After countless doctor visits, diet changes, supplements and hours of research – all of which had to happen during the rare moments when I wasn’t writhing in migraine pain, covering my eyes in a spinning room, or lying on the bathroom floor – I am still just as miserable as ever. Nothing has made me feel better for more than eight days, and that was a rare week of bliss. I usually feel bad every second of every day and I’m tired of it!
Hoping Beyond All Hope
Therefore, I’ve made the decision to start the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet. You can look here for more information. Lots of research shortened, I will be eating no grains, no refined sugar, very limited other sugar (honey, maple syrup), no dairy, no nuts, no seeds (including coffee and chocolate – GASP!), no eggs, no legumes (i.e. beans), no nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers), no spices made from nightshades or seeds (i.e. pepper or cumin), no thickeners or gums and no NSAIDS for at least 30 days. The first phase of the diet is meant to calm any inflammation and eliminate most foods that can cause flares. It is a gut-healing process, since many autoimmune diseases are caused by leaky gut syndrome. Before you think I’m crazy, please, please read this incredibly informative article about Leaky Gut Syndrome. Really, this is an amazing, easy-to-understand article by Steve Wright.
The next phases of the diet slowly add back in one food at a time, waiting at least five days before adding back another food and paying very close attention to how it makes your body feel. If it triggers a response, I will not eat that food again. It is a long process and huge commitment, but completely worth it if it’s the thing that finally gives me some relief.
I told my husband that I could not cook two dinners so he would either have to cook for himself or at least eat the dinners I cook. Being the incredibly supportive man that he is, and needing to get healthier himself, he has decided to go on the diet with me. So here we go, embarking on a difficult journey…
Starting right now, we begin eating to live rather than living to eat.
Here is a picture of our first produce-filled shopping cart:
We are hopeful that eating the way God originally created us to eat will calm whatever evil is inside of me. To give others on the AIP diet some meal ideas I may be posting a few meals here and there. This was our first AIP meal. It was pretty good. It did not have much flavor but I can play with that. Cilantro Lime Chicken with Zucchini Noodles:
One of the big problems may be that I get hungry in between meals and there’s not much to snack on in this diet. I’m going to have to get very creative, and I am not a fan of cooking. My next AIP meal was Coconut “Yogurt” with Berries and Toasted Cinnamon Coconut:
I did not know where to buy probiotic powder so that I could “grow” my own yogurt so I thought I could leave it out. I was wrong. After hours in the fridge it was still soup so I froze it and basically had coconut ice cream for breakfast. Live and learn.
How I am feeling thus far: Tremendously Horrible. I’ve only had a few AIP meals so I don’t expect it to be a miracle cure right away. I have been so dizzy from a bacteria in my mastoids (aka: ear infection) that I can barely stand sometimes. I am having terrible stomach problems, headaches and awful brain fog. My parotids (salivary glands) are swollen and I have incredibly itchy patches of skin popping up on my fingers, eyelids and right ear. I am hoping that this new adventure will set me back on my feet again. This post has gotten longer than I thought so I will sign off with a request for all of the prayers we can get. I need to learn to cook new things but I have no energy at all. I also usually ruin new recipes but we cannot afford to do that because we can’t just go out and get something else to eat. I don’t want to think about continuing throughout the rest of my life feeling this awful so I am trying to trust.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NIV)
Love and blessings to you, friends,