I'm continuing my project, while I'm feeling especially well, to get my body in the best possible shape to handle the next flare. (Because all lupies know, feeling well is a temporary state and there'll always be another flare at an unknown future time.)
So, step one was exercise. I'm now exercising most days. (Not every day, I won't claim to be that virtuous, but most days.) I either do the the Lupus Exercise video exercise routine, or I go for a walk. Some days, I even manage both. And some days I over-do it and end up going to bed at 3pm. But I am exercising regularly.
Step two was to bring my vegetable intake up to the five serves a day level, recommended in the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. I've got that under control, again most days. I've done it in the simplest possible way. I buy pre-packed bags of salad, and divide them four ways into containers for lunches with a little meat or boiled eggs, and that's four days lunches. A large stock pot of vegetables, with some canned tomatoes, stock and rice and lentils added makes up a very good vegetable soup - and again I can prepare several days' serves at once. A salad for lunch, and soup with dinner brings up my vegetable intake nicely.
Now, I'm ready to focus on something new. I'm looking at the two and a half milk serves the Guide to Healthy Eating recommends for me. Being lactose intolerant, I don't have regular milk, but use lactose-free milk instead. (That is milk, with lactase enzyme added to break down the lactose.) Non-dairy substitutes are available for people who don't like animal products or can't handle the protein in milk, but it's best to go for calcium-fortified versions dairy substitutes.
At the moment, I have milk with my breakfast cereal. I really need to intentionally have a second serve of milk, cheese or yoghurt at another time of day as well. I'm thinking of a few options: cheese added to my lunch salad, or a warm milk before bed, or perhaps yoghurt and fruit for dessert.
There was a time when I would have created an exciting, varied, menu for my meals throughout the week. I really don't have the energy for that now. It's just easier to have a routine that works for most days, and then I only have to plan occasionally.
So that's my task for the next few days, to intentionally add a little more dairy into my diet.
How about the rest of you lovely lupies out there? When you're able, what do you do to try to improve your health? Do you find it easier to have a routine that's the same most days, or do you like variety?