Months ago, I decided the next step in my health journey, primarily healing my dairy sensitivity and moderate-severe acne, required some more stringent measures.
I believe my dairy sensitivity (specifically the proteins whey and casein) to be caused by leaky gut, a condition that a fair number of people probably unknowingly have, where the gut lining is not able to prevent certain toxins from food leaking into the bloodstream (at which point even the good things can be seen as invaders and are attacked). Modern diets that are heavy in chemicals and frankenfoods are likely the culprits causing imbalances in gut flora (pretty way to say bacteria) and leading to this and many other issues.
|October 21, just after completing my move (ouch)|
|November 5, Whole30 Day 3 (less stress = so much better!)|
SO, all of this together made me decide that the next logical step was an Autoimmune Protocol. AIP is a specific diet plan designed for sufferers of any number of autoimmune conditions. The Paleo Mom has a very extensive list of her site. The protocol is a very strict form of Paleo designed to eliminate EVERY inflammatory food from one's diet to allow the body to heal without stress and with proper nourishment from health promoting, anti-inflammatory foods. The basics to avoid during the protocol are: grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol, refined sugars, nuts, seeds, eggs and nightshades. This still leaves a number of fruits and veggies and all kinds of meat and fish to still ensure a varied diet. It's daunting, I know, but if AIP can help people manage and even eliminate symptoms of severe autoimmune conditions, I figure it can help with my acne and sensitivities.
I decided to take on another Whole30, this one with an AIP focus. That means no honey, maple syrup or paleo-ified treats during the process for 30 days. I've done my first week and I want to share with you what I've learned.
First and foremost, people who live an AIP life amaze me. It's such a difficult way to be, especially in our world where everything is so fast paced and food is so social, it's incredibly difficult to imagine being able to partake in things like going out to eat with friends or just grabbing something on the go because your day is over scheduled. Since becoming paleo alone, I've discovered what terrible things could be lurking in a seemingly innocuous piece of food. Steamed broccoli at a restaurant? Probably still coated in soy and hydrogenated oil containing margarine. And did you know that margarine also contains dairy? I mean, really. I am quite sure that after a strict month and a slow month or two of re-introductions (starting with the things I suspect to be the least issue), I will be able to return to eating more normally, with clear skin and possibly reduced or no dairy and egg issues.
After just a week, my body has settled into this new eating style. I really really want a piece of chocolate or a cup of coffee (DESPERATELY) or, certainly, a glass of wine, but I feel good. My moods are more stable, I'm feeling more energy and excitement about cooking fun things that are compliant. I'm excited to see what the next month brings and am very hopeful for clear skin (seriously, it's been six years since the last time my skin was completely clear, I deserve it) and a healthy gut at the end.
To all you AIPers for life, I raise my bubbly glass of kombucha to you.