No good pretending

Picture a wagon. Picture it going down the road. Picture me on it.

Now picture me falling off.

I don’t know why in the world I sometimes try to pretend that reality isn’t real. That eating junk doesn’t hurt my body, so it’s okay to eat those cinnamon bears. That the timing of my medication isn’t that important, so its okay to mess it up once in a while. That my body is just as fit as anyone else I know,so it’s okay to dance at the wedding with reckless abandon.

That I am not sensitive to dairy, so it’s okay to eat that cheese.

I’m pretty down on myself for that one. I have been off dairy for seven solid months, but for reasons unknown, this week I decided it was fine to eat it, just a little. Quinland looks right at me and says, “Why would you do that? You know you will regret it…” She is right. I feel terrible.

I swear this is all directly related to an entry on my To Do list – “Learn about the Best Bet Diet for MS.” It seems ridiculous to say it, but when I think I am about to be deprived of something – anything – I tend to binge, and believe me, this Best Bet Diet speaks of deprivation to me.

Here’s a little snippet on the Best Bet Diet from

There are two main components of the Best Bet Diet: 1) Avoiding potential “problem” foods, and 2) Taking vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements. Avoiding potential “problem” foods: The idea here is to avoid any foods with proteins that resemble those in myelin that are attacked by the immune system. These include:

    • Dairy: Avoid all animal milks. Also avoid all butters, cheeses, yogurt and any products that contain them.
    • Gluten: Avoid all wheat, rye and barley. Also avoid any products that contain them.
    • Legumes: Avoid all beans and peas. Also avoid peanuts. Soybeans and soy products are also no-nos.
    • Refined Sugar: This is also avoided because of general inflammatory properties, with the suggestion of using other sweeteners instead, such as honey, maple syrup and stevia.
    • Eggs: The idea here is to limit, rather than strictly cut out, eggs (unless you have an allergic reaction to them).
    • Yeast: Same idea as eggs – unless you are allergic, limited quantities are allowed.

Hoo, boy. I have nothing against supplements, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem (beyond remembering to take them). But the dietary restriction list? Let’s break that down.

I have worked hard to cut out dairy, and the only times I have slipped up (before now) have been eating things that I know contain butter, and I haven’t done that too frequently. But I eat gluten all.the.time. My diet is built around bread products. And beans? I eat them regularly, too. Sugar has been a problem of mine for years; back in college, I regularly devoured a pack of Chewy SweeTarts every day (sometimes followed up by regular SweeTarts for good measure). I go through phases of eating eggs… and yeast pretty much goes hand in hand with the gluten, so I’d say I could give up one as easily as the other.

In other words, not easily at all. Ugh.

My neurologist says that there is no magical diet for MS, but that keeping yourself as healthy as possible can only make your body stronger. I just need to focus on those healthy choices. I know that dairy upsets my stomach horribly. I know that eating tons of bread makes me bloated and puffy. I know that sugar is bad for my teeth, my blood sugar, and my mood. I need to remind myself that by not eating those things, the only thing I am depriving myself of is looking and feeling like heck.

I’d say that’s not deprivation; that’s a gift.