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“When my ten-gallon hat’s a feel...

Posted Sep 29 2008 9:10pm


“When my ten-gallon hat’s a feelin’ five-gallons flat… I hanker for a hunka cheese. When my get-up-and-go has got up and went… I hanker for a hunka, a slab, a slice, a chunka…I hanker for a hunka   cheese.” 

If you were alive in the 70’s you must remember “Time for Timer” and his television public service announcements.  Timer, when he dressed up in that adorable little cowboy outfit, was my hero! “Schoolhouse Rock” was always second-best to Timer.

I vibrantly remember weekend shopping trips with my dad to the local deli.   We would buy cheese by the brick, by the block, and then by the slice.   The fella behind the counter always left one piece out for me to taste right then.   I also remember when I was first married and my husband and I went grocery shopping together. Naturally, I asked the woman behind the deli counter to set out a slice of the cheese we were purchasing.   The hubby looked at me and said, “You’re going to eat that right now, right here?”   Well, isn’t that the way everyone shops for cheese?



When I was first diagnosed with M.S., several people told me to read about the “Swank Diet” – apparently at one time it was “groundbreaking research” about the relationship between M.S. and a healthy diet.   Of course, nowadays, there is a diet that goes along with just about any ailment.   But, as I read about the M on S ter, more and more, the term “low fat” kept arising.   My doctors had already steered me in the direction of better eating; demanding a decrease in my cholesterol intake.   So: low fat AND low cholesterol.   Yum!



Like resolutions, I can never stay on a “diet.”   I starve myself and then binge on things I missed the most.   So, instead of putting myself on a “diet”, I’ve just changed the way I eat. I use smaller plates which equates to smaller portions.   I eat both fruit and vegetables every, single day.   And, I started this new-eating approach by eliminating my best friend, my comfort food, my true pleasure: cheese.   I’ve never been addicted to anything, other than food, and I think I’m suffering serious withdrawals. On New Year’s Eve, a fellow party-goer brought along a wonderful tray and plopped it down right in front me.   Yes, it was filled with cheese! I pushed it aside (after stealing two, little pieces).   I looked at that cheese plate all night; like a woman looks at her beloved. I dream about cheese. I smell it everywhere while at the grocery store.   Ok, I’m salivating while writing this!



I tried some of the fat-free versions, but they don’t even melt.   I have found a “reduced” fat cheese by Borden’s and I’m using it for my “I can’t take another dinner without a little cheese” moments.   My family has turned into the Cheese-Police; my husband examining bags of groceries, but still lists “cheese” on his list of shopping items.   He’s an Atkins -junkie (eggs, meat, and cheese), so living in our house is a person’s worst grocery shopping nightmare.   Neither of us can or wants to eat the same thing as the other.



I have found some good reading related to MS and diets though. It’s called the MS Recovery Diet and it sounds very promising:

“MS is a whole body disease, involving most bodily systems in either the disease process or in the body’s attempt to fight the disease, even though it manifests in the nervous system. Following that same thinking, MS appears to be the result of a series of failures in many body systems, among them: a failure of the blood brain barrier, the failure of the immune system to recognize self cells, a degenerative process of axonal destruction of unknown etiology, and an activation of the immune system on a regular basis. In the model used in the MS Recovery Diet, the failure of the digestive system leads to the creation of food sensitivities.“The human body is miraculous and doesn’t give in to MS without a fight. For example, there is evidence that when there is axonal or other nerve destruction, the cortex reorganizes, calling up other areas and cells to do the work of damaged areas. It is a balance of tissue destruction, tissue repair and cortical reorganization. The MS Recovery Diet has found that by working with the body, eliminating what causes harm and giving it the necessary tools to repair, MS can be stopped and reversed, and full health restored.”

Somehow, even at just a first-glance, it doesn’t seem that this diet will be encouraging me to devour cheese and other fatty foods by the box-load (especially since number one on the diet authors’ path to healing is to Suspect and investigate dairy, gluten containing grains, legumes, eggs and yeast as possible allergens and eliminate them from your die” ). I think there is a giant, cheese conspiracy going on!

Well, I needed a diet-motivator and it appears this new eating plan may also help the hubby and I be on more of the same track. (Item number four suggests: Eat fish, skinless breast of chicken or turkey, wild game or other low fat animal meat, and nuts for protein, fruits and vegetables for carbohydrates and micronutrients).  

Agreeable grocery shopping: Yet another one of the many surprising “benefits” of having M.S.!  


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