It’s really important that you know you are a worthy human being no matter your size, genetics, or how even family members might treat you. I have spent several years in the online company of many wonderful people who like myself have had lymphatic challenges and will likely never be the vision of thinness (and in our society thinness is associated with health). I see every day in the comments from these dear people what they put up with from strangers, family members and even doctors.
Make sure that you do it for you and do not expect untrained medical professions, family and friends to respond as you would like. People are odd even the ones people love.. Don’t do it for THEIR approval. Do it because you know you matter and are worth having around even if they don’t get it. I see it too many times where someone feels their value is based on their appearance. You can’t keep the rest of the world from being like that, but you can control YOU from thinking that way.
I have suffered from lipedema and lymphedema from the time of being a child. A doctor working with my mom at a hospital saw a photo of my twin sister and I and stated that given the fact that my sister and I were so different in size, we would have made a great study in metabolism.
Of course what the doctor didn’t understand was that in reality was that I had more issues with the veins in my body allowing lymphatic fluids to not evacuate my body properly and so parts of me were swelling up.
I always had one leg that was larger than the other, and I was from infancy larger than my sister.
Always known as the “fat one”, I just hated it. There is always a tendency to compare twins so that made the comments more frequent and with no regard that I was standing right there. It was one heck of a way to grow up. Back then no one knew anything about lipedema or lymphedema. I was accused of not trying to control my weight by multiple doctors over the year.
Whole Food Plant Based eating that is focused on low fat, low glycemic index foods with no added oils or sugar has benefited everything. I look better now than I did when I was 29!.
How many women can say that?
I Look Better Now Than I Did At Age 29
The photos in the center are from when I was 29. The larger photos on tbe two ends are from the past week. I am now 56.
I Improved My Health And Appearance.
Below the center photo is me almost a year ago. Outside photos from now.
Many people who have the physical diagnoses of fat disorders such as Lipedema, Dercum’s Disease are said to have trauma in their history. Many with eating disorders have a similar background.
I’ve come to know many, many people who are in this circle of physical health and emotional concerns with that history.
Trauma if left as it is, can make one’s life less than it could be. It can ruin a life. It can shorten a life. It can impact future generations.
Don’t throw away the power you have by allowing yourself to linger in a life that isn’t all that it could be.
I learned this mostly by taking myself by the hand and pulling and pushing myself forward. Sometimes through therapy sometimes in having my life move forward. all on my own.
Life has a way of taking that blank slate of a precious baby each of us once were and puts emotional dings, scrapes, dark marks and dents into our sense of self and world view.
Many of the world’s ills are passed down from one generation after the other. Humans are the most capable creatures we know of on the planet, yet we seldom seize our own power we have to heal ourselves. If we can’t heal up some of the junk we emotionally carry around, the world is having to live without all the positive we have to offer it.
If we aren’t careful, we can end up knowingly or unknowingly wallowing in the muck of other’s dysfunction and take on a confused toxic world view.
Is this really a social issue?
1 in 3 children are abused physically, sexually or emotionally by age 14. Then consider how many young adults are abused by significant others physically, sexually or emotionally in their 20’s 30’s and into the twilight years. It’s not uncommon for people to have layers of abusive experiences that puts them in a mental haze and inner physical turmoil that changes even their brain chemistry.
The important point I wish to make is don’t shy away from doing the work needed to rebuild yourself. Your value and my value is not based on the attitudes of those who in the past have harmed us.
I have had to rebuild myself and when I was up and running again, even though still in the process of repair, some people would say they didn’t know me anymore. I was nothing like the girl who would roll over and play dead on command.
Reality can be painful but it forces you to live where you have the most power in your life. Reality is where growth takes place. Where there is growth then life changing positive decisions can happen.
So if you haven’t done so already, find power and purpose in rebuilding in yourself what needs to be rebuilt.
There is no reason to apologize for believing every life has a place and deserves respect and dignity. You will be forced to include yourself in these ranks the more you understand.
Once you really learn and understand this and know that you are worthy,, you won’t settle for the dysfunction you’ve taken part in or subjected on yourself.
Be prepared because as an individual heals, those who are wallowing in the dysfunction will try to pull you back. Your health is too unsettling to their world and for them it’s uncomfortable. Pick and choose your battles. Sometimes you can maintain relationships and there are times when you have to walk away. Each situation is different. Forgiveness is fine, self preservation when based on what you know to be true, is a must.
If you have the feeling that in their eyes you are expendable, if they leave you feeling small and not worthy, and there is a long history of such behaviors and attitudes, it’s ok to walk away. They may raise a fuss through dysfunctional means, but that should only strengthen your resolve to not waste your time with them.
In our household. we take care of eachother. Doesn’t matter who the caregiver or the one needing taken care of is. We look out for eachother. Hey we are a family of adults making it work!
Anyone with a severe chronic illness or the caregiver of someone who is chronically ill, knows that self care is both a must and many times the hardest to provide oneself.
There isn’t anything more basic in self-care than good solid nutrition. The less hassle the better too. The less hassle. the more likely it’s going to happen. The less hassle, the kinder you are being towards whoever is responsible for making it happen.
When dealing with chronic illness, it can be our biggest weapon to ease our suffering and even in some cases reverse the chronic Illness. Good nutrition can help slow down some chronic condition’s advancement and prevent new ones from taking hold. It can allow our medications a chance to work better, or if lucky, it can replace the need for prescription medications all together.
Living off store bought frozen entrees with less than healthy ingredients like high sodium, animal products and non whole foods, for me would never help. Fast food will make most people’s health more complicated. So the sooner any of us in these sorts of shoes can figure this out for ourselves, the better.
With Dercum’s Disease, Fibromyalgia,and Lymphedema, Lipedema and Diabetes and low grade start to coronary disease, it has come down to me to figure this out. How to eat to not make things worse. What can be healthy to eat, inexpensive, and easy enough to prepare that my husband can manage along with all his other responsibilities. If it can be easy enough for me on a good day to prepare and toss individual servings in the freezer, that’s great too.
This week I am recovering from the Plant-Based Nutrition Summit last Saturday, and one grocery run on Monday. (Dercum’s Disease is like that, overdo it and you are down for the count. It doesn’t take much). Even a motorized scooter couldn’t save me from being a pain filled zombie on Sunday, part of Monday, and bed bound on Sunday and part of Tuesday and all day Wednesday through Thursday morning.
Yet unlike the past when this would start to happen, I’m not eating greasy cheeseburgers my husband is bringing home, or processed foods on white bread, or even sodium filled frozen entrees. We aren’t going broke from food either.
Now that we are established in a plant-based diet as a household, we have kept it easy to manage and afford.
The easy sandwich/pesto recipe:
Aldi sells frozen peas 79 cents a bag. Trader Joe sells Miyoko Vegan Crème cheese $5.50 a container. Broccoli is cheap everywhere fresh or riced.
in a freezer bag, we combine frozen peas and riced broccoli (or riced cauliflower). Keep it in the freezer. Defrost half per batch you are making. Place in food processor or high power blender, can be somewhat lumpy. In a bowl, stir in garlic, onion chopped or onion powder, some crushed red pepper if desired, and 2 Tbl of either Miyoko Vegan Cream cheese or no-oil hummus.
It will keep for a few days in the fridge and makes a great sandwich spread, or on whole grain toast in the morning for breakfast. Very good as a type of stir in for whole grain pasta. You can add basil and oregano and lime juice to liven it up. Put cucumbers on top of it or tomato. Add some shredded carrot to it.
Or forget the grain pasta and use a peeler or veggie noodle maker and stir it into veggie noodles for a 100% vegetable dish.
You Can’t Go Wrong With A Great Salad
Never underestimate the power of a good salad. Never over estimate how much it cost to eat salad. These days even Aldi can keep you fresh organic greens and other produce for very little money.
I try to follow the daily dozen rules of Dr. Michael Greger to keep my nutrition well rounded. Gone are the days of ice berg lettuce being sufficient. Now it’s 2 servings of greens a day along with a serving of cruciferous vegetables and two serving of “other vegetables” that are low glycemic index. Also I need to get two servings of fruit and a serving of berries. In addition to all that, three servings of beans/peas and three whole grain servings. One serving of seeds and nuts and I’m also suppose to have flax seeds once a day.
If I know I’m going to be down for the count in bed for several days possibly, I direct my husband or try to plan myself to throw together salads that will incorporate a little of everything to make a salad. Dark greens, riced cruciferous veggies of some type, brown rice or barley, well rinsed and drained black beans, sliced cucumbers and shredded carrots. I’ll put fresh fruit around the sides such as something easy to rinse and use like fresh blueberries and easy to peel like orange sections. Then just some lemon or lime juice.
Black Bean Burgers Too
The sandwich spread mentioned above and one or two varieties of salads that are kept on hand and prepared, can keep well rounded nutrition within easy reach. I also keep black bean burgers in the freezer that we make. There are many recipes online and in plant-based cook books. Here is one of my favorites
Roast a head of cauliflower in the oven and slice it when it’s cooled. Very easy to keep for a few days and eat from as needed. It freezes well too.
No Cook Over Night Oats
Overnight Oats are wonderful too. I’m not talking about the Overnight Oats you see on the grocery shelves. This is like a breakfast oatmeal and fruit custard without eggs though. No cooking involved either. You can find the recipe online by looking it up, but basically, it’s one part old fashioned oats and two parts non dairy milk of your choice, and a tablespoon or two of chia seeds stirred in. Oh and also you can put in the fruit of your choice, any amount you want.
I like using a one cup storage container to make it in and eat it from to keep the portions reasonable. I use berries, but apple slices are good too with some cinnamon mixed in. I tend to use more fruit than oats. So the oats and non dairy milk are a sideline, but that is just my preference. The chia seeds make a gel that helps to solidify the entire dish into pudding sort of combo, if you will.
The gelling process happens as it sits airtight/covered in the fridge overnight. When you get up, it’s ready to eat.
You can make a few of these overnight oats up at one time and eat off of them for a few days for breakfast. Adding nuts or sliced banana is good too.
Nothing wrong with some herbal tea, but you will find that eating this way will replace your need for caffeinated coffee. Your mind may become better focused and you will know you are doing all you can for yourself and those you care about.
Well nourished people are healthier and more content in life. Take care of eachother and help it happen.
So how goes it in your life? Did you have a good weekend?
Saturday, I got out of bed with one set of measurements, and came home later that day with a larger body. No I didn’t don a fat suit at the end of the day. It’s just another day in the life of someone with Dercum’s Disease, Lipedema and Lymphedema. Before taking on a Whole Food-Plant-Based Diet it use to be far worse. No complaints from me. In the end I still reached the lost 62 pounds mark.
I don’t get out much. Swelling up that bad is the price to pay for just walking out my front door to do literally anything. It’s painful. Saturday I was just too enthralled with the line up at our local Plant-Based Nutrition Summit to not attend the all day event. I would get around by way of motorized mobility scooter and figured if it got bad, I would leave early.
The St. Louis Plant-Based Nutrition Summit held at Washington University on Saturday, July 14th, 2018 was sold out and a very happening event. This was no small venue, it was huge with people coming from all over the place to hear some of the brightest and most revered minds in nutritional, science. I saw it as a chance to not only learn but to also share with others when appropriate, about the oddball disorders lipedema, Dercum’s Disease and Lymphedema.
All three disorders can add non-calorie based weight gain. Lipedema, 11% of women have it and it makes them look bottom heavy and the weight just can’t be lost easily through traditional dieting. Dercum’s Disease Disorder is also stubborn when it comes to losing weight. Additionally, Dercum’s Disease is associated with a long list of other health issues that can shorten your life. Things such as diabetes and cardiac issues. Because it’s so rare, most doctors know very little, if anything about it. Yet Diabetes and Heart Disease would be explored at the Summit. So I brought some awareness business cards with me and my before and after losing 50 pounds shots, and a one sheet explanation.
So I figured while I got a couple books signed, I would thank the doctors and slide to them some information on it all regarding the disorders themselves and how in my case the positive impact this way of eating has had.
Well I later swelled up big because of the disorders. The pain got worse and the lumps (Dercum’s Tumors) got big enough to be seen from a few feet away..
As much as I wanted and needed to go home and get to bed I chose to stay. These doctors may not have heard of some of these disorders. If they had heard of any of them, they may not know that Whole Food Plant Based eating did the unimaginable, it helped some of my symptoms that I was told to give up on.
So I stuck it out on my mobility scooter and was first person in line for the book signing. The book signing was at the very end of the day.
Dr. Michael Greger was pleasant from start to finish, as was Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. I shared with them the information I brought with me.
Dr. Greger also made the point of saying that it was important for me to make sure those similar to myself know that eating like this has in my case, had a positive impact on some of the symptoms.
I went home and got in bed and stayed in bed through all day Sunday. My husband was fantastic serving me food in bed. Roasted brussel sprouts and brown rice with watermelon were delicious!
My body slowly on Sunday deflated. I stepped on the scale and since a week ago, another 8 pounds lost. 62 pounds gone now. 40 more to go.
It’s been a great weekend. I highly recommend all books written and any public appearances made by Dr. Michael Greger and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. If there is a documentary they are in, watch it.
Black Bean Chick Pea Salsa Burger w/ lemon spinach and Orange Sections
Frozen brown rice and a bag of frozen peas tossed together with light seasoning. Some raw carrots and a few grapes. No fuss meal
In the beginning of this chaper of my life, being diabetic, and with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, Dercum’s disease, lipedema and lymphedema, I focused on general health and knew I had no desire for animal products. I was physically ill from them. Couldn’t even stand the smell of them. (thanks KETO).
In prior posts you can read more about my story, but the point today is that I want to share how inexpensive easy it is to eat this way. I don’t feel like I’m giving up anything, as a matter of fact.
I’m excited about the food I eat for the first time in many years. It always looks colorful and fun. It tastes great. I don’t worry about what it’s going to do to me because I always know that my body is being nourished. Let me tell you, a pound of dried peas or dried black beans, which I frequently use as protein sources, can be used in many ways and are significantly more cost efficient than the cheapest animal protein. Nutritionally they are superior to meat.
Yes, the stores do sell “vegan” products that replace meat, but look closely at the expense and the nutrition label. Many of them have oils and fats that are not healthy. They are fine for every once and awhile, or in the beginning when you transition off meat, but your health and waistline can do without them.
Simple For Those Just Starting : THE VEGGIE OR BEAN BURGER
If you can spare a little time to make your own bean or pea burgers and toss them in the freezer, you will be set for tasty healthy “fast” food any time.
From Scratch Black Bean Burgers
No Junk Veggie Burgers
egg free, no white flour pumpernickle
Hummus Topped Veggie Burger On Greens With Citrus
Spicy Pea Burgers With Salsa
What you can do with homemade veggie or black bean burger ideas.
-You can add odds and ends of vegetables to your homemade veggie or bean burgers and enjoy it on rye (no wheat products please) or a bed of greens and or brown rice/riced vegetables with your favorite topping: salsa, no oil-hummus, or spiced orange sections.
-Crumble the burger and put it on a sprouted spelt tortilla with greens and diced tomatoes.
-Crumble the burger and make it a pizza topping.
-Sautee in water some mushrooms and chopped onion and smother a homemade veggie/bean burger with the mixture. Serve it with brown rice and some vegetables.
-Spice up part of the mixture to make a great sausage substitute. Make some egg-free buckwheat pancakes and serve them with berries with chia fruit spread and a side of a spicy black bean patty.
My husband is great in the kitchen and that is wonderful in my case because many times I am unable to cook due to disabilities. (Another reason we batch cook and put it in all the in freezer). We keep it simple by keeping a good supply of both canned beans and bags of dried black beans, salsa, egg replacement, and different non wheat flours such as oat, almond, garbanzo bean and so on.
We invested in a vitamix but a potato masher works too. You mash the beans and some salsa, egg alternative, seasoning and enough non-wheat flour to create a soft meatloaf- like texture. 3-4 inch width and 1- 1.5 inch thick patties. Allow them sit covered, in the fridge overnight or for a few hours.
Bake on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet for 25 minutes (flipping once half way through) at 375 degrees. OR use a Gorge Foreman Grill and grill for four minutes. With either method, remove them from their cooking surface and allow them to sit for five minutes before serving or storing in freezer.
Sometimes we just toss some legumes on a salads and call it a day.
HAVE NUTRIENT RICH GREENS, SALAD VEGETABLES AND FRUIT READY TO EAT
I always have on hand:
-bags of greens including romaine, butter lettuce, baby kale, chard, and spinach.
-fresh oranges and lemon juice
– fresh carrots, cucumbers
-Frosen produce including: peas, riced vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, berries.
There is always a storage container or two of already made salads (no dressing ever. Just lemon juice on them). Sometimes we mix with the greens, low sodium seasonings such as garlic powder, crushed red pepper and even some orange slices and or berries.
The right plant-based foods that taste good and is easily accessible for people as they come and go, or if as in my case, when they can’t always cook for themselves, is the way to go.
Where do you get guidelines for the style of plant-based eating that has benefitted so much? Each resource has their own take on this style of eating. There is a great deal they are in agreement with. Much depends on your own health profile as to how to lean your diet.
If you are in St. Louis over July 14th 2018, you can hear some of these fine medical professionals give presentations at the St. Louis Plant-Based Nutrition Summit being held at Washington University.Click here for details
Nothing on this or any of my blog pages should be considered a substitute for working with your own medical team for your health care. Get your labs done periodically and make sure that you talk to your doctor about taking a recommended level of B-12 and Vitamin D.
I don’t make a dime off of this website or from anything mentioned in my blog. Just happy I found what works.
Update July 5, 2018: I have found that I recover faster from my flare ups since starting Whole Foods Plant-Based oil free eating. So now I have to be smarter about physical activity so I don’t end up in a lactic acid attack on my muscles.
Dercum’s Disease you are a heartless wretched disorder, but nothing Plant Power can’t help to manage!
In painful moments of defeat I still remind myself of how much more hope and joy I have in my life since going Whole Foods Plant-Based (WFPB).
I am in tremendous pain throughout all of my tissue on my body and it’s because of the laws of Dercum’s Disease. Lactic Acid builds up in our muscles when we do anything physicial. Normally wouldn’t hurt anyone, but for those of us with Dercum’s Disease, it is extremely painful, EXTREMELY. I use to walk 3 miles a day and not know why I was getting fatter and feeling so sick after a brisk walk. I didn’t know I had Dercum’s Disease.
So I brazenly walked from my car into the mall to a close to the entrance store and then back out. For the last few years I have used a mobility scooter so that I can get out of the house and not risk the waves of lactic acid in my tissue. I wanted to see if I could enjoy the simple pleasure of being on foot for a short distance walk amongst other people. I also had left the battery of my scooter at home. I had no choice if I wanted to pick up a pair of pants that fit instead of falling off my hips. I could handle the over sized pants and skirts no more.
I had difficulty getting back to the car, I had to sit down. The pain was so bad I dreamt last night that I was in pain. The pain if I had to describe it is the feeling of something eating through your muscles, joints and connective tissue.
My husband helped me hobble to bed last night. I’ve been in bed ever since except when my husband drove me to get some CBD oil and fresh greens from Fresh Thyme.( You bet I used the mobility scooter.)
I actually heard myself whimper under my breath as I opened my purse to get my debit card to pay for it all. Just moving my arms and hands for that task put horrific pain through me. It was literally torture to just pay for my greens and CBD oil capsules.
There is no known cure for Dercum’s Disease and it is horrifically disabling as it progresses. But I am only 3 months into Whole Food Plant Based Eating. Anything is possible from here on in. I am not discouraged nor am I disheartened because I was told that I would be in the 300 pound range the rest of my life. It was just what it was. I look better than I have in a very long time. My mind is sharper most of the time. I am enjoying life no matter the pain level, much more. I am showing signs of everything being healthier in my blood work.
This is really 5 steps forward one big temporary step back. I’m still better off than before by eating a whole foods plant-based diet. Blood pressure normal, off blood pressure medication, blood sugars normalized, and against all odds lost 50 pounds. My LDL cholesterol is down 57% to a normal healthy level.
As much pain as I’m in, before taking the animal products out of my diet, it was much, much worse than this. I would crying on and off while sitting at home because I wouldn’t want anyone to see me like that.
So in closing, what I want people to know is,
1) Weight loss isn’t the only thing to worry about in one’s health that matters.
2) When you see someone using a mobility device in public, don’t judge. You have no idea what their health profile is.
3) If you have a chronic illness, embrace the improvements that are found, and just roll with what problems still remain. Rome wasn’t built in a day. In the mean time, the blessings are magnificent!
4) Stay the course. Self soothing with forbidden foods like chocolate has never worked. Stick with the foods you know you need to eat. It can shorten the duration of the severe pain and by reducing the inflammation it keeps the pain from being even worse. The wrong food can just add to your problems.
Thank you to Tim, my husband extraordinaire. He is the love of my life, a wonderful father, and he takes wonderful care of me when I am like this.
In 4 months time between these photos. It took less than 3 months to lose the weight.
Life At The Speed Of Beans and Greens!
Wishing You Each a fantastic 4th of July ! Declare your own personal independence from food that is unhealthy. Make sure you eat vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes! You would be amazed!
Will you be in St. Louis, MIssouri July 14th, 2018? Register for this and learn how to change your life! (Note, neither I nor anyone in my family affiliated with this event or it’s organizers and speakers. Make sure you work with your doctor in determining what is best for your health. I spread the word because for me, it’s been wonderful)