Have you ever reached a point in your health and you just KNEW you had to do something? Anything?
This is exactly where I have been finding myself lately.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have Hypothyroidism (read more here) and I’ve typically turned toward nutrition in order to manage and balance my hormones. My diet background is in Paleo, as you’ve seen from the recipes posted, but lately being Paleo hasn’t been enough. So it’s time to take it one step further!
I’ve decided to begin the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet, which is “a specialized version of the Paleo diet, with an even greater focus on nutrient density and even stricter guidelines for which foods should be eliminated.” (1) This way of eating (also known as the Autoimmune Paleo Diet) is specifically designed to reduce inflammation in the body and therefore help heal the gut and immune system. It’s been known to put a wide variety of autoimmune issues in complete remission: imbalances of the endocrine and adrenal systems, arthritis, skin afflictions, anxiety, depression and so much more. While this diet is not a cure, it is most certainly a tool to use when modern medicine isn’t enough.
My hope is that it will create balance in my hormones, encourage my body to release the inflammation in my joints, give me energy, heal my digestion upset and reduce, or hopefully eliminate, my anxiety and difficulty sleeping.
I officially started June 1st! So far I am feeling tired and full of cravings but that will soon fade as my body adjusts. I can tell my body is working harder right now to digest the influx of fiber and eliminate toxins that have built up.
**It’s not recommended that those with thyroid issues to go into ketosis so if you make the decision to implement this approach, please ensure your carbohydrate intake is sufficient. You can read more about the issues with with Keto here.**
At first, in what is called Phase 1, I will eliminate a wide variety of foods from nuts and seeds to nightshades and grains for 6-8 weeks.(2) These foods are known to have inflammatory compounds so it’s important I stay 100% strict during this process. If you’re wondering what I CAN eat, there is a wonderful list found here. That green smoothie pictured above? It’s completely AIP compatible and absolutely delicious. Believe it or not, the most difficult thing for me to give up is coffee!
In addition to the food eliminations, AIP has many lifestyle factors that play a major role in healing. I’ll be focusing on getting regular and intentional amounts of sleep (8-10hrs) every night and working towards reducing all “low hanging” stress in my life. (That means evaluating what is causing stress and weeding out the ones I can easily pick off such as committing to too many things, social scenarios, etc.) Nurturing non-draining social connections is also a big one! And lastly, I’ll be making time for hobbies and exercise (moderate but not strenuous).
After the 6-8 weeks has gone by, and as long as I am feeling pretty amazing, I’ll begin to reintroduce foods, one at a time, into my diet in the hopes that I’ll find a wide variety that do not cause my symptoms to come back. It’ll take a lot of calculated effort but eventually my hope is to have an array of safe foods that will keep me feeling amazing and not deprived and too restricted. I’ll write more about the my reintro plans and process a little closer to that time. If you’re curious to know now what that involves, there’s really good information found here.
If any part of healing sounds appealing to you, stick around for this journey. I’m an AIP newbie but maybe my experience will encourage you, motivate you and cause you to make some much needed health changes too. ♥
My Favorite AIP Online Resources:
- What is AIP? By: The Paleo Mom
- The AIP Community Page
- AdamImmune on YouTube
- RealWorldAIP on YouTube
- AIP Elimination Diet Support Group
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