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The Wahls Protocol - Dr. Sara’s Book Club #11

Posted on 06 April 2014

If you’re an avid reader of mine, by now you’re familiar with the fact that the food we eat has an overwhelming impact on our health.

Food choices directly affect energy levels, mood, proper organ function and even life expectancy and incidence of disease. Seems pretty intuitive, right? Even so, in the age of modern medicine, it is often hard to remember that sometimes the most effective solution to a health problem lies on our dinner plates, rather than in a pill bottle. There is enormous evidence to support this, but one of the most powerful examples I’ve seen is the story of Dr. Terry Wahls. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she figured out how to reclaim her life and her health, largely by learning about the proper nutrition for her body.   The Wahls Protocol - Dr. Sara’s Book Club #11In her book, The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine, Dr. Wahls tells her personal story of degeneration, determination and miraculous recovery, and describes the exact how and why of her success. She writes, “Within a year of starting the Wahls Protocol I went from a tilt-recline wheelchair to being able to do an 18-mile bicycle tour with my family. It changed my life, how I practiced medicine and the focus of my clinical research.” The Wahls Protocol is one of the most revolutionary tools available today for those suffering from autoimmune disease, and it has the potential to improve anyone’s life. Carefully presented methodology and clear guidance pave the way for readers to experience major positive changes in health and vitality.  

What Really Works: Addressing Your Health by Learning About Your Body

After her diagnosis, Dr. Wahls was given the best, newest medications for MS, but her condition continued to decline. Eventually, out of options and running low on hope, she began her own rigorous research in an attempt to uncover anything else that might be able to help her get better. Over time, she learned a great deal about how the body works, and realized that the key to recovery lies at the cellular level. Health cannot be bought, even with the most advanced prescription drug; there is no “magic” cure. Instead, we must get back to basics: ensure that our cells receive the proper building blocks for survival. The Wahls Protocol is formed around this foundational knowledge. Here is a brief overview of the book’s key content:
  • Discussion of what influences health and reasons why illness develops
  • Scientific explanations to show that life is a self-correcting system – our bodies know how to take care of themselves; however, without the proper nutritional ingredients, we cannot self-correct and illness appears
  • Prescriptions versus nutrition: the difference between treating the symptoms and addressing the cause
  • The key to restoring health lies in removing the bad stuff (toxins) from our cells, and putting more good stuff back
  • Some basics about brain cells
  • Introduction to mitochondria – the cells’ power plants that drive energy and brain function if fueled properly, or cause fatigue if starved
  • How to eat for optimal function of your mitochondria and brain cells
  • Why the body needs specific vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants – and where they exist in the food supply
  • The benefits of functional medicine and hunter-gatherer diets
  • The Wahls Diet: new eating plan, plus menus, recipes and grocery lists to help people get started
One thing I love about The Wahls Protocol is the fervent emphasis that readers not take anything on faith. A scientist through and through, Dr. Wahls believes that people can only truly commit to something full force, and succeed, if they understand why they are doing it. Therefore, it is her mission not only to provide effective tools for readers, but also to empower them with the knowledge to back it up. She gives you the full picture – with all the scientific backup – so that you can be in the driver’s seat.  

The Bottom Line: There Is Hope

The Wahls Protocol paints a picture of the truth about disease: Rather than a straightforward cause-and-effect condition, illness is the result of a complex web of genetic and environmental factors. While this may seem overwhelming and daunting, Dr. Wahls is quick to explain the bright side – that the environmental aspect carries much more weight. This means that you are actually in greater control of your health than you think, because you can do something about your environment. And you can start right now. “This book is about hope,” Dr. Wahls writes. “My overarching message couldn’t be more straightforward: You don’t have to be a victim. The disease or condition you have is already happening, but there are many significant things you can do to slow, halt, or even reverse your symptoms. Medication can’t take your autoimmune disease away, but your body can heal itself—if you give it the tools.”

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