I’ve been on the Bean Protocol since March 2020. I went on it in another attempt to heal my body. For many years I’ve dealt with a variety of ailments such as psoriasis, weight issues, gut problems, sluggish liver, fatigue, long-term, short-term memory issues, and hormonal imbalances, and hormonal acne. When I first heard about the protocol on Lacy Phillips’ Expanded Podcast, I was hopeful about trying it, but that was the extent of my enthusiasm. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. After being a vegan for the last three years and following the Medical Medium diet, I didn’t expect a protocol can be so powerful. The Medical Medium was the reason why I went vegan in the first place. But after helping me with a few issues in the first year, I no longer saw any improvements. I never thought the Bean Protocol would be my saving grace. After all, when you think of beans, you think of calories, stomach issues, flatulence, etc. I mean, how can something so small have such a significant impact on our health? Well, I am here to tell you it does. In fact, I am here to tell you 10 things you should know about the Bean Protocol.
1. Who created the Bean Protocol?
Karen Hurd, a certified nutritionist, and biochemist created the Bean Protocol. She designed it to heal her 18-month old baby who was poisoned with organophosphate (a household pesticide) in 1989. After the doctors told Karen that her baby girl would only live for a year, Karen, who worked as a biochemist for the military, spent days in the library researching alternate ways to heal her daughter. She finally designed a nutrient-dense concoction and fed it to her daughter via a syringe. Her daughter’s health improved within two weeks, and she was completely healed after 6 weeks. That was the beginning of Karen’s work with beans.
2. Who is the Bean Protocol for?
I can tell you that the Bean Protocol is definitely not another popular diet trend. It’s a comprehensive way of eating while detoxing your body. If you’re looking for a quick fix, the protocol is not for you. If you’re looking for a healthy lifestyle change, you should try it. The Bean Protocol helps the liver detox and heal from a range of ailments, including infertility, inflammation, Crohn’s, digestive issues, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and much more. Thousands of people who have healed on the protocol, and I are living proof that the protocol works.
3. What is the Bean Protocol?
It’s a protocol that limits your exposure to immuno-suppressing foods and environmental factors. It adds in large amounts of soluble fiber and unsaturated fats to help you detox your liver entirely. The trick with detoxification is that all the excess hormones, toxins, and chemicals end up in our bile, which is then recirculated back to the liver. The liver is dependent on soluble fiber to remove the toxic bile from the body. That’s why beans are magical, as they are the richest source of soluble fiber on the planet.?
In a nutshell, on the Bean Protocol, you quit sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. I know it’s shocking, but if you want to heal, you need to help your body detox from the heavy pollutants. You also eat 1/2 cup of beans, 1/2 cup of veggies and a small serving of protein 3x-6x a day depending on your needs. You eat 1 cup of salted nuts, 1x a day between the bean servings, and drink about 3/4 gallon of water a day. This is a very short summary of what the protocol is. Every person’s needs are different, so the protocol should be adjusted to fit your exact needs. To do so, you should purchase the protocol from Karen’s website or work with Unique Hammond, a certified nutritionist specializing in the Bean Protocol, to design a plan best suited for you. Links are listed at the bottom.
4. Why are beans so important?
Beans are the best source of soluble fiber. According to Unique Hammond, “Soluble fiber binds with your bile in the digestive tract. We like this. Why? Because your liver tucks a lot of fat-soluble toxins, excess hormones, and other waste that we don’t want into our bile and soluble fiber help get rid of that by “binding” with the bile for us to then poop out. If we don’t have soluble fiber in the gut, 95% of that nasty bile will get recycled (which then has the potential to manifest as a disease). Yep, our body is the OG when it comes to recycling. Consider your bile the trash and soluble fiber the trash man.” Yikes! Give me all the soluble fiber you have please, am I right?
5. Do beans cause constant flatulence?
Don’t worry if you think that you will be stinking up the place when you’re on the protocol, that’s not entirely true. You will probably see an increase in flatulence in the first few days or weeks on the protocol, but that will slowly stop. It’s because of the fermentation that happens in your body when you add so much fiber to your diet. Start with beans that make you least gassy, black beans are usually a good choice. Play around with them, take it slow, until you are ready to diversify your bean intake.
6. Can I exercise while on the bean protocol?
It depends on what you’re trying to heal. If you’re dealing with hormonal imbalances, chronic fatigue, etc., you want to minimize your workouts. Exercise causes adrenaline spikes and cortisol levels to increase, which takes a significant toll on your body. Substitute extreme workouts with walks and gentle yoga or pilates while healing, then you can slowly up your exercise routine.
7. What about stress?
When healing the body, we need to remember that our mind, body, and soul are all connected and reliant on each other. One important factor that causes the disease is stress. The Bean Protocol calls for us to reduce stress in our daily life and sleep for at least 8 hours a day. In order to achieve that, we need to find a way that works best for us. That could be done via meditation, listening to educational podcasts, therapy, reading self-development books, etc. Find what works for you and apply it to your daily routine.
8. What’s the simplest way to start on the protocol?
Add legumes into your life. Start by adding beans to one of your meals a day and increase from there. I’d also recommend cutting out caffeine, sugar, and alcohol as they really wreak havoc in our systems. Unfortunately, that also means decaffeinated beverages and teas. You want to support your body as much as possible during this healing process.
9. I am a vegan, can I be on the bean protocol?
Yes, you can! I was vegan for three years prior to starting the protocol. I decided to add eggs back to my diet because I felt like they would help me heal faster. I have been dealing with psoriasis for 25 years at that point, so I was fed up. But you don’t have to do that. You can stay vegan. You will need to double your beans, mix 2 varieties of beans together, add hemp seeds to your meals to create a complete protein, etc. Unique is the person you’d want to talk to, to help you figure out your vegan protocol, as she’s the expert in that.
10. Will the bean protocol help me lose weight?
Yes, it will. The protocol allows for grains and starches in moderation. But, if you’re trying to lose weight like I am, you should minimize those and really focus on veggies, beans, and protein in your diet. You can also do some light exercise every day to help you shape your body.
- My psoriasis is no longer inflamed, and some patches are disappearing. I used to have reddish patches on my scalp and many patches of psoriasis in various places like behind my ears, my hip, under breasts, etc. I am happy to report that some of the patches have disappeared, and my inflammation has gone down tremendously. I can’t wait to see what else happens while staying on the protocol.
- My hormones have improved. About 2.5 years ago, my menstrual cycle had changed in consistency and had become shorter. I also started to get my first acne, which was very disheartening for a 30-year-old woman. The beans have cleaned up about 75% of my acne, and my menstrual cycle is back to normal.
- I am no longer fatigued halfway through the day. I used to lose my energy halfway through the day around 2 pm and felt like I needed a 2-hour nap. Now I no longer feel this way and have excess energy throughout the day.
- I’m finally losing weight. I was unable to lose any weight for the past two years. I’ve tried everything, including an intense exercise regime at the Orange Theory gym for eight months. I couldn’t lose a pound. I haven’t lost much on the scale, maybe about 3 lbs, but my clothes are fitting so much better, and my stomach, which is the area where I always gain the most weight, is finally flattening out. I am so excited about this, as I’ve struggled with weight issues for years.
- My gut is so much better and much stronger. Veganism helped with that, but the Bean Protocol took it to the next level.
There you have it. There is so much more that I would like to say about the Bean Protocol because the benefits are endless. I know that cutting out alcohol, sugar, and caffeine, etc., seems really extreme, but I think it’s really worth it to heal your body, even if it means depriving yourself for some time. You can choose to add those back into your diet after you’ve healed, or you may choose to stay off of them. Everything in moderating seems like a good rule of thumb to me. I hope that this post inspired you to take charge of your health. I am so grateful that I found the protocol. I finally have hope that I can heal, and I know so can you.