Swank diet discussion

A board to discuss various diet-centered approaches to treating or controlling Multiple Sclerosis, e.g., the Swank Diet
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food cravings and Swank diet - junk food junkie rehab?

Post by May » Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:24 am

Hi. Was going to post this under the Diet header but that's an awful sleepy zone there, didn't want to disturb any nappers. So to those of you who stray to general discussion, here's a topic thats probably been chewed and spat out already (ugh that was kinda disgusting 8O ) but am asking anyway.

So here's the thing, the Swank diet kinda sucks. Uh, did I say that out loud? :oops: Not really, I don't have much trouble staying on it usually. But when my cycle comes on (I'm a girl) I get so hungry for a heap of good old nasty greasy salty potato chips and Swankin' just doesn't cut it, but I stick to it cause I know its good for me, right?

Sister and brother Swankers what do you do when junk food fever flares? I cry, sometimes. :roll: Last checkup my cholesterol was *up* so if it isn't better this year they're putting me on meds for it, that confuses me, why am I giving up so much fat/salt/sugar/caffeine (scuse the drool) if its gonna do that anyway? Sugar cravings for energy get bad to, at least my brain whines that.

I know this is kind of a fluff question, and I sure don't want to offend anyone by whining abut something that maybe just dumb on my part. But, opinions? Been a good Swanker for years, why does it seem to be getting harder?

P.S. the spellcheck button is a great thing

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Post by Bonnie » Wed Feb 04, 2004 12:06 pm

May, I'm not a "swanker" as you put it, but hope I can join this thread anyways. :o

What exactly can you eat, is baked chips out, pop corn, pretzels? They all satisfy that salt craving. Can you eat dried fruit when you want something sweet.

Is it true you can't have any dairy products, not even skim milk?

I admire your determination to continue with the diet, although for me it seems very difficult. Guess I'd better just stick to my low fat thing, right? :D

I'll read this thread with great interest, to see how other swankers reply. I hope someone comes along with some great tips for you.

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Post by crispy » Wed Feb 04, 2004 12:48 pm

Hi May,

I'm certainly not a 'Swanker' but part of it keeps calling me :lol:

I can understand your longing for junk food, and to be honest, I could never follow any of the diets advised for MS myself, so if you are following one for even part of the time that must be good.

I have some strong ideas on diets, but I don't want to hi-jack your thread so I'll start off another.

All the best,
Chris P

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Post by dawny » Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:07 pm

Wow, I give you alot of credit for staying on for a year. I would have a hard time staying on the swank diet. I do the weight watcher/Dr Phil diet. I was going to try the swank at one time and have young children and I don't think they would go for that. I don't have any suggections for the cravings. Can you have pickles? Those are salty. Good Luck to you! :D

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Post by WannaBe » Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:20 pm

:) Hi
I tried to do the Swank thing, but found it difficult. I can tell you what work's for me as to having something to "nibble" on, and keeping fats low. I get some cereals in bag packaging and sit & munch while I am watching TV evenings. I find that if I have something crunchy, I am satisfied. There are many different kinds, like Chocolate brands and those with berry flavoring. I also get graham crackers and munch. I like to think that they helped with my loosing weight and keeping my hunger satisfied. :D
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hi, thanks for replying :)

Post by May » Sun Feb 08, 2004 6:13 pm

Wannabe thanks for the suggestions, I forget about Graham crackers. Ate those all the time as a kid.

Dawny, pickles are good, so are olives, especially the kind that have almonds stuffed in them. I puff up bad after eating salt, but sometimes you just have to live a little. :wink:

Bonnie, your to sensible. :lol: Yeah I can eat baked chips (blaaaaah, where's the *grease*), have skim milk, a little. Dried fruit is ok. But when I feel whigny and self indulgent I want JUNK!!! Swankin' is good but man I just want some real un-good for me trash snacks once in a while. :lol:

I'll quit whigning now. :roll:

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Post by BrendaH » Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:55 am

Hi May! I've been on a non-gluten, non-dairy, no legumes and very little red meat diet for 7 years now. I do get cravings and used to feel so guilty when I gave in to them. But, I think we should indulge once in a while - it's good for you! Just leaning out of the wagon a little, not falling off it altogether! :lol:
Brenda H.
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swank diet and junk food

Post by jazzcat » Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:58 am

Hello all,

First, I have to make a general plug for the Swank diet. Just wanted to share with you that I have been on the Swank diet for almost a year. I find the diet wonderful, as well as the general health changes that have come along with following it. As for knowing, scientifically, exactly what it is doing for my MS, I am not sure. Still, much information exists about aspects of the diet and their effects on health that I believe the diet is doing something. So, as I said, I had to plug the general diet. It may not be for everyone, but it is great for some of us. (If you want to get more perspective on the diet, visit the Swank Foundation website. Lots of great stuff on the message board about handling food cravings and indulging oneself in Swank friendly ways...)

Okay, general diet plug aside, I have to tell you that, in addition to the Swank diet, I am trying to combine incomplete proteins at every meal (as in beans and corn chips--baked Tostitos, soy milk and cereal, peanut butter and ryvita crackers with raisins on top, hummus and pita, nut pate with bread) or to up my protein content in general (salmon, hard-boiled egg, soy cereal). I was a vegetarian before starting the Swank diet and adding salmon and cod liver oil to my diet. I find that keeping my protein levels up (including snacks that include protein--lots of nuts and seeds) I don't have cravings as I did before. Also, eating lots fo nuts and seeds helps.

Also, in addition to the Swank diet, I decided not to go sweeter than fruit. I count my fruits as my diabetic parents do. (This is in line with Swank's idea of cutting down on sugary foods.) I also try to eat the whole grain carbohydrates, which is Swank's recommendation, so that the blood sugar is evened out. To avoid cravings, I understand, one should even out one's blood sugar levels. Since I have decided not to go sweeter than fruit I do not crave sugar as before. (I had 2 pieces of angel food cake in the last year, though, which is Swank friendly.)

To satisfy cravings I eat the foods I mentioned in the paragraphs above. Here are a few more favorites:

dates dipped in natural peanut butter or almond butter
dried apricots and craisins with almonds and walnuts
frozen banana blended with milk/soy milk, a little cocoa powder and vanilla (tastes like a malt/shake)
fruit sorbet or an all natural fruit popsicle
there's a snack food by genisoy called soy crisps--baked

Anyway, hope that helps. If you want, again, join us on the Swank Foudnation site for more good ideas and support.

Here's wishing you health and happy eating!


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Post by dutchchic » Thu Jun 03, 2004 3:12 pm

If you have a Whole Foods near you - it can be a God send. They have healthy (ier) versions of lots of snack foods including cookies and chips. Look for olive oil potato chips - they have good oils and low saturated fats.

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Post by Shayk » Sat Jun 05, 2004 8:06 pm

And, I'm not a "Swanker" per se, but trying to do better. I've discovered chocolate covered soy nuts. Sweet, anti-oxidant in those chocolate flavinoids, and protein. I've also found some good soy and flaxseed bars.

Just some things for those of us who can't quite do the whole diet.


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Swank Diet

Post by rozo822 » Tue Jan 11, 2005 4:35 pm

I have a newly diagnosed daughter and am seeking any information. Please let me know your thoughts on the Swank Diet.

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Post by elaine » Tue Jan 11, 2005 5:48 pm

I have been on the Swank diet for 2 years and I feel great.My advise is try it if anything its a good healthy diet


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Better than Swank

Post by RevLeonidas » Wed Jan 12, 2005 2:59 pm

I am often critical of Swank and Dugan's The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book, because I find it too limiting, and too dedicated on what foods to eliminate and not dedicated enough to what foods to add; however, my personal microbiotic diet follows Swank and Dugan's basic low-fat premise. I think that employing the dietary recomendations in Eat Right for your Type by Peter J. d'Adamo, the Swank Diet book, and a good inventory of vegetarian cookbooks increases a patient's chances to maintaining good health even more.

Okay, if nothing else, follow the Swank diet because long-term patient data (over 50 years) suggests that the Swank diet is an effective way to control MS: none of the disease-modifying drugs can claim that, so what could it hurt?

Be Well,
Rev. Leonidas

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Post by JFH » Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:26 am


Check out Prof Jelinek's book Taking Control of MS too. (No web site but you'll find it easily on Amazon.) He describes how he used Swank in the management of his MS and takes it just a little further, and his approach is a little more up to date.
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Post by jazzcat » Fri Jan 21, 2005 12:10 pm

Hi Rozo and all,

I have been on the Swank diet about a year and a quarter. I have Swank's book but have not read Jelinek's yet.

I have to tell you that I love the diet. I started it after an attack that I thought would lead to dx of MS. I started before the dx and before starting on Rebif. I have found that the diet is a very healthy way to eat and that you can enjoy a lot of wonderful foods while following it. Yes, there are some that you give up, but you can find others that you like and you will be happy to eat. :)

As for my story, I was somewhat overweight when I started. I wasn't paying attention to my diet and I was working weird bad hours and snacking on all sorts of things. The attack that led to my dx involved my leg and made me lame. (Still have leg problems...) But, I have had no other attacks since starting the diet. :) I have also lost weight and am in my healthy height/weight zone. I haven't felt cravings as I used to before I started the diet. And, I think it's the cod liver oil ;), but people tell me that my skin and hair look great.

Well, if you want to explore the diet further, check out the Swank Foundation website. You'll find a lot of good information and a lot of fine people there!

Take care, good luck and happy swanking! (BTW, I post as jazzcat there too...)


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