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Getting Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

Healing Plan for MS

Two of my favorite things: children and nature, both key parts of my healing plan.

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006. At that time I knew nothing about MS and thought I was going to die very soon as I imagined the disease was terminal. My children, now in their teens, were in 1st and 2nd grade; I would lie in bed with them at night thinking that I wouldn’t live to see their high school graduation. Forget about seeing them get married and have children of their own.

Thankfully, my husband quickly dispelled me of the notion that the majority of people with MS die a premature death. Still, the diagnosis was absolutely shocking. All I could picture was the worst, that in a short amount of time I would be an invalid with my husband taking care of me. I was not happy about this picture.

Now, I’m doing better. Over New Year’s weekend my husband and I hiked Vail Mountain, a 2,000 foot vertical climb at high altitude (we reached 10,000 feet). When I was freaking out about my initial MS diagnosis I didn’t picture myself hiking up mountains with my uber-fit husband. How did I get up those mountains?

I created a personalized MS treatment plan:

  1. Sleep – 8 hours minimum per night, more on weekends
  2. Diet – 100% gluten and grain free
  3. Exercise – 60 minutes of walking daily
  4. Healing Movement – yoga, pilates or weight lifting 3 times per week
  5. Boundaries – keep interactions as brief as possible with people, places and things that do not impact me in a positive manner

I designed this MS healing plan myself and chose action items that I felt would give me a very high return on investment (ROI). However, many of the above commitments were radical shifts to my life paradigm, I did not always embrace this change, nor was it easy for me.

As I learned through this process, rebuilding one’s health is one of the greatest challenges life presents. If you make such a choice, be forewarned that it could be very unpleasant and that you may find yourself resisting the very change you seek. This is because rebuilding health means interrupting old habits and patterns. You may not want to make the necessary commitments to, and sacrifices for, your health. For example, you might have to give up watching TV everyday in order to walk for an hour. Or, people might be angry with you for protecting your time and setting limits that serve you, not them. These types of challenges await you…along with healing.

Finally, to create the above treatment plan for my MS, I had to slow down enough to listen to myself, to my body and my emotions. I had to figure out what I really wanted, what really served me. Even though the process was unpleasant at times, I reconnected with myself and got to know myself better which became a blessing. Am I done? Not even close. The point of my healing plan is not the plan itself, it is undertaking the process of healing, which for me is the process of listening. This is something I practice every day.

For additional resources on how to deal with an MS diagnosis see:



posted on June 20, 2012

  1. Elana, I think this is my favorite post that you’ve written. It resonates so much with me, and I really appreciate you sharing a little of your story with us.

  2. This is very exciting for me to see. My mother in law was diagnosed with MS in 2005 I think.
    She takes shots but HATES them. I’m forwarding your site to her.
    We are grain free just because my husband seemed to have some gluten intolerances. A couple years later while researching I realized that grains aren’t all that terrific for anyone.
    Do you take any sort of shots for your MS?
    I’m really excited to send your post on your personal natural treatments for MS. I’ve been telling her for a couple years to go grain free, perhaps you will help tip her over the edge.

  3. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch @ addapinch.com

    Elana,
    You are such an inspiration to so many. This is an amazing, loving, life-filled post.

  4. Ahhhh… I love this post Elana. So inspirational and such a great reminder. I especially love when you say, “be forewarned that it could be very unpleasant and that you find yourself resisting the very change you seek. This is because rebuilding health means interrupting old habits and patterns.” This is such an important note to keep in mind when trying to create any type of change in life;). Thanks again for sharing and being such an inspiration!

  5. Beautifully put, Elana. I have known others with MS and have seen Dr. Wahl speak and share her story. You will inspire so many! I’m so happy to see you sharing your experiences and wisdom.

  6. Sara

    Lovely post. I admire the “boundaries” element in particular.

    I have a friend with MS who has managed to put it into remission through a variety of lifestyle, diet, acupuncture, and experimentation (everything from herbal baths to meditation). That should be the end of the story, but his insurance company refuses to pay medical bills from when he was first diagnosed because if he’s well now then there’s no way he can actually have MS because it “has no cure”. I wish there were more ways to get medical professionals to take non-drug treatment seriously.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  7. Melissa @ glutenfreeforgood @ glutenfreeforgood.com/blog

    Beautifully written, Elana. Truly. Sending love your way.

  8. jo @ including cake @ includingcake.com

    very inspiring, i am going through a similar ‘realisation’ myself for very different reasons….even though right now it feels like something is being taken away from me, i somehow need to reframe my outlook to see the positive side of what this new found way of doing things can bring to my life. i hope others benefit from your words of wisdom too. thank you.

  9. AnneKD

    What a great post. Your listed treatment plan is good for so many parts of my life, my own journey, and the journeys of other people. Thanks for putting so items so succinctly, the list will be easier to work with this way. I’m going to print it out and keep it on my desk.

  10. Amy

    Great post, Elana! You inspire me to take my life more seriously. Thanks for writing this.

  11. Meredith

    Beautifully put and inspiring for anyone dealing with a diagnosis of an auto-immune disease (like me). Best wishes to you.

  12. Dear Elana, balanced courage and determination are what I see in you my friend. Thank you for sharing. xoLexie

  13. DawnO

    I was so encouraged by reading this!! Well over 2 years ago, I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and told that there was nothing I could do about it and given a couple of prescriptions to help me through flare-ups. I was mortified, in pain, and not at all satisfied with that answer. I saw several doctors who agreed with the prognosis.

    So, then I started doing my own research and found that MANY people have had relief from a gluten-free diet. I was already a very healthy eater….eating all-natural, organics without any preservatives, additives, etc. so going gluten-free wasn’t terribly difficult….just very different. It required a lot of planning and educating myself at first.

    I am now 18 months without any meds and feeling great! Besides being gluten-free, I avoid highly acidic foods, I exercise 4-5 times a week….walking, swimming, or yoga, get PLENTY of rest, and try to control my stress. If any of these are missing, I am prone to a flare-up.

    Your story encourages me that I am not the only one taking my health into my own hands and taking back my life. Thank you for inspiring us and for offering us these amazing recipes and tips!!

    • Toni

      DawnO – Have you looked into Low Oxalate Diet for IC? We have several members on yahoo groups “trying low oxalates” that are healing from this.

    • Rise & Shine Life @ risenshinelife.blogspot.com

      DawnO ~ thank you for posting this comment. I don’t have IC, but apparently it’s very similar to my diagnosis. I just began the IC diet today per my specialist’s recommendation & I have been sugar & gluten free for a little over a week. I have also had to take this matter into my own hands & was SO happy to finally visit a dr today who *got it*. I just felt so encouraged when I read your comment & wanted to say thank you :)

  14. Alexandra

    Beautifully put! It was describing exactly how I felt in my time of illness and bad news. Thank you for putting into words what many of us who suffer from illness cannot. Somehow in striving to live we become better to ourselves and those around us and it’s beautiful

  15. Shirley @ gluten free easily @ glutenfreeeasily.com

    Elana, you help all of us so much when you share your personal story, including your struggles and your success. I am so, so glad that you are living so well now by coming up with your own strategies. You make such excellent points on what one might have to give up to implement the strategies, too. Often it’s letting go of such things that don’t contribute to our well being that has the biggest, most surprising impact in the end.

    Thanks so much for sharing, dear. Continued healing and love to you!
    Shirley

  16. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy @ glutenfreehappytummy.com

    wow, what an inspiring post. such a great healing plan. it sounds like you know exactly what your body needs. Thank you for being so open and honest. You’re an inspiration!

  17. Postdoc

    Thanks so much for this post. I’m actually going through something similar (was completely shocked to be diagnosed with lupus in December), and you sum up the process/feelings/attempts at healing really nicely here. I’ve come to similar conclusions, rebuilding health is extremely challenging but extremely beneficial, of course. My diagnosis came as one hell of a shock, but I’ve learned so much since then – for instance, that we are all responsible for our own health. It’s definitely hard to have your life completely turned upside down and inside out by such a lifelong diagnosis – and to readjust your priorities, set boundaries, put yourself and your health first, no matter who it pisses off. But it’s extremely rewarding, you find out for sure who your friends are and who they are not, and I was completely surprised to find out that while I would never ever wish an autoimmune disease on anyone, shockingly there are actually some blessings that have come along with the aftermath, like clarity and realization of priorities and what’s truly important in life – everything else falls away. Wishing you all the very best in your healing and your health, thank you again for all that you do! Btw, is your sister Dina Amsterdam? I took a few yoga classes from her years and years ago in San Francisco – you guys are both awesome! :)

  18. Amy Merideth

    Hi Elana,

    Just sending you love.

    Amy

  19. Deborah

    Thank you so much for this … it is so affirming to read about your healing process … mirrors mine. Healing requires an intense and ultimately rewarding level of honesty first and foremost with yourself … Thank you again!

  20. I just to congratulate you Elana on taking control of your life, health and future, not letting your diagnosis drag you down. Thank you for sharing your life with us all along side your culinary adventures :)
    Best wishes for the future xx

  21. Cookin' Canuck @ cookincanuck.com

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Elana. You have taken the proverbial bull by the horns and done everything in your power to make your days fulfilling and productive. You are an inspiration!

  22. Anand McManus

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I am a huge fan of yours, I recommend your cookbooks to friends almost daily and I just baked your almond poppyseed muffins (my husband loves them). I bake something from one of your cookbooks almost every day. We live in Durango and will be in Boulder in August. I would love to meet you and maybe get my cook books signed. Thank you so much for lighting the way for me and so many others on this journey to wellness.

  23. Laura C

    Thank you for sharing the story of your journey, for inspiring others and for making my family’s journey easier. We are a family suffering from chronic and acute pesticide poisoning. After years of searching for the cause and then doctors that had a clue (none did) we have found that the need to avoid all that our bodies reject (diet and environment) is the key to helping our healing. My two children have found strength where first there was anger and we have come together in support. I cook from your books multiple times each week and kid around with my children that the warm chocolate chip cookies that are actually good for them are worth the problems we have had. I believe in ten or twenty years we will be healthier than all their junk food eating peers. Thank again.

  24. Inez

    Thanks for this post, Elana. It means a lot.

  25. Sara Williams

    I would not share this information unless I knew it to be true. I would not give false hope—-that would be cruel. I discovered LDN, low dose naltrexone, several years ago for my illness, Chronic Fatigue.
    On the web site, http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org, is the information. LDN is helping MS–Parkinsons—etc. The MS patients are raving about it’s effect. Most mainstream MD’s are not familiar with the med. You might have to either educate your MD———OR find an Integrative MD to help with prescriptions. It is low cost, with big results. Also check out the related forums on Yahoo.

    God Bless,
    Sara

    • MaryK

      I too have MS and also take 3mg of naltrexone every night. My neurologist said that he is finding many of his MS patients that have Celiac. I did the shots for a couple of years and hated them…I think they contributed to migraines that I don’t have anymore. I’m a firm believer in taking control of your health by researching other options and finding a doctor who will work with you.

    • Lynnette

      Great post, Sara! I would also recommend LDN for Elana. I have ALS, and have taken similar actions: I regularly have TCM acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and chiropractic adjustments; I take LDN, practice T’ai Chi and Qui Gong; and have taken care of all the emotional baggage that was feeding my dis-ease, through the Healing Codes http://thehealingcodes.com/

      I think it is important to clean up our thoughts, and our emotions (known & unknown)before physical healing can occur.

      Wishing you good health, Elana!

      Lynnette

  26. Raquel of Galilee

    I completely identify with your choices. Actually you have reinforced the importance of the 5 areas you chose to adopt as a plan.

    I especially was taken by the “SLEEP” you chose as #1 along with many comments I read. A blessing only we can give ourselves.

    Very much enjoyed the positive wording of #5 “BOUNDARIES”. If you haven’t taken out a patent on that – I am going to take that with me, and translate it for those who I appreciate in my life that may not understand.

    Your personal message to the universe has empowered me.
    I am not alone.

  27. Marlana

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  28. S

    I enjoy your posts and information that you post as it helps others. Thank you

  29. Marilyn Flynn

    This is very encouraging for MS patients. I would suggest that you check out the website http://www.knowthecause.com. Doug Kaufmann has been studying the whole area of fungus and diseases since he returned from Viet Nam 40 years ago very ill. He discovered the role of fungus in diseases. Our grains are commonly contaminated with fungus, corn is completely contaminated, antibiotics are a mycotoxin, and the sugar in our diet feeds the fungus. By starving the fungus through diet and killing the fungus with prescriptive antifungals and/or natural antifungals, he says we can find the road back to health. He has two 25-28 minute programs on his website weekdays, which are up for the week. He has two nutritionists on his program in his eye to eye segment which are very informative.

    Antibiotics change the environment of the gut and 80% of our immune system is in the gut. Probiotics are important to rebalance the gut. He has had on Dr. Fed Pescatore who has written the book Boost Your Health With Probiotics, an excellent resource. Brenda Watson has a program on PBS during their fund drive called The Road To Perfect Health which also talks about the importance of probiotics.

    I hope this information is helpful to everyone.

    Marilyn

  30. briita

    Thank you. You are an inspiration.

  31. Nancy Bastedo

    I know of 3 people in particular who over the years have been diagnosed with MS. All 20 or more years ago. They are still walking about doing everything they want to do, they appear to be totally unaffected. One of them was a coworker diagnoised in 1974 and I think he has been in remission since recovering from the first attack. Keep on climbing Elana :-)

  32. Merisi in Vienna @ merisi.blogspot.com

    Thank you, Elena, for this inspiring post and good luck to you in the future,
    Merisi

  33. GiGi

    Dear Elana…some years ago I was diagnosed with heart disease, prescribed heart meds and walked around with nitroglycerine In my pocket. I took charge of my life with God’s help and guidance and now am med free without symptoms and am over 70. When somewhere along the way I became wheat intolerant, it was no problem. I knew what to do. It is all under control. And I eat well and am so much healthier than most of my peers.
    To watch most Americans flow along with the SAD (SadAmericanDiet) is heartbreaking. We are a sick nation. Those who don’t take charge of their own health, enjoy the wonderful gifts of good food available, eat fresh, local, and organic when possible will sadly pay a high price later.
    I loved your #5. It works. But also, I would add to that – when in the company of others, keep it light and airy — and my #6 would be — give back. Look for some way to help others. It gets you out beyond yourself. You do that with your blog.
    May God continue to bless you and your family richly.

  34. Susan Jones

    Elana, you have given us all hope and healing advice, thank you

  35. Beth Orfanos

    I was going to tell you about Terry Wahls..we’ve know her now for a couple of years..I have been concerned about you since I read about your MS and wanted to tell you about her book..I’m so thrilled you are on the right track. My husband is studing functional medicine for about 2 1/2 years, with a speciality in cardiology. We just saw
    Terry in Arizona at a meeting, she looked wonderful.. Bless you and thank you for all the beautiful recipes and incouragement…Beth

  36. Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z @ glutenfreewithjudee.blogspot.com

    Elana,

    Such an inspiring post!
    I love your personalized healing plan. It sounds like a healthy living plan that everyone could benefit from. I retired from 25 years of teaching high school yesterday and always struggle with taking care of me. I woke up this morning saying I need a personal plan!
    I love your plan I’m going to print it and put it where I can see it.

    Thank you so much..

  37. The subject matter is so inspiring, Elana. Your words are so beautiful too. Rarely have I seen someone with the ability to impart so much of value in so few words. I have lupus and fibromyalgia and while I have worked very hard at getting healthy through diet and exercise in the past, the boundaries section of your plan is deficient in my plan. Thank you very much for posting this personal method and triumph!

  38. Toni

    Somehow after reading your blog intermittently for years, I didn’t know this! I love the Terry Wahls’ video, I pass it around all the time. :)

    Your healthy list looks like a good one for every BODY! :)

  39. Megan@BlueStarVermont.com @ bluestarvermont.com

    Thank you, thank you for being who you are, for opening your life to us and touching others so deeply. Like you I also received the kind of diagnosis where the whole world stopped in that moment, and like you, I have learned the diagnosis can be a gift. Look at the change that has come because of the diagnosis. As we work with our bodies, really paying attention to what we need to do, we learn to truly listen and come to know our Souls.

  40. Susan W.

    Thank you for such a wonderful post! I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 1985. It’s taken several years to figure out the right plan for me to be able to live well with it. My family is very understanding and helpful of the schedule I follow everyday.

    I love your personalized MS treatment plan. You are an inspiration. Thank you!

  41. Lauren Lobley @ delectableyou.com

    Thank you for having the courage to write something so profound and personal. This post will touch the lives of all who read it.

    Lauren
    xxx

  42. hope

    Elana, I am so happy to see you know of Dr. Wahl! I heard her story on a radio show. She is doing a lot of good things like trying to get clinical trials funded for the paleo type diet to show how this can truly help MS patients improve their lives. Great post too,thanks. :o)

  43. Louise

    This is an awesome important post about how lifestyle can impact and benefit our health. It really re-inerates how important our food choices can help heal or help to damage our current health. I suffer from other conditions and have also found the benefits of a grain free diet. One other comment though that not only I have found to my healing but someone else I know who’s lesions are shrinking from her ms was the benefits of a wellness chiropractor. This was vital for me and for her as getting proper nerve flow restored allowed optimum healing opportunities.

    Great review.
    God Bless

  44. Melissa

    Great post! Thanks for sharing your personal treatment plan. At a time when I am personally struggling to stay on track with mine, (gluten free etc.) reading this is definitely a great inspiration. Much appreciated.

  45. jamie

    I have all the rest down but the BOUNDARIES. Today I will begin taking boundaries like medicine. I cannot completely avoid people and places that negatively affect me but I can reduce the time spent. It is key. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  46. Debbie Phillips

    Elana— My teenaged daughter was diagnosed with MS over a year ago, and our world came crashing down. This beautiful, vibrant actress, singer, swimmer….how could it be possible? She also is a very anxious person with an affinity for sugar and starches! With many thanks to you and Amy Green, she started on a gluten, sugar and dairy- free diet ( not happily, I might add!)… But your wonderful recipes have made it so very much easier! As a matter af feet, most of the family is joining in now because of the great food! I had no idea that you had MS until this post…Thank you so much for sharing.

  47. This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing, Elana. Peace and healing to you. Love, Kerry

  48. RoseAnne | The Health Wish @ thehealthwish.com

    Congratulations on meeting this challenge head on with diet and physical changes. Since my husband was diagnosed with diabetes I have spent a great deal of time researching the link between nutrition and health and I am convinced that so much of the disease we encounter can be fought with a change to a more natural, healthful diet. We got rid of all processed food and complex carbs and have found ourselves so much healthier. The diabetes is still there but it is controlled, and who knows – even that may heal itself eventually. It takes a while to make up for 40 years of bad food.

  49. Ester Perez @ supermilkmama.com

    Wow Elaina,
    I had no idea you were diagnosed with MS. You are inspiring! I love your post and how you poured your heart into it. I love the part you said about setting boundaries and how you intuitively put a healing plan together…and how it has been working!!! I have been pondering with the idea of going grain free to see if it will help me with my auto-immune disease, vitiligo…so this post is very helpful. Many blessings to you and your healing journey. Your children are so blessed to have a strong and wise Mother.

    Ester

  50. Dayle

    Thank you for sharing this! I too had a health crisis in Oct. 2010 when I was diagnosed with Leukemia (AML). I also had a Bone Marrow Transplant in Feb. 2011 I am thankful every day to be with my three children and husband. I too have a health plan in which I have found similar discoveries as you have. Listening to our inner self, nourishing our souls and bodies and taking time to be in the moment are necessary for health and happiness! Blessings to you!

  51. Laurie Erdman | Chronic Wellness Coach @ chronicwellnesscoaching.com

    Elena, this is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Our stories are mirror images of each other. I was diagnosed with MS in 2009 and created a similar plan. I’m symptom-free and full of life – a big improvement over where I was.

    I believe sharing our stories and knowledge is critical to help others. And thank you for using your diagnosis to create such wonderful products.

  52. Lori

    What a great story. I know a few people with MS and I wish I could convince them of your holistic approach. I will keep trying.

    So happy for you ..

  53. Lisa Vance

    Elana,

    Thank you for this beautiful post. Similarly, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in late 2006 and immediately began to worry about becoming permanently disabled and in a wheelchair within weeks. Yep, I was SURE I was going to die. LOL, so I know the feeling of that crazy pit in the stomach and consuming worry.

    To my surprise, I feel better today than I remember feeling since high school (and I’m in my 40s). Soon after the RA dx, I also learned that I was gluten intolerant and literally starving to death while eating. My body was in crisis mode with multiple vitamin deficiencies. I was also over-weight, despite years of dieting without success, and literally gaining weight on a 1000 calorie diet.

    Since going on a gluten-free diet, I’ve lost 100 pounds and feel incredibly better. I’ve had work-ups for MS, but was ultimately also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, early menopause, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Turns out the Ehlers-Danlos has been the root of my chronic pain since childhood. I find that accidental gluten consumption exacerbates the joint pain and cognitive issues, so I avoid it as if it were a poison.

    I LOVE your Personal Treatment plan. It’s very similar to the rules I’ve set for myself, and call my personal management program. I prioritize your #5 (boundaries) at the top of the list as I find that managing what I do, and how I do it, makes it possible to do much more and that avoiding situations that exacerbate any of my conditions keeps the pain away. Coming to this understanding was quite difficult for me as I’m a military widow (10 years this past May) and I had to decide to NOT attend a couple of memorial dedications and other events because I understand that it will make me sick for weeks. That was one of the hardest decisions for me, but I know I am much better off from a health perspective.

    This year, following my management program, my significant other and I went on an 8-day vacation and it was the best ever! I didn’t come home exhausted, and I didn’t get sick afterwards, and best of all, I had FUN every day. I find that walking up and down hills and stairs is next to impossible with the EDS, my knees just don’t work like they should and have been extremely painful since my late teens. No stairs, no hills and I was able to go on a 4 mile walk and feel ready for more later that day!

    Elana, thanks for sharing your program. I hope it helps other. I might add another – I’ve found that limiting or removing alcohol has made a huge difference. I was never a big drinker, but now might have one or two mild drinks a month. Instead I drink coffee. The caffeine seems to counter the sleepiness caused by the various medications, and I just feel better both while I’m out AND the next day. I’m one of those fols that can fall asleep minutes after drinking shots of caffeine, so this may not work for those that are sensitive to caffeine. My significant other is a pharmacist and has stated that my tolerances and reactions to medications are skewed from the norm – a symptom of EDS – narcotics have little to no side effects on me, caffeine none, and valium makes me mean. LOL

    Also, since getting my self management under control (and medications/supplements as needed), I’ve gone from completely exhausted and beyond sick and unable to take care of my house and my self to redecorating and painting an organized and clean home! It wasn’t until I “bit the bullet” and accepted my condition and the fact that I’d never be the “SAME” as before or as everyone else (I had always dreamed of doing a 24-hour mountain bike race, but now understand that no matter how much I exercise, my muscles will never get strong enough to complete it) – accepting things, and re-establishing goals that are appropriate for me has made a huge difference.

    Take care and TAKE IT EASY when you need to. That’s my motto. Lisa

    PS – thanks for the great recipes and books! I love your blog.

  54. Mary Kay

    Thank you and God bless you.

  55. ChristineD

    I think your MS plan would make a great Life Plan in general. Bravo. Keep feeling well. :)

  56. Aidel.K

    What an inspiration you are! Thank you.

  57. Betty Rocker @ thebettyrocker.com

    Dear Elana,
    When I was reading your post, I kept thinking I wonder if she’s seen Dr Terry Wahls’ amazing Ted Talks video. I saw in your links that you recommend it as a resource. I learned so much from watching that video, and I share it with everyone I know as often as I can. Iam so fortunate to be healthy, with no diagnosed medical conditions, but being vigilant in my food choices is a huge part of how I intend to stay that way. I think everyone can learn something of benefit from eating in a way that supports their body’s natural processes.
    I also really love what you said about Boundaries. I think stress plays a huge role in our level of wellness. Consciously choosing to put ourselves in positive situations as often as possible has probably one of the most beneficial effects on our state of mind, and therefore our overall health.
    Thank you for sharing your story, and for posting those great resources.
    All the best,
    Betty Rocker

  58. Minnie@thelady8home @ thelady8home.com

    I once had a client that had MS….every step she took was painful. Her youngest was 7 years old and she was already at a stage where sitting in a place for a period of time was taxing. My heart went out to her. A physiotherapist herself, I just watched her losing the war everyday.

    Your post is so insightful,and an inspiration. I wish I could forward this to her….

  59. Christina

    Elana,
    Thank you for sharing and the great advice. Sometimes it is hard to avoid the negative people who don’t understand (especially when you live in the same house with them) and tell you there is nothing wrong with you. Same thing from many many doctors. I have been searching for about 2 years to find health (and help myself get back to health – be an active participant in health I mean). There are SO many other modalities out there and diets, etc. It can get very confusing. There are even “machines” “out there” that can tell the practitioner (non-invasive) if you have fungus, or candida, or nutritional deficiencies, or imbalances, and of course, each machine does something different and each one “is the best”, if you know what I mean… I have been glute, soy, and dairy free. Still having alot of pain and problems. I also have lymphocytic colitis and diverticulosis, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I was also told I might have Fibromyalgia too. There are all mostly autoimmune disorders, which is fast becoming prevelant. Well I also have IBS, and the “diet treatment” for IBS is the exact opposite of paleo. It is so darn confusing to determine what to do. There is alot of calling, money spent, experimenting, etc. to try to find health. It is too bad we have to pay out of pocket for most of it too (Americans). Anyway… enough complaining, I just wanted to say thank you. You are so beauutiful inside and outside! Many blessings to you, Christina, Ohio.

    • Linda C

      For Christina in Ohio: I’m sorry to hear that you don’t get more support at home. I’ve been there too, and it is very painful, so my heart goes out to you. And I experienced the same thing with doctors for years! Like you, I’m gluten, dairy, and soy-free, but was still struggling to feel better until I went completely grain-free. I’m also doing a special eating plan to heal my intestinal tract since I’d gotten to the point that I could tolerate very few foods without reactions; the eating plan is called the “Specific Carbohydrate Diet” and I make homemade yogurt with homemade almond milk. I don’t know what “diet treatment” you are referring to, but the “SCD” is very similar to Paleo: both focus on whole foods, both are grain-free and refined sugar-free, and both eliminate processed foods, but there are some differences too (i.e. like SCD allows dairy and properly prepared beans which Paleo doesn’t, but Paleo allows starchy veggies not allowed on the SCD). My version of the SCD does not include beans or nightshades because I have such bad reactions to them, so you might call it SCD+Paleo for autoimmune. After only four months on my version of the SCD, my thyroid symptoms are improving (i.e. I don’t have ice cold hands and feet!), my energy and focus are improving, and surprisingly, my sense of smell has “arrived”. And I say “arrived” because I’ve never had a good sense of smell my whole life; it’s been a pleasant surprise along with my other improvements with my health. Keep in mind that you MUST NOT HAVE any of the “forbidden foods” on the SCD for it to be effective. The SCD has and is doing a wonderful healing for my body; another similar eating plan is called “GAPS”. I hope this is helpful. I wish you good health and all the best.

  60. Your MS treatment plan sounds like a life treatment plan Elana. You are such an amazing person and inspiration.

  61. Jason

    Very inspirational. We should all strive to implement what you have discovered – the world would be a much better place.

  62. Thank you for sharing this…
    I love you site and it has helped and is helping me on my health journey…
    What you have written is so true…even though I seek certain things …they are so hard to attain …I am thinking of writing out my health mission plan on recipe cards and tapping them where I can daily see them:))
    Blessings to you

  63. Elena,

    Thank you for your post! I was diagnosed with MS 5 years ago, and I immediately went off gluten. I am still learning and listening. :) My favorite item in your diet plan is the boundaries. It’s so important to have positive interactions! I believe that we heal better through positive energy! Thanks again!

  64. Christine Robinett

    The posts here indicate just how dysfunctional the philisophy and practice of “medicine” really is in this country. As a society, we’re aculturated to believe we can’t heal, reverse diseases or have any real control over our beings. When some of us prove otherwise by using so-called “quack” methods, we’re mocked, ridiculed, even bullied especially women. It’s not just an uphill battle to heal ourselves from fatalistic diagnoses but against a discriminatory system.

    To all with life-altering diagnoses that choose healing, CAM practices, mental health and boundaries over cultural and medical-industrial norms, keep up the good works. Be an activist and advocate for your own health against a very entrenched and dysfunctional system. And remember those that aren’t so fortunate as to have resources to pursue such action.

    It’s why I chose Chiropractic, Naturopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine degrees over med school nearly 30 years ago. It was as much for personal growth as a career path. It’s why I chose a healthy life over hyper-critical and unsupportive family members. It’s why I’m still alive and doing better than anyone ever expected despite the odds of multiple diagnoses.

    • Nancy Bennett

      thank you for your inspiring e-mail. I too rejected their medical practices and went my own way. I am doing good my doctor says and told to keep on doing what ever I’m doing. She never asks me what, but it’s mostly diet, chiropractic, herbs,homeopathic and a few other suggestions from family and friends

  65. Nancy Bennett

    Thanks for sharing. Healing from any illness is a commitment that many of us make every day. One really important thing that we can do is to watch our diet, and thanks to you we have many choices to pick from. Keep up with your good life and the great recipes. Many prayers and love

  66. What a wonderful and inspiring post, Elana. You serve as an inspiration and testament to the truth about how to take charge of any diagnosis and overcome it. I honor your spirit.

  67. Karen

    Hi Elana,

    I love your plan. I use a similar one in controlling chronic Lyme Disease. Just a ‘head’s up’ that chronic Lyme imitates MS among other things and with all of your outdoor activities, you may be misdiagnosed. If you develop problems, it may be something to look into. You are doing all the right things though! You may find the movie, “Under Our Skin” interesting. Don’t worry, it has a happy ending. :^)

  68. Lynnette

    Bless you Elana. I haven’t been diagnosed with anything but cant digest grains, dairy, corn, or sugars including most fruit. Paleo fits my blood type and my needs! Thank you sincerely for the reassurance of sharing your story.

    Other lovely people in my life have shared these with me:

    We cant love others, until we love ourselves. So embracing my own health is one way I can love myself.

    Go get my ARFF every day. (Thank you Denny McLaughlin:) Achievement, Recreation, Fun, and Freedom. = happiness fuel!

    There isn’t anything that can’t be said kindly. Even boundaries. I’m happier surrounded by people who support me.

    I never meant to be a cook but the joy of creating and following recipes to my liking and choices is a meaningful part of loving me, creating, and having my pleasure.

    Thank you Elana, your post today is on my fridge.

    My wish is to become the happiest pursuer of clean food subsidies. Meanwhile I’m ordering ladybugs for my garden. And cleaning off my bike.

  69. KarenO

    I hope that Jack Osborne gets a chance to read your story. I’m certain it would encourage him a great deal!

  70. Lisa Collette

    Elena, you are very brave! I too use to lay in bed with my then young children listening to me breathe for their own comfort! It took a few years after the MS diagnosis, but through a persistent research doctor I found out I had late stage lyme disease, not MS. Treatment was 4.5 years and now I still follow all the four things you do .. in hopes that they will keep me from relapse. Good luck to you, I love your recipes, many I change to meet my own dietary needs and many I invent, but I serve them to all…so far no complaints! Stay well ;) Lisa

  71. Carmen Martinez

    Dearest Elana,

    What a beautiful, open, and honest sharing. I’m touched and encouraged. I am starting GAPS Intro tomorrow to begin healing several serious health problems which revealed themselves over the past 6 months. Before that, I had been gluten free for 30 years and then had to go grain-free. I can’t tell you enough what a blessing finding your website was for me — an oasis in a new land which spared my supportive family much, much agony in their willingness to acompany me.

    Your sharing today rang so true for me as I go into this new journey with much confusion and pouting. I’ve already given up so much and now God is asking me to give up more?!? I’m trusting that with the sacrifices will come the blessings of improved health and that’s more valuable to me than what I have to give up.

    Thank you for your timely encouragement and tender sharing.

    God bless,

    Carmen

  72. Sheila Hecht @ sheilahecht.com

    I am so glad that Marylyn brought me into my life.

  73. Mary

    Elana, all I can say is: You have saved my life. 8 months ago I stumbled upon your gluten free cupcake book and your website. You have given me the inspiration and tools to stop feeling sorry for myself and embrace my challenges instead of resisting their existence. You are so intelligent, creative, self-less and beautiful. Thank you for providing hope to so many who have never even met you or talked to you. I wish you and your family the very best of everything the world has to offer.

  74. Sallie

    Hi Elana-
    Thank you so much for your great post, and for your excellent blog and recipes. I was diagnosed with MS a little over a year ago and I was so lucky to hear about you and Dr. Wahls right away. I started the grain free diet and also am following many of your healthy living recommendations and I’m happy to say that I’m not taking meds for the MS. I feel quite well and this lifestyle can benefit so many people. Thanks for spreading the word! Whenever I meet someone with MS I tell them about you and Dr. Wahls.

    Sallie

  75. Lisa@Pocketfuls @ pocketfuls.ca

    What an inspiring post! It is so empowering to take charge of your own health, to listen to what your body and soul need and to make the changes that will serve you well. I think your advice is so very valuable for everyone, MS diagnosis or not. Thank you for sharing this, Elana.

  76. Christina

    Thank you, thank you. I loved what you said about ‘boundaries’- definitely an underrated concept but one that has helped me tremendously in my own issues with autoimmune problems/inflammation. Stress can be so toxic to the body and significantly impact the healing process.

    I loved reading this. I am sure you hear this all the time but you make such a positive difference! Your cookbook has been a lifesaver as a mom of boys:) Being able to bake them your primal chocolate chip cookies in particular has been wonderful (in addition to celiac, they have egg allergies- baking cookies for them was just something I thought I’d never be able to do again).

    Thank you for your recipes and inspiration!

  77. Pamela R

    This was incredibly timely. Thank you for sharing it!

  78. Gail

    Thanks so much for sharing your story Elana! I have M.S and it is progressing and the information you gave is just what l needed. I have both your books and love them. I so appreciate your website! Take care and keep up the great work!

  79. Lucinda

    I love the positive and proactive way you deal with MS and how generously you share with your readers. My mother has MS and I live in fear that I will develop it given how many of her other health issues I now have (plus a few interesting ones of my own). However, because I am gluten (and mostly grain) free, I believe I have greatly improved my chances of dodging this bullet. I love your blog and your encouragement. Thanks.

  80. Marilyn Lake @ theidealenvironment.com

    Thankyou Elena, for your heart opening post today. I did not know that you are successfully battling this or any other disease, and you have filled my heart with joy, and my eyes with tears. I am on month 6 of the grain free plan, really enjoying cooking with Almond flour and Xylitol or Yacon syrup when I want a treat. Dairy is gone too, with the exception of a bit of Parmesan, and Coconut milk and oil are my new best friends. A coconut milk cappuccino starts my day, and Dr. Gundry’s book and his list of supplements continue to fuel my day and melt my belly that built up over the years through misunderstanding how my metabolism doesn’t work well with grains and fruit.
    You have reminded me that creativity and creation is the path through adversity. Thanks again, Marilyn Lake, The Ideal Environment.com

  81. sandy eason

    It seems this course might be beneficial for people with a wide variety of autoimmune diseases. Thanks for your input. I think I will put it to work for myself.

  82. Arlene Lander

    Elana, you have been an inspiration since I purchased my first “healthy” cookbook a year ago, and since then I have expanded my knowledge of healthy eating through your blog. Thank you so much.

  83. Such an important post to share – thanks Elana. I agree, children and nature are incredibly healing. xoxo

  84. Ilana

    This is the first comment I have left on your site, but your message came at such a seredipitous time, I just wanted to say thanks for everything.

  85. Mia

    Thank you Elana for sharing this heart felt post.

    I have also found that deep listening is vital to support my healing process.

    Blessings,

    Mia

  86. Wendy Lynne @ fitfoodcoach.com

    Thank you for sharing your story and your game plan. I especially like how you realized you had to slow down to see your path. I am in the process of doing the same thing!

    Wendy

  87. Chloe

    Beautiful and inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely be sharing this with my 23 year old sister who was diagnosed with lupus last year (has two children). She literally was on her deathbed in the hospital, and it was a miracle from God and the blessing of wise doctors that she is still alive. She is now moving toward a completely clean diet and is almost weaned off of all meds. I know she’ll love to read this! Bless you for all that you share with us (recipes, wisdom, etc) so that we can grow towards healthier (rich, full, alive!) living. Bless you, lady!!! :D

  88. SunnyB @ andloveittoo @ andloveittoo.com

    I don’t know why determining a ROI on my actions or interactions with others has never previously crossed the mind of this girl with a MBA, but that statement makes so much sense to me. I love and appreciate your personalized plan and feel it is something we all could benefit from tremendously.

    Thank you for being who you are, Elana. Thank you for sharing your story and your time with us.

    xoxo

    SunnyB
    http://www.andloveittoo.com

  89. Kristin J @ PaleoTrail.com

    Thank you for writing this post, Elana. I’ve been regaining my health for almost two years because of autoimmune Hashimoto’s and nutrient deficiencies. It’s a long process, but this post gives me more strength to do what I need to do for my own health, before all else. Thank you for sharing your own recovery plan. It’s very similar to my own. Boundaries have been the most difficult to establish because I hate closing doors on people and opportunities, but I’ve seem amazing improvements in my overall health when I put my foot down. Thank you for sharing your strength with us.

  90. Jillian

    Hello,
    My grandmother passed from MS in 2001. She lived for years and did not have the luxury of the kind of information we have now to triumph over the symptoms of MS. I commend your courage and discipline. Keep up the great work!

  91. Anna

    Wow Elena, I felt this way too when I discovered I had diabetes. I feared not seeing my newborn baby grow up. I felt depressed, but instead of giving up, I got into gear and learned everything I could do to control my disease. I feel much more positive about having a good outcome now. It’s so great to know others are successfully taking charge of their health too instead of just relying on medications. Thank you for sharing.

  92. nora

    Thank you so much for sharing this part of your life with us! It is very personal, and also very motivating for me to hear. I have suffered with celiacs my entire life, and am just now getting it figured out. Change is very hard, but with the help of your great blog and books (which I own and love) I’m learning to make great foods for myself again! Thanks for all you do. You are an amazing inspiration to me. I love your care plan, and am planning on printing it off for myself as well.

  93. This is such a beautiful post. I love your blog and your recipes. Thank you!

  94. Marie

    Hi Elana,

    I have 2 very close people in my life who have MS and both are treating it with diet. They have eliminated both gluten and dairy from their diets and have managed all their symptoms. I am really surprised to read how you have been gluten free for some time before being diagnosed and wonder if you perhaps had MS symptoms prior to your diagnosis? Do you still have any symptoms and if so have you considered eliminating dairy?

    I know you may not reply directly so perhaps anyone else with MS and Celiac can answer for me. Both my loved ones are drug free and living normal healthy lives. We hope this disease can be “cured” naturally and sharing information is the greatest way to help fight MS! Thank you for your contributions and wonderful recipes, they are greatly appreciated!

  95. Kathy King

    I am so incredibly impressed with this post and am encouraged to do likewise by following your plan for recovering from current health issues. Thank you!

  96. QueenJellyBean

    Thank you Elana. You shared a powerful observation about the need to limit non-positive interactions. Brilliant. I spent my afternoon reading “Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight” by Heller which addresses a poorly developed capacity for processing interactions with others. The book addresses “Sensory Processing Disorder”, which stems from poor neo-natal development of the capacity to organize input from touch, taste, sound, movement, smell. Sufferers are super sensitive to one or all of their senses (I’m debilitated by normal sounds in the office). Over time the physical stress of inability to properly organize sensory input breaks down health into disease. There are simple solutions in the book. — I’m a celiac who lives by your recipes, thank you. I just thought I’d throw that book title in there for other celiacs who, like me, may never have heard about “Sensory Processing Disorder” and might find relief from previously unexplained sensitivities. Thank you to everyone for posting – may you all find relief and comfort.

  97. Deb Kinney @ reviveorganizing.com

    Dear Elana,
    Thanks for putting such a personal journey out there so publicly and honestly. It is so good to hear that it can be done AND that it isn’t easy. Both are important to know.

    Keep going,

    Deb

  98. Kari

    Thank you for sharing. These are good boundaries to have with or without ms. You are an inspiration!

  99. Yes, the journey to health results in making many different choices. I’ve experienced the same journey with my own health, and my clients experience it over and over again. There is an excellent book that explains exactly why your mindset and the choices you make can make you survivor. It’s called “The Survivor Personality” by Al Siebert, Ph.D. I loved every minute of reading it. I’m so glad you’re doing so well Elana!

  100. RMcD

    Be grateful for who you are.
    Be grateful for who you are to become.
    Be grateful for the boulders placed upon your path.
    For they are not obstacles but stepping stones on your journey of self-realization.

    –Joe Keane

  101. anne

    dearest elana — you were a wonderful, charming, fun playmate at age 3 and you’re a thoughtful, accomplished, charming friend now as we move into our mid-40s! here’s to 42 more years of health and healing for you and of loving long distance friendship with you! — anne

  102. Just Me

    Thank you for sharing. ;)

  103. Vita @ Juicer Depot @ juicerdepot.com

    You have a lot of courage to talk openly about having MS. It will help others who are going through the same situation.

  104. soni

    thank you for all you’ve been sharing over that last few years. you have always been a great resource and inspriation. i too have been on an adventure over the years trying to get the diet right to get my health back. i just listened to this radio show and though of you with the MS and the natural approach you have taken. not sure if you would be interested but i though it can’t hurt to share. i guess the most interesting thing is the cyrex tests to check for antibodies and using that to help inform the diet and stave off autoimmune diseases.

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/undergroundwellness/2012/07/03/detecting-autoimmunity-early-w-dr-thomas-obryan

    take care.

  105. Amy

    Thank you for your honesty and willingness to share with us on your blog, Elana! I’m going through a similar process for the second time in my life and have felt so alone in the process because of your #5. No matter how many times I explain what I need, a close friend has taken my lack of energy as a personal affront. I’ve sadly been realizing this means we won’t be able to be as close of friends, not that I have to fix something about myself. I wouldn’t say that being sick causes you to find out who your “true friends” are. It gives you the chance, if you’re willing, to find out who the “right friends” are for you and to move towards them.

  106. Stephanie

    Hi Elana. I know you can’t answer me but I’m okay with that. I was also diagnosed w/ MS – four years ago in 2008. I’d just had my third baby, a boy. And he was just 3 months old as we sat in my doctors office together while I was told this devastating news. I also freaked out – in fact, I went into a depression and couldn’t function for at least a good month. As you know, stress makes the symptoms worse, so that didn’t help.

    Anyhow, I am SO very grateful to have found your website be/c just now am I opening up to changing my diet and lifestyle to help my body heal. I figure I have only so much control over this so as long as I am eating well and exercising then at least I’ve done something. I am scared about giving up the foods I love, but your website is helping me see that there are options out there – I just have to be prepared and open to trying to new things! Thankfully my husband is completely supportive in this new diet endevour!

    So thanks. I’m excited to try some new food and have to think of it as not what I’ve giving up but what I’m gaining.

    stephanie

  107. Kristin

    I have had MS for 20 years. Finding this website and your cookbook (The Gluten-Free Almond Flour one) has been wonderful.
    I’ve know for years that going Gluten Free was important with MS, but it seemed hard with a husband and 2 boys.
    Thanks for sharing your story about your diagnosis. I tried the chocolate chip cookies and even though I had to use the only almond flour that is available where we live in MT, Bob’s Red Mill, they still tasted great! I just ordered one of your recommended brands online!!
    Thanks for all of your time and love that you have put in to helping all of us!

  108. Sharon

    How do you start? Could you please list specific ways to start a life change like this? I feel overwhelmed – change my pantry? change the exercise level? jump in with both feet? did you get discouraged? how did you overcome these times? thank you for considering these questions – I appreciate your blog/food/suggestions

  109. Joel Taylor

    Beautifully written, I can’t wait to read more throught the site. I was labeled with MS in Jan 12, from the medical field all I’ve heard is “sorries” and ” this is unfortunate”. For me, I’m like others here, it has opened up so many doors that I never challenged. Like, life, the sun, real food, it’s a curse but also a blessing. I’m Paleo sense June. Now a days I enjoy my veggies, my oils, my bone broth and lots of fish, but thats me. I’m writing to say thank you. I got sent Terry Wahls video in January but sense her and then I haven’t been able to find another person untill now. I am so glad to see this site, I was starting to think Terry Wahls was the only one who had good results from changing her lifestyle. I’m sorry it took ms to make me look at life differently, but thanks to people like you, it proves that the real treasure in life is health. I will never give up, I will never let ms win and I can’t wait to see my grandkids (well I can wait a little bit).

  110. Kate

    Dear Elana et al,

    I was diagnosed with MS in October 2010 at 29 after a terrible, debilitating flare. I was in a wheelchair for a while, almost blind in one eye, mouth droop from brain damage, constant neurological pain the likes of which I do not care to even remember but can’t forget, and almost died a couple of times at the beginning of this year due to secondary infections.

    HOWEVER, I came back because of a NATURAL approach. I am only finding your site now and only just heard about Terry Wahls, but through the research I was able to do, I came up with a plan very similar to yours and I credit my health now to the same approach.

    I don’t take any of the MS immune system killers and I don’t take any symptom medications now (I was on opiates, max dosage of gabapentin (neurontin), SSRIs for pain, and klonopin for muscle spasming/contractions).

    One thing I will add that has been INVALUABLE for me, has been BOOSTING my immune system. I know it sounds “against the grain,” but our immune system was designed to help us, and it isn’t all bad.

    Furthermore, there was recently a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that almost half of us with MS produce an antibody that no one else does. So, I started taking IVIg (Immunoglobulin via IV) every 21 days (you can read about it if you google New England Journal of Medicine, MS and KIR4.1). MIRACULOUS change. I started walking, dancing, and living a “normal” life again. No one would even know I have MS to look at me or talk to me.

    IVIg is completely natural – it is made from the blood of healthy people, giving you the effective immunity of 10,000 people. For those of us with MS, even a head cold can be scary because you don’t know if it will lead to an exacerbation. Now, I don’t catch anything and I have started cooking for myself…enough that I was looking for new recipes and found your blog :0)

    As I said before, I completely agree with all of your own health protocols, for they are so similar to mine. I would add a few more things that I feel are in line with your approach, and have been essential for me:

    1. Adequate intake of essential fatty acids, even if I have to take them in a supplement, although I try to do so through my diet. (Helps to repair myelin).

    2. Vitamin D3 – 10,000-15,000 IU per day. I know it sounds like a lot, but my levels test perfectly normal and I have spoken to other people with MS who are equally deficient. I also amke sure to ALWAYS take it with food, because you need EFAs to absorb D3.

    3. Music. Something about singing, playing piano, or even listening to good music is so incredibly healing to me.

    Good luck to all and thank you for sharing your own story. It is comforting to hear from others who have gone through a similar process. I will check back frequently. I believe 100% in a natural cure!

  111. Tee-Ann

    Dear Elana,

    I came upon your website when researching dietary approaches to my own autoimmune issues. Stated quite simply, I’m “wowed” by your recipes and want to send my thanks. I’m already seeing an improvement in many of my autoimmune responses.

    More importantly, I want to send all manner of good wishes your way. My mother had MS in a less informed age. The lifestyle advocated by Dr. Wahl and so graciously embodied in your website makes perfect sense. I feel its rightness on a primal level. Your children are blessed to have a mother who has made the needed lifestyle changes to take care of herself. This is precisely what I would have wanted my mother to do; take care of her wonderful self.

    Stay well and thank you so much for sharing your glorious recipes.

    Tee-Ann

  112. Jan Lou

    Such an inspiring post! It was your recipe for mustard/lime baked chicken that brought me to your blog, Elana, but I explored a little and read this too. All the best to you & family in 2013! Take care of yourselves … and each other.
    from Jan in Canada

  113. Great post! We’ve created an animation explaining Multiple Sclerosis: http://youtu.be/5JxmbMHOn8k

    Maybe this could help for people to have a better understanding of the disease.

  114. Allie

    I was diagnosed with MS in 2000. While I did approved drug therapy for 9 years, I’ve been in a drug trial for the last 3 1/2 years. I was directed to your website after asking someone some basic gluten free recipes – no talk about MS. I’m considering giving up gluten to see if I feel any different, but didn’t think about potential MS benefits!

  115. Jean Schroer

    Elana, thank you for the wonderful recipes. I’m on a very limited diet due to another autoimmune disorder, lymphocytic colitis. I am really limited in diet, no grains, dairy or fiber. I find that some of your recipes can be adapted to allow for the no-fiber requirement. It is so reassuring to know I can still have good food that is healthy!

  116. Denise Pouchet @ aluminumhat.com

    New to your website and information, can’t even recall how I found you but I can tell you reading this post had a profound impact on me.

    I’ve struggled with declining health for 5 years with confirmed diagnosis added onto diagnosis, evidently one cannot outrun ones genes, who knew? The latest confirmed diagnosis is Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune disease which attacks the receptor cells on muscles.

    Reading how you’ve rebuilt your health after being diagnosed with MS gives me hope I may yet rebuild my own health, at least to my new best health state, whatever that may be.

    Blood tests state I am do not have a Gluten allergy, even so your recipes look delicious and I anticipate adding them to my favorites!

    Thank you again for this particular post. Knowing someone else is thriving with a serious health condition will make the challenges ahead easier to overcome.

  117. Good luck to you Elana! You have an inspirational website and story (which I have just discovered). I really wish you well on your journey. I am on a similar path to you in having had Cancer ten years ago and healing myself holistically from that but still dealing with a few other ongoing health issues and continually having to check in and stay true to me on all level.. So, I just wanted to pass on my thanks for discovering your website and story and some energetic support from the UK. Best wishes on your journey. Melanie

  118. Caren

    I found your page as I’m trying to learn more about the Paleo Diet. When I came to this part of the website and had the Ah-Ha moment about you having MS. I have it as well. Now I’m thinking that going grain free is the way to go for me. At 42, I feel ok as far as MS symtoms go, but my metabolism has slowed considerably and I’m gaining weight. No fun there.
    I think that this may be the eye opening I needed to really clean up what I am eating and get on track.
    Thank you for the inspiration!
    Caren in Florida

  119. Joanna

    Dear Eleana
    good luck to you, I hope you will get better and better every second! Thank you so much for the blog and recipies- I am a celiac mother with two little celiac sons, GOD BLESS YOU!

  120. Natural vitiligo treatment system @ youtube.com/watch?v=pj9aDIiwtDs

    I purchased Natural Vitiligo Treatment System last week. This book talks about a lot of natural remedies but it mainly advocates supplementing with 3 vitamins and 1 herbal extract. After one week my vitiligo has ended spreading and I’m beginning to see a bit of color back. The guy who has written this is also very? nice, I contacted him with some questions before I even bought the book and he sent me a very lengthy reply.

  121. Marjorie Yarnell

    Thank you for sharing your personnal story! Am new to gluten free/ sugar free, etc and positive stories like yours gives a promising note to those with medical issues…hoping this diet will help me to heal! Enjoying your thoughts and recipes!

  122. betsy

    Beautiful post! This looks like a picture taken on Mt. Sanitas? (I went to college in Boulder.)…I have been following you for a while, but never posted. I recently went grain free. I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 12 years- diagnosed when I was 25. Your post encourages me to keep up the good fight and take time to listen to what my body needs. Thank you for all that you have taught me through your blog and thanks for sharing your personal story too. It is inspiring.

  123. Hi Elana,
    My brother in law was diagnosed with MS in 1982 – it felt like the end to all of us at the time! My sister (an epidemioligist by profession) researched extensively at that time and decided that a gluten free diet would be the best course of action, along with certain supplements (not sure which except for oil of evening primrose).
    It’s 30 years later and his MS has not substantially progressed in all those years. He does however take very special care to get enough sleep and avoid stress as much as possible and to stick religiously to the gluten free diet. If he doesn’t take care of himself, he starts to trip a lot…thankfully, it has never affected his eyesight…
    Best of luck to you – seems as though you are a great proponent of this successful way of life! Just wanted to let you know of a success story for long term gluten free eating…

  124. What an inspirational post. Thank you.

    I had an CIS episode last year and was really quite ill for a while. My mother died from ALS and her mother had MS so I started to look at what I could do to heal myself.

    I found changing my diet to being gluten free amazing and life changing. I too practise mindfulness and yoga and If feel better than I have my whole life. So much so I have started a blog and am keen to promote the link between neurological disease and gluten sensitivity.

    When I found your blog I did not realise this was your story. Wow you have achieved so much congratulations and thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes and guides.

  125. Jennifer @ na

    I found your post because I was looking for recipes. And I was so surprised to discover our similarities. I am 42 and was diagnosed with exacerbating remitting MS at age 21 (when I was stressed out in law school and sleeping very little). For eight years, I had minor excacerbations (numbness and slight vision irregularity). I refused to go on Betaseron or Avonex (against my doctor’s recommendations).
    However, my excacerbations reduced when I slept more and learned how to reduce and/or deal with life’s stresses.
    I also made drastic changes in my diet. About 15 years ago I stopped eating sugar. Then I stopped drinking cows milk. Now I don’t eat grains and am on the Paleo Diet. I am now in the best shape of my life and don’t have any MS symptoms at all. I work out every day and can easily keep up with my three sons, ages 11, 7, and 5.
    I have a good friend who also has MS and is doing great. She just earned her black belt in karate. She introduced me to the Paleo Diet a few years ago.
    I hope we all continue to stay on course and stay healthy!

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  127. Cindy

    Thank you so much for posting this. My story is so similar I nearly cried! Right from the changes you made to the supportive husband along with the success you have found. Instead of climbing mountains I am learning to ski and have just graduated, top of my class from college (cabinetmaking)…at age 47!

    Congratulations on your continuing success. It is so wonderful to know that my story is not just a fluke and that by faith alone hubby and I managed to find the right path through this trial. Keep spreading the good news!

    Thanks again & be encouraged!

  128. Cindy

    Elana, thanks for sharing this. I have adopted pretty much the same plan, and have “experimented” with it. It works!

    Just wanted to tell you that your Gluten-free Almond Flour cookbook was the FIRST grain-free cookbook that I had ever used and it really helped me so much during my transition to grain-free cooking and eating because it allowed me to make some comfort and traditional foods grain-free. (It was given to me as a gift.)

  129. Amy

    I loved reading this. I have a question though. What advice, suggestions, etc do you have for an older person that’s already in bad shape? My mother was diagnosed about 25 years ago. She’s always seen it as something that kept her from life, even though she’s been in remission for years. She’s too afraid to do any exercise for fear it will worsen things (no matter who tells her the opposite is true). now, in her mid 60’s she’s in terrible shape health wise. She doesn’t walk very far or get out much because of back issues and vision issues. She is very overweight for her small frame which only exasperates the problem. My family has done paleo for a while to detox and now we are trying to find good balance, and we are very active. I would love for my mom to feel better, live longer and have a better quality of life but she isn’t too gung-ho on any of my ideas. Any advice or resources I can go to for information or guidance? Thanks.

  130. Amber

    I have been a lover of your wonderful recipes(through your cookbooks) for quite some time, but just recently subscribed to your blog & Learned that you are fighting the MonSter. well, knock my socks off!! I Was diagnosed some 20 years ago with MS, and have maintained a more or less functional existence based on your principles (without even knowing it!) I admired you before, and am now even more gratefull you have shared yourself with the world (and me!!!) What I may lack in eloquence of my words, please know I think You are fantastic. All the power to you <3

  131. Kathy

    Elana, thank you for your inspirational comments. I, too, have MS and have been diagnosed for over 25 years now. My best healing results have come from dietary and activity changes. Last summer, at the age of 51, I ran the fastest pace for my age group in a local 5 km race. I don’t feel my age and MS is no longer the death sentence I readily gave it.
    Unfortunately, my mental health presents current challenges. I am in the midst of a depression that has packed a punch and recovery is coming…much more slowly than I would like. But my recovery plan does include the same themes as does my recovery plan for MS. However, it is harder to execute at times. Reading your entry has given me the kick I need for today. Thank you!

  132. Becky

    Elana,
    Thanks for this post. I’ve already incorporated some of these ideas into my life, but will try to concentrate on the others.
    I was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2008. By looking back to the last time I was actually outdoors,and when I got a tick bite with bulls-eye rash, my husband and I figured out that I’d been exposed sometime between 1985 and 1994. At the time I’d gone to see my MD, who ordered tests and then told me they were OK. Unfortunately, he never ordered a Lyme titer or Western Blot.
    The doctor who finally diagnosed me also did a CD-57, which is only sued on Lyme patients and HIV patients. It also tells you how sick you are.
    I mention this because Lyme is known as The Great Imitator. It can mimic Lupus, MS, and Parkinson’s. I encourage people who have one of these diagnoses to get a simple Lyme test, using a reputable lab. (some labs’ testing aren’t accurate.)
    My Lyme MD was the one who advised me to give up wheat , plus corn, rice and potatoes, as they feed the bacteria. She also advised giving up legumes, as they may contribute to leaky gut syndrome.
    I hope that this may help somebody else.

  133. Rachael Doey

    Hi Elana
    I am 29 with 3 small kids and was just diagnosed with MS October last year! I love your recipes and your post has really inspired and encouraged me! I was just meant to read it. Thank you so much xo

  134. Allison O’Neil

    Have you ever been tested for Lyme by a Lyme literate doctor. The test most doctors use is not accurate. Many people diagnosed with MS really have Lyme. Lyme is known as the “great imitator”and can also be misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, RA, ALS, ….

  135. Love this. Just think you are so wonderful. Still on the road of dealing with and finding what works best for me with my newer MS diagnosis. Planning to kick it! Thanks for all your wonderful insight.

  136. Louise Ross @ louiseross.com

    I had no idea you created this wonderful blog with your superb GF recipes from a place of (former) ill-health, Elana. I absolutely love your “treatment plan;” I think it’s a plan worth applying whether you’re unwell, healing or healthy. Thank you for reposting it!

  137. Thanks for sharing this inspirational post. I don’t have MS, but I do have Crohn’s and a number of other autoimmune complications, so my healing plan is actually very similar to yours. Going (mostly) grain-free and totally gluten-free has changed my life. And positivity and good energy is imperative! Thanks for sharing your recipes and more…

    -Lori
    http://adventuresofasickchick.com

  138. Julie

    Sorry, this is silly.

    I’ve had MS for 20 years. I have 2 small children, a happy marriage, career and active social life. Absolutely have had my ups and downs with the disease, but only through medication can I say I am stable. That, intense exercise, sunlight and a healthy (no red meat) diet.

    The gluten-free is diet an overhyped trend is is meant for those with celiac disease. I consume gluten on a daily basis and I’m perfectly fine .

    To each his/her own in regards to this disease. Please stop telling people that going gluten free will help. It’s absurd. Trial and error, people. That is the only way to figure out what’s right for your body.

  139. Phyllis

    I love the article about MS. I have known one other person who took that approach. She was a patient who came in for Blood work when I worked in a patient service center with a diagnostic lab. She said she would love to talk to every person diagnosed with MS. At that time, she had the disease about 20 yrs. I think it’s important that people with MS know what they can do to deal with the disease. Thank you for publishing it.

  140. Thank you for sharing Elana. My friend has just been diagnosed with MS and I forwarded your post to her.

  141. Heather

    I just copied down your treatment plan because it just makes such great sense….for a great lifestyle. I wish you all the best on your journey.

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