As some may already know from the earlier blog entries, I have fibromyalgia. I first began having problems with chronic pain in 1992. The first doctor referred to it as an arthritis of the soft tissue. Over the years, the pain began affecting various parts of my body. Some days more than others.
In 2005, during my pregnancy with our daughter, I had a large increase in the pain. This we believe was brought on by the hormonal changes caused by the pregnancy. After she was born, the pain continues to worsen. I had mobility problems along with the pain. I began to have to use a cane to walk, and later had to use a walker. By late summer, 2006, I was having to use the motorized carts at the stores because I was unable to walk the distance necessary to do the grocery or other shopping. October, 2006, I had to go to the emergency room due to chest pains. They checked me over thinking it may be a heart attack. Praise to the Lord, it was only the fibromyalgia. The pain was in the chest wall muscles, causing them to contract which in turn caused breathing difficulty.
In January, 2007, I began getting concerned. Our daughter was reaching the age where soon she would be crawling and becoming more mobile. How was I going to keep up? I started researching on my own for ways to treat the fibromyalgia without taking all the medications. I didn't like the typical routine of prescription medications. I felt that they interfered too much with my abilities to tend to my daughter.
I prayed about the problem and asked the Lord to help me find the answers that I needed. In my searches on the Internet, I found references that kept talking about the connection between diet and your health. A common belief was that reducing or eliminating refined & processed foods from your diet can help. Some went as far as to suggest a vegetarian diet. I began eating a vegetarian diet, not eating anything that was processed or refined. The results were amazing. Two weeks after I started the vegetarian diet, I was pain-free for the first time in about 14 yrs. I was walking without any aid and spent the next several months building up my endurance again.
Since that time, I have tried on occassions to eat meat again. Each time I have tried, I have had the same results.......the pain and mobility problems return. Sometimes, the affect happens within a couple of hours after eating the meat. Other times, I may be able to eat meat for a few times before the affect takes place. In the end however, the results are the same. Once I eat the vegetarian diet again for a couple of weeks, the pain and mobility problems are gone again.
I still get flare-ups occasionally from other causes. The other triggers for my fibromyalgia flare-ups are the cold weather, over working/being exhausted, or if I get another injury such as when the sheep roughed me up a bit last autumn. Thankfully, most of the causes are ones that I can prevent. I do have my moments when I try to do something that I shouldn't. One example is eating turkey at Christmas. I knew better, but it smelled so good and I love turkey meat. I ate too much of it and within an hour it began affecting me. I laid down for a while and when I got up, my body was stiff and painful with inflammation. It has taken me 2 weeks to get back to beig pain-free again.
My Beloved, made a very loving decision. We are now eating only a vegetarian diet at home. He loves meat, but decided to only have it when away from home. He has meat available to him for his lunches at work and he will be able to eat meat when we have an opportunity to eat out. The only food that he and our little ones will eat that I cannot eat very often is eggs.
My recipe blog will be seeing changes with this diet change. I will be starting to post more vegetarian recipes. The good thing about vegetarian cooking is that most of the meals can be enjoyed by anyone. I don't use tofu very often since it is not something that my Beloved enjoys. One thing I have learned in the past 2 years though is that Greek and Middle Eastern recipes are wonderful for vegetarians. They do not eat meat as frequently as we do here in our country. Kosher recipes are another good source for vegetarian recipes.
I am looking forward to the diet change. I know the affect it has on my health. It will be interesting to see what affect it has on the rest of the family.