Thursday, February 11, 2010

Too much - as usual!

I am having such a GREAT year!

Learning and applying so much in my photography class that I have turned into a menace with my camera. Took about 40 photos yesterday during my lunch out with Mira.Fun lunch, and some great photos (though I tend to push ISO too low, working on that). Of course now I have a list that includes new lenses, a white balance filter, a new camera... on top of my current needs & wants list: new eye-glasses, a replacement for my dying ancient cellphone, a piano bench to hide the unsightly pile of piano books, a new house (maybe).

Vegan diet - Sorry I stopped posting what I was eating, I really wanted to have a record for myself as well as share but I was so busy... and I didn't exactly stick to the PCRM menu though I do want to try some of their recipes. It was just easier to plan to make the foods I already ate or knew how to make than to try to add in several new recipes per week, so my menus would probably have seemed a little boring to you anyway.

Overall, I felt wonderful during the challenge. Not much change in my aching fingers, but I didn't expect much change in 3 weeks, and being stubborn, I refused to start creeping my methotrexate back up just yet.

What I didn't expect was what happened when I went OFF the vegan diet. The girls were home during a snowstorm. We ran out of almond and rice milk, so I used cows milk to drink and in my hot cereal. I made a fruit smoothie with honey and yogurt. Natasha made potato soup (milk, butter, cheese, sour cream, bacon - all stuff I had avoided for 3 weeks). We had a roast for dinner... and in TWO days I was having trouble getting up off the floor, I was achy all over, my hands swollen. Practicing piano was frustrating beyond belief with my swollen fingers that would not behave. The worst part was that it took me a few days to realize that the cause was adding back the animal foods, and I was genuinely worried because I had just had both my Humira and Methotrexate - those should have been my easiest days. I was very relieved when I figured it out. I relented and added 1 extra Methotrexate back weekly and after 2 weeks my fingers are about back to normal, no aches. Point about why I would like to eventually decrease is that the small difference between 6 and 7 pills a week and I have several nasty mouthsores. Oh they'll heal and my body will adapt, and obviously that was enough to return me to normal function, but it is not a kind drug, and not good for the liver either.

My plan is to stick at current med levels and continue to work out 4-5 days a week until I can walk or bike the neighborhood without having to climb a mountain of snow at every crossing. Once I've lost another 10 pounds I will talk to my Dr. about decreasing the meds again. I am also eating 12-14 vegan meals a week minimum and staying away from as much cows milk and dairy as possible in hopes of decreasing my body's inflammation response (again hoping for lower effective levels of meds) while still allowing me some of my favorite foods.

Tonight, several of us will be enjoying a spa experience, sipping wine and eating quality chocolate and truffles from the local confectionery. To balance, todays' meals (and probably tomorrows') will be all vegan goodness.

To come: House hunting, purging, Grace gardening, and more photography.

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