The Bumpy Road to AIP part 3
They say that people with the worst pasts end up creating the best futures, well the future was starting to look a whole lot brighter! next picture I am sharing with you was taken on Christmas day 2014 in gorgeous Bullock Beach in Caloundra on the stunning Sunshine Coast. I was only an AIP newbie and definitely had my training wheels on! At this stage, I had only started in early October so it had been barely 3 months in but I was pumped with enthusiasm that I had finally found the ‘key’ I had so desperately been searching for nearly 2 decades.
The next picture I am sharing with you was taken on Christmas day 2014 on gorgeous Bullock Beach in Caloundra on the stunning Sunshine Coast. I was only an AIP newbie and definitely had my training wheels on! At this stage, I had only started in early October so it had been barely 3 months in but I was pumped with enthusiasm that I had finally found the ‘key’ I had so desperately been searching for nearly 2 decades.
The initial first few weeks were fraught with much anxiety, frustration and overwhelming feelings. I had originally come across Pete Evans who was starting up his Paleo Way Tribe, and I decided with the many hours of research and how sick I was, it would be a best to just go all boots in! I went full ahead into the AIP straight out of the gate, instead of going paleo. I needed to find the best way heal my gut and reverse my 3 autoimmune diseases. Not succeeding was an option I just couldn’t afford. I figured I didn’t want to waste any more time being sick and it could have been potentially months on paleo before deciding on a transition to AIP. In retrospect, I now know it was the right decision as Paleo could have prolonged my symptoms given all the inflammatory ingredients. Also, my pre-AIP diet, although I considered it very healthy, clean and organic still had quite Mediterranean influence so it was very heavy on nightshades, which I had newly discovered were like pouring petrol on a fire with the amount of inflammation in my body at the time. It was a logical choice to go into the AIP full steam as paleo tends to be quite heavy in the nightshades, eggs, nuts and seeds that are potential immune triggers and can be highly inflammatory.
I inhaled all the information I could from the amazing Dr Terry Wahls, Dr Sarah Ballantyne (the Paleo Mom), Mickey Trescott from Autoimmune Paleo (now Autoimmune Wellness) and Eileen Laird of Phoenix Helix. I wanted to know all the why’s and how’s. I bought Mickey’s cookbook for inspiration and found it an amazing resource, however, for how we live and eat down under I found it difficult as the recipes were so foreign to the way we eat here and many ingredients regularly featured in AIP recipes are simply not available here, hard to find or very expensive, also we are in opposite seasons with the US.
The first month or so was filled with lots of tears and meltdowns about taking such a big 360 away from how I ate before. All I kept thinking was OMG I can’t eat anything all my beloved nightshades were out, no Quinoa, no nuts, no eggs aaargh!! I had to totally rethink how I cooked and nourished myself and all this was happening living through a soul destroying flare.
I was obsessed over how long it will take for my gut to heal?
When can I start to re-intro foods?
Will I be able to re-intro foods?
Will I achieve remission?
How do I find the time to cook absolutely everything from scratch?
It totally consumed me for weeks and then I had a lightbulb moment, what was I doing obsessing over this stuff, why aren’t I focusing on the abundant array of delicious healing foods I could have instead of pining for and trying to cook poor reincarnations of the dishes I used to love? A little side note, Nomato sauce is the exception to the rule here! 😉
It finally clicked that the elimination phase isn’t a life sentence and I have tons of awesome ingredients to work with and was starting to create some seriously delish nosh, the AIP training wheels were coming off and I was on a roll baby!!
Even my half Sicilian husband whom famously declared “I’d rather die than stop eating bread and pasta and the foods I love,” was jumping on the bandwagon and could not believe how awesome the food tasted but the best part was after a lifetime of battling obesity and newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes he was dropping weight with little to no effort, his diabetes stabilized to the point of no longer needing medication. Only months before he’d been experiencing blood sugar levels as high as 28 which can potentially be life threatening!
After the first 4 weeks on the AIP, I was due for another round of blood work and I was still phone consulting with my integrated doctor in Brisbane at the time. I was always nervous about receiving test results because I have never received any good news, until now. I phoned my doctor and he was astounded and the drop in my antibody count, it had been consistently in the thousands for as long as I could remember and it only ever went up never down so you can imagine my shock and surprise to find that they had dropped over a thousand points in 4weeks!! That’s right! After only 4 weeks I was able to get my antibodies down a thousand points!! I thought wow, just wow, this is amazing all the hard work, tears of frustration and sacrifice were actually paying off!! My doctor whom been practising integrated functional medicine for decades was gobsmacked at the results in such a short time from changing diet alone.
No expensive supplements or auto-ships!
No expensive therapies or specialists!
Just eating the right foods that were helping calm my over- inflamed body and allowing decades of damage to slowly be healed.
In the next part of the bumpy road to the AIP, I will share with you about how the idea for Harmony Hunter was born and the subsequent creation of Australia’s very first fully compliant Autoimmune Protocol cookbook and lifestyle guide “Food Is Life”.
If you are feeling inspired to start the AIP right now I have created a start-up guide to help you on your way, you can download it for free as my gift to you here
Don’t wait until you get sick to do something about your health, take care of yourself now so that you can enjoy your family and friends in good health.
Yours in Health & Harmony,