The suggested order of reintroducing foods on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) has just been updated.
And, it can be a tricky wee beastie. Not least because there is often a whole lot of fear around triggering a flare when you eat something that doesn’t agree with you. So, it pays to be very systematic about this stage of your AIP caper…
If removing anger, blame, regret, resentment, guilt, blame and worry are all ways to improve your health, is the corollary then to add calm, harmony, contentment, kindness, respect, thanks and joy…?
I wonder what would happen to the world if we all did that
Today I want to talk to you about reintroducing foods after you’ve been following an elimination diet for a period of time.
And, when I say ‘elimination diet’, I really mean the Autoimmune Protocol(AIP).
AIP is a nutrient-rich approach that removes foods that irritate the gut, cause gut imbalance and activate the immune system. But, it is not meant to be forever.
30 days on the elimination phase is the minimum
I spent nine months in my elimination phase. Nine whole months without eggs, coffee, nuts or red wine – my four BIGGEST challenges.
But in that time my health improved immeasurably. So, that trumped coffee for me.
Some people spend less in elimination. They find they can start reintroducing foods after just a month because they have experienced such dramatic improvements in their autoimmune symptoms.
Some people spend more. Far more.
And, for some, AIP serves as an introduction to experimenting with further investigating and healing. It is the first step in a longer healing process.
It is a very personal experience for each of us
And, when it comes to reintroducing foods back into your diet, this is a personal experience, too.
I have now successfully reintroduced eggs, coffee, nuts and the occasional red wine. Chocolate is back. So are seeds and spices. I seem to be ok with a little high-quality dairy. But, nightshades are a no-go for me. I still miss tomatoes. My body seems to tolerate a little high-quality dairy (just not too much). And, I need to watch my sugar consumption. Gluten is gone forever. Grains and pulses are still off the menu, with the very occasional exception of rice.
You may have a completely different experience with your reintroductions.
But there are some things that are constant
Choose One Food to Introduce at a Time
This is important.
And, in my experience, the reintroduction process actually requires more effort than the elimination phase.
Because you need to be vigilant about assessing whether or not the reintroduced food causes a reaction.
The Paleo Mom recommends a four-staged approach to reintroductions. As with many things, it often helps when you can ‘chunk’ a process down into more manageable steps.
I’ve popped them into this handy-dandy infographic for you to pop on the fridge…
To download your printable version, just click on the button
Food and Mood Diary
I’ve said it before. I’ll probably say it again. The absolute best way for you to understand whether or not you are having a reaction is to track your progress.
A food and mood diary gives you a reference point and provides you with a clear understanding of where patterns of symptoms emerge. This is vital when you are trying to understand whether or not you are having a reaction to a particular food.
And, it’s important to remember that sometimes it takes time for your body to react to something.
By writing down your own personal experiences – on a daily basis – you can more clearly identify anomalies.
Make it Yours
For me, this is one of the most important, and least appreciated things about this protocol. It’s all about you. And you are putting a lot of energy into making it work. So, don’t be afraid to make it work for you.
You are a unique snowflake. It’s true! There’s nobody else in the world exactly like you. So it stands to reason that your body reacts to things differently to the next person.