Autoimmunity Protocol

So what exactly is the autoimmunity protocol diet? Different people do it different ways and I am definitely not an expert, but I'll tell you how I'm going about it and how it's working for me. To put it briefly, you eliminate foods out of your diet that could be a contributing factor to an autoimmune response. I'll list all the foods you can have and the no-no's below. You later begin to reintroduce foods one at a time and pay attention to how your body reacts. In my case with RA, I'm watching out for stiffness and pain in my affected areas (mainly the small joints of the hands and feet). What I'm really trying to do hear is heal myself first, then see what my body can tolerate. There's a lot of super interesting and helpful information out there about leaky gut that I'd suggest getting familiar with.

The best advice I can give to someone who wants to start doing this is to keep a food journal.  I really can't stress how much easier it will be to figure out what you can and can't eat by simply writing down (exactly) what you ate for each meal. I also include my level of pain I'm experiencing that day on a scale of 1 to 5. If my pain is escalated for days after I reintroduced something, that's a sign to take it back out of my diet. I have a Google doc that I list everything on. I stopped doing it for a little while and I started feeling pain again and didn't know what was causing it because I couldn't remember what I'd eaten! Learn from my mistake and stay on top of that journal!

I also find it necessary to stress how difficult this diet is at first. I was like the queen of gluten before this whole thing started! Watching my friends on campus drink a LOT of beer, eat pizza, etc. was so frustrating. What was even worse was when people didn't understand why I thought this diet would help me or when they even tried to convince me to slip up/"have a cheat day"/eat something "just this one time". Know that it gets easier, people will understand if you're willing to explain it, and it'll become common knowledge soon enough to your friends and family. I started around Halloween and my family had some gluten free/AIP friendly food for me at Christmas. :)

All that being said, here's the foods to stop eating ASAP:
  • Gluten
    • Wheat, barley, rye, triticale (wheat and rye), etc.
    • Bread, pasta, crackers, etc. are obvious sources of gluten. But it's also hidden in a lot of other things you wouldn't necessarily expect - like soups, lunch meat, even vitamins and supplements. Read all labels on every single thing you put into your body to be sure.
    • Some helpful background info here and here.
  •  Dairy
    • Butter, cheese, milk, yogurt, etc.

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