What is the Autoimmune Protocol Diet?

So I’ve read quite a few personal stories of people who are successfully managing autoimmune disease with the help of the Autoimmune Protocol diet (AIP). AIP is an elimination/reintroduction plan to improve gut health (where somewhere around 80% of our immune system lies) and identify food sensitivities that are likely to contribute to symptoms associated with autoimmune disease. It is a plan to create a diet and lifestyle (including sleep, stress management, exercise, and relationships) that is individualized and helps to give you optimal health.

I’m not totally sold on the idea that I need to eliminate all the foods they recommend removing during the elimination phase in order to “reset” my immune system, but I am sold on the idea that certain foods contribute to Hashimoto’s making me feeling generally unwell. When I eat dairy, I get acne, my belly gets bloated, and I have painful gas. And when I eat soy protein, my joints from my head to my toes ache for a few days. I am curious to find out what my new doctor (an Integrative Medicine doctor I’ll see on Monday) has to say about AIP and elimination diets in general.

One thing that is appealing with AIP is that the foods that are allowed during the elimination phase are mostly foods that I enjoy. Beef, chicken, turkey, and pork are allowed (hooray, bacon and bacon fat!), as are most of my favorite fruits and vegetables. In addition, via AutoimmuneWellness.com, I found this awesome meal planning resource. It is highly customizable and will only give recipes that fit whatever dietary needs I ask of it. It’s awesome. I’ll be discussing all of this with my doctor this week and making some decisions as to whether AIP is something I’ll try, or if another elimination diet is better suited for me. After all, I wouldn’t be able to have Shakeology during the elimination phase (this can last a few weeks to a whole year!), and it’s my go to breakfast everyday.

If you want to read more about AIP from some people who know this plan inside and out, visit Angie Alt and Mickey Trescott at AutoimmuneWellness.com and Dr. Sarah Ballantyne at The Paleo Mom.

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