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

All or Nothing? I Pick All.

When I tackle something, I have learned through the years of my life to bring all of myself or nothing. I am an open book. Following the Wahls Protocol and how I am defeating MS is no different. My goals for this blog have been:

  • To help keep myself motivated and accountable
  • To provide a detailed record of one person’s healing
  • To inspire others
  • To give a truthful account, good and bad
  • To share helpful information and shortcuts that I have learned
  • To give a realistic account that does show how hard, yet how doubly rewarding this has been and is
  • To prove that its all worth it

At this time, as I have written in the past few blogs, I am rehabilitating in preparation for the workforce. I will have a job that fully utilizes all that I have to offer. Too be successful, I have had to look at some tough to swallow truths about myself. I have written about these as I deal with them. Is it wise to publicly speak of a crippling past fear of success, of horrible wreckage at the hands of MS, of darker issues that I have worked very hard to successfully overcome, thereby preparing me for a one hundred percent commitment to the Wahls Protocol?

Fear….what if a future employer reads about these issues and discriminates and I lose the opportunity for this job or that? Here’s my answer to that…..I bring all of myself or nothing. That includes any future job on my horizon. My learned skills, my experiences, and my wisdom comes with me. I once lived in a self constructed prison, terrified that the world would know where I’ve been and what I’ve done and that secretly, deep down inside, I knew you knew that I was worthless. It has taken me a long time to overcome that. Today, I have so much to give, so much I want to learn, and so much to share. Because of the Wahls Protocol, my body is finally catching up to my ambition and drive to help others. My mind is out of the fog, awake and hungry to learn more.

I had a friend in the early 90’s who had Progressive MS. She was diagnosed when she was 18. She managed to complete her degree in education, but was never able to realize her potential in her chosen career. By 26, just as I met her, she lost her right to drive, her husband left her for someone else and she then had to let go of her position as the primary caregiver for their three year old son. She was athletic, she went to the gym five days a week. A tiny, muscular thing. She strained as she forced her spastic legs to walk, her hands shook uncontrollably and the day she messed herself, but then calmly gave us direction to help her, all of us embarrassed for her, whilst she stayed calmer then us all. I think often of her courage and dignity in the face of all that ugliness.

That year a new drug, the first ever, was introduced. Copaxone. I watched her face light up with a renewed hope, only to see it fall just a few days later when she was told that the drug could do nothing for her as she was Progressive. Well Joanne, I just want to say to you, I have relapsing remitting MS and I have been on Copaxone for ten years. I started the drug when I had 20 lesions and now I have double that. I too lost my ability to drive, lost my ability to work, had incontinent bowels and had to give up primary care of my children. So, my dear friend, you missed nothing. She died a few years later, bedridden. When I was diagnosed with MS in 2004, I immediately thought of Joanne. Terrified, having watched what it did to her. If she had been given the knowledge that I have been given, she would’ve jumped on that band wagon in a heartbeat. She was far more disciplined than I am. If she’d known that Dr. Swank had published his 30 year trial on MS and diet with astounding results around the same time as the release of Copaxone, she’d be here telling me about the new exploits of her now adult son.

That’s why I have a responsibility to share my experience, strength and hope and that includes the dark stuff. So anyone afflicted with not just MS, but other autoimmune conditions, can have a chance to take control of their own health again or even better, prevent themselves from ever developing one of these diseases. This is my personal journey, and like all journey’s, though they may be the same road, each will be its own.

My success is in memory of Joanne.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-background-beach-blue-296282/

Living Proof in Early February in Calgary

Below is the information to see Living Proof in Calgary, where and when:

No automatic alt text available.
MS Hope

Landmark Cinemas Canada is hosting screenings of Matt Embry’s documentary Living Proof February 03-05!

Saturday Feb. 03, 2018 1 p.m.
Sunday Feb. 04, 2018 1 p.m.
Monday Feb. 05, 2018 7 p.m.

Surrey – Landmark Cinemas 12 Guilford
GTA – Landmark Cinemas 24 Whitby
Ottawa – Landmark Cinemas 24 Kanata
Calgary – Landmark Cinemas 16 Country Hills
Edmonton – Landmark Cinemas 9 City Centre

TICKETS
Available soon @ https://www.landmarkcinemas.com/film-info/living-proof

Off to see the Social Worker tomorrow!

I have my appointment with her tomorrow at 9 am. Our discussion will be about my intent to go back to work, the possible fall outs, the logistical nightmare with not one but two disability programs in the US and Canada, the need to assess skills against disability I still have, and fears associated with past disasters as a result of unexpected attacks throwing monkey wrenches reocurring again in my life. From there I will have appointments with Occupational Therapists and the MS Psychologist.

When I am done with this phase of my rehabilitation, then I will contact Champions, which is a career counseling program specifically for the disabled. I have a tricky resume and a past full of black holes. Examples:

  • I have 64 college credits in business and writing with a high GPA, but I can’t get my transcripts due to a government bankruptcy I was forced to declare at that time due to, you guessed it, MS.
  • I sold credit cards for MBNA for three years and was one of that telesales center’s best sales performers and sales coaches. But, MBNA sold out to Bank of America, so I have no reference that I can give an employer.
  • I spearheaded grassroots, non profit events from the ground up over 15 years, all successes, all unpaid. The college degree was to back up my experience with a bachelors in business and a minor in writing. The plan was to be a professional events planner.
  • I have seven years experience as a Mental Health Technician. Two years as an Aid at a State Hospital and trained in Crisis Intervention with five years experience on an Acute Mental Health Unit at a community hospital. But, a long time ago, 1980-1982 and 1989-1994, a. shows my age (55), which can discriminate myself from getting the first interview and back then, you didn’t have to have a degree or certificate for these positions. I was hired for the five year position based on my two years experience at the state hospital.
  • Then there’s the years disabled. How do I deal with that with an interviewer and on my resume. Tough one, of which I am not alone. I am assuming that Champions Career Counseling is familiar with this conundrum.

You see the issues, I have a lot of honed skills, but not much proof on paper, although testing will help and once I am hired, my actions will show over time what I am capable of. But, ….to get there. Well, I guess that’s where my Higher Power comes in. I’ll do the foot work, the rest is not mine to control.

Most important to see is that I am on a vista that has a far ranging future. I do not anticipate a future MS attack, not on this lifestyle. Can I gauge that by my own experience, no, its only been ten months. I can, however, gauge it by the many others I’ve talked with and listened to online and in person, who have followed this lifestyle and kept their autoimmune illnesses at bay and in check for years and for some decades. I know this works. Once upon a time, I couldn’t predict what could happen with this illness, now, I feel confident to say, I can.

Wish me luck as I move out into this phase of my journey to health!

 

Bonne Sante

I’ll say, “Hell yes!”, to that!

I’m on Level III roughly two weeks now and the energy came in today. Ketosis flu wasn’t bad and this time around, I knew what it was, a big bonus, since it scared the hell out of me the first time I experienced it not knowing what was going on. I lost a big 6 lbs this past months, mostly in the last two weeks, due to a return to level III. I’m now 154 lbs. Been decades since I’ve weighed this little. I am 24 lbs from my ideal weight, which will be 130 lbs. One hundred twenty five was my ideal weight in my 20’s, I am allowing 5 lbs for my age.

I am asked questions frequently about my healing. I feel that I have a responsibility to explain how I was able to do it every chance I get. How else can anyone know that there is another way, a better way and that its within their power to grasp it, they only need want it bad enough and to be willing to go to any lengths to get it. The rewards are so dramatic that over time, it far out weighs the inconveniences. I look at birthday cake and I say to myself, “Do I want birthday cake or do I want to walk.” Because that is literally what it means to me. If I have a piece a cake, no, one slice of cake will not undo all that I’ve done, but it will weaken my resolve and make it that much easier to slip again and again till the tide rushes through the dam I’ve built. No way!!! Not for anyone am I willing to do that.

Over the holidays, I did step back a bit to Level I to make it easier to get through the holidays, thus allowing me more foods I could eat. I don’t consider this a slip because, even though I did slide back a little, its still on the Protocol and I was still healing, but at a much slower rate. I’d do that again, possibly next year, because it did help me enjoy Christmas and Birthdays of which there are several around the holidays. I am happy to be back on level III though. It did show me just how much healing can be had on that level as compared to level’s I and II. Cognitive healing? I’ll say, “Hell yes!” to that!

 

Bonne Sante

Note: I updated the symptoms page.

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/marketing-school-business-idea-21696/

Milestones and Recipe Websites

This was a big milestone for me today. I live one Kilometer from the main drag where the grocery store, bank, train station, and butcher are. Four years ago I could walk to this street, but dragged my leg the last ten minutes of the walk, which then required a forty-five minute rest. I’d go to the coffee house and sip a latte and wait for my leg to rejoin me while I read newspapers and worked crossword puzzles before continuing my shopping. This has been my best since 2010. As I got sicker, it became necessary for me to take a bus, saving my energy for shopping, eventually, progressing to taking my walker and using a taxi, and worse, almost never going unless I absolutely had to, so sick and weak had I become. Well, today I went for that walk. Overtime on the Wahls Protocol, I had progressed back to the long customary walk, dragging my leg at the end and resting, which was a huge milestone to have that back. Today though, I stayed strong, no leg dragging, no need for the rest. Did my grocery shopping in two stores and never faltered. Its been years!

At the grocery store, I decided to buy a bottle of Ghee (clarified butter). I usually make my own, but I must admit, I don’t do a thorough job, which isn’t good. I decided that I wasn’t saving much by making my own and bought the bottle for $8.49. The cashier was a little lady from India with the customary red dot on her forehead, she looked like she was over 70 years old and spoke with a very thick accent. She picked up the ghee to scan and asked, “Where are you from?” Understanding that she was really asking if I was from India, I replied, “I’m Italian from the US.” She explained, “I see no one with ghee. I make ghee. We only eat ghee, never whole butter. Butter has enzymes that do not digest well and cause allergies. Clarifying takes that out, I make my own. I thought that you must be from India.” I explained to her that the popularity of ghee is increasing for the reasons she just stated. I thought, “See, she knows. They’ve known for generations how bad straight dairy is.” I swear, the more science we have, the stupider we get! Forgive me for that harsh opinion. I love science. There are many reasons for this ignorance. It was easier to say it in one, broad sentence, a catch all.

Okay, onto more resources:

Clean 15 Dirty Dozen lists

Important to know about the “Clean fifteen dirty dozen” list. This is a list that will tell you which fresh produce has the lowest and highest incidences of pesticides, denoting which should be bought, if possible, organic and which is safe to eat non organic. For example, strawberries are number one on the dirty list, because strawberries are thin skinned and porous, allowing pesticides to get into the fruit, while avocados are number one on the clean list, one reason being their hard shell. Good list to have. This is a complete guide to the lists: EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce   This takes you to the page that explains the key points of the study. Explore the rest of the site, the pages index is at the top of the page. The pages titled Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen each have the respective lists, the About page explains how and where the data comes from.

Recipe Websites

https://nomnompaleo.com/

https://www.jaysbakingmecrazy.com/

https://elanaspantry.com/

https://www.thepaleomom.com/category/recipes/

https://meatified.com/recipe-index/

https://www.stupideasypaleo.com/recipe-index/

https://meljoulwan.com/category/recipes/

http://grazedandenthused.com/

https://detoxinista.com/recipes/

 

Well, that should be enough to get you going on recipes!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/vegetables-and-tomatoes-on-cutting-board-255501/

Join me!

This morning was something for me. I have been swimming with the same ladies for four years. They’ve seen me at my sickest. I have had individual remarks from them here and there on my recovery. This morning, the group talked about it. One asked me for information for her daughter, which I said I would compile a list of resources for her tonight and bring it with me tomorrow morning. Another said and this floored me, that I could be a model for what a healthy lifestyle can do. At the start of this ten months ago, I needed to bring my walker into the pool area with me as far as I could, then hang onto walls to make it to the pool. Today I freely walk strong without aids, my skin glows (I hear remarks often that I look ten years younger), my muscles are toned and to date, I’ve lost 39 lbs. I think I’ll keep doing this….what do you think? Join me!

Sources continued:

Autoimmune Wellness AIP – https://autoimmunewellness.com/

AIP uses a diet that is a complete elimination method. By removing everything that could cause inflammation or a reaction. All that the Wahls Protocol eliminates plus nightshade vegetables, nuts, etc for the first year. Then reintroduces some foods to see if there is a reaction, such as eggs and nuts. Excellent website, even though I follow Dr. Wahls Protocol, I am signed up for emails. Today’s AIP email featured a new food plan website that AIP merged their 250 recipes into. I am definitely going to subscribe to it, it’s financially doable for me and looks like a fantastic subscription meal planning website: https://realplans.com

I hope to see Dr. Wahls merge her recipes with this site as well. What is really nice about it is having all these recipes available in one place where I can save the ones I like, it keeps a profile of my specific diet requirements and creates meal plans and shopping lists that I can tweak, add too or remove and that I will have access to from my I-phone. I’m going to try the one month version to be sure that I like it enough, then upgrade to the annual subscription if I do.

The MS Gym: https://themsgym.mykajabi.com

I am signed up for their emails and I pay attention to discussion about this on the Wahls Facebook page. People swear by it, it is a paid membership, however not a super expensive one. I am doing very well in the gym on my own and I’ve had specialized direction for my left leg from a local physical therapist. I can’t afford to sign up for all that I would like, but I got something out of the informative emails that Trevor sends and the discussions from other Wahls Warriors who swear by this.

The Paleo Boss Lady: http://www.paleobosslady.com/

Diane V. Capaldi is a profound living example of how far healing can take you no matter where you start from if you’re will to go to any lengths. A lot to see on her website and every word worth if your seeking inspiration to make a badly needed change for the better.

 

I will include more sources in the next blog.

 

Bonne Sante

 

 

A message from Dr. Terry Wahls

Reprinted here with permission from Dr. Wahls:

I am aware that some individuals have posted concerns about the costs of functional medicine. I saw that people have been expressing concern, frustration and anger that functional medicine costs so much, or even anger that I charge so much for a consultations in my private practice. – hence I am writing this post.
Functional medicine is very time intensive. Yesterday I spent 6 hours on one person’s first visit with me. A conventional physician would have been able to spend 30 or 45 minutes and then 10 to 15 minutes per visit for the follow up. A detailed review of all of the environmental factors, diet, lifestyle and environmental factors that contributed to the health decline is very time intensive. This is why functional medicine practitioners are not able to take insurance. If they do, they cannot pay their staff (or their liability insurance) or themselves. Furthermore if they do take insurance, the health insurance company is likely to complete a practice audit and force the practitioner to refund to the health insurance company any payment for services – as functional medicine evaluations and treatments are not covered services.
I took care of people in the VA for years – and saw people using primary care labs that I described in my book – and used group encounters to teach people how to view the relationship between their diet, lifestyle and environmental exposures and their health – and then begin adopting the various diet plans we recommended.

Because I want to facilitate an epidemic of health – I have written several books, have a website and social media where my staff and I post information daily. You need a computer and an internet connection to see the information.
I receive requests daily from people around the globe who want more support and to consult with me. I have created products that provide more support to implement functional medicine principles with higher costs for higher levels of support. I am grateful for the people who choose to buy the additional support services because that allows me to pay staff and cover my costs for conducting webinars, and providing free content on social media. I am grateful that some people want to come for an intensive functional medicine evaluation in my private practice – which again allows me to support my staff so that I can provide as much free content as I do via social media.

There are many functional medicine books available in the library. There are many functional medicine podcasts, interviews and videos you can learn from. You can use my book and work with your primary care team to implement and monitor your progress.

Some of you may decide that your finances are such that you can only work with your primary care team and my book. For the vast majority of people implementing the dietary choices 100% is what restores their health. If you will commit to doing that .. likely you achieve a radical improvement in your health and will have no need for a functional medicine consult. The majority of people I have seen in my clinic at the VA additional testing was not required – people needed emotional help to do the work of changing their diet and lifestyle. They did not need more fancy testing.

Some of you may decide you have the financial resources and want to buy the additional support ( and I am grateful for those who do so I can pay staff to provide as much free content as we do) or consult with a functional medicine practitioner and understand that a functional medicine evaluation is very time intensive for the health professional and the patient.

There are many ways to find diet and lifestyle information and support for your journey. Stay positive. Do what you can. Use the library. Work with your primary care team. Do not obsess over whether you can afford functional medicine. Obsess over learning how to cook at home. Obsess over eating what is recommended and eliminating what is harmful.
Obsess over what you can do.
Let go of what you cannot do or access.
We saw remarkable success in patients who implemented the dietary recommendations – with zero fancy testing. The most critical is to understand that there is a very large difference between doing the diet most of the time (even 95%) and doing the diet all the time – 100%.

Keep working at it and keep working at doing the protocol a little better a little more effectively each week.
It took me 17 years to get my daily program to where I am today… and I am still improving my diet and lifestyle choices. You will also hopefully keep improving yours continually as well.
Terry Wahls

 

My gratitude is immeasurable for Dr. Wahls dedication to teaching everyone who seeks to recover via her reasonably books, webinars, website, online and documentary interviews, paid visits and her annual seminar.

Today was the first day I registered key tones on the keto urine strips. So excited, I feel like I’m back on the fast track. Yesterday and particularly last night was a painful detox. All good this morning. So I don’t scare you with the “painful” term, I’ll explain, very briefly. Gas, a lot of gas that became trapped under my left breast between my ribs, which created a stabbing pain that went on all night. Everyone will have some kind of detox, not everyone will have trapped gas pain like that. Wasn’t fun, but brewed bay leaf tea, took some Tylenol and finally went to sleep at 4:30 am. Right now, I feel like a million bucks! Today’s blog became about other important topics, most especially Dr. Wahls’ message above. Tomorrow, I’ll post more resources.

 

Bonne Sante

Step by Step, Habit by Habit

I am busy renewing my resolve, not that I have for a minute considered giving up, but I have slid back a bit on my enthusiasm. I am blogging daily again, taking in written and viewing materials like What’s with Wheat on Netflix and The Wahls Protocol in preparation for preparing for Wahls level III. “Step by step and habit by habit”, was a wonderful line someone said in What’s with Wheat. It is how its done. It is change in many ways. Exercise, nine cups of varied vegetables a day, whole foods, organic foods, gluten free cooking, fermented foods and probiotics, bone broth, seaweed, organ meat, extra time cooking from scratch resulting in more dishes and more time doing them, e-stim, physio, detoxing via sauna, mud baths, Epsom salt baths, and or steam baths, meditation and other stress relievers, supplements, non toxic household products, juggling finances, learning how to make everything homemade because its ten times cheaper than buying it, etc.

I just learned to make bone broth, finally. Now that I know it isn’t that big of a deal, I will make more next month. I am working up to making my own Kombucha tea. Kombucha tea is a fermented drink. Fermented foods help to build good bacteria in your stomach, which you want. To buy it is expensive, but far cheaper to make it and by all accounts not that difficult. But, its still something new to learn about, what is it, why is it good for you, what materials do you need, how much for the base materials, and so on. Kombucha tea is organic black or green tea, filtered water, sugar and flavorings like ginger or berry. To start its suggested that you buy a kombucha scoby or “grow” your own. Now there’s an intimidating word, “scoby”. What is a scoby?! I will let this very good and simply explained and illustrated blog on the subject explain it: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-kombucha-scoby-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-

My plan is to learn to grow my own following the instructions above. I need a large glass pitcher, therefore, the end of the month is when I will be fully committed to this lab experiment. I will take pictures and share my scoby journey with you. In the mean time, what definitely helps my enthusiasm is, as I’ve said before, the fact that hardly a day goes by without someone mentioning my remarkable transformation these last nine and a half months and today is no different. At the gym where I swim, a woman, who was my cane buddy, remarked today, “Where’s your stick (cane)?” As always, when someone asks, I take it as an opportunity to introduce them to the Doctor Wahls Protocol, which I did. Most times, even though they asked and I am living proof right before them, when I mention the dramatic eating changes, I watch their face fall flat, my cue to discontinue the conversation. Which was the case with this woman, but later, at my physio appointment, something truly remarkable happened.

I’ve had a course of nine physio appointments one every two weeks. I have one more after today. I’ve explained what I’m doing, and all have been interested, but today was something. Of course they’ve had time to see me transform here as well, because its been a couple of months and I am continuing to heal. My physical therapist is actively researching the information, and while I rested with the heat at the end, two other people asked questions, a lot of questions about my illness and what I am doing and what the Wahls Protocol is.

Now, if that doesn’t make one feel enthusiastic, then there’s just no hope for me!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Gluten Free Italian Wedding Soup

Hot soup on a cold day is an understatement when the temperature is -27C/-16.6F feels like -36C/-32.8F and the heat failed in my building due to burst pipes……again. And so, sitting in front of my little space heater eating hot soup is the perfect remedy. I am in a building with a very good landlord. They have been super good about getting the problems repaired immediately. The little space heater was given to me to use till the building heats up again. The heat is up and running, but the building won’t heat up till the cold snap is over, which will be Saturday when the temperature will read 3C/37.4F, a 12.2C/53.9F degree change. Crazy up and down weather that is typical of Calgary, AB.

I came up with this modified recipe for Italian Wedding Soup when I saw a soup featuring meatballs and spinach from a friend on the Wahls Facebook Group. It brought a craving for Wedding Soup. This is my gluten/dairy free version:

 

Italian Wedding Soup

For the meatballs

  • 1/2 lb hamburger (I used grass fed beef)
  • 1 egg (eggless option: 1 tbsp chia or ground flax seed with 3 tbsp water heated up)
  • 1/3 small onion diced small
  • 1/3 cup hemp heart seeds (you can try coursely ground nuts too, I thought almonds or walnuts would be good too)
  • salt and pepper
  • Herb of choice (I used 1/4 tsp of sage, I would’ve preferred parsley, but didn’t have any)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (in place of the Parmesan cheese)
  • 1 tbsp bacon grease or other fat of choice

For the Soup

  • 10 cups chicken bone broth
  • 2 carrots in half inch pieces
  • 1 onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 rib celery sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup chopped spinach or escarole
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp ghee

Mix the meatball ingredients and form into small one inch sized meatballs. Fry in bacon grease on two or three sides (about four minutes, they won’t be cooked through, they will continue to cook in the soup).

Saute the carrots, onions, celery and garlic in the ghee 3 to 5 minutes. Add the broth with the meatballs, spinach, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast.  Bring to a gentle boil and cook ten to twelve minutes.

 

I was happy with how this came out and had two bowls! Me, my gloves, my double woolly socks, my heavy sweater, my Nordic hat with fur on the inside, my space heater on one side and my cat glued to my other side and my hot bowl of soup. This is the kind of food that is making me heal.

 

Bonne Sante

Focus, patience and calm, no less is required.

I read once that the highest percentages of car accidents happen within one mile of home. That’s because we switch to auto pilot and become less observant and alert, over confident and driving on memory. Whereas, less familiar routes, we need to pay constant attention. Also, anticipating home, we might speed up, anxious to get there. I’m a jewelry artist, working mostly in bead embroidery. My pieces can sometimes take months to finish. Within hours of finishing the piece, I speed up and make near fatal flaws, because I can see the end in sight, I am excited to do the finishing touches and complete the piece that I have been meticulous with up to that point. Same theory. I’m going through that right now. I can see the finish line for my foray into the work world and greater independence, but I’m not quite there yet. Here is where I must be particularly careful, lest I jump the gun and undo half of what I’ve achieved so far.

I take something called Access Calgary, which is a door to door service for the disabled using handibuses, vans and checker cabs. I’ve utilized the service for three years now. When I started the Wahls Protocol nine months ago, the drivers knew right away I was the one they were picking up, I either had a walker and always my cane. I just didn’t look well. Now, especially at the Southland Leisure Centre where I work out, they don’t make a b-line for me anymore and twice this week, they went back in their vehicles and phoned Access that they could not find the rider. When I called Access and was directed to the correct vehicle, in both situations, the drivers said, “I saw you, but didn’t think….”. Today too, again. Obviously, I’m looking healthy and compared to most of the people were picking up, I am. And I am grateful. But, as strong as I look, I’m not ready to give Access up yet. Where I work out would take a bus, a train and a bus to get to. An hour of transit one way, carrying a gym bag. The same gym bag will be filled with wet clothes on the way home and a fatigued leg from working out. I take regular transit for local trips and reserve Access for complicated trips like the above. I still suffer from fatigue. I walk strong, but I still have an expiration date and will still fatigue. Eventually, I think I will most definitely be able to let go of Access. But right now, I need them to help me continue to rehabilitate.

I guess, I’m experiencing an in between point. I am rehabilitating to the point of feeling well enough to work and stand on my own two feet, but not quite there yet. I have three more months of intensive rehabilitation to go before I am ready to take the first really big step out. I have an appointment with the MS psychiatrist and the MS social worker at month’s end to discuss psychologically getting ready for the possibility of working full time. Now, I say possibility because I have not one but two neurological conditions to consider. I have a fused neck, a result of a stenosis and compression. The last thing I want to do is aggravate that. I’ve had two surgeries there, don’t want a third one, because then were talking c/1 and c/2, into the base of the skull. And I’ve read nothing but horror stories about that. This is one aspect I will carefully discuss with my doctors. It may be when its all said and done, that part time is the best I can do. I’m shooting for full time, while reservedly, remaining realistic.

I guess time will tell the future story,

 

Bonne Sante