Diet - so simple, yet so complicated

A board to discuss various diet-centered approaches to treating or controlling Multiple Sclerosis, e.g., the Swank Diet

Diet - so simple, yet so complicated

Postby jgkarob » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:55 am

In January this year (07), I decided to follow a radically different way of eating.
I felt fantastic, still do and haven't had my yearly relapse (which of course could be down to any number of factors).
I started on a raw food diet and it did feel wonderful to completely lose the brain fog. My fatigue had been awful for the previous year and I only 'functioned' with Amantadine. Happily, this has improved and I should be cheering but...
It's damn difficult to follow. You need a high powered blender, (Vitamix is the best, but is really expensive) a dehydrator,a spiraliser, a centrifugal juicer and a food processor oh, and a Champion juicer OK, got all except the Vitamix (I bought another US one with a transformer). Then you must plan meals days in advance in order to dehydrate/sprout/germinate etc.
Then I had a bit of a crisis in confidence. The Best Bet diet says no to pulses or wheat, the Swank diet says no to coconut flesh or oil or animal fat, the Jelinek diet says no to meat full stop but both the Swank and Jelinek diets say yes to eating pasta and bread.
Now, I don't eat either pasta or bread as I don't feel well (indigestion and bloating) and the GI rating is too high for my blood sugar.

The raw foodists sprout their pulses and grains and swear that this will improve digestion. I still can't eat them as they make me feel less well.
By now, my brain hurts, as you can probably imagine.

Finally, I think I've sorted it all out. But...
Diet is tricky when you have illnesses that don't seem to complement each other!
I had a cholesterol test some 10 years ago and was a classic metabolic type X with high triglycerides, low HDL (the good cholesterol) and moderate/high LDL. The diet that was recommended to me was the dreaded Atkins diet. The diet dramatically lowered my cholesterol and yet, I missed the fresh foods. Then I became ill with MS and the Atkins was apparently the worst diet to help control MS.

So this is what I have formulated for myself;
Raw food for daily diet - minus the grains and pulses, but non-vegan as I like my fish - raw or cooked (yes, I know, cod is never eaten raw) plus
Jelinek/Swank low fat for MS base, but no bread or pasta, milk or cheese. Oh yes, to make my life even more complicated, I can't eat oats.

We start the day off with a juice - vegetable, not fruit. The Champion is a brilliant piece of kit for this. I can juice cabbage, broccoli, peppers and carrots plus half a raw beetroot and finish it off with a huge slug of flaxseed oil. It's pretty good. Really. No, really - it tastes better than it sounds...

Lunch is a salad with added nuts and seeds and a little fish - I love Tesco smoked mackerel. Sometimes we eat liver or chicken an egg with this.

Dinner - an avocado or guacamole with carrot sticks and lots of fruit during the day. I'm not fond of a heavy evening meal.

I saw my neurologist for my yearly appointment and he was pleased that I felt great - although sceptical - as am I, but all a person can do is to find their path through life. I still take Rebif 44 and I eat (by normal standards) a radical diet. I have to say that I look pretty good and feel pretty good too.

The main problem with these diets is eating out. We don't do this much but it is difficult to go to someone's home and refuse to eat their food and so I just eat what everyone else does.

Is there anyone else here who has had to work their way around the diets? I can't be the only one....can I?
Nah, surely not....

K Roberts
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Good Job!

Postby havingms » Tue Jul 03, 2007 8:41 am

Thanks for your post and I want to commend you on your efforts to explore every avenue towards your perfect health.
Raw foods are great for you and also great fun to make as well.
Blended fresh greens seem to be the way to go. Aproaching the raw food diet simply by choosing to eat simple digestible fresh foods. All the dihydrated foods are great but often tedious to make and a little hard to digest for a MS compromised digestive track. Probiotics and digestive enzymes also help until your stomach acid becomes strong again through your raw diet.
As far as eating at other peoples home I always take an apple and some carrot sticks when in doubt. Portland is blesed with some vegie/raw restaurants when I want a change.
My only question is the fish. Not because I dissagree with the animal aspect but because of the heavy metal contamination and especialy the mercury factor that is a powerful neurotoxin.
You know what works best for you. Keep up the good work and please post again.
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A book to check out.

Postby havingms » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:00 am

A great book on simple raw foods is Victoria Boutenko's "Green For Life" if you dont have it already. She lives in Ashland, OR. and claims to have cured her family from a couple of debilitating deseases. Her story is super fascinating and an inspiration to health seekers everywhere.
Thanks again for opening this wonderful new thread.
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Postby jgkarob » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:21 am

Hi, re Victoria Boutenko, I have read extracts and did try to do juices from it her book, which I think I will buy next.
There was a great podcast from the Fresh Network with Victoria herself giving a talk.
I managed about three days of cabbage whizzed up in the blender before deciding that I couldn't take it anymore and then found that greens juiced in the Champion were nicer!
Perhaps I should try again. Also blue-green algae are great as a supplement (ok, cheating...but more palatable).

I worry about the metals in fish as well - I try to eat some fish, but not too much and none from the top of the food chain. Organic farmed salmon is nice and deliciously fatty.
Dr Jelinek wrote that flaxseed is just as good for Omega 3 - but has to be built up to slowly or else the well, let's say, laxative effects kick in!

I'm glad others here are interested as well. This diet seems very hard-core for lots of Brits, although the numbers are climbing.

Thanks for the replies..
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Victoria Boutenko's Green for Life

Postby havingms » Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:07 pm

Apologies for the lengthy post. Enjoy.

Synopsis of, Green for Life:

My husband, our two youngest children, and I have
been eating an only raw foods diet since January of
1994, more than eleven years. We went on this radical diet
out of complete despair when our medical doctors didn't
leave us any chances to recover from our horrible illnesses.

By turning off the pilot in our stove and discontinuing all cooking,
we were able to heal all of our incurable, life-threatening diseases.

After several years of being raw foodists, however, each one
of us began to feel like we had reached a plateau where our
healing process stopped and even somewhat began to go backwards.

A burning question began to grow stronger in my heart with each day.
"Is there anything missing in our diet?" The answer would come right
away: "Nope. Nothing could be better than a raw food diet."

Yet, however tiny, the unwanted signs of less than perfect
health kept surfacing in minor but noticeable symptoms
such as a wart on a hand or a gray hair that brought doubts
and questions about the completeness of the raw food diet
in its present form.

In my eager quest,I started collecting data about every
single food that existed for humans. After many wrong
guesses, I finally found the correct answer. I found one
particular food group that matched ALL human nutritional
needs: GREENS.

The truth is, in my family, we were not eating enough greens.
Moreover, we did not like them. We knew that greens were
important, but we never heard anywhere exactly how much
greens we needed in our diet.

We had only a vague recommendation to eat as much as possible.
In order to find out how much greens we needed to eat, I
decided to study the eating habits of chimpanzees since they
are one of the closest creatures to human beings.

"Modern people and chimpanzees share an estimated
99.4% of our DNA sequence, making us more closely
related to each other than either is to any other animal

Despite all the scientific research, human health is
continuously declining. Many nutritionists connect
human health problems with nutritional deficiencies.

Understanding chimpanzees' eating habits may help us
better understand human dietary needs.

The two major food groups for chimpanzees are fruits and greens.
Please do not confuse greens with root vegetables like carrots,
beets, or potatoes. Also do not confuse greens with non-sweet
fruits like cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers.

According to Jane Goodall, a world famous researcher of chimpanzees,
the percentage of time that chimpanzees spend eating greens in
relation to the rest of their diet varies from 25-50% depending
on the season.

Two to seven percent of their diet is pith and bark.
(Piths are the stems and more fibrous parts of plants.)
When the trees are blooming, in March and April, chimpanzees
consume blossoms, up to 10% of their [diet] ratio.

Chimpanzees do not eat very many nuts, but their diet could
be up to 5% seeds. Also, particularly in November, they
consume small amounts of insects and even small animals,
however, Goodall says this part of their diet is irregular
and insignificant, as they could go months and months without
consuming any animals, and seem to have no ill effects.

Let us compare the standard American diet with that of
chimpanzees. They look totally different. These
two diets hardly have anything in common! We humans eat
mostly things that chimpanzees don't eat at all, like cooked
starchy foods, oils, butter, yogurt, cheese, hamburgers, etc.

While most of our vegetables are roots, wild chimpanzees
almost never eat root vegetables unless there is a drought
and fruits and greens are unavailable. It is the intake of
greens that has declined most dramatically in the human diet.
Our consumption of greens has generally shrunk to the two
wilted iceberg lettuce leaves on our sandwich.

Let us compare the standard American diet with an average
diet of a typical raw foodist. I think that a raw food diet
demonstrates a vast improvement over the regular diet.

Firstly, all ingredients in a raw diet are uncooked, and full
of enzymes and vitamins; thus the raw food diet is like a
revolution in comparison with the standard American diet.
That explains why so many people reported that they instantly
felt better on a raw diet.

Raw fooders eat a lot of fruit, especially if we keep in mind
that bell-peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes are also
fruits. However, even though raw-foodists typically consume
noticeably more greens than people on an average mainstream diet,
greens almost never constitute 45 percent of their food. [As in the
typical chimpanzee diet.]

So what do raw foodists eat in place of their
missing greens? The answer is: most people on a raw food
diet consume large amounts of fruits, nuts and seeds. Often
they use nuts as a substitute for carbohydrates, particularly
when trying to mimic cooked dishes with raw ingredients,
even though nuts are 70-80% fat.

Also, raw foodists increase their consumption of oils and
avocados because the most common way of eating salads, their
main staple, is to have it mixed with dressing, sauce or guacamole.
Another big quota in a typical raw diet belongs to root vegetables
mostly due to juicing. Also, roots taste sweeter than greens and
thus comprise a large portion of raw salads.

Considering all of these factors, when we compare the
typical raw food diet with the chimpanzee diet, we can clearly
see that there are two main ways to further improve our
individual eating patterns: to increase our consumption of
greens, and to reduce our intake of nuts, seeds, and oils.

Another striking characteristic aspect of the chimpanzee
eating pattern is that they never eat in the late afternoon or

The more I read about the nutritional content of greens,
the more I became convinced that greens were the most
important food for humans. If I could only find a way to
enjoy them enough to consume the optimal quantity needed
to become perfectly healthy!

I tried countless times to force myself to eat large amounts
of greens in the form of salad or by themselves, only to
discover that I was not physically able to do that. After about
two cups of shredded greens I would either have heartburn
or nausea.

Greens possess more valuable nutrients than any other food group,
but all these nutrients are stored inside the cells of plants.
To release all the valuable nutrients from within the the cells,
the cell walls need to be ruptured.

This is why I decided to try to"chew" my greens in the Vitamix
Blender. First I blended a bunch of kale with water. I was
thinking, "I will just close my eyes and nose and drink it."

But as soon as I opened the lid, I closed it again
quickly because I felt queasy from the strong, wheat grass
smell. That dark green, almost black mixture was totally
unconsumable. After some brainstorming, I added several
bananas and blended it again. And that was when the magic

I slowly, and with some trepidation, removed the lid
and sniffed the air, and to my greatest surprise this bright
green concoction smelled very pleasant. I cautiously tasted a
sip and was exhilarated! It was better than tasty! Not too
sweet, not too bitter, it was the most unusual taste I had ever
tried, and I could describe it in one word: freshness.

When I first started drinking green smoothies, I didn't mention
it to anybody and did not expect anything significant to happen.
Since I did not have any big health problems, I was not pursuing
any dramatic changes. I just didn't want to age so noticeably.

However, after about a month of erratic green smoothie drinking,
two moles and a wart I had since early childhood peeled off my
body. I felt more energized than ever before, and started sharing
my experience with my family and friends.

The next thing I noticed was that those cravings I had occasionally
for heavy foods like nuts or crackers, especially in the evenings, had
totally disappeared.

I noticed that many of the wrinkles on my face went away and
I began to hear compliments from other people about my fresh look.
My nails became stronger, my vision sharpened and I had a wonderful
taste in my mouth, even upon waking in the morning (pleasure I hadn't
had since youth).

My dream had come true at last! I was consuming plenty
of greens every day. I began to feel lighter and my energy
increased. My tastes started to change. I discovered that my
body was so starved for greens that for several weeks, I lived
almost entirely on green smoothies.

Plain fruits and vegetables became much more desirable for me
and my cravings for fatty foods declined dramatically. When I
began to drink green smoothies, I noticed right away that those
kinds of cravings disappeared.

I purchased an additional Vitamix blender for my office.
Whenever friends or customers came in, they saw a big
green cup next to my computer and I treated them to a sample
of my new discovery. To my great satisfaction, everybody
loved it, despite their different dietary habits.

Inspired by the warm reception, I wrote an article "Ode to
Green Smoothie" and emailed it to all those in my Internet
address book. Almost instantly I began to receive strong,
positive feedback and many detailed testimonials from my
friends, students, and customers.

While I felt compelled to do more research, it looked like the
multiple benefits of green smoothie became obvious to everybody
who tried them, and the number of people who were drinking green
smoothie turned into a "green wave," growing rapidly every day.

[This above excerpt is just a sample of the revolutionary information in,
Green for Life.]

Victoria Boutenko teaches classes on raw food at South Oregon University
and, as a result of her teachings, many raw food communities have been formed throughout the world. Victoria and her family have lived on a 100% raw food diet since 1994 and all four have cured their incurable diseases. The transformation of Victoria's family to raw food is described in her book, Raw Family. Victoria is also the author of 12 Steps to Raw Foods. Her two children have written a book containing delicious raw food recipes called Eating without Heating.

Ode to Green Smoothie

by Victoria Boutenko

As the Russian proverb says: New... is something old, that has been long
forgotten. Last summer I re-discovered green smoothies. What do I mean by green smoothie? Here is one of my favorite recipes: 4 ripe pears, 1 bunch of parsley and 4 cups of water. Blended well.

This smoothie looks very green, but it tastes like fruit. I like green smoothies
so much that I bought an extra blender and placed it in my office, so that 1
could make green smoothies throughout the day. More than half of all the food I've had in last several months have been green smoothies.

I have so much more energy and clarity that I have removed green juices from my diet. (Juicing has been something that I've been doing regularly for years.) Green smoothies have numerous benefits for human health.

1. Green smoothies are very nutritious. I believe that the ratio in them is optimal for human consumption: at about 60%... ripe organic fruit mixed with about 40%... organic green vegetables.

2. Green smoothies are easy to digest. When blended well, all the valuable nutrients in these fruits and veggies become homogenized, or divided into
such small particles that it becomes easy for the body to assimilate these
nutrients, the green smoothies literally start to get absorbed in your mouth.

3. Green smoothies, as apposed to juices, are a complete food because they still have fiber.

4. Green smoothies belong to the most palatable dishes for all humans of all
ages. With a ratio of fruits to veggies as 60:40, the fruit taste dominates the
flavor, yet at the same time the green vegetables balance out the sweetness
of the fruit, adding nice zest to it. Green smoothies are simply the best tasting
dishes for the majority of adults and children.

I always make extra smoothie and offer it to my friends and customers. Some
of them eat a standard American diet. They all finished their big cup of green smoothies with complements. They were quite surprised that something so
green could taste so nice and sweet.

5. By consuming two or three cups of green smoothies daily you will consume
enough of greens for the day to nourish your body, and they will be well
assimilated. Many people do not consume enough of greens, even those
who stay on a raw food diet. The molecule of chlorophyll has only one atom
that makes it different from a molecule of human blood. According to
teachings of Dr. Ann Wigmore, to consume chlorophyll is like receiving a
healthy blood transfusion.

6. Green smoothies are easy to make, and quick to clean up after. Many people told me that they do not consume green juices on a regular basis because it is time consuming to prepare green juices and clean the equipment after juicing, or to drive to the juice bar.

7. Green smoothies are perfect food for children of all ages, including babies
of six or more months old when introducing new food to them after mother's
milk. Of course you have to be careful and slowly increase the amount off
smoothies to avoid food allergies.

8. When you consume your greens in the form of green smoothies, you can
greatly reduce the consumption of oils and salt in your diet.

9. Regular consumption of Green smoothies forms a good habit of eating
greens. Several people told me that after a couple of weeks of drinking green
smoothies, they started to crave and enjoy eating more greens. Eating
enough of green vegetable is often a problem with many people, especially in

10. Green smoothies can easily be freshly made at any juice bar, restaurant or
health food store for the great convenience of health-oriented customers.

I encourage the readers of this article to start playing with green smoothies,
and to discover the many joys and benefits of this wonderful delicious and
nutritious addition to the menu.

Here are more ideas for your green creations.

Some of my favorite greens to add to green smoothies: parsley, spinach,,
celery, kale and romaine. My favorite fruits for green smoothies are: pears,
peaches, nectarines, bananas, mangoes and apples. Strawberries and
raspberries taste superb in green smoothies, when combined with ripe bananas.

Delicious combinations.

2 large mangos
1 bunch parsley

6 peaches
2 handfuls of spinach Water

2 mangos
1 handful of lambs quarters,
stinging nettles, purslane, etc.

Strawberry-banana- romaine
1-cup strawberries
2 bananas
1/2 bunch romaine

4 apples
juice of 1/2 lemon
4-5 leaves of kale

4 very ripe kiwis
1 ripe banana
3 stalks of celery

4 ripe pears
4-5 leaves of kale
1/2 bunch of mint

Finger banana-spinach
10 finger-bananas
2 handfuls of spinach

Bosc pear-raspbesrry-kale
3 bosc pears
1 handful of raspberries
4-5 leaves of kale

Juanita and I have been drinking green smoothies on and off since mid-June. We both gained relief from arthritis pain and I lost all symptoms of candida as long as I drank a green smoothie daily. Juanita is amazed by how much better her memory is now and her increased sense of smell.

Juanita says she has a greatly increased enthusiasm for projects around the house and in the yard. And she feels "up" most of the time now. We both enjoy the green smoothies and are very happy about the increase in our
well being. We have decided to try and drink a fresh green smoothie every morning.

Our favorite green smoothie is apple-pear-greens. All ingredients are fresh and organic. We have a 48 oz. blender in which we put 21/2 cups of sun energized water, then add 3 heaping tablespoons of raw pumpkin seeds, a small handful of raw almonds and 3 large dried Calimyrna figs cut in half. (Both the pumpkin seeds and the figs and almonds are good wormers when you walk bare foot a lot.)

We then add the washed greens which we cut into roughly 1 inch squares so they are easy to blend. We usually use 6 or 8 romaine lettuce leaves, some parsley, and a little bit of celery, maybe 1/2 of a stock, because it has a very strong taste. In season we add a small amount of either dandelion leaves, miners lettuce, plantain, nasturtium leaves, or swiss chard. Then we add a small handful of wheat grass cut fine. I usually cut and mix all the greens into a large bowl and then add them slowly through the small opening in the lid. The blender is set on Hi speed.

We cut and core the apple and pear, leaving the skin on. We reduce the blender to 1/2 speed and add the strips of fruit through the blender lid. When the fruit is chopped we again set the blender on high and run for 3 or 4 minutes. During the last 30 seconds we add a small handful of date pieces. This chops the date pieces into small chunks which adds an occasional sweet surprise when we drink the smoothie.

This recipe makes two very thick 24 oz. smoothies, or about 3/4 of a quart fruit jar. Juanita drinks hers thick just as it comes from the blender, I fill the rest of the jar up with solarized water and mix it into a much thinner drink.

The preparation of the fruit and greens,blending and cleanup takes about 10-15 minutes. Much easier cleanup than juicing.

A word caution: When you are adding wild greens to your green smoothie be sure and check that it is edible and not poisonous. And green smoothies begin digestion in the mouth, so as we used to say on the ranch when we wanted a hard job done, "Put a lot of spit into it." Work your jaws to add saliva. Green smoothies will benefit people eating any diet.

We are, Green for Life.

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Postby jgkarob » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:12 am

Thanks very much for that lengthy reply.
I'll refer to it when I try the smoothies again - although Victoria herself said that not everyone can 'stomach' the smoothies. She did recommend banana plus greens, but that was even worse - I think it's just me who has this problem as my husband didn't complain once...mind you, he will eat anything. I think it's smoothies that I don't like - how odd!

I agree that green leaves may be the key to a lot of conditions, although I keep on having this very strong feeling that I should be eating more the paleolithic diet than a strictly raw vegan approach. There's no strong logic for this feeling - just a purely emotional one. So juicing them (akin to using a large grinding stone) may be what my brain is telling me to do!
Still, I'm going to keep going with this as it's been great to feel like the MS isn't winning.

People think I am very strange though and nearly everyone says that they'd go nuts if they couldn't have their milk/bread/cereal and so on. It's very similar to those who are diagnosed and recommended to take one of the DMD treatments and then who turn them down because they think that they can't cope with the needles and then after their first self-administered injection wonder what all the fuss was about.

I first thought about a 90% or more raw diet, when I was in Spain last year and was buying gazpacho in the supermarket. It was an authentic recipe and the first time I tried it, I thought to myself that if I could just eat this every day then I think I'll feel better.
I listen to my inner self a lot more now.

I think I'll try to post updates every so often - we are going to move house to a new country soon, to live off our garden, to spend time in the sunlight and carry on thinking about diet. In 12 months time, I hope to be feel even better, fingers crossed - oh and a lot thinner!

I'd very interested to read what makes you feel good and that goes for anyone else who has had to work their way around the various 'diets' as they aren't really diets as such, but a way of life - or more accurately, a way to life!
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Postby havingms » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:47 am

Dear K
You are on the right path. Find what works for you. The Paleolithic diet sounds great. Greens, fruits, some nuts and meat of good quality is a way above average diet. If thats what your intuition tells you, I would go with that.
It is the one I follow with the majority (80%) being in the raw.
There is just something about the blended raw greens that seems to make the bigest difference. When your stomach acid is strong enough I expect you to be able to tolorate them fine. Make sure you sip them slowly and chew them as you drink.
My only advice is to be kind to yourself and not get caught up in the strictness (dogma) of all these different points of views. Your diet might be one of the most important part of your journey back to health and you will find what works for you. BTW where are you moving to?

Be well and let us know how it goes.
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Postby jgkarob » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:13 am

(groans) Oh, I know. The evangelical tone of many of the books and websites caused me no end of trouble. It has taken six months for me to relax about it and stop feeling like I'm pulled in several directions at the same time.
I just received Carol Alt's new book with a forward by her doctor which was the most sensible piece of writing on diet that I have ever read.

Thinking about smoothies, it's just the texture that I don't like. I don't even like fruit smoothies, if I can eat it with a spoon then I'm happier
My husband went out huntergathering to Tesco and came back with a huge bunch of greens and that's exactly what we'll be having for breakfast tomorrow.

We are moving to northern Spain where the land is green and it occasionally stops raining. Sounds a little like Oregan?
The wine growers are despairing that their grapes are going to be too watery. They also grow 6 foot high's very different to the south that's for sure - oh, and they play the bagpipes.

I'm glad you are feeling better on this diet. Has it helped with your fatigue and/or brain fog?
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working my way around the diets

Postby lucy101 » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:42 am

Hi there - I enjoyed your post about which direction to go on - I am on a similar journey myself. I am not diagnosed yet but have decided that I am going to at least consider what I have under the MS umbrella so that I am not in limbland forever.... while things get worse.... so I read Jelinek, Swank, the Best Bet Diet and the Paleolithic diet and as much other material and others personal journies too and came to my own conclusions about why the diets seem to work for some and my own diet plan. I also had an ELISA test to see if any allergies... and surprise dairy came up very strongly (the only other thing was nuts and millet). The problems with all the different diets are that they all have different reasoning but I think there are truths to them all. In the end I decided that the sensible thing is to reduce strain on my body and immune system so that it can heal whatever it is that's going on. To that end the paleolithic diet makes a lot of basic sense, then adding in Swank, BBD and Jelinek's ideas about saturated fat and Omega 3 (which of course are inherent in the idea that paleolithic meat wasn't farmed so had a very different profile). I also don't want to eat anything that is toxic to the body in the uncooked state, so that rules out pulses (also covered in the BBD). So what I am on is basically gluten free (in fact all grains - this lines up with my ELISA - apart from a little rice but that will go next as I get the hang of this), dairy free, pulse free and instead lots of fruit and veg, quite a lot raw (hate cooking anyway!), salads every day and fish (red atlantic salmon and mackeral in the main), organic chicken (no skin), a tiny bit of organic red meat (very lean cuts, an ounce here and there), two eggs a week. I do need to eat more seeds though and work out what to about breakfasts - this is still hit and miss and I still drink red wine! I am also not a big fan of juicing as I am concerned about how the body needs slower sugars etc. with the fibre present and also that they don't make you chew which helps digestive enzymes. I just came back from the US and loved that I could eat on my diet in every restaurant (this was in LA though - maybe not true everywhere). I also supplement quite heavily - I am following the CAP supplementation on the CPn website (the ABX treatment makes a lot of sense to me)...... I have been doing this and the diet for three or four months now and truly feel better... in fact some of my symptoms have disappeared - and it does feel linked not just a remission that would have happened anyway. As to the problem of eating at others homes, I would have difficulty just eating what is given to me as I am really throwing myself at this regime... so I explain my diet and then say that I would be happy with a sald, or just the veggies they are cooking anyway and a piece of grilled chicken or even a can of tuna - I also offer to bring my own food.... it is really about the company anyway... so far no-one has had a problem with it. I think the worst thing is when you don't tell people until you get there. I was just thinking about Judy Graham and how she ultimately said that you have to formulate your own personal diet... as we are all so different (as well as our symptoms) and I think that change in perspective is the best possible shift when dealing with this kind of illness. I am looking forward to reading how things are working for you - best of luck!
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Excellent Exploration

Postby havingms » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:17 pm

dear lucy,
Thank you for adding to our discusion. The simple blended greens are not juiced and have all their fiber intact. But if you aren't into juicing and fruit because of fast sugars I understand. The great thing about the blended greens is that the sugars are minimal when compared to most fruits and root veggies.
I stay away from fish and especially canned tuna because of the heavy metal/mercury factor. Its not worth burdening you system with any more toxins when there is a possibility that you are also dealing with a Cpn infection.
It sounds like we are in the same boat as far as the suppliments and wanting to try the ABX protocol. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Postby lucy101 » Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:33 am

Hi there - Thank you for posting all that info. - really fascinating - especially for a beginner at all this like me. I am definitely interested in the greens blending - can I ask what kind of blender you have? do you need a particularly high powered one for blending greens? I don't think the Vitamix mentioned is available over here (UK) so might need to look into an alternative. I think there is an old one at the back of the cupboard so will have a go with that! You are right about the tuna too.... I shouldn't really have it it has just been an emergency food but really I should have something else at hand... but do you think that fish like mackerel and red salmon (atlantic not farmed Scottish) are heavily contaminated too? Interesting that you are thinking about the ABX too - are you intending to start it soon or are you just following the discussion at the mo? My problem is that I am 36 and was planning on getting pregnant in the next year (if you can plan anything like that...) as it is such a long treatment I don't think I can wait until I am nearly 40 to have kids (if I can have them).... I thought I would put it off until I had stopped breastfeeding (plans, plans, plans!). My problems and symptoms aren't too troubling at present... only a very slow progression over 20 years (still no diagnosis though!)
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Postby jgkarob » Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:44 am

Hi Lucy,
I would have replied last night but things got in the way which gave me a chance to think about some of the very interesting points that you (and havingms) are making.

The points that the BBD makes about pulses are what makes me wary of eating large quantities of sprouted legumes, but then the BBD people don't discuss sprouts and I'd like to read some definitive research that clarifies this...(brain hurting territory again, help!)
The rawfoodists say that all the enzyme inhibitors and other toxins are removed with sprouting but where do they go?
I did try making raw humus and found it pretty indigestible with a flavour that isn't there in cooked chickpeas (garbanzos). So I'm still feeling that sprouted legumes aren't a good idea.

Your diet looks very similar to mine. I don't juice fruit as I'd rather eat it and I try to stick to a little fish/animal protein but nothing that has been linked to toxic metals etc.

When I first came to this website I read as much about the ABX treatment as possible and went through the first step and found that I didn't react at all. I don't think that cpn is responsible for my MS.
It looks as though genes and glandular fever at 16 are the culprits in my case.

In my case with eating out/at someone's home, I find that if it's just one time, then I don't feel worse the next day. Wheat is definitely my main problem and so I get around this by just saying I can't digest it. For me, the largest risk is blood glucose levels. High triglycerides are more likely to cause me damage (heart attack/stroke) than the ms.
Still, I feel lucky that I can cheat occasionally and get away with it. I'm certain though, that if I had cpn, I would stick the correct eating plan with no cheating.

It is difficult to resist being evangelistic. Placing a post about how well one feels thanks to a diet change, is like standing there with a target taped to one's chest!
"I'm not giving up my milk and Crunchy Nut"
"I love toast" but worse
"There is no clinical evidence for this, you are writing complete rubbish" (this from somone with ppms, who you would think would have a more open mind)
There's a bit of an historical split in opinions in the UK. Some swear by diet alone, some by LDN (odd that Professor Jelinek doesn't mention it) and others sit in the middle.

It is wonderful to be able to have this discussion. Just to talk about each other's diet - with respect is so rare.

Lucy - I just read your reply. Despite my most cunning attempts, I couldn't purchase a Vitamix from the US at eBay, but I did manage to buy a Waring Pro and bought a step-down transformer. It is 1 horsepower, not as powerful, but it does the job and it only cost £100 - yay!
It blows the fuse in the transformer occasionally, so I put in a 13 amp fuse and just make sure that I don't operate the blender for too long.
I'd like a Vitamix though...

I hope the ABX therapy helps you and that you get a diagnosis. If you do have cpn - then you may be cured - how wonderful! Have you been tested for Hughes as well?
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chipping in on the diet chat

Postby jimmylegs » Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:07 am

hi all just thought i would chip in to say that my recent policy has been everything in moderation.

i was a pretty strict vegan for 15 years with even a raw stint in there in the early days, but it didn't last long. now i realize that cutting out foods was a big mistake for me because i did not work hard enough to get all the required nutrients in my diet. it took 15 years of doing it wrong for me to really crash and the crash resulted in my MS diagnosis. once i started researching the biochemistry of ms and how it relates to nutrition, i gave up being vegan because i felt the research about alternatives to omnivore nutrition were incomplete.

so, with the opinion that completely blocking off one method or food item has been a mistake for me, although i eat plenty of raw food, i think there is some benefit to cooked forms and i have seen some research to support this. i am lucky enough, by and large, to be allergy free so in my case i feel that immune system support will be enough to keep my body from going overboard on incoming food proteins.

so now i try to vary my diet as much as possible within a local seasonal context. i have been jokingly calling it the biodiversity diet. sometimes i think of it as a rainbow diet. by and large, i eat fish or meat/poultry at dinner every other day and veg dinners in between. my naturopath talked me out of avoiding fish (she also has MS) but she's quite big on avoiding potential allergens and probably wouldn't be cool with the amount of eggs and bread i tend to eat. i make sure to have a mix of squash and yams and beets and dark greens every week. at lunch i have wheat/flax wraps with a little hummous, cheese, and lots of veg and sprouts (plus a bit of liverwurst in them for the uric acid).

i eat things like spelt meal, or egg-and-toast, or stewed apples/mixed berries & yoghurt at breakfast (but i probably skip it altogether a bit too often), and i put lecithin granules and omega 3-6-9 oil and yoghurt on many entrees (and sometimes other foods). for snacks i have cashews and sunflower seeds and dried cranberries and dark choc raisins.

i tend not to be a juicer - i have a morning coffee and the rest of the time it's usually just water.

i take plenty of supplements too; i have a daily regimen but i'm not always perfect about following it, same as the diet, i mean sometimes you just want fish and chips. or a tim horton's breakfast sandwich ;) i don't think the occasional cheat is like throwing in the towel completely.

one thing i have yet to try but that comes highly recommended for a healthy gut is aloe. have any of you tried it?
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Postby lucy101 » Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:32 pm

I think your moderation comment is very wise... I do cook food... just try not to boil it within an inch of it's life! I think eating as seasonally as possible is incredibly wise - I might be wrong but I remember reading that macrobiotics was bid on eating what was available locally and seasonally as the things that are local and in season are living in the same environment. I get a delivery of organic produce once a week... and I never know what is in it (supposed to be seasonal) it also means that I have to learn to cook everything I get or I feel guilty. It is interesting that you connect your MS diagnosis with your diet. My first symptoms were when I was 15 and, I guess like a lot of girls, I am sure I was on faddy diets on and off before that time. But I don't think long enough to have had a 'crash'... but it does make me worry for people who don't eat well... or restrict food groups as you say. I don't hit my supplement target either every day. I did just buy a bunch of US vits though that are in higher doses so you don't have to take so many. I just thought I would add that I definitely have a problem with fats... I get wheezing and coughing after anything very fatty e.g. burgers and chips (well used to as they are obviously out now!) and I did narrow it down to fats as it didn't seem to matter what food it was - just that the fat content was very high. it doesn't happen with all the fish oil I take though which makes me wonder whether my problem is clearly with saturated fat.
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Postby jimmylegs » Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:09 am

i do like the high dose vitamins too, but i haven't figured out the sweet spot yet. meaning i tend to think i'm generally low from the years of undernutrition. on the other hand, i don't know if i'm getting a bit over the top with the b6 for example. i doubt it, really, but since my major lasting symptom is numbness in the hands, i wonder about the b6 sometimes.

about connecting it all to diet - for me being vegan not only removed good sources of various nutrients, but i also chose to avoid cereals and other processed (fortified) foods. my first noticeable problem was numbness in the feet and weakness in the legs, your pretty standard b12 deficiency, which is on record, and corresponds to the results of my spinal MRI.

when i crashed there were a few other factors in there, no family background in ms but signs of an unhappy immune system, plus a travel vaccine 2 weeks before the dx incident, plus a whiplash headsmash snowboard crash 2 days before the dx incident.

so maybe not all diet. that said, i definitely feel worse when i miss my supplements for a few days. i think my body is still in recovery mode, sucking up nutrients faster than i can put them in. the 'crash' made me start reading and i realized that b12 was by far not the only thing i'd be low in, there was so much more. i have followup MRI in september, so we shall see if i've made any progress using lifestyle mods!

i think my case is different than most others' because my history is so out there that i don't really think the diagnostic tools, which are based on statistics, can really apply accurately. so i wouldn't expect someone diagnosed early to have the same origin to their problem. i think it's kind of like all the ways and reasons people might have a cold, or a headache.

sometimes i think i've had the same issue with fat as you describe. one time i ate fries and ended up feeling like i ate a broken mirror with a side of nails. nasty isn't it!

well anyway, it's strawberry and asparagus season, my favourite! woo hoo!
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