There are many who say that there may be a link between multiple sclerosis and diet. We don't doubt those who have used diet to cure their MS. Cir knows when he eats well, he feels much better.
So is there a link between multiple sclerosis and diet? We feel there is. But we take a more nutritional view. We tend to try to make the most healthy food choices we can. We do this so that Cir (and I) won't gain too much weight.
Less + Less = Less
Because Cir is less mobile than he used to be, his metabolism has slowed down quite a bit. He has less of an appetite, and so he eats less. Where we used to eat three meals a day and a snack, now we usually eat one or two.
Even though we haven't totally jumped on the multiple sclerosis and diet bandwagon, Cir has tried a few of them. We purchased The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book, by Roy Laver Swank MD, Phd and Barbara Dugan, several years ago. We don't follow it religiously, but we do hold to the basic principles of a low fat diet.
Another book that holds to the link between multiple sclerosis and diet is Curing the Incurable - How to use your bodies natural self-healing ability to over come MS and other diseases by Jacque C. Rigg.
Both books say that you should eliminate processed foods and those that your are allergic to. And Curing the Incurable introduces the idea of proper food combining or not eating both acid and alkaline foods with at the same meal.
I have always loved to cook, so eliminating processed food was not a difficult stretch for us. Not to say that an occasional processed package doesn't end up in our cabinet. But for the most part we buy fresh foods and cook from scratch regularly.
We would love to be able to purchase everything organic. But cost is sometimes a factor. Planning helps tremendously. When I can sit down and plan a week of meals, that eliminates unnecessary quick trips to the store or fast food purchases.
As a caregiver, I try to cook meals that will be nutritious, filling, and will also taste good. When I met Cir, one of the things first I learned about him was that he loved food that tasted good. No matter what it was, if it tasted good and was prepared well, he usually ate it and liked it.
When he was younger, that meant he ate a lot. He never had a problem with weight gain. He was active and participated in recreational sports. And at one point, was a member of the swim team.
Not too long after we were married, he got more involved in martial arts. This training continued for quite a while. His body was conditioned. His upper body was strong.
Now, a healthy diet and exercise when he feels up to it, help keep his weight at a reasonable level. As someone with multiple sclerosis, I'm sure it would be much harder for Cir to eat healthy if he were doing the cooking. You, no doubt, do have this problem.
Multiple sclerosis and diet are probably not a priority for you on some days. When fatigue becomes an issue, reverting to what is easy, becomes the norm. And if your legs and arms are weak, you may need to rely on family members for meals.
If you're not the one doing the cooking, hopefully you can convince those who are, to make healthy choices. As I mentioned earlier, meal planning can help. That way everyone's likes and dislikes can be taken into account. Include lots of raw fruits and vegetables on the menu. Whole grains, nuts and seeds are also good choices.
Make your own "fast food"
If you are in the habit of eating fast food, begin figuring out your own “fast food” meals. One thing we all love are potatoes. I recently began par-boiling a pot of unpeeled potatoes and putting them in a bowl in the fridge.
These are great for a quick meal anytime. Cut them into cubes. Place in a bowl. Season with your favorite herbs and spices. Pour a little olive oil over them. Either place them in the oven at 400 degrees or pan fry them. They'll be done in about 10 minutes.
We eat these as a side to scrambled eggs for breakfast (or brunch). We also serve these as a dinner salad.
Just cut open a bag of salad mix. Rinse and drain (I love my salad spinner for this). Place salad on each plate. Top with potatoes. Pass the dressing. Dinner is served!
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