This time of year brings more eating, parties, cheer and even more eating than I know what to do with. About 1 party of non-sensible eating and my body feels like it has been run over by a truck. My sleep can get thrown off quickly and the swelling and soreness in my hands can really stop me in my tracks. I hear all the time that you cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet and this time of year I’m constantly struggling between eating sensibly and enjoying the holidays. I listen to a lot of podcast and one thing is clear for me and many others out there, that eating gluten free even if not always choosing the best options seems to help. I was talking with my husband today and he was mentioning that he isn’t feeling that great and I know it is because he has been getting some gluten foods and some high sugar foods. There is a podcast that is related to no sugar, no grains or “NSNG” they constantly talk about just cutting out sugar and grains and how much better people feel. While sweet seems to be a staple for us right now we can certainly do better at cutting out grains if not at least making sure to cut out gluten.

I have been taking food to our many holiday parties so I know there is something that we can eat and although we continually bring home sweet treats from other people that love us very much, I have also been making us some yummy gluten free, and sugar free treats so we can eat those instead. It is a constant struggle that we are faced with and still have about 3-4 more weeks of the parties, gatherings, fireside chats and many more reasons to eat and drink. Keeping my journal for my trainer works as well but still there are times when I feel unable to resist so I eat and write it down.

As I listen to the “Angriest Trainer” podcast I keep hearing that once you cut it out completely you will no longer want to eat it and it won’t taste good. I wish there was a way to have this happen quickly and I wish I wouldn’t want to eat these types of food anymore. My brain has not adjusted and although I’m not having cravings I do find myself wanting to indulge when sweets and breads are around. After the holidays I can hopefully detox sugars and grains completely and get rid of the urge to eat them and lose my taste buds for them.

Until then I will enjoy the most joyous Holiday Season, pick and choose my eats as carefully as I can and think of my body and hands every time I decide I can’t live without a gluten food.  



  1. Krista December 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm Reply


    I was wondering how long it took you to get to be able to exercise again? How did you transition back into exercise?

    I ran a marathon in March of this year and was doing yoga & zumba regularly. This July my symptoms started (upper body joint pain, + speckled ANA & high RNP among others) and cannot seem to get out of this flare. I have gone gf, dairy free for the most part, GREATLY increased vegetable and fruit consumption. My swelling seems to have gone down a lot, but the joint pain, stiffness and cracking is still there.

    How has your diet been working for you since you started? Any other advice for newbies like me who are relearning how to live?

    Thank you!


    • Krista December 17, 2013 at 7:49 pm Reply

      Krista again here… By the way, I forgot to mention I am 30 y.o. Also, I’m one of the very few who had an allergic rxn to plaquenil. Currently I take Ibuprofen as needed (4-5 mornings a week). I quit the accelerated nursing program last semester and intend on going back in January, but that is pending getting this under control. I’m a bit medication phobic but think I cannot get thru RN school without being on something. Has there been any other medication that any mctd-peps have tried with few side effects?

      • mevsmctd December 17, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        Hello Krista
        You ask some great questions and just to give you a little feedback, I have been on this journey for 10 years. When I was first diagnosed I couldn’t walk so my doctor asked me to get a pedometer and make sure I got in 2K steps every day. Most days I was coming up short so my husband and I would walk back and forth to the mailbox until I had registered 2K steps. After several months and lots of physical therapy I was gradually increasing my steps and my desire to work out. Over the years I was working with different trainers but my body would go into flare as it healed itself from the weight training I was doing. I felt like I was stuck and truly believed that my shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and knees were just fragile joints that had to be babied. Reality is they do have to be babied until they are strong enough to endure pushups, running, sprinting, different yoga poses and other weight training techniques. However, with time and lots of love you can get your fragile joints strong. Considering you are make some serious life changes with career perhaps now is not the time for trainers and physcial therapists but walking is great exercise and using 2-3 lbs hand weights really helps too.

        As far as medications go they really haven’t had any new medications come out for MCTD since the 70-80’s so most of us are on some form of prednisone, plaquenil, Nsaid for typical symptoms and then any other type of medication that might be needed. I completely understand not wanting to take medication and there is certianly a fine line between living without medication but living with MCTD. There are some readers out there that have had luck with supplements such as fish oils and papya supplements. If you trust your doctor you should get some recommendations there as well. Diet has definitly shown to help me but it is not a cure for me, although I hear time and time again how people got off meds and lost all symptoms of autoimmune diseases just by changing diet. An elmination diet is hard but it can show you some pretty clear triggers too. If you are eating mostly plants and fruits but have a problem with nightshades then peppers, tomatoes and egg plants and potatoes can cause you issue. FODMAPS are also known to trigger flares and even strawberries so figuring out if you have food triggers can be very helpful.

        I wish you luck in your journey and hope that you find your way in life with your career and your MCTD. We need RN’s like you that are living with autoimmune since it is becoming more common than ever before even though they still consider us having a rare disease we are on the rise.


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