banana, blueberries, strawberries,  cherries, raspberries, blackberries, pineapple, papaya, mango, acai berry, stone fruits, apple, lemon, orange, etc

Add coconut water and other organic pure fruit juice for consistency. Blend.

Learning to Make the Best Food Choices

I was recently interviewed by an investigative reporter working on a piece about the pesticide Glyphosate (aka RoundUp, manufactured by Monsanto). Glyphosate has been in wide-spread use not only in agriculture, but also in and around homes, schools, hospitals, parks, roadsides, and other public spaces since the ’70’s.  It’s been in the news lately because extensive research has shown it to be a potent carcinogen as well as being linked to ADHD, Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism, Birth Defects, Celiac Disease, Colitis, Heart Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease.

People in countries all over the world have been demanding that the poison be banned. The Obama era EPA announced a decision to take Glyphosate off the market. However, Trump’s EPA headed by Pruitt bowed to Monsanto’s pressure to keep RoundUp on the market in the US. Similar pressure from Monsanto has resulted in a failure to ban the poison in the EU.

It became clear to the journalist, after a short time listening to me describe my experiences teaching in a school surrounded by pesticide-intensive ag fields, that glyphosate is just the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to pesticide exposure and human health.

The reporter asked me several times if I had contracted any illness as a result of that long-term pesticide exposure. She proded because, of course, that would make a great story. Unfortunately I had to tell her that it’s virtually impossible to attribute definitive cause and effect between long-term pesticide exposure twenty years earlier and whatever ails me now in my “old age”. I was sorry to disappoint her. But it’s complicated. Researchers can look at studies of large population samples over time and may find significant statistical correlation between exposure to certain substances and disease. But in an individual person’s life, there are usually just too many variables to claim with certainty that one event caused a particular condition.

However, with all that said, during my time teaching amidst the Pajaro Valley strawberry fields – breathing the immune system disrupters, respiratory system disruptors, estrogen system disruptors, and neurotoxins, I did get hit with an auto-immune condition, fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis and osteoarthritis. I was pretty healthy until I went to work near the strawberry fields. Now I deal with inflammation and chronic pain.

What to do? Not wanting to become yet another opioid addict statistic, I manage pain through regulated diet, healthy sleep habits, regular exercise, and mindfulness training. Food choices seem to be a big piece of what it takes to feel better. After years of buying into food fads and denying my own inner wisdom, I’ve finally come to some understanding about what I should and shouldn’t be eating.

My Top Worst Food Choices:

  • Sugar. Processed white sugar (“white death”), any cane sugar, any other processed sugar: brown sugar, rice sugars, corn syrup, all artificial sugar substitutes such as Nutrasweet (aspartame)
    – even xylitol, stevia and agave aggravate my inflammation and pain
    – Sad. I love sweets. 
    I find I can tolerate small amounts of local raw honey, real maple syrup, coconut sugar, and date sugar 
  • All fast food, fried and processed foods!
  • Processed wheat and grains, including pasta 
  • Nightsades: eggplant, tomato, potato (sweet potato okay), peppers
  • Corn and Soy products
  • Dairy 
  • animal fat
  • most processed oils including Palm oil

Best Choice:  whole food, organic, fresh, primarily plant-based, alkaline-forming diet

 

 

 

 

 

  • Pure Water
  • Fresh organic fruit
    banana, blueberries, strawberries, dark cherries, raspberries, blackberries, pineapple, papaya, mango, acai berry, stone fruits, apple, lemon, orange, pomegranate, fig, guava and passion fruit, watermelon (said to be good for the skin) . . .
  • Fresh veggies – variety of all colors, especially dark leafy greens,
    broccoli & califlower, beets, cabbage, celery, collards, arugula, mustard greens, squashes, carrot, chive & leek, asparagus, peas and green beans, Brussels sprouts, artichokes
  • avocado
  • organic, cold-pressed olive oil
  • fish high in omega 3 – sardine, herring, cod, salmon (much better than fish-oil supplement!)
  • happy Ameraucanas hen’s fresh eggs
  • whole organic seeds and nuts (I don’t have the habit yet of sprouting my seeds and nuts, although some say this is a good idea)
  • whole beans (in moderation)
  • whole oats
  • fresh garlic, ginger, turmeric, bee pollen
  • fresh mint, basil, parsley, watercress, and other herbs
  • seaweed, mushrooms
  • probiotic-rich fermented foods and beverages – miso, sauerkraut, coconut yogurt . . .

I’m very grateful to live in an area with access to farmers’ markets and excellent quality food!

I’d love to hear from you! What are you choosing to eat and why?

 

 

 

 

 

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