Friday, September 15, 2017

From MS Diagnosis To TEDx Speaker Miracle

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

When I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at the age of 24, the only people I knew personally with this dreaded disease spent their young lives bedridden. I also feared this would be my life. Within 13 years of being diagnosed I became legally disabled due to the devastation MS caused to my body, and it appeared what I knew to be true would be my path.

Needless to say, I was scared and for most of my adult life lived a fear driven existence.

The highest form of disability a human can have is bilateral loss of their hands. By the age of 48, I was unable to use my hands to maintain daily life. I could no longer drive, lift, carry, turn, rotate or use my arms or hands beyond a single act. On a good day I could dress, feed and bath myself and that would be all. I had full-time help and people living with me.

My life was becoming unmanageable and fear increasing every day.

My neck became a huge issue, and I could not turn it left to right or look up or down. I lived in traction several times a week simply to stop the horrific pain of feeling like my head was being pushed into my neck. I used to pray for traction like an addict for a drug. It was the only way I could get any relief even if only for a few hours.

I also had a rib girdle that felt like a truck was sitting on my chest making each breath a challenge. To make life even more exciting I lost the ability to feel my bladder and the left side of my body from head to toe.

My body was failing. I was alone. I was going bankrupt due to healthcare costs.

By this point I was taking 24 pills a day and injecting with an MS disease-modifying drug every other day. My out-of-pocket healthcare costs averaging $37,000 year, not counting the cost of full-time help and having others live with me.

By 2008 when the market crashed in America I was now in a very dark place. I lost my home and feared being homeless, institutionalized, and I considered taking my own life.

Needless to say my life was desperate while living in constant pain and fear for each day.

I decided my life, as I knew it, was toxic.

It was at this time I decided to give up gluten. Within a few weeks my body started to love not having gluten so much that it presented a strong message for me to look at all the foods I ate.

As luck would have it Mark’s, Daily Apple was one of the 1st places I found online to help me navigate the idea of using food as medicine. Almost every time I asked Dr. Google a question the answer was found on a blog posted on the MDA. All of which felt like a lifeline because I was navigating this transition feeling very alone. Mark’s Daily Apple was part of a very small community of like-minded thinkers who took time to share his experience, which helped to inform my journey toward miracle status.

PBL Chopping

Literally, I was fighting with my doctors about using food as medicine.

My Western medicine healthcare teams were drug pushers and nothing else. They discounted diet and lifestyle from the word go, and each appointment only reinforced that my disease process had become the most debilitating form. They wanted me to accept where I was and make plans for where I was going, which was to be bedridden.

Mark’s Daily Apple gave me hope, purpose and direction to navigate the unknown road before me using food as medicine.

Within months of giving up gluten I decided to remove all processed foods, grains, refined sugar and dairy except grass-fed butter and goat/sheep milks based cheeses. These choices were inspired by Mark’s blog, which offered not only insight into the ‘why’, but also the ‘how’ and ‘what to expect.’

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I remember my 1st labs after about 6 months of following my primal inspired way of eating and my doctor calling me very upset. I needed to go on cholesterol medication and that my numbers were high. She used this blood work to once again reinforce her lack of support food could be medicine.

I was shocked my blood work was not better since I started my conscious journey. Immediately, I chose to go to Mark’s blog to find out more about cholesterol and, as luck would have it, I found exactly what I was looking for. Western medicine does not have the same lens regarding fat and cholesterol, so educating my healthcare team was going to be an ongoing practice.

This was the 1st time I brought my doctor a blog post explaining ‘my health care lens,’ and it was from Mark’s Daily Apple.

I hope by sharing my story it inspires others to know they are not alone and deserve health and happiness. I believe in all of us to live our dreams, and I am grateful for the community of like minds like Mark’s Daily Apple that continue to support this journey. I could never do it alone and am truly grateful. Namaste.

V Capaldi
TEDx Speaker, Influencer, Miracle
Top 50 Wellness Warriors Changing Healthcare in America
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Healthy or Not: Halo Top Ice Cream

This low-cal ice cream is taking the diet world by storm. Healthy eating enthusiasts are swooning over the concept of eating an entire pint of ice cream in one serving. But does the bright glow of Halo Top deserve angel status? We are crunching the numbers and breaking down the ingredient list to get the skinny on this lighter frozen treat.

By the Numbers

In a few short years, the passion project of a California lawyer has become one of Walmart’s best sellers. Early batches of this treat came from a home kitchen, but pints of Halo Top can now be found at grocery stores throughout the country. The numbers are impressive, but the nutritional facts are what really need to be considered.

A pint of traditional vanilla ice cream contains 1000 calories, 64 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein and no fiber. A pint of Halo Top vanilla comes in at 240 calories with 8 grams of fat, 24 grams of protein and a staggering 20 grams of fiber — that’s 80 percent of the daily goal. This is where most folks will shout “hallelujah” and reach for a spoon! But before you get to the bottom of your Halo Top container, you may want to get to the bottom of what’s really in those pints.

Traditional vanilla ice cream is made from cream, milk, sugar, eggs and stabilizers like guar gum. Halo Top ingredient list starts off in a similar fashion with milk, cream and eggs; there’s also guar gum in there. What sets Halo Top apart is what’s used to displace much of the sugar and fat. This means the use of the indigestible substances including the sugar alcohol called “erythritol” and supplemental fibers. You will find some sugar added, but much of the sweet flavor comes from the artificial sweetener Stevia. Since these types of ingredients aren’t digested normally, eating large amounts of has been found to sometimes cause stomach upset. They also help bind the low-calorie ingredients together without copious amounts of fat. For this reason, the texture of low calorie ice creams are nowhere near as creamy. Many of the flavors have very small pieces of add ins like cookies and chocolate chips to keep the calories in check – understandable, yet still a bit disappointing.

Bottom Line

A few bites of a light ice cream like Halo Top may help you cut back on higher calorie treats. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, it may help while trying to shed a few pounds. But don’t get too excited about the promises of weight loss when downing pints a day, or even one pint in a sitting. This is not a healthy, balanced or recommended way to eat.

 

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.



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Got A Dress In My Back Seat!

Yesterday I got up at 5:30 to go to Afterburn. My favorite Plyo class used to be on Thursday mornings, and I miss it so much! Afterburn is totally awesome, but there was something about the simplicity of Plyo (no steps, no equipment) that was extra nice so early in the morning. Afterburn is done in the dark (with lazer lights), though, so it’s really nice to hide your morning face in the shadows! 😉

When I got home at 7:15 I had a nice jar of hot sunbutter oats! Whipped-banana style with chia seeds and peanut butter powder! My legs were tired all morning and I was so glad to have the whole day ahead to get things done.

This was my soundtrack for the day:

I am loving some of the 1D guys’ solo songs. “Slow Hands” by Niall Horan is a great song!

I spotted the Chickapig van while out running errands! I only played 3 games while at the beach, but I’m totally hooked. Thomas left our board there, so the group could continue to play. If we had brought it home with us, I bet we would have played every night!

One of those errands was picking up my wedding dress!

It’s altered and hemmed, and I can’t wait to wear it! Sealed with a kiss <3

This lunch was totally awesome! While at the beach, our family friend made the best homemade salad dressing. She used white wine vinegar instead of balsamic and lots of Dijon mustard. I copied the recipe at home, and it was great all over my arugula. It was roughly 2 parts olive oil, 1 part white vinegar, a heavy teaspoon Dijon mustard, a sprinkle of garlic powder (or the real deal if you love it), and a generous amount of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Also in my salad: 2 little sardines, slivered almonds, and goat feta!

We did a few Cook Smarts meals this week, and this fish dish with pearled couscous was SO good. It was all about the butter sauce, which was made with coriander and garlic and melted into the cod. (The recipe calls for swordfish, but I used cod instead).

And finally, because I love E.T., this Snapchat filter had me in stitches. I don’t really use Snapchat anymore, but I do think they have the best filters! Mazen loves them.

Have a great weekend!

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