Dairy free … why?

There are many reasons one would choose a dairy free, or in general a free from, lifestyle; the fact that is a fad should not be one of them. Figuring out I have inflammatory arthritis was a result of visiting a osteopaths, physiotherapist, podiatrist, orthopedic surgeon AND a rheumatologist.  The lovely rheumatologist was the one who diagnosed me with inflammatory arthritis not google. It is because of her suggestion that I follow a dairy free lifestyle … mainly because the alternative was immune suppressants. Not at all ideal.

What were my symptoms like before I went dairy free?

  • I could not fully extend my right arm
  • If I drove too long I could not unclench my hands
  • I could not bring my knees passed 90 degrees and before I had no issue to bring them to my bottom
  • I could not walk properly, sometimes my knee would slide
  • I had the knee version of cankles
  • And I had cankles

I stopped running, horse riding and even swimming was difficult. In the beginning I thought that this was damage from running especially after I completed my first marathon. Except it did not heal. So of course you visit professionals to try to figure out what is wrong with your body.

Then I was diagnosed and went dairy free, and in the beginning gluten free, as many people with  inflammatory arthritis have adverse reactions to both dairy and gluten. Here is a short article on gluten free diets and arthritis. Going dairy free was such a relief for me. Inflammatory arthritis it just happens; it is an autoimmune disease. When I was younger, even just three years ago, I had no noticeable symptoms. But in the summer/autumn of 2014 my problems started and a year after that I was diagnosed and was able to manage my symptoms with a dairy free lifestyle.

Sooo what should you take away from this? If something is bothering you visit a medical professional. Try to keep track of your symptoms as this can help in diagnosing you. Most of all listen to your body.

Are you also dairy free? Let me know your reason for doing so. Have a great moo-less day.

Diet Fads – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

South Beach, Atkins, Paleo, Keto, that weird maple syrup, lemon and cayenne pepper drink diet all seem to make their rounds. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center defines a fad diet as:

“A fad diet is a diet that promises quick weight loss through what is usually an unhealthy and unbalanced diet.

Fad diets are targeted at people who want to lose weight quickly without exercise.

Some fad diets claim that they make you lose fat, but it’s really water weight you’re losing.

Fad diets that are restricted to certain foods may work, but most are boring or unappealing. This can make them difficult to follow on a long-term basis. And some fad diets can actually be harmful to your health.”

Most sources will refer to fad diets in similar language to UPMC.

You should always seek the advice of a medical professional. But it is also important to note that in most countries dietitian is a protected title whereas nutritionist is not. Of course always check what your jurisdiction is regulating. For those who do not have dietary restrictions, or have figured out how to eat around those restrictions, it is good to have a food plate as a reference.

Below I have added the Healthy Eating Plate from Harvard University. Why do I like this over the food pyramid and others? It adds water consumption and exercise as part of the healthy eating plate. The food pyramid excludes this. In my university nutrition class we had to do a one week food diary, nobody included water as a part of their food diary and as a result we were all docked points. This taught us a lesson; water consumption is just as important as food consumption and it should be linked. The Healthy Eating Plate is also less vague than the previously used food pyramid and makes a difference between the types of oils, vegetables, grains and meat products. Check out the Harvard site for more info.

So what can you take away from this? Speak with a professional. If something is too good to be true it probably is. Eat healthily and drink water!

Harvard Food Plate

Copyright © 2011, Harvard University. For more information about The Healthy Eating Plate, please see The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, http://www.thenutritionsource.org, and Harvard Health Publications, http://www.health.harvard.edu.

Bejeweled Celery Salad

How could you not want to gobble up a jewel toned salad topped with amazing pomegranate seeds. Bejeweled salads are the future. Yummy!

Recipe

3 medium stalks celery, finely sliced with the leaves on

1/2 yellow pepper, chopped

1/8 red onion, chopped

Mix all together and add a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing (I do a 3:1 ratio) and threw in a herb mix. Garnish with pomegranate seeds et voila. A refreshing summer salad. This would also go well with roasted chicken or baked salmon if you want some protein with your meal.

Serves 2 as a starter or 1 for a main

Hummus for days

Snack time for champions! Hummus is my favourite easy to make super nutritious dip.

Recipe

1 can chickpeas, drained and “washed”

1 large garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp tahini

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/3 cup water, more or less depending on desired consistency

Salt and pepper to taste

Blend it all up until smooth and serve with julienned veggies, flatbread and olives. Hummus can also be made the day ahead.I find hummus from the day before has time to absorb more flavour. Yummy!

Fitness. For free?

Yes, even in Dubai we are privy to free, and super amazing, fitness lessons. lululemon, the outfitter of choice for yummy mummies, offers quality yoga and running sessions for free in Dubai. Yoga can be an excellent fitness option for those who want to be active but still need something gentle for their body. Yoga is excellent for strengthening your muscles and it is also very relaxing. Previously, I did not buy into the hype of yoga but I must admit it does feel great afterwards.

Check out the below sweat schedule for the offerings from their three store locations or visit their inspiring facebook page. These yoga lessons are an excellent option for beginners or if you want to meet some new people who are part of the yoga community.

Remember, a healthy life includes taking care of your mental and physical health and yoga does an excellent job in catering to both.

Lululemon Dubai Free Lessons

Credit: lululemon athletica Dubai facebook page

Please note this is not a sponsored post; I think it is great that lululemon gives to the community and really enjoy going to their sweat sessions. Living #thesweatlife

Hello. This is me.

This is my story. It is not entirely unique but it may come as a surprise to some that someone at my age can have arthritis. I will be honest with you; it sucks. But dwelling on it will not make it better and I am thankful that it is not severe. I discussed with my rheumatologist who, when I told her I would prefer to try a medicine free route, said I should remove gluten, dairy and heavily processed foods from my diet … hmm I do believe I just heard joy leave the building. This route is currently possible because the integrity of my joints has not be compromised. In the future I may need to turn to medicines.

I do follow a relatively healthy lifestyle. No pop (aka soda), no smoking, no fast food and only the occasional drink with all of that being supplemented by exercise. Except a year ago things started to change and it culminated in me not being able to properly recover after running long distances, swollen ankles, not being able to bend my knees and not being able to properly straighten some of my fingers and right elbow.

So this is me. Just another person trying to find a solution to a problem.

Full disclosure: I am not a doctor or nutritionist. This is a path I was recommended to take. If you ever have problems with your body, or mind, please see a proper health care professional and for goodness sake do not Google! This is your body. Take care of it.sky-sunset-field-trees