It is a matter of thought…

I gave away my walker last week. A woman in my lobby was waiting with a walker unable to get into her cab because her heavy duty, older walker didn’t fold up. I thought of my aerodynamic fold up walker that I haven’t needed to use in six months. I gave her the walker, she was thrilled to have it and I was thrilled to not need it. A friend said, “What if you need it again?” I said, “A. I’m not going to need it again and B. If that’s not the case then I’ll buy one.” Its like giving away clothes that are too big for me. I want to keep them in case I put the weight back on. That thought is self defeating. I live my life in the day and keep a vision for tomorrow well stoked. My vision for tomorrow is abundance, health and physical fitness. My responsibility is training my thoughts and body for that future today.

I am a sober alcoholic. It would be the same as keeping bottles of my favorite alcohol lying around, in case I drink again. Sobriety has been the act of thinking sober. Losing weight has been the act of thinking thin and fit. Getting well has been the act of thinking spry, active, clear minded and to stay focused on that. I had to tackle the disabled mentality and identity that one becomes accustomed to when reduced by an illness as devastating as MS. I’m preparing to work again. The MS Social Worker said as she motioned two fingers slowly pinching closed to a one inch gap, “Baby steps.”, she cautioned, “Try volunteering fifteen hours a week first.” My instant retort, “I already volunteer fifteen hours a week.” That is the perfect example of a closed mind. First of all, the volunteering I do is sporadic, not in eight hour shifts. That’s what I need to do.

After allowing the idea to sink into my head (took a week), I contacted a friend who is involved with a non profit that had asked me a few years ago to get involved. I declined then, because I was way too sick to commit. However, that isn’t the case now and is a prudent way to test the working waters and see how I do over the course of several months. That is wise. If I leave it up to my head, Miss, “I want to jump into a forty hour a week job after over a decade of not working first!”, mentality can and will set me back leagues. Slow and steady wins the long haul race. I’ve asked professionals for help so that I do this prudently and don’t set myself back. Asking for help is part one, part two is taking direction. We see advisers as a weakness, but it is actually a sign of strength. Most powerful and successful members of society have advisers. For a complete picture the balance is to research your advisers (make sure they have the expertise you need), weigh the information they offer and look up your own information. In other words, don’t follow blindly, do your due diligence and don’t close your mind to other’s valuable experience. Its a balance. I see the Social Worker a second time and have my first appointment with the Occupational Therapist this coming Wednesday. Woody Allen said that, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” I have learned that this is absolutely true and that the rest is following up with what is offered. I am on a fact finding mission to understand what I can do and what I can’t. This way, I am protecting myself, making myself as useful as possible and not wasting anyone’s time.

I have a clear vision that is growing and expanding. I see myself successful in my work, my personal life and will be financially set. My responsibility is to do whatever I need to do to realize this. That is to stay positive, change my thinking to that of an able bodied person, to think abundantly, to get to the gym, eat the foods needed for health, and continually cut out toxic products and toxic people from my life…..

…….One day at a time.

 

Bonne Sante

Ugh……Snow Bound

I workout four days a week, Sun, Mon, Thurs, and Fri. Monday I saw the MS Social Worker and today and now tomorrow, I’ve had to cancel due to the snow storm were having. It is a slow storm over the course of two days, but this city is huge, 512 square miles or 825 square kilometers. Huge. It takes them a while to clean up after storms. It makes me nervous to miss exercise sessions. It is motivating me to take the time to sit down and make jewelry. Its been awhile. That does feel good to do. Jewelry making is an old friend of mine going back 25 plus years. Things could be worse, I could be working right now trying to get to my job. Which will be a concern, hopefully, next year.

I’ve been experimenting with recipes and store bought level III adaptive snacks. Sometimes, you just need something, chewy or salty and crunchy. I’ve tried beet chips, which are good. I learned how to make Kale chips and almond flour biscuits. All hits.

Crunchy Dried Beets

The beets are dried, thin, crunchy and naturally sweet. The bag I bought’s only ingredient are dried beets. Nothing else added. That’s important, look at the ingredients always for fillers or oils we can’t have. What I especially like is that they are high in Potassium. I didn’t realize beets were high in Potassium till I read it on the bag. Potassium is helpful for me on level III, whereas that’s one of the elements that can take a hit in Ketosis. This is the brand I bought in Canada at Costco:

unnamed

These chips are sturdy enough to be good dipping chips. Dips I use are olive pate, Tahini sauce, salsa or guacamole.

Salty Kale Chips

Baked Kale chips. Helpful, whereas I can use kale as either my vegetable portion of greens or sulpher as they fall under either category. I found this recipe online:

http://ohsheglows.com/2014/03/12/6-tips-for-flawless-kale-chips-all-dressed-kale-chips-recipe/>

This has an excellent tutorial to make the perfect crunchy chip. The spices are good, though I could cut down a bit on some ingredients. Play with it till you get it where you like it.

Chewy Almond Flour Biscuits

This is a recipe I found for almond flour biscuits. I make good homemade biscuits. If that is what you’re expecting, these don’t fit that bill, however as something, new and different. They are very good. More like a soft chewy cookie, they have a nice texture and make a good base recipe that could go in the direction of cookies or flavored biscuits. I no longer have the website I found this recipe from, I apologize to the creator of them, I am going to reprint:

Almond Flour Biscuits

  • 2 cups Almond Flour
  • 2 tsp Gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs (beaten) or 1 tbsp flax or chia seed mixed with 3 tbsp water for each egg
  • 1/3 cup Ghee or Coconut oil (measured solid, then melted)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I didn’t have any, so light greased with coconut oil, worked fine).
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in wet ingredients.
  3. Scoop tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the lined baking sheet (a cookie scoop is the fastest way). Form into rounded biscuit shapes (flatten slightly with your fingers).
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, until firm and golden. Cool on the baking sheet.

I played with these already and attempted a Keto friendly cookie. I added 2 tbsp Cacao, stevia to taste (optional), and 1 tsp vanilla. They were okay. I would add more Cacao, maybe 1/4 cup. I really need to play with that more, liquid will be needed or fats increased. Play, play, play.

Everything I learn is another tool in my arsenal, giving me more options and increasing my success.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Physical Therapy and MS

These are my thoughts, musings and personal experience about this, so please, do not take my opinions as if from an expert, I am not. That said……..LOL

I am having traditional physical therapy with an emphasis on rehabilitation. I have been accustomed to physical therapy with the point being to adapt to debilitation. Having been diagnosed since 2004 and this is the first time I am having PT for my left leg which is my oldest damage for the purpose of walking better, increasing my strength and reworking the whole area to support my weakened hip flexor, feels good. I have had PT twice here in Calgary, never in Maine, US, not even an option, so in that way, this has been better. The PT for my cognitive problems was fantastic and it was rehabilitative, but the physical therapy was to teach me to adapt to a cane and not on relearning how to walk despite the damage. Big difference.

The therapy I am having now I fought for. We had so much bureaucracy surrounding getting me into a few sessions of PT to learn where I should put the electrodes for e-stim was ridiculous. But, I have it now, thanks to my disability worker, the social worker at the PT center and my own diligence to push on. I was approved for nine visits and I have loved every one of them. Today was number seven, I have two more. The last six visits have focused on exercises to strengthen the glute, quads, lower back and abdominal muscles that can work together to pick up where the hip flexor can’t. Today, though was exercising directly what does not work in terms of messaging from the brain. I had a bizarre reaction.

I was directed to bring my feet close to a step, I still need to hold a pole for balance, and lift my foot back, then up clearing the step to the other side. That was hard, we started with a high step, which I couldn’t do. He adjusted the step to something I could clear from this position, which was about half the height of the initial step. I could max three at a time and it involved a lot of pain to lift that leg like that. On the third set, I got sick. I was flushed with heat, light headed and nauseous. My chest felt like fingernails running down a chalkboard. I stopped and rested for ten minutes, then found some cold water to drink. When I felt a little better, I tried again. I discovered that if I lift my leg with my abs, I could do it easier. Still made me sick, but not as bad. What did alarm me worse though was my back going numb after seven sets of 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 1.5, and 1. The abdominal twist got me very excited, because that can make a huge difference in lifting my leg straight up. Rough one today, but I can see the benefit.

Pushing on!

 

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

 

 

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/

 

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

 

Picture by Pexels

 

 

 

 

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

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/design-desk-display-eyewear-313690/

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