AIP – The AutoImmune Protocol

I’m not sure if I’ve really mentioned it on this blog yet. But, I started the AutoImmune Protocol on January 5th. What is this you ask? You’re starting a different diet? Nope. I’m still Paleo. But, the AutoImmune Protocol (or further known as AIP) is a stricter version of Paleo that eliminates certain foods that many people are sensitive to. This includes:

  • Nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, white potatoes, and many more)
  • Nuts and Seeds (including spices from seeds such as cumin)
  • No chocolate
  • No coffee (Which isn’t hard because I gave up coffee months ago.)
  • Alcohol (But you can cook it out, in moderation.)
  • Eggs

The hardest things so far have been nuts, eggs, and chocolate. When you go Paleo, it is so easy to use nuts for everything. Almond butter, almond flour, use them in baking for better texture, and just about anything else. Most all of my treats had nuts and chocolate.

Nightshades haven’t been as hard, but I’ve had this natural aversion to tomatoes for a long while. I ate them plenty growing up, but now I can’t even stomach the thought of tomato sauce. However, they do hide in a lot of products like hot dogs, and even gluten free seasonings, and guacamole.

The first week I lost 4ish-5 pounds. I have an analog scale, so the exact measurement is difficult. However, that day I had a larabar with some nuts in it. The next morning I shot right back out of those 4 or 5 pounds. Over night! Could this be the link to why I wasn’t losing any weight, no matter how hard I worked out, stayed consistent, only drank water…etc!? I guess we’ll see in about a week if I re-lose those 4-5ish pounds.

The AIP is definitely not for the faint of heart. Most people who are on the AIP have serious health issues and this is their last hope. This isn’t the diet you adopt for a week and giggle to your girlfriends over a cocktail that you lost 2 pounds. This is not for the willy nilly, fair weather dieter. This is a learning tool. This is a health tool.

You’re not meant to stay on AIP forever. After a certain period, that can be determined by the person and be different for everyone, you can start reintroductions of these foods. Preferably, one at a time and spaced out enough to allow for reactions. It could take up to 72 hours for a reaction to occur.

AIP is to optimize what your body truly needs to heal itself. I’ve been blogging for years about all the healthy things, programs, and workouts I’ve done to try to lose weight and get healthy. And yet, I haven’t been this close to getting into the 260s since I gave birth to my youngest son. Years and years of hard work.

It’s hard because it can be socially isolating. You really can’t “cheat” (I hate referring to it as cheating…another blog, another time.) because you need to heal and keep anything you’re sensitive to out. It’s difficult to go out for supper with your loved ones. There are ways, and if you’re AIP I encourage you google articles that recommend how to eat while on an elimination diet. It takes thought, and cooperation, but it can be done.

I actually cried when I couldn’t have a mozzarella stick the other day that my husband had with his lunch. I felt sick to my stomach and I knew, eating it wouldn’t be relief. It would make things worse. Have I been perfect? No. Remember that Larabar?

And giving up Larabars after you win a huge giveaway and you have a box full in your cabinet is hard! They’re such an easy snack and AIP takes away that…Oh I’ll just grab this and eat it quickly and go on about my busy life.

I worry though…That put in the wrong hands, this diet could lead to obsessive eating. I’m constantly checking labels and reading….reading…and more reading.

I’m trying to counteract this by having my calendar. I’m writing down my reactions. Slips. Weight loss, and slips all on this calendar. I have my 60 day goal laid out. That’s just my first goal before introductions.

I wouldn’t have made it this far without support. Big shout out to my AIP Warrior friends on Facebook! These gals have been so amazing. And The Paleo Approach Community has been great at answering any of my general questions. I usually get more personal with my AIP Warrior family than I do in the Paleo Approach Community because PAC has 31,000 members! AIP Warriors is about 50. So seek out these type of groups! They’re so helpful. And, I must say, that my husband has been very supportive and kind. I can’t say enough that I couldn’t have gotten this far (9 days) without these lovely people.

Last thing, I think I’d like to ramble on about (because that’s what I feel like I’m doing) is that there are a lot of great resources out there. The Paleo Approach and Paleo Approch Cookbook are an amazing place to start to understand the “Why’s” and there are more and more blogs, recipes, and voices added to the AIP Paleo community.

I’m excited to be on this journey. Some dayy maybe I’ll be able to show before and after pictures. For now, it’s just me…healing…and feeling better. I’m amazed at the difference I’ve felt so far.

Wishing you all, peace and love. -Ami M. Lee

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