Recently, while going through one of my social media feeds, I came across a description of the AIP that disturbed me. It described AIP as “a very strict form of paleo”. It wasn’t just words. It was the combination of the words and the tone of the post that upset me. A few days later, on a different social media site, written by a different paleo blogger, I saw the same description once again. This time I knew something was up.
It’s descriptions like that one that scare people, who could benefit from the AIP, away from trying it. Frankly, I find it terribly irresponsible, especially when coming from others in the paleo community. Our first responsibility should be to accurately describe all healing protocols to our readers. And, by accurately, I mean with the facts.
Facts about the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)
Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, author of The Paleo Approach, and also known as The Paleo Mom, is the modern expert on all things AIP. She is a scientist and master researcher on autoimmune disease and it’s relation to diet and lifestyle factors. She also suffers from autoimmune diseases. She has provided the autoimmune community with a plethora of information on nutrition, sleep, adrenal fatigue, exercise, scientific studies, and so much more. Anything you need to know about the AIP can be found in her books or on her website. She also has a real compassion for those of us suffering from autoimmune disease, as she is one of us.
The elimination phase is strict. I wouldn’t, however, describe it as “very strict”. You will still have plenty of foods to choose from. Just take one look at my Instagram feed; and, you’ll see I’m not suffering. Plus, it isn’t meant to last forever! That’s right, I said it. The elimination phase is only part of the AIP. Now, it is a very important part. You’re basically eliminating all foods that could be feeding your already amped up immune system. There is actual science behind the elimination of these foods and the improvement in autoimmune symptoms. Once you have healed your gut, and put most or all of your symptoms into remission, you move on to the reintroduction phase. In this phase, you start methodically adding foods back into your diet. Most people are able to reintroduce foods such as eggs, spices, and even white rice back into their diets. Fact is, the AIP elimination phase does not last forever.
The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is not just for people with autoimmune disease. Many people have found relief of psychological, neurological, and other health conditions on the AIP. Some discovered food allergies, they didn’t even know they had. It’s a great protocol to help kick start your health journey.
The Autoimmune Protocol does not cause disordered eating. In fact, it teaches you how to eat nutrient dense foods to complement your healing. When followed properly, it can help you to avoid unhealthy foods with questionable ingredients, which can be harmful to anyone. Learning to cook and eat real foods is actually healthy. Just because someone turns down a potentially harmful paleo treat containing guar gum, doesn’t mean they’re suffering disordered eating. It actually means they’re smart. Read the science behind guar gum and other potentially harmful ingredients here.
Fact is, there is a lot of misinformation being spread about the AIP. I urge you to seek out only those sources with The Paleo Approach Approved seal. We go through a rigorous vetting process to earn this seal. We are expected to live up to the standards set by Sarah Ballantyne in The Paleo Approach. We work tirelessly to provide you with the most helpful autoimmune topics, scientific data, resources and let’s not forget, the best AIP recipes on the internet and beyond.
The more informed you are, the better prepared you are to make decisions about your health. Let’s not get confused by bad information, put out by people with no skin in the game. Get your information from people who live in the trenches of autoimmune disease and other medical conditions. We walk the walk and talk the talk. We don’t ask you to do anything we’re not doing ourselves. We’re not super-humans or freaks for taking our health into our own hands and following a “very strict form of paleo”. We are autoimmune warriors, fighting very real, and often serious diseases. Our willpower is strong. But, our will to survive is even stronger!
Has the AIP helped you? I would love to hear your story. Please, share in comments, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, my fellow autoimmune warriors, I wish you good health…and good eating!