Eating healthy is vital for chronic illness and autoimmune disease, but it can be really confusing to know what to eat. There are so many conflicting ideas and myths about healthy eating for chronic conditions.
I have ankylosing spondylitis, which is an arthritic and autoimmune condition (two birds with one stone!). There are a lot of myths out there about how to eat for arthritis, so I prefer to stick to evidence-based information and carefully observe what works well for my body.
After being diagnosed in my early 30s, I made a number of small and achievable changes to my diet over time, which helped me to lose over 140 pounds (over 60 kg). Most importantly, I achieved that without any restrictive, expensive or special diets. While I did try a range of “super foods”, I ultimately found it made little impact on my health, except my wallet.
I stick to basic healthy staples that are cost effective, and wherever possible, I minimise highly processed foods. So, here is a summary of what I typically eat over the course of a day.
6 am (pre-workout)
Coffee (with milk)
8 am Breakfast
There are special people in this world who do not need breakfast. I am not one of those people. I simply cannot function unless I have a filling breakfast. My favourite thing to eat at the moment are uncooked oats that I soak overnight in milk and water.
I usually add some sultanas (raisins), greek yoghurt, a handful of frozen berries, and a handful of nuts or seeds, depending on what I have in the cupboard .
11 am Morning Tea
I have a coffee and snack. Choices include:
- Handful of nuts
- Piece of homemade oat bread (lemon and blueberry is my current favourite)
- Homemade peanut butter energy balls
Or I have my favourite smoothie which contains: banana, milk, water, shot of espressso, cocoa powder, almond butter and two medjool dates.
1 pm Lunch
At the moment, my lunch starts with a piece of fruit (usually an apple), and then a veggie/salad wrap, either with falafel or scrambled eggs.
If I need something in the afternoon, I usually have a cup of tea (with a dash of milk, no sugar). If I am hungry I have a few go-to healthy snacks to choose from, such as:
- small packet of popcorn (lightly salted)
- carrot with hummus
- nut butter bar
6 pm Dinner & Dessert
Dinner involves lots of colourful veggies (usually roasted) and a small portion of lean meat or fish. I love to use lemon juice and spices to add flavour. If I do not feel like having meat, I stick to legumes and beans and usually cook them in a homemade sauce.
For dessert, I am obsessed with my homemade chocolate ricotta mousse. Seriously it is so easy. The ingredients include 70% dark cooking chocolate, ricotta, a dash of milk and usually some decaf coffee (you can see I am addicted). I only have a couple of small spoonfuls of the mousse each night, and it is the perfect end to my day!
If you want to learn more about my diet or have any questions at all, you are welcome to get in touch.
Stay Fabulous, Jo.