The Last (see below) Wahls MS Diet 10 month update
MS has been hammering me since 1998 and nothing seems to slow it down. On 4/20/2011 I finally decided to go 100% on the Wahls diet. This is my 10-month report.
Dr Wahls' story is compelling. (see www.terrywahls.org
) In 2007 she wasn't too far physically from where I am today. She changed her diet and by 2008 she could walk and ride her bike! That will get the complete attention of someone like me!
(she did other things in addition to diet changes, like eletronic muscle stimulation, meditation - but she thinks diet played the primary role in her recovery)
(and she was never as bad as I am now)
My version of the Wahls diet:
Lots of veggies, esp. sulfur-rich and leafy greens and bright colors.
Small amount of fruit, some grain (but no gluten!)(I do quinoa and rice), small amounts of meat (chicken, turkey, or seafood)(I avoid beef and pork).
ZERO gluten, dairy, sugar, yeast, legumes, red meat, processed food. I think the first 2 on this list are the important ones, and #3 (sugar) isn't far behind.
Low starch; I do eat some grapes or blueberries or corn on occasion. But never a potato or potato chips.
On month 3 I began including a commercial daily green drink; we use Green Magma.
Wahls is sort of the Swank diet (the first recommended MS diet) of today, except I'd say it trades an emphasis on low-fat for an emphasis on veggies.
Wahls = Paleo-diet + anti-inflamatory diet + extra veggies.
I started on this 100% on 4/20... Before, I was 90% on the diet - it isn't far from how I ate normally... but if you walked in with a pizza before 4/20/11 and offered me a slice, I'd have one. Today - no thanks.
For me, the hardest things to totally give up were pizza, bacon, and cheese. Pretty much everything else was EZ; I don't have a sweet tooth. In the old days, I'd eat sweets occasionally but I never crave them.
My wonderful wife Janelle is on board with the diet (she ought to be; she found it and directed me to it!) and the food prep - out of necessity; I can't do it.
VVV new stuff VVV
Still sticking 98% (see below ) to the diet as defined above.
* On 1/23, after 6 days of being unable to stand, I did a 30 sec today - not great, but > 0. We were passing a cold bug around the family, and my insides weren't quite happy...
* 1/25, feel strong today. Stands 75/20, then 1 hr later, 55. 1st day ever with 2 stands over 50.
* We just realized I'm making a mistake with the diet... I go into the local hospice for 5 days per month of respite care & while I'm there there's a small menu I select my meals from... well, one of the things they offer is "gluten-free bread" & in my head I went right from "gluten-free" to "it's OK on this diet" - without stopping to think that the bread contains other things I'm avoiding like yeast and sugar... I've had 2 pieces a day for each of my 5-day respite stays; a small mistake, but I can no longer claim 100% adherence to this diet. Dissappointing.
But it is still true that for 10 monthes I've had zero gluten/dairy/legumes/red meat/processed food.
Nonetheless, this resets our "Wahls clock" to 0 every time (& I just got back). Neither of us wants to start the clock over - Janelle does a lot of work in keeping me on the diet, so at this point, the Wahls experiment is over, tho I'll certainly continue eating healthy.
I'll continue with no gluten/no dairy/low sugar & we'll see what happens next. I have more experiments to try... and I wasn't going gluten-free before.
* Just for fun, I had my cholesterol tested. Total non-fasting cholesterol: 100. Nice! I knew it would be a good score; I was in the 140s *before* starting this diet; I wanted to see how low it had dropped. Is it so wrong to get a test for smack-talking purposes?
* An observtion: When you're able-bodied, you take it for granted. When you're not, you think of little else!