How My AIP Journey Started
When I first heard about the autoimmune protocol, I was sitting in a nutritionist’s office and I was literally bouncing at 4pm. This was pretty typical for my body. I would either be so tired and sluggish that I was asleep (or close to it) or I was jittery, anxious and talking about a mile a minute. My adrenal glands had stopped doing what they were supposed to. Whether that was from an HPA-axis misfire, or if my body stopped remembering how to take cortisol where it needed to go, who knew?
Sitting in her office, I recall telling her my symptoms, everything from the bad headaches and exhaustion but not being able to sleep (“wired but tired”) to the bladder pain that could not be controlled with any pain medication. She asked about how long these things had been going on and I laughed. She advised me to be patient, and said that I needed to be on a strict gluten- and dairy-free diet regimen for at least one year to heal.
She highly recommended Eileen Laird, and her book and podcast. I am, by nature, a questioner and trained as a researcher. So naturally, I took the next 2 months to listen to every episode of the podcast, Phoenix Helix and read her book on AIP, along with collecting as many cookbooks as I could.
After being 100% strict paleo for a few months, and giving up nuts for a candida issue, going AIP was really only one more jump: no nightshades and no chocolate. The nightshades took themselves out after I had an anaphylactic reaction to tomatoes in an In-and-Out drive-through. I took the leap on April 25th, 2016 and on April 27th, I won a place in Angie Alt’s SAD to AIP in 6 group. God was telling me I was on the right path to healing. Along with winning that spot, I won 4 cookbooks that I already had saved in my Amazon wishlist. GO ME!
Reflecting back on this whole process, I wish I would have started sooner!! Of course everyone says that, and I am sure that I wasn’t ready until I actually took the plunge. This way of eating food, and prepping it starting to become natural to me, especially with the help of “The Healing Kitchen” cookbook (this one is by far my favorite and my go-to for meal prep). It took me about 7 weeks to get the hang of meal planning, batch cooking, and where to buy all of my groceries for the week. I hate not having anything that is convenient but I am learning to prep when I feel awesome, so there is always something in the fridge for me to grab. I miss treats but I know someday I will eat the best chocolate chip cookies ever and it will have been so worth the wait!!
When I first started on AIP, I was immediately hit with a very bad bladder infection. It seemed completely defeating. How could this happen if I was doing everything right?? But after research and serious reflection, I decided that my body need to detox and was going to do so by clearing each organ and my bladder just got hit first! Since that point, my healing seemed to go in reverse-order. This concept is taken from Herring’s Law of the Cure. If you are ill and you haven’t read about this yet, start googling!!
For the first 9 weeks, I felt almost all the old symptoms I had since I can remember being ill back in my single digit days! It was hard and some days were downright miserable. But I stayed on track with my food, made sleep a priority, got regular chiropractic adjustments, started using acupuncture for pain relief and upped the amount of nutrient density in my foods.
I have more energy now than I have in 10+ years, I have regular periods, I sleep every night without sleep aids, I wake up almost every morning ready to face the day. Instead of sleeping 3 hours in the middle of every day , I use the time to read, catch up on TV shows, batch cook, clean my house and other productive things. I actually called my husband one day during my kids napped time and yelled on the phone, “Are you freaking kidding me? People have time in the middle of the day that they don’t have to sleep. Do you know how much I got done today!!!” I felt robbed of my time. Time that I had spent sleeping and trying to cope with life, that I now get to enjoy!!
I still have bad days, but now I have one bad day a week instead of one good one. I have more hours every day spent feeling good than bad. I finally get to take my kids to the park and play with them! I have gotten something in my life back that I didn’t think I ever would. I do not think AIP was the only missing link to my healing and I certainly have a long way to go but it is a huge piece.
Thank you for going on this journey with me. I am so invested in this journey that I had to write a book about it. My book, Journey Back to Health: Six Steps to Confidently Getting Your Life Back comes out next week, and I’m so excited for everyone to read it. You can buy it wherever books are sold, and on Amazon. I’ve included a workbook at the back of the print book, but if you buy the Kindle book, you’ll be able to download the workbook from my website when it becomes available!
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