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Introducing Dr. Terry Wahls
I’m sure she doesn’t remember, but I actually shared a table with Dr. Terry Walls at the speakers dinner at Paleof(x) a couple of years ago (when I did a cooking demo for my Berry Mojito Salad from The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book). I had already heard her story via her TedX talk in which she shared the profound healing she experienced from her MS symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes. At one time, Dr. Wahls was confined to a wheelchair, even as she continued her work as a doctor. She can now walk without a cane and even ride a bike! Her first book, The Wahls Protocol, outlines the steps she took to reclaim her life and she has since helped thousands of others with MS and other autoimmune diseases do the same by using this protocol.
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing her BRAND NEW book, The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life, a sort of cookbook companion to her first book (well, not sort of…that is exactly what it is!) makes The Wahls Protocol practically foolproof. Before we get too far, though, let’s talk about what exactly autoimmune diseases are and about The Wahls Protocol. I do not suffer from any autoimmune conditions myself, so I don’t often discuss this topic on the blog. The list is a long one, though, and I would venture to guess that you or someone you love may suffer from one of these conditions. Let’s take a look at a list of common autoimmune diseases:
- Celiac disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Graves’ disease
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
(this list is not exhaustive, these are simply some of the more common disorders)
What is the Wahls Protocol?
The Wahls Protocol has three levels (more on that in a minute). Each of these levels has Dr. Wahls’ two-pronged approach in common; to eat foods that fuel the mitochondria, thereby building healthy cells for strong cellular function, and to eat foods that calm internal inflammation. These two things together help the body to heal, rebuild, and, hopefully, return to a normal level of functionality. The first level , The Wahls Diet, focuses on high-quality foods and a high intake of fruits and vegetables, omega-3 rich seafood, protein-rich meats, and healthy fats like coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. The second level, Wahls Paleo, builds on the first level, but also removes all grains, dairy, and soy. The third level, Wahls Paleo Plus, is a ketogenic diet, which means it includes lots of healthy fats and lower levels of carbohydrates (no grains, legumes, or sweeteners, and low levels of fruit and starchy veggies). The idea is to start with The Wahls Diet and only progress into the more difficult to follow levels if you need additional healing that you are not able to achieve on the first level.
It may sound that these levels would be difficult to follow, but in The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life, Dr. Wahls really makes it so simple. There is a guide on how to stock your kitchen, basic recipes for foods you’ll always want to have on hand (like bone broth), tips on foraging for edibles (seriously!), and even some yummy treats like the one I’ll be sharing with you today!
You will love this Wahls Fudge recipe
This Wahls Fudge recipe is to-die-for delicious and totally healthy, whether you have an autoimmune condition or not. I know being on a special diet can sometimes feel limiting so I love that Dr. Wahls includes treats like this fudge. If you know someone with an autoimmune condition, I think it would just be the sweetest thing to make them a batch of this fudge and share it with them next time you get together. On that note, if you do know anyone with an autoimmune condition, or if you have one yourself, I cannot recommend Dr. Wahls’ books highly enough! You can get The Wahls Protocol and The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life through Dr. Wahls’ website.