HAWMC 2013 – Day 5: Overhaul Medical School Curriculum

If I could do anything as a health activist, I would change the curriculum offered in medical schools to provide students with the following foundation:


  • The study of what we eat and how it affects our bodies should not be relegated to an area of study or a required single-term class; it should be the foundation upon which everything else is learned. It makes absolute zero sense for a patient to receive care and treatment from one specialist for one problem and another specialist for another problem when addressing the patient’s food allergies and/or sensitivities will solve both problems. No. Sense. Whatsoever. Human bodies are intricate organic machines with many parts reliant on one another. In addition, all the different parts are wholly reliant on a single source for sustenance and maintenance: food.

Bodies Are Unique

  • The principal that every single person’s body is unique and some patients may know more about their body than their primary care physician should permeate across everything medical students learn. Treatments that work for some people do not work for others. As I have spent the past three years researching natural ways to manage Multiple Sclerosis, I learned that there is not one single nutrition plan that works for everyone with MS. Some do great eating gluten, and some don’t. Some do great eating red meat, and some don’t. Doctors need to work with their patients and trust that the patient may know more about their body. Which leads me to…


  • This is a must for the doctor and patient relationship to be successful. It is also a must for doctors specializing in different fields to collaborate with each other to best help improve a patient’s health. The modern-day à la carte system does not benefit the patient and can prolong or worsen their condition.

An education built on nutrition, the principal that each patient’s body is unique and should be treated as such, and that teaches doctors to collaborate with one another and their patients would really go a long way toward overhauling our medical system. I strongly believe improving our medical system has to start with formal education.

Patients are educating themselves using the vast resource that is the Internet. In our virtual communities, regardless the illness or disease, we collaborate with each other and learn that our bodies are unique and how they may be affected by nutrition. Perhaps it isn’t until enough doctors become patients that the curriculum taught in non-alternative medical schools will be overhauled.

Disclaimer: Having never been a medical student, I most certainly don’t know the intricate details of the curriculum currently offered to students at non-alternative medical schools. I know a good amount of people working in the health industry—hospital owners, nurses, doctors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, patients, etc.—and feel as though I have a generic enough understanding of the education provided at these schools to propose an overhaul. What I think I know could be incorrect and I welcome any dialog that may clarify my understanding.

As part of WEGO Health’s third Health Activist’s Writer’s Month Challenge, I am challenging myself to write 30 posts in 30 days using prompts provided for the event. Wish me luck, or join me!


HAWMC 2013 – Day 4: Sharing Resources for Natural Treatment

Today, I added a Resources page that includes links to the articles, blogs, books, and communities I have relied on over the past three years. Not all the links are about natural treatment, but were helpful to me in one way or another and the advice and information in some contradict with one another. Much like using pharmaceuticals as a disease modifying therapy, where some people try many different drugs until they find the one(s) that work for them, treating your condition with nutrition and lifestyle will also be custom tailored to you, your body, and way of living.

Spend time reading and watching everything you can and start making changes that make sense for you. If you know you are lactose intolerant, cut dairy completely out of your diet. If you really don’t enjoy running for exercise, stop running and start moving in a way you enjoy. Etc., etc., etc. Soon enough your treatment plan will begin to take shape and you will start feeling better.

Please share any additional resources for natural treatment that have been helpful for you. I don’t have much time for Internet research these days and would love to learn about what else is available.

As part of WEGO Health’s third Health Activist’s Writer’s Month Challenge, I am challenging myself to write 30 posts in 30 days using prompts provided for the event. Wish me luck, or join me!

HAWMC 2013 – Day 3: Wordless Wednesday

HAWMC 2013 - Day 3: Wordless Wednesday - Happy Turtle Eating Healthy Food

As part of WEGO Health’s third Health Activist’s Writer’s Month Challenge, I am challenging myself to write 30 posts in 30 days using prompts provided for the event. Wish me luck, or join me!

HAWMC 2013 – Day 2: Previous Posts that May Help New MSers

Digging through previous posts, looking for 3-5 that can help people newly diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I decided on the five listed below. I hope they are helpful!

May 17, 2010 – Lifestyle Change Ain’t Too Easy

  • Being diagnosed with a chronic illness is life changing. This post outlines a few steps I took to begin treating my illness naturally.

November 16, 2010 – Why I Decided to Treat My Multiple Sclerosis Naturally

  • The story behind why I knew I would use natural methods to treat my MS before I was diagnosed, with links to other resources (articles, books, and videos).

November 19, 2010 – Why Does Everything Have to be Treated With Drugs?

  • Big Pharma = Big Money. This post includes a link to an article about the big business of disease branding and marketing. A must read for anyone weighing the pros and cons of treating their illness with a “disease modifying therapy.”

May 18, 2011 – 5 Steps to Getting Back on Track

  • You will have setbacks. When I do, these are the steps I take to get back on track.

September 6, 2012 – In Which Ms. Newb Rambles and Starts Over

  • Again with the setbacks. They are not failures but opportunities to start over. This post includes a link to an encouraging article about starting over.

As part of WEGO Health’s third Health Activist’s Writer’s Month Challenge, I am challenging myself to write 30 posts in 30 days using prompts provided for the event. Wish me luck, or join me!

HAWMC 2013 – Day 1: Getting Started

Why do I write? Well, I started writing three years ago because I thought I could make a difference. Much like this line from Björk’s Hunter, one of my favorite songs.

I thought I could organize freedom; how Scandinavian of me.

While I am part Scandinavian, it is naive and, dare I say it, newbish, for anyone to think they can change other people. Three years ago, when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), I hoped to achieve the following by starting a blog:

  • Expose Big Pharma as a greedy monster that makes up health disorders for which it conveniently has remedies or treatments and then everyone would take up arms against their diabolical tactics.
  • Convince people with MS they don’t need drugs to manage their symptoms.
  • Contribute to the growing community of people with MS who are treating their symptoms naturally.
  • Convince everyone that our food, rather, processed food and convenience-centered lifestyles, are making us all sick.

It turns out all I really can do is share what I know and learn. People will decide for themselves, and they may choose to not make any changes. At best, what I write will plant a seed. Perhaps more information they come across elsewhere will water that seed, and as time passes while they continue gathering information, rays of sunlight will shine on the seed and it will grow.

I write because I hope to plant a seed; food for thought. I write to document my journey; leaving bread crumbs behind to see where I’ve been. I write because when I was diagnosed, I sought answers and shared experiences online; I want to pay it forward, to others seeking as I did.

As part of WEGO Health’s third Health Activist’s Writer’s Month Challenge, I am challenging myself to write 30 posts in 30 days using prompts provided for the event. Wish me luck, or join me!

Instead of Resolutions, Make Changes Using One Word

Inspired by a post I came across—Change Your Life in 2013 With One Word—on Money Saving Mom®—I decided to do away with traditional New Year resolutions and use one word to effect change in my life throughout 2013. My word this year is Discipline, using the definition of “behavior and order maintained by training and control,” and it’s been working. It’s helped me get back on track with my treatment plan of food as my medicine, and I’m getting more done at work and at home.

About this time of year people may have altogether given up on their resolutions. The one word resolution is simple and incorporates the “practice makes perfect” method of habit-forming behavior. If you’ve given up on your resolutions, or just want to try this out, it’s not too late to choose a word for yourself. Just sit quietly for a few minutes and your word should surface above your swirling thoughts and make itself known to you.

Next month, I will be heavily relying on Discipline when I participate in the Health Activist’s Writer Challenge. Discipline encouraged to me to sign up for it, so it better stick around and help me get through it! Thankfully, yesterday all registered participants received a prompt for each of the 30 days, which means I can start working on them now. I am really excited to take part in this. Not only will it breathe life into this blog, but I will gain more practice writing and will be presented with the challenge of testing my Discipline.

I have wanted to blog about many of the topics in the prompts, so this will be fun and exciting. I can’t wait to share them with you!

Eye-Opening Advice from Seth Godin

An excerpt from The Great Discontent’s interview with Seth Godin, emphasis mine. From their about page: “The Great Discontent is a journal of interviews focusing on creativity, risk, and what connects us as artists.”

If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting out, what would you say?

This is easy. There’s a picture that I just saw online two days ago. Monday I have this seminar I’m running for free for college students and I’m going to show them this picture before we start. It’s a picture of someone graduating from college. You can’t tell, but you can guess that they’re probably $150,000 in debt. Written on the top of their mortarboard with masking tape it says, “Hire me.” The thing about the picture that’s pathetic, beyond the notion that you need to spam the audience at graduation with a note saying you’re looking for a job, is that you went $150,000 in debt and spent four years of your life so someone else could pick you. That’s ridiculous. It really makes me sad to see that. The opportunity of a lifetime is to pick yourself. Quit waiting to get picked; quit waiting for someone to give you permission; quit waiting for someone to say you are officially qualified and pick yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to be an entrepreneur or a freelancer, but it does mean you stand up and say, “I have something to say. I know how to do something. I’m doing it. If you want me to do it with you, raise your hand.”

via The Great Discontent: Seth Godin.

Brilliant. Just brilliant. I don’t know if it’s my Generation X, the way I was brought up, or just how I am, but being picked meant you were someone special. You had to work hard to prove to the pickers that you were worthy of being picked. So silly!

Changing that perception requires a willingness to fail, repeatedly. This is touched on in the interview with Seth. He’s an advocate for failure and understandably so. How else are you going to learn and improve? You have to make mistakes else your life will be lived in monochrome and monotone. Yuck! So ugly and boring.

Make mistakes people. Be proud of them. Seek them out and be thankful for what they teach you.