I have been having issues with my health for almost 10 years now. I went on a rather awful diet when I got married and I am pretty sure that it set me up for failure with my health. I was to doctor after doctor and they all said I was “fine” and my blood work was all “within the normal range”. But I knew something was off. In fact, way off. For the last 4 years I have been working with an amazing Naturopath. Her and her family have become incredible friends to me. (I am VERY LUCKY to have met them). When I went to her I had Hypothyroidism and had drained my adrenals. I could not lose weight. The only way I could get out of bed was with copious amounts of coffee. Which in return would keep my mind wired and I had insomnia. I was a ball of stress and emotions. I was not very pleasant to be around. I had no quality of life. I didn’t enjoy anything. But since then I have been working with my Naturopath and have come a long way.
So this would bring us up to the present. A few months ago I was doing rather well and losing weight. I started lifting. Holidays hit, I had a few things that I normally don’t eat. I usually don’t eat gluten or sweets very often. I know I just don’t do well with any of it. And my digestion has always been hit or miss especially around that time of the month. I can be doing extremely well then my body literally won’t digest anything and I swell up or bloat. After the New Year came I started hitting the gym harder. I noticed I was swelling up. A LOT. My midsection was the worst. A week later I knew something was wrong. I talked to my Naturopath and we did a DERMAGrid Scan. It came back that my liver was not functioning properly and I had a lower intestinal infection. Nothing I did or ate was really helping. I have had a few Candida problems and thought this might be another one. I continued to be very swollen and miserable. I began to dive back into researching. I started learning about the gut and its relationship with your immune system. I learned about the AIP or Autoimmune Protocol Diet That’s when I talked to my husband and we both knew that this was something we needed to look further into.
AIP OR Autoimmune Protocol Diet is a diet that is much like a Paleo diet but cuts out quite a few more foods because the main objective is to heal your gut. The theory behind healing the gut is that it’s your immune system powerhouse. When your gut is weak or you have a “leaky gut” you are more susceptible to illness and allergies. I am not going to go into huge detail on my blog. The book that I have been following the diet for is THE PALEO APPROACH by Sarah Ballantyne, PHD. She has a blog and is also referred to as the THE PALEO MOM. Please check out her blog and book for more details.
AIP Diet is no eggs, grains, sugar, seeds, beans/legumes (this includes coffee!), nuts, dairy, nightshade vegetables (onions, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants) and nothing processed. You can eat meats. All of them including organ. Also vegetables, fruits and bone broth are especially important for your gut healing. You are supposed to be on the diet for no less than 30 days. I have read that some people have done up to 3-6 months. After the first 30 days, your gut should be healed enough to start to introduce foods back into your diet like eggs. Slowly. You see how your body reacts to what you are introducing back into it. But at this point your gut should be healed enough to be able to digest and absorb the proper nutrients. My own objective for this journey is to heal my gut so that my digestion improves, my hormones balance, and for the bloating/ swelling to go down. Now reading about this and with simple logic in play, I know that by getting everything lined back up I should be dropping some pounds. Once the body heals it should function properly and not want to hold onto anything extra.
Prepping to begin the AIP Diet
A few days before we went shopping. Shopping wasn’t “hard” it was extremely time consuming because you have to read EVERY label. After Costco we just realized that it was easier to just buy food with one word. Chicken…… Bananas… Avocados… etc. Because you will drive yourself mad trying to find premade foods. In all honesty aren’t really any. We also invested in a dehydrator as well. We will be jerkying everything. Anyway it took us a few hours to find the correct foods to eat. This is clean eating at its finest.
I have never in my life done so much prepping for one diet. Nothing comes premade. Everything needs to be cooked. And then once you are done prepping to prep, you cook then you clean and then get ready to prep some more. And you can see where this cycle goes. With the food ready let’s get this journey on its way.
Day 1: I do not feel well. I feel like I have to the flu. I called off of work. My blood sugar is awful. I am tired and grumpy. I was trying to cut some dairy and sugar out a couple days prior to not go into complete shock. I just want to sleep. I took pictures of myself, weighed myself and also took measurements. I feel like garbage. I read this is to expected as your body has “die off” from bad bacteria and aslo learns to rely more on fat for energy instead of sugars .
Day 2: Snow day so I stayed or rather was trapped at home and worked. I am very happy I was able to because learning how to eat on this diet is not easy. Today I was hungry and I ate everything… AIP style of course. Made Pineapple Roll ups in the dehydrator at lunch. YUM! I made my own version on Naan bread. It’s quite delicious. I noticed today that my skin is extremely dry. I have blister like pimples here and there on my face. My eye lids look like I have yeast/candida/eczema trying to make its way out. My stomach, elbows, outer thighs and legs are super dry as well. I almost have a rash on my stomach. I am downing my probiotics to try and get my gut loaded with the correct good bacteria. I wanted to go to bed at 6pm. But didn’t. I am eating more during the day and dinner was much lighter. Tonight I had pan fried tilapia with dill, sea salt and lemon. It was pretty tasty. I can see some of the bloating already going down. = o)
Day 3: This is the day I learned that you HAVE TO eat CARBS. I was doing very well most of the morning at work but then around 2:30pm I got this headache. It became more intense as the day went on. I got home from work and went right to bed and slept for an hour. Got up with the headache and cooked. Either you keep cooking or you won’t have food. It’s pretty simple. I cannot believe how much like garbage I feel. After talking to my husband I realized I did not have enough carbs… lesson learned.
Day 4: I hate everything, not really. I know this is a phase that you have to go through. I am DYING for a latte. I drink decaf so it’s not really even the crazy flow of caffeine. It’s just the comfort and routine of a cup of coffee. I don’t want to eat meat. I want potato chips and french fries. Hell I just want the taste of pepper on my food again. I am so BLAH! Ugh.
Day 5: I still want coffee. I am feeling a little bit better. I only want to chug gallons of ice cold lemon water. God and the Universe are quite funny because I got my monthly friend. Taking Calcium to help with the cramps but still uncomfortable. Got home took a nap and then got ready to go see my husband’s band play a show. I only lasted about an hour at the show. I am still very tired and just want to sleep.
Day 6&7: It’s the weekend. I did do a little yoga and went for a walk this week. I am keeping my exercising to lower intensity and impact for the time I am on this diet. I can’t afford to put any stress like that on my body while it’s healing. I did go for a walk today and it was nice. I still just want to chug lemon water. So I know if I am craving that I need to keep chugging for detox. Very hungry today and still tired. We went grocery shopping today and by 10 pm Saturday, I called it a night. Woke up Sunday morning, weighed myself and took my measurements. I have lost a total of 6 pounds!! And 14 inches off my body !!!!!!! I measured my biceps, chest, waist, hips, then upper and lower thigh on each leg. I am not swollen or bloated. I do feel like I have more energy today.
As I am writing this blog today I am in no way telling you this is the “easiest” thing I have ever done, but it’s also not the hardest thing I have done. I believe that this will help me heal. I have already seen that this week. I have NEVER lost weight or not been swollen the week of my monthly friend. My digestion has improved so much too. I think this is a commitment. I think you if want to get well you will do what you need to do. And that will be your motivation for committing to something like this. I am looking forward to the next week and the then next. I am keeping a positive outlook on this whole process.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I hope that if you or someone you know is having any health issues that you pass this on or research more for yourself. I am not trying to show how perfectly I can stay to a diet. My intent is only to try to post about this so helps others. I will be posting about Week 2 next Sunday. *HUG*