My First Week on AIP

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Phoenix Helix – Homemade Chicken Soup

I pretty much have a routine even when it is my first week.  When I first get up in the morning, besides letting the doggies out to pee, I make a smoothie, heat up some bone broth and down a bunch of vitamins.  I make my meat based breakfast that I eat later in the morning at work.  I pack my lunch and make sure I have snacks at work for the week.  In the evenings I am cooking food for the evening and week saving portions in the freezer for grabbing later.  

Daily Meals Example: 

Breakfast

  • Smoothie – mixed greens, wheat grass. cinnamon, pear, coconut water, aloe vera juice, kombucha, kefir coconut water, and sometimes gelatin powder for protein.
  • Bone Broth
  • The assortment of vitamins I listed in the previous post
  • Breakfast Sausages and Bacon and Kale

Lunch

  • Salmon and German Sweet Potato Salad

Snack – keep in fridge at work for the week

  • Beet Dip and Rosemary Plantain Chips
  • Green Olives

Dinner

  • Roast Beef and Brussel Sprouts with bacon

Dessert

  • Maple Coconut Ice Cream

I am learning to make homemade fermented foods as well as AIP friendly substitutes for the things that I miss like crackers and dips.  I do not want to be looking for something to eat so I plan everything.  Below are lists of items I have found handy to have around the house and at work.

  • Kale Chips
  • Rosemary Plantain Crackers
  • Beet Dip
  • Artichoke Dip
  • Green Olives

I also like my sweets but, since they are to be restricted on the AIP I add one piece of fruit to my smoothie in the am – which ends up being half of a piece of fruit since I save half of it for the next day.  I also usually have one sweet in the afternoon or evening.  Here are examples of sweets.

  • Banana Coconut Carob Smoothie
  • Blueberry Green Smoothie
  • Maple Coconut Ice Cream

I love experimenting with the meat recipes that I find as well.  I have never been a real cook – if it wasn’t easy I didn’t make it.  I thought that all of those fancy menu items that you find at restaurants were only attainable by chefs.  But, since I have become paleo I have learned that I LOVE to cook!  I could really spend the whole day in the kitchen.  I work on multiple items at a time and I get great pleasure out of realizing that I actually like what I make.  I would have to say that of all of the recipes I have made since I have started Paleo I really like about 90% of them.  The 10% that I don’t like have been utter FAILS but, more because I wither did not use the right ingredients or I did not follow directions.  Being paleo really is a life change and I am enjoying it.  

My symptoms have remarkably improved – within four days of going AIP I can breathe at night again!  So there, sleep apneoa test – I knew it was autoimmune!  My IBS has disappeared and my energy level has increased with a significant decrease in the chronic fatigue.  I still have very loose stools and I presume that I have a floral imbalance in my upper and or lower GI tracts.  I am hoping the tests will determine what I need to do to get it balanced out.  

I am lucky – I live with my significant other who pays for the mortgage so I can spend my meager paycheck on food and necessities for this diet.  I do not have children nor do I have any big bills.  I do not plan on doing this forever – once I reintroduce what it is I can eat I will know what I can eat for the rest of my life.  My goal is to get back to a state of health whereby I do not have to be a slave to the kitchen.  I want to be able to save my money wherever possible rather than chucking it at my refrigerator.  

I have been chronically fatigued for  so long that i have taken only menial jobs that do not require leadership, too much thought or deadlines.  I work a very cozy safe job that does not stimulate my mind the way I want to nor does it give me the interaction with people that I need.  I am rather a hermit at home due to the fatigue – coming home from work and being too tired to go to any social events.  I have only recently begun going to a meetup for boardgamers.  I really want to move ahead with my life and get involved without fear of brain fog, chronic fatigue or painful IBS at the wrong time (running to the bathroom for long stints daily).  I have even found the idea of going to yoga after work too fatiguing to think about even though I have wanted to take yoga for years.  

I feel like am just around the corner from the answers, the right diet, the right health and the right lifestyle that I need to move ahead and live a fulfilled life.  I have been depressed and insecure within myself for many years – wanting to have a special skill, helping others and being a part of a community.  I feel as though my life has been lacking all from my own lack of involvement with others and having a life too simple and unchallenged.  Even though I have chosen not to have children I find myself envious of mothers with families – lots of activities and adventures for the whole family.  I know my insecurities are part of who I am in addition to the chronic fatigue and that once I step out of my shell I find life very rewarding and I am grateful.  I do challenge myself on occasion to stretch myself into uncomfortable situations and I find that I am much better now than I was 20 years ago at interacting with people and finding common ground.  I am eager now that I am feeling better to up the stakes and really get out there and challenge myself.  I think I will post later about personal challenges I have taken and achieved – so that I can have a diary or testament to refer to when I am feeling insecure or self doubting.  

Sorry for the stray from the original topic but, it all has to do with feeling better and how AIP has already had an impact on my life.  Hope it helps anyone taking the time  to read it.  

🙂

My AIP Diet Change

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Jennifer Flanigan’s – German Sweet Potato Salad

I have been on the AIP diet for a week or so now.  It has been expensive and incredibly time consuming.  I have had to purchase a bunch of food and items that I do not normally have on my shelf and I have spent every single day cooking.  I enjoy cooking really but, there is added pressure to make sure I have enough to eat at any time and not be tempted to sway.  

Jumping into AIP from Paleo is not very hard to do.  I am already used to a high protein, fat and vegetable diet.  I only had to remove another few items and it was the logical next step.  I have to say however, that I did shed a few tears on the day that I decided to embark on this part of the journey.  I LOVE coffee and wine.  I also found myself being cranky the first few days as we ventured out of the house and I could not find anything without paprika, gluten or dairy in it!  

I will share links throughout here of the items I have purchased as well as specialty foods that are not found in any grocery store that I have access to.  

I have found much inspiration and guidance from the women and their blogs/websites listed below:

There is also a great video interview with Eileen and Mickey regarding reintroduction of foods after being on AIP for a while.  

I immediately realized when I started the diet that I was in for a lot of cooking.  I always put half of what I make in the freezer.  I use recipes online that people share on Pinterest as well as on Eileen’s site here.  The first recipe cookbook I ordered was Mickey’s The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook. I love this cookbook and have made many of her recipes already.  

Items that most folks do not have in their kitchen but, I use with the recipes:

Here are supplements I have ordered and take regularly.

For a thorough explanation of the benefits of these supplements I highly recommend Datis Kharrazian’s book Why do I still have thyroid symptoms? When my lab tests are normal.  This is the book that taught me what tests I am going to ask for at my functional medicine doctor visit and the different types of thyroid conditions and how they are treated within the functional medicine practice.  

UP Next – My first week on AIP with recipe links and outline of different days 

The Doctor Visit

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After many months of feeling like I was going to die I went to a primary care physician (PCP). I did not have one already so I found one in my health insurance network. I took a laundry list of symptoms I was having as well as my history of symptoms and diagnosis. Having no history on record for her to look over she wanted to have me take several tests based upon my symptom list.

She called for a sleep apnoea test, an upper GI and and ultra sound of the upper abdomen. I know that my insurance covers only those special visits and tests referred by my PCP and that I would be responsible for 30% of the cost. So I decided to take one test and see where that would hit me in my wallet before I submitted to the other tests.

The ultrasound came up clean – nothing unusual. No gallstones, no lover stones, no gall sludge, no stones anywhere, no other aberrations to note. So, I hit the books and the web again for my gamut of symptoms. I decided that my paleo diet that I had been kind of sticking to was not doing the trick and that I might try the autoimmune diet.

All my symptoms pointed to a thyroid and/or autoimmune condition. So, I figured that if I did have either of these that the best way for me to address this condition – other than any recommended supplements by the doctor – is to take control of my diet.

I was certain that if I gained control of my probable autoimmune condition that my sleep problems would alleviate, my IBS would go away as would all other abdominal pain and my other symptoms as well would start to improve. My next post will outline what I have done since I started he autoimmune protocol diet (AIP) as well as the results.

I have realized that it is only I who will know what is right for me. I have learned that not all (in fact not most) of traditionally trained medical doctors are capable of properly addressing autoimmune conditions let alone recognize a condition when it is staring them in the face.

The PCP that I went to had the gall to tell my my tongue was not swollen – even though I know that it is and has been for many years. She took me to a google search for swollen tongues and all I saw were a myriad of tongues with very different issues. Some looked like deep bark on a tree, others cracked, others with round dark patches, etc.

She also told me that she once had a patient that after a series of tests were unable to pinpoint what was causing his chronic fatigue as all his tests were “normal”. So, he was left with a lovely title for his illness with no aid or cure. What a waste of time. I know that I have to be smarted than the doctor – and if that sounds presumptuous so be it. In the end I will be victorious unlike those other unfortunate souls that take what the white coat tells them to be gospel and true.

I have since scheduled myself for a visit with a functional medicine doctor. One who looks at the whole body, who looks at test results in a much narrower range than traditional medicine and is eager to address lifestyle as well as preventative and nutritional aspects of disease rather than pumping each patient full of pharmaceutical drugs. My appointment is next week and I have made a long list of tests I want so that even if the doctor cannot determine what I am dealing with I can refer to the books that I have read and determine what I need for myself.

UP next – my AIP diet change.