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Fooled Again

I think I will just try my best at eating right but not get on a specific diet.

I just recently came down off my whole diet kick since my Miracle Diets post. My newfound nutritional regime lasted all of twelve days! The routine just wasn’t very practical for my lifestyle or energy levels. Then on top of that I attended a Brain Fair that fell under the conventional medical paradigm. This means they were pushing exactly the opposite of what I was trying to do. Which was to fight M.S. with nutrition instead of medication. Well, I guess you know the doctors said at best, “It can’t hurt!”

The doctor’s opinions kind of rained on my parade but I know they wouldn’t be expected to say much else. It doesn’t matter because for me the Wahls diet turned out to be a bust. It’s fundamentally based on eliminating carbohydrates and dairy, while eating a plethora of organic fruits and vegetables. Though this particular diet may have boosted the immune system of many of its followers I had to painfully let go of that dream. It hurt so much because for a minute it had shed a little hope on my situation and I was excited. I thought I had found the next best thing to a cure!

I’m not blaming the diet for this but I haven’t been feeling too fit this week. It’s probably due to my subsequent depression (Funk). Well, that plus the fact that I have a bladder infection also known as your common UTI (urinary tract infection). I’ve talked before about how they negatively affect me. So excuse me if I lack luster.

When I first learned about the Wahls diet and heard Dr. Terry Wahls’ story I felt empowered and full of hope. I actually went to Whole Foods and spent a crazy amount of money on a refrigerator full of foods that I may not even eat, but that’s the way I normally do things. I get all excited and jump in head first without considering much else.

At least this time nobody got hurt! That is, except my pocket.

102 thoughts on “Fooled Again”
  1. Angie 19 August, 2016on1:16 AM Reply

    Hi Nicole, I really like your blog! I hope you are doing well these days. Thank you for all of the effort you’ve put in to making this such a cool, inspirational read.

    I have so much to say on this topic that I will try insanely hard not to ramble! Normally I lurk and do not post–mostly bc my fingers joints are too sore to type much–more on this later. But I was truly inspired by your post on “love despite MS” and so many of the comments on the other posts.

    I have been trying to follow the Wahls diet since I read her first book, “Minding My Mitochondria” in 2011. I have been declining slowly since then, but I like to think that I may have possibly pumped the breaks on what may have been a rapid decline–who knows, right?!

    I wasn’t a strict adherent until very recently, when I came across a few studies from Europe that suggested I may have missed the most important parts of the diet — eating offal and totally clearing out my gut, nose/throat/ears, and vaginal area of bad bacteria. SO, I’ve purchased several different probiotic strains to help accomplish this and have completely given up sugar, which it feeds upon. It wasn’t incredibly inconceivable, since I have been weaning myself for the last four years–talk about a hard-head! I just LOVE Pepsi, but apparently so does bad bacteria

    Over the last few years since I began the diet, I have noticed improvements which I can only attribute to dietary changes– since I opted out of taking anymore of my prescribed meds: neurontin, baclofen, etc., and any MS injections/iv meds in 2013.

    I used to have terrible neck pain almost every day since 2007, migraines and nausea. I am healed of these symptoms, and I am grateful! I have to take adderall to combat fatigue still, but it’s ok…baby steps ;0) Until recently, I had sharp pains in the first few joints of my hands, but that also is almost completely gone.

    I invested in a BioNESS 300 in 2011 when I first understood that my drop foot was making me trip and fall more often, and I was worried about really getting injured. I’m glad I did, because it’s the only thing keeping me ambulatory…even though my fatigue and heat sensitivity have worsened to the point that I can’t walk for long, maybe 10-20 minutes depending on the heat. My back is sore all of the time because I use it (and my neck muscles) to walk, since both my legs tire quickly, especially the left.

    My point is that I sort of picked and chose what I was going to follow from that diet because of physical limitations — it’s a lot of work to make all of that food! But, I’m really curious to see if eating offal at least once a week, smoothies every morning with the rest of those veggies inside, and gut-healing probiotics will push me the rest of the way. I think without the dietary changes I’ve already made over the years (gluten-free, sugary-beverage free, very few starches/carbohydrates, and 4-5 cups of veggies and increased proteins) it’s possible that I might be much worse…like, perhaps the rapid progression was was actually slowed by these efforts? Impossible to tell for sure.

    The other reason that I’m making this push to follow the regimen is because I am scheduled to go to Panama for allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell treatments in December. (They are harvested from human umbilical cords donated after normal, healthy births. Each mother is tested for infectious diseases and has her medical history screened. Proper consent is received from each family prior to donation.) It is VERY expensive, though, so I want to give myself the best possible chance for recovery. I am trying very hard to keep a daily journal over the next four months of what I eat/how I feel, then same routines following the treatments. I realize that people in the MS community want to know–especially if something works, what you did and how you did it. The problem is, people with MS aren’t the most diligent souls, are we? So I say I will *try* to document things.

    Anyway, sorry I’ve written so much, I just wanted to weigh in on the whole diet debate, even though I’m about two years late!

    Take care of yourselves,

  2. Roger S 24 August, 2014on6:39 PM Reply

    Initially I also could not implement the 9 cups of the Wahls Diet. That all changed for the better when I started using a blender to grind everything up, and eat it as a smoothie. That was the game changer. Now it’s doable.

  3. La 3 August, 2014on4:31 AM Reply

    Hi, I have had MS for a long time. I believe I had my first memorable attack when I was 6 years old, extreme dizziness and balance issue. Doctors put it down to a ‘virus’, and after a few months and summer arriving and being outdoors again (I live in Ireland) I fully recovered. Age 10 bladder problems started, needed glasses. Age 15, weakness in hands on occasions which my school friends and I found hilarious because I struggled copying notes, bladder infections and the development of severe Ibs. Age 19 and I begin annoyingly dropping things and suffering from severe depression. Doctors poo pooed my suggestion to MS. Age 24, balance issues arise again on and off, extreme fatigue, eye colour issues, pins and needles in toes. Summer time would arrive again and everything would clear up and I,d be great again. I forgot to mention that from the age of 12 I would stand outside on cold winter sunny days, wrapped in coat and winter woollies, trying to enjoy the sunshine. My three sisters and parents found this very strange, but I had this strong desire to be in the sunshine, even though it was freezing. Throughout my 20’s I knew something was wrong, I’d wake at night and feel large areas of numbness around my torso creeping into my neck, but it would be better in the morning so I didn’t bother to see a doctor again, after all they kept telling me I’m healthy and even suggested pills for my mental state!!! The symptoms go on and on, until the birth of my first son at age 30. I felt really good throughout the pregnancy, but 6 weeks after his arrival I lost my sight completely. It started a few years before with streaming stinging eyes in the winter months, put down to cold weather, and of course would clear up in summer. After I lost my sight I was put on steroids and finally told I had MS. My sight returned fully in my left eye, but did not return in the right one and I can only see faint dark shadows from it. The point I want to make here is that I believe sunshine is of huge benefit to us all especially people with autoimmunity. I don’t ever apply sunscreen but also don’t ever allow myself to get burned, 1 hour a day for me with olive skin is sufficient. Also people don’t realise that it takes your body 48 hours to make vitamin D, so please read up on showering after sunbathing. I have tried every diet possible and have stuck to them for over a year in some cases but have never found them to have any benefit on my symtoms. The only thing that works for me is an extremely low fat diet and plenty of sunshine and irradiating stress where possible. I am 43 now and haven’t had any symtoms for many years, I put it down to regular exercise, eating a good low fat balanced diet, stress management, eating little and often and supplementing with vit D during winter. I have always eaten a low fat diet my whole life and the only gluten I eat is two rounds of toast in morning and two rounds of bread for a lunchtime sandwich, I actually feel worse off gluten completely. I eat my 7 a day in fruit and veg and always have done. I eat mackerel or salmon salads four times a week for dinner. I eat a yogurt a day. So I feel that although diet is essential in helping MS I don’t believe the Wahls diet is the answer to this. Just eat in a healthy manner, get out and exercise everyday and get out in that sun and stop slapping on sunscreen before MS gets a hold on you. Sometimes these diets put stress in your life because they are expensive and your left wondering what you can eat. I’m living proof that gluten is not the cause of MS, but rather lack of vitamins, reducing stress and exercising. If Terry Wahls included gluten into her current regime I bet she would still feel as good as she’s does now.

  4. Marjorie 28 May, 2013on5:47 PM Reply

    Hi Nicole,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and the comments. I strive for the Wahl’s Diet but don’t come close to eating the amount of veggies she recommends and I haven’t been able to give up my sugar addiction (but I limit it and I do keep it dairy / gluten free). NOTHING is a cure all for everyone. I have tried just about every MS drug out there and they haven’t worked for me. And there are a lot of trials for drugs! Meds have trials, then why don’t they work for everyone? Why isn’t there a cure for diabetes? Caner? Etc. Even one of the greatest meds of our century, anti-biotics, are losing effectiveness. Illness is complex. There isn’t a magic pill (be it medicine, diet, herb, etc). I joke that I am the healthiest sick person you will meet. It’s complex: we have to look at our stressors and how to manage stress, we should consider diet, our spiritual journey, movement (which is what I now consider exercise given my lack of mobility), supplements, etc.

    I have the most expensive pee in the whole world. I take over 65 supplements a day. When we’re eating with friends who see me taking my supplements, I say “well, I’m not going down without a fight!”

    It took me a while to get up the nerve to start the diet. Now, I’m pretty disciplined with the part I’m able to maintain. It took me a year and a half of being on the “diet” and working with supplements (with a specialist) but I’ve finally had results with my “gut” issues. I once said, I would be just as happy having relief with my gut issues than even improvements in my mobility. Now that I have relief there, I have to remind myself that I said that AND remember to be GRATEFUL! 🙂

    I’m a big believer in striving for a healthier (mostly organic) diet and living a healthy lifestyle in general. My mobility still stinks but I keep up with the stress of having 3 TEENAGERS!!! (Which explains not being able to give up my sugar addiction!)

    Oh, and someone mentioned about that Dr. Wahl’s isn’t “cured.” Even she has mentioned on her Facebook page that she’s still on some meds (I think neurontin) and that it’s not just diet (it’s diet combined with the spiritual, exercise, brain exercises, etc).

    I’ve also tried the ccsvi treatment and I’ve just started the latest greatest drug (Tecfidera / BG12).

    Illness is a journey. It’s a venue for us to explore and learn more about ourselves. And oh boy, have I learned more than I every wanted to learn! 🙂
    Some words I focus on: strive, fluid, flexibility, acceptance, sense of humor, gratitude and prayer.

    Best of luck on your journey.


    • Nicole Lemelle 29 May, 2013on11:50 AM Reply

      Marjorie, thanks for stoping by. I’m on BG 12 as well. We should stay in touch. I’ve completely given up on the Wahls diet though.

  5. Ger 25 May, 2013on5:36 AM Reply

    I love this blog it’s more true to life.

  6. Laura J Holland 21 May, 2013on2:19 AM Reply

    Has anyone here tried ldn? It helps ms a lot

  7. Janice 9 October, 2012on1:10 PM Reply

    I’m late to the party, lol. But thought I’d comment anyway. 🙂

    I’ve been eating “paleo” for a year now, and eased into it over the course of several months. It took about a month to get past the gluten withdrawal and I was in pretty rough shape. I now eat sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, almost starch-free, only get eggs in the form of mayo (due to my IBS). I have been dairy-free most of my life due to the IBS, but it turns out eating this way does allow me to eat raw organic cheese with zero problems. Yes, that alone makes it all worth it. You have no idea how much I love cheese! LOL. OK, it’s not Wahls-compliant, but I’m fine with that. Switching to organic, grass fed meats has had a wonderful impact on my hormones, so that’s become very important to me.

    However, I think it’s important to take what Dr. Wahls says with a big grain of (non-iodized, of course) salt. She throws the word “cure” around way too casually, but she herself is not cured. She still has fatigue and other problems, she’s just doing better than she was (which is wonderful, don’t get me wrong!). Also, much of the diet is based on theory and trial and error. The more common sense approach is eating clean and maximizing nutrition in the calories we do ingest. (Hello my new friend, kale! lol) That’s the attitude I’ve adapted over the past year and between that and how much better my digestion is, I’m comfortable eating this way and actually don’t want to go back to gluten, grains, or sugar ever again.

    I have RRMS, and I honestly can’t say changing my diet has had any significant impact on that. I still have lots of flare ups and the fatigue has not changed even a bit. The kicker, as others have mentioned, is the challenge of preparing all the foods, particularly all the veggies from scratch every day when there already wasn’t enough energy to get through the day! That’s my biggest struggle, so I generally try to make large batches so I have leftovers for a couple of days.

    Another issue is the cost. It is expensive to eat this way, and the reality is not everyone can afford it. There are months when I have to skimp because it’s just not realistic to do everything she suggests. Additionally, sure it’s a nice idea to have your family join you in this way of eating, but frankly, my husband lives on grains and very little meat, and that’s not going to change any time soon. So that means cooking twice the number of meals. Eating out and at friends’ and family’s homes is a challenge as well, but I just bring my own food whenever possible.

    No, it’s definitely not a cure, but it is something I can have some degree of control over, so I like that. The longer I can avoid meds, the better. If changing how I eat can aid in that, great. If not, no harm done.

    Anyway, thanks for this blog. I really appreciate your posts. 🙂

    • Judy 17 April, 2016on1:20 AM Reply

      My grandchild has had a remarkable improvement on her gut issues using the FODMAP diet.

  8. jin 5 September, 2012on1:47 PM Reply

    IN the Paleo diet, I had to modify my foods for my MS. I did not consume any nightshade foods, no tree nuts, and that is about it. Coconut flour for almost any kind of breading is so good. :)Natural foods like organic grassfed meats, organic non starchy veggies, and organic fruits. I did not consume a lot of fruits as they have a lot of sugar. I basically went easy on the fruits. 🙂 I took supplements CoQ10 Px, Fish oil, BCAA for my brain trauma that pretty much healed that, multivitamin, magnesium oil. I detoxed myself, and do yoga daily, and worked my way up to strength training. 🙂 It worked for me and plethora of other people. 🙂

    • Nicole Lemelle 5 September, 2012on8:38 PM Reply

      Jin, I’m apologize if I offended you. I’m glad you found something that works for you!

  9. Lisa H 4 September, 2012on3:05 PM Reply

    Hi Nicole, I am of the mind that no matter what you do MS progresses. I am 56 and have had a wonderful life, that being said I don’t do diets. I eat what I want when I want. I deserve at least that. I am not overweight so I don’t have health issues associated with weight. I am lucky. With PPMS I have given up hope of finding the silver bullet. I am a positive person and try to roll with acceptance. It gets hard sometimes but I always prevail.

    • Nicole Lemelle 5 September, 2012on12:04 AM Reply

      Lisa, You’re right that’s what it does…progress. We just got to hang on tight and do for the ride.

    • Becca 18 June, 2014on10:06 AM Reply

      God bless you Lisa! Best of everything and keep up your positive attitude.

  10. Razgo 4 September, 2012on2:43 AM Reply

    unfortunatly my wife tried such diets like whals but still got worse even after 15 years of healthy eating and excersice. its not a cure and doesn’t reverse the symptoms. it may at best slow things down a bit but if MS wants to progress it will do what MS wants to do. and yes she followed the diet correctly. unofrtuantely you won’t hear from the people where these diets have failed to stop MS because they can no longer speak or write.

    • Nicole Lemelle 4 September, 2012on10:38 AM Reply

      Razgo, Wow! I guess that’s true.

      • Razgo 4 September, 2012on3:46 PM Reply

        I would still recommend healthy organic diet and excersise. Food combining is a really good idea. I do beleive my wife is technically healthy to this day because of it but it did not stop the progress of MS.

        she hasn’t moved in 10 years. I have been feeding her through a tube for 8 years.

        She was always outgoing and very active. We still haven’t given up finding a cure. But i do get tired of hearing people say oh you either didn’t do the diet right or it only works for some people.

        The bottom line is if anything really worked in stopping MS it will work for EVERYONE with MS not just some people.

        Often these remedies have the apearance of actually working because you feel better or can walk bette etc etc..

        But then down the track it all gets worse again. But we all keep trying as we should and never give up! my wife was dx 1984 in her ealry 20’s. she is now 49. I know others get dx not until 50. but either way that wahls diet i do not beleive is a cure nor can it reverse the symptoms of MS as no has done that yet.

        I still have hope that something is out there though 🙂

        • Nicole Lemelle 5 September, 2012on12:01 AM Reply

          Razgo, I agree with you, but those little rascals can be so convincing! Shame on them for preying on the chronically ill. I know I’ve certainly walked/wheeled down that path several times to be let down again.
          Thanks for reading and I wish your wife everything she needs. Again thanks for reading.

  11. Karen 17 June, 2012on4:40 PM Reply

    It takes quite a bit more time than two weeks to reserve years of unhealthy eating. Those with MS who experience improvements from common sense healthy eating generally report it takes several years to get the full benefits. This is consistent with the experiences of those using healthy eating to reverse heart disease and even erectile dysfunction. Even after one has the improvements, one has to continue on a sensible eating plan.

    By the way, red meat lowers life expectancy and almost doubles heart disease and cancer.So, you might want to rethink on this topic.

    • Karen 17 June, 2012on5:56 PM Reply

      Oops, meant to type “reverse” not “reserve”. It takes a long time to reverse years of unhealthy habits.

    • Nicole Lemelle 17 June, 2012on6:45 PM Reply

      Karen, You just may be,Right. Dont give up on me yet!

    • jin 18 June, 2012on10:49 AM Reply

      I dont know where you get your information but if red meat where not good to eat, then the tribes of indigenous people who are unbothered by western society, would all not be able live to over 100 years old with no diseases we possess today. Look up the myth of red meat. The “Red Meat Scare” has been debunked by numerous researchers of recent times. Back to the “Red Meat Scare”, it is completely false. I would rather go by research of a span of latest back to 10 years. NOT 60 years. The meats sold by McDonalds, and other fast food restaurants that do not sell organic grass-fed meats will most diff cause your body to malfunction. Here is a very good article written by Jonny Bowden Ph.D Also known as the “Rogue Nutritionist. Please read and do a bit more digging into. 🙂 Cheers!

    • jin 18 June, 2012on10:51 AM Reply

      I dont know where you get your information but if red meat where not good to eat, then the tribes of indigenous people who are unbothered by western society, would all not be able live to over 100 years old with no diseases we possess today. Look up the myth of red meat. The “Red Meat Scare” has been debunked by numerous researchers of recent times. Back to the “Red Meat Scare”, it is completely false. I would rather go by research of a span of latest back to 10 years. NOT 60 years. The meats sold by McDonalds, and other fast food restaurants that do not sell organic grass-fed meats will most diff cause your body to malfunction. Here is a very good article written by Jonny Bowden Ph.D Also known as the “Rogue Nutritionist. Please read and do a bit more digging into. Cheers!

    • Razgo 5 September, 2012on1:31 AM Reply

      thanks Nicole, i don’t mean to sound negative and i do wish everyone the best in trying out these things and hope someone has some success 🙂

      I do beleive in healthy diets and more so HERBS but i just don’t beleive the big claims out there with regards to cure or reverse the symptoms of MS.

      Maybe the cure is in a HERB somehwere out there and if i find it i will be sure to post back here 🙂 like that Lorenzo’s Oil story which was inspiring, although he later passed away at age 30 living 22 years more than what doctors expected.

      I guess i could say the same for my wife who was dx end stage MS back in 1998-99 and only had a few hours left to live. 12 years later she is still surviving as we continue to find a cure.

      fingers and toes crossed everyone 🙂

      • Nicole Lemelle 5 September, 2012on12:34 PM Reply

        FYI I don’t do the diet anymore either. Instead I just try to eat healthy in general.

    • Diana 3 September, 2013on9:06 PM Reply

      The studies that have correlated negative health effects with red meat consumption have been thoroughly debunked. For one, they showed no causation, and the diets included other components known to be deleterious to health. Additionally, the red meat used was not healthy grass-fed beef, it was commercially processed, drug-laden beef.

  12. Donna Olson 8 June, 2012on9:34 PM Reply

    I’m a little late..I just joined all of you. I too jumped into Dr Wahls diet with both feet and lasted only about a week. I have been gluten-free for about three years and feel it helps my symptoms. I love the idea of her diet, I just think I need to do it more slowly as someone suggested and I don’t think I can ever eat the quantities she does. I had some major digestive problems with it, but I will try again.

    • Nicole Lemelle 9 June, 2012on11:04 AM Reply

      Donna, Yeah I couldn’t keep up with her. But I still do eat alot of kale!

  13. jin 11 May, 2012on7:54 PM Reply

    We all have precursers of disease. It is up to us whether we activate those genes or dont activate them. We are what we eat. Indigenous tribes who are unbothered by modern society, are proof the paleo works. They have a long lifespan, no diseases that we possess today. Paleo is not a fad, dr.wahl can attest to this, and so can many other people who overcame their illnesses. the foods you eat- that is causing your body to malfunction–is like an allergic reaction, and yet people keep listening to doctors, and continue to feed their body toxic. We have not evolved to eat these chemicals, to eat the unnatural foods since agricultural era began. Think about it. Most doctors get paid to make you sick, how else are they going to get money, same with high corporations such as the pharmaceutical companies. Its a productive, lucrative business to keep the sick, sick.

    • Nicole Lemelle 12 May, 2012on11:29 AM Reply

      Jin, I really agree with you, but…

    • KIM 13 May, 2012on2:58 PM Reply

      Agreed, only to the part that it is a lucrative business to keep the sick sick. There is no money in “well” people, that is why we keep buying & taking medicines in hope that we’ll be “cured” when in reality there is no cure, and we know it! I’ve been on gilenya for 3 1/2 months now, with no chg, better or worse. At $12159.00 for a 28 day supply, I’ll not be on it much longer, even though it only costs me $12.00. A perfect example of keeping the sick sick…but at what costs? Mine, do the rug companies care? NO, they’re making money!

      • Jin 15 May, 2012on9:08 PM Reply

        Why do you not agree on the part of the tribals, and the pre-cursers, and the certain types of foods we are not soppose to eat because we have not evolved to do so—are making us ill?

        • Nicole Lemelle 15 May, 2012on11:59 PM Reply

          Jin, Did I say that? I’m not sure. I think though. if the trials were right, we would all know it and it would hold true for everybody.

          • Jin 16 May, 2012on5:00 PM Reply

            ugh i meant that for KIM lol sorry haha

      • Jin 16 May, 2012on5:00 PM Reply

        Why do you not agree on the part of the tribals, and the pre-cursers, and the certain types of foods we are not soppose to eat because we have not evolved to do so—are making us ill?

  14. Priscilla 10 May, 2012on11:15 AM Reply

    Hi Nicole. Thanks for another honest and thought provoking post. I agree with Susan you are getting us to talk and think. I do so appreciate your site and all the people who are sharing their own experiences and insights. I always hear something that resonates with me and reinforces something I am already doing or I learn a possible new way of doing something. Thank you all.

    • Nicole Lemelle 10 May, 2012on3:13 PM Reply

      Priscilla, Wow, what a complement! Thanks. I’ll probably read this one when I’m down next time!

  15. Olivia 9 May, 2012on7:05 PM Reply

    I have had to ease into it. Cutting out sugar feels the hardest, but I know sugar is really bad for me. You inspired me so much to do this diet, I pray you keep trying!!!! Big hugs, olivia

    • Nicole Lemelle 9 May, 2012on11:13 PM Reply

      Olivia, Sounds like you’re doing better than me!

  16. Toni 9 May, 2012on12:42 PM Reply

    Hi Nicole,

    Hummm…not sure what exactly went so wrong for you, perhaps a combo of not knowing how to prepare some of the foods, whether to blend or juice, or maybe your system couldn’t take the change all at once..I didn’t, couldn’t, go cold turkey!

    I’ve been practicing eating Paleo since 2/2011 and still learning, so it’s a process rather than an event. Some folks report immediate symptom improvements, I am not one of
    those. I’ll keep at it, if a modified version (I eat a bit of grains, still)

    I hope you are not mad at me…I was someone who originally encouraged you to investigate this…..:-)

    Wishing you good health!

    • Nicole Lemelle 9 May, 2012on2:14 PM Reply

      Toni, That’s cute. No of course I’m not mad at you!

  17. Sarah C. 9 May, 2012on11:10 AM Reply


    I am so very sad to hear that the diet did not work for you. The part that hurts me the most, is that you only gave it 12 days. I know that seemed like A LONG TIME, but think about how long it takes the body to ‘recover’ from the many processed foods that we have put into it for so many years.

    I started going gluten and dairy free over 8 months ago, and I just recently began to see REAL and TRUE improvements. That was about the same time that I added on the Wahls’ diet. So, to say the least, I have very much eased into her diet, frankly because I was already half way there. But, the point is, it may take months, even an entire year, for your body to fully understand the changes it experiences. Plus, there is also typically a period of detox or discharging of the bad things in the very beginning. The first 14 days for me (without gluten or dairy) were rough. Headaches, nausea, upset stomach, and even increased depression, etc. Then, all of sudden, I felt a huge lift in energy and spirits. It was up and down at first, but the downs rapidly decreased as time passed. I stuck with it– I was determined. I did spend a bunch of $$ at the grocery, and maybe I wasted some, but for the most part, I was sticking to it. I vowed to not eat dairy or wheat, and to find logical, delicious alternatives to these foods, such as avocado instead of cheese, rice instead of pasta, lettuce/kale wraps instead of bread, etc.

    Now when I go out to eat, I have an “Allergy” to dairy and gluten/wheat. I tell the waiter, they tell the chef, and they always prepare me something that accommodates my diet. If I treat it seriously, like one does a peanut allergy, then so does everyone else. And I enjoy the benefits from that. Some are not so easy to take on the idea- my own parents still offer me cheese, bread, and have even tricked me into eating foods that contain the very things I claim to have an allergy to (usually butter). That is pretty twisted, I know, but it shows how people have such a hard time believing that diet and nutrition can play such a vital role in your health. My doctor supports my decisions– but she never recommended them. The idea of nutrition was never mentioned in any of my visits. When I came to her about my diet, she said, “Great! Good luck!” And now that I have had success, she wants to know details. And she, I think, may tell her other patients about my own success with everything. I also quit drinking coffee about 3 weeks ago, when I was 100% on the Wahls way– also noticed big increase in energy and overall feeling better since I switched to tea only, preferably loose-leaf green tea.

    Here is how I look at it. We are willing to try medicine after medicine– from every offered injectable to the recently released pill– and I know you have tried them all!– yet, we find it hard to really try new things with our diet and actually stick to them. What do doctors tell us with new medication? “You may not see improvements for 6-8 months.” Well, if we think of food as the new medicine, why not give it the same amount of time for the body to adjust? The body is a very complex organism. It does not immediately respond to new changes and such; in fact, it riots and tries to push us back to the old ways! So, one must remain strong and determined.

    I am not saying the Wahls diet is for everyone– or that it is magical or a miracle– but for me, it has been a miracle. I have been able to push away new symptoms, repair old damage (my hands, that once hurt 24/7 for the past year, have finally started to hurt less and less, sometimes not at all– I was told by my doctor that if a symptom lasts longer than few months, then it is permanent damage and will never go away– well, that shows them!).

    Anyway, that is about it. I just want to give you a bit of encouragement and hope and for you to not give up. I know that you have tried all of the medications, and I want you to heal, Nicole! And I know that nutrition is at least one POSSIBILITY. Like the others have said, you can LEAN into this. You do not have to jump in all the way at first.
    I hope you will reconsider. And if you want to hear more about my success, please feel free to respond and we can chat!

    I wish you the best,
    Sarah C.

    • Nicole Lemelle 9 May, 2012on2:20 PM Reply

      Sarah, you are so lucky. I too wish you continued success.

    • Sheri 1 May, 2013on1:14 PM Reply

      Thanks for posting Sarah!
      I’m having a hard time today and have only been trying the Wahl’s diet for a few days. I hope this is just detox and I will persevere!
      I stopped sugar and dairy cold turkey and I have been eating lots of good foods.
      Now you have given me hope for better days, isn’t that nice?
      Take care,

    • Donna O'Connor 28 April, 2014on11:22 AM Reply

      Sarah C. you are brilliant!! I agree with every word you wrote. I healed my daughter from a horrible and “incurable” autoimmune disease called Crohn’s with your same attitude. She was only 8 at the time. The doctors told us she would need medications and surgeries throughout the rest of her life. After seeing many doctors and thousands of dollars I decided that I couldn’t trust my daughter’s well-being to any of these “medical experts” and we never went back. Instead I did my own intense research and because of the same healthy diet changes and you described she is a beautiful healthy symptom and med-free 15 years old today!! It’s all about believing, lots and lots of determination, trial and error, and follow-through!! I did the hard work because I love my family. I did the hard work because I knew it was the right thing to do. It was common sense. We have four children and all six of us made the changes and we all experienced different types of healing. Today we all feel phenomenal, look great and live extraordinary lives!! In addition to healthy foods we all enjoy different types of fun regular exercise. We never even use up our deductible for a family of six because we never go to the doctor. For those who are willing to put in the long term effort …don’t give up!! Go all the way and get healthy!! God Bless!

    • DianeD 8 August, 2014on11:56 PM Reply

      I feel compelled to write after reading so many of the comments on this blog. Thank you Nicole for bringing everyone together here.
      A few months ago I came across the Ted Talk with Terry Wahl. I am a caregiver for my dad who has PPMS. He is very late stage and a quadriplegic. I wasn’t expecting too much but thought it might be good. We had numerous stops and starts. My dad would want some treat. I’d feel bad and give it to him. Then we’d start again. Plus it’s hard. We are burnt out and broke from this disease. I bought the book online. I was intrigued by the science of it, the premiss of how key tones can cross the blood brain barrier to help repair. So we started again. All of us in the house.
      I got into a pattern where we could do it all quickly and cheaply. No cheats. First 3 days miserable. Then we got creative with food. Every morning is a smoothie (on Saturdays I wash 2 big boxes of spinach and freeze in baggies), its automatic. 2 baggies of spinach, 1 can coconut milk, an avocado and a bit of fruit if I have it.
      It’s been 2 weeks on our latest try and today my dad can move his right leg and his arms from the shoulders to the elbows.Lifting and rotating. On his own. When he wants. This is a man who has not moved anything in 5 years. And his voice is audible. I wasn’t expecting anything really, just a little more energy. I am not sure what this means or where this can go.
      Also I am perplexed, we have tried everything until now, drugs, orthomolecular supplements, Liberation (this did stop choking).
      One other comment I wanted to add in case it may help someone: my dad was in hospital every month with sepsis from UTI’s (catheterized). So many nights calling EMS as he quickly decompensated. Urologists told us nothing to be done. Antiobiotics all the time. Vitamin C. Nothing helped. Tried D Mannose. Helped not really. In desperation (and with my insomnia letting me late night google) I discovered a small swedish study that gave paraplegics prone to UTI’s megadose vitamin D. Helps production of cathelicidin in bladder, preventing E coli related infections.
      My dad now takes 10 gram per day of Vitamin D and has not had a bladder infection in 1 year. Prior 5 years 1-2 a month that would hospitalize him.
      hope this helps someone out there even a little bit.

  18. Melissa 9 May, 2012on8:04 AM Reply

    Dr. Wahl’s story is amazing. Let’s remember the first rule of MS: It’s different for everyone. So what worked for her isn’t going to work for everyone. Don’t beat yourself up for jumping in. And enjoy the food! Nothing says you can’t take all those greens, plop a chicken breast or salmon fillet on them and call it dinner. I wish my family was more inclined to eat the greens. I love ’em, but seem to be the only one in my house that does.

  19. jin 8 May, 2012on6:56 PM Reply

    I reccommend the paleo to anyone suffering from autoimmune diseases. The paleo took away my crohns, and MS. Goodluck everyone!

    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on7:01 PM Reply

      I just wish I could do it! Maybe I’ll ease into it.

      • Anonymous 11 May, 2012on7:45 PM Reply

        We all have precursers to autoimmune diseases and etc…, it is up to us to get educated further than what paid pharmaceutical owned doctors can do.,we are what we eat. If you eat the unnatural foods that our bodies will and have not evolve ever to eat, you will get very ill and etc…,. Paleo is proven time and time again to eat the natural food we have evolved to eat. Plain and simple. Indigenous tribes who are unbothered by modern society, live along time and wout having the illnesses we possess in our society. It is up to us whether we activate those pre-cursers of illness within our genes. Thanks

        • Nicole Lemelle 12 May, 2012on11:32 AM Reply

          Thanks for getting involved with the conversation. Please come back again!

  20. jin 8 May, 2012on6:55 PM Reply

    The paleo took away my crohns and MS. I reccomend this diet to those suffering from autoimmune diseases. GOOD luck everyone!

  21. Cathy 8 May, 2012on6:11 PM Reply


    I hear your pain. As far as beginning a diet wholeheartedly and then stopping it after spending a lot of my hard earned money, I live in the category of “Been There and Done That”! Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, Weight Watchers, etc., etc! So you have a partner here, my friend, that totally understands your angst. That said, I hope you feel better and better. Thanks for being so open and honest about your life. Hugs….Cathy

  22. Cas 8 May, 2012on3:46 PM Reply

    Nicole, I love you and love your article. I too am always looking for a healthy diet, for my MS fatigue. Tired of taking pills for EVERYTHING. I tried to cut back on some and have succeeded!I Have joined First Unity Church here in St Petersburg Fl,and I attribute my well being to my spirituality. I even gave a talk at church about my MS and how my beliefs helped me. April 22 go to the 8 min point.

    If you dont get sound,just go to the right and click on the april 22 service..

    I am so blessed,only having lesions all over my brain for over 8 years or so. We are a family those of us who have MS. We all ave different degrees of this illness. But I now see the illness as the blessing that has made me more aware of my connection to God. As I learn so much about my journey. I WISH YOU ALL LOVE AND LIGHT DURING YOUR JOURNEY.

    Lady Cas
    The Universal Reiki Connection, Opening Your Heart and Soul
    Look for me on FB

    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on6:22 PM Reply

      Cas, Thank again, for reaching out. I’m tickled you love the site! I’ll watch you speak in a minute.

  23. Suzanne 8 May, 2012on4:19 PM Reply

    Hi Nicole,
    I was recently diagnosed with MS this past November and am currently going through what I think is a relapse…ugh. I just wanted to say that I really love your blog-you are so brave to share all of your deepest thoughts and feelings with others who feel alone. Thank you for sharing, and you are a beautiful person (inside and out) : )


    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on6:16 PM Reply

      Suzanne, Awww! So nice. I can’t believe you were newly diagnosed and already reading blogs! You are ahead of the game!

  24. Lisa Hammermeister 8 May, 2012on3:58 PM Reply

    Nicole, I feel like I am always grasping for straws. I bet you feel the same way. We have high hopes but get let down when it doesn’t work. I am sorry you are in a funk. They can be hard to pull out of. Thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way. Lisa

    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on6:17 PM Reply

      Lisa, Thank for sending the good vibes. They are much appreciated.

  25. Cas 8 May, 2012on3:48 PM Reply

    Please let me know how you are doing! I havent been in touch with you in awhile. Think of you often. I have learned so much from you. You are such a sweet spirit.
    Much love and light

    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on6:18 PM Reply

      Cas, I’m really ok. Just going on my own personal roller coaster right now.

  26. Yolanda L C MacKenzie 8 May, 2012on3:10 PM Reply

    Hi Nicole,
    I read your blog and I have PPMS Primary Progressive MS..I have been disabled for 15 years and 1 month..There are no Disease Modifying Drugs DMD’s for PPMS.There are steroids as an option when warranted and medicines for the symptoms of PPMS like for anyone with MS.There are anti spasticity meds so I am no longer a pretzel,Neuropathy meds for the nerve pain,works yet not 100% of the time..
    I have been very interested in what Dr.Wahl’s has been doing..I have adopted some of her recommendations..I like to say I lean into it,meaning I follow a number of the recommendations yet I am not a purist.I like eating foods that will give me my best value and for the most part are not polluted with man made chemicals and hormones.I favor the grass fed free range animal sources and farmer grown pesticide free foods..I do lean into the Wahl.’s yet will eat grains on occassion more like I find suits my body and needs.I believe in food as a basic element of life and am reluctant to give up everything to be a purist,yet I have felt better eliminating an excess of grains even whole grains..
    Even Dr.Wahl’s notes at her site that it may not be possible or desired by all to follow her program to a T yet any change may be beneficial..I see it being about choices and about steps to improve health..I have been leaning into Dr.Wahl’s for 4 months now along with taking a number of Nutrition Supplements.My PPMS was progressing further in Novenber and December with My Memory Cognition challenged and my voice centers being impacted..Losing my voice was a shocker.I had been disabled losing my ability to walk independently for years.
    In about 3 months time I began to see remarkable strides changes in my PPMS Symtoms.My ability to speak has improved and I am no longer struggling to speak and breath..I had stopped driving my adapted van because I not only was mixing up and forgetting appointments or going to the wrong facility where my doctor never practiced,I became lost 2 blocks from home..I am driving again and remembering and my Cognition has improved..
    So I embrace many aspects of Dr.Wahl’s recommendations that along with Nutrition Supplements ( I take a assortment of Symmetry Nutrition Supplements) have changed the quality of my life for the best. I feel like a renewed person.I no longer feel like I am facing my end…
    My experience I thought to share..
    Yolanda LC MacKenzie

    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on6:26 PM Reply


      I like the idea of leaning into Wahls. I can lean. Thanks for the suggestion.

  27. Kshanski Cooper Hilson 8 May, 2012on1:25 PM Reply


  28. Laurie Hanan 8 May, 2012on12:32 PM Reply

    Sorry to hear the diet didn’t help you. I’ve always been big on “Let your food be your medicine, and let your medicine be your food”, long before I had MS. I’ve been a vegetarian most of my life and eat mostly fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts. Since I was diagnosed with MS I’ve fine tuned my diet with the help of several naturopaths, and most recently an MD who believes in treating disease with nutrition. I’ll never go off this diet because for me what I eat is a spiritual thing. But I’ve come to the sad conclusion that poor diet is not the only cause of MS.

    For 9 years after I was diagnosed, I dutifully took all the drugs my neuro pushed on me, endured needle pokes and horrendous side effects. I walked around lost in a brain fog, dealt with insomnia, migraines, and worse – and thought it was all symptoms of the MS. It wasn’t until I got clean of all the drugs and stopped having side effects that I discovered the insomnia, migraines, and cognitive issues were caused by the drugs. Today I still can’t walk, but at least I can think.

    Now, as my husband ages, he is experiencing various health issues. He’s moving more and more toward eating the way I do. He’s lost weight and some of his health problems have improved. Same goes for my aging friends. And I’m happy to be the example they all follow.

    I get those UTI’s too. They knock me off my feet (figuratively, since I am not on my feet to begin with). Nasty things, those.

    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on6:30 PM Reply


      I most likely didn’t give it a long enough try. UTIs Agggh!

  29. ellajean 8 May, 2012on12:14 PM Reply

    Excellent post.. thank you for sharing.. I keep on hearing about the Terry Wahls diet, the Paleo diet ..people encouraging you to try it.. I have heard but one side, and that’s just the people who are on it and theY testify to feeling better… the other side, the one of the people who have given it a try and dont stay with it or have not seen results .. well no one really likes to talk about that… I know that you were on it for all of 12 days.. was that long enough to see any marked differences? I don’t know.. but I applaud you for telling us that you DID try it and it DID NOT work for you.. that can happen with both natural and traditional medicine.. I hope that we get to hear the more of the candid truth to these diets.. every ones ms is different as are our choices… hopefully you will find what works for you without too much more damage to your wallet!

  30. Laurentiu Todie 8 May, 2012on11:49 AM Reply

    Did you see this?


    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on6:36 PM Reply

      Laurentiu, Did I spell that right? Yes, I saw that clip. That’s why I started it! Just didn’t work out.

  31. kmilyun 8 May, 2012on11:45 AM Reply

    Twelve days – wow! I tried changing my diet drastically once. It lasted about two days LOL. I guess self control was the issue. Besides, while I believe eating more health – less fat, more fruits and vegetables, and more fiber is a good thing – I don’t see any direct links to a “cure” other than the folks selling books, supplements, and specialty foods.

    I am getting over an UTI and the funky place it sent me. Try stabbing a potato . … well ok that may not work for everyone but doing silly things helps me.


    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on6:39 PM Reply

      Jan, You are so funny. I got a suggestion to lean into it. I like that. I can lean.

  32. Pam 8 May, 2012on11:33 AM Reply

    I too have transformed my nutrition and exercise. It has taken years (in fact 6 years) to get to point I am today. It is a very slow process but, extremely worthwhile. I do follow a whole foods type of nutrition, non-red meat (and limit non-red meat to a max of 2 days per week), I make my own bread, no processed foods, no fast foods, and low fat. Not only have I lost over 100 lbs during this time, I am currently training for a 10 mile running race in less than 2 weeks. I currently run 12 miles at a time. Yes, and just over a year ago I was using a cane. Obviously – I am a STRONG proponent of nutrition and exercise….

    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on6:42 PM Reply

      I think I went to fast. I dove instead of treading.

  33. Muff 8 May, 2012on10:58 AM Reply

    I’ve found that a ‘combination’ of diets is more effective for me — that is I see what works and take a little from column A, a smattering from column B, and a soupcon from column C. Just as our symptoms vary so much, so should our individual diets! If I had my way, the correct plan for me would consist of chocolate for all three meals!

  34. Nicole, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re not feeling well. I enjoy reading your posts and appreciate all that you share with us here!

    Stopping the meds and paying attention to categories of food does seem to have helped me over the past five years, but I know that we are not all the same.

    I don’t eat the quantities of food recommended in Dr. Wahls’ diet … I follow my own instincts, eating smaller portions, nothing fried, whole grain bread (toast) and cereals, soft taco wraps of lettuce and tuna, yogurt but no other dairy… and no meat. I think I would feel ill if I tried to eat the quantities of Dr. Wahls’ diet. I don’t use supplements other than vitamins B,C and D. I keep it very simple, I don’t apologize for eating differently, and am happy.

    Feel better,

  35. janet 8 May, 2012on10:14 AM Reply

    Common Nicole! You CAN heal with foods. While you might need to transition a bit slower away from wheat, gluten, dairy…finding some nice alternatives along the way (I love coconut milk – but I admit I use the vanilla, I have a little bit of brown rice or the like here and there). Don’t beat yourself up – give yourself a chance to adjust to the healthy healing foods. Dr. Wahl had to find her place with the diet as well…just like we all need to. If your energy levels get super low, you may find some combination of foods and tea will give you a boost…admittedly there are days where we (I) just feel like collapsing and not much will help. But please, please – don’t give up on healing foods. There are few doctors that will endorse, for many reasons – they aren’t trained in nutrition…they are typically incentivised by drug companies…there is no profit to be gained in whole food therapies. The food supply chain in the US is toxic. At a minimum stick to whole foods, organic where you can…grass feed and wild caught proteins. You CAN DO IT! You are empowered to heal!!! You’re a beautiful woman with so much to offer – your new normal is an on going journey…some days things work…some days they don’t. Shanti!

  36. Cookie Simpson 8 May, 2012on10:02 AM Reply

    Thanks for being so real! This is the first time I’ve read your blog. I love it!

    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on6:48 PM Reply

      Cookie, Welcome! I release new posts on Tuesdays. Please come back I’d love to have you. I’m not usually so upset!

  37. estefanacapetillo@msn.com 8 May, 2012on9:57 AM Reply

    I also have been reading about many ms diets and have found “MS Recovery Diet.” I think it is similar to the Dr. Swank diet but not as hard core as Dr. Whal’s(eating 6 plates of vegetables a day). I have started this diet and think it is going to be super hard but manageable. I saw a specialist at an MS clinic at Stanford school of medicine and they also pushed medication on me and said to do both. I do not want to be on medication especially the one they suggested because it is a daily injection. I have talked to many people that have changed their diets and done well with that and no medication. I guess only time will tell for all of us.

  38. Al 8 May, 2012on9:40 AM Reply

    I have had MS for 16 years and eat what I want, not what is ‘supposed’ to be good for me.

  39. Janet Sprinkle 8 May, 2012on9:12 AM Reply

    I watched Dr. Wahl’s webinar and it makes some sense, at least that we all need to eat much better than we do. It is miraculous that she was able to get out of the condition she was in, to riding her bike and doing SO well and I’m happy for her. Right now, we simply need to do our very best to take care of ourselves and praise GOD for the abilities we still have and use them, waiting on what HE will give us back in time (I’m so stinking impatient and want it now though). Another appointment with the neurologist, who even with a high degree of education, is guessing like me (and has no clue what this is REALLY like), and injecting his expensive “It’ll keep you from getting worse” potion, waiting on the Myelin Repair project to actually help me in the here and now…..

    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on7:17 PM Reply

      Yes, the Wahl’s story is amazing! I need to bike. I’d be happy to walk slowly around my house!

  40. renee lachapelle 8 May, 2012on9:03 AM Reply

    Good Morning Nicole!

    I read a bit about that miracle diet too, some of it sounded like too much of a good thing and some of it not! You are so right about the cost of eating organic foods. It is so nice to go out and buy a ton of stuff that is great for you to eat until, you realize that you have to prepare and cook all that healthy nutrition. Then, it turns into: oh crap. Look at all this food, and oh crap, it went bad before I got to eat it.

    Diet can work to reduce symptoms and anti-oxidants reduce inflammation, so since inflammation is a part of MS, eating foods high in anti-oxidants will help reduce symptoms. Have you tried green tea powder? Just a thought.
    It may not be a cure for MS, but watching your diet pays off in the long run.

    • Nicole Lemelle 8 May, 2012on7:25 PM Reply

      Renee, Thanks. That’s exactly what happened. I have a beet in the frig right now. I’m not even sure how to cook that! No I haven’t tried the green tea powder.

  41. Yvonne 8 May, 2012on8:40 AM Reply

    Hi Nicole, I am with you on the eating right bit! The idea to better eating is to give you more energy but it takes way to much energy to eat right! Another cruel MS joke! I too have loaded up on fresh produce only to toss it days later when I was too tired to prepare it.

    My most recent blog is a funny take on the healthy eating and I would be love it if you checked it out. Finding humor in the insanity that is MS is the only thing that keeps me sane! http://yvonnedesousa.com/kale-the-new-frontier/

  42. life well lived 8 May, 2012on6:46 AM Reply

    I am sorry the diet didn’t work for you. When it comes to diets, I tend to think the same adivce as exercise plans works when it comes to picking the correct one. Pick the one you are actually going to do. Pick the one you can adapt as a life style because these are the only ones which actually have a chance.

    That isn’t to say there is no value in a clensing out, reboot period type of diet. I’ve thought these were great ways to fight some of the habits and addictions I’ve picked up along the way, but the lasting benefits all came from the things I gave up on the diets which didn’t come back when the diets ended.

    I’m sorry to hear about the UTI. I keep expecting to get one as they are supposed to be relatively common on tysabri, but so far I have been lucky (quickly finding wood). Good luck,and I hope some of the diet’s benefits stick.

  43. susan 8 May, 2012on12:56 AM Reply

    Nicole, you are my hero for getting us all to think.

    Here’s the thing – achieving optimal health old school style – by eating healthy (and exercising) one is likely going to improve their circumstance. As you point out though, that is not to say it is the cure. But maybe that’s ok, maybe what we should be looking at are ways to mange and live with our disease rather than “cure” ourselves.

    What you did when you posted your article on Miracle Diets is get a whole bunch of people talking about something our doctors rarely talk to us about, and it really needs to be a part of the conversation. Many of the people who posted comment shared their personal accounts of how eating healthy is working for them. Not everyone is following the same diet, but there were common themes; diets low in foods that cause inflammation (dairy being one of them) and high in antioxidants which help reduce inflammation (fruits and veggies – yum!).

    Keep us talking. You have a smart group of people following you with a lot of real life MS experience. We will get there, it’s just going to take some time.

  44. Jana 8 May, 2012on12:51 AM Reply

    Sweet, Nicole! So sorry, that you are having MS-BS!! You are entitiled to have down time. Listen to your body and rest. Bless you my friend.

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