Fulenn's MS page New: before/after pics on page 15

Share your daily McDougall menus and/or keep a journal describing your personal progress.

Moderators: JeffN, f1jim, Heather McDougall, carolve

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:31 pm

Today is my 20th wedding anniversary! It doesn't seem possible. We won't be celebrating for 2 weeks, though.

Had a bowl of brown rice and kale/collards this morning and some bing cherries over rice for lunch. Still just drinking water.

I had been having some balance problems, walking and veering to the right instead of going straight, and it is mostly gone; I have had a bit of it the past week, but very little. I'm not sure about my arm: I started losing feeling in it from the shoulder down, then gradually got about half of the feeling back, it really hasn't changed much, if at all, this past week.

Fulenn
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

My blog: http://fulennskitchen.blogspot.com
User avatar
fulenn
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:35 pm

Woke up today feeling great--like the brain fog and exhaustion had lifted. I hope it lasts. I didn't need a nap today! Food today was buckwheat-pumpkin pancakes, beans with kale, mushrooms, and brussels sprouts, and watermelon with brown rice and red bell pepper.

The energy is still up and last nights sleep was the best in months. I don't seem to have as much sensitivity to heat, but that might be the low humidity here compared to at home.

Fulenn
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

My blog: http://fulennskitchen.blogspot.com
User avatar
fulenn
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby moonwatcher » Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:37 am

HI Fulenn,

I have MS a well, was diagnosed over 16 years ago. A little over 4 years ago I started eating this way. I was in pretty bad shape. Very painful neuralgia in my face that made it hard to chew or even smile, complication of rosacea, terrible bouts of vertigo, and walking, even the short distances I needed to for errands (I am unable to drive for a variety of reasons) was slipping out of my reach. I was reading a memoir by a poet who has MS, and she had a chapter describing her failure at various kinds of alternative treatments and host they hadn't worked for her. She has a very aggressive version of MS, and is in a wheelchair with no use of her legs and pain implants. It made me ask myself, "have I really tried everything I can try?"

I have always refused the conventional med treatments, and tried to use diet, and other bodywork therapies, which did help, but at this point I was having diminishing returns. I remembered the Swank Diet being mentioned to me as one in which "you eat a lot of chicken and fish" by my red meat loving neurologist at the time of diagnosis. There was no internet then, I was reeling with the diagnosis, the fact I couldn't teach, and how I was going to provide for myself and my then 9 year old son, so it didn't register there was a book I could read. And I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian, so the idea of eating a lot of chicken and fish didn't appeal to me. I did change my diet to what I and the naturopaths considered low fat, but there was no information about oils from these sources. For a while, my diet WAS very low fat in the Swank way, and I believed that helped. But not enough. Then of course I was encourage to eat fish, and take flax oil, etc. for "health," and I do believe these things made it worse. I was encourage not to avoid eggs and dairy altogether, but to try to add them back in my diet as i could. In the rural area I live in, I was also encouraged to "buy local," that those eggs were "better," etc. All this turned out to be not true in my case. My intolerance of dairy and eggs never abated, and of course the saturated fat did nothing for improving my lot with MS.

So when in late January of 2008 I asked myself this question, I realized all I had to do was type in Swank Diet to google. And there it all was. I read about oils, got the library to get the book for me, and began my education. I didn't know Dr. McDougall existed. I wanted to see if I could do the Swank Diet vegan, so I combed carefully through the whole book and found that there was really nothing preventing it. I quickly realized, too, that if I was going to stay at Dr. Swank's recommendation of 20 grams of fat or below and under 5 of saturated, it might be a waste of that fat allotment to cook with even a little bit of oil. That I'd rather use that on a small amount of flax seed or a walnut or two. So I stopped using oil. I also typed in fat free vegan recipes to Google and found Susan Voisin's great site fat free vegan kitchen. There I learned how to cook yummy things without oil.

As I read the Swank site an participated in the discussion forums, and also Susan's blog, website and forums, I started reading people referring to McDougall. Then I realized it was the same McDougall people were talking about in both places, and from there found this site, which helped me refine my standards for no oil eating and cooking, and also eating enough starch to feel full. I didn't have a huge weight problem, but that 10-15 pounds up that I sometimes went to just melted off, and has stayed off, and I've even last slowly a little more, over time.

The effect of cutting out any dairy, eggs or oil was virtually immediate. It was as if the thing that was eating away at me all the time just stopped doing it. Like a fever breaking. So I "knew" that somehow I was not getting worse anymore. My symptoms started to soften, slowly, over time, and I also began to reacquire the ability to bounce back after they had flared up. I had all but lost that.

Although symptoms aren't gone, the slow arc of improvement continues. I have other complications such as being born with mild cerebral palsy and acquiring fibromyalgia along the way. My tendency to fall all my life seems to have aggravated that. So I had to do more limitation to the diet, no sugar, no gluten, and finally, something that really surprised me because I had not tested as being intolerant of it, no soy--not even the "good" kind. Taking that out really improved the inflammation of the fibromyalgia.

The quality of my life is now wonderful, and gets better every year. I still have issues, but they are so much easier to go through, resolve, and bounce back from. I still do take a nap every afternoon, two hours of being completely off my feet as Dr. Swank recommends. I find this helps reset my nervous system and keeps me from having more flare ups. If I can't sleep I read and rest with my dog.

I also have a wonderful service dog and we walk every day, over a mile. This is amazing for someone who struggled to get down the street or around half a block! I have a market cart and we walk to the co-op together for shopping, which is a few blocks from my house. I can type like this. I look terrific, rosacea cleared up, etc. People are always telling me how great I look--some who haven't seen me for a long time don't recognize me. This summer I am mowing the lawn myself with my push mower. I also negotiated getting a new Macbook and setting it up. And got my first cell phone. I am a poet, and haven't been able to write a lot of these years, and this year big breakthrough. All of this comes more slowly than for most, and has to be in an environment that is calm and quiet, but that's what I've created for myself. It works.

When I first went on the Swank forum and was participating there, I remember reading some woman asking about how in the world to cook different things for her family if they didn't want to follow the diet. Someone else wrote back, "you are not a short order cook," and then gave examples of what she makes for her family, and that if they want something else not on plan, they have to make it. This somehow made me laugh and realize I needed to stop eating or making things that other people liked or wanted. My son was grown and out of the house by this time. I told him what I was going to do and he has been totally supportive. He and his girlfriend now are vegan, and cook without oil.

When I first started this, I would sometimes wake up overwhelmed about it all. Then I'd remind myself "all I have to do today is take care of myself." That helped me.

I am glad I found this thread. YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK. (Something Rip Esselstyn wrote back to me in the early days of his web site before his book came out when I wrote and asked for a recipe I couldn't find.) And the kale you shared is just beautiful!! Keep eating it. :)



all the best,

moonwatcher
Please join me at my new blog Plant-Based Slow Motion Miracle

http://fatfreevegan.com/slowmiracle/

Or visit my journal, Moonwatcher's Slow Motion Miracle, on this site. Before and after pictures on page 4.
User avatar
moonwatcher
 
Posts: 1365
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:41 pm

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:20 pm

Moonwatcher,

Thank you for sharing your story. I have had a similar question about whether I had tried everything that I could. This seems to be working, though I am a bit afraid to hope too much, yet.

I am still eating well here on vacation. Unfortunately, several fires burning in the mountains where I had planned to go camping have halted those plans. I hope for the residents sake that Colorado gets a lot of rain soon.

I am eating rice and potatoes (in the form of Carapulcra) for my main starches along with a lot of fresh veggies and fruit. Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, strawberries, pineapple, watermelon, carrots, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, collards, it's all good. :)

Not much in the way of exercise, though I went swimming with the children today.

The fatigue has improved a lot, still napping some, but did not need to Fri., Sat., or today. Am still sleeping 8-10 hours per night. Am not as heat sensitive as a month ago--yea! The dizziness is worse than several days ago, though better than a few weeks ago. I assume it will be a forward and back again kind of thing, hopefully with the overall trend being forward progress.

Fulenn
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

My blog: http://fulennskitchen.blogspot.com
User avatar
fulenn
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:32 pm

Moonwatcher,

I forgot to thank you for your encouragement. It means a lot to hear this from someone dealing with the same disease as myself.

Thanks!

Fulenn
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

My blog: http://fulennskitchen.blogspot.com
User avatar
fulenn
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby moonwatcher » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:49 pm

Thanks, Fulenn, for your lovely response to my post, and for sharing that you had a similar moment of asking yourself if you'd done everything you could do. Nice to read this progress report. Sounds like you are doing great with chomping on lots of healthy stuff. :)

I like what you said about it being a backward and forward kind of thing, with the overall trend toward forward progress. I can say that has definitely been the case for me. At least overall. And the bumps in the road are a lot easier to ride out. Hope it will be that way for you. The nervous system is so complex. We've got to give it as much help as we can to regroup.

Nice that you went swimming with your children.

take care,

moonwatcher
Please join me at my new blog Plant-Based Slow Motion Miracle

http://fatfreevegan.com/slowmiracle/

Or visit my journal, Moonwatcher's Slow Motion Miracle, on this site. Before and after pictures on page 4.
User avatar
moonwatcher
 
Posts: 1365
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:41 pm

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby lmggallagher » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:03 pm

Hi Fulenn:

Vacation sounds really nice, so sorry for the folks in Colorado and your family that those fires are going on though :eek:

I learned something from Moonwalker's first post about the soy and fibromyalgia for her! That was cool because I had been thinking exactly the same about soy impacts to me. Though I am really sorry she has that and MS to contend with both, not cool.

Anyway, I have been having probs with more pain and fatigue recently. I have avoided soy for a really long time though, so wasn't thinking of it. Some has been weather for sure, but I also realized that I have been so tired I haven't made it out to the one store that carries the coconut creamer, which I use ever so sparingly in my herbal coffee. It's only an additional 20 cals a day. My local store only has soy creamers, which I have used for the last two weeks, but seriously I bet even that little bit of soy might be a problem for me! Thanks Moonwalker for putting that part in your post!

Fulenn every time I read the list of what you are eating I get seriously hungry!!!! :) It reads just like going down the aisles at my farmer's market :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I am so glad that you are feeling the improvements on this diet! I am sure that slowly, slowly we will continue to improve on this WOE together, which really makes me happy to think about. Everyone here is improving in some way every day! How wonderful is that :D :-D :) :-) :lol: :-) :) :-D :D :nod:
Image

Image
lmggallagher
 
Posts: 2567
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:21 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby moonwatcher » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:44 am

Hi lmggallagher,

You're welcome. And thanks to Fulenn for starting this thread about her own progress, so we could find each other and chat a bit. I know there are some of us here dealing with MS and/or fibro, but it's not front and center, so sometimes hard to find.

I had decided this about soy from paying attention to how much of it (in "good" forms, of course) I had included in holiday preparations. Then I ran across a "McDougall Minute" on youtube by accident (can't find it again) about fibromyalgia. At the very end of it, Dr. McDougall says, "Oh, and no soy!" So it was definitely confirmation to try eliminating it. It helped noticeably with a drop in the inflammatory responses.

And yes, here's to all of us slowly improving on this WOE together, and even celebrating how the rougher times themselves become more smooth as time goes on. That was a real eye opening blessing for me to notice that one. :)

thanks again fulenn--and take good and gentle care, everyone :)

moonwatcher
Please join me at my new blog Plant-Based Slow Motion Miracle

http://fatfreevegan.com/slowmiracle/

Or visit my journal, Moonwatcher's Slow Motion Miracle, on this site. Before and after pictures on page 4.
User avatar
moonwatcher
 
Posts: 1365
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:41 pm

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:50 pm

Hi, All! My particular part of Colorado is not on fire, but the people in many other areas are dealing with some bad situations.

I am doing well with food and eating the right things. I brought my pressure cooker with me and cooked sweet potatoes this morning. I've never cooked them this way before, but the one I ate for breakfast was really good. I have started eating them with cinnamon sprinkled on top. Have discovered that I really like eating bell peppers for breakfast. Am also eating brown rice, kale and collards, bing cherries, mushrooms, onions, carrots, summer squash, and buckwheat pancakes. Am only drinking water.

Every few days I am able to tell that I am very gradually improving with the MS symptoms. I am sleeping about 9 hours a day now, including the few naps that I still take. Well, few compared to the daily ones I was taking. :)

I took my family bowling this afternoon. As luck would have it, the power went out on the 6th frame. So we didn't have to pay and headed out. Am beginning to pack for the trip home and spent this morning at the store getting food for the two-day drive home. I do not want to get caught near the ever-present Dairy Queen (seems like it is in every midwest town) without lunch or dinner. So far the menu looks a lot like the one on the way out here: hummus, carrots, cucumbers, bing cherries, vegetable sandwiches, homemade tortilla chips, water, cooler of ice, kale for salads, romaine for sandwiches, vegetarian baked beans. Looks good to me.

Fulenn
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

My blog: http://fulennskitchen.blogspot.com
User avatar
fulenn
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby moonwatcher » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:40 pm

Sounds like you are doing great, fulenn--have a great trip back home. When you list all these great foods, I get hungry!!

xo

moonwatcher

ps: l can relate to your cinnamon sprinkled sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes sprinkled with ground cloves. It's a kind of dessert for me. :)
Please join me at my new blog Plant-Based Slow Motion Miracle

http://fatfreevegan.com/slowmiracle/

Or visit my journal, Moonwatcher's Slow Motion Miracle, on this site. Before and after pictures on page 4.
User avatar
moonwatcher
 
Posts: 1365
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:41 pm

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby knitwit » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:44 am

It is wonderful to read all these inspiring posts.

I have Fibro and have been following the plan for about 8 weeks now. I am still doing an elimination diet. It is so surprising what I was eating that was a trigger. So far I have eliminated soy, chocolate, bananas, and corn. Of course they are all things I used to love. No chance of eating them again because my pain is greatly reduced and I can sleep for the first time in over 10 years.

It is nice to have such affirmation that this is really the way to eat.
User avatar
knitwit
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:56 pm

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby moonwatcher » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:42 pm

Hey, that's great to hear, knitwit. I need to avoid chocolate and soy, too. I think it might be because of the saturated fat. That's a real trigger for MS, anyway, it seems. I thought I couldn't do bananas, but it turned out to be more the soy milk they were going with. It IS a surprise sometimes, isn't it.

fulenn, do you notice any particular food triggers?

moonwatcher
Please join me at my new blog Plant-Based Slow Motion Miracle

http://fatfreevegan.com/slowmiracle/

Or visit my journal, Moonwatcher's Slow Motion Miracle, on this site. Before and after pictures on page 4.
User avatar
moonwatcher
 
Posts: 1365
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:41 pm

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:16 pm

I'm back from Colorado now! It was a long trip, but not long enough, if you know what I mean. After 3 weeks, our cockatiel is going crazy to see us. :)

moonwatcher, I'll have to try cloves, I like all of the warm spices like that. Maybe I'll grate on some nutmeg, too.

I haven't seen that a particular food is a trigger, but, as you mentioned, saturated fat elimination is very important for MS management, at least that is my understanding of it. Eating this way makes it very difficult to rack up many grams of sat. fat, fortunately. :) Of course, I don't eat coconut milk/oil.

The longer I eat little added fats, no processed or fried foods, and lots of fresh veggies in addition to my starches, the longer I seem to feel better. I can only hope that the next several months will continue to show improvement.

knitwit, I'm glad that you are finding something helpful about my journal. That's what it's all about: helping each other and making it together.

More about the eating and it's MS effect after I finish unpacking...could be awhile.

Fulenn
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

My blog: http://fulennskitchen.blogspot.com
User avatar
fulenn
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:34 pm

I'm all unpacked now. :)

I started today out with kale and collards, then a sweet potato. Lunch was more sweet potato and bing cherries. Haven't decided about dinner yet. Maybe hot soup with kale and dumplings. My oldest daughter makes her dumplings with whole wheat flour and fresh dill weed--very yummy! We have a flour grinder, so the flour is freshly ground and tastes slightly nutty, a flavor that I really like.

I need to go to the store and get several things. Also, the farmers market will be open here on Saturday. Until then I will be looking for romaine lettuce, mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, sweet potatoes, papa seca(freeze-dried potatoes), brussel sprouts, beets, I got onions, kale, and parsley yesterday, I have lots of fresh tomatoes on the dining room table (I live in Texas, so naturally, I have tomatoes), and I still have several types of dried beans, so I will be fine.

So the eating is doing just fine. I continue to have a lot of energy, did not nap on Sunday as I was driving, also driving on Monday, but I did take a 2 hour long nap after we arrived yesterday. Then I stayed up until 2am. :D

The balance is currently not a problem--it's not acting up at all. I have had very little of the dizziness or slightly drunk feeling that I was having so much of 4 weeks ago, fatigue is greatly improved, still not sure what is happening with my arm--it seems to be improving for several days and then it seems to be back where it was, I'm just continuing to watch it. I have not walked a track since leaving for Colorado 3 weeks ago, but as I have walked around I have done well. I will get back out there either tonight or in the morning and post how it went. I also don't know about the heat sensitivity since I am back in high heat and high humidity--I have been inside in the air conditioning except for a couple of hours this afternoon when I walked several blocks to and from work to check on something there. I was fine, but it is overcast here today and only about 95 degrees out.

I am interested in following how those of you with fibromyalgia do eating this way. A friends wife has had it for 25 years now and I know she has had a horrible time with the pain. I cannot imagine dealing with both fibro. AND ms--must be awful. I find that whenever something is wrong with my body, I automatically blame it on the MS without checking to see what else it might be. It's taken a while for me to question what it was; good thing I only have one major illness. :) moonwalker, best wishes to you dealing with both. Hopefully, the symptoms of both will be well-managed by eating this way and you won't have to deal with either.

Fulenn
edited to spell "weed" correctly!
Last edited by fulenn on Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

My blog: http://fulennskitchen.blogspot.com
User avatar
fulenn
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:00 pm

lmggallagher wrote:Hi Fulenn:



Fulenn every time I read the list of what you are eating I get seriously hungry!!!! :) It reads just like going down the aisles at my farmer's market :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:



That's because I walk down the rows at the farmer's market and buy what looks good. :D Can't wait to see what they have on Saturday.

Fulenn
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

My blog: http://fulennskitchen.blogspot.com
User avatar
fulenn
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Indiana

PreviousNext

Return to My Daily Menus & Journals

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest



Welcome!

Sign up to receive our regular articles, recipes, and news about upcoming events.