62 episodes

Welcome to the Overcoming MS | Living Well with MS podcast. In each episode, your host Geoff Allix will explore a different aspect of the OMS 7-Step Recovery Program in greater depth. New episodes will be published approximately once per month, 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 • 25 Ratings

Welcome to the Overcoming MS | Living Well with MS podcast. In each episode, your host Geoff Allix will explore a different aspect of the OMS 7-Step Recovery Program in greater depth. New episodes will be published approximately once per month, 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.

    Rethinking Exercise for People with MS

    Rethinking Exercise for People with MS

    We all know that exercise is a key component of healthy living, and particularly important too if you have MS, which is why it plays such a prominent role as one of the steps of the OMS Program. But did you know that when you’re exercising your body, you’re working out your nervous system as well? Our guest on this episode of Living Well with MS, Dr. Gretchen Hawley, will explain neuroplasticity (for us lay people, that’s the brain’s ability to continually change, a sign of brain health) and how exercise can impact it, as well as share her insights on helping people with MS improve their strength, balance and mobility.
     
    Bio:
     
    Gretchen Hawley is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist. After graduating from Simmons University in Boston, she developed a Multiple Sclerosis program alongside two of the city's top MS neurologists. Dr. Hawley utilizes the concept of neuroplasticity to improve strength, balance and walking in those with MS by using specific, functional exercises. She has been a keynote speaker at several National MS Society events and other MS focused conferences in 2018 and 2019 and presents frequently to MS groups. Dr. Hawley brings a keen understanding of the challenges faced by people living with MS and has developed a virtual physical therapy program to help people improve their MS symptoms while in the comfort of their own home and guided by an MS specialist. Dr. Hawley resides in Buffalo with her dog, Finn.  
     
    Questions:
     
    We hear a lot about new training methods, such as HIIT (high intensity interval training); is it effective for people with MS? How long should the intensity intervals be? If you’re doing strength training as well, should you do cardio before or after? What are different types of strengthening for people with MS? How does an “MS-specific” exercise differ from regular training? Can you provide some examples of “MS-specific” exercise? What’s the right exercise order for different types of exercises? Is it better to do an exercise like walking even if you’re having an off day and do it badly or wait till you can do it well with good form? How do you find the motivation to exercise consistently? Do you recommend days off from exercise? You have an online wellness program called The MSing Link. Can you tell our audience a bit about it?  
    Links:
     
    Learn more about Dr. Gretchen Hawley’s online MS wellness program, The MSing Link (SPECIAL OFFER! $15 off any membership if you use promo code OMS2021) Check our Dr. Gretchen Hawley on YouTube Check out Dr. Gretchen Hawley on Facebook Check out Dr. Gretchen Hawley on Instagram Watch Dr. Gretchen Hawley’s Behind the Scenes video Learn more about Gretchen Hawley  
    Coming up on our next episode:
     
    Next up from the OMS podcast family: starting August 9, meet Gillian Robertson, who lives in the UK and volunteers as a recipe contributor to the OMS website, on Living Well with MS Coffee Break #20, part of our ongoing series introducing you to members of the dynamic OMS community from around the globe.
     
    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. Don’t be shy – if you like the program, leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you tune into the show.

    • 24 min
    Ask Jack #3

    Ask Jack #3

    Welcome to our third installment of Ask Jack, featuring the prodigious culinary talents of professional holistic chef Jack McNulty answering food-related questions generated by you, our community. Check out the show notes below that dig deeper into the topics covered on this episode. Set your dials to this station when Ask Jack #4 premieres on September 15, 2021, just in time to kick off autumn (for one half of the world, at least). Don’t forget to submit your questions for Jack by emailing them to podcast@overcomingms.org.
     
    Introduction
     
    Now, on to this episode’s main theme: Summer is for Eating Well!
     
    In this episode, we dig into (literally) into some topical questions about foods and activities that are part of every summer culinary package, and Jack makes sure to advise you on how to make sure they align with your OMS diet and still taste great. Given how central a role grilling (or BBQing to some of our listeners) plays in summer eating, we focus mostly on understanding the growing segment of meat replacers and how they fit into the OMS diet, plus addressing summer cooking ideas and techniques.
     
    Questions 1 + 2
     
    Our first question comes from Mathilde in London, and it harkens back to a popular theme on earlier episodes – cooking appliances:
     
    I know that Jack already talked about various cooking appliances, but I was wondering what were his thoughts about induction? My understanding is that it is a great one when it comes to controlling temperature. Is that true?
     
    Our next question, from Gina in Bristol (UK) is about reheating food, which is relevant for summer and all seasons:
     
    When I make a stir fry or soup, I sometimes add olive oil or sesame oil after cooking while the food is still hot. I also like to batch-cook and am wondering what is the best way to reheat foods that have some oil in or on them (roasted vegetables come to mind)? Is it problematic to microwave leftovers?
     
    Question 3
     
    There was a flurry of questions from our audience about how healthy meat substitutes and chicken substitutes are, given they often have loads of chemicals or other “unnatural” ingredients. Jack and Geoff dig into this topic to unpack some of the key points to be mindful of when considering whether to consume one of the many meat alternatives and plant-based “meat” options on the market.
     
    Question 4
     
    Eating outdoors and picnicking are summer fixtures. Many of our listeners wanted to know what are the best types of OMS-friendly foods to bring with you to a picnic?
     
    Question 5
     
    On a sizzling BBQ note, Nicola from Canterbury (UK) wanted to hear ideas for things to try on a BBQ. In her experience, most homemade bean burgers just fall apart, and she worries about cooking fish over direct heat. She has had some success with mushrooms in foil but otherwise is out of ideas. Any tips?
     
    Question 6
     
    What are the main factors and considerations to ensure your summer cooking is healthy and fun? Jack provides some great overall guidelines to make sure you spend more time enjoying your summer fare and less time deliberating over it.
     
    Question 7
     
    Most people associate grilling with proteins, but many of our listeners are curious about the best veggies to make on an open flame and wanted to get some good tips on grilling vegetables. Jack offers some great advice on this topic. Here are some further thoughts on how best to cook veggies.
     
    Question 8
     
    Most meals end with dessert, and so does this episode. One of our listeners asked the following:
     
    Do you have any suggestions on what I can bring as a dessert if I'm invited to a picnic?
     
    Links:
     
    Connect with Jack:  Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
     
    Coming up on our next episode:
     
    On July 28, tune into the next episode of Living Well with MS for a topic that’s critical to everyone’

    • 56 min
    Coffee Break #19 with Joia Lewis

    Coffee Break #19 with Joia Lewis

    Welcome to Living Well with MS Coffee Break #19, where we are pleased to welcome Joia Lewis as our guest!
     
    Our Coffee Break series is your chance to get to know members of our diverse OMS community. In each episode, you’ll join Geoff Allix for an intimate chat with a different member of our global community. Our guests will share their personal stories and talk about their challenges and victories, large and small. We hope you find common cause and a source of inspiration from the stories of these very special people.
     
    As always, your comments and suggestions are always welcome by emailing podcast@overcomingms.org. We hope you enjoy this episode’s conversation with Joia, beaming to you straight from the Estoril in Portugal.
     
    Bio:
     
    Joia Lewis was born in Portugal to missionary parents and lived there for 10 years until the family returned to the United States. In college she studied violin at the Boston Conservatory and Russian at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow, before spending a year traveling throughout Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East. Seeking to continue studies in both the humanities and sciences, she completed graduate work at Indiana University for a PhD in the Philosophy of Science. 30 years of teaching scientific reasoning, logic and medical ethics also include raising her daughter in California and working for a software company there and in Minnesota. She was diagnosed with PPMS in 2009 and taught 5 more years until full medical retirement and disability in 2014. Her symptoms were fortunately stable enough to allow for moving back to her birthplace in Portugal in 2018, where she currently lives near Lisbon and works on her many writing projects.
     
    Questions:
     
    Joia, welcome to Living Well with MS Coffee Break. We’re so pleased to have you on our program. The purpose of this series is to better get to know some of the diverse members of our community from around the world, and we couldn’t have a more representative example than you. You’ve had quite an international and multicultural life, which has taken you full circle back to Portugal. Can you tell us a bit about this whirlwind trajectory? When were you diagnosed with PPMS? Can you provide some context on that? When were you diagnosed and how did you initially deal with it? You have had a rich career as an academic, serving as a professor of philosophy of science. And now you’re an essaying, blogger and occasional editor. How did your academic focus at all inform your approach to dealing with the realities of experiencing MS? At which point did you come across the OMS program? How was that experience for you? Why did you decide to start following it? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced at first in adopting the OMS program? How did you overcome them? When did you first start to see any kind of positive indicators in following OMS guidelines? What were these? As I understand it, you have some thoughts to share with our community about ways in which one can deal with the anxieties surrounding experiencing MS symptoms. As this is a critical area for anyone with MS, do you have any personal lessons or tips to share? You’ve been a valuable member of the OMS community. As an example, you’re the ambassador of the OMS Circle currently covering all of Portugal. What’s that experience like? Shifting gears, literally, I’m curious to understand how you work exercise and meditation into your daily regimen. What kind of exercise do you do regularly, and how do you feel it impacts you physically and emotionally? If you tap into your experience with MS generally and OMS specifically for a nugget of wisdom that would help people ease into and better adopt the OMS program, what would that advice be?  
    Joia’s Links:
     
    Check out Joia’s blog Read Joia’s essay about her PPMS journey Joia’s interview

    • 29 min
    The MS Fitness Challenge

    The MS Fitness Challenge

    Meet David Lyons, bodybuilding champion, media personality and founder of a global fitness training program. Did we mention David also has MS? Through the MS Fitness Challenge among many other endeavors, David has dedicated his personal and professional life to helping people with MS of all abilities learn how to overcome their physical challenges and lead healthier lives.
     
    Questions:
     
    Welcome to Living Well with MS, David! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and anything our audience should know to get a sense of who you are? You’re the creator of the MS Fitness Challenge. What exactly is that? What are the key things people with MS are missing when it comes to fitness, in your view? Does the MS Fitness Challenge program work for people with different kinds of MS, different levels of mobility, etc.? How does your approach to helping people with MS improve mobility through exercise and strength training differ from other offerings out there? Have your methods been part of any scientific research or published studies that support their efficacy? If you could give someone with MS 3 quick hacks to fitness that would allow them to see a difference in the way they feel relatively quickly, what would these be? You established an MS Fitness Challenge as a nonprofit organization. How come? What is the difference between MS Fitness Challenge and your virtual personal fitness program, Optimal Body Personal Fitness? What’s next for you in the MS fitness space? Any new programs or ideas on the horizon to enable you to reach more people with MS?  
    Bio:
     
    David Lyons was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2006 at the age of 47. A bodybuilder and former owner of fitness centers, Lyons made the choice to fight MS head-on through bodybuilding. He founded the MS Bodybuilding Challenge in 2008, and in 2009, at age 50, competed in his first bodybuilding contest with MS, winning a Most Inspirational trophy. He went on to be presented with the Milestone Award by the National MS Society for his accomplishments. In 2012, Lyons and his wife, Kendra, a registered nurse, created the MS Fitness Challenge to support people with MS in their efforts to stay as fit as possible, overcome limitations, and keep their bodies moving. The cause also educates trainers on fitness for MS. 
     
    In 2013 Lyons received the Health Advocate of the Year Award alongside fitness icon Lou Ferrigno and in 2015, he was honored by bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger with the Health Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016 Lyons received the Lifetime Fitness Inspiration Award from the Global Bodybuilding Organization, an international fitness federation, and in 2017 was acknowledged by the National Fitness Hall of Fame (NFHOF) with a Special Recognition Award. Later that year he was asked to be one of the Founding Partners of the NFHOF Institute for education and in 2019 David was the only fitness expert with MS to be inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. Lyons has been named the Most Dedicated MS Fitness Expert worldwide by both Global Health and Pharma and Global 200 in 2019, 2020, and 2021. He was voted as one of the Top 100 Healthcare Leaders by the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare in 2020.
     
    Lyons is the author of David's Goliath, an autobiographical story of his journey with MS, and his fitness book, Everyday Health and Fitness with Multiple Sclerosis, a #1 New Release on Amazon is for anyone who wants to get in top shape while battling physical or emotional obstacles to getting started.
     
    David is engaged in many fitness initiatives for MS, including being the author of the MS trainers’ courses for both the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) and the MedFit Education Foundation; and speaking on MS and fitness at the nationwide Medical Fitness Tour.
     

    • 29 min
    Coffee Break #18 with Rachel Knight

    Coffee Break #18 with Rachel Knight

    Welcome to Living Well with MS Coffee Break #18, where we are pleased to welcome Rachel Knight as our guest!
     
    Our Coffee Break series is your chance to get to know members of our diverse OMS community. In each episode, you’ll join Geoff Allix for an intimate chat with a different member of our global community. Our guests will share their personal stories and talk about their challenges and victories, large and small. We hope you find common cause and a source of inspiration from the stories of these very special people.
     
    As always, your comments and suggestions are always welcome by emailing podcast@overcomingms.org. We hope you enjoy this episode’s conversation with Rachel, beaming to you straight from the New Zealand.
     
    Bio
     
    Rachel moved to New Zealand from Chester, England in 1996 while working in the electricity industry. She left the corporate world nine years later to start her own business helping people grow their own food. She was diagnosed with MS in March 2017 but was fortunate to go to an OMS retreat in Australia six weeks later. She is the OMS Ambassador for the Hawke’s Bay OMS Circle and develops and tests recipes for the OMS website.
     
    Rachel enjoys getting out and about with her two Labradors, she makes many of her own clothes and has recently upgraded to an e-bike for more comfortable local commuting.
     
    Questions:
     
    Rachel, our audience wants to know a little bit about you and your life. Can you share some background on where you’re from, what you do, any snippets of your family or personal life or anything about you that would give our listeners a sense of who Rachel Knight is? How about your experience with MS? Can you provide some context on that? When were you diagnosed and how did you initially cope with it? At which point did you come across the OMS program? How was that experience for you? Why did you decide to start following it? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced at first in adopting the OMS program? How did you overcome them? When did you first start to see any kind of positive indicators in following OMS guidelines? What were these? You’ve been a valuable member of the OMS community. As an example, you’re the ambassador for the OMS Circle in Hawke’s Bay. What’s that experience like? You also test OMS-friendly recipes for our website. What does that entail? On a personal note, do you have any unusual interests or wacky hobbies you can tell us about? What kind of stuff will we find you doing on a weekend? If you tap into your experience with MS generally and OMS specifically for a nugget of wisdom that would help people ease into and better adopt the OMS program, what would that advice be?  
    Coming up on our next episode:
     
    Get your fitness hat on June 30 for the next episode of Living Well with MS, when Geoff Allix talks to MS Fitness Challenge creator and exercise maestro David Lyons about the life-changing power of exercise and fitness to people with MS at all ranges of ability.
     
    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. Don’t be shy – if you like the program, leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you tune into the show. And feel free to share your comments and suggestions by emailing podcast@overcomingms.org.

    • 21 min
    The Joys of Volunteering

    The Joys of Volunteering

    Bio:
     
    Hana is an event project manager, traveler, health freak, and most importantly, an OMS volunteer coordinator. She started following the OMS program after being told she might have MS. After reading everything about the brain, neurons, nutrition and the health benefits of a plant-based diet and finding the OMS website, she decided to give it a try. Her efforts slowed down the progression of her condition and now, after five years, many OMS-friendly recipes, countless liters of flaxseed oil and hours of yoga and journaling, her neurologist informed her that whatever she’s been doing she should keep it up, and her file was placed in the ‘let's observe’ folder indefinitely. Hana believes following the OMS protocols was one of the best decisions she has ever made.
     
    Questions:
     
    Welcome to Living Well with MS, Hana! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and anything our audience should know to get a sense of who you are? How did you discover the OMS program… describe the path that led you there? What’s your experience been like on the OMS program… tell us about the ups and the downs? OMS is marking this month to recognize the amazing contributions our volunteers make to the organization. You’re a volunteer coordinator for OMS. What exactly is that role about? What kind of impact do you think the volunteers you work with make in helping OMS further its mission to make more people aware of the positive impact of healthy lifestyle changes for people with MS? Do you have a history of volunteering for other causes or organizations? What inspires you personally to be a volunteer? Why did you decide to dedicate so much of your volunteer energy to OMS? If you had to provide some advice to people considering volunteering for OMS, what would it be? Can you share any inspirational moments or experiences you’ve had as an OMS volunteer? Thanks for much for sharing these perspectives on volunteering, Hana, and for the service you provide to the OMS community. Before we part, I wanted to ask you one last thing: if there is one tip or piece of advice you can give to new members of the OMS community, perhaps something that’s served you well in your own journey, what would it be?  
    Hana’s Favorite Instagram Feeds:
     
    Gretchen Hawley MS Diet for Life Staying Healthy with MS Tanya’s Living (Organic Raw Deli in London) Amy Levin (Healthy Chocolates and Desserts) Vegan Bowls (Vegan Recipes)  
    Coming up on our next episode:
     
    Next up from the OMS podcast family: starting June 21, meet Rachel Knight, the OMS Ambassador for the Circle in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand on Living Well with MS Coffee Break #18, part of our ongoing series introducing you to members of the dynamic OMS community from around the globe.
     
    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. Don’t be shy – if you like the program, leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you tune into the show. And feel free to share your comments and suggestions by emailing podcast@overcomingms.org.
     

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

kbh1717 ,

Truth

Love hearing true facts from Liz!

mrbonesy ,

Hope it gets more complex

I gave this five stars because everyone with MS should be listening to it. That said, I wish episodes were more complex, instead just mostly recapping what’s in the book or on the website. Hope it gets more complex and interesting as it goes along. Thanks for this podcast!

eudaemonia ,

great information, just too short!

I love this podcast and as a follower and huge supporter of OMS, I must say the only downside is that I find the episodes to be too short. Also, I wish that the episodes would be weekly. I really want to get into the routine of listening on a regular basis...Other than that great show + great mission. If you have MS or are newly diagnosed definitely subscribe. Evidence based recommendations at their best.

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