S M I L E !

Christmas in five days! Bet you needed me to tell you that, right? I have slowed down on my blogging to once or twice a week, which, I think from here on out I’ll keep that pace. It was daily for seven and a half months. I’m currently off nutritious ketosis (Wahls level III). I do notice a marked decrease in the healing rate I was enjoying on that level and will go back to it in January. For the holidays, this is easier. Gives me more choices, for example, at a luncheon a couple days ago, this level allowed me to eat something, level III, nothing. A beautiful spread, I had shrimp salad rolls, rice crackers, fresh fruit and coffee. On level III, only fruit and coffee, and of the four fruits served, only raspberries. I’m still healing, I’m not regressing, but it was remarkable on level III. So much so that it will be well worth the effort to make it work.

I was weak and put out a resume for a job that was directly across the street from me. But, regretted that the next day. I know its too soon. For one thing, I made a promise to my Neurologist that I would wait till rehabilitation is finished and that will take another three months. Plus, three months fits neatly into the original blueprint (plan) to work after one year on the Wahls Protocol, which is March 27th. I will keep to it and wait.

Today, we had the end of a storm this morning. I went Christmas and grocery shopping. I trudged through the snow with some balance issues, but got to the bus stop. Witnessed a car accident just before the stop. A woman pushed the flashing yellow pedestrian signal, the first car stopped, but the guy behind him wasn’t paying attention and plowed into the car that stopped, then into the pole. The guys were yelling at each other, but no one was hurt. Then my bus arrived. So, I trudged, I shopped, and shopped, and shopped some more. Four hours with two twenty minute sitting rests. Got home, rested for a short time, did some housework and made dinner for a friend. She left not long ago. Early this morning before going out, I did my laundry. A good productive day that I will remind you would’ve been impossible for me to do. I stayed away from malls. I was not free to walk around. A walker would’ve been necessary and bathrooms within walking distance and they never are at malls. But, neither is an issue. I do need to here and there, but I shopped at Sears, which is going out of business in Canada. The last time I went to Sears was last winter, I had a walker and I need assistance to get items low to the ground. I was exhausted after thirty minutes of shopping that required trying on one item of clothing. This is the first time back to that same Sears and I smiled when I effortlessly reached repeatedly for low to the ground items, without assistance, a walker or a cane. Then shopped for four and a half hours. S   M    I     L    E     !

 

Bonne Sante

 

What to do when feeling edgy

That is the title, not because I am an expert on the subject, more because that is the mood that has been plaguing me as of late and one way to change the tract of negative thinking is to focus attention on the opposite of it. I don’t always need to know why I feel this way and thankfully, these days, it isn’t often that I suffer from this and thankfully when I do have days or times like these, I won’t tolerate it by entertaining a mood like that for very long. Its time has come. I will say this, a feeling of powerlessness will push me in this direction. If the situation is truly a deal that I am powerless over, then I won’t have peace till I accept that fact. How can I achieve this then? By writing about my feelings, talking about it with a trusted and wise friend, acknowledging it, changing what I can and accepting what I can’t.

To backtrack a moment to not “entertaining a mood”. What do I mean by that. Anything will grow when attention is given it that feeds it. Like oxygen on a flame or water and sun for a plant. It can be good, it can be bad. What I magnify becomes my result. The choice I have is what I choose to magnify my attention on. Suffice it to say I am in a bad mood. Why? Because I have focused my attention on situations that I clearly have no power over and have forgotten what is good. I let myself get depressed over them and indulged in a a narrow and negative point of view. All of which culminated in hissy fits this morning and then feeling bad about that (lot of self centeredness going on there). To get over this mood and get out of my self centered obsession, I need to do the opposite of what was listed above.

I’m powerless……..I ask for a Higher Power’s strength to do what I need to do to get me out of this funk. Means I need to accept what I have no control over, people, places and things and change my attitude to a constructive one, not destructive.

I’m depressed…….I take self care action. Like extra grooming which is an act of self love, extra time cleaning my living space where I dwell, another act of self love. Forcing myself to show up, in my situation its been within the four walls of my house when alone that I succumb. Therefore, show up at home, do things that interest me and if I’m not interested, do it anyway, get things done, don’t sleep and zone out in front of a TV.

I’m indulging negativity…….I will indulge the positive instead, starting with a gratitude list. I find when I take the time to actively sit down and write out a well thought out gratitude list, it doesn’t take long for me to see that, truly, I’ve got it pretty good.

Self centered thought process…….First off, it has taken a long time for me to even understand what self centered thinking is and how to recognize it, for others, it comes easier, for me, its work to stay out of it. Thinking of others, while forgiving myself for my shortcomings (hard for me). Thinking of others and practicing art are ways to get myself out of my head.

There, I feel better already!

 

Bonne Sante

 

 

Important update for Living Proof Documentary

Matt Embry
Matt Embry Hello everyone, we are currently holding screenings in cities across the United States in February. We need everyone’s help now to spread the word within your community about this screening and to reserve tickets for showings. If you would like to set up a screening in your city you can sign up to be a captain now free of charge. Please follow this link to see which cities are showing the film on which date and help us in the fight against MS! https://gathr.us/films/living-proof
The above is a message from Matt Embry (the producer of the film). As you can imagine, it takes a break to get a national screening of anything. A small project such as this with minimal backing must be that much harder. As many people as possible should be given the opportunity to at least know that there is an answer for autoimmune illnesses and this documentary does an excellent job of showing that. It is part biography and part expose. It does focus primarily on MS, however it is a fact that most of the methods shown in the documentary apply to any autoimmune conditions. It is important to support it so that maybe with enough push, after its public screenings that I hope many of you will either attend if one is captained in your city in the US or volunteer to captain a screening in your city in the US, it will be picked up by a major network like Netflix, where far more people can watch it. I was lucky to live in Calgary where it premiered three sold out shows at the Calgary Film Festival. I saw two showings with two different sets of friends. It deserves our best effort to help it be seen.
Disclaimer: The second paragraph is my opinion, I don’t have inside information. After looking at the On Demand theater site, its common sense to me that this will need as many voices and as much footwork as possible for it to have the best chance.
Bonne Sante

Muffins and Calf Raises

I made wonderful muffins tonight. The recipe:

Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 11/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten or 1 tbsp ground flax or chia seed mixed with 3 tbsp water (let sit ten minutes or lightly heat up
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dried whole unsweetened cranberries
  • 2 squares Lindt 85% chocolate, chopped into chunks
  • 8 almonds sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or place paper muffin cups in a 6 cup muffin tin.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Mix the canned pumpkin, egg, coconut milk and maple syrup. Gradually mix in the flour mixture until just blended. Fold in the cranberries.
  4. Split muffin batter evenly between the 6 muffin cups (the muffins are large muffins so the tins will fill up. Top the muffins with chopped chocolate and sliced almonds.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. 3-5 minutes before turning out from pan.

I have amassed a lot of recipes that I have piled up in my notes and I-phone. The plan is to transfer these to the recipes page. But, not today.

I experience gains most days. Today, I was able to use a very heavy standing calf machine. I like lifting weights, I did a lot of body building in the 80’s and 90’s. I switched to circuit training over the years. Body building is, on average, three sets of eight to twelve reps using the heaviest weights you can lift with a rest between each set. Usually workouts are split between chest, shoulders and triceps twice a week, back and biceps twice a week and legs twice a week, abs every day. Circuit training is a full body workout three to five days per week and is one set of twelve to twenty reps moving from one exercise to the next with no rest between.

One of my favorite exercises when I was body building was calf raises on a standing calf machine. I tried to do one about five months ago with no added weights (the machine at my gym is an old heavy thing which, rested by itself on shoulders is probably 40 or 50 lbs). I almost didn’t get out from under the machine. Scary and disappointing moment. Since then, I’ve done calf raises without the machine or weights at the side of the machine. Today, I mustered my courage up and got under the heavy shoulder pads and let the lever go that puts the weight from the lever to your shoulders. I did four reps and had no problem putting the lever back that takes the weight off your shoulders and getting out from under. Some would say not a big deal but, for me it was. Yay!

 

Bonne Sante

Still At’er!

In reference to the picture, that apple is multiple sclerosis and that is me wielding the hatchet which is the Wahls Protocol.

I took a little blog break this past week. Things have been somewhat frustrating for me as of late in terms of swinging the Protocol on a very limited budget in the further complicated, midst of Christmas. Never fear, I am steadfast on the Protocol. However, I have given myself more flexibility by wavering somewhere between levels I and II till I get through the holiday season. I’ve also made a decision to get the other carpal tunnel surgery done and over with around the end of January.

I am working on rehabilitation for the prospect of working in four months, which is about the length of time it will take to finish rehabilitation, which is also, coincidentally (I think not), one year on the Wahls Protocol, that which goes along the schedule first laid out eight months ago, to work after one year on the protocol, gasp (long sentence), big breath in, pant, pant. The rehabilitation schedule works like this:

December/January: Eight visits of Physio for my leg with a Physical Therapist every two weeks

Now and forever: Daily physio along with e-stim. Truth be told, I average four days a week consistently.

January 18: Appointment with the MS Psychiatrist at the Optimus Program, from there we will set up a plan and have appointments with an MS social worker

January or February: Carpal tunnal surgery

February: Set up a meeting with my disability worker to discuss safely experimenting with employment and seek career counseling.

March 27: One year on the Protocol

¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤

Milestones! I went to a lovely birthday party last night, after a dinner of Indian food and coconut flour birthday cake, we played games. The opponents and team mates are all smart, educated and quick witted. Tons of fun to play games with, but I have traditionally been, due to cognitive damage, low man on the totem pole. Last night the average scores were in the 40’s, the high being 46 for Scatergories. I was 44. Ordinarily, I would’ve been in the 20’s. That’s a big milestone. And in Taboo, our team won by one point. I wouldn’t have been much help to my team at one time, but last night, I held my own in both describing and guessing. My guessing was slightly better than the describing, said, F@&k!”, a lot when slipping on words I shouldn’t say, but still did as well as most.

Yes, things are complicated, requiring more flexibility and creativity and are ramping up, but, I’m okay and still very grateful, especially after the game playing last night. Which brings me to one more type of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation for the brain. I have done a lot of that. I do daily crossword puzzles and quite often I will get two newspapers (The Metro, free) and do the crossword a second time working on memory of the answers. I did lumosity, which you can get a free app for and then be allowed to play a number of games every day in the free version, that helped a lot to get me started. When I go to the gym, I swim first, then shower and rest with a coffee and the Metro. I read the paper and do the puzzles, then I go upstairs and do the second physical workout. So actually, its three workouts:

  1. Swim, stretching and steam room
  2. Brain, crossword, Sudoku and current events
  3. Circuit training, physio and stretching

Four days a week…..

I missed exercising Sunday and Monday, so I will go Tuesday and Wednesday before my usual Thursday and Friday. I will get my four days in because its that important. And how will I get these workouts done once I start working. I’m already coming up with strategies, which will have to be a different gym then the one I go to. More on that another day….

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/apple-artwork-business-color-459719/

 

Living Proof Documentary soon available to view in the US

Living Proof is a documentary featuring Matt Embry’s successful example of having MS while experiencing a normal, healthy life due to diet, exercise and supplements. The documentary is also an expose on pharmaceutical companies and the MS Society. I saw the documentary twice when it debuted here in Calgary at the film festival. It was excellent and won best Alberta feature. All three of its Calgary showings sold out.

I copied Matt Embry’s Facebook announcement with the comments because there are answers in the comments to questions asked. I thought it easiest to copy and paste, less chance of mistaken information.

Matt Embry
7 hrs · 

Great news! ‘Living Proof’ will be available to watch in February 2018 to people in the USA via Theatrical on Demand. Sign up with Gathr Films and help bring ‘Living Proof’ to your community. It will cost you nothing to captain a screening and start sharing hope.

Bring Living Proof to your city!
GATHR.US
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Ravinder Minhas
Ravinder Minhas Iowa City buy your ticket here for Feb 7, 2018 https://gathr.us/screening/22142

Help bring Living Proof to Iowa City, IA on Wednesday,…
GATHR.US
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Tessa Rushton
Tessa Rushton Thank you for producing this Ravinder! The story needs to be told! I too am living proof 😊

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Michelle Peloso Pasqualotto
Michelle Peloso Pasqualotto And when do we in Victoria get to see it?

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Matt Embry
Matt Embry We will be announcing the Canadian theatrical plan very soon.

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Alina Floch
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Sidia Di Benedetto
Sidia Di Benedetto What about Melbourne Victoria Australia

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Amy Lepinski Egan
Amy Lepinski Egan Is the DVD for sale yet?

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Diane Wilson
Diane Wilson Is there any other way to get the movie ? we have horrible internet and can’t stream – as we live in a rural area

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PMayfield Anaya
PMayfield Anaya will it ever be on Netflix or Amazon?

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Sapna Bedi
Sapna Bedi How about the UK? Xx

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Amy Penszynski
Amy Penszynski I can’t wait!

Yes, Virginia, you can turn the clock back.

Teary gratitude moment today. It happened as I learned a new exercise that will further help my walking and stepping up stairs. I’m just so happy to have knowledgeable direction to apply the correct exercises to rebuild atrophied muscles around what neurologically doesn’t work. That took me by surprise. I was just happy to be working on this. My left drop foot is the oldest damage I have. It started in 2003 when all of a sudden I couldn’t do a yoga stretch that I’ve never had a problem with before. It was on the left side and it was weird. I let it go. A year later, my left leg was weakening at the end of hour long power walks that I took daily. Having been a contortionist and an acrobat in younger years, I thought that I might have old damage in my hip. When electric shocks began coursing through my right arm and side, I went to an emergency room and after having the recommended MRI a few days later, I learned that I had two lesions typical of MS. One of the lesions was on the right side of the brain and was the reason my leg was weakening and inflexible. Long story short, over the years as I’ve had more MS flare ups and damage, the original lesion causing damage to the left leg grew larger with each attack. Progressing to a noticeable limp, then to a cane and finally a walker.

Its been eight months since I began the Wahls Protocol and weaned off the walker, AFO and the cane. I walk freely, but still fatigue after a lot of exercise or walking and need to sit and rest my leg. I’m about where the level of fatigue was in 2008. Think about it, the clock has been turned back nine years in eight months.  I’ll say it again, if a MS drug did this, it would be all over the news. So, I had a teary moment, I regained my composure quick, I don’t think anyone knew I had a tear in my eye. I was doing exercises that have been completely impossible for me to do, not so long ago. I was doing them slow, but I was doing them. Its because of physio that I even know after having this damage since 2004 that what doesn’t work is my left hip flexor. I thought early on it was my side hip, but then thought better that it was my left glute muscle not working right. What matters, is that I know what it is now. Thank you!

I think on physio days, I really need to drop a workout. There is a physio center in the leisure center where I work out and swim. I schedule my appointments on days I am scheduled to work out. I get there early and swim for an hour, rest, have coffee, then circuit train in the gym for 40 minutes, then head straight into physio from there. Physio is almost an hour on top of that. It was too much for me, I did fatigue and I slept and did nothing most of the rest of the day. The next time, I’ll swim, but will skip the weights and rest up for physio. The trouble with me is that I am a “if some is good, a lot is better” kind of person. The workouts are part of my building blocks, every meal, every workout is a brick. I hate to miss one. But, truthfully, I’m not really missing one, I’m swapping one out. Physio is every two weeks on Mondays till the end of January, then were done. I do the exercises around four times per week with space between to recover, which the physical therapist explained is how I should be doing this. Suffice it to say, I think that would bring a tear to anyone’s eye. On the Wahls Protocol Facebook page, members are posting before and after photos of when they began and today. I am waiting till my first year on the Protocol is complete, then I’ll post my after picture. I wonder how much it is to have the before picture blown up to one of those life size, stand alone cut outs. I thought to bring it to the Leisure Center where it was taken. Then, I’ll dance around it while someone films it, that can be my after photo!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/accuracy-alarm-clock-analogue-business-552598/

Enjoy what is

Decreasing stress is one of the components of the Dr. Wahls Protocol. Stress is known to be a catalyst for illness. My own experience proves that. I was under a great deal of duress building up to becoming sick. Life happens, sometimes it isn’t pleasant. I’m stating the obvious, but its important to look at the truth of that. I have learned over the years due to a different illness I have that relies on the practice of gratitude to stay in remission, how to live in the moment, to look at my part in relationships and mistakes, to do spot check inventories, to make gratitude lists and to enjoy what is. Like anything these habits require a commitment and daily practice. I have had years of successfully applying these practices to my life and I’ve had times when I let them go and let old negative habits creep back in to the detriment of my serenity.  It was during those times that I got sick and running scared, made bad decisions that made the situation ten times worse then it had to be.

How to practice serenity is to be grateful for everything. To remind myself to live in the moment. I like these statements, “God will only give you what you can handle in one day.” and “I have all the money I need provided I die at 12 midnight tonight.” That doesn’t mean that I don’t plan for this or that. It means, I make the appointment, research the information, jot down the idea, then let it go, putting it out of my mind till its time to deal with it. This takes practice and is sometimes easier said then done. However, like anything, practice makes it easier to do, then the rewards flood in from the practice.

Sometimes to get down to a free flowing serene state, I must look at unpleasant truths about myself, especially if the same set of calamities or repeated mistakes happen over and over again. That’s usually a sure fire sign that the fault is mine. Somewhere, there are deep rooted issues that must be unearthed, amends made, myself and others to be forgiven and then, if the work is earnest and sincere then peace for this situation or relationship happens. Other people are usually necessary to help with this, such as support groups, advisers, counseling, religious practices for some people, etc. Food for thought, the smartest and most powerful people on Earth have advisers, the more responsibility they have the more advisers they have. It is, paradoxically, not a sign of weakness, but of strength to seek advice and assistance.

Meditation is the practice of being in the moment. To be aware of all five senses, to quiet the mind, concentrate on breathing, build a deeper communion with a Higher Power if one so chooses, or to feel a deeper connection with the Earth with sounds of nature and thoughts of ancient trees and pathways thru the woods or how the Earth feels on your hands when you plant something. We can do quick, in the moment meditations with everyday mundane activities, like concentrating on the warm sensation of sudsy water as I clean the plate, listening for the sound of clacking silverware when I drag the bottom of the sink for silverware to clean. Or we can do long prepared meditations. Set the scene, a favorite spot in our home that we create the space for. Burn incense maybe, light candles, play serene music or sounds (I like the ocean) or listen to a guided meditation. Exercise and jewelry making are both deep sources of meditation for me. I am completely focused when I create, colors, sewing, the feel of beads in my hands, or exercise, I’m off in my own world. When exercising, I am completely riveted on the teacher, the movement I’m doing, the feel of the water, the weights in my hands, the flexing of the targeted muscles, my breathing. When I do these things, I am not thinking about the bills I need to pay in two weeks, or the appointments I have tomorrow or even in two hours, I am completely in the moment. This is one of the reasons I love doing these two activities. Anxiety, fear of the unknown, causes the body to do certain things, increases heart rate, gasping for breath, racing thoughts of fears and over dwelling on negatives. Meditation is the practice of clearing the mind, deep thoughtful breathing, bringing one’s thinking back to the present moment and the realization that one is safe in that moment. Many fears are of bogeymen that are not happening right now and in most cases may never happen. And if there is a difficult loss occurring, job, family, health, then the practice of these above can make them easier to handle, more manageable by making it possible to take the situation(s) piece meal.

To enjoy what is are all these practices, that is the goal for me. That and humor. A sense of humor can cut stress in half and help keep a heart light. There is always two ways to look at any situation. Most of the time there is something good to consider even when it feels unfair. Here’s a silly joke:

Four men from Boston meet every Sunday to play cards. Clancy, Taylor, John and Ian have known each other for decades. John is the upbeat positive chap in the group. No matter what anyone says he always answers, “It could be worse.” This always rubs Clancy the wrong way. One Sunday, only Clancy, John and Ian show up. Ian, visibly upset, breaks the news to Clancy and John that Taylor is in jail after coming home Saturday night and finding his wife in bed with another man, he shot and killed them both. To which, John says, “It could be worse.” Clancy yells back, “That’s the last straw! You drive me nuts, how could it be worse John, two people are dead and our good friend is in jail, how could it be worse, you tell me that?!” John replied, “It could be worse because he could’ve come home on Friday when I was there.”

It could be worse.

 

Bonne Sante

A quickie blog today

Life is good! Busy day, non profit meeting followed by coffee talk meeting. I walked seven and a half blocks to the car of a companion going to the coffee shop. They live in the neighborhood. As we walked he asked about my health, knowing that I have MS. I said, “I’m healing!” He said, “But, the illness you have can’t be healed?” I explained it all to him and as we walked, most of it easily, I explained how my walking has improved. I was fatigued the last half a block, however, leagues better than it was not so many months ago.

I don’t have lots to say today and will be keeping this one brief. Just a check in. Exercise tomorrow.

 

Bonne Sante

Dr. Wahls Second Webinar

Hello All,

I did attend the webinar yesterday and I do have the recorded link for you here:

Dr. Wahls Expert Series Webinar 2

This one was about balancing hormones. Interesting for me whereas I am on Premarin, off and on (mostly on) six years. I haven’t worried about cancer because I’m on them due to a total hysterectomy. Therefore, less in me that can get cancer. I am checked annually for breast cancer and I have no family history of it. But, they brought up other points. So, check out the Webinar. Also, we had Diane V Capaldi (Paleo Boss Lady) as the intro speaker. There is no cost for these, they are free.

I am working at returning to Wahls Paleo Plus Level III (Nutritional Ketosis). I stocked back up on full fat coconut milk and bit the financial bullet and bought my digestives. They will help me with the rebounding eating styles that requires readjustments. I don’t buy an exorbitantly high priced one. I buy Digest Basic by Enzymedica from my local natural market, $20.00 for 90 caps, then I limit them, one cap per meal so, two per day, which lasts me 45 days.  But, it did put me $18 over my $40 monthly budget for supplements. Ahem……..long sigh……., so hard to balance finances with this. I do think it was wise to get them though. Once in the swing of Ketosis, I hope to find away to use Liquid Magnesium Glycinate ($40 a month) again, because it was a big help in keeping me out of the ketosis flu. Somehow next month, I am going to get very creative and strict with my finances. January is when I will begin. Right now, I am back fasting and am mostly eating the third level, except for leftover food from level II, that being, dried cranberries, banana’s, gluten free flour, gluten free spaghetti (two servings left).  I won’t replenish these after I’ve used them up. I’m planning on January to give me a little more leeway through the Christmas season all the while adding in ketosis habits.

Hope all is well and all are ready for the Christmas month!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/abundance-agriculture-bananas-batch-264537/