108 episodes

Welcome to the Overcoming MS | Living Well with MS podcast. Our family of podcasts includes our flagship, Living Well with MS, where In each episode, your host Geoff Allix will explore a different aspect of the OMS Program in greater depth. Other programs in our podcast family include Coffee Break featuring interviews with members of our diverse global community, and Ask Jack, featuring professional chef Jack McNulty answers food- and cooking-related questions. New episodes will be published approximately once every 10 days, and will feature interviews with scientists, fitness specialists, diet experts, stress reduction professionals and OMSers themselves. The podcast will also feature inspirational, real-life stories from people with multiple sclerosis about the daily challenges and small victories of successful lifestyle modification.

Living Well with Multiple Sclerosis Overcoming MS

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.4 • 32 Ratings

Welcome to the Overcoming MS | Living Well with MS podcast. Our family of podcasts includes our flagship, Living Well with MS, where In each episode, your host Geoff Allix will explore a different aspect of the OMS Program in greater depth. Other programs in our podcast family include Coffee Break featuring interviews with members of our diverse global community, and Ask Jack, featuring professional chef Jack McNulty answers food- and cooking-related questions. New episodes will be published approximately once every 10 days, and will feature interviews with scientists, fitness specialists, diet experts, stress reduction professionals and OMSers themselves. The podcast will also feature inspirational, real-life stories from people with multiple sclerosis about the daily challenges and small victories of successful lifestyle modification.

    Introduction to Overcoming MS with Dr. Jonathan White (webinar highlights)

    Introduction to Overcoming MS with Dr. Jonathan White (webinar highlights)

    Welcome to Living Well with MS. In this episode, we are taking you back to one of our particularly popular webinars, ‘Introduction to Overcoming MS’ with Dr. Jonathan White. Whether you are new to Overcoming MS or have followed the Program for years, this episode will be a well-worthy listen as Jonathan guides you through each step and the evidence behind it.
    This webinar was recorded 30 June 2021 as part of our Finding Hope with Overcoming MS webinar series. You can watch the whole webinar here.
    Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips and news about living a full and happy life with MS. And if you’re new to Overcoming MS, visit our introductory page to find out more about how we support people with MS.
    Keep reading for the key episode takeaways and Jonathan’s bio.
    Bio:
    Career:
    Jonathan went to University of Glasgow Medical School, graduating in 2008 (MBChB). He completed a further five years of training in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (MRCOG). He works at the Causeway Hospital, Coleraine and has a special interest in early pregnancy and recurrent pregnancy loss.
    In April 2022, Jonathan was awarded “Doctor of the Year” at the inaugural Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Awards.
    Overcoming MS and personal life:
    Jonathan was diagnosed with RRMS in October 2015 and has been following the Overcoming MS Program ever since.  Dr. White assists Overcoming MS as a medical advisor and event facilitator.
    He lives on the North Coast of Northern Ireland, is married to Jenny and father to Angus and Struan. His interests include the great outdoors, cycling and running (reluctantly), reading, rugby, film and spending time with his family.
    You can learn more about his background here. 
    Selected Key Takeaways The 7 steps of the Overcoming MS program
    Diet: Understanding fats and why animal fat is problematic
    (22:58) “Saturated fats are those that are generally solid at room temperatures such as butter or the rind on a chop. They mainly come from animals when they are incorporated into the body. They are rigid. They're sticky, they're inflammatory, and they're degenerative. None of these things are something that I want as somebody with a chronic degenerative neurological condition.”
    Sunlight and Vitamin D: A range of benefits for MS and other conditions
    (26:09) “Vitamin D has a key role in regulating the immune system and in protecting the brain. We know that there's evidence in a whole host of conditions for the benefit of vitamin D in terms of reducing depression rates, hypertension or high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and in my own field, pregnancy losses. There is substantial evidence, particularly for vitamin D in MS prevention and in reducing the severity of the disease.”
    Exercise: Start low but you can push yourself to improve
    (32:29) “You should start low and increase slowly. It is okay to push yourself with MS. You're not going to bring on a relapse by lifting one extra rep or swimming a little bit further or walking a bit further. It's okay to go to the point of fatigue.”
    Mindfulness and Meditation: Evidence they reduce stress
    (35:41) “Studies have shown that regular mindfulness practice increases the grey and white matter in MRI scans, it promotes neuroplasticity so that [means] rerouting of signals around damaged areas and creating new neural networks.”
    Medication: Part of the Overcoming MS Program
    (37:16) “I think in the past, there was a perception that OMS was the slightly alternative area to pursue and, if you were going to that route, you were then against medication. That was Us vs. Them. That could not be further from the truth. It should be us and them together. We know that early medical treatment can alter the disease course in MS. But there are many issues to consider when you choose a treatment and you need to take time and have the space and opp

    • 47 min
    Ask Jack - Soups

    Ask Jack - Soups

    Welcome to your next “plating” of Ask Jack, featuring the prodigious culinary talents of professional chef, writer, and OMSer Jack McNulty answering food and cooking questions from our community that inform their healthy Overcoming MS (OMS) lifestyle. You can submit your questions for Jack anytime by emailing podcast@overcomingms.org.
    Keep on reading for the key episode takeaways. If you’re interested in more recipes from the Overcoming MS Program, take a look at the collection on our website. We have easy, intermediate and hard recipes, so there’s something for all skill levels!
    Also, make sure you sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips and news about living a full and happy life with MS. And if you’re new to Overcoming MS, visit our introductory page to find out more about how we support people with MS
    Bio
    Jack McNulty has been involved in food and cooking most of his life. He’s walked many paths during his culinary journey, including transforming himself from an interested home cook to a professional chef with classical training. He has worked for talented and knowledgeable chefs in high-end restaurants in Switzerland, Italy, and France. Jack operated his own catering business and cooking school for 15 years, while also finding time to write about cooking.
    Jack’s current activities include operating myfreshattitude.com – a website dedicated to providing healthy vegan recipes and useful vegan cooking instruction and techniques. He also writes and distributes a weekly international newsletter - VeganWeekly – to inspire people to cook healthy vegan food. Jack has followed the Overcoming MS lifestyle since 2009. He has actively worked on providing recipes and information to the Overcoming MS website, was the contributing editor to the OMS Cookbook, and authored the ‘Eat Well’ chapter in the latest Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Handbook.  
    Selected Key Takeaways
    Making your own veggie broth is easy and cost effective
    “A lot of people say, "Oh, you know, I don't have time to make my own vegetable broth." Well, vegetable broth takes all of, maybe, 30 minutes to make as you could put it together while watching a sitcom on TV in the background. It's one of those things that you can make in a large quantity, always have on hand, [and] you can freeze it easily. And it doesn't really require a huge effort. In terms of cost: probably not that much more significant than buying (stock) cubes and powder.”
    Use a large, heavy bottom pot to cook soup
    “[Thinking about the cooking pot], what I find really important is a heavy bottom. So stainless steel works really well. Thin bottom pots tend to develop hotspots and that will scorch ingredients on the bottom. That becomes very important when you're using things like lentils that like to sink to the bottom. If they grab onto one of those hotspots, they're going to scorch, they're going to burn and basically that will ruin the flavor of the entire soup.”
    An umami broth makes a great stew base
    “A stew basically is going to be the same as a soup, it just has a different amount of liquid in it. But if you wanted to make it that stick to your ribs kind of consistency, you need to have a very rich broth. And it needs to be something with color. So I make what I call an ‘umami broth’ using dried mushrooms, mushroom powder, I use some soya sauce in there, and a little bit of miso in there. And it turns out very, very dark, and actually has quite a meaty flavor to it.”
    Related Links:
    Connect with Jack on social media  https://linktr.ee/jackmcn. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 9 Meals from Anarchy Overcoming MS compliant stock https://www.ninemealsfromanarchy.co.uk/vegetable-stock-paste/hughs-classic Recipe links mentioned in podcast:
    Umami Broth Vegetable Broth Brown Sauce with Mushroom Bourguignon Don’t miss out:
    Subscribe to this podcast and never miss an episode. You can catch any episode of Living Well with MS here or o

    • 45 min
    10 minutes with George: Learnings after following the program for years and the future | S4E62

    10 minutes with George: Learnings after following the program for years and the future | S4E62

    Welcome to Living Well with MS. We are pleased to welcome Professor George Jelinek as part of a short series, '10 minutes with George’. These special episodes with the creator of the Overcoming MS Program mark the 10th anniversary of our charity, Overcoming MS. 
    In this final episode, George explains his learnings after many years on the program and his hopes for the future. You can also watch it here.  
    Keep reading for the key episode takeaways and Professor Jelinek’s bio. 
    Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips and news about living a full and happy life with MS. And if you’re new to Overcoming MS, visit our introductory page to find out more about how we support people with MS 
    This is the fifth instalment of a five-part series. Listen to parts one, two, three and four.   
     
    Bio:
    Professor George Jelinek developed the Overcoming MS Program and founded the Neuroepidemiology Unit at the University of Melbourne's School of Population and Global Health which continues to research its benefits. 
    George’s Story 
    When George was diagnosed with MS in 1999, he was determined to do something. His mother had died as a consequence of her MS, which spurred him on to sort through the medical literature on MS. His career as a Professor in Emergency Medicine and his background as Editor-in-Chief of a major medical journal gave him the tools to do this. 
    It became clear to George that remaining well after a diagnosis of MS is more than just a possibility. He found that with commitment to the right lifestyle changes, there is the real probability that many people with MS can live long, healthy lives, relatively free of the usual problems associated with the illness. These lifestyle recommendations are now referred to as the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) Program, which he detailed in his book Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis. 
    George has remained free of further relapses, as have many people who follow the OMS Program. 
     
    Selected Key Takeaways:  
    The Overcoming MS Program can improve your mental health, even if you don’t physically get better. 
    (4:25) “Some of the best things I've seen have been in people who didn't physically get better. A good example is someone who came to the program very early on when I first started running the retreats, who was using a wheelchair and had had MS for 25 years and was very disabled and was very depressed…. I saw her again, some months and then years later, and she was still using a wheelchair to get around and she still clearly was very disabled. But for me, there was this sort of radiance coming from her…. And I thought, now there's an outcome worth celebrating, even though it doesn't quite fit into some of the preconceived ideas we might have about overcoming [MS] or recovering.”  
     
    As evidence accumulates, the program evolves. Cryotherapy is one potential example.
    (10:36) “There's stuff in the literature now about cryotherapy – about regular exposure to cold – and some people have already adopted that. But these things are in their infancy, really, and we aren't at the point where I think it's sensible to adopt it as a mainstream recommendation in the program. But like all evidence-based programs, as the evidence keeps accumulating, the program will keep evolving, and that's how it should be.” 
    The key elements in the OMS Program involve modifying the factors which cause the illness to progress. 
    (12:24) “There's no guarantee, but if you can modify the risks, (and there's a good science on which factors cause the illness to progress)... then you give yourself every chance of having the best possible outcome. And these are generally diet, exercise, stress, sunlight and vitamin D. They're really the key planks [of the Overcoming MS Program].” 
     
    Related Links:  
    Overview of the OMS program  Don’t miss out: 

    Subscribe to this podcast and never miss an episode.

    • 14 min
    10 mins with George: Defining ‘overcoming’ MS and ‘recovery’ | S4E61

    10 mins with George: Defining ‘overcoming’ MS and ‘recovery’ | S4E61

    Welcome to Living Well with MS. We are pleased to welcome Professor George Jelinek as part of a short series, '10 minutes with George’. These special episodes with the creator of the Overcoming MS Program mark the 10th anniversary of our charity, Overcoming MS.

    In this fourth episode, George explains how he uses and defines “overcoming” MS and “recovery”. You can also watch it here. 
    Keep reading for the key episode takeaways and Professor Jelinek’s bio.
    Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips and news about living a full and happy life with MS. And if you’re new to Overcoming MS, visit our introductory page to find out more about how we support people with MS.
    This is the fourth instalment of a five-part series. Listen to parts one, two and three.

    Bio:
    Professor George Jelinek developed the Overcoming MS Program and founded the Neuroepidemiology Unit at the University of Melbourne's School of Population and Global Health which continues to research its benefits.
    George’s Story
    When George was diagnosed with MS in 1999, he was determined to do something. His mother had died as a consequence of her MS, which spurred him on to sort through the medical literature on MS. His career as a Professor in Emergency Medicine and his background as Editor-in-Chief of a major medical journal gave him the tools to do this.
    It became clear to George that remaining well after a diagnosis of MS is more than just a possibility. He found that with commitment to the right lifestyle changes, there is the real probability that many people with MS can live long, healthy lives, relatively free of the usual problems associated with the illness. These lifestyle recommendations are now referred to as the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) Program, which he detailed in his book Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis.
    George has remained free of further relapses, as have many people who follow the OMS Program.
     
    Selected Key Takeaways:
    “Overcoming MS” can mean stabilizing rather than deteriorating
    (4:06) “My own health started to more than stabilize. And that was a surprise to me. In that I started to not only not deteriorate, but I started to feel better than I did before.”
    For us as a charity, “Overcoming MS” means living a full and happy life after a diagnosis. Although there is currently no cure, depending on your starting point, the Overcoming MS program may lead to improvements in your physical and mental health, reducing the impact of your MS symptoms, slowing or preventing its progression. Some people recover function and, most importantly, you can lead a full and happy life with MS.
    For George, “recovering from MS” is an ongoing process rather than an outcome
    (7:10) “I'd say I'm recovering from MS. [But] it's a process, not an outcome. In my view, we're not looking for a final destination. In life, the only final destination is death. I'm not trying to get somewhere, it's the process of how I'm living every day that constitutes recovering from MS.”
    For us as a charity, we look at a range of uses of the word recovery: recovering lost function, recovering mental strength and recovering quality of life. These different outcomes are possible depending on your starting point and personal situation. 
    The Overcoming MS program manages symptoms, it’s not a cure
    (9:00) “A cure has never been part of this. It would be ridiculous to say that living a really healthy life like this cures MS. Because I know if I was to return to my former bad habits, that there'd be every chance that I'd get a flare up of some sort.”
    Related Links:
    OMS Blog: How to Stick with OMS OMS Blog: Latest NEU Paper Shows Diet Quality Predicts Long-Term Quality of Life in MS OMS: What are the next Steps?
    Don’t miss out:
    Subscribe to this podcast and never miss an episode. You can catch any episode of Living Well with MS here or on your favorite podcast listening app. If you enjoy Living

    • 11 min
    10 minutes with George: The importance of mindset and support

    10 minutes with George: The importance of mindset and support

    Welcome to the third episode in our short series '10 minutes with George', with Professor George Jelinek. This series marks the 10th anniversary of the charity Overcoming MS.
    In this episode, George talks about the importance of mindset, mental health and support from others with MS.
    Keep reading for the key episode takeaways and Professor Jelinek’s bio. You can also watch it here.
    Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips and news about living a full and happy life with MS. And if you’re new to Overcoming MS, visit our introductory page to find out more about how we support people with MS.
    This is the third installment of a five-part series. Listen to parts one and two.
    Bio:
    Professor George Jelinek developed the Overcoming MS Program and founded the Neuroepidemiology Unit at the University of Melbourne's School of Population and Global Health which continues to research its benefits.
    George’s Story
    When George was diagnosed with MS in 1999, he was determined to do something. His mother had died as a consequence of her MS, which spurred him to sort through the medical literature on MS. His career as a Professor in Emergency Medicine and his background as Editor-in-Chief of a major medical journal gave him the tools to do this.
    It became clear to George that remaining well after a diagnosis of MS is more than just a possibility. He found that with a commitment to the right lifestyle changes, there is a real probability that many people with MS can live long, healthy lives, relatively free of the usual problems associated with the illness. These lifestyle recommendations are now referred to as the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) Program, which he detailed in his book Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis.
    George has remained free of further relapses, as have many people who follow the OMS Program.
    Selected Key Takeaways:
    Take care of your mental health
    (6:04) “If you're going through… struggles, I would recommend talking to someone like a psychologist. Personally, when I first was diagnosed with MS, I had quite a number of sessions with a psychologist to help me understand what I was going through, what my emotions were about, and how that was playing out in the context of my life.”
    Others with MS are a great support
    (6:49) “Peer support is great for people who are struggling because, let's face it, all of us struggle with things at different times in our lives. There's nothing more helpful in many ways than someone who's been on the same journey and has worked out how to deal with it.”
    Health should be included in our top priorities
    (10:28) “I was into goal setting and things at the time that I was diagnosed. That was at the age of 45. And I looked back through a number of my goal-setting documents that I produced for myself, and I always left health blank. Now, what does that tell you? Everything else was filled in: work, leisure, finance, you name it, but health was always blank. So, it was an interesting wake-up call for me to get a serious illness.”
    While Overcoming MS isn’t currently holding retreats, you can find information about other events we are holding here.
    Related Links:
    The OMS Mental Health Hub Stories of Hope from other OMSers Join an OMS Circle Don’t miss out:
    Subscribe to this podcast and never miss an episode. You can catch any episode of Living Well with MS here or on your favourite podcast listening app. If you enjoy Living Well with MS, please leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you tune into the show. Feel free to share your comments and suggestions for future guests and episode topics by emailing podcast@overcomingms.org.
    If you enjoy this podcast and want to support the ongoing work of Overcoming MS, you can leave a donation here.

    • 13 min
    10 minutes with George: Exceptions to following the program

    10 minutes with George: Exceptions to following the program

    Welcome to Living Well with MS. This is the second episode with Professor George Jelinek in our short series '10 minutes with George', which marks the 10th anniversary of the charity Overcoming MS.
    Some people see the Overcoming MS Program, which Professor Jelinek created, as needing an 'all or nothing’ approach. George explains how and why some people make exceptions to following the program. You can also watch this episode here.
    Keep reading for the key episode takeaways and Professor Jelinek’s bio.
    Make sure you sign up for our newsletter to hear our latest tips and news about living a full and happy life with MS. And if you’re new to Overcoming MS, visit our introductory page to find out more about how we support people with MS.
    You can listen to part one here.
    Bio:
    Professor George Jelinek developed the Overcoming MS Program and founded the Neuroepidemiology Unit at the University of Melbourne's School of Population and Global Health which continues to research its benefits.
    George’s Story:
    When George was diagnosed with MS in 1999, he was determined to do something. His mother had died as a consequence of her MS, which spurred him on to sort through the medical literature on MS. His career as a Professor in Emergency Medicine and his background as Editor-in-Chief of a major medical journal gave him the tools to do this.
    It became clear to George that remaining well after a diagnosis of MS is more than just a possibility. He found that with a commitment to the right lifestyle changes, there is a real probability that many people with MS can live long, healthy lives, relatively free of the usual problems associated with the illness. These lifestyle recommendations are now referred to as the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) Program, which he detailed in his book Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis.
    George has remained free of further relapses, as have many people who follow the OMS Program.
     
    Selected Key Takeaways:
    What you do most of the time matters more than an occasional slip-up
    (4:50) “Your health in 20 or 30 years’ time will reflect the whole range of things you've done and your daily activities over all that time. And that's true, in general, in any illness. The occasional slip up in that context is essentially mostly irrelevant.”
    Look inward if you're struggling to stay on track with the Program
    (7:10) “If there's an inner struggle going on around [sticking to the program], then trying to get some help and understand what that struggle is about is useful... Is it related to not valuing oneself, not valuing one's health? [Or] because of perhaps the way we've been brought up? There are all sorts of different reasons why not placing yourself and your own health as important in your life would manifest in not doing everything that you can to try and stay well.”
    The support of a partner is crucial
    (9:51) “When partners came to the retreats, we would often find that their highly sceptical attitude at the beginning of the retreat was replaced with a total commitment by the end. Not only to support their partner but to do everything they could for their own health, because they would come to realise how important it is to stay well for themselves.”
    While Overcoming MS isn’t currently holding retreats, we do invite partners to play an active role in supporting the PwMS in their life by  adopting the Overcoming MS Program.
     
    Related Links:
    Join Circles Online, OMS’s virtual support groups Sticking with the OMS program Tips and information for following the Overcoming MS diet  
    Don’t miss out:
    Subscribe to this podcast and never miss an episode. You can catch any episode of Living Well with MS here or on your favourite podcast listening app. If you enjoy Living Well with MS, please leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you tune into the show. Feel free to share your comments and suggestions for future guests and episode topics by emailin

    • 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

cm102019 ,

Well done!

Living Well with MS hits the ball out of the park in featuring inspirational, real-life stories. Others with MS, as well as family members and friends could benefit from listening and understanding. In particular, I enjoyed hearing Shari Short’s unique journey. It was a fantastic interview with in depth questions.

Rb165405 ,

Accessible and informative

Living Well with Multiple Sclerosis offers hope and true stories of recovery from professionals and people with MS who are following the OMS recovery program. I always learn something new and feel part of a movement to self-manage autoimmunity through lifestyle choices.

kbh1717 ,

Truth

Love hearing true facts from Liz!

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