How I Transformed My Diet: Part 2: The AIP

Everyone changes how they eat for different reasons, and I have outlined my main motivation for the change in my previous blog post, Part 1. Today I am going to how I came to adopt the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (the Paleo AIP or AIP for short).

I had been on the full GAPS for a while, and frankly, I hadn’t noticed great changes. Around November 2016, I read a book that mentioned the AutoImmune Protocol. So, I borrowed a copy of The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne. The thing that really convinced me to switch was that I found the science underpinning the AIP was better. I will not outline the considerable science that is found within The Paleo Approach in this post, though I may run through some of it in a future one.

There are a few differences from the GAPS diet: no dairy; nuts or seeds; coffee and cacao (or cocoa either); and no nightshade vegetables allowed on the Paleo AIP. And, like GAPS, no grains, sugar or processed foods are to be consumed either. But, to compensate, there are things allowed on AIP that weren’t allowed on GAPS: sweet potatoes and nitrite free bacon are two prominent inclusions. Another major difference was I felt that the AIP has a more structured approach. While certain foods are allowed on both, like oily fish and offal, but on AIP there is a minimum amount of both. I’ve found this a very useful target each week. Otherwise, I find it too easy to become too lax about eating such things.

After I switched fully to the AIP, and for me this mainly consisted of stopping all nightshade vegetables; cutting out nuts and seeds; and switching from ghee to lard and dripping (that’s what we call tallow in Australia), as I’d already stopped all other dairy before discovering AIP. A month or so before I changed to the AIP, I had worked out I wasn’t eating enough protein. So, that logically led me to conclude that I needed to start eating offal, as I couldn’t find as cost-effective a way of increasing the protein content of each meal. So, I’d already started to introduce offal before starting on the AIP. But, after switching, I started to increase the amount I ate. And, now I have it at least 3 times a week, and often more often than that. Another major change was how much fish I ate every week. I went from very rarely eating fish, to eating oily fish at least 3 times, plus the occasional portion of non-oily fish as well.

Other than how I feel, another major change is how I view meals. I no longer think of certain foods as breakfast foods. Food is food, whatever the time of day. So, having vegetables cooked in bone broth, plus some grilled mackerel, is a regular breakfast. I now view every meal as an opportunity to eat nutrient dense, whole foods that help nourish and heal my body. And, I am so much more satisfied after eating, and no longer crave sugar. Those cravings went a couple of months after I started to reduce the starchy carbs I was eating. And, they have stayed away the longer I have changed my diet.

So, I became Paleo by adopting the GAPS diet, but now I’m on the AIP. While I feel it’s very early days, but I am very hopeful for the future. Already I feel like things are changing for the better. And, my concentration is better, and I have regained my ability to write. It wasn’t too long ago that even writing a regular blog like this would have been beyond my capabilities. And, now I am writing almost every day. Before I end, I should note that I am also seeing a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, so it’s possible that the changes I am experiencing are attributable to something other than my change of diet. However, I do feel that eating a much more nutrient dense diet must be also contributing to my improvements in health.

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