MS and all my Nutritional Baggage

Part One: The beginning.

Graduating from college my first concern was not getting a job, but it was losing 10 pounds. My weight was perfect, but I had seen a pattern. Women graduated from college, and then came the doom. First marriage, then two kids, and then they would be fat forever. NOT ME! I had heard that the human body gains 1 pound a year just, because…and I had a plan. Lose ten pounds before any of that started. That way I would not have to worry about weight, for at least ten years (and that was a lifetime).newborn It was GENIUS! I was right first. Marriage came first, then two babies. It was a piece of cake.I held it all together with a healthy diet, Mindfulness Meditation and exercise. I was in control of everything, right?

Next came MS, fear, and a future with disability lurking in the shadows. My college degree was in Biology. I understood that although I would have no control over my nervous system, I could control everything I put into my digestive system. This approach was bound to have a positive effect on my body as a whole. This was the best thing I could do for my nervous system.

This was the beginning.

Part two: I’m the picture of health

Fast forward 20 years. It seemed that my approach had worked. Throw in disease modifying drugs, exercise, and plenty of rest, I had a great life that was… totally out of control.FBwcB

With each major exacerbation I came up with a new way to tweak my nutritional plan in an attempt to get back some of the control that MS continued to take from me.

  • Year 1 no red meat/ no coffee
  • Year 5 became Vegetarian
  • Year 10 became Vegan
  • Year 18 processed sugar is the devil.

20 years from the beginning and I’m the picture of health…or am I?

Part three: Damn this disease

In the last two years fatigue has been more a problem than ever and I am having more trouble shaking off the last of these clingy symptoms. I also realize that statistically 90% of people who have Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis for more than 10 years progress into Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. In this stage the symptoms don’t go away. There is no remitting. Damn this disease!

In the last few years I’ve been aware of Dr. Wahl and her “Minding Mitochondria” diet. Since I know what mitochondria are and what they do. This didn’t freak me out. It actually intrigued me. Her diet is roughly 90% just like what mine already was, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s the other 10% that DID freak me out. Grass fed beef ORGAN meats and seaweed and such.

So, here I am! Dr. Wahl’s diet is my new nutritional tweak.

To see what her diet is, and more importantly, WHY it’s composed of these things you should watch her TED –Talk.

Here’s to my first serving of Grass Fed Beef Liver and here’s my Nutribullet, to help get all those veggies in.

I Can Do This!PGc18_164035OH, and don’t the let the wheelchair pic freak you out. Just because you’re in it one day, that doesn’t mean you’re in it for life. That pic was about 2 years ago and this one was about a year ago. This was my self prescribed physical therapy. MS (as many of you know) is so unpredictable, I’ve had a bit of a set back since my “day at the park” but hey…shit happens. The key is to get back up and find ways to fight.

Part 4: Could I be at risk for Orthorexia?

Interesting observations:

Yes- I am obsessed with healthy food

No- I don’t eat out in restaurants (often)

No-it doesn’t interfere with my social life

No- weight is not a concern

Yes-I’d rather not nave pesticides and preservatives or unhealthy hats in my food

No-I don’t wash the veggies again if the bag says they’re clean

Yes- I’ll eat a meal a friend cooks for me. Duh, I didn’t have to cook it, right?

Yes- this all started as the result of an illness

Yes-of all my doctors, it was my psychiatrist who paid any attention to my weight loss. My General Practitioner dismissed it completely because my BMI is 19.6 which is in the range of acceptable which is 18.5-24.9 for my weight and height.

No- I have no obsessive compulsive behaviors, my husband probably wishes I did, like house work: /

VIDEO: “When Eating Healthy makes you Sick”

The jury’s still out working on a verdict. Doesn’t really matter anyway. Cutting out processed sugar took me over the edge. I weighed less than I did when I graduated high school. Although sugar is the devil, I loosened the reigns a bit and let some back into my life. In addition to this, I’ve had liver TWICE and I eat a half pint of ice cream every night. Mocha Almond, made with coconut milk of course, let’s not go crazy. It’s a whole breakfast bagel for me Buddy, not those ½ bagels I used to eat and let’s pile on the cream cheese please. Well, it’s actually “Cream Cheese Spread” made with coconut oil, and a lot of non GMO things and vegan enzymes with some cultured sugar. I don’t even know what that is. Is it sugar that was grown in a Petri dish?



2 responses to “MS and all my Nutritional Baggage

  1. Have you found the Wahls Protocol to be beneficial? We have her book, and I have read it, but my husband is not entirely sure he wants to live a life without sweets and a beer once in awhile. LOL!


  2. Alana, I’m a bit torn. While I definitely think that my nutritional choices have had a positive impact on the course of me MS, when I attempted to make the Dr. Wahl leap…I fell short. The fact that I was a Vegan BEFORE Dr.Wahl, carried me well, for ummm… 15 years or so. A relapse is what made me consider listening to her, and adding some animal protein BACK into my diet. I did that, but,I don’t think I did/do enough to make a difference. As far as the sweets and beer go…I was never really hung up on, what I couldn’t have. If I wanted it, I had it. I figured (and was right) if it’s 99% in my life (what I believe to be healthy), I can do whatever I want with the other 1%. One more thing: my husband and I have ALWAYS had different ideas on nutrition, and because I have MS, MY choices always had to do with my best interest.
    Good luck 🙂


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