A day for reminiscing

Its a crisp fall day on a Saturday in 1971. My brother and I are sitting with our feet tucked up under us on kitchen chairs in front of a small TV on the kitchen counter. In our hands are big bowls of cereal in milk. I have Cheerios with enough sugar added that I can scrape up a teaspoon of sugar with every bite and my brother is eating Cap’n Crunch which has a teaspoon of sugar in each crunchy shape. Jacked up on sugar, we squeal when we hear the first strains of, “Scooby Dooby Do, where are you? We got some work to do now.” Saturday was the special cartoon day when cartoons played from early morning till twelve noon on the big channels (ABC, NBC, and CBS), the little channels were PBS and UHF. After, we played outside all day till we heard my mother’s two finger whistle you could hear through the neighborhood calling us in for dinner and later to come in at night time. We did eat badly in those days. Dinner was probably shake and bake chicken with mashed potatoes and canned corn in cream, lunch would’ve been sandwiches on Wonder bread or Campbells soup, my favorite was chicken and stars with saltines. In between snacks might be apples, Fudge-0 cookies, or Lays potato chips.

What we did better back then was play. We only marathon watched TV Saturday mornings, otherwise we were outside playing. Our neighborhood had a call we’d make that any kid from our neighborhood knew and would echo the call back. We’d meet up in the direction we heard the call. We played hard, baseball, tackle games at night, tag, running, biking, sledding, swimming, climbing trees and walking all over the neighborhood. We didn’t make appointments to visit each other, we just showed up at each other’s doors. It was the norm to do that. Late at night before bed was TV time. Which amounted usually to one hour. We’d watch the Brady Bunch or The Partridge Family or Walt Disney World on Sunday nights on the big console TV with our mother, (Dad was working nights and days). As young children, none of us had special interest classes after school. That would start with maybe one thing like Little League baseball, Scouts or for me it was gymnastics. I started that at ten years old and attended class once a week for two hours. We had homework, but not a ton of it. My homework in Grammar school was done in thirty minutes or less, if we had any at all. We had our chores we had to do, like dishes, cleaning my bedroom and dusting on Saturday. Otherwise, we were outside most of the time.

Aside from that, we spent a lot of time with family and our parents. They rarely went anywhere without us. For example, if we went to an adult house party, we went in our pajamas and played with the other kids in their pajamas. These were not falling down drunk parties. These were normal social occasions. My father was a musician and so a lot of these were “guitar” parties. I loved sitting with the adults at the kitchen table because they were so funny. A lot of laughter, lot of humor. We took vacation for two weeks in the summer and stayed in a cottage on the beach. Vacation was spent together. My parents would jump waves with us, we went to the movies on a rainy day and the amusement park at least once. Summer outings were drive in’s, ice cream and on really special occasions, we’d go to a restaurant. Winter outings were, ice skating and once a year a special show like the Ice Capades or Ringling Bros and Bailey Circus.

Family visits were on the weekend. My mother entertained the family at our house often, mostly summer picnics, usually if we did this it was on Saturdays. We had a big yard and a pool. Most Sunday’s we visited family for four hours or more. Holidays were fun. My mother made sure of that. My family on both sides are funny, loud and laid back. No strict morays, no shaming, no sarcasm. They’re mostly dead now, mostly from various addictions, but, they were not mean spirited people. My brother resides these days in Ohio, we don’t talk much anymore, he’s a busy guy. I am in Canada. My son lives near me, my daughter on the other side of the country, but we are in touch weekly. I’m spending the day with my son tomorrow.

But, I will always feel fondly about those days.

What does any of this have to do with the Wahls Protocol? Absolutely nothing. I just wanted to take a moment and meditate on the happiest days of my childhood just because it feels good. This is my way of dealing with my recent homesickness. I find that the best way for me to deal with that is to embrace it and celebrate it by sharing it with others.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture of my brother and me on the steps of a cottage we rented for two weeks near Horseneck Beach in Massachusetts. Picture taken around 1968.

 

Let the chips fall where they may

Good news for me today! I got word that my physical therapy for my left leg, gait and balance is approved. I’ll call the physio place that I am approved for tomorrow and set up the next appointment. I’m approved for roughly nine or ten visits, which is what was recommended. I took the opportunity to ask my disability worker if I could meet with her in two months for a face to face visit to discuss my plan to go back to work in five months. This Friday, I see my Neurologist, who I saw not long before I started the Wahls Protocol. He does know that I have been following this and they know that I’ve discontinued my MS drug. I want to ask for help with counseling and preparation to work. I need all the help I can get with this.

Yesterday, I had a pretty good test of my stamina. This is how I fared. I went to the gym per usual with the usual schedule of one hour swimming, shower, rest thirty minutes, then thirty minutes circuit training with weights. What was unusual was a visit with friends who picked me up at the Leisure Centre. We had lunch and decided to go to a “Maker’s Fair”. Which was a very interesting fair of art and science. It did require a lot of walking on top of working out that morning. I did weaken dramatically after an hour and a half, where I was teetering a lot and was visibly struggling. After two hours, I was light headed and nauseous. That was my cue to rest, whether I liked it or not. I sat in the foyer on the stairs and cooled off, the other problem was the hot spots at the last location I was moving through. I let my friends know where I was. One came back and helped me up a flight of stairs to a lounge to have coffee. We sat in a nice spot, they had picnic tables overlooking the event. We sat, sipped coffee and chatted while we watched the Fair from above. It was nice of her to stop to keep me company for an entire hour. I did revive my leg enough to be able to continue on. I spent another hour walking the event and stood in one place for an extra half hour at a very interesting booth we went for a second time to see. All told, I was at the event from approximately 12:30 till its end and 15 minutes past that, 5:15. Leaving the event, I needed my friends, to give me an arm on each side to climb a slightly elevated hill. I was tired. Got home, ate dinner, wrote my blog and cancelled my exercise for this morning. Where I am stronger is my stamina before fatigue happens, is noticeably stronger by all who know me. But, fatigue does still happen.

The assistance I needed for the uphill climbs on stairs and slanted hill were because of fatigue. This is exactly what I need to take into account when considering employment possibilities. Hence, no walking the whole shift with a job that can afford me to sit when my body demands it: This will be criteria number one. The second issue, I left home at 7 am to swim at 8 am. I got home at 6:30 pm and knew that I would need to cancel exercise in the morning. This will not be an option for back to back days at work. Will need to closely regard this. Does this mean that working full time is out of the question. No! Just means that my combination of duties will need to be what I’ve known, a combination of varied action that allows me to walk, and sit intermittently. A friend suggested a stay at home job. That could work too. I could do that as well. I’m good with computers, writing, and telephone work. I’m also self disciplined and could organize my time at home and be efficient. As I traverse the waters of what I can I do, I will ultimately leave the final outcome of what my job will end up being up to my Higher Power. My job is to do everything I can to prepare myself and then let the chips fall where they may.

I wonder where they will fall…………….hmmmmmm.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Dreamstime: https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-poker-chips-air-winning-falling-hand-pocket-aces-full-house-image35270266

New/Old Concepts Reunited

Eons ago, it feels like, I worked at a Fish restaurant called Fishland. In the kitchen, sometimes my duties were to prep before we opened. While the cooks prepped the chicken for landlubbers, I made homemade tarter sauce, which was simply equal amounts of relish and mayonnaise. We had two dishwashers from Jamaica. They exclaimed, when the cooks threw out the chicken bones, skin, fat, and innards, “Why are you throwing out half the chicken? That’s all good!” I thought, but its just the bones, icky innards and everyone knows that the skin and fat are bad for you. All these years later, here I am, learning that we were wrong and they were right.

Interesting to me, in the early 90’s I worked with a nurse who’s daughter was in the Peace Corp in Africa (I don’t remember where). Alice would go to Africa for a month every year to be with her daughter. She told us about an odd (to all of us) cultural situation her first time visiting this place in Africa. Out to the best restaurant in the area, Alice ordered Filet Mignon, which turned out to be the cheapest cut of meat on the menu, because, the more fat was in it, the more it was worth and the better it was, Filet Mignon is one of the leanest cuts.

My grandmother was from Calabria, Italy, she immigrated through Ellis Island around 1920 to Worcester, MA. This was her tomato sauce or as my father called it, gravy not sauce.

  • 2-28 oz can tomatoes, 4 cans tomato paste, 8 cans water
  • Chopped garlic and fresh parsley
  • Olive oil to lightly fry garlic before adding the other ingredients (fat)
  • Oregano, basil, crushed red pepper, and bay leaves, salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (preferably Reggiano)

Meatballs (she didn’t brown them, just dropped them in) (fat)

  • 1 lb ground pork (fat)
  • 1 lb fatty hamburger (fat)
  • 2 eggs (fat)
  • fresh parsley, garlic and Parmesan cheese (fat)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seed
  • Bread crumbs or soaked and torn up stale bread, the same volume as the ground meat
  • salt and pepper

Italian sausage (these would’ve been handmade from D’errico’s Market) browned drain the fat. (fat)

Pig Skin Braciole: Stuffed with Parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, rolled up and tied with string. We kids fought over this, much like the salt pork in homemade baked beans. (fat)

Simmer, uncovered four to six hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with fresh Italian bread and more Parmesan cheese.

My mother made this every Sunday for my father. My grandmother taught her, so she could cook it. My mother was Irish, she loved my father’s mother. I never got to know her, I have vague memories of her, she died when I was five years old. We called her Nonny. Note all the (fat) in this. My father showed me a slice of Capicola, he called it “Gabagool”, he pointed out the ribbed fat. This was from D’errico’s, so it had huge slabs of fat through it. He explained to me, that the more fat, the better it is.

That’s what my father taught me, that and that organ meat was everyone’s favorites in the family as children. Then society taught me this:

food-group-the-first-food-pyramid-was-published-in-sweden-in-1974-musngt-clipart

This is the Dr. Wahls pyramid that I am learning to follow:

unnamed

In her book she has three levels of diet. Wahls, Wahls Paleo and Wahls Paleo Plus. The last listed is a Nutritional Ketosis or Hunter Gatherer diet. Each one has its own pyramid. In each chapter is a wealth of research, and information about each food and its benefits along with the science of each level and why this heals more than that. Most important to note is that this in no way takes the place of the book. I wouldn’t be able to adequately follow this diet without the book, which is inexpensive to purchase on Amazon. It is a reference guide that I turn to over and over and have had to reread to completely understand all these new/old concepts, depending on how you want to look at it.

My Dad would’ve loved this diet, except for the no Italian bread, no cheese and no “macaroni” part. I get homesick sometimes, lately I’m talking a lot about Massachusetts and thinking about my family. Most are long gone. Ugh, a blue note. I don’t want to end in a downer. Whenever I share my grandmother’s sauce, I honor her memory and I relive half my life eating that sauce. I could have it on the Wahls Protocol. I have to omit the cheese and I would need to substitute the bread crumbs for maybe ground hemp hearts, or ground almonds, or ground flax seed. Something like that. On Wahls other two levels, gluten free bread is a suitable substitute. And on level’s I and II, gluten free pasta is okay, level III, no pasta. But, this sauce is so good, you don’t need it.

Mangia!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture of my father in the late 1930’s around four or five years old.

Wahls food pyramid taken from my copy of The Wahls Protocol “How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine by Terry Wahls, M.D.

Good Taste?

As I wrote yesterday, I am losing hair in unusual amounts. After some research for the other problems, which were sleepiness and depression, I learned that my dilemma was probably not enough protein and saturated fats on my Nutritional Ketosis diet. After increasing my fat and protein intake, this was proved to be true. It occurred to me, that maybe that is also the reason for the hair loss. I began research and read in a GQ article about various reasons for hair loss, that one could be not enough protein. I thought, “Aha!” You’d think that that would’ve been my first thought, but no, I did not equate the symptoms till I read that. I will wait two weeks and see, now that I’ve increased both my protein and fat, if my hair loss improves too.

I have been trying new foods since I began the Wahls Protocol seven months ago. Some of the new experiences were good, others not so good. What I have learned about myself and that which took me by surprise was that I am a picky eater. I have never viewed myself in that light and have always considered myself to be open to most tastes. In the conventional North American diet, that is true. But, not on this one. Many things I have excepted with gusto, like fermented foods like Kombucca Tea and Nutritional Yeast, ground bison, the darkest of chocolate, the loss of my sweet tooth and black coffee. Foods that are hard for me to accept are oily fishes (best ones for Omega 3’s), organ meats, and seaweed. The best way to get your nutrients, if possible is always eating them, but if this is not possible, then the easiest way to deal with that if you can’t stomach eating any of this, is with supplements in the form of desiccated liver pills, spiralina capsules, and fish oil capsules or fermented fish oil.

First, Omega 3’s: It is suggested to take fish oil. If taking fish oil that is not fermented then it is suggested to also take a mixed E tocotrienols. If taking a fermented fish oil, then it is not necessary to take the mixed E. There are only a few places in North America that make fermented fish oil i.e. cod liver oil (the old fashioned stuff). You know the stuff mother’s tried to force their kids to take 60 or more years ago. I bought that, and I tried hard to learn to just take it. I mean, com’on, I only need take 2 grams of it daily. I invested $68 in a four month supply bottle. To my credit I did last a whole month. I’d shoot it with the dropper that came with it. But, its just disgusting! That leaves me with two solutions: Learn to like salmon, or take fish oil with the vitamin E. I opted for fish oil with vitamin E.

Second, Seaweed: Daily servings of seaweed, algae or spiralina powder are mandatory on Wahls levels II and III and with good reason. There are healing attributes for the brain and the thyroid. In short its a powerful source for iodine which acts as a natural metal toxin remover from the body. This is something that I really need to figure out a way that will be doable for me. I first bought spiralina capsules which worked out great, except they are pricey and money is an issue for me. I tried the loose powder because it is cheaper and I bought it in bulk, but its beyond disgusting, to me. I have a friend who has no problem hiding it in her smoothie, but to me, it just ruined my smoothie. Then, I tried to take both the fermented fish oil and the spiralina together in a shooter (shot of water mixed with 1/4 tsp spiralina and the 2 grams fermented fish oil. I lasted three weeks doing this. I think that this is what did it in for both of them for me. I bought some products to try to learn a way to eat seaweed. I bought SeaSnax, a dried kelp salty snack. I took one bite last night and to me its just hard spiralina, I don’t care how much salt and onion powder you put on it, that’s all I could taste. So, that was a disaster. I have algae noodles, which the package claims have a neutral flavor and therefore should take the flavor of whatever there tossed with. But, I am afraid to try them. What a baby I am turning out to be, jeesh, who knew?! Although, I think I should get an A for effort, as you can see, I am working hard to find a solution to this, because, I understand why its important. Medicine, I have a vision of my younger five year old brother with his mouth clamped tight refusing the teaspoon of cough medicine, spilling off the spoon, thereby making my mother swear up a storm. That’s my brother, that’s not me. And yet, look at me, its me.

Third and last, organ meat: My father was Italian, he’s deceased now since 1995, he was an old world eater and organ meat was an important part of his diet, it was food he relished. He ate cow’s tongue and head cheese (which is brain pieces suspended in a gelatin mass in the shape of cold cuts), the organs from a whole chicken, that my mother would throw away claiming that there were none. I have my mother’s disdain for organ meat. I settled on desiccated liver pills, which worked out well, but I ran out and can’t always replenish them due to lack of funds. Still working this out. Raw oysters can be eaten as an organ meat serving. Weirdly enough, I love raw oysters and have been eating them since my early 20’s after my friend dared me to eat one, we were drunk. Surprised me to learn that night that I love them. There is a restaurant in the neighborhood that has a special once a week on oysters and they even have the choice of west or east coast oysters, there is a big difference. I’m accustomed to east coast, the west coast oysters have a strong after taste that east coast don’t have. But, its still more than I can afford to do on a regular basis. For this month, I’ll be ordering desiccated liver pills. I’m thinking, it is only required that I consume 12 oz of organ meat per week. The suggested dose is four pills a day, I wonder if I could take four pills three times a week and have it be the same as three servings a week. That would stretch the supply out more than double, making them last longer and saving me money. I really can’t wait to begin making a pay check. However, it is important not to jump the gun on that and do it right, thereby giving me the best chance to succeed.

We’ll just keep a workin’ at’er.

 

Bonne Sante

A puzzle worth solving

It can be very complex being your own doctor. No longer do I blindly give over my life to the medical system while I take no part in learning how my body works.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been my own advocate since 2004 from the first time I fought that statement, “Its stress.” To the final time, this past winter, a MRI, once again, gave proof that it wasn’t just “stress”. Though I’ve said repeatedly how I wished it was just that. Of course, paradoxically, stress is a big contributor to disease. My worse physical attacks have been while under extreme duress. The difference I speak of here, is where my answers are coming from, namely other sciences and unconventional doctors. So, in a way, still from Doctors just not the normal route. These Doctors require, so that I can be most successful, that I know my body and the sciences that govern it of nutrition and environment.

I’ve followed the Wahls Protocol as closely as I can for it is very precise and extremely detailed. There is volumes to learn. I don’t want that to sound discouraging, it required that I put the same amount of energy that I had put into living disabled into a changed mindset of getting well. I just needed a route that could be effective. And this was it. No longer hopeless, I had hope. No longer did I have to sit idly by and be a victim. I could actually do something about this and not wait for the day I would be bedridden. As I follow this, there is always something else to work on. For example, I’m still largely adjusting to living on a Nutritious Ketosis diet. The most recent issue, which I’ve blogged about as it was ongoing, was feelings of depression and overwhelming sleepiness. After a couple weeks of this, I finally found an article which I gave a link to on that particular day on my blog. The answer was that I wasn’t eating enough fat for my body’s energy needs on the Ketosis diet and I wasn’t eating enough protein, the bare minimum was all I was having. Since increasing both, my energy is increasing, my depression has dissipated and the sleepiness has completely lifted. So, that was it. It required me to do research, find what I was missing nutritionally, thanks to Dr. Wahls and my willingness to learn forming a base knowledge of Ketosis from which to start from, having read Wahls book several times, articles on the net, other’s experiences on the Wahls Facebook group, I found my answer.

At present, I am working on figuring out why I am losing so much hair. I have thick hair and woe to the person who lives with me, they gotta deal with that too. I’ve always lost a lot of hair and incredibly, my hair remains thick. But, this, is too much and unusual, and coming right from the roots. My intuition says it is the Ketosis diet, I am lax on a few things as I had mentioned in a previous blog, one of which is bone broth, another seaweed and still another organ meat. I feel the answer probably lies with one of these, or a supplement I need to take, like Q10. I will research what could cause hair loss nutritionally, then go from there. No longer is it a call to the Doctor, or just do nothing at all. I am my own Doctor and I am responsible to find the answers. The good news? The answers are out there! If its there, being the tenacious sort that I am, I’ll find it.

I do crosswords daily. Its one of my cognitive exercises and something I enjoy doing. I was intimidated by crosswords for years, I’d try one every now and then, and unless it was super easy, I’d give up after a minute or two. See, on a harder puzzle, I would suspect the answer, but have no confidence in my choice, then give up. Until I lived with a friend for two years who is an avid crossword enthusiast. You know the type, does the Sunday New York Times puzzle, one of the those. I started doing some of the medium puzzles lying around the house in books that had the answers in the back, and I began to realize that those answers I suspected, were nine out of ten times correct, but weren’t proven yet by the “crossword”. I changed my attitude. I filled in the word with what I felt was probably it even if I couldn’t prove it yet, and I began solving crossword puzzles. I’m still not great, but I do the medium ones with ease now and can do half of some hard ones.

This is like that, trust your intelligence, trust your intuition, do the foot work and you’ll reap the rewards. You just have to want it bad enough.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/frame-less-eyeglasses-on-newspaper-53209/

Strange foods can make good bedfellows

Yesterday, I assessed my progress on the Protocol using a grading system. Today, I need to adjust my grade from a B to a B- because I forgot about Bone broth. Which I should be making from scratch using bones from pastured, free range, no hormones, no antibiotics animals to make this weekly and freeze in jars, to be consumed a cup a day, at least. Suffice it say that I have not done this, yet. I don’t own a crock pot, bone broth slow cooks for hours and hours. I need to get one. I did do one thing, I have powdered bone broth. It might not be ideal, but better than what I am doing, which is nothing. So, this will be added to my “get on it!” list. I have tried the powder in stir fry’s several times, very tasty, but have not tried it as a broth to drink yet. The powdered broth:

bone broth frontbroth

And, I went out and sought answers to the seaweed dilemma. I was going to buy capsules, but I just can’t afford them. 160 Hawaiian Spiralina capsules for $44, at four capsules a day, that’s only 40 days worth. I am trying these Kelp noodles, $8.00:

kelp noodleskelp back

And these snacks, $2.50:

onion kelponion kelp back

I bought one package, it says a package is one serving, but I think I can eat less than that to have my daily serving, maybe even four servings. I’ll let you know how these seaweed products go. I’ll be honest, the noodles scare me. I’m going to try the chicken stir fry this weekend and the seasnax tomorrow.

I received a wonderful affirmation to what I am doing on the Wahls Protocol this morning. I renewed my gym membership. I have a low income pass called Fair Entry that is automatically renewed annually because I am on disability. I learned today that it needed to be renewed. I explained, I’m on AISH, it should be automatic, which it was. The woman asked, “But your so fit? You look better than some born in 1975.” In between those two statements, I explained what I’m doing and where I started. I was born in November, 1962. What a nice thing to hear, six months ago no one batted an eye at my age and the “fit” comment, I’ve been getting a lot lately.

I’ve had lots of unusual visits with friends. Two of them, one from yesterday and one from today are healthy people who have been living and eating this way for years, and it shows. The other has just begun to learn four months ago. The conversations were having are so inspiring, learning from them, sharing what I’m learning. Two of these people haven’t seen me since before I started the Protocol. Both, last saw me with a walker. Gratitude, doesn’t begin to cover how I feel about all this. So, I gotta slurp down some seaweed noodles, I’ll experience a new food. Adventure, gotta keep my mind open.

 

Bonne Sante

Passed!

Where am I coming up short on the Wahls Protocol and where I am doing well. I need to reflect on this often. This is medicine for me, so it is important for me to assess and reassess my progress implementing the protocol into my life. Am I still vigilant, am I slacking off. Where am I at with it.

Vegetables: I am doing well most days with my vegetables. I need to eat equal amounts of sulphers, colored, and greens. From there I need to vary them. Dr. Wahls suggests that we should be eating over 200 species over the course of a year. I vary them well, but I can get into a rut with that. For example, greens, I eat a lot of spinach and mixed greens. There’s a whole lot more. Sulphers, I think are most varied for what is available. Colors, medium. Next, how am I doing in regards to raw versus cooked. It is suggested on Wahls III level for nutritional Ketosis that more raw is better. I am doing well here, everyday, I have two servings of raw veggies, either in the form of a smoothie, salad or Cole slaw. Final word on veggies, organic vs not organic. I am doing as well as I can afford. I can’t go all organic, but what I do do is shop using the clean 15 list/dirty dozen. Good article with the list here on Global News: Global News 2017 clean 15/dirty dozen  Grade: A (increase varieties in some categories)

Proteins: I need between 6 to 12 oz per day. I just needed to make a readjustment here, I was eating the bare minimum and often less than that. It is suggested to eat clean meats, whole, no antibiotics, growth hormones, grass fed, free range. I do the best I can with what I can afford. I worked hard to source the best prices and quality. I buy wild caught fish, I should be eating mostly salmon and other oily fish varieties, however, not a big fan, I eat cod, shrimp and canned tuna several times a week. I need to revisit salmon and try to make a better effort. What I am doing right, I eat fish two to three times per week. When I started this, that number was zero. Grade B+  (better with the fish)

Fats: I have completely eliminated whole butter and vegetable oils. I use coconut oil, saturated fat like bacon drippings, ghee (clarified butter) and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling (not to be cooked with). What did need to be adjusted due to level III, was I wasn’t eating enough, I need to eat a lot of fat on this level. A+

Nuts and seeds: 4 oz a day. All nuts and seeds are included except peanuts. The other stipulation is that they be soaked on levels II and III. So, I’ve done good in that I have completely given up peanuts and peanut butter in favor of almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts and butters made from almonds or cashews. I have flax seeds, chia seeds and sesame seeds. I soaked them once. Almonds. And they were fine, Soaked eight hours, dried on a towel, pan toasted, making them crispy again. Its the habit, I have not gotten myself dedicated to yet. On the list. C (need to commit to soaking)

Fermented foods: Suggestion is one serving a day. I am doing well here. Although, this one took me some time to understand. Per day I have one of the following a 1/2 cup Kombucca tea, homemade coconut milk yogurt, fermented pickles in brine, nutritional yeast in my smoothies or sprinkled over cooked food. If I run out of fermented foods (money issues) then I supplement with probiotics I only use for that, they last months that way (less expensive). A+

Organ meats: Technically listed in with proteins. Suggested amount is 12 oz a week. This has been a tough one for me. I tried them, my valiant try was liverwurst. Not much of a try if I am to be honest with myself. I settled on desiccated liver pills. I bought one bottle, lasted me two months. Ran out two months ago. Let that go over money. Eating it would be better and cheaper. This has to be worked on, because it is an important component. I am failing organic meat. F (Need to work harder at trying to learn to do this)

Seaweed/algae: Daily. I’ve worked on this. I bought Hawaiian Spiralina capsules to take with water. This worked out best for me. Something else, I am not a fan of eating. They are expensive, so I invested in loose Spiralina powder. That bag would’ve lasted months, but yick. Did not work for me, I’m looking to capsules or I may bring myself to try Nori snacks. Working on a solution. B (for on going effort to incorporate).

Excluded foods: Dairy, Gluten, and on level III all forms of sugar. I am doing great here, I am very strict with these. Sugar was hardest on coffee, which I love with lots of cream and sugar. I have learned to drink it black or with full fat coconut milk. Coconut milk is the only milk I can have on Level III. I’m doing well with that. I’m okay without Gluten. I eat cooked sweet potatoes that I should, technically twice a week with a lot of coconut oil, I eat them probably four times a week on average. I’m okay here. Otherwise, its all good. Although, I do miss bananas and sweet fruits. I can only have one cup of berries a day. I mostly miss the sweeter fruits in smoothies. I need to work on finding a better smoothie mix. The one I make isn’t far from green sludge. More research. B (I am not 100% compliant on on the occasional eating out situations, always compliant with Wahls, but, slack off a little on level III, maybe have a white potato, or forgive the fact that the oil is probably Canola oil and use it anyway on my salad).

Supplements: This is an area that I have had to work ridiculously hard to understand, source for quality and creatively figure out ways that I can purchase the most important ones, If I can adequately figure out what those are. I give myself an A+ for the constant hard work I put into this.

Water: I don’t drink enough, never have, old bad habit. I’m lucky if I drink three full glasses per day. Needs to be more. And it needs to be filtered. Which, I am not doing, yet. I need to invest in a filtering system of some kind. Its on the list. In the mean time, I am trying to talk myself into drinking tea later in the day and I can include the coffee, which I haven’t, I have one to two cups a day. D (increase and filter)

Natural products versus toxic: I am progressing here, slowly, but surely. I gave away my microwave (Wahls is against them). I am old enough to remember living very well I might add, without them. The transition was easier than I expected. I like the counter space it freed up. Got rid of Teflon pans and replaced them with ceramic and stainless steel. As used up the cleaning supplies and personal products, I have been replacing them with all natural. I can’t afford to through everything out I have and replace at once, this taken the last seven months to do, but I just about there. I switched to a fancy “all natural” toothpaste which has a ton of ingredients and is $8.00 a tube. Finished that off and am doing what Wahls suggested. I keep a jar of coconut oil next to a jar of baking soda. Next to these is a bottle of Peppermint essential oil. Drag brush in oil, then dip in baking soda  and a drop or two of Peppermint oil. That’s it. Its not bad. This is working well. This is the latest habit I incorporated. A

Electrical Stimulation and Physical Therapy: This is one that I have written a lot about as of late. I have worked on this since July. Long and short of it, I have the machine and am waiting for physical therapy paper work and bureaucracy to go through. Soon, I think, hopefully in the next three weeks. In the mean time, I have the machine and need to incorporate the habit of spending at least 20 minutes with a day. I have incorporated the three exercises into my workouts that are specifically for this. A (working hard on this)

Exercise: I workout four days a week, religiously. It wasn’t hard to talk me into this, I love to exercise. Its my anti depressant and I thoroughly enjoy it. I swim and circuit train. With that, I take walks. A+

Stress Relief: I am lucky here as well, I am already in the habit of meditation, group support, and working gratitude into my life daily and I have a personal relationship with a Higher Power that I rely on for strength and guidance. B+ (can always work at being better at this)

Further Detoxing: I take Epsom and sea salt baths and I use the steam room at the gym twice a week to help with this. B (not as vigilant as I should be)

Overall grade: I give myself an average B

I think, all considering, that that’s good. We’ll call this my mid term exam and revisit towards the end of my first year.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Happy people picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/beach-blue-sky-cheerful-clouds-452738/

 

 

Another Big Day

Sleepiness is away. This is what I ate today:

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Midday meal of Baked chicken thigh with coconut oil, Cajun sweet potato fries baked with coconut oil and a cabbage, onion, and carrot Cole slaw in a balsamic/olive oil vinegarette
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Dinner, fried cod with coconut oil (two pieces instead of none for the second meal), sauteed broccoli with garlic and onion in coconut oil, last of spinach with pepper, cabbage, radishes, almonds, onions, and carrots in a vinaigrette. 

Look at these meals, poor me, I gotta eat this! I expect this food in a good restaurant. These are the types of dishes I am eating most days, factor in smoothies and bigger salads, with chia seed pudding from time to time for a treat. Chia seed recipe:

  • 3 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup fresh fruit (I like strawberries or blue berries or both)
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • dash of salt and a 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Mix together and let sit for 1 hour or overnight. Awesome stuff!

Another big day, spoke with my Neurologist’s nurse today. She’s so good at getting back to us. We spoke at length. She filled out the form sent to my Doctor for physio, yay! Have to wait a week for my Doctor to be back from vacation to sign it. Then that should be good to go. I reiterated that I will not be renewing my Copaxone prescription. She warned me that I might not be able to get back on it if I stop. She’s right too, in Alberta, they require you to have two MS attacks within a two year period to be approved for a MS drug. Even if you’ve had a dozen attacks and dozens of lesions, and have taken the drug before. Its an odd criteria, I am aware of it, I had to wait for a second attack to hit to get back on Copaxone after having been on it for three years. Copaxone has proven to me that it does nothing, while the Wahls Protocol has proven to me that it does far more than Copaxone can barely claim to do. So, I’m done with it. My mind is made up. And the third biggie in the conversation, was going to back to work in five months. I asked to have support. I want to see my Doctor, not a student of his so that I could speak to him of the fact that I am terrified to go back to work. Fear of the rug being pulled out from under my feet again. I have safety nets in place now that I stand to lose, namely subsidized housing and disability. The last time, I ended up homeless, bankrupt and lost primary care of my daughter. Yes, its a frightening prospect. I need all the help I can get! And so, the next five months my job will be to get ready to work, physically, psychologically and logistically. Spiritual disclaimer: “If it by Thy will.” I am on this planet to live it to the best of my ability.

Important to remember, that as I move in this direction, it does not mean that it will end the way it seems that it will, with a job and that I will be okay working thirty-five to forty hours per week. I may find that the best I can do is twenty hours a week or less. I won’t truly know till I settle in. In the mean time, I will do everything I can to be prepared. Hopefully, after a few months of rehabilitation and counseling, I’ll then pretend to work, by scheduling full days of work. I’ll set pretend hours and begin to build my schedule and life around the loss of those hours. That will help give me a clue whether its possible. And after a month of that, then I will begin applying. Of course, by then, I will know the best occupations to strive for, I will know what I can do and can’t. I already have a good idea. And, given the remarkable progression of wellness I’ve had in seven short months, I believe that I should be in better shape then as well.

Friggin’ Scary! That’s how we would’ve said it in Worcester, Massachusetts where I was born and raised : )

 

Bonne Sante

Mystery Solved

I have been plagued with sleepiness. I sleep a solid night and then sleep two hours more, and still don’t want to get out of bed. In the afternoon, I can barely keep my eyes open and have been sleeping up to two hours then too. This morning on my way to the gym, I was following asleep. This isn’t me. I finally set to work to trying to find an answer to this. I have no doubt it has something to do with the way I am eating. And it did. I posed a question on a forum, didn’t have answers there. I went on line and found this wonderful list of possible side effects from the Nutritional Ketosis diet, why and what to do about it.

Seven ways to fight fatigue on a low-carb diet

This article comes from a site called Low Carb Diet Support. I got down to a couple answers, the immediate one that I could do something about today was eat more food. I have not been eating enough, the bare minimum. And, even though, I feel like I’m eating a ton of fat, still not enough. This diet requires between 70 and 80% of calories be from fat, since this is what the body burns as energy. So, I upped my fat intake and ate an extra portion of protein. It says be sure to eat protein with each meal. I only eat two meals, so to fast between meals for optimal healing time while the body rests from the work of digestion, and the second meal, most of the time, I skip the protein. Its hard to eat when your not hungry, which happens with this diet. The other problem is money.  It is hard to do this with little money and stay on top of it. For example, I have money coming in Thursday, but have $1.30 in the bank right now. I have one more serving of greens. Supplements, I’ve been out of several of them. Q10 is an important one, so I will get that one squared away next month. I was taking liquid Magnesium Glycinate. The bottle is $40 and lasts only one month. Can’t afford it, but got some very good tips from this article I found online:

Magnesium Supplements: Different types and different benefits

I found this on a site called Organic Newsroom. Lengthy and redundant in sections, but worth the read. Learned a lot. I’m going to try Magnesium Malate, $15 at the Canadian Vitamin Shop, that’s for 100 100 mg caps. I would need to take 310 mg a day (minimum recommended daily amount for women). That’s mostly one bottle, however, $15 a month is better than $40. This is my compiled list of attributing factors and what to do about them:

  • Be sure to eat enough fat.
  • Be vigilant, be sure to eat protein at both meals.
  • Be creative. There’s not a lot I can do about the money situation at this precise minute, the plan is to work to be ready to work full time in five months. The answer to that is to use creative intelligence. Learn all I can, research other ways to get there. Which is what the above is an example of.
  • Be in the know with the supplements. Get on the right combination of supplements, and make it a priority to make sure they get paid for. What I mean by that, know what are most important for me and which ones should be let go of. I’m finding out the hard way that Magnesium and Q10 were not the ones to let go of.
  • Attitude, its a lot of work, but its a real adventure too. And, what I am learning about the human body is amazing.

I have an appointment with my Neurologist November 3rd. I left a message on his nurses answering machine about the AISH (disability) request for e-stim physio form. I let her know on the message that I will not be renewing my Copaxone. I thought to tell them in the office, but I think they have to put paperwork in order before hand for it to be renewed, which is the purpose of this visit. I don’t want to waste their time. And I requested to see my doctor himself, not one of the MS practicum doctors. I want to talk to him about my progress and that I want to try going to work full time. I am asking for support every where I can. My niece suggested career workshops and computer skill classes. I might consider that for Excel. Hate that program. I pick up programs easy, but that one, whereas I have no doubt I can learn it, I’m not interested in it. But, in looking over the job market, there is a consistent requirement to know Excel. So, OKAY, I’ll learn it. Ugh. And, I’ll learn it with a good ATTITUDE (remember, this one’s on the list above). I updated my resume today. That was big too.

Oh, and finally, it was the diet, I ate all that extra food today and it picked me up. Sleepiness is gone. Mystery solved.

 

Bonne Sante

 

 

Keeping a daily record

I am coming up on seven months on the Protocol in five days. Keeping this blog has been beneficial in many ways, some expected and some unexpected. One of which is keeping track of milestones, time frames, and ups and downs. It is also an outlet. I have to sit here and consider what I will talk about today in reference to my journey, which then becomes an opportunity to share my frustrations, fears, successes and amazement’s as I work at this day after day. It is also a research tool. I will quite often need to research this or that to be sure that I have the information correct. Therefore, it is also a very effective learning tool. It is a wonderful imagery and visionary device in creating timelines and goals. And it is a record of my individual trek to wellness. Its a journal, a ship’s log.

Root meaning of Journal: Origin and meaning of journal: mid-14c., “book of church services,” from Anglo-French jurnal, from Old French jornel, “a day; time; a day’s travel or work”                                                                     www.etymonline.com/word/journal

Root meaning of Journey: journey. c.1200, “a defined course of traveling; one’s path in life,” from Old French journee “day’s work or travel” (12c.), from Vulgar Latin diurnum “day,” noun use of neuter of Latin diurnus “of one day” (see diurnal). Meaning “act of traveling by land or sea” is c.1300.                         www.dictionary.com/browse/journey

Jour is the French word for day i.e. “Soupe du jour” (Soup of the day) or “Bon Journey” (Good day).

Root meaning of Log: The Greek root word log means ‘word,’ and its variant suffix -logy means ‘study (of). … are constantly entering data or ‘words‘ into their captain’s log, telling about their journeys through space. … Etymology is the study of the origin of words.                                                                                                      http://membean.com/wrotds/log-word

The series of word roots above may give some people a yawn to look at, but I find it fascinating. Journaling took me in this direction today. I understand anything better if I know its history and so I am always looking for the root of things. I lived in French speaking Quebec and New Brunswick for six years and was amazed at how many words in English are from the French language.

Today, in brief: I had a morning of housework, then met some friends at a local church. My walking was terrible because I had fatigued my leg doing two hours of housework before walking a kilometer to the church. After sitting a while, my leg was better.

Had a wonderful dish of broccoli for dinner, simple recipe:

  • Half head of broccoli, slice tender section of stalks, leaving the florets whole if small and halved if big
  • Three garlic cloves, sliced
  • Ghee
  • Lemon wedge
  • Extra Virgin oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Melt 1 tbsp of Ghee in a frying pan over medium heat, add the sliced stalk section of the broccoli and the garlic. Saute five minutes. Add the broccoli florets and more Ghee if dry, saute a few minutes more. Add 1/4 cup water and cover. Cook for 6 or 7 minutes, or till crisp tender. Plate, squeeze wedge over broccoli, drizzle the olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Bonne Sante

Captains Log, star date 2017.293

(I always wanted to say that)