Hello! How are you all? I thought it’s about time I give you an update on how I’m getting on with the OMS program. It’s been eight weeks since I committed again to do the program. I realised to give myself the best chance of staying as well as can be in the long term, I simply need to follow it.
The Overcoming MS Program in Summary
If you know all about it, feel free to skip this part. For those who are new or interested in following themselves, here is a quick summary and info on where you can get the book and support online.
OMS is an “evidence-based 7 step recovery program” and these are the 7 steps:
- Eat well
- Get enough sun and Vitamin D
- Exercise regularly
- Meditate and use the mind-body connection
- Take medication if needed
- Prevent family members from getting MS
- Change your life, for life
The book that accompanies the program gives tons of reference and research and some really good insight as to why this way of living is great for anyone with or without autoimmune disease. We all know that we can prevent heart disease or diabetes by leading a healthy lifestyle. Professor Jelinek MD explains why many autoimmune diseases could be avoided in the very same way.
The program, unlike many others out there, is completely free. Overcoming MS is a charity and you can request your free 400-page book on the website. There is also an online forum, a new podcast, a very supportive Facebook Group and local OMS circles springing up all over the place.
I highly recommend joining a local circle if you have one nearby. It’s a great way of sharing tips and tricks about cooking or baking, and personal experiences with exercise and meditation. It is also super inspiring to meet fellow MS patients with a really positive outlook.
How I’m getting on
As mentioned before, I have started to cut out meat at the beginning of April. You will still find me salivating over something I used to love; German sausages, ribs, chorizo, roast dinners, the list goes on. BUT. I have found it much easier than I expected, and I feel quite settled in now.
I have also changed my mindset a little thanks to the support from the Facebook Group where someone suggested to change the way I view the diet. Instead of not being allowed to eat something, I am choosing not to eat it because it makes me unwell. That simple little tweak is huge and has really helped whenever I’ve been tempted.
I have also decided that I will still have a roast dinner at Christmas or some Milka chocolate for a super special treat. It somewhat alleviates the pressure of “never again”.
I have started to reduce my dairy consumption but not completely. It’s what I’m finding the hardest. I’m not a massive cheese eater so I’m ok there. But I do love toast in the morning, and I will miss my butter. The hardest part about giving up dairy is eating out. We love grabbing a bite to eat in a good pub and although things are definitely improving, pubs are probably the hardest places to find vegan or seafood meals without cheese or cream or being deep-fried!
Also grabbing a quick snack from the supermarket has become nearly impossible. Everything vegetarian has either got cheese or mayonnaise in. It’s a case of becoming better prepared and not needing to rely on shops for lunch!
Exercise and meditation
I’m just gonna get it out of the way: my exercise is almost non-existent. I have done the odd bit of walking and got as far as signing up for a special MS Exercise program that will help me target specific problem areas like my annoying foot drop.
There are a ton of excuses, mostly being exhausted from a busy day where I just can’t muster the energy to do one more thing, let alone exercise! I think the solution to this is to find two or three days a week and make a time slot that is non-negotiable, maybe turn it into me-time as part of self-care?
As long as it’s a normal school/work day, I have been meditating regularly. The best time for me is after the morning school run and before I go to work. I find it the perfect reset to help me continue my day with more energy. I must find more time to do it at weekends. Perhaps I will use the light early mornings when the house is still quiet, and I don’t get interrupted.
How do I feel?
People have asked me how I’m feeling, whether I’m noticing any difference. I can’t say that I am. It’s early days and I think I will see a real change once I get the dairy out of my system. I do feel really positive about the program though and I have started to lose a little bit of weight, definitely another incentive!
My husband and Noodle have also really enjoyed our new meals. Noodle is quite happy not eating animals and I really think this is something he will embrace even more seriously when he gets older. It certainly helps that he’s not a fussy eater and loves fish.
Tomorrow I’m attending an OMS cooking workshop which is run by our local OMS Ambassador and Circle Organiser Karen Lee. After finding out about having several food intolerances but being a real foodie, she started a website full of healthy and plant-based recipes The Sensitive Foodie Kitchen where you can also buy her new cookbook! 😉
Until next time! x
I will be updating my Instagram on my progress on a more regular basis and will share as many recipes as I can there too, so if you’re interested, be sure to follow!