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

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

Postby fulenn » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:43 am

I have not talked about it on this site, but I have had multiple sclerosis for 12 years. In the past, I read about the Swank Diet and did it briefly, but I was not having any big physical problems and never took it too seriously. At one point I had some symptoms flare-up and decided to look online again; I remember coming across the McDougall site but couldn't even imagine following this type of eating style, so I passed it up.

A few years ago, in 1998, I had some sensory problems and I came across it again and began making a lot of changes in my food intake. I did well and it happened quickly: the numbness I was experiencing went away within a few months, I lost a few pounds, and I felt better overall.

My family is on-board with this way of eating, at least at home and on family getaways. Dairy has been a stranger for a long time, and HFCS is a thing of the past--even my teenagers know to read labels for both of these items.

Since then, I continued trying to eat this way, but it took me logging my food intake for a year to see that I was not really following the McDougall diet like I needed to. I was still overweight and, last fall, I began having more MS symptoms than I have had since I was first diagnosed and they have continued to today. I completely take responsibility for this happening: if I had not been driving through places for fried chicken, I do not believe it would have happened. I have been writing down everything that I eat--even one bite of something--in My Fitness Pal. (I have the app and take it with me so I can write stuff down right away.) Dr. Swank found that you cannot veer off of this diet's low saturated-fat maximum by much at all without ruining the results MS-wise. I believe Dr. McDougall also mentions that in the video he has up here. I already began this super-strict version, but need to stick with it. I plan to succeed at this and want to show a friend of mine who also has MS how well this can work, but that will not be successful until I can show in my own life how it works. I am still waiting for the results of the study Dr. McDougall did in Portland, but, given that his diet is a more refined and strict form of Dr. Swank's diet, and given that Dr. Swank's showed great success, this should have wonderful results. It will just be the first time that I will see this from a multiple sclerosis point of view.

I know that eating this way eliminates most saturated fats, but I have still had occasional meat-substitute and cheese substitute products from the store and until the past few months was still "cheating" (myself) by eating chicken. I had to break that craving and quit doing that to myself. Now that I have I think I have a chance.

That's all for now. I'm off to fix lunch: collards and kale, portabella mushroom, baked sweet potato.

Fulenn
Last edited by fulenn on Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:02 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.

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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby Pacificfords » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:04 am

Hi fuleen,

I am glad you are finding what works for you. Your post is inspiring to me because you are able to see through the process of what works and what doesn't. I wish you much continued success on your healthy journey and look forward to hearing about how great you are feeling... along with your family.

I remember going through a similar process with my obesity, in regards to finding McDougall and not being able to even imagine eating that way. It does give me compassion for others that feel the same way, so I am more patient in my approach to sharing what I have learned. We each have to find the path that works. I am glad you found yours. :)
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:38 pm

Thanks, Debi. It was such a foreign idea to me to eat like this the first time I saw the website that I didn't even seriously consider it. I'm really glad I came back.

I found out that collard greens taste really good with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top. Really good!

Snack was a handful of baby carrots. Dinner will be another sweet potato, orange bell pepper, lettuce, roasted brussel sprouts, and a few strawberries and grapes.

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://vegandaytoday.tumblr.com
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby f1jim » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:07 pm

I have always liked your writing style here and am continuously happy for your presence on the boards. I am curious about a few things. You mentioned "but it took me logging my food intake for a year to see that I was not really following the McDougall diet like I needed to."
Did you have to see a long pattern of mistakes to realize you needed to make changes or did logging the food for a short time send the message to yourself? I am very curious why logging the food flipped the switch for you versus just becomeing aware through daily experience. Anything we can learn about what trips the switch to getting people to eating healthier through their own discovery seems to be best. We seem to see the light better when it's our own bulb lighting the way!!!!
Your thoughts?
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby Potatohead » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:39 am

I really like Dr M's statement.."This is not an all or nothing approach".....We all need to find what works best for ourselves..you have MS..you know what type of eating plan best suits you....I wish you much success in finding a balance that makes you healthy and happy...it's not easy..My Hubby struggles to find a balance... he still eats chicken and fish 3 or 4 times a week...it is very hard for him to give it up, even though he has read it in black and white that his health will improve if he gives it up totally...it is a struggle for sure..many have more willpower, some are more stubborn...I hope you find success...
"IT'S THE FOOD"....John McDougall MD
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:48 am

f1jim wrote:I have always liked your writing style here and am continuously happy for your presence on the boards. I am curious about a few things. You mentioned "but it took me logging my food intake for a year to see that I was not really following the McDougall diet like I needed to."
Did you have to see a long pattern of mistakes to realize you needed to make changes or did logging the food for a short time send the message to yourself? I am very curious why logging the food flipped the switch for you versus just becomeing aware through daily experience. Anything we can learn about what trips the switch to getting people to eating healthier through their own discovery seems to be best. We seem to see the light better when it's our own bulb lighting the way!!!!
Your thoughts?
f1jim


Hi, Jim!

Quick disclaimer: this is being typed as I think of it, so it may be a bit disjointed.

I think I didn't want to acknowledge that my cheating wasn't just an occasional mistake but was a pattern of making poor choices. When I saw it laid out in my journal, over and over again, I couldn't deny what was there. Also, it is easy for me to deny that I might be causing problems when I am not seeing the consequences. I am experiencing consequences right now of making many poor choices for a long time, so it is fairly easy right now to make good choices. Maybe what has really happened is that I have known for years that I was making poor food choices, even before I knew about Dr.'s Swank and McDougall, but I didn't have a lot of poor health and I did have a lot of good days with good food choices. I guess I thought I was doing enough. That whole moderation thing. Dr. McDougall says that people like to hear good things about their bad habits. I thought that I was doing so much better than most people, so maybe that fried chicken wasn't really that bad. Turns out that with MS, it IS that bad.

It might have been different if I hadn't gone back and read through my journal after many months. Honestly, it didn't occur to me to read back through it until I read SactoBob's challenge in November (I didn't see his site until then). Once I read what he had done, I realized that I needed to look harder at what I had done. I blogged my food because I needed to plan ahead and that helped me to do it. I didn't do it to see where I had been and what I was doing. Fortunately, I was able to use it later to do that.

I guess I could think of a lot of reasons that I had for making poor choices, for letting myself get away with eating chicken, etc., but one big trigger was seeing my food journal. Maybe the MS problems in the past few months, too. A combination? Sorry this is so rambling, I hadn't thought about what exactly has turned things. I'm tired of excuses, I'm tired of feeling like this, some of the problems are obvious in my food journal, I'm tired of saying I'll eat something just to make someone else happy or comfortable, I'm ready to take care of myself, I finally feel that I am worth taking care of. Seeing how often I went and made poor choices helped me to look at myself and ask why I was doing that.

Hope that something here answers some of what you are wondering about.

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://vegandaytoday.tumblr.com
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby f1jim » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:12 pm

You said...
"I'm tired of saying I'll eat something just to make someone else happy or comfortable, I'm ready to take care of myself, I finally feel that I am worth taking care of. Seeing how often I went and made poor choices helped me to look at myself and ask why I was doing that."

In a nutshell you have stated what so many have discovered. For some that process was months, for some years. The key thing is making that discovery and acting on it. Many will never get to that point and that is the tragedy in some peoples lives. Kudos to you for discovering this. Your statement sounds simple on the surface but it's really as deep a question as there is about life. All tied in to the actions of acting on that statement are the steps to confirming your belief in yourself and the message we give ourselves about how much we really value our lives. When we choose the lifestyle choices that lead to good long term health over a few seconds of food pleasure we reward ourselves in multiple ways we don't consciously think about. But our brain gets the message.

When you looked back through journaling at your daily choices it was clear what those choices were bringing you. A most vivid light bulb moment. I think coming to grips with those observations and the decision to wisely change course is the majority of the battle for turning health around. Be grateful for your issues that forced you to look within and make changes. It's odd but for me it was only in developing heart disease that I was able to see and find the door out of the condition and lots of other issues too. Am I really saying I am grateful for the chest pain? Yes. It ended up saving my life. I am sure you will look back and feel likewise.
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby budrose1111 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:30 pm

Hi Fulenn, glad you are finding a balance in your dietary intake. I have MS too. I've only been on the McDougall plan since May 14th and I have fallen off several times. No excuse except I don't feel well most of the time and because I didn't plan ahead, nothing was prepared. I'm learning to think a day or two ahead so the proper foods are easily available to eat cold or microwave quickly.
I think for me, this will be a lifelong learning process. Since our bodies and life's circumstances change constantly, especially when you have MS, we have to keep adapting ourselves to these changes. I just try to listen to my body. Some days I probably eat too much, but I think it's okay since these foods are the recommended ones. So far, things are going pretty well.
I look forward to the MS study results. Hopefully, we will gain more insight into which foods help and which foods cause problems with MS.
Good luck to you.
Rose Mary
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:10 pm

Hi, Potatohead, I'm glad to see how successful you have been. It is so good to see someone who has managed this for a good number of years.

Hi Rose Mary, I know all about feeling bad and tired and not being prepared because of that. I have gravitated towards simple meals and even just things that I can eat cold. I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes, hot, cold, whatever. I make several at a time in the convection oven and then refrigerate whatever I don't eat. It's a real help when I am at work, have 30 minutes for lunch, and just want to sit down. I can grab a cold potato and eat it, often with an orange or other piece of fruit.

I also have a rice cooker so that I can eat rice and then keep the leftovers warm until I want more or need to put it up for the night.

It sounds like you are beginning to figure out how to do that for yourself. :)

I had a really good day. For the past two months, I have gone to work, come home to take a two hour long nap, gotten up to help fix the family dinner, and gone back to bed until morning. Today is the second day that I have not needed a nap! I have also been having problems with what I call dizziness, but it is more like the buzz you get when you have had one drink too many and then move your head very quickly. Anyway, it comes in waves, here for a minute than gone, usually every 30 minutes or so. I didn't feel it for an hour after waking yesterday and didn't feel it until about an hour ago today. Also, have only been able to walk around the track for about 1/4 mile, but yesterday was able to do 1/2 mile and today did 1.5 miles! With no dizziness, need for a nap, or extreme fatigue. These are huge things for me. I am also having trouble with my speech. It comes and goes in waves, like the dizziness, but it feels like my tongue isn't working right and I speak blurry, if that makes sense. Anyway, it is still pretty bad, but we'll see what happens. It makes for an interesting question: Would you rather eat that fried chicken or be able to talk? I have not been as heat-sensitive as usual the past two days, so I am hopeful that the eating better is beginning to pay off. I need to go back and count, but it has been awhile that I have been doing well and making good food choices. Since November overall, but more recently that I have given up Daiya cheeze, fake hot dogs, avocados, tofu, nut butters, things with natural saturated fats or added sat. fats, and diet sodas. I know that these things are allowed in small amounts on the regular McDougall plan, but I was eating more than I should have, IMO.

Today I ate fresh peaches from the farmers market, kale, collards, two different types of sweet potato, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes from my garden, cauliflower, carrots--all of the veggies were in my salads at lunch and dinner, the sweet potatoes went with the salads. One of the sweet potato varieties was the white-fleshed one from Japan; they were really good!

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://vegandaytoday.tumblr.com
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby budrose1111 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:31 pm

Glad you had a good day today!!!

I love when I wake up and have lots of energy. Although those days I usually do too much so that I can catch up on the things I wasn't able to do on my bad days. I usually regret that I overdid it, LOL. Oh well.

And yes, I do know about the speech issues. Slurring words. Most days my speech is fine, but when fatigue strikes, the speech problem rears its ugly head again.

Good luck to you and may tomorrow be better than today was !!!
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby Pacificfords » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:37 am

fulenn wrote: I need to go back and count, but it has been awhile that I have been doing well and making good food choices. Since November overall, but more recently that I have given up Daiya cheeze, fake hot dogs, avocados, tofu, nut butters, things with natural saturated fats or added sat. fats, and diet sodas. I know that these things are allowed in small amounts on the regular McDougall plan, but I was eating more than I should have, IMO.
Fulenn


I really noticed that my body started to heal when I really dedicated myself to getting the toxic foods out of my body. Those foods... all that fake stuff... is really full of chemicals and things that seemed to prohibit healing. Once I truly focused on eating really simple and keeping most of the processed stuff away - it was miraculous! I am glad that you are feeling positive changes! I am very excited for you and hope that you continue to see progress each and every day!
Debi

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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:45 pm

Hi Rose Mary, Hi Debi, thanks for stopping by with your comments. :)

I have had a good day so far. A little dizziness today and the speech is a bit worse, but I did not sleep well last night and am tired.

I went to a store today called Central Market; it has a wonderful produce section that is so good I used to take my daughters there for an outing where we would select fruit and vegetables that we had never tried and bring them home. I bought purple ruffled kale--I've already steamed and eaten it. It stays nice and light purple--very pretty! I also had kale, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, strawberries, brussels sprouts, another sweet potato and rice is cooking for dinner.

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://vegandaytoday.tumblr.com
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby f1jim » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:10 pm

Is that the Central Market in San Antonio? I was so impressed with that store.
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While adopting this diet and lifestyle program I have reversed my heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, and lost 54 lbs. You can follow my story at http://www.drmcdougall.com/star.html Scroll to James Brown
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:28 pm

I went to the Austin store, but it is the same chain. It is a specialty store in the HEB grocery store group. We have always enjoyed going there and when the girls were little, they would be given a helium balloon and a piece of fruit when they walked in the doors. I saw the balloons when we walked in today. It was nice to have something that wasn't candy being given to the children.

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://vegandaytoday.tumblr.com
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:12 am

Debi, I went and looked at your website today. Love it! I like the part under "Fake Foods" where you refer to fake foods as "...a bunch of toxic chemicals thrown together...". So true. I have always referred to diet sodas as "carbonated chemical water."

I didn't do as well with the balance, dizziness, and speech yesterday, but it still was not as bad as it has been in the past several weeks on the first two. I didn't go walking until 9:00 because that is when the temperature dropped to 87F and DH and I felt it was cool enough to try. I walked 1.61 miles! Slowly, but it happened. It is interesting, but I can tell that my body itself is still okay, that it is my central nervous system causing the problems, because I will walk for a bit without a problem, then the MS causes a balance problem and I am thrown off of my pace for a few steps, then I am okay again. Weird, huh? Welcome to the wonderful world of MS!

Potatohead is correct that Dr. McDougall has said this diet is not all or nothing, but with MS I am dealing with a different creature. I am waiting to see the results of the MS Study in Portland, but I am pretty sure that this diet to treat MS is all or nothing. I just want to be sure that people who hear me bemoaning poor choices that only happen occasionally understand that I am dealing with a specific creature here and with some unforgiving symptoms.

Today I am having the same sort of food that I have had the past week or so: salad with kale and collards, veggies on top like carrots, bell pepper, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts, a few berries, and sweet potatoes for my starch. I eat a lot of sweet potatoes. :) Beverage is just water, nothing else, not even herb teas right now.

I plan to go for a walk this evening when things cool down.

I will be away from the computer for the next several weeks, but will get on when I am near internet service. I am spending the bulk of today packing food/clothes and getting ready to get away from it all. :D I'll still be looking around today, of course....

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://vegandaytoday.tumblr.com
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