Food And Arthritis

Add the RIGHT foods to your diet to REDUCE arthritic pain and inflammation.
Include the WRONG foods to your diet and INCREASE arthritic pain and inflammation.
My choice? A life-journey based on a low-oil whole-food plant based diet.
Whatever your current state of health, make yourself healthier - you deserve it. Start your plant based diet journey today.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Two toes change in my body because of yoga

I have been trying to think of some way of documenting the beneficial changes in my body because of my Bikram Yoga practice at Yogavenue in Oxford.  Now I think this blog is the right place.  Bikram yoga is a static yoga, that is you get into a pose and hold it, thus strengthening the muscles under focus for that position.  With this yoga you do the exact same 26 poses day in day out, wherever you are in the world.  This means you can see the microscopic improvements.  Such changes mean little to someone else, but to the individual they can be enormous.

The are huge because they are solid improvements across the body that accumulate over time.  So one recent example was my two left toes beside my big toe.  Suddenly I felt them "grounding" on the floor providing greater more stable support to my standing poses.  It is not as if I had not thought my left toes were not doing anything before, but suddenly, and permanently, they are going to provide my standing poses with a much more solid foundation.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Still going strong

I have not posted on this blog for a couple of years and guess some people might think that is because my health might have deteriorated.  The opposite is true.  My body has been in a healing groove, as I like to think of it, and continues to repair itself.  I still do my Bikram Yoga and stay true to the Paddison Program.

I write this now, prompted by a couple of posts on the NRAS forums on HealthUnlocked.  There is a strange buearocracy on HU which prevents me responding directly.  The problem was caused by my rejection of NRAS policy that "diet has no effect."  And since this is my first post for a long long time let me address that subject again.

"Diet has no effect. "  That's completely wrong in both my experience and understandinf of the science.

Yes, had I just adopted a whole food plant based diet then I would not be where I am today.  The key benefit of Paddison Program is that it is about the process.  It is about self-education and learning what foods trigger arthritis in your body.  That is a huge lesson to learn and not an easy one!

For some people, perhaps many people coming from a heavy meat-based diet they could very further complications such as one or more of a range bowel issues.  For example they may have trouble digesting oxalates.  So some vegetables are high in oxalates and so part of the eduction is about reducing those foods while increasing others.  Such a restriction may be needed for one or more months.  You can get blood tests to help identfy issues, but with so much else going on, including arthritis looking at the overall picture is a key strength of the paddison approach.

Let me pin this one down.  Modern society is fixated with a pill mentaltity.  We are inundated with media messages, if not eduction, that there is a magic pill that can make us right, possibly overnight.

And so on that kind of note I agree with NRAS.  There is no magic pill.  But Paddison Program first and foremost is a process, a process about self-education.  No-one, and I mean no-one comes out of PP eating the same as anyone else.  Everyone is different.

But that difference is based on them finding their own healing groove.  A healing groove where they feel better almost each and every day.  Yes some days might be tough, but the general trend is that healing is taking place.

That's where I am.  My body was totally wasted. I mean life in a wheelchar is not exactly conducive to good physical health.  So now, following the trend I started October 18th 2016, I continue my Bikram Yoga regime.  My physical body continues to improve, slowly, steadily.

I continue to research, daily research and modify my diet slightly to improve the nutrition I consume.  This I will do to my dying breath.  I also hope to live to a 100 and be doing my yoga at that age.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Why some people fail on a vegan diet

I thought I might do my own rant on the subject of why people transitioning to a vegan diet might fail.  Let me start is with listing all possible reasons:

  • Poor motivation to become a vegan in the first place,
  • The vegan diet they tried was an unhealthy one,
  • They did not give sufficient time for gut bacteria to change, and finally
  • It was not a lifestyle change
As you can see, on the surface, this is not a big list.  But inside these bullet points there are some big subjects. Let's start out with motivation.

Motivation: People usually wish to become vegan for one or more of three main reasons: personal health, animal welfare or the health of the planet.

Monday, 30 October 2017

The rebuild continues

I have not posted for a while, and perhaps that infrequent-mode will be a continuing trend.  After all I am not selling anything just documenting my recovery from a chronic disease using food and exercise.  So while it is nice for me to post how I have done this, that or the other, I have never felt that the most useful time for my readers.  So why post now?

Well in recent months I have had two non-RA related health challenges.  Firstly I felt well enough on holiday to jump off a high cliff into the sea.  All was well until I landed, which I did badly and suffered back strain which meant I had a couple of hospital visits.  That incident was in September, and what is notable, to my mind anyway is the rate of recovery.  Because of my yoga I now I have the internalised knowledge of how to deal with back pain.  That's not to say the pain is any less or more than anyone else's at the outset.  But rather I knew how to deal with it to help both manage the pain and aid recovery.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

A story of a broken health service and back pain with an arthritic ending

My apologies if this seems a long story...

The ending of last weekend has not been my favourite, not by a long chalk.  I, we, have lost one child and the merest inkling of a possibility of losing our other is beyond comprehension.  And so as last weekend ended that was how it felt to me.

[Let me just insert a point here, I am trying to tell this story from my own perspective because this is my blog.  That is not to diminish in any way the equal and great love and concern of my wife and my son's wife and indeed my 8-month old grandson (who was reacting to the escalating emotions and lack of access to his Dad).]

The weekend itself was full of fun and joy, lots of new babies, three generations of friends, lots of happiness and photographs.  And then time to go home.  Except that my son's back pain exploded into a such a state that he could not move.  He had made it upstairs to bed and as Monday unfolded (and other guests disappearing) found that coming downstairs was an increasing impossibility.  Not only that he could make it to the toilet, could not move any which-way without spasms of pain wreaking through his entire body.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Are NRAS fit for purpose?

Excuse me for making a controversial post.  Over some months I posted onto the NRAS forums on the HealthUnlocked website about my dietary changes and progress towards good health.  I even went to meet Ailsa Bosworth at NRAS headquarters to discuss the benefits of dietary improvements.  Ailsa was kind enough to take a paper from me to present to the NICE committee and came back with the feedback that the research supporting the Paddison Program was not "gold standard".

So good so far.

I continued to post that my health was continuing to improve.  Sadly my posts, both and after the meeting met with hostility from certain forum members.  Indeed I started one thread, "I feel sorry..." whose remit was again to help people begin to think that they might actually help themselves to better health with dietary interventions.  This was met with a barrage of hostility.

It's not that NRAS are against diet.

NRAS has always upheld the advantages of a Mediterranean diet. Whereas I have always challenged this position.   For me, anyone who puts meat in their mouth is putting a minimum of 30% fat, and often trans-fats, into their body.  Also almost everyone who seriously explores dietary options finds that dairy - milk, eggs and cheese - are big triggers for inflammation.  And so we are at odds.

But today NRAS goes too far.

Today one of NRAS staff posted arguing that the program I have benefited from has two issues.  The thread you can read at All someone asked was has anyone tried the Clint Paddison program.  NRAS jumped in with the response, "absolutely no proven evidence to back up the claims of this programme" and also then went on to describe his program as a "money making scheme with no evidence base at all."

That is too far.  This is coming from an organisation who year after year takes money from drug companies!  After all Ailsa had already accepted that she had presented evidence from Clint Padisson to the NICE committee on Arthritis.  As to money-making, yes Clint charges for his program.  He has to live.  He does not get any money from drug companies.  He does not sell any supplements or tablets of any kind.  He advocates yoga as being 40% of his program and yet receives no financial reward for that promotion.

I realise that by posting this probably NRAS will do some kind of cleansing of its forums to remove my posts.  The organisation has had a history of doing this for other people, so I guess my posts will suffer the same fate.

Who cares?

Well, the only reason for ever posting anything is to change someone else's life.  In my case I do it to help people with arthritis think about improving their lives.  I would hope that NRAS had similar aspirations.  Apparently not.  Rather than encourage people to think about changing their diet for the better NRAS want to shut down that kind of debate.

A final note.  The first of July, a couple of days ago.  I finished tapering my methotrexate.  No more drugs.  A drug free life begins now.  I took almost six months of tapering to be safe in the knowledge I was not doing my body any harm.  Instead I have never felt healthier.  I wish I could say the same for people on the NRAS forums.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Respecting my Doctor and my Rheumatologist

Throughout my entire blog, and indeed anywhere else I have posted I have hardly touched on the subject of my doctor.  That is unfair, so I will correct it with this post.  I would not be as healthy as I am without the full support of my doctor and my Rheumatologist.  A big fear for anyone who thinks about going down the road of changing their diet is that somehow they may be going against their doctor's advice. This is especially true when the first likely response when the subject of diet is raised is that "diet has no effect."

But if you remember that all your doctor wants is for you to be well and healthy.  And in my case my doctor had repeatedly said, "lose some weight."  Mind you don't most doctors say that to most people!  Anyway I insisted that I was going to begin to explore dietary options, that was my choice.  Whatever and very importantly I also accepted the doctor's advice in what they are good at - that of medication.  And so I started my course of methotrexate, something my doctor thought I would be taking for the rest of my life.

June Meetup Next Monday

The next meetup for anyone interested in chatting about diet and arthritis will be in the Emporium next Monday 11-1pm.  I am usually sat at the oval table with a pile of books on the subject.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Please help me!

I have been struck recently by some people of my age who seem to give up on life.  They seem to think is is somehow normal that getting older means getting ill.  No-one wants to be ill.  Being ill is a horrible thing.  And yes, in today's modern society being ill is associated with being old.  Not only that the older you get the more ill people seem to expect to be.  These people want to avoid being ill and so their solution is to hope to die quickly when it happens.  They are hoping the die (dice) spins that way.

But they do not need to rely on the spin of a die.  From my experience over the last two years I am totally convinced that a most common illnesses (many life-threatening) of the older population can be  completely avoided with close attention to just two things: what you eat and what exercise you get.  Critically to be healthy is not just about exercise.  Exercise, however hard and regular, on its own will not stop stroke or cancer or a heart attack.  The answer begins with a very serious close look at personal dietary choices, and that's where I need help.

If people very seriously look at what they consume it is possible I will not be the only last men standing amongst my friends and family!  Do I really want them to have strokes (small or large), cancers, heart attacks and yes chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis?  No, I do not.  That's where I need help.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Where am I?

Over the last few months I have had two main challenges.  That of reducing my methotrexate and also adding back foods that previously caused me arthritis problems.  Along with this I have been continuing my yoga and in fact doing more.  But let me start with my medication.

Medication: Like many people I wanted to avoid the DMARD medication such as methotrexate.  Emotionally I simply could not handle it.  In fact after starting I found no noticeable side-effects and settled down to it.  That said I refused point blank to have the dosage increased, as advised by my doctor.  Had I done that I am sure my doctor would have doubled the medication level, possibly moved on to injected methotrexate and/or other drugs.  But I held out at 10g in four tablets at first and then reluctantly allowed an extra tablet to raise it to 12.5g.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Next Monday's Diet&RA chat at the Emporium cancelled

My apologies to anyone who wished to talk about diet & ra at my monthly meetup in the Eynsham Emporium.  I have to cancel this because of a local funeral.

If anyone wishes to contact me urgently I can talk to them outside the normal time, by arrangement.  Otherwise I will be at the Emporium in a month's time.  Again, many apologies to one and all for the short notice.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Thank You Ruth

This is a very big thank you to Ruth, who I met but once.

In my opinion, when you are afflicted with Rheumatoid Arthritis you would do well to look at every avenue open to you to reduce the crippling pain and inflammation that is your life, while you sleep and while you are awake.  I go on and on about the superb diet I was very fortunate to find.  I similarly go on and on about the superb exercise regime I am fortunate to have found.

Yesterday I heard about the sad, very sad death of Ruth, taken by cancer.

When I was at my worst a very dear friend told me about his cousin, Ruth and said, "why don't you send her a lock of your hair."  Ruth, you see is, or was, a dowser.  My friend argued that she professed to be able to tell me what foods would be good for me, and which ones were bad for me - all from a simple lock of my hair.

After a couple of months I gave in.

Come on I thought this is very much in the land of hogwash.  How could someone come up with a solution to my health problems from a lock of my hair.  But living in RA hell, I eventually acceded to my friends request, took a snip of my hair, sealed it in an envelope and posted it to Ruth.

Three days was all it took.

Three days later, by email, I received a recommendation of foods to eat and foods to avoid.  How on earth Ruth had come up with a list of foods that turned out to be the same diet that I eventually found through testing worked in my body I may never truly know.  Whatever she gave me hope.  Let me repeat that in case you didn't hear me.  Ruth gave me hope that I was embarking upon the right path for me and my body.

A coincidence of timing?

I started my Paddison Program elimination diet at almost the same moment as I took that cutting of my hair.  Despite recommendations from a whole universe of people that "diet has no effect on arthritis" I had started my journey.  Despite the medical fraternity, the government, our beloved NHS official recommendations, despite NICE guidelines I began the serious process of testing what foods had a beneficial effect on my body, and which ones hurt my body.

My own, my very own experiment falters.

It is not an easy thing going against all medical advice.  But when imperceptibly you find each day is just ever so slightly less painful, less full of inflammation.  That gives you the confidence to go on.  Ruth gave me that confidence.  But despite improvements my recovery faltered.

Who said it was going to be easy?

Looking back in my mind I knew that what triggered RA was to a large extent emotional issues.  And so at about three months after starting my journey of recovery I remembered that generous email from Ruth.  In it she offered a follow-up consultation.  She said if I came to visit her she could dowse me for emotional issues, or something like that.

And so I met Ruth just once.

On a nice sunny day one afternoon I met Ruth at her home.  She very kindly dowsed me over a three hour period.  At the end of this period she reckoned that many of my emotional issues were sorted, or on the road to recovery.  What, more hogwash?

Anyone who doubts that diet will affect arthritis will surely reject the idea my emotional issues were sorted.

Nevertheless as I walked away I felt a better person.  I am not going into the details of my session with Ruth.  That is very personal.  But afterwards I felt lighter emotionally, as she argued I would.

And so thank you to Ruth.

I can honestly say that without meeting Ruth I would not be as healthy as I am today.  She was, is, and will be someone who made a difference to my life.  She both gave me the confidence to fight my fight and then helped me troubleshoot some of the issues inside my brain.

Next week I will walk the Dorset Coast Path.

It is almost exactly a year ago today that I sent that clip of my hair in the post.  At that time I was in a wheelchair and simply unable walk any distance.  Even walking just three feet was done in excruciating pain.  A year ago, with friends and my much better half, Ruth's cousin walked the Dorset Coast Path without me.  This year will be very different.  With Ruth's cousin I will stride out and walk one of the tougher stretches of the UK coastline, without even a walking stick, with head held high and with my life, a happy healthful life ahead of me.

I dedicate this forthcoming walk to Ruth, who I met but once but will be in my thoughts forever.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Video showing dietary effects on my Rheumatoid Arthritis

Here is a video of a talk I gave recently to the Oxford Vegan Festival to help others understand the dramatic effect food can have on rheumatoid arthritis.  Some people who are cynical argue either I am a special case or some other excuse.  I am in no way special.  Also, apart from the fact I have so far had no surgery, my arthritis was as bad as it gets.  Had I accepted doctor's advice I would be in a mobility scooter today and probably be having changes made to my home to make it arthritis-friendly.

Other people argue that diets only work for some people, or that they have tried and failed - even tried the Paddison program and failed.  Well changing diet is not easy, that is a fact.  There are cultural reasons, family reasons, even your body is conditioned to sticking with the foods you have eaten regularly.

From people I have talked to, those who seem to fail on the Paddison program seem to have a particular medical history or a particular dietary history.  Beyond that doing the paddison program takes motivation, serious motivation.

The big question in my mind is, how much does someone want - and truly need - to get rid of their RA.  Some people are relatively happy on their medication, and that's fine by me.  For others who are very unhappy with medication, or have tried and failed on other diets then this fifteen minute video may be of interest.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Phew, my first real drop-in session on Diet & Arthritis

I have just returned from my Diet&RA meetup at the Eynsham Emporium.  I shared my story with about six people in total.  Not a lot of people perhaps, but quantity was not what I wanted.

At the outset I did not want people turning up who wanted to simply complain about their arthritis. Yes, we all need to express our pain and get some of it off our chest, so to speak.  After all at its core Rheumatoid Arthritis is about as awful an illness as there can be.  Talking out our own issues is very important, and I would not be able to understand people's issues if I did not listen to their stories.  However what I really needed was people who already had in their minds that somehow dietary changes might help them.  Further I wanted to inspire people through my experiences to try to do something more themselves.

If I may step back and take a second I'd like to share my inspiration for starting these sessions.  For some time, I posted about diet and arthritis on the HealthUnlocked NRAS forums.  Sadly amongst other vehement and many negative interpretations of what I wrote I was accused of actually selling the Paddison Program.  Yes, I personally have gained so much from the Paddison Program and it has inspired me to help others find it.  That's why I set up these meetups.  But if people come to my meetings and never ever hear the word paddison, that's fine by me also.

At these meetups the message I want to get out is to help people understand the benefits of making good choices in what they eat and drink. Since the second world war particularly this world is full of processed foods, and that includes oils!  Since the same war chronic diseases have escalated in all modern economies.  I argue that if people review and make good changes to their diet then they will get improved health outcomes.

Further, for some people just dropping one food and adding another may not be sufficient.  For these a great elimination process is needed.  Sadly some people say things like, "I have tried an eliminate diet and it didn't work." The fact is there are poor elimination processes and there are good ones.  A successful elimination process needs persistence, determination, a lot of support and most of all a very very good plan.

The Paddison Program I feel has an excellent elimination process.  And that's why I recommend it to anyone it is appropriate for.  Because of its elimination process they have a good chance at getting all the outcomes I have gained.

Thank you to the people who came and told me your stories and asked your questions. (And Pete, thank's for the Green Tea, I'll buy you one too some day!)

And to everyone else I'll be back at the Eynsham Emporium fourth Monday each month 11am-1pm.

Friday, 24 March 2017

I'm at the Oxford Vegan Festival

Tomorrow I shall be talking about my arthritis and my dietary and exercise changes at the Oxford Vegan Festival, in the Kassam Stadium probably around 4pm.