She cured her MS with food!

Ivy Larson was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998 when she was 22 years old. Until that point, she was a healthy, energetic young woman. Ivy started having crazy symptoms, parts of her body stopped working properly. Her doctor suspected the problem was neurological. She went through a battery of tests and was finally diagnosed with the early stages of MS.

Ivy didn’t want to use pharmaceuticals because of the side effects and her neurologist told her about the Swank diet. Dr. Swank saw the connection of MS and saturated fats.

She knew nothing about nutrition at this point, but decided it was worth a try to clean up her diet. Since then, Ivy has written a book and lived by “The Gold Coast Cure”, and her MS is cured!

Ivy teaches in her book “Gold Coast Cure”, it’s not just about tossing the bad foods, it’s about adding the nutrient rich good foods! We need to stock up on the nutrient rich whole foods, that will help us stay healthy, feel full and satisfied, and optimize our body’s ability to burn fat. Choose healthy whole carbs to make things super simple, she says.

Think of carbs in 2 categories:
1. Fresh produce which includes all fruits and all vegetables.
2. Dense carbs which contain more calories but are also more filling and are very important for keeping the energy level up.

Great choices of healthful dense carbs include whole grains, sprouted whole grain bread, and oatmeal, potatoes and beans, all of these are very rich in fiber including fruits and vegetables. Fiber helps keep us feeling full on substantially fewer calories. And this has been proven. Researchers have shown that people who add an additional 14 grams of fiber to their daily diet end up eating about 10% fewer calories at the end of the day.

On a 2000 calorie/day diet if you eat 10% fewer calories that’s about 200 calories less every day which could add up to a 20lb weight loss in one year. Fiber is definitely your weight loss friend.

Healthful fit fats, great choices like dry roasted nuts, dry roasted seeds, all natural nut butters, these are all excellent choices.
Oil: Best all purpose oil in most cases is extra virgin olive oil. When making desserts a better tasting canola which contains some essential omega 3 fats. Best way to get our omega 3 for the day is one Tbsp unheated flax oil. Drizzle it on top of a salad, whole grain or bean salad or 3 Tbsp ground flaxseed a day. We can bake with these or mix them in smoothies or yogurt.

Protein, remember three things:
1. Choose animal proteins that are low in saturated fat. Great choices like eggs, low fat dairy, lean cuts of meat, chicken, turkey.
2. Also you’re going to want to choose more vegetarian protein because this is going to increase your intake of disease fighting phyto chemicals and fiber.

Good examples of healthy vegetarian sources of protein include soybeans, Edamame beans, soy milk and tofu.

3. Increase our intake of fish. This will increase you intake of omega 3 essential fat intake but it will simultaneously will lower our intake of those pro inflammatory saturated that we’d otherwise be getting from animal protein sources.

Ivy has also become an amazing cook in the process. You can find many of her recipies on her website.

As we take Ivy’s advice and choose our food wisely, we’ll give our bodies what is needed for health and wellness.

I must confess, Ivy’s diet didn’t have the same healing effect on my body as it has on many, unfortunately MS is still active in my body. None-the-less, I’m continuing with the diet, and I’m enjoying meal-time!

Have you taken control of your diet? I’d love to hear!


About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.


  1. Very nice blog, indeed I appreciate your good information. We want to store up on the nutrient wealthy complete foods that will help out us stay fit, feel full and happy, and optimize our body’s capability to burn fat.

  2. I was given the Swank MS diet book a year or 2 after being diagnosed with MS. While I did not follow it exactly I used it as a resource in changing my food intake. My overall health improved. I certainly would recommend the Swank book as resource for anyone who has MS Drugs or not.

    Thanks for all the positive info you share.

    • Hank,
      Thank you for reminding me! I was planning on doing a post on the Swank Diet the day I started this blog! When I was first diagnosed in 1995, i was so anti-pharmaceutical that I wouldn’t even consider the new (at that time) ABC drugs. I asked my neurologist if there were any alternatives and he told me about Dr. Swank. The Dr. said the Swank diet wouldn’t help my MS but it would help my heart. I got right in and flew to see him in Oregon. I lived on the diet for 5 years and unfortunately it really didn’t help my MS. I’m glad it has helped you! Just like Ivy Larson, diet greatly helps everyone in some way! I have cleaned up my diet and even though I still have MS (and psoriasis) I am healthy in every other way!

  3. Hi Linda,

    It sounds like you’ve been trying out some very healthy diets, but since they’re not fully addressing the MS, have you considered minimizing and/or cutting out your refined flour/gluten, and refined sugar intake? I wonder if that could be a factor at all–
    in any case, best of luck in your experimentation!

    • Michael,
      Yes, actually I spent months on a gluten/sugar free diet. I wish it would have had the same result as my friend who had great success with the diet! Unfortunately it was simply something else to check off the list of possibilities!

  4. I think that healthy diet plan has positive health effects to the condition of an MS patient. Although it seems that it can provide good results, sad to say other patients could not achieve the same results that it did to others.

    • Candice,
      I couldn’t agree with you more! I believe that diet is crucial for overall health! Many of our illnesses can be cured with proper nutrition!

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  6. I think there is a big connection between food and degenerative diseases. It may be that some people have the disease worse and may not be able to get rid of the disease by changing their diet, but can control it and live a better life by following a good diet. Others maybe able to eradicate or at least not experience any symptoms by eating the right foods. And of course, all of this is enhanced by regular exercise.

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