How Terry Wahls MD inspired us to take our health into our own hands.

“More than a hundred years ago, Thomas Edison said, ‘The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his [or her] patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.‘ This became my new course, my passion, and my mission. I understood health and disease in an entirely new way. I became a new person, both physically and emotionally, both personally and professionally. I also became passionately committed to helping other people become new people too.”
– Terry Wahls, The Wahls Protocol

Looking back, Terry Wahls could see she had symptoms of MS building up over 20 years. But she’s a fiercely positive person. She was used to being very physically fit, as well as working long hours as a medical doctor. Wahls was only in her mid-40s, and the diagnosis hit her hard. Naturally she turned to medical science for solutions, as that was her own field of experience. Drugs and other traditional methods helped to slow the decline, but within a few years she was in a tilt-recline wheelchair, unable to support her own weight throughout the day.

Many people faced with such prospects would give in to despair, and it was no doubt an extremely challenging time, but on top of holding down two jobs and bringing up two small children, she tried switching to a paleo diet, and started researching Functional Medicine (considered a rather dark art to a doctor).

Taking into account not only diet, but also genetics, environmental factors, psychology and more, Wahls began more rigorous research and testing. Using her own condition as a living experiment, she not only halted her own decline, but also reversed it, such that she was able to leave behind the wheelchair. In time she was able to go for bike rides with her family, and knew for sure she was on to something. Clinical trials began back then, and her research is ongoing.

“When chronic disease is the result of a deficiency, drugs aren’t going to solve the problem.”
– Terry Wahls, The Wahls Protocol

The basic premise of the Wahls Protocol is that if you give your cells what they need, your body will function at an optimum level, and it will figure out what it needs to do to heal itself. When you nourish the mitochondria – the engines of the cells – with good quality fuel, and eliminate toxins as much as possible, each cell can perform its job more effectively. More than just a diet though, it incorporates exercise and meditation for complete well-being.

“Cellular nutrition is everything. It is the very basis of health, It all comes down to the cell, because when cells malfunction, eventually organs malfunction. When organs malfunction, eventually you malfunction.”
– Terry Wahls, The Wahls Protocol

Wahls sets a lot of store by epigenetics. If someone has genes that predispose him or her to cancer, for example, the genes can be ‘switched on’ by an unhelpful environment like poor diet, or ‘switched off’ by helpful conditions. While the protocol itself focuses on auto-immune conditions – as that’s the author’s field of experience – she believes it can apply to a wide range of chronic conditions. The nature of a disease, and the label we give it, are less relevant when the body begins to heal at a cellular level.

In our case this was ground-breaking news, and we’ve followed the first stage of the protocol pretty much to the letter for a year (read more of our story so far). The only downside – and a major one for us – is that to progress through its higher levels, a vegetarian diet is out. Wahls is actually a former vegetarian, now turned carnivore to follow paleo principles.

For more reasons than I care to list, we’re not willing to go so far. Though we’re not medically or nutritionally trained, a lot of existing research is available. We’re ready to work hard and use ourselves a guinea pigs, to see if we can heal ourselves in a similar way without eating meat. Hence this site was born, allowing us to track and share our knowledge as we go along.

“Your health and vitality are in your hands. You don’t have to be a doctor or be able to diagnose yourself to start making changes in your own body at the cellular level.”
– Terry Wahls, The Wahls Protocol

We remain hugely grateful to Terry Wahls for her adamantine courage and uncompromising work. We continue to follow parts of the protocol, and have gained a great deal of knowledge and inspiration from it, not to mention significant improvements in our health. This is the beginning of our journey into a plant-based alternative.

More about the Wahls Protocol »


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