Status Update

So it has officially been 3 months since I went Paleo and 1 1/2 months since I have gone AIP. With the exception of coffee for the first two weeks, it has been almost a full 30 days of strict AIP. I don’t know if I am ready for reintroductions yet. My scalp is still showing signs of inflammation, although the itching and burning I was experiencing is almost non existent. Interesting things are happening though, I now have very faint red patches on my stomach. This is a new spot and not sure if there is something I am eating that is problematic or the detoxifying effects are causing this flair. I will say that for the most part my daily congestion upon waking is much better.

On a sad note I am beginning to feel that coconut is the problematic food. If I start to cook with the oil, use coconut flakes and make smoothies with coconut milk.. I start to feel bloated and experience mild constipation, and my scalp starts to flare a bit. I purchased a large tub of the oil,  and have a bit left of the coconut flakes so I am using up the flakes and cutting out the oil now to see how I feel.  During my last period I experienced a week-long headache and severe neck pain. I couldn’t say if the diet is having an effect on my hormones or if I was having an inflammatory response to the coconut I was eating. To combat it I upped my intake of Omega-3 fats in the form of fish oil and canned tuna. After a few days the headaches stopped and the neck pain cleared. Thank the stars for those fatty little fishes. I have also increased my fluid intake, it is difficult in the cooler months to stay hydrated!

There is so much positive information out there about the benefits of organ meat, but I have yet to include it. Bone broth is another healing tool that I have been sporadic about including. As I progress forward I am going to make more of an effort to include these superfoods. My veggie intake has been pretty good, but not Terry Whals good (she recommends 9 heaping cups or more a day, I average about 6.) and that is also a key component to healing. With all this said I don’t feel that it is a right time to reintroduce foods. I don’t feel well enough to be able to see if my body is having a clear reaction to any particular foods. I plan to stick to the AIP protocol for the month of February with the elimination of all things coconut, try to get bone broth on a daily basis and include organ meat at least 3 times for the month (though it should be 3 times or more per week!). I think after all that I have been through, these are easy goals to accomplish. I accept that a deep healing doesn’t happen overnight, it requires patience and faith.

Vegetables are delicious, and I have no problem gorging myself on them! There hasn’t been too much that has really tempted me these past 2 months but this week I started to crave chocolate and butter. I have curbed the chocolate craving with carob, but still have porno like daydreams of smearing warm butter on everything I eat. These cravings kind of tell me that I need more fat, and magnesium. Sugar cravings have been pretty high this week, drinking a lot of herbal tea to try to combat it.

To sum up my experience so far, it has been okay. I don’t feel better, but I don’t feel worse. My energy has picked back up after quitting coffee but I still experience an afternoon dip, I have been eating light snacks throughout the day to keep it up.

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Stop Chasing Healing, Embrace Living

As I finish up my second week fully committed to the Autoimmune Protocol, a modified version of the Paleo diet (caveman diet). I find myself reflecting on what I have accomplished. It is not easy to make changes, and it takes determination to be sure those changes really happen. I couldn’t imagine following the autoimmune protocol even 5 years ago. I was a heavy drinker, vegetarian and loved baking bread with my kitchenaide mixer. It wasn’t until I started getting sick that I realized the path I was on wasn’t getting me anywhere.

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I spent the past 3 years taking every supplement the books/websites/friends suggested. I started eating meat, and I went gluten-free. I constantly flip-flopped around from restriction to restriction and never felt relief. I would begin to heal and my digestion issues would flare up, and once I got my digestion under control (somewhat) my skin would flare. Feeling thankful that my Psoriasis remained on my scalp, and then it started to appear down the side of my leg. While thinking these therapies were helping, they were more than likely making it worse.

While I don’t take prescriptions often, I was taking a cocktail of supplements each day, on top of multiple homeopathic, and herbal tinctures. I was studying these things to some degree but taking them all together – I couldn’t tell what was helping. Telling myself that they were natural and suggested by reliable sources.. I became a pill popper. Going on vacation, or away for a day or 2, and I had to have at least 6 different pills and a couple herbal tinctures. I couldn’t control my health it seemed and the pills and herbs made me feel like I could. IMG_1621

I would avoid certain foods for a week then go to a social gathering and feel obligated to cheat. I battled depression, stress, anxiety. I was losing my mind. Completely resigned to a life of torment and pain. Never waking up feeling great and never healing.

When they say you have to hit rock bottom, I can from experience say it’s true. There at the bottom of my spiritual well I gave in. I looked all my misery and pain in the face and I wasn’t afraid. There in my dark hole I began to see what this struggle was teaching me, and how it was making me a better person. It was there in that moment that I truly began to heal. Spiritually. Mentally. Physically.

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I gained a sense of clarity and all the research I had gathered on my sickness pointed the way. I have a long way to go. I know now that I have the strength and the courage, because it’s what my condition gave me as a gift. I couldn’t have accomplished 2 full weeks of AIP without it.

I have been so busy cooking, working, and trying to get things together for the holidays, that I have not created any new recipes! To my delight there are so many online and in cookbooks that I have been able to cook without stress. AIP baking is a breeze so far, I love fruits and vegetables, and have found that a giant smoothie daily really helps me get in my greens!

Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have more recipe review posts and some photos of foods I have made. It has only been 2 weeks but I already have less inflammation in my sinuses and don’t wake up horribly congested. My skin is still in rough shape, most outbreaks take at least 6 weeks, and I was diagnosed with a second condition. Interstitial cystitis, chronic inflammation of the bladder. I remain hopeful. There are many amazing people out there who have taken back their health eating this way and I intend to be one of them.

Nightshade Free Ketchup

Nightshade Free Ketchup

Conception

And so it begins. The blog. I have wanted to do this for a while, but it got put on the back burner. I filled my time with other things, the pot boiled over and so it starts now.

I was diagnosed with Psoriasis 3 years ago. It is mostly on my scalp, but can move to my face and arms and legs, and it’s a pretty common autoimmune disease. (My body is just one hell of an inflammatory party! Oh the aches! Oh the pains! But aren’t I glad to be alive!) I have never been one to take prescriptions, or go to a doctor. That’s pretty common too. There are many people I have come across who would rather eat liver and onions, sit in tomato juice, and bark like a dog for 15 minutes a day then take an antibiotic. I feel you. That’s why I am constantly reading about alternative medicine, nutrition, etc. I guess I am trying to find the right combination for my personal healing.

Over the past 3 years I have tried many alternative therapies. Supplements, special diets, elimination diets, cleanses, herbs, meditation, chiropractic work. My skin has gotten better, it has gotten worse and it hasn’t gone into remission. That is my ultimate goal. I have faith that the human body – being an extension of the all-powerful Mother Nature herself – CAN heal. It just needs the right things! After all my experimentation, I have come to the conclusion that food IS the medicine. Nutrition is key to healing, energy, happiness.

Living clean is a daily commitment, and it all comes down to getting as close to the natural state as possible.  I have no certifications or diplomas that verify that “I know what I am talking about.” The only credit I have is that I have done it myself in the search for optimal wellness.

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“I felt the rainbow.”

I think that life needs balance, and that all areas need attention. That’s why I am going to make a commitment here and now to nurture the whole being. From food to finance, fitness to my spiritual practices. This blog is a way to stay accountable to myself, and maybe inspire someone else along the way.

Join me on my journey to living life to its fullness in good health and spirit.