In the last year or so I’ve shared reviews for two books by Dr. Bill Rawls. The protocol he shared in Suffered Long Enough really intrigued me. Unfortunately, there was just so much info there that trying to figure out what to try was just overwhelming. I’d already made the major diet and lifestyle change he advocated so I just stuck with that.
For those who haven’t read those reviews, Dr. Rawls is one of us, except that he also happens to be a doctor. Several years ago Dr. Rawls, like most of us, found himself ill, chronically ill. Whether it was Fibromyalgia, CFS, or Lyme (he pretty much lumps them together) doesn’t matter, what matters is that as a result of his illness he had to sell his medical practice, and like so many of us set aside his life’s passions. Thankfully, Dr. Rawls had the fortitude and the medical background to dig deeper. He didn’t rely on what he’d learned through Western medicine, rather he dug deeper and like many of us found that major changes to his diet and lifestyle, as well as supplementing with a combination of herbs was the answer for him. He’s since put his protocol to the test on thousands of patients and is back to work as a doctor, now treating the chronically ill.
Then about a year ago he offered to let me try his Vital Plan Restore Kit for three months in exchange for sharing my experience here on my blog. At first I declined. This was right about the time that my mom was diagnosed with cancer and I felt that with the added stress and the effect that would bring it would be difficult to tell if the Vital Plan was really helping. So, I put it off until we knew mom was doing well.
Initially, I had a hard time with the full protocol (it’s 12 pills in the morning and 12 at night, on top of what I was already taking). Something else I was taking or doing at the time was also messing with my stomach so when I initially tried to add all 4 of the supplements to my diet my stomach reacted negatively. I backed off, and the great support people at Vital Plan suggested that I slow things down and re-introduce the herbs in a specific order. So, I did that and eventually late last year I was able to take the full protocol.
The Vital Plan protocol includes four different supplement blends:
- Advanced Biotics – a combination of 6 different herbs blended to support the natural microbiome of your gut.
- Adaptogen Recovery – a combination of herbs to provide adrenal support and help maintain natural homeostasis, increasing stamina and stress tolerance.
- Mitochondrial Support – a combination of potent antioxidant herbs to help protect cellular functions.
- Prevention Plus – this is basically a multi-vitamin that helps support cellular functions and provide increased energy.
In addition to the 4 supplements when you sign up you will also receive and email and video series to help walk you through the diet and lifestyle changes, diet and recipe guides, and checkpoint surveys.
The email series comes pretty regularly in the beginning (daily) and tapers off as you get further into the program. I really enjoyed it as it helped keep me motivated, but at times it was a little overwhelming (probably because I already get a lot of email). The checkpoint surveys help you see how far you’ve come. The only problem I had here was that I got them early on and then had to put the whole plan on hold a bit and by the time I was really fully on the protocol the surveys were done.
It was close to the end of last year before I fully got on the protocol. I will say that taking 12 extra pills each morning and night was no easy task. Dr. Rawls does suggest that you follow-up taking your pills with eating a banana or something light to make sure that they go all the way down. I found that taking them with a warm drink (usually a hot tea) was helpful. My suggestion here would be to provide a way to restart that whole series of emails and surveys.
I know some have mentioned that they weren’t sure about taking the Prevention Plus at nighttime because of the B vitamins in them. Those do provide energy and can keep some people awake. I didn’t see any increase in this issue taking the full protocol both morning and night.
It wasn’t until I had to stop taking all the herbs before my endometriosis surgery in early March that I really saw the difference that the Vital Plan has made for me. It’s funny how sometimes you don’t notice improvements until they are gone.
I was told to stop all herbs and supplements 7-10 days before surgery (so I did as I was told). What I noticed that week before surgery was a major crash in energy. What I’d not realized until that moment was how much more energy I’ve had lately. How instead of going out on Friday night and being dead Saturday, I was going out on Friday, going all day Saturday and then going out again on Saturday night. That’s been the huge difference that I’ve seen.
I’d love to say that I’ve seen major changes in my GI issues but I’ve not gotten there yet. I did follow up with Dr. Rawls via a phone call to discuss the improvements I’ve seen and not seen and he made a few suggestions on things I may want to try. So, I’ll be adding a couple of new supplements to my diet and hoping that perhaps they make a difference. He also said that for some it takes several months to really see all the changes that the Vital Plan can bring.
That week off the Vital Plan protocol was enough to convince me that I’ll be staying on it for a while.