PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Instead of reaching for the medicine jar, reach into your refrigerator.
That's what Ivy Larson did when she was diagnosed in her early 20s with the debilitating disease multiple sclerosis.
Her doctors said she could take medications for life, enter a drug trial or change her diet. She chose the latter.
Ivy starts each day with a nutrient dense, Florida sunshine no-milk shake.
"This will keep you full. It gives you lots of energy. It's super clean fruits, vegetables, nuts, plant based protein."
We're not talking about washing your food. "Clean" applies to unrefined, anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense whole foods.
Ivy Larson says, "Within a week of cleaning your diet you'll notice a difference in how you feel, sleep better, have better energy and your skin will improve."
More importantly for Ivy, she says it stopped her disease from progressing. 15 years after her MS diagnosis she's healthy and not on any medication.
Larson says, "You're definitely not cured once you have MS because there isn't a cure to date. Hopefully there will be but it's kept my symptoms in remission so I don't feel as if I have MS."
Eating "clean" is a family affair in the Larson house. It's all their 12-year-old son knows and something Ivy's husband, Dr. Andy Larson, a Palm Beach County bariatric surgeon, incorporates into his practice.
Dr. Larson says, "The more research I do and the more experience I have in our lives I see that an anti-inflammatory diet program is the key to curing chronic modern disease."
Dr. Larson says asthma, fibromyalgia and most forms of heart disease can be improved with the right diet.
Ivy fills her refrigerator with nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory foods like chia seeds. She says they are a vegan source of Omega 3's and fiber. She says legumes, nuts, whole grains and loads of organic vegetables are all staples of a "clean" diet.
Ivy says don't think you have to overhaul everything at once, make gradual changes. "This is a way of eating that foods taste amazing and you feel so much better."
Ivy and Dr. Andy Larson are the authors of "Clean Cuisine: An 8-week Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Program that Will Change the Way You Age, Feel & Look."
For more information on Clean Cuisine go to www.cleancuisineandmore.com
And if you would like to try Ivy's Florida Sunshine No Milk Shake here is the recipe:
· ¼ cup raw macadamia nuts
· 1 orange
· ¾ cup frozen pineapple
· 2 pitted dates
· 1 1/2 cups water + 2-3 ice cubes
· 1 frozen banana, sliced
· 1 handful spinach
· 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger root
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) and process until smooth and creamy. Drink at once.