I am Sam.
Sam is a 35-year-old private chef (and personal assistant, organizer, nanny, housekeeper, pet-sitter, and odd-jobs-aficionado).
Sam has two more days to enjoy some of the aforementioned “why-in-tarnations-do-these-appear-to-be-in-the-same-category” category of foods (that don’t really go together…but you’ll soon find out why this is my fast-breaking meal. I promise.).
Why, you ask?
Because Sam is embarking on a journey of the Autoimmune-Protocol-kind.
Because Sam, over the course of 2.5 years, in an effort to fix her ferocious belly aches, crippling anxiety, agoraphobia, waxing and waning depression, seasonal-turned-chronic eczema, relentless fatigue, fibromyalgia, arthritis (geez, right!? you get the picture) has already tried going:
Vegan (wow was I a cranky-puss)
Raw Vegan (add #@*&!! to the above diet)
High Raw Vegan (just because it sounded flippin’ fancy)
I take ginger and turmeric and primrose and CoQ10 and spirulina and swallow all these other funky herbs and supplements and eat organic produce and order meat from a rancher and go to a farm for raw grass fed milk and use chemical-free products and got an old root-canaled-tooth removed and I do every dang-ol’ thang I’m supposed to do (because you ARE supposed to do those things to be holistically healthy, right?!).
And Sam’s conclusion is…(drumroll please…)
Despite trying all of these alternative-to-the-SAD (Standard American Diet) diets and modifications to modern-day living, her tummy is still busted and this is the culprit of her many ailments.
(Now, Sam will stop referring to herself (myself!?) in the third person, because its starting to annoy and confuse me/Sam.)
A segment for modern medicine:
I don’t really do modern medicine anymore. Its just…meh. Unless a body part is about to fall off, or I have a sinus infection that won’t go away after a month or so…meh.
I have been told by doctors that:
I don’t have anxiety, that I am just depressed. “Here, take these pills. See you in six months.”
I need to be diagnosed for arthritis before I can claim that I have arthritis.
That my eczema/itching is just in my head (was given an OTC anti-itch cream by one.) “Here, put this steroid cream on.”
To take steroids and high-dose pain medication for my fibromyalgia.
To eat gluten-free. (after I explained that I went off grains over two years ago, and that it still hasn’t worked).
Just eat whatever I can.
That my allergy tests were normal.
End segment for modern medicine.
I had honestly felt like giving up entirely on curing myself. I felt like I just had to accept my ailments, no matter how much they bogged me down, and just dive into my artwork and work and home-cooking as therapy, and accept that I am sick and crazy and just do the best I can with what I’ve got and…that THAT is what the universe intended for my health and mind.
Then…at the beginning of this month, during my meal-planning and recipe research, I came across a website called 20dishes.com. They offer meal planning services and advice on batch-cooking a week’s worth of meals in a couple of hours (something we have been doing in the Sam-Household as of late). They had options for specific diets, and I noticed….something…different….
“AUTOIMMUNE PALEO!!??” shouted Sam! (umm…internally…yeah, that’s the ticket…)
And the Obsessed-With-Another-Diet-To-Potentially-Heal-Herself-Sam was REBORN! HALLELUJAH! (clap clap clap, crazy dance, raise the roof hands up, mosh and knock down some innocent bystanders)
Soooooo, yeah. *awkward cough*
In short, Autoimmune Paleo (aka Autoimmune Protocol, aka AIP) is an advanced and stricter form of Paleo wherein you
deprive yourself of *ahem* temporarily eliminate the foods which are most known to irritate your gut lining. I will list them here, and then move on. Because if you want to know more about the why of AIP, Sarah Ballantyne is a doctor who wrote that book already, and I’ve listed it below this list of
FORBIDDEN FOODS IN ADDITION TO REGULAR-PALEO’S FORBIDDEN FOODS:
Eggs. Nuts. Legumes and Beans. Dairy, even raw is excluded. Pseudo-grains like quinoa (is it a pseud or a grain? who knows…). Nightshade vegetables. Seeds. Spices and seasonings that come from nightshades and seeds. Non-nutritive sweeteners like Monkfruit and Stevia. Stabilizers and gums. Coffee (ugh). Cocoa (ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh).
So after researching, I researched some more, and I Pinterest-ed recipes. I read blogs and some more blogs. And I read The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne (snagged for $12 at half-price books) and her Paleo Approach Cookbook (snagged for $9.99 from Nook for my tablet), and Nourish – The Paleo Healing Cookbook by Rachael Bryant (snaggety-snagged from Costco for $15.something). I also pre-ordered The Healing Kitchen (also by Ballantyne) and am waiting for the book’s release date to I can have it in my greedy little eager-to-be-healthy hands!
I have armed myself with information before embarking on this dietary journey because I did not want to do this half-assed. Because that would be asinine. Yes, I said ass. Like three times now.
I honestly feel that I have found the missing link that I have been searching for in curing my leaky gut. I am excited to eat exciting new foods. I have expressed this in many forms and way too many times to my wonderful, patient, accepting, and deep-sighing heterosexual-life-partner. Poor bastard. (I love you, Pookie. Thank you, Pookie.)
I. Have. Hope. Again.
And that in itself is a beautiful thing after you have given up. Like, really given up.
And… the reason I am having coffee, green beans, ghee, and chocolate cake for breakfast today is because in two days time I will not be allowing myself these items for…let’s just say a good while. Possibly 2 months, or more. Probably more on the MORE side. And during that MORE time I will be replacing them with yerba mate / black tea / green tea, asparagus, coconut oil, and carob-arrowroot sort-of-like-a-cake-substance. And lots of other yummy foods.
This morning, I am indulging. (And also eating things up before I have to throw them out of my kitchen because I am
And I intend to share my journey with you.
During this journey I intend to create and share recipes that are EASY and FAST to prepare with as little work and cleanup as possible. I intend to design meals so that someone who is not a trained chef (like myself) or someone who may not possess speedy knife skills can make themselves meals that heal.
May I now present…
The Unskilled Cavewoman.