Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Why I'm Committing to AIP for 30 Days & My Plan for Success


I began following a Paleo diet about 2 years ago after becoming frustrated that I wasn't able to manage my Crohn's disease with medications alone. Since then, I have dramatically reduced both my symptoms and medications, and have achieved remission! The problem with having an autoimmune disease, is that there is no cure and symptoms can always resurface. Sometimes this happens during times of stress and sometimes it happens for no reason at all.



So what is an Autoimmune Disease?

Autoimmune Disease occurs when the body can't tell the difference between healthy tissue and foreign invaders. As a result, the body's immune system begins to attack its own organs. For example, in Crohn's disease, the immune system attacks the gastrointestinal system.

Food as Medicine

I am a firm believer in using food as medicine. When I start feeling symptoms creep back into my life, I tighten up on the Paleo diet, get more sleep and try to reduce my stress. This balance has significantly improved my overall health and has allowed me to lead a healthy fabulous life! Recently I have been feeling those symptoms creep back in. This time, I decided to do things a little differently. I have read so much about the AIP diet but have never tried it and thought this would be an excellent opportunity!

What is AIP?

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet works to reduce inflammation in the gut that causes Autoimmune Disease and helps heal the immune system. Certain foods are strictly eliminated for a period of at least 30 days. Following the elimination period, a reintroduction period occurs where you identify your food triggers and monitor sensitivities. This is an excellent article by The Paleo Mom on Reintroducing Foods after Following AIP.

The diet is similar to Paleo in that it focuses on increasing nutrient-dense foods and eliminating inflammatory and allergic foods. If you follow a Paleo diet you already stay away from gluten, grains, legumes, dairy, and sugar. With AIP, you will also need to avoid all nightshades (primarily tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, peppers, and nightshade spices), all nuts and seeds, food additives like guar gum and carrageenan, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

To easily see what you can and cannot eat on AIP I created this cheat sheet for you! Pin the image for later or print and hang on your fridge at home!

My Plan for Success

The key to my success when I initially started the Paleo diet was to focus on the foods I could eat, rather than those I couldn't. I plan to take this same approach with AIP.

I also am going to plan and prep my meals for success! That means making sure that I have plenty of meal ideas and snacks! I will be sharing my meal planning posts on Sundays with modifications for AIP. I can't wait to share my AIP findings with you!

TELL ME:

Have you tried AIP?
What are your favorite AIP resources and recipes?

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