Hey everyone! I thought it would be fun to document my days starting the autoimmune protocol because I have been searching for other stories and haven’t found many. I hope that by writing about my own experiences on this new diet and lifestyle, I can help others trying to heal as well! I will still be posting recipes as I can come up with them, but I will be posting weekly updates on the protocol as well.

Here are the foods that are eliminated from my diet:

Dairy
Grains
Eggs
Nuts and Seeds
Nightshade Vegetables (Potatoes, Eggplant, Peppers, Etc.)
All Processed Foods
All Sugars/Sweeteners
Legumes
Fruit and Seed Based Spices

Last week, I made the final cuts from my diet-nuts and eggs. However, I also introduced a few new foods, which included honeydew, plantains, and acorn squash. I realized after a couple days that I introduced new things way too quickly because I was feeling so good. And it resulted in a terrible stomach ache. So I’m back to square one this week.

So that we are all on the same page, these are the foods that I am eating on a daily basis:

Bananas
Plantains
Carrots
Sweet Potatoes
Turnips
Parsnips
Acorn Squash
Tilapia
Tuna
Ground Turkey
Gelatin
Fresh Spices/Herbs

Right now, it really isn’t much. I am working to add new foods each week, and I hope the list keeps expanding. All the foods that I will be introducing will be on the autoimmune protocol, and I will not be reintroducing foods off of the protocol until I see a lot of changes.

So far, I have been working quite a bit on exercise, hydration, stress-management, and sleep. I walk everyday, am consistently drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day, meditate/breathe twice a day and do yoga once a day, and I have a consistent sleep schedule. I also have been seeing an acupuncturist for about a month. The new steps this week are to shut off my electronics by 9:30 each night, and I made my bedroom much darker for better sleep!

To adequately track my progress, I thought I would rate my symptoms and log my weight.

Weight: 84 Pounds
BMI: 15.9
Nausea: 8/10
Abdominal Pain: 7/10
Bloating: 8/10
Fatigue: 8/10

Day 1 (April 10th): First full day on the protocol!

I added chicken to my diet today, and it went just fine! I used this day to batch cook all of my protein sources, and I also made huge batches of veggies to freeze. I was able to eat three full meals, and I snacked a lot. The snacking wasn’t the best for my hunger signals, but I can’t help it when I am cooking! I always taste-test everything while I’m making it. I was able to get all of my cooking done for the week, and I also finished a painting I started yesterday. I was able to get all my laundry done, and I felt generally well all day! I do notice an increase in hunger, and a constant craving for sweet potatoes and other carbohydrates. I’m very encouraged by that, although it is very hard for me to distinguish between hungry and full.

These are all the batch cooking photos! 🙂 Sausage, tilapia, and chicken on top, and carrots, parsnips, and plantain crackers on bottom!
Breakfast: 2 Sausage Patties, Sweet Potatoes, Acorn Squash, Coconut Oil
Lunch: Chicken, Leftover Winter Vegetable Soup, Acorn Squash, Coconut Oil

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Dinner: Tilapia, Roasted Mixed Vegetables, Plantain Crackers
Snacks: Tuna, Banana Pudding, Plantain Crackers, Random Veggies from Cooking

Day 2 (April 11th): I realized something today.

This experience will be very much like the refeeding seen in eating disorder recovery. While I did not restrict my eating due to the fear of gaining weight, I did restrict because I was afraid of the pain that would follow. I was consistently eating under my baseline metabolic need, and that must be the cause of some of my new symptoms. Now that I am slowly working my way up to my caloric need, my body will not let me stop thinking about food. Even when I’m full, I have a strong desire to eat more and more. Because I know that I need these calories, I keep eating.

By the end of the day, I look pregnant due to the bloating, and it hasn’t felt the greatest. However, I am not nauseous or in pain, so I am going to stick to eating on a schedule. To keep this post from getting too long, I’ll make a separate post for the weird changes my body is going through with the added calories. 🙂

I didn’t do much today because I am completely exhausted! All I want to do is eat and sleep and repeat.

Breakfast: 2 Sausages, Sweet Potatoes, Acorn Squash, Coconut Oil
Lunch: Chicken, Carrots and Zucchini
Dinner: Tilapia, Roasted Mixed Veggies, Acorn Squash
Snacks: Tuna, Banana, Banana Pudding, Plantain Crackers

Day 3 (April 12th): I went to bed full and woke up hungry!

It’s so nice to be hungry in the mornings again. I honestly forgot what true hunger felt like since I ignored my natural hunger signals for so long. I still can’t trust my body’s hunger/fullness cues, so sticking to a schedule is key. As long as I am not in pain or nauseous, I eat no matter what my stomach is up to. I used to wait for my stomach to growl, but now it hardly ever makes a peep.

I made plantain chips today in the oven. They are not as good as the crackers, but they are just as addicting!

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I also got to meet with a new friend, which really brightened my day. I had so much fun, and it makes me feel so much more human to get out. 🙂

Breakfast: 2 Sausages, Sweet Potatoes, Acorn Squash, Coconut Oil
Lunch: Chicken, Carrots, Zucchini
Dinner: Tilapia, Roasted Veggies, Acorn Squash
Snacks: Tuna, Plantain Chips, Banana

Because I have to stick to small portions of certain veggies for IBS, I have to have a large variety of veggies daily to feel satisfied. That’s why I eat the same 5 meals at the moment; I eat everything on my diet list every day in small amounts. I hope eventually I will build my variety and be able to eat different  meals! But until then, I enjoy every potato, squash, and carrot that I can.

Day 4 (April 13th):

I’m starting to get tired of the same foods day after day, but that doesn’t stop my hunger! I have eaten a ton today. I also ate way too many sweet potatoes at once, so I had a pretty bad stomach ache last night. That’s thanks to my IBS! It’s hard to manage IBS with AIP and trying to gain weight, so you win some you lose some I guess!

I had my brain MRI today as well. I fell asleep in the scanner because I was so tired! It came back completely normal, which is really great. I am so thankful for that news.

Breakfast: 2 Sausages, Sweet Potatoes, Acorn Squash
Lunch: Chicken, Carrots, Zucchini
Dinner: Tilapia, Roast Veggies, Acorn Squash
Snacks: Tuna, Banana, Sweet Potatoes, Plantain Chips, Roast Veggies

Day 5 (April 14th): I tried to make pancakes today, and they were a total flop.

They stuck to the pan so badly that I couldn’t eat them. So I used the rest of the batter to bake a cake type thing, which came out okay! It didn’t look the best, though.

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Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, Same old things!

Day 6 (April 15th): I added avocado today!

I had small amounts with lunch and dinner, and all is well. I’m very happy about that because I loved avocados before all of this happened! Haha.

I pretty much ate the same foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner today too. I’m sorry that I’m boring! But it helps to have it all planned out ahead of time.

For dinner, though, I filled my entire plate with food! And guess what…

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I ATE IT ALL! I was so proud of myself. It was hard because I was really worried about how it would feel later, but I did it anyway. And I feel fine! Take that, brain!

Tomorrow is my unplugged/no internet day, so I will not be logging anything! This week was a really good week! I feel so much better, and I can tell that what I have eliminated has helped quite a bit. I have barely any nausea, but I do have a TON of bloating. However, I think this is due to the fact that I am eating way more, and my digestive system is not used to having adequate amounts of calories. I assume it will go away eventually, and it’s not painful. So I am going to keep pressing forward!

That’s all for this week! Next week I will rate my symptoms again and update everyone on the new additions/successes. If you have any questions about the diet or about anything really, ask away! I’d love to talk with you. 🙂

 

 

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