Tonight I am having an autoimmune disease / thyroid “flare up.” My legs are swollen and painful from ankle to knee. My fingers are inflamed. My eczema is back with a vengeance. I’m super sensitive to everything and generally just feel yucky. I had plans this evening, but instead I’m in bed with my feet elevated watching “Chopped.” Oh, and researching the autoimmune protocol (AIP) on-line at the same time. I’ve known of this AIP way of eating for a while now, but I’ve been avoiding it because I believe it is too restrictive. Every time I have a flare up, however, I am directed again to the AIP and each time I tell myself I can’t possibly restrict myself any further and so I don’t try it.
So, what is the autoimmune protocol? It is a way of eating that is designed to reduce the inflammation in your body that comes as a result of your autoimmune condition. It is restrictive. It eliminates eggs, nuts, seeds, nightshades, coffee, alcohol, and NSAIDs. Boo!!!! I don’t want to eliminate eggs. Or coffee!!! Are you kidding me?!?!? And nightshades are in everything — spices, tomatoes… I could never eat out again! (Insert dramatic foot stomping here). I don’t even know what NSAIDs are?!?!
I had Graves disease which causes your thyroid to be overactive, but I did not treat it, and ultimately my thyroid burned out. Now I have an under active thyroid. I am not a victim here. I had a disease and I did not treat it. My inaction caused the irritation I now deal with. (My doctor did say, however, that most people with Graves disease eventually end up in my position, but I may have made it a little worse by ignoring it for so long.)
Plenty of people are on the AIP. And surviving. Thriving even. And it is not even a forever thing. You eliminate these foods because they are most likely to cause inflammation / irritation to your gut, but later you reintroduce them one at a time to see whether or not that particular food is a problem for you. Plenty of people have been able to reintroduce egg yolks, for example, successfully. I know I’m just being a big baby. What I hear in my head is, “but I’ve already given up so much!!! Gluten, sugar! I can’t give up more.” But, of course, I can. There is no reason other than “I don’t want to” for me to not do this. Ugh!
Wow, I’m researching AIP at the same time that I’m writing this blog post, and there is no doubt that coffee is not allowed on this protocal! AGHGHGH! I love coffee. I don’t want to give it up. But, the truth is that I’ve had A LOT of coffee today (and the last few days) and I am an inflamed mess now. I don’t like being inflamed. My BF and I just ordered a cold press coffee-making system. I have delicious Chameleon Cold Brewed coffee being shipped to me and expected delivery tomorrow. UGH! I have heard many times in my exploration of wellness that if you are really attached to a food and dread the idea of giving it up, it probably means that food is a big problem for you. If I do the AIP strictly for 30 days, I can always try to add coffee back in afterwards and that will truly tell me if it is the coffee that is the problem. Or something else.
I can do this. OF course I can. I just may want to wait until after Sunday. My BF’s birthday is Monday and I’m taking him out for dinner Sunday night. It looks like eating at a restaurant will be extremely tricky on the AIP.
See these great resources for more info:
I just ordered this impressive looking e-Book “The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook,” by Mickey Trescott. Get it here: http://autoimmune-paleo.com/cookbook/
It is cheering me up a little bit to see such pretty, yummy looking recipes. I’ve been down in the dumps since realizing I need to do this elimination. But, this beautiful cookbook is giving me hope.