I was discharged from the hospital one day after the removal of a synovial cyst and some scar tissue from my spine. I will be writing about that experience. What is important here is that several days later I was able to push my rolling walker into the kitchen, take a frozen prepared meal out of the freezer, and heat it in a microwave oven.
That is not my customary dietary style. For years I have preferred a nutrient dense whole foods diet that excludes prepared foods, refined oils, and sugar. My lactose intolerance also means that I customarily limit dairy. I do not cook in a microwave. By the third week after surgery, I was feeling the effects from eating the prepared foods and dreaming about the meals I would prepare for myself when I able to cook.
I was reading about food and health, especially chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases. The autoimmune diseases with which I have been diagnosed are in remission, technically. That means that the disease activity in my body is too low to be detected by standard testing methods. However, I have been living with autoimmune diseases for more than 50 years. That means that I am one trigger away from a flare. I tend to think of the autoimmune conditions as organic malware lurking in the background waiting for a single signal to launch an all out destructive attack on the systems of my body.
I also know that I am still living with chronic inflammation and pain. I am still living with unending fatigue. I sometimes experience nerve wracking brain fog. I know that I am extremely photosensitive. By the first of March the need to protect myself from UV rays will require energy that I do not have. Each of these diminishes the quality of my life.
I am fighting back. I believe that improving the quality of my life requires a complete dietary reset. I have decided to accomplish that reset using the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). Transitioning to a Paleo dietary style requires that I continue to avoid processed foods, refined oils, sugars, and dairy while also avoiding grains and legumes.
The AIP then helps to identify other foods that may be problematic for me by eliminating them for at least 30 days and then allowing for their gradual reintroduction. The foods that must be eliminated for at least 30 days are eggs, dairy, nightshades, nuts and seeds.
My approach to implementing the AIP will be guided largely by the work of Sarah Ballantyne, PhD. In her blog (https://www.thepaleomom.com/start-here/the-autoimmune-protocol/) she generously provides all the information that I, or anyone else, needs to start an AIP lifestyle
I have also invested in Ballantyne’s books. The first book that I am reading is The Paleo Approach,. This book is not just for people who have autoimmune diseases. It is for anyone who wants to understand how the foods we eat, and our lifestyle behaviors influence our health.
I want to improve my own health. I must try to understand the science behind AIP. I must implement the approach in a way that fits my personal circumstances. I am thinking of it as “AIP for One – On a budget.” I have a lot of work to do.
The work is not just for me. The secondary audience for this work includes those people with whom I share an inherited propensity toward chronic disease. For us, this may be more than a simple dietary reset. It may be an AIP epigenetic reset. Another audience for this work is anyone who is interested in Ballantyne’s presentation of the contemporary scientific literature dealing with the impact of food, and lifestyle on health.
I would love to discuss this book with people. Let me know if you would be interested in reading this book and joining in the discussion.