Tag: food

OMS (Overcoming MS) Diet

Mid 2018 I decided to limit my intake of meat products. I no longer purchased meat to cook myself but would still eat it if someone else was cooking to avoid being a pain in the back side. When eating out, I’d make my food choice by first seeing if I wanted any of the veggie options. If that was a no, I’d move to the pescatarian (fish) options. If I still didn’t want it, I’d look at the meat options as an absolute late resort.

At this stage in my life I had spent most of my 20s yo-yo and fad dieting but had vowed to give up abusing my body in this way when I was diagnosed with MS. So, I totally forgave a close friend asking me “is this not just another diet in disguise?”

No. It wasn’t. Because this time I wasn’t doing it to lose weight. I wasn’t doing it for my health on a superficial level. Shit had got real.

By mid-January 2019 I hadn’t eaten any meat products since the start of the year and was finding it relatively easy. Then I completed my Reiki 2 attunement around that time and suddenly it wasn’t just a case of not eating meat for my health – ethics became important to me too. Once you’ve given up meat and don’t find it too difficult, it becomes much easier to face up to the ethics around the meat industry. We very much bury our head in the sand because the reality of how animals are treated can be too horrific to face up to.

But I digress. And perhaps I need to back-track a little. How did I know that giving up meat products was good for my “MS health?”

Upon diagnosis one of the first questions I asked was whether there was something I could do food-wise to help myself. Slow it down. Reduce day-to-day symptoms. That’s when I stumbled upon Professor George Jelinek’s book, Overcoming MS (OMS).

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OMS isn’t just a diet. It’s a sevenstep recovery programme with proven results. These steps are outlined throughout the book. Which I never made it through. Yep. I said it. Didn’t even get past page 47. In all honesty though, at the time I don’t think I was ready to make as dramatic a change in my life as my diet given the news of the enormous change that is MS.

Following the launch of my recent podcast episode, I had some lovely feedback from @healthy_living_gem on Instagram. We had a bit of a conversation about “MS stuff” and we ended up discussing diet. She explained to me how she more or less follows the OMS diet now and how it’s helped her. She also told me she follows it roughly 80% of the time. This makes me feel a whole lot better about halloumi. Not going to lie – the thought of quitting halloumi is a heavy part of my reluctance to go plant based! Also, I’m so “all or nothing” about stuff that it scares me that I’ll set myself up for failure.

But now I’m ready to face it. Essentially, from the point of view of the diet, I’m becoming a fish-eating vegan. I want to make this a slow-(ish) transition. I plan to start by switching my milk from dairy to almond right away. I’ll start trying to have just one plant and fishbased day a week until I find my feet with new recipes and finding something I can work with that doesn’t compromise on rest time. Because food prep is exhausting! I’d be thrilled if in six months’ time, I’m following Gem in a healthy 80/20 balance and eating fish and plant based at least six days of the week.

So today, I’ll start reading my OMS book again. And in coming blogs, I’ll talk about the different stages of the plan and how I’m getting on with it.

Do you follow OMS? How do you find it?

***If you have a diagnosis of MS a really kind person made a donation to allow people to get the book for free! It does depend on the country you’re in but for the UK, Ireland, NZ and Australia can get a hard copy of the book and for those in the US you can get an ebook version by clicking here.***

Freedom from Dieting 

I want to take a minute to talk not just about this picture, but what it represents. 

Depending on how long you’ve known me, or followed me on various social media sites, you know I’ve been a serial dieter. Slimming World, Joe Wicks, Calorie Counting, Macro Tracking. You name it, I’ve probably tried it (never did 5.2 though….more like 7.0 😂). I work hard in the gym (although that’s on the back burner at the mo) so by rights, surely I should be a lot slimmer than I am. Trouble is, after years of jumping from one diet to another and binging because I’ve deprived myself, my body doesn’t know if it’s Arthur or Martha anymore. It doesn’t know if I’m going to over feed it or starve it. 

Over the last year, I’ve ditched the diet. And it’s very freeing. I haven’t really respected my body though. I’ve just enjoyed eating guilt free! There’s been a shift in recent weeks though. Linked to Reiki perhaps? According to my Master, Nicola, it’s natural for people to become a bit more conscious and mindful after they’ve been attuned.

So basically, I’ve thrown away my diet rule book which has been scary at times. Especially when I’m well aware that I have put on weight. I was kind of alright with that for a while. I’m trying to switch to a meat free diet, which I’m succeeding in. However, due to a lack of imagination, I’m just replacing meat with more carbs. So I’m succeeding, but not in a healthy way. 

I do believe however, that I have finally reached the point of wanting to become more in control again. But I’m ready to approach it in a caring way. I have no desire to deprive myself, or trick myself into thinking what I’m eating is dead yummy and despite a lack of calories, an adequate replacement for the real craving. 

And we’re back at the peanut butter hot chocolate, pictured. I think I bought this during the Joe Wicks phase. The instructions say to mix with hot water. And it’s only 83 calories!!! Well that obviously means I should consume it with a big smile on my face exclaiming how I can’t believe how something so low calorie can taste so amazing. This though. This is shit. Even me, a seasoned faker, couldn’t do it with this.

So for the past three years it’s been condemned to the back of the cupboard. Today, I had a bit of a clear out of that “back of cupboard”. It was full of almost empty seed packets (chia and flax – also courtesy of the curly haired fitness freak), forgotten tins of tomatoes and those odd bits of pasta that aren’t enough for a full meal. I’m proud to admit however, there wasn’t a mugshot in sight (if you know, you know!)

Of course, the point of this story, the hot chocolate, was also found, lurking. The thing about it though, is it smells incredible, and I really struggled to fathom how it could taste so dire. Before I resorted to chucking it in the bin, which really should have happened ages ago, I was curious to try it again. But this time I did it with hot milk. Yep. You heard. I broke all the rules and made it with a WHOLE MUG of semi-skimmed milk. I see your 83 calories and raise you 200!

You can shove low calorie up your arse. This hot chocolate is a thing of beauty with hot milk. It totally transformed it 😍

What I’m trying to tell you here, is that I totally lost my way with food. I was programmed to forever find fat free, lower calorie or syn free option. I lost all enjoyment with food. It became something to reward me or punish me. I stopped experimenting in the kitchen and making fun creations – which I had previously loved. I followed rule books, and without a shadow of a doubt, the wrong one. I wasn’t unhappy, but I was obsessed. Now I’m starting to enjoy it again, and I’ve lost that guilty feeling. I’m naturally starting to just make better choices