Behind the Scenes of Planning My Travels on the Wahls Protocol

May 15, 2024

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Behind the Scenes of Planning My Travels on the Wahls Protocol

Today, I’m sharing a behind-the-scenes look at exactly how I’m preparing to stay consistent on the Wahls Protocol while I’m traveling. My goal is to maintain my health and energy – living with Multiple Sclerosis – so I can enjoy my trip.  

As a Nutrition Coach certified in the Wahls Protocol sharing everything from what I plan on eating – especially during group dinners and with pre-fixed menus – to how I handle the social pressure and judgment from others who don’t understand the Wahls Protocol – and in some cases don’t know about my diagnosis either, as well as how to deal with feeling left out or deprived when others around you are indulging in local treats that can’t partake in.

Planning My Stay

First, let’s tackle the logistics.

I’ll be staying in a hotel where the conference that I’m attending is hosted so that will be helpful just with managing energy.

I won’t be traveling to and from the event daily, it’s just a short elevator ride down to the main room.

I also have the ability to go to my room for a rest if I need it but in terms of food here’s my plan. 

Wahls Protocol Breakfast While Traveling

We’re on our own for breakfast, which of course is one of the hardest meals to eat out when you’re eliminating gluten, dairy and eggs. 

So, I’ve been calling the hotel to discuss their room service menu but my typical go-to meal would be grilled chicken, sautéed spinach bacon and maybe fruit. That tends to be pretty easy to get for breakfast, the biggest question is if they have chicken breast available. 

I also looked online to scout out a local smoothie place. A simply google search with the name of the town and smoothies found a good local spot.

So, I called to see what non-dairy milk options they had and it turns out they don’t use milk in their smoothies they just use water and ice, so it’s naturally dairy free. 

I also noticed that they use vital proteins collagen peptides so I can get a little boost of protein with that. So, that’s another breakfast option. I don’t know exactly how close it is to my hotel, but worst case scenario I take a quick uber ride if needed. 

And then something quick and easy that I can have on hand are Bobo bars. They’re gluten free oat bars so they’re grain based but they’re extremely filling and allergy friendly so they’re great in a pinch. I can have this likely two days and be fine. I couldn’t have them everyday but I can get a way with a few during the week. 

Planning My Wahls Protocol Lunch

Lunch is being ordered by the organizers of the event. 

So I reached out to the coordinator well in advance. I actually reached out to her the day I was registering for the event to introduce myself and let her know that I have allergies and wanted to talk about the menu. 

Reaching out in advance really sets the tone for you to be taken seriously. 

If you’re showing up unannounced at an event, there’s too much going on at that point and honestly the decisions are already made at that point.

So I reached out early – so early that she didn’t have the menu set yet but I got it on her radar. 

It wasn’t until this week that I reached back out to her and she sent me a copy of the menu. 

Honestly, the only option that’s on there is a salad, so that’s probably what I’ll go with. 

She did mention however that they’re likely ordering another guest’s meal from another restaurant for kosher purposes and she shared that menu with me as well which looks like it has better options. That is really rare that you have someone offer to place a separate order for you, but either way, I know that if nothing else I can do a garden salad with grilled chicken. 

Group Dinners on the Wahls Protocol

Dinner is the tricker and more time consuming one because they’re group dinners out at a different restaurant each night. 

They’ve shared the restaurants and they all look fantastic, certainly one that I would love to have free-rein on what I’m eating. 

But again, nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels. 

So I called each restaurant on non-service hours – so I’m not calling during the lunch or dinner hours – and asked to speak to a manager or a chef. 

I explained that I’m coming to the restaurant with a group next week and I had food allergies so I wanted to discuss the menu. 

They were both very accommodating and I will say, I try to make this process as easy as possible and honestly I also have very low expectations. 

My goal is to have a meal on my plate that I can eat without worrying about it triggering symptoms. 

So I was able to do that with each restaurant. 

Navigating Pizza Night

Wednesday night is going to be a little tricky because it’s not an organized dinner, it’s the one night that we have on our own and the organizers shared suggestions for the best local pizza restaurants as a recommendation. 

They shared three only one of which offered a gluten free crust, but I can at least do a salad at each of them. 

Is salad as good as a fresh, hot out of the oven pizza???


It’s boring and likely bland. 

But nothing tastes and good and being healthy feels. 

And my goal for this event is to build relationships, not indulge in the food. 

So I feel like I have SOMETHING to eat for each meal, and I’m also trying to get through to the hotel so I can ask if there’s a local grocery store or market that I could shop at. 

Now let’s dive into the raw and very real side of the emotions behind social pressures, judgements and feeling deprived or left out. 

Dealing with Social Pressure and Judgments

How exactly do you manage the “curious” looks and sometimes outright judgments from others about your “peculiar” or “weird” diet.

At times, it can feel like you’re under a microscope. Somehow every plate of food becomes a topic for discussion. But here’s the deal, what other people think of you… or your food is none of your business. Let them think or say what they want. This is your body, and you get to decide how you want to care for it, and therefore what you do and do not eat.

I’ve found that preparing a few polite, yet firm responses helps keep these conversations brief and respectful.

I might say something like, “I’ve found this diet helps manage my health effectively, and I stick to it because I feel my best when I do.”

This often helps to satisfy curiosity without inviting further debate.

Feeling Left Out or Deprived

Even if you can get pass the looks or comments from others, the reality is, it is tough to watch others indulge in local food and treats that you know you can’t partake in.

It’s easy to tell yourself that not only are do you have to deal with MS (or whatever your diagnosis is) but you also have to eat this bland, boring diet.

That feels like insult on top of injury.

How’s that fair?

Fair or not, the reality is we are living with this diagnosis. And we’re living in a time when have been gifted the knowledge of diet and lifestyle habits that can improve our quality of life. That is a gift, that people diagnosed decades ago didn’t get.

So we can look at it as a setback, or we can look at it as an empowering gift to help us take better control of our health and life.

One of the things that helps me, I try to focus on the aspects of the gathering that aren’t food-related. Engaging more in conversations, focusing on the scenery, or even planning a fun non-food-related activity can shift the focus.

It’s about finding joy and fulfillment in the connections and experiences rather than what’s on your plate.

Coping with the Emotional Toll

All that said, while the diet is incredibly beneficial, it does carry an emotional toll.

It’s important to acknowledge those feelings.

Trying to bury your emotions, only delays the process.

It’s okay to feel frustrated or sad about missing out on certain foods.

It’s also important to celebrate the victories, no matter how small they may seem. Each meal that you successfully navigate your dietary restrictions is a win not just for your physical health, but for your emotional resilience as well.

Celebrate that win.

Building Relationships Beyond Food

Food is a universal language of sorts, but don’t lose sight of the relationships with the people you’re spending time with.

This protocol has prompted me to explore more opportunities to meet up with friends than just “dinner and drinks.”

You can walk or sit at a local park, take an art class together, or listen to music together.

Staying True to Your Health Goals

Last but not least, it’s critical to remember why you’re following the Wahls Protocol. The benefits of feeling good, maintaining mobility, and managing symptoms far outweigh the temporary pleasure of indulging in foods.

Staying true to your health goals in the face of temptation is a powerful affirmation of your commitment to your well-being.

And always remember that you are not alone!

Stay Tuned for Part Two: My Travels on the Wahls Protocol

I’ll share a part two of this blog and podcast, so I can share how my travels went, including any wins or hiccups along the way.

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I'm Alene, your MS Sister.

When I was diagnosed with MS in 2016, I was scared and felt alone. But as a Nutrition Coach, I knew there was more to healing than what I was being told. I took action and within six months the lesions I had on my brain shrunk and went inactive. Now, seven years later there has been no new lesions and no new activity. As a nutritionist specializing in multiple sclerosis, I help women take back control of their future.

That’s my story, but I’m not alone. It's your turn to start Thriving with MS. I’m here to show you the way. 

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