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Living a healthy lifestyle might not make us immune from getting sick but it does help us get through it or in the case of a chronic condition, live with it with more ease.

It’s not always easy to hear about how important a healthy diet is because that chocolate cake looks so good on a stressful day! And it’s not always easy to hear about how exercise is good for us when we come home from a long day out of the house with little or no energy left to even make dinner for the family.

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But diet and exercise actually make a world of difference in both our stress level and our fatigue. The thing about fatigue that I find so sneaky is that when you give into it, it grows like that slimy creature in The Blob movie. Fatigue will destroy everything in its path if you give it the chance. Sitting on the couch too long only begets more sitting on the cough too long, etc…

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As for diet, I can say from personal experience that I thought it was all a load of bull that changing my diet and learning to eliminate certain foods would alleviate my cravings for sugar. But once I made a commitment to live as healthy a life as I could, I had to take a long look at my diet.

I stopped eating processed foods. I gave up dairy. I stopped drinking soda. I added more greens, which for me was a challenge because I’ve been a vegetarian for years. I gave up pasta. I gave up cookies and cake and candy. I gave up chips and dip and most snack foods. Life as I knew it in the kitchen changed forever.

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And you know what? I was shocked but the cravings, they are gone. No, I mean really… GONE! 

Living a healthy lifestyle is all about the choices we make. Today I make a very conscious choice about what I put in my body and by doing so, I am better able to manage the symptoms of my disease especially fatigue.

I also make a very conscious choice to exercise, daily or nearly so.

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And yes, exercise is hard with sarcoidosis but I refuse to use my sarcoidosis as an excuse not to take care of myself. Some days are better than others and I don’t chide myself for the bad days…anymore. Instead, I just pick myself up again and start over once I am feeling better.

I rest when my body requires it…most of the time but I know that if I can just push myself through some pain that exercise actually has a way if minimizing my fatigue  which makes it worth the effort.

So yes, diet and exercise, diet and exercise, diet and exercise, blah, blah, blah…they really do make a difference…for the better!

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