I have been reading a great deal about how the nutrients we put in our body can have a significant effect on our health and well-being. This is not news, I think I’ve recognized this as early as pre-school when my class was introduced to the the 4-4-3-2 diet. That’s:
- 4 daily servings from the “Fruits & Vegetables” group
- 4 daily servings from “Bread & Cereals”
- 3 daily of “Milk & Cheese”, and
- 2 daily from the “Meats/Fish/Fowl” group
Later, this understanding of how food is metabolized as fuel was later reinforced in grade school with food pyramid and forever imbedded in brain through the plethora of lifestyle and healthy living magazines that are geared towards the calorie-counting, weight conscious young women.
Since I was recently diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitus (a chronic inflammatory condition in the arthritis family that attacks the soft tissue and joints in the hips, spine, and neck), I have been reading book after book, and blogs that include dietary recommendations along the lifestyle recommendations. My Rheumatologist cautions that there is no medical research to back up that the diet can affect AS flare ups–however she also concurs that a healthy and well-balanced diet can only help any condition. Pressure on weakened joints and soft-tissue is an incredibly strong incentive to maintain a balanced diet and healthy weight. Further, now that I am taking medicine that essentially attacks my immune system, I am particularly interested in maintaining a diet that will keep me healthy and strong.
I’ve been a fan of juicing for a long time. I was once even accused of getting married four years ago simply so I could register for a juicer. So imagine my intrigue when my reading began to turn toward raw food diets and specifically juice and smoothy diets. From what I have read, many people with AS find that switching to a vegetarian diet (some even go so far as to say vegan) can produce significant benefits. There are also lots of reports that avoiding gluten and starches can make a difference.
While I’m not ready to give up meat entirely (I don’t know that I’ll ever be), I am ready to ease into a diet that includes more raw foods–fruits, vegetables, juices, sprouts, nuts, and seeds. And TOMORROW, I will begin a two-day juice fast.
Armed with a copy of The Juice Lady’s Guide to Juicing for Health, by Cherie Calbom, a two-day menu that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between, and a fridge full of fresh produce–I’m ready to try my juice fast “tune up.” I will chronicle my experience along the way.