I reversed an auto immune disease with a low impact vegan diet. We are clearly eating the wrong things. For our and the planet's health

Late last year I was diagnosed with an auto-immune condition, sarcoidosis. My symptoms were fatigue and coughing up blood. Thanks to an extreme change in diet, I have recovered. I’m left thinking that our western diet is not only bad for the planet, it’s also bad for our health.

Little is known about the root causes of autoimmune conditions, which include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, overactive thyroid and cirrhosis. All conditions result in our white blood cells attacking the body. We know there is a link with inflammation of the body and therefore steroids are commonly used to treat these diseases.

In my case, my white blood cells were attacking my lungs. Unbeknownst to me, this had been happening for five to ten years. I only knew about it one morning when I coughed up quite a lot of blood. It turns out there had been so much scarring in my lungs that a blood vessel had ruptured.

I had all the tests, including a CT and bronchoscopy. I was lucky. I didn’t have cancer, I had a weird auto-immune disease.

I was put on a strong course of steroids, but even after 6 weeks, I was still tired and unable to be the person I wanted to be. It felt like I had lost my life as I couldn’t exercise like I used to and could barely do one or two desk-based tasks before needing a lie-down. My family was great about it but I wanted to be an active dad.

I discovered Dr Brooke Goldner through a friend. I read her book, researched, and asked questions to her Facebook group. I was amazed - there were people recovering from way more severe conditions than me in a matter of weeks. (see her website here - recommend reading ‘Goodbye Auto-Immune Disease’)

I went onto her dietary protocol the day I saw my doctor. I still remember the first day waking up after the diet and having the strength to play with my children. Within four days I went for a run, and afterward gardened and played with my daughter - with no fatigue issues. I was normal within a week - in fact - I had clarity in my head I hadn’t experienced in over a decade. Within 3 weeks I was off the steroids.

The dietary protocol is said to be the ultimate anti-inflammatory diet. It involves just eating raw vegetables and fruit for 4-6 weeks. I had to get through 600g of raw cruciferous vegetables a day (e.g. spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage), have two cups of flax or chia seeds for omega-3 oils, and drink 3.8 ltrs of water. For me, I did a bit more than that prescription as I’m big.

Every day I drank smoothies with a lot of kale and spinach, ate a lot of cauliflower couscous, and coleslaw. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything with omega 3 oils (any animal products, sunflower oil, nuts) and also had no carbohydrates as all these ingredients need cooking.

I started introducing other foods on the 6th week but found my body was hypersensitive to inflammatory foods like meat, dairy, sugar, and alcohol. I felt the effects. By then I was so happy about being healthy that I didn’t want to step back and I wanted all my tests to show I was clear. So, I didn’t eat much food which was bad for me.

On the 8th week, I had a CT. What it showed was that areas of major inflammation were retracting in my lungs. The doctors don’t know how much of it is scar tissue and how much it is inflammation, but they knew it was getting better.

I have started to introduce other foods and am continually testing my limits but am still incorporating a lot of anti-inflammatory foods like raw purple sprouting broccoli, kale, spinach carrots, and cabbage into my diet, as I know it keeps me healthy.

The point I want to bring to the attention of Better Century members is that it is now clear to me that animal-based products are physically bad for you if you eat too much and with the wrong balance. I see the fast foods we eat, the sugar which is in everything and our cultural incorporation of animal-based foods. I now not only think this wrong on the basis of the environment but also for our own health.

Hit reply below and throw me any comments or questions you have.

Example of food - Cauliflower Cous Cous

Example of a weekly veg shop (just for me!)

This is an X-Ray of my lungs - much of this is permanent scarring unluckily.

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Thanks for sharing this Tom. What an eye-opener!! Glad to hear you’re feeling so much better.

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