Why Is Reintroducing Foods On The AIP So Freakin’ Hard?
I just ate a pecan. Now, I’m standing in my kitchen, awaiting the results. Did I just feel a twinge in my earlobe? Was that pain in my knee there before I ate the pecan? Is that a hive that just popped up on my finger?
I’m obviously making light of a very real situation for those of us on the AIP. This is pretty much me, every time I try reintroducing foods on the AIP. I feel like I’m always waiting for the first symptom to hit, never believing that I’ll be successful with the reintroduction. For so many of us, the fear of our symptoms returning from an unsuccessful reintroduction is very strong.
But, how do we know if the symptom we’re seeing or feeling is being caused by the reintroduced food? What if we just so happened to be under more stress that day? Or, what if our hormones were fluctuating, and that caused the flare? How can we ever be sure? Truth is, we can’t.
Now, in my experience, if you have an instant reaction, like IBD symptoms, shortness of breath, or a hive outbreak, it’s pretty safe to say it’s an unsuccessful reintroduction. But, if you have a reaction that’s a day or two later of painful joints or a rash, it could be something else. Let’s face it, reintroducing foods on the AIP is hard.
In my last post about fitness on the AIP, I wrote I wouldn’t be reintroducing foods on the AIP until after I saw what the increase in exercise did to my system. Since researching sports nutrition further, I have started to wonder if I’m missing out on some performance enhancing foods that my body may not even have a bad reaction to. I mean, I would love to add some nuts back into my diet. What if I could reintroduce them successfully?
So, that’s what had me in the kitchen, eating a pecan. I am happy to report that I was successful! I have also added cashews to the mix of reintroduced foods. If I had remained afraid, I would never have even tried reintroducing them.
My advice, don’t be afraid. You could be enjoying foods that are actually beneficial to your health. I’m not saying to go out there and eat a gluten-filled pizza or donut! That would just be stupid. Sorry, but that’s how I feel. But, if you’re reintroducing real, healthy foods, I’m all for it. I see far too many people moving to the extreme ends of the spectrum when dealing with reintroducing foods on the AIP. On one side are those who try too many food reintroductions, and ignore symptoms, just because they really want to add a certain food back into their diets. On the other end are those who read every little twinge or hiccup as a reason to consider a food reintroduction as unsuccessful. Are you on one end of this spectrum?
The only way to remedy this problem, and be sure you’re getting a true successful or unsuccessful reading, is by learning to properly reintroduce foods into your diet. The best resource for this is Reintroducing Foods On The Autoimmune Protocol by Eileen Laird. In her book, she gives you all the tools you’ll need. I always refer to it when I reintroduce a new food. I even printed out some pages and laminated them. It’s much easier to pull those out any time I need them. You can get your copy here.
I refuse to live my life in fear anymore. I’m even thinking of trying to reintroduce tomato sauce soon. If I run into a problem, I can always go back to the elimination phase of AIP any time. But, because I have been so successful on the elimination phase, I am now able to reintroduce many of the foods I had to give up. That just proves the elimination phase of the AIP works. It is not a forever diet. Wish me luck on the tomato sauce reintroduction!
As always, I wish you good health…….and, good food!