I got some bad news the other day.  Originally I went to the doctor a week ago, and he thought that I didn't have arthritis.  I was so happy until I had an x-ray.  Then I got the dreaded phone call with the nurse telling me that I had severe arthritis and that I needed to come back in to talk to the doctor. Needless to say, I cried.  How could this be happening to me?  I was beginning to get back to my old healthy self.  What had I done to deserve this!

     The weekend I was in horrific pain.  Nothing I did was helping to ease the pain.  Ibrophen took the edge off, but I was still hurting pretty bad.  It was waking me up at night!  Church was unbearable as I had to sit for 3 hours.

      For the next couple of days following the news, I skimmed over every article to see what I could do to help this issue.  I wasn't sure however which kind of arthritis that I had.  I still didn't know to what extent the arthritis was.

     The doctor told me that I have osteoarthritis.  Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease.  There is no way of reversing this disease.  Once your cartilage is gone there is no turning back.  There is stem cell surgery, but insurances don't pay for it and it's not a cheap procedure.  I am a candidate for a total knee replacement.  I just started a job at a rehab hospital, and I can't take anytime off just yet.  So yesterday I had a shot of steroids into my joint.  Oh yay.

     The pain was gone for a good week, and now it is starting to ache again.  I have been reading how to help symptoms for osteoarthritis this last week.  The doctor said loosing weight would help.  Okay I have been working to loose weight and have been successful except during the holidays loosing has stopped, and..... I have been eating foods that cause inflammation!!!  It's my fault that my knee is hurting!  I need to get my eating under control.

     The holidays are over, well at least Christmas is, and I'm not a huge fan of New Years so I'm starting today.  I have to get this pain under control so that I can work to earn paid time off hours at work.  I'm also going to start physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around my knee.  I know that will help as well.

     Foods that cause inflammation in our bodies is a big problem for a great many aliments, arthritis being one of them.  So what are these foods.  There is a list below, and you may be surprised by some of them.

1. Sugar: Soda, snack bars, candy, baked sweets, coffee drinks.
2. Vegetable oil: Many packaged processed foods from protein bars to whipped spreads.
3, Fried  foods: French fries, fried chicken, fish sticks, chicken tenders, onion rings, processed meats
4. Refined flour:  Pizza, white bread, crackers, pasta, pretzels, flour tortillas, white rice, breakfast cereals, bagels.
5. Dairy: Milk, cheese, yogurt, butter.
6. Synthetic sweeteners:  No sugar added products, no calorie "diet" soft drinks.
7. Artificial additives:  Breakfast cereals, beverages, processed foods containing fruit, candy, ice cream.
8. Saturated fats:  Bugars, pizza, candy, chips, full fat dairy.
9.  Conventional grain fed meats: Beef, chicken, port.
10. Processed meats: Bacon, hot dogs, bologna, sausage, jerky.
11. Gluten from store bought bread
12. A second round of alcohol: Beer and wine.
13. Trans fat foods: margarine/shortening, baked goods like doughnuts, cookies, muffins, non-dairy coffee creamers, frozen pizza, frosting, microwave popcorn, crackers.
14. Fast foods: Need I say more.....
     For more detailed information on these foods here is the website: http://www.eatthis.com/foods-that-cause-inflammation 

     It's hard to find things to eat in a world that is busy, but let me tell you that this pain in my knee is worth it.  A whole foods plant based diet may be a bit overwhelming at times, but we are worth it right?

     Here is to a new year, a new you, and a new way of life.  I love my plant based diet.  I just need to get back on the wagon and get my knee better!