Oy vey! This elimination diet, the autoimmune protocol (AIP), is TRICKY! It’s tricky, tricky, tricky, tricky! I’m only in my first few days, so I’m still trying to figure out what I can / cannot eat, and how to do this while eating “on the go” — at work, etc. Because it eliminates so much in order to prevent inflammation (necessary for my autoimmune thyroid condition), my options are seriously limited which makes things…complicated.
I’ve been “Paleo” for almost a year, so I’ve got that, “no gluten, grains, legumes, soy, dairy” thing down (well, not really with the dairy, but…). I am thankful to have the Paleo foundation down, because if I had to eliminate all at once … phew! That would be crazy pants. I would advise people who are thinking about doing this for their autoimmune condition to start with the basic Paleo diet before embarking on an autoimmune protocol. The autoimmune protocol takes the Paleo diet much further by eliminating gluten, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy, AND eggs, nightshades (peppers, eggplant, most spices), coffee (GASP!), chocolate, nuts, or seeds. Sweet baby Jesus…
So, what have I been eating? Meat and veg. And a little fruit. Yesterday, was my first day and I got about 80% there — I still drank coffee, but with coconut milk (no dairy – yay!), but I did have several cups of coffee. Today, I only had 1/2 cup of coffee with coconut milk. Progress!! I’m determined to not have any tomorrow. Breakfast both days was a grass-fed short rib that I cooked in the slow cooker using this recipe (minus the paprika to make it AIP compliant): http://www.primalpalate.com/recipe/braised-short-ribs/ DELICIOUS! Breakfast has consisted of heating up one short rib and putting it in a ” to go” container and eating it on the way to work. Not exactly mindful eating, but it IS food that will not make me sick, AND it tastes delicious. BONUS!
Lunch has been the meal I’ve been really struggling with the past two days. Yesterday I had an apple and Sunbutter, but Sunbutter may not be compliant since it is made out of sunflower seeds. And it was not very filling, so I was starving when I got home. BUT, I made a lovely and very filling plate for dinner. Today, I was running around for work. I stopped at the grocery store and got olives, beets, pepperoni and marinated mushrooms from the salad bar. It was super tasty, but I’m not sure it was totally AIP compliant – I don’t know what spices they may have used for the mushroom marinade, for example. Tonight, I made a bunch of chicken, so that I will have options to bring to work tomorrow. I love the Balanced Bites recipe for mustard chicken thighs that is in “Practical Paleo” (an amazing book everyone should get if they don’t have it already).
Regarding my delicious dinners, night one I made a delicious meal consisting of a leftover short rib, braised cabbage, and carrot/turnip puree (based on this recipe, but substituting lard for the butter to keep it dairy free: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/4105061950/carrot-parsnip-puree). (See photo below.) Dinner has been painless — very similar to what I was eating being “Paleo,” minus dairy (butter) and most spices. Tonight I had beef sausage patties from US Wellness meats, with no offending spices, and more of that carrot/parsnip puree. So good! I have been eating a lot of fruit for snacks, but I think I need to cut the fruit back. A lot of fruit will spike my blood sugar way up, and trigger my sugar addiction. But, I’m making progress. Baby steps.
UPDATE: Day 3 did not go very well. AT ALL! For the first half of the day I was SPOT ON! No coffee, no dairy, no eggs, etc. BUT, by mid day, I was exhausted and grumpy and feeling super deprived. I decided to go to the local health food store for a Kumbucha and next thing I know I’m eating white chocolate, drinking a chai from Starbucks (with soy!! wtf!?!?) and then met the BF for dinner and had french fries! Seriously, wtf!?!? I suspect that poor planning today combined with the “deprived” feeling from eliminating coffee (and perhaps caffeine withdrawal) all combined to push me to a binge. I do have an emotional eating disorder and restricting myself so much so fast may have brought those old demons back up. Not beating up on myself. It happened and I am going to learn from it. AND, I found this great post from Paleo Parents about their experience getting started on the Autoimmune Protocol. It gave me lots of basic ideas about meal planning, etc. Highly recommend it: http://paleoparents.com/featured/wtf-practical-paleo-is-awesome-part-1