Monday, May 17, 2010

How do you eat?

Since being diagnosed with MS, I've changed my eating habits tremendously. Full disclosure: I'm eating a piece of cold pizza with the cheese and other toppings peeled off as I write this. In other words, I'm far from perfect or rigid about my eating plan.

Like most things, my MS diet is about progress not perfection. It's loosely based on the Swank MS Diet. Here's a quick overview of the Swank diet which I've reprinted from the Swank MS Foundation site. The pink parenthetical notes are mine.
  1. Saturated fat should not exceed 15 grams per day. (I don't actually count my fat grams but I am very conscious of avoiding things that are high in fsaturated fats--e.g., I rarely eat fried foods.)
  2. Unsaturated fat (oils) should be kept to 20-50 grams per day.
  3. No red meat for the first year.
  4. After the first year, 3 oz. of red meat is allowed once per week. (It's been a couple of years now and I think I've only eaten red meat twice during that time.)
  5. Dairy products must contain 1% or less butterfat unless otherwise noted. (I quit eating and drinking milk products over 10 years ago so this wasn't the huge change it would be for some people.)
  6. No processed foods containing saturated fat.
  7. Cod liver oil (1 tsp. or equivalent capsules) and a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement are recommended daily. (I take fish oil capsules, calcium tablets, Vitamin D, and a multi-vitamin everyday.
I also limit sugar and caffeine...most of the time, anyway. I am, by no means, completely "off" either substance completely. I've realized lately that chocolate, however, is a definite "no" in terms of my digestive well being. I've been abstaining more often during the last several days since I had an ugly run-in with some Reeses peanut butter cups last week. I didn't even partake of this BEAUTIFUL AND DELICIOUS (I'm told) DESSERT that a friend ordered at Radius the other night. Although we didn't take a picture of it (no evidence), I did have a teeny, tiny Earl Grey truffle that made me moan. Mmm-mmmmm.

Because I do a lot of other things for my MS and my general health, it's hard to know what to credit for how good I feel.  In addition to paying attention to what I eat, I do yoga (sporadically), get Reiki (occaisonally--although I'm going to take a Reiki I class in June to learn how to give it to myself.), do other body energy work (I just had my first session with polarity therapy and cranial sacral massage last week), I walk everywhere, meditate and pray, write, dance, and surround myself with loving and positive people. And then, of course, there's my daily Copaxone injections.

How about you? How do you treat your MS? Have you changed your diet since you were diagnosed?


  1. Since January my diet has changed in so many ways as well...
    Also my supplements. I live in Germany ( come from hot and sunny Cape Town, South Africa ) for 5 years months went by without me having any vitD as stuck indoors during I take vitD and Omega 3, and a few others I was told to by a pathologist friend of mine back home, not my neurologist.
    I was also told to cut out all Aspartame out of my diet, as it was filled, I drank diet soda's and ate diet foods...filled with that poison for about 18 years...the last year even more than before as was doing Weight Watchers to lose weight...
    I am doing more Clean processed foods, nothing white, am wanting to cut back on diary and have soya yogurt and milk instead...getting there...and feeling the differences.
    I have good energy levels, I run most days..for about 5/8km - I do weights...I'm pretty active, in no pain...the only think I have from time to a feeling of being on a ship...not for long periods...or I feel as if I'm not walking in a straight line...
    Am a dancer by profession... now living in Germany I cant work so don't do anything besides my own stuff to keep me active...and loving my own time.
    I'm busy reading the booked called 29 Gifts in 29 Days...I had to put it down a few times as MS just sounds such a horrible thing to have...and as I said, I haven't accepted it as yet.

  2. Marcelle,
    To me, acceptance is a process not a place where I arrive and never leave. Don't sell yourself short--the fact that you are visiting and commenting on blogs and making any dietary changes at all tells me you are in the process.