Cranberry Health

Cranberry juice drinker? I’ve just read why the cranberry drink you get in the shops is worthless. Here is an interesting article on the importance of where you source your them and why it is important to get them organic:

https://foodrevolution.org/blog/food-and-health/cranberry-health-benefits-dark-side-of-cranberry-farming/

Read here to discover the environmental damage caused by cranberry farming:

The dark and sordid history behind America’s obsession with cranberries

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What Damages Intestinal Flora?

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are very damaging to the good bacteria in the gut as well as other body organs and tissues. They make benign bacteria, fungi and viruses pathogenic, they can then invade tissues and cause disease. Because of antibiotics, bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics, so when you really need them to treat serious illness, you need more powerful one, which in turn are more damaging. Antibiotics make us more susceptible to infections damaging the immune system directly. Click here for a list of harmful antibiotics and more information on what they do to the gut.

It is all well and good avoiding antibiotics. There are many other ways to treat yourself effectively (like for blisters for example). But you also need to stop eating foods which are treated with antibiotics before they get to your plate. Farm animals are routinely treated with them. The same goes for eggs and farmed fish. Fruit and vegetables are sprayed with them to stop disease from taking over. Where do you get your meat, fish and veg from? For some time now have been collecting my fruit and vegetables from an organic cooperative nearby. It had not even occurred to me however to source my fish and meat responsibly! I have started going to my local farmer’s market for fresh fish fished from the coast of Kent. Although I used to buy organic meat from the supermarket, I have never completely trusted it! So I also get my organically reared meat from a local farm which sells at the farmer’s market.

Drugs in General are very damaging to gut flora, especially when taken over long periods of time. Aspirin, Ibuprofen and other pain killers or analgesics are often taken over long time periods. They encourage the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut which can cause disease. Steroids are also destroy good bacteria as well as having immunosuppressive abilities which leave us vulnerable to infections. It is common knowledge that steroids are linked to fungal overgrowth such as Candida.

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The Pill

Contraceptive pills have a disastrous effect on flora in the gut and the vagina (as this flora comes from the gut) and they are very often taken for many years. If a woman decides to have children after having been on the pill, not only is her gut flora in an awful state, so to will be the flora she passes on to her child. This will predispose that child to learning difficulties and allergies, which I am sure you are aware are both more common now a days that the pill is a common contraceptive taken without much thought about its consequences. Bottle feeding your baby is not the answer to this. As babies are born with a sterile gut, breast-feeding is a unique opportunity for the entire gut surface to be populated with a healthy combination of bacteria, which will help protect your baby for the rest of their life. Bottle-fed babies often suffer health problems later on in life due to their abnormal gut flora. But if a baby’s mother has got abnormal gut flora, she will pass this on, as well as abnormal vaginal flora – which will be passed on during birth – so even if they are not breastfed, the mother flora (if a mother’s intestinal flora is unhealthy so will her vaginal flora be). Mothers of GAPS children suffer from symptoms of gut dysbiosis such as allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, eczema, hay fever, migraines and skin problems. If the mother of a GAPS child shows none of these symptoms, it is likely that the father has abnormal gut flora, and so suffers from the aforementioned symptoms. Usually the whole family of a GAPS patient has problems with abnormal gut flora and need to follow a gut cleansing diet to remedy it.

Disease

Infectious diseases such as cholera, dysentery, salmonella and typhoid as well as some viral infections damage the gut flora in ways that are lasting. It is very important to take a course of probiotics after such illnesses to repopulate colonies of good bacteria in the gut, especially when antibiotics are used for their treatment! Chronic illnesses like diabetes, autoimmune diseases like MS, endocrine disease, obesity and neurological conditions all involve abnormal gut flora. chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiotherapy and surgery all have after effects which alter gut flora and should be followed by a course of probiotics.

Diet

Pathological bacteria, disease-causing microbes like candida worms and parasites thrives on sugar, processed food and carbohydrates. Diets high in grain fibre is detrimental to the health of the gut, predisposing the body to Bowel Cancer, IBS (irritable Bowel Syndrome) and nutritional deficiencies.

Fasting, overeating and starvation can unbalance gut flora in a negative way, so ideally if you are fasting, you should take a probiotic to supplement the good bacteria your gut needs. It is essential to remedy poor eating habits such as over-eating, as this can lead to even more problems. When we eat more food than we need, the body cannot digest it all correctly due to a lack of bile. A good time to stop eating is when you feel three thirds full, as this is the amount of food your digestive system can handle. Eating more will lead to undigested food will lead to liver stones. The same is true of eating more regularly than every three hours, click here for more information about how poor eating habits lead to liver stones, and what to do about it.

Stress

Both short-term bouts of stress and long-term ones damage gut flora. The latter is able to permanently damage it.

Alcoholism, exposure to toxic substances and ionising radiation, extreme climates, physical exertion, old age as well as seasonal factors can all have a negative effect on gut flora. The damage our gut endures is passed on from generation to generation, worsening as it gets carried down resulting in worsening consequences. For details on what steps to take to fix a leaky gut click here.

Gut and Degenerative Diseases

I’ve been reading an extremely interesting book – Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell. Although I do not think her suggested diet to repair a leaky gut is adequate for people with MS due to its high saturated fat content (see here for more info on why saturated fats are dangerous for people with MS) the detailed explanation she provides of how intestinal disorders lead to many illnesses ranging from autism to schizophrenia and autoimmune diseases is very interesting and well worth a read for anyone who has any type of digestive issue.

We are all aware that intestinal flora is important. Dr Campbell’s book highlights the importance of the balance between beneficial flora and opportunistic flora in the gut. In a healthy person, the microbes that make up the latter are kept under tight control by the presence of beneficial flora. The beneficial bacteria are of extreme importance. They protect the gut wall from invaders, parasites, toxins and undigested food. It produces organic acid, reducing the pH of the gut; making it uncomfortable for pathogenic microbes. They are able to absorb many carcinogenic substances so that they become inactive. They also suppress hyperplastic processes in the gut which Dr Campbell explains are the basis of all cancer formation.

In healthy individuals there is a thick band of good bacteria attached to the mucosa of the gut protecting it from invaders. Without this well-functioning gut flora pathogens can reach the gut wall and even penetrate its cells. So with an unhealthy balance of good and bad bacteria, infections from vaccines or parasites are left to really damage the gut lining. Eventually the gut wall is breached by bits of undigested food which cross the blood brain barrier and cause numerous allergies. Wheat and milk proteins are particularly difficult to digest with a compromised gut because of the steps involved in their digestion. For more information about wheat and milk intolerances click here. This supports the theory that MS is brought on by milk proteins – undigested and leaking into the blood stream, some of them have been shown to mimic part of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, the part of myelin thought to start the autoimmune reaction in MS. The immune cells of people with MS have been shown to attack some of these cow milk proteins. Tests which involve injecting them into animals has caused lesions to appear in their central nervous systems.

When the beneficial bacteria are damaged, not only is the gut left defenceless against invaders, which are free to cause disease; but it also becomes malnourished. Normal gut flora provide ample nourishment for the cells lining the digestive tract. The good bacteria that live on the gut epithelium (which live on the villi on the surface of the intestines) digest the food which arrives turning it into nourishment for the gut lining. In the absence of this normal gut flora, the digestive wall is damaged through mal-nourishment as well as the presence of bad bacteria. The villi degenerate and are no longer able to digest and absorb food correctly. The unhealthy and malnourished enterocytes can no longer do their work – their surface, the brush border, produces disaccharides (enzymes which break down double sugars so that they can be absorbed). As they can no longer produce these enzymes, double sugars such as sucrose, lactose and starch products will not be absorbed, nor will starch. Instead they hang around the gut and feed pathogenic bacteria like the fungus Candida as well as other fungi, all of which grows and poisons the whole body. To fix this, we need to remove these double sugars from our diet to kill of pathogenic bacteria and give the villi the time they need to get rid of sick enterocytes and build new and healthy ones. To do this follow the Anti-Candida Diet and GFCG Diet.

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Without beneficial flora, other foods also cannot be digested at all; dietary fiber for example. Fiber is something which beneficial bacteria feed on in the gut. They use it to absorb toxins as well as a whole range of other important jobs, but when the intestinal flora is not working properly, this fiber becomes dangerous. It acts as a habitat for bad bacteria, worsening inflammation in the gut wall. So fiber is good for us, but only when we have a healthy gut. This is why the patients of gastroenterologists are put on a diet low in fibre.

All of this further impairs the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Moreover, a damaged gut is unable to digest most supplements correctly, so it is often difficult to remedy vitamin deficiencies, as the body is unable to absorb them from either food or supplements. The immune system cannot work without constant nourishment, this is impossible with abnormal gut flora.

Eventually all of this leads to MS, Autism, Schizophrenia, Dementia and much more. Dr Kazudzo Nishi, a Japanese professor estimated that 1/10 of psychiatric conditions is caused by self-intoxication originating from the bowel for example.

But let’s not dwell on what is past; what can we do to fix a leaky gut? Well, If you do not have MS or difficulty digesting fats, I would read Natasha Campbell’s book and follow the diet she suggests. If you do have MS, I suggest you click here in order to learn how to clean up the digestive system so it can heal and become a source of nourishment instead of one of toxicity.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a wonderful food which is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and known for its healing, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. It has also been shown to activate antioxidants, liver enzymes, stimulate bile flow, pancreatic enzymes, anti-bacterial and viral activity as well as the development of membranes.

Virgin cold pressed olive oil improves brain cell function and maturation.

Virgin cold pressed olive oil stored in a dark glass bottle has more omega6 than omega3 but is an excellent source of omega9 which can strengthen the immune system’s Th1 arm. Olive oil has been proven to improve brain function.

Olive oil

It is however the minor components of olive oil which are believed to be responsible for the health-giving properties which olive oil is so famous for.

It is important to remember the rules to good oils for when you choose them as well as how they are used and stored; if these are not followed, the oil will not be of the nutritional value it is so praised for:

Do not use in cooking, as heat destroys the health properties and makes the unsaturated fats harmful as with seed and nut oils. Olive oil should be cold pressed, virgin and in a dark bottle. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are very fragile and easily damaged by heat, light and oxygen. They are easily changed into dangerous trans fatty acids. That is why seeds and nuts have such hard shells. The same is true of olive oil. So it is important not to cook these oils use raw over a cooked meal, two teaspoons per meal is about right. Store in a cool, dark place.

For frying use the juice from a lemon, lime or orange – see recipes for details. Keep oils refrigerated once opened – except for olive oil. Another alternative to frying is steaming. Vegetables are especially delicious when steamed – finish by adding a tbs of a good pure oil such as olive, pumpkin seed or linseed oil.

From Genetic Disorders to Gut Dysbiosis – Introduction

Identical twins may have the same predisposition to an illness but do not necessarily both develop it – if they grow up in different environments, according to certain studies. This shows how important diet and environment are in the development of a disease, and how it is possible to avoid falling ill even if we are genetically predisposed to because of something we have inherited from our parents.

Interestingly, the diet of the mother during pregnancy has a major impact on the genetics of the baby. There are genes that are never activated, and the diet of the mother during pregnancy can affect this. This is also true of the child’s own diet once it is born and as it grows up – it is able to influence gene expression; so what we eat has the ability to change our genetics, even when we are grown adults.

By being careful about environment, it is possible to stop a child predisposed to illness from ever getting it, if we alter this child’s diet we can even improve their genetics.

In our modern-day lives more and more people are suffering from ‘new’ auto-immune diseases and learning difficulties which did not exist 100 years ago, and were not as common 50 years ago; this predisposition to disease itself is relatively new. I rememeber my dad’s puzzled face a few years ago when he said to me ” Why are you all so ill? It wasn’t like this when I was younger”. He was referring to me, my sister and my cousins; many of us with digestive disorders and of course my MS. Given the overlap between autoimmune disorder and digestive troubles such as weakness in the blood-brain barrier, it is more than likely that this newish spread of degeneration diseases and cancers are vert much related to our diet. The change in environment in the last 100 years such as a large increase in pollution and toxic chemical usage; even in our food and what we put on our skin. The modern diet and lifestyle are to blame, and these are what we need to change in order to correct the malfunction of our bodies.

This blog is mostly about how you can manage Multiple Sclerosis by making these changes.

In the next few posts I will be concentrating specifically on Gut Dysbiosis; where it comes from and how it manifests itself, how it is linked to autoimmune disease, and how to fix the problem of a leaky gut which so many of us suffer from now a days.

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After numerous showdowns with parasites and typhoid fever, and years of suffering from IBS as well as years of antibiotics for the typhoid and parasites; I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. As soon as I adopted my MS Diet most of the awful IBS symptoms I had disappeared completely. I have now been following this diet for 4 years and have my illness under control. I am still constantly bloated however, and I know this is not normal. Certain foods make this worse than others, so I decide to improve my diet further. Under this page will come a series of pages about Gut Dysbiosis and how to deal with it. This is a process I am only just starting myself, but I feel good and am sure it will enhance the results of my ongoing Liver Flushing. I hope that you will join my on my journey to heal my gut, by making the decision to do the same to yours!

Acrylamides: Avoid them like the Plague!

The Swedish National Food Administration and Stockholm University reported having found extremely neurotoxic and carcinogenic substances in some everyday starchy foods that had been baked or fried at high temperatures. Their findings were confirmed by scientists in Norway, the UK and Switzerland. The substances they had found, causing cancer, infertility and neurological diseases was called Acrylamides.

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These substances are so dangerous that for a while now there has been a maximum limit to set for how long they can be kept in the materials used for food packaging. However for a long time it was the packaging that was suspected to cause the presence of these substances, when finally the food itself was examined, it was found that there were far more of these substances than what had initially been considered safe for human consumption. What can you do to ensure you do not eat these harmful substances? Avoid food containing them like the plague!

Foods containing acrylamides: crisps, chips and other starchy snack foods, coffee

(These should be avoided anyway as part of the MS Diet)

The Dangers of Soya

Organic fermented soya in miso, natto, soy sauce and tempeh is the only type of soya that has any health benefits.

If soya is not organic and fermented, you can be sure that it has been stripped of any nutritional value it is claimed to have. Firstly, 90% of soya is genetically modified. Secondly, if it is an ingredient in your food, by the time it gets to your plate it has become soy protein isolate. To make the latter, once its fiber is removed, soybeans are washed in acid in a large aluminium tank during which it absorbs aluminium, a substance which will remain in it once it has been transformed into the finished product. After this nitrate and other chemicals are used to treat it. Nitrate is known to be involved in the development of cancer. It ends up as a powder without taste which makes it very easy to use in processed foods and obviously soya milk.

A few interesting facts about soya:

*The consumption of soya impairs the absorption of iodine, reducing thyroid function.
*Soya is full of phytates (Phytates also found in nuts, seeds and grains such as whole grain are strongly antioxidant but bind up minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc, preventing the body from absorbing them. To counteract this eat whole grains with vitamin C-rich foods and probiotics.)
*Almost all autistic children tested for allergies has been found to be allergic to soya according to tests carried out by Great Plains Laboratory.

Soya is very harmful to health. Only organic fermented forms are good for you.

The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush

I think I have found the missing link in my curing process. I am very excited about this as I’m sure you can imagine! I have been on a very healthy anti-inflammation diet for four years now. I have been exercising, resting properly and learning to deal better with stress. All of this has helped me enormously and I have been symptom free for a while. However I do keep having relapses. I recover from them quickly, due to the diet etc, but I still have them. The missing link is my liver. I have neglected it and hadn’t until now realised the importance of cleansing it.

One of the main causes of MS is a build up of toxicity in the body that eventually leads it to act the way it does in the disease. It leads to the body’s inability to absorb nutrients and so it becomes deficient – a depletion of the main b vits for example greatly affects the nervous system’s ability to function efficiently. Years of over-eating, eating late at night, eating excessive amounts of animal protein, diary and fried foods as well as an overload of stress, grudge bearing and negative thoughts are the cause of my personal case of MS. These, lack of sleep, smoking and several other unhealthy habits may be involved in yours.

Liver

Having read Andreas Moritz’s wonderful book, I have undergone a liver and gallbladder flush, and I recommend everyone read it ASAP (or ASP as my dad says..!) I now understand better the link between the IBS I used to suffer from, and the constipation which is a symptom of MS.

I will try to outline the main steps involved here, however stress the importance of reading the book itself, which is a very comprehensive guide to the reasons for and how to carry out a flush at home. It also talks about a kidney flush which it is important to do if you have any kidney problems.

Basically, the author explains that most health problems (MS, Cancer, Asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid problems, osteoporosis, obesity, Heart disease and many many more) come from the formation and accumulation of stones in the liver and gallbladder. These stones gradually prevent the liver from doing its job. The liver is SO important. It cleans the blood and regulates hormone & cholesterol in the blood as well as so many other jobs – which are very well described in this important book.

The Liver Flush

Preparation:
You will need:
– Six 32 oz containers of apple juice
– Epsom salts (or magnesium citrate)
– Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
– Fresh grapefruit (pink is best) or fresh lemon and orange combined
– 2 pint jars, one with a lid

– Drink 32 oz (1L) apple juice everyday for 6 days – slowly during the day, between meals (1/2 hour before or 2 hours after, avoid drinking it in the evening)
– Avoid food or drink which is cold or chilled
– Avoid animal protein, dairy products, spicy food and fried food
– Do not overeat
– Avoid taking medication/vitamins unless essential (to not overwork the liver during the flush)

The best time to do this is a day between full moon and new moon – new moon being the best for cleansing and healing. Avoid the full moon – we hold more fluids on this day than on others.

You must cleanse your colon before and after a flush. Ideally on the day of the actual flush and then again 2 to 3 days afterwards. This is essential to ensure minimal nausea during the flush, and to unblock the bowel before and empty it fully after the cleanse. The best way to do this is colonic irrigation, which I highly recommend. Moritz suggests you do a few colonic irrigations before any flushes. Although I ignored this and did only one before my flush, on doing the second one I realised that perhaps I should have listened to him..! I am doing another next week to clear out any remaining waste.
For other methods of colon cleansing, please read the book. You may also need a kidney cleanse first, I highly recommend reading the book to be sure of how to go about your personal flush.

water

The Flush
On day 6:
– Drink the whole 32 oz of apple juice in the morning
– Eat a light breakfast if you are hungry in the morning (hot oatmeal or fruit is good)
– At lunch steamed/cooked plain vegetables with white rice and a little unrefined salt.
Do not eat or drink anything (except water) after 1.30pm.

6pm: add 4 tbls Epsom salts to 24 oz of filtered water in a jar = 4 servings of 6 oz.
Drink the first 6 oz serving now (use a straw or close your nostrils as it tastes bad!) brush your teeth after to get rid of the taste. You must not drink water directly after taking or ½ hour before taking the Epsom salts.

8pm: drink the 2nd 6 oz serving of Epsom salts.

9.30pm: If you have not had a bowel movement and not done a colon cleanse in the last 24 hours, take a water enema.

9.45pm: Wash the fruit, hand squeeze them, removing the pulp. You need 6 oz of juice. Add 4 oz of olive oil to the juice. Close the jar and shake hard until watery.

10pm: Stand next to your bed and drink the juice solution standing up, without interruption if possible. If you still need to go to the toilet, delay this step, but no more than 10 minutes.
Lie down immediately with your head higher than your stomach –use 2 pillows. If uncomfortable, lie on your right side with knees pulled towards your head. Do not drink water for at least two hours.
Lie in silence and in the dark for at least 20 minutes, concentrating on your liver. Go to sleep if you can. If you need to, go to the toilet in the night, You will probably feel nauseous in the night, this will pass as the morning progresses.

The next morning:
6-6.30am: (not before 6am) drink the 3rd 6oz serving of salts
Rest, but try not to lie down, do yoga or meditate.

8-8.30am: Drink the last 6oz serving of salts.

10-10.30am: You can now drink freshly squeezed fruit juice. ½ hour later you can eat 1 or 2 pieces of fresh fruit. One hour later you can eat light food.

Eat light meals for the next 2-3 days. Drink plenty of water, but try to stick to the rule of ½ hour before food and 2 hours after.
Have a colonic irrigation in the next 1 to 2 days: this is very important, to flush out the stones, some of which will certainly be left in the colon.

I could not believe how well this worked for me. I had a colonic irrigation on the 6th day and was shocked by how much waste came out. Then after passing about 50 stones during the flush, my second colonic irrigation removed lots more as well as very toxic substances that surprised even the therapist! (one colonic session was not enough to clear the bowels, and I am going to have another in the next week because there is definitely more waste to clear.) I feel light and full of energy, I really feel that I have found the missing link, and plan to continue flushing my liver until there are no more stones.

According to Moritz, there is no point in doing just one cleanse – you must do one a month (no more frequent than this though!) until you pass no stones in 2 consecutive flushes. He also warns of the dangers of not having your colon properly cleansed before and after – this, and not carrying out the consecutive flushes necessary, could cause more health problems than not performing the flush at all. He states that 6-8 flushes may be necessary to get rid of the stones, and that flushes should then be performed twice a year to avoid further build up of stones.

It is also important to change your diet so that no further stones are formed, and so that your liver can have the tools it needs to help you recover from MS. Please read the diet page for further information. Recovering from MS involves changing the way you live – for more information please explore this blog, which is a comprehensive guide to managing and stabilising your MS. You may also find the bibliography useful.

Finally I apologize for any underlined links, these are not my own, but I can’t seem to remove them! If any bold links lead you to advertisement, you can find the pages I meant to link in the blog’s menu.

Omega 3 rules

I have been reading about how Omega 3 slows down inflammation and discourages the growth of tumours while omega 6 works to help with inflammation, encouraging tumours. These findings are presented clearly in Artemis Simopoulos’ book The Omega Plan, where she explains that the chemicals produced in the body from Omega 3s work in opposite ways to those produced using Omega 6s. In recent years it has been proven that although omega 6 is not as harmful as saturated fats are, it is important to make sure your EFAs are mostly omega 3 sources. This means that if like me, you have been taking Evening Primrose Oil supplements, which contains only omega 6, you need to reconsider.

A high dosage of omega-3 fatty acids is necessary to reduce inflammation: 1-3g of EPA and DHA daily (check your fish oil/omega-3 tablets for these figures before you buy them) is what is recommended in Professor Jelinek’s book. I will make modifications to the diet on this blog ASAP. According to Simopoulos omega-3 helps to protect the body from not only auto-immune diseases, but coronary heart disease as well as cancer. The Journal of the American Medical Association published information in 2007 highlighting how omega-3 helped reduce risks of type 1 diabetes by over 50% in children at risk of developing the disease.

There are good plant sources of omega 3 such as linseed and its oil. According to Jelinek’s book canola and rapeseed oil as well as walnuts and pecans and their oils are also excellent sources. Just be careful to follow the good oil rules when choosing one.

 [Linseed plants]

Omega-6 like omega-3 however does help work against the degeneration in MS. Also helpful against degeneration are monounsaturated fats which have no affect on the immune system.

Going Green 2

So, my Vitamix arrived a few days ago and the tastiest green smoothie I have so far discovered is spinach leaves with banana. It is much easier to eat a lot of green leaves if they are mixed with a fruit. Banana works well, blackcurrant not so well. It is important to note that the green tops of vegetables such as carrots and beetroot are the most valuable part! Don’t throw them away, blend them instead with other greens and fruit to make a deliciously nutritious smoothie. Even just green leaves on their own with a bit of lime is quite tasty – obviously don’t try this with bitter ones such as watercress, speaking from a very recent experience! Apple works well with every type of green leafy vegetable I have tried so far, including carrot tops which are actually quite nice.

I have also used the Vitamix to make great sauces to go with vegetables or fish using very little ingredients such as garlic, red pepper, lime and pumpkin seed oil, no cooking necessary. It is so quick and easy to experiment with the Vitamix that I am already getting quite good at knowing what goes well together. I made a Gerson carrot/apple juice yesterday and it was much nicer than I expected. I didn’t use a green apple however, because I couldn’t find any organic green ones, so it wasn’t really a Gerson juice…I’m sure it was good for me anyway. I have found that celery gives a smoothie a nice kick.  I am trying to eat only organic fruit and veg but finding it very expensive. If you are trying to do the same, look for a local organic growing scheme, the closest to me is organicalea in Waltham Forest, but there is also one in Hackney and I imagine that it is easier outside of London, wherever you are in the world, have a look on the internet for a scheme near you.

This new blender is incredible. I made some delicious peanut butter with just dry roasted peanuts! Obviously I have to be careful about how much I have due to the saturated fat content, but it was so satisfying to make my own. I will try sunflower seed butter today, which will be slightly healthier!

Detoxification for Degenerative Diseases

According to Dr Max Gerson, the causes of all degenerative diseases are toxicity and nutritional deficiency. That’s why in 1930 he created The Gerson Therapy: a natural treatment involving an organic vegetarian diet combined with raw juices; a logical detox combination. It also involves coffee enemas, which I had never heard of before, but which Dr Gerson thought was very important. This natural therapy is aimed at activating the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Patients following it were to drink fresh organic raw juices every hour up to thirteen times a day.

It is thought to work by breaking down the fruit and vegetables enough to make their nutrients vitamins and enzymes much more digestible. Victoria Boutenko highlights the importance of this in her book in terms of green plant leaves which are made of tough cellulose and which we do not chew well enough to make the most out of. In MS the body is not absorbing nutrients as well as it should and so the process of blending raw fruit and vegetables is all the more important.  I read today that vitamins in capsule forms are also difficult to absorb for those with degenerative diseases due to digestive weaknesses which are often present. So, perhaps it is worth investing in more organic vegetables, and a good Vitamix blender rather than vitamins which you may not absorb properly.

It is highly recommended to avoid non-organic fruit and vegetables, especially root vegetables which absorb toxins in the soil. Non-organic fruit and veg should never be blended because this would concentrate the chemical fertilisers and herbicides which would be very harmful, and work against your body’s curative process. Having learnt this today, I had a good think about what I eat. It is mostly organic, but with some non-organic produce too. It is going to be expensive, but I think it will be a worthwhile investment to go 100% organic, so I have decided to, from today…I’ll let you know how it goes!

One of Dr Gerson’s most famous recipes is Hippocrates Soup which strengthens and repairs the immune system; pretty useful if you have MS, don’t you think?

His therapy involves four main juices;

Green juice – must be taken straight away due to its active nature

Carrot Juice: 4-5 carrots – can be kept refrigerated for up to four hours

Apple/Carrot Juice: three small carrots and one medium green apple (apparently the combination makes a magical healing potion)

Orange (or Grapefruit) Juice – no skin, just the whole fruit

After all the reading I have done around MS, I think that fish,liver and the right oils are essential materials for the regeneration of myelin sheath, and as a result should not be removed from your diet. The rest of one’s diet however should be focused on detoxification and fixing other nutritional deficiencies.

Fiber to Cure Disease

Before I was diagnosed with MS, I suffered quite badly from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I remember being in pain for hours after eating, especially after dinner, for about a year. I didn’t understand why I was having so much trouble, as I thought I ate quite well, relatively speaking; vegetables as well as a lot of fruit. It was getting really bad. I was living in Mexico at the time and as well as the fruit and veg, eating quite a lot of meat and cheese. Cheese was something which I had never liked (I know, there are not many of us cheese haters out there!) but found a taste for when melted on pizza, in vampiros (the most delicious Mexican taco type snack), quesadillas (melted cheese in tortilla). I also ate a lot of greasy delicious Mexican food, a lot more fat basically, than my body had ever been subjected to before.

On a visit back to the UK I had an endoscopy to see if there was anything serious going on; after which I was diagnosed with IBS and told to use peppermint tea and oil to ease symptoms. I had realised that perhaps the heavy food I was eating was not so good for me, but didn’t really make a change to my diet until I was diagnosed with MS. (Saturated fats need to be reduced drastically in MS to reduce the risk of deterioration, I am also dairy intolerant and allergies are important to avoid if you have MS – see foods to avoid and other diet pages on this blog for more info.) A friend of mine had been on an alternative MS therapy which involved diet and exercise and so I immediately started his diet, took up yoga again as well as swimming, which I had not done for years!

A few months into my MS, after a yoga class my yoga teacher gave us a talk about the digestive system and how problems begun there and spread to other areas of the body. I approached her after the class to ask further questions and she told me about an amazing alternative doctor who gave medical talks and examinations for free every Wednesday evening in Guadalajara, where I was living. So, one Wednesday I went along to see if he had anything to say that could help. He gave you medical advice in front of his thirty or more followers who gathered in a room at his sister’s house once a week. First he explained that all illnesses started in the head – with the way we think. Through constant stress, self criticism, depression and so on, our bodies eventually develop problems with the digestive system. After which, more serious problems took place elsewhere in the body. In my case, the nervous system. His reasoning seemed very logical to me, and on dealing with my case directly he showed me, and his loyal followers the external signs which pointed to disease, as well as talking me through events in my past that may have triggered the problems in my head, how they then manifested themselves in my IBS and eventually MS. This doctor’s answer was “stop taking the steroids and fix the problems in your head”. This was the push I had been waiting for; already suffering from horrible Interferon side effects and having already decided to stop taking them.

As for the problem with the way we think, the thing that actually helped me make a big positive change was A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. However, I think that diet is also an extremely important part of the curing process and one you must consider in dealing with MS.

A problem that most of us have with the digestion of food is the elimination of what our body does not need: “poor bowel management lies at the root of most people’s health problems.” Dr Bernard Jensen (Green for Life – Victoria Boutenko)

Ideally we should have bowel movements at least twice a day. Who can say that they go as regularly as that? The toxins that build up in the colon come from so many sources. They build up from dust in the air, and food we have not digested properly, as well as metals and pollutants that we ingest. They also come from our dead cells: “70-100 pounds of dead cells per year, or more, should be passing out of our system. If they don’t [they] can be one of the most toxic kinds of waste because they begin to rot right away” (Green for Life – Victoria Boutenko). Boutenko explains that when your body cannot eliminate the way it is supposed to, it does so less efficiently through the skin which becomes rough and bumpy, through mucus in our eyes, throat and nose.

It is impossible to eliminate without fiber – this is missing from a lot of people’s diets. There are two types of fiber – soluble (pectin in apples, guar gums in chia seeds, oatmeal, legumes and mangos*) and insoluble (greens, peels, nuts, seeds, beans skins of grain) Soluble fiber sticks to cholesterol in the small intenstines to take it out of the body. Insoluble fiber is able to absorb much more toxin than its own volume and remove it from the body. Linseed is both soluable and insoluble fiber: I recommend adding it to you diet, especially if you have MS. It is important to ensure that you are giving your body the right amount. Victoria Boutenko has come to the conclusion that 50 to 70 grams a day or more are what we need, but that we shouldn’t suddenly increase it drastically, but gradually.

Fiber is magical, it can:

fight diabetes, high cholesterol, bowel problems, excess estrogen

prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, gallstones ulcers, stabilise blood-sugar levels

maintain the immune system, heart health, promote intestinal bacteria, help with weight loss

*The soluble fibers mentioned slow the release of sugar in food, reducing the risk of diabetes.

Going Green

I am not doing too well at the moment as I overdid it again. I tried to take on more than I should have because I was feeling energetic, and basically forgot I had MS altogether! I stopped going to bed early, didn’t sleep enough hours, skipped HBO therapy and stopped swimming and it has left me exhausted. Still, at least I know why I feel like this. My body has given me a serious wake-up call and I am already on the road to recovery.

Anyway, during one of my long rests, I read Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. It is about the importance of greens in our diet. She explains that not all green vegetables can be considered ‘greens’. Greens contain amino acids – they are proteins as well as antioxidants, and so make a pretty complete food. The human jaw is no longer able to break them down sufficiently and so she recommends blending them into a smoothie, combined with fruit for a nice taste. Not just any blender though, she swears by Vitamix because of its high speed motor. A normal blender will blend the greens down only while its blades are sharp. Because of the speed of this specific blender, the sharpness of its blades are unimportant.

So, as if by fate, the second I mentioned to my partner that I’d done a search on amazon and it was so expensive he checked ebay and found a new one for much cheaper in the last two minutes of bidding! Now this wasn’t so much an impulse buy as it sounds as good friends of mine have been raving about this blender and telling me I should get one. Victoria Boutenko’s book pushed me to do it for real. I really recommend you read her book, it is eye-opening. She tells of how she, her family and many others have cured themselves of their illnesses with a green smoothie everyday. If you are thinking about going on a raw diet, or just trying to improve your health, this book will be very helpful. I who thought my diet was perfect, am about to make it even better!

So here begins my journey with green smoothies, I am just waiting for the arrival of my Vitamix to start. I might gradually stop taking the vitamins I take in the hope that my body is going to absorb them easily through these smoothies. I will keep you updated on how I get on as I go.

Androgenesis

This talk is mainly focused on the prevention of cancer but is very relevant to MS and shows how nutrition is essential in combating disease. A list of the optimum foods mentioned are:

Soy bean, artichokes, parsley, berries, soy, garlic, red grape, brassica, oranges + lemons + citric fruit, lavender, glucosamine, green tea and turmeric

Cooked tomatoes are also said to be very good for you as they have a higher lycopene (a powerful antioxidant) content than raw ones.

Watch this eye-opening talk for yourself: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/william_li.html