I’m thrilled to report that my anti-inflammatory diet is bringing fantastic results.

And this new diet encourages me to sort out my main meals so that my tolerance increases for treats.

Managing my chronic illness has been a constant negotiation, and I’ve made many sacrifices to achieve the quality of life I want.

It’s not just hard work but also challenging to handle on top of everything else I deal with.

However, life management is becoming easier as I create a world around what I can do, and let go of the things that cause flares, spasms, fatigue, and pain (as much as I miss them). After 17 years of this illness, I’m over the unpleasant feelings.

I have noticed a great decrease in tolerance for pain. The less pain I’m in, the more of that I want!

This has given me extra motivation, strength, and focus to stick to the routine my body needs. This was only possible after finding relief and getting through the thick forest of misdiagnosis.

I believe relief leads to management, and management brings about pacing. This is a hugely general statement as ‘relief’, ‘management’ and ‘pacing’ are all very different for each of us. I hope your versions of those words are not as long, slow and tedious as mine.

Back to the food, because food makes a huge difference, I now realise.

I focus on being diligent for breakfast and lunch, so I have tolerance for dinner.

Dinner is hard for me to coordinate; Theo mostly manages it. Dinner is my favourite meal and the time we come together, so I don’t want to impact the meal with my limitations – Theo’s life is impacted enough!

So I need points on the board during the day (or spoons as Spoonies would call it), to have a little relaxavue at night.

I am skipping more breakfasts; my body manages far better (cutting out goat’s feta on the seedy cracker).

The less work my body does in the morning, the happier it seems. No pressure! Feeling hungry does not cause pressure and is easier to deal with than the pain effects.

I treat myself a couple of times a week to a croissant. On those days, I avoid carbs for the rest of that day. Carbs have to be in very little moderation for me.

So finding a non-carb lunch is important, and it had to be easy to put together.


Well, most cereals have loads of carbs.


A great idea; make a batch and just add fruit. But wait! Most granola mixes have heaps of sugar (and pepitas, which I am allergic to).

This recipe from the fabulous Sarah Wilson is excellent, and it contains coconut, which I now know is fabulous for me.

I learned so much about sugar from this woman. The biggest change I made on account of Sarah was swapping low-fat products for full-fat. And as a result, I felt more sustained, food was far more delicious, and I wasn’t eating crappy sugar (who doesn’t love butter?!)

But like all diets I’ve tried (fast 800, the blood-type diet, low carb etc.), the no sugar diet also didn’t 100% fit. And that all makes sense now since investigating my DNA.

Even with the DNA-based food information, some foods still affect me differently. Nothing beats trial and error. It takes time, but it’s worth it.

I make a mega batch of this granola, which lasts me a couple of weeks (including weekends). I choose a day when pain levels are low and replace a longer exercise routine with this lunch prep (mixing is hard!).

On a day I feel I have good tolerances, I add banana which is not so great for me (I so struggle to live without them); blueberries are essential, as are these Vitamine D/K2 drops. Through summer, I sometimes add mango, which is on my good list and raspberries (always in the freezer) are an option too.

Let me know how your version turns out!

My adaptation of Sarah Wilson’s coconutty granola.

 Makes 10-12 cups

  • 6 cups coconut flakes
  • 4 cups almonds, pistachios, walnuts (preferably activated ones), chopped roughly (my ratio is mostly pistachios, and least walnuts)
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 teaspoon of either Gewurzhaus Christmas cake/pudding mix or their hot cross bun mix (whichever you can get your hands on!)
  • 200g butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons rice malt syrup