Chill Day

This was a relax, regroup and get stuff done day. None of which included housework. Oh, that’s not true, I did do my laundry first thing this morning. My daughter is having her Prom in three weeks. I make jewelry and have finished a bracelet and earrings for her before today. Today I worked on a wired piece for her hair, only stopping to make phone calls or cook meals. I define jewelry making as meditation. Its been something that has always had the power to truly focus my attention and block everything else out. Practicing meditation is important on the Wahls Protocol. Stress is a big contributor to MS attacks and offsets general well being. I can choose to focus my mind on anything I want. If I want to focus it on negativity, its all I’ll see. If I want it to focus on the beauty and positive side of this world, that’s all I’ll see. I choose the latter. Past times like art, swimming, quiet self affirming times like smudging in the morning and at night and focusing on healing and my Higher Power all contribute to the success of choosing to focus on the positive. The success of which depends on the practice of living in the moment. Because its only in the moment that I can truly be grateful for what I have. The minute I start obsessing about tomorrow and ruing yesterday, the moment and anything it had to offer is lost. It essentially becomes what I will rue tomorrow if that is my habit! I no longer have bad days, I have bad moments.

I had one of those last evening. I was ordering Vitamin D3 drops online from a company website I wasn’t familiar with and had quite a time getting the order through, then used a now defunct bank account with PayPal by mistake. I had to wait till today to straighten that out. When that was happening (in the moment) and for a half hour after, I was having a bad moment. The half hour after, I called a friend and I vented about it. Then I got over it. The next moment after that, I watched a funny movie and then went to bed, relatively happy. There was a day in my past, when a moment like that would’ve ruined what was left of my day.

I’m having a hard time writing this blog tonight because my left eye is burning from close up beadwork. It felt good to work jewelry today. No beadwork in the past two months with all the attention required to get this Protocol incorporated into my life, except for my daughter’s pieces. Pleasant day. My eye says stop, I’m stopping.

 

Bon Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/amazing-balance-blur-boulder-312839/

 

How do you like them apples?!

To the Chinook Mall today to exchange an outfit that I bought two weeks ago on the 14th of May because it has become one size too big. I know that this is not about losing weight, but that’s a side effect I like a lot! And to boot, they gave me $10 off the shirt because now its on sale and they honored it. Nice! I walked that huge mall without my AFO brace and had no problems at all. I have avoided this mall and all others because it had become too hard to ambulate around them. I’d last ten minutes at best. And, must confess to another symptom that I have suffered from that I don’t like to talk about, but really should, given the fact that many people with MS have these problems too. I need to add it to my symptoms page, so that I can update it, because its good news. The fact that thus far its been removed. That would be muscle weakness in terms of bathrooms and running and sometimes not making it. This is another big reason that I have stayed away from that mall, especially. It has three bathrooms as far away from each other as possible and two of them are so far off the beaten track, down hallways, then stairs, a maze, I’ve had problems in the past with the distances.

This is a symptom I have that, thankfully hasn’t been a problem almost from the beginning of working this Protocol. Now, I might say that and then it’ll raise its ugly, embarrassing head, however, I’m choosing positive imagery on this one. It isn’t coming back. There, how do you like them apples?!

Bon Sante

 

“What’s with wheat?”

I watched this on Netflix today. Very interesting, Dr. Wahls is one of the many people presenting. This documentary gets into the history of wheat, what it was then, compared to what it is now. Starting with the very beginning of humans using wheat on through its transformations, most especially in the last 100 years. I learned a lot watching this. It is not super long and very informative and thought provoking. Well done film.

Went to the gym and today, I feel great. I have a general sense of well being. One of the biggest challenges one faces with change of this magnitude is letting go of the familiar and embracing the unusual, straying from the pack so to speak requires contact with people working to stay on this path as well. I read the boards on Dr. Wahls Facebook group daily and any chance I have, I take in information like the documentary above to reaffirm my resolve. I stopped after 3 months when I had tried this over two years ago even though I felt incredible, I quit. One of the reasons was I just didn’t know how to cook this way. This time around to combat that, I invested in all the cook books I have listed on the research page. This give’s me a better fighting chance if I have variety. I find the foods I am eating are better than the crap I was raised to eat. I had dinner with my son tonight, a pleasant surprise. I made us roasted “clean” chicken thighs (no hormones, no antibiotics, free range, local) with Dijon mustard, maple syrup and Tarragon.  With the main dish I served pureed blue potatoes and carrots with coconut milk, Ghee (clarified butter) and Himalayan salt and ground pepper corn along with a salad of greens, strawberries, walnuts, avocado and balsamic. All organic.

Tomorrow, I’m going to the mall to exchange an outfit I bought for my daughter’s graduation on June 22nd that I just bought on Mother’s Day, May 14th. I tried the outfit on at a friends house who helped me accessorize and we found its now too big. The pants are a size 14 and the shirt a size XL. So, I’m downsizing to a size L shirt and size 12 pants. The best part is that I’m not dieting. This is a very filling, high fat diet. That I am encouraged to “eat to satiety” on. I am broke, that’s tough, but I like what an old friend was fond of saying, “I have all the money I need provided I die at 12 midnight tonight.” Plus, if I keep getting better like this, my imagery of working in a year will be very real, which will in turn help the financial situation.

Bon Sante

Next on the Wahls list

Travelling to Quebec the last two weeks of June to a supportive family environment who want to help make sure I have access to the foods I need and will join me in the meals. Of course, I’ll be preparing them. The next step I want to take with this Protocol is to begin making homemade hygiene products. Its pointless to start that right now, because without the habit well in hand and money unavailable, being tied up in the upcoming trip, I will begin in July. Dr. Wahls has a a whole chapter in her cookbook with recipes for all these things. Toothpaste, scented bath salts, shampoo, moisturizers, soaps, household cleaning products, etc. They mostly use the same eight ingredients, vinegar’s, coconut oil, coconut milk, olive oil, Epsom salts, baking soda, essential oils, castile soap. What I will do is invest in a large bottle of coconut oil just for the bathroom, purchase essential oils  and castile soap, I have the rest in the kitchen. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this as its laid out in the book. What you put on you is as important as what you put in you. I only have one dilemma, hair dye. I can’t imagine there is a holistic form of that, on the other hand, I haven’t looked into it yet. A good question for the Wahls Facebook group.

Yesterday and last night I was sick with some kind of food poisoning, not sure from what, just happy that’s over. Went to the Southland Leisure Center and will be going again tomorrow. Have a friend coming by for dinner very soon. I am serving us salmon with maple syrup and Braggs Amino Acids with garlic, Cauliflower rice, roasted Brussels sprouts with Nitrate free bacon, dried cranberries and walnuts, and fresh strawberries for dessert. Who says you can’t entertain well on this diet.

Bon Sante

 

 

Short one today

I am feeling like this tire today. Ugh! Not feeling good today. I’m super cramped and bloated, joints are sore and I am weaker then usual. I have no idea why, thinking maybe I ate something I shouldn’t have. Other than that, it was a great day. I don’t know, we’ll see how it goes tomorrow. I am scheduled to exercise tomorrow at the gym bright and early. I really have nothing more to say today. Some days will be that way.

Bon Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-spoke-car-wheel-in-brown-sand-during-daytime-53161/

I had a ramble tantrum yesterday on my blog. A very disconcerting afternoon that left me with a mix of negative feelings, that, I fear, all made it into my blog, good outlet though. Today is better. I really do prefer to be in the solution side of life rather than the negative. Even if it is focusing on what needs to be righted, it is still honing in on the negative and dwelling there. Not a place that I like to spend much time on. I choose to be with individuals who are participating in their own well being. That is where I need to be. If it is a dead end, I discontinue it, if it is inspiring, then that’s where my energy needs to be focused.

Research is a very important task. When I look up information on a particular subject, I look at every angle I can. I get knowledgeable books on the subjects and then I read them, I cross reference sites taking into account the source and expertise/experience of the writer and sometimes I seek scholar papers as well. This you can do by googling, “Google Scholar”, which brings you to the Google search engine for professional documents and reports.  Another aspect of research is in the doing. By doing, I learn. Lots of people have opinions, especially these days on the internet, what you want to figure out is what is backing that opinion. Is it coming from a place of experience or learning or is the opinion expressed with prejudice without reading a single legitimate word of the subject, which is, “Contempt prior to investigation.” Lots of people are plagued with fixed ideas. I am always looking for people from wherever they may come, laborers, waiters, the man feeding pigeons on the bench, artists, scientists, doctors, musicians, etc. who have the ability to think outside the box. In the mean time, I work very hard to keep my mind open, one of the ways I do this is by associating with open minded people in turn, which then helps me flourish and grow as a person.

I listen to Dr. Wahls because she has every reason that I should take her seriously and keep in mind that none of these reasons by themselves means anything, but when taken together, it at the very least, warrants serious study and consideration. They are:

  • She’s a professional: “Terry Wahls, MD, is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa, where she teaches internal medicine residents, sees patients in a therapeutic lifestyle clinic, and conducts clinical trials.” – See more at: https://www.functionalmedicine.org/AboutFM/ourteam/speakers/wahls/#sthash.uLHVaGYr.dpuf
  • She has Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and after exhausting the best current medical practices for MS with no success, she took it upon herself to put her own MS into remission and reversed her damage successfully.
  • She researched and thoroughly studied the human system in an effort to heal her self and is carrying the message and helping others to achieve the same results.
  • She’s not selling expensive supplements nor charging for the Protocol. Only her two books, “The Wahls Protocol” and “The Wahls Protocol cooking for life”.
  • There is a free Wahls Group Forum on Facebook currently followed by a great place to see the Protocol in action.
  • She does what she preaches.

This is what I did to verify all of this information:

  • I saw a flyer and I saw her speak in person. 400 books were given out that night to everyone in the audience and the speech was free, sponsored by Direct MS (a truly not for profit group here in Calgary). 100% of donations go directly into research.
  • I read the book and worked the diet for 3 months with fantastic results, but I wasn’t ready for the long haul. This is a very involved regime that requires a 100% commitment. I wasn’t there yet, but I had made up mind that eventually, I would revisit it.
  • I bought her book, and others on the same subject. I researched pros and cons online. I looked at other methods of treatment, both pharmaceutical, holistic, nutritional science and medical.
  • I know she is the real deal. I’ve seen her. I know people who know her and that have been to her house and I’ve read everything that I can find on her including speeches on YouTube.
  • I have spoken to many people successfully turning their once hopeless situations around daily.
  • I am doing it and its working for me, so far. Two months and counting.

So, if I get a little impatient and disgusted with people who don’t spend five minutes looking into the validity of this, but immediately declare it a crock. No, I am not going to listen to you. Get as informed as me, then I’ll take your opinion seriously.

A favorite saying that I like to live by:

“Its what you learn after you think you know it all that counts.” Warren Crawford (deceased beloved friend and mentor)

Bon Sante

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off!

My eyes are open, I will not shut them again. One thing that makes it hard for some people to take the idea of this autoimmune regime that I am on seriously is the skepticism of a life time of what I call, “Oh My God’s!” Media storms, such as “kill alls” like:

  • “Don’t use deodorant, its killing you, it will cause cancer!”
  • “Cholesterol kills, stop eating butter and other high fat foods, eat synthetic margarine instead!”
  • “Skin cancer, stay out of the sun, where tons of sun block!”
  • “Sugar is bad, eat the fake sugar in the little packets!”

Or cure alls:

  • “Eat healing Turmeric every day!”
  • “Avocado, the healthy fat!”
  • “Super food, Kale, eat it every day!”
  • “Eat butter, its good!”

If I eat Turmeric, but I am still eating chemically corrosive food, it won’t help me. If I’m eating Kale often, but I am consuming upwards of a cup of sugar a day, its fair to say that the sugar cancels out any benefits I was getting from the Kale. If I take care of the insides and I adhere to a whole food, organic diet rich in vegetables and clean meats, but ignore the outside and continue to use harmful, chemical laden products around the house, then I’ve put two magnets together facing each other in the wrong direction. I was using No.7 skin cream for the face. It helps smooth wrinkles and I was seeing a difference, I used it daily for 8 months. In following the Wahls Protocol, I am directed to read the labels and know what I am putting on my skin. So I read the label, looked up the ingredients and I read many reviews about No. 7. I learned two things:

  1. Contains a whopping five Parabens which are considered toxic.
  2. Uses a chemical that smooths the face by creating a mask, so to speak that hides the wrinkles at first, but makes them worse over time, because moisture can’t get through the mask which isn’t good, which then robs the skin of what it really needs, moisture.

I threw it out. I’m giving away my microwave. I tossed my Teflon pans and purchased a non-toxic Ceramic pan. I can’t change everything at once, its a lot to adjust to and expensive to replace, I’m not able to do that, but one by one, I make a change. Yesterday, I stopped using my plastic colander and began using only the stainless steel one and I threw out the No Cling spray I am addicted to using because I can’t stand static electricity in my clothes. This one I have always known is bad news, common sense there, but I continued anyway. Done! No more!

I was born in 1962 and up until I was 40 in 2002, I had met only two people in my life who had MS. In our neighborhood, there was one man who had MS, the father of one of my friends. And I was friends with a woman I knew in my 30’s, that’s it. Cancer, my Aunt tragically died from Leukemia when I was four at the age of 23. A nurse I worked with when I was 19, died unexpectedly, within three weeks of her diagnosis of terminal cancer. The cases for these diseases were there, but nothing like now. Everywhere I look these days, people are sick, mentally, psychologically and physically, a terrifying percentage of our population are manifesting autoimmune diseases, cancers and depression, all rampant.

I jumped today. I jumped two inches off the floor. Both my feet. “Big deal!”, you say? It has been impossible for me to jump for at least three years now in any fashion or form. I cannot lift my left leg that way, yet after just two months on this protocol, I jumped.

Yeah, its a huge adjustment and yeah, I’m mostly an island unto myself with this in many ways. I’d rather be a little isolated in my morays and heal, rather then sick and not aggravating people with my overt lifestyle practices. The ones who support me in this and their are a few cherished people who are supportive of what I am trying to do, even if some of them don’t agree, they can see that its giving me hope and they think that that is good. That’s good enough for me. This blog, the Wahls Facebook group and my closest friends and family are all cheering me on. That’s all I need.

Bon Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photography-of-person-s-eye-74472/

Confused

Opinions, they vary. I am sorting out vitamin dosages. I have taken 4000 IU as directed by my neurologists over the years for MS. Dr. Coimbra’s Protocol is a major treatment of vitamin D along with other vitamins. under medical supervision, that I will reconsider in one year of being on Dr. Wahls Protocol to see if it is necessary. In the mean time, I took Dr. Coimbra’s advice as mentioned frequently in his interviews and articles to take 10 drops a day for prevention. I began taking 10 drops a day about six weeks ago. I feel fine, but I am nervous about it. I just read Dr. Wahls chapter on supplements in her book and she cautions about vitamin D overdosing. She suggests 4,000 to 8,000 IU daily during winter months and 2,000 to 4,000 IU during summer while getting enough sun to have a dark tan. She says that if you are taking more than 2,000 IU per day, you should have your levels checked several times over a few months to adjust (raise or lower) till in the ideal range of 50 and 100 ng/ml is achieved. Then check levels annually. Now, Dr. Holick, Boston MA. Considered to be the world’s foremost expert on Vitamin D and a friend and colleague of Dr. Coimbra, he recommends, 2,000 to 3,000 per day for adults. Whaaaaaat? Now I’m really confused. Ultimately, the only way I can get to the bottom of this is to apply for Pure North as I mentioned yesterday and get this covered by my healthcare so that I can get the proper blood work. I am taking 8,000 IU per day, I may drop that to 6,000 IU till I see what my level is.

If your not eating legumes like me right now, but love Hummus (can’t have the chick peas). I found this. There is traditional Hummus and there is traditional Tahini Sauce and out of the two, I like the Tahini Sauce a lot better than Hummus. Here’s the recipe:

Tahini Sauce

  • 1 cup tahini sesame seed paste (made from light colored seeds)
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water, or more for consistency
  • 3 cloves raw garlic (or 5 cloves roasted garlic)
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (or more to taste) I use a whole lemon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, Kosher or Himalayan salt

Place all in a blender and blend well. Makes 11/2 – 2 cups Tahini sauce

I am having that tonight with a Brat Sausage, peppers and onions, sauteed greens, and a small piece of cod.

Bon Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-red-arrow-road-signs-near-green-trees-197222/

PS: I just took out the ingredients I need to make the Tahini sauce and I’m out of garlic. So sad. Oh well, Tahini sauce will have to wait till Friday.

Working out the details

Working on how I can possibly afford the supplements, which I can’t. The supplements will be anywhere from $80 to $150.00 a month, haven’t figured it out yet, gathering the info. What I see so far, tells me it’ll be up in those figures somewhere. Its my experience that nothing is ever a block, even with a limited income (disability) and an astronomical grocery bill, I’m up around $500 for the month, an increase of $200. I’ve cut back on everything that I can, trying to not eat out, only when its a social must, average three times a month, small lunch bills under $10.00. No more nails, no more hair cuts and no more cable television. Cable television, I don’t miss at all, love YouTube, love music and have Netflix. But, there is still a limit and I’m there. So, what now?

Pure North is my next recourse. It is a non profit program here in Calgary that provides access and medical blood work for exactly what I am doing and according to a friend who has participated for three years, hers has been covered. That’s my next move. Get an appointment with them and then “show up” and let things go the way they go. Two major components, e-stim, waiting for enrollment in Optimus program for this in a month or so and the vitamins and required blood tests to monitor what levels to take them at, especially vitamin D, Calcium Citrate, and Coenzyme Q.

Future cooking equipment:

A dehydrator, just learned one of the reasons it is popular with Wahls people. On level II and III, it is required to soak nuts and seeds for hours before eating. A dehydrator can make them crunchy again without losing the nutrients from soaking.

A crock pot for making bone broth, which cooks up to 24 hours and costs the Earth to buy in pint jars, whereas it is important to drink a cup of it daily, buying it pre-made is not an option, gotta be homemade.

A Vitamix blender with a whopping price tag around $600.00, but one that most people on the Wahls Protocol say was the best investment they made.

This is not a total priority for me yet, I have a Ninja Professional which is a good blender. This one’s for the future. But, where as I am working in the direction of incorporating soaked nuts and seeds and homemade bone broth, the other two I’d like to see in my possession within three months. A crock pot should be fairly easy to find in good working order used. The dehydrator I’ll search for under Amazon.ca or Walmart.ca once I know, what exactly I need. Per usual, a lot of different models and price tags. Is it possible to destroy a person’s psyche with too many choices? Ugh!

Finally, yet another physical ability restored. I haven’t been able to rest or sleep on my back in years. I attributed that to my fused neck and lower back weakness. I was delighted to find that I am very comfortable lying on my back, nothing is going numb and there is no pain. So, is all the fuss above worth it? My God Yes! I can’t believe this! Yay…..yay!

Bon Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/bowl-soup-cream-soup-40814/

Supplements, vitamins and compounds, oh my!

Supplements and vitamins: so much to learn. Healthiest brands, best price, how much to take, which ones to take, best sources that have the healthiest brands at the most economical prices, yikes. A very big expense. Example, need to take fermented cod liver oil or fish oil, ideally the fermented cod liver oil is best, but, more expensive, however if I settle on fish oil (which is what I take right now), then I also must take mixed vitamin E, 400 mg for complicated absorption reasons I won’t explain here. Its all explained in the Wahls Protocol book. I looked up the fermented cod liver oil which is roughly, for a high premium and therefore, healthier variety, $50.00 for a 2 month supply. That’s one of 11, although it is one of the more expensive ones.

I will search high and low for the best deal. I have to, I don’t have much in the way of finances. On a different note, I did discover yesterday at the local natural market, a cupboard that I hadn’t noticed before of bulk organic spices and herbs. And the pricing is not astronomical. I figure, its probably going to take me the better part of a year to get all the ins and outs of organic vitamins, organic products, organic foods and the best pricing for them at the highest quality possible. Then there is learning the best way to cook and prepare many new foods with an emphasis on as many homemade components as possible. For example, I need to make homemade bone broths. I need a crock pot for this, these broths cook for 18 to 24 hours. Then I need to find the best prices for pastured and grain fed healthy bones to make the broths from. Haven’t gotten to this yet. However, I did attempt to keep herb plants, bought five, rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley and thyme, only to then watch my cat eat the ones she liked and dig up the ones she didn’t. Gave up on that idea. Stupid cat, she’s lucky that adore her.

This is where I need to remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day. “Time”, a word most of us hate. I have made so many healthy corrections to my eating, psyche, household and everyday habits, and am only halfway there to incorporating all the aspects of the Protocol and already, the results are dramatic. I’m really very excited to see how I feel after incorporating algae, bone broths, fermented foods, soaked nuts and seeds, sweating rituals, household, non-toxic, homemade or non-toxic, store bought products, etc.

Speaking of sweating rituals, I was once heavily involved with The Drum in New Hampshire (not there anymore) under the tutelage of an Ojibwa Medicine man and his wife. For three years, I participated in roughly 40 sweat lodges. They are incredibly beneficial on many levels, prayer, meditation, detoxing, social, and rebirth. The area is cleansed and set up with the entrance to the lodge facing an easterly direction, cedar and the correct rocks are gathered for the ceremony. The cedar is laid out encircling the area with an “umbilical cord” of cedar running from the fire pit to the lodge doorway. The ground inside the lodge, which is approximately 10 x 10 feet round, is blanketed with cedar. Water is boiled with cedar for a number of hours earlier in the day, which will become the water used to pour over the seven rocks that have been heating up in the fire and now sit in the center of the lodge in a small dug out for them. Those participating, no more than nine people tops, assemble inside after “putting down” tobacco for what it is that they will be “suffering” for inside the lodge. There are prayers, and seven pourings to begin. When the first water hits the hot rocks, the steam drops down on your shoulders and burns. It hurts to be in a sweat lodge, which is why they say, we suffer for something. It is a very small space that must be crawled into. After a few sweat lodges, you build up a tolerance. What happens when you emerge is magical. All your pores are opened up, toxins (spiritual and physical) have poured out, cedar medicine has settled in your skin and you are reborn. The lodge is literally, “a womb”. You feel bright, energized, and your eyes are new. No shower till the next day, you sleep with the cedar medicine on your skin. Everything in a sweat lodge ceremony means something. I miss those, the last one I was able to do was in 1997.

Well, far from the same thing, there is a steam room at the Southland Leisure Centre, my gym. This will be the next thing that I will do.

Bon Sante