New lifestyle – Part1
Michael and I have embarked on a new, healthier lifestyle.
The thing is, I need to look after my health, what with having MS and everything. Even though it is being very nicely managed by the medication (Gilenya) I am on, I can still do my best to remain otherwise healthy, right?
Prior to landing on the Gilenya trials in 2007, the only way I was managing my MS was by regular cortisone (prednisone) IV drips that made me feel very ill, and were not helping at all to delay the progression of my disease.But I used to at least watch what I ate, and try to follow a healthy diet.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve become somewhat complacent and have been eating a lot of things I shouldn’t be.
Thankfully, this hasn’t affected my health, and the MS in particular has been very quiet. In july, I will be celebrating 3 years of no relapses!!!
But I have been feeling uneasy lately, especially over the amount of sugar that I eat. Sometimes, after eating a lot of very sugary foods, like chocolate (which I was totally over-consuming) I’d hit a sleepy-pocket and feel tired like I wanted to go and lie down. This just can’t be a good sign).
But what has been even more worrying, is that Michael has been having some bizarre symptoms of his own, including dizziness/ vertigo, weird deja-vu type attacks, which leave him feeling disorientated, heartburn, blurred vision (and deterioration is his close-vision, necessitating reading glasses…
This past weekend, we went to visit my parents. My dad has bought himself a little blood-pressure measuring machine, and he is testing all our blood-pressures. Mine is low, as always, which is a neurological thing that I am used to. Michael’s, on the other hand, is on the high side.
He has a lot of stress at work sometimes, and I think, with his BP already being on the high side, when he has periods of stress it peaks, causing him the strange symptoms he has been having.
This has really made me sit up and take notice! As ‘home executive’ (I can never say that title with a straight face, even though it is such a true summing up of running a home) it is my responsibility to make sure that we are eating well.
I generally do cook us healthy meals, but we tend to eat a lot of rubbish in between. Lots of chocolate! pastries and cakes, and stodgy pies. We are also much too fond of getting take-outs which are pretty much without exception, oversalted and greasy.
We discussed all this, and Michael is 100% on board with the lifestyle changes, too. We are going to do it gradually, no 180 degree turns that will be difficult to sustain.
Firstly, we are cutting out the take-aways, cold turkey! Once or twice a month, we will go to a good quality restaurant as a treat, but no more Macdonalds, KFC, Machachos etc.
We are also cutting out the pies, chocolate and cakes/ pastries.
And Michael is cutting out carbonated soft drinks. (I don’t drink them, so it’s not a problem for me).
So far, it’s been two days. We’re not making too big a deal out of it. It’s just the way things are now.
We have both noticed an improvement in the way we feel, however. We haven’t had headaches or heartburn, which was becoming the norm, especially for Michael.
I’ve also started us on a vitamin regime:
A good Essential Fatty Acids supplement. Apparently Omega 3 oils in particular are important for cardiovascular health. We aren’t fish-lovers so don’t eat too much fish, which necessitates the need for supplementation of fish oils.
Vitamin C, also good for heart health.
Calcium/ Magnesium and Potassium (the potassium in particular is very good for high blood-pressure.
A good multi vit/ mineral.
Zinc & selenium
I am also going to start cooking with more garlic, as it is excellent for the blood 🙂 And boosting the immune system.
Little by little, we are going to fine-tune our diet to get rid of all these niggly little syptoms and irritations which were becoming the norm!