This speech was given recently at one of my Toastmasters clubs.
My first college degree was in chemistry. I never had a chance to practice in that field because I got an invitation to Vietnam. Today, I write and speak on various topics in health and wellness. My specialty is longevity.
I research what happens in the human body at the cellular level – biochemically speaking – looking for cause and effect relationships. If you treat a symptom, you will always treat a symptom. You must treat the cause of a problem to correct it – in all aspects of our lives.
Five years ago, my wife had breast cancer surgery. Two cancerous lymph nodes were also removed. Because the cancer was found in the lymph nodes, the doctor recommended both chemo and radiation therapy.
Half-way through her chemotherapy treatments, there was one side effect I could not address adequately – fatigue. She was taking one or two two-hour naps daily.
Before starting her radiation therapy, the radiologist told us that her fatigue would probably get worse. On Day-1 of radiation, my wife started the Wahls’ Protocol.
Dr. Terry Wahls in a doctor. Late in life, she came down with MS, multiple sclerosis. Regardless of the treatments and medicines she received, her MS got worse. She eventually ended up in a wheelchair for four years.
Dr. Wahls researched autoimmune diseases, of which MS is one of over a hundred, and wrote her book, The Wahls Protocol. She started her protocol and very quickly was off all her meds. Within three months, she was able to walk using a walker. A month later she was walking using a cane. Within a year she was bicycling 18 miles. If she walked in this room tonight you would never know she had any health issues.
I read her book and did further research. My wife and I decided to start the diet-only protocol on Day-1 of her radiation therapy. 48-hours later she has not had another nap. After months of chemotherapy and weeks of radiation, her fatigue disappeared.
One the last day of radiation, we left Houston and drove to Jacksonville, Florida. I rented a U-Haul to bring back my parents’ estate items that we wanted to keep. My wife followed me, by herself, for two days, driving 500 miles each day. The trip back started 48 hours after her last radiation treatment.
What’s so special about the Wahls Protocol and how does it combat multiple sclerosis and fatigue?
Dr. Terry Wahls determined that our bodies needed a strong immune system and balanced nutrition to fight disease. The four pillars of her protocol involve exercise, toxin removal, stress management, and diet.
I chose the diet portion of the protocol to see if providing the nutrients the body needs daily would help my wife. After all, if it helped Dr. Wahls overcome her MS, might it also help my wife?
The diet portion is relatively strict, but it provides five to ten times the daily requirements of over 30 nutrients our bodies need daily. Most of us are deficient in many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Her diet protocol requires three meals a day. Each meal should consist of one cup of leafy green vegetables, one cup of colored fruits and vegetables (where the color goes through the entire fruit or vegetable – think blueberry and not eggplant), one cup of sulfur-laden vegetables (cruciferous vegetables – cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, etc.), and 3-4 ounces of high-quality protein.
We quickly found that we could not eat three meals a day. We settled on one meal a day with an occasional day of extras. My wife lost 30 lbs quickly on this lifestyle – I call it a lifestyle rather than a diet because it implies a long-term commitment to eating healthy.
We chose to use two supplements – vitamin K2 and vitamin E. Our diet options did not provide enough of these two vitamins.
Our bodies convert vitamin K1 from leafy green vegetables to vitamin K2, but not as much as our bodies need. When I buy vitamin K2, I ensure that both menaquinones, MK-4 and MK-7, are present. One is fast-acting and the other lasts much longer.
Vitamin E is eight different chemical compounds. No one food has them all. There are four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. You can buy all eight together under the label of ‘mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols’. It should be noted that microscopic amounts of alpha-tocotrienol in the brain usually prevents any long-lasting complications from a stroke.
I found that eating mostly fruits and vegetables with a little protein created an alkaline environment in my body. It is very difficult for disease to begin when your body has a pH over 7.35 which happens to be the pH of our blood. pH is the measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. For a healthy body, alkaline pH is desired.
I’ve continued to study fatigue and other health issues since then. I have not found anything remotely as effective as the Wahls Protocol for providing a healthy lifestyle.
I’ve tweaked the protocol very slightly to account for more current research. If you want to live a long, healthy life, free of most age-related diseases, then the Wahls Protocol might be just what the doctor ordered.