Here we go again with major dietary changes, to see if I can figure out what is causing the still-rapid progression of MS-type symptoms (numbness and weakness). This time I’m determined to stick to the Gerson Therapy for a while, which is primarily a program of healing with foods. One of the theories of MS is that it is at least partially diet-related, so here’s to figuring out if my symptoms are somewhat diet-related or not!
At first I thought that the Gerson protocol was juice, juice and more juice, but you’re allowed real food as well, as long as you stick to the allowed foods. You’re supposed to have several glasses of carrot-apple juice per day along with at least a glass of apple-greens juice, but the rest is regular foods. Well, make that almost-regular foods.
According to the Gerson website, a typical day’s meals would include the following, in addition to the juices:
- 8 oz of freshly-squeezed orange juice
- Oatmeal with fruit sauce
- 100% rye bread with honey (still looking for this special rye bread)
- 8 oz Gerson soup
- 8 oz apple-carrot juice
- Baked potato (can add yogurt dressing at some point)
- Veggies, freshly cooked
- Fruit, raw or stewed
OK, so it’s not overly exciting, but it’s not a starvation diet either! In a nutshell, it’s a low-fat, low-salt diet with virtually no animal proteins. That means no nuts and seeds and no oils either, other than flax seed oil.
There’s a handy pdf-format allowed and unallowed list that you can download to know which foods you can eat, and which should be avoided. You can also download the Gerson recipe book for $7.50 with a lot of recipes to get you started.
To follow the Gerson Protocol religiously would mean juicing every hour, for a total of 13 times per day. For now, I’m striving for 6 times a day (5 carrot-apple and 1 apple-greens), and hope to increase that at some point. In order to do this protocol properly, you really should read their ‘bible’, Healing the Gerson Way, as well.
Here’s the theory behind the protocol, per the Gerson website:
The Gerson Therapy seeks to regenerate the body to health, supporting each important metabolic requirement by flooding the body with nutrients from almost 20 pounds of organically grown fruits and vegetables daily. Most is used to make fresh raw juice, one glass every hour, 13 times per day. Raw and cooked solid foods are generously consumed. Oxygenation is usually more than doubled, as oxygen deficiency in the blood contributes to many degenerative diseases. The metabolism is also stimulated through the addition of thyroid, potassium and other supplements, and by avoiding heavy animal fats, excess protein, sodium and other toxins.
The program also requires a lot of detox, primarily with coffee enemas, to eliminate wastes, regenerate the liver, reactivate the immune system and restore the body’s essential defenses. Yeah, I know, yuck, but it’s really not that bad. Many prefer to call these ‘reverse lattes’. It’s best to use coffee designed for this use rather than leftover Starbucks, both because it’s milder and because it maximizes the ingredients needed for detox.
To do the Gerson program, you’ll definitely need a good-quality juicer. They recommend the ultra-pricey Norwalk hydraulic juicer or the Green Star juicer, but I think the less pricey dual-stage masticating juicer from Omega is perfectly fine. Just don’t get any of the juicers with cutting discs, they shred the cell walls of the produce and generate too much heat. A good food processor would be helpful as well, since you’ll be eating lots of salads with diced or shredded veggies. Other appliances that would be helpful to have in your kitchen would be a crockpot and a good heavy-duty blender (Blendtec or Vitamix) for making your soups and other recipes.
For the 20 lbs or so of produce per day for the juicing every hour, organic produce is really a must. There are several organic produce delivery services in California to choose from if your local grocery stores don’t carry organic, but not so many for my area! At least I did find one, and they seem reasonable in cost. Some of these services will provide home delivery, and some will deliver to a location that you can pick up from.
Enough writing for now… time to juice!