Oh boy, there is no short answer here Selma but I am happy to answer your questions if you can hang in there with the length of the reply!! (Jimmy, thanks for the reinforcement of thumbs up...I try.)
Selma asked: "zinamaria thanks for your long post! What does a typical day's diet look for you. Do you eat red meat or eggs or dairy or legumes? Have you had progression under your diet?"
First off, I am not so active right now. Once I start painting again (have not for a few months due to moving) I will be expending more energy so my hunger will increase. I do not have a 'job' other than maintaining the house, and painting. So at this time:
When I rise I usually drink water. One usually gets dehydrated as one sleeps. I like protein first thing in the morning for it gives me long lasting energy, unlike simple or complex carbs, like fruit of bread or cereal ( I never eat cereal because of all the added junk).
Right now it's a power smoothie with whey protein powder, a little coconut flour, frozen berries (berries are very low sugar so I do not count them as sugar) gr. flax, vit c, whatever I can throw in there to make it thicker. Sometimes I use hemp seed and water or hemp milk for liquid.
I have no soy or corn in my diet.
I've been known to eat a piece of salmon or chicken breast for breakfast, but always with veggies to aid digestion. If I don't feel like cooking, it's the smoothie. Sometimes an egg or two, but only one yolk as I try to avoid saturated fat.
So any one of the above starts out my day with a bang.
I do not eat any dairy. I just do not miss it, not even cheese (and I lived in Italy for three years!!), plus I once had a uterine fibroid and the nurse practitioner told me if to cut back on dairy (I was eating a lot of cheese at that time, this was before MS) and lo and behold, the fibroid shrunk. That told me what I needed to know. I used to make my own fermented cheese and I do miss that. But not enough to eat it again.
I ferment my own veggies, right now getting geared up to make kraut and other fermented vegetables. They are very good for you, but store bought kraut is usually cooked (cancels out the whole idea) and has other stuff that take away all the best properties. If anyone wants simple and easy instruction on how to make it, let me know, you do not have to use cabbage if you don't like cabbage!
There is also a great book called 'Wild Fermentation' by Sandor Katz, who is a master fermenter. He is online too.
I use apple cider vinegar, unpasteurized and unfiltered (Braggs is the best) for all salads and also just a little shot of it sometimes to keep things in the gut clean. Plus I love the taste!
I do not eat legumes. The 'bean' is a protein and a carb in one food and makes digestion very difficult. I bloat and I hate that feeling. I do not miss them. I used to love lentils, but do not eat them either, and again, I don't miss anything that made me feel less than really good.
I mentioned this on another post but I food combine, which means I do not eat carbs and protein together, if and when I eat grain. Always with vegetables, but not with protein. I never say never, because I have cheated, like when making risotto, but then I always regret it, so that is a rarity, a temporary amnesia.
I do eat nuts, mostly almonds and sunflower seeds, that have been soaked over night, rinsed well then roasted (the soaking for better digestion, the same with grain, even rice; and I spice the sun seeds with tumeric, curry powder, garlic powder, salt, and even a little cayenne before I roast them). I snack on these throughout the afternoon, for I do not get hungry again about 3 or 4pm. Even when I rise early (but again, I am not exerting much physical energy these days).
Selma. I recommend nuts to put and keep on weight if this is an issue. Or a few teaspoons of organic extra virgin olive oil to drink or glob onto you salad and grains. I keep walnuts and pistachios to a minimum because of the fat content. But this might suit you.
For dinner, which is early and my one large meal (I love to snack and this is a much better way for me to eat than large meals, but everyone is different). I have a piece of meat, usually chicken. If I do eat red meat it is very lean meat, like Buffalo, or grass fed beef that says it is 96% lean. Always lots of veggies.
I drink a lot of water and tea throughout the day. I make my own soda by taking freshly chopped ginger, boiling it then letting it cool. I then mix it with sparkling water and add a touch of lemon and stevia, and/or add another tea I have made that is in the fridge to sparkling water. Really refreshing when it's hot out or when thirsty. I drink a lot of herbal teas. NO caffeine for me, makes me way too hyper. I already have an abundance of energy. But that energy is because I don't drink caffeine, for it saps the adrenals and creates a 'false' sense of energy.
Sometimes I do have another small smoothie in the evening. I try to keep it varied to keep myself happy and creative.
On progression: All of what I have described above has been a process of refinement, of trial and error. I am sure there is more to learn. I have never really been into labels, even the MS label. But in the winter of '09 I had my one and only 'mother of all relapses' as someone I know coined it. I was down for a long time. I attributed the relapse to stupidity, to the use of paint solvents, turpentine without proper ventilation. I would never say I asked for a setback, but there was a bit of denial about whether I had this illness because I was doing so well for those ten years, with very minor symptoms. I was diagnosed as RR and never went to the neuro again and just lived life as best as I could. But then the relapse. That was tough. At that time I did see a neuro, his name was Dr. Fabrizio Salvi, of the famous team, because I was living in Italy at that time. Unfortunately for me, they had just been shut down by the Italian government and could not perform Liberation on me. Salvi put me on a five day IV cortisone drip, and it halted the attack which had been ongoing for almost two months. I had and have not since done any drugs. But Salvi was so right to put me on them. He is a brilliant, compassionate man and doctor.
So, now after a year, doing everything I know to recover from that, including trying to get back a yoga practice (I had to stop for a year due to weakness) listening to affirmation tapes, trying to stay stress free etc, I am much stronger than when I had the relapse, to be sure. But I am not where I was prior to the relapse.
I did see Salvi before we moved back to the states in the fall of 2010 and he said I was not progressive, that I was still RR.
Truly, between you and me and a molehill, I have never put much into labels.
I do believe in the power of belief AND if that includes the often powerful effect of placebo, so be it. But my changes are very real. If I saw a video of what life was like during the relapse I think I would cry all over again.
I was in bed many months, did not paint for a year, and could hardly make eye contact for all the energy it took to do that.
Now, I feel great and the only thing still lingering is weakness in my legs, which I am trying to cajole into being strong again (I used to run marathons, and I do believe that cells have memory. NOT that I will run a marathon again, but I use the same mental tapes I used when I needed to fun for four hrs without quitting).
I so have that inexplicable fatigue, so I rest.
I feel healthier now than before my diagnosis, notwithstanding the symptoms I live with. Even Salvi was quite impressed by my recovery and I attribute this to diet and lifestyle (no more painting with solvents! I have reinvented how to paint with oils without paint thinner!)
MS changed my life and I do not mind trying to reinvent how to live life with these struggles. It is another creative project.
Now that I have written a 'tome' and said more than you asked me, I will quit. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share with you what I have learned.