I'm back from my 5 day Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis retreat in the Yarra Valley and I feel like a whole new person.
I spent 5 very busy and emotional days with 34 other people learning all about MS, current medical information, and all the diet and lifestyle choices I can make to improve my quality of life.
Here's a quick summary of what I learnt. I think most of these apply to all of us, not just the 1 in 1,000 with MS.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables. I know, we all mean to, but they are so important to our nutrition.
- Get some vitamin D. Get 10-15 minutes of all over sun or if it's cloudy take a vitamin D supplement. You will start hearing a lot about how Australians have become vitamin D deficient over the next few years.
- Eat more omega 3 in place of saturated fat in your diet. Choose fish over meat.
- Avoid highly refined vegetable oils, trans fats, and hydrogenated oils - they're not good, and they're in so many foods we buy. Read the labels.
- Eat real food rather than processed food. If the ingredient list has 20 items listed and many of them have numbers, give them a miss.
- Exercise. Swim, ride a bike, do something a little more than just walking. It's not for weight loss. It's for your health.
- Meditate or take some quiet 'me' time daily. Slow your breathing down.
- Find ways to reduce or eliminate stress in your life.
- Look after your emotional, social and spiritual side - build a support network of friends & family. Laugh often - it's good medicine!
The retreat was truly a life changing experience, and I highly recommend it to anybody with MS or there was one lady there with motor-neuron disease. If you have MS or know somebody with MS, please email me and I'll happily tell you more about it. You can get a free copy of the book Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis from The Gawler Foundation here.
Yesterday was day 1 of my recovery plan. I swam 750 metres in the pool at my gym. I made my first batch of bircher muesli. I ate sardines on toast for lunch - not nearly as disgusting as it sounds. My whole family had steamed snapper with Asian flavours and vegetables for dinner. I bought a yoghurt making kit, so I can make my own soy yoghurt. I used a meditation app to meditate for 15 minutes. Not quite the one hour of daily meditation we did at the retreat, but it's a start. Today is day 2. More changes to make.
Thanks for all your lovely comments and support from my last post. I appreciate it.