So, your symptoms of autoimmune disease have started to go away. You’ve begun to feel more like your old self again. What do you do now? Do you go back to the way you were eating before the flare? Do you go back to AIP or autoimmune paleo for a while? The stress of not knowing is enough to send you back into another flare.
Hopefully, I can help to take a little of the guesswork out of your recovery. I completely understand, not everything works for everybody. This is what works for me. It’s based on trial and error, on my part.
The fact is, your body has taken a beating. If you’re lucky, you haven’t experienced too much, if any, organ or tissue damage. My lupus is systemic, which means it moves throughout my body, and can damage any of my organs. The main goal, in recovery, is to strengthen our most important organs, detoxify our bodies, and repair any damage that may have been done. The best way I’ve found to do this, is through food.
For recovery, you will want to flood your body with wholesome, healing foods. I tend to focus on my liver, kidneys, and heart first. If you’ve experienced some tummy or intestinal troubles during your flare, you will want to focus on healing that as well.
I begin with introducing liver and kidney healing foods and herbs, such as cabbage, dandelion greens, beets, basil, avocados, garlic, olive oil, lemon, pink grapefruit, apples, onions, tumeric, milk thistle, mustard greens, and green tea.
Then, I add heart healthy foods like nuts, avocado, sardines, salmon, berries, and bone broth. If you can’t eat nuts of any kind, don’t worry. You will still get plenty of benefits from the other foods on this list. The only nuts I seem to tolerate well are pecans; so, I stick to eating those.
Lastly, I throw in tummy healing foods like ginger, bananas, kombucha, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir. Now, I know some people cannot tolerated fermented foods or dairy. For those of you who cannot, don’t eat them. Simple as that. There are plenty of other healthy foods for you to eat. And, I know dairy is not paleo. The reason I included it on the list is because some people do tolerate it well. Right now, it’s about healing your body. If you can get the benefits that full fat, organic yogurt has to offer, why should you deny yourself. I personally tolerate Green Valley Lactose Free yogurt very well. During recovery, I add one cup of yogurt every other day.
As you may have noticed, I do not adhere to a strict AIP program; nor do I stick with straight paleo for that matter. To me, it’s all about providing my body with the vital nutrients it needs to recover. The only thing I insist upon is to remain 100% gluten free. I would even allow myself a little white rice, as long as it caused no distress.
In the past, I typically went full AIP paleo after a flare. But, after some experimentation, I discovered I recovered faster and more completely when I included some AIP paleo taboo foods. Typically, if you tolerated it well before your flare, you will tolerate it well after. I find no need to go back to eating strict AIP again unless you have a bad reaction to the added food. That being said, I do not begin adding foods that have not been reintroduced successfully until at least a month after full recovery.
In addition to eating the above healing foods, I also supplement with Pro-biotics, Ox Bile, vitamin D, and liver strengthening capsules, Futurebiotics – Detox, 60 veggie caps. These can help to further support your recovery by lessening the stress on your organs.
Wrapping things up, there are other things you should do, on top of nutritional healing. Make sure that you are keeping yourself hydrated. Drink lots of water, fresh juices, and green tea. Try to reduce your stress, especially the first week after the flare. Perhaps, practicing meditation, slow breathing, or yoga would help. Keep exercise to low key workouts only. I do Yoga, Ballet Beautiful, or walking for only 30 minutes in the first week. After that week, I increase my time to an hour, only if I feel I can. Stay in tune with your body. If you’re still getting fatigued after that first week, don’t increase your time yet. If starting with 30 minutes is too much, try only 20. Work with your body. Remember, you’re recovering from a tornado to your body. It takes time. And, for heaven’s sake, get enough sleep! Sleep is essential to recovery. Without it, your body will not be able to fully heal.
For more ideas on what to eat on your road to recovery, follow me on Instagram @PaleoCajunLady. Every day I post photos and information on exactly what I’m eating. I also usually post the same on Twitter and sometimes, on my Facebook Page.
I’m also including this brief video for you, showing you all of the beautiful produce I just received from my Door To Door Organics delivery. This delivery was a godsend, as I still did not have the strength to go grocery shopping for the foods I needed for my recovery. With Door To Door Organics, I was able to have all of my organ healing produce delivered straight to my door. See if you’re in their delivery area at http://www.doortodoororganics.com.
If you cannot see video, try here.
I wish you all a speedy and happy recovery. Should you have any questions or need additional help, comment below or email me at tara@PaleoCajunLady.com. If you have comments that may help others, please leave them in the comment section. I would love to know your story.