Book Review – The Wahls Protocol

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The Wahls ProtocolThe most recent completion of the Flourishing Book Club – The Wahl’s Protocol. Follow us out on Instagram @flourishingbookclub.

The Wahl’s Protocol was written by an amazing human and Doctor, Terry Wahls.  I had the honor of seeing her speak at the IIN health coaching conference that I attended in October 2019. Dr. Terry Wahls is survivor of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). When medications and conventional medicine weren’t giving her the quality of life that she wanted, she looked for other options.  She literally uses food as her medicine to put her MS into remission.  Her method is based on Paleo principles.  Paleo refers to eating liking our ancestors: meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, fruits and veggies, along with healthy fats and oils. Avoid processed foods, grains and sugar.

When Dr. Wahls was diagnosed, she was seeing the best doctors and receiving the best treatments available.  She was doing all that she could do, so she thought.  When her condition continued to decline, despite the treatments, she was referred to charity website by her neurologist.  The charity was dedicated to a boy who’s dad dramatically improved his condition (MS) with diet.  Dr. Wahls, originally a skeptic of “alternative care,” began to take notice and opened her mind to other options.

Since the charity website was full of scientific, peer-reviewed research, Dr. Wahls began to seriously question, “What if diet could have a major impact on MS?”  Her original curiosity sparked a relentless quest for more knowledge, better treatments, and more research. Her diligent research resulted in a diet that offers neuroprotection and peak mitochondrial function.  The standard American diet (SAD diet) starves our mitochondria, which is the powerhouse of our cells. MS is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the myelin sheath. This sheath is a protective layer that allows electrical impulses to be transmitted properly and efficiently.

Dr. Terry Wahls has been practicing her paleo-based diet for many years now.  She went from wheelchair bound to walking across the stage giving talks and inspiring others, bike riding with her family, and living the most fulfilling life that she possibly can. She is helping others along their journey with MS and other autoimmune diseases.  Her protocol has also helped people improve other health concerns such as: high cholesterol, mood disorders, gut health, hormone balance, high blood pressure, diabetes, TBI, weight management, PTSD, etc. Diet is the major attribute to her success, but she also covers toxic load, exercise and electricity, supplements, and stress management in her book. All of which have helped pave her way to optimal health.

When conventional medicine failed her, she fought for another way. Food is medicine. Read that again. Dr. Wahls continues to conduct research to further her expertise in her field. She now practices medicine a whole new way and continues to deepen her understanding through research focused on maximizing biochemical health at the cellular level.

I was so incredibly inspired by her presence and her book.  I have been a vegetarian for a couple years now and she has me rethinking my decision.  She does include a protocol for vegetarians and vegans in her book but doesn’t recommend it. Ultimately, I believe that you have to listen to your body.  We are all different and respond differently to foods. Notice what make you feels good and what doesn’t.  Many people don’t make the attempts to pay attention.  I used to think that feeling fatigued and bloated after a meal was normal.  After feeling ill for so long, I decided to start noticing. I would keep a journal of what I was eating and how I was feeling after. I noticed that dairy and meat were contributing to my ill feelings. Once I eliminated them, I was feeling so much better.  However, I know that I’m lacking some vital nutrients that are bioavailable in animal products.  I currently supplement for those vitamins and minerals that are lacking.

Dr Wahls’ protocol is not merely a diet but a lifestyle. It’s meant to be for chronically ill patients but has benefited others as well.  It is a restrictive diet that provides nutrient dense information to your cells to function optimally. It may not be for everyone but should definitely be considered when facing chronic illness and autoimmune diseases.

The Wahls Protocol food pyramid for daily consumption:

  • 3 cups green
  • 3 cups sulfur veggies
  • 3 cups color fruits and veggies
  • 6-12oz. high quality protein: grass fed/wild caught/organic fish, beef, chicken, lamb, organ meats, etc.
  • nuts and seeds
  • fermented foods
  • healthy oils and fats (avocados, ghee, coconut fat, animal fats)

What are your thoughts on The Wahls Protocol and Paleo based eating?