Lesson 1511 – Plant-based diet for chronic illness





Over the years I’ve written about different types of diets to try when you have a chronic inflammatory illness (in my case Lyme disease.)

I’ve tried Keto (high fat, high animal protein) and it made me feel worse.

I tried Paleo (clean but with lots of meat) and when I ate all that meat it just sat in my stomach (and I missed the beans.)

I tried vegetarian, but relied too much on cheese and from one lactose-intolerant to another, let’s just say  – it wasn’t pretty.

Because of my lactose issues and other reactions to food (when I drink beer, my joints *ache* like a storm is coming the next day) I knew that there were foods that my body reacted to, but what can you do right? You have to eat.

But then three things happened one after the other which defied coincidence. At the bookstore I picked up a copy of the Engine-2 Seven Day Rescue Diet. I didn’t even know what it was about, I had just heard about it, it looked interesting, and I decided that I’d read it at some point. It went into my “to read” pile.

At a recent doc’s appointment I was talking to him about the obvious inflammation in my body. “Eat more plants,” he told me. (He doesn’t like to tell, he likes to guide.)

And then I joined a Cancer Management (still dealing with skin cancer) workshop that talked eating about a plant-based diet as a way to manage and heal some cancers.

Wait a minute, I had read that somewhere before. I pulled out the Engine-2 book and there on the cover, it said “Eat plants, Lose Weight, Save Your Health.”

I’d have to be pretty dense to have not gotten the message that the world was trying to give me.

Plants are where it’s at.

So I’ve been eating a plant-based diet. Salads, beans, vegetables, nuts, ancient grains, and even some occasional tofu. It’s not as bad as it sounds. The tricky thing is that now I’m preparing two dinners- one with meat for the family and one without meat and only plants for me. Last night they sat down to pork chops, corn, sliced tomatoes, and salad and I ate a cup of black bean soup and a plate of sauteed vegetables. You didn’t hear a complaint from me, it was good and filling.

The most difficult part? Chopping up all the vegetables. The goal is to have a little bit of a lot of different things instead of a lot of a little.

And as much as I love a cold one, I’ve also pretty much cut out all beer (my joints are thanking me.) A glass of wine if I really want a drink is now what I have and even that is only once in awhile.

Of course this makes going to restaurants a little difficult, but it’s not impossible, you just have to do some work ahead of time and scope out the menu.

Do I feel better?

Yes. Absolutely.

Has it helped with inflammation?

It’s only been a week and a half, but so far indications are positive. I’ll revisit this in a few weeks to let you know how it’s going.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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1 Comment

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

One response to “Lesson 1511 – Plant-based diet for chronic illness

  1. pegthomas

    Hi Wendy!

    Great to know you are feeling better. I am not sans meat, but am definitely plant based. I need protein in each meal and beans are way to gaseous for me, but a small amount of protein (eggs, meat, certain nuts) are very helpful.

    The cookbook that you sent me from the Farm at Martha’s Vineyard was so wonderful. I’ve taken a number of recipes from that. Our whole family loves the braised radishes and we eat them, with their sautéed green quite a bit. The kids like wowing their friends with this unconventional recipe.

    One other plant-based thing, if you are still drinking coffee put a dab of coconut oil instead of cream.




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