Tapering Success!!! And setting new goals.

Well, yesterday was (potentially) my last day on prednisone. I say potentially because I am leaving the option open to take a mg or a half anytime this week if I feel like I need it. But, honestly, after what I’ve been through the past 3 months with the taper, I can’t imagine it getting bad enough that I can’t push through. Now it’s time to dig into some REAL healing.

My plan is to give myself a couple of weeks to adjust to life without prednisone. My adrenals are screwed up and I know my hormones are out of whack. I’m focusing on getting better quality sleep (and getting to sleep by 10pm). And working in some light exercise. We went kayaking (3 miles) yesterday, and though I passed out in the car on the way home, I didn’t feel particularly fatigued during the trip. And had enough energy later in the day to host a backyard movie night. Well, I didn’t do anything besides make some popcorn (which I didn’t eat), but just having the energy left to socialize after such a busy day is an improvement over the recent past.

We’ll see how the next couple of weeks go, but once I feel like my body is getting itself together again, I want to detox. Probably a modified AIP (autoimmune paleo) solid foods plus juice cleanse, with a 7 day detox supplement from Garden of Life. We’re on a super-tight grocery budget, so it might get tricky, but it should be doable. I’ll re-evaluate and determine new goals after that.

My goals have been so centered around getting off the medication. Now that I’m pretty much there, I already feel like I’m floundering a bit. (The pitfalls of being extremely goal-oriented.) My ultimate goal is complete, medication-free remission. But there will be a few more mini-goals between here and there. I’m just not sure what they should be. I need to make an appointment with my integrative doc. He’d probably be extremely helpful with this process.

At any rate, I’m EXTREMELY grateful and happy to be OFF OF PREDNISONE!!! And I feel like I dodged a bullet by avoiding the methotrexate all my conventional docs were pushing on me. Physically, I feel pretty good. Having a minor flare that’s been going on since last week, but it’s nothing compared to what has been the “norm” over the past 3 months. It’s barely worth mentioning.

Here’s some examples of what I’ve been eating lately.

A quick, one-pan, AIP dinner: tilapia and Brussels sprouts with red onion, lots of garlic and lemon juice.

20131006-194237.jpg

Organic chicken sausage (non-AIP), yummy kale chips, and sautéed sweet potatoes. (This was breakfast. Yeah- since eliminating eggs, grains, nuts, and seeds, breakfast looks a little different. Takes some getting used to.)

20131006-194307.jpg

Strawberry smoothie with coconut cream. (Totally fills in for the strawberry frappuccinos with whipped cream that I used to consume in a former life.) The smoothie has frozen strawberries, homemade coconut milk and coconut kefir (awesome probiotics!), and dates. The coconut cream is the cream from the top of a refrigerated can of organic coconut milk mixed with a scant tablespoon of agave nectar. It’s denser than whipped cream, so a lot of it sinks into the smoothie. But I bet if I made the smoothie thicker (with more strawberries or by adding ice) more of the cream would sit on top.

20131006-194331.jpg

And this has become one of our favorite salty crunchy snacks. My daughter loves these. She’d always get a little package of seaweed snacks when we’d go to the health food store. But they often have questionable added oils and some spices I may need to avoid on AIP. Plus they’re expensive! So I just get regular old nori sheets and fold them into smaller, snackable size squares.

20131006-194607.jpg

Now I’m off to get myself and my little one ready for bed. We have a strict bedtime! 😉

Tuesday

Had a little bit of a lesion outbreak that I started noticing late in the day yesterday. Two on my lip, two inside my cheeks, one on my tongue… all minor, but irritating, and seemed to be ready to grow into a major problem. I started using the dexamethasone mouthwash more regularly (I’ve been avoiding it, not wanting to disable my immune system even more than the prednisone is already, given the respiratory bug that’s been plaguing our house). But they (the lesions) seem to have calmed down today. I was a little nervous, but I think they’re going to head out before they become an issue. Whew!

Breakfast was homemade granola (from the Immune System Recovery Plan) with apples and almond milk.

20130604-191547.jpg

Dug some stuff out of the fridge to juice with lunch.

20130604-191600.jpg

And had the juice with leftover rosemary potatoes and a jarred, organic white cabbage and baby beet salad.

20130604-191613.jpg

My daughter’s favorite treat when we go shopping at the health food store. She loves her some seaweed snacks. But she let me eat a few.

20130604-191624.jpg

And MY favorite treat when we go to the health food store: kombucha.

20130604-200012.jpg

Snacked on these and some trail mix during nap time.

20130604-200022.jpg

And juiced this stuff. That’s a lot of ginger. Very spicy. But I want to fire up my gut and get to the next level of health before I go in to see the integrative doc at the end of this month and discuss tapering off prednisone. I’ve got to be strong and ready.

20130604-200117.jpg

Dinner was a microwaved burrito. I topped it with fermented carrots and cauliflower. That sounds weird, but it was actually really good. So far, fermented veggies seem to work well with any savory dish that could use a little extra salty flavor. And they improve digestion of whatever you’re eating.

20130605-084208.jpg