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As well as coming on here a lot, I also subscribe to the yahoo mailing list which is for people following the BBD. Theirs is a slightly different philosophy to ours, I find the differences all very frustrating. I posted the following message on their earlier:

As well as subscribing to this mailing list, I also visit the George Jelinek website quite a lot too. He has a lot of good information on the site and there is a nice, friendly community building in the forums. Not that the people on here aren't friendly too. There is a lady on there called Rebecca Hoover. She is a long time MS patient, researcher and blogger; I don't know how much of a researcher she is but she seems to know a lot more than me. She will have you believe that legumes are a superfood. She munches them by the bucketload and is still happy and healthy 20 years after diagnosis. However, it's largely anecdotal evidence and you've just heard more anecdotal evidence from Vanessa which suggests the exact opposite.

What I don't get is the Evangelism that is sometimes apparent on both sides. I think that there are people on here that think the Jelinek way is a crackpot approach and vice versa. I prefer a more moderate approach. Maybe they are both right and maybe they are both just a little bit wrong. I sometimes feel like I wanna get Embry, Jelinek, Graham et al in a room and make them argue it out until a common approach was found. All of these people have read similar research and arrived at different conclusions. Therefore I am having to read the stuff myself to see who I believe. I am also trying to juggle a full-time job, a four-month-old baby and MS to boot.

For now, I am following the Jelinek plan not because I believe one doctor over the other. Jelinek makes a convincing argument for gluten while Embry makes a convincing argument against it. I am not a scientist. I am not as intelligent as either man so I have to choose one, almost arbitrarily it seems. It doesn't mean that I don't have angst whenever I eat bread, peas or whenever I have a beer. Am I doing the right thing or am I contributing to this vile illness. Angst is not good for MS patients.

This probably sounds like a bit of a rant/moan but I am feeling extremely frustrated by all this; probably something to do with the mini relapse that I am experiencing.

Sorry to name-check you Rebecca; hope I got all my facts right. Does anyone else worry about gluten/legumes?

I think Embry and Jelinek have a lot in common. Both say low saturated fat is important, keeping the vitamin D at the high end of the normal range is important, eating lots of fruits and veggie and important, etc. It may be that both approaches work because they have so much in common. I personally reviewed as much of the research as I could locate and I just couldn't find any research to support Embry's view on legumes.His position seems based on theory rather than on epidemiological evidence or trials that show legumes are problematic. The epidemiological evidence actually suggests legumes are fine -- the Japanese and Mexicans who eat a lot of legumes, for example, have very little MS.( I personally don't eat wheat because it gives me cramps.)

It would be nice to have some real research on some on these issues. Unfortunately, no one seems to be terribly interested in funding this research. The MS societies receive a lot of drug company money in some places so have little interest in anything other than drug-oriented solutions.

Gareth, I think folks feel passionate because there is so much at stake. Those who do not share our opinions, however, do us a favor by trying out other things. We can watch and see if what they try seems to work. This is not as good as real research but it may be the closest we can get until we find a way to get the type of research we need.

Hang in there fellow!

P.S. I always have to laugh when folks call me "a lady". LOL I noticed this started happening at about the age of 50. LOL
I think they are both right and equally both wrong. Jelinek is hard on the available evidence, scant as it is and Embry dares to look at the science and go a little further into speculation and possibles based on science. Both good approaches and both approaches that work well for some people.

At one time when this was really baking my melon I put together a spreadsheet to look at the common elements:

Low sat fat
vitamin D
tons of vegetables & fruits
stress reduction / meditation
no dairy

We also did the allergy tests from two different places and the results were strikingly similar in all the big hitters: milk, gliadin/gluten, cocoa, peas, yeast. This tallied so well with the best bet approach that we found it hard to ignore. So, anything that was shown as an allergy is out.

I then factored in elements that were personal to my wife and the effect on her symptoms. We know that gluten based foods bring the symptoms out and we know that avoiding them helps her feel mostly normal.

I then tried to take the vegetable, fruit, fish, rice and some chicken breast diet that we were left with and find ways to improve it further and stumbled across the thrive diet so I was able to work in lots of really healthy pseudo grains and vegan foods like nutritional yeast flakes and create what I see as an extremely healthy diet. We also eat a lot of milled flax seed and oil.

Beyond that, we have now worked in cooking without heating oil and only use the best flax and evoo and never heated (aside from the one batch of biscuits I make a week that are baked with half a cup of evoo).

We also supplement somewhere inbetween the two approaches: fish oil, vitamin D, B complex, b12, evening primrose, enzymes and probiotics.

Then, the only other thing from the top of my head is the anti inflammatory foods. It use a lot of tumeric, ginger and garlic in all of our meals.

When I get worried, I try to think that this is so, so far beyond the swank diet that if that worked, with all the new science, better understanding of good and bad fats, vitamin d, exercise and everything else + a practically zero tolerance approach to satfat then... well, we can only hope, that we are doing the right thing.

When I look at Embry, Jelinek and even Rebecca, they are three people, with three slightly different takes on the same thing and they are three people in remission. That, and everything I have read makes me believe in a basic, core approach with modifications for the individual and that is what I try to follow for us.

Keep your chin up mate,
Marcus, Ashton Embry does not have MS, his son does.
Yep, I know, read all about Matt Embry and just about every word that Ashton has wrote + had email conversations with him re a few things. My bad though, did not make that clear in my post, was cooking dinner and typing at the same time! :)

Once again, your insights are proving very valuable to me. Yours seems a very common-sense approach and the work that you have already done will undoubtedly save me hours. I love the expression "baking my melon" that is exactly how I feel at the minute. It worries me that you have come to the conclusion of never heating your oil. I.e., I'm worried that I might reach the same conclusion and thus eliminate about half of the things that I make.

Incidentally, I have just ordered the Thrive diet book. The book reviews for that scare me a bit too, suggesting that the book might point me in the way of a raw food diet. Don't get me wrong, I love salad but the thought of not cooking my food I don't like.

Hey Gareth

I think there are some elements like sat fat, dairy, vitamin d etc that cant be ignored, make these the core of what you do, then there are some desirable ones like not cooking with any oil - that one freaked me out but have modified much of what we do now to work without oil when cooking. I just throw it in at the end.

The Thrive diet book is great but like the rest, take what you can use from it and leave the rest. It's not all raw food either, he does recommend a green salad every day but there are some great recipies in there for healthy pancakes, pizzas etc and all vegan.

Hope it helps mate

I just look at the evidence and make my own conclusions. Admittedly, I am fairly new at this, so maybe my diet will need some tweeking, but for now, I agree with what others have said - NO dairy, low saturated fat (under 15 grams/day) and then I also stay off gluten and soy. I have 9 cups of fruits and veggies/day (6 cups are green veggies like spinach, kale, chard, etc), because I believe VERY MUCH in Terry Wahl's research and experience. I have 100% faith in what I am doing and feel like that is a very, very important part of getting better. Without faith that what you are doing is going to heal your body and mind, you are really just walking backwards uphill. Whether you follow Jelinek's suggestions, Embry's, Wahls', Roger McDougall's, or a mixture of all of them, you are bound to get better.

Shawn Caroline
shawncaroline wrote: Without faith that what you are doing is going to heal your body and mind, you are really just walking backwards uphill.

Shawn Caroline

Don't forget that walking backwards and uphill is a great thing. Mick Jagger walks backward for a couple of miles several times a way to keep his hips in tip top shape. Honest!

The way I look at it is about food intolerances. for me I appear to not get on with gluten so happy to just wipe those grains out to play safe as with the BBD.
I also have a feeling I may have a leaky gut, get bloating and sensitive areas at times, so that is my personal reason for choosing to not eat lugumes. If there is moleculer (spelling!) minicry then I would rather not chance it with beans and a possible leaky gut.
With my spreadsheet and cronometre usage I know I am getting enough protien by dropping legumes so that's OK for me.
Why not add McDougal into the pot who has if you like taken on Dr Swank's area of MS. (As read in The China Study).
Really for me eating food is about seeing what happens to me afterwards to know whether I have a food intolerance. If I do I scrub it off the list. For example I can't manage fresh pineapple, pears, grapes as my legs go dead heavy shortly after eating them. I did an allergy blood test which came up with an intolerance to Soy and Dairy anyway. And a very high Candida score, hence my thoughts too on leaky gut.
I also do not like to take supplements (vit D/b12 accepted), if you eat right you do not need them. The BBD is about popping individual supplements plus it is OK to eat meat, with the reading material out there, I do not belive for anyone it is OK to eat meat let alone with MS.

I once read and it stuck with me, if it took 15 years for disease to show progression of symptoms, then it could take 15 years for you to heal. So I accept that it may all take time but to keep with the faith that I am doing all I can.
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