The Paleo Diet: An “Autoimmune” Approach



[I wrote the following post before I had actually started the “Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), though now I have been strictly AIP for approximately 6 weeks. I will post again with updates soon!]

There have been many changes in my life since my last post (which feels like a thousand years ago), but there is one in particular I want to focus on today:

Paleo friends, Autoimmune disease-ridden friends, HS friends, are any of you familiar with the Autoimmune Protocol?

Two and a half years ago, I went strict Paleo for 60 days (while also avoiding eggs and nightshades). After the 60 days were up, I slowly reintegrated foods back into my diet to find the culprit food that triggered my HS breakouts. I found that nightshades were my main trigger, and have stayed away from them since. I was able to maintain my health for the most part while staying away from nightshades, and did not experience many painful HS breakouts for a while.

Now that I’m in graduate school, I am frequently more stressed than I had been in undergrad, and my health has faltered quite a bit throughout the past year. I know that stress is a trigger, but I am beginning to think that I may have other food triggers as well.

Because of this, I have made the decision to reembark upon the Paleo Diet, but this time with the additional restrictions included for the Autoimmune Protocol. It’s going to be difficult, but, as I’ve said many times before, no food is worth being sick.

I am loosely following the guidelines laid out in Mickey Trescott’s book, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, although when I start reintroducing foods I will skip over the nightshades. At first, I was reluctant to give up nuts and seeds because I highly doubted that they caused any problems for me. But then I thought back to 2 years ago when I had no idea “nightshades” were even a group of foods, much less that they could be harmful to me.

Why does any of this matter to you? Well, if you’re suffering like I have been, then hopefully you can find answers along my journey. And I will be posting recipes or meal ideas that I develop. I cannot afford or find many ingredients that are used in Paleo recipes–being a lowly graduate student certainly cramps the (time and money) budget–so I will post about what it’s like to be working and in grad school while maintaining this diet. It’s possible!

Yes, it’s going to be difficult, and yes, I will definitely struggle. But I must find what it is that is making me so sick because I cannot continue to become horribly ill every time I am stressed or upset. It’s a vicious cycle that I am determined to break. I know that spending lots of time in the kitchen can be overwhelming and exhausting, but I think I’ll prefer it to spending that time stuck in bed instead. 🙂


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