I’m Learning to Love My New MS Diet
Three weeks into the Overcoming MS (OMS) diet, I’m pleased to have made the switch. The diet focuses on eating fish and seafood, and lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, it excludes dairy, and has minimal saturated fats. I’ve seen a difference already.
I’ll admit that in the beginning, it was hard. So hard. These kind of changes always are, right?
Smelling the once comforting aroma of takeout food or watching my husband eat pizza (previously my favorite food in the whole world) was almost torture. Knowing I could no longer eat those things started to affect my mental health.
I decided to start thinking differently and reprogram my mind. I knew that type of food was terrible for me. I knew I’d have to make sacrifices. I reminded myself why I chose to follow the OMS diet in the first place: to manage my multiple sclerosis.
Whenever I smelled the takeout food or had a craving for things I used to love, I caught myself thinking, “Oh my gosh, that smells amazing. I miss it so much. I’ll never be able to eat it again! This diet sucks!” It made me upset and triggered a downward spiral. I didn’t need that.
Instead, I changed my thinking. I’d say to myself :
“That is the smell of my leg not working.”
“That is the smell of the embarrassment I felt when I fell over in public. My leg was so weak that the dog pulled me down.”
“That is the smell of being numb from the neck down.”
“That is the smell of my hand being unable to draw and that career path going down the toilet.”
That way of thinking helped pull me back out of it.
I started researching OMS recipes like crazy. There had to be something I liked just as much as a greasy pizza.
I thought about my favorite foods. Instead of feeling frustrated that I couldn’t eat them, I asked myself, “How can I make a healthier version of that?”
When I asked, “How can I?” instead of thinking, “This sucks,” it changed everything.
The other night, I ate something I’d never enjoyed before: tofu! Even long before MS, when I was a vegetarian, I didn’t understand why the weird, sponge-like food that tasted of nothing was so popular. “How can people like this?” I thought. I was so wrong.
I cooked tofu with a miso and mirin glaze along with soy sauce, pak choi, spring greens, garlic, and black sesame seeds. It was amazing. I love the taste of miso, and it completely changed the tofu. I enjoyed the meal rather than letting it contribute to my “I hate this diet!” mentality.
I’ve since learned hacks for cooking the dishes I used to love while keeping them within OMS guidelines, such as switching out coconut milk for soy milk in many recipes.
I learned that by soaking cashew nuts in water for a few hours, then blending them with several basic ingredients, I can make OMS-friendly mayonnaise.
My new favorite thing is roasting nuts in the oven with a mix of honey, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper. (I ignored the sugar in the recipe.) I’ve tried it with almonds, cashews, and pecans, and pecans are my favorite.
I suddenly feel so creative in the kitchen. I love it.
Do you follow the OMS diet? Have you found any awesome hacks you love? Please share in the comments below.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.