My Mitochondria ~ The Wahls Diet Follow Up

Awhile back I mentioned I was on a new diet. Only I call it a "program" with the intent of not drawing too much negative attention to body image (I am the mother of girls, after all). The purpose of this particular "program" was to see if the foods I eat can really affect my MS. I was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remiting Multiple Sclerosis in January of 1998 but I had suffered from symptoms as early as 1995 and I had an extreme lose of energy in 1993.

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This past summer season here at the ranch, we had an employee who also has MS and she had so much energy and was in such good health, I wanted to know her secret. (Granted, she didn't have 4 kids one of which still only sleeps in two hour spurts, and 2 more of whom still wake up with bad dreams and what not!) Because she was a seasonal employee, she doesn't have health insurance and thus doesn't take medications. She was however on a very strict diet. She lent me her book.

The concept of the Wahls diet is that our diets are seriously lacking in micronutrients and therefor our mitochondria, our brain cells, are starving. Once our cells become so malnutrition they can't fight off the toxins they naturally produce, they will in fact die. Our country, the USA, is suffering from massive chronic diseases that are infecting younger and younger generations. Eating more fruits and vegetables helps nearly every chronic disease, including heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Why wouldn't it help neurological disorders too?

Dr. Wahls underwent several changes in the start of her pursuit to treat her MS. Oh yea, did I mention that this is a Doctor who has MS herself, and all traditional medical treatments weren't offering her any help. In fact, her MS progressed from Relapsing-Remiting to Progressive MS in just a matter of years. Further more, the majority of relapsing-remitting MS patients will convert to secondary progressive MS within 25 years. 80% of them in the first 15 years. Like I said, I've had it for 17+ years!

Dr. Wahls quotes Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician, who said, "Let good, wholesome food be thy medicine." And so this is what I am attempting to do. I am still on my medication (Don't worry, Dad!). I give myself a shot every night. Although I do forget to do it, a lot… My physician sees the good of vitamins and prescribes 5000 IU of vitamin D but the body will absorb and use the vitamins  and minerals so much more efficiently if they are consumed naturally. Like through food.

My breakfast: veggie stir fry with ham and hemp seeds,
fresh tomato, with spinach and kale shake made with
coconut milk, cocoa, and cinnamon
Dr. Wahls recommends 9 cups of vegetables a day. I know, Right? I don't even think I eat that much food in a day!

She says 5 cups of green leafy veg and 4 cups of colored veg. Our pediatrician says to eat a rainbow a day. I love that!

We already eat lots of salads at our house so this wasn't really a stretch. The other aspect of the "program" is that some foods might even be contributing to the MS symptoms and so she recommends an elimination diet. Just as you would do to determine allergies. I have often gone on the South Beach Diet to loose the weight after each baby, and the first few weeks of that "program" is to wean your body of sugar cravings. You drop grains, fruits and of course, sugar. I have always felt the healthiest while on that program, so the idea of wheat gluten being a trigger for me was not far fetched.

The first three things she recommends eliminating are gluten, eggs and dairy.

So far I have eliminated gluten completely and have done so since October of 2012. Over thanksgiving however I allowed myself a roll, the recipe I shared here, and a small helping of stuffing. We had thanksgiving with a friend and her stuffing was so amazing; made from scratch with french bread and sausage. I was in heaven. Oh, and I did have some gravy. I enjoyed the leftovers the next day aswell. But that night I woke to find the whole left side of my face had gone numb. In general, my fingers are always tingly and my lips do tingle when I eat certain things. So I believe there is another food aspect out there. It makes it easy to pass the bread, however, when my personal health is at stake. Not to mention I've lost over 10 pounds in the first two months!

So that's the update on my eating. As I learn more I will keep you posted. Also, I am excited to try some of my old standby dishes with alternative flours. I will share them once they turn out… so far, they aren't quite there yet.

I am not a food blogger, but I know my family wanted to know about my strange eating habits and so I thought I would share.

1 comment:

  1. You "program" is not unlike mine. I have been on the program Mittie sells and it's really good. Mostly lots of veggies and fruit, minimal dairy, and no carbs or sugar. I've lost over 25 pounds, and have felt much better.

    I'm proud of the way you are taking good care of yourself. Know that you're precious, and every time you do something that is good for you, you give a gift to your family, as well as yourself.


Thanks, Y'all for sharing your thoughts! I'm love'n hear'n from ya!