Sep 272012
 

My mom is an amazing woman.  We talk every morning and she is my coach, friend and therapist all rolled into one.  Never have I met a more positive, loving and gentle soul. She devotes herself to helping others and listening to their problems, at the same time battling a degenerative disease - Multiple Sclerosis.

MS is a disease that degrades the myelin sheaths around the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.  When this sheathing is lost the nerves have trouble conducting signals.  This means that mom gets tired….VERY tired.  She tells me it is sort of like a cup of energy and when you use it all up, that is it for the day.  There is no pushing through it or ignoring it and moving on.  During times of change or extreme stress she sometimes has an exacerbation where the MS flares up and she is complete incapacitated for a period of time.  The last time was when my daughter was born.  She is her only granddaughter, but she could barely get to the hospital or hold my daughter – it was horrible and I know my mom was so sad to not be present every minute in the beginning.

My mom’s affliction is one of the main reasons I am so passionate about Mila.  It came into my life through her visits to the neurologist where she would return and tell me about her amazing neurology nurse practitioner, Megan.  Of course, my mom, being her friendly self, started telling Megan all about what I’m up to and how I write a food blog.  Little did I know that Megan is also very interested in treating disease and illness with whole foods as much as possible.  She contacted me to see if I had heard of Mila – I said no and asked her a few questions; she sent me a sample and the rest is history! After several weeks of eating it I was so impressed with the nutrition of the food that I decided to start up my own business helping people with this amazing food.

I asked Megan to share a little information about MS and her findings on Mila and this is what she said….

“Mila is a whole, raw, plant-based superfood source of omega 3 fatty acids…and this superfood may be helpful for many health conditions, including Multiple Sclerosis.  While studies using omega 3 fish oil in MS have had conflicting results about benefit to modifying disease progression and decreasing fatigue, anecdotally, many people find Mila to be helpful in managing symptoms of MS.  Some of the more common symptoms of MS that may be helped by Mila include fatigue, pain, and depression.  Suggested diets for MS, like the Swank Diet and the Gold Coast Cure, are heavily plant-based, and recommend omega 3 supplementation.  I support Mila because the addition of this superfood to the Standard American Diet (appropriately nicknamed SAD) will add health benefits to anyone living with (or without) a chronic disease!  People with MS are more prone to other medical conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, etc. because of the potential for a sedentary lifestyle.  By adding Mila into your diet, you are using food to increase your health!  It’s kind of a no-brainer…food IS medicine!  It is important to understand that Mila should not take the place of a disease modifying therapy, and that it’s use should be discussed with your health care provider, just like any supplement.  The National MS Society has a nice overview about omega 3 supplementation in MS, but this review is based on fish oil.  The benefits of Mila in the form of protein, fiber, and other minerals, are profoundly different than those of fish oil.  The link for the MS Society review is as follows:

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/living-with-multiple-sclerosis/healthy-living/nutirtion-and-diet/the-omega-3-factor/index.aspx

Many thanks to Megan for taking time out of her busy day in Neurology to share some information with us!

Do you know anyone in your life that suffers from a neurological disorder?  Mila may be able to help them just like it helped my mom!

This dip is a fabulous way to get Mila into your diet – especially if you love garlic! For those that aren’t as fond, feel free to cut back to one clove.  The hearty black beans and Mila soak up all those delicious spices and make for a satisfying appetizer.  Try it as a sandwich spread or as a snack with dip fresh veggies or pita chips.

Garlicky Black Bean Mila Dip

Garlicky Black Bean Mila Dip

Serves 10
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Mila
1 (14.5oz/411 grams) can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp EVOO
3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 cup water

Directions

1. Blend all ingredients well in a food processor, blender or magic bullet.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 84.0
Total Fat 7.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 147.1 mg
Potassium 48.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2.4 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 1.0 g 

Vitamin A 1.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.8 %
Vitamin C 1.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 4.2 %
Calcium 3.4 %
Copper 2.0 %
Folate 0.3 %
Iron 5.4 %
Magnesium 2.4 %
Manganese 6.6 %
Niacin 1.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.2 %
Phosphorus 3.5 %
Riboflavin 0.5 %
Selenium 1.2 %
Thiamin 1.9 %
Zinc 0.9 % 

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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