Friday, January 30, 2015

"The Wahl"s Protocol" and me!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says: "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."

I am "using" these verses to keep me on the "straight and narrow" path toward a healthier body, one that suffers less from digestive issues and slows down the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.

 My physical body should be a useful temple for God's work on earth as long as possible so I have
learned that I must actively participate in keeping it in working order. Recently God has directed me to a book called "The Wahls Protocol; How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine." written by Dr. Terry Wahls, M.D., a professor at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City.

Although I do not suffer from MS, Parkinson's Disease is a similar autoimmune type chronic disease with no cure and degenerative features that are usually treated with drugs alone. In reading Dr. Wahls book I found a kindred spirit, since she had been diagnosed with MS in 2000. In three years she was weakened to the point of needing a wheelchair. At that point she decided to study in depth the nutrients necessary to "feed" the mitochondria at the cell level in an attempt to slow down the process of degeneration of the brain cells which happens in these types of diseases. She became aware of the nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids that were needed for optimal performance. By adjusting her diet accordingly she went from a wheel chair to riding a mountain bike and being able to once again pursue her medical practice, but most importantly she "had her life back". Although not a cure by any means her diet protocol gives hope to those of us facing a weakening body "down the road".

There are three levels of her diet regime and I am currently working through level two.
Level one eliminates gluten and dairy, alters the protein to only organic, grass-fed, wild caught, and incorporates nine cups of fruits and vegetables, every day, broken down into three groups: leafy greens, colored veggies and fruits, and sulfur-rich veggies.  (OH, all processed foods of any kind are assumed to be eliminated!!)
Level two reduces all non-gluten grains, legumes, and potatoes to just 2 servings per week, adds powdered sea weed to every meal, as well as occasional organ meats to the diet. Level two also adds fermented foods, soaked seeds and nuts, and more raw foods.
Level three is still unattainable for me. It eliminates ALL grains, legumes, potatoes as well as
ALL honey and maple syrup (my only sweeteners now). At this level you reduce your veggie level from 9 cups to 6 cups daily but add higher levels of coconut oil and full-fat coconut milk. In addition, most fruit are eliminated, (very difficult for me since I love all fruit), because of their high carbohydrate level-only berries are allowed.

I doubt I will ever fully embrace level three but after being on this regime for about four months my digestive system is more stable and I feel I have a higher level of energy. Dr.Wahls did say that healing the digestive system and seeing an improvement at the cell level takes from one to three years! Patience and perseverance are the key words here!

Doubt this diet ever becomes popular in mainstream society or will be recommended by the medical community in the near future. Can you imagine the reaction of the patient if a Dr. would suggest this diet and say you will see results in three years?? What-give up my diet coke, hamburger and fries, and that delicious ice cream cone? No, just give me a pill!

I am challenged with Romans 13:14
"Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think how to satisfy the desires of the flesh."