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:

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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

 

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.

 

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Focus on the Successes

This is a short one today. I’m anxious to start Ketosis and have decided to begin this Wednesday. I’m mostly out of foods not okay on that level. Living alone, I have the benefit of not having anything in the house that could make it hard for me to get started on Level III. Most people live with others and must share the household cabinets and fridge with other foods, that is a benefit of living alone that I like. Not that its impossible to do this in those situations, I listen to Wahls members who tackle this very problem successfully. Although, I have noticed that the ones who do best with this are the ones who have supportive family who also adapt to the Wahls Protocol, although usually to a lessor degree, whereas they’re not sick, it isn’t necessary for them to be as strict as those of us who are battling an illness.

In the last few months, in my attempts to learn to like various foods required on the Protocol, I have focused on what I don’t like or have not found a way to adapt to more than what I have learned to like. Here are some of the weird and not so weird foods that I’ve come to love, or have always loved and didn’t know could be considered good for me:

  • Kombucha Tea
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Coffee with full fat coconut milk and almond butter blended in my Ninja Professional blender
  • Full fat coconut milk
  • Raw veggies, I crave them daily
  • Bacon (the Protocol calls for antibiotic, hormone and nitrate free, but I can’t afford the nitrate free, I buy antibiotic and hormone free, but with nitrates. When my financial situation improves I’ll go back to nitrate free, I figured 2 out of 3 is better than nothing)
  • Greens salad with fresh organic strawberries, almonds, purple cabbage and avocado
  • Purple cabbage
  • Cauliflower recipes, like Nom Nom Paleo’s Asian Fried Rice, mock mashed potatoes and Alfredo Sauce
  • Ground bison, which tastes infinitely better than beef hamburger and digests better
  • Chia seeds and chia seed pudding
  • Tahini Sauce

I’m sure there’s more than this, but I can’t think of anymore right now. I had a great workout this morning and a wonderful visit with a friend. I’m off to ready myself for Physio and exercise tomorrow.

 

Bonne Sante

 

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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

So, this happened to my bone broth after freezing…Ugh!

What a bummer. Well, at least it only happened to the two large bottles. I still have the four small ones I froze, two small jars in the lower fridge and a cup I drank yesterday. I threw these two out. I know what happened too. I did cool the liquid first, then bottle and cool further in the lower fridge before transferring to the freezer. I had filled the smaller bottles first, taking care to leave an inch of space at the top of each jar to allow for expansion when freezing. I forgot to do the same for the last two larger jars. This is what happens when you don’t leave space. Without the room to expand, the bottles broke. Oh well, lesson learned.

I am working my way back to Wahls level III (nutritional Ketosis). As I’ve said, there was a difference for me with level III as compared to the other levels. I had a greater result in healing, although, I have had healing on all three levels, but it was significant on level III, especially cognitively. I have some foods left over from the other levels, throwing away good food is not something I can afford. I am finishing off the Gluten free flour, dried whole cranberries and baby potatoes. That’s all I have left, once those go, I’ll begin level III again. Right now, I’m getting ready for it psychologically and physically. Some people can jump right into things, I have to prepare myself, which takes time. When I do this, whatever it is I am working towards has a far better success rate.

I am still hearing almost daily, people’s astonishment over my continued transformation. With the Protocol, it is dramatic and its fast. It’s only been nine months. I don’t look sick anymore. My gate, my sense of balance and my cognitive abilities have all significantly improved. However, I still have a lot of healing to do yet, hence level III. From what I understand, level III, over time replaces cellular structure with new cells, seven to ten years for complete replacement, to then be sustained by continuing the good habits I am learning and working on implementing into my life in a second nature way.

I am still stubborn about eating organ meat and seaweed. I have to find a way to include them. What worked best for me was taking desiccated liver and spirulina pills. But, I can not afford them. I need to research further ways to cook with organ meat, which can effectively hide them and the taste. I have looked into it here and there. What I need to do is compile a list of recipes, which I have been doing with notebook on my computer. I need to take the time, look at them again, compile them into one category and begin testing the recipes till I find the ones that work best. I am rebuilding my resolve to not settle for less. These are my upcoming goals.

In the mean time, I am still exercising four days a week and have two more physio appointments for my leg. The physio social worker asked if I wanted them to apply for more physio, but I said no. I said no for a couple of reasons. One, I don’t want to inundate myself with appointments, I am satisfied with what I’ve been taught and have been incorporating the exercises into my workouts with great success. The second reason is that it was made clear that I was allowed a max of $800 that could be spent on physio from disability. I don’t want to aggravate my worker, I’m going to further need her help with career counseling and my readiness to work. I am going to make an appointment with her around mid February. The end of this month, I have my appointment with the MS psychiatrist and the MS social worker to counsel about my goal to go back to work.

Whew! A lot to prepare for. There, now we’ll let that go, get ready for my workout tomorrow and take it a day at a time.

 

Bonne Sante

S M I L E !

Christmas in five days! Bet you needed me to tell you that, right? I have slowed down on my blogging to once or twice a week, which, I think from here on out I’ll keep that pace. It was daily for seven and a half months. I’m currently off nutritious ketosis (Wahls level III). I do notice a marked decrease in the healing rate I was enjoying on that level and will go back to it in January. For the holidays, this is easier. Gives me more choices, for example, at a luncheon a couple days ago, this level allowed me to eat something, level III, nothing. A beautiful spread, I had shrimp salad rolls, rice crackers, fresh fruit and coffee. On level III, only fruit and coffee, and of the four fruits served, only raspberries. I’m still healing, I’m not regressing, but it was remarkable on level III. So much so that it will be well worth the effort to make it work.

I was weak and put out a resume for a job that was directly across the street from me. But, regretted that the next day. I know its too soon. For one thing, I made a promise to my Neurologist that I would wait till rehabilitation is finished and that will take another three months. Plus, three months fits neatly into the original blueprint (plan) to work after one year on the Wahls Protocol, which is March 27th. I will keep to it and wait.

Today, we had the end of a storm this morning. I went Christmas and grocery shopping. I trudged through the snow with some balance issues, but got to the bus stop. Witnessed a car accident just before the stop. A woman pushed the flashing yellow pedestrian signal, the first car stopped, but the guy behind him wasn’t paying attention and plowed into the car that stopped, then into the pole. The guys were yelling at each other, but no one was hurt. Then my bus arrived. So, I trudged, I shopped, and shopped, and shopped some more. Four hours with two twenty minute sitting rests. Got home, rested for a short time, did some housework and made dinner for a friend. She left not long ago. Early this morning before going out, I did my laundry. A good productive day that I will remind you would’ve been impossible for me to do. I stayed away from malls. I was not free to walk around. A walker would’ve been necessary and bathrooms within walking distance and they never are at malls. But, neither is an issue. I do need to here and there, but I shopped at Sears, which is going out of business in Canada. The last time I went to Sears was last winter, I had a walker and I need assistance to get items low to the ground. I was exhausted after thirty minutes of shopping that required trying on one item of clothing. This is the first time back to that same Sears and I smiled when I effortlessly reached repeatedly for low to the ground items, without assistance, a walker or a cane. Then shopped for four and a half hours. S   M    I     L    E     !

 

Bonne Sante

 

Dr. Wahls Second Webinar

Hello All,

I did attend the webinar yesterday and I do have the recorded link for you here:

Dr. Wahls Expert Series Webinar 2

This one was about balancing hormones. Interesting for me whereas I am on Premarin, off and on (mostly on) six years. I haven’t worried about cancer because I’m on them due to a total hysterectomy. Therefore, less in me that can get cancer. I am checked annually for breast cancer and I have no family history of it. But, they brought up other points. So, check out the Webinar. Also, we had Diane V Capaldi (Paleo Boss Lady) as the intro speaker. There is no cost for these, they are free.

I am working at returning to Wahls Paleo Plus Level III (Nutritional Ketosis). I stocked back up on full fat coconut milk and bit the financial bullet and bought my digestives. They will help me with the rebounding eating styles that requires readjustments. I don’t buy an exorbitantly high priced one. I buy Digest Basic by Enzymedica from my local natural market, $20.00 for 90 caps, then I limit them, one cap per meal so, two per day, which lasts me 45 days.  But, it did put me $18 over my $40 monthly budget for supplements. Ahem……..long sigh……., so hard to balance finances with this. I do think it was wise to get them though. Once in the swing of Ketosis, I hope to find away to use Liquid Magnesium Glycinate ($40 a month) again, because it was a big help in keeping me out of the ketosis flu. Somehow next month, I am going to get very creative and strict with my finances. January is when I will begin. Right now, I am back fasting and am mostly eating the third level, except for leftover food from level II, that being, dried cranberries, banana’s, gluten free flour, gluten free spaghetti (two servings left).  I won’t replenish these after I’ve used them up. I’m planning on January to give me a little more leeway through the Christmas season all the while adding in ketosis habits.

Hope all is well and all are ready for the Christmas month!

 

Bonne Sante

 

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The Sleepy’s

I had a wonderful exercise session today. I skipped Sunday and Monday to give myself some recuperation time following the event I worked on Saturday. I don’t cancel exercise too often. It felt good to be moving, to feel the endorphin’s rising and my mood lifting as it always does. My walking gets better weekly and sometimes daily along with my memory. It was nice to have someone not remember my name and me remember there’s! That’s a switch.

Tonight, I listened to a live webinar from Dr. Wahls. They will send a recorded version tomorrow. I’ll talk more about it then. I am working my way back into Level III. I was only off ten days or so. I really missed Level III. It is that big of a difference for me. I am going through the “sleepy’s” again, which happens to me as I adjust to the third level. Dr. Wahls does level III ten months a year and level II two months. I figure that is probably good to give the body a break from Ketosis thereby allowing foods your not able to eat on level III, not because they are bad, because to maintain ketosis, there are foods that must be avoided. I was only on level III three months. I made tremendous gains while on it. I want that level of healing and that level worked best for me, though all the levels have healed.

Tonight’s a short one. The sleepy’s remember.

 

Bonne Sante

Hup, two, three, four….

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

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

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

Marching on…..

 

Bonne Sante

 

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