I have autoimmune disease and have been working to have the best health I possibly can. The lovely people at Evolve Paleo Chef have created a Wahl’s AIP Paleo Challenge, and for the next 30 days I will chronicle that experience.
I do my best to follow a paleo diet and at least gluten free when paleo isn’t always an option. I have an excellent doctor, and have the necessary meds and supplements to treat my issues. I work a full time job and am able to do most things I want. A far cry from three years ago when I came home from work and went to bed, and spent about one day a week in bed, cold, crying and sick.
Lately, I had been making not as good choices and my hands, feet, and back were frequently in pain, weird as this isn’t my original autoimmune symptoms. My last set of labs showed my antibodies were rising, as they can do with autoimmune, worst, I was depressed and had no energy. That’s not how I want to live, so if there is anything I can do to help it, I will try.
In the past, I’ve tried Autoimmune Paleo Diet for a month or two, but it was with much tears and depravation. We live in a world where we expect instant results (I’ve been on a diet for a week, why haven’t I lost weight?) And I was no exception. I stepped back from AIP, went back to Paleo, then to just gluten free.
What is Wahl’s protocol? Here are some links.
What I like about this approach, is the no guilt or shame emphasis on “normal people” since Dr. Wahls is a hands on doctor with real normal people she knows that sometimes people just can’t change their diet as strictly as they may need, but baby steps will help them along the way.
The other thing that stuck out on the Wahl’s protocol is the emphasis on vegetables. She says at least nine cups for a man, 6-9 cups for a woman. That’s huge, even for someone who has done paleo and been a vegetarian.
So I started just making sure I ate six cups of veggies a day for a couple weeks, to help myself prepare for the Wahls protocol challenge. I thought it was in July, but it switched to mid June, and I jumped right in.
What is the Wahls Protocol Challenge? Thirty days of the strictest Wahls Protocol, with foods prepared by a chief. Evolve Paleo Chef created a great menu based on the Wahls Protocol. All you do is pick the food up twice a week, and follow the plan.
Since Evolve Paleo offers pick up at their locations, and only delivers locally for freshness, and I live three hours away, they graciously allowed me to pick up one week’s worth of food at a time. I got the food Sunday, sorted it, drooled, and then moved on to storing it.
So Monday, breakfast was coconut yogurt and berry “granola” I was so excited to see yogurt, you can’t have yogurt on a Whole 30 paleo which is where I’ve been living. – it was amazing, if a little weird due to the coconut taste. Lunch was a Mushroom Artichoke salad with lots of greens and a very tasty homemade dressing. – I wondered about the protein, with Whole 30 you eat protein, veg, fat with every meal, so I felt guilty. Snacks on this day were an am bone broth (protein no need to worry) and afternoon avocado coconut smoothie. (I must get the recipe). After the smoothie, I didn’t have any more hunger pains.
I was ready for dinner at 6 p.m., It consisted of a huge pile of greens and chicken thighs, in a nice “gravy” – it was super good. My body kept thinking something was missing, but I calmed it down and as I was exhausted, I was in bed by 8:30 pm and asleep by 9 pm.
Changing your diet can cause your body to be extra tired as it adjusts to a new way of eating and working, such as burning fat for fuel, not sugar.