MANY people are very curious about my current diet and what I am eating on a daily basis. My diet has been a challenge, I won’t lie, but I feel so much better since embracing it that I’m motivated to continue.
The autoimmune protocol (AIP) can can challenge even the most disciplined.
Current health crazes might declare a certain food to be great for you, when in fact, it would exacerbate some current health conditions you are suffering with. Until you meet with a qualified HOLISTIC doctor to look at your overall health, the only extreme measures you should take regarding your health without guidance is this: getting away from (eliminating, ultimately) processed foods and moving towards more whole (organic) foods.
Before I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance I was consuming whole grain organic wheat products in a ridiculous quantity thinking I was doing the right thing. What a mistake! Within days of giving up wheat, my life changed dramatically and all those aches and pains I was having in my joints started to disappear. Within two weeks I was a new woman.
Many of us are sick from the foods we eat. I didn’t have any debilitating symptoms, I just felt like crap for ten years. It was like living life under a big lead blanket. As I discovered more and more of my food sensitivities and ultimately got my Hashimoto diagnosis, it was like being reborn. I’m still not 100% recovered but I feel like an entirely different person and my health continues to improve daily.
Everyone should have a TRUSTED professional look at their overall health and figure out what foods are benefiting them and what ones are creating problems. I can pretty much guarantee you this professional is not your “traditional” medical doctor. You’ve got to find a holistic doc, one that focuses getting to the root cause of your problem and healing with nutrition. I’ve been saying this for years and believe it more today than ever before…
For a LONG time I chugged along eating what I believed to be great and nutritious foods (vegan diet) but because I wasn’t aware of my leaky gut and the health issues relating to it, many of the foods I was consuming were creating some pretty serious problems for me.
When you look at what I am currently eating, keep in mind that I am following a very strict autoimmune protocol (AIP) in an effort to heal my leaky gut. I’ve also had extensive testing so I know where my shortfalls are and am working diligently to get my numbers up to a good and healthy place.
My hope is that in the end I’ll remedy my autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) and once I heal my gut I’ll be able to get off of my thyroid meds. I loathe prescription drugs. I also hope to go back to enjoying some of the foods I am currently eliminating from my diet, even if it is only occasionally and in small quantities.
So what am I eating? Pretty much the AIP diet.
First and foremost I have had to remove highly inflammatory foods and this pretty much knocks a LOT of familiar foods off the list, a lot.
What highly inflammatory foods do I have to eliminate?
- Wheat (I went gluten free two years prior to following this protocol)
- Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant
- Processed sugars
- Processed foods
Not everyone has issues with nightshades, but you won’t know until you go through an elimination and re-introduction process. Generally speaking, all of the others on the list create inflammation for all of us in various parts of the body. For example, gluten caused inflammation in MY JOINTS, not my gut, as is usually the case for many.
Considering that corn and soy are in just about every processed food in some form or another, I have had to stop eating prepared foods of any kind and cook the vast majority of my food from scratch. Soy has 90+ different derivatives. Yes, you read that correctly. Things like citric acid, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, lecithin, MSG, xanthan gum are all made from soy. Scary how much soy there is on the planet and it’s shitty, GMO laden soy. Blech.
Following the AIP is a huge commitment and trust me, I have a lot of empathy for people who don’t have my cooking skills when they are handed this diet protocol. It can be OVERWHELMING. In addition to avoiding those highly inflammatory foods I also have to avoid nuts, grains, alcohol, high glycemic fruits, fungi and coffee. This is a pretty exhaustive list of things I can’t eat, huh?
Also, I’m supposed to be focusing on lower carb intake because I have been struggling with candida as well. Typically I don’t like to eat so much meat but since my doctor has taken away gut plugging carbs, beans and nuts (all very physically satisfying) I’m not feeling very full so I’ve added 3-4 oz of clean meat to my daily morning and evening routine.
What CAN I Eat?
- MOSTLY organic veggies (those not already listed for me to avoid).
- Meats – organic, hormone free, antibiotic free (cleanest I can find)
- Fish – wild caught low mercury content fin fish
- Fermented foods
- Herbs & spices, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, herbal tea and olives.
- Low glycemic fruits.
What does my daily food intake look like? I rise super early in the morning (naturally) so by 11:00 a.m. I have usually consumed both breakfast and a green smoothie.
- Breakfast is usually cauliflower (substitute sweet potato) and a green veggie along with a boneless chicken thigh (substitute fish or shrimp).
- Green smoothie, which is chock full of greens, cucumber, carrots, avocado and fruit along with water and supplements happens when I get hungry. 20-24 oz of hungry.
- Lunch doesn’t always happen because frequently I have my smoothie late in the morning. When that happens, around 2pm I usually have a snack (apple & avocado, plum, some other fruit) and my second green smoothie (20-24oz). I spread these two choices out over about an hour or so.
- Dinner is always a HUGE salad with about 3 oz of some sort of meat/fish added to it. I eat early (and you should too).
So basically, right now I’m doing dinner for breakfast. Why? A couple of reasons.
No bread or bagels (not even gluten free because they are loaded with crap), no eggs, no yogurt, no chia pudding (I’m off of seeds right now), and oatmeal/granola is too high carb. All of the typical foods I’d eat are off of my list so a gal has to figure out a good substitute instead of sitting on the kitchen floor crying there there’s nothing for her to eat (been there, done that). PLUS, I’ve been physically active a few days a week and I need some energy. A pea protein green smoothie is great if I’m not having a physically demanding morning but when I am, I need a meal to start my day. I’ve started making more “leftovers” so I can quickly throw a meal together in the morning. That means I am cooking and prepping a bunch of foods on Sunday night to help get me through the week.
For me, this diet succeeds at making me feel better. Seriously. I am also thinner than I have been in decades. After reading what I’m eating I’m guessing you aren’t surprised by that fact, lol. Maintaining a healthy weight has been a major perk of this particular diet. When I do start adding back some of the more carb rich foods, I won’t do it to extreme so that I can maintain a healthy weight. Right now, I could stand to gain a few pounds, and those words have never come out of my mouth before. Ever.
The one thing I can say now that I haven’t been able to say in years is this. I feel STRONGER, physically and emotionally than I ever have. Any yes, this clean diet has really helped my libido stay strong. Hel-lo sexy!
I don’t exercise the way I should at my age (another blog post for another day). I am physically active, but not in a structured exercise sort of way. I need to get working on some cardio – full disclosure.
I look forward to re-introducing some corn, beans and tomatoes (not gonna lie, I REALLY miss them).
I have finally given up processed sugar. I spent a few months during my very stressful winter entangled in a love affair with Ben & Jerry and gluten free cookies. Gah, just horrible for you. Both are LOADED with sugar. FYI gluten free baked goods are chock full of sugar. Read the labels, it’s frightening. I’ve been off processed sugar for just a little over three months now and it has made a HUGE difference in how I feel.
My food has evolved over the years based on my physical needs. There is no one size fits all. I cannot urge you enough to find a primary care doctor that can help you use food as a tool to manage your health. You are what you eat. No bullshit. If you eat junk you will be junk.
Reminder: all those dreams you are still hoping to achieve. Yeah, those ones. You’ll need to have energy and good health to realize them.