As some of you may know, I’ve had a pretty busy 7 weeks! Not that I’m complaining, I’ve had a fabulous time, but as I’ve been travelling around, having fun and not spending more than 2 nights together in one spot, I haven’t been looking after my health as well as I usually do!
So what have I been doing whilst having a great time with friends and family?
- Drinking lots of alcohol
- Eating lots of dairy
- Eating lots of chocolate (what can I say, English chocolate is just better than Australian chocolate – don’t hate me!)
- Not getting enough sleep
- Eating out – and therefore not eating as “cleanly” as I usually do
Please don’t get me wrong, not for a minute do I regret any of the above, but it is finally time to get my health back on track. The Auto-immune Protocol (AIP) Diet is something I’ve heard about through a few websites I follow, including those by Mickey Trescott, Paleo Mom and Louise Hendon at Paleo Living Magazine. It’s something I’ve wanted to try for a while, to see if I can identify any food groups (other than those containing gluten) as being problematic for me and also as a good way of kickstarting my way back into clean eating.
Really, I’m learning while I go along and I’m certainly no expert, so if you are planning on trying out this diet then please do some research through one of the websites I’ve mentioned above. In the meantime, here’s the basic outline of what I’ve picked up so far:
What is the AIP Diet?
The AIP Diet has been developed to exclude the food groups that are most likely to cause an inflammatory response, in order to identify whether an individual has some level of intolerance to a particular food once that food has been re-introduced.
What Food Groups are Excluded in the AIP Diet?
- Grains, Seeds, Nuts (including oils)
- Legumes and Beans
- Eggs and Dairy
- Nightshades (including eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes and all peppers)
- Other foods may be excluded depending on personal intolerances
What Foods are Included in the AIP Diet?
- Fruit and Vegetables
- Meat and Offal
- Spices (not including Seeds) and Herbs
- Fermented Veg
- Fats such as Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Animal Fats
- Do not include foods on this list if they are known from personal experience not to be tolerated
Who Would Benefit from Trying the AIP Diet?
Anyone who wants to experiment with their diet as a way of improving their health, particularly, as the name suggests, those with auto-immune diseases.
How Long Does This Diet Last?
I’ve seen recommendations to stay on this diet for 30-60 days before re-introduction of the excluded foods starts. I’m aiming to keep it up for 6 weeks before starting to reintroduce excluded foods.
What is the Most Difficult Part of this Diet?
I guess this will differ for everyone, but for me the rigidity of having to say a firm “No” to the excluded foods will be the hardest thing. I like feeling that my lifestyle choices are just that – choices – but this diet demands a much higher level of vigilance in avoiding the foods on the exclusion list. What I need to remember is that I am choosing to conduct this dietary experiment on myself, that it is only for a limited amount of time and that any information that comes out of it will only benefit me. I’m interested to see what I will learn!
How Should I Get Started?
From what I’ve read, there are 2 schools of thought on this one – there’s ‘jump right in’ and there’s ‘test the water first’. I’m testing the water, starting this week. As we’ve been out of the house for 7 weeks the cupboards are pretty much bare, and today is market day! So I’ve only bought items on the “allowed” foods list and haven’t bought any eggs, dairy, eggplants or capsicums, which I usually eat a lot of (particularly eggs!). I do have some yoghurt to finish up, some gluten free cereal and some CHOCOLATE (!) so I’ll use those up this week (hate waste!) before starting firmly on the AIP Diet.
As well as the elimination diet, I’ll be making sure I get lots of sleep.
So wish me luck! I’ll post my experiences and I’d love to hear from anyone who has tried this diet 🙂 xx
(Picture Credit: Jas Poole Photos)