I stopped drinking milk
I switch from cow’s milk to soy.
I was never drinking glassfuls. I was really only drinking it in two coffees I have each morning and sometimes in a bowl of cereal at night.
I didn’t think it would make much difference but it has made a huge difference.
There are so many kinds of non-dairy milk available now. Almond milk, oat, pea protein. There are more types and varieties all the time.
Switching is now very easy. I think it tastes better.
Why no cow?
Cow’s milk has been linked to multiple sclerosis in many studies.
The protein butyrophilin closely resembles the oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, which covers myelin.
It’s thought to perform ‘molecular mimicry’ and initiate the autoimmune response that triggers the MS attack.
In experiments, cow’s milk has scarred the brains of rats and also mice in a separate experiment.
This one study specifically finds that:
The demonstration of molecular mimicry between MOG (myelin oligodendricite) and BTN (butyrophilin) , along with sequestration of BTN-reactive Ab in CSF suggests that exposure to this common dietary Ag may influence the composition and function of the MOG-specific autoimmune repertoire during the course of MS.
The Journal of Immunology, 2004, 172: 661–668
That’s reason enough for me to stay well away from cow’s milk. (Doesn’t it belong to baby calves anyway?)
I try not to eat fake food.
Have you ever noticed in a supermarket, you walk down aisle after aisle of edible non-food?
I’m not perfect, but I definitely avoid food that comes in packets and boxes, apart from whole grain food like rice or pasta.
Instead, my family gets a big box of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit from a local supplier delivered every Friday night.
Every Saturday morning is a bit like Christmas, seeing what we’ve got in the box.
Our mission is to eat it all without waste.
There is loads of colour in this box and eating food with loads of colour is good for the gut microbiome.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy things like cake. I have a sweet tooth, but the less sugar I eat, the less I want.
If I want something sweet, I like home-made things and usually only put in about 1 quarter of the sugar in recipes. I think that’s sweet enough.
Of course, I love chocolate as well. You would think that avoiding dairy means no more chocolate. Wrong!
Dark chocolate often has no dairy. If the wrapper has a warning that it may contain dairy, I consider it safe enough. I try not to be too obsessive or anal about these things.
Have you ever had good dates? We call them nature’s chocolate. Even the kids.
Vitamin D Tablets
I take extra vitamin D most days. That is, most days I remember.
I’ve had a number of blood tests that have showed my vitamin D levels were quite low.
I usually take about 5000 International Units (IU), which is 5 tablets of 1000 IU each and then if I forget for a while that’s okay. It stays in the system for quite a while.
Vitamin D is non-toxic and you can’t overdose.
My two daily goals are to write everyday and to walk everyday. (These days it is sometimes jog because I am able to run again.)
Exercise releases feel good chemicals that are neuroprotective. A nice hit of endorphins from exercise helps me feel more confident, happier, better organised for the day ahead. It clears the driftwood from my mind.
I tend to exercise for my mental health as much as the physical health benefits.
I get ‘high’ everyday
This one could describe 15 different things I do to get small and big highs.
I’m a pleasure seeker. These include doing any of the following:
- a walk through the bush
- time in nature
- classical music
- expressive dance routines with my 5-year-old
- delighting from the blast of a cargo engine with my train-obsessed toddler son
- family gets me high
- a good cosmology documentary
- learning about anything new and interesting that I didn’t know
- good conversation
- helping someone
- music, red wine, movies, books, relationships…
With a family and busy schedule, it doesn’t matter what I do, but I try to fit in at least two forms of getting high every day.
These things all can get me that little burst of happiness we all need.