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on April 3, 2014
I admit it's very likely that the only reason I even heard of Dr. Terry Wahls in the first place was because I have MS. This is a shame. I believe I have a responsibility to help spread the word and get the information out there. Even though I'm definitely NOT grateful for having this disease, I truly believe my loved ones, future children and I obtained the most valuable information we have come across as a consequence of my MS. I promise this is not an overstatement.

I started following an early, basic version of the Wahls Protocol the day after watching Dr. Wahls' TEDx Talk last October. I explored her website, read and listened to countless interviews, and read her first book Minding my Mitochondria- and in November 2013 I started a more strict approach to diet and lifestyle based on her recommendations. It was hard for my wife to live with these changes and have to put up with my new dietary limitations, but I did it anyway. I have to admit I did NOT really feel anything different at this point.

In March 2014 everything changed. The Wahls Protocol was finally released (I had pre-ordered since November). I gave the book a first read in less than 24 hrs and immediately had ten times more information. In this book, Dr Wahls goes into detail about every aspect of the dietary and lifestyle changes she recommends, which includes supplements, exercise, electrical stimulation, meditation, etc., and she details three different versions of the Wahls diet so anyone can find a level they can learn to live with.

This is where it gets interesting. I actually convinced my wife and my mother to read the book and follow different levels of the protocol with me for one month. Just to give it a test drive. It has been three weeks today, and the results have been noticeable:

- I have RRMS, and am still in early stages of the disease so when I'm in remission, which is 90% of the time, I have no symptoms. Or so I thought! It turns out, I actually DID have fatigue issues and brain fog! These things have probably been developing slowly inside me for years so I didn't even notice them until I they were gone! In ONLY three weeks I have felt a real change and am honestly amazed of how different I feel. I know it sounds hard to believe, but you have to try before you judge. I have been on the Wahls Paleo (i.e. intermediate level of the diet).

- My wife is a perfectly healthy 27-year-old woman. She is slim, she goes to the gym, and she does yoga on a regular basis. She never gets sick and seems as healthy as one can be except for the occasional headache. She also started on a strict version of the Wahls Paleo. She uses a Polar Loop Activity Tracker all the time, and this has showed results already. My wife went from an average sleep efficiency of 78% to 96% during the first two weeks, and stayed there ever since. She feels a lot more rested and the Polar Loop is actually measuring and showing these results as concrete data. Additionally, she used to get headaches at work about once a week, and hasn't had a single one since following the Wahls Paleo. And she also claims to feel more energetic, which is probably due to the more balanced diet and deeper sleep.

- My mother is 54 years old. She has been on the Wahls Diet (i.e. Level 1 version) for three weeks. She is also slim and works out some. She has felt differences in the quality of her sleep (non-measurable though because she has no tracking device), BUT, she has always had sinus problems and has sinusitis on a very regular basis, and always gets headaches (I'm talking two or three times a week), and these have been gone. Not reduced; gone. For the past week and a half she hasn't had one headache or one sinus problem. This is the first time she has gone ten days straight with no headaches in decades. It sounds ridiculous to say this happened because of modifying her diet for three weeks, but I swear it's the truth!

Again these are preliminary results as we have only been on the diet for three weeks. And only I have been doing the electrical stimulation, meditating, exercises, etc. But I am convinced this book can change anyone's life if you're willing to give it a try. What have you got to lose? Just give it a one-month trial to see if you feel different. I guarantee you won't regret it.

I will update this review as time passes to comment on any other progress that may occur...

----- Update March 20, 2015 -----

So after roughly a year of following the ideas in this book, I have learned a lot and really perfected my diet and lifestyle. I have now read many other books by Sarah Ballantyne, Dr. Perlmutter, Amy Myers, Jimmy Moore, etc., I have found countless Blogs and Cookbooks, and I even have iOS Apps that make my life way easier (MyPaleoPal is excellent for tracking and ideas, for example).

I started following Dr. Wahls' ideas and recommendations a year ago, and have strictly been on her Wahls Paleo Plus for a while now. I supplement with many products, and have now totally gotten used to eating only twice a day, as well as eliminated my sweet tooth! (I admit doing the 21-day Sugar Detox last year probably helped this last part). I now enjoy eating and even cooking more than I ever had before, and my entire family is still reaping the benefits from all this knowledge.

Just to detail a bit more: I follow the Wahls Paleo Plus diet, mixed together with the AIP just to make it a little more challenging. This means no nuts, seeds, nightshades, or coffee, on top of Dr Wahls' strictest protocol. I also swim every other day, meditate and work my core muscles daily, and sleep 7.5-8.5 hours every night.

Is it worth it? You be the judge: my last relapse was over a year ago, I can now bike for 45minutes and totally withstand heat sensitivity, I can swim for as long as I want to, I walked over 120,000 steps in a week last december during Christmas break (used a pedometer to keep track), I'm sleeping like a baby, and, MOST IMPORTANT: I stopped my MS medication two weeks ago (under my neurologist's supervision of course, and having sworn to go back on it if my status changes negatively). Today I feel better than ever, and that injection I used to hate and use every week hasn't been missed for one second.

Dr Wahls, through this book, gave me my life back. I don't care what other people say or think about this book, I am living proof that these ideas can work. Like I said a year ago: try it, what have you got to lose? And you can gain SO MUCH, you have no idea.
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on March 14, 2014
I read (scanned some parts) through the book yesterday on e-reader, and am wowed by the whole thing. I have ordered 2 print copies, and will share as much as possible. I am excited to thoroughly read this new book, because I still have a long way to go, and I am constantly looking for ways to improve my amazing healing lifestyle. The book is so easy to read, and it is set up pretty much the way I spent my first year changing my diet. I loved reading Chapter 7 - Wahls Paleo Plus, because that is the way I basically eat now, strictly and consistently. I have learned to listen to my body, and this is the intensive nutrition my body and brain needs to thrive. I will devour every word of the book, and see what else I can tweak to improve my results. It may take many more years to heal my entire body, head to toe, but I am patient. I love my life, I am healing, I feel like a new person, plus I do not have any cravings for my old (comfort?) foods that probably were very toxic to my body.

This book is a huge improvement over the first book, which was amazing, and was exactly what I needed when I was desperate and with no hope left. Dr. Wahls' first book, Minding My Mitochondria, changed my life dramatically. This new book is an easier read, but still full of Dr. Wahls passion for sharing this vital information, and getting it right. Her life is at stake, and she wants to help as many people as she can - in my opinion, it is obvious that this book is a true labor of love for her. It is a good place to start if you are new to a Paleo lifestyle, as well as those who have started in the past but felt confused over details. It is also perfect for people like me, who are committed to it and want to go even farther into their healing process, tweaking their diet, exercise, and including more electrical stimulation, meditation - whatever they can do that can have a real impact on their health, if they are willing to commit to taking responsibility for their choices.

I have progressive MS and had spiraled down over the last 14 years. Three years of self-injections of Betaseron, Avonex, and Copaxone did nothing to help me; they made me feel worse. I suffered from severe, debilitating fatigue, 24/7/365. I fell frequently because my balance was totally shot. I could barely walk without assistance, or even lift my arms to brush my hair or teeth. I slept on the couch because I was too exhausted to drag my body upstairs to sleep, or shower. I rarely left the house, except for appointments that I couldn't put off any longer, or family celebrations with the our grown kids. I finally got rid of my car because my reflexes had slowed so much that I felt I could potentially be a danger to myself and others.

Getting rid of my car was the lowest point: loss of independence with absolutely no hope for the future. If I had been suicidal I would have gladly ended my life, because I had no energy left to live. I actually have a positive attitude most of the time, but I knew I would never ski again, or hike, bike, or camp. Gardening was out of the question. I didn't cook, shop, or ever clean the house. My husband, whose busy career took much of his time, did the best he could, which meant my diet was mostly easy processed food or take-out. I had become totally isolated. It was a sad way to live. I was simply waiting to die.

A few weeks after I sold/gave my beloved Prius to my son, my daughter urged me to look into some doctor that had MS and wrote a book about how she healed herself with diet. Sigh. Yet another diet. Yeah, right. But I love my daughter, so I searched online. I found Dr. Wahls TEDx talk - and I was inspired so much I ordered her first book. This was over two years ago.

My life started to change within 3 days of reducing grains and sugars and eating more produce. I had a slight increase in energy, and cleaned a tiny spot of kitchen counter between the sink and the coffee maker. Did I just do that? Even my husband noticed. It was different, and just that little bit was enough to motivate me to keep going. Within a month I noticed my balance was slightly improving. More motivation to step it up. I reduced dairy, and started juicing and making smoothies to get my veggies and berries in. I had stopped eating white potatoes, and soon started avoiding soy, legumes all processed and packaged foods. I tried to buy all organic produce, and eat only high quality wild or organic, grass-fed seafood, poultry and meats. I was moving more and more, cooking my healing foods, and shopping with an automatic cart, so I could sit. Eventually I graduated to my walker (with a seat), because it felt good to move again.

After a year, a friend offered to drive me to the gym again, so I started working out a bit, and she helped me move between machines. Finally I started taking my walker, and then made my husband buy a car so I could have his Prius - I needed my independence back, and I was ready. I also realized more and more how I had to be strict and consistent with the foods I ate. I avoided eating ALL grains, sugars, dairy, processed/packaged foods, soy/legumes, rice. I only ate my 9-12 cups of organic produce and well-sourced animal protein - fish, poultry and meats and their organs, fats and bone broth, plus some seaweed/dulse, nuts/seeds (and their milks, oils and butters). Coconut became a favorite, as did avocados.

My gym workouts were good for a while but I began to hurt myself; I could barely remember how to walk, because my body was so messed up. I started working with a personal trainer at the gym, after he actually convinced me that he could wake up my severely weakened muscles, when giving me a free hour-long evaluation where I could not even do a squat, or get up from the floor. I signed up for hour-long sessions, 3 times a week, which I still do to this day (about 10 months now). This also has been life-changing for me. I can now walk unassisted, I don't fall and I only use my walker at the gym where I work myself to exhaustion, but I recover very quickly. I can now do a deadlift with 115 pound weight, I can squat, carry bags of groceries upstairs, and take many different classes at the gym, with modifications, such as Zumba, spinning, step, yoga, Pilates, and I love to walk outside to get the fresh air and sunshine. Treadmills are okay in bad weather, as long as I have my music.

I finally bought a Vitamix (I stopped juicing - I want the nutrients in my body) and I still use it every single day for getting a huge amount of veggies and berries. I will do anything within my power to improve my health even more. I even wear Vibram FiveFingers Womens Bikila Evo (toe shoes) and avoid wearing any other shoes (my first trainer urged me to try them, I thought they were hideous looking, but then I tried a pair on - wow ). I fell in love with them. and I have at least 10 pair that I wear everywhere: to the gym, shopping, even to weddings. I have some numbness in my feet (less now than a few years ago), and now I can feel the ground, instead of feeling like I am walking on blocks of styrofoam. This has also helped to improve my balance. I have come a long way in the last two years, and I will continue with what works for me. Failure is not an option. I choose my health ... and my family wins as well.

I intend to get back into meditation, and doing more e-stim, and see if I can improve my workouts and diet even a little. I have a positive attitude, I have hope, and I am my own best friend now. I take full responsibility for my healing. I love my life. I believe in Dr. Wahls. I am a true Wahls Warrior!

APRIL 2015 UPDATE: My body loves eating the Wahls Paleo Plus way. I had been on weight loss diets all my life, and that was a struggle, because I could never shake my addiction to sweets, carbs, etc. I have lost 90 pounds in the last 3 years since discovering Terry Wahls. I weigh less than I did the 8th grade, amazingly. That is a nice side effect of eating the delicious foods my body needs (plenty of good fats, lots of organic produce, and moderate amounts of animal protein, plus lots of amazing spices and herbs. Oh, so good!)

Terry also talks about the importance of moving our bodies and having strong emotional bonds with the people in our lives. That last one has been harder for me in the last year, and the stress of it taught me a lot about how my body reacts to negative thoughts in my mind. Healing the body, mind and soul is all tied together, and it is a wonderful journey. I need to also thank Eckhart Tolle, author of 'The Power of Now', 'A New Earth', and his videos, for helping me. Life is amazing, if we open ourselves to all the possibilities.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon December 16, 2015
Like most others, I'm reading this book at a very hard time having recently been diagnosed with MS. One impulse I've been following is to try and learn as much as I can about this disease, and that impulse has brought many of us to Terry Wahls. She has the TED talk that you've probably seen, and now she's published this book about her diet plan. In a few years, I'm guessing there will be a follow-up book that integrates the findings from her research studies -- as those are only in progress at the moment. (I'm writing this at the tail-end of 2015.) This book is based largely on her own experience treating her own advanced and debilitating MS with (in order of importance for her): diet, lifestyle change, exercise, and rest.

Overall, I found that a slow and careful read of this book is worthwhile. The text has a substantial amount of information to glean, and I took many notes. I not only learned the perspective of this author through the book, but I became aware of many keywords that have given me inroads into other research and reading -- things like "leaky gut" and "mitochondria" and "ketogenic." This book is very comprehensive and thorough; it's the work of a very committed, generous medical doctor who desperately wants to help others. In a word, she's a crusader for a whole new approach to treating MS.

With that said, I found that reading this book involved a good deal of sifting. By this I mean that I found I had to really sift through this passionate book in order to find what might work for me. This is true with most of the other books I've recently read about treating MS with diet/exercise/lifestyle changes, so it's not really a comment that is unique to this book, but my main point here is that Terry Wahls has a very firm position that she's extremely zealous about. I don't blame her: according to her story, she really turned her physiology and psychology around. She's not reserved about the claims in this book in any way. She isn't reserved about her position. She's a downlight proselytizer for her diet and approach to living. I really appreciate that energy and passion, but at the same time, I think that, as a reader, you have to take some of what she says with a grain of salt and approach her proselytizing with a tad of skepticism. For me, this is because I'm not Terry Wahls and I think my road through MS will have to be my own.

In this set of descriptions and reactions, I'm going to address various points and themes in the book, then wrap-up with some of my overall reactions.

' Key Ideas in the Book: Eat nutrient-rich foods, eat your nutrients (instead of getting them via supplements), don't even think about being a vegetarian, and question everything traditional medicine has told you about MS and your body.

' AUDIENCE, or "Who is this book written for?": While Wahls says that the book is intended for a very broad audience, including those with most forms of auto-immune diseases and even just those looking to lose weight and "get healthy," it's clear throughout the book that the intended audience for the book is people with Multiple Sclerosis who are quite sick. To be even more specific, the presumed audience is people with MS who are quite sick, probably on some form of medication(s), and don't have a great diet and/or exercise regime. In a nutshell, this is who Terry Wahls was herself, before her miraculous recovery. Before she started to research diet options for her own self experiments and self treatment, she was a mess. This book is about cleaning up that mess and breaking out of the doldrums many suffer in.

As someone with MS who is actually doing quite well (few permanent disabilities so far ... knock on wood!), has always eaten well, and follows an active and steady exercise routine, I found the book wasn't really written with me in mind. That is 100% okay and I'm glad that Wahls has addressed the book to those with MS who are really in need of a serious intervention. However, my point about audience is that while this book can function as a useful resource for many folks with all kinds of auto-immune disorders and all levels of health and wellness, you'll have to sort through the book a bit if you're not in the "target audience" group. Wahls pretty much assumes that her reader eats refined sugars, a lot of carbs, and is on the meds. If you're not, and if you don't have MS but some other disease, you'll still find a lot of value here -- you'll just have to do some sifting.

' So, What's Her Diet/Protocol?: You really have to read the book to get a full sense of the diets she is advocating for here. She offers three diets, really, though says many times that the third and most extreme one is the best for fighting disease. In a nutshell, the diets are all about eating large quantities of nutrient-rich veggies, fruit, meats, and other foods (coconut milk, seeds, nuts, etc.). At the third/highest level of her diet plan, you're eating two meals a day and maintaining a low level of measured and tracked ketosis. Wahls is very particular about her diets, suggesting very specific volumes of foods. She treats food as medicine, so her specificity is not surprising. My own personal belief is that these diets can be tweaked and adapted by individuals (like me!), but I'm not sure she would be so elastic and flexible. She's really a strong believer in the science behind these three very particular diets.

' Her Research Plan: As I noted above, her plan as of 2014, is to conduct more research to see if her diet (the third stage of her paleo regime, to be precise) can have a clinical impact in an actual research population. Those findings are still not published, so this book is based mainly on her own experience or "researching on herself," as she calls it. Note that she does have a bit more than that to go on, in that she works with patients and often sees great improvements.

' Cult of Personality: Throughout the book, short vignettes from "Wahls Warriors" appear. These are positive accounts by folks who have followed versions of the Wahl's Protocol and seen various forms of improvement. These are inspirational tales and, for me, one of the most compelling parts of the book. However, there is something just a tad odd that Wahls works to develop such a cult of personality around herself and her name throughout this book. These adherents to her plan are "Wahls Warriors" in a way that seems to me to deprive them of some of their agency. With the Wahls plan, as I see it, you're either on the bus or off the bus -- and while it's a compelling lifestyle plan, I'm not sure I want to be deemed one of her adherents simply if I follow all or some of her suggestions.

' Exercise?: A section of the book is devoted to stretches and physical exercise. This is a comprehensive book to be sure. Those with limited mobility will gain a lot from the suggestions for active movement in this book. If you work out regularly at a fairly high level, this exercise section will not be that helpful. It's a set of rather rudimentary suggestions.

' Electronic Stimulation: Wahl benefited a great deal from Electronic Stimulation, and devotes a section of the book to that treatment approach. For those with serious muscle decline, this will be a useful section.

' Meds: Wahls gives some mixed messages on the topic of meds. Her own story is that she stopped taking the meds when the diet really started to work for her. Part of her heroic and amazing tale is about getting away from the meds, and she's eager to point out that MS medications can quite a bit of harm to your overall system and wellbeing. However, she also goes to great lengths to suggest that readers continue to follow the advice of their doctors. This makes sense, as she'd be crazy to give overt medical advice in a book like this -- "Quit your Copaxone today!" -- but the mixed messages are somewhat odd. In my own experience, my MS doc thinks the Wahl's Protocol is "unproven" and dangerous to rely on exclusively. So I think it might be challenging to do both: the meds + the Wahls Protocol. In reality, I think you might have to drop the meds to see if the diet is really working for you.

' Is it Paleo?: Yes, it most certainly is, and Wahls is an advocate for the typical rationales behind the paleo diets that are faddish now. However, her diet is paleo with a twist, in that it's all about maximizing nutrition. Where as most paleo diets are about losing weight and getting jacked with muscle, this one is about eating nutrient dense food. That is a key difference.

' Functional Medicine: As Wahls makes clear, she became an adherent of Functional Medicine en route to developing this radical new dietary treatment regime for MS. Note that some of the key principles of Functional Medicine are very much alive in Wahls's book and ideas. The first is the idea that most if not all people should avoid gluten. The second is that many people suffer from "leaky gut." Wahls is a big proponent of Functional Medicine, so those interested in this book will likely be interested in other books in that area of knowledge.

' Vegetarianism?: Wahls describes how she used to be a vegetarian and in part blames that diet on her contracting MS. She also blames her stressful time in med school and as a resident (little sleep, long hours), just to be clear. Her problem with vegetarianism is simply that she doesn't see how you can get enough protein and nutrients when suffering from MS and eating a vegetarian diet. Note that she has an egg allergy so does not include eggs in her diet plans, so vegetarians may find a way to include eggs in their own versions of her diets. She's also wary of beans, non-organic tofu, and seitan -- some of the protein-rich staples of healthy vegetarian eating.

' Toxins and Organics: Wahls is keen to point out how toxin avoidance is key, as is detoxing, if you want to get healthy. She has entire chapters on these topics.

' Stress Management: Wahls is also detailed in her efforts to help her readers de-stress. She has many useful ideas on this topic, including everything from meditation to bathing in epsom salts.

' Recipes: Note that the bulk of this book is about food, so it makes sense that she would conclude the book with many recipes. The ideas are great and fully coincide with what she's advocating for in the rest of the book. Note that Wahls is a proponent of the Vtamx blended smoothy, so many of those recipes are included.

' Final Thoughts: As I said in the beginning, I learned an amazing amount from this book. Simply put, it's changed my life. And as someone with MS, I even hope that it's saved my life (in terms of quality). However, I worry a bit that it's too one-size-fits all and too inflexible. There are many people out there doing well with MS, and they seem to be doing slightly different things. So I think taking the wisdom in this book with some grains of organic sea salt would be a good idea.

This product was not given to me as part of any promotion. I bought it after doing some comparison shopping and this is entirely the result of my own opinions and use of the product.
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on March 8, 2016
I have very advanced MS, diagnosed 15 years ago,. I was having difficulty thinking, walking swallowing...everything. I decided that I would follow the Wahls Protocol for a month VERY strictly. Within 3 weeks I was able to lift my right leg well enough to put on a pair of socks, or put on a pair of pants. I had been able to do this for nearly a year! Due to this I stayed on the protocol for a year. When I went to the Neuro, she said I did better on EVERY test she put me through, as compared to the last visit which was a year prior. NO ONE gets better in a year, unless you make radical following the Wahls Protocol
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on March 29, 2014
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.)


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!

The basic information in this book is wonderful, though I'm admittedly not a fan of high fibre supplement recommendations (as the GAPS diet book explains, many of us get far worse gut issues with extra fibre and can benefit a lot from lower fibre foods), outdated information about how raw vegetables are easier to digest than cooked ones and come with their own enzymes which do some of this digestion for you (actually cooked foods are *far* easier to digest than raw!), a fairly low salt diet and no guidelines on making sure to get a healthy minimum amount, or recommendations of iodised sea salt and not unrefined sea salt. Gut and sugar issues are barely mentioned and the supplements section is very minimal and basic while many alternative therapies such as Reiki and acupuncture are recommended.

A high dose calcium supplement is recommended despite most good nutritional experts saying calcium tablets are not needed almost ever and can be harmful. No warnings are given on supplements which can often be poorly tolerated and need to be started carefully at lower doses such as NAC and silymarin. No information is given on sulfur food sensitivities or the need many have to take supplemental HCl to digest protein. The book also doesn't specify to only buy B complex vitamins that don't contain synthetic folate or the inferior form of B12. Only the basic B12 test is recommended along with a small dosage of methyl B12 which is a strange omission considering how inaccurate the B12 test is known to be (you can test high and actually still have a serious B12 deficiency causing demyelination!) and how many people have B12 deficiency causing demyelination misdiagnosed as MS or at least coexisting with MS. Again, this is a diet book only primarily.

The Wahls diet is said to be useful for patients with diseases other than Multiple Sclerosis, and it certainly is. But this book contains a ton of information which is heavily based on the symptoms and other characteristics of the MS patient and may not fit those of us with other neurological or autoimmune etc. diseases quite so well. Symptom checklists were very MS-based and many symptoms and issues seen in non-MS diseases were not mentioned. A fairly high degree of functioning is also assumed throughout, as is illustrated in the extensive Wahls diary instructions and the information on demanding daily stretching, balance and cardiovascular exercises and advice to push yourself to do things and to keep working. Issues with an inability to stand long to prepare food (for example) and hypoglycemia are not really even discussed. The book aims to get through a lot of information in a short time and to be primarily about detailed dietary information and about MS so this is not even really a criticism, just an observation. It's totally fair enough it's an MS based book as the author has MS after all. For non-MSers you just need to skip certain sections and do some extra reading elsewhere on some issues is all.

I bought the hardcover edition as I read a review saying the Kindle version didn't display the tables at the end of the book well. It's a very well designed hardcover. The smaller size makes it easy to read and hold and the typography and book design is excellent inside as well. There is no small unreadable type or text too close to the spine of the book so you can't read it without cracking the books spine. The small case study or facts boxes scattered throughout the text are easily defined from the main text, not too long and although printed sometimes in (annoying to read) italics still quite easy to read. I can also loan this hardcover version out to friends, which is another huge reason it's better than a Kindle edition as well. (Kindle titles should be far more loanable!) Get this hardcover edition I say, it's better than the Kindle version and also the earlier paperback edition of the book that came out a few years ago too. Much more polished. I give it 4.5 stars.

The Wahls Foundation is a nonprofit organisation raising funds to do research on this diet. Buying this book helps fund their research. Reading more of her ideas online is so helpful. I'd highly recommend watching all her free videos online (watch out for the loud sound on some of them - ouch!), plus her Facebook page and blog and website. They are all so helpful.

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
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on March 27, 2017
I've been on the Wahls diet (the first level) for about a month now, and I definitely feel more energy. I started it on the tail end of a major MS exacerbation where I was experiencing numbness from head to toe, muscle weakness in my arms and legs, severe muscle spasms in my midsection, vertigo and extreme fatigue. I can't honestly say how much of my improvement is due to the diet and how much is due to the normal fading of symptoms after an exacerbation, so the only thing I can say for sure is my energy level now is higher than before the start of my exacerbation in December. I've gone from spending most of my day in a recliner to my usual routine before this happened.This current episode led to my MS diagnosis. Unfortunately, I don't have insurance at the moment, so diet is the only way I am treating my MS until the next enrollment period. At that time, I will get another round of MRIs and decide whether to medicate or not.

I find the book itself very positive, well explained and an easy read. It contains good explanations as to the why of the diet, but is not filled with medical jargon that the ordinary person doesn't understand. I also purchased the audiobook version to listen to certain chapters over again. I find it helpful to listen to certain chapters a few times to make sure I don't miss anything, plus the narrator has a pleasant voice.

Even if all I gain from this diet is an increase in energy, I will stick with it. It is a very healthy way of eating, much better than the standard American diet. I have trouble eating the 9 cups, but I get as close as I can and at least keep the proportions of 1/3 leafy, 1/3 colored and 1/3 sulfur. I also have Hashimoto's, and I'm curious to see if the diet has had any benefit for my thyroid. I see my endocrinologist next month and will try to update then.
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on July 28, 2015
When in 1997 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis I found Roger MacDougall’s Palaeolithic Diet along with a vast amount of recommended links to sustain the benefits of this diet that returned the Scottish playwright to good health after being diagnosed with MS in the 1950’s.
“The Wahls Protocol” sustains MacDougall’s findings and after further research, Dr Wahls recommends quality, quantity, and nutritional information. The book contains some recipes. However, only members may access all the recipes on the Wahls website after paying up to 47 dollars every three months.
Patients with MS as with any incurable disease find it expensive enough as it is to live a better quality of life without having to pay more to access information that can be easily found on the Internet by simple research. On the Roger MacDougall’s site for instance there is a 65 PAGE RECIPE BOOKLET DOWNLOAD FREE OF CHARGE IN PDF FORMAT.
Dr Wahls is a practicing physician, public speaker, and offers seminars, each of these services has a price tag. I believe she could be more altruistic and conscientious, by providing free of charge articles, recipes, resources and updates. At least to the readers who have already contributed by purchasing her book.
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on January 27, 2017
Terry Wahls saved my life. My MS is 90% better while following this diet.
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on January 15, 2018
i don't even have MS -- i have myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). but dr. wahl's brilliant book and protocol have helped me so much. (the way i think of it, it's because though the root causes of MS and ME/CFS are different, many of the impacts in the body -- e.g. inflammation, and especially in the nervous system -- are very similar.)

i've been following her protocol now for a few months and my health and symptoms have improved considerably. whenever i experience a dip, it's more often than not because i've slipped in following the protocol, and so i reread the book to refresh my memory and remind myself what i need to be doing. i owe dr. wahls so much and am so grateful to her for her drive and tenacity to find a way to heal herself. she's an inspiration.
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on December 3, 2017
I gobbled up the information in this book for one reason: I was in extreme pain from MS. After watching the TED talk, I went to the library to read this book. I got excited about the text and I bought the book here on Amazon.

I am already several weeks into the paleo principles espoused by Dr. Terry (as I call her because I feel this closeness to her just reading the book)!! My skin, my fuzzy mind, my breathing (as in allergies) have improved dramatically and my pain has dissipated or evaporated. When I cheat on my diet (which simply was the way I was eating on a daily basis), I feel terrible and it has made me feel even more committed to keeping with the diet plan Dr. Terry has outlined in this book. I will need to get the recipe book as well.

This book is packed with information and to try to write a blurb about it would be a great disservice. The lasting principle that has repeated in my head day in and day out is a simple but powerful statement Dr. Terry puts forth: "You are not deficient in MS drugs." Think about that. You are not deficient in the drug(s). What Dr. Terry puts forth is that we are deficient in health in some way - vitamin/nutrition/exercise.

The consumption of processed food was huge in my life as it is in the lives of many people. Fortunately, I happen to love fruits/veggies/grains, so the transition for me has not only been fairly simple, it has been eye-opening in how satisfied I feel, how slender/fit I am but mostly how these incredible gifts from nature have healed me. Obviously, buying and consuming organic goods is a heck of a lot cheaper than what my medical bills were and this way of life actually heals me, not just suppresses symptoms/numbs or drugs me.

Thank you Dr. Terry, for putting out your story and this book. There is nothing greater one can accomplish than healing and transforming another living being. This book is certainly not limited to specific health conditions, but a way of life for anyone who wants to be healthy.
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