Amanda Freitag, celebrity chef and recurring judge on the Food Network's "Chopped," and Julie Barto, a registered dietitian specializing in multiple sclerosis (MS), have teamed up to create a nutrition program especially for people with MS. The MS Active Wellness nutrition program offers easy-to-follow, healthy recipes and videos that address the role nutrition can play in maintaining overall wellness for people with MS at www.MSActiveWellness.com. In the program's online video series, Freitag demonstrates how to cook simple MS-friendly dishes at home. The MS Active Wellness nutrition program is part of MS Active Wellness, an online resource that provides tools to help people with MS live well and stay active. The MS Active Wellness initiative launched earlier this year with a fitness program that is also accessible at www.MSActiveWellness.com.
“Many people living with MS don't know how they are going to feel on a given day, and sometimes just going grocery shopping can be a challenge”
"The MS Active Wellness nutrition program is designed to make healthy eating and good nutrition easy to achieve for people with MS," said Freitag. "A healthy diet can work wonders for your overall well-being but it can be hard to cook at home every night when living with certain MS symptoms. My hope is that this program will show people that healthy cooking can be done by almost anyone."
The MS Active Wellness nutrition program is designed to help people with MS make small adjustments when cooking that can make a big difference in maximizing time and energy. In various recipe videos, Freitag, Barto and people living with MS demonstrate how to create simple, healthy and delicious meals that can be easily prepared. In addition, the program features educational tips-and-tricks videos that explain why a healthy diet is essential for people with MS, some easy-to-use kitchen gadgets, what groceries to buy to make cooking easier and suggestions on entertaining at home while living with MS. Other cooking and nutrition resources, such as downloadable grocery lists, kitchen gadget recommendations and kitchen organizational tips are also available on www.MSActiveWellness.com.
"Nutrition is especially important for people living with chronic diseases like MS," said Colleen Miller, a nurse practitioner at Jacobs Neurological Institute, Buffalo, N.Y., who is featured in some of the educational videos. "The MS Active Wellness nutrition program addresses common barriers, like heat sensitivity and fatigue, which can make it difficult for people with MS to cook and follow a nutritious diet."
Every week, about 200 people are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, making it one of the most common neurological disorders, affecting more than 400,000 people nationally. Certain symptoms of MS can make cooking at home more difficult. Some techniques, however, can lessen the impact that these symptoms have on the ability to cook. A nutrition program that modifies traditional cooking techniques as needed, like the MS Active Wellness nutrition program, can help those living with MS work around commonly-experienced symptoms such as fatigue, spasticity and heat sensitivity.
"Many people living with MS don't know how they are going to feel on a given day, and sometimes just going grocery shopping can be a challenge," said Julie Barto, registered dietitian at the Milford Regional Medical Center, Milford, Mass. "Eating healthy everyday is essential for everyone, and the MS Active Wellness nutrition program is designed to help people with MS to follow a healthy diet, even on days they are not feeling their best."