Often we can get stuck in a healing rut. I know. I’ve been there. Many times! For me, it wasn’t AIP’s fault.
We can feel stuck, bogged down and completely overwhelmed by all we need to do to keep our flares at bay. There’s an often tedious assembly of this chronic-illness puzzle…and sometimes it can feel like we are missing a few, if not several, of those puzzle pieces.
When the AIP became the turning point in my healing journey in 2015, but my health then took a huge dip again and all my reintroductions failed (save for seed-based spices), I realized I had deeper healing to do.
I had begun to feel better, but then I started to feel WORSE. It wasn’t AIP’s fault that I wasn’t improving, though. In fact without the dietary aspect of the AIP at that point in my life I am fairly sure I would have gone from being almost immobilized to actually being bedridden.
What prompted me to write this post were responses I’d occasionally hear upon mentioning the AIP to several people over the years. They’d say things to me like, “Oh I couldn’t possibly give up my coffee / chocolate / tomatoes.” Or while handing my copy of The Paleo Approach right back to me after a couple days of borrowing it- “Yeah…I’m NOT doing that diet.” – and even- “If I don’t see miraculous results right away then why is it worth all that effort? Why even try?”
Because it’s worth it.
You are worth it.
To put my chronic illnesses into remission I needed to do MORE…much more in fact…than just the autoimmune protocol alone:
I needed to detox from even natural sugars thanks to Candida overgrowth.
I needed several parasite cleanses. (Intestinal worms, anyone? Yucky, yuck YUCK.)
I needed regular liver cleanses, as I don’t have a gallbladder, and my body requires assistance due to my permanently altered dietary metabolism.
I needed to adjust my exercise regimen to more gentle movements. (No more American Ninja Warrior-esque workouts, yo.)
I needed supplementation, which also required proper timing throughout the day for adequate absorption (not just gulping them down all at once like I thought was the right thing to do back in the day).
I needed fecal microbiota transplantation to replenish my gut with the beneficial bacteria it had lost due to years of antibiotic over-prescriptions and a lifetime on the SAD diet. (Yep. I swallowed poop pills).
I needed natural desiccated thyroid to bring my deeper thyroid levels (beyond TSH) to optimal blood work numbers. (But first I had to heal my adrenals before starting NDT so that my hormones wouldn’t go into deeper stress-mode!)
I needed Mayan massage therapy to coax my retroflexed uterus back into place, giving my other organs a break from the pressure it was putting on them, and to re-balance the haywire hormones causing my PCOS. (Oof.)
I needed combined hypnotherapy and counseling to help my conscious and subconscious mind heal from past traumas, which even my physical body was holding onto. (Wayyy beyond than Goosefraba.)
I needed to focus on eating more with the seasons and allow a wider variety into my diet, because eating the same foods over and over again was depriving my body of broad nutrient density. (Plus….BORRRRING!)
I needed self-care. And lots of it. It’s been a process to re-learn how important I am to myself first and foremost.
This is what I mean when I say it wasn’t AIP’s fault.
The paleo autoimmune protocol got me VERY far in this healing venture of mine, but it was not a cure-all. My hopes and expectations that the diet aspect of it would be my savior years ago was my fault.
AIP was not to blame for me not instantly feeling better after temporarily eliminating the potentially most inflammatory paleo food groups (including eggs, nuts, seeds, nightshades, coffee, cocoa, mucilaginous foods) and the most inflammatory SAD food groups (dairy, gluten, grains, cane sugar, non-nutritive sweeteners, chemical additives).
I actually even wrote an eBook that makes kitchen prep and cleaning up after cooking for the autoimmune protocol super easy: AIP Sheet Pan Recipes. I wanted to help people who were struggling with the cooking part of it be able to just throw it all in the oven and fuggetaboutit!
What I do give AIP credit for:
Helping me listen to my body: When my inflammation was initially calmed down, I could “hear” my body tell me when it was time to chill the eff out on a particular food (even after a successful reintroduction…it doesn’t necessarily mean I could have the food item every day).
It allowed me to heal more deeply: When something new was amiss I could sense it without an inflammatory filter in the way. I likely wouldn’t have felt that symptom before with the flare in the way.
Letting me take time for myself: I am important. I can’t pour from an empty cup. When it’s half-full (or half-empty, depending on how that day is going, ya know?) it’s time to take a step back, recharge, and fill myself back up again. I do this with rest and time for myself. Guilt. Free.
Opening me up to self-discovery: When I was at my sickest, I felt I had lost nearly everything I deemed important at the time; simply because I wasn’t the same person who the people and institutes in my life thought I was supposed to be. So I gained a whole new sense of SELF. I am free of social expectations. I am me, and here I still stand, left with what is important to me now and a whole new perspective on life, and what it means to fully exist.
In what ways has the AIP helped you? Or are you currently considering giving the protocol a shot but still on the fence? I’d love to hear in your comments! 🙂
If you’d like to ease stress and end digestive turmoil…healing at both a dietary and on a holistic level, I’m here for you!