A century ago, infectious diseases were the number one killer. Today, they have been replaced by chronic degenerative diseases.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an auto-immune condition where the immune system attacks its own central nervous system and thus prevents the brain nerve cells to communicate with the spinal cord cells.
Your nervous cells (neurons) are surrounded by a protective layer, called the myelin sheath. Studies have shown that demyelination (disintegration of the protective layer) can be caused by chemicals.
These organophosphates are used in commercial insecticides, as well as in chemicals which are used in the growing of fruits and vegetables.
There is a connection between your nutrition and the break down of vital systems in your body.
Improving your health and fighting off the continuous onslaught of environmental agents can be a high wire act. These agents are contained in water, food, electromagnetic fields, man-made materials, airborne substances, as well as in physiological and psychological stressors.
Let's start with your nutrition, since you can control what you eat. It only has been about 50 years since the chemical industry developed various chemicals and toxins to prevent alleged plant diseases and our bodies have not evolved fast enough to eliminate these chemicals and preservatives. They don't know how to process this onslaught of foreign agents. Your sensitivity to certain substances is very individualistic, but the accumulation of these toxins in your body can result in a wide range of illnesses.
If you are stricken with a chronic degenerative disease, take heart and remain positive. It is a healing process and it can teach you much about your inner wisdom and your life.
- Start your healing journey by believing that you have the power to change.
- Rely on the support of a naturopathic physician or natural health consultant.
- Changing your diet will improve your health but it needs time in order to detoxify and adjust.
- Avoid meats (beef, pork), if not completely at least for the first six weeks. Use chicken (preferably grain-fed) and fish in moderation, not more than two to three times a week. Measure the portion to be the size of your palm.
- Eliminate foods that contain metals (inorganic) including all canned goods. If it's not naturally grown, don't eat it!
- Do an Elimination Diet to isolate foods that present a problem for you. If you don't know which foods you might be allergic or sensitive to, the foods most likely to be problematic are:
* Wheat, sugar, caffeine, corn, citrus fruits, chocolate, yeast, some nuts and dairy (some people can tolerate yogurt)
Try to test yourself by taking your pulse 20 minutes before eating and after eating at intervals of 20, 40, 60 and 90 minutes. If your pulse changes (speeds up or slows down or skips) it may indicate a sensitivity. If you struggle with this task, use the services of a health professional.
Be aware that most chronically ill people crave certain foods. Wheat is a biggy, since we ingest it in so many things, like pasta, muffins, bread. Wheat is added to almost all processed foods (e.g. frozen, canned and pre-packaged meals) READ LABELS
There is a possibility of a "HEALING CRISIS" that follows detoxification. It is not a slide back into illness but rather a signal that your body is adjusting. A common symptom is headaches. Withdrawal from additives in processed foods can make you feel physically and mentally drained for up to three weeks.
- The onset of typical healing crisis is sudden and lasts between three to seven days. After it passes you feel great again
- You might 'smell' the crisis: Toxins are eliminated through your urine, perspiration, mucus or fecal matter.
- It comes on unexpected, right around when you've told everybody how much better you feel on the new diet.
Restock your pantry. Give away to a food bank or shelter what your body cannot tolerate. Keep the new basic ingredients in small quantities (2 cups), to prevent spoilage. If you buy anything pre-packaged read labels. Buy organic whenever you can.
- Grains - Store in sealed jars or ziploc ( brown rice, millet, kasha, quinoa, amaranth, spelt)
- Flours - Store in sealed jars or ziploc (kamut, quinoa, rye, barley, buckwheat, oat. Keep in mind that baking with these different flours produces a heavier food.
- Baking supplies - Aluminum-free baking powder, stevia or unpasteurized honey for sweetening, pure vanilla. DO NOT USE any artificial sweeteners including splenda.
- Spices and Herbs
- Nuts and seeds - Sesame, almonds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts
- Cereals - Oatmeal (not instant), multi-grain
- Oils - Olive oils (cold-pressed), sesame oil, organic coconut oil, sunflower
- Milk substitutes - Soy is the only one that is similar to cow's milk for recipes. Rotate different substitutes: Rice milk, almond milk, soy milk to avoid a new sensitivity, use "no sugar added" varieties.
- Flavor enhancers: Wheat-free tamari, miso, vegetable bouillon cubes, Bragg-all purpose seasoning
- Fresh Garlic, onions, fresh ginger-root (Use in stir-fries, immerse in hot water to make a tea.)
- Stock up on: Falafel (chick-pea) mixes, transparent rice noodles, wheat-free pancake mixes, soba noodles, wheat-free soups.
Meal Plan Ideas
CHEW YOUR FOOD SLOWLY. Saliva is an important enzyme and aids digestion.
- Breakfast - oatmeal, yoghurt, fresh fruits
- Lunch - Lots of steamed vegetables (organic) and salad combined with a protein (grilled chicken breast, cheese, 2 eggs)
- Dinner - either starch or protein, salad, homemade soup (no dairy)
Beware of certain food combinations.
Digestion is a major part of our system. Make it easier on your body and avoid these combinations.
- Eat fruits alone. Fruits are high in natural sugars and carbohydrates. If your elimination test revealed intolerance avoid fruits for the first 4 weeks and then re-introduce slowly one fruit at the time.
- Vegetables can be eaten with everything except fruit.
- Do not mix starches (flour products, heavy foods) and proteins in the same meal, e.g. meat (protein) and potatoes (starch). They produce an uncomfortable heavy feeling because they are difficult to digest together.
- Choose ONE protein per meal. Layered proteins (cheese, chicken, beans etc) in one meal are very hard on you already stressed digestive system.
FRUITS: (Simple Carbs): Apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, grapes, mangoes, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, *lemons, *grapefruit, *melon, *oranges, *tomatoes (*High acidic fruits, may exacerbate aches in arthritic or fibromyalgia sufferers.)
HIGH PROTEINS: Dairy, fish, legumes, meat, nuts, peanuts, poultry, seafood, seeds, tofu
HIGH STARCH: Avocado, beets, buckwheat, carrots, corn, eggplant, grains, potatoes, rice, sweet potatoes, turnips, winter squash - All flour and baked products
VEGETABLES: Asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, all cabbages, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, green beans, leafy greens, leeks, onions, parsnips, peppers, radishes, watercress, zucchini
Do not eat after 6 p.m. and don't over eat.
Eat plenty of raw vegetables (50%).
Undercook your veggies (keep them crunchy to maintain the integrity of the nutrients).
Use garlic, onions and ginger liberally. They are known for their detoxifying and healing powers.
Rome wasn't built in one day, be patient and don't expect to let go of your cravings immediately. You might start to get impatient, get headaches, feel anxious, get argumentative, anything to convince yourself that you absolutely MUST have the eliminated foods. These symptoms will pass, usually within three weeks. Drink plenty of water, experiment with different herbal teas and rotate your foods. Do not eat the same grains every day (e.g. oatmeal every morning).
This is a lifetime change, but once you have cleared out the toxins you probably can have the occasional cup of coffee or baked goods. Approximately after six weeks, test your triggers by re-introducing the offending foods one at the time and one week at the time. Keep a diary and note down any physical, emotional or mental changes.
There is hope; take one minute at the time and remember not to sweat the small stuff!