I mentioned earlier this month that I was planning on doing the paleo AIP come January. What I might not have mentioned was my plan to go into day-to-day detail, not only to keep myself accountable, but also to add to the small but growing online data. A lot of people have done the Whole30 by now – which is pretty freaking awesome – and a lot of them have blogged about it, but it’s more difficult to wrangle and read about individual experiences on the AIP. Probably because it’s something that you really shouldn’t put yourself through unless you have a good reason. Otherwise it’s just unnecessary suffering.
Not that the AIP is intrinsically full of pain and suffering – in fact, it should be full of wholeness and healing. That’s part of the plan. Even though you may feel severely restricted, what foods you do have to eat are extraordinarily nutritious.
And I’m trying to focus on that – on what I can eat, and how awesome it is. I even printed out both the to-eat and the not-to-eat lists, and made sure the to-eat was larger and more prominently displayed. That said, the not-to-eat list is pretty long.
Backing up a step – what exactly is the paleo Autoimmune Protocol? There are several sites dedicated to the process, the most comprehensive of which is Autoimmune Paleo. Here is her explanation for the basic theory behind the diet, and why it works:
“The autoimmune protocol was derived from the recent research indicating that autoimmune disease stems from a problem with intestinal permeability (or “leaky gut”), instead of the commonly assumed infection that resulted in autoimmunity. Simply put, when a person has leaky gut, irritation in the gut lining causes the tight junctions in the intestinal barrier to let unwanted molecules (food, toxins, bacteria) into the bloodstream. All the foods avoided on the autoimmune protocol are those that have been shown to irritate the gut or cause increased permeability in the gut.”
Avoiding those problematic foods gives your body time to heal and time for those symptoms to go away. Then at the end of your protocol period – typically 30 days, but many people find they must go longer – you slowly reintroduce all those foods to see what, if any, reaction you might have. It’s a long, slow, at times infuriating process, but at the end of the day you have a greater understanding of what you can eat and what causes problems for you.
So I’m officially starting the protocol Wednesday, but since we do all of our cooking on Sunday, I’ve actually mostly started today. I spent most of Saturday trying to research recipes and then Sunday on our plane ride home scribbling out our grocery list for the week.
This week, we got:
– sweet potatoes
– acorn squash
– bag o’ apples
– all the avocados
– brussel sprouts
– bag o’ greens
– coconut milk
– grass fed roast
– dried mango slices
At home, we already have a freezer full of grass fed ground beef, grass fed liver, and a whole chicken. There are also a handful of cans of tuna & a recently acquired kombucha mother in the pantry. With all that, we’re making chicken soup (using the whole chicken & the stock from its carcass), beef breakfast patties, roasted root veggies, roasted squash & sprouts, crockpot beef, & sauteed greens. The fruit are mostly for snacks.
I think I’m ready for this!