If you could prevent the onset of illnesses like cancer, type 2 diabetes and dementia wouldn't you want to? How far would you go to keep you and your family healthy?
Dr. Terry Whals, a physician, reversed the symptoms of her multiple sclerosis by eating a diet rich in micro-nutrients. She researched the elements human bodies need to maintain cell health and figured out which foods to eat and how much. She calls it the Wahls Diet (tm).
The Whals diet in a nutshell:
Once you eat your nine cups of fruits and vegetables with a serving of meat and minerals you can eat additional food if you need it for calories.
The kicker I didn't include in my nutshell: no gluten, eggs, dairy, aspartame or MSG.
- heart disease
- learning disabilities
- nerve degeneration diseases like multiple sclerosis
The book explains in more detail how she, as a research physician and person with M.S., went about learning how to recover brain health. Then she outlines her diet and shares recipes.
First Dr. Wahls tried taking vitamin and mineral supplements to treat her M.S. and had some success. When she switched to eating food with those vitamins and minerals she had much better results. She went from being wheel chair bound to walking and riding a bike within a year.
What I took away from the book is the Standard American Diet is loaded with calories for energy but deficient in nutrients for building and maintaining the 100 billion neuron cells in our brain and body. If we eat enough nutrients our DNA contains the wisdom to heal our bodies.
Only you can provide your body with the building block for your cells so that they can do the work of restoring your health and vitality.
- Dr. WahlsWhat I like about this diet is the science behind it. Whals has researched and identified elements in cells and their quantities and deduced what and how much we need to eat to make sure our bodies are well supplied. This is not an eat like a caveman because cavemen were healthy. Although there are many similarities between paleo diets and the Wahl's diet. This is not a diet to lose weight where it boils down to "eat less". Although if you follow her diet I would image a healthy weight would come as part of it.
I also like that Dr. Wahls says she doesn't know all the answers. She points out there are probably many unidentified micro-nutrients that meat, vegetables and fruit provide for our bodies. By eating a varied diet and meat from animals who also ate a varied diet we will give our bodies everything they need to function well. We don't have to wait until we have serious health problems to think about health.
I have a baby and right now all the food she gets is through my breast milk. As she builds her brain and body I don't want her to lack any of the nutrients to develop and be healthy. This little girl makes me more proactive for myself.
I decided come the new year, after holiday baking and traveling were done, I'd take a serious stab at Dr. Wahls' recommendations. My goal is to do a month of her diet and see how I feel. Over the next month my recipes and posts will be based on the Whal's Diet and my experiences. It's going to be an experience. I'll learn how to cook some organ meats, fit nine cups of fruits and vegetables into our meals, give up gluten(!) and dairy(!).
Whals doesn't include eggs in her diet and I'm not sure why. Until I understand why, I am still eating them. If anyone knows please leave me a note in the comments.
The husband is on board so far as he's willing to eat what I cook. It's up to him if he chooses to give up the gluten and dairy. His favorite foods are bread and cheese so we'll see.
What do you think? Have you tried to increase your meal's micro-nutrient content? Have you gone gluten and/or dairy free?
My other posts in this series:
Brain Food: Breakfast Skillet Inspired by Dr. Wahls
Brain Food: Warm Butternut Chickpea Salad - Recipe
Brain Food: What I ate today on the Wahls Diet
Brain Food: Sardine Avocado Citrus Salad - Recipe
Brain Food: 5 Strategies for the Wahls Diet
Brain Food: Sauerkraut and Cabbage Soup - Recipe
Brain Food: Liver and Onions - Recipe (Guest posted on Spain in Iowa)
Brain Food: One Teaspoon of Minerals a Day
For more recipes and ideas visit my Wahls Paleo Pinterest Board.