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Dr. Terry Wahls of The Wahls Protocol® puts us on her healing journey

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

We have Dr. Terry Wahls, who I’m also very excited to talk to you because I had the pleasure to meet Dr. Wahls a few years ago when I was making a movie about some aspects of biohacking.

Dr. Terry Wahls is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa where she conducts clinical trials. 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: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine, The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles (paperback), and the cookbook The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life: The Revolutionary Modern Paleo Plan to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions.

She shares her protocol with Sarah and Russ as they attempt to join the movement!

So, hello doctor Wahls, so lovely to have you on again. And it’s great to have you on at this time. You know, we’ve just come out of it well. We’re coming out of this crazy a pandemic. I’m interested to hear your take on it and also how you’ve been doing and I’ve seen online you have some fantastic courses. So very welcome to the podcast, Dr. Wahls.

Terry Wahls: Oh, thank you so much for having me.

Sarah: Do you want to just give a bit of your backstory for people who don’t know it?

Terry Wahls: So, let me take you back 20 years ago, my neurologist says,

Terry, this could be bad or really, really bad.

Now at that time, I’m thinking about my 20 years of relentlessly worsening trigeminal neuralgia and I’m praying fatal as opposed to disabling. In three years, I’m in a tilt recline wheelchair. I take no Ventolin infusions, then Tysabri infusions, nothing helps, I’m too weak to sit up at my desk. My face pain turns on my 10-year-old daughter hugs me as tears streamed down my face. But I’m a doc. So I go to PubMed and I start reading the basic science and I begin experiments on myself. And the speed of my decline slows. I discover electrical stimulation of muscles ask my physical therapist can I try that? He lets me try, hurts like hell. But what I’ve done, I feel great and I began doing E stem to as much pain as I can tolerate. My physicians, all of them say functions once lost will not come back because I have secondary progressive MS. I add meditation, I redesigned my Paleo Diet based on all the science I have been studying. Three months later, I sit at my desk my zingers, the trigeminal neuralgia. It’s gone. Six months later, I walk without a cane. And then for the first time in six years with my son Zach, jogging alongside in the left, my daughter, Zeb on the right, I’m on my bike, biking, and then I bike 18.5 miles with my family. That changes how I think about disease and health, the way I practice medicine, and the focus of my research. And 10 years later, I received the Linus Pauling Award for my groundbreaking clinical research in patient care protocols. So I am changing the face of medicine.

And I’ve been committed to teaching other clinicians and the public how to use diet and lifestyle to change the trajectory of their healing journeys.

Sarah: Yeah, so let’s be clear. I mean, the diagnosis you were given was one of degeneration. It was degeneration without the hope of getting better but maybe, stabilizing.

Terry Wahls: So originally diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS, but within three years, I’ve converted to secondary progressive MS.

My physicians are all very clear, functions once lost will not return

I was very aggressive with all of the treatments that I could take. But I’d had basically 27 years of relentless decline. 20 years of relentless decline due to trigeminal neuralgia, and seven years of relentless decline due to progressive MS.

Sarah: And you were a doctor at the time. So I suppose this diagnosis was all the more frightening because you knew the diagnosis yourself?

Terry Wahls: Yeah, it was pretty scary. MS is very scary. Yeah, it actually, my wife said to me, “Terry, you got to stop reading, because all it’s doing is getting you so upset. So I went for three years without reading any science, IMS. But once I hit the wheelchair, like, “Well, screw that I know how bad it’s going to be. It’s terrible. I’m going back to reading the science.” And that’s when, you know, I began experimenting.

And I was really grateful, because I could slow my decline

although I was still declining. But at least I was doing something. But that’s when I began to turn things around.

Sarah: Yeah, I think that’s the most amazing part of your story is that you took something which is by orthodox textbooks something that is meant to be degenerating, and you’re actually now getting better.

Terry Wahls: Absolutely. And then most importantly, my chair of medicine at the time said, Terry, what you’ve done is remarkable. We need you to do a safety study, feasibility study, and test us and others. Could other people do this, and what happens?” So we did that back in 2010. We had 20, folks with secondary and primary progressive MS. Who implemented my complicated protocol? So what was remarkable that they could do this, because these people were severely disabled, exhausted. And they did. And we had remarkable improvements in energy, in quality of life, in mental clarity, and in mood, in verbal reasoning, and half of them had clinically meaningful improvement in motor function. So then we started doing ... So that was just breathtakingly exciting. Then we started doing some small pilot studies, again, that were all consistently positive, then the next study that we did, was funded by the MS Society. And that compared the Swank diet, a low fat diet to the Wahls diet. Very exciting results, which we have written up and the manuscript is under review. So hopefully, in the very near future, that will be out for print. And then we have a couple more studies underway. And we are writing IRB protocols for two more studies. So we have a very active and exciting lab. And I have to meditate a lot at night in order to fall asleep, because I so love our work. I love our mission. That particular one, we’re starting a new study. It’s very exciting.

Sarah: Yeah, it is. Because I mean, to do one of these things, we’ve interviewed a lot of people who are doing a lot of things, but most people, are there any equals one, if you like most people are that their own experiment, and it works for them. But to actually see if it’s repeatable and reproducible, that’s the next phase.

Terry Wahls: That is the key. So the end of one very important and I want people to write that up, get it published in a peer review literature, then can you repeat it in someone else. That’s a case series. So that’s what we did, then you got the case series published, then the next thing is, can other people do it prospectively? That’s the little single arm prospective study. We did that. That’s very exciting. Then the next thing is small, randomized pilot study, controlled, we did that very exciting. Then the next thing is a larger randomized study, we did that. And so then we keep adding more interesting studies. But if we’re going to change the standard of care, you have to do clinical research. And single observations, very exciting. very innovative, very interesting, but nowhere near as important as prospective trials. And done by people who are willing to take the time to write it up and publish it.

Sarah: Yeah. And who know exactly the process and how to do it. That’s another thing. It’s a lot of work.

Terry Wahls: It is a lot of work.

Sarah: And I think you’d better tell us, you know a bit about your protocol, because I’m sure that’s why we’re all going to be wanting to know, Russ and I have been certainly doing a part of the diet.

Terry Wahls: So I’m going to sort of break this down. If we want to improve our health, we’re going to have to think about our wellness, our self-care routine.

So that probably means growing some helpful habits and extinguishing some not so helpful habits.

In my clinical studies, we ask people, why do you want to do this? What do you want your health for? What is going to inspire you to do the work when it’s sort of tough. So having that inner purpose, that inner drive that mission statement, what I want my health for that sort of step number one, then if we’re going to focus on the diet, and what your audience know, this is far, far more than just a diet. But what we’ll start with cleaning up your diet. The westernized diet full of sugar, full of added sugars, full of simple carbohydrates, full of processed foods. That might be keto friendly, or paleo friendly, or paleo approved, that still have a lot of emulsifiers and stabilizers in them food like compounds, that are feeding the wrong microbes in your gut, that are driving inflammation. So step number one, that is uniformly very helpful.

Get rid of the added sugars, reduce or eliminate the processed foods, and learn how to cook.

Start with a few recipes that you enjoy cook using ingredients, preferably a lot of non-starchy vegetables in your protein source. Now, I prefer a paleo diet. However, I do recognize that there are people who are vegetarian or vegan for deeply held spiritual beliefs. And I’m not going to ask them to abandon their spiritual beliefs. So, we’ll work with them on how to structure their diet, given their spiritual practices. So, sufficient protein, non-starchy vegetables, preferably lots of greens, lots of sulfur rich vegetables in the cabbage family, onion family, mushroom family, in deeply pigmented vegetables and berries, beets, carrots, berries, for example. That’s a hallmark. Now, in addition, because many people pick if you have an autoimmune problem, or cardiovascular disease, or frankly, insulin resistance, you may have unrecognized gluten sensitivity. That’s a protein wheat, rye, barley. If you have gluten sensitivity, because of the amino acid sequence being similar, you’ll likely also have casein sensitivity. And, therefore, are sensitive to both gluten and dairy. So I ask people to remove those foods meticulously, carefully from your diet, which will mean

reading ingredient labels, for your supplements, for your medications, for your personal care products, for the food that you eat

And I suggest making these changes as an experiment. So, you can decide and do this as a family or just you yourself that way to do this for a defined period. In appearance in my clinical practice, I’ll ask you to do it for at least three months, preferably six. If you’re in my clinical practice at the VA, I would invite you to that conversation. And you might say, “Hell no, I can’t do three months.” And so I would kind of like, “Okay, so tell me, how long could you do the experiment if you get to set when you start and when you end?” And they might come back to, “Well, I could do it for a month”, okay, that’s fine, we’ll do the experiment for a month. Or they may come back and say, “I could do it for two weeks.” Okay, we’ll do the experiment for two weeks. So two weeks, you follow the diet, and you want to if you’re going to do the experiment, you want to be a good scientist. So actually do the experiment. So pick a time when you could take the foods you don’t want to eat out of your house, you have to see them. Eat just the foods that you’ve identified, you’re going to be consuming. And you do that now for two weeks. And then assess your symptoms that were troublesome to you. And maybe it’s mental health. Maybe it’s physical health. Maybe, it’s a combination of both and feel like okay, things are improved. They’re not improved, they’re worse.

Terry Wahls: I’m going to go back to what I was eating before. And I’ll tell you in my clinical practice at the VA, time and time again, you might that’s what Yeah, I’d come back and report in on the experiment that’s, “You know, doc I was convinced that diet didn’t do a damn thing for me. But then when I went back the way I used to eat, oh, my God, I felt terrible. I’m doing your diet, because I do, in fact, feel a whole lot better.”

Sarah: And yeah, they get the comparison.

Terry Wahls: The person has to be ready to do the experiment. They need to be ready to be a good scientist say like,

“You know what, I want to try this, I want to try this intervention. And I’m not going to actually do it.”

And there’s a big difference between doing an experiment and doing it half-assed. If you only sort of do the experiment, well, you only get sort of crappy results, you won’t know if your intervention made any difference. And people seem to understand that when I have that conversation, like, I understand that life is busy, it’s happening, that this may not be the time you could do your experiment. Maybe because you’ve got big stressors at work, or your child is going through their major health crisis, or you’re helping your spouse deal with their cancer. So no, this is not the time for you to take this up. But when it is time to take it on, you actually do the experiment, and you do it with intention, with fidelity, as carefully as you can run that experiment.

Sarah: Yeah, but they have to have the energy, sometimes.

Terry Wahls: They need to have the energy, they may have to make some improvements, now. It’s true.

My preference is you start with diet. But if that’s not where the person’s at, but they’re ready to add meditation and exercise

and their health improves enough, then they may be in a better place to say, you know what, I am ready to begin addressing these dietary changes.

Russ: There’s a lot that we’ve talked about around the quantified self. And as people become sort of citizen scientists and citizen doctors and bio hackers, they get to a point where they are obsessive about measurement. If you were to tell someone the three or four most important things to measure to track this on their own, what do you leave them with? Like, what are the things ...?

Terry Wahls: Sleep and movement. Sleep and movement. Those are the two that I’m most interested in. If you’re not sleeping, it is incredibly inflammatory. If you are not moving, it is incredibly inflammatory.

Sarah: Do you look at the stages of sleep? I mean, I have a thing that looks at deep sleep. REM sleep. That’s quite a revelation actually because I thought I was a good sleeper, but actually, I realized I was not getting that much deep sleep although like I can be sleeping [unclear 24:14]

Terry Wahls: I got three hours last night.

Sarah: Of deep sleep?

Terry Wahls: Yeah. I don’t get three hours of sleep every night but like that, so I woke up this morning felt really, really great. I had an hour and a half REM, and just over three hours of sleep.

And one of my tips for really ramping up your sleep is cold therapy, cold showers in the morning, a cold shower in the evening or a cold bath or an ice bath.

That can be really very, very helpful. I would also add and what I like to do, if I’m taking my cold bath or ice bath, is to read in the bathtub for 20 minutes, and then I stop, and I do a meditation. And then I get out, get into my bed. And I like doing a gratitude meditation. So, the meditation, I like to visualize a period in my life. And I might start my earliest memories in perhaps before my memories, visualizing my parents caring for me as an infant. And then I go through my childhood, in the various things that my mom and my dad did for me, I’m thanking them because as a child, you’re often not thankful enough for all the wonderful things that your parents do for you, you’re being sort of a bratty kid or a bratty obnoxious teenager, and you’re not grateful. So this is my opportunity to thank my mom and dad, for all the wonderful things that they’ve done. Or I might do this during college or during my early professional career, or my current professional career. And that act of gratitude is a profoundly anti-inflammatory, calming strategy. I love to do that, as part of my unwinding, and preparing for sleep.

🚨7 Day Challenge🚨

Russ: We won’t bring up why to get vaccinated. But that’s a different topic for a different day. But it’s incredibly insightful, and you’re an incredible human being Sarah, every week, brings her friends on and I get to meet some of the most incredible people out there. One of the things that Sarah and I like to do is we do a seven-day challenge. With some of it, we can do some of it, we can’t, because the two of us are not in the same room or in the same country. But there are things that we can do, we’ve done the practice, the gratitude practicing and the gratitude journaling. We’ve done our sleep, we’ve done keto, what would be something that you would leave with us, that might be a challenge to get us started on the wahls Protocol.

Terry Wahls: I would have a seven-day challenge to have three cups of greens every day, incredibly helpful in healing. And I’d want you to rotate those greens. So you might have a rubella or parsley or spinach, kale. And so that’s one challenge than the other challenge. This will be a little for your more advanced listeners. So my advice is 200 different plant species in a year. So let’s see if we can get up to 50 in a week. 50 different plant species in a week. And you can do that. With teas with spice. No, no, I want you to do with teas and spices and herbs, you should probably get the 75 without breaking a sweat.

Russ: Does coffee count?

Terry Wahls: Yes, coffee would count. So, if you do coffee and green tea, now you’re up to two. So 75 should be an absolute breeze. I can do 200 within a month. So 75 should be a breeze, it’ll take some concentration, you have to pay attention to that. For those of you who are very early in your health journey, three cups of greens every day, that’s a lovely place to start. But if you’re more advanced, go for 75. If you’re a high achiever 200 by the end of the month.

Sarah: Hey, well Challenge accepted. I’ve actually landed in in a kind of the ethnic area of The Hague. And there’s all kinds of things here that I don’t usually get where I am in England. So I’m hoping I can introduce some different things. I’ll get photographic evidence. So we’ll see. But thank you, thank you again for coming. And we will definitely, I’m glad we can be a small piece in promoting what you’re doing.

Terry Wahls: Can I put a pitch out for your audience who wants to visit my website, if you want a one-page handout, forward slash diet. That’s the overview in we have all sorts of courses for the lay person and courses for the clinician who wants to learn how to use these principles in your practice.

Sarah: We also do a blog that goes with it. So we’ll make sure that we include all of your links and everything in that.

Terry Wahls: Okay, marvelous. Do share that with us so that we can share it as well.

Russ: Absolutely. And its Terry, T-E-R-R-Y W-A-H-L-S. Perfect. All right, thank you so much. We are very grateful. And we will take this on, I’m going to go bury my hands in the dirt outside and start growing.

Terry Wahls: So I want to know, are you guys going for the low? The three cups of greens the medium 75 or you high achievers, you’re going for 200 by the end of the month?

Sarah: Yeah, I think I’m going to go for the 200 because like I say, I’m in a part of the world now where there’s just a lot of different things going on here. So I think I can get up there. And I think I didn’t beat the weights good.

Russ: Yes. Sarah, I’ll beat you. I already do the greens. I’ve already challenged and taken on number one, I’m going to go with try 75 that’s going to be a challenge for me because I have my wife and my daughter are picky eaters. So I have to encourage them to do this as well. So if I can do that, then 200.

Terry Wahls: This is a great family activity. And we encourage that as a family activity to pick out what is the goal for how many different plants in the week in the month? It gets kids far more excited about eating new foods. And then the other thing that happens if you have multiple siblings. Then you have sibling competition. Like, “I did 12 new foods this week. Well, I’m going to do 14.” So that accelerate.

Sarah: I haven’t been going up.

Russ: We’ll do it on slack. I’m going to just take pictures and put it on slack so you can see it.

Terry Wahls: Yeah, that’ll be marvelous.

Russ: Yeah, we are grateful. Thank you so much. And where are you located?

Terry Wahls: I was in the Iowa. So that’s the middle of the US about three hours from Chicago.

Russ: Wonderful! Well, thank you so much. And we are grateful.

Sarah: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Terry Wahls: You’re very welcome. Bye.

Russ: Sarah, I really loved Dr. wahls. She was great.

Sarah: Yeah, I know you’d like her. She’s brilliant. I think she’s just fantastic. And I’m so glad that we can do our small part in promoting the work that she’s doing.

Russ: She, now we didn’t talk too much about it. But the debilitative degenerative disease, she has MS. Correct? Yep. Yes, yeah. And she misses several years ago, she was diagnosed. I mean, she looked fabulous.

Sarah: I think this is 15 years ago. So, she’s gone from having this diagnosis to and being in a wheelchair and thinking really, that’s it. And she’s she, she’s a doctor, so she knows what’s going on. So she’s kind of thinking, how can she say goodbye to her kids and leave on a high, so she wants to kind of model for them, “Okay, this is how you deal with something, you just give it everything.” And then learn to hold, she gets better and starts this whole protocol teaching. She actually educates doctors, which is another reason why she’s so fantastic. Because really, she’s back in the battle from the inside.

Russ: We talked a little bit about last week, our Reiki friend about the power of the mind to like, I think about Diana, I think about Abel, I think about all of the people we talk to, it is a combination of understand thyself, quantify the body, so you know it taking care of your mind and what you put into your body and what you put into your brain. But there’s also this part of it too, of really changing the way you think, and changing the approach. that you have.

Sarah: Yeah, mindset. Isn’t that funny, out of all of the people that we spoke to that’s really come out, you really see, I mean, I know Diana was one, that you really took to and I know that she’s definitely has that mindset, but all of our guests really have been very holistic in their approach.

Russ: Totally, absolutely. And she really made an impact on me. And I think I did buy her book, I now have Abel’s book, her book, I have everyone’s book. And I think the fascinating part of the diet shift is that it’s progressive. We talked about Eugene, where like, you’ve got to be in the right physical set to do some of the more extreme things. But hers is progressive, like you work your way to it. And so even in her challenge she gave us it’s like, don’t do all 200 different plants, if you can, great. But try 50, try 75.

Sarah: She’s all about success. She’s all about finding ways to make people succeed. Some of our other guests are kind of like, while I’m doing this, you can take it or leave it. Because there is that individuality. But certainly, Terry Wahls, she’s the doctor, she’s going to find workarounds. And if she can only get you to eat one more cup of green, she would take that.

Russ: Yeah. But she talked a lot about that. She talked a lot about like, knowing your patient, right? This isn’t like by the book and just go and if you do exactly what I say, no, it has to be right for you, which is, you know, getting into this customized piece of it is in really interesting part of biohacking and we’re getting to a place now with technology and understanding your aura ring and devices that obviously you work on every day are all about creating these, the ability for you to measure yourself. So you know.

Sarah: Yes, individual responsibility, but then we have all these wonderful people that either kind of are modeling the behavior, or even a bit of hand holding, in the case of Terry Wahls, so there’s something for everyone, wherever you’re at, you can make either a massive change and do it all at once and be a full on biohacker or you can do it stepwise. Whatever works for you really, it’s just constantly thinking, Okay, I’m going to be Better than I was yesterday, for example, you don’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. You don’t have to be totally like Eugene super fit doing yoga every day, you can just be better than you were yesterday.

Russ: That’s all it is. And I think you and I are great examples. We talked about this last episode of if you saw us, a year ago, we started the Rebel Scientists Podcast and today mentally we’re better. Even we were mentally drained in quarantine both of us, right?

Sarah: Yeah. And even though I’ve done a lot of this work, I have done a lot of research, but to actually do it and put it in practice and do these weekly challenges. It makes a difference.

Russ: It does. So, I, we were talking about the things we’re doing and the things were eating. Let’s talk about some of the crazy plant species that you’re putting into your body because she said, 50 to 70 of them. I’m close. I have some stuff, mine aren’t as crazy, you probably have crazy things that you eat.

Sarah: Well, I’m feeling a little bit smug about this week’s change because I do eat a huge variety of all kinds of crazy stuff. I mean, I’m here in The Hague right now. And so I kind of have not got my usual resources. But I have found all kinds of things. Like for example, I’m here in the more ethnic area of The Hague. So I now have access to a whole plethora of mainly Turkish shops. So I’ve been I mean, to be honest, a lot of things I don’t even think I know the names of them, because I’ve just been going along and just gathering up if I see a load of green herbs, I just take one of each thing. And also they have an excellent oriental shop here. To get my numbers up, I’ve been doing all different kinds of seaweed, because I think that you know, it counts all the different seaweed. So I’ve had the nori ones, I’ve had the ones with [unclear 42:03] I’ve had the ones in a little shaker also went out yesterday into Amsterdam, and had all kinds of crazy Dutch delicacy there. I even had raw suds herring. I had raw eel. I had salmon, I had at least three or four other kinds of fish. So already, I’m high up on the fish species. So yeah, with the seaweed, the herbs and the fish. On top of everything else I usually do because I usually do the vegetable thing. To be honest, I had a head start because I met Terry, however long ago, it was five or six years ago, and she already had me on eating chia seeds and sunflower seeds. So I already have a big mixed pot of seeds that I have. I’m just looking here, I’ve got all my different powders and things that I’ve collected all kinds of different nuts. So yes, I definitely think I’m going to, I think the weirdest thing I bet this week is a raw herring bones and all straight down.

Russ: I think I saw that picture. I think that you put that picture. Yeah, I think I saw that picture.

Sarah: [unclear 43:12] because that was not easy,

Russ: Though. No, we were a family went to Amsterdam a few years ago. And we tried to do it all my kids were like, “No way not doing it.” I was like, “This is delicious.” I’m a marketer here. So I’m nuts for nuts. I got to be careful. I say that too. But there’s like, I have because I’ve been doing since the RDN episode, I’ve been really keynoting and I find that that they’re just for me, it’s like where I used to be using it, nuts as like things I would garnish buy things my salad with right now. It’s like it’s that’s my snack. I got not eating any crisps or chips. I’m eating almonds and I’m eating and I’m eating the low sodium ones. Like, I mean, the ones that aren’t like loaded with salt and flavorings and peanuts and things like that as well.

Sarah: Yeah, and you can make all kinds of porridges out of nuts and seeds. So this morning I had porridge with hemp parts they called so that’s the part of the hemp plant. Also, flax seeds and linseeds and poppy seeds and the chia seeds because they’re the ones that swell up and kind of make it into a meal, but then ground hazelnut and what was the other ground one? I think actually it was ground cashew nut.

Russ: Are you making your own? Are you just buying grounded and putting it?

Sarah: You can buy ground in a bag like flour. Yeah, I mean, you can get armor flour which people use for cakes but here I found hazelnut and cashew nut flour. So these are all ways that one you can get your species up you’re doing the challenge but two you can make something like porridge which was something I was missing. Because when you’re on the keto, oats are a bit of a no, no. So, these are all ways you can do that and just add a lot of nutrition. Because I think that’s really Terry’s point why she got us to do this challenge is because she wants you to eat a rainbow of things. So she doesn’t want you to just eat green cabbage. She wants you to go for a range of species. So you have the purple wild and you have the bock choy, you have the rainbow chard, you have all the different ones because in each of those different plants, there are different phytonutrients.

Russ: [unclear 45:35] Deep pigment vege vegetables, which is like beetroots and carrots.

Sarah: Yeah, anything with a dark pigment, because that’s where the phytonutrients are. But also, interestingly, if you can get something that’s raw or wild that also has more of those nutrients in things like dandelion leaves. I’ve got dandelion leaves here. And you could probably, they probably in your garden Russ. I mean, you’re there in sunshine, you could probably go and night carpets. The wild ones are more usually have more nutrients in because you’re getting it straight from the soil, and also the way they’ve been raised. They’re having to deal of insects and things more. And so they have more of this kind of stuff in it. Whereas if you have something that’s in a greenhouse, the plant doesn’t have to produce as many chemicals.

Russ: Again, fascinating friends of Sarah Turner.

Sarah: She was brilliant. I mean, I can’t claim her entirely as my friend, but she’s definitely someone who I admire and I’m glad to be connected to.

Russ: So, me as well. I’m finding gut health to be like I focused, and I talked about the last since 2016. I focused on brain in mind and keeping myself healthy there. And now, I think taking care of my gut is what I’ve learned from Sarah Turner. It’s so important.

Sarah: It’s so connected, I think probably they’re going to find in the future that it’s such an overlooked area, and it’s going to be where they look for most. I mean, they already say that Parkinson’s starts in the gut. What else does you know?

Russ: Yeah, that’s right. Well, I did jokingly say, just coffee and tea count. She said, ‘Yes.’ But I wonder how she feels about wine and alcohol. I didn’t talk about that. I mean, I’m wondering what her stances on with the Wahls protocol with alcohol?

Sarah: Well, Id o not because, I mean, if you have a little bit of red wine, I mean, there are a lot of nutrients in grape skins. And some people do say, one glass, small glass of red wine every now and then. Certainly add to that nutrition. Not a whole bottle. No, I don’t think she’d be big on a whole bottle of Tequila or Margarita is but I think possibly, it’s more glass of red wine.

Russ: Well, again, it’s a deep pigment. That’s a fruit. White wine. Not white wine. I love it. Thank you so much again. And we’ll have all of Dr. Wahls’ information up on our blog with her book and all that fun stuff, too.

Sarah: Yes, we certainly will. Yes. Take care, Russ. I look forward to next week.


Rebel scientists podcast is the Breaking the Grey production. It created by Russ Eisenman and Paul wood; hosted by Sarah Turner; music and sound editing by Logan Shea. For more information and other fantastic podcasts, visit


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