Living Proof Documentary soon available to view in the US

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

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

Matt Embry
7 hrs · 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sapna Bedi
Sapna Bedi How about the UK? Xx

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Amy Penszynski
Amy Penszynski I can’t wait!

Yes, Virginia, you can turn the clock back.

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

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

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

 

Bonne Sante

 

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

Enjoy what is

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

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

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

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

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

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

It could be worse.

 

Bonne Sante

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

 

 

 

 

Stick with the winners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very inspiring example!

 

Bonne Sante

 

The Lobster Man

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mom 3 mom1 mom 2

Love you Mom

 

Bonne Sante

 

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

Detoxing My Life

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

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

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

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

What I have done and successfully incorporated into my life:

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

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

 

Bonne Sante

Adjusting, adjusting

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

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

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

That’s all from me today,

Bonne Sante

 

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

 

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