Whole30 and AIP; when you want to make your life REALLY difficult.
As I sit here on January 4th, I am contemplating many things.
The first being that I have cooked and prepared more healthy and whole foods in the last three days than I care to elaborate on at this very moment.
But secondly, why are we doing this again?!? As I salivate over cheesy baked goods on Pinterest…
Let me me back up a bit for some context. As many people may or may not know, there is a ‘food cleanse’ program out there on the interwebs known as Whole30. And by food cleanse, what I really mean is a back-pedalling of your diet to reset your gut. Supposed to be very helpful for those with allergies or autoimmune disease.
I have always made it a point to eat a fairly healthy, balanced diet (but yes, I fully admit to catering to wine and buttery popcorn as their own food group more often than anyone should) but as I don’t really suffer from any chronic health issues, I never considered completely giving up anything besides diet Coke and McDonald’s.
In comes Prince Charming, aka my lovely fiancé…
J, as I will affectionately refer to him, has several of the above mentioned ailments. A multitude of environmental allergies, asthma, ps0riasis, and possibly the beginning stages of gout. Ah the immune system! Such a hidden villain for some of us.
When we did our first Whole30 (last February — I know, it’s not a full 30 day month, we cheated) we both did feel great at first. I’m pretty sure that was mostly the lack of boozing we were doing, but J’s other symptoms (i.e. digestion issues, asthma, etc) only budged a teensy weensy bit.
So we gave up, and didn’t really follow through with proper food reintroductions like we were supposed to. Shocking, right?
Fast forward a few months, and we were moving to London for J’s job, planning a wedding overseas, and generally keeping our busyness and stress levels elevated. Old habits, particularly pub nights and wine, die hard.
It seems pretty obvious, but why not just get food allergy testing and move on? Problem is that the good ol’ immune system has several components. The ones that are easily testable are for IgE, otherwise known as those that cause a severe and immediate reaction (i.e. peanuts for the win!). The food intolerances that make people just really uncomfortable tummy-wise (and that are linked with autoimmune issues such as psoriasis) are part of the very misunderstood non-IgE, or IgG response.
There are IgG food intolerance tests out there. And J decided to do one. But the best thing we got out of it was that it confirmed he was probably lactose intolerant. So we cut out dairy for his diet, which is hard enough. Butter is in EVERYTHING.
And yet, really no other massive improvement with the chronic ailments. So back to the drawing board…
Which leads me to what I’ve been contemplating most of all today. How can I keep this strict AIP diet (more on what this is later) going without cooking and shopping for food every waking second?! But really though. I want J to be healthy and FEEL healthy. And there are many, many stories out there of people reversing autoimmune symptoms and psoriasis with specific diet changes.
It’s just a really long and complicated process. And I can’t seem to make time to do anything else except a quick workout and laundry. Shudder.
But I’m not ready to give up yet!
To be continued…