Sunday

MS Diet - Try this food, not that food.

One of the first things everyone asks me these days is if I follow a certain diet, or avoid certain foods.  The answer is a resounding YES.   I'd love to say that eating anything and everything is OK but it's not.  Just recently my diet changed, for the worse, and after six months my MS, along with everything else in my body, went absolutely haywire.

Not every MS patient should follow the same diet.  Everyone is different, just as their illness.  Recommend instead the trial and error method.  Remove a variety of food, one at a time, and see if it affects your MS.  

Some of the foods that cause major problems include:

  1. Processed foods (too many additive, hidden wheat and sodium)
  2. Gluten
  3. Carbohydrates in general
  4. Dairy (don't include me in this group.  You do not want to be around me if you remove my cheese.  I get downright nasty).
  5. Red meat
  6. Other meat
  7. Fried food
  8. High sodium

Remove them for a good couple of months to truly feel a difference.  Three - six months is good.

Some folks respond well after going vegan or gluten free.  Some do better with a paleo type plan.  Try different things and feel how your body responds.  Make adjustments and learn from your trials.

Major triggers for me are gluten and carbohydrates.  For example last year, my diet went from about 10% carbs to more like 50% carbs, letting myself eat anything and everything that looked good.  For the first couple of months my body kept up, and my body stayed slim and fit.  Lean and mean.  THEN, it's as if someone turned off the metabolism.  Ready for winter was this girl with an additional 15 pounds.  Actually 20 pounds but already lost 5.  UGH and geez.  Nothing fits.  Haven't had this problem in 15 years.  The ONLY change made was allowing the gluten and carbs to take over my diet.  The meat consumption was down and grain consumption increased.  Portion sizes increases.  Eating is if readying for a marathon, without the matching calorie burning activity.  Time to make a change!

Reining in the cravings meant changing habits back to where they were last year.  10% carbs.  That means no six-packs of beer every weekend.  No bottles of wine with french bread and home made cheese.  Well, OK, we can have all of these as long as it's in moderation.  Key word here - moderation.  

Just bringing this awareness to the forefront has allowed me to make many healthy changes.  The weight is coming off and the MS seems to be subsiding a bit.  This extra weight caused the MS to flare up bad, so looking forward to being the lean, mean fighting machine this girl was for the past 15 years.

Every person is different and so are their diet needs.  But I do believe strongly that clean, natural eating is the way to go.  Buying local, at farmers markets and learning to cook are two ways to increase one's appreciation for good quality food.  And we are what we eat.  Eat like crap, look like crap.  Eat like a healthy girl, look like a healthy girl.

Time to do this!  

#takethatMS 





Friday

The little things and the not so little things...

Yoga, walk, shower, tea...I love mornings. Well, sometimes. They may be slow or painful, but as long as they keep coming, I'll take them. So random this MS. Yesterday was a tough day. Legs on fire, tremors a trembling. Energy, attention and focus was channeled for four hours of meetings. Then honestly, I was done. Sipped water, nerve-calming tea, and watched quiet, innocent television as my eyes were too tired to read. When the sentences start leaping off the page you know its time to stop.



I just couldn't take anymore interaction. Anymore sound. Anymore energy taken from me. I know my boundaries. I know that if I over do today I'm done for tomorrow.
This morning was completely different. Strong. Balanced. Calm. I practiced my morning yoga on the circle, accompanied by two dogs, overlooking the Arroyo. Followed by a dog walk and now sipping some tea. Basically, a gorgeous morning at a local retreat.
What causes the difference from one day to the next?
"No two the same." But how can we better manage our day to day life?
Everything adds up. Diet. Activity. Energy. State of mind. Stress level.
While I had been eating some needed calories and tasty food, the recent increased consumption of red meat, processed foods, caffeine, salt and gluten brought extreme inflammation to my whole body. In addition, I pushed myself last week at Hot Creek. Even though I was managing every aspect, it took a toll.
At Hot Creek, I found if I could "mind shift" into other states of mind, I could better manage my MS. In order to do this, I did quite a bit of resting poses, some yoga flows and meditations to work through the fatigue, clumsiness and nerviness.
Then I returned home to hours of meetings and tasks I wanted to get done but my body started to shut down. But this time I didn't turn to my mind shift options. I turned to Caffeine! Ugh and horrible I know but the coffee was flowing and so was I. Until I crashed. And crashed I did.
One bad choice and I paid the price.
I was talking to a good friend the other day about how I felt my bounce back has been improving. While I keep this image in my mind, heart and soul, I also acknowledge that I'm doing less and less at times. I feel its a continuous struggle, finding that balancing act between too much and not enough. Making every right choice or just being human.
Many folks want to write off my MS as returning to a mild form. Well, Its returning there for a reason.
YOGA. I can't say it loud or strong or often enough. The one thing that has worked better than anything other than my three F's (Faith, Family, Friends). YOGA.
I started way before I had MS. Not serious but got the basics. I continued throughout my MS. From physical to mental balance, everything could and does improve with my practices. Some days I can't stand too well. Others I'm balancing on one foot.
As long as I keep waking up. As long as I keep my Faith, Family and Friemds. As long as I watch my diet, my life style and embrace everything mind body and soul, them can I continue living. Yoga. Nutrition. Support. Food as Medicine. Vitamins, herbal supplements. The list goes on. Start with the basics and work the others in.
Maybe I can still walk because of the yoga and exercising. And because of all the minute details I manage. Some days I can't walk too well and I will fall and trip. My legs just now started to feel a little twangy so I poured a glass of pineapple juice. The bromelain is a natural antiinflammatory. It just sounded like to right choice.
"No two the same". Whether we are talking people or days. My goal, every day, is to manage my symptoms so I can have more consistent days.
So here. Here's to the three F's of Faith Family Friends. Here's to Yoga! Here's to trying everything, finding what works for you and for creating an MS plan that will help you live a more fulfilling life.

Thursday

Juicing and Chia Pudding for our Health

2 Ways to Eat for Wellness 

After a few crazy months of eating anything and everything I'm taking a couple weeks to turn it all around. 

First of all let's alkalize this body and get this gut working like a Porsche! 

Spent the morning Juicing and making chia pudding which are two of my faves. 

Time to put my gut into gear. 

#takethatms 


I made about seven jars of juice, some with greens and carrots, some with beets and lemons. 



Morning Juice
1/2 beet
1/2 lemon
1/2 cucumber
1/4 small watermelon 
1 apple

Cooling Off Juice
1 carrot
1 apple
1/2 cucumber 
1 handful mung bean sprouts
2 celery 
1/2 lemon 

Booster juice:
2 carrots
1/2 orange 
1 small piece ginger 
2 celery 
Handful parsley 
1/2 cucumber 

Best to make juice fresh every time. But this can be difficult and time consuming. I will sometimes make a few bottles at once and drink them within 24-36 hours. 

Chia pudding and hemp milk for those vitamin Ds


Chia Pudding 

1/2 C hemp milk
2 tablespoons chia seeds 

Place in mason jar or any container, shake and chill for a few hours or overnight. 

Toppings: 
Maple syrup
Honey
Nuts
Fruit

Be creative and enjoy the goodness!