The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine

The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine

An integrative approach to healing chronic autoimmune conditions by a doctor, researcher, and sufferer of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) whose TEDx talk is already a web sensation Like many physicians, Dr. Terry Wahls focused on treating her patients’ ailments with drugs or surgical procedures—until she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2000. Within three...

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Title:The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine
Author:Terry Wahls
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Edition Language:English

The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine Reviews

  • Connie

    I have finished reading this book some weeks ago, but neglected to update here.

    This is a book that will be reread again and again, and referred to frequently. It is a very valuable in addition to my health and nutritional resources bookshelf.

    I am following the diet – – she has three levels of dietary regimens – – I have adopted the middle level – – Wahls Paleo

    I had read her first self-published book, "Minding My Mitochondria" in early 2012, and had been fol

    I have finished reading this book some weeks ago, but neglected to update here.

    This is a book that will be reread again and again, and referred to frequently. It is a very valuable in addition to my health and nutritional resources bookshelf.

    I am following the diet – – she has three levels of dietary regimens – – I have adopted the middle level – – Wahls Paleo

    I had read her first self-published book, "Minding My Mitochondria" in early 2012, and had been following her nutritional guidelines for the most part since that time. However, I have not been 100% strict about it, But I had been strict enough about it to know that the things that she found helpful in her own healing process and also with her study patients, definitely was beneficial for me.

    Reading this new book, which is much more professional, much more comprehensive, and much easier to read, has given me the impetus to stick to the strict regimen that has served her and her study patients well.

    Granted, my kind of MS is much more severe and (probably) has a slightly different ideology than relapsing remitting/secondary progressive. However, since there is absolutely no allopathic treatments for my type of MS, I have always felt that my only options lie in the complementary and alternative realm, and changing my dietary regimen is definitely part of this.

    In addition, she recommends using e-stim as part of the physical therapy/rehabilitation/retraining regimen. I have found it to be extraordinarily helpful. My neurologist was impressed with the improvements that he noted after I had been using the device on various muscle groups for only a couple of months. I continued to work with a personal unit at home, as well as working with my occupational and physical therapists who also utilize this device.

    This is not a rigid nutritional plan that is hard to adapt! It makes complete sense, and healthy for anyone and everyone – – indeed, it means eating "clean".

    Dr. Terry Wahls findings dovetail neatly with those of Dr. David Perlmutter, noted neurologist, and Dr. William Davis, cardiologist.

    If you have a health problem of any kind, from autoimmune diseases right on down through the list, or have a child with ADHD, autism, it would be in your best interest to read not only this book, but the books by the other doctors I have noted above – – Dr. Perlmutter has written "Grain Brain" and Dr. Davis has written "Wheat Belly".

  • C.K.

    I do not have MS, but was intrigued when a friend showed me Dr. Wahls TEDx talk. Since then I have read her book and am gradually learning to follow paleo principles with encouraging results. I recommend this book to others like myself who believe the old adage, "You are what you eat" and who are looking at achieving long-term health through a nutrient-dense regime. I do not recommend this program if you are looking for a "magic weight loss diet" or if you are not prepared to give up the pre-pac

    I do not have MS, but was intrigued when a friend showed me Dr. Wahls TEDx talk. Since then I have read her book and am gradually learning to follow paleo principles with encouraging results. I recommend this book to others like myself who believe the old adage, "You are what you eat" and who are looking at achieving long-term health through a nutrient-dense regime. I do not recommend this program if you are looking for a "magic weight loss diet" or if you are not prepared to give up the pre-packaged "foods" so common in our Standard American Diet (SAD).

  • Eden

    This is the BEST book on the power of nutrition to heal our chronic illnesses. It is thorough, inviting, thoughtful and a fascinating read. I agree whole-heartedly with Dr. Wahls' approach and protocol. So, very, very interesting. I think this is a tour de force book that anyone interesed in nutrition must read. Powerful, powerful concepts are taught in this book.

  • Sue Francisco

    I read this book as a follow up to reading Primal Body, Primal Mind and I am so glad that I did! What sets this book above and beyond Primal Body, Primal Mind, is: (1) the first few chapters are very important and interesting; (2) Dr. Wahls explains the rationale for each of her recommendations with more facts and less personal opinion and conclusions; (3) Dr. Wahls' level of specificity in detailing each of the three diets, daily menus and micronutrient content is much higher; (4) Dr. Wahls exp

    I read this book as a follow up to reading Primal Body, Primal Mind and I am so glad that I did! What sets this book above and beyond Primal Body, Primal Mind, is: (1) the first few chapters are very important and interesting; (2) Dr. Wahls explains the rationale for each of her recommendations with more facts and less personal opinion and conclusions; (3) Dr. Wahls' level of specificity in detailing each of the three diets, daily menus and micronutrient content is much higher; (4) Dr. Wahls explains complex body functions using plain and easy to understand English and (5) Dr Wahls is running clinical trials of her diets to provide evidence/proof of the effectiveness of her protocol. There is also a large number of recipes and reference charts for each diet in the back of the book. What I really appreciate are the cautions and work arounds to issues such as fish allergies and vegetarianism that Dr. Wahls takes the time to provide along the way. While the list of conditions Dr. Wahls addresses that may require a deviation from the rules of her diet plans isn't all inclusive it is substantial and shows that the diets can be modified to meet the dietary requirements of conditions other than MS. I can see a lot of opportunity for nutrition specialists in other disease processes to customize the Wahls protocol for their patients. This is an excellent book for anyone interested in better health to read!

  • Mischenko

    I was truthfully amazed at this book and the author's story. What she did to change her lifestyle helped her MS immensely. These changes can help all autoimmune diseases, not just MS. It's.for.real!

  • Jodi

    This book is pretty great. The entirety of the first few chapters where Dr Terry Wahls tells her own story of illness and then enormous recovery from illness through her own research and where she explains that the body is a self healing system so long as it is given the raw materials it needs to do so are all so quotable. I would like to quote whole pages of it and send it to people!

    It's so well done. The content is great and it's been so finely edited that it reads very well too an

    This book is pretty great. The entirety of the first few chapters where Dr Terry Wahls tells her own story of illness and then enormous recovery from illness through her own research and where she explains that the body is a self healing system so long as it is given the raw materials it needs to do so are all so quotable. I would like to quote whole pages of it and send it to people!

    It's so well done. The content is great and it's been so finely edited that it reads very well too and gets right to the point with no waffling. A lot of information is condensed into a very short space. It's an enlightening and inspiring read with just the right amount of facts and personal information about the author.

    There are three levels of the Wahls protocol. The Wahls Protocol, Wahls Paleo and Wahls Paleo Plus which is the most strict and is for those that are the most ill. I'm only really a supporter and recommender of the third level of the protocol, Wahls Paleo Plus.

    The other two protocols contain things like soy milk and yogurt and cheese (ugh!), soy flour, potato flour, packaged gluten-free foods such as crackers. Many allowed foods are extremely high in carbohydrate and anti-nutrients and very low in nutrients. This seems to be because the author is trying to make the programs easy to adjust to for those coming off a very junk-filled diet, which makes a lot of sense from that perspective and from the point of view of getting subjects in a study to adhere to the diet properly which is more likely if it contains a more of the foods they are used to.

    But from a purely nutritional standpoint it's really not ideal. I and many ill people I know would be a lot sicker, fatter and have blood sugar all over the place if we ate the estimated 244 grams of carbohydrate on the Wahls Protocol, or even the estimated 178 grams of carbohydrate on Wahls Paleo. I doubt I was even eating anywhere near so much carbohydrate even before I went on a lower carb diet to treat diet-related insulin resistance issues and weight gain from same. One listed breakfast contains two whole cups of sweet fruit in it, a massive amount to eat at one sitting. The book also (bizarrely) claims that all three Wahls Protocols will improve blood sugar numbers. In my opinion for some of us at least this is only true for the ketogenic (or near ketogenic) Wahls Paleo Plus program.

    Wahls Paleo Plus includes nutrient dense foods such as 6-12 ounces (180 - 360 g) of meat daily (some as organ meat and some as wild caught fish), coconut oil and milk in abundance for high ketones, 6-9 cups of vegetables daily depending on your size (and less than this if you're a very petite woman) mixed between greens, high sulfur veggies and colourful veggies, seaweed or algae eaten daily, cultured foods eaten daily such as homemade coconut yogurt or sauerkraut, up to 4 ounces (120 g) of soaked and sprouted or dried nuts and needs daily, up to 1 cup of fruit daily with berries and other low carbohydrate fruits preferred (as part of your 6-9 cups), plus olive oil, ghee and animal fats as desired.

    The high amount of ketones produced from MCTs in coconut oil mean you can eat more vegetables and still stay in a ketogenic state. Roughly just over a third of daily calories are to come from coconut oil: 4-6 tablespoons of pure oil or the equivalent in coconut milk. The diet is roughly 65% fat by calories.

    Wahls explains that Paleo Plus is a modified MCT ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets have been shown to be beneficial for many types of neurological and other diseases and are very safe. Switching over form a sugar burning metabolism to a fat burning metabolism can take 3-6 weeks however, and can make you feel awful at first. Some recommend making this change gradually, while other find it easer to just get it over with and jump right into it (as I did). Once you're keto adapted the mental clarity and extra energy it brings you is pretty amazing, as is the loss of the need to eat quite so often. Fat is a slow burning fuel, while sugar burns fast like kindling, as nutrition expert Nora Gedgaudas has explained.

    Wahls recommends doing urine ketone strips to measure your ketosis but adds that blood ketone tests are far more accurate. Some blood sugar monitors can also take ketone test strips and will give you a ketone measurement using just a drop of blood. To be in ketosis numbers should be between 0.5 and 3. It's so great to see an extremely specific and detailed food plan for serious disease so we can make sure to get every benefit out of our diet that we possibly can. The information was so helpful, even though I was doing most of the recommendations already.

    Wahls also supports ideas such as:

    * Supplements can in some cases be helpful, but they can never replace a nutrient dense and healthy diet. A proper diet must always come first. Foods contain many beneficial cofactors and other compounds not included in supplements and many that we have not yet even discovered or named.

    * Getting evaluated for potential food allergies, toxic load issues and more personalised nutritional needs by a practitioner of functional medicine is a very good idea. The Institute for Functional Medicine can help you find a provider in your area.

    * Drugs are not the answer. Let food, good wholesome food be thy medicine.

    * "Between the unexpected, unpleasant events in our lives and our response to those events is a space, and in that space we have a choice in deciding what our response will be. We can either give up or get up each day and do our best."

    * "Epigenetics is how your environment talks to your genes. Our cells are capable of reading the state of our environment and activating or deactivating genes. This means that, based on the choices we make, we can turn on genes for health or turn off those health-promoting genes. In other words, it is your health behaviours such as diet and activities, that determine whether the health-promoting or the health-robbing genes are active. For some conditions, such as cystic fibrosis or hemophilia, our genes are an important factor, often the cause of the disease. But for the obesity, heart disease, mental health and autoimmune epidemics that are driving up the cost of health care in the U.S. and around the world, there are no single genes that are the culprit. Instead, for each of these problems, multiple genes are involved, and they interact in a complex way with the environment."

    * We need to stop blaming our genes for our illnesses and work on making the best of the 70% that is under our control.

    * "Yes, it does cost more to eat vegetables. But you will pay the price either way--for food that restores your health and vitality or for doctor visits, drugs, surgery and loss of work due to health problems."

    * "Functional medicine is really looking at health of the cell. And what can we do to help the individual make the environment for their cells, an environment for doing the biochemistry life more ideal. So that comes down to the fruit you eat or do not eat, the quality of the air you breathe, the water you drink, the toxic load that is in your body is a result of the exposure you had over a lifetime because if you couldn't get the toxins out the day you were exposed to them, they get parked in your fat and did you know that your brain is 70% fat? So if you can't get the toxins out you had today with your whatever your exposure was, you're parking it in your fat and your brain which is going to create havoc over time."

    Hard to argue with any of that! I agree with all of it. Most of the above are quotes from Dr Wahls, from her many websites. Functional or holistic medicine just makes so much sense. It treats the actual cause of diseases, rather than just blindly drugging everything and focusing on endlessly chasing and minimising symptoms.

    There are 3 basic principles of the type of medicine discussed by Wahls and others in this same field:

    A. Get the good stuff in. Give your body the fuel and tools it needs to work at an optimum level. Good food, nutrients and all the proper vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Make sure you aren't deficient in any of the major nutrients as the different nutrients all work together.

    B. Get the bad stuff out. Make sure your body can detoxify out all the toxic substances and toxic by-products of bodily processes properly. Stop as many toxins from getting in in the first place, and do things which aid detoxification to get rid of the ones you have.

    C. Reduce your body's total load. The total load concept is that lessening the body's overall burden/work and stress level in one area, will improve health generally and improve the body's ability to heal because the body's total load (or burden) is lessened. Fixing one problem frees up bodily resources that can be then be used to help other parts of the body function getter or to heal. In other words, you need to look at the body as a whole in order to heal, and not just the one part of the body that is generating the most symptoms.

    ------

    A special note to M.E. patients on the Wahls protocol:

    Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is a neurological disease similar in some ways to MS, which also causes demyelination and mitochondrial dysfunction as well as significant vascular and cardiac issues.

    For those with my particular neurological disease, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, it is important that activity levels be kept always within very strict limits, or else relapse will occur. (Death is also a risk in M.E. if overexertion is severe. This is not about symptoms or feeling fatigued, but a problem of cardiac insufficiency, reduced circulating blood volume and POTS and so on which is serious and non-negotiable. Overexertion always causes a worsening of the disease.) But of course activity levels can and should be raised slowly to keep in line with health improvements in M.E. - this is something that happens naturally anyway.

    For those unfamiliar with the disease, many M.E. patients are housebound and almost entirely bedbound (and far too ill to use wheelchairs for even small periods of time in a day or week) and limited with even basic communication and reading; which is also part of why I am trying hard to summarise the work of Wahls for them as much as possible. Daily stretching, balance work and cardiovascular exercise is probably a great recommendation for almost everyone but should be omitted by M.E. patients unless they can do this without becoming more ill or symptomatic. The advice on pushing through symptoms is also not relevant to M.E. patient as many are severely ill due to doing exactly this for many years.

    Also, Wahls says: 'It is common to have some level of detoxification (more fatigue, headache) in the first week which resolves and then improves markedly by week two.' I would say that for M.E. patients this statement is not quite right and is an enormous understatement. M.E. patients will often have quite severe healing reactions to supplementation and changes in diet. These can be severe enough to make a patient no longer able to feed themselves or do other tasks of daily living, as well as leave them in agony. They can also last FAR longer than just a week!

    It is important for anyone ill to make the dietary changes gradually, and for patients with M.E. this caution should be taken very seriously. Jumping in with both feet too fast could leave you very very ill for months afterward. Healing reactions are a good sign that healing is occurring, but need to be controlled so they don't become overwhelming. Switch to the full Wahls Paleo Plus diet over a few months at least. Slowly but surely is the way to go! Improvements will almost certainly be slow too, so patience is necessary there as well, especially when the illness has been severe for many years or even several decades or more.

    M.E. patients will also often do far better eating cooked veggies rather than raw, which can be too difficult and painful for us to digest and may not cope at all well with prolonged fasting. (For more M.E. patient-specific tips and cautions see the HHH and HFME websites.)

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    This diet is described as an MS diet, but really this diet is the diet we have all evolved to be best suited to. All of us need such a nutrient-dense and low-toxicity diet, and so I hope people with all sorts of diseases look into the Wahls diet and not just those with neurological diseases. The diet can also help where there is not yet a correct diagnosis. We all need the right amounts of the nutrients that enable healing, no matter what disease we have.

    For some people following this diet plan will be enough, but for others a higher level of intervention will be required in addition to the diet. The first step toward healing has to be an excellent diet and good gut health, combined with minimising toxin exposures. If more help is needed then, as Wahls explains, it is best to see a Functional medicine expert so that it can be determined what extra supplements or other supports you may need. The key is learning about your own 'biochemical individuality.' There are so many tests now which can be done to determine where your detoxification pathways are failing, which nutrients you need more of or have problems utilising or why your gut is still not functioning right.

    For those that can't find or can't afford to see a Functional medicine expert, or cannot see any medical expert due to being housebound etc., an excellent companion to Wahls book are the books by Functional medicine experts such as Dr Sherry Rogers. Dr Rogers tells you exactly which tests may help you, how to treat more complex gut problems and how to go about following a more intensive detoxification regime involving a detox cocktail and FIR sauna use. Dr Rogers books are to some extent `do-it-yourself' health books but ideally Dr Rogers recommends that you get well with the help of a qualified practitioner that will be able to order the appropriate tests for you, and also help you interpret them.

    Dr Sherry Rogers writes in `Detoxify or Die',

    `I have to laugh when people ask me if I do alternative, herbal, acupuncture or holistic medicine. 'No,' I reply. 'We do state-of-the-art medicine. In other words, we find the biochemical, nutritional and environmental causes and cures rather than blindly drugging everything. Sure, herbs are gentler, safer and more physiologic than drugs and holistic medicine attempts to incorporate many diverse modalities, etc. But there is no substitute for finding the underlying biochemical causes and cures. This is real medicine. This is where medicine should and would have been decades ago, if it had not been abducted by the pharmaceutical industry.'

    Following a super-high-quality diet is also the foundation of Dr Rogers' treatment plan and so starting with the Wahls diet (which is the best there is, along with Primal Body-Primal Mind) and then moving on (if necessary) to follow Dr Rogers' advice on advanced detoxification techniques just makes so much sense. The best book of hers to start with is Detoxify or Die. It is just brilliant and very easy to read as well. It has so much good information and support for sauna use and so much more. Her book 'The Safe, Effective Way to Prevent and Heal Chronic Gastrointestinal Disorders' is also excellent.

    In addition to books by Dr Sherry Rogers I'd also recommend books and articles by Dr Lawrence Wilson (particularly his book on sauna use), Dr Klenner, Dr Abram Hoffer, Andrew Saul, Sally Fallon and Mary Enig and any and all of the vitamin C and orthomolecular experts such as Linus Pauling and Dr Thomas Levy. Other excellent books on diet and nutrition (with huge amounts in common with the Wahls diet) include the BRILLIANT Primal Body-Primal Mind by the also brilliant Nora Gedgaudas as well as books on the GAPS diet for the treatment of dysbiosis and a diet-based plan to heal the gut.

    Gut health is so important and if gut health is poor, then your body can't properly use all the wonderful nutritious food you are eating. Many of us need to heal the gut first of all, and this may at first involve supplements such as Betaine HCL, enzymes and probiotics, as well as dietary changes, as these books explain. All of these books, along with Wahls book, are far more than just standard Paleo diet books.

    Combining the excellent Wahls diet with the advice on detoxification by Dr Rogers (including the use of an FIR sauna and a daily detox cocktail and 'oil change' nutrients and digestive supports) has seen me finally start to slowly improve my health since 2009. I'm slowly improving month by month from a very severe neurological disease - thanks in part to the work of Nora Gedgaudas, Dr Wahls and Dr Rogers, and others like them - that has left me housebound and almost entirely bedbound for many years. I have been housebound and almost entirely bedbound (and far too ill to even use a wheelchair, or even the phone) for over 10 years and I got ill when I was just 19. Getting slowly worse and worse year after year was terrifying, especially when I was so ill and disabled already.

    I wish so much I had had this information early on in my disease, rather than coming to it more than 10 years in. Healing is so much easier the earlier you start it.

    I wont know how much of my damage is irreversible until I improve a lot more (a LOT more I hope!) and find out where I plateau. But for those that have been ill 'only' 5 or 7 years or less, or that are not severely ill, I do think these approaches could be curative or very close to it. At the very least they will undo as much damage as can be undone which is what this book very sensibly promises.

    My big dream is to get to a 30% function level, where I can live independently.... I'm still so far away from that currently, but I am at least making slow but sure progress now! Being able to cook a little this last few years after 8 years or more not being able to even make myself a cup of tea has been just so wonderful. Cooking myself an egg is a joyful experience! It is so wonderful to now each month be getting small UNsymptoms and UNdisabilities!

    I have learned so much about health that I would never have known if I had not become so ill and been forced to learn it!

    Dr Wahls is the real deal and is clearly motivated by a genuine desire to help ill people improve their health. I wish her and her Foundation all the best and thank them for all their wonderful work. This is real cutting edge medicine.

    Wahls explains it takes 1 year to replace all your skin cells, 1-3 years to replace the cells in the liver and kidneys, 15 years to replace heart muscle cells, and 7-10 years to replace myelin. No drug will ever be able to do this for you and only you can do it for yourself. So why not get started rebuilding yourself today!

    Best wishes for future health to anyone nutrition-nerdy enough to read this far!

    Jodi Bassett, The Hummingbirds' Foundation for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Health Healing & Hummingbirds

  • Joshua Buhs

    As a historian, I'm offended; as the spouse of someone with MS, I'm willing to give it a try.

    All the surrounding theoretical babble is questionable: from the very notion of "a" paleo diet, to the idea that only functional medicine gets at root causes of disease, to a "paleo" lifestyle incuding electrical-stimulation (!). The book, without seeming to know it, stands in the long tradition of alternative medicine cures that have been put out since the late nineteenth century, all of the

    As a historian, I'm offended; as the spouse of someone with MS, I'm willing to give it a try.

    All the surrounding theoretical babble is questionable: from the very notion of "a" paleo diet, to the idea that only functional medicine gets at root causes of disease, to a "paleo" lifestyle incuding electrical-stimulation (!). The book, without seeming to know it, stands in the long tradition of alternative medicine cures that have been put out since the late nineteenth century, all of them bemoaning the poor state of America's health and the sorry state of its food. Heck, Sylvester Graham invented the Graham cracker in 1829. Nor is there any sense that MS has been particularly open to these kinds of interpretations: it was only characterized in the nineteenth century, itself, and has attracted alternative crusaders like Swank--whose theories are never mentioned here.

    The explanation for the cause of MS is too broad: bad eating plus genes, although at other points the author is quick to downplay the importance of genes. Which again takes it back into late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century thought: you are completely in control, which means if you are not healthy it is your fault. You just need to be like those cavemen in humanity's Golden Age, eating exactly correct, exercising perfectly, and apparently living life without disease. The whole idea skips over all of human history, ignores the diversity of human cultures across the globe.

    Having said all that. there's some common sense here. It's good that Wahls says to stay on your meds while you refine your diet. Toward the end of the book, she is more open to the possibility that the diet will not work for everyone, that her theories may, indeed, prove wrong.

    At the end of the day, though, the ideas she suggests--and in much more detail than her first book, which we also tried to follow, with mixed success--eat your veggies. Avoid processed foods. Get more exercise. There are a lot of specifics, and they probably help, so we'll play around with those for a while, too.

    Hopeful but not expectant.

  • Frederic Pierce

    Terry Wahls, a physician stricken with multiple sclerosis, has an incredible story to tell. Wheelchair-bound by her disease (the same one my wife, Donna, struggles with daily) she began experimenting with her diet, eventually hitting on an eating plan that enabled her to lead a relatively normal, physical life. Incredible, right? I wish that was what this book was about.

    Instead, it is a well-intentioned how-to manual aimed at MS victims. A lot of it makes great sense: eliminating gluten because

    Terry Wahls, a physician stricken with multiple sclerosis, has an incredible story to tell. Wheelchair-bound by her disease (the same one my wife, Donna, struggles with daily) she began experimenting with her diet, eventually hitting on an eating plan that enabled her to lead a relatively normal, physical life. Incredible, right? I wish that was what this book was about.

    Instead, it is a well-intentioned how-to manual aimed at MS victims. A lot of it makes great sense: eliminating gluten because of its links with autoimmune issues, eating according to paleo principles that avoid the chemical onslaught of processed foods and better match the fuel human beings run on, and others. But the diet, separated into phases, gets really specific and limiting in its later phases. It is what worked for Wahls and apparently caused her amazing recovery. The problem is, that's the only basis for the diet. There are no hard scientific studies - just "it worked for me, it'll work for you!" That may be true. Part of me hopes it's true. But if Ms has taught me anything, it's that all bodies, all people, all MS cases, are different. THey react differently to the same stimuli. I am certain that Wahls is on to something important in MS research, but she's not there yet. And if my wife is going to have to give up Reese's Cups, she needs a sturdier base than that.

  • Whitney Moore

    Well, this is a dietary regimen that is way too complicated for me. I do have a diagnosis of MS, so I was listening. But this protocol was so technical that it was daunting. The author, a physician, got so scientific that Data took a very prominent place, drowning out practically every other voice in the room.

    There was one friendly voice that was down-to-earth and not so entirely technical as to be off-putting. It was the author’s delightful comparing a human cell to an automobile, p

    Well, this is a dietary regimen that is way too complicated for me. I do have a diagnosis of MS, so I was listening. But this protocol was so technical that it was daunting. The author, a physician, got so scientific that Data took a very prominent place, drowning out practically every other voice in the room.

    There was one friendly voice that was down-to-earth and not so entirely technical as to be off-putting. It was the author’s delightful comparing a human cell to an automobile, picturing each cell as a car (with a chassis on the outside and an engine within). She pointed out what we all know: that a car won’t run without a working engine. So also, as we should be able to infer, neither can a human cell: no fuel, and the cell won’t run; wrong fuel, and its engine gets all gummed up.

    So, I decided to persevere and simply take what I liked from this book and leave the rest. I truly LIKED that word picture about the car and the fuel, and I do agree that stewardship of this vessel I inhabit is my responsibility. I agree that it’s my job, not only to keep all those little tiny tanks filled, but to pump into them the fuel that optimizes the performance of their itty-bitty engines.

    I get that, and I accept my responsibility. However, I don’t want my life to be all about food -- or all about me. Neither do I want to spend my entire day at the gas station (to stay aligned with her comparison). Just eating the quantities of vegetables and fruits this diet recommends would take me all day long -- not to mention the shopping and chopping, not to mention the expense.

    Increase my vegetable portions? Happy to do so! Also happy to correct some things I’ve unwittingly been doing wrong. For instance, all these years I’ve thought I was snacking healthy by choosing berries and nuts, but it turns out I was only right on the berries part. Who knew that the 35 peanuts I’ve been snacking on at tea time are not nuts! Indeed, they are found in the NUTS section at the supermarket, but what they really are is legumes, and legumes (big surprise to me) are frowned upon by the Wahls Protocol establishment.

    If you ask me, this book was too difficult for a layperson to readily translate into action. It would have helped if the author provided a few distillations: perhaps some samples of what an “eating right day” might look like -- including when to shop and what to buy and how one might tackle actually eating so many fruits and vegetables daily. This MS patient felt ignored by the author. She forgot about brain fog; she forgot about fatigue in translating so much Data into Meaningful Information (and at least some form of implementation).

    I wish she would publish a more user-friendly version of this book (or add an appendix section into it). I would have given it a higher rating if the author had not written it backwards. Her subtitle had implied it was written for people with MS, but what she wrote seemed more for an audience of grant-makers needing copious amounts of Data to justify funding her continued research. As a member of her supposedly primary audience, I felt frustrated and more than a little annoyed. She could have given at least a clue for incorporating so many technical and time-consuming suggestions into one’s MS kind of life.

    Nevertheless, this book had value for me. It led me to make some of the changes it suggested. For instance, I am replacing peanuts with walnuts; ditto peanut butter with almond butter instead. Reluctantly, I am now using Sugar in the Raw despite the caloric increase over Stevia, and I am exuberantly overloading my plate with huge portions of vegetables and fruits to meet the author’s recommended daily amounts. Last but not least, I did go out and buy some coconut oil for cooking (not to mention the expense)!

    I know: I’m worth it. But that’s IT for the changes I am making. Oh, except this: I will eat an apple only if I’ve eaten all my vegetables!

  • Alison Lauderdale

    I'm getting a little tired of health books for people with auto-immune disease that have such positive spins and promise so much from just eating more vegetables. I realize that Dr Wahls isn't presenting her case for healing in such simplistic terms, but dealing with auto-immune disease is so multi-faceted and a lot more work than this book would lead one to believe. On the other hand, diet is huge to healing and for anyone dealing with illness or wanting to lead a healthier life. I definitely w

    I'm getting a little tired of health books for people with auto-immune disease that have such positive spins and promise so much from just eating more vegetables. I realize that Dr Wahls isn't presenting her case for healing in such simplistic terms, but dealing with auto-immune disease is so multi-faceted and a lot more work than this book would lead one to believe. On the other hand, diet is huge to healing and for anyone dealing with illness or wanting to lead a healthier life. I definitely would recommend this book to family and friends who are well and would encourage anyone healthy or sick to adopt an eating regime close to what is relayed in this book, but I don't know if I would recommend to someone dealing with auto-immune. It left me feeling a little frustrated that I haven't seen the results I would like from diet and supplements alone...

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