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How the Wahls Protocol Treats All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions

Wahls Protocol

Join me in a conversation with Dr. Terry Wahls, as she explains how the Wahs Protocol treats all chronic autoimmune conditions.

Things You Will Learn
  • How Dr. Terry Wahls changed her own life after being diagnosed with progressive MS
  • Why anyone can implement the Wahls Protocol
  • Why brain cells and functions once lost are NOT lost forever
  • What autoimmunity is
  • How the Wahls Protocol addresses the environment in order to redeem health
  • How to approach dietary changes with the Wahls Protocol
  • And much more…

Show Notes

  • How Dr. Terry Wahls created a diet and lifestyle protocol to benefit her brain, mitochondria and brain cells after being diagnosed with MS, and subsequently change the dogma around MS research (02:55)
  • What is autoimmunity and what types of diagnosis outside of MS are tied to autoimmunity (11:50)
  • How the Wahls Protocol addresses the environment in order to redeem health (17:00)
  • How to approach dietary changes (20:20)
  • Dr. Terry Wahls explains how to keep costs low and still eat organic and well (26:20)
  • Why anyone can implement the Wahls Protocol (35:20)
  • What has changed in the last 5 years since Terry Wahls started talking about this approach (36:18)
  • The new and revised edition of “The Wahls Protocol” book (38:30)

Resources and Links

Dr. Terry Wahls “The Wahls Protocol”

Dr. Terry Wahls Website


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More about Dr. Terry Wahls

Dr. Terry Wahls is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner and a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa where she conducts clinical trials.  In 2018 she was awarded the Institute for Functional Medicine’s Linus Pauling Award for her contributions in research, clinical care and patient advocacy. She is also a patient with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, which confined her to a tilt-recline wheelchair for four years. Dr. Wahls restored her health using a diet and lifestyle program she designed specifically for her brain and now pedals her bike to work each day. She is the author of The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles and you can learn more about her MS clinical trials by reaching out to her team via this email: [email protected]. You can also pick up a copy of her research papers here and a one-page handout for the Wahls™ Diet here.

Tara Hunkin (00:03):
This is the My Child Will Thrive Podcast and I'm your host, Tara Hunkin, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Certified Gaps Practitioner, Restorative Wellness Practitioner and mother. I'm thrilled to share with you the latest information, tips, resources, and tools to help you on the path to recovery for your child with ADHD, autism, sensory processing disorder, or learning disabilities. My own experiences with my daughter combined with as much training as I can get my hands on research I can dig into and conferences I can attend have helped me to develop systems and tools for parents like you who feel overwhelmed trying to help their children. So sit back as I share another great topic to help you on your journey.

Tara Hunkin (00:46):
A quick disclaimer before we get started, My Child Will Thrive, is not a substitute for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. The information provided on this podcast is not intended to diagnose or treat your child. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before implementing any information or treatments that you have learned about on this podcast. There are many gifted, passionate and knowledgeable practitioners with hundreds if not thousands of hours of study and clinical experience available to help guide you. Part of our goal is to give you the knowledge and tools you need to effectively advocate for your child so that you don't blindly implement each new treatment that comes along. No one knows your child better than you. No one knows your child's history like you do or can better judge what is normal or abnormal for your child. The greatest success in recovery comes from the parent being informed and asking the right questions and making the best decisions for their child in coordination with a team of qualified practitioners in different areas of specialty. Now on with the show,

Tara Hunkin (01:53):
I want to welcome everybody back to the my child will thrive podcast. Today I have with me Dr. Terry Whals. Dr. Wahls is an Institute for functional medicine certified practitioner and a clinical professor of medicine at the university of Iowa where she conducts clinical trials. In 2018 she was awarded the Institute for functional medicine's Linus Pauling award for her contributions to research clinical care and patient advocacy. And she is the author of the Wahls Protocol, a radical new way to treat all chronic autoimmune conditions using paleo principles. So, I'm really excited to have you here today. Thanks so much for joining me.

Terry Wahls (02:37):
Oh, thank you so much for having me.

Tara Hunkin (02:39):
So when we're going to dive right into this, because if this is a really important conversation and it's often overlooked in our community because people don't even consider how autoimmunity plays a role. But before we get started with that, why don't you tell everybody who aren't familiar with her work what, where, what your story is and how you came about to come up with the Wahls protocol.

Terry Wahls (03:07):
So I'm a internal medicine physician and a very much conventionally trained physician and was very skeptical of special diets and supplements and all of that stuff. But then in 2000, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and I knew I wanted to treat my disease aggressively, so I sought out the best people in the country, took the newest drugs, but I went relentlessly downhill. Now, two years into this, my physicians told me about the work of Loren Cordain. I read his papers, his books, and decided to go back to eating meat. After 20 years of being vegetarian, I gave up all grains, all the goons, all dairy. But so it was a huge, huge change. But I continued to go downhill the following year. I needed a reclined wheelchair, I took more potent drugs, including a Tysabri. I continue to relentlessly go downhill.

Terry Wahls (04:01):
I have trigeminal neuralgia and that was continuing to get steadily worse. By 2007, I was so weak I cannot sit up in a regular chair as I am now. I began to have trouble with brain fog. My face pains were more severe, more difficult to turn off, and I thought that was likely I was going to become bedridden, demented and have to live with intractable pain. But fortunately I'd been reading the basic science, ancestral health and functional medicine in integrating all three, I designed a diet and lifestyle protocol specifically for my brain, my mitochondria, and my brain cells. And to my amazement, my pain stopped and my brain fog cleared. And then I was even more amazed. I started getting stronger. I, and I was seeing in physical therapy. They started advancing my exercises. They started having me to lift weights and then I for the first time in six years, I got on my bike and I biked around the block. My children are crying, my wife's crying, I'm crying. And in six more months I do an 18.5 mile bike ride with my family. And once again, you know, I'm crying, my wife's crying, my kids are crying. Yeah. If I talk about much longer, I'll be crying because that just felt so miraculous. Of course this changes how I think about disease and health. It changes the way I practice medicine and it would ultimately change the way I conduct my research.

Tara Hunkin (05:46):
It truly is an incredible story and incredible because it, I mean, as you know, as a physician, what you've been told about what the prognosis for ms is, it was nothing like this.

Terry Wahls (06:00):
Oh, correct. You know, with progressive ms, you know, clearly the message is functions once lost are gone forever. And I understood that and I could certainly see that. I, you know, my trajectory was clearly downhill I had been having relentless worsening of my face pain for 27 years. Relentless worsening of my ms disability for seven years, there was never any improvement and I accepted that. And so it will start startling that I started getting stronger. In fact, I was remarkably better walking around the neighborhood before because I had accepted that it's just taking it every day, one day at a time. It wasn't until I got on my bike that I realized like, Oh my God, how much recovery might be possible.

Tara Hunkin (06:51):
Yeah, it's, it is really exciting and that's why I'm so happy to have you here talking about this because obviously the parents that are listening are are, I obviously want that hope that they can help their children's brain and be retrained and improve their health overall as well. So and, and this is what, this is an example of just because the diagnosis is different. It is the example of how we have the ability to improve the health of our brains and our bodies at the same time and and recover function that may never have developed in the first place or has been has regressed and has been lost from

Terry Wahls (07:33):
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Now I was taught and I had accepted that no degeneration is fixed and irreversible. That brain cells once lost are gone forever functions, the ones lost, are gone forever. And of course, now we, we understand that in fact the brain is incredibly plastic. It's always remodeling and repairing in response to the environment that you give it. And so we have a revolution now in the new inflammation world and the neurodegeneration world. Like, Oh my God, the brain repair absolutely is possible. And you know, thanks to the work that we've done, we've radically shifted even the focus of, of research. When I first started doing my research in 2010, I was the only one doing any kind of multimodal diet and lifestyle intervention. Four neurodegeneration for ms I and you know, we got positive results. We published many, many papers now on our research. And now when I go into clinical trials.gov in fact, there are 13 dietary studies now and we are also doing studies of lifestyle and these multimodal, yeah. And so what 10 years ago was dogma you could not do that was terrible. Science is now finally dogma. Like this is the best science to do diet and lifestyle multi-modal interventions that creating health is the best science.

Tara Hunkin (09:14):
Yeah. Actually it is really exciting to hear that because that's something that we've all heard for many years is one of the problems is, is that no one wants to make these changes cause there's no science there. And then the, the conversation is around, you know, how can you create the science because it is really truly to, to do this well, it has to be a multimodal approach. So it's exciting to hear how the science is evolving in terms of doing the clinical research, and really getting those outcomes that can help people change their minds about what's possible.

Terry Wahls (09:48):
You know what, I actually have to thank you in your community for part of this. And that's because it was the, when my book, my Ted talk went viral, which then led to my getting a book deal, and the book was a best seller that created a lot of buzz in the ms community, which the ms society noticed, which led them to have a wellness conference. They track me down, invited me. I said, yo, well, I have to rearrange my schedule to come, but you have to unban me because I can't come to conference where I've been banned as a speaker. So they were very apologetic and yes, they did. Unbanned me and I went and I was part of their wellness conference and that led to them making diet and lifestyle and wellness, a research priority, which then led to them to call out for proposals.

Terry Wahls (10:41):
They funded us and have funded others. Scientists. So now we're finally doing the science and we have funding agencies like the ms society, like the NIH that is now funding science that's looking at these, these complicated multi-modal studies. And it is hard. It's a much more challenging science to conduct because now we're asking people to change what they eat and do. And that's a much bigger ask than just taking a pill every day. No. To give up familiar foods, eat new, unfamiliar foods. I add a stress reducing practice, add an exercise program. This is a huge dramatic ask I had. So yes, this, this is, I ma a much harder science than pill based studies. This is where recovery happens.

Tara Hunkin (11:43):
That's exciting. So before we go too much further, I do want to just ask you if you can explain to everybody, because not everybody understands the background behind really what autoimmunity is.

Terry Wahls (11:55):
Oh, sure. Absolutely. So can we talk about what that is and what types of diagnosis outside of ms that people may have, may have heard of or not heard of that actually are tied to autoimmunity? Well, let's talk a little bit about what our immune cells do. Our immune cells will inspect all of ourselves and decide is that cell in healthy good shape? It's functioning well or it's been damaged because of infection or trauma or burn. And so I need to repair right, perhaps dissolve, eat up, replace and rebuild that cell on that tissue. Did that very important function is how we maintain our health, maintain our integrity recover from infection, recover from a laceration or burn or other trauma. It's, it's vital to the maintenance and repair function. What appears to happen is those immune cell functions are going after parts of our body that we think are normal, are healthy, are functioning well.

Terry Wahls (13:05):
But for some reason my immune cell, when it sees that part of my body, it's interpreting the, those structures as having been damaged. And therefore it's initiating the signal to say, okay, this is damage, I have to replace it. So I'm going to release a bunch of chemical compounds to eat up these damaged cells and start making new versions. Well, so in my case, my immune cells were interpreting parts of my brain and spinal cord and my optic nerves as damaged. So that's releasing a variety of compounds to begin eating up those cells and rebuilding them. Of course it's not doing a very good job of the rebuilding. And so scars were developing my optic nerves in my spinal cord. And then my brain. I know if we look back at the last 300 years, it's been a steadily increasing frequency of autoimmune diagnoses in adults and in children.

Terry Wahls (14:10):
Yeah. And these autoimmune diagnosis might be skin problems like psoriasis or blistering skin conditions or, or even acne. Oh, well we see so many of our children suffering with, or it might be inflammatory bowel disease with also have colitis and Crohn's, a lot of diarrhea issues or, you know, profound constipation or it might be a lot of behavioral issues, irritable irritability issues, learning behavior problems or multiple sclerosis. You know, multiple sclerosis is now being diagnosed in young children and teenagers and elementary age school kids. We have young children with celiac disease, with inflammatory bowel disease, with psoriasis. Yeah. And so I think we all need to be asking why are we seeing the steady increase in autoimmunity in adults and in children? What changed our environment that has led this to happen and what could we do to make our environment less irritating less triggering this way.

Tara Hunkin (15:24):
Okay. Yeah. And well, and I think you've covered off actually a lot of really important points there. I mean we're seeing you know, a rise in autoimmunity and we're seeing a correlation in that rise of autism, ADHD, sensory processing, learning disabilities, everything else. So we, we have to know that there's some, there's, there are ties to all of these chronic health conditions and, and a change in our environment. Cause we know that our genetics haven't evolved in the same period of time. So how, sorry, go ahead.

Terry Wahls (15:56):
You know, it used to be that our children died of infections. They didn't have chronic diseases. They had infections. They might develop rheumatic fever from as a byproduct of infections. But they weren't having cancers. There weren't having behavioral problems. They weren't having heart disease, obesity, diabetes you know, kids were thin, they were strong.

Terry Wahls (16:21):
They were wirey. They were very healthy as a population. That's not what you see when you go to a elementary school. Now you see kids sliding up for their medications. You see kids with weight issues, you see schools having to add more and more classes for behaviorally disturbed children. What happened? What happened? Yeah.

Tara Hunkin (16:52):
So when we are starting to look at all of these things. Why don't you tell us a bit about how, and I know a good component of the Wahls Protocol and that's what I want to talk about today, but how your protocol addresses the environment in order to redeem health. So as I'm reading again, you know, the basic science trying to design a protocol that creates as much health promotion as I can. What I'm looking at, again, a very science-based what do we know?

Terry Wahls (17:28):
And this has to do with the food we eat in changing the diet to a more maximum nutrient dense diet. That was removing the inflammatory foods, the sugar, the processed foods removing the white flour. And I'd already gone gluten free grain free lagoon. So, all right, we moved all that bad stuff, but it wasn't until I redesigned my diet based on how to maximize the nutrition for my mitochondria, for my brain cells where I'm adding in all these greens, all these sulfur rich vegetables in the cabbage, onion, mushroom family, all these deeply colored vegetables and berries. More Omega three fats that, you know, there was this dramatic uptick in energy, mental clarity, and my pain disappeared. Then I, I went back to adding a daily meditation. I had learned how to meditate during college. I quit during medical school.

Terry Wahls (18:31):
I no longer recall why I could tell with my a ms a diagnosis that stress made when I was more stressed. My symptoms were worse. I don't know why I didn't go back to meditation then, but I didn't, it wasn't until the fall of 2007 was on the brink of catastrophe. I decided to go back to a daily meditation. I, and the one thing I had done well with diagnosis in part of that was because I was a former athlete. I knew that exercise was vital. I had exercised every day, all of the time. Even as I was getting more and more and more disabled, I was still exercising. Is getting to be smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller. So that I'd done well. It was quite shocking what suddenly you know, my therapist was saying, well, you know, you actually, you're getting stronger.

Terry Wahls (19:28):
We're going to be advancing your exercises. And I could, and I was getting stronger. So that was quite startling. And then I, I paid more attention to my detox pathways and structuring my nutrition to boost my detoxification enzymes. I am adding these things, a Epsom salt baths. And then when I discovered that to my amazement, I was no longer intolerant to heat. I could tolerate heat. So I put it in a sauna and started doing a saunas every day and looks like, wow. So I, I kept as, as a recovery, I was willing to add another step, another step, another step into my self care protocols.

Tara Hunkin (20:17):
Yeah. One of the things that in your book you talk about is, is the, you know, starting to add, and then you, then you're also trying to subtract and then improving beyond that with, in terms of the quality of the food that you're eating. Do you want to just touch base on that approach to making those types of dietary changes?

Terry Wahls (20:37):
You know? So I, I love the paleo diet. And I discovered that pretty early on in my journey. I, I had been following a very low fat vegetarian diet for 20 years before then. I, and of course my heart docs would have thought this was like the perfect best diet I could possibly following. And then, yeah, read Lauren Credane . After a lot of prayer and meditation, I decided to go back to eating meat and I stopped all grain, all the gums, all dairy. And you know, I've tried to do the best that I can. And I discovered functional medicine. I decided mitochondria are really key. So I, I'm adding supplements to support my mitochondria. I figured out adding those supplements reduces my fatigue and that's helpful. It's slowing the speed of my decline. That's very inspiring.

Terry Wahls (21:36):
So I'm really excited about that, but I'm still declining. It wasn't until I had this really big aha like I should redesign my paleo diet based on these 17 nutrients I was taking in pill form. And that was a little more research if you got where they are in the food supply. Yeah. And so I, I at first I'd start with these long list of foods that I should be stressing. And I'm have redesigned my paleo diet now stressing the foods to eat. Yeah. And I'm now stressing that I, I'm only going to eat organic foods if it's not organic. I didn't want to eat it. Cause at this point, you know, my pain is very difficult to manage. I'm having brain fog. I know it's strong. It's a struggle to walk even very short distances. And I want to keep the little functions that I have for as long as I can. So I'm like, okay, I got to do everything that I possibly can.

Terry Wahls (22:35):
Yeah. And so I'm being even more meticulous on all of my dietary choices. It was startling a month into this, I realize, you know, my pain, I'm not having pain. That was startling. And then it became apparent that my energy's improving and I'm realizing that, you know, my mental clarity is improving. And then the other thing that, that was startling, I think it was about six weeks into this, I had a zero gravity chair at one in my office at home. And I, I couldn't sit up anymore on a regular chair, so I'm reclining with my knees higher than my nose. So I mean, I'm way replying back and I'm eating that way and I'm realizing I can sit up a little bit more as I'm eating. And then I realized I can sit in a regular chair for supper.

Terry Wahls (23:46):
I could sit in a regular chair for supper about six weeks into this, like, Oh my God, that is startling. And I realize in my office, I don't have to be sitting back nearly as far. So it was the addition of food. So supplements were helpful. They had reduced my fatigue that slowed my decline and I'm very grateful that inspired me to read more research and get more fired up about mitochondria. More fired up about cellular nutrition. It was when I really focused on the food. What, how do you organize the diet and embrace specific way to maximize the nutrition? That's when the magic happened.

Tara Hunkin (24:38):
Yeah, it is. And of course I have said it to you before but, as a nutritionist looking to food in its natural state nutrient dense food is always going to be, I think the better solution.

Tara Hunkin (24:55):
It's a challenge sometimes for parents, for kids to get them to eat some of these things that we know they should be eating. But it's a challenge worth taking on. So I think hopefully your story will illustrate the impact because we can't always replicate or we can't replicate supplements that of what we get in food because of the synergistic nature of the way they, the foods are created.

Terry Wahls (25:20):
food is more complex at this more synergy and when you manufact and take the food and you make it into a supplement, there's all these processing procedures and these compounds that can get added to the food during that, during that manufacturing process that change it. And we had these new compounds of food like compounds that are added. It certainly in my clinical practice, we do have patients who can't take any supplements and it takes longer for us to recover them using strictly food.

Terry Wahls (25:57):
But you know, they've tried right as supplements and they're always react terribly. It's probably because they're sensitive to some of those compounds that are added to the supplements during the supplement process, that interfere with how they run the chemistry of life.

Tara Hunkin (26:17):
It does, it does make a really big difference for sure. I know you've worked with lots of people and now you work with clinicians as well to train them in your protocol. What do you tell them in terms of how to make this change to a whole food diet? And again, trying to get it as organic as possible as well on the quality of the food app can be very expensive, especially for a family take on. What do you typically tell your patients to in order to, to work around that?

Terry Wahls (26:52):
So I was working in the VA at this time. I, and I had this remarkable transformation. The VA saw that changed our practice in primary care in the ranger clinic. and it was getting these amazing results. And so they allowed me and asked me to create a new clinic. We called it the therapeutic lifestyle clinic at the VA. And people would come get referred in with any kind of chronic, complicated medical problem who was willing to do diet and lifestyle. And so the people that we saw most commonly had pain, mental health issues. And they may have a variety of underlying medical problems, sometimes autoimmune, sometimes diabetes, obesity chronic pain issues.

Terry Wahls (27:44):
They were often disabled because of the severity of their illness, living on fixed income, very limited financial resources. We would take these folks and we would get them on a gluten free dairy free diet. I'd have a program for meat eating and not meat eating. I, and we would teach them cooking classes. We teach them how to make a menu, how to make a shopping list how to cook. I, and if we've talked about the benefits of organic and using the clean 15 and the dirty dozen to prioritize what to be organic, we had plenty of folks who couldn't do anything organically because finances were that limited. But we taught them how to do beans and rice. If monies was tight and we needed to limit the amount of meat we taught them how to use a hunting, fishing, foraging, gardening. How do you use the local farmer's markets? How to go to the local meat locker who often had a door donated venison because of controlled deer hunts. Here in the Midwest there's often too many deer that we need to have some control. Deer hunts and many lockers have deer meat for anyone in the community who wants to have that.

Terry Wahls (29:05):
And what we saw was that people's blood pressure was improving. The blood sugar was improving, the mood was improving. People would say, you know, and my kids are doing better. My kids' behaviors are doing better, their grades are doing better, and my spouse's health problems are getting better. My children's health problems are getting better. Time and time again. We saw this. Aye. Yeah. So the key thing is you have to learn how to cook. Many people have forgotten how to cook or never learned. And the fact that I'm in the VA and so we're able to have these cooking classes in the skills classes. Yeah. And certainly what I saw is yes, if you could buy organic, you'll get to recover more quickly, but you will still recover. If we teach you how to cook, you'll begin cooking at home. And was also very interesting to see that many of my folks, no, they're, they're just getting their conventional food in the beginning from this small town rural Iowa grocery store.

Terry Wahls (30:12):
Yeah. But by the time we're six months into this, they'd figured out how to get mostly organic food. They figured out that they went to there organic there, farmer's market and went around to all the stalls and said, you know, ma'am or sir, if I come back at the end of the farmer's market and I offered to buy whatever's left, what's the best price you could give me? And people were finding that they could get their organic vegetables for pennies on the dollar. Mm. That's a great strategy. Yeah, that's a, it's a great strategy.

Tara Hunkin (30:47):
It's amazing to. I find that when people realize as well, how much, a lot of times we don't really notice how much we're eating out before we change our diets. A lot of people have said to me and my, my husband, our family, when we first changed our diet, I mean our grocery bills did skyrocket.

Tara Hunkin (31:07):
And we live in a rural community and we use a lot of the same sources that you're talking about, but it was more expensive on our grocery bill. But overall, if you look at where you're spending your money on your food for, for a number of people, not everybody, but for a lot of people, they'll find that when they aren't eating out as much because they are cooking and preparing more things at home. And, and if you are very good about , how you, there's not a lot of waste in what you, what you do. You're gonna find that overall it may not be as expensive as you think it may be just by the sticker price on, on a particular type of vegetable or meats or whatever it is that you're purchasing.

Terry Wahls (31:47):
So we do have to teach people how to plan for leftovers.

Terry Wahls (31:51):
So there is no food waste that everything you're putting in your mouth is part of your food bill. So all of those fancy coffees all of those restaurant meals, all of those energy shot drinks your tobacco or your alcohol, you're a sweetened beverages, that's all part of your food bill. Okay. Yeah. And so there's a process of teaching people how to think that, okay, this is all the food bill and that we can help you prioritize your vegetables. Getting frozen things are fine. Getting cans, things are fine. Using getting a bag of onions is fine. Getting a bag of potatoes is fine. Getting bags of beans and rice and using an instant pot to cook with that is here in Iowa there's, there's an abundance of edible weeds in your yard. If you quit spraying your yard, you're going to have lots of edible greens from which that you can eat.

Terry Wahls (32:54):
You do have to positively identify your food. You can't just go out and eat every green thing because there are poisonous greens as well as good for you. Greens. so there is, you know, a some learning curve there and people were thrilled. They want to go out, sorry, eat all the mushrooms like, no, no. You do have to positively identify the food you eat. Yeah. And then my Rangers, being at the VA is like so much fun because we have these Rangers who come in, it start giving us classes on how they got trained to figure out what's edible and what's not edible. And, and the, the, I said, okay, that's a fun class, but you still have to positively identify what you're eating. You're not in, in a wilderness military combat right now where you have to you know learn, use these techniques.

Terry Wahls (33:50):
But no. Yeah. And there, there's, there's something you said about the comradery in the community, in the healing journey of the veterans teaching each other how to shop, how to cook, how'd you figure out what's edible, what's not edible in the love and care they had for each other and the willingness to speak truth to each other. You know, when someone would say like, you know, they couldn't figure out how to deal with the grandchildren. And then there pure and the group would say, well, you know, grandchildren easy. What they want is you, they don't care about whether or not you're having a sugary snacks. What they care most about is special time with grandpa or grandma.

Tara Hunkin (34:34):
So true. So true. Yeah. That, that, and I think there's a lot that we can learn from that. And that, that environment, that community that you've been working with for sure as a community. And like I said, not everybody has all these extra things that they're spending their money on. Like that they can cut out. And I do understand that too. So you start where you're at and work your way through. And what I'll do is I'm going to link to you mentioned the dirty dozen clean 15. That is something we talk about a lot here too, which is you, you choose your, the organic vegetables and fruits that you, that you want, where you want to avoid that dirty. The, the dirtier ones that are out there that you, that are, are heavily sprayed.

Terry Wahls (35:22):
Now having said that, you know, when people try to say, you know, I can't do the walls protocol because I'm not a doctor. I don't make all that money. I, I can't go to a whole foods the whole time.

Terry Wahls (35:33):
My response is. My vets in rural Ioha shopping and their rural grocery stores living on food stamps on the disability income could implement this and transform their lives. It can be done. What they did have to learn how to do was to cook, how to plan their meals and how to avoid throwing anything away. And they did that. We helped them and they transform their lives, their blood pressures got under control, there's blood sugars got into control, their mood stabilized. They had a lot more joy, they had less pain and they discovered that their kids were doing much better. So absolutely it can be done.

Tara Hunkin (36:15):
Yeah, no, that's, that's amazing. So a lot's changed over the last five years or so. When you started to talk about these things more publicly, your message and your research has come a long way. What, what's, what are the biggest changes over that five years of in terms of your approach?

Terry Wahls (36:36):
Well one is that I'm no longer this eccentric oddity i'm seen that is this brilliant visionary. So that's pretty fun for us as well. We are much more aware of some of the needs to address oxalates histamines FODMAPs for some individuals. We're, we have a little more refined as to who needs the elimination diet. That is the low lectin version of my diet. We have more specific guidance on the many different ways you could get into ketosis, whether it's a high fat diet, a time restricted feeding whether we're going to have you use an olive oil base ketosis or a medium chain triglyceride base ketosis. And we talk about STEM cells where the indications for STEM cells what how you could get STEM cells and how you could boost your own STEM cells, which I think is a even better way to go.

Terry Wahls (37:33):
Anti-Aging strategies after all, who would, who would not enjoy looking and feeling 10 years younger or 20 years younger. So that's pretty cool. And then the science of behavior change based on what I've learned from my behavior change psychology colleagues and what my vets taught me, we've created a much more detailed process on how to grow your own internal motivation to do what is challenging. Dealing with addictive foods, addictive behaviors and how it can grow our desire and motivation to make those kinds of difficult changes. There's been a lot more progress on neuro rehab and of course there's more progress on epigenetics, on the microbiome, on the role of hormones in brain health as well. Yeah. All in all it's about a third new exciting material.

Tara Hunkin (38:29):
Yeah. And that's in this, this is just about to come out of, so by the time we air this, this should be out. Well, when we air this podcast, so this is the Wahls, I'm holding up. For those of you that are listening, I just realized I should probably tell you I'm holding up Dr. Wahls new and revised addition of the Wahls protocol that includes all that new stuff that she was talking about there because you know, it's always great to, to have what was a great resource to begin with, updated because we are seeing so much progress in our, both the acceptance but also the research and, but also, your clinical experience in how to apply these things. And when you, when it's, it's so great that you were able to do that and update it so that people can get access to that.

Terry Wahls (39:22):
When you buy the book, you get access to some bonus materials that are in there as well. So you'll get lots of good treats that you'll be able to get special links to.

Tara Hunkin (39:35):
Oh, that's, I always like a good bonus. It's always a nice thing to find. So I one recommend that people, I will put a link below this episode so that you can get a Dr. Wahls latest version of her book. And also links to where you can find her. She also trains clinicians in this protocol. So if you're looking for someone to work with to help you implement this she, that's one of the great things too, is she's only one person. So she's now got a really well regarded training program that I know a lot of people have gone through and have loved and so they can get to work with patients like yourself.

Tara Hunkin (40:18):
And we also are lucky enough Dr. Walls is speaking to you on the upcoming autism, ADHD and sensory processing disorder summit of mine that will be out in June. And she's going to be talking more, we dive more into mitochondrial health and how this protocol and and just in general why we want to be looking at mitochondria as in terms of the health of it for our children. So thank you so much again for spending time with me today and I look forward to everybody getting their hands on the book and also checking you out on the summit as well. Thank you so much.

Tara Hunkin (41:04):
That's a wrap. Thanks for joining me this week on the My Child Will Thrive Podcast. Today's episode is sponsored by the My Child Essentials Membership Box, a quarterly subscription box curated by me to give you the tools you need to help your child thrive too. If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you can spare a moment to give us a review, we'd love the feedback. Thanks for joining me today. This is Tara Hunkin and I'll catch you on the next podcast or over at mychildwillthrive.com.

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