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SELF CARE Tips from Dr. Wahls herself…

In my recent podcast interview with Dr. Wahls, the Wi-Fi connection was very poor and spotty …so I asked her to write out her answers to my questions.

Here you go… let me know your questions, comments and thoughts.

1. What are the key parts of the dietary and lifestyle plan you are using in your clinics?

 modifed paleo  (wahls paleo); eliminate gluten, casein, eggs ; stress more vegetables (3 cups leafy greens, 3 cups sulfur rich (cabbage family, onion family,  mushroom family; 3 cups deeply colored (e.g. beets, carrots, berries) ; protein 6-12 ounces meat (legumes and gluten free grains if vegetarian), organ meat, fermented vegetables  ( e.g. sauerkraut) 

2. You have a new book coming out. The revision of the Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles (paperback). Can you tell us what is new in this revision?

more details about histamines, oxalates, fodmaps; who needs the eliminatiion diet; more variations on ketogenic eating; more on neurodegenation, neurorehabilitation; supplement chapter has been updated; more on the sciecne of behavior change and growing out motivation to do the work 

Reduce your sources of External and Internal CHRONIC Stress now with my SELF CARE protocols

3. What are three things that our listeners could do right now?

eliminate / reduce added sugar, white flour and flour-based foods; replace with vegetables; eat more greens, add sauerkraut or kimchi to the diet 

4. Can you talk to us about fasting and ketogenic diet?

our ancestors were regularly in ketosis on the basis of the endurance exercise required to hunt/ gather our foods — then we  prepared food – and had several days in the rested and fed state; and then were back to hunting and gathering … which depleted glycogen and put us in ketosis;  we would also be in ketosis on the basis  no food due to drought, famine, war; or winter. If the hunt was good we had  meat/ if the hunt  was not good – we survived on our stored fat;  in the last 100 years we have been using ketogenic eating to treat epilepsy; now also studied for other neurologic, psych diseases, insulin resistance and cancer;  No societies have existed that are in ketosis all of their lives however 

5. Take us through a typical day of what we should be doing now for SELF CARE with the CV-19 pandemic

make sure you hve good sleep = 7 to 9 hours; stress reducing  practice – gratitude journal, prayer, meditation, mindfulness, epsom salts bath, self massage, etc;  eliminate sugar / added sugars/  would not do ketogenic eating or high endurance sports that would likely get you into ketosis (e.g. marathon, 2 to 3 hour + training) as those generate more inflammation and may increase risk of cytokine storm; instead gentle to moderate exercise; diet – switch to low glycemic index, non starchy vegetables; cook food (think about cholera risk in a developing country), sauerkraut (the fermentation makes it acidic and reduces risk of virus),  deeply pigmented (beets), onions, garlic, cabbage family vegetables, protein source 

6. What other lifestyle habits could we be implementing now using your suggested diet and lifestyle changes

as above 

7. How would this impact longevity and aging?   And CV-19

these strategies are associated with lengthening the telomeres, biologic youthening of the cells.  Youthening of the person.  We see people looking and feeling younger the longer that  they are on the protocol. Blood pressure is better, blood sugar is better, mood is better, love life is better. 

8. The microbiome is an exciting area of research. How does your program impact the microbiome – and CV19?

microbiome speaks to our immune cells.  sugar / simple starches feed the wrong  bacteria in the gut, and increase inflammation. 

wahls diet plans all have more fiber and soluble fiber that feed health promoting bacteria which are associated with  improved immune function.  This will help lower the NFKappaB levels to  normal .. which decreased the probability of the cytokine storm.   IF the person has an over activated NFKappaB from  sugar rich white flour rich diet; not enough sleep, excessive stress hormone level.. then the NFKappaB is more likely too activated, signficantly increasing the risk of COVID 19  infection causing  cytokine storm, pneumonia, and need for hospital care. 

9. How do get children and your family on board with diet / lifestyle changes- and what could families be doing to stay healthy and resilient with CV-19?

Embrace the changes yourself, do these changes as a family; remove the foods from eating environment that you wish to eliminate – plan meals together, cook together, get the whole family involved in   preparing meals/ cleaning up, add gratitude practice, mindful practice as a family and talk about why you are doing things/ united front as the adults will greatly assist 

10. Discuss inflammation and mitochondrial function… and how important is this with CV-19?

mitochondria  will covert the food energy to the chemical energy that is needed by the cell to run the chemistry of life. During an infection, the immune cells are very active, making compounds to fight the virus. It is enrgy intensive, mineral intensive, nutrient intensive to be able to respond quickly.  This is where good nutrition is so helpful. Self care is helpful to keep the stress hormones and NFKaappa B pathways functioning appropriately 

11. How do you make this more affordable for all? 

key is learning how to cook using ingredients,  vegetables, meats (or legumes/ gluten free grains)  and avoid processed foods.  we ran cooking classes to teach people how to cook, meal  plan,shop, prepare menus. these basic skills make all the difference in the world. 

Learn all that you can about cytokine storm, seeing new patients and more…from Dr. Wahls herself.

As everyone in the world seems to be working at home (ideally) and using the internet, as well as ZOOM, we sadly had a poor connection on ZOOM video conference call.  Dr. Wahls shared tons of valuable information that Debbie recorded in the intro as she was cut in/out throughout the entire call (sadly).  We apologize about the quality of recording but it was 7pm in her time zone- when everyone must have been using the WiFi!

You can learn more from Dr. Wahls website and social media blog posts:  

Dr. Terry Wahls is a clinical professor at the University of Iowa where she conducts clinical trials testing the efficacy of therapeutic lifestyle to treat multiple sclerosis related symptoms. In addition, she is the author of The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine and the cookbook The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life: The Revolutionary Modern Paleo Plan to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions.          

The new information scientists are learning and publishing each day is constantly changing how integrative/functional/conventional medical practitioners administer patient care.

Information is vital for you—but it has never been harder for the public to access it.

Here are the key points about cytokine storm in the C OVID -19 pandemic that I want you to know.

When our immune cells are working to kill the virus, the virus activates the NLRP3 inflammasome.

If NFKappaB has been excessively activated, the immune cells will then initiate excessive release of inflammation producing cytokines.

This leads to a cytokine storm and a massive of fluid into the lungs.

This is why people with C OVID-19 may develop worsening shortness of breath, chest pain, air hunger and steadily declining oxygen.

This is when people present to the emergency room with difficulty breathing, needing oxygen and sometimes ventilator support.

What can we do to reduce the risk of NLRP3 inflammasomes activation and excessive NFKappaB?

The literature I am reading is circling around this question.

I actually discuss this in the revised Wahls Protocol® on page 189 and again starting on page 343. Diet and lifestyle choices are key.

Targeted supplements may be additionally helpful.

There are of conventional experimental drugs that are being tried in our intensive care units all around the world. Even so, once you are on the ventilator, only 17% have survived.

There has never been a more critical time for self-care with excellent nutrition, sleep, stress reduction and good sleep.

If you have not picked the revised and expanded, The Wahls Protocol A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles—now is the time.

In response to the COV ID- 19 pandemic, I have made some changes to my annual seminar:

First, I am holding the price at $1097 through the end of April.

Second, If you are attending the Wahls Protocol® Seminar,
I am adding a weekly Wahls Protocol® Seminar Family Support call on Sunday afternoons.

This first call this Sunday will be devoted to CO VID 19 through what I am learning each day from a conventional, integrative and functional medicine approach and answering attendee questions.

Each week I will go through COVID 19 related updates, and how I am addressing prevention, risk reduction and will share the current thinking from the functional/integrative medicine COVID 19 working group I am part of.

As I learn new information I have been revising my thinking and recommendations for diet, lifestyle and supplement choices for managing autoimmune and other chronic health problems.

To join the Wahls Protocol® Seminar Family and to be a part of this weekly update, visit to sign up.

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Debbie Potts

Health Coach, Author, Speaker & Podcaster

Host of The Low Carb Athlete Podcast

The WHOLESTIC Method Coaching Program



Head to my blog page for follow up notes on Dr. Wahls podcast questions since our reception was poor!  

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