In my pervious post, Which is the Right Diet for Autoimmune Disease, we talked about which is the “right” diet to follow for autoimmune disease. If you didn’t read it, definitely check it out because it helps guide you through the process of which is right for YOU.
Today, I want to share with you why I personally chose the Wahls Protocol when I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS in 2016.
First as a nutrition coach, I had a natural desire and curiosity to see what food could do to manage my symptoms and help to stabilize the disease.
At the time I knew of two dietary approaches for MS.
The Swank Diet
The first was the Swank diet which had been around for years.
In short, the Swank Diet focused on
- lower fat intake
- restricted some animal proteins
- encouraged grains and a daily multivitamin
The Wahls Protocol
The second was the Wahls Protocol, which had more recent research.
The Wahls Protocol
- eliminated gluten, dairy and egg
- recommended nine cups of veggies every day
- limited grains
That’s an extremely simplified version of each protocol of course.
In just a quick assessment, I knew I had more potential on the Wahls Protocol.
I personally have an allergy to
And do not tolerate gluten, dairy, or grains well.
So, the Wahls Protocol became a pretty quick decision.
I didn’t realize it at the time but there is a third option the Autoimmune Protocol.
This is very similar to the Wahls Protocol but starts with a strict elimination diet and then allows you to expand with tolerated reintroductions. Although, the Wahls Protocol has now expanded to include an elimination phase which is very similar to AIP.
Looking back, I think the greatest step I took was making a quick decision and starting to put it into action.
That willingness to start – even with imperfection action – got the momentum started.
The very first step I took was to ensure that gluten and dairy were 100% out of my diet. I already had been trying to limit them in my diet but now they became a non-negotiable.
I started to read labels.
I asked for gluten free menus at restaurants.
It also meant planning ahead if I was going to be traveling – I needed to pack snacks that I knew I could eat.
Within a short period of time, the fatigue and brain fog started to lift. That inspired me to then take the next step… upping my veggie game.
Dr. Wahls recommends nine cups of veggies every day:
- 3 Deeply Colored
- 3 Sulfur Rich
- 3 Leafy Green
I stared with the veggies that I liked most and knew how to prepare. I simply ate more of those veggies. What naturally happens then is there’s less room on your plate and in your stomach for the processed, inflammatory foods.
In time that gave me another boost of energy, and it just continued to evolve from there.
So, again in looking back the aspects that served me best in this process were
- Making a decision early
- Taking action quickly – and allowing it to be imperfect action, and
- Building upon the momentum that created to take the next step
This is just my story.
Everyone needs to find their own path and pursue what feels best for them – and that may be very different from my path.
As long as it honors your desires, you pay attention to the results and adjust as your body needs, you’re headed in a good direction.
But if I could offer this as an opportunity for you to take action if you haven’t done so already.
What is ONE step you can take today that will get you closer to achieving your health goal.
As always, if you’re looking for support in taking that action, registration is open for the Autoimmune Intervention Mastery Course that I’ve collaborated with Dr. Wahls. There is very limited time left for the early bird special, so if it’s something you’re considered, don’t sit on it.
All the details are at alenebrennan.com/aim.