I watched a webinar last night by Dr. Terry Wahls. If you don’t recall, she’s the woman, a physician, who has cured her progressive MS with diet. She has an amazing TED talk which I previously posted in this blog post.
I came away with several things about her that I did not previously know:
• She said when she read Cordain’s book on paleo, it made scientific sense to her which is why she decided to go paleo.
• When she initially went paleo in 2002, it was mostly taking wheat and dairy out of her diet. She’s been a vegetarian for a long time, so she found the conversion to eating meat very difficult. She did a lot of meat broths to try to get used to the idea and didn’t initially consume meat as she now does (grass-fed beef, organ meats, fish). You might say that in the beginning, she went gently into paleo. I believe that might be true for many people.
• The answer to her remarkable recovery from the disease state of MS is paleo plus functional medicine.
• It was difficult for her to align her thinking as a traditionally-trained MD with the idea that diet has this much of an impact on our health.
I thought she let her marketing get in the way at some points saying that her diet, “The Wahls Protocol,” could be adjusted for vegetarians by using beans and rice as a complete protein. Because I have not read the book, I’ll just say that I don’t quite understand how paleo could make scientific sense to her yet she says eating legumes is allowed given what they do to your gut health.
I believe she’s trying to distance herself in some sense from paleo to market her own books etc. I’ll forgive her for this since she actually is doing research on the nutritional science—something very few people are doing—and trust that some of her income is going to fund the research.
I look forward to reading her book when it comes out, and I would like to think that her stature as a physician will entice a lot of people to try her method and regain some or all of their health. I would caution, however, that diet, whether it be paleo or Wahls, is only part of the answer. A huge part, yes, but you could be missing pieces of your personal puzzle if you don’t take a look at your food allergies, what unwanted organisms you have in your gut, MTHFR gene mutation status, etc…
Bottom line: see a functional medicine physician.