Raw Vegan 30 Day Challenge Complete
Today is about a week after I finished my 30 Day Raw Vegan Challenge. Originally I was going to send this to Christine to post right away, but then I thought let me wait a week and see how I fare returning to my normal vegetarian diet. You can read about that in my log of Day 29 & 30 in the food section. Here are my final words on RSS.
The last day of my Raw Vegan diet we traveled to my Aunt and Uncle’s home down in SF Valley. My husband and I spent a long weekend with them and then ended our visit with a visit to Dr. Rapaport’s office for my bi-monthly Red Skin Syndrome checkup. My husband got to finally meet him for the first time. We all discussed the various skin infections and daily “micro flares” I had experienced within my last “grand flare” during December – February. Then I explained, despite March’s roller coaster of symptoms (which I equate partly to the inconsistent up and downs of Topical Steroid Withdrawals and partly to the detoxing from 30 days of eating only raw food), I haven’t experienced any more skin infections. We also discussed my legs which have gotten progressively worse since November and my hand/arms/décolleté which have not seen any vast improvements since about the same time.
All-in-all he was pleased with my progress. One positive note was over the last 11 months the doctor said eventually I would be able to handle sunshine. I had kept wondering when I would get the “okay” for sunshine. Finally I have received the nod of approval and he prescribed I spend a good hour or two a day outside in the sunshine for full body sun from my abdomen down – just need to keep my hands/arms and décolleté covered for now. This news is well-timed since here in Santa Cruz (California) April weather brings quite a few sunny days near 70 degrees.
I left Dr. Rapaport’s office with a new timeline for the Withdrawals to end. My arms and hands should be better by the end of this year, early next. I found this both hopeful and dismal. It’s hopeful because this is the first time Dr. Rapaport has actually mentioned definite time frame for recovery; before it was just 1 month of healing for every 1 year of steroid use (for me a 36 year user = 36 month recovery). Dismal though because I am about to complete 1 year off of steroids on May 8th and initially thought I’d be all better by now, another year doesn’t excite me even though it’s a year sooner than his worst case scenario.
But after all of my research and having had many discussions with the Dr. Rapaport, I realize and have come to accept the timeline is right on par for how the general population of my fellow Red Skinners healing time. I’m not special. I’m just normal. That’s ok for me, better than “unusual”.
Happily he felt that the rest of my body should be better by autumn, if I get plenty of sun and nothing unusual occurs. Dr. Rapaport was quite positive and encouraging. He always tells me at the end of my visit that he is proud of me for continuing to press on despite the agony of it all. It’s cool that I’ve basically been ordered to spend the rest of the year at the beach and anywhere that it’s warm and sunny.
I hope that some of you have found this information about Red Skin Syndrome (Topical Steroid Withdrawals/Addiction) interesting and maybe even helpful. Maybe you’ve been able to share it with someone you know who has dealt with some form of long-term Dermatitis treated with Topical Steroids and actually dealing with RSS. Please keep checking back at ITSAN.org from time to time as this year a new website will be rolling out and some other exciting initiatives.
For more information on how to donate to ITSAN: https://itsan.org/about_eczema_Donate.html
Day 29 and THIRTY! & The Benefits
How have I benefited, despite illness, after eating Raw Vegan 30 Days? My edema stayed stably less all month, except for my hands probably due to over use. I didn’t have any skin infections relapses from the previous months. Let’s just say my insides got a huge overhaul and everything is running like clockwork. I didn’t gain or lose any weight, maintained my 112 pounds. (I comment on this because a lot of people thought my caloric intake was really low and were afraid I would lose weight or become sickly.) Many people have commented in the last 2 weeks that the skin on my face looks the best they have seen it since I’ve been sick. Also I have discovered new fun recipes and gained new interest in eating. When I became bed ridden last summer I really didn’t want to eat much of anything and nothing sounded good to me. But I feel like I have a healthy appetite for vibrant flavors and my digestive system seems more balanced. My skin still has a ways to go and my endocrine system is still only chugging along, but I didn’t expect to be cured from Red Skin Syndrome during the 30 days.
I thought you would be interested in the menu of my first day back to my regular vegetarian diet after completing the 30th Raw Vegan day challenge. The menu consisted of fruit for breakfast, a huge salad later on and for dinner my uncle made beautiful vegetarian lasagna. It really hit the spot for comfort food. But, I confess that after eating similar vegetarian fare for 4 days, I was kind of over it. So when we returned home from our family’s I actually went back to Raw Vegan for 3 days. Yesterday and today I was kind of all over the place because we went out to eat a couple of times and I’m having all of my “ladies days” cravings. But I was really good. I made raw raspberry sauce, fantastic little raw fruit “cookies” and a raw cocoa cream to satisfy my need for sweet. I have decided to maintain my raw vegan intake at about 80% and the cooked non-vegan ingredients to about 20% for now.
Here is the summary of my last 2 official raw vegan days during the “30 Day Raw Vegan Challenge”.
That day we were heading out for a 6 hour drive down the coast of California. So I was trying to eat up all the last bit of stuff in the fridge. Ate a couple of pieces of flatbread with humus and veggies, and then later I made a Coconut water, Pineapple Orange smoothie.
When my husband got home from work and was packing I made us these fabulous little Basil Pineapple “Freeze” and Blueberry “Sauce” parfaits to tide us over til we got to Chipotle later that night. They hit the spot; my husband said it was a perfect blend of Sweet and Sour like candy.
Blueberry “Sauce” Recipe – 2 cups organic fresh blueberries, 3 pitted medjool dates, juice of 1 lime and a drizzle of Coconut Water in the blender until smooth. (Keeps for about a week in the fridge.)
Basil Pineapple “Freeze” Recipe –1 FROZEN peeled and chopped fresh pineapple, 3/4 cup Coconut water and 1 big handful of organic Basil leaves thrown into a high-speed blender. The picture below makes the Basil Pineapple “Freeze” part of the parfait look a little like a smoothie consistency but actually it was really frozen more like a sorbet consistency.
Parfait Assembly – Alternate the “freeze” over “Sauce” in layers til the glass is full. Enjoy with a spoon.
Dinner that night was the usual Chipotle Salad Bowl of only the raw vegan option items.
Day 30 – The final chapter
You are looking at 2 Mangos and a large Papaya peeled and seeded in the two pictures below. I had slept in pretty late that morning so that was my brunch. I ate it all.
Dinner for me that night was a Cucumber Salad. Underneath those Cucumbers and Tomatoes pictured below were Black Olives, Avocado and Romaine Lettuce. That salad was HUMUNGOUS. I drizzled a bit of a Sesame Oil Vinaigrette. It had Sesame oil, Vinegar, Lemon juice, Garlic, Water, Salt and pepper. It was super light and refreshing with just a mild flavor.
Well my friends, that’s a wrap for my 30 day Raw Vegan Challenge!
Christine and I have decided that I should check in from time to time throughout the year until I’m completely healed. I’m thrilled that she’s written an article for parents who may have children suffering with Red Skin Syndrome and that she’s tackling the task of raising awareness with me. So til next time…