Hi, I’m Lindsay Bileau!
Nutrition & Wellness Consultant
Vegan Sports Nutrition
MS Fitness & Wellness
I am grateful for my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.
To better understand that sentence, let me back up a little bit…
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in February 2016, by accident. What had originated in back pain for multiple years, led me to getting an MRI revealing a lesion on my spine, and later multiple lesions on my brain.
I was confused - I never had any physical symptoms. My neurologist, even while knowing this fact, sent me home with a list of medications and told me to follow up with him when I decided which one. They ALL had some form of side effect, and I was told it could take some trial and error to find one that worked for me. I asked for a second opinion, and he referred me to a doctor at the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Brigham and Women’s in Boston. She too, confirmed my diagnosis and sent me home with a list of medications and asked me which one I wanted to try.
My problem was, I didn’t want to try any of them.
So I didn’t.
I went home, unmedicated and frustrated.
I went vegan in June 2016 and started to wonder if diet could have any impact on my Multiple Sclerosis. While BOTH of my neurologists told me to, “eat well and exercise,” neither of them told me what I had to find on my own… there are MS-specific diets backed by scientific research, with one including a 94% success rate.
I started the very next day, a day in July 2016. Around this time I had started experiencing severe fatigue and hand/feet numbness and tingling from the Maine Summer heat. (Heat-related MS symptoms are common.) About a month into my diet I developed Optic Neuritis after a particularly stressful day at work, and my local neurologist literally said to me, “Congratulations! You officially have MS.” As if it was worth celebrating.
Undeterred, I continued on my journey without medication, because I knew it was too early to tell how my diet changes would affect me. I needed to give it more time.
And more time was exactly what I needed. I got a follow up MRI a year post-diagnosis, and all of my lesions had either disappeared or greatly reduced in size. My tingling and numbness were gone. I regained my energy. My vision was restored.
The impact that food has on our health, particularly chronic illnesses, is so beyond anything I could have ever imaged, and I was living proof. The results I saw (and felt) pushed me into my passion to help others heal holistically through diet as well, and I earned several certifications through AFPA to solidify my education on the topic to compliment my life experience on the topic. I am a certified Holistic Nutritionist, Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Vegan Sports Nutritionist, and MS Fitness & Wellness Specialist.
Which leads me here.
Because of my diagnosis, I am healthier than I have ever been. My diet is plant based and you can find me in the gym most mornings at 4am lifting weights and doing cardio. Do I occasionally push it a little hard while I’m exercising, or overindulge in a snack? Of course. I’m human. But I celebrate my successes AND my hurdles. I also don’t believe in full restriction because making a lifestyle change shouldn’t mean shutting out things that bring you joy. It’s all about moderation, with everything.
And I’m so much more than my diagnosis… I am married to the sweetest man I’ve ever met. We are parents to the cutest little brindle pit bull. I live in Portland, ME by way of Fort Lauderdale, FL by way of Hanson, Massachusetts. Panda black licorice is the way to my heart. I am an amateur vegan recipe tester. I also run a personal page, Lindsay Makes Lemonade, which I have run since I started my diet for my Multiple Sclerosis - it’s filled with all things positivity, vegan food, and life. And I believe that the universe always has a way of balancing you out.