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Happy Psoriasis Awareness Month!

Happy Psoriasis Awareness Month!

Hi, I am DiYa, and this is a piece of my Journey with Psoriasis. My full Psoriasis story is here.

When were you Diagnosed with Psoriasis? 

In the summer of 2003

What do you think caused it? 

Combination of Depression and Poor diet. I was 21 years old and not so wise, so I was depressed over an insignificant matter. As mentioned in my story, I was sleeping 16 hours a day, don’t remember drinking water, I eat one or two times a day, and my comfort food were two starchy vegetables, homemade potato fries, and boiled seasonal fresh corn, that’s right, the danger foods that trigger psoriasis flares maybe were the cause of mine. 

Only now I understand how silly that behavior was, and Psoriasis was something that I could have skipped if I didn’t behave that weak. Because my Psoriasis is not hereditary, as far as I know, I am the first one in my generation.

What Foods do you Avoid? 

This is a deep subject for me, I have tried every diet and finally established a list that I stick to no matter what diet i am trying. I do not eat:

  • Eggplants
  • Cooked Tomatoes
  • Chilies and Bell peppers
  • Unfermented Dairy
  • Deep-Fried Foods
  • Peanuts or peanut-based products
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cashews
  • Chickpeas
  • Muchbeans
  • Citrus fruits
  • Processed snacks, sweets, meats, and all soft drinks even juices.

All of the above were my triggers, so, even though I am on remission (recently flared a bit on my arms, because of oil and juice cleanse, but I will tell you that soon in a different post) I avoid them at all costs. Instead, I eat wholesome fresh fruits and make my own juices and snacks.

What Foods do you Eat to Heal? 

I love finding and experimenting with “healing” tagged foods. I have a list of them. I make sure to eat lots of fruits and salads every day. My favorite and healing salad is Watercress salad with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic dressing blended with a couple of dates. With a perfect 1000 score on the ANDI nutrient density scale, Watercress is as close to an ideal food as there is! Watercress is an alkaline superfood. Rich in vitamin A (from beta-carotene) and vitamin C, It is a source of folate, calcium, Iron, Vitamin E. It also contains good amounts of vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, potassium, and iodine and is naturally low in sodium. Also, I eat a lot of:

  • Leafy Greens: Spinach, Beet leaves and Bok Choy and all green leafy veggies I can find
  • Veggie Salads: Cucumber Salad, Carrot salads and Carrot salsa
  • Roots: Cassava Bread, Cassava snacks, Turmeric, and Ginger in every food. Also, I drink Turmeric root tea, and I’m convinced it is healing my nail psoriasis.
  • Fruits: Apples, Papaya and Mangoes and other less acidic seasonal fruits
  • Fermented foods: A lot of fermented foods. Despite the latest trend that says fermented foods are acidic and should be avoided, my experience with fermented foods has been nothing but great. I only experience positive healing effects, and I think for centuries, many cultures have experienced the same.

Do you avoid gluten and what do you think about Gluten sensitivity in Psoriasis? 

I do, but I am not gluten-free. I eat bread and pasta but rarely. I think Gluten should be avoided and observed during flares and redness because avoiding Gluten does help to reduce itching and helps reduce the inflammation. However, I also think you should check for Celiac or Gluten intolerance/sensitivity before stopping, because if you are not sensitive, then there is no need to stress about it.

Let’s talk Breakfast

Breakfast is indeed an important meal of the day. I have Celery Juice as early as 6 am followed by Turmeric tea later, if I don’t have celery I will drink Turmeric tea every single day with raw honey or couple dates blended in my giant 600ml jar. That early drink and on time meal will guarantee I do not have constipation and gallbladder pain.

I tried intermittent fasting and hurt my Gallbladded until I started researching and found that it was causing further damage to my health. Apparently, Fasting decreases gallbladder movement, which causes the bile to become overconcentrated with cholesterol. So now I eat less but often starting with that early and healthy breakfast.

My ideal breakfast is Cassava buns or cassava flatbread with stir cooked Spinach, small onion chopped with about 300 grams of frozen spinach, I stir cook on a hot pan without oil, only when cooked I add extra virgin olive oil and a couple of drops of lemon juice (very little because citrus is a trigger for me from the past) If I don’t have Cassava bread then I will have wholemeal bread, (I read the Plant Paradox I tried to switch to white bread to reduce lectins but, It gave me gallbladder pain, my experience has been good with wholemeal bread, but, bad with white and rye bread)

I also eat fruits and olives and boiled eggs or sugar-free jams that I make myself and even butter – Yep butter is good with me, I avoid milk and all unfermented dairy because I had a terrible experience and not only, I experience bloating and gas, however, butter doesn’t do anything like that. Also, yogurt, fermenter cheeses like feta, low-fat cottage cheese, I can eat them and I don’t have any of those symptoms, I don’t know how that works but works.

Name your top 3 Triggers (non food related) 

Can I name five?

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Constipation
  • Dehydration
  • Candida

I think those are my guaranteed triggers and addressing / preventing those triggers on daily basis has been an important part of my healing journey.

Please share your Tips for healing, how do you fight flare-ups?  (non-food-related) 

  • Bathtime: Bath with sea salts and Epsom salt and even cider when I don’t mind the smell.
  • Nature time: It is so important to take time to be out there in nature, without a phone, without PC or even alone if you can, peaceful time to declutter our brain
  • Swimming: Its the best exercise that addressing mind and body
  • Yoga and Pranayama (Breathing Technique) I think, our diseases caused by immobility, which is normal in our era. We are always seated at home, office, car and don’t move much, therefore we don’t support digestion but opposite, we eat heavy and sit and hurt until its too late. So at least now is the time to start and support our body to do what it supposed to, pump oxygen and promote digestion and joint health mobility.

What would you tell those who are newly diagnosed and looking for answers?

Everything will pass, and good days soon to come. If you are having bad flares and feeling depressed, I know it’s hard to believe, and I might sound ignorant, but I have been there, suicidal thoughts and feeling insecure and lonely, and it all passed. Although it took me years to figure out my trigger and finally found remission with Leaches, which was not an easy decision, still, I found relief, and I am supporting that with a healthy lifestyle that works.

You may be suffering now, but never give up hope. I refused to believe there is no cure, I refused to accept my skin was all itchy and red, I kept fighting and searching, and you will find your way too. It’s trial and error until you find your triggers and healers.

To me, Psoriasis is nothing but an allergy, a very bad form of allergy that is here to stay and control what I eat and pushes me to lead a healthier lifestyle somehow. I hope you will get there sooner, to a place and state of happiness, and feel blessed even with Psoriasis.

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