Glimpse into week one of the AIP protocol
I have been following the Autoimmune Protocol diet now for a week and a half. I can not say that I feel amazingly different. Also, for the past 5 days, I have been full of cold. I have felt bloated, my digestion seems sluggish, and I feel heavy and nauseous. I was hoping that the bloating would be the first thing to improve, however, I think it has indeed got worse! I understand why this would be, due to the high meat focus of the diet, and combing the AIP diet with a low FODMAP diet results in a low fibre intake. This was already a problem for me (Metamucil be my friend!), but right now even the thought of meat or sweet potato makes me feel nauseous! I am trying to find a solution to this. I have started with stewing up some strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, cinnamon and ginger today; all contributors to a happy digestive system, and all AIP compliant and low in FODMAPs. Further to this, I think I have been relying on coconut products too much. I slowly introduced coconut into my low fructose diet last year, and I think I became a little too excited with it, and have been suspecting it to be irritating my gut even prior to this diet. I know that it will take quite some time before I see effects from this diet, if at all, as I have been unwell for a long time (and have non-autoimmune conditions which this diet does not effect). Also it can take a while for the digestive system to settle and adjust. Hence I am not phased by this first week..
Having food intolerances (as opposed to food allergies), it has been easy to now and again sneak a little of the off limits food here and there (not many, mainly egg and dairy in gluten free bread, and goat’s cheese). I feel the effects, but some aren’t so bad, and I have been known to talk myself into dealing with the side effects so as to enjoy the food (some cause such bad effects I would never consider it, but others cause milder effects). I realise now that even though the food intolerances were causing me to eat quite healthily, and I have generally always chosen the healthier options, I was not really eating to heal my body. I was eating some sugar (though only rice syrup and occasionally dextrose), and foods that set even a slight response off in my gut, and foods which can cause decline in health regarding autoimmune disease (i.e. grains etc). Now that I have recognised the benefits of this specialised diet, I do not want to cheat or sneak even a mouthful of the foods I should be avoiding. I suddenly feel like I am in control of something regarding my health. Every other aspect of my health seems to be beyond my control; I can not exercise very much to improve my health, I have been on countless unsuccessful medication trials, I have visited multiple doctors and health professionals without success. I now feel like I can control how well I adhere to this diet plan, and therefore how big the potential results are from it, and subsequently that is motivating me to ignore the cravings. This diet won’t improve all my health issues, I know that, but even a slight let up in some symptoms would be worth it. Bring on week two!!
Glimpses of week one in pictures!…