My very first blog post… yay!! Exciting!!

So I thought I’d start by telling you who I am. As you have figured it out, my name is Deepa. I grew up in India but have been living on and off in NYC since 1999. I am 38 years old. I am a mom and I am a wife. I have two incredible children, Rohan who is 9 and Ayesha who is 3.5 years old. My husband, Rajat and I have been together for 11 years now and is my partner in every sense.

There is one more side to me, I am also a patient of Psoriatic Arthritis and have been since it was diagnosed in 2009. Psoriatic arthritis is basically an autoimmune disease that people suffering from Psoriasis can get. In fact, I just googled it and found out that 42% of people suffering from Psoriasis can get PA. The symptoms are a lot like rheumatoid arthritis. I could go on and on but let’s move on past the boring technical stuff.

Back in 2009, as a new mum I realized that I had this pain in my shoulder that I couldn’t shake. I chalked it off to carrying ever growing, baby Rohan. After a bit of coaxing from Rajat, I finally went in and saw my doctor. I mentioned to her that my nails had started looking yellowish too. Maybe a fungal infection? So imagine my shock when she calls me a few days later and tells me I have Psoriatic Arthritis!! I had just turned 30 not too long ago… how was the possible???? I was devastated!! Sadly, I let PA define me for the next year or so as I progressively became worse (read as trouble walking, straightening my arm, even chewing).

My epiphany came one day when my then 2 and something year old asked for pasta with meatballs. I had started using jarred pasta sauce since I was struggling holding a knife but had never thought about how I would open the jar. So I stood in that kitchen, trying and trying to turn that lid but.. The tears began to flow but I didn’t want to give up. I didn’t want PA to define who I was and what I could do. I ended up giving up and curling up in a corner of my tiny NYC kitchen and crying. Who knows how long I cried but at some point my precious child came to me and asked me what was wrong. I was so ashamed. I couldn’t feed him what he wanted. He looked at me and in all his innocence said “but mama, pasta tastes good with butter too”! And so he had ravioli with butter and let me tell you, it tasted damn good!

Fast forward a few years, I’ve tried medicines, homeopathic and allopathic. I am now living with my family in London and mum to two kids. Ayesha was 4 weeks old when the symptoms came back with a vengeance! My fingers were swollen, jaw misaligned and pain in my joints was making me miserable. And of course the London weather wasn’t helping. The other side of PA was mental. I was emotionally messed up. It was a pity party for one!!

We decided to move back to NYC. I got onto injections… game changer!! After trial and error, I was put on two injections of Enbrel along with a low dose of Methotrexate on a weekly basis.

And this is when I realized that I won’t accept this as a way of my life. A dear friend, Traci Altman was now a nutritionist. She reached out to me and convinced me to do a healthy detox. It was life altering! You know what they say “you are what you eat”, well I finally can tell you what that means. After the four week detox, I am now down 13lbs and even better, am down to half the medication. I AM FINALLY IN CONTROL OF MY BODY!!!

So this blog is a journey of good eating. My journey! It’s not to say that I don’t indulge every now and then, but in this world of processed food, I am trying to find my way to a cleaner and healthier culinary lifestyle. In this blog, you will find recipes and foods that I enjoy. You’ll also get to see some of the healthier choices I try to make while eating out, all while being a full time mom in NYC!

I welcome your feedback, suggestions, recipes and restaurant recommendations. To a healthier lifestyle…!