Introduction

 

Traveling has been a passion of mine ever since I can remember. It has never been a problem finding a place to eat. I ate everything and loved different food cultures, but eating out has become challenging lately since my husband Jack was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. We changed our lifestyle. For him this was to halt the progression of this nasty medical condition and for me it was to prevent getting it.

We are not alone and over the past few years we have got to know many others who share difficult chronic medical conditions and keep them in check with a whole food plant-based lifestyle. You might be one of them.

Share your positive experiences with us for this guide and submit your review. To be sure you understand our requirements for your review please read our guidelines. We invite you to be part of the My Fresh Attitude Guide, a compass which will lead us to places we can eat, stay and shop when we travel the world.

 

My story

 

I grew up in Switzerland, a country where it seems milk and chocolate flow from the faucets of every home. Everything I ate was cooked with milk and butter, had cream added, was covered with cheese, or it was all melted cheese, such as raclette or fondue. I did not grow up as a vegetarian. I ate meat once a day, every day except Friday.

Growing up shapes the way we continue with our lives. Perhaps we continue with the lifestyle we grew up with. For me that meant dairy and meat practically every day. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this food and know how tasty it can be.

I traveled a lot and I enjoyed other food cultures. I lived for 18 months in Central America and the only dairy product I ate during that time was a kind of fresh cheese called Cuajada, which walked away after a few days. I did not really miss dairy since there were so many exiting plant-based dishes to eat. But once back in Switzerland, the first thing I did was to go shopping for some milk, butter and cheese.

Nutrition was never discussed during my training and professional work as a nurse. Specific diets only existed for patients who were obese, had diabetes, or liver or stomach problems. Some food allergies were known but hardly any food intolerances were considered. That has all changed in the past 35 years, hasn’t it?

After getting to know Jack and his passion for food, I thought it would be nice to have some wine with the food. So I studied wine and spirits at the renowned Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) in London. Together we started to teach cooking, food, wines and spirits and we still go up to four times a week to the market to buy fresh seasonal produce. We had a great time and we traveled even more, getting to know more food cultures.

Everything turned upside down when my husband, he of all people, was diagnosed with MS in late summer 2009. Only one year later my mother passed away from Primary Progressive MS (PPMS), after being completely helpless in a wheelchair for seven years and enduring a life full of suffering for her last fourteen years. As I am her daughter, this could become my fate as well and I was worried.

In search of alternative treatments of the strong immune modulating drugs, Jack discovered Dr. Roy Swank’s work. His work basically argues that diet can change the progression of MS if you eliminate most saturated fats.

As a trained nurse I looked at the evidence mentioned in his research and was convinced that this would be the way to go. Even better, Jack came across the work of Professor George Jelinek MD, an expert researcher from Australia, who also has MS. Jelinek considered Dr. Swank’s earlier work and went further by eliminating harmful fats, adding daily doses of Omega 3 fatty acids and including other lifestyle changes. It all made so much sense and before the year was over, we were on board.

We follow a whole food plant-based lifestyle and occasionally include fish and seafood. We focus on a low saturated fat intake, avoiding highly processed fats such as margarine and oils, tropical fats such as palm and coconut fat, and we avoid fried and deep-fried foods.

Jack, who graduated as a chef from the New England Culinary Institute, started experimenting with cooking. He converted favorite recipes and began to learn new ideas in cooking. He also earned a professional certificate in plant based cooking. I think he has gathered enough insight, knowledge, and experience to share confidently what he knows with you in his electronic cookbook format, always with my critical eye and taste buds in the background.

With this expertise we never have problems cooking at home. But our new eating habits make it difficult to find places to eat and shop when we travel. Mostly we try to rent an apartment to be able to cook for ourselves and when we are in a hotel, we travel with rice milk and our own flax oil. The idea to share places to eat all over the world among those of us who eat the same way, is already a few years old. When trying to find places to eat in the outback of Australia became increasingly frustrating, I knew it was time to go for it and create this website.


Our Brief Resume

 

Silvia Gautschi McNulty

Professional Education…

  • Holistic Nutrition, Paracelsus, Zürich Switzerland
  • Certificate Advanced Science, Health Promotion, FFHS Zürich Switzerland
  • Honor Diploma in Wine & Spirits Level V, WSET, London England
  • Advanced Certificate Sherry Wine, Regulatory Authority, Jerez Spain
  • Advanced Certificate, Enology & Tasting, Bregenz Austria
  • Certificate, Food & Wine Pairing, Costigliole D’Asti Italy
  • Advanced Certificate, Wine Tasting, Wädenswil Switzerland
  • Certificate in Management for NPOs, Zürich
  • Dipl. Nurse HF, Switzerland
  • Professional Experience…
  • Wine Instructor, Académie du Vin, Switzerland
  • Wine & Spirits Sales & Consultation, Globus Group, Zürich
  • Board Member, Swiss German Sommelier Association (former)

Awards…

  • Suisse Ambassadeur du Champagne 2010
  • Award of Excellence, Student of the Year 2004, WSET Germany

Jack McNulty

Culinary and Business Education…

  • Professional certificate, Plant-Based Cooking, Rouxbe Cooking School
  • Professional certificate in chocolate decorations and tempering, Felchlin Chocolates, Schwyz
  • Professional certificate in fine confections. Fabilo International, Rickenbach
  • BA Degree in Business Administration & International Management, Zürich
  • Master Certificate, Italian Culinary Institute, Costigliole D’Asti, Italy
  • Culinary Arts Degree, New England Culinary Institute, USA

Culinary Experience…

  • Consulting Editor, Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Cookbook
  • Owner, Laughing Lemon Food & Wine, Zürich Switzerland
  • Restaurant Neumarkt, Zürich Switzerland
  • Kaiser’s Reblaube and Goethestübli, Zürich Switzerland
  • L’Essentiel, Chambéry France
  • Locanda Miranda, Tellaro Italy
  • Antica Osteria del Teatro, Piacenza Italy