Dr Wahls recommends keeping track of how you’re feeling, symptoms, and changes while on the protocol, so you can look back and see progress.  I think this is a good idea, and one that I’ve never been good at; therefore, I’ve often been unsure whether or not anything I’m doing is helping.  Some people report dramatic changes, but I’ve never had that, so I really need to be on the lookout for subtle changes.

My main symptom is leg weakness.  My feet are constantly numb, but that doesn’t usually bother much by itself.  It’s not being able to stand or walk for more than a few minutes that is the most troublesome for me.  I also have poor balance, which means walking takes even more energy than it should.  When I go to a store, I always have to use a cart because it helps with support and balance, even if I’m only going in for one thing (but that is very rare because I just don’t have the energy to spend for one item).

I have definitely seen a change for the worse over the last 5 years.  Even though I would wear out before my friend, 5 years ago I used to be able to spend most of the day shopping with her.  Now I wouldn’t even attempt it.

Baseline weight: 87 lbs.  That sounds bad, but I’m only 5ft tall (in shoes!), so it’s not terrible.  Even so, I wouldn’t want to lose any more.  Plus, I have no muscle (muscle=pounds)!

Baseline symptoms: leg weakness has actually seemed a little bit worse this week since I started paying more attention to getting the correct vegetable categories/amounts.  That’s discouraging, but I have heard that it is possible to get worse before you get better.  My left leg is usually less cooperative than my right, and this week its been giving me “zingers”, which throws off my balance and gait even more.

Fatigue: I don’t usually have any problem sleeping, but do have to get up to go to the bathroom at least once every night, and often 2-3 times, which means it’s not as restful as it should be.  I often take an afternoon nap.  I don’t think I have the debilitating fatigue that is often associated with MS, but certainly my energy levels are sub-optimal.

It’s been over three years since I did any blogging, and it’s almost like I’m a total newbie!  Gotta figure this all out again.

Over those three years I have been sporadically following one kind of MS diet or another, never 100%, but with periods of maybe 85-90% compliance, and with periods of zero compliance.  As in, I got frustrated or lazy and just went back to my “normal person” eating habits.  I’ve never had great, or really even noticeable, results, but never felt like I could blame it on the diet; rather, user error was the main factor.

A year or so ago, I came across The Wahls Protocol by Dr Terry Wahls.  She reversed her progressive MS symptoms with a diet she developed, did a Ted Talk about it, wrote a book, and is conducting clinical studies on the diet, with successful outcomes.  I won’t go into detail here, but her story is pretty inspiring.  That led to finding the stories of other people who are on her diet, and changing their health and lives with it.

I started working into the diet about 7 or 8 months ago, but was still wishy-washy about compliance.  I’ve decided I need some accountability; also, one of Dr Wahls’ recommendations is that you keep a diary of sorts.  So this is my accountability diary.

Wow, okay I knew I’d gotten off track, but I didn’t realize it had been almost two weeks!  We’ve had house guests, the World Series (yay, Cards!)Halloween, just got a new dog, plus I wasn’t sure where I was going with the diet, and keeping track of my food intake just fell by the wayside.

In doing some more reading of the MS Recovery Diet, I’ve decided to take a step back.  I was going all out and cutting out all five of the main triggers at once but not quite doing it all the way.  The book recommends that you start by eliminating gluten for a couple weeks and see if that makes any difference, and then taking out dairy, and so on.  It also says that it may take a while to notice any differences, and that keeping a food and symptom diary will help.

My revised plan is to stay gluten- and dairy-free, and keep to 15g or less of saturated fat a day.  I’ve already spent a bunch of time and money on the gluten-free part, and it’s pretty easy at this point to stay dairy-free.  For now I won’t worry as much about the legumes, eggs, and yeast.  Among other things, that will make baking a lot easier!  Just try finding or making a decent bread that does not contain gluten, eggs, or yeast!

I’ll also start being more mindful of my symptoms and how I’m feeling on a day to day basis, and keep track of it here as well as the food.  Hopefully that will make it easier to notice any possible correlations.

 

Breakfast:

hemp protein shake (frozen pineapple, TJ’s vanilla hemp protein, Silk unsweetened coconut milk, water, SP Fiber) [2.5g]

Snack:

Rice Dream carob-covered “ice cream” bar [4.5]

Lunch:

Spinach salad w/ two leftover chicken fingers (cubed), 2 tsp pumpkin seeds, 1/2 apple (cubed), and a drizzle of honey mustard [1g]

1/2 pomegranate

Dinner:

tuna salad w/ celery, green onion, pickle relish, made with dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free mayonnaise! [1.5g]

rice crackers

Snack:

dairy-free egg-free chocolate pudding from Cooking Free by Carol Fenster [2g]

Total sat fat: 11.5g

Notes:

I went to a local health-food store, and unfortunately the prices were quite high, so I wasn’t going to buy anything.  But I felt kinda bad about that, so I picked up a single Rice Dream frozen treat.  As I was rather mindlessly munching away on it, and thinking “this doesn’t really have any flavor”, it occurred to me to check for saturated fat grams.  Yikes! 7!  Good thing I only ate 3/4 of it.  Totally not worth it, since it wasn’t that great anyway.  And carob is a legume.  Lesson learned:  always read the label before you buy!

The mayonnaise is homemade.  I will post the recipe after I see how it holds up for a couple of days.

My 11 yr old son, who has never before shown any interest in cooking, was flipping through Carol Fenster’s book, and decided to make the chocolate pudding.  It was really good!  We made it with coconut milk, which has 5g sat fat per cup, so I’m going to guess 2g for what I ate.

This is a recipe I found years ago in a magazine.  It is a quintessentially fall dish, and you will not believe how good it smells while baking!

  • 8 cups peeled, seeded winter squash, cut into 1" cubes (I use butternut)
  • 1 medium onion, cut in wedges
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg or ginger

In a greased 3 qt baking dish, combine squash and onion.  Combine remaining ingredients and pour over veggies, tossing to coat.  Bake uncovered at 450°F for 35 minutes or until tender, stirring twice.  Makes 8 servings.

{Winter squash can be difficult to peel.  That’s one of the reasons I like to use butternut, as it has a smooth surface, and not ridged like some others. I use a vegetable peeler and have to make 2-3 passes to get down to the flesh.  Also, some stores sell squash already peeled and cubed in the produce section.}

IMG_0194

Breakfast:

TJ GF granola [1g]

almond milk

Snack:

organic tortilla chips [.5g]

2 T Wholly Guacamole [1g]

1/2 tropical smoothie made w/ water

sm apple w/ almond butter [.5g]

Dinner:

salad w/ tomatoes, bell pepper, cuke, red onion, sunflower seeds, vinaigrette [1.5g]

1 slice Little Caesar’s pepperoni pizza [5g], and of course it contains wheat, dairy, soy, and yeast

Snack:

puffed millet cereal w/ nectarine and 1/2 c TJ’s vanilla coconut milk [2.5g]

Total saturated fat: 12g

Breakfast:

rice krispies w/ half sliced banana and almond milk [0g]…just realized that rice krispies have malt flavoring and are not GF [0g]

Lunch:

Romaine Rice Tuna Salad, made with spinach [1.5g]

Snack:

shake w/ frozen strawberries, 1/2 banana, 1 c rice milk, TJ’s Hemp Protein

Dinner:

turkey cutlet [.5g]

cider-roasted butternut squash [.5g]

Snack:

corn chex

almond milk

1 double chocolate cookie (freshly baked! couldn’t resist) [3g]  

Total saturated fat:  5.5g

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.