Hello Veggies, Goodbye Arthritis
Hello! I am a 43 year old stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters ages 6 ½ and 23 months. These girls keep me hopping, which means I need to be pain free and full of energy, not a small feat for someone with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that involves inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. Symptoms include fatigue, stiffness, weakness, anemia, limited range of motion, and inflammation in the lining of joints which results in swollen joints and, therefore, pain in the joints. Joint pain is often felt on both sides of the body, and may affect the fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, toes, and neck.
I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 11 years ago and was put on several medications for it. The medications relieved the symptoms, but after being on them for several years I began to realize that all those drugs were not good for my body, so I began to experiment with eliminating various foods and types of foods from my diet. Amazingly enough, I found that my flare-ups could be directly tied to consuming certain foods. First to go was pork followed by cow’s milk and red meat and, eventually, almost all processed foods and dairy. Once these changes were made, I found that I would still have occasional flare-ups and was able to relate it directly to something I had eaten, particularly sugar (much to my dismay!). My father sent me a juicer, so in addition to eliminating various foods from my diet, I began to juice vegetables and some fruits several times a week and noticed an increased amount of relief from the RA symptoms and began to feel energized and just really great!
I began my journey down the road of natural and homeopathic remedies and began to seek out resources for this new lifestyle that I knew I would need to pursue and adopt in order to achieve total freedom from both the drugs and the arthritis. That’s when I found Kris Carr. I read about Kris and her “Crazy, Sexy Life” movement, if you will, in a magazine and have been hooked on her ever since! The results she achieved from completely changing her lifestyle and diet were amazing and I continue to be inspired by her energy, enthusiasm and devotion to helping others. After converting to an almost 100% vegetarian diet (I still eat fish and chicken occasionally and am trying to eliminate them altogether) and incorporating regular cardiovascular workouts, yoga and acupuncture into my life as well, I was able to discontinue all of my RA meds and have been med-free for over a year and a half now!
Even when I was on the medication, I lacked energy and at times still had trouble doing basic things such as using a can opener or even washing my hair. By making these changes to my lifestyle – and they weren’t all at once, it has taken about three years to reach this point – I am not only energetic and pain free, but without the use of medication. I would never have thought it possible! Of course I wish I had known the impact food has on the body 11 years ago, but better late than never, right?!
I will begin a 200 hour yoga certification training program starting in January, 2010. Without the significant changes in my lifestyle over the past three years, this would not be possible, especially without any medication. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to overcome the limitations of RA as well as pursue my new passion for yoga and I hope to inspire and help others with what I have learned.
Vicki Sanford is a married 43 year old stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters, ages 6 and 23 months, living in South Jordan, Utah. She grew up and lived in North Carolina for most of her life and has found that home truly is where the heart is!