Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hale To Kale

An Internet friend that suffers from MS sent me this video recently:

TEDxIowaCity - Dr. Terry Wahls - Minding Your Mitochondria

Above  is the link for this video at YouTube. 

The video is about a doctor, who stricken with multiple sclerosis, severely degraded while under the best state of the art care for MS.  She was afraid that she was about to become bed ridden, so she looked into diet changes and designed a diet for her brain.  Within 9 months she was out of her zero gravity chair and biking 18 miles.   

I have been extremely fortunate.  My multiple sclerosis was limited to two very nasty attacks back in December of 1984 and January 1985.  I have not had an attack since.  I still live with much damage from those two attacks, but otherwise have stabilized.  However, my fear at this juncture in my life is not MS, it is Alzheimers.  My mother and her brother both had severe cases.  Is there anything I can do to help protect myself from this disease?  Yeah I know crosswords, Sudoko, puzzles...perhaps.  I really don't believe that though.  Nor do I believe that simple exercise will solve it either.  Maybe there is nothing we can do.  But Dr. Wahls believes that eating more greens and what is known as a paleo diet can help us fight a variety of autoimmune diseases and neurological disorders.  Hey, so what the hell do I have to lose?  Try it.

Well I am going about this in baby steps.  I love my Kraft macaroni and cheese, hot dogs and pizza, so the question becomes can a nine year old (disguised in a 62 year old body) learn to eat like an adult caveman?  Well I can almost assure you when it comes to organ meats, nope!  Fish?  Nope!  Well how about range fed meat?  Nope!  Lady Sextant is a vegetarian--ergo by laziness--so am I.  But if I can replace the ton of breads, starches, grains, potatoes and dairy that I eat with greens and colors, it can't be a bad thing.  

So today I took my first baby step.  I bought some kale and ate it.  How was it?  Not bad.  I made a salad out of it and tried it with my various dressings.  Ranch won out.  It tastes like very mild flavored broccoli.  I really didn't know how to eat it so I Googled it.  In the process, I ran into this blog:

365 Days of Kale, How should I eat my kale, raw or cooked?

According to this blog, it is better to steam your kale.  It aids in the release of the nutrients to your digestive system.  Today I am a bachelor, Lady Sextant shall be returning this evening, so perhaps tomorrow I shall have steamed kale.  For today with my vast cooking skills, I thought I did pretty good with making a salad.  Unfortunately the damned ranch probably countered what ever good the kale provided, but let's take this in baby steps.  So far I am delighted to say that there has been no panicky runs to the bathroom and it has been several hours since I consumed my salad.  We shall see! 

Poking about YouTube I came across this series of talks regarding the paleo diet and multiple sclerosis

The Paleo Diet and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Part 1/7

There are 7 parts to this talk, the link is only for the first.  I haven't watched all 7 parts yet, but what I have seen looks very interesting in a wide variety ailments, not just MS.  

Finally Dr. Wahls has published a book:, Minding My Mitochondria 2nd Edition

The book is expensive, but if Dr Wahls' diet works for others like it did her, it could well be the best $40 that one can spend.  All I can say at this juncture is, kale certainly is not hard to eat.  I rather enjoyed my salad today.

Image Credit:



  1. I am going to have to come back and read this post when I have more time. I noticed right away a TED video and I love those! You know that dirty guy from the show I love Dirty Jobs? He has one of those TED videos and hearing him speak and seeing just how intelligent he is....Yowza!!! It made me love him even more, dirty jobs and all. So I'll be back my friend to see what this whole Kale thing is about :)

    1. Hint, you want to make your burritos with organ meats (yuck), kales, and veggies with color. No sexy dirty guys in this video. Sorry!

  2. So......Sextant is in for a dietary conversion of sorts. Good for you. I hope for your sake it works and we get to see You Tube videos of Sextant dancing about the streets of Pittsburgh, or perhaps giving instructional videos.
    You might also try a daily dose of cod liver oil.
    Hope it pans out.
    We grow kale in the garden, but can't say as I have eaten any. Not much of a greens eater unfortunately. Maybe I'll try some after you have eaten it for a month or so.

    1. Busman,

      Well don't hold your breath, it is going to have to be some damned powerful kale to fix my knees and back. I am taking this in baby steps so, let's not get excited but from the poking around I have down this diet seems to be good for a whole lot of things, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other autoimmune diseases. So we will see. You have that huge garden out there, start eating from it.

  3. I did not know you had MS... and I have no clue about Alzheimer's and diet. I know that several universities have made break through discoveries because of the Human Genome Project completion with relation to Alzheimer's but that probably doesn't help either.

    So, since I am sort of just being upset at the thought of you being seriously sick, but not just in the ways I enjoy, I'll stop this entry and come back tomorrow to see the Ted's thing. I like that site very much and have learned a lot in there.

    Damn. I mean, dang. Not really, but this is a public blog. I hope the diet works great, period. Yup. I do.

    1. Jette,

      What are you upset about, I am not seriously sick. Hell I got the great kind of MS, it teaches you a lesson and hopefully never bothers you again. My attacks were almost 30 years ago--no relapses. You would never know I had MS to meet me in the street, although I have a lot of damage left from those attacks, it falls in the category of nuisances. My back and knees (sound familiar?) are far more of a problem for me than the MS is. It is Alzheimers that I am worried about, not MS, although I am not taking a cavalier attitude for the MS either, but 27 years of no relapse has to be cause for some optimism. I have no reason to believe that I have Alzheimer's either, but I am on the threshold of the "golden years" and from what I have seen with my mother and uncle, they are not too damned golden...shit brown would better describe them. BTW this blog is Rated PG 13 so you can use what ever language that suits your fancy, although I would prefer the queen mother to appear in dashes.

      Anyhow thanks for being upset, but I don't deserver your empathy. Ain't sick. Thanks for stopping on by.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping on by and commenting.

  5. Thanks for your cheering words on my blog.

    Kale is one of my favorite vegetables. We grow it thru the winter here in Virginia. Only two things I know of that don't like it...deer and my daughter. That's another story.
    I have some great kale recipes, one favorite; tomatoes,onions, garlic, kidney beans, and pasta.

    1. Blue Ridge

      Your welcome on the cheering words, I hope they put things in perspective.

      Deer, don't like kale! That's amazing! I will be making salads with kale, but according to the one site I looked at steaming actually is actually better for releasing the nutrients. That is the wife's department. I can boil water for tea.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  6. My best friend had MS and so far has lived with it for almost 30 years with only two attacks. Hopefully you will be fortunately too. :-)

    I make it a policy never to eat processed food. If food has chemicals in it, or ingredients that my grandmother would not recognize, I don't eat it. Just pure chicken, fish, meat, fruit, vegetables -- organic if I can. Macaroni and cheese is wonderful, but the *made from scratch* is so easy, and so much better than the Kraft packaged. (Look at the ingredients on the package sometime. I think some of it may actually be food, but I'm not entirely sure. *heh*)

    Enjoy your kale! It's very good for you.

  7. I meant "fortunate", not fortunately... But you knew that. :-)

  8. Jo,

    Yeah I need to get away from processed food. The sodium alone in it is outrageous. Fortunately I knew exactly what you meant. I butcher my typing all the time and the bad thing on these comments you can't go back and edit. Thanks for stopping on by and commenting.

  9. I have heard of this diet before...I hope it helps. I am like you, trying baby steps to eating better

    1. Kim,

      I heard of a Paleo diet before, never paid much attention to it, but I have never seen such a strong argument for a diet as she has presented for MS and other autoimmune diseases. Hope it helps for you. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. I listen to a radio show in the morning on the way to work, it's The Bob and Tom Show. Tom makes shakes out of Kale and they tease him a lot about it. I've been wanting to try a recipe that mirrors a dish they serve at Olive Garden, it's called Zuppa Toscana and it's Italian sausage, potatoes and kale in a creamed soup sauce. Oh my gosh! I could swim in it and my life would be complete. Kale is so delicious cooked, it's very licoricey tasting, but I have never tried it raw. Did you enjoy it cooked? Or did you forget to have Lady Sextant cook it for you? I love that by the way...Lady Sextant, so sweet and romantic and very fitting with my recent addiction to the show Downton Abbey!

    1. Well I slipped a bit on the kale, Lady Sextant has not steamed it as of yet but your description provides new incentive.

      Actually Lady Sextant has been knighted (by a country you never heard of). She is actually her Ladyship Dame Red & Shoe G.R.E.

    2. Well I bow to her ladyship and her Red Shoes :-)

    3. Oh wait...I shoulda curtisied, sorry about the m'lord and m'lady.