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20151217_155010 with Santa at Arthur's Coffee Shop

December 17, 2015, at age 66, I’m turning into my Christmas wish list to Santa. At the top of my wish list? An ultra healthy lifestyle that helps beat MS for everyone with MS. There’s no better way to stay healthy, happy and sizzling than to dump the meat and saturated fats and follow ultra healthy living guidelines. Think plant power!

Almost 66 and still having fun. Ultra healthy living matters. It's the path to economical living, health and happiness. Rebecca Hoover celebrating a friend's birthday with him at W.A. Frost in St. Paul, Minnesota -- Sept. 4, 2015.

Almost 66 and still having fun. Ultra healthy living matters. It’s the path to economical living, health and happiness. Rebecca Hoover celebrating a friend’s birthday with him at W.A. Frost in St. Paul — Sept. 4, 2015.

Rebecca Hoover, age 62, photograph taken Dec. 23, 2011. Viva la healthy living!

Photo of Rebecca Hoover at age 60, taken June 2010.

Rebecca Hoover at age 60. Photo taken in March 2010. (The house belongs to Rebecca’s nephew — he bought it for a low, low price and fixed it up.)

Please do take the time to press the “home” tab and read the posts on how you can probably beat multiple sclerosis (MS).

I was diagnosed with MS in 1991 and now, more than 20 years later at age 63, I have no visible symptoms — despite never taking any drugs for MS, not even steroids. Most likely, I have done so well because I spent hundreds of hours reviewing research abstracts in PubMed and finding out what scientists and researchers said could be done to make MS more manageable. I have not had a relapse in more than 13 years. Because many of the steps involve very low or no costs, I want to share this information others with MS. Most of the steps do involve ultra living healthy — making wise choices about diet, exercise, sleep, etc.

You might be interested in seeing a brief welcome video I made welcoming you to this blog.

Rebecca Hoover, at age 63, Thanksgiving 2012. (I love this picture of me because it makes me look younger than I actually look.)

Rebecca Hoover, at age 63, Thanksgiving 2012. (I love this picture of me because it makes me look younger than I actually look.)

Early after I was diagnosed with MS, I had my share of MS problems. These included severe problems walking and two bouts of optic neuritis that caused temporary blindness first in one eye and later in the other. I was happy to learn that life style changes could help keep these problems away. After experiencing MS problems, I was definitely motivated enough to change my life style.

Photograph of Rebecca Hoover taken July 2009.

Photograph of Rebecca Hoover taken July 2009.

So how good do I feel after all of these years with MS? Well, quite good. I broke an ankle a few years ago and now have arthritis in that ankle thanks to that nasty break. That dang ankle hurts. Other than that, I am in good shape. When I had my last cardiovascular stress test, I outran the average woman of my age and, of course, the average woman does not have MS. I walk briskly and run intervals in a routine that takes an hour per day, five days each week. Three days a week I do strength building exercises including lifting weights.

I can even dance on my tiptoes and pretend I’m Beyonce for 15 minutes without difficulty. My overweight neighbor, in contrast, who is 20 years younger than I am, cannot even walk 10 feet on her tiptoes. I work as the Administrator for a law firm that specializes in debt relief. (Those from other countries other than the USA may not know that debt relief is very important in the USA because our lack of guaranteed access to health care means that many end up with huge medical bills they can never afford to pay.)

Photograph of Rebecca Hoover at age 63 taken July 27, 2013, by Karl Oliver.

Some think that those of us with MS have to accept disability but I think we may have to accept inconvenience but we can combine this inconvenience with wellness, good looks, even glamor if we wish, and a full and vibrant life.

My goal is to no less than help create the Intelligent Person’s Guide to Beating MS because the reality is that ultra healthy living is needed to beat MS. If you want to beat MS, it helps to know what scientists think you should eat, how much you should sleep, what you should do about heat, etc.

Just so you know, I want to mention that I think the MS drugs are not at all impressive and often produce results that are much less healthy than those produced by ultra-healthy living. The research shows that some of the drugs make MS worse for about 30% of those who take these drugs. Moreover, when the drugs do work, the drugs reduce relapses by about 30% — hardly an exciting result. One study showed just taking 14,000 I.U. of Vitamin D3 could produce better results than that (about a 40% reduction in relapses). In addition, the drugs produce severe side effects for some, and many try the drugs but experience such problems that they stop taking the drugs. The drugs are ultra risky and ultra expensive especially since some of them can make MS worse than it would other be.

Ultra healthy living, on the other hand, has almost no side effects other than a rare food allergy and is ultra economical. Most who try ultra healthy living end up in great shape and with good looking skin, lowered blood pressure, and a lower risk of heart disease. I think everyone needs to get on the healthy living train. Please talk to your doctor and get started! Ultra healthy living, however, is more precise than you might imagine. The research shows candy bars and ice cream, for example, are not part of ultra healthy living for those with MS. Please take the time to read the posts here to find out what ultra healthy living means for those with MS.

In addition to sharing information on how you can improve your odds by making wise choices, I want to help smash stereotypes associated with MS. Some of the most impressive, hard working and even sexy people in the world have had MS and I think it is time that those of us with MS challenge the view of us as somehow not capable of much. Please recall Paul Wellstone was a U.S. Senator who had MS. Barbara Jordan, who gave one of the best 100 speeches of the 20th century, had MS.

I work full-time (this pays the bills) and my interests include social justice, the environment, and health care for all. In recognition for some of my contributions to the community, I was elected a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Our goals are to foster enlightenment thinking and to serve a force for social progress. There are about 25,000 fellows at this time. More notable fellows from the past include Benjamin Franklin, Karl Marx, Adam Smith, William Hogarth and Charles Dickens. Needless to say, most of us are not quite as notable as these past fellows.

For me, this blog is very much about expressing the yearnings of my heart and about challenging ourselves and the world and taking back our power. Please do leave comments on my blog. Please let me know what you like and what you find helpful. Please also let me know of ideas for adding topics. You can reach me at rebecca10012002 at yahoo dot com.

Thank you for visiting this site and for all you do. Remember with some ultra healthy living you probably can beat MS too.

Copyright 2009 Rebecca Hoover

Please remember to consult your doctors about how to stay as healthy as possible. Nothing here should be interpreted as medical advice. Instead, please use the information you find here in your discussions with your doctor.

Copyright 2010 Rebecca Hoover

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1. Colleen Casey - August 30, 2008

Hi Rebecca!

Nice site! It was fun meeting you last night and hope to do it again sometime!

Have a good weekend!

2. darby - September 4, 2008

Ok Rebecca –

I was diagnosed in Oct. 07, and have been researching ever since. I am in total agreement with your beliefs and that we need to change the face of this disease, facing it head on to find out the whys and hows, and cures. Thanks again for all of your helpful information.

3. Karen - December 23, 2008

Hi Rebecca, Love this site! So much helpful information. Many of your beliefs matched mine, but also learned several new things. I have made some positive changes (diet, supplements, exercise, etc) and it has really made a difference in my overall health. Really enjoy the positive look at what ms can be. So many other sources are just plain scary. How can that help anyone? This site helps more than you know. Thank you so much!

4. kitty - March 29, 2009

Thak you very much for this site.

I got diagnosed one month ago.
Today all day I was feeling scared.
Now that I was reading through your site I feel much better.


5. Helen - May 8, 2009

Hi Rebecca. I really like your site. It appeals to my intelligence and to my emotions…Yes, I can feel you.
Perhaps because I will be 55 years old in June 09. I don’t feel as good as you yet (flare in March 09)….but I’m working on it. I’m in rehab for walking and balance It has been slow for me so I am going to walk daily as you do but in the pool.

Your site has given me hope! I am interested in learning more especially from a mature woman like myself. (we’re not the only “old” ladies with MS.) I going to let some of them know about you.

6. julie calder - May 9, 2009

Hi! Have you seen the list of ‘What I eat’ on my page of Rebecca’s website? It might give you a few ideas…
Best of luck!

7. Miranda Olding - February 24, 2010

Hello Rebecca, I’m an MS Nurse working in the (voluntary sector) Bedford MS Therapy Centre, UK. I also have a separate private practice as a holistic health practitioner, using the QXCI SCIO biofeedback device. Found your site today whilst searching for word on CCSVI liberation procedure for people with ‘progressive’ MS. Very impressed with your well researched, clear and intelligent tone, and the healthy living rings true with all that I know. I will be checking in and also referring people to come have a look. All the best, Miranda Olding

8. Dianne - March 17, 2010

Hello Rebecca,
Enjoyed your site. Learned a lot. A definite place to begin my recovery. I have been diagnosed with primary progressive ms. Does the diet help with all forms of ms? PPMS does not have any affective med. One is simply at its mercy. Have you heard from people with PPMS that have had positive results.
Thanks. It is aways good to hear of people beating this thing.
Hope is wonderful.

Rebecca Hoover - March 17, 2010

I have known a number of individuals over the years with primary progressive MS (PPMS) who all swear by MS diets. I do not know one person with PPMS who tried out an MS diet and then abandoned the diet. Eating an ultra health diet makes all of the difference in the world. The other steps I recommend on my site such as vitamin D3 supplements all are good ideas too. It is important to take good care of yourself. I hope you try out the ultra healthy life style and then write to us in three and six months to let us know how you are doing. I’m betting you will be happy you decided to change your style and can tell the difference. Also, try not to be too discouraged by the PPMS label. It is just a label. Many people manage to live long and happy lives with minimal disability despite the PPMS label.

I always think it is fun to think about good looks too. This ultra healthy life style is going to make you look your best–glowing eyes, soft skin. slim and trim, etc.! Heck, living this way is a good idea even one doesn’t have MS.

9. Irene - March 22, 2010

Dear Rebecca,
I find your writing quite insulting to those of us who are not able to manage our symptoms quite as well as you, the implication being we are therefore not intelligent. Well, I have a fair handful of qualifications that would suggest I’m not exactly lacking in that department. I eat a reasonably healthy diet, with the occasional indulgence – well I’m not a saint. If I was able to walk any distance or didn’t feel so tired I’d happily do more exercise. I’m not obese either by the way. Well, glad it worked for you Rebecca. Please try not to be so condescending and judgemental to those of us not quite so able. It’s always been easier to blame the patient – it’s actually NOT OUR FAULT!


Rebecca Hoover - March 22, 2010


Thank you for your comment and for sharing your feelings. I want you to know that I do not feel judgmental towards towards with more severe cases of MS but I do feel very concerned that so many do not know about the urgency of following an ultra healthy living program and diet such as the one suggested by Dr. Roy L. Swank or Dr. George Jelinek–both professors of medicine. It hardly seems fair to me that those of us who were fortunate enough to have great educations have access to the research showing the importance of life style changes while those with less education after often left with nothing other than relatively ineffective drugs for treatment. That is the reason I took the many hours required to prepare this site. I try my best to persuade others to look at the scientific evidence and make life style improvements.

Also, this year two of my neighbors died painful deaths from lung cancer after smoking for many years. I and others did everything we could to try to persuade these individuals to stop smoking but, ultimately, they did not do so until it was too late. All of us loved these individuals dearly and even now we wish our attempts at persuasion had been more successful. It is not that we felt judgmental–it is that we were concerned and felt great pain when eventually we had to watch others die unnecessarily. I feel similarly about those with MS who refuse to make the life style changes that, based on scientific evidence, are likely to help each of us achieve our optimal levels of wellness. Often I see such individuals and they claim they “eat healthy” but when I look at what they eat, I see them eating red meat, processed foods, sugar, refined flours, etc. I do not see them eating the truly healthy foods such as salmon and sardines, whole grains, legumes, fresh fruit and vegetables, raw nuts and raw seeds.

I am sorry you did not like this web site. I hope you will start following a diet that is 100% healthy anyway. I strongly believe that almost everyone with MS can experience improved wellness simply by adopting healthy life style behaviors. There is every reason for most to have hope.


10. Barbara Clark Moore - April 24, 2010

Thank you for such an uplifting, informative and comprehensive site! New in here, I feel like, thanks to you, I’ve discovered a treasure!
Very best,
Barbara Moore

11. Samantha Jones - May 9, 2010

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks so much for this website. It is nice to find some positive information out there! I have been on the Swank diet since February. It was a short putt for me since I already limited my fat intake due to high cholesterol. Now I only eat saturated fat when it is a component of a healthy fat (olive oil, nuts, etc.) I am now down to fewer than 5 grams a day of saturated fat a day and I do not miss it at all!

The reason I am attacking this disease with such vigor is because I watched my sister deteriorate and eventually die from MS. She lasted about 25 years but was diagnosed back in the 1980s when there was little to be done about it. My father bought her the Swank Diet book when it was published and encouraged her to follow the recommendations. Unfortunately she gave up on the diet before it could help her. At the time of my diagnosis (Februray 2010) I found the George Jelinek website and ordered his book from Australia. I have poured over that book and it is already pretty shabby. I plan to order a new copy when it is available in the US!

I am following the Omega 3 fish oil/ flax seed oil recommendations, taking the prescribed amount of vitamin D3 (I’m currently at 60 ng/ml and aiming for a little higher), injecting myself with Copaxone daily, following Swank’s diet very strictly, resting and exercising. My only question at this point is about dairy products. Jelinek says no, Swank said yes. I’m on the fence. All I want to do is have a cappuccino with steamed skim milk a few days a week. That amounts to fewer than 5 grams of dairy protein per serving. What do you think? If Jelinek says no, I am inclined to follow his recommendations. I was wondering if the very few people who did not do well when strictly following the Swank diet were consuming too much dairy.

Thanks for your input and keep up the good work!

12. Rebecca Hoover - May 9, 2010


Thanks for the nice comments. It sounds like you are on your way to a healthier life style (with drop dead gorgeous good looks too!). Seriously, one nice side effect of this life style is that one does start looking quite sharp!

I do not know why a small percent of Swank patients who were faithful dieters did not improve. It could be a Vitamin B12 shortage, problems from a food intolerance as you suggest, etc. Or it could have been a plain old Vitamin D shortage.

I think our odds are quite good of doing well these days. Once we start on a life style improvement program, I think we see some quite significant improvements for about three years and then things level off. Swank said that even after the three year mark, however, we will see some surprising improvements.

Thanks for writing ! And think about starting your own blog someday. We can always use success stories to inspire others to jump on the bandwagon.


13. Samantha Jones - May 9, 2010

Hi Rebecca,

Interesting take on the vitamin D3. That could be one of the many factors I had not considered. Cod liver oil does not appear to supply enough Vitamin D3. By the way, prior to supplementing I was as low as 20 ng/ml. My internest picked that up a year ago and started me on D3! God bless him. My symptoms are mild and I would like to keep them that way! I have seen the devastation that MS can bring first hand.

I would like to mention for your readers to QUIT SMOKING. My sister was a heavy smoker both prior to being diagnosed and up until her death. It was her last pleasure in this world. She transitioned very quickly into progressive MS. Smokers are more likely to get MS and they decline much more rapidly. I also wonder if there is a smoking/ D3/B12 connection. (Not sure if Jelinek has anything on that.)

Thanks again for your blog! It is such a blessing. I am tired of the same old negative attitude that is out there.


14. Rebecca Hoover - May 10, 2010


Thanks for more nice comments! It is always nice to get positive feedback — especially since a few people jump all over for me saying that I think we can change the course of MS. Dear me!

I am sorry about your sister. I do have a post on smoking since the research does show exactly what you say — smoking makes MS worse. Also, you will be happy to know that many people find my web site because they run a Google search on “smoking and MS”. This means people are looking for information and my post does tell readers about the importance of quitting.

I also sometimes encourage folks on various MS web groups to stop smoking but, unfortunately, I do not usually have a much success as I might wish. Also, we need to spread the word on how much difference life style improvements make and all of us can help.

By the way, I am like you. I do get very tired of all of the negative information about MS. That is one reason I decided to do this site.

All the best,


15. Samantha Jones - May 10, 2010

Thanks Rebecca!

Cheers to you!

16. Alahnna - May 20, 2010

What an incredible inspiration you are! I was diagnosed at the beginning of March and decided to embark upon my MS journey without the help of pharmaceuticals. While changing my lifestyle is certainly not the easier choice, I’m convinced it’s the best choice for me. I would much rather deal with the side effects of losing weight, feeling better, improving my overall health, and (hopefully) living longer!

It’s refreshing to see someone actually speak out against the pharmaceuticals. I’m convinced that anyone can manage their symptoms as successfully as you, BUT ONLY IF they change their lifestyle as you have (and as I plan to).

Thank you!

17. Rebecca Hoover - May 28, 2010


Thanks for your nice comment! I think it does take some self-discipline to follow an ultra healthy lifestyle and to get healthier when one has MS. One has to get to work!

Good luck and be well.


18. candmllsp - June 18, 2010

Thank you so much for the info on the site. I was diagnosed in Jun ’95 but stayed working till Jan ’02. I had a bad reaction to Avonex and tissue necrosis with Copaxone so I knew my body hated drugs right off so no Rebiff or Tysabri for me!! I’d be that 1 person to get that PML stuff! I got the Swank book, have done and still do vitamins and made my own tinctures and teas and tonics for a lot of years. I stupped red meat way back when. I have an over active immune system and stay away from some of the herbs thhat stimulate the immune system for that reason.
What can I do about food? My main problem is and always has been…I hate most vegetables. How can I hide them so that I will eat them? The recipes here have some ingredients I cannot get here in AZ and I don’t like curry or saytay like stuff either. I know I should eat better and I try…I do like raw spinach (not cooked) baby carrots (raw, not cooked) cabbage if it’s in stir fry and all fruits.
I have RRMS and now am in a three wheel scooter. I can stand long enough to transfer to and from places and that is it. Do you think I could still reverse some of this eating better and taking more supplements?
I learn something with every new article I read…thanks for your site as it is jam packed and can’t wait to read the next article!!

Rebecca Hoover - June 19, 2010

Hi Candace,

Thanks for your nice comments. Here’s what I think you need to do — young lady, you need to eat your vegetables just as your mother taught you.

And do I think you can do better. I am inclined to think you probably could. If you started eating ultra healthy and got your Vitamin D level at the high end of the normal range, I am guessing just those two things would help you feel a lot better. The Vitamin D3 supplements are crucial. I take about 4,000 IU each day to keep my level at the high end of the normal range. I have heard amazing stories from people who told me they felt so much better after getting enough Vitamin D they things like foot drop disappeared.

Also, consider following the link to the slide show done by Dr. Terry Wahls. She had RRMS and then SSPM and was in a wheel chair. Now she is up and around, and biking six miles a day. Do I think you could make that kind of progress too? Yes, I do think so. It is a lot of hard work though as you will see from Dr. Wahls’ slide show.

Those of us who are doing better (like myself and Professor George Jelinek are self-disciplined. We behave ourselves lifestyle wise. Fortunately, it quickly becomes second nature and we feel and look so much better that we would never want to live the way we lived before. The healthy way is truly the best and happiest way. We don’t feel deprived at all because healthy food quickly becomes as enjoyable as the junky unhealthy food used to be.

All the best. I hope you give a wellness program a try. I think you might want to try the muscle stimulation Dr. Wahls used to learn to walk again.


19. Robyn Furci - July 8, 2010

Hello Rebecca,
l have just discovered your excellent website, and have enjoyed reading ,all your posts on Proffessor Jellinicks site.
You give me great courage to go forward in the quest for better health,with MS ..
Keep up the great work.

Rebecca Hoover - July 8, 2010


Thank you for your nice comment. My motivation is not courage, however, but rather fear and trepidation. What I do is simply the common sense course based on scientific evidence. Thank heavens it seems to work quite well. Good luck to you too.


20. Nina - November 29, 2010

I am so glad I found your site! I believe I have MS- I have not been officially dx’d yet, I have an MRI scheduled this week. I am a RN and I recognize my symptoms to be MS. I have optic neuritis, vertigo, numbness/tingling of hands, fatigue, and brain fog. I am 30 year-old mother of 2 sweet daughters (5&3) and I really want to see them grow up. Actually to be more precise, I want to do more than “see,” I want to experience it. I believe I can and will. I am reading everything I can. Thank you so much for sharing all this info. xoxo Nina

21. Rebecca Hoover - November 29, 2010


And we are glad you found us too. Please let us know if we can help in anyway. Also, we hope you join us on Facebook. Try not to be too frightened. Generally MS does not turn out to be so bad after all if you behave yourself and follow an ultra healthy living program. It’s hard to believe but true. That’s why we do this site complete with pictures of ourselves.

The forum at http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org is wonderful too.


22. Elsie - April 26, 2011

Dear Rebecca,

I read your blog and your comments on the OMS site and I find you and your approach quite wonderful! I also just watched your youtube post to see who this lovely Rebecca Hoover is! 🙂 Anyway I just wanted to tell you, it’s true, you are drop dead gorgeous! You look great and it was wonderful to hear you talk.

I hope you’re doing really well!

E James

Rebecca Hoover - April 26, 2011


Aw, blush, you are so sweet. Thank you for the nice comments. I have just seen ultra healthy living help so many, that I have to help spread the word too. It is not just about physical health either — the ultra healthy living approach makes everyone much more attractive and happier.

23. Stephanie - April 28, 2011

Hi Rebecca,

I was diagnosed with MS 15 months ago. I started Swank/Jelinek almost immediately. I am also using Copaxone. Well I just had my first follow up MRI and I am entirely stable. I feel quite well also. I feel that I have to thank you, Dr. Swank and Dr. Jelinek for my progress. I will continue visiting your site! You have been quite inspirational.


Rebecca Hoover - April 29, 2011


A million thanks for your nice comments. It always helps me too to hear about the wonderful success others have with an ultra healthy living program. I know when others read this site, they also are inspired by comments such as yours. So special thanks.


24. Stephanie - April 30, 2011


You’re welcome. I just watched your youtube presentation after reading the prior post. Your skin in gorgeous, that alone is a selling point for this program! It is also nice to see and hear a real live person who has been so successful in taming this nasty disease!

Keep up the great work!


25. gwendolena1 - October 16, 2011

i need to have some fun it has been a long time i read your comment 2 days ago on face book, its time for a girls night out~~~..

26. Gerusa - December 5, 2011

Hi Rebecca! Loved your website!!! 🙂
I am 32 and have MS since 2006, but I was finally diagnosed last month. I am doing pretty good and thank God I found out about George Jelinek and now your website.
You are a great example of courage, faith and health!
I am already on the diet and doing the OMS program. I totally agree with you and I just can not cheat on the diet. Food is our medication, right?
So good to know so many people are doing good and having great lives despite the challenge of the diagnoses.
Thanks for the website! Very inspiring!
Huge hug from a Brazilian admirer

Rebecca Hoover - December 6, 2011

Thanks for the nice comment!! I think we can all help spread the word that an ultra healthy life style can help beat MS, and that’s why I do this web site. I think it is especially important for older individuals such as myself to write realistically about MS. There is so much scary information out there that a more realistic view is needed.

Good luck! I am glad that you found me and the Jelinek site.

27. Marta - December 7, 2011

Thank you Rebecca for your honest and heartfelt blog and site…My daughter who is now 18 was diagnosed with MS when she was about 13…it has been a painful journey for her…she is currently on Copoxane and has times of no symptoms but is currently going through a pretty hard time with some scary symptoms..She is a very courageous young lady….she refuses to let MS get her down….
I came upon your site while searching for a nutritional way to deal with MS…found info by Roy Swank, and George Jelinek and now your site which is so encouraging to read…so thank you for sharing with the world your testimony…I pray as my daughter moves forward with her healthy diet that she too can have such a testimony…keep up the great work…and the sharing of your example…it is inspiring and needed…
God bless you…

Rebecca Hoover - December 7, 2011

Thanks for your wonderful comment and best wishes for your daughter. She is lucky to have such a great Mom — searching for answers. Remember to be patient in waiting for the results of lifestyle improvements to kick in. The most important thing is to get her vitamin D level at the high end of the normal range using vitamin D3 (not D2). Then following the right diet and others steps is important. At the end of three years of totally faithful adherence to an ultra healthy life style, your daughter will most likely feel and look much, much better. It takes time, though, to reverse the results of some of our lousy Western lifestyles. Keep us posted!

28. Linda - January 1, 2012

Hi Rebecca,
So great to have found your blog. I too am very wary of the prescription drugs used for MS and although I have taken Betaferon for 10 years, I have never been able to tolerate the full dose. I hedge my bets by taking around 30 – 40% of the dose. With only 1 major relapse since my Dx in Jan 2001 I think I am doing O.K. being that I still walk etc. But I am lookign forward to learning more about diet on your website and thiings I can do even better. Thanks!

Rebecca Hoover - April 14, 2012


I want to mention one more thing. I wish you were taking Copaxone instead of Betaferon or one of the other interferons because those interferons do make about 1/3 of those who take them worse. This makes the interferons seem like a game of Russian Roulette to me. Dangerous as all heck. Also Jelinek used to take Copaxone and now, like me, takes nothing. Please be very careful with the interferons — they are high, high risk.


29. Chris - April 9, 2012


It’s odd there seem to be no men on this blog like me! Dx 1985, now in wheelchair / bed 24/7.


Rebecca Hoover - April 9, 2012

Hi Chris,

Thanks for stopping by. I think there are not so many men because women get MS much often than MS get MS. We’re happy to have you here, though. I hope you can join us on Facebook too at: .

Let us know how we can help you. There have been other guys stuck in beds and wheel chairs who used diet and exercise to get back out on the golf course! Let’s see how we can help you improve too.


30. Candace Millsop - June 24, 2012

Not too long ago there was a guy on 60 Minutes talking about sugar and how toxic it really is. You can see that on Youtube if you missed it. Here is an article on it too: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all

I have found honey, Agave syrup, Stevia and other alternatives to sweeten my tea and cereal and for cooking. I don’t miss it at all antmore.
Good luck!

31. Candace Millsop - June 25, 2012

Thanks for that link David! I’ve had too many great results on the Paleo diet (no more fatigue, I stopped taking Enablex etc) and will never go back to the way I ate before. I still don’t care much for veggies but I have found creative ways to add them and juice with fruit too so I don’t know they’re in there! lol I do eat chicken and white meat turkey at dinner and fix it many different ways plus I love fish and seafood too. Gluten free isn’t as bad as it used to be and I don’t miss dairy any more either. I just found a really good recipe for ice cream made with banana plus added fruit so I have found I don’t need sugar but with that said the food industry puts it in everything!!! There is finally soda using stevia which tastes just as good and if coke and pepsi would do the research agave could be used as well I think.

I think it is like with other things…there is way too much money in diseases like Cancer, MS, MD and others for them to allow a cure. Same thing happened to the guy who invented a car engine that ran on water and you know how that went! All we can do is learn everything we can about our “MS” and act accordingly and hope it will help someone else too in the long run. This has been a great thread and I will look for a copy of that book too David…you’ve done some great research yourself there!!

32. aliaonearth - January 4, 2013

Hi Rebecca, I’ve just read all about you and you sound like an incredible person,not least for taking the time to share your insights after extensive research on this website. And while you have a full time job too! Thank you for caring and for being so generous. Those of us with MS can often feel isolated, but it is communities like this one that make it all worthwhile.


33. Isabelle Ting - January 6, 2013

Thank you, Rebecca, for making this upbeat, interesting and accurate website about MS. I’ve had it for about 10 years and love Jelinek’s work too. Luckily I was directed to his first book shortly after my diagnosis in 2001 in which I couldn’t walk for 10 days and did take a few years to recover to the point where I could get back to working. I also chose the drug free path, am virtually symptom free now and have only had one definite attack in 2001. I so agree with your concepts of ultra healthy living and folks, it gets easier and easier to do 🙂

Rebecca Hoover - January 6, 2013

Isabelle, Thanks for your very nice comment. Too bad we did pay attention to healthy living before MS hit us! I was the worst so I had a lot of room for improvement! LOL I am glad you are doing well.

34. Anthonia - January 6, 2013

It is so lovely to hear such positive views on MS ! I was diagnosed a few years ago and am unable to walk very well – only with no shoes on as I have not much feeling in my feet…. I cannot really walk outside of our bungalow – we downsized because of my MS and find that it is a little easier here. I am trying to follow the OMS diet but finding it quite difficult, I would love to find some sort of cookery book or help with what to eat rather than what NOT to eat ! I have read Jelinek’s book which is wonderful and I am a member on the OMS website. I think you are so kind trying to help so many and also working … thank you … I refuse to take anything for my MS but just had a sort of relapse before Christmas and could not walk at all so agreed to have a short low dose of steroids which in my case did help for a short period of time – I know it is different with everybody as we are all different……Look forward to reading on Facebook your notes on MS. Thank you once again and Happy New Year to everyone ! Thank you Rebeca xx

Rebecca Hoover - January 6, 2013


Thank you for your lovely note. I am sorry you had a relapse before Chirstmas. I hope it will be a light one. Once we start an ultra healthy life style, the relapses generally get less severe and then often disappear. So, you’ll have to let me know how you are doing.

In the meantime, I suggest that you look at the recipe section on the OMS Forum as well as in the Swank MS Diet book. The recipes from the Swank book can be easily adapted to the Jelinek guidelines because, of course, Swank was Jelinek’s predecessor. Also, on the Swank MS Diet web site, in their forum, a woman who calls herself Kerr who Bear posts a lot of recipes. Again, they can be easily adapted to the Jelinek guidelines.

You might find it interesting that the feeling in my feet and legs increased slowly over the years of being on a ultra healthy life style. I found that both diet and exercise helped increase the feeling in my legs and feet. Of course, when one is having a relapse that is not the time to undertake much exercise. During a relapse one needs all of the bed rest one can get. By the way, I recommend the Swank book in addition to the Jelinek book because Swank gives some amazing tips on coping with MS. At this time, however, I think we get better outcomes than Swank did because we know more about what to do.

Good luck and let me know how you are doing.


35. alison hill - January 6, 2013

Thank you for giving me a new insight into dealing with MS i do realise the better our lifestyle the better our life can be. At the minute my walking and balance are shocking working on this though

Rebecca Hoover - January 6, 2013


I too have had walking problems and I found that over the years these problems are much, much improved and both diet and exercise help. Of course, one does not want to exercise when having a relapse (then one needs as much bed rest as possible). Hang in there and don’t get discouraged. It takes a few years to really get MS behaving itself. Generally the relapses become less and less severe after one is on a program for a while and then eventually disappear.

Keep us posted on how you are doing.


36. Deb Johnston - May 22, 2013

Hello there, Rebecca! I was on the Wahls Protocol for 11 months and then BAM, I stopped walking. I have had MS for thirty years, now SPMS for 6 and thought the days of “attacks” were behind me! My thought now is to switch to Jelinek’s diet which does not allow the saturated fats like Wahls does. Your opinion, please?

Rebecca Hoover - May 22, 2013


I am sorry for the problems walking. Your experience is what Swank says happens when folks eat red meat and too much saturated fat, etc. Swank said that folks think they are doing okay but they are actually getting worse and will have some severe MS problems. Unfortunately, Swank found these are more difficult to reverse than to prevent with a Swank/Jelinek type of diet. I think you need to switch to the Jelinek program ASAP and be faithful to it. Cheating seems to make matters worse. I follow the Jelinek program almost completely — I do make a few modifications but very, very few.

37. Deb Johnston - May 22, 2013

Hi again, Rebecca,

Thanks for your response & support. You’d think after 30 years of having this stupid disease I would know better! And, no, I am not one to cheat when it comes to something this serious. That’s what bum me out about the Wahl’s diet: I NEVER cheated but look what happened. Well, at least I wasn’t on it for years b4 I learned the truth. Your blog and Jelinek’s OMS are my new best friends 🙂

38. candmllsp - February 20, 2014

Hey Rebecca it’s been awhile!! I had a new MRI last month (w/contrast) and from the one I had 5 yrs ago my Neuro says I am “stable” as the one 5 years ago said also but he did not tell me what that means exactly.
I have a question about a new symptom I seem to be dealing with…
It started simple enough with what felt like a pinched nerve with a slight burning sensation in the tricep area of the back side of my left arm. (My MS is RRMS with right side hemiplegia.) I have a burning, prickly sensation that radiates up to my left shoulder and at times down to my wrist plus at times like when I take something out of the freezer…I can feel it all the way up to my shoulder. On top of that my left side feels like when sprayed with water and someone blows on it. It’s a cool/burning sensation. I went to my GP and of course she suggested it may be neuropathy (I also had Shingles in the right upper quadrant of my head in Mar/Apr of ’13) and I was scheduled with my Neuro in Dec anyway. He said it wasn’t neuropathy but my MS and sent me for lab and a new MRI w/contrast. My MRI results show my MS being stable which is good news I guess but I know I can’t keep taking 800mg Ibuprofen even twice a day for the pain this causes. Has anyone else had these symptoms and what has your Dr given you to deal with it? I was woken up last night by what feels like someone placing a hot iron to my elbow and then poking it with an ice pick! I had to take my Ibuprofen on an empty stomach at 3am! I am on the MS Paleo diet so I eat well and have had great results with things like fatigue etc. This is just painful and I’d really like to know what it is for real and if there are other things I can do for it!!
The Dr gave me 300mg of Gabapentin (for the Neuropathy I don’t have) which the said effects are dizziness, sleepiness and muscle weakness. He has since lowered the dose to 100mg but I still have that burning sensation and when it wakes me at night it makes me cry until I take another pill for it. If anyone has these same symptoms I’d appreciate how you deal with it. I only have one good arm left (my left) and the muscle weakness isn’t an option anymore! Help!! Thanks in advance! 🙂

Rebecca Hoover - February 25, 2014

It’s good news that your doc says your MS is stable based on the MRI. That means you are not getting a bunch of new lesions or brain shrinkage. That’s good. Even so, new symptoms are not good. Frankly, I have not seen the Paleo diet work for anyone unless by Paleo they mean whole plant food a fish. I see those who are eating red meat, coconut oil, butter, dairy, etc., slowly getting worse. I wonder if this is what is happening? I still recommend the Jelinek program on http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org because that is what I have seen work for others. Also, that program is most consistent with the research.

candmllsp - March 13, 2014

Rebecca, The MS Paleo is no red meat or pork, no dairy, no sugar, no wheat/gluten and no beans or legumes. Although I do let in some multi grains in now. Two months after starting my debilitating fatigue (3 hr naps a day) went away! If that was the only side effect I would have been a happy camper. Another side effect is I lost some weight…from 117 lbs to 103 lbs which made it easier to slide on my board to get on/off the bed etc. Then there is the MRI results which do speak for themselves. My feet still swell and I still have klonus but I am not able to get the electrical stimulation others have gotten. Terry Wahls came back from secondary MS and is walking etc but her protocol is grass fed beef and she allows some beans too. She has just published a book called the “Whal’s Protocol” but I don’t have the $$ it takes to go any farther. My Neuro had to cut me back from 300mg to 100mg Gabapentin because I had several side effects with one being muscle weakness and I only have one good arm left so it’s not acceptable. Thanks for getting back with me. I was hoping someone else may have had the same symptom and how they dealt with it. Candace

39. ACE - July 14, 2014

As a young man I didn’t really know I had MS. Now that I have been diagnosed I realize what I had was my first exacerbation but learned how eat and exercise the right way to remain ultra-healthy, including yoga, meditation, weight lifting, mental stimulation by successfully attending college for a Bachelor of Science degree, M.S. and Ph.D. in exercise science and physiology, respectively. After a successful but shortened career partially as my choice I was delivered what I believed was a choice. Find out what is wrong with you, largely heat intolerance, or we are getting a divorce. As my attempt to feel better I started making milk protein shakes to help me build up like I had done previously. Bad but unknowing thing got the M.S. diagnosis and we got divorced anyway. That is a shortened version of that last mess I got into. Now I am very optimist which has typical for me. Onward and Upward!

40. Lisa - November 24, 2014

Thank-you Rebecca for building your website. My best friend John was diagnosed with MS in September 2014. He has had trouble walking for two years (Kaiser put him in physical therapy and kept yelling at him asking, “why aren’t you getting better” and he said you tell me) and he only got diagnosed because my brother-in-law got Myasthenia Graves and I kept telling him this is what you have. He told his doctor at Kaiser he thinks he has MG and they freaked out and gave him a MRI and came back with MS. After I did some research and watched Dr. Wahls’ TED we began eating Paleo. John is walking normally, the pain and heaviness in his feet is gone. Kaiser is pushing him to do these infusions and he still has not had a face-to-face with a doctor, they told him over the phone he had MS and he said, “I’m going to kill myself” and I said no you’re not! Kaiser will not give him a prescription for a handicap parking pass or a walker with a seat, both of which he requested. They will not tell him how many lesions he has on his brain. In emails they write he is RR but the neurologist told him on the phone he is progressive and the nurse who called to talk to him about the infusions said he has a very progressive form of MS.
I’m mad because in Denver we have a high rate of MS and John had double vision in 2008. I think if someone has trouble walking in Denver the first question should be have you ever had trouble with your vision.
He has his first meeting with his neurologist 12/15/14 and his parents and I are going with him. He has had learning disabilities his entire life but he is so much worse now. I have known him for 14 years and he can’t remember anything I say to him. He can’t understand what the doctors are emailing him, he can’t even remember what level MS he is. I hope everyone can get an advocate to go with them and help them understand MS because the doctors are not up-to-date and none of them tell you food can put your MS in remission. I’m so happy for the www and you Rebecca because people can get better and there is hope.

Rebecca Hoover - November 24, 2014


I do indeed think folks can get better even when they have MS! I strongly recommend reading http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org . I think that that has by far the best recommendations for eating the right diet, take vitamin D3, etc. Good luck!

41. K - March 9, 2015

Hi Rebecca,
I am newly diagnosed and am following The MS Recovery Diet and hoping to start on LDN in the next month (meeting with a MD who specializes in complimentary medicine). How are you doing? I am scared about the diagnosis and scared about my decision to treat with diet and LDN (compared to MS specific pharmaceuticals)– I am daily pouring over the web for testimonials to reinforce my choice and calm myself.
Thanks for all of this informaiton, I hope 2015 is treating you well so far.

Rebecca Hoover - March 10, 2015


Thanks for your note. Being newly diagnosed is definitely a scary time. Rather than the MS Recovery Diet, I recommend the approach recommended at http://www.overcomingmultplesclerosis.org. I hope you check that web site out because it is very, very well done and well-grounded in scientific research.

Try not to worry too much. If you follow an approach recommended at Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, you will find your emotional status improving just because healthy food makes you feel better. Also, with more time, you will start to learn and gain confidence that you really can help yourself stay as well as possible. For most, five years of ultra healthy living is all that is needed to convince them that the future is not so glum after all. Many folks with MS are practicing doctors or lawyers, Moms, etc. And lots of us are getting to be older too. I can hardly believe that 70 does not seem all that far away for me (less than five years)!

Hang in there!


42. Wendel - May 13, 2015

You are a wonderful person to have dedicated so much of your time to share your wonderful story! I’m sure that there are thousands of people who’ve gain the confidence to follow a healthier path through life as a result. Thank you!

Rebecca Hoover - May 14, 2015


Thanks for your nice comment. I am happy to say that there are people just like me all over the world who have found that making lifestyle changes (e.g., changing to a low-saturated fat ultra healthy diet, exercising, getting vitamin D3, etc.) really help improve MS and that these folks are busy trying to make sure everyone knows too!

43. currie1706Chris - May 18, 2015

Hi Rebecca,

You have a great story! Thank you for sharing. I was diagnosed in March 2015 and immediately changed my diet to Wahl’s and then to Swank. I am very confused… what diet did you follow to get the amazing results? Do you eat lean meats at all (chicken/turkey). I am concerned about losing too much weight.

Thanks again for all of the information.


Rebecca Hoover - May 19, 2015

Hi, I regularly eating oily fish since it contains omega-3s and because the research shows this improves MS outcomes. I started out following Swank and then, over the years, switched to something much close to to the approach recommended by Dr. George Jelinek. Personally, I never had a problem losing too much weight. I regularly eat nuts and seeds as well as plenty of legumes, grains, vegetables and fruits and I NEVER lost weight unintentionally. Instead, I’ve had to put myself on a diet every now and then. Sigh!

44. currie1706Chris - May 19, 2015

Thanks for the quick reply. What kind of grains do you eat?

Rebecca Hoover - May 19, 2015

Hi again Chris. I used to eat a lot of wheat products such as bread, shredded wheat, etc. but now that I’m older that has started causing some lower intestinal tract problems for me. So now, I eat quinoa, wild rice, or corn (my favorite). I love sweet corn and use it as a protein source regularly with beans. I’m also a big fan of Mexican food so corn torillas are favorites for me too. Even popcorn is a great grain for me. I pop it in an air popper, add a little flaxseed oil and salt after popping and, ole!, great grain.

45. Wade Loud - June 25, 2016

Just trying to figure out how to make my 16 year old daughter feel normal. She was diagnosed with MS 3 days ago…had MRI because of a car accident and they saw 4 active lesions and 8 inactive…MRI of spine showed small could be lesion and she had proteins indicative of MS in her CSF….she recalled a few years ago having numb fingers and the doctor think said that was an indicator of the disease.

We are both scared that it is Primary Progressive vs any other kind and have follow up with Specialist in 2 weeks when all the other tests come back

Read your story and appreciate any feedback for the emotional side of it and ideas for my daughter

Rebecca Hoover - June 28, 2016

The best thing to do is to get busy following the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis program developed by Dr. George Jelinek, a professor of medicine from Australia, who has MS himself. You can learn everything you need to know about this program at https://overcomingms.org/. Good luck! And let me know if I can share any other information you need. Believe me, MS is far from the worst disease in the world.

46. Cara - July 13, 2016

Rebecca. I am so happy you are still responding to posts here on your blog. My husband, who is 41, was diagnosed with PPMS this week after a year of doctors wondering why he was having so much trouble with his balance. He has numbness in his feet, stiffness in his legs, trouble focusing (vision), and some aching in his back. We immediately decided to start him on Dr. Terry Wahls diet, since she too has PPMS. What are your opinions on that diet? I see you recommend the Swank diet, but we were already eating high-carb, vegan diets, so I figured trying to stay away from grains would be a good idea. And do you know anyone with PPMS who are living without many symptoms? I’d love to hear your opinion. Thank you so much. 🙂

Rebecca Hoover - July 13, 2016


Thank you for contacting me. The program I actually like best is outlined at https://overcomingms.org/ . Dr. Jelinek who writes this website has MS himself and is a world-wide expert. Also, he updates his book called “Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis” from time to time and the new version is out in Europe and Australia. It will be available in the USA in about October of this year. Many have had success improving their MS cases following his program including those with PPMS.

I do know people who have MS who found that Jelinek’s program helped them slowly but surely over a course of several years. In contrast, those I know who have tried Wahls’ program have gotten worse whether they have RRMS or PPMS. I do not recommend Wahls’ program and it also is not supported by the research I have seen (I have read thousands of articles on treatment of MS).

I don’t know the details of the diet you followed but if you check out Jelinek’s program, you may see some changes hat may help, for example, taking flaxseed oil or eating flaxseed. Also, how about spending time in the sun?

Thanks for contacting me. Please let me know if I can provide any other help. And good luck to you and your husband. (By the way, I am a vegetarian myself these days and I eating lots of grains.)


47. Cara - October 16, 2016

Hi! I just saw that you responded to me. Thank you!

My husband and I are still following Wahl’s diet. I’m not sure if it’s the best way, but like I said, the Swank diet is very similar to how we were eating before the diagnosis, so I thought changing things would be a good idea.

Before his diagnosis, we were completely vegan – no animal protein or dairy of any kind. We ate a lot of fruits and vegetables, but also a ton of grains and soy products. We also had flaxseed and chiaseeds in a kale/blueberry smoothie almost every morning. But we also ate a lot of vegan deserts.

So now we are eating about 90% vegetables, some animal protein about every other day, sometimes more, still no dairy, and now no grains at all – not even starchy vegetables, no fruit (except a small amount of berries), and zero sugar. It bothers my husband to eat animals, and is thinking about stopping it all together. But that would leave us with vegetables only to eat. And a few berries.

Oh, he is also on Rebif, an immune suppressant. His MRI showed lesions over every part of his scan. They said there was no area not affected, and were surprised by how severe it looked compared to the non-severity of his symptoms.

It’s all so confusing. I appreciate you taking the time to talk about your opinions.

Rebecca Hoover - October 25, 2016

Generally, two things seem to be strongly related to the onset of MS: 1) low vitamin D levels and 2) saturated fat consumption. I am wondering how your husband was doing with respect respect to these factors before diagnosis? Were you eating coconot or palm oil?

Also, I do not recommend Dr. Wahls’ program. Those I know who follow it have gotten worse. I suspect that is because there is too much saturated fat included in her diet. Jelinek’s program, on the other hand, has led to a lot of great outcomes based on what I see.

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