Garden Therapy

For me and my multiple sclerosis a diet change is how my gardening life started. I have always considered gardening a luxury that if I had the time and money to waste I might have the opportunity to experiment with. I found out one day at my second visit to my new naturopath that I was not only deficient in just about every nutrient my body needs but that it was likely because I’m allergic to so many different kinds of food. Up until this point I prided myself on maintaining a healthy diet, lots of whole grains, vegetables, fish and that sort of thing. Up until this point I’d been very close to following the SWANK diet which is known as a very strict but for many people effective diet to calm multiple sclerosis. I learned I am allergic to dairy, almost all grains (including oats and rice!), eggs, nuts, and beans. After learning this my mind was further twisted when I learned I really had to increase my sodium and cholesterol levels because I was deficient in sodium and had not enough cholesterol to heal the myelin being damaged when I had MS flare-ups.

So how to eat?? At the time I didn’t have much money, and I’d recently had and was nursing my new baby and so I was hungry a lot, I was a part of the WIC program which was a joke because all I was eating from there was completely against my diet, as it consists of milk, cheese, beans, and cereal for the most part. Our house was under construction and we were living in my apartment when I realized that even though we weren’t living there I could use the yard to grow some vegetables in!

Over the last 9 months I have had 2 of my worst MS flares ever. I have struggled with anxiety, depression, and coming to terms with the fact that parts of my body may or may not be working the next day. When an early spring sprung here in Seattle where I live I was elated and went out into the garden and planted some seeds, this is a few weeks ago and the joy felt when each little sprout comes up (especially the peas and amaranth!) is almost overwhelming. (continued)

About Kristin

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