Navigating the Ups and Downs of Life


I love taking time to slow down during the holidays as everything around me speeds up. This is the time of year when the days grow short, the nights long. A period when we are designed to hibernate, sleep, and rest. As the year draws to a close, I reach for my inner stillness, go inside in the midst of all the holiday hoopla, and reflect on what has been.

This year, I hit a couple of bumps that were frightening. In March, upon my return from a trip out of the country, I wound up with a stomach bug that turned into a severe MS attack. For the first time since my MS Diagnosis in 2006 I found myself hospitalized, and on top of that, suffering from a nasty case of transverse myelitis. All of my doctors, conventional to alternative, hypothesized that my immune system went into overdrive in fighting off the stomach bug and ended up attacking my myelin sheaths. This created total numbness from my diaphragm down. I had some other symptoms, which I will not go into here, which were also terrifying. I was stunned, and in a complete state of shock.

On the bright side, once I realize I am in shock, my response is generally a good one. I go inside, dig deep and find the healing spaces in my life. I simply focus as much as I can on a positive outcome. This means going into a conscious state of denial and putting myself in a very forward looking place.

In order to do this, I hunker down with my nuclear family, which consists of my incredible husband, and our two amazing boys, who as of this writing are, 17 and almost 16. We have an incredible understanding whereby they intuitively know that I don’t want to share or elaborate upon the details of what’s going on in my body. This synchronicity and intuitive connection are a lifeline for me during challenging times. It is the external counterpart to my inward diet of faith, reflection, and prayer, during good times and otherwise.

In order to dive deep, I further support myself by going on a restricted social media diet. I can’t effectively implement my healing plan if I’m focusing on what to post on Instagram. So, if you were wondering why I shared so little this past spring, on all channels, including this site, well, now you know. For me, healing is internal, as opposed to a play-by-play reality show where my emotions unravel in the universe of social media.

I’m not one to dwell. I like to focus, fix, and move ahead. However, I do like to keep you, my faithful readers, in the loop. That is my intention with this year end update. Moreover, I’d like to share some of my discoveries with you. Below you will find my game plan for moving ahead during the challenging times of life.

Navigating the Ups and Downs of Life

  1. Conscious Compartmentalization
  2. Connect Only with People Who Nourish Me
  3. Social Media Diet
  4. Research Bio-Medical Therapies
  5. Spend Time in Nature

You may notice that in addition to the above, I also refrained from answering comments here, which can take hours each day. For those of you that were frustrated, it may help to remember that there are 25,000 of you every day on this website, and there is only one of me. I simply cannot spread myself too thin, whether healthy or ill.

As the new year emerges, I look forward to sharing more with you. Not about the trauma I went through last year. The world has enough of that. I plan to divulge my healing secrets and the resources that have resulted from my research. You will find out how I survive the ups and downs of my mundane, yet incredible life. You will learn how I get my body, mind, and soul, into a place of balance. For a sneak peak at some of the strategies that I deployed during the past year click on the links below. And stay tuned, because there is much, much more to come!

Thanks for being my dear online family and have a blessed 2016!



59 responses to “Navigating the Ups and Downs of Life”

  1. Elana, You are a great inspiration to all especially those of us who do our best to live normal lives while dealing with serious chronic health concerns. Be well. Have a healthy 2016.

  2. Elana-
    I am so sorry to hear about all your troubles. Your site and your books are a huge inspiration to so many people, me included. I am usually just a lurker, but I wanted to let you know how much your site and recipes mean to me and my family! Thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us.
    Happy New Year!

      • Hello Dear Elana; I know you must get overwhelmed by all the comments, but I wanted also to say thank you. My name is also Ilana, and I was diagnosed with MS in 2006 as well. Like you, I have controlled it largely with diet, holistic therapies ( I am a functional medicine practitioner), LDN, and stress management. Like you, I also had a severe MS relapse in 2015, triggered when I took my neurologist’s recommendation to finally start an MS pharmaceutical medication. I have been putting myself back together (We just bought an HBOT chamber last month!). But it has been so wonderful to watch your journey which has mirrored my own in so many ways. I recommend your website to all of my patients.
        Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes, but even more for sharing your experience and your expertise.
        Wishing you continued healing!
        Dr. Ilana Goldberg, D.C.

        • Hi Dr. Ilana, there are certainly many comments here (over 60,000 in fact), and I read them all. Yours is very special for all of the reasons you state above regarding the similarity of our journeys! I’m very glad to hear that you bought an HBOT chamber, that is amazing. HBOT has helped me tremendously. So glad to hear from you and I really appreciate your taking the time to connect with me :-)

  3. Hi Elana,

    I think I sent you an email a while back, but this caught my attention again. There are natural ways to help MS. Here is a link for a study that discusses the benefits of increasing Nrf2. I know BG12 (tecfidera) has unwanted side effects. Protandim, is all natural and gas been quoted to be a superior product with an affordable price tag.

    Please look into this and contact me if you want additional information. Stay well, Lacy

  4. Thank you for sharing, i’m excited about the new beginnings 2016 has to offer for all of us! Missed your posts during 2015, but happy to hear you did what you needed to recuperate. Love your great attitude, you’re an inspiration!

  5. I understand how your process the ups and downs, and you express it so well in your writing. Consider writing more – it will benefit everyone so much, and perhaps be another career source in your journey. You have touched my heart, and I thank you for sharing. Blessings, health, peace and prosperity to you and your family in this new year.

  6. Dear Elana,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this blog! I discovered it in the past year or so and have been following your posts with interest and appreciation. My friend’s father has MS so when I saw your posts become infrequent, I figured it was due to your health. I too am going on a social media diet– day one is down and I hope there will be many more productive days to come.

    Happy New Year, and I look forward to hearing more from you as you heal! Best wishes!

  7. Dear Elana,
    You are so inspiring and helpful to so many people. To be able to do what you do is amazing and so uplifting! God Bless you and your loved ones and may the best year yet be 2016.

  8. I’m so glad you have used your bag of health tricks and bounced back, dear! I don’t mean to trivialize in any way, but your ability to focus and heal is always amazing and inspiring!

    Sending you love and hugs for a healthy and wonderful 2016!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your journey to healing – I too have just been side swiped with a medical issue (HCV) and I’m trying to do as much research as possible – both naturally and traditional, although I am not traditional but am finding out the only cure is the traditional route. I need to slow down and focus on the positive even though all I see is a dark hole at the end of the tunnel. I cannot wait to read more about your journey to healing – I can’t thank you enough.

  10. Dear Elana,
    This post will be helpful to many readers! I’ve worked with children recovering from transverse myeoltis and it can be brutal. I’m inspired by your strength for recovery.
    Wishing you health and happiness to you and your family in 2016!

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