Multiple Sclerosis Diet, Paleo Diet- what do you eat?- I’m back at work today. The first day after a week of downtime due to my recent exacerbation. I’m still not 100%, actually I would guess I’m about 60% but I am sick of being at home. This past week has reaffirmed the reason why I started this website- No More Cheating! It is time to practice what I preach. Once I’m done work today, I’m heading for the track; I’d rather run outside, but it has snowed again. Once I’m done at the gym, I’m heading home for a salmon/bison medley and lots of vegetables. Which brings me to the point of this post- what do you eat on the Paleo Diet anyway?
Over the past two weeks, I have noticed that many of the searches that land people on this site are related to diet and specifically what to eat when you have Multiple Sclerosis. If you review the Diet page on this site, you’ll see what I eat, don’t eat and why I have chosen the diet I have. The diet is my amalgamation of Dr. Loren Cordain’s ‘Paleo Diet‘ and the dietary strategies found on Dr. Ashton Embry’s ‘Direct-MS’ website. I have amalgamated the two as they are very similar. The reason I believe them to be effective is twofold:
- I feel better when I eat this way
- I find the research and science the men present to be credible and make sense.
I won’t make the claim that you can cure your MS by eating in this fashion. I have been eating this way for 70-85% of the time for the past 5 years and my MS is still present (and currently giving me trouble). However, the attack I am currently experiencing has been by lone major attack since the ‘big one’ of 2007. If the attack I experienced in 2007 was a 10 on a 10 point scale, the symptoms I have had over the past week and a half would be a 3 (* and turned out not to be an attack at all- edit). Did the diet help keep subsequent attacks at bay? Did it help cause this current flare up to be more mild? I have no way of proving a result for either question other than reporting my experience. However, it is my belief that diet and exercise have played a role in my relationship with MS and if I can follow the diet 100% of the time, I’ll have far greater odds of success.
However, I didn’t plan this post to be a rant on diet. I intended it to be a quick guide on what and how to eat. To keep myself on topic, I’m going to switch to point form:
View my full diet page here.
Multiple Sclerosis Diet Kitchen Basics
- Use Coconut Oil (Non-Refined) for cooking. Do not use vegetable oils, butter, margarine, non-stick sprays. Olive Oil (un-processed) can be used, but not for high heat cooking.
- Get rid of any pots or pans with a non-stick finish. Also avoid using any pots or pans made from aluminum .
- Stop using sugar. If you need to sweeten a recipe substitute natural honey or maple syrup.
- Stop using salt. Almost all recipes can be made with great success without salt.
- Wherever possible, don’t use items made from plastic. Try to find kitchen items made from stainless steel, glass, and wood whenever possible.
- Properly seasoned cast iron pans can work really well for non-stick cooking
Quick and Easy Foods to have available
- Sweet Potatoes/Yams – You can use these for a substitute for mashed potatoes that works really well with virtually any meat. Cut and steamed they are also delicious and they keep well cooked in the fridge.
- Cauliflower- when cut fine and steamed, cauliflower can act as an excellent substitute for rice.
- Frozen Vegetables- Having frozen vegetables on hand is a life saver. I like a broccoli and cauliflower blend, but this is all about preference.
- Green Vegetables (swiss chard, spinach, brocoli, etc.- lettuce doesn’t count!)
- Unsweetened Almond Butter- because you need something fun.
- Unsweetened Almond Milk- can be used to substitute milk in virtually every recipe.
- Mustard – contains turmeric and can be used as a condiment in place of ketchup.
- Cinnamon- sprinkle on fruit, etc.
- Whole Chicken (organic)- cook in the oven and leave in the pot in the fridge. For quick meals when you don’t feel like cooking.
- Coconut Bread- for sandwiches and and anything else where you’d use bread. You can find the recipe here.
- Coconut Muffins- For when you need a quick snack. You can find the recipe here.
- Nuts & Seeds- can be made into a breakfast meal (like cereal) with almond milk, berries, and cinnamon. They also make a great snack.
- Bananas- I just like bananas. You should have lots of fruit around.
Notes on using regular recipes
- You can alter almost any recipe you find to conform to the type of diet described on this site. It just takes some creativity.
- Almond milk can be substituted for regular milk
- Honey or maple syrup can be substituted for sugar
- Coconut Oil* can be substituted for oil, butter, margarine, lard, etc. You may have to increase the quantity slightly compared to the recipe. Trial and error.
- If you are baking, eggs listed on recipe should be doubled. You can also add apple sauce to help the recipe bind.
- Coconut flour can be used in place of grain flour. Note that the amount of eggs will need to be increased and you may need to add apple sauce or squash.
- Salt isn’t needed in most recipes and is present for flavoring only.
- Cooking times should remain consistent with regular recipes, though trial and error is a factor.
*Don’t overuse Coconut Oil. Just because you can use it as a substitute doesn’t mean that it should be involved in everything you cook. Balance is key.
- One hand-full of almonds, one hand-full of raisins, sprinkle of sunflower seeds (shelled), sprinkle of flax seeds, sprinkle of cinnamon- all mixed in a bowl and served with almond milk (like any breakfast cereal)
- 2 eggs fried in coconut oil and seasoned with turmeric and black pepper
- 32 ounces of water
- 2 X small salmon fillets
- Cale and Cauliflower
- 16 ounces of water
- Large turkey breast seasoned with pepper, onion, and garlic. Fat trimmed off.
- mashed yams (yams, almond milk, dash of salt, black pepper, garlic)
- 32 ounces of water
- bowl of almond butter, honey, and raisins for desert
More on the Paleo Diet
In the video below, Dr. Cordain discusses the Paleo Diet:
Until next time,