Why this blog?

I want to tell everyone who is suffering with ankylosing spondylitis that it may be possible to treat this condition successfully with diet.  That’s a simple little statement, but it should pack a lot of punch for anyone who is popping NSAIDS like candy, getting an immune-suppressant IV treatment or just curled up in bed suffering massively in the middle of a flare.

Maybe you’ve already tried the no-starch or low-starch diet and have failed.  I can tell you that it took me several years of playing with versions of the no-starch diet before I really got it dialed in to the point where I am now 100% pain free.  So why not give diet another try?  Maybe you missed something the first time.  Maybe you can learn from some of the mistakes I made the first few times I tried the diet.

Do you have a question?  Head over to the General Questions section of this site and I’ll be happy to answer it right away.

  • Anthony Basile

    Hi there…

    Thank you for your time and energy in getting the word out there.

    I am 32 years of age and have been battling AS for nearly a decade. This
    last year took a turn for the worst with what was thought to be a
    sacroilliac disfunction turning into full fledged debilitating hip,
    sacrum, spinal, shoulder and knee pain.

    Ironically, I am a manager at a natural foods cooperative and have been
    on the learning path of healthy mindful eating for years but nothing
    seemed to make a difference. It was this recent slip into a new level of
    dis-ease that through me down the path of the no starch diet. It has
    been roughly 4 months and there has been some good improvements.
    However, there is still a long way to go. I was hoping to ask your
    opinion and experience on a few subjects that still remain unclear to me
    regarding the diet and disease.

    Sweet potatos! They have made the transition possible, satisfying the
    need to fill full. Yet I sense that perhaps they are still a bit too
    high on the starch. What is your experience?

    Coffee! I drink very very small amounts occasionally to get me going on
    my very early work days (4oz) Ive read such varying things regarding
    coffee and inflammation. Any thoughts?

    Fatty meats! Chicken thighs, roasts, etc. These are my staples, all
    organic or free range. They have become my love and obsession! Yet I
    hear two sides regarding excessive fat.

    Fruit! What would life be like without it, yet I know the naturally
    occuring sugar content can create the perfect environment for bacteria
    to feast. Whaddaya think?

    Eggs! I have backyard chickens and consume a ton of eggs. Some suggest the egg white has triggering properties??

    Nuts. Sprouted? Moderation?

    I really appreciate any feed back on any of this. Obviously it is a
    journey of self and we are each so unique. But I do give great value in
    learning form others experience and trials as well.

    Thank you for your experience and trials. Perhaps it all exists for very
    specific reasons. Its so refreshing to know of others out there taking
    there lives and well being into their own hands! There exists no other
    direction but forward.

    Be well Bob.


    • Hey Tony,

      Thanks for the questions and for your story.  Glad to hear that you’re having some success on the diet. 

      *Sweet potatoes: avoid at all costs.  They’re all starch and won’t help you at
      all.  Eat more fat if you’re not feeling full. Avocados, nuts, fatty meats, etc.

      *Coffee: drink up!  I drink a ton of coffee and see no side effects.  Everyone is different of course, but there is simply no starch in coffee. 

      *Fatty meats: in a word, YES!  Eat the hell out of fatty meats.  Whomever told you that they’re dangerous is misinformed and likely brainwashed by years of listening to the standard establishment BS.  Read, “Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It” by Gary Taubes.  Fatty meats are what our ancestors have been eating for millions of years.  And eating fat doesn’t make you fat, eating sugar (carbs, glucose, fructose, etc.) makes you fat

      .*Fruit: over rated in my opinion.  I eat lots of berries but avoid almost everything else.  As long as it’s not packed with starch (unripened apples, etc.) you should be fine eating most fruits if that’swhat you want to do.  But you should test your fruit with iodine first to see starch content.

      *Eggs: I eat a ton of them and have no issues.  Everyone is
      different, however, and if you have a reaction then don’t eat them.  But
      you need to keep a food journal and keep track of how you feel after
      meals.  That’s simply the only way to do it while you’re learning about
      your body over the 1st year or so of this diet.  No easy way around it.

      *Nuts: I stick to macadamia, walnuts, and almonds.  No peanuts (not a
      nut), no cashews either.  Pecans occasionally.  Sprouted or unsprouted
      is up to you and your reactions moving forward.

      Agree completely with what you said about each one of us being unique.  Stick
      to the general rule of staying away from starch in it’s most obvious
      forms (sorry, but potatoes are an obvious form…as well as processed
      crap, dressings, ice creams w/added starch, etc.  Read all labels!)  and
      keep track of your own personal reaction to questionable items moving
      forward (eggs, night shades, etc).  You’ll end up with a diet that is
      uniquely suited to you and only you.  Which is the entire point!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Bob.
    I gotta say. This could possibly be the single greatest blog re: AS and NSD I have seen so far on the web! And you present all this for free ! Kudos to you. But I did have one question that I dont think you covered… 
    How and when do you phase out your meds/NSAIDs while doing this diet? Do you start tapering your dosage? etc etc. Thanks again, from Australia

    • Hey Chris,

      Yup, I just saw your question over in ‘General Questions’ and have answered it there.

      Thanks for the compliment!  But the truth is that the single greatest website on AS and NSD can be found at http://www.kickas.org.  Go to the forum list and then the ‘NSD and Diet Related’ for all kinds of info.

      I’m trying to help in my own way with this website.  Glad you’re enjoying it and please come back and ask any/all questions you may have.  Happy to help!


  • karyn

    Bob —

    Karyn here. Had to tell you my experience with the intermittent fast. Was still not feeling great after having balsamic vinegar that I think had high fructose corn syrup in it. Tried fasting for one day. Now about 19 hours into the fast and symptoms are really alleviating –even better than before the balsamic.

    Such an easy fix. Thanks.