The Autoimmune Protocol Experiment
As many of you know, I run 12 week programs focusing on healing the body through real food and healing the gut.
This means being very well acquainted with recipes and real foods that have minimal possibility of causing inflammation to the body or damage to the gut lining.
It also means that I believe in constantly chasing your health and doing everything within your power to be as strong, fit and healthy as you can be.
That’s why I am doing the AIP experiment…
There are a long list of foods that are potential food sensitivities and another long list of foods that are damaging to the gut, both of which eventually cause something called leaky gut. When the gut is damaged through consumption of any of these foods (such as gluten containing products like bread) and food particles make their way into the blood stream the body goes on high alert trying to get rid of these foreign particles.
Your immune system has a fantastic memory of every single one of these foreign particles and files each away in a memory bank so that it can attack them efficiently next time they threaten our state of health. Unfortunately, this can lead to an over stimulated immune system that mistakenly attacks the body itself due to a case of molecular mimicry (that is, the foreign proteins look a lot like our own).
A damaged gut, exposure to toxins (gluten, mould, stress, food sensitivities) as well as genetics can lead to a whole range of autoimmune conditions. Which autoimmune disease you get is anyones guess. Think of it like a long chain that when pulled, breaks at the weakest link.
For example when the thyroid is attacked hypothyroidism results, or when the pancreas is attacked type 1 diabetes, or the tissues in the joints attacked leading to rheumatoid arthritis.
Well…at least thats a very simplified version.
Because the body can struggle with certain foods potentially due to an already damaged gut but also simply due to the structure of certain foods, its important for anyone with autoimmune conditions to remove all potential food sensitivities for a period of time to allow the body to heal. There are many cases of people with autoimmune conditions that go into remission when the diet and lifestyle are so well managed, whilst others have far less symptoms.
That’s why I am now concentrating on building a recipe repertoire that caters to those who have autoimmune conditions. The diet is called the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) of which focuses on removing the main food sensitivities and potential immune stimulants. You can read more about AIP HERE.
The aim is to remove all food sensitivities for 30 days to heal the gut allowing the immune system to regulate itself, switching on the bodies innate healing, rebalancing hormones and reducing systemic inflammation.
So I have decided to give this a whirl. 30 days…only healthy, nutrient packed foods that won’t harm the gut.
Foods removed as part of the AIP include:
Seeds (coffee, seed spices)
Nightshades (including eggplant, capsicum, potato)
Gluten Cross-Reactive Foods (Dairy, Grains)
Vegetable oils (Canola and safflower that can easily oxidise causing further inflammation in the body)
One would be very well placed to ask then…
So what CAN you eat then?
Ah…well this takes you right back to your grass roots. To absolute primal basics – meat, veg and fruit.
By cutting back on so many foods for 30 days, its vital you increase your nutrient dense foods such as organ meats, seafood, bone broth, quality fats and green veggies. And when you look closely at these foods, there are ample options for you to choose from. You just need to be prepared and a little creative.
I have decided to start my 30 days on Monday. Which gives me a few days to prepare!
Whilst I don’t have an autoimmune condition, I do have a gut that has had over 25 years of gluten bashing and bad food choices, I am also a sufferer of IBS, have a gene pool that is riddled with autoimmune conditions and feel it can only do me well to provide my body with better food choices that allow it an opportunity to heal. Although, I was told when I was 22 that I had early stages of endometriosis – an autoimmune disease, but it hasn’t been an issue for me since my last tests were negative.
I also want to support my clients in their journey by creating new recipes that even the strictest, most disciplined can eat and enjoy.
Here’s my first recipe – an egg free zucchini slice!
So here’s to healing and to clean living and doing everything within your power to thrive.
Do you suffer from an autoimmune condition? Have you tried the AIP diet? How did you go?