My First Steps

I was first diagnosed with psoriasis in the first grade.  I developed itchy patches of thick, flaky skin on my elbow, knees and forehead.  It made me very self conscious as a young child because people thought it was contagious and couldn’t help but stare or ask me “what is that?”  I also consistently have white flakes on my shoulders from itching my scalp.  The doctors and dermatologists just told me it was like rapidly growing skin cells and I could treat it topically with steroid creams.  Over the past 31 years, I have had patches on my elbows, knees, forehead, scalp, in my ears, and a patch on my leg.  I lost hope.  I thought this is just something I would have to deal with everyday- no cure.

A few years ago, I was also diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, which for me displayed itself in my feet.  During the wintertime flares up, my toes will get so swollen, red, and painful to the touch.  I am known to wear flip flops in the rain and snow just because it hurts to put shoes on.  I was seeing a rheumatologist and we were trying to get medication approved by my insurance, but I was hesitant at the thought of being on meds for the rest of my life, not knowing what other side effects it may cause.

About a month ago, I started wondering if there was something else I could try, something that could help alleviate the itchiness and flaking that plagues me everyday.  I initially started down the path of looking at essential oils and upon researching it, I came across the book posted below.  Healing psoriasis a natural way?  I started reading some of the reviews and ordered the book right away.

Books like this usually have me snoring by page 3 but I couldn’t put it down!  It was fascinating to read about how psoriasis isn’t just something external, but really stems from what is happening internally.  Dr. Pagano defines psoriasis as “the external manifestation of the body’s attempt to “throw off” internal toxins.”  In order for me to heal my psoriasis, I need to heal from the inside out.

I will be documenting my journey as I follow Dr. Pagano’s method as described in his book: “Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative” and also using recipes from his companion cookbook.  I am committed to this process and hope you follow along as an encourager or I hope I encourage you on your own journey of healing.

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My next step

I keep getting asked how things are going with healing my psoriasis and I’m not quite sure how to answer. Overall, I have made great strides towards being mindful of what I am eating and what I avoid.  Up until last week when my hubby and I splurged in celebration of our 8th wedding anniversary (see picture), I had avoided nightshades, shellfish, white products, beef, and for a few weeks I even cut out gluten and limited dairy.

But then I would look at my psoriasis and it was still there.

I have been consistently drinking lemon water, slippery elm tea, juicing and eating lots of veggies.

But then I would look at my psoriasis and it was still there.

So when it came to our anniversary dinner, after much deliberation, I decided to go for it and enjoy those things I had avoided for 3 months.  I ordered steak, fresh white bread with butter and au gratin potatoes. And it was delicious!!!

 

But surprise, surprise…. A few days later, I noticed some flaky patches appear on my knees and elbows that had been void of it for a few months. This week, my psoriatic arthritis also flared up.

Ok, so maybe there is something to this healing naturally thing.  Moving forward though, I need some help. It has been a struggle being on my own and trying to figure this out without having a sounding board or immediate results. How do I know that what I am doing is the right thing. Believe me, I spend way too much time sitting in self doubt which sets me back on this healing journey.

Today I signed up for some one-on-one coaching from Matt Ludwig, the psoriasis warrior I wrote about in the last blog post. I need some support and direction (hand holding if you will) in order to stay the course.  Originally I thought I would be fully following Dr. Pagano’s method, but am surprised by the amount of research that is out there and plan on continuing to learn and grow.

It never goes exactly as we planned does it?

 

Alkaline Water and Juicing

IMG_20170925_105458166_BURST001.jpgThree days ago I was feeling defeated. I felt off track and alone in this and knew I needed to make a shift. I then remembered I had joined a healing psoriasis Facebook group a few months back so I went there to seek hope, community and to see how others were coping. I read on there a few stories on how it took a year to become 75% healed. I knew I just needed to be patient.

I reached out to one of the women in the group to ask more questions. She referred me to another Facebook group called Psoriasis Healing Warriors. After reading through the welcome guide, I realized there is more I can be doing.

I am now adding the juice of 1 lemon to every 32 oz cup of pure filtered water. I drink this in the morning right after my slippery elm tea. I also drink 3 more throughout the day.

Ialso started juicing in the morning and evening. In the morning I have 3 celery stalks, the rind of the lemon I used for my water, cilantro and parsley. In the evening I have cucumber, kale, red apple, orange, watermelon, broccoli stem, and ginger.  This is to help my body absorb nutrients and not have to work so hard breaking it down.

You can read more by going to https://www.facebook.com/groups/HealingPsoriasisWarriors/

Time to Refocus

This is hard. I do not have accountability anywhere and feel myself slipping into bad habits of extra snacking – on crackers and other acid forming foods- so I picked up these pH test strips to better assess how I am doing. After 3 days, I can confirm that I am not on track.  So I am once again rereading my notes and need to make a better menu plan so I’m not winging it.

My goal is to have the following ratio: 4 veggies:2 fruits:1 protein:1starch

 

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Mindset

IMG_20170913_063432558.jpgAs I am sitting here drinking my morning cup of slippery elm tea, I am reminded about the importance of a positive mindset in this process. I have been struggling a little bit, wondering if I am following the plan close enough and actually working towards the results I am trying to reach- complete healing from psoriasis.

I knew coming into this, that it would be a long term process, but deep down I was secretly hopeful it would heal quickly and I would be on my way. Ha- always wanting the quick fix!!!

“Every day in every way, I am getting better and better.”

“The diet is easy, nutritious,can cleansing.”

“I have a desire only for the foods that I know are healthful to me.”

Mindset plays a huge factor in our overall health, so these are the things I will be telling myself to help keep me positive and focused.

“Our bodies and circumstances are the end result of the thoughts we harbor within.” -Pagano

45 Days

45 days in!  I can’t believe so many days have passed- we were busy with soaking in the last days of summer and then back to school fun.  I wanted to give you an update on how things are going.  I have been eating pretty much the same thing everyday and trying to eat mostly alkaline and avoiding the foods that I am supposed to.  It has been a little challenging because I have been trying to follow a workout program and the nutrition guide that came with that as well because I want to lose weight and get fit.  Trying to balance the two nutrition programs has made choices a bit more limited for me.  I am still following the tea drinking regimen and adding lecithin to my foods each day.

Here is a picture of what I eat each day.  Breakfast is organic, nonfat, greek yogurt with active cultures topped with fresh fruit.  Lunch is a large salad with a variety of veggies, dressing and a side of cottage cheese.  Dinner is usually fish and steamed veggies (a few days  aweek I have either a piece of chicken breast of turkey burger). My snacks include Shakeology, fruit, veggies, almonds or cheese. 8.30.17 food.jpgMy patches are still present, not as thick or flaky as they were when I first started but they have been flared up the past few days.  I am hoping it is a sign of the healing taking place and my body is just trying to get rid of the toxins buildup.  I think I have been eating too much dairy and may have missed some steps to the regimen so I am currently rereading the Healing Psoriasis book to refresh my memory and make sure I am on track for success.

One big component to this is a positive mindset and imagining that the healing has already taken place.  I know this will work and just need to be patient and consistent in the process.

 

It takes commitment

Over the past weekend, we went camping as a family.  I knew it would be hard to stay committed to this process but when you are surrounded by all of your favorite indulgences (smore’s anyone?), it really makes you dig deep.

I planned ahead and brought all of my food and enjoyed fish cooked over the open fire, sweet potatoes and steamed veggies, large fresh salads, and yogurt with fresh fruit.  I left my kettle at home so I was unable to drink my teas each day, but I ate mostly alkaline forming foods so I call that a win.

Last week, I started applying Aura Glow (a mixture of peanut and olive oils) to my patches.  It helps keep them moist and alleviates itching.

I am just over 2 weeks in on this journey and so pleased with how my patches look and feel already.  I did read a warning that around week 3, you can expect a flare up as your body fights hard to rid itself of toxins so curious if it will happen to me.

Here is a look at my patches on Day 16.  The thickness has decreased and it is less flaky.  The patch on my head was starting to flake less but after 5 days of camping, that isn’t the case at the moment.  You can see where I scratched at a few places- a bad habit I have had for over 20 years.  I keep envisioning how there won’t be anything there to scratch and another bad habit will be broken!