& now, for something amazing…

Last Saturday was a great day. From start to finish, it was one of those rare, awesome days. I felt amazing, I had lots of energy, had no pain to speak of… It was a one in a million day for me, but it wasn’t until the end of the day that I realized how truly remarkable the day had been. I was getting ready for bed, which in my case means swallowing a handful of pills when I realized that I hadn’t taken my morning meds that day. My little handful of uppers/anti zombie pills was still sitting in the pill organizer.

My jaw literally dropped. I must have spent five minutes sitting there trying to figure out how I had managed to miss taking them. My morning routine has been the same for YEARS: I wake up, I groggily reach over for the pill box & my water bottle, then I roll back over for another 15-30 minutes so the pills can do their work. On the rare occasions that my ritual gets interrupted, it doesn’t take long for me to notice. Every other time I’ve missed my morning meds, I’ve been foggy, unfocused and barely able to stay awake. After a few hours of this, it will occur to me to go make sure I’ve taken my meds & I can get on with my day.

Not this time. At one point during the day, I had so much energy that I was, dare I say it? Hyper. I was almost literally bouncing off the walls. I did think that was a bit odd for me, but it never occurred to me that I might have missed my meds.

For anyone reading this that is unfamiliar with fibromyalgia, or any other chronic illness, this may seem like a strange thing to get excited about. What you must understand is that I have been completely dependent upon drug companies to keep me going for nearly 10 years. I can neither sleep at night nor function during the day without major chemical intervention. It’s an absolutely ridiculous cycle of pill popping and while I abhor it, I didn’t know that there was any other way to live. Until now.

I don’t remember what interrupted my chemical ritual that morning, but I may know why I didn’t notice its absence: my diet.

Over the last 40 days or so, I have been in the process of changing the way I eat. It all started with The 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge. I had been looking for a way to sneak more fruits and vegetables into my diet. Yes, I said “sneak”. I have never been a huge fan of veggies, so eating them has always felt like some sort of punishment. However, my quest for a healthier lifestyle made it clear that in order to be healthier, I have to eat healthier. Green smoothies seemed like the perfect way to get some extra veggies into my diet without feeling like I was punishing myself.

Guess what? They are. The 30 day challenge is super simple: drink one green smoothie a day for 30 days. That’s it. All you need is a blender, some fruit & some leafy greens. By the end of the first week, I was happily consuming things like spinach, kale and collards for breakfast. I got braver and began adding other veggies as well as things like flaxseed, hemp hearts and chia. By week 2, I was drinking 2 smoothies a day and totally loving every slurp. (Also, driving my friends & family insane with my constant prattling about how amazing my concoctions were. Thanks for not smothering me in my sleep!)

I decided to start digging a bit deeper into the dos and don’ts of a healthy diet. I started by watching several documentaries, including “Hungry for Change”, “The Perfect Human Diet” and “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. All of them come at nutrition from different angles, but the one thing they all have in common was that we humans should be eating less processed food and more fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” was my inspiration to give juicing a try. The basic idea is that by juicing your fruits and vegetables, you can get more servings than you could typically eat in a form that’s easier for your body to use. I started with one juice a day, in addition to my daily smoothies. I had been doing this for about week before my accidental medication glitch. Coincidence or is it possible that I really am making myself better through nutrition?

My goal is to find out. I’m not naive enough to think that I can just drop the medications, I know what withdrawal is like and I do not want to go through that again. I am, however going to talk to my doctor about cutting back on the dosages. I’m already pleased with the results I’m experiencing from changing what I eat. The thought that I *might* be able to live drug free is more than enough to make me want to continue to evolve my diet. Even if I can only get off one or two of the drugs, it would be worth it.

I’ll keep you posted!

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