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Jessica Bratrude, RD

Jessica Bratrude, RD

Nutritionist, Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

Jessica Bratrude is a nutritionist with the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center. Jessica provides sound practical advice for patients, enabling them to be successful in their nutrition goals. Her special areas of interest include weight loss, cardiovascular health, diabetes and incorporating natural healthy meals. She also teaches yoga at local health clubs, and encourages physical activity into daily life, believing that the mind-body connection created in yoga helps individuals be more successful in making lifestyle changes.

Blog Posts by Jessica Bratrude, RD

No-Cook Meals for Multiple Sclerosis - Week 4: Southwest Chop Salad

It may be the last official week of summer, but this no-cook meal for multiple sclerosis can be enjoyed during any season. This salad’s simple ingredients are available year-round. Make it now and enjoy it again when you need a break from winter weather.

Recipe: Southwest Chop Salad

 

Super Food: Avocado

The oleic acid in avocados will help keep you satisfied and full. Oleic acid tells the body to ...

No-Cook Meals for Multiple Sclerosis - Week 3: Tuna and Fennel Sandwiches

It’s back-to-school time and this week’s no-cook meal for multiple sclerosis is a twist on an American childhood mainstay; the tuna fish sandwich. Instead of mayonnaise and pickles, this meal uses flavorful olive oil, tangy vinegar and fresh crunchy vegetables.

Recipe: Tuna and Fennel Sandwiches

 

Super food ingredient: Chunk light tuna

There is strong evidence that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Make sure to choose “chunk light tuna,” which is three times lower in mercury than the solid white or albacore tuna.

Also choose water-packed tuna over oil packed. Some of the omega-3 fatty acids leak into the added oil and will be lost when you drain the can. Because water...

No-Cook Meals for Multiple Sclerosis Week 2: Gazpacho

Last week, I shared the first of a few recipes that are easy to prepare, and don’t require heating up the kitchen on a warm summer day.

Heat sensitivity can be a serious issue for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), causing a temporary worsening, or exacerbation, of their symptoms.

This week’s no-cook meal is a tomato-based soup that is traditionally served cold. It’s chilled serving temperature makes it a popular dish for summer months and it’s veggie content makes it a nutrient-packed part of your meal.

Recipe: Gazpacho

 

Super food ingredient: Olive oil

Olive oil is ...

Beat the heat! Easy, healthy, no-cook meals for multiple sclerosis

Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have heat and temperature sensitivity.  Hot weather, running a fever, strenuous exercise or taking a hot bath or shower can cause a temporary worsening of symptoms. The last thing you probably want to do the mercury rises this summer is turn on your stove or stand over a hot burner. Fortunately, many healthy meals can be made quickly without ever cranking up the heat in the kitchen.

Each week for the next four weeks, I will share a new no-cook recipe; each with in a healthy, low fat diet. Each recipe will highlight one ingredient as a nutritional standout with an explanation for why these foods should be included in your diet. They all make about 4 servings, but can be adjusted up or down as needed, and are ready in 20 minutes or less.

This summer, don’t let the heat be an excuse for skipping a healthy meal and going to the drive through. Instead, enjoy the air conditioning at the grocery store and pick up supplies for one of these healthy meals.

Let’s start with a simple salad containing nutritious whole grains:

Recipe: Zucchini and White Bean Salad with Whole Grains

 

Super food ingredient: Whole Grains

Whole grains are ...

The anti-inflammatory diet and multiple sclerosis

We have all seen inflammation on the surface of our bodies. Redness, heat, swelling or pain after a cut or sprain are examples of this process at work. In these cases, inflammation benefits the body by bringing more nutrients and immune activity to the injured or infected area, helping it to heal.

When inflammation occurs without purpose or is persistent, it can cause damage and illness. This type of abnormal inflammation is the root of many chronic diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS).

Many factors contribute to chronic inflammation including stress, exposure to toxins such as cigarette smoke and dietary choices. We have control over some of the causes of inflammation. Learning what foods have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body may be beneficial in reducing long-term disease risk.

The anti-inflammatory diet is a balanced, sensible way of eating. It not only influences inflammation but also provides your body with adequate energy, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and fiber. Here are a few recommendations for eating to reduce and prevent inflammation:

Easy make-ahead meals to beat MS fatigue

In my last post about eating well with multiple sclerosis (MS), we discussed meal planning and prep to help enable you to eat nutritiously through the week.

Maybe you’ve decided to carve out some time to make a list and prep some food for the week. Good for you! Need some inspiration?

Here are a few recipes that will produce left overs that hold up well and can be packed up for healthy lunches. Don’t forget to include plenty of extra fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grain cereals and non-fat dairy products to be eaten as breakfast and snacks.

Meal 1: Chilled peanut noodles with grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli

Click here for the recipe.

The whole-wheat noodles give you a good dose of fiber to help keep you regular and the protein from the peanuts will help you feel full longer than other vegetarian pasta dishes. Cook enough chicken for you and your family to have a 4 oz. portion both for dinner lunch the next day, plus an extra pound for another recipe later in the week.

This noodle dish can be served room temperature right after it is made. It is also great eaten cold the next day. If you are sensitive to heat and don’t want to heat up you kitchen re-heating food then you will love this dish.

Meal 2: Slow-cooker vegetarian chili with a whole grain roll

Click here for the recipe.

This dish is ...

Organizing an Efficient Kitchen to Fight Fatigue with MS

In the last few weeks, I’ve shared tips to help create healthful meals that are fatigue-friendly for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Your meal plan is set and your pantry is stocked with nutritious, easily-prepared foods. Here are a few helpful kitchen gadgets and some minor adjustments that can make cooking more efficient and feel like less of a chore:

  • Secure your cutting board. When you are not able to buy pre-cut vegetables and fruits and need to do the chopping yourself, make sure to secure your cutting board. Placing a non-slip mat or wet towel under the board works well. This keeps it from slipping when you slice, dice and grate.
  • If you are sensitive to heat, keep the kitchen cool. Try ...
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