Why I’m Personally Thinking About AIP
I’ve been talking recently about moving over to the autoimmune protocol (AIP). This is because I’ve been dealing with the prospect of worsening endometriosis issues (the definitely diagnosis for endometriosis only happens through surgery so I can’t say with certainty that I have it…but between my doctor and me, we think there’s a pretty good chance).
Faced with the idea of possible surgery for diagnosis and the removal of adhesions (sticky tissue points between internal organs), I decided to take a significantly more proactive approach towards my immune system. I’ve already been dealing with Celiac Disease pretty well…but it’s been demonstrated in medical literature in many ways that one autoimmune disease puts you at a much higher risk of developing a second (or even a third or fourth!) one.
While the root cause of endometriosis isn’t yet entirely confirmed, there is quite a bit of data out there that suggests that it is in fact an autoimmune problem. This is because it has been postulated that endometrial (the lining of the uterus) tissue occasional refluxes out through the fallopian tubes and out into the pelvic cavity in many normal women.
So why do some of those women go on to develop endometriosis while others don’t? That’s where the idea of autoimmunity comes in.
All or Nothing
In most places you read about AIP, there is a really big push to go all in on the protocol. That means you start one day and you don’t cheat/deviate from any of the outlined rules.
The reasoning behind this makes sense: when you expose your immune system to compounds that rev it up, it can take days to weeks to see the resolution of that response.
So why would I say that I’m easing into it (without guilt)? The answer lies in the well-established link between stress and damage to the immune system.
The autoimmune protocol can be a challenging one to follow for even the most well-intentioned folks. There are a lot more “restrictions” (I don’t mean that negatively!) that can take some getting used to.
So rather than jumping straight into the protocol and totally stressing out about it–which has incredibly detrimental effects on my immune system–I’m choosing to ease into the protocol slowly.
This is what I’ve been calling the Pre-AIP phase…and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure how long it will last.
While I’ve been tackling this part of the process, I’ve been restocking my pantry with AIP friendly snacks, learning new recipes, and building a routine around how I shop, cook, and prepare food. It’s been incredibly helpful to have this learning process without all the guilt of “doing AIP wrong”.
That being said, I’m well on my way to hitting the full autoimmune protocol and I don’t think it’ll be too long before I make the switch over entirely.
Looking at Long Term Success
There’s a big push to “go all in” when it comes to health. And the reasoning behind why this is true with AIP makes sound physiologic sense.
But a little compassion and patience with yourself is also really important. Not only because it’ll make you less miserable in the process, but because those unreasonable, stress-inducing expectations can actually biologically hinder progress.
So that’s where I am. Is it perfect? Nope. Not by a long shot.
But do I think it’ll set me up for long-term success? Absolutely.
Side Note: What I’m Buying
In case anyone is interested, here’s a link to the stuff I’ve been ordering during my Pre-AIP phase.
Teas and Non-seed Spices from Mountain Rose Herbs.
PrimalPalate’s AIP Spice Trio
I get this Natural Value Coconut Milk in a package of 12. I like this particular one because it has no carrageenan or thickeners…the ingredients are just coconut and water.
These Epic Bison Bars (again, I got a package of 12)
Inka Plantain Chips…these are really addicting! I got 12 here as well.
GTs Kombucha (when I’m too lazy to make my own)
I like ordering from Amazon and from Thrive Market. Between the two, I get things are a pretty reasonable price.
That’s it for now…but I’m sure I’ll have many more things coming up to share!