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Initial Shock

What do you do when a doctor says the words, “You have Multiple Sclerosis?”

This fateful day came for me January 1st, 2016 after I had gone two years with symptoms I couldn’t explain. I knew I had something happening to me and I had enough matching symptoms to guess it was going to be MS. Even though I had prepared myself, the shock of actually hearing those four words still rattled me and I sat on my bed and sobbed. What do I do now? What  does this mean for me? What does this mean for my husband and children? Will I be in a wheelchair and if so, when?

The idea of losing control of my body and not knowing what kind of burden I will be on my family is a overwhelming thought. Fortunately, I have a wonderfully supportive husband who let me cry and reassured me that he loved me no matter what this life throws at us.

Do you have a support system: a spouse, counselor, child or good friend? This journey has made me realize that having someone to lean on will be very beneficial to your well being and help with the loneliness and isolation this disease creates.

This blog is my journey with MS and what I am trying to do to fight it and make my life into something I love, even if its not the original path I thought I would travel. We all have battles to fight and my battle includes an autoimmune disease.

Featured post

Brownies

What in the world, I’m posting two posts in one day???? Crazy I know, but I finally have the chance to get on here so I better get these up before life gets crazy or I forget.

This is the link to the original bloggers website who has some amazing recipes!

https://peaceloveandlowcarb.com/keto-flourless-chewy-double-chocolate-chip-cookies/

I mentioned these cookies in one of my videos and have been extremely slow in getting this posted. These brownie cookies have been a life saver to me while switching over to this eating lifestyle. I usually make two batches then freeze them and grab a cookie whenever the sugar craze hits.

The recipe calls for Erythritol which is a sugar that doesn’t raise blood sugar but isn’t technically Wahls Protocol compliant so I’ve made batches with honey as well and those were very good too. Honey is allowed by Wahls Protocol but it does raise your blood sugar so keep that in mind. I always leave out the peanut butter powder as well as peanuts are a no no on Wahls Protocol. I did try adding some protein powder once in place of the peanut butter powder which didn’t seem to make any difference to the recipe, so feel free to leave it out completely or add it in.

There is definitely an art to pulling the cookies at just the right time so they’re  still brownie like and chewy and not too cake like.

Let me know what you guys think on these!

Lowered Expectations

Sorry it’s been so long for an updated post. I think I’ve decided spring is clearly a busy time for myself and my family with school ending and the multitude of school and life activities that surround this time of year.

I also really noticed this year that like clockwork, those of us who felt down or stressed in January through March are starting to feel more upbeat when April rolls around.

This week my middle daughter had her yearly school camping trip in the woods of Alaska. Knowing my own limitations I figured I better forgo the all day hike on Thursday but I chose to go ahead with the smaller hike they had planned for Wednesday. About an hour into the hike I realized that what my brain thinks and what legs think are two very different things. Needless to say I heartily agreed to the ride back to base camp when a parent who drove their truck offered it to me. I really think MS and other afflictions many of us have really need to remind us to: 1) enjoy life, but also 2) lower our expectations!

I can’t help but think of the 90s skit on Mad TV called “lowered expectations”. Although that skit was geared at lowering expectations in a dating/love life. I think more of us need to stop expecting ourselves to still do everything we used to be able to do and then get mad when we can’t. I knew my limitations with climbing and I thought I knew my expectations with long hikes on easy terrain. Although I hate not completing what I started I also know the “good” and “smart” angel on my shoulder said to take the truck ride offer and in turn be able to walk the next day.

What do you struggle with giving up or lowering your expectations with in terms of what your body can handle? Do you push yourself too hard then regret it later? I’m trying to give myself more grace these days and remember that I’m still an able bodied individual who wants to have fun and connect with my kids, but I also have to be careful to not overdo it and possibly hurt myself.

Love yourself with whatever your physically able to do❤️

Biscuits…

Who doesn’t love a warm biscuit?

So I posted my end of week one on You Tube video here and in it I mentioned that I cheated and ate a biscuit yesterday. So I was determined today to find a replacement food item that was allowed and still curbed my food craving. Sugar withdrawals are a real thing and going cold turkey with sugar has been rough. So instead of a biscuit I settled on a scone recipe that fit Wahls Protocol and helped with the sugar withdrawals. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome!

Although my digital photography skills are lacking, this still shows you what you can make and still be on the Protocol. Here is the link to the easy blueberry scone (I made mine with fresh strawberries) recipe and a great blogger who has lots of yummy recipes.

I realize some people may not fully understand what can or cannot be eaten on Wahls Protocol so I plan to do a informational post here soon explaining the basics. Until then you can always google Wahls Protocol or Doctor Wahls and get the scoop that way.

What yummy foods have you had to give up or alter to fit a new eating plan?

Hip Hip Hooray

Made it through week one of Wahls Protocol and Intermittent Fasting. I have done Wahls Protocol in the past so I was familiar with the foods I needed to eat. The more difficult part was trying to fit in so many vegetables in a four hour window. The daily guidelines for vegetables in the Wahls Protocol are six to nine cups of various vegetables and this alone is a feat. To further complicate things condensing the eating window means really, really, really big salads are needed to get those vegetables eaten.

Overall, besides some embarrassing stomach growls the week as a whole was a success. I chose to eat between 3-4 pm to 7-8 pm most days. Skipping breakfast wasn’t too hard at all but lunch was progressively tougher. I did not reach my goal on quantity of vegetables everyday but I did avoid all gluten, sugar, legumes and dairy.

As for my typical MS symptoms, they actually hit me extremely hard the second day after starting which I’m assuming went along with my body hating me for not eating sugar or gluten anymore. My leg spasticity was insane that second night and there was a lot of nerve pain. Since I couldn’t sleep with the pain I spent a lot of that evening wondering if this eating style was going to work and wondering if this was too difficult. In the end, I’m glad I stuck it out and I felt much better on next day.

Not feeling bloated all the time and having looser pants is a nice side effect to this new eating plan. Honestly, giving up pretty much all yummy food has me looking for any benefit I can find. Radically changing ones way of eating will be an major adjustment for most people. I don’t expect anyone choosing to eat this way to always appreciate the health benefits, because let’s be honest, eating veggies all day and having no sweets is pretty depressing.

Knowing that MS and depression can go hand in hand means any strategy to fix ones health should include looking for the positive in it. No it’s not always fun eating so many vegetables (I’m think I’m starting to turn green), but I AM feeling good and my skin is looking better and I know I’m giving my autoimmune diseased body a fighting chance against MS.

If you try this eating plan and fail, don’t give up. Any steps in the right direction are beneficial. We are all humans trying to do this thing called life, some of us just get different road blocks along the way and will get to make hard choices towards finding better health.

Have you tried Intermittent Fasting? Have you read Dr. Wahls book about the Wahls Protocol? Any other followers who have had success with MS and this eating lifestyle?

I’m on YouTube!

So I made the jump to YouTube to blog my video journal of doing Wahl’s Protocol and Intermittent Fasting. I plan to update weekly my progress in all aspects of my health and MS symptom. I’m hoping I see some dramatic results and am able to update everyone on how eating this way can have positive affects on our health.

I am following the level three Wahls Protocol which is the most restrictive of the Wahls Protocol and doing the 20/4 Intermittent Fasting. I eat all of my calories for the day during a four hour window and fast the rest of the day except for no calorie drinks. Thank goodness I can still have my coffee!

Is anyone else trying this way of eating to treat their MS? Comment below if you are

Game Changer

What do you do with a body that doesn’t listen? You work with what you have!

I currently have RRMS (Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis) and I have good and bad days. Some days I honestly almost forget I have this disease and some days it takes every ounce of energy I can muster to get out of bed. On bad days I notice that my mood plummets and I have to try REALLY HARD to be a nice wife and mother.

The consensus of MS seems to be that it will affect everyone differently. My personal journey includes numb hands and feet, falling, no feeling in my legs, memory issues, bladder issues(😫) and major fatigue. There are other annoying *perks* of MS that I won’t go into but the ones I listed are the major issues I deal with.

Being determined to deal with the hand I’ve been dealt keeps me focused on improving my situation and away from depression and isolation. I truly believe our brain and outlook on life is a game changer.

Try to look towards improving your plight, no matter how rough it is; go outside and enjoy nature, look at a child who sees the wonder in little things, volunteer, watch an inspiring movie, hug your children or kiss your spouse. Find something that brings you joy and focus on it instead of the negative things this disease brings. Focusing on improving my health and trying to avoid conventional medicine is what drives me and helps me stay focused on improvement. I have MS and I can’t change that, but I can work with what I have and still love my life.

What good things in your life can you focus on or what activity would help you look to the positives?

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