February 27th, 2009 marked the beginning of a new me. Marie 2.0! That day I was officially diagnosed with relapse-remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

Over several years prior to that fateful day I had experienced symptoms ranging from spells of numbness in my legs, to drop foot, loss of fine motor skills in my right hand….the list goes on and on. Now that someone was actually pinning a name on this seemingly random constellation of symptoms I was floored. Pissed that I hadn’t taken better care of myself all those years abusing my body, drinking, smoking and having felt that clichéd invincibility all my life.

Years of living fast, eating on the run and neglecting my needs for sleep, rest, nourishment and self-care did the trick and my body finally said – enough!

Lucky for me, my dear cousin J, a neurologist in Europe, took many hours to explain the intricacies of this dis-ease as far as modern medicine understands it. I listened intently, fear starting to creep up into my chest.

My local neurologist, though Harvard educated and lead researcher for one of the country’s top MS Research Centers, left me in worse mental shape than I had been when I was first diagnosed. I had come to her armed with a million questions about the available medication, lifestyle changes, dietary considerations and non-pharmaceutical research studies.She explained that only her recommended protocol of immuno-modulating therapies were proven to be effective in pushing the attacks a little further down the road (33% reduction in relapses over 2 years compared to placebo in exchange for a collection of unsavory and life changing side effects), and not to waste my money on unproven diets, supplements and theories. Although I was discouraged and more afraid than anything, I was not convinced by her pitch and decided to hold off on her recommendation to start the popular MS Drug REBIF immediately.

Instead I spent the next few weeks and months reading, researching and settling into my new reality. I read books on the subject of MS, health and healing and researched the “recommended” treatment options, diets, supplements, as well as skimmed over clinical trials to try and familiarize myself with my new guest. After flying across the country to visit the great and inspirational naturopath, nutritionist and healer (as well as MS warrior) Ann Boroch , we decided to start by radically changing my diet, flooding it with fresh, organic vegetables, grass fed, farm raised lean meat and fish and eliminate all things processed, gluten, dairy, night shades, legumes, yeast and sugar (including fruit and alcohol). I also started to get serious about practicing Yoga and positive thinking/meditation regularly.  Adding the right cocktail of supplements to the mix contributed to the perfect storm – I started to feel better!

It did take significant adjustment to get all of these life style changes to stick considering I had not spent much time cooking or watching what I ate in the 5 years prior.

Fortunately I inherited a great sense of discipline from my father, slipping into my new lifestyle with relative ease. Kale, copious amounts of fresh veggies of all colors, sardines and homemade almond milk quickly became staples and I was and am delighted and deeply moved that my better half embraced this new regiment with as much enthusiasm if not more than I did.

The results have been nothing short of stunning. I felt (and still feel) better than ever before. I reclaimed my health and best of all overcame the crippling fear that accompanies the life changing sentence of chronic illness. I’m happy to report that any physical symptoms I felt at the time of my diagnosis have vanished without a trace.

The intermittent tingle in my neck and knees has disappeared I can run 3+ miles without limping and I am confident that all the measures I have taken in the past four years are to thank for that.

Want to learn more about how I can help you control your symptoms and reclaim your health?

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***DISCLAIMER: This particular path has been very helpful for me, but in NO way am I suggesting that what is written here should replace the care of a healthcare professional in any way. Please consult with your doctor before you start on any treatment plan.***

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