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How I Cured My Arthritis With Food – Katherine’s Story

I was 18 when I was diagnosed with arthritis in my feet.

It was on one hand a relief, because I had tried for years to figure out why it hurt so much to dance, run, walk and wear high heels. On the other hand, it was devastating. I was a ballet dancer at the time, and I knew then that it meant I would never dance again, and I would be in pain every step I took for the rest of my life. I was on a steady regimen of cortisone shots and Celebrex for many months, and they didn’t do much for me, so I eventually stopped trying to treat the pain and decided to just accept it.

Fast-forward seven years. At 25, I met this guy, Ryan. He gave me a book that advocated for eating real, whole foods without the processing, preservatives and artificial flavorings of most modern-day foods. I followed The Primal Blueprint, going from vegetarian to carnivore overnight. My new diet included a mix of fresh vegetables and meat, omitting grains, sugar, dairy and anything processed. I stopped eating out and started planning my meals ahead of time, making everything from scratch. I used the Crock-Pot a lot. Going in, I had no expectations, but within a week, I noticed I didn’t need an alarm clock anymore to wake up in the morning, and I no longer had that post-lunch drowse. My energy was at an all-time high and I felt great. But even after that, I wasn’t prepared for what came next.

The Cure

After a month, my arthritis pain disappeared. Like, gone. I had somehow, without trying, cured my arthritis with food. See, I had never thought much about what or how I ate. I figured if you worked out and stayed relatively active, it didn’t really matter that much what you put into your body. In fact, the only reason I had gone vegetarian for a year was because most of my coworkers were, and I just wanted to see if I could give up meat. Not that I thought I should.

It wasn’t until after that first month of eating paleo that I realized food can either be a slow and silent killer, or a powerful medicine to fuel, heal and nourish our bodies.

Hiking San Gorgonio with no pain, 11 years after my arthritis diagnosis

That’s why Ryan – now my husband – and I founded Bare Bones Broth Co. We make bone broths, or stock, the old-fashioned way, sourcing the best organic, whole-food ingredients from sustainable sources, and simmering them for 24 hours to unlock real flavor and nutrients, to heal and nourish others for a life lived well.

Our broths are high in protein, low in sodium, naturally dense in essential nutrients and taste so good you won’t believe they’re good for you.

That’s our promise, and it’s an important one to us. After all, if we must spend a lifetime making the ”right” food choices, why must we be forced to choose between foods that taste good and foods that are good for us? Ryan and I believe with our entire beings that you can have both – and that these healthy, delicious foods can even be convenient and easy to add to your life.

“Let Food Be Thy Medicine”

Eating this way – putting my health first – is certainly more expensive than eating the way I did before. But the way I look at it, eating for my health is the best health insurance money can buy. I’m heading off all kinds of potential diseases before they even become a problem to be treated. Heck, I’m even reversing some diseases (the arthritis). I’m thus avoiding the uncomfortable and detrimental side effects of most conventional medicine. Eating this way is the ultimate in self-preservation and self-care.

And you can’t put a price tag on feeling amazing. I turn 32 next week, which puts me at 14 years post-diagnosis. It’s also been seven years since I first discovered I could obliterate my arthritis through nutrition. I still stick fairly closely to the Primal Blueprint lifestyle, and my arthritis is still gone. I can hike, backpack, run, CrossFit and dance with not even an inkling of pain. I’m not one for hyperbole, but I consider this a modern-day miracle. Only it has nothing to do with modernity, and everything to do with going back to eating real, whole, slow foods.

I often sign our cookbook with this quote from Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

To some, this may seem trite. To me, this is my motto. Doing this literally changed my life, and I live now to help others change theirs.

summiting san jacinto

What’s your nutrition story?

14 Comments

  1. Ann

    Love, love, love. I too have switched to Paleo to help with the arthritis in my hand. And yes it has helped tremendously!!

  2. Helen Wood

    Katherine – well done. I’m twice your age and was crippled with arthritis in feet, ankles, hips, spine and wrists and fingers. I got up every morning and shuffled around like a 90 year old until things started to loosen up and work.
    I also had chronic GERD, IBS, migraines, asthma, burning sinuses … and little will to go on.
    I started reading …. I studied hard and long …. changed to a Ketogenic diet, removing all grains and sugar from my diet, and having lactose-free milk in one or two coffees per day ……
    It took three weeks …… ALL of the above gone …. never to return!
    Three and a half years in … never going back!
    Keep up the good work.
    My crock-pot gets a regular workout …. I’ve worn out the original …. onto my second one now!
    Helen … Melbourne, Australia

    • Kate

      Oh wow, Helen, what a story! So thrilled for you that you have found a way to feel better. Congratulations — and my best to you and your new Crock-Pot!

  3. Andrew norrby

    Very interesting. Since adopting LCHF my inflammation is down but I still have pain in the arthritic big toe joint in my right foot. Did your arthritis disappear and heal or was it that inflammation went down? The two surfaces in my joint are not smooth and I also have osteophytes.

    • Kate

      Hi Andrew,

      That’s great news that the inflammation is down, but I’m sorry you’re still in pain. That is the EXACT joint I was having trouble with in both feet until I changed my nutrition. I never had my feet examined after the pain disappeared, so I can’t say for certain whether the arthritis is officially “gone.” The sesamoids may still be damaged, just not so seriously that they cause pain on their own, sans inflammation?

      I hope you are able to find a way to live pain-free.

      • andrewnorrbyAndrew norrby

        Thanks for taking time to reply Kate. I’ve had a few X-rays over the last few years. LCHF helps wonderfully with inflammation but I think I need an op to clean out the joint. I’m 45 this year so wish I’d found this WOE earlier in my life.

  4. kimberly

    I have tried your Bare Bones Broth and it is DELICIOUS! I to have Arthritis and i am changing the way I eat because I most definitely believe that food can help heal your body. I refuse to get caught up with constantly taking pain medication.

  5. Tony Wallis

    Inspiring stuff for sure. Great to hear how your diet change had such a huge effect on your health. I have been dealing with severe joint pain in my knees, feet and hands for about 18 months. I think Lyme is the culprit but after seeing 5 doctors I still have no answers. Over the last few months I have been on a ketogenic diet and taking every supplement that is known to help battle Lyme including CBD oil. Making progress over the last month and I firmly believe that I will win this battle and food not drugs will be the deciding factor. Your story is validation that I am on the right path.
    As a side note, your beef broth product is amazing. I use it in sauces and soups, what an amazing depth of flavor. Great stuff!

  6. Kay

    Kate, So glad I came upon your lifestyle story.
    My husband and I both have had our share of back pain & arthritis. Years and years of thinking pain was our destiny. My husband’s to the point of surgery about a year ago.
    After trying what seemed like every supplement under the sun, we found,read and studied about Leaky Gut Syndrome & all the health issues that are related. We also learned, if you have this problem, no amount or quality of supplements you’re taking, can do their job. We changed to a LCHF lifestyle about 5 months ago, and started to see a change in pain levels. Our energy was returning, slowly.
    Then we started readyng of bone broth benefits. That’s when the “magic”happened. We have also decided this is our life now. We tell anyone who will listen, but I really think some folks think once they have been diagnosed with their health problem, or problems, that they will have them for the remainder of life. The saddest part is, I see people I love on medication that we know add to a great deal of problems that they have, For most, there’s no way they would consider giving up the medication long enough to try a different wary of life. The lifestyle that we Have come to respect and love. I have sent info so many times, only to find they never read it..so I wind up feeling like they resent me, when I’m honestly doing it out of caring..
    .Like the old saying,,”you can lead a horse to water but can not make him drink.” Maybe I should send them Hypocrites quote, which I love…, let thy food be the medicine, and medicine be thy food. Maybe then they could understand the connection.
    Nevertheless, so glad to know we were open minded enough, or just sick of being sick enough, that we’re on the right track and can’t be derailed! Good health to you all.

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