About Me

Moonwatcher

My name is Maria Theresa Maggi and I’ve been eating a low fat vegan diet since February 2008 when I found Susan’s wonderful FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog. Before that, for most of my adult life I have pretty much been lacto-ovo vegetarian, though I occasionally ate fish. I was born with mild Cerebral Palsy and in 1996 I was also diagnosed with MS. I also have the complication of Fibromyalgia. Eating this way has stopped the progression of the MS and softened all my symptoms. Over time,  the disease process seems to be slowly reversing itself. I have regained the ability to bounce back. My symptoms have become milder and I am able to do more and more, like walk a mile a day and write this blog. My grown son Mike and his lovely girlfriend Kelly were my first enthusiastic supporters, and they join me in this way of eating. They are not shy, so you may see and hear a lot about them on my blog. I live in Moscow, Idaho, with my amazing service dog, Romeo.

Email me at moonwatcher AT fatfreevegan DOT com.

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{ 118 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shellie October 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Hi moonwatcher! I was SO happy to see that you live in Moscow!!! I live in Boise, and although my plant based diet has been a struggle here (NO cafes), I am totally supportive of all of people that are from Idaho (my kindred sisters/brother) that are in the same place as me! You are very much an inspiration since I have a heart condition I think it is imperative that we all ‘stick together’. You are an awesome & beautiful person.

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2 moonwatcher October 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Hi Shellie! Welcome! It is great to meet another plant-based Idahoan. :) We are a relatively small but mighty contingent of our beautiful state, and yes, we need to stick together. :) Thank you for your kind words.

Maria

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3 Laura October 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Hello there!
I am so happy to meet you through your blog and look greedily forward to more posts! :)
May I ask a ms question? Do you take injections?
My reason for asking is that I was diagnosed almost 2 years ago and have been taking Copaxone since. I have been mostly vegan for 20 years but recently began eating fish again at my doctor’s suggestion. I am hoping your blog will help me go back to strict veganism. I am coming out of the stage of newly diagnosed where I felt like I had to do everything my doctor said. I am now looking more to just do what feels right for me.
I am curious if you are living by vegan diet alone or are also taking medications. I hope I am not being too intrusive. Thanks so much for your blog. It will surely help us all. :)

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4 moonwatcher October 28, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Hello back, Laura, and welcome! No, I have never chosen to injections or any other meds for MS. I have always used lifestyle changes and alternative therapies. In the beginning I ate fish, as I was also encouraged to do, but that became a problem for me so I stopped. All the things I’ve done have helped, but this way of eating very low fat, gluten free, and now soy free has made the most profound difference for me. Each person’s situation is unique.

Maria

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5 Kathleen September 7, 2013 at 12:50 am

Maria and Laura, I wanted to just mention when I first became ill, about 10 years ago, the first diagnosis was MS, I have not been on injections. and then systemic scleroderma, a few other autoimmune diseases RA, etc. and then the diabetes and hypertension and kidney disease stage 3. My new vegan doctor has told me she doesn’t believe I have MS or many of the autoimmune diseases. She is very firm that I will be cured and off of my insulin and blood pressure meds (only 2 now versus 6) in 6 weeks. I love her. She has worked with many of the specialists I have seen and is not afraid to express her opinions of their protocols, drugs over diet. She actually runs classes on veganism for other physicians. She is not radical but staunch and her patients and their success stories bear this out.

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6 Audrey Yzaguirre May 8, 2014 at 5:14 am

Kathleen – Where did you find this amazing doctor? Although my doctor is very supportive of the vegan diet, she never suggested it for me before I found Dr. McDougall.

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7 umm Elias October 29, 2012 at 5:03 am

Hi Moonwatcher
Nice to meet you I am in NC and I have Fibromyalgia, Severe Depression Anxiety and A wicked case of OA the cause of both knees being replaced. Carpal Tunnel in both hands. I am a 3rd year Vegan the smell of meat cooking makes me nauseous. I look forward to your blog how do you join in the fun ?
love from NC Umm Elias

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8 moonwatcher October 29, 2012 at 8:57 am

Hi umm Ellas, and welcome. If you look to the right of the post near the top, there is a column that says Subscribe. You can click on the e-mail option and be notified when I put a new post up. Thanks!

Maria

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9 Kathleen September 7, 2013 at 12:45 am

ummm Elias….Hello. I had to comment on your smell of meat making you nauseous. I have been on the vegan regiment, fairly strictly, since mid June and I find the same thing. My taste has changed dramatically. Especially where sweets are concerned although I ate few sweets for several years on a low car diabetic diet. Now though, anything sweet, unless fresh fruit in my morning smoothies, just does not taste at all good and I do not miss the meat. The one day I had some chicken strips I felt truly ill the next day.

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10 Nicole October 29, 2012 at 5:51 am

Hello,
I am glad to find this blog, I am also a fancier of the FatFree Vegan Kitchen and similar sites. I started my journey in the plant-based diet few years ago and was able to live an almost normal life with Lupus (SLE) few years ago I was diagnosed with SLE and in bad shape. The doctor was telling me that chances where I would end up in a wheel chair. You must know that I am a doglady so I spent lots of time outside with the doggies and I take care of them on an natural way, that means I make all their food by myself. The idea of giving up my dogs made me fight to be able to live for my dogs. Now I can say, I made it. My doctor is very happy with my results and does agree with my way of eating/living. I now am at the strickt minimum of medications and I lost some 40 kgs. I am soo happy !!!
Nicole

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11 moonwatcher October 29, 2012 at 8:59 am

hi nicole, and welcome! Your story is very inspiring–I am so happy for you. It really does work, doesn’t it? And I am a dog person too. There’s no better creatures to live for. :) Thanks for joining me.

Maria

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12 Kathleen September 7, 2013 at 12:56 am

Ni Nicole and, Maria, thank you for this blog as well…so good to have fellow or lady vegans to share with. Nicole, my first diagnosis of MS and scleroderma was frightening because I had a big Lab and loved to hike with him and I was concerned about caring for him. He has since passed on but now that my health is improving I am considering getting another furry partner to hike with. Animals are such wonderful healers. I was wheelchair bound for 4 months and did not like it. Most of my early on physicians point blant told me I would not get better and even though I inquired about diet they all put me on a low carb regimen for diabets…so all of these years I could have been on a vegan plan if they knew anything about nutrition…truly makes me angry that so few address diet when the evidence is clearly there in The China Study etc…my kidney function has improved to almost normal and am hopeful that the other issues will as well…

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13 Joann October 29, 2012 at 7:30 am

Hi, Maria….I’ve been following Susan for years, and I welcome the opportunity to follow your blog as well! I too am a moonwatcher, and also a fellow vegan….I became vegetarian on January 1, 2000, and have made the progression to vegan two years ago. I love this lifestyle, and feel a special fellowship with all others who eat a plant-based diet. I wish you well on your journey, and look forward to reading your blog!

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14 moonwatcher October 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

Thank you very much, Joann and welcome! I really appreciate that feeling of fellowship as well. I am glad you are here to share it.

Maria

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15 PamJ October 29, 2012 at 7:49 am

I also have MS, dx 2006 at 46 yo. I started with following the Swank Diet and have transformed into more a plant-based, whole foods, non-red meat type diet. I have gone from using a walker in 2006 to now – 130 lbs lighter and just finished running my second 10K of the year yesterday!!!!! Yes, I do take the tradition MS drugs (Avonex), ect… But the nutrition and exercise has changed my life!!!!! It is TRULY amazing!!!!!!

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16 moonwatcher October 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

Wow, Pam, welcome! That’s wonderful to hear. You are an inspiration as well. This way of eating truly IS an amazing tool. Thank you for sharing your fabulous triumph.

Maria

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17 Darcy M Donahue October 29, 2012 at 11:42 am

I am very new to the idea of going vegan. I have MS since 1982 it has taken my legs from me…..but I am a fighter. I won’t let it win…I need help on what to buy for food. I know nothing about becoming a vegan. Could you please help me out? Many thanks, Darcy. :-)

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18 moonwatcher October 29, 2012 at 11:48 am

Welcome, Darcy. You are doing the best thing you can do by learning to eat this way. If you follow along, and look at Susan’s recipes, you will form a very good idea of what to buy for food. The Engine 2 blog also has a lot of good help with getting started in this way of eatingStick to whole fruits,vegetables, grains and legumes and avoid processed stuff and added oils. You’ll get the hang of it, and find what works best for you. You can do it!

Maria

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19 Tami Djernes October 30, 2012 at 10:05 am

Hi Maria,
My husband, Mike, and I are from Nampa, Idaho and we adopted a whole, plant-based diet in July, 2010 after reading The China Study. Our oldest son lives in Moscow (a senior at U of I). I am glad to see that you are doing well without the need for MS medications. Mike is a neurologist, and since he learned about whole, plant-based eating and the Swank diet, he has been recommending it to his MS patients (most are whom take the standard MS pharmaceutical treatments). We are interested to find out the results from the OHSU study comparing MS patients on the standard therapies and MS patients following the McDougall diet. I worked as a Coronary ICU nurse while Mike was in medical school and residency, so I am thrilled to know that heart disease can be reversed with a whole, plant-based diet. Since we’ve adopted this way of eating, both of us have seen our lipid panels dramatically improve with no need for statin drugs. Mike no longer needs meds for hypertension. We both dropped from BMI’s of 25 to BMI’s of 20. The surprising thing about this change in diet is that it’s been easier than most people think. The difficult part is convincing others to consider it. I asked our daughter, Kate, to read The China Study, and give me her professional opinion (she is pursuing a Phd in chemistry). After several months of pestering her to read this book, she finally did–and it turned her completely vegan. Our college boys still eat the animal and processed foods they grew up loving (except when they come home for visits). Most of Mike’s patients are more inclined to watch a youtube video or DVD then read a detailed book about nutritional research, so he recommends the Forks over Knives DVD or video clips by various plant-based physicians. What online information do you recommend to people with MS who are not easily convinced to change their way of eating? It is as difficult for some people to decide to give up animal foods and processed foods as it is to decide to quit smoking. If diet immersion programs such as McDougall’s and Esselstyn’s were paid for by insurance, I think more people would take advantage of them. Thanks for sharing your experiences and best wishes!

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20 moonwatcher October 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Welcome, Tami, and thank you SO MUCH for sharing all this with me. I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn there is a neurologist in Idaho that recommends this way of eating to his patients and walks the talk himself! I used to teach writing at the U of I and live right down the block from it. My son’s girlfriend’s family is from Nampa. What a small world. You and your husband are leading the way as health care professionals by setting such a wonderful example and spreading the word. I have no doubt anyone reading this comment with MS will feel less alone in their choice to eat this way knowing there’s at least one specialist out there who gets it and lives it. I feel honored to have you follow along.

Maria

PS: I do believe Dr. DeanOrnish’s program for reversing heart disease, which is quite similar to the Swank, McDougall and Esselstyn approaches, has been approved by Blue Cross of Caliornia. He has also done some ground breaking research showing how this way of eating can reverse early stage prostate cancer.

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21 Emily November 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Maria,
Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story and inspire others — I look forward to reading more about your journey! I became a vegan after starting on JuicePlus+ — just didn’t want to eat meat and dairy anymore; and after reading Campbell’s book The China Study, I was more convinced it was the right choice. It’s amazing what a change in diet can do, isn’t it? I lost 80 lbs, my vision improved, my skin is clear now, and I have a lot more energy! So glad your son and his girlfriend have joined you! That’s a true blessing! I wish you all the best and will keep you in my prayers!
-Emily

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22 moonwatcher November 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Welcome, Emily! It made very happy to read of your own transformation after choosing to eat vegan. Thank you for reading and for your kind words about my life and writing.

Maria

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23 Sharron November 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

You are a wonderful lady and an inspiration to us all. I thoroughly enjoy your blog.

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24 moonwatcher November 12, 2012 at 10:57 am

Thanks Sharron!

Maria

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25 Tori November 15, 2012 at 6:31 am

Isn’t it funny how you can identify with complete strangers? I’ve never followed a blog, but yours spoke to me. I’m a mother of an adorable 5 year old and just turned 30. Soon after my son was born my lovely autoimmune disorders started joining our family! Ulcerative Colitis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Arthritis, and the crazy list goes on. Recently my Neurologist said I have a highly suggestive case of MS but negative MRI’s. If you don’t mind me asking, did you experience anything similar in your diagnosis journey? Not being an idle person, or family, my parents came across The Starch Solution by Dr. McDougall and I’ve been doing my best to follow it for a month now. I already see a vast improvement and this blog gives me encouragement to keep going!!! Thank you!

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26 moonwatcher November 15, 2012 at 8:34 am

Welcome, Tori, I am honored to be the first blog you follow! And yes, the internet brings so many of us together, and then we’re not strangers anymore. As I was reading your story, I was nodding my head in understanding and sympathy. I think many women especially have a similar diagnosis journey. In my early 20s, before MRIs, I had a cat scan that was inconclusive. The plaques showen were thought then to be caused by the mild CP. I’ll never know if that’s true or not. And then I also had many more autoimmune symptoms after my son was born, but in those days I didn’t even know to call it that or go looking for what it might be. Then later on in my 30s when it was affecting me so much I had to try to find out, same nothing. The doctor said virus and suggested depression, which I was mistreated for. And on and on. It is absolutely marvelous that you have such great parents who would find you The Starch Solution. I am SO glad to hear you are already seeing improvements. Stay with it! And I hope reading along with me continues to give you encouragement and hope. You can do it! Perhaps you’ll be sharing your own little victories and epiphanies with others some day. Thank you for your lovely comment.

xo

Maria

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27 Kathleen September 7, 2013 at 1:01 am

Tori…Dr. McDougall started me on this journey as well, I was so frustrated with all the doctors who gave me no hope. In a few short months on the vegan plan I made more progress with pain and energy than I did in ten years on drugs, not to mention the money I have saved. I am now of the Eat To Live plan with fewer high fiber starches just because of my diabetes, but new doctor, my only doctor, a lovely woman and a dedicaed advocate of veganism, has promised me better health and eventually I will add more starches. I am very satisfied with the greens I now eat and experiment with and love all of the information online of foods to tempt your palate.

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28 Momma G November 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Hello “Moomwatcher” and all. I am a bit “technologically challenged” but I will try to send an entry. As I read my daughter’s message to you and your reply, I was moved to send a thought from my point of view. To all of you struggling with MS and other autoimmune issues, you cannot possibly know how much you move those of us, your family and friends. Your strength and determination are amazing! You inspire us! I was so happy to find Dr. McDougall’s website, and the info about The Starch Solution. When Tori told me her dr suspected MS, I absolutely refused to just stand by and watch. I wouldn’t give up on her that fast! I would FIGHT like any Mom would, for my sweet beautiful girl! So began the sleepless nights and searching, searching on the Internet in the wee hours of the morning. I was eventually lead to Dr. McD’s sight and was so excited when I saw the video with Dr. Swank on MS. It made so much sense! By then, my sweet girl had woken up one morning numb on the right side and was using a cane. This is a sight no parent should have to see when they look at their daughter, still in her 20′s!!!!! I ordered the book for my husband and I and one for Tori and we were off on another adventure in health. When we saw Tori this past week, we couldn’t believe the difference. We thanked God for her newfound strength. Her Dad and I have gone on the program too; her Dad, in a move of solidarity and myself, to help with my colitis and weight issues. So, we’ll continue to keep you “posted” on our progress. Our warmest thoughts and encouragement to all of you. Momma G

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29 moonwatcher November 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Dear Momma G,

I am thrilled to read your beautiful comment. Thank you so much! You are doing the best thing you can do for your daughter by finding her this way of eating AND joining her in it yourself! Congratulations on being such an amazing and supportive Mom! It sounds like you are all lucky to have each other on this journey. I am so happy to hear how well things are going for you, and glad writing about my own experience provides additional encouragement and support. Do keep me posted!

blessings,

Maria

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30 Kathleen September 7, 2013 at 1:06 am

Oh, Momma G, family support is so very important on this journey to health. My daughter has been so supportive of all of the things I have tried over a decade, but finding Dr. McD has been a blessing and other vegan advocates, they gave me so many answers I had questions to of my other physicians who advocated drugs or diet. My daughter has joined me in this new vegan lifestyle. And she has lost about 40 pounds, she is an over the road truck driver so very hard to get fresh greens on the road, but she has made the effort. I don’t make her stress over eating meat, etc, especially cheese, but I do notice that she has cut back a lot and is ever so much aware. She also loved to cook when she is home so always researching new recipes for me. I hope your daughter continues on this road to health.

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31 Christine Weston November 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Dear Maria,
Your story made me cry with hope. My husband has MS. We have done a lot of vegan things, but we are not as strict as you are. We need to go all the way. I live near you, near Portland. I would love to email you. I am sooooo happy for your recovery!!!! May it continue. Thanking God I found you,
Christine

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32 moonwatcher November 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Dear Christine,

Bless your heart for sharing in my happiness at such a deep level. The most important thing you and your husband can do is to eat a vegan diet as low in saturated fat as possible. As Tory and her mother have done, I would suggest reading The Starch Solution. Dr. McDougall does say in that book that if you have serious health issues, it’s best to avoid or keep to a bare minimum higher fat vegan foods like avocado, nuts, tempeh, and tofu. And of course no oil. I follow Dr. Esselstyn’s suggestion to have a tablespoon of ground flax a day for my omega 3s, but generally my use of nuts and avocado is scant and occasional. I would highly recommend his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease as well, since the principles in it also apply to MS as well as heart disease. I am still trying to assimilate all the new technical things involved in writing this blog and responding to people, and one of those works in progress is mastering how to use my fat free vegan e-mail. Until or if the time comes I’m able to start communicating from there some of the time, please feel free to comment and ask me questions and I will respond this way. Though each person with MS is different, if he is able and willing to commit to it, I believe this way of eating is by far the most effective thing your husband can do to slow, stop or even reverse the progression of the MS. At least that has been certainly been true in my experience. I hope this helps and I am honored to have another northwest “neighbor” joining me here. Thank you so much for following along, and for expressing your hope.

blessings,

Maria

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33 Christine Weston November 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Thanks, Maria,

I will do that! I am getting The Starch Solution ASAP and adding it to all the great Eat to Live advice I have been following. I love the McDougalls’ simplicity. That is actually easier for me to manage than the complex recipes from Dr. Fuhrman. I love Susan’s site so much. The dressing I made last year at Thanksgiving was fab and my family demands it again. It’s great that it’s the healthy option and tastes so good. Thanks for the nudges in the right directions. I am so encouraged. This will be the best Thanksgiving yet. <3

all the best,

Christine

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34 moonwatcher November 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm

You’re welcome, Christine. I, too, love the McDougall simplicity. He also has a free talk on his web site called something like “Diet and Multiple Sclerosis.” The study he is conducting on diet and MS shows “encouraging” preliminary results. It will be great when the results can be made public. And that’s so great your family loves the dressing you made last year and wants it again! Here’s to the best Thanksgiving yet!

all the best back to you,

Maria

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35 Kathleen September 7, 2013 at 1:10 am

Christine, I have read The Starch Solution 3 times and shared it with my sister and daughter. Any books that promote Veganism I devour. I just got Eat to Live. I tend to stay away from complicated recipes and keep it simple but I would like a good dressing for my romaine lettuce…Maria, I am going to try the mashed potato recipe your son made soon, maybe today. I live in upstate New York but from the UP of Michigan and these cooler days inspire me to cook.

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36 Janice November 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

I read about your post on Susan’s Facebook page. I then looked at your about me section. My son suffers from dystonia. Sometimes dopa-responsive dystonia (DRD) is misdiagnosed as CP. DRD can have many different manifestations and is probably very under-diagnosed. High protein diets seem counteract dopamine action and so going on a vegan diet might help the symptoms, to some degree. Have you ever been tested for it or tried dopamine (Sinemet) as a treatment?

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37 moonwatcher November 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Welcome, Janice! Thank you for reading and for your informational comment. I was diagnosed with CP as a child, and I believe that diagnosis is correct. I wore a brace back then as well, to stretch my tight heel cord while it was still growing. I took a quick look at the condition you mention, dystonia, and my symptoms do not really fall in line with the description I read. Whatever the diagnosis I am given, I prefer to treat myself without medications unless they are absolutely necessary. I am quite stubborn about this! But it seems to work for me. I appreciate the information though, and wish you and your son the best. Let us know if a vegan diet helps him with his symptoms.

Maria

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38 Kate November 17, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Hi Maria,
It’s so nice to see a blogger who’s roughly my age(72). You look younger than that, but you know what I mean. I began my plant-based diet about 5 years ago, after being diagnosed with a blocked artery. I’ve lost 30 pounds since then, and feel terrific, with plenty of energy. My husband also eats this diet and has amazed the drs. with his incredibly good bloodwork numbers. One thing I like about this way of eating is that it requires a whole new way of food prep. It’s fun to be getting much more creative with my cooking! Best wishes.
Crone (Kate)

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39 moonwatcher November 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Hi Kate,

Yes, I do know what you mean! Thank you! (Even though I am 56, I always hope my silver hair helps qualify me for at least “journeyman” crone status.) Congratulations on turning your own health around and losing weight, too, and feeling terrific. And also to your husband for amazing the doctors! I agree how much fun it is getting creative cooking this way. I’ve always loved to cook, but I love it even more now!

Best wishes back to you,

Maria

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40 Mooinca November 25, 2012 at 8:54 am

Hello,
I recently found your website via fatfreevegan and I usually do not like to read anything on people’s websites except their recipes however somehow your stories appealed to me and when I read this passage ” horrible fluctuation of body temperature resulting in pulsing feverish heat I would nearly pass out from, and then chills like the flu.” I knew that I was drawn to your site for a reason because this is what my body does at times and I’m flummoxed. Tell me, what was the reason your body did this…
Thank you and health be with you.

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41 moonwatcher November 25, 2012 at 9:27 am

Hi Mooinca,

Thank you for joining me here and for your question. I am happy to know my stories appeal to you. Although my doctor did not require me to go through any specific formal diagnostic process to answer why I had such severe body temperature fluctuations, since those of us with MS often have significant problems regulating body temperature, i.e. cooling off when hot, for example, it was assumed by the doctor, the alternative healthy care practitioner and myself that they were a function of that neurological difficulty regulating body temperature intersecting with peri-menopausal symptoms. Eliminating oil, soy and eating very low fat and unprocessed has dramatically reduced the severity of these incidents. I sometimes have very mild hot flashes which are tolerable and last only a few minutes at most, but the other frequent and severe phenomenon is now thankfully a thing of the past. Everyone is unique, though, and so are the possible causes. It’s a good idea to run what happens to you by your health are practitioner to see what he or she might suggest.

Maria

ps: Wanted to add I am sorry you have to go through this. I hope your own adjustments in diet bring some relief.

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42 Kathy December 22, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Hi Maria, does fat free mean no nuts and no seeds?

Thanks,
kathy

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43 moonwatcher December 22, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Hi Kathy,

I do use a very small amount of nuts and seeds in my diet. For instance I use a tablespoon of ground flax a day, usually a teaspoon at a time, as a condiment/supplement on my cereal, salads, etc. But I do not cook with oil or use it as an ingredient. I have addressed this in many comments and also in the post “Reading My Way to Straight Up Food.” Once in a while there is a small amount of nuts or nut butter in something I eat, but not all the time. They are never a main ingredient, just more of an accent. I hope that answers your question.

Maria

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44 Chuck January 6, 2013 at 8:42 am

Maria, I’ve been reading your posts in Susan’s blog. I have a daughter with MS and I’ve shown her information about a plant-based diet. But she’s not ready to go there whole-heartedly now… maybe later, who knows.

I really like your writing style and the gentle, kind way you express yourself, Maria. I’ve just subscribed to your posts and I look forward to hearing more of what you have to say. Keep up the good work!

Chuck in Bellevue, WA (raised near Spokane so not that far from knowing about your country)

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45 moonwatcher January 6, 2013 at 8:46 am

Thank you, Chuck, for your kind words about my writing, and for subscribing to the blog. So great to have a “neighbor” along who knows about my country! Thank you, too, for telling me about your daughter with MS. I will hold a good thought for her.

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46 Chuck January 6, 2013 at 9:29 am

A P.S. to my previous post, Maria.

I forgot to mention that I’ve been eating a strict plants-only, oil-free diet for the last three years, after having been vegetarian for 18 years before that. Hearing about and reading The China Study showed me there was this better way.

For me, the result of this diet was a drop in cholesterol from 208 to 128 in a matter of months, and being able to get off all blood pressure meds I’d been on for years. I just turned 78 years old, by the way. So I think I can help prove that age is not a factor in seeing incredible results from a plant-based diet.

Thanks again for your incredible, encouraging blog.

~ Chuck

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47 moonwatcher January 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

Thanks for sharing a bit of your own journey, here, Chuck. I’m sure it will inspire anyone who reads it. The China Study is an amazing book. Reading it was so profound an experience for me I had to keep putting it down and just letting what I was reading sink in all the way. It definitely helped cinch the deal for me as well.

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48 Kathleen July 25, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Two people have recently mentioned the China Study so I think I must pick it up. I started with Dr. McDougalls protocol about 2 months ago and am seeing some positive results, especially with the RA but am hopeful for other improvements. I have read it 3 times at least to pick up anypoints I may have missed but basically am on track with it. Thank you all for your comments, it is always go good to hear others triumphs on their road to wellness.

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49 moonwatcher July 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Hi Kathleen, Thank you for these comments and for coming to read my blog. I am so happy to hear of your improvements since you began eating according to Dr. McDougall’s protocol–that is just great news! I highly recommend The China Study and when you’re done with that one, his new book, Whole. I have a post about part of my process in reading that one. I am very glad to have you join me here, and hope you will continue to see significant improvements in your own health. Stay with it–he slow motion miracle just keeps getting better and better!

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50 salma February 10, 2013 at 6:13 pm

great to hear about your story.. you should also look for “macrobiotic” and get to know it.. nothing worked like macrobiotic for me. it sees plants and food as energy. it is all about listening to the body ..

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51 moonwatcher February 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Hi Salma, thanks! Yes, I am familiar with the macrobiotic approach and have incorporated that style into my own approach to good effect. And listening to the body is deeply helpful

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52 Holly February 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I was just wondering where Elk Creek Falls was located. It looks like an area in NC where we live not too far from. We are on the TN side and the falls we went to is just on the other side of the mountain.

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53 moonwatcher February 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Hi Holly, thanks for reading! Elk Creek Falls is in northern Idaho. Sounds like we both live in beautiful country!

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54 Rainshadow February 15, 2013 at 6:27 am

I accidentally bumped into your great website – and I’m very glad I did. I was diagnosed with MS in 2006 and immediately started to examine my diet. I’d been ovo-lacto vegetarian for most of my life, but the MS was the thing that eventually made me go the whole way. I also adopted a gluten free diet. I live in England (which is about 20 years in the past) and people have said to me, “Why cut out gluten? You’re already vegan – how will you get your protein?” That old chestnut! I was worried recently, however, to find out my B12 blood level was low – so now I get injections. I’m also on Copaxone – but it’s my diet that has stopped the relapses. People say I look really well these days; I use a stick, but one day I’ll throw it away.

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55 moonwatcher February 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

Hi Rainshadow–what a happy accident indeed that you found me here! Thank you for reading, and for sharing some of your own process with diet and MS, which makes me also very happy to know. Sounds like you know what’s what. I wrote about my walking stick and my dog in the post Interdependence Days which you might appreciate, if you haven’t already seen it. I am so glad people say you are looking well; here’s to the continued slow motion miracle a healthy vegan diet brings to us!

Maria

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56 moonwatcher February 15, 2013 at 9:04 am

Hi Rainshadow!! What a happy accident indeed! Thank you for reading, and sharing some of your own process with diet and MS here. I have a post about my walking stick and my dog called Interdependence Days, which you might appreciate, if you haven’t already seen it. I am so glad to hear people say you look really well these days. Here’s to the continued slow motion miracle a healthy vegan diet can bring!

Maria

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57 wanita February 22, 2013 at 5:59 am

Hi,
Love your recipes so much.
I was diagnosed with MS in 2000, but had my first exacerbation in 1993. I eat organic-vegetarian, not quiet vegan yet.
I’m curious to know if you use any disease modifying drugs for your MS? I used Copaxone for 10 years, and just recently stopped.
You certainly are an inspiration to many people :-) Thank-you so much.

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58 moonwatcher February 22, 2013 at 7:37 am

Hi Wanita! Thanks for reading my blog, and for sharing some of your own journey with MS here. I have never taken any disease modifying drugs, for MS, or anything else. Glad to have you along!

Maria

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59 Susan March 28, 2013 at 7:52 am

Enjoyed finding your blog today–very inspiring! My son has mild C.P., and we lived with his wonderful service dog for eleven years, until she passed away from old age.

Have been on my own journey to whole plant food eating. I have found a lot of recipes on http://www.happyherbivore.com. Blessings to you!

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60 moonwatcher March 28, 2013 at 8:44 am

Welcome, Susan! Thanks so much for your lovely comment–I enjoyed hearing about your son and his service dog. How lucky we are when they grace our lives. Blessings back to you on your journey to whole plant food eating, and to your son, too!!

Maria

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61 Kathleen September 7, 2013 at 1:17 am

Hi Susan, I am sorry you lost your dog, I did as well,and I miss him so very much. Now that I am no longer wheelchair bound and on my way to better health through Dr. Dr. McDougall’s and Dr. Fuhrman’s protocol and a wonderful new doctor who advociates diet over drugs I am hopeful to get another dog eventually. I subscribe to many of the vegan sites and get them in my FB mail and they are all an inspiration and keep me motivated.

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62 Aislin April 16, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Hi! Discovered you via a great link from Fat Free Vegan, and I’m so glad I did. I’m looking forward to catching up on all your delightful-looking posts.

I don’t have MS, but I have systemic lupus (SLE), which is also an autoimmune issue, and a lot of other serious health problems, including a childhood cancer history and late effects, type 2 diabetes, etc.. Thank you for inspiring me. My husband and I have been inching in a more low-fat, plant-based direction due to health issues, and so far we’re seeing lots of benefits.

Just want to say I really appreciate your wonderful blog and look forward to enjoying your posts and the inspiration within! Best wishes for health and happiness to you, fellow traveller. :)

Cheers,
“Aislin”

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63 moonwatcher April 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Thanks for this lovely comment, Aislin, and for sharing some of your own experience. I am so glad you will be joining me here. Best wishes for health and happiness to you, too, fellow traveller!

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64 randchinkle June 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Hello Maria – I am enjoying your website and reading your Archives. I am 80 and my husband is 85, and we are Vegans too.
Please let us know when you master your email, and I will mail you a bit about my husband’s history of MS and Parkinson’s Disease.
Keep on writing, and have a bit of fun every day.
Corrine

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65 moonwatcher June 22, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Dear Corrine,

Thank you so much for your lovely comments, and for sharing about you and your husband. How wonderful to meet vegan elders. As you may have noticed in the sub-heading to the blog, I am gluten free. It does help me quite a bit. I used to make my own bread back in the day, too, but now I feel better if I do not have much of any bread, even gluten free. And yes, I make sure to have a bit of fun every day. That’s excellent advice. I had a great time at the Farmer’s Market this morning, and now my dog and I are off for another walk and will visit a friend. And you can bet I will keep on writing! Thanks for reading my blog entries.

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66 randchinkle June 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Oh Maria – I forgot to ask whether you have eliminated wheat from your diet. And what are you doing for bread, etc.
I look forward to hearing how you are handling this, if you are. I just read in Dr Fuhrman’s “Immunity Solution” that that is recommended for auto-immune eating. I make our own bread, and R especially loves rye bread, but I have no recipes for rye or any other bread that do not use wheat flour.
Corrine

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67 Shirley July 8, 2013 at 3:46 am

Hi Maria! Really delighted to find your blog. I was diagnosed with MS eleven years ago, but only began a vegan plus fish diet since starting to worsen and reading Professor Jelinek’s book (which recommends this), subsequently attending one of his wonderful retreats for more inspiration.
I am so pleased to hear that you are managing to beat the MS :). It is so inspiring to hear of stories like yours!
Looking forward to hearing more from you :)

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68 moonwatcher July 8, 2013 at 7:37 am

Welcome, Shirley! So glad you found my blog. :) Thanks for sharing some of your own experience with MS here. I have read Dr. Jelinek’s first book and found it very helpful indeed.It is lovely you could attend one of his retreats. Over the entire time I’ve had MS, I did concentrate on eating mostly fish as my “animal protein,” but I had trouble with fish, and felt better when I stopped eating it. Plant-based is the best way for me personally to go. We’re all on the same healing continuum, though, and it’s marvelous to connect with you. I’m very happy to have you reading along. :)

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69 Kathleen July 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Hi Maria…so happy to find your blog. I recently, about two months ago began a vegan high fiber and starch diet, via Dr. McDougall. I am hopeful for positive changes in my health. I have scleroderma, MS, RA and diabetes, high blood pressure and a few other autoimmune disease..had been on multiple drugs for a decade and increasing amounts of insulin and getting sicker and sicker…lost my balance, energy and finally in February lost the use of my legs due to RA and ended up in a wheelchair…just unacceptable to me and the several doctors I saw and dumped thousands of dollars into never once helped me with my eating regimen…on insulin I had gained 100 pounds and just seemed unable to lose any of it even though I had been following their instructions and ate a low carb diet of 20 grams per day…when the RA flared and I was not able to stand much less walk I began a search online and found Dr. McDougalls protocol and a life line. Since beginning the program about 2 months ago I can now walk unaided, not any great distance but it is a step forward and I have also found an internist within driving distance who is also vegan and I am encouraged and will see her the end of August. Hearing from persons such as yourself is also helpful and I will peruse your blog some more and am sure will find much useless information…thank you so very much.

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70 moonwatcher July 27, 2013 at 11:16 am

Hi Kathleen, Thank you for these comments and for coming to read my blog. I am so happy to hear of your improvements since you began eating according to Dr. McDougall’s protocol–that is just great news! I highly recommend The China Study and when you’re done with that one, his new book, Whole. I have a post about part of my process in reading that one. I am very glad to have you join me here, and hope you will continue to see significant improvements in your own health. Stay with it–he slow motion miracle just keeps getting better and better!

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71 Kathleen September 7, 2013 at 12:41 am

I have also started the Eato to Liveprogram with my internist who is also a vegan and follows this program with her patients, although Dr. McDougall initially started me on this new lifestyle. Dr. Fort, my internist thought the Eat to Live program might help with my diabetesmoreand we will try it for six weeks. Primarily just cutting back on the high fiber starches for awhile. I will give it si weeks. Just a few changes, lots more greens and few potatoes…but still a lot of food on both programs. I am devouring the book Eat to Live and have read some of the China Study, how the medical community can ignore this evidence is beyond me. I will follow your blog and love to read the others post about their success. Keeps me very movitivate. I am now almost pain free in my feet and walking short distances unaided, a major improvement.

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72 moonwatcher September 8, 2013 at 8:47 am

Hi Kathleen!! So glad you are seeing these wonderful improvements!! Your joy and excitement to be feeling better is palpable–thanks for sharing it with us. :)

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73 Kimber August 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Hello,

I came by your blog today for the first time. I’m researching the Eat to Live lifestyle and wound up here through following links. I’ve enjoyed looking around your little corner of the blog world and bookmarked your home page so I can make my way back. I’m helping my husband to recover after heart stent surgery for major blockages. He was eating “right” by all the standards set by the American Heart Association and in fact BETTER and yet it failed to stop the progression of his heart disease. Well if something isn’t working and a wake up call like this comes along, then you do SOMETHING or perhaps everything :) differently. Looks like you have some great ideas and recipes. I’ll be visiting again, soon.

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74 moonwatcher August 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Welcome, Kimber!! Thank you so much for reading my blog and taking the time to leave this lovely comment. Thanks, too, for sharing some of what is motivating your research into this way of eating. As you probably already have discovered, former President Clinton switched to a low fat plant-based way of eating after his own stents failed. He now speaks publicly about how much it’s helped him–and he looks terrific! It is wonderful your husband has a partner like you to go on this journey with him. All the best to both of you! I hope you will return and let us know how things are going.

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75 Katrina August 16, 2013 at 3:07 am

Hi Maria
I found your site through the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen site which I also recently found. I have had ME/Fibromyalgia on and off for over 30 years and am desperate to be well again. I recently (end of June) became vegan, found that didn’t do anything for me at all and then realised that I needed to stop with all the processed stuff. I have lost a stone in weight and although I actually went swimming yesterday for the first time in years – and better still, I am not paying for it today – I know the fibro hasn’t gone because it took me most of last week to recover from having my two little grandchildren round for a few days. I know that I am lactose intolerant (which is irrelevant now) but am beginning to suspect gluten as I always feel very bloated after eating bread. I am a huge believer that what we put into our bodies has a strong influence on our health so I was thrilled to read your personal story – it gives me hope that my efforts to nurture my body will be rewarded with better health.

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76 moonwatcher August 16, 2013 at 8:03 am

Hi Katrina, and welcome! Thanks for sharing some of your experience here. I am totally in agreement with you about staying away from processed stuff in order to see real improvements with fibro. And you might want to find out if you are wheat or gluten intolerant or celiac. You are definitely on the right track–keep it up!! Glad my personal story gives you hope. It gives me hope too! It’s so wonderful to see serious, even life-long problems resolve in the direction of healing and disappearing, and to feel more comfortable in my body. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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77 sandy September 6, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Thank you fro sharing your story. How long did it take for you to start feeling better? I am really happy for you and I am hoping that I can just get better health in general from eating better.

Sandy

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78 moonwatcher September 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Hi Sandy. Thank you for your nice comment. I started to feel better almost immediately, within two weeks. I felt a force of healing gathering within me that has sustained itself slowly and steadily through many ups and downs as long as I stick with it, go at my own pace, and get lots of rest. I hope you will see better health from eating better too!

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79 Jacquelyne Feile September 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Hey, I have an aggressive case of RRMS, and i was shown this blog and I find it amazing that you were able to do what you did just through diet. I’m currently on Tysabri, but im not allowed to get much more infusions due to the JC virus and they want me to go on Tecfidera next, but i don’t like nor trust these chemicals, they just make me feel worse mostly.

I was just wondering if you could help me make this transition and maybe give me some advice or guidelines really on how I can stop this all on myself like you did for yourself. You can reach me by my email (jackiefeile@yahoo.com) or facebook (jackie fellow).

Thank You <3

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80 moonwatcher September 18, 2013 at 8:00 am

Welcome, Jacquelyne! Best of luck to you in your journey to eat plant-based. For inspiration and starters, I would suggest you go on over to Dr. McDougall’s site and start by following his basic diet. He also has a free talk on diet and MS you can listen to there. In the Star McDougaller section there are two stories of women who have successfully managed their MS with diets. One of them has done that for nearly 25 years and she is a supporter of my blog. In the Journal Section of the Discussion Board on the McDougall site, you will find a few journals of people successfully improving their MS symptoms with this way of eating. Mine is there, too. I will send you the links when I get a chance, but they are really easy to find. If you just google Dr. John McDougall, you will find his site and everything is there.I would also suggest looking up Dr. George Jelinek, an Australian doctor who has MS and has treated himself and many others successfully with diet and lifestyle. He is very knowledgable about the meds, too, and has two books that are available. Also, if you go back to the beginning of this blog and read along, you will find lots of tips for what and how to start. I would suggest posts like “Reading My Way to Straight Up Food” and “How Much Is an Ounce,” for instande. Thanks so much for joining us here!! You can make the change!!

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81 Audrey Yzaguirre October 11, 2013 at 4:46 am

Loved reading about how to cook pumpkin and will definitely give it a try. Would like to join your blog as I have some friends with MS. My husband has Parkinson’s. We have been vegan for just over a year.

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82 moonwatcher October 11, 2013 at 7:55 am

Thank you, Audrey, and welcome! I am glad to have you reading along here. All best to you and your husband on this incredible healthy vegan eating journey.

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83 Lori Walling November 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm

My sister-n-law was diagnosed with MS 2 1/2 years ago. She has been treated with various drugs and now on a dangerous infusion once a month. She is pretty conscious of healthy eating. I woul love more info to get to her. I would like to see her off those drugs!!! She is 45, with a 9 & 11 year old! Thank you!

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84 moonwatcher November 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Welcome, Lori! Careful reading of my blog will give you lots of imformation about how I have approached this, with mention of many resources. If your sister-in-law is interested in this way of eating to address her MS, I would recommend 3 sites: Dr. McDougall’s site http://www.drmcdougall.com/, Dr. Jelinek’s site http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org/ and The Swank Diet page http://www.swankmsdiet.org/About%20The%20Diet. Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland is also doing a study on a McDougall style diet for addressing MS. Here is a link to an event about it they are having in January: http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/services/brain/in-community/adult-education/living-brain-wellness-ms.cfm

Hope you find this helpful.

Maria

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85 Lisa November 16, 2013 at 11:25 am

I just happened to stumble upon your site when I was looking for vegan, gluten free Thanksgiving ideas.

I also have MS and love reading about how people have improved their lives with a plant based diet. I would really like to get past the just reading part and do something full on when it comes to food. I love to cook. I’m a Top Chef wanna be.

I would also like someone to chat with about this, that and the other thing.

So glad I found your site. L.

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86 moonwatcher November 16, 2013 at 11:36 am

Hi Lisa, and welcome! Glad you found my site too. Hope you’ll read around in what I’ve written so far, and follow along and leave comments–I am able to answer them all–at least so far! There are a few others who comment regularly that also have MS, so you will find support in what they say too. Two of them have their own blogs, which you would find alongside their comments. Another nice place is the McDougall Discussion Board in the Journal section. I have a journal there (which I don’t keep up as much anymore), and there’s two other women there who have MS, eat this way, and are keeping a journal about their successes. Plus, there’s the food!! :) All best to you on your journey to a plant based diet!

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87 Lillie Swope November 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm

You have a very lovely way with words. I love how your life is woven lnto your writing. It is most enjoyable reading your words. Thank you. It is a rare way to write, really. Thank you and also for your artistic and creative way with food. You speak of your “building” a dish the way one should paint or design. Your words are delightful in that way.
Praise GOD for you and buckwheat groats! Otherwise I would have missed your words.
“Wisdom’s ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace”. Proverbs 3:17

Lillie, one who appreciates.

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88 moonwatcher November 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Welcome, Lillie, and a heartfelt thanks for you being “one who appreciates.” Made my evening. :)

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89 Danielle November 20, 2013 at 8:19 pm

In a hunt for vegan recipes for Thanksgiving, I stumbled on your site. What a neat and loving community you’ve created here. (Not to mention, your recipes look deeeeelicious.) I’ve been a natural foodie for years, striving more and more to use only fresh, natural ingredients. Over the summer, I led a water wilderness trip for the college where I am a professor and while on course we had to be completely vegan (we were gone long enough and far enough from civilization that carrying anything perishable was out of the question). Inspired by my unintentional veganism and the health benefits I noticed, I’ve slowly begun to alter already-vegetarian recipes I’ve used for years. While most of them are wildly healthier than what your average Midwesterner eats, I was still excited to take animal products out of the mix and challenge myself to find natural alternatives. I love your whole food approach – it makes me feel good to know I don’t have to alter a recipe in order to enjoy it (I try not to use processed foods of any kind, really, so soy milk, etc. is out of the mix).
I rejoice for you that this lifestyle has helped you heal and I will continue to hold you in the light (a lovely Quaker expression that I find resonates well with me).
Cheers and happy holidays to you!
Sincerely,
Danielle

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90 moonwatcher November 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Welcome, Danielle! What a lovely surprise to find your beautiful comment here after meeting you in the McDougall Food and Recipes section this afternoon (I think you may be the same Danielle anyway, and if not all delightful just the same!) Thank you for joining us here and reading my blog. I enjoyed reading about your wilderness trip and how your unintentional veganism inspired you to explore it further. Sounds like we have teaching at the college level in common as well. Thank you, too, for the lovely Quaker expression of holding me in the light. I am blessed by that. Happy Holidays back to you!

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91 Kath November 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Dear Maria,
I want to let you know you are on my gratitude list this year. I am grateful that you have shared your story, journey and recipes. My husband and I have been enjoying your Vegan Melting Drumstick as a treat. I no longer feel like I am missing ice cream…. as I can have the Melting Drumstick more often !
THANK YOU for sharing and please keep the interesting stories and recipes coming. It helps to know there are others out there eating and enjoying food like this.
Namaste,
Kath

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92 moonwatcher November 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Dear Kath, Thank you so much for letting me know all this!! You made my day. :) I am so happy to know you and your husband love the Vegan Melting Drumstick. I, too, am grateful I have such wonderful readers like you. I couldn’t write this blog without you!! A Happy Thanksgiving and namaste back to you!!

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93 Jan January 5, 2014 at 2:50 pm

I am amazed at how this way of eating has enhanced your life. I was introduced to this way of eating by my Uncle’s wife. It has helped her immensely and she looks fantastic.

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94 moonwatcher January 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Thank you Jan! So glad to hear you and your uncle’s wife have benefitted from it too!

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95 Audrey Yzaguirre January 6, 2014 at 3:39 am

So grateful for doctors who look to diet instead of handing out a bunch of pills. They are a rare breed.
My husband and I have been vegetarian for about a year and a half. And then we became vegan about six months ago when we visited Dr. John McDougall’s health retreat in Santa Rosa, California. We have both lost weight and reduced our cholesterol. My husband has multiple health issues, mainly Parkinson’s; he has 3 stents and a pace maker from a heart incident in 2911. He was diagnosed at that time with diabetes. Now he no longer has diabetes, nor acid reflux. The doctor he went back to suggested we see a nutritionist because of his history of high blood sugar. I asked if he had checked his blood levels recently. He replied that he had not, but if they were okay, there would no need to see a nutritionist.
I did see one some years ago, and she suggested basically an Atkins diet. That is when my cholesterol went up.
Thanks for your blog. It is enlightening to see so many on board. I am especially interested in the plant based diet’s affect on MS, thinking it might help Parkinson’s also.

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96 Audrey Yzaguirre January 6, 2014 at 3:40 am

I meant to say 2011 – not 2911. :)

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97 moonwatcher January 6, 2014 at 9:20 am

Thanks for both comments, Audrey–and no worries, I knew that you meant 2011!! :) I am glad to hear you and your husband are doing better on this way of eating. It’s anti-inflammatory effects seem universal to me. Best of luck to both of you, and thanks for your kind words about the blog and for following along!

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98 Laurel January 9, 2014 at 7:07 am

Hello moonwatcher! I found you through Susan’s Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog. I was diagnosed with MS at age 51 in 2008, after being misdiagnosed for over 40 years. I refused to take any MS meds, and took part in the diet study for MS patients through Oregon Health Sciences University in 2009. We had to spend 10 days at Dr. McDougall’s clinic in California and eat a plant-based diet for a year. Five years later, I am still eating a plant-based diet and not taking any MS meds. Those those of your followers who have MS and/or other autoimmune diseases, I highly recommend going to Dr. McDougall’s website and watch his free video lecture on “Diet and Multiple Sclerosis.”

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99 moonwatcher January 9, 2014 at 8:32 am

Welcome, Laurel! Thank you for your comment and for sharing your success with the diet study at OHSU and the McDougall program. I am so happy for you!! I have been a member of the McDougall discussion board since 2008 and have followed the development of that study with much gladness of heart. I also recommend Dr. McDougall’s free video lecture. Thanks for reminding people these very valuable and effective resources are out there.

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100 Carolyn Wallace January 28, 2014 at 8:40 am

I am so glad to have found all of you. I have been an on-off vegan since 2012. I also greatly dislike the smell of meat cooking. I lost 16 lbs. the first time as a vegan. After a problem toe kept me sitting with my foot up, I have gained it all back. You all are an inspiration to me as I am back on track as a vegan. This blog has and is helping me a lot. I smile each time I come to this blog. Thank you all so much.

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101 moonwatcher February 10, 2014 at 11:44 am

Hi Carolyn, and welcome back to vegan eating! I am so glad my blog makes you smile and helps inspire you. Thanks for letting me know.

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102 Bill Kranker February 10, 2014 at 11:07 am

Maria,

It is nice to run across your site through Susan’s.

Although, I really follow a much more strict diet (Low fat raw -80/10/10 from Dr Douglas Graham) I like to pass along low fat cooked vegan recipes to help people transition off all of the bad processed foods. Your progress away from disease is an inspiration and I wish you all of the best!!

I will link to your website from my mine http://www.wildsexyhealth.com.

Hope you have an excellent day!!!

Bill

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103 moonwatcher February 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

Thanks, Bill, I appreciate the kind words and the networking. I look forward to checking out your site more as well.

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104 Dena May 7, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Hi Moonwatcher! I’m in Twin Falls and just started no oil vegan eating. Hi to Shellie also..Happy to have found you both. I deal with fibromyalgia and tons on other bad health junk I fit more into the tick bite health problems. I’m enjoying this new way of eating I’ve lost 6 pounds(stomach bloat is leaving). I first found Susan at her no oil vegan website. Love her recipes. I’m looking forward to reading your site. I’ve eaten the western diet my whole life and I’m sure paying for it!! So this is all new to me. Reading and cooking from The Mc Dougall Quick & Easy cookbook and Forks over Knives Cookbook.

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105 Shelley Fleming July 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm

I just stumbled on to your blog while looking for vegan recipes but I’m so happy I read your About page! I too have mild CP and MS (diagnosed in 2011). After a couple of years of being in denial and hating my medication, I’ve decided to go vegan as a way of managing my health. I’m new to all of this but looking forward to feeling better! I’m bookmarking your blog now.

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106 moonwatcher July 2, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Welcome, Shelley! I smiled to read your comment–so glad you found my blog–it’s great to have you following along. Thanks!

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107 Oneauta August 14, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Greetings Moonwacher … I’ve been reading some of your posts and recipes for a few months and decided I should drop a line. I’m rather new to the plant-based scene having fared poorly on my first foray into this realm some years past. However conditions dictated that I take some action or face the consequences of having lived a life of mediocre or poor choices in my diet. As circumstances would have it articles and stories of President Clinton’s change of diet were surfacing (last October) and I obtained Dr. Esselstein’s and Dr. Campbell’s book he reverenced and plowed ahead. The question being too little too late.

I was wondering if I’d ever passed through Moscow, living downstream at the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge, and looking on the map realize we’ve been through your hometown a number of times.

Please forgive, I tend to ramble. I migrated to your page from Susan’s Fat Free Kitchen and have tried a number of recipes of yours and hers.

I’m still in the conversion stage from the SAD to plant-based. Since the commercial interests and the main stream medicine are working against McDougall, Esselstein, et. al. it has been bit of a struggle to get with the “program” but my wife and I are coming along. In addition we have drawn her brother into the fold and we are all showing marked improvement in our health.

Really, I wanted to thank you for being there and reaching out during this transition. The missus has gone from 150 pounds to a healthy 100 pounds (and could give up a few more gracefully); on my part I have dropped from 240 to about 175. [A little 'misstep' a few months back broke my ankle and knocked me off my downward trend which I have yet to recover, but with the support of the plant-based community I'll be back.]

As a side note: a pox on your FODMAP … I didn’t want to know that watermelon was a no-no, although I’ve strongly suspected (I can eat a half a Hermiston at a sitting and want more.) But I needed to know that and also the guides contained in that document from Stanford. Thank you for sharing and giving the link. 3:)

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108 moonwatcher August 15, 2014 at 8:11 am

Welcome Oneauta, and thank you for sharing some of you and your wife’s journey on the plant-based path! I am so happy to hear you are both doing better, and congratulations on the combined weight loss! We are all works in progress and that progress rarely comes in a straight beeline. Each step and seeming mis-step are part of the whole. :) I am glad my blog is of service to you on your way–it’s great you are enjoying the recipes here and on Susan’s blog–she is a wonderful resource. You made me laugh about the FODMAPS–I was a bit dismayed to see watermelon on that list, too, but then had to admit to myself that the cantelope and honeydew go down much easier for me. And reactions won’t be the same for all individuals or stay the same for each individual over time, as healing takes place. So there’s hope! :) Thanks for reaching out to let me know you are reading. Best to you and your family.

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109 Oneauta August 14, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Argh … please forgive, again, for misspelling your moniker Moonwatcher.

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110 moonwatcher August 15, 2014 at 8:06 am

No worries :)

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111 john grierson September 26, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Hello Maria, I’m John, I live in Samson, a suburb of Fremantle, Western Australia. I am a retired firefighter and now work as a remedial massage therapist and sports trainer. I love your site. I have been vego since Oct.89,leaning more to vegan lately. I use a Enar and a Scenar device in my work. I have had some success treating fibromyalgia with these devices, with massage and Hellerwork. Joseph Heller is a follower of the work of Ida Rolf (rolfing). He developed his own work from that. He is American, you should be able to Google him. A young man, a teacher of Hellerwork here. developed Motor Neuron disease. He told me H.work helped him a lot. As the devices work by using the nervous system, you may get significant relief from them. I hope you find this helpful. Well,gotta go, I’ve got soup to make. Best wishes, John.

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112 moonwatcher September 26, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Hello Back John–I’m glad you enjoy my site. Thank you for the information. I’m doing well enough that I’m not actively needing to seek relief at this point, but I will look into it if I need to. Sounds interesting.

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113 Wade Bilbrey September 30, 2014 at 10:48 am

Hi, Maria,

I made it home just after dark last evening. I got to see the crescent Moon as I drove up the river valley then got into some cloud cover and followed a rainstorm. It rained again then overnight, a third of an inch. I measure rain every day for CoCoRaHS along with several thousand others across the continent. I started my first fire in the woodstove this season this morning.
It was fun to meet you and to see more about you and your foods work on the internet this morning.
I put the 1910 Fire website above. It started as an effort to clarity who those were who died those three days in 1910. I didn’t progress as far as I’d hoped though the research consumed me for 18 months.
Best wishes this eve of October . . .

Wade

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114 moonwatcher September 30, 2014 at 11:49 am

Hi Wade,

Sounds like you had a beautiful elemental drive home. Thanks for the link to the 1910 fire site. I bookmarked it and will take a look. It was fun to meet you too. Happy fire in the woodstove season to you!

Maria

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115 steph Bourne October 2, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Hi Maria I live in New Zealand and also have MS and have been vegan for about three years and symptom free as well, its great isnt it! Lovely to meet you. Have you watched the doco Forks over knives its amazing showing the connection between nutrition and disease, really interesting. It also features Dr John Mcdougall whom you have probably already heard of. Anyway Maria hope to hear from you.

Steph Bourne

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116 moonwatcher October 2, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Hi Steph, Nice to meet you from across the Pacific Ocean! Yes, it IS wonderful–so glad to hear you are doing great too. And yes, I own the documentary Forks Over Knives–have watched it several times. I also have been very active in the past on the McDougall discussion board. I kept a journal there which evolved into this blog. Thanks for reaching out. :)

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117 David / Sylvia Carcich October 9, 2014 at 5:38 am

Hi, we out here have been sharing the Whole Food / Plant Based lifestyle for almost 5 years here in Canyon County. Have a meeting tonight at the Middleton Fire Dept at 6:25. It is free. The featured talk is by a 65 year old woman who was just declared cancer free late Sept. 2014. Her oncologists say that her lifestyle played a big role in her beating Stage IV Ovarian Cancer. Its a free event yet one has to register due to the FD’s space has a limit on how many can attend. htt://www.nutridensitycc.org is where you register. Maybe we will see you tonight? David

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118 moonwatcher October 9, 2014 at 8:32 am

Hi David and Sylvia–not in that area of the country, but thanks for the info. Sounds like a great meet-up! Have fun connecting with others who thrive on a plant-based lifestyle.

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