This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in May of 2018. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU_gMhMkwy8&t=3s
Bob: Today we are joined by Jody, who is going to share her knowledge which we so much appreciate, because she's been through it all. There’s nothing like having a real patient tell their story. The title of our program today is 7 foods you should never eat if you have arthritis/fibromyalgia. She actually has rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. This is a two-part series basically, in the first part Jody talked about some of the things, some of the trials and tribulations she went through in trying the normal medical route with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. It really kind of did not go well and now we're going to go ahead and talk about some of the foods you shouldn't eat and maybe some of the foods you can eat which has really helped to manage her conditions.
Brad: I think it's time to let Jody talk.
Jody: So yes, I've had great success changing my diet. One of the things I forgot to say before but will fit here well is, when I went to a dietician for the first time I did get a little freaked out. She kind of overloaded me so if that happens to anybody it's okay take small steps. So, when I first went she said you have to cut out all these things, and all these things were things I ate a lot. Like number one is dairy. I'm from Wisconsin, I'm not cutting out cheese. I just can't do it.
Brad: Before we go any further, so the primary goal with the change in diet was for pain management correct.
Jody: I would say yes, at first because I was in such pain. But come to find out through a lot of research I've done it also will help to slow the progression of the RA, which is inflammation based. So if you get rid of the inflammation in your body it's obviously going to help the disease. When I first had RA and fibromyalgia, I started going to a massage therapist. I remember distinctively she said that she had a patient who managed his RA strictly through diet and exercise and I went “yeah right.” I just didn't think it was possible. And now that's, well I need to add exercise, so that's baby steps. I've managed it very successfully through diet and some of the other like the acupuncture and the massage those are things that help. But diet is the number one thing that has helped me. And I can tell you why, because when I have, I call it “deflaming my body” that's not a technical term, and please be aware I am NOT an expert I am NOT a nutritionist this is simply my history. I've done a lot of research. People in my life have given me advice and I followed it, and it has worked so this is strictly first-hand knowledge. But when I did “deflame my body” and get to the point of being pain-free, if I added something back in I could tell within 15 minutes. My hands would ache and I had trouble moving them.
Bob: You were getting some good feedback. You know exactly what was working and what's not working because you get immediate feedback.
Jody: Negative pain feedback is what it was.
Bob: Believe me this is not the first time I've heard this. This is where, basically you can look at food as a drug, I mean, you can use it as a good drug or a bad drug so keep that in mind. Do you want to talk about some of the foods?
Jody: I would say my number one thing that I have cut out is potatoes. Starchy things, but number one is potatoes. I can eat sweet potatoes but I haven't had potatoes for quite a while.
Bob: That makes sense potatoes have very high glycemic level and sweet potatoes have a little bit less so potatoes are a culprit unfortunately because I love them too.
Jody: Then you learn to do, as I talk about this, you learn to do like switching things or substituting. For me, I absolutely love pasta and when I was told I couldn't have pasta anymore, because it's not just white flour it's wheat flour it's not just white rice it's brown rice right, so it's yes grains its wheat its potatoes all of which I love. I love pasta, but then you learn to substitute things like black bean pasta or chickpea pasta.
Bob: I'm going to have to try those because you know we've lowered the carbs in our lives and pasta is very high glycemic also.
Jody: Well and it's the simple carbs you have to be very careful with the simple carbs. You can look up what that means. So what I did is I cut as much out as I could at first, I had a flair so to get the Flair down. Then you try adding things back in and when you have a reaction you know you have to stay away from that one. So one of the reactions I have is definitely to rice that's a big trigger, potatoes is a big trigger. I sometimes sneak a little pasta and you know it all depends on how much pain you can put up with I guess. So those are big ones. She did tell me no dairy and I think I started to cry. But, I use a lot of creamer in my coffee so she gave me ideas like coconut oil. So I put coconut oil in as well and actually a lot of people use coconut oil in their coffee. A caveat here is organic, so everything I try to buy as much as possible organic. I do organic coconut oil. I do organic like the pasta you know whatever I can do.
Bob: Are you staying away from some fruits?
Jody: I'm not a big fruit eater.
Bob: So that wasn't a problem.
Jody: Right, but from what I've read carbohydrates in natural form are fine. It's the more processed ones that aren’t. Sugar is a big one. Oh, I want to get back to dairy for a second. So I love my cheese and I don't think I could do without my cheese so she gave me some tips on that. Don't do the pre-shredded cheese because it's got a lot of processing. So anything that's got a lot of processing, flip stuff over read the label if you can't pronounce it don't eat it. I mean that's kind of a good rule. The other thing is like say taco chips, you can find organic tortilla chip that have three ingredients: it's got the corn, it's got the oil that it's cooked in, it's got salt. That's fine.
Bob: Sure you find other bags it goes on and on.
Jody: For instance, we do a lot of shopping now in the organic aisle or the health. They have gluten-free everything. You turn that over and it's filled with rice flour or this flour, I can't eat that either. So you have to start to educate, it takes a little time to educate yourself and to start reading labels.
Bob: I think you made a good point, you know, don't try to toss everything out at first, do this kind of like a scientist go in and experiment.
Brad: I’m just curious, you haven’t mentioned anything about meats or fats?
Jody: So, I had been on a diet for like forever and I’d do a lot of low-fat, no-fat that actually is kind of harmful for you. The first thing she said to me is you need to add good fats back in, so cook with avocado oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil. Add the good fats in. The meat, organic is best. Nitrate free if you want to do like sandwich meat or whatever look for anything that's nitrate free. We buy nitrate free bacon and sandwich meat it's a little harder to find but you can do it.
Brad: So you mean your diet prior to this specific diet you were cutting out at that?
Jody: I was, I was trying to do a low-fat no-fat type diet prior to this. And what I've learned is that's a little more harmful because of what they replace the natural fats with is chemicals. So anything I can eat that is chemical free is the best.
Brad: So if you had a steak with some fat in it, all organic, nitrate-free that would be okay?
Jody: It doesn't even have to be organic steak but yes. You know what I'm saying. Absolutely. You can have your natural fats.
Bob: Fats are not the culprit. I think most diets are discovering that now, that they went overboard in that direction and people were gaining weight despite the fact that they were low fat.
Jody: Actually healthy, natural fats have a high satiation so it helps you feel fuller. If you're doing it right. That's why nuts, almonds those kind of things are really actually quite good because it's got the good oils
Bob: Anything other group that you were avoiding?
Jody: Yeah, sugar. Sugar you have to really limit, especially white refined sugar. Anything processed like your Hohos and that kind of stuff. So when you bake you now use honey or you use maple syrup. So my biggest thing that I found is, I'm very much a snacker, so I have to now just create some muffins to take along. I've got some great recipes using coconut flour. So you just learn other things in all my baking now I use almond flour or coconut flour and that's fine. You can use that and then you use your honey as your sweetener, and clarified butter.
Bob: I don’t know if you are spreading your meals out but if you can keep your insulin levels consistent. We talked about rather than eating three big meals a day or two big meals, eat a lot of little meals you're keeping your insulin levels stable right and then you're not getting that spike which is which obviously can affect your RA I believe.
Jody: Yes and then of course if you're hungry you're grabbing things that aren’t necessarily good for you. So sugars a big one and I do like my wine. So wine is not good for me so I have to cut that back.
Bob: Sauvignon Blanc, it has less, it's a lower glycemic level.
Jody: It’s a white though.
Bob: Oh, you don't like white. There's red ones that are really good too, like a Merlot. The dryer wines are better. I know all this, Brad.
Brad: I Know.
Jody: But I guess the point too is, that you don't have to cut everything out. I was reading my notes from my nutritionist the first time I met with her and she said to cut back grains to half a cup a week or something. Well I cut them out completely just because I when I've tried to add them back in. But some people don't have to cut things out completely, it's all personal.
Brad: So it is individual? You can put it this broad category but you may each person may be a little bit different in there.
Jody: Absolutely. I think there's some big overreaching like the flours and grains are probably. You know there's some big things like sugar and processed foods are bad. Let's try to keep those to a very minimum take them out see how you feel. Start adding a few things back in and then you'll find your trigger foods.
Brad: I just wanted to mention you have some particular books or some websites that you want to share so that people can refer to that as well.
Jody: Yes. What I started doing was looking online and there's something called mindbodygreen.com and they have foods that fight inflammation. Really when you google, if you google anti-inflammation diet or Paleo diet is really kind of what we try to follow.
Bob: I've been watching and reading on the Paleo diet.
Jody: Right. So if you start googling those for recipes it just takes you everywhere and as a caution a lot of them will try to sell you something but who cares. Just use their information and put it into your lifestyle.
Bob: What I like about this Jody is the fact, I mean even if people say you're nuts this is it going to help my RA, this is good for you.
Jody: It changed my life.
Bob: People are going to find out and I honestly believe it is going to help your RA and fibromyalgia without a doubt. I mean remember we had the one guy on here that actually talked about that his asthma went away when he decreased his inflammatory foods.
Jody: It’s not just RA, autoimmune diseases themselves. There is a whole category of them that are based on inflammation in your body and so it's not just the fibromyalgia and the RA. I mean anybody who's got an autoimmune disease is going to be helped by taking better care of what goes in their body.
Brad: It just seems like our culture, you just go to the store and if you took probably 75% of the stuff in there is highly processed. You just change your whole outlook when you go shopping I’m guessing.
Jody: Even the organic aisle you have to be careful in. You know and it does take more time and effort but I said pain is a great motivator. I have an awesome husband who cooks for me so it really doesn't take that much off of me but.
Bob: All right once again Jody, thank you very much for joining us. She did a wonderful job.
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