How Laura Has Resolved Her RA Inflammation Without Drugs

We discuss how:

  • Laura started having symptoms of RA 5 years ago at 24
  • Three years later, after having her daughter, she had a massive flare-up
  • Having had stomach problems since she was 16, she made the connection between her symptoms and diet although doctors were of different advise
  • She researched and found about Dr. McDougall and Dr. Greger early on, and that helped reduce the symptoms in the early stages
  • After the RA diagnosis (seropositive RA with elevated anti CCP) and with a rheumatoid factor of about 300, methotrexate and sulfasalazine were suggested as a therapy
  • Antibiotics for a bladder infection worsened the situation, and a specific restaurant meal exacerbated her symptoms, leading her to reconsider her diet once again
  • After additional research Laura found about the Paddison Program and started it immediately with astonishingly good results
  • Now she is almost completely pain-free with CRP under 1, without taking methotrexate or other drugs
  • Bikram Yoga also is proving to be a crucial factor in her recovery

Clint Today we’ve got a guest from the UK and it’s very early in the morning for her at 6:00 a.m. she’s gotten up so that we can have a chat so that it’s quiet in the background for her. She’s going to talk today about how she’s been able to completely avoid having to take any of the rheumatoid arthritis medications at all. So she’s had the disease for several years it’s not like it’s only just come about, symptoms were worsening, and then she’s been able to follow the Paddison Program and not have to take medications. And it’s a really really feel good exciting situation. So I’d like to welcome Laura onto our episode.

Laura Thank you so much for having me.

Clint Yeah it’s really really cool we got your email update and we felt let’s get you on and tell your story. So before we get into all the details behind it and so on. Can you just give us the sort of the TV commercial kind of result before and after?

Laura Sure, so I started getting symptoms about five years ago when I was 24, 25. And then two years ago after having my daughter had a massive flare up, I couldn’t do much. I couldn’t really sleep because of the pain moving in bed, when I got up it will take ages to get up couldn’t get in and out the bath, that kind of typical story. I couldn’t put my makeup on, couldn’t drive some days, couldn’t work some days. So yeah I was in a pretty bad state, it kind of hit me all at once. And then now I hardly have any pain maybe a tiny ache in my finger here and there, but my CRP is under 1. So I don’t have to see the rheumatologist for another twelve months, and I don’t have to take methotrexate. So yeah amazing results really.

Clint Yes. Well it’s wonderful to hear, and we’re looking forward to getting into all the details and also you don’t want to pick your brains about the things that worked for you the most. I want this to be really valuable for people who are following the program. And just get your insights into what are the non-negotiables, and what are the things that you think are not as important. So we’ll get onto that shortly, but let’s just explore a little bit more about how your disease came about. And if you have any theories as to what might have caused that it, if you had antibiotics as a child or teenager too much too often or whether or not there were some other potential causes you might have in your mind. And then we’ll look at the recommendations from the doctors and how you managed to avoid those right up until we pick up where you started our program and so on.

Laura OK. Yeah sure. So as a child I did have antibiotics. Not like you did where it was continual for a long time. But I did take it, I mean I’ve talked to my partner about this and he hardly ever had antibiotics as a child. And so at the time I just thought was normal (inaudible) the doctors think antibiotics different things. So yeah I do think I did take it probably more than a regular person. And then when I was 16 I stuck it in stomach problems, and I ended up going to see a specialist because I had a small allergic reaction to something. And they did a skin test and it one of them was wheat as well as a couple of types of nuts. So I stopped having wheat, but I did a very poor diet lots of cheese, meats, process food the like typical Western things. And then I had a big allergic reaction in my 20’s where I ended up in hospital and didn’t know what it was from. So I’d had some sort of immune type problems.

Laura I then had stomach problems again and then when I was 24 or 25 started getting fingers just locking which they said was trigger finger at first. And I remember my first appointment saying I think my stomach is linked to my hand because it was so tightly connected. Like I have stomach problems and then my fingers would play up. And they were like no no absolutely not linked at all like it’s completely separate. But just knowing your body I just knew that it was too connected, too obvious. And then this went on and it slowly got a bit worse but manageable, my toes and my hands but I was very active at the time so I think that helps. And then I started looking into diet because of my stomach. So I came across like Dr. MacDougall, Dr. Gregor quite early on in my journey. So I started reading about plant based diet quite early on, and I started implementing getting rid of meat and dairy. But it took me a long time, but I think that’s what’s really helped slow the progression possibly in the beginning is that I went on to quite a fairly healthy diet. But I had still had a lot of oil in my diet, hadn’t quite made connections with a few things. And then I had my little girl and I’d been to the rheumatologist, but I’d shown positive for I can’t get this right sero positive so as positive for anti CCP. Does that make sense?

Clint So you were diagnosed with sero positive rheumatoid arthritis with elevated anti CCP. And what about rheumatoid factor?

Laura Yes I believe so I was going through my notes and I couldn’t see where he’d written that. At the time I remember him telling me like a number like 300 or something.

Clint Yeah. Often the rheumatoid factor when it’s up can be just skyrocketed right up. If that number could quite well be the case. Okay. So you got the diagnosis, and what did the rheumatologist want to do right away?

Laura So right away you start talking about methotrexate oo sulfasalazine.

Laura And he gave me some leaflets on it, and then just said because your CRP is still OK, and because my ultrasound was OK, we’re not gonna officially diagnose you but we need to keep an eye on you. And then I got pregnant and in the first trimester it got worse, and I had an ultrasound on my hands and feet and it showed inflammation. So but the second and third trimester that it completely went like completely nothing. And so I took it as an opportunity to eat what I wanted, pretty much. I know I should be healthy in pregnancy and I had that in mind but I was like I was like oh I’ll have a portion (inaudible) so I would go out for a curry and just make the most of it because my stomach problems are grey as well and I felt good. So which in hindsight was pretty the worst thing to do.

Laura And then after I have my little girl, I had three lots of antibiotics within two months, a full bladder infections. And then I had 2 big allergic reactions and ended up in hospital again. And so obviously my immune system was just going a bit crazy. And then I am about 10 weeks off to having her I had a massive flare up and that was the first time that I realized, Okay this is what arthritis can be like. I’d been really lucky until then and then I suddenly oh my gosh like this is I need to take this seriously. So. I went back to the rheumatologist, and by the time I went back a few weeks later I’d started implementing some of the stuff I knew from Dr. MacDougall and stuff but I still hadn’t still connected all the dots. So I was feeling a bit better but my CRP was 12. And I said to him you know I want to try and do this with diet, I’ve read you can I haven’t quite made the connection quite yet but I want to. And he just said, dot does not affect arthritis and it’s not like diabetes. So he kind of brushed it to the side and just said cause you’re breastfeeding I can’t put you on anything. But as if you would get worse, you need to stop and come on the drugs basically. And I was determined to use breastfeeding, I wanted to breastfeed but also because I wanted to kind of give myself some time to try other options.

Clint Yeah I can understand that it’s sort of in a way it provides you with an excuse or a convenient period where you can take advantage of not having the medical pressure. Because they have rules as well and they say look breastfeeding, we need to wait. Okay. So you’ve decided that you’ve got a period of time here. So what did you do?

Laura So I did more research, I read like the starch solution and looked it was I still hadn’t quite found you yet or a Paddison program yet unfortunately. And because the other doctors told about plant-based diet based not so guided towards specifically arthritis. I was cleaning up my diet but again I wasn’t cooking with oil but I hadn’t really realized that like I’d buy a packet of rice and have oil in it or I would just go always occasionally okay to have like some dairy. I hadn’t really realized how strict I need to be. So I’m seeing some good results but then I’d have a little bit of a relapse. And then the next summer I went to him and it was my CRP was at 9. My knees were quite bad, I’d had one knee in particular I struggled to get up the stairs, And then last August just before I found your program I had a lot of stress, and I went out to eat and I think the food had I wasn’t being very careful I think it had dairy in it and it definitely had a lot of oil. And it just hit me massively, I was house sitting and I just remember thinking Oh my God I wish I was at home, I can’t do anything. And I had to have some time off work which was devastating because I felt like I had it under control till then even though I was in a bit of pain, I felt like I was not letting it beat me. And then as soon as I had to start work, I felt like oh my gosh it’s got hold of me and I don’t want this, I need to live my life.

Clint Can I just clarify that you can pinpoint that one restaurant meal as really exacerbating your symptoms?

Laura Yeah. So I’d gone out for a family meal, and I don’t know the time I’m still struggling with social pressures. Like when you feel like you don’t want to just not eat, and you don’t make too much of a fuss. So I was like as long as it doesn’t have meat in there I’ll just have it was like a curry type meal but I think the sauce probably had was a bit creamier than I thought and obviously was quite oily. And my stomach was bad that afternoon after eating it.

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Clint There’s an example of someone in our support group right now who had the exact same thing happen to her about two weeks ago. Same story as yourself, was able to avoid medications completely, doing fabulous mostly pain free days, went out to a restaurant no sorry my mistake. Had a couple of muffins made by one of her friends that had coconut oil in the muffins and it’s taken her a good part of a week to suppress the inflammation again after crushing it for 12 months. And then a couple of muffins with coconut oil in it and she’s you know it really really gave her a wakeup call and a bit of a fright. Now she’s back on track again. So it goes to show just how sensitive the body is, and I cannot emphasize enough the dangers of oils. In your case far worse because in going out to restaurants what happens is they use oils that are used over and over again in many cases. And certainly for things like anything that’s deep fried especially French fries and stuff. And every time you re fry or reheat an oil it heightens the free radical component and the amount of oxidation it can do to the body. So you’re not talking about, you’re not comparing an olive oil that you put on a salad at home to th same amount of damage that you get from an oil in some hot chips at a restaurant. The hot chips at a restaurant they are going to tear you apart, and it’s it just causes an immediate amount of oxidative stress that just cascades in the body that can take a very long time to recover from. So unfortunately the facts of the matter are with an auto immune condition, oils at restaurants are the most dangerous thing in our life. Like you probably wouldn’t have had the same reaction by having a steak as what you did from having an oily curry. I really seriously mean that.

Laura Yeah.

Clint Yeah. So it’s crazy because our enemy is not the enemy of most people and they don’t understand and every restaurant cooks with oil in it. And we say well how are we meant to ever go out to a restaurant? Well you can get to a point where you can tolerate a little bit of oil, and whilst the ideal amount is zero it is possible to tolerate a little bit here and there. We’ve had take outs over the years many times but not frequently not like twice a week. I’m talking like once here and there because I can tell because I rub my lips together like that, and I can tell if a meal has oil in it because he lips should not slide when they’re rubbing together something foreign right.

Laura Yeah.

Clint So anyway I just want to share that story about another person that I work closely with, and she’s probably going to come on our podcast and share her story soon as well. And like yourself had that experience and I’ve had similar things to you know that the oily restaurants if ever there’s a time when someone’s gonna get messed up it’s going to be at a restaurant eating, consuming the oils from a restaurant. That’s the reality I’m afraid.

Laura I mean it’s a good lesson really because it made me really think I need to take this seriously. Like I cannot have this again because I know that next time I go back I will be on methotrexate, and I’m gonna just have to go down that route, I have no option, I can’t live like this. So I found your interview with Dr. Mcdougal I think, that’s how I found you. And I then just binged while still the other videos and all the people that don’t really well and I was like gosh if they can do it then you know then there’s hope. So I bought your program and I read it so quickly I was like I need to read this so quick because I want to get onto it. I want to start like now, I want to get better. So I was really strict, did exactly, did the two days with just the juice. And then went on to the baseline diet, and really slowly introduce the first few days I would say, after that my inflammation or I felt about 50% better. Really like a big impact.

Clint That’s the best sign. If you get massive pain relief from that then you know that you are a good responder, because you’ve taken out everything body recovers real fast life 50% in two days is likes super good. And you know that then if you put the foods back in which by nature are going to add some more calories that add some digestion like load on the body, adding proteins back in and a very small amount of fats, these are things that are going to be a little hard for the body even with the baseline foods. But you know that your body is off to a good start, and I love seeing that. Like that’s the best sign you can get is doing well in the cleanse, you know that you’re going to have a very good opportunity to do well long term.

Laura Yeah I mean it was really encouraging obviously, and then it was slower progress from that. Like it felt like, there was a degree of improvement every day but it was very small. And I was going on holiday I think six weeks after I started, and I just wanted to be able to join in with everyone. So it was kind of my goal to be really good and get to that point. And I remember going on holiday and I was able to drive the car for about 50 minutes which I hadn’t been, because my knee was so bad I hadn’t been able to. And I was able to get down and actually go down a couple of slides, silly little things that I had just were like a bit of a okay, I’m obviously getting somewhere with this. And then it probably took me about four months to get to a point where I could start going back to spin class and start doing more normal things again. I’d been doing, I haven’t got a bikram yoga place near me but I’ve been doing a YouTube Bikram Yoga at home. And I do half an hour of the standing half an hour in the morning, and there on the floor half an hour at night because I couldn’t get down in the morning to do the bit on the floor. And that really helps, really helped, especially my knee because I was worried that the knee would be something that wouldn’t go down because it was so inflamed. And that took the longest. And I was also worried about had I done any permanent damage to my knee or but then by Christmas I just had a few pains in my fingers. So from August to Christmas.

Clint Goodness what a result, that’s fantastic. Did you notice that your improvement started to accelerate once you were able to go back to your spin class?

Laura Yes. And what I was able to introduce more foods that eventually the process was absolutely key to, I believe that doing the elimination style diet is what I needed at that time. Even if I’d just gone straight onto strict plant based diet I don’t think it would have worked as well as the elimination style.

Clint That’s right.

Laura It’s really what my body needed at the time. But once I was able to reintroduce oats and things like that, and able to go back to doing more exercise. The last month or so is when I saw major improvements.

Clint Yeah the baseline what it does, I use the metaphor of when the house is on fire don’t let it burn. You know you’ve got to quickly put out the flames because otherwise it just gets out of control. So when the house is on fire and you’ve got a lot of inflammation you must intervene. We can’t get the body out of a highly inflamed state by just making a small change. We have to get back to baseline, for me it was back to baseline and off to the gym or off to yoga class, and just do a massive intervention even if it’s just for a day or two because the inflammation cascades. Inflammation in the joints is simultaneously present with inflammation in the gut which causes more leakness. So we’ve got this situation where you can’t get out of inflammation by just hoping it’ll go away, it will not, it only progresses so we’ve got to intervene. And so you’ve intervened by starting off you got rid of 50% inflammation in two days so then you’re starting at a low platform. And then you kept inflammation low not as low but low by introducing the necessary foods because we have to eat. Okay. And then so you’re able to keep below a threshold in which the disease kind of self perpetuates. And that’s the key, because high inflammation levels it’s just not going to be able to be pulled down enough if we just tinker around the edges.

Laura Yeah no it definitely is what gave me the great results I think. And then at Christmas I had some blood tests done with just a GP services, and they did it and I was just hoping to be below 5 because that’s what they classed as normal. They came back as 1, and I was absolutely ecstatic with that because it was better than I thought. I still had a few issues with a couple of fingers but I knew I was doing really well. And then I was like okay I’ve got this good result but I need to find a way to like live like this now. I’m still being extremely strict on my diet, like I introduced quite a bit but not everything. And so I decided to see how it, I knew I had an appointment in May with my rheumatologist. So as I was like okay, need to just get another good result then and then I know I’m on like a winning track. So I have the last three months, four months, I would say I’ve been able to live how I could live the rest of my life. Like I’ve found a lifestyle and a diet that I’m very happy to carry on. I don’t feel restricted with it, I’ve got used to habits and the foods I eat, and I’m really glad because when I went back in May my CRP was under 1 so it obviously slightly improved. And just knowing that means that what I’m doing works and I can do that, I can do what I’m doing for the rest of my life. So that was a really big result.

Clint And you wrote an email. What did you say in the email when you come out of the (inaudible)?

Laura I was crying. Oh yeah. I was so ecstatic. I think the rheumatologist was like oh my gosh because I was just like oh this is the best news. And he was being cautiously optimistic, he was really pleased. It was like you know I can’t because I’m saying can I run? Can I get back to running? what can I do? And he was like Look you’ve got no inflammation I can’t tell you not to do anything you know. He was like, this is really good. But if you have problems come back to me and you will have to go on medication. So he was really, I saw a change in him before he’d been quite like downbeat about things and this time he was quite smiling quite like wow okay this is really good. But as I’ve said I’ve changed my lifestyle and I’ve changed my diet, and he just said he didn’t want it or didn’t ask about specifics. He just said keep doing what you’re doing.

Clint Isn’t it just that crazy, I mean it’s just crazy. Imagine your only job is to try and help people with inflammatory arthritis and someone walks in and says I got rid of mine and they said I don’t wanna know, I don’t wanna know what you did. I don’t know what you did, just did you do. That it like blows my mind like my head’s going to explode. It’s just that crazy to not ask, to not ask what you did.

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Laura I know and I’m hoping that when I go back in a year my results are still good. That’s when I can really have a conversation, because I think he’s still thinking that I’m going to come back to him at some point.

Clint Well statistically speaking that he’s right, because most people if they get a very very temporary relief of symptoms do get the symptoms back. But he’s never had a client or patient who does what you do. Okay.

Laura No.

So you know when you’ve got the elixir of like how to keep this thing under control, then you’re going to be a very different patient of his than anyone he’s ever seen. And so look we had a discussion earlier about the dangers of oils at restaurants in particular. And so what you know you need to be careful about and I and everyone with this condition have to be careful about, is not to step on those landmines. They exist they’re all around us, these food dangers are everywhere. And so yes to go back in and to complete the cycle and have that conversation with him. And not in a smug way but in a in a satisfied and a proud to be you kind of way you can say, well you know I believe I’ve done really well and this is what I’ve done. But when that time comes, also don’t expect many questions or much interest because they are driven by medical evidence and published recommendations from the science. And so anyone who is changing their diet in the way that they don’t know anything about them just gets quickly dismissed it’s not something that they feel that they can recommend to other patients unfortunately because it’s outside of the norm. And it’s very driven by convention, rules, and standards, because we’re talking about very dangerous drugs. And so then you know there’s a lot of great care and stuff goes on in the education process that needs to be adhered to not flippantly recommending people go vegan or whatever it might be.

Laura Yeah. So now I completely understand and to be honest it’s been found and he’s not. There could have been a rheumatologist that really pushed me onto the drugs early on. And so I’m really grateful that he could see from the beginning that I didn’t want to rush on to them, and being the age I am I possibly might want more children etc.. So he was very kind of like gave me breathing space and time which I’m grateful for. But I do want to go back and really try this year and not just slip up because as you said it’s so easy to just go Oh I’m feeling good, I’m gonna go and have this meal or that meal or just this will be fine now. And it’s kind of keeping it in your head that you could easily go back to where you were. Because I still have occasionally like if, I don’t know. If I have a tiny bit of oil or something I can feel it in my fingers the next day a little bit. It’s good because it’s a constant reminder to me too. Okay. No, just stick to what you’re doing, don’t push it too far.

Clint That’s right. And that little bit of reminders okay. It’s when it becomes it when it’s it can stick you know it can. If you have enough of a bad thing too often or enough of it in one single meal then the body suddenly the inflammation is back and it’s damn hard to get rid of. I’m thinking of some other examples in my mind of other people. And so you know unfortunately all the good work that has been done can be unraveled with one very very poor meal choice. So whilst that’s just insane to think about, that is the case and there’s a lot of work to be done thereafter to get back on track whether it be a week like I talked about with somebody else or in other cases longer much longer. So well done, loved hearing that really positive story. Let’s talk about the foods that you were able to reintroduce, and I’ll give you a score out of 10 on how robust I think your current diet is and we’ll talk about maybe some tweaks. So talk us through breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner.

Laura OK, So breakfast in the morning. So rather than just having the celery and cucumber juice by itself, because I did find that I know some people say it’s fine, I found that quite difficult to drink. I started adding it to a smoothie, so I’ll put it in I’ll juice it and then I’ll put it in with Frozen Banana, frozen mango, blend it with a peeled zucchini, and some spinach, chia seeds, spirulina. And I’ll just blend that up and have it with some berries on top for breakfast. I don’t tend to have it I think in the morning as a snack but for lunch I’ll always have quinoa, it’s pretty much my go to 90% of the time. And I’ll have quinoa with lentils whatever vegetables I have in the fridge, turmeric. I might have some nutritional yeast, maybe some miso paste. And then for the afternoon snack, I love date bars, I love but I make sure if I have a date bar it’s not got oil in it or I make my own with just dried fruit a bit of a cacao, chia seeds, almonds. And so I have that I could snack but not too much of it, if i eat too much then I’ll fill up my stomach but a small amount. And then for dinner I will have like some sweet potato fries but baked no oil. Maybe some beans or lentils, some vegetables, and then in the evening I normally have some coconut milk with cacao blenders.

Clint What time is that? That’s like late at night is it?

Laura Before bed. Yeah. Because otherwise I can’t sleep if I’m hungry so I tend to have something like that before I go to sleep. Some mornings I’ll have porridge otherwise I’ll put like linseed in it. So yeah that’s, I eat pretty much the same thing all the times. That’s roughly the type of things I eat.

Clint Yeah. Well it sounds delicious like you said you’ve got lots of nice tasting foods in there. I would say if there was a couple of adjustments that I personally would make just to be a little bit more conservative or a little bit while avoiding risk and then not in what you’re eating. It’s just a little bit to do with food combinations so I would not ever do a trial mix style meal which is fruits, sugars, and fats. This is not a good mix and that exists, I think you said late afternoon you have some dates, and then you also had some cacao, and then you have was it nuts in there?

Laura Yeah like blended together.

Clint Blended together. So one of these things that’s very common. Okay so trail mix. I mean you buy it you think I am getting all these fruits and the little dried fruits and stuff. The problem with it comes back to this concept that I haven’t talked about yet that I’ve been researching for about the last four or five months and I’m about to give a presentation to people in my support group about the concept of oxidative stress and I’m going to be talking a lot more about it. But there’s an aspect of adding free radical load to our body that comes from these things called advanced glycation end products. And they’re behind the whole concept of the human body and its aging process. And it’s just a coincidence, a pure coincidence that the acronym for the aging process components or end products are AGEs, Advanced Glycation End Products. Now they are outcomes of sugar to fat, and sugar to protein interactions. So when these molecules interact after digestion you get these advanced glycation end products, and these add a free radical load to the body which slowly but surely just you know takes its toll on the body.

Clint There’s one excellent publication on this which goes through all of the common foods and looks at the advanced glycation end products score of all the different foods and so on. And so they are foods on their own. But when foods are combined poorly not only cannot lead to bad digestion which we explored in a previous podcast with a guy called chemise through recovered from ulcerative colitis. Anyone who’s got like digestive issues bloating, gas, cramping, all this sort of stuff should go and watch that episode with chemise ulcerative colitis recovery story. He talks about the food combining from a point of view of just healthy diet happy digestion. From a point of view of wanting to avoid this oxidative stress which also comes from the oils which is not, the oils don’t just cause more leaky gut and also add more of a racket donic acid load because of the inflammation pathways. It’s not just those things going on, the oils add this oxidative stress which then degrades the proteins in the cells which then become immunoreactive.

Clint So there’s a whole actual driving process for the inflammation behind this Free Radical load. And the free radical load can be increased when we consume lots of sugars with fats and sugars with proteins. And so this is where I would just offer a word of caution and whilst you aren’t doing it very badly, in fact I can only see two instances of it. I personally like Shamiz don’t like putting fats in some in sugary smoothies like chia seeds in smoothies or flax seeds in (inaudible) I don’t like that. My body never did well on it from day one and when I got rid of those from my smoothies I instantly had a stepwise improvement but obviously I don’t take everything and teach everything just because it happened to me. I see it as a result of this process of fats and sugar shouldn’t go together like that. Of course really talking probably about a teaspoon of chia right, I don’t imagine you’re putting in like tablespoons of chia. But in your afternoon snack, it’s a little bit more a little bit closer to the edge. So I want you in a year’s time just to nail this right. And so I’m going into detail here on your particular diet so that you can get a great result. And what I would do is if your morning is a little bit light, like if your morning feels a little light in terms of food consumption and you’ve had a really really high enzyme easy to digest smoothie at breakfast with you know your banana you’ve got your spirulina and all that stuff in there. You probably could be hungry by [10:30][11:00] and you could have your cacao with your nuts if it was the nuts. Have them in mid-morning and have them on their own, just have the fatty foods on their own the nuts mid-morning. And then later on the afternoon if you’re feeling peckish again have a big handful of dates on their own, fine, perfect.

Laura Okay. Yeah. That’s really good that’s me because actually I have found if I eat too much of too make too much of a date bar combination. The next day my stomach will hurt. It definitely causes some issues the next day if I had a lot of it so that’s interesting.

Clint Because the sugars are trying to get absorbed instantly in the bloodstream and the fats need to go very slowly through the stomach into the small intestine and then bile has to be released. Enzymes have to come out of you pancreas to mix together to break down those fats which take a long time to break down. But sugars boom, straight into the bloodstream. So we can have sugars with carbohydrates. Okay because they’re both the same thing. Sugars can go with carbohydrates really nicely because. Carbohydrates are just a whole bunch of chains of sugars linked together. All right. And say you’ve got some that fast absorb it. They’re just on their own and some that slow absorbed if they’re all linked to others. So a perfect meal is a bowl of oatmeal which is complex sugars with a whole bunch of blueberries and strawberries and some banana because they’re the simple sugars and so you’ve got no digestive issue whatsoever. Everything your body takes some of the simple sugars and then absorbed some of the more complex sugars as it goes further through the body. And you’ve got this beautiful synergy of of sustained energy and all of the fruits helped to break down and digest the rest of the food as well because of the fido nutrients in the berries in particular. When I say break down they offset any of the oxidative stress load that I highlighted before. So rather than contributing to it by matching sugars and fats and sugars and proteins what we’re actually doing is we’re decreasing and minimizing it by putting things together where they offset each other. So that breakfast I’ve just described is absolutely brilliant. Now you could also have oats with your smoothie. You could have your banana smoothie with all the great, I love that smoothie and it’s probably done so much good things for you that we don’t take that out. You could have that alongside your oats and it offers that kind of offset to otherwise fairly, Oates can be a little bland and it can offset that. I put some brown sugar on oats and I see no problem with a little sugar on the oats as well as the berries that I talked about. So there’s some ideas around breakfast, around food combining and for example my breakfast I’ve just described then I’ll have mid morning nuts on their own. So I’ll have a handful of almonds and some Brazil nuts, depends on you know what nuts I have in the house type. And then lunch similar to yourself, it’s often like a leftover from the night before in our house. So it’s you know it’s like something on rice normally or I end up from time to time quite a bit of bread. So I’ll have oat salad with no oil that’s made in a traditional kind of baking process. So like carb heavy you know like oats, breads, potatoes, sweet potatoes, these are like the foundation of most of my meals.

Clint And the afternoon before I go to the gym or yoga I’ll just eat dates just like yourself maybe a banana or something like that just a basically a some easy calories. And then for dinner at you know carbohydrate heavy kind of meal with. Yeah. And if I want to have it with a glass of orange juice again no problem because you’re not mixing the sugars with something to protein-rich or too fat rich. But if I have say if I’m going to have rice and dahl for dinner, and I know this sounds a little bit like a lot of attention to detail but this is what I’ve found for the secret of success is it’s all in the detail. I’ll have my orange juice before the meal if I want to have a sweet thing before the meal because ice to get a lot of cramping and abdominal pain by having an orange juice towards the end of a meal that had quite a lot of protein in it. And it would like those things would just not go well together and I’d get like stomach cramps.

Laura Oh OK. Interesting. Yeah I know that is a food combining is something that I wanted to look into because I do occasionally allow myself problems a lot better in general. If I eat something that is a bit possibly bad in terms of food combining I will get stomach issues still, soo that’s really interesting. Do you ever push the boat on top out even more? Have you ever had and glass of alcohol or anything since you?

Clint I have. Yeah. Yeah. I’m not an advocate of alcohol consumption for health, it’s not a healthy thing to do. But surprisingly if you’re out at a restaurant a glass of wine could potentially be the least harmful thing to your rheumatoid arthritis that you have.

Laura Oh really. Okay. That’s interesting.

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Clint If you’re about to follow that up with some oily side of vegetables and an oily curry or something. You if you’d have stopped at the red wine you might have done just fine. So what I’ve noticed myself and I haven’t drunk for several years, but last the times that I have had a glass of red wine at a restaurant in the past I’ve experienced absolutely no repercussions whatsoever. And clients who have asked about alcohol when I have recommended that if they’re going to drink anyway why not just have a glass of red wine. Have consistently said that it doesn’t have an impact on them. Red wine has polyphenols, antioxidants in them. We know that alcohol it’s used for sterilization of medical instruments before surgeries, kills bacteria, it’s alcohol kills bacteria. So we’d only putting things that kill bacteria into our microbiome. Right. Makes sense.

Laura Yeah

Clint But I do feel that red wine is a little unique in that sense and we tend to get away with it. So look I’m not advocating it, I’m just saying that if people am cheating and they want to cheat here and there on something that doesn’t have horrible consequences. Then if you feel like you’ll stay with the program by only having a glass of red wine once a month, then yeah if it keeps you going.

Laura Okay. Thank you.

Clint But not beer, not beer that does not apply.

Laura Not beer, oh no.

Clint Red red red wine is the only thing that I consider to be occasionally non-detrimental.

Laura I think it’s just more the social aspect of it which I’m sure you hear over and over again that can be a little bit discourse. Because people just think that you’re being a bit awkward or I don’t know. Possibly stuck up or something because they don’t understand the story. So you (inaudible) Oh I can’t eat this and now I can’t drink. And yeah I think there is learning to be quite self-confident and knowing your own mind, but at the same time it can be a little bit awkward sometimes if you can’t have anything.

Clint It’s funny you know it’s interesting that I have another couple of clients around your age also in the UK, London. Yeah. And it really strikes me the importance of the social aspect of London it seems and certainly with your age bracket and so on. That’s not to say it wasn’t exactly the same as me and I’d be asking the same exact sort of questions or had the same concerns when I got hit with this at 31. I continued to have I think a year or two before I reined it all in. And I think you know being 33 34 you know whilst you’re partying for most people hasn’t certainly stop. You know it’s certainly in the 20s where you want to do your most going out and socializing and so on especially in a nice like you know socially busy city, an exciting city like London or Sydney and so on.

Clint So what I’m saying is I didn’t have to deal with it head on too much. And my thoughts around it would be you could have a sparkling water without really causing too much or if any issues it’s just a little bit acidifying it’s just carbonated water a little acidifying for the body but nothing nothing that’s going to bother you just me here and there. You could you know if you chose the places to go some of these nice restaurants and bars offer evening food service alongside the drinks can pay they offer you know places like tappers and stuff like that. If you went to a place that you know had you know this late night food service you could get like you know a plate of mixed berries or something that sounds a little weird for late at night. But you could get something that if you snack on and participated in socially would have no health detriment. So it’s about preparation and where are you going to meet with your friends. Well you choose the place that you’ve researched and you’ve in you sure about that’s the key that you’re in control. That comes back to this phrase that I have, we need to have complete confidence and control over your condition but it also extends to our circumstances because once circumstances get out of control our symptoms can get out of control. So that’s the thing. Don’t go into a cave and become you know anti-social, just look for ways in which you can do it that meets your specific and very very important requirements, because your health is crucial and don’t let anyone get in the way or mess with it. So it can be done and I reckon that your friends would think this is pretty cool if you said, hey girls let’s go and I’ve got a place I’d like to go to, and I’d like to go this time and I’ve booked a room and you organize it. It’s easy for them they just have to show up and they know that you’re happy, and that makes them happy, and they’re relaxed because you’re relaxed, and they didn’t have to do any work. So it can be done you just have to be very cautious about where you choose to go.

Laura OK. Thank you.

Clint So are there any aspects of the program that you felt were was super crucial that you noticed that if you didn’t do the symptoms would not improve, and other aspects that you felt maybe not so much? So just like if you were to coach someone through this what would you list as most important?

Laura Okay so yeah I would say that doing the Paddison Program like I said earlier with the first few steps was crucial, especially if you’re in a lot of pain have a lot of inflammation. Using that system was really crucial to me. I would say getting some movement in, doing the bit from yoga at home really helped my joints, and then when I could doing more exercise was really crucial. Sticking to a 100% in the beginning, really committing to it. And getting rid of some stress in your life, if you’ve got stress like that definitely affects me. So even if that means shifting things around in your life, like putting your health is a priority for a while. I know that the last year I’ve been sort of delving into minimalism a little bit and trying to declutter to my life like not just my home but my life and learning to say no to things I don’t want to do and not crowding my life or my schedule too much. And just putting mine in my family’s house is absolute key number one. And then other things can slot into that. So yeah just, taking it seriously, and getting your mindset right, I read a lot of books around it looks at different doctors that talk about it, different interviews. Because there’s no one else in your life that you know that is going through this, it can feel very lonely and people will just be like well why can’t you just have a bit of this, so come on just have a little bit of that.

Laura So immersing yourself in research, and reading books, looking at interviews, listening to podcasts, anything you can do that makes you feel like what you’re doing is 100% right and you’re on the right track. We’ll get your head in the right like your mind in the right headspace. I’ve started reading some of my personal development books as well. So when I’m reading at the moment is slight edge by Jeff Olsen, and that’s really helped me just kind of clarify what I’m doing is right and that 90% of people won’t achieve the goals that they set out to achieve. And if you want to be the 5 percent that does achieve and do really well you are going to have to do things slightly differently just (inaudible) the people around you. So yeah just get in your mindset right is absolutely key. The program will do everything else but if you get your mindset right and follow the program you’ll be fine.

Clint That’s fantastic. Yeah so many cool things in there that you’re doing to augment just the food and exercise component, mindset is so crucial, and support. I’m guessing that you get a lot of interpersonal support as well to help you through this?

Laura Yeah. So my partner has really been absolutely amazing. My family although they don’t always understand why I’m doing it, they’re completely supportive of it. I’ve got some friends they’ve been really good and on New Year’s, my friends made me like a vegetable bean casserole thing, and everyone else had the meat. So I’ve had some lovely support from it even if people like what are you doing, they’ve been so lovely. But there are always occasions where it’s more difficult, and I think having the right mindset to be strong, and say no this is what I’m doing is crucial.

Clint Yeah. Whenever I’m faced, this doesn’t happen so much anymore but I used to get faced by the biggest challenges which were family pressures. We’d have like a Christmas lunch and I’d be eating buckwheat and quinoa while everyone else is eating you know your classic family meal at Christmas time. Obviously Melissa wasn’t. But after one year of that then Melissa got the entire family at all social events to eat vegan like at every event. So she pulled off what I considered to be like the most.

Laura Wow.

Unbelievable change in our family get-togethers, and so that was huge. Especially my parents you know they’ve been farmers all their lives and grew up in a farming environment. And my sister and her husband and kids, are by no means vegan but they eat healthy from a Western point of view. But you know this was a big change for us. So after the first year, we had everyone having vegan like birthday get-togethers, and vegan Christmases and stuff so it was a big (inaudible). My grandmother had never ever tasted a Black Bean, so she’d never had beans and that wasn’t lentils. I don’t think she’s ever had lentils and when she was 90 or something we had lentils. And Melissa tell this story better than mine that I think that she reached as she was saying not much at the towards the end of her life and she just said, can I have more? or something. And Melissa never forgot. Because they wanted more of lentils or something. She never had it in her life right.

Clint So that was phase one for us, but then phase two was me then not even eating like the rest of the family. It was me on my simple meals as I got more and more involved in how to heal and not just sort of get by. And they were weed times they were like when the family was like, what is that? Like what’s on your plate? You know the whole, can’t you just have a little bit of this a little bit especially when can’t you just have a little bit of steamed broccoli. And I’m like Nah, I just don’t want to eat anything yet that I don’t don’t, I’m not sure about.

Clint So anyway. And then the family ultimately what ultimately happens, is everyone gets used to it. And they’re just like Clint does his thing, he has to eat a certain way, and everyone shrugs and gets on with it and that’s it. And when everyone just shrugs and gets on with it, yeah it’s pretty easy actually. And in fact people then ultimately as we all get older, and everyone just keeps right and wrong and get sicker and get their health problems, everyone gets niggles of something. everyone in your family’s going to have some niggles, and problems, and pains, and aches, and all sorts of stuff. They all say to you, I’ve got this thing like what should I do? How can I like eat a little bit better? And you end up being not the weird one but the source of knowledge. Okay.

Laura Yeah. It turns around.

Clint It takes a few years. But you end up being the source of knowledge, and it’s best only to speak when questioned on this topic is now and while you’re the weird one, then any comments from the weird one would be considered weird. But when they go to you know with their problems, then you’ve got an opportunity to turn to make some changes.

Laura Yeah for sure I mean, I don’t bring it up too often because I’d rather people ask me and then I’m quite happy to talk about it. I’ve always found it a little bit difficult to talk about as well I don’t know why but if I start talking about my arthritis I sort of clam up a little bit. And I just feel that I don’t know nervous talking about it is quite a personal thing, and a personal journey that I hid for a long time. I didn’t want people to know that I was sick, and I felt like I’m young, I need to be vibrant and healthy and I hid it, so talking about it can be quite difficult. But I went on holiday with them some of my family, and again my family are from a farming background. So the idea of me being vegan was quite different for them. But they have been really great, they know why I am doing it and they’ve even tried some my meals. And my mother in particular has been reading trying to cut down on her meat and dairy, and she’s got a few of her own issues. And I’ve been really surprised because I thought that they were going to start questioning me or you know not being too happy about it. But they see the changes for the positive, and as I get better they’re more sort of you know just do what you do and you know we support you say that’s good.

Clint It’s fabulous. And while you were speaking you know it gave me, reminded me one thing that’s helped with my family particularly my mum and dad is when the food’s taste great that’s when they get really interested. So they come visit us, and then they’ll eat foods that Melissa makes. And I would say every other meal they have Dad asked Mum to get the recipe from Melissa so that they can make it, they’re totally into it. Because the food tastes so good and I think that it’s hard to, when you’re being driven by your taste buds the brain pays attention you know it’s like I like this, I need more of this. So I think that’s one of the keys to if we’re able to prepare the meals so they taste really well then other people feel that it’s actually it’s compelling, it’s like a magnet to want to eat it as opposed to the weird thing. And obviously it’s hard at the start, like I talked about when I was on like just buckwheat and quinoa and stuff, obviously no one wants to join in on that. But once you get beyond that and we do, then you’re able to have more enticing things that people want to take part in.

Clint So we’ve just come up too close to the hour mark. So we’ve had a nice long conversation here so perhaps we’re getting close to wrap this up. Is there anything that you wanted to add that you feel has been helpful for you or any other tips or words of wisdom parting comments before we go?

Laura I think just trust in the process. Trust in the process and take your time, like it’s easy to want results like tomorrow. But at a time it felt like I was only improving by a tiny bit every day, and it can be quite frustrating. But you need to have in your mind that you’re going to get better. For some reason I knew from the beginning that I wasn’t going to have this forever, I just knew that this can’t be it like having that still like determination and visualizing yourself without it. And then actually you look back and it’s gone so quickly. Like a year seems like a long time but it’s not, and you can make massive progress in just a year. So yeah just keep positive, celebrate every small little change and improvements and you will soon see big improvements.

Clint Yeah I love that because you know like 1% improvement every month adds up to a lot at the end of a year if we get to 12 because it’s compound as well we’re not just 1% + 1% + 1% + 1% + the portion that we just advanced in that last month. So you know even if we only did 12% improvement in a year let’s say someone’s had this condition for 10 20 30 years. If you can improve 10% to 12% in a year. Come on, that’s like the opposite of the constant degradation and worsening that’s happened every year up until this point. So most of us can do better than 1% a month, most of us. So you’ve obviously done a lot better than that which is just fabulous, and keep up the great work. And update me again if you make some of those food changes, and see whether or not you can completely get rid of the little you mentioned a little bit of sort of pain the next day from some of those food combinations. You might find that just making those tweaks may not only fix the digestive pains but also give you that I feel a little bit more the long-term safety that we’re looking for.

Laura OK. Thank you so much. And thank you so much for everything you do because it makes such a big impact on my life. So yeah, thank you.

Clint Oh you’re welcome. Thanks so much for sharing your story and for inspiring other people it means a lot to me to be able to hear your story, and to share it to encourage other people to make choices that not just good for their health but saves the planet and stops cruelty to animals. So thanks so much and we’ll stay in touch online.

Laura All right. Thank you.

Clint Paddison

Clint Paddison has recovered from crippling Rheumatoid Arthitis and now assists others with this disease via the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis, the Paddison Podcast and the blogs on www.paddisonprogram.com