Choosing to follow an anti-inflammatory diet for my rheumatoid arthritis is more than just about calming my joints. It is a way of life and a philosophy that my family and I feel is important. By following a diet that doesn’t include preservatives, high amounts of sugar, gluten, animals that have been mistreated. and more we feel like we are honoring our bodies with respect. In my mind some foods are like harmful words or abusive behavior. We would never allow our children to say mean spirited things to themselves or allow others to treat them abusively, yet when it comes to food, we, as a society tend to feel it is acceptable to treat ourselves with disrespect. I want to nourish myself and my family with foods that show we are respected and loved.
By following a diet that we believe in we continue to find positive consequences around every corner. The most important one for me is that my children are learning to listen to their bodies. This is something that I feel is a lost art. We have learned that with every ache and pain we must run to a doctor and have him/her tell us what to take. My children are learning to listen to their bodies and realize that when they watch hours of TV or computer they sometimes get a headache. They are learning that when they consume large amounts of sugar they feel dragged down afterwards. After being 100% gluten free for several years my daughter’s eczema disappeared and sadly returned with the return of gluten. She doesn’t like that feeling and recently asked me to help her return to a gluten free diet low in sugar. She is listening to her body that is telling her what is right or wrong for her as an individual.
There is a lot of controversy in the RA world about whether diet helps with RA symptoms. Since I realize that autoimmune diseases can be hereditary, I am willing to take a chance and reduce the inflammatory foods in my family’s diet. Really, why not? But it goes beyond that. I believe our bodies are very intelligent and want to heal and can heal when we treat them with respect.