Monday, March 31, 2014

Healing Psoriasis Through Diet - My Challenges So Far

It gets worse before it gets better
I read that this could happen, but even though I was prepared for it, I was very disheartened when my Psoriasis got even worse... It was a little hard to stay motivated so I had to keep reminding myself that this was a necessary 'step-back' on the road to long-term recovery.  After a few days of extreme itchiness, the spots on my face disappeared and so did the itchiness (thank goodness).  I was hoping I would continue to see gradual improvement but I haven't seen much unfortunately. This could be a result of my other challenges below though.

Going out to eat is hit-or-miss
I had a few good reasons to take the risk and eat out this month- my birthday and visiting family.  Out of four meals, three were great, and the other was quite horrible.  It's kind of funny, the one time I specifically told the waiter I couldn't eat specific foods I had a severe reaction to something I ate... I still don't really know what caused it?  We think they seasoned the chicken breast with paprika or chili powder - which are actually nightshades. A few hours later I had a huge flare up, the crazy itchiness returned with a vengeance and by the next morning I had a few spots on my face again. I was so upset,  I tried so hard to avoid a relapse and it happened anyway. I didn't order any of my favourite foods on the menu and was so proud of myself for staying strong but I was not rewarded for my vigilance :(

I am glad I was able to find a few delicious meals that didn't affect me negatively. I will be sticking with these safe choices for awhile. No more gambles until I am much farther along on my road to recovery.

Packaged foods have many unexpected and hidden ingredients
Nightshades are harder to avoid than I thought.  Some allergens like peanuts are always clearly labeled, but nightshades can be hidden under the term 'spices'.  I never really noticed how often this generic term is included on ingredients lists until now.  Unfortunately for me, the spices could be paprika or chili powder so I can't safely eat the food until I contact the manufacturer and ask them directly.

I have learned to always check the labels! For the last 3 weeks I have been eating feta cheese on my salad and didn't even think to check the ingredients.... Yesterday, I suddenly became conscious of the fact that there were herbs and spices added to the feta for flavour. So I checked the ingredients and sure enough I had been eating sundried tomatoes almost daily without even knowing it.

At least I have had lots of practice avoiding gluten. Eating a primal diet for most of the last three years has been quite beneficial in this regard. I'm sure avoiding nightshades will become second-nature eventually as well.

Because of my lack of real progress I am moving onto my 'Plan B' and will post about it soon.

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