Every year about this time, I awake early and figure out a few goals for the new year, as well as review the previous year. B and I have jokingly called it "the project list" or list of "shit to do" as resolutions seem too formal. This year I'm naming it the "get er done" list!
So now I sit with my weekly cup of dairy-free coffee and contemplate about the things I wish to accomplish this 2018. Things like, complete the St. Pats Dash (Seattle) in less than 58 minutes (I walk/jog); find a bread box design pattern for B to create; use my handy dandy tablet to blog more frequently (doing that now); Christmas presents for 2018 will be focused on gardening (we make gifts every year); review, reduce, and remove unwanted or unused kitchen gadgetry; any unwanted household items should be taken to the local swap meet for a weekend (local one here in Concrete is huge by the way!); and of course - one of the most important, continue to maintain our health using the AIP lifestyle (no I will not call it a diet).
Out of all of those things, the most daunting is to keep focused on AIP. What is AIP you may ask? AIP is short for Auto-Immune Protocol. It is a system that is growing in popularity not for its weight loss features, but the health benefits achieved! While some may lose weight (I have dropped almost 20 lbs!), it is not designed primarily for weight reduction. It is meant to help heal your gut and in doing so, as you reintroduce foods, helps you to identify your trigger foods that create auto-immune flares.
The elimination phase is strict (makes Whole30 look easy), but it truly does help! You will remove 6 food categories for a period of at minimum 30 days, more depending on why you are trying this (we did 45 days). During our elimination phase my runny nose, watery itchy eyes, bags under my eyes, fullness, itchy skin, psoriasis patches, myyscle cramps, joint stiffness, skin redness, and even some back pain lessened or went away. B followed along with me since I do all the cooking, but wasn't as strict that I was (he kept some nightshades like potatoes, coffee, dairy, some sugar) and even he reaped benefits like less joint stiffness, better cold recovery, weight loss, better heat/cold tolerance (and he is not auto-immune!) I find that just eating small amounts of grains or dairy makes me flare up, while nuts and eggs do not. I enjoy a weekly cup of coffee and have revitalized my love of tea. It is an amazing sensation to feel the difference and realize that the super tasty grilled cheese sandwich that used to be your comfort food was one item that made you feel unwell.
Keeping primarily AIP is hard. So many of our American standard diet (known as SAD) contains fake foods that contain more chemicals than actual nutrients. Going from SAD to AIP presents many challenges, but it is possible! It doesnt have to be forever, but it may just keep you coming back for more!
Interested in AIP? Then may I recommend the following book-since this blog is also about reading, not just eating!
Autoimmunewellness.com is the site you will want to grab a cup of coffee (while you can) or green tea and spend a few hours browsing! This was their first book and it's a great starting point. I have yet to buy the second, but I am planning on it. Click the direct link to purchase from Amazon here.
The Autoimmune Wellness website is a wonder trove of resources for those seeking knowledge and help. I will say this, this protocol does not contain a magic pill, it's not guaranteed to do anything but reset your own system and its success is solely on your own shoulders. Call it super paleo, primal, whatever. Its getting back to basics, something it seems so many have lost!
So this year look to this blog to see some AIP friendly lifestyle choices as we continue on our journey towards maintaining wellness!