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About Artist Amy

I’m an artist…have been for as long as I can remember.  I also have a lot of health problems, again: Have had them for as long as I can remember.

This past year has been a brutal battle. I thought my Lyme Disease had recurred. The doctors and specialists I’ve seen throughout 2012 swear it has not.

(I am not completely convinced after all the research I have done on Lyme Disease over the past year…but that is another story for another time. That whole battle exhausted me. And after pushing and pushing and pushing yet more to have at least one of the problems that nearly knocked me out last year diagnosed after nearly a year…I’m tired of that part of my battle and have chosen to put it aside to focus my energy elsewhere.)

During all that testing last year I was told that I have chronic inflammation. It swings between moderate to severe without warning. It kicks my butt when it swings to the severe side.  And I absolutely refuse to address my troubles with medication. Specifically: steroid ‘therapy’.

Over the years, in fact even as a child, I developed allergy problems and food intolerance problems. What I experience on any given day throughout a year can be rather daunting.

Since I have been aware for a long time that food can cause inflammation I decided late last fall to take some time off my from my ‘normal’ healthy and clean diet, my lifting routine that I could not keep up with anyhow, and spend the down time researching and observing my body and the response to ‘training rest’ and my diet.

I am an avid backpacker, and I lift weights – heavy weights, specifically to support my backpacking and my spine health (another story I will briefly touch upon later). My diet is (was) clean and healthy and I plan[ned] my diet around my training and backpacking needs.

But when I cannot work in my studio, cannot train even lightly, and cannot eat without constantly getting some sort of reaction to food…well then – it is time to tackle this bear…

I have a goal for this year that I had to put aside last year. I intend to spend a month hiking Vermont’s Long Trail. But I absolutely have to find out what foods I can eat so that I can prepare my food before I hike. Anyone that backpacks for multiple days will tell you just how important food is. It’s fuel in a way that most folks have forgotten. No fuel, or fuel that makes you sick and basically…no hike.

This is my quest to ease the pain and inflammation so I can return to work in my studio, trek around with my camera equipment in woodlands, hike and backpack with a heavy multi-day load, and even keep up with my grandchildren again. It is my quest to find foods that heal and fuels my body. And to specifically and hopefully, with surgical precision…cut out the foods that are making me sick. Even the ‘good’ foods that I have begun to suspect may in fact be contributing to my downward spiral in spite of my best efforts otherwise.

I have decided to embark on another journey. A very personal one, a possibly painful one.

And so begins another journey…

  1. Nancy permalink

    Have you tried working with an NAET practitioner to eliminate the allergies? EFT also is very effective for easing or eliminating them even through self treatment. Yours sound severe enough though, that I would suggest working with a skilled practitioner first.

  2. Sharon permalink

    Great research Thank You for sharing.

  3. Patty Gallagher permalink

    Hi Amy – just researching nightshades and came across your site – thanks for the info – wondering if you have read the symptom list of Sjogren’s Syndrome – I spent 7 years post lyme trying to get answers about my joint pain and have finally found my own answer. Wondering if you have same…Just a thought. Thanks for the nightshade info – need inflammation to go away!!! Patty

    • Thank you Patty.

      Yes, I do not have the dry cough, the dry eye or blurry vision problems. I suspect that is why it was ‘ruled out’ by my health team.

      Relief for me is a combination of avoiding foods that trigger my inflammation and going regularly for acupuncture.


  4. Tammy permalink

    Thank you very much for this info. I was ready to make appt. with Dr. for meds. because my joint pain is getting worse. I need to do more research on nightshade now instead. Do you have a list of foods that heal the body? Thank you and hope you are doing well.

  5. I found your site by researching my own nightshade sensitivity, which i have only recently discovered. Our stories are so similar: plagued with food sensitivities and allergies since childhood, highly sensitive and artistic, love being outdoors, and FAR TOO MUCH TIME being unable to work in the studio or enjoy the hobbies that are so much beloved. Reading about your journey helped me feel not so alone. Thanks.

  6. Amy, I’ve just watched (25th.Nov.2016) a documentary on auto-immune problems/diseases and your journey investigating your health issues are echoed by some of the people (case histories) who spoke.
    The series by Dr Tom O’Bryan, was called ‘Betrayal’ it’s in 7-8 parts and is being repeated this weekend free (26-27 Nov.).
    Hoping this link works – https: //
    For more information try this link https: //
    I found the series very informative to assist my own problems which is how I came across your site; ref. … ‘the nightshade family’
    best wishes with your recovery, george (remove spaces after: in links)

  7. Susan F. permalink

    I loved your nightshades list. There were several things that I had cut out of my own foods that I didnt understand worked, until I read your list. Ex. Milk has the Palmitate A. Once I shifted to Coconut milk the coughing and nasal congestion stopped. I was DX last year with Psoriasis so I am really monitoring the effects of particular nightshade vegetables. I did have to go on Otezla and it has been great relief for the symptoms I experienced with my hands and feet.

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