#TAKETHATMS is soon to be online, hosted by certified life coach, Caroline Craven.     

This new lifestyle support group will be held every week and is a video chat.  This means no writing, no typing, just login and engage!  

Join me next on Thursdays, 12:30pm PST, every week at and let's learn some cool stuff to make our lives easier with MS. 

The first one - NOV 3 - will be about easing into the holidays and will focus on nutrition.  With all the stress of the holidays, the busy schedules and the tempting food everywhere, we all have challenges.  But then add MS into the fray and our issues double in size.  

Time to learn some tips and tricks to make our lives better!   

Join us! 

November 3
12:30pm PST

Topic:  Nutrition and MS - Tips for the Holidays

Fly Fishing the Texas Coast - when MS takes a break

Ever have one of those days that just makes you love your life just a bit more?   When the MS seems to almost disappear, like the calm before the storm.

Last week my very limited expectations were blown out the water, literally.

For months my trip to Texas had been scheduled:  fishing with my Uncle.  Fly rod in tow my flight was seamless.  Uncle and cousin ready to pick me up and on our way for some good eats.

After much catch up and a good night rest, my Uncle and I ventured down the road to Port O'Connor. While setting up the boat in comes the rain.  One never really knows on the Texas coast what the weather might be like but here was a hovering squall.   And then by the time we launched the boat not a rain drop in sight for three days.  And the winds were almost non existent.  Basically, the weather was perfect.

Hiding from the sun and wind

Not being from the coast, wade fishing is new to me.  Armed in waders (for the jellyfish and too keep from getting cold later), booties and lots of instructions, my feet do the stingray shuffle along the ocean floor, eyes peeled for anything catchable or anything dangerous.  One step on a stingray and a hospital trip is insight, not to mention a lot of pain.

After we both catch a few fish a change locations during the first two days we settle on one early the last morning that looked promising.  Uncle waded in one direction and me in another.   I cast my fly at what looks like a good size speckled trout, one that could provide us dinner.  The fish hit the fly and then all heck broke loose:  trout and mullet came at me, full speed, followed by a "V" shape.  And then that "V" shape lunged at the fish and made a sharp "U-Turn", flashing his gray shark-like skin at me in the morning sun.

Redfish on a fly - Port O'Connor, Texas
After a good shriek and realizing my Uncle was a far distance, I took a deep breath and repeated:   "Don't wimp out now - nothing one can do but keep casting and shuffle back toward the boat for mental comfort," over and over in my mind.

Lady Fish on a fly - Port O'Connor, Texas
All in all, my fly fishing was a beautiful experience.  One red fish was caught after hunting him down caught via sight-casting.  My first like that.  He was probably big enough to keep but I wasn't sure so let him go.  That's OK.  We had enough fish for dinner without him.

Spec Trout on a fly - Port O'Connor, Texas

Wade Fishing near Matagorda Island, Texas

It was a dream come true - fly fishing in the flats with my Uncle.  The fact we caught a variety of fish and returned unscathed was the icing.

Sometimes the MS can be more forgiving than others.  This was one of those experiences.  And I got a trip to Buccee's - a Texas tradition.

Unfortunately my MS sprang up horribly upon returning from Texas and spent two days with muddled mind and obnoxious spasticity.   Oh well.  This is the disease we live with.



Healthy Gut Challenge is Here!

I got my first results!    Have you gotten yours yet?

Click here to read my article on the importance of gut health and autoimmune diseases.

It's time for a Challenge!   The Gut Health Challenge.

Who wants to join me?

It's easy!  Go to and and check out the options for the challenge. Choose one and your testing kit will be mailed to you.  Then swab your poop and send it to the lab in the easy to follow kit. Then start ISOThrive and test again after thirty days.  Easy!

Gut health is imperative for overall wellness.  Click here to Check out my recent article on gut biome and how it can affect us.

ISOThrive and uBiome have partnered up for a challenge.  Take a look at your biome with uBiome testing kit then take ISOThrive for a month and tell us how you feel.

I just started mine this weekend. I took my poop test on Saturday and hope I did it right. Then on Sunday I started my first ISOThrive sachet.

Unfortunately I am dealing with a possible infection in my mouth and had to start antibiotics which I have not taken in some ten years. It is one designed just for the gums and mouth.  Mouth bacteria can be bad and I don't want to mess with it so am taking the antibiotics.  I tested my gut biome before starting the antibiotics. It is not ideal timing but should work out OK. 

Join the challenge
Test your poop
Start ISOThrive
Keep a journal
Share your progress
Take a second test 
Share your results! 

#guthealthchallenge #healthygut #poopsmart #takethatms 

Gut Health Journal

Day 1
I've decided to take my ISOThrive in the mornings with water prior to anything else in my system. 

Noticed a little extra poop today. About 2-3 hours after taking my first half sachet. Usually it's once a day for me but ISOThrive may have contributed to a booting of something.  

Day 2
Did not notice anything special. Except that recently I've had bad gas. Especially at night.  Too much beer probably. I do love a good IPA. But no farting the last couple of nights. 

Day 3
Sitting at airport waiting to go to Eugene. I feel great and know that my gut is working more efficiently already.

Days 4-6:
Not feeling much different but believe I'm pooping more.  Of course I've been eating more since I've been in Oregon absolutely pigging out and having way too much fun!

Days 7-14
It seems I poop a lot more during the day after taking ISOThrive.  Interesting.  Not feeling a lot of other stuff going on but that's OK with me.  I just need to remember to take it.  Well, maybe I'm feeling a little different.  Problem is I have been eating like a horse lately and gaining a bit of weight. This often happens in the summer as it's the time of growth.  We eat more and grow more in many ways.  I'm curious about how my gut biome test is going to come out for the first run.  It takes a couple of weeks to get it back.   Also, I am curious if ISOThrive needs to be taken at the same time each day or other protocols.  I prefer to take it in the morning before anything else except maybe some fresh, cool water. 

Day 14-28
Haven't noticed much difference.  Been feeling pretty good and it's easy to take the ISOThrive.  

Day 28
Wahooo!   just got my gut biome results from   This is interesting!  

I don't understand all of it.  Yet.  But I will.   Here's my initial summary:   

Day 30
The month has come to an end.  I swabbed the toilet paper and sent off my second Ubiome gut microbiome stool sample and sent it off in the mail.  I'm curious what a month of ISOThrive will do to my test results.  

I have noticed that my hot flashes have been significantly reduced.  They just started and were horrid before beginning my ISOThrive.   I am not sure there is a connection but it has been about the only change made.   My diet has been full of food, good beer and wine.  No holding back.    I've been feeling very good.  Gained a little weight but not what I should have after the calorie intake this past month.  

I think I did pretty well with my first gut biome test.  Top 91% in health.  I'll take that!   But it would be nice to compare it with other people with MS.   I'm curious how I will do after a month of ISOThrive.

Here's what I've learned thus far as taken from my TEST RESULTS: 

Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes are the largest phyla in the human microbiome.
Studies have shown that gut microbiomes tilted in favor of Bacteroidetes are correlated with weight loss and lean body types. [1] [2]
Gut microbiomes in Western cultures are usually skewed in favor of Firmicutes, which can increase with higher caloric intake. [3] [4]
My gut microbiome is slightly tilted towards Bacteroidetes. Yay me!  
Akkermansia is a genus of bacteria that has shown potential to combat weight gain and inflammation. [5]

Your percentage of Akkermansia

That means I have none of this good stuff to fight inflammation.   I wonder if other folks with MS have the same lack of akkermansia as me.


Your gut microbiome is already dominated by Bacteroidetes, which is correlated with weight loss and lower body weight.

Eat foods high in a type of fiber called oligofructose to feed the Akkermansia in your gut. These foods include garlic, onion and bananas. [7]

Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are the two genera of bacteria most commonly found in probiotic supplements. 
They are also naturally occurring in your gut. [1]

Bifidobacterium compared to Selected Samples: 
Lactobacillus compared to Selected Samples: 
Several species of Bifidobacterium have been shown to improve gastrointestinal issues. [2]
Certain strains of Lactobacillus have been shown to improve mental health, including anxiety and mood, in addition to improving gut health. [3]
MAN - My lactobacillus is LOW.  VERY LOW.   Again, I wonder how this compares to other folks with MS.


Keep up the good work! Your sample contains an amount of Bifidobacterium near or above the average.

Take supplements containing the species Lactobacillus acidophilus. This particular species has been shown to reduce gastrointestinal problems. [5]

Fermented vegetables that have not been subjected to manufacturing processes can provide your gut with a steady supply of probiotic bacteria.

Dairy products such as certain yogurts, kefir and buttermilk contain active cultures that can increase the amount of Lactobacillus.
So, with these results I decided to make some Sauerkraut and Firekraut.  Also, I've been drinking lots of Siggi's probiotic drink - blueberry flavor.


Greater microbiome diversity has been correlated with good health, but diversity can vary greatly among healthy individuals. [1] [2]


50th Percentile

50% of all Gut samples are less diverse than your sample.
50% of all Gut samples are more diverse than your sample.
Diversity is determined using the Simpson's Diversity Index. [3] Scores range from 0 to 10, with 10 being the most diverse.
Gut samples tend to generate a score of between 6 and 9, but the distribution varies depending on the type of sample.

Actions that can increase gut microbiome diversity

Eat fiber. Diets high in fiber have been show to correlate to increased diversity in the gut microbiome. [4]

Exercise frequently. Regular physical activity can increase gut diversity. [5]
Actions that can decrease gut microbiome diversity

Antibiotics can dramatically decrease microbiome diversity, though diversity has been shown to recover over time. [6]

Proton pump inhibitors, often used to treat ulcers and acid reflux, can decrease gut microbiome diversity.[7]
OK then - Time to increase my fiber intake (not surprised as I haven't been eating that healthy in some ways).  Also, increase my activity.  Done!   Been walking everyday, and taking some good ones at that.  Getting up to 5-10,000 steps some days.  #takethatMS

Well then, let's see how my next test results come out after thirty days ISOThrive.

More to come!