Stick with the winners

I am forever seeking people who work at and are successful in bettering themselves. Whether it is to be drug and alcohol free, smoke free, spiritually fit, physically fit, or healthy from MS. Whatever it is that I must face and work to be rid of, I seek out winners in that specific issue. Right now in regards to the Dr. Wahls Protocol and my journey to heal MS, I pay attention to those who have successfully followed a healthy lifestyle and put their illness in reverse. When I see this, I watch, learn, listen and do what they are doing. If I want what they have, then I need to do what they do. What I don’t do is put them up on a pedestal or make them different from me by comparing with statements like this, “Oh, they are special and I could never be like that.” or, “They have it easier and they have money, so its easier for them”. These are nothing but excuses to quit. This is what I utilize when I get negative. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” I love that psalm from the Bible. It has gotten me through all kinds of situations that I was terrified of and didn’t feel I was capable of doing, deserving of having or good enough to be included in. I’ll give an example.

I have had the opportunity to go to college, but at one time I had a seventh grade education. I got my G.E.D. at age 33 and went to college at 43. I am a recovered alcoholic and sobered up when I was 28, 26 years ago. Several years into my recovery at age 32, I was inspired to start a sober festival, very much like a “soberstock”. Six months into the footwork for this I spotted a three day grant writing course in a Daniel Webster College brochure that didn’t require a high school diploma to attend. Our mission was going to need funds and backers. Going to that course was scary for me. I hadn’t been in a classroom since I was in the 7th grade. That grade I was suspended six times, missed 83 days of school and got straight F’s. I guess, technically, that means I had a 6th grade education.

The first day, I asked God for help and marched in. I picked up a folder in a pile of them, then oohed and aahed over the nice pens and paper and tin Daniel Webster College book mark. We sat and the teacher began her monologue. An hour into it, there was a constant reference to “margins” and “fonts”. I stopped her several times to explain what is a margin, what is a font….? Embarrassing. There were four of us taking this course. One was a woman there on behalf of a school district to write a grant for computers for them. A man who was a Social Worker on behalf of Big Brothers and Big Sisters. And a woman on behalf of Camp Heartland to write a grant for children with aids to go to summer camp. And me, for the Half Moon Sober Festival, something no one ever heard of. We hadn’t even had our first event yet. It took everything I had to walk back into that room the next day. When I pulled up, I stepped out of the car and opened up the back door to get my folder. While I did that, I got on one knee like I was searching for something and asked God to help me, saying my favorite saying, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

That day we were instructed to write our grants that night and bring them in the next day. I wrote my grant out and brought it in. I quickly noticed the beautifully typed and clean grants the others created. I looked at my pathetic lined paper, handwritten, chicken scrawl complete with crossed out words and sentences. We were then instructed to grade each other’s work. Thoroughly and completely humiliated, I got through it. But, miracle of miracles, I learned how to write a grant. I found someone with computer skills to set my words to paper carefully following the layout instructions of the grant writing instructor. The first grant we applied for, my proposal got us an invitation as one of only 10 invitees out of many that were denied. Out of that ten, only five would be selected for the grant. This was not a huge grant, but for us it was. Five thousand dollars annually. A fair amount for a small grass roots non profit in 1995. They complimented me on the grant. I was the only one there who wasn’t collecting a pay check from the non profit they were representing.  After a presentation we won the grant and a number of others with that same basic proposal.

My confidence was so bolstered by all of this, that I finally made the decision to go for my G.E.D. Afraid that I was as stupid as I usually felt and was assumed to be, I was amazed when I passed the practice G.E.D with marks in the 80’s and was directed to go ahead and take the test, which I passed. I put that off for ten years out of fear and lack of confidence. Ten years before that, I had an appointment to take the test. But, the day of the test, one hour before, I chickened out. Ten years later, “Higher Powered”, I was doing things and facing things I never could before, all because I thought I had God with me. Feeling empowered and not alone. I find that if what I do serves a purpose, then the doors open up. It doesn’t matter to me what other people believe. Its none of my business, I respect other people’s beliefs. This works for me.

Doors have opened up for me to get well from an incurable disease. Am I being cured by God? Not really. Am I working my %ss off? Yes. Am I doing the footwork, reading the books, following the examples of the “winners” before me? Yes, yes and yes. However,  day in and day out, I turn to a Higher Power for fortitude and strength. Maybe its the belief that I am a woman acting as if a loving, powerful entity is behind her that does it. Who cares what it is, its working!

Speaking of winners, in reference to the Protocol, specifically. I was involved in starting a support group for people with MS. This was just before starting the Protocol. I had a very powerful message from a one time attendee, Matt Embry in remission over 20 years, who spoke of a lifestyle like Dr. Wahls. Dr. Wahls began her research with Matt Embry’s father’s research. I started the Wahls Protocol straight away the very next day. My focus switched to that of wellness. The group’s focus was on the disease. Not where I want to be. I quit the group and joined The Wahls Protocol Facebook group, bought books, and watch for others successful on a natural diet, whether its Wahls’, Swank’s, Emery’s, Jelinek’s, whoever. I am on the look out for examples of success with this diet. I have had bad moments (which I am honest about here), but that’s where my Higher Power comes in.

I read another example of success in my Facebook feed today posted by Matt Embry. I’ll share this interview for you here:

http://www.msdietforwomen.com/living-well-ms-24-years-interview

Very inspiring example!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Gobble Gobble

Note: At the end of this blog is an update from Direct-MS about the documentary Living Proof and new MS research. Be sure to click to the whole blog article and scroll down to read their letter.

Alright, I’m in a slightly better mood today. What I mean by that is that I was frustrated with having to leave level III. I’m worried about back tracking and I am worried about gaining weight. The point of all of this is not about losing weight, however it has been a side effect, a nice side effect. I lost weight when I was on levels I and II also, so I don’t know what I’m worried about. The cost is relatively the same for all levels, it is the lack of flexibility for level III that is the biggest problem. The last two weeks of the month is a financially lean time for me. It requires me to be very creative with what I have on hand. The problem with level III is that the food list is very limited. If I run out of this or that, it leaves me without enough nutrients to keep me out of the Ketosis flu, not pleasant. If I have something I shouldn’t then it kicks me out of Ketosis causing me to readjust again when I get back in ketosis, again the ketosis flu, not pleasant. I have been mostly in ketosis, but I am tired half the time, which means not enough nutrients. This is why I made the decision, for now to go back to level II. If I don’t get the right combination of foods because I simply don’t have them, I won’t be sick and I won’t be tired. Then, when really down with money, I can get by with what is on hand with less consequences. When I am in a better position financially, I’ll definitely revisit level III. And if I find that I regress at all in my healing, then I’ll get right back on level III and figure out a way to make it happen.

Today was the United State’s Thanksgiving Day. Always a weird day for me here in Canada. It is my favorite holiday, because its simply about dinner with family and being grateful for each other. That’s how it is in my family, I realize coming from Massachusetts where the pilgrims landed that its about that and then we can add the politics and controversy. But, I am going to keep it very small, it was simply a wonderful day with my family and I miss that and I miss them.

I had an email from Direct-MS today. I will copy and paste here the whole letter, its not super long and has a lot of information of interest to those of us with MS and their families.

The letter:

We would like to thank you for your continued support and to let you know what has been happening with DIRECT- MS over the past year.

 This year our main focus has been on supporting my son’s production of a documentary which examines the challenges of living with MS, and various issues regarding multiple sclerosis therapies, from drugs to diet to CCSVI. The documentary, called Living Proof, was shown at the Toronto and Calgary International Film Festivals and was very well received. It will be publicly available early in 2018 and we will let everyone know how to access it.

 In terms of research, we are currently funding a research project which examines the value of a multi-ingredient supplement for preventing and treating MS in laboratory animals. The first results from this work have been extremely positive and the work will be completed in the first half of 2018. The long-term plan is to organize and fund a Phase I/II clinical trial which tests the effectiveness of the supplement for persons with MS.

 We are currently overhauling our website so that it can be accessed on all platforms from computers to cell phones and is easy to navigate. This work should be completed by year’s end.

Thank you very much for your ongoing and generous support for our efforts which have allowed us to provide persons with MS with reliable, science-based information and to fund highly relevant, research projects. Donating to Direct-MS can be done either through our website by accessing the Donate page under the Home tab or by sending a cheque to Direct-MS, 5119 Brockington Rd NW, Calgary, AB, Canada, T2L 1R7. A receipt for tax purposes will be issued promptly for both Canada and the USA. 95% of all donations goes to charitable purposes. Please do not hesitate to contact us by email (info@direct-ms.org ), phone, or letter if you have any questions.

 All the best, 

 

Ashton Embry

President and Research Director

I looked online in a brief search about this supplement research and could find nothing relevant. However, I do trust this source. They are right here in Calgary and they are above board ethically.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/nature-bird-animal-head-40512/

 

 

Crannnnkyyyy!

It is nerve racking readjusting to level II, which in my case (financially today) is more a split between levels I, II and III. My hunger is back full force, making me at this moment, cranky. There is no hunger in level III, a side effect of Nutritional Ketosis. In other words, I have not been hungry for three months. I get money on the 27th, that will make all of this far easier. I’ll be meeting up with friends in Strathmore, forty-five minutes out of Calgary, this Monday, very much looking forward to that. While we are there we are stopping by Pure Country Quality Meats. Last month I spent $50 and had enough really good meat for the whole month. That is a huge help. Exercise tomorrow. I need that. Her crankyness is cutting her blog short tonight. Remember, this is a honest account of my experience for the first year on the Wahls Protocol. That includes days like these.

 

Bonne Sante

Note: Don’t worry, I am still committed to and grateful for the Protocol, just don’t like the way I am feeling today.

The Lobster Man

I checked my bank account for the fortieth time thinking, “Is it there?” It never was, six months and it still wasn’t there. A single mother at the time, I had to make an emergency move due to my eighteen month old daughter’s consistent illness because of a basement apartment and very old rugs and moss. My US tax returns were due to be deposited in my bank account and I felt confident that that would take the pressure off the extra cost of the move. We moved into a nice place and my daughter’s health returned to normal. But, the tax returns never deposited. It threw us into a financial vise. I obsessively checked the account often to no avail. Six months later the phone rang. It was my aunt informing me that my mother with advanced diabetes had pneumonia and that my brother and I needed to make a decision to let her go. I was living in New Brunswick and my mother was in Massachusetts and I had no money. I called the bank for the one hundredth time, I heard the recorded voice say, $1,028.00. That was my tax return. Two things were amazing about this, one is that it happened just in time for this, fore if I had had it sooner, it would’ve been spent. Two, I wasn’t surprised. Why did I know it would be there? Because deep down inside, I knew I needed to be in Massachusetts. That it was those cliche sayings people say they hate to hear, “It was meant to be.” and “God makes no mistakes.” Its easy to say, that one freak accident means nothing, possibly true, but this story is full of freak accidents and that adds up to something.

My young daughter’s father took her for two weeks and my eleven year old son and I left for Worcester, MA. I drove a three quarter ton truck with a cab on the back, a Chevrolet Silverado. Halfway to Worcester I blew a tire. We made it to the side of the highway. It was August and I was wearing a dress. I looked miffed at the big spare tire bolted under the truck. I had no idea how to change a tire. I didn’t own a cell phone. In the those days, especially in the rural area I was living in, cell phones were unusual. After watching car after car blow by us for forty five minutes. I told my son that I was going behind that tree to talk to God and ask for help. I just needed to take that extra step to connect and got on my knees. I finished and had just reached my son’s side when a pick up truck pulled up. A man and his daughter, the same age as my son, got out. He had a vanity license plate that said, “The Lobster Man”. He had an easy way about him and after setting me at ease, he set to work. It took him 30 minutes to pry the tire that was secured with rusted bolts to the undercarriage of the truck. Even if I knew what I was doing, I didn’t have the strength to do that. I felt bad that it was taking so much of his time. When he was finished, I tried to give some money, but he put his hand up and said, “Absolutely not, its my belief that what comes around, goes around. One day, when I need it, it will come around to me.” I asked for help and God sent me The Lobster Man.

In Worcester, my mother had been non-responsive for several days. Yet, when I took her hand, I said, “Mom, I’m here.”, and she squeezed my hand. After speaking with the doctor it was clear that her prognosis was horrible. Even if miracle of miracles she made it out of her distress, she wouldn’t last and would suffer. Her body had blown up like a whale because her organs were shutting down. The decision was to take her off of life support. We waited to notify everyone. Immediate family stood around the bed. My mother’s cousin told humorous stories of their teenage exploits. Soon laughter filled the room as everyone jumped in with a story. We were so engrossed in the memories that we hadn’t noticed the nurse at first, she repeated, “Excuse me. She’s gone.” My mother’s cousin had a tag with a Catholic saint on it that she pressed into my mother’s palm. As she closed her hand around it she animatedly said, “There’s your ticket Mae, your all set to go, you got your ticket!” That was that, she was gone.

She had made it clear for what she wanted for her funeral arrangements with us a year before. She did not want us to spend money, she didn’t want a wake. She wanted to be cremated and she wanted her ashes spread over the ocean off the coast of Salsbury Beach. We honored her request, but we had a Memoriam. We rented a VFW and put an announcement in the paper. My mother is the polar opposite of me. She was effervescent in personality. She bubbled over with a positive gaiety that most people who met her loved. She was tall, statuesque and had Elizabeth Taylor eyebrows. She dressed elegantly always. Never saw my mother in a pair of jeans. She had carefully styled hair and make up and brightly colored polyester suits. I am a more serious person in personality. I have to work at being lighthearted, whereas for my mother, it was second nature. We wanted to celebrate her life. We wanted her Memoriam to be full of life like she was. We played her favorite music, BB King, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams and displayed pictures and momento’s of her favorite days. I dressed up in a brightly colored fuchsia blouse and black polyester slacks and I did my make up. I flitted and greeted everyone, then sat with a table of women that my mother had worked with at a bank twenty years before and they swore to God that they were sitting with my mother. For that day, I was my mother.

When it came time to take care of her ashes. I was there for just a few more days before I’d have to return to Canada. We set out to Salsbury Beach. We thought the State Park was not a swimming area and would be best to go where the rocks are craggy. But, we thought we should sneak in after the park closed. It being a Saturday night in August it was packed as we drove from the public beach area and amusement park to the State park. It was around 9:30 pm. We got in, my brother, his wife, my son and his two kids, thirteen and fourteen. My mother was in a paper bag. We found the right spot, my brother took Mom to the edge of the water and after we each said a few words, he opened the bag and swung his arm out in a big wide arc to distribute her ashes out across the water. But, just then a big wind came out as waves crashed blowing the ashes back at my brother, some of it in his mouth. Larry spat and spit and we laughed hard. Just then, the fireworks went off at Hampton Beach not far up the coast. This was all my mother. She loved the ocean, she loved fireworks and she loved to laugh. That was exactly how she would’ve wanted it.

My Aunt in Florida had heard of my trouble with the flat tire and she mailed me an old cell phone. She said that even though it wasn’t in service, that I could still call the police with it if I had to. I had the tire plugged and put back on the truck. The next day, we began our trek home. About 30 miles outside of Worcester, the tire went. But, I had that phone and it really did work, I called the police and told them my predicament and could they call my brother, which they did. He came and we bought a tire, then I drove home. I don’t care what anyone says, that whole trip was under divine guidance and nothing will ever convince me otherwise. I seek strength from a Higher Power that I choose to call God. I began this relationship 26 years ago and over the years, there have been many moments like these. I call on that same source of strength to help me stay the course with the Protocol.

I miss my mother, I always will. We know she made it to where she needed to go, because she had her ticket!

mom 3 mom1 mom 2

Love you Mom

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Angelsta Creation’s: http://angelstarcreations.com/wallpapers/salisbury1440.html

Detoxing My Life

This was dinner tonight. Coconut crusted wild caught cod with Brussels sprouts and a salad. The fish was good. I made it up, this is the recipe:

  • 2 cod fillets
  • 1/4 cup gluten free flour of your choice (omit for level III)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp ghee and 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 sliced scallions

Two wide mouthed salad/pasta bowls. Coconut milk in one with salt. Combine flour, shredded coconut, thyme, salt and pepper. Dip the fish in milk then dredge in the coconut mixture till well coated. Melt the ghee and coconut oil over medium heat. When the oil is melted, add the fish. Fry several minutes then turn. Fry only till browned and fish flakes easily with a fork, three to five minutes longer.

I thought I’d update my progress with the non toxic component of the Wahls Protocol. Nice thing was that some non toxic products are cheaper then traditional. That was nice for a change.

What I have done and successfully incorporated into my life:

  • No more microwave. I have lived without my microwave for almost five months. And truthfully, I don’t miss it at all. For one thing, it freed up a lot of counter space. I spent half my young life without a microwave, so it was easy for me to adjust. You just think ahead, use running cold water to do last minute defrosting if you hadn’t thought ahead and took out the frozen whatever the night before. Pots and pans for reheating and melting.
  • Natural products. Epsom/sea salt baths. This bath leaves my skin soft for two whole days. No moisturizer or commercial bath salts do this. Its simple, its good for me and I love it. I add a few drops essential oil if I have it. (The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life, pg. 334)
  • No scents except from essential oils.
  • I am brushing my teeth with coconut oil and baking soda. I keep coconut oil and baking soda in separate glass jars in my bathroom. I drag my brush across the coconut oil and then dip in baking soda. I tap the brush face down to shake off the excess baking soda. Then add several drops of peppermint essential oil. (The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life, pg. 333)
  • Cheap mostly natural dish washing liquid and other household products. I would buy all natural cleaning products, but I can’t afford them (ridiculous prices). I can make my own, not there yet. I have to work these habits in one at time.
  • Stainless steel and ceramic pans. No Teflon. Note: Ceramic pans don’t last long. They do nick and scratch easily (my personal experience). Stainless steel or cast iron is best. Cast iron article https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/balanced-living/healthy-home/cooking-with-cast-iron/
  • Eliminate or at least reduce the use of plastic to keep food in. I cannot afford to throw everything out and purchase everything over again. It has been a slow ongoing process. I have been saving glass jars and now use these for my food left overs, including left over raw veggies, which I had the habit of using plastic baggies for. I now use glass jars for this too.
  • Moisturizer lotion. I live in Alberta, what that means is very, very arid place. I am from the humid east coast. I use a lot of moisturizing lotion. The Epsom salt baths help, but when I run out of Epsom salt, which happens or sea salt, which happens and I don’t have the money to replenish, then I must use what I have on hand. It is suggested in Dr. Wahls book to use coconut oil for face and hands. She instructs to put it on just before bed and leave. This is a habit that takes time to get into, because if you do it too early, it is greasy and does not sink in for an hour or two (big downside). The other problem is putting my face on the pillow and getting oil on the pillow case. Tried putting the oil on an hour before bed, but then I want to do this or pick up that. I’ve been using Jergens, which isn’t ideal, but its affordable and easy. I need to work in the coconut oil because its my skin, which absorbs everything you put on it. If you can afford, there are more expensive ready made options available.
  • I need to get a water filtering system of some kind. Can’t afford to right now.
  • I use the steam room at the Leisure Center where I go to for exercise and swimming. They don’t have a Sauna, but they do have a steam room. I go twice a week for fifteen minutes.

This is all that I can think of right now. There are most likely other methods that I employ, but I can’t think of them now. Therefore, I will call it a day. Oh, one more thing, 50% off all the clothing at my favorite second hand clothing store. I spent $50 and bought exercise cloths, leggings, jeans, sweater, dress overlay shirts, gloves and a nice athletic jacket. My buys included brand names such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, The Gap, and Eddie Bower. Where else can I go for those names at that price. I have gone from a size 18 to a size 10/12 and a size 1X to med/large. And for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel bad when I saw myself under bright lights in a dressing room, toned and a healthier size.

 

Bonne Sante

Adjusting, adjusting

Today was a very busy day, got a lot done on the non profit I am involved in. I just finished typing up reports, so this will be a short blog tonight as I must get up very early tomorrow for exercise and an unexpected day trip to Canmore with a friend. Get it, unexpected, it was impossible for me to participate in anything like that without a great deal of planning and prepared rest. NOT anymore!

I am readjusting to Wahls level II from the level III. It is a big physical adjustment after being mostly in Ketosis the past three and half months. Some of the adjustments are positive and some are not. My energy is thru the roof. I realize now how much of my energy was sapped from the in/out of Ketosis situation. I was in Ketosis almost two months without falling out of it. When I adjusted to that, I did have the energy rush everyone talks about, because of that and the increased cognitive healing of Nutritional Ketosis, I will return to it again. But, because of my current financial inflexibility, I cannot maintain it. The last month and a half, I have been in it, out of it. Which had kept me in a perpetual state of adjusting to it. Believe me, you only want to go through that once, it isn’t pleasant. I’m energized, but bloated due to increasing sugars and carbs in the form of other fruits and starchy vegetables. I figure it’ll take a few weeks to readjust.

Had a wonderful conversation today with friends about the job front and waiting, but consider getting a very casual position, say one day a week to help offset the cost of everything. That is a good idea.

That’s all from me today,

Bonne Sante

 

Dr. Wahls has begun an online webinar series that is free. I listened to it tonight and really enjoyed it. I listened to the stories of other Wahls warriors. Dr. Wahls answered questions from people who submitted them online as this was a live webinar. I have a link to the recorded version:

Dr. Wahls webinar

Exercised this morning and am slowly transitioning back to Wahls Paleo level II. I am feeling bloated, but other than that, okay. I like the overnight fasting of level III and will continue to do that. But I won’t fast during the eight hour window. Have to eat more on this level and need to rethink my fats. On level III it is absolutely necessary to eat a lot of fat, I’ll need to cut down on my use of fat in cooking and in smoothies. Speaking of smoothies, I had a smoothie with fruit in it other than berries, it was so good.

I chose to go back to level II because I am not able to maintain ketosis consistently for financial reasons. Too often I am without this or that, whereas on level II there is more flexibility and therefore more options to fall back on when funds are low. It is not good to be in and out and in and out of ketosis and that has been my pattern. When I am in ketosis, I do feel the difference, and so, as much as I like different fruit and a weekly potato, I will one day, when I can work and my finances improve, most likely go back on level III. It is important to note that lots of people working the Wahls Protocol for years have improved staying on level II and some with autoimmune illnesses are successful with level I. Levels II and III have added high omega 3 fish, seaweed, organ meat, bone broth, and fermented foods as a mandatory part of the regime. These five things bring a lot of healing to the table.

I have a busy day tomorrow and need to prepare for it tonight.

 

Bonne Sante

 

A favorite picture from Pexels

 

 

 

 

A carrot worth fighting for!

Today is the day I switched back to Wahls Paleo level II. I’ll go back to level III when I am in a more flexible situation. Talking about tackling the Wahls Protocol with limited funds may be an unpopular or uncomfortable topic, however it is a very real problem that others wishing to transform their lives with the Protocol will need to face who have the same issues. Many people who have this illness and other devastating autoimmune illnesses are disabled. I don’t have to be a genius to figure out that there is more poverty among the sick than the well. My goal is to get through this first year on a limited income so that I can devote all my energy to rehabilitation, then start working full time. Some of my blogs are going to be about that struggle. It is a real one, it is a difficult one and it will be ongoing. It requires a great deal of juggling, problem solving, creative thinking and constant sourcing. It forces me to pick and choose what I can do and what I can’t according to what is most beneficial because of lack of funds. As I find answers and ways around this problem, I’ll document everything I learn. Maybe I can make it easier on the next person. I’d like to think so.

I don’t speak of this to discourage anyone from trying who may be facing limited means. Instead, I hope to prove its possible, though not easy. My health is leagues better from when I began. So much so, that I can’t wait to go to the Calgary Zoo in the spring. The Zoo has been an annual gauge of how much sicker I was from the year before. I didn’t bother trying last year and the year before was horrible. I spent most of the visit sitting it out in the air conditioned Cafeteria completely fatigued even though I had a rented motorized scooter.

The Protocol is a carrot worth fighting for. It is not elusive and it pays off every single day. That pay off is what makes it possible to stick with this, because it works and is doing the formerly impossible. That is what fuels my resolve to stick with it. So, I will continue to juggle, problem solve, research and source. It is a huge mistake if I start working now, I know that and it goes against the original blue print of beginning work after one year on the Protocol. If I work before I am ready, I can and probably will jeopardize everything I’ve worked so hard for this year by piling on a complicated schedule making it impossible for me to rehabilitate, keep appointments, exercise and take the time needed to prepare the foods I need. Whereas in five months, I should be finished with all rehabilitation appointments, not including exercise, which is the same as breathing oxygen. I will have five more months to gain strength and heal. I will have had career counseling with employment offices, counseling with a MS psychiatrist and MS social workers who will help assess my skills versus my physical disabilities thus insuring the best possible chance for a successful shot at returning to work and having the ability to continue to follow the Protocol faithfully.

At the end of this, it may be prudent to have to stay on disability and work part time. I have to be prepared for that possibility too. However, I listen to people going to back to work because of their own incredible healing online, but all of them have a second paycheck in the house to back them up. I’d love to speak with someone in the same vulnerable situation I am in that has successfully gone back to work after years on disability without a second income backing them up. That is another good reason to document all this, so that future people in my shoes, who may trip across this blog, will have me to be inspired by. In the mean time, this is a pep talk for me.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/carrots-juice-162670/

Wahls Protocol component: Exercise and Physio are as important as the diet.

My mother and two of her sisters were five foot nine. In High School in the 1950’s they were all athletes. My mother was a runner, Aunt Beverley was a figure skater and Aunt Sheila was a national champion archer. My mother told me after she was married in 1960, that women back then, once you were out of High School, you didn’t run unless someone was chasing you with a knife. Thank God, times have changed!

Tomorrow is exercise in the morning. Exercise is equally important in comparison to what we eat and don’t eat. This is my routine each week:

  • Thursday: Deep water aerobics with a flotation belt for one hour and circuit training and physio in the gym for forty minutes.
  • Friday: Laps and calisthenics in the deep water without a flotation belt for forty minutes and circuit training and physio in the gym for 40 minutes.
  • Sunday: Laps and calisthenics without a flotation belt in the deep water for forty minutes and circuit training and physio in the gym for 40 minutes.
  • Monday: Deep water aerobics with a flotation belt for one hour and circuit training and physio in the gym for forty minutes.

Every day I use the e-stim machine around my hip flexor for 20 minutes. I walk as much as I can. If I am tired or fatigued, I still show up to exercise, but work at half steam. If I show up, chances are I’ll show up the next time. Once in a while, I just need to stay home and if I feel that tired, I do.  The first habit I incorporated into my life for the Protocol was the practice of smudging with sage every morning and every night while saying the words, “I’m healed.” This is the physio path I took over the past seven months in order:

  1. To become conscience of my posture, which was horrible. I forced myself to sit straight up. It, surprisingly didn’t take long to break that habit.
  2. To up my weekly exercise sessions to four days a week from my customary twice weekly.
  3. To become conscience of the way my left foot hits the ground and begin to break bad movements developed over time to compensate for my lame leg.
  4. To stop using the AFO, a leg brace with a foot insert that keeps my toe up when I walk. I hadn’t been using it that long, so it was the first thing that I was able to let go of. The problem with it was that I had to retrain my foot to flex when it hit the ground.
  5. To become conscience of how my leg swung out in a wide left arc. I hadn’t noticed how bad it was till I’d worked on my walking two months. I began to force myself to reign it in, which hurt like hell at first, but it got gradually better.
  6. To narrow down the use of the walker only to walks that required my carrying items home to eventually not using the walker at all.
  7. To begin practicing walking without the cane, big one for me, I had been using the cane for three or four years. Gradually over the course of two months, I weaned off the cane.
  8. To begin relearning to swim without the flotation belt on.
  9. To begin using e-stim after seeing a physical therapist to show me where to put the electrodes and how to use the machine. Then to use the machine faithfully for 20 minutes per day.  (I’ll be honest, I skip a day here and there).
  10. To begin physical therapy under the guidance of a physical therapist to further strengthen my left leg and improve my gait and balance. Incorporating these exercises into my circuit training workout. Every two weeks till eight or nine sessions are complete, he’ll give me several more exercises each time I go and assess my progress.

Is it what I listed above that makes it all possible? No, only partly. It is the combination of the diet, exercise, meditation, positive thinking, using non toxic products and detoxing practices such as sauna’s and Epsom salt baths and tenacity all working together. Just one week on the diet and I felt leagues better. The diet, Wahls level I, takes down the inflammation first. That alone takes a dramatic toll off the body. The inclusion of tons of varied vegetables and exclusion of dairy, gluten and chemically processed foods made my body literally happy. Then at about two weeks, detox! Kind of a flu like feeling that went away after about two weeks for me. That varies for each individual. Next my energy increased, fatigue decreased, my thinking began to improve and the brain fog went away. I remember the feeling of my body feeling like a well oiled machine. By the second month, my skin took on a healthy glow and continues to improve. I’ve toned and lost 35 lbs to date.

What is most fun is seeing people who have not seen me for a while because I have had a remarkable transformation in the last seven and half months. Move it or lose it!

I had the biggest craving today for a dessert. A warm, satisfying dessert. Here’s where I need to be creative, no gluten, minimal carbs which means no gluten free either, no sugar, no sweet fruit except berries. This is what I came up with.

Warm Blueberry Compote

Ingredients:

  • One cup frozen wild organic blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp full fat coconut milk cream
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut

 

In a small frying pan, toast the sesame seeds lightly over medium heat stirring often to brown evenly. Remove and set aside. In the same pan bring blueberries to a light simmer over medium heat. Add salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add coconut milk and cacao nibs, stirring well. Remove from heat. Spoon into a bowl and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

I like the way this came out, it was good and it satisfied the craving I had. Nothing like warm fruit on a cold night. I need to think outside the box a lot on this diet.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/kettle-bell-beside-adidas-pair-of-shoes-209968/

Waking up to the possibilities

I feel weighted down with the financial limitations I have due to the extra money that it costs to keep this way of life going on my limited income. I’m looking at my calendar, I’m counting days to the next pay (13 days to go), I’m looking over the veggies I have and I know that I don’t have the components necessary for each day, but I’m not starving either. I just won’t have the right balance of foods for a short time. I have $18.00 to split between me and my cat. She needs her Fancy Feast and I need greens. I’ll spend the money on Fancy Feast and greens. I’ll take it a day at a time, which is all any of us really have anyway. I had a friend who said once as he watched a hearse go by followed by a funeral procession, “I wonder what that guy was worrying about last week?” I think of that when I start worrying about too many days at once.

My father died from Emphysema at age 61. He said, “Don’t do what I did, I worked hard all my life waiting for the day I could retire and really live.”  He worked three jobs in his 20’s, two full time jobs till he was forced to stop early at age 45 due to his illness. He spent the next 15 years on oxygen, progressively getting worse. He told me this two years before he died. One thing I did do that he just couldn’t, was quit smoking. Addictions are the primary killers in my family. Smoking, drinking, and obesity. My mother and her sister both died from type II diabetes in their early 60’s due to their weight and eating habits. My maternal grandfather died in a drunk tank in the 50’s, most of my generation on my mother’s side have had problems with drinking. Oddly, not my only brother, it jumped over him like a tornado takes down a street of houses, but skips over one. My paternal grandfather died from Emphysema and my father followed in his footsteps. All of them died around the same age, between 60 to 64.

I had it in my head that if I could deal with all the addictions, having smoked since the age of 11 and I am an alcoholic. I stopped drinking in 1991 and quit smoking in 1996. I kept my weight down with a combination of exercise and weight watchers. I never saw it coming when I was blindsided at age 42 with not one, but two major neurological conditions. What happened to all my plans. My plan had to do with the fact that my maternal grandmother was one of 16 and they all lived to the ages of 96 to 104 (no addictions in that line), that was going to be me. We never know what tomorrow could bring. I can prove that by looking at yesterday. Raised in Massachusetts, did I dream I’d be living in the places I’ve lived. Here I am in Calgary away from the swarthy Irish, Italian working class heritage I miss sometimes. Don’t get me wrong here, I love Calgary, great people here. No, did not plan this.

The best way to deal with my life, if I want peace, has got to be one day at a time. I can lay plans, I can have goals, but then, I have to get back into the day I am in or it all gets stressful fast. The actual possibilities available to me are upon waking each morning to the new day ahead of me, if only I don’t squander it unnecessarily on that which I have no control over, tomorrow and yesterday. Most of the time these days, I am fairly successful in doing that and most often I am a light hearted soul. But, there are those days.

The financial fear has to go. Here’s the truth:

  • I have a roof over my head and my rent is paid
  • I have decent clothes on my back
  • I have two children who are healthy
  • I am sober and smoke free
  • I just lost 35 lbs and I am a full two sizes smaller then I was
  • I no longer need walking aids as yet another person asked me just yesterday what happened to your walking (referring to how well I walk now), when you got here you were in rough shape.
  • I have hope for the future
  • I have the food I need today
  • I have medical support helping me get back on my feet
  • I have the Dr Wahls Protocol and the willingness to keep at it
  • I have two neurological conditions that do not define who I am nor do they decide what my future will be, anymore

This is shaping up to be a hell of a day!

 

Bonne Sante