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On a Personal Note

So now, for something personal.  I don’t usually go into a ton of detail on the overarching factors of my life.  However, today, I do want to share a bit of information.  And I hope you will take it as no more than that.

Just about 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  While I had been experiencing symptoms of this illness for several years, there was no conclusive information as to what this array of symptoms was due.

Oddly enough, receiving such a pathological diagnosis as multiple sclerosis helped me to turn inward and listen more closely to my body.  While I would not ever call this diagnosis (or any) a gift, I would call it very eye opening. Having a serious diagnosis taught me to better manage my energy.

Although I am no expert on multiple sclerosis or health, I have become an expert on myself.  And for that I am grateful.  Now, I know what works best for me.  What is it?  Among other things, sleep (lots of it), easy cardio exercise, strength training and eating well (for me that means no grains, dairy and of course, NO gluten).

I do not plan to give out advice on coping with MS, because I believe each person is a unique individual that heals quite differently. I am sharing my story in order to let people know that when you find balance from within, this illness (and perhaps others) can be dealt with on a day-to-day level that results in significant quality of life and productivity.

So, there you have it.  At this point, it takes more energy to not disclose it and so I feel that it is time to share what I am experiencing both with my online community (you) and others that I am in contact with in my life.

Yes, I do things a bit differently and perhaps oddly, due to this diagnosis.  Yet, in many ways, I am quite “normal.”  To say the least, I am very happy.

Thank you for listening and one request, please if you feel anything for me, let it be happiness and hope.  These are the two guiding principles of my life and I want to share them with all of you each and every day.

Thank you for being my readers and so many of you, my friends.


posted on June 5, 2009

112 comments leave a comment

  1. Elana,
    I think a lot of us with celiac disease have other autoimmune problems and other food intolerance but don’t want to talk about everything that is wrong with us, so we just stick to the celiac part! I feel normal and happy and hopeful 99% of the time — 1% of the time I’m a bit woeful. Thanks for sharing this personal information.
    Alison

    • Joyce

      Elana,
      Thank you for all the wonderful posts that you share. I learn so much info and have been able to pass it on to my clients. I’m grateful that you have shared your story and what is working for you as it will only serve for the higher good. I know that when I am doing something that I love, I seem to find the energy needed so, this is a lesson for all to find something you are passionate about and put your heart and soul into it.
      Much love,
      Joyce

  2. Mary

    I, too, have MS. Thank you for sharing your story. I have also found that my diet affects how I am feeling. Your website has been awesome. Thanks for all you do!

  3. Tracy

    Elana,

    I feel compassion for you with all you do and and want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You work so hard to help us all. My aunt and a dear friend of mine also have debilitating MS, so I understand how much energy at times devoting yourself like you do must take. Thank you again for all that you offer to us all.

    Tracy

  4. pdw

    I guess everybody else already knew, but I just found out this week that Montel too has MS, and has been doing some great stuff with his diet and exercise as well.

    My body has been telling me some interesting things lately, and I am concerned about other autoimmune diseases as well.

    Take care of yourself.

  5. Glad you have found your balance within to be able to achieve such personal happiness. You handle this very well. Thank you for sharing with us how you approach your life and meet the challenges head on.

  6. lk- healthy delicious @ healthy-delicious.com

    I just want to say that I absolutely love your outlook on everything. You have a beautiful spirit.

  7. Tara

    Hi Elana,

    I, too, have an autoimmune disease, but I really don’t worry about the labels of it. All I know is that when I take care of my body it responds in kind.

    Very interesting that you listed strength training on your post. While lifting weights has been part of my life for the last 12 or so years, I definitely notice a decline in my overall health when I let ‘life get in the way’ of my physical training. I think this is an oft overlooked tool in dealing with our health. Unfortunately, many people still think strength training is something only ‘bodybuilders’ do, but I am so much physically stronger, mentally clearer, and emotionally happier with it.

    All the best,
    Tara

  8. Alison

    Hi Elana-
    I’ve been an avid (and quiet) reader of your blog for a while and so much of what you say…and do has resonated with me. I also have MS and was diagnosed ~5 years ago. I’ve made some drastic changes (from the outside, anyway) and am encouraged and inspired by all that you do. I’ve been balancing the communication and ‘outing’ process myself and I’m sure you feel such relief now!

    -Alison

  9. Your grace and wisdom shine, Elana. Look:

    “…helped me to turn inward and listen more closely…”
    “…when you find balance from within, this illness (and perhaps others) can be dealt with on a day-to-day level that results in significant quality of life…”
    “…happiness and hope. These are the two guiding principles of my life…”

    Thank you for sharing these golden nuggets! Every one of us can benefit from living our lives from this centered place you have found. No matter the issues that are our companions along the way, our peaceful centers will offer us much joy. I’m so glad you’ve found yours!

  10. Elana,
    Thank you for your sweet heart and willingness to share this personal information. You have an encouraging and beautiful spirit! I believe a positive attitude is so important in managing any illness– and you, my friend, are an amazing example of that!
    I am happy to hear you know the best path for your body and absolutely agree that healing and management come when we listen within.
    You are an encouragement to so many, including myself. You have helped me learn that I need to listen to what my body says and that no health claim or eating plan can tell me how to feel.
    Thank you friend! God bless you, xoxo

  11. Alisa - Frugal Foodie @ onefrugalfoodie.com

    Thank you for sharing this story. It takes a lot to do, but it was very inspirational to read.

  12. Meagan

    Elana,

    I think you are so brave and wise! Most people live in fear and never learn what you have. No one is responsible for you but you. You will remain strong and healthy because of your choices. Thank you for sharing your story!

    Love & Light, Meagan

  13. Elana, you are a shining example of living a great life because of challenges, and not in spite of them. I could not agree more that no matter the state of one’s health, internal feedback will never steer you wrong. Thank you for sharing this with your readers – gives us all pause to celebrate our bodies and lives.

    P.S. I want to apologize for misspelling your name in so many prior posts. I have been replacing the second E with an A!

  14. Athena

    Hi Elana,

    I disappeared for a while, but I still peek in on what you’re cooking when I get the chance! I was told years ago that I had MS, but later on discovered I actually had Lyme Disease and not MS. Apparently they can have a lot of similar symptoms. For me, no carbs and a diet like your’s also makes me feel my best and gives me the best amount of energy when I need all I can get! :)

    I hope you’re taking plenty of B vitamins for those nerve sheaths!

    Best,
    A

  15. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on finding what works best for you. And on top of all that, thank you for sharing delicious recipes that are great for everyone! I’m still finding what works for me, but I know that healthy, delicious, fresh food are going to be a part of it no matter what

  16. Elana,

    I was diagnosed with celiac in 2003. At the time, I was hopeful that my new gluten-free diet would relieve the fatigue in my legs. Unfortunately, it only got worse. After hundreds of hours of online research, I found a diagnosis that was confirmed about 18 months (and 3 neurologists) later. I have a rare form of MS, known as primary progressive.

    The fatigue is probably the most difficult thing to fight. I can push aside the pain, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to go any further. And, having to cook everything without the benefit of convenience foods, I must sometimes cook the easiest dinner, not necessarily the most exciting.

    I wish you the very best in managing your disease, and sharing your shortcuts for making delicious and easy gluten-free foods.

    God bless you and your family,
    Susan K.

  17. Alchemille @ alchemille.etsy.com

    As long as you are happy & balanced in all aspects of your life, that’s all that matters!
    Don’t worry, we’re all a little bit strange…I have even been told that I have a logic of my own (maybe I’m part vulcan or something???).

    Blessings to you & your family,
    Alchemille

  18. MS is a very close and personal thing in my family. My grandmother died when my mom was 2 at the age of 23 from it (back when not much was known about it and they didn’t even know what all her symptoms were). Then in 1999 at age 33, my sister died from MS. Rare to be so young. She fought it hard from the time she was 19. She was on the path to figuring out all the “diet” secrets that work best for her when it took too much of a toll on her body and she got too sick. You are so right that everyone is different. We found out that my sister’s MS was mainly located in her brain stem, which in turn, affected everything.
    Anyway, I already “loved” you and your blog, and this personal post just makes me love you even more. What a wonderful person! Thank you for your wonderful blog!

  19. Kelly

    Thank you for sharing. Your drive and spirit are something for myself to aspire to. I can’t wait for your book to come out!

  20. Carey

    Hi there, it takes a lot of courage to share such personal info. It’s awesome that you have found a good balance. I am still on that journey. I am encouraged that I can be in that same place too someday. Thanks.

  21. Kelli

    Thank you for opening up to us like that. I would love if you chose to share more. I have chronic fatigue syndrom, and when I was first diagnosed I told my friends and family, and besides my husband I got very negative responses. Why did I seem to have energy on certain days and not others…hmmm, was I faking it? I would say that I am tired and get asked why. So now I don’t talk about it. I would love to watch another person walk through an illness gracefully. I am not sure how to do this. I know we don’t know eachother, but you seem graceful, like someone I could be friends with. I will pray for you! And learn from you to be happy and hopeful.

  22. Diane-Thewholegang @ thewholegang.org

    Elana,
    I hope you got as much joy from writing this as I did reading it. I loved hearing your strength and your wisdom in listening to your body and doing what it needs. Too often we don’t take the time to really hear what our bodies are telling us. Sometimes it takes more than a stop sign but a road closure. I guess that’s when we can learn more on the detour. I think it’s wonderful for you to share your story. It will help so many others who are facing the same or similar circumstances. You are a true gift to us all.

  23. MARY

    I found your letter very touching. I wish you a long, healthy, happy life.. I love your recipes as I am a low carber and have used many of the ones you create..You keep us healthy and it is much appreciated..

  24. Steven

    Great post and thanks for sharing what is in your heart and going on in your life. God bless.

  25. k

    Way to go Elana. You are truly an inspiration.

  26. monique

    thanks for sharing this information with me elena. wow i am even more in admiration of you now!! i have rheumatoid arthritis and was led to your site finding that staying away from grains really helps me. i wonder if you are aware of low dose naltrexone? there is a really good yahoo group for it with many with MS being helped. i wonder if you are also aware of this info:
    http://www.gaps.me/preview/?page_id=28
    it heals the gut which i believe is the root of autoimmune disease.
    blessings to you
    monique

  27. Mal

    Elana, sorry to hear about your MS. I have people close to me that have had huge sucess with “The Feldenkrais Method”, I strongly urge you to reasearch it and find a practioner near you, it will amaze you. Take care, I love your website, I send it to all my friends.

  28. Rebecca

    Elana,

    I wanted to thank you for all of the effort you have spent helping others. This has been the hardest year of my life. I have been trying to recover my son from regressive autism. One year ago he had to use pictures to make requests, he would not make eye contact, and he was trapped in a world of his own. We started seeing a Naturopath doctor and found out that autism is about being sick physically. We had to change everything, and fast. Our doctor told us no gluten or dairy, he is being treated for yeast, and receives many vitamins. One month ago we found out he is also allergic to soy, so that solved the chronic diarrhea. I am extremely happy to say he now has full conversations with us, makes total eye contact, and enjoys playing with others. Also, this entire year I have been so ill that on my worst days the fatigue was so bad it hurt to breathe even while I was laying down. I am feeling better with time.

    This is why I can’t even put into words how grateful my family is to have stumbled upon your website. I have to feed my family good foods. My twelve year old daughter is able to make any of your recipes by herself if she wants to. I am able to make any of your recipes, even on a bad day. Your recipes are so simple and nutritious. Thank you so very much :)

    -Rebecca

  29. Melody McGriff

    Thank for the beautiful Testimony about recognizing, what it is to Come Into Your Own, not so much it was MS that brought this broader clarity but how its SPARKED a Wellness mode of practice in your life – So, to speak.

    I’m delighted my Son, turned me on to your website of wonderful Healthy and Yummy Good recipes and now, I’ve come and read this. I’m smiling in thought at the WHO, YOU REALLY ARE. A Lovely heart and spirit – It comes through LOUD and CLEAR.

    I’m so Loving the recipes I receive and will Project and Wish You – Nothing BUT – Wellness.

    The Internet is such a wonderful Communicator.

    ~Melody McGriff (an Admirer)

  30. Jeanne

    I only now just noticed the almonds on the top of your web page-They make a heart! I was filled with such emotion after reading your post and all the responses; So sweet!
    A great big hug to all of us that have turned to our bodies and made the food connection for our healing. I think we are on the right track towards healing our planet through healing ourselves!
    I hope you are feeling better and better, as much as you’ve improved the quality of so many others’ lives, including my own.
    much gratitude
    JED

  31. Thanks so much for sharing your story Elana! Your attitude is great and I hope you will be feeling great for a long time to come.

  32. EmmaJane Adams

    Fortunately, Elana, MS today is not as devasating as years ago. I work in the medical field and know several people with MS. No one would ever guess that they have it. I wish you to be like one of them. Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes and dedication to your lifestyle and our’s as well.

  33. Christianne

    O Elana,
    I am so sorry to hear you have been diagnosed with MS. I can imagine all the emotions you went and sometimes go through, this is not just a ‘piece of cake’ on a food blog!
    We do not live in a perfect world, this shows it again. However, it is so good to hear that you became expert on your own body, know what is good for you and that you are very happy! Your sharing reflects wisdom, courage and is so inspirational. How wonderful that you managed to create all this for yourself and your family, despite these circumstances. What a great attitude you have! This is admirable as I believe we all struggle sometimes. I feel so privileged to call you my food blog soul sister. Wishing you and your family all the best in life! xoxox Christianne

  34. Lolita Hanks, FNP-C @ livingglutenfreecaseinfree.com

    Thanks for sharing this with everyone and emphasizing how important it is to find individually what works best for you.
    Unfortunately, this is where conventional medicine falls woefully inadequate.The area of nutrition and food choices and how they affect our health and managing illness is often neglected in a discussion on plan of care.

    One person’s food is another’s poison.

  35. It would be impossible to read this blog and get anything but happiness and hope. That’s all you project. :)

  36. Thanks for sharing Elana and it is nice to hear that you are having a positive attitude with something like this, it does act as an inspiration for others with autoimmune disorders.
    I do wish you all the best with this and hope that you are feeling well.

    I know about MS through my friends mother and she has also found that grains and dairy are a big no for her in order to feel better.

  37. Allison

    Elana,
    Sorry to hear you have MS. Sounds like you have a really good handle on it, though. Eating this way and daily exercise certainly does help. In my case, like Athena, I too was diagnosed with MS but then come to find out that it was actually Lyme Disease. In my case I started developing food allergies, especially to wheat, and when I ate it it exacerbated the chronic fatigue symptoms I already had, at that point. It took ten years to get the diagnosis of Neurological Lyme Disease. Seems its progression is similar to that of MS. Of course not everyone diagnosed with MS or autoimmune disorders have a tick-borne disease but I’m thankful I found a doctor who was willing to investigate that possibility.

    There’s a new documentary out about Lyme Disease called Under Our Skin and it seems many Lyme patients are first diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, ALS, Parkinson’s or MS. So, it can be something worth investigating.

  38. Hanni @ hannihaus.com

    Thank you for sharing not only your recipes with us, but a little bit about the woman behind the almond flour. What a difficult diagnosis. Your attention to self care is truly admirable. Keep up the good work. I can’t wait until your cookbook comes out!

  39. You are so inspiring and strong, dear Elana xoxo

  40. Elana, Thank you for sharing this very personal issue with so many of who are not even known to you or by you. I think if the truth be told, many of us deal with other physical issues and even though I don’t “put it out there” on my own blog per se, I also am willing to talk with people, and/or share my personal experiences with others for whom I know it will be of benefit. Keep the great recipes coming. My 17 year old daughter also has Celiac and it has been a struggle for her. These recipes help. She also has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which has caused some other health issues. Knowing that what we eat can help our bodies is just now starting to sink in to her. She actually commented the other day about how we not only make our own food now, but we also GROW it! She was so proud of us :) Thanks again, Kelly

  41. Peace and Good Health to you and your family. I am at a loss for words. I feel your spirit.

  42. Mir

    You go girl!! Be proud of yourself.

  43. Mona

    Elena,
    Thank you for sharing that.I am a cancer
    survivor.I also have an allergy to wheat.After reading how food allergies can cause inflamation within your body,I have come to really appreciate your wonderful recipes! I am excited
    when I see an e-mail from your address!
    Thank You for all you do! You give hope to me! Sincerely,Mona

  44. Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen @ meghantelpnerblog.com

    It is amazing how the things that may seem tragic at the moment, do in fact turn out to be our greatest ‘gifts’ and help steer us on the right path. I know that I share this belief with many others who have been dealt an illness or trauma of some sort. I have told my story on my site and I know that many of my readers gain strength and inspiration through the way I handled my own disease. I am sure that you sharing this information will undoubtedly help others to take control of their own health and help themselves through this most healthful way of eating.

  45. Elana – It takes a lot of courage to share your personal health issues in such a public forum. I think it aids our own internal healing to share our health challenges. Some of us get to that point sooner than others.

    I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer 4 years ago and it took me a while before I was able to start writing about it on the blog. Now it is just a part of my life. That single event was a turning point in my own health as it brought to light other autoimmune issues I have (adrenal fatigue & hypothyroidism). Now, I’m armed with our dietary changes and other health steps to help keep me healthy, but also to keep my family healthy.

    I wish you and your family the best of health.

    Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

  46. Elana, I so enjoy your blog … and wish I could muster my own energies to do even a fraction of what you do, on my own blog.

    The issue of celiac so blankets my life that I also have not addressed my own Big Scary health problem on my personal blog – which was the discovery of a brain tumor, removed 18 months ago, but with the forewarning that it may re-grow. You’ve at least encouraged me to THINK about sharing on this count. But I kind of don’t even want to “go there” with a full-on entry about it.

    I admire your courage, and continue to admire your writing and commitment to what you do here. Cannot wait for your cookbook to be out!

    “The Naked Fork”

  47. Thank-you for your thoughts. I think this is why I love your blog so much, because you have found a way to live despite the struggles you have in your life. Over the past several years, this has also been my goal as I’ve struggled with several life-changing illnesses, and I’ve loved the insights your blog gives to me concerning food and things of a more personal matter. Recently I’ve learned the importance of sufficient sleep and time to ponder. I have not been listening well enough to my body and it has been suffering because of it. I know my body needs that time to recoup and re-energize for the tasks it must perform. Eating right is not enough, although it helps tremendously.

    My husband and I have longed for children, and have learned that my hCG levels are not increasing as they should, thus I’ve had several miscarriages. As I was sitting here pondering my next steps, I decided to read your post, and it reminded me of the importance of sleep and continual care for my body. I feel this is the key to helping my body carry a child. Thanks again for your beautiful words.

  48. Faux Pas

    Thank you so much for the recipes and the friendship you extend to all of us, and thank you so much for the joy that you take in living well, and for being so positive. Your post is an inspiration and I will remember it for a long time. Whenever I start to complain about something, it will remind me to shut up and count my blessings, and to remember your courage and wonderful attitude. Most of all, thank you for being you, and for sharing. This post has made a big impact on me and many other fans. You will be in a lot of people’s thoughts and prayers. God bless you.

  49. Betty

    Elana,

    Thank you for sharing your diagnosis. I do have celiac and have yet to receive a diagnosis for all the other symptoms I have. I would love to hear the process of your diagnosis as well as the practical changes you’ve made to conserve your energy. I will work on listening to my body more.

    Blessings, Betty

  50. Chay

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I too was diagnosed with an illness last year (hypothyroidism) and since then have found myself on the journey towards managing my health and trying to improve the quality of my life. It can be very overwhelming at times. I was put on medication and told that I would have to take it for the rest of my life. I’ve never been one to take medication let alone aspirin! So I decided to try and get to the source of my illness as I am only 34 years old and felt there must be ways to get to the bottom of it all and take responsibility for my health. I believe it’s something you have to earn and work hard at it. I am determined to get of these pills. Anyways, in my search for wellness I stumbled upon your blog. I love your recipes and the other pieces of information you offer. I too have a family and enjoy your voice as a writer, chef and mother. You are funny, smart and honest and it’s been a pleasure! I have only heard you as a positive force who enjoys her life and is passionate about her health.
    Cheers!
    XChay

  51. Tracy

    Dear Elana,

    I have wanted to comment on many of your posts. I share your posts with people all the time. I believe we live in a world that is screaming in pain. Diagnoses or not, we are all suffering from malnutrition. I believe taking control of our nutrition is the only way to truely heal mind, body and in some cases spirit. Leaders in taking these step are emerging and I fell blessed to get to watch you lead so many to a better way. I feel proud to have found a distant kindred spirit. Thank you for doing what you do.

    Have a Great Day,
    Tracy

  52. Elana, it´s surprising how we are capable of knowing which things are good for our body and which not. I write a blog about the Seignalet diet, designet by a french doctor some years ago. He found that most autoinmune diseases experienced a complete remission under a strict diet. The diet was: no cereals (except rice), no dairy and no overcooked food, specially meat. He treated some cases of multiple sclerosis. The neurological sequels did not disappear, of course, but all cases underwent a complete remission, with no burdens. Maybe you could find this useful.
    This diet is not very known, but the basis is very scientific. As a doctor, I find it very interesting.

  53. Mari

    Excuse my ignorance (I know very little about MS), but is there a link between Celiac Disease and MS? It seems like quite a few of your bloggers also have MS. And I was just talking to a friend of mine who has MS and is just now figuring out that she has problems with gluten as well. I know that having Celiac Disease leaves us more vulnerable to many things like Osteoporosis, infertility and cancer. Just wondering if MS is more likely as well? Thanks Elana for all that you do. I look forward to your posts every week! Mari

  54. Elana–
    Thanks for sharing more of your story. MS has affected my family too–a sister-in-law has had it for about 10 years. I know it can be a very difficult diagnosis. I’m so grateful that you’ve been able to figure out ways that diet and exercise help your body. I’m so impressed with your attention to your health and how you listen to your body. Thanks for all of your incredible recipes and sharing your food life and more on this site. It is all so inspiring.

  55. Gina Funicello @ yourfoodguru.com

    Dear Elana,
    You are SUCH an ispiration and though I have been a ‘silent’ fan of yours for some time now, this posting has prompted me to finally register a comment.
    As a holistic nutritionist, I have YET to encounter a single individual (regardless of age or diagnosis) who has not derived benefit by cutting back on heavy proteins, avioding gluten, dairy, and denatured, processed foods. Your site is INCREDIBLE! I have referred many to take a look around at your marvelous recipes and enticing pics- and they have ALWAYS been inspired! So, with great admiration, I thank you for doing what you do, being who you are, and sharing as you have :) Life certainly does challenge us, and sometimes provides us with remarkable opportunities to explore and discover who ‘we,’ individually, truly are. I think that one of the greatest things we can ever aspire to own, to know, is ourselves…and you are, once again, an outstanding example and a beacon of inspiration for all of us!
    I wish you all of the happiness and hope to which you refer, along with love and light…we are all richer for your journey!
    Sincerely,
    Gina

  56. victoria

    I admire your strong wise spirit Elana. It is interesting to see all the stories here about others with MS. I became interested in researching it when watching the series West Wing recently on my Netflix. I was astounded to find lots of science now supporting the connection between MS and vitamin D levels in a persons bloodstream. Apparently those of us who shun the sun and who live at latitudes with weaker sunlight – especially during winter – are at a significantly higher risk of MS. I would encourage others to research this connection. There are so many other things that vitamin D protects against (cancers, osteoporosis) – have been increasing my intake significantly based on the info learned. Hope this may help others.

  57. Dear Elana,
    I have been a reading and enjoying your website for a while, and often think of sending you a “thank you” — now seems like the right time.
    I have been using your recipes with great success and sharing your website with many,many others — as anyone interested in whole, healthy food can enjoy your recipes. Thank you so much for doing all the trying and testing, for sharing your wonderful recipes, for the gracious commentaries, and the encouragement to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
    Mary

  58. Annette

    Hello—have you ever looked into Chronic Lymes Disease or another tick-infection as the cause of your symptoms? It can mimic MS and actually cause the same kind of MRI results. It wouldn’t show up on a normal doctor’s lymes disease blood test–you’d have to go to a Lymes Literate doctor who specializes in Lymes–and the research is rather controversial because if what many believe is true…then A LOT of people have Lymes and don’t even know it. I only mention this because Lymes is curable. I had Lymes and 2 other tick infections for 3 years without knowing what was going on. I finally got to the bottom of the problem and after 6 months on antibiotics (and a strict yeast-preventative diet) I am great. Of course the Lymes triggered my dairy & gluten issues…but whatever! :) I agree with you that you can learn a lot from an illness….it’s amazing how it can change your life for the better. Good luck with everything!

  59. Gluten Free Anna @ glutenfreeanna.blogspot.com

    Elana-
    You are beautiful and lovely, so it’s no surprise that your disclosure post is as well. I love that disclosure felt like the path of least resistance, and reading this post made me love your blog even more! Sending you healthy vibes, and it sounds like you are doing a great job listening to your body. What a wonderful gift of self-love!!
    xoxo
    Anna

  60. Brenda

    Elana please goggle info re Vitamin D3 and MS. You may find
    it helpful. Thank you for the great food blog.

  61. Beth

    Elana,

    Thank you for sharing something so personal with us.

    As always, your outlook, and optimism are an inspiration to me.

  62. Elana

    Hi Elana,

    Not sure if you remember me, I share the same name, have celiac and live in Denver. You were very helpful to me when I was first diagnosed with celiac Feb ’08. I didn’t mention to you that 2 months before that I was diagnosed Type 1 diabetes – insulin dependent juvenile diabetes (that is the only reason they tested me for celiac). At 33, my life had changed.

    I am happy to tell you I wear an insulin pump 24/7, adhere to a strict GF diet, and i feel great. Even better, my husband and I are expecting our first child in September!

    Every day I deal with managing blood sugars and my diet, but it’s worth all the effort. I have a fantastic life and want to live it healthfully.

    Thank you for being an inspiration.

    -Elana

  63. Group Hug!! and bless you. We are on a very similiar journey. The beauty of it though, I have found, is that you really can take lemons and make lemonade… and you seem to be very good at that.

  64. ~M

    Thank you for reminding us to listen to our bodies (and not cheating ourselves) and the importance of a positive attitude.

  65. gfe-gluten free easily @ glutenfreeeasily.com

    Elana–Thank you so much for graciously sharing your story with us, your devoted readers. “Happiness and hope”–love that! As you’ve shown by your incredible blog, “we are not our disease,” but so much more.

    Thank you for all you are. Love and light to you on your wellness journey,

    Shirley

  66. Dear Elana,

    Although I’ve enjoyed your web site and your recipes immensely for almost a year, I haven’t written much. Reading this post made me feel compelled to send love, compassion and appreciation your way. I have been living with fibromyolgia and several other “chronic” diagnosis for over 10 years. Finding internal balance has been a daily exercise in discipline for me. It isn’t always easy to put my health ahead of the immediate needs of my family, especially at the times when I feel good. Because of the changes in my diet and lifestyle, I feel good more often then not. I am still learning to nurture this feeling, rather then to allow myself get depleted and run down. Acupuncture, yoga, sleep, and finding the strength to be at peace within, have been my godsends. Remember to love yourself always.

    With lots of gratitude for all you do,
    Irina

  67. I know it takes courage to share this type of personal information, and I admire you for it and wish you well dealing with the challenge of a diagnosis like this. I think your approach of learning what works for your own body is a good one. Best wishes!

  68. Stephanie

    Thank you for being so honest about your life, you are a great blessing.

  69. Hi Elana,
    Your outlook on life and style have always been inspirational to me. I follow you blog due to those attributes, even though I rarely cook. This post just adds to that.

    Thanks for sharing your story and may we all continue to draw strength from all you write (and hopefully in some small way vice versa).
    Mikel

  70. Angela

    Thank-you for sharing with all of us. Sometimes that is the hardest part… sharing. I love your site, and all the effort you put into it. Have you heard of Royal Rife’s frequency treatments? M.S along with most if not all diseases or predisease states can and have been eradicated through frequency treatment. Just another option. God bless you and yours. Angela

  71. Paula

    I love your request “please if you feel anything for me, let it be happiness and hope.” You’ve got it. I wouldn’t think of feeling any other way for you. You shine through as such a happy and hopeful person:)
    Thank you.

  72. Jill

    Elana,

    As Annette already posted, MS is often a misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne diseases (or even from a mosquito, flea, mite or fly). I know, I was misdiagnosed with MS initially but was able to track the true cause back to a rash when I had been feeding a cat.

    I am now a volunteer with the California Lyme Disease Association and have gotten countless people into treatment who were misdiagnosed with MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. The mainstream doctors and tests do not accurately diagnose and treat. Lyme is a politically charged area.

    If you want more info, please go to the International Lyme and Associated Diseases (www.ilads.org) or http://www.lymedisease.org or email me (I’m one of your Facebook friends).

    I am not discounting your diagnosis at all, please don’t miscontrue. I have autoimmune disease running in my family and already have two autoimmune diseases before the tick bite, so of course everyone assumed I had another autoimmune disease. Plus my Lyme symptoms are identical to MS, although now they’ve become more ALS and Parkinson’s like, too. I have the lesions on the brain just like MS.

    Most Lyme patients cannot eat gluten, interestingly enough, regardless of whether they are true celiacs or not.

    I have been battling these diseases for five years, am declining, and have had many antibiotic side-effects that were life-threatening or disabling. So I understand the rollercoaster ride that is our lives when dealing with an unpredictable health challenge.

    I commend you all the more that you use your energy to cook delicious recipes and share so much with us.

    Many blessings.
    Jill

  73. Jennifer

    Hi Elana,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I have rheumatoid arthritis and have seen a nutritionist to try and combat my systems through diet rather than biological modifying drugs (hence no gluten or dairy). I hope it works. And I cannot thank you enough for sharing your recipes. I made the brownies last nite, and they were AMAZING. I just ordered the blanched almond flour and cannot wait to try your other recipes. I find desserts are the hardest for gluten free-ers. I love that they are straightforward with few ingredients. I cannot wait for your cookbook. Thank you again and I can feel your positive energy-love it!

  74. Lisa Jones

    Elana,
    Hooray for you! I just started following your blog a few months ago, enjoy reading your recipes and have a few I kept to try. I did not feel compelled to respond until today. My mom and two good friends have MS – my mom also has celiac as do I. They all have a spirit that lifts my own as they live their lives to the fullest in spite of their respective limitations. I love that you are living YOUR life – that is the only way to do it. I wish you all the best.

    Lisa

  75. Claire

    I too have MS and am a massive believer in the effect diet has on it after following the Best Bet Diet for it for a couple of years, prob not a huge leap from what you’re doing now as it is no gluten as well as no dairy and no legumes, I certainly make some of your recipes on it! It also places a lot of importance on D3, which a lot of other people have mentioned. I know there are a lot of followers in the states as well as in the UK and it has proper changed my life and that of many people on it. You would be welcomed with open arms on the chat room with all your lovely recipes! http://www.msrc.co.uk/ has all about it – and is a great site for lots off other MS stuff as well! If I sound evangelical thats coz I am – diagnosis in my 20′s as a single working girl was a shock but now I am healthier than a lot of my ‘healthy’ friends. It’s tough, I know, but my thoughts are with you x

  76. unscrambled

    Elana-

    Sounds like you’ve taken your diagnosis in the most positive way you can. I got diagnosed at the beginning of this year, and am a long time lurker on your blog, and have enjoyed making your recipes for myself and my family. I appreciate your decision to disclose, and to continue to maintain your privacy around day to day life with this disease.

  77. alison

    Hi Elana – Liz Sullivan has introduced me to your fabulous wesbite. What a beautiful site – when I have more time I am going to enjoy working my way round it and trying recipes. I love the way you spread your love of cooking and eating good food – there’s so much heart and soul to be found in food when approached the right way! As you know, I too have MS – diagnosed 15 years ago. As with you, it has taken me on an inner journey, star studded with light and discovery and transformation…which continues. I follow the traditional MS-diet guidelines, getting my essential fatty acids anyway I can….I have never known whether I have intolerances or to what – but I am a big fan of healthy eating and good food.
    I look forward to cxoming regularly to your pantry which I thank you for sharing.
    A xx

  78. Stacie K

    My eyes are filled with tears, but my heart is filled with wonder at your strength and gratitude for your generosity in sharing your widsom and kindness. You are loved for exactly who you are. Hugs and prayers to you Elana.

  79. Katherine Winslow

    Elana,

    Thank you for sharing your story and for your heartfelt message of hope and determination. As one of many dealing with gluten issues, I have drawn strength from your wonderful spirit and great meal ideas. Best of luck as you continue to stay healthy and vibrant. I’ll be cheering for you!

    Katherine W.

  80. Charlotte

    Elana, thank you for sharing such personal information with all of us. Our prayers are with you.

  81. Elana,

    My heart goes to you in many different levels. I admire your courage, your love for sharing with others and this amazing energy that I can feel coming from your website.

    Tons of blessing for you!
    With love
    Daniela

  82. Theresa Watson

    Elena,

    What can I say — you are amazing. Your outlook is inspiring — it is so easy to get into a “pity party” when these things happen to us. Yet your strength and outlook help all of us to keep positive.

    Thank you and God bless you abundantly with good health,
    Theresa Watson

  83. Thanks for sharing this. My sister has MS also, and she struggles with energy levels too. I have tried to get her to go GF, since there is mounting evidence that it might benefit MS symptoms. Your story is yet another story which I will pass along.

    Thanks so much for your blog, and the great recipes! I love reading it and learning more each day.

  84. Cooking With Dia @ cookingwithdia.com

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have had many brain surgeries for a brain tumor, it has caused me many problems over the years, and made me a little “strange”. I am now following a macroboitic diet and find that cutting out refined sugar helps a lot. I know that neurological illnesses can be relentless, and hope you find comfort in what you do.

    Cheers,
    CWD

  85. Elana, you have touched so many people with your creative, delicious, and healthy recipes using alternative ingredients! All I can see in your videos is a poised, articulate lady. I would never had known that you had that cross to bear. Thank you for sharing it with us, and thank you for all that you do! Sending prayers your way.

  86. Roberta \

    May you have strength to travel the road on which you find yourself

  87. Lauren

    Hi Elana,

    Wanted to let you know that
    I’ve enjoyed your recipes and the ideas I get from you. You’ve put together such a great resource here for people who are looking for healthy food ideas, thank you so much. I wish more people would realise the effect diet has on their quality of life. Best of luck and I can’t wait to try Dina’s delightful cookies.

    Lauren

  88. Gail Davis

    Thank you for being such a huge inspiration to us all. What a tremendous gift you’ve given: Reminding us to listen more closely to our bodies. I wish you continued joy and the most vibrant health always.

  89. Hannah Handpainted @ HannahHandpainted.etsy.com

    I never would have known about the MS had you not posted this, and I have to say I am inspired because I am continually reminded of the strength of the human spirit, even when there are physical difficulties at times. I know you are doing your best to take care of yourself and your family, and that’s the most important thing! I do wish that no one had to deal with any kind of ailment, but then I think again and I realize that these things just bring us all closer together.

    Best of luck and thanks for sharing,
    Hannah

  90. Desirée

    Elana,
    All I can say is I hope that I get the privilege of meeting you someday. I admire your strength and your spirit so much… and I cannot adequately express how great a blessing you and your blog have been in my life over the last year. Ask my suitemates from this last year of college – your name was mentioned daily (perhaps more) in our apartment, and I’ve always talked about you as one would a dear friend :o) I only wish I could be to you what you’ve been to me.
    I don’t know if this would help since I know virtually nothing about MS and I’m sure you’ve researched it endlessly because that’s the kind of proactive person you are – but still – a little anecdote that might help: one of my mom’s good friends was diagnosed with MS a while ago. She turned to holisitic and naturopathic medicine (to which my entire family now refers rather than western medicine) and discovered that her body was loaded with metals. After changing specific things about her diet and lifestyle – in addition to herbal supplements – the symptoms that western doctors were calling “MS” disappeared and she’s been 100% healthy ever since. If you haven’t looked into the effect of metals on the body – which affect everyone in more ways you could imagine – you might want to check it out!
    Again – you rock…
    All my love,
    Desi

  91. Margaret

    Elana,
    I too, have been visiting and reading your blog for some time without posting any comments, so would like to take this opportunity to send good wishes and moral support. It’s no coincidence that we have all been drawn to your blog. I can not eat gluten and my husband has MS. He is the cook in our family, I am the sometimes baker (used to be an excellent cookie baker until I became a GF beginner). My husband has risen to the occasion and cooks everything GF for me, which has also cut the gluten in his diet drastically. It’s not easy. We both chase our symptoms around but try not to define ourselves by our health issues. We found that when we finally admitted to others what our ‘problems’ were, that just about everyone came out with a similar story or association. And we all want to help each other. People here have already pointed out the vitamin D link. My husband and I have also made a commitment to eliminate the fluoride in our water which is a toxin and can cause a whole host of problems as well. All this to say – we understand how difficult this is for you, and how liberating it can be to be “among friends.” Thank you for sharing so much with us!
    Sincerely,
    Margaret

  92. Autumnstar

    Thanks so much Elana for all your inspirational posts and tasty recipes. I am not a celiac but simply have gluten intolerance. I found out about it last October. It was really hard at first watching all the other teenagers eating pizza and cake. Then I discovered glutenfree baking and cooking thanks to bloggers like you! I now have my own “business” and sell my baked goods to people in my area. I am homeschooled and have lots of time to mess around in the kitchen. I have found your recipes to be the most wholesome…but unfortunately the most expensive as well! :)

    -Autumnstar

  93. Hi Everyone,

    Many heartfelt thanks for your good wishes and thoughts, they are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much!
    Elana

  94. Kathryn @ panna.org

    Dear Elana – I was profoundly moved by your post and have been pondering it for a few weeks – I very much relate to the post – I too have an autoimmune disease and enthusiastically use your blog and posts for my own diet, and during the past two months, I have become much more public about this. I appreciate your courage, the inspiration that you offer us all, and your wisdom for living life well – with chronic illness, or without. All best wishes, Kathryn Gilje

  95. Stacey

    Elana
    I don’t know if you are familiar with Osteopathy. I have been seeing an osteopath regularly for the past couple of years, and take my toddler to one. The idea behind osteopathy is making sure all the fluid systems of the body are flowing unobstructed, and that this will permit the body to heal itself. It is non-invasive, and extremely gentle. My osteopath was recently talking about his interest in MS, which he believes could be caused by blockages of the flow of fluid to the brain, leading to a buildup of lead in the brain. There is not yet any proven data for this, but I thought I would share it, since I have found osteopathy wonderfully helpful in general for well-being, and because it is non-invasive, and there are no negative side-effects.

    I think it’s wise to be aware of how to manage your own health, and I applaud you both for doing that, and for sharing your story.

    with great good wishes and warm regards

    -stacey

  96. Ginger

    Elana,

    I stumbled upon your post about your diagnosis of MS and I’m very sorry you are going through this. I just wanted to share with you something that you may find insightful. I, too had symptoms of MS, plus other health issues including chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, GI disorder, etc. I was even told I have depression, which was NOT the case. I felt physically ill! After multiple visits to different doctors I finally received the diagnosed of Lyme Disease by an on-the-ball doctor (Osteopath). Lyme Disease mimics many different illnesses including MS, and is considered now to be a pandemic. Since my treatment began (13 months of Doxycycline) my life has turned around, and I’m feeling so much better. You may want to watch Under Our Skin a documentary about Lyme Disease to get a better understanding of what this illness is really about both physically, emotionally, financially, and unfortunately politically. I would recommend everyone who is suffering with the same symptoms that I have suffered to have themselves tested through a doctor that specializes in Lyme Disease and uses the right lab (Igenex). I am one who loves the Osteopathic philsophy of finding the source of the problem instead of treating the symptoms. Unfortunately most of modern medicine has adapted to just treating the symptoms which has left many undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or just told its all in their head. I hope any information I have provided will help someone find answers to their health issues. Take care and God bless!

  97. I just read this and I want to add that I think you are an amazing woman who does much with her talents, especially under the circumstances. Thank you for all that you do and the grace in which you do it!

    I have a friend who is in Poland right now receiving treatment for her MS. She spent more than 25 years trying to find out what was wrong and when she did, she did something right off the bat.

    I would not be surprised to receive a similar DX given the complexity of my symptoms but not having a doctor, I don’t know if I’ll ever find out.

  98. I’ve been trying recipes you have posted for a few months now and just came across this personal note, directed from your Half the Sky post.

    I found your site when I started searching for gluten-free recipes as a result of my own diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Your references to the Paleo Diet made me wonder what influenced you to discover it. Everything I keep reading and learning points to the Paleo Diet as the solution… to most, if not all, modern diseases.

    Thank you for sharing this, and thank you so much for sharing what you have learned in your own search for healing and wellness.

    ~Alahnna

  99. I’m reading your stinging nettles pesto recipe — WOW – how fascinating. I just read on mercola.com that lack of vit D and MS. Have u ever had your level tested ? U probably know about this but I wanted to share. I have RA — always looking for a cause — nothing yet.

  100. Leslie Blanchard

    Just saw this now.. love your site!!
    Have you ever been tested for lyme disease? so many folks diagnosed with MS actually were misdiagnosed and have lyme.
    It’s something you should really take seriously because you may be treating a disease you don’t have while another disease proliferates in your body.
    I have lyme and have done a ton of research on the subject.
    With warmest regard,
    Leslie

  101. Trish O’Shields

    I was reviewing your info on agave and came across something about MS and then read this blog on it. I have not read through all the comments but wanted to mention that it might be informative for you to go to http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org and review the info on MS. My daughter and I have used it for 5-6 years for fibromyalgia and it has helped both of us so much. I have read a number of case histories on patients with MS doing well on it. Just wanted to share this with you. I enjoy your blog and am also enjoying the recipes in your almond flour cookbook.

  102. Trudy @ none

    Elana-

    I have read many recipes on your blog. Today while going through some older ones I ran across this post. I have also been diagonosed with MS. I started exploring being gluten free after the diagonosis. I have also found that dairy doesn’t agree with me either. It is nice to know that I am not totally alone on this path of diet modification to deal with MS.

    - Trudy

  103. Dee

    I love your cookbooks & blog, etc. I have gluten problems & just recently was diagnosed with myofascial pain (I have severe active myofascial trigger points, pain, fatigue.) I just read about Hemex.com & hypercoagulation being a common factor in many chronic illnesses—chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, m.s, etc. This is unknown by many, many medical professionals. Please consider checking this out. I am just in the early stages of gathering info, but if this is the common factor in disease, and can help others to heal, it is something I want to learn more about.

  104. Nicole

    I love your blog so much! I am 23 and I was recently diagnosed with Celiac’s and Type 1 Diabetes. Your blog has been the best resource for gluten free recipes for someone with both Celiac’s and Diabetes. I find that so many gluten free alternatives are high sugar/high carb and wreak havoc on my blood sugar control. Your recipes are some of the only ones I can find that aren’t full of starches and tons of sugar to compensate for the lack of gluten. I just wanted to sincerely thank you for that!

    I also wanted to thank you for sharing your diagnoses on your blog. I am sure that is a difficult decision, to be that open on the internet. I really connect with what you have written and agree, a disease is not a gift, but it can change how you approach your life and your body in beautiful, positive ways. Part of me still mourns the loss of my previous, carefree self, but mostly I know that my awareness of the complex interaction between food and the body means that I am living in such a healthier way now, and blogs like yours strengthen and inspire me to keep doing that. Thank you! (And thank you for the muesli scones. My absolute favorites thus far.)

  105. Deborah Penner

    Thank you for linking the Paleo Shepherd’s Pie post with this. I am encouraged. 19 months ago I was diagnosed with “MS like lesions” (or plaques …pick the word with the smallest charge to it :) … I stopped being wishy washy about gluten and night shades .. and while I still have no new lesions I have the sense that I would feel consistently better and were I to choose fewer to no grains … Thank you so much for all that you do to pave the way …

  106. Angie

    Hi
    I have really loved using the information on this website. It has been a lifesaver! Thank you. I was diagnosed with RA five years ago and have been struggling to find something that helps ever since. When I saw that you mentioned the LDN, I wanted to ask about it because my doctor has mentioned it to me in the past, but we haven’t pursued it. My problem is that I seem to get side effects from drugs frequently and I was just wondering if you have noticed any side effects from the LDN and how long you have been taking it. Right now I have not taken any drugs, but the pain is getting so bad, I’m having difficulty with my resolve.

    Thanks.
    Angie Kehler

  107. Rebeca

    I am grateful for Elana sharing here diagnosis and hope with me- a fellow MS survivor.

  108. I was diagnosed at age 24 with MS. I was told by the chief of the neurological staff at Houston Methodist that it appeared that it was moving fast and I might want to be ready for a wheel chair by my mid-thirties. That was 33 years ago and all I can say is that I must not have reached my mid-thirties yet!

    Your attitude and wisdom to pursue nutritional solutions are what will keep you going. I have never once said, “MY MS.” I won’t own it. I may have symptoms, but I WILL be healed in this life. If not, then the next. :)

    You are SO on track with gluten-free. You might even so further with Paleo. I’m doing great. Yah, I have symptoms, but far more importantly, I have faith, a wonderful life, hope, an incredible family, and lots and lots of love. Still walking without assistance. Sometimes I may appear to be staggering a bit, but I suppose that makes me interesting… Life is so good.

    Keep up the great message.

  109. Lee Torrence

    One of the symptoms I had before being diagnosed with Celiac’s was imbalance from time to time and I had a period where I felt like I would black out (for a super brief second). Another Celiac told me it was called Ataxia. I am basically on a super strict SCD diet/Paleo diet and have never felt better. My question is…do you think Celiac Disease can CAUSE MS? Elena I so enjoy your food and YOU!

  110. Thank you so much for all you share on this site, both personal and food related; they do combine in so many ways, don’t they? I have just found you tonight and I will be checking in very often. I think I have run my printer nearly out of ink tonight! With my daughter and I both learning of foods we now must avoid, it has been hard to fine consistent, tested recipes using all these new, and at times expensive ingredients. Can’t wait to try some of these. Hope you and your family are healthy and happy!

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