Managing the Holiday Season


     “The Holidays” are supposed to be a wonderful, cheerful and happy time of year. But so often all those warm and fuzzy feelings get lost among the craziness and hullabaloo of everything we have going on. The result? Stress! No one is immune to this holiday stress, but individuals with MS can feel the repercussions of stress in a much more intense way. Stress has been shown to be a trigger for relapses or flares. Even if you don’t have a full blown relapse, you can still find that stress exacerbates your symptoms at times.

     So what can we do about the stress of the Holidays without becoming a total recluse and hiding until January 2nd? I think there are plenty of ideas! Some that are obvious, and some that are not so obvious. Let’s dig in, shall we?

PLAN

      I know, I know. This is one you’ve heard many times before. But, it’s for good reason! You’ve heard that phrase, “failing to plan, is planning to fail”? Yeah, I hate it too. But it’s right on the money. Planning out your holidays, and everything about the holidays, makes them so much easier. Making a to do list is one of my favorite things to do, for real. (I’ve even been known to put things on my to-do list so I can just cross them off!) This helps me to not feel so overwhelmed because I have all of my thoughts down on paper, and not still in my head. Also when I write things down, I am able to see where things can be grouped together. Similar tasks and things can be picked up or done in one trip.

     This is also a great opportunity to ASK OTHERS FOR HELP. This has historically been really hard for me, especially if the help has to do with emotional things. However, this is a great way to break through that barrier and start practicing asking for help. Also, often times my closest family and friends feel helpless when I tell them about my symptoms and what I go through on a daily basis. When they look at me and ask what they can do, I usually go palms up. However, just having another hand in getting chores done, or knocking things off the to-do list, is plenty. You’re getting things done, they feel like they are helping you, it’s a win-win!

A Quick Note about Self Care

My third note about planning is to plan time for yourself as well. Self care is one of the biggest things we can do in terms of stress reduction, and one of the top reasons I hear as to why people don’t do it is that ‘I don’t have time!!”. While you’re planning your social calendar and all of your trips to the store, plan in some relaxation time for you as well. That will look different for everyone, but make sure it’s in there. Whether it is some alone time with a book or movie, or getting a mani-pedi with friends, just try to be conscious of where you can add it in. Please? My self care is going to be watching movies with my cats and husband. Sounds purrfect to me! #sorrynotsorry

     When we already feel fatigued 365 days a year, ‘The Holidays’ just are insult to injury. Just the fact that the two words ‘hustle and bustle’ are associated with this time of year, can just make them that much worse for so many of us. Sleep is so often a number one priority, but it unfortunately gets tossed by the wayside for parties, cooking and spending time with family. Not to say that any of those things are bad, but when they come before sleep, many things in our bodies can start to unravel.

Maintaining our sleep schedule is going to take some boundaries. Letting people know that we will have to leave on the earlier side, just popping in for an hour or so, or even declining some invites all together, is usually the way I go. It feels like it’s unfair, but I’d rather go to 3 events for an hour, than 1 event for 3 hours. Naps are also something great to include! There has been more and more scientific evidence stating that naps are helpful for us. Quick naps during the day can restore energy quickly. I’m always down for that!

EAT

     We all need to eat obviously. But what we eat around ‘The Holidays’ can look very different from what we normally eat. This can lead to a lot of digestive issues, which many of us with MS usually deal with anyway. Regardless of your way of eating, whether it is AIP, Wahls or otherwise, there are some key things to keep in mind. Make sure to be drinking plenty of water, this will give your digestive organs (and every other organ) a boost and help to function at optimal levels. Make sure that fruits and veggies are present on your plates on a daily basis. Some quick options would be a salad with tons of veggies or a smoothie.

As yummy as it can be, try to be conscious of your treats during this time too. Sugar only adds fuel to the inflammation fire, so use with caution. I’m not saying don’t have sugar at all. I’m just saying be mindful of what you’re having. Make sure that it’s worth it to you and you’re not eating it to please someone else.

     I can hear the objections now. You already on the move! I get it. You’re running here and there, so why on earth am I asking you to move more? Because I am asking you to move in a way that YOU want to. Remember how I told you to plan in some time for you? That’s a great time to go for a walk, dance party in the living room, go to a yoga or take a tai chi class. Anything that moves you to move, I’m for it.

DON’T FORGET..

One last reminder. In all the stress of ‘The Holidays’ don’t forget about the reason for the season. Take a timeout for some gratitude and be gentle with yourself. Even if this year hasn’t been the best health wise or life wise, say thanks to your body. It has brought you this far and it’s doing the best that it can. I often would struggle with this and see my body as “other”, but it’s right there with you, every step of the way.

     ‘The Holidays’ are truly meant to celebrate everything that is special to us. We don’t have to let the stress and their fast paced nature take away their magic. I urge you to find something new to celebrate this year. Even if it’s something small.

Does this resonate with you? Leave me a note in the comments below!

I’M ALISSA!

I help women who have also been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis make specific and personalized diet, lifestyle & subconscious changes so that they can begin to heal their body, reduce disease symptoms, and return to a life they love.hey there,

follow along on Instagram:

Or for when you’re trying to talk yourself out of being sick.. 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️😂😂

Even if you feel fine, try saying a few of these out loud. Feel what happens to your body when you do.

Do you feel an expansion or lightness in your chest?
Does breathing get a little easier?
Just notice the shifts in your body.

I’m not saying we can talk ourselves out of it (illness, flares etc) … but… our body and cells respond to our thoughts.

So how we think about ourselves is definitely in the conversation of how we can take care of ourselves overall. 
🧡🧡🧡

Or for when you’re trying to talk yourself out of being sick.. 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️😂😂

Even if you feel fine, try saying a few of these out loud. Feel what happens to your body when you do.

Do you feel an expansion or lightness in your chest?
Does breathing get a little easier?
Just notice the shifts in your body.

I’m not saying we can talk ourselves out of it (illness, flares etc) … but… our body and cells respond to our thoughts.

So how we think about ourselves is definitely in the conversation of how we can take care of ourselves overall.
🧡🧡🧡
...

37 4
IDK if it’s hot where you live, but where I live, it’s been hot AF.

And you know what that means, you might be seeing an increase in MS symptoms too. 

I’ve been using all the cooling methods, but I wanted to see if there was more I could do. 

Did you know you can use the food you eat to help cool your body temperature too? 

Food can help you stay cool by helping to regulate your body temperature and promoting hydration and sweating.

Some of the foods that help:
🥒Water rich veggies: like cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, celery etc
🍓Fruits: like berries, melons and tropical fruits 
🥥Coconut water and coconut milk
🌿Herbs: mint (mint water is 💯), dill, rosemary, lavender, lemongrass, chamomile 
🌶️Spices: paprika, cayenne, peppers etc

If you tolerate them, add these to your next shopping trip and I hope you stay cool!!

PS— I just dropped my new Eating for MS guide!! 
If you: 
👉🏼 are confused about what to eat to help MS symptoms because of all the mixed messages online..
👉🏼 are stuck in paralysis by analysis because of said confusion, which makes you do nothing cause you’re afraid you’ll do it “wrong” anyway.. 
👉🏼 know you want to eat differently, but the thought of “starting a diet” sends you into a spiral.. 

This guide is for you!!

Comment GUIDE below and I’ll send you the link to download!!

IDK if it’s hot where you live, but where I live, it’s been hot AF.

And you know what that means, you might be seeing an increase in MS symptoms too.

I’ve been using all the cooling methods, but I wanted to see if there was more I could do.

Did you know you can use the food you eat to help cool your body temperature too?

Food can help you stay cool by helping to regulate your body temperature and promoting hydration and sweating.

Some of the foods that help:
🥒Water rich veggies: like cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, celery etc
🍓Fruits: like berries, melons and tropical fruits
🥥Coconut water and coconut milk
🌿Herbs: mint (mint water is 💯), dill, rosemary, lavender, lemongrass, chamomile
🌶️Spices: paprika, cayenne, peppers etc

If you tolerate them, add these to your next shopping trip and I hope you stay cool!!

PS— I just dropped my new Eating for MS guide!!
If you:
👉🏼 are confused about what to eat to help MS symptoms because of all the mixed messages online..
👉🏼 are stuck in paralysis by analysis because of said confusion, which makes you do nothing cause you’re afraid you’ll do it “wrong” anyway..
👉🏼 know you want to eat differently, but the thought of “starting a diet” sends you into a spiral..

This guide is for you!!

Comment GUIDE below and I’ll send you the link to download!!
...

13 3
The soil you grow your tomatoes in matters.
Well, the soil you grow everything matters.

(This is also a metaphor for your mind)

Rich nutrient dense soil = healthy plants 
Soil full of sticks, rocks and a tiny bit of nutrients = unhealthy plants

The foundations on which you build a garden (or a mindset) really matter in the end. 

Which would you choose?

PS- My new Eating for MS guide is here!!
If you’ve ever been confused on what to eat to help MS symptoms, this is for you!!

Comment GUIDE and I’ll send you the link to download!!

The soil you grow your tomatoes in matters.
Well, the soil you grow everything matters.

(This is also a metaphor for your mind)

Rich nutrient dense soil = healthy plants
Soil full of sticks, rocks and a tiny bit of nutrients = unhealthy plants

The foundations on which you build a garden (or a mindset) really matter in the end.

Which would you choose?

PS- My new Eating for MS guide is here!!
If you’ve ever been confused on what to eat to help MS symptoms, this is for you!!

Comment GUIDE and I’ll send you the link to download!!
...

4 0
I shoulda just dunked myself lol.

But save this post to have these tips at the ready.

If you’re an MSer.. you know an increase in temperature can cause our already compromised neurons to work even less effectively than normal.

While we may feel like 💩, there usually isn’t new disease activity causing the symptoms. Rather a worsening of current symptoms, which is also called a pseudoexacerbation.

(Now, if you’re feeling extra 💩💩, and some new symptoms crop up, a call to your doc might be in order.)

There’s a few things I have found helpful for managing the heat:

BE PROACTIVE: Instead of waiting until you’re about to melt, use cooling strategies before you really need them. 
Hopefully this way, you’ll never get to the point where you feel like you may burst into flames.

CREATE AN OASIS: If you don’t have central AC, make (at least) one room in your house a cool oasis where you can hide from the heat.

ACCESSORIZE: Get alllll the cooling products. @koldtec scarves, @releafpack cooling packs (amazing for the back of the neck), an awesome water bottle that keeps water ice cold, personal fans or popsicles!

For me, I can feel ok in the heat until all of a sudden I don’t. Using my proactive cooling has helped a ton.
Also, my heat tolerance has been improving since I have been taking so many steps to improve my health.
I rarely feel tingly in my legs which used to be a warm weather staple for me.

But most of all, make sure to advocate for yourself and your comfort.
You deserve comfort as well as any other person.
Please don’t let fear of “ruining” a summer day keep you from saying what you need.
🧡🧡🧡

I shoulda just dunked myself lol.

But save this post to have these tips at the ready.

If you’re an MSer.. you know an increase in temperature can cause our already compromised neurons to work even less effectively than normal.

While we may feel like 💩, there usually isn’t new disease activity causing the symptoms. Rather a worsening of current symptoms, which is also called a pseudoexacerbation.

(Now, if you’re feeling extra 💩💩, and some new symptoms crop up, a call to your doc might be in order.)

There’s a few things I have found helpful for managing the heat:

BE PROACTIVE: Instead of waiting until you’re about to melt, use cooling strategies before you really need them.
Hopefully this way, you’ll never get to the point where you feel like you may burst into flames.

CREATE AN OASIS: If you don’t have central AC, make (at least) one room in your house a cool oasis where you can hide from the heat.

ACCESSORIZE: Get alllll the cooling products. @koldtec scarves, @releafpack cooling packs (amazing for the back of the neck), an awesome water bottle that keeps water ice cold, personal fans or popsicles!

For me, I can feel ok in the heat until all of a sudden I don’t. Using my proactive cooling has helped a ton.
Also, my heat tolerance has been improving since I have been taking so many steps to improve my health.
I rarely feel tingly in my legs which used to be a warm weather staple for me.

But most of all, make sure to advocate for yourself and your comfort.
You deserve comfort as well as any other person.
Please don’t let fear of “ruining” a summer day keep you from saying what you need.
🧡🧡🧡
...

27 4
Growing your own fruit or veggie is a great way to eat more of them!!

It may seem daunting, but it’s actually pretty easy.

Some easy things to grow if you’re just starting out:

🥬Leafy greens (I’m harvesting my kale here!)
🫛Peas
🍅Tomatoes
🍓Strawberries 
🫑Peppers
🥒Squash & zucchini 
🫘Beans

I’ve grown some type of veggie for years now, usually squash, peas and tomatoes (for Scott lol).

Do you have a garden? That can be in ground, raised or even containers like me.

What do you like to grow?? Tell me below!!

PS- need something to do with the veggies you grow?? 

I just dropped my new Eating for MS Guide, where I talk all about what foods are best for MS and give you some recipe ideas so it’s super simple for you to find symptom relief through food too.

Comment GUIDE below and I’ll send you the link to download!! (And it’s free!!)

Growing your own fruit or veggie is a great way to eat more of them!!

It may seem daunting, but it’s actually pretty easy.

Some easy things to grow if you’re just starting out:

🥬Leafy greens (I’m harvesting my kale here!)
🫛Peas
🍅Tomatoes
🍓Strawberries
🫑Peppers
🥒Squash & zucchini
🫘Beans

I’ve grown some type of veggie for years now, usually squash, peas and tomatoes (for Scott lol).

Do you have a garden? That can be in ground, raised or even containers like me.

What do you like to grow?? Tell me below!!

PS- need something to do with the veggies you grow??

I just dropped my new Eating for MS Guide, where I talk all about what foods are best for MS and give you some recipe ideas so it’s super simple for you to find symptom relief through food too.

Comment GUIDE below and I’ll send you the link to download!! (And it’s free!!)
...

18 6
⭐️Changing my diet!!⭐️

First, like and save this post so you can come back to it if you need.

It took me years to finally be ready to consider changing my diet to help MS symptoms.

It actually took a pretty bad rock bottom moment, but that’s a story for another day.

I get it if you feel like this process is hard and daunting.

Start here:
⭐️YOU DONT HAVE TO CHANGE EVERYTHING AT ONCE
⭐️Pick a meal to switch up, include a few different foods a week or increase protein.
⭐️Get curious about how the foods you’re currently eating are making you feel

Those are just 3 suggestions to get you started.

Want more information about Eating for MS?

Like what (imo) you should include in your diet, how to eliminate foods, and meal ideas??
So that you too can feel so much better in your body and get your life back?

I just dropped a new Eating for MS Guide, full of all the info you need to get started on your own food journey.

Comment GUIDE below and I’ll send you the link! 
🧡🧡🧡

⭐️Changing my diet!!⭐️

First, like and save this post so you can come back to it if you need.

It took me years to finally be ready to consider changing my diet to help MS symptoms.

It actually took a pretty bad rock bottom moment, but that’s a story for another day.

I get it if you feel like this process is hard and daunting.

Start here:
⭐️YOU DONT HAVE TO CHANGE EVERYTHING AT ONCE
⭐️Pick a meal to switch up, include a few different foods a week or increase protein.
⭐️Get curious about how the foods you’re currently eating are making you feel

Those are just 3 suggestions to get you started.

Want more information about Eating for MS?

Like what (imo) you should include in your diet, how to eliminate foods, and meal ideas??
So that you too can feel so much better in your body and get your life back?

I just dropped a new Eating for MS Guide, full of all the info you need to get started on your own food journey.

Comment GUIDE below and I’ll send you the link!
🧡🧡🧡
...

34 25
Or, comment WAITLIST to be notified when it’s ready!!

I’ve been talking to many of you about your questions regarding eating for MS.

There’s lots of confusion about what is “right” and “wrong”. 

Lemme tell you, I’ll answer this in the guide for sure- and it prob won’t be the answer you’re expecting?

Drop any other questions below and I’ll answer them!!

Or, comment WAITLIST to be notified when it’s ready!!

I’ve been talking to many of you about your questions regarding eating for MS.

There’s lots of confusion about what is “right” and “wrong”.

Lemme tell you, I’ll answer this in the guide for sure- and it prob won’t be the answer you’re expecting?

Drop any other questions below and I’ll answer them!!
...

19 7
:: first, comment WAITLIST below to be notified when my new Eating for MS Guide is available!::

When I was first diagnosed with MS I didn’t even think to ask if anything else besides medication would help me.

It didn’t even occur to me that changing my diet or managing stress would also play a part in my disease.

It took a few years, several relapses and failed medications for my BOYFRIEND (now hubby) to ask my neurologist if any diet would help.

And even then, my neuros answer was 🤷🏻‍♂️.

If you also haven’t considered it, let me be the first to tell you:

✨IT’S ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE✨ 
to decrease your symptoms and influence your long term prognosis by implementing lifestyle changes.

What we eat
How we move
How we manage stress
Our toxin burden
Our hydration status
Etc etc etc
all go a long way in helping us MSers live better with MS.

I lived this transformation; from totally exhausted and unable to get off the couch to hiking mountains or playing golf,
I KNOW it’s possible for you, too.

I’m in the final stages of putting together a comprehensive resource on Eating for MS, comment WAITLIST and I’ll let you know when it’s ready!!

:: first, comment WAITLIST below to be notified when my new Eating for MS Guide is available!::

When I was first diagnosed with MS I didn’t even think to ask if anything else besides medication would help me.

It didn’t even occur to me that changing my diet or managing stress would also play a part in my disease.

It took a few years, several relapses and failed medications for my BOYFRIEND (now hubby) to ask my neurologist if any diet would help.

And even then, my neuros answer was 🤷🏻‍♂️.

If you also haven’t considered it, let me be the first to tell you:

✨IT’S ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE✨ 
to decrease your symptoms and influence your long term prognosis by implementing lifestyle changes.

What we eat
How we move
How we manage stress
Our toxin burden
Our hydration status
Etc etc etc
all go a long way in helping us MSers live better with MS.

I lived this transformation; from totally exhausted and unable to get off the couch to hiking mountains or playing golf,
I KNOW it’s possible for you, too.

I’m in the final stages of putting together a comprehensive resource on Eating for MS, comment WAITLIST and I’ll let you know when it’s ready!!
...

29 22
I’ve seen this trend with women under 35 and over 35.. so let’s see if we can adapt this for others living with MS!

Those of you who are living with MS for just a few years ask a question and those of us who have been living with it for many years will answer!

Who knows, this may bomb, but the idea is fun!!

Ask away!

I’ve seen this trend with women under 35 and over 35.. so let’s see if we can adapt this for others living with MS!

Those of you who are living with MS for just a few years ask a question and those of us who have been living with it for many years will answer!

Who knows, this may bomb, but the idea is fun!!

Ask away!
...

40 41
Last week I wanted 0 to do with working out. 

I love working out,
I love being able to lift heavy things and feel strong.
But last week?
Nah, I was all set. 

However.. I have some goals and abilities I want to maintain.

Strength training is one way of the consistent ways I help myself to feel good despite living with MS. 

So I made sure that there wasn’t a reason I didn’t want to workout besides my inner toddler, and lo and behold- there wasn’t.
So off I went. 

I gave myself permission to go lighter and slower, which helped me be successful in doing it at all. 

I often find that when I stop strength training for a while, everything starts to hurt, so that’s obviously not what I’m going for. 

I also have a goal of gaining muscle. Muscle decline happens anyway with age, I don’t need to help it along with not moving. 

✨Following through with my daily habits is a form of self care.✨

If you’re done with thinking: 
“I know what to do, I just can’t seem to do it” 
DM me ACTION and we’ll chat

Last week I wanted 0 to do with working out.

I love working out,
I love being able to lift heavy things and feel strong.
But last week?
Nah, I was all set.

However.. I have some goals and abilities I want to maintain.

Strength training is one way of the consistent ways I help myself to feel good despite living with MS.

So I made sure that there wasn’t a reason I didn’t want to workout besides my inner toddler, and lo and behold- there wasn’t.
So off I went.

I gave myself permission to go lighter and slower, which helped me be successful in doing it at all.

I often find that when I stop strength training for a while, everything starts to hurt, so that’s obviously not what I’m going for.

I also have a goal of gaining muscle. Muscle decline happens anyway with age, I don’t need to help it along with not moving.

✨Following through with my daily habits is a form of self care.✨

If you’re done with thinking:
“I know what to do, I just can’t seem to do it”
DM me ACTION and we’ll chat
...

17 4
Instead of being a lump on the couch, now I can go hiking up a mountain with my husband 
Or walk 8 miles around NYC with my sister 
Or do a workout at the gym
Or shower, go shopping and cook dinner all in the same day 

This is possible because: 
✨Yes, the medication I’m on helps for sure 

But truthfully my life has improved so much because of:

✨My daily habits and lifestyle (my morning routine, my diet, my sleep habits, my workouts..)

✨ But what REALLY moved the needle is actively working to have a mindset that allows me to be flexible with myself, to give myself grace when I “mess up” (aka- when I don’t follow through on a habit)

✨This is a mindset that doesn’t require perfection✨

This allows me to be consistent with the habits- like diet changes or movement programs or whatever else I want to do, which then allows me to see progress (aka: my body feeling better)

Which THEN gives me the motivation and desire to keep doing what I’m doing.

✨This is the secret to “success”- right here.✨
Consistent action + giving yourself grace + noticing progress = motivation to keep going. 

It’s not quick or sexy, its actually rather boring.
But boring is actually way better!! 

If you want a life where you:
Feel good in your body, 
Have energy to spend on your friends and family, 
Don’t think about what the MS symptom of the day will be..

I help you create that life for yourself in my signature program, Holistically Healing MS. 

Today is the last day it’s on FLASH SALE… 
Comment MOUNTAIN below and I’ll send you the details!!

Instead of being a lump on the couch, now I can go hiking up a mountain with my husband
Or walk 8 miles around NYC with my sister
Or do a workout at the gym
Or shower, go shopping and cook dinner all in the same day

This is possible because:
✨Yes, the medication I’m on helps for sure

But truthfully my life has improved so much because of:

✨My daily habits and lifestyle (my morning routine, my diet, my sleep habits, my workouts..)

✨ But what REALLY moved the needle is actively working to have a mindset that allows me to be flexible with myself, to give myself grace when I “mess up” (aka- when I don’t follow through on a habit)

✨This is a mindset that doesn’t require perfection✨

This allows me to be consistent with the habits- like diet changes or movement programs or whatever else I want to do, which then allows me to see progress (aka: my body feeling better)

Which THEN gives me the motivation and desire to keep doing what I’m doing.

✨This is the secret to “success”- right here.✨
Consistent action + giving yourself grace + noticing progress = motivation to keep going.

It’s not quick or sexy, its actually rather boring.
But boring is actually way better!!

If you want a life where you:
Feel good in your body,
Have energy to spend on your friends and family,
Don’t think about what the MS symptom of the day will be..

I help you create that life for yourself in my signature program, Holistically Healing MS.

Today is the last day it’s on FLASH SALE…
Comment MOUNTAIN below and I’ll send you the details!!
...

39 2

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