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

Hup, two, three, four….

I am in the process of rehabilitating with the goal of hopefully weaning off of disability and going back to work full time successfully for the first time since 2004. Is it possible? I believe it is. What do I want to be when I grow up? I am an impassioned and driven individual. I hope to have a job that further’s public knowledge and access to these answers that truly work in arresting autoimmune illnesses like nothing else out there. Diet, physical therapy, meditation and decreasing stress, supplements and natural household and personal care products. Someone mentioned today that I should take a break mentally from the seriousness of working the Protocol. To do well at anything difficult, it requires commitment and a great deal of energy. If a person decides to become a doctor, build a business, tackle alcoholism or reverse MS, it requires a huge commitment if one is to be successful. This is what I believe. If I am given a way out of a devastating illness, I feel responsible to do something about helping to get the word out to others. I would like that to be my job.  I have the skill set and experience for it. My strongest skills and experience are sales, organizing events, public speech, writing, coaching and enthusing others, tenacity and hard work.

If this sounds obsessive to anyone, well sit out of life for twelve years and then be given the against the known odds opportunity to dive back in and work. Like the person cured from terminal cancer or one who has lost his family and then given a new one ten years later, its a rising from the ashes. That’s dramatic I know, but so is this. When I got home today to my apartment building, I ran into a neighbor that I see from time to time. We don’t know each other, but we are always cordial. I have not seen this particular neighbor for months. I got my mail and got on the elevator with her. I was carrying two laden bags filled with frozen meat. She looked and looked again, then blurted out, “You can walk! I thought I recognized you, but didn’t realize it was you at first because you can’t walk. What happened?” I briefly explained that I was on a diet for autoimmune illnesses and that I had MS and it was healing me. Almost daily I am hearing comments like this. Who doesn’t want a job that makes a difference. Further, I have the added flexibility to work both Canada and the United States. The plan is to go back to work after one year on the Wahls Protocol, that is in four months. How this will play out, I’m not sure yet. In the mean time, I will keep working to rehabilitate.

I’ve decided to work back into nutritional ketosis. I did feel better on it. Its true, it isn’t as flexible as levels I and II, but, there is a big difference in how I feel on level III versus level II. Its worth the added planning to make sure I have what I need to stay in ketosis during the financially lean second half of the month. That is what has been tough for me. The meat purchase I made today will help. I bought enough meat for two months from a high quality butcher in Strathmore (forty-five minutes from Calgary). Something I planned and put aside money for, knowing that we had a planned trip with a friend. Butcher shops are the way to go. I can’t believe how much cheaper they are. This one is cheaper then anything in Calgary, because it doesn’t have to deal with the high, high rent of being in Calgary. For example, same high quality bacon as what is sold at the natural market from local farms. Difference is $10 in Calgary, $6 away for a pack of bacon. Everything was priced this way. I also need to make arrangements to get the second carpal tunnel surgery done. Ugh! Call me a big baby, but I don’t want to go through that again. I think after Christmas will be best. Exercise tomorrow!

Marching on…..

 

Bonne Sante

 

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Is it worth all the trouble?

At the very beginning of my journey eight months ago, I hadn’t begun with the Wahls Protocol. I started with Direct MS and MS Hope first, I read up on Overcoming MS which is vegetarian and based on the Dr. Swank diet and had already been introduced to the Wahls Protocol two years before. I was split between the different methods. Direct MS was good, but I needed a definite structure. Direct MS is closest to Wahls. On OMS’s suggestion to be allergy tested by a Naturopathic Doctor, I called around. I found out the more reputable places and called a few and learned of how expensive it was. I can’t afford anything like that. I tried one more clinic on my street. I stopped in to inquire. I explained my financial situation and what I was working on and what I needed. He said he could allergy test me for just $100.00. Still a lot for me, but no where near what the bigger clinics were charging. I made the appointment.

I showed up, gave him my money and was led to a room. On the table were various small cobalt blue bottles and a machine that had a tray top. He asked me a series of questions and I answered what I knew I had issues with. He then explained that this was a non invasive test. He had a wand that was hooked up to a machine. He explained that he would place the bottle on the machine’s tray with the item we were testing for in it, gluten, alcohol, dairy, cat hair, whatever. I’m watching, I’m seeing that he’s holding a wand to my wrist and the unopened little bottle is resting away from me on the tray top of the machine, which looks like a scale. On the machine are Geiger counters. For the gluten bottle, which I had already told him I have a sensitivity to, he pressed harder on my wrist making the counters bounce higher. And so it went, with about fifteen bottles. I was told that I was sensitive to everything that I had already told him I was allergic too. Fifteen minutes is the total time I spent with him. It would’ve been more productive to light a one hundred dollar bill on fire leaving me with fourteen and a half minutes to do something worth something, like sweep my floor. Lesson learned. If you can’t afford more reputable places, don’t bother.

I switched over to Dr. Wahls Protocol and have followed it within the limits of my financial situation. It has required me to be creative, resourceful and to pick and choose this over that. Supplements in particular have been tough. To swing them all is over $150.00 per month and that’s being discriminatory. There are some that are ideal that are well over $100 by themselves such as the best digestives and probiotics. Obviously, they were out from the beginning. I tried to do the $150 and put myself way behind financially the second month I did it. I’ve whittled the supplement list down to $40 a month. I’m taking 10,000 IUs vitamin D3 drops (the most important), 1200 mg Alpha Lipoic Acid for an atrophied brain, 3,000 mg wild caught fish oil, 400 IUs vitamin E, 1000 mg l-lysine, vitamin B complex and vitamin B12. If I can find a way, I’ll replenish the digestive, but as of now, I’m out of it. Some months I have this and some months I have that.

The good news? Despite not having the ability to do every suggested component, I’m still healing. How am I doing since I stepped back from Nutritional Ketosis to level II? My digestive system is freaking out. Bloat, gas, and an overly full stomach. I’m considering going right back to level III. A while back I had mentioned that I was losing too much hair. I hadn’t followed up that dilemma. It was due to not enough protein when I was on level III. I upped it to another serving and my hair loss returned to normal. All this bru ha ha and struggle. Is it necessary? Is it worth it? With every fiber of my being, it definitely is. Because it pays. It pays in good health. Quite a statement for someone with MS since 2004.

 

Bonne Sante

 

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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

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

 

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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

 

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As A Man Thinketh, So Is He

Super busy day today. Did a lot, got a lot done. I’m tired, but happy that I am well enough to be busy and just be tired, not dying. Of course I may be singing a different tune tomorrow, I am looking forward to exercise in the morning and coffee with a friend after. On a different note, I am going to physio on Monday, I want to ask if there is anything that I can do to improve the vertigo balance issues I have. They are neurological, can’t change that except to hope that what I am eating and not eating will improve it. When I am tired, the tight rope feeling is markedly worse. Before, when my walking was so bad, I noticed less the balance problem. I knew I had the damage, but now that my walking is so much better, I notice the vertigo much more. Therefore, it is not a case of it getting worse, just more noticeable due to other neurological problems getting better. I’m wondering if balance exercises could counter an off balance teeter with muscles that control balance might be a temporary answer. Other than that, I practice the belief that I am healed. From the beginning of my Wahls sojourn. The first thing I did was return to an old habit of burning sage morning and night and saying that I am healed as I draw the smoke over me and then “think” abundance.

As a Man Thinketh is a literary essay and book by James Allen,  published in 1903.           It was described by Allen as “… [dealing] with the power of  thought, and particularly         with the use and application of thought to happy and beautiful issues. I have tried to         make the book simple, so that all can easily grasp and follow its teaching, and put               into practice the methods which it advises. It shows how, in his own thought-world,           each man holds the key to every condition, good or bad, that enters into his life, and         that, by working patiently and intelligently upon his thoughts, he may remake his               life, and transform his circumstances. The price of the book is only one shilling, and           it can be carried in the pocket.” [1] It was also described by Allen as “A book that will         help you to help yourself”, “A pocket companion for thoughtful people”, and “A book         on the power and right application of thought.”                                                                                                                                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/As_a_Man_Thinketh

I was introduced to this book 24 years ago. It is a small little book with a big message. Emmet Foxes’ Sermon on the Mount and Around the Year with Emmet Fox are books that have greatly influenced me as well. Emmet Fox was a Christian Scientist who was a founder of The New Thought movement in the 1930’s. I am guessing that he and others were partly influenced by James Allen’s book above. I believe in this, when I start to shred myself and think impossible, then yes, the possible does become impossible and when I think that the impossible is possible, well then the impossible does become possible. I believe that this is what Jesus meant when he said, “The Kingdom of God is “within you”. “Within” means inside, “The Kingdom of God is [inside] you.” That, to me, is a clearly stated and unmistakable directive. It doesn’t mean that we are God, or that we are the Kingdom, it simply means that I have the Power of thought, which when rightly used (positive love) can build up and when badly used (negative fear) can destroy. If I am seen on the outside as strong, respected, educated, whatever, but on the inside I think that I am nothing, then I am nothing, because I will act like nothing. But, even if I am born on the outs, projects, uneducated, disrespected and prejudiced against, the outside world is telling me that I am nothing, but I believe that I am worth something, then I will be worth something. That is the Kingdom of God that I believe that Jesus was teaching about. If the Kingdom of God is inside of me, then I am with God everywhere when I remember to tap into it. I tap into it with thoughtful prayer and follow thru with hard work. “God will help you dig a hole, but you better bring shovel.”

On a side note it is important to explain that I do not consider myself to be religious, but spiritual. There is a big difference, while I respect other’s beliefs whether they be rooted in one religion that works for them, or they be atheist or agnostic, I practice the freedom to pray where I want, with whom I choose and in anyway that moves my Spirit. I have moved freely within many different churches, faiths, cultures and morays. I respect them all, they all had something to teach me, if I close my mind to only one way to reach the “inside” Kingdom of God then I will rob myself of the lessons I can learn from other walks of life and belief systems. What I described above, the power of thought, I am thinking day in and day out that, “I am healed.” And I am backing that up with action to heal myself. And its working. If I did the Wahls Protocol with the constant thought that, “This won’t work” or “this isn’t working” or “I say it is working” to myself, but I don’t believe the statement, then I am still thinking that it isn’t working and so it won’t. Because, you see, I really am what I think.

 

Bonne Sante

 

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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

 

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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