The Paleo Approach

When I first got started on my own Paleo journey, I had known I had Hashimoto’s disease for years. I had dutifully been downing my faux thyroid hormone replacement every morning and been turning up for blood draws and checkups with depressing regularity. Yet, despite my doctor’s assurance that I was fine (and that my thyroid levels were now in the “normal” range), I still felt like I was just existing instead of living.

I hadn’t even turned 30, yet I had joint pain so painful that I got tested for rheumatoid arthritis (nope). When I first woke up in the morning, it would take an hour or so before I could bend my neck far enough to look down at my feet without it hurting. It took hours for me to “wake up” in the morning and be alert enough to focus on a simple task. And even though I could sleep for 14 hours at a time, I was always, constantly tired.

Sounds like fun, huh?

So much fun, in fact, that even though I adored all things wheat-filled, I was willing to get rid of all the gluten in my diet in an attempt to feel better. At the time, that seemed like an enormous sacrifice! How was I going to survive without my bread-laden meals? {insert gratuitous fainting motion here}

I found that removing gluten improved those symptoms within a few months. It wasn’t a cure, but it sure made things a bit more manageable. That “brain fog” I had in the mornings which I had formerly attributed to waiting for my meds to “kick in”? It was gone. Additionally, it was only once I’d removed the gluten (and subsequently more than doubled my vegetable intake) that I realized I used to have horrible digestion problems. I’d just been so used to them I had ceased to really notice them. I started to run across some of the most well-known Paleo sites. Once I began to read more about the effects of sugar, soy, legumes and dairy, I decided to try removing those from my diet, too. I felt better than I had ever remembered feeling!

The Paleo Approach is the most comprehensive guide to #autoimmune #paleo ever! #aip

The Paleo Approach: the book

So it’s safe to say I’m a Paleo fan. I’m always looking for ways I can tweak Paleo to improve my health – and that’s where the Autoimmune Protocol comes in! The AIP is a framework for a modified version of Paleo that cuts out all the things that can cause inflammation or compromise gut health like:

  • Eggs
  • All nuts
  • All seeds
  • Nightshades, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and chilis
  • Seed based spices, such as mustard, cumin and coriander
  • Nightshade based spices, such as cayenne and chili powder

I’ve written a little about the Autoimmune Protocol before, but now I’m going to tell you about an amazing resource for information about autoimmune disease and using this stricter Paleo diet to work against it. It’s a book called The Paleo Approach, written by Sarah Ballantyne who blogs over at The Paleo Mom.

I was already familiar with the basic principles (and food no-no’s they entailed) before getting my hands on a copy of this book, but I didn’t necessarily have a complete understanding of the “whys”. Which made it pretty hard to stick to. The good news, though, is that The Paleo Approach is not just a cookbook or a starter guide to the Autoimmune Protocol. It’s a righteous tome of knowledge! (No joke, it weighs about 4 pounds). With her background in scientific research, Sarah has created a book that is thoroughly researched, extensively illustrated and really explains WHY the Autoimmune Protocol works AND how to implement it in your own life. If you have a question about AIP, The Paleo Approach can answer it.

The Paleo Approach Table of Contents

What I Love About The Paleo Approach

  • It makes the science behind the Autoimmune Protocol understandable and accessible, complete with diagrams and drawings.
  • It covers everything from the causes of Autoimmune disease all the way through to implementing the Autoimmune Protocol and how to troubleshoot any issues.
  • Sarah takes a holistic approach and places the Autoimmune Protocol within the context of a healthy overall lifestyle – then she shows you how to make that lifestyle happen!
  • There are plenty of comprehensive lists of foods to avoid (and, conversely, which fit into the Autoimmune Protocol), as well as lots of nutrient tables so you can see how to get the most food bang for your buck.
  • The trouble shooting section is detailed and is a great resource for people who haven’t quite gotten everything to work for them… yet.

Guess what? My favorite section of the book isn’t about food at all! It’s actually the part where Sarah discusses not overburdening yourself or taking on too much: “It’s ok to say no!”. As someone who is just beginning the process of starting my own business, I find it incredibly hard to either switch off from work or say “no” to an opportunity – even if it’s too the detriment of my health because it either causes stress or messes with my sleep. Definitely something for me to work on!

If you have an Autoimmune disease and are interested in using Autoimmune Paleo to improve your health, The Paleo Approach is the definitive guide!

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The Paleo Approach is the most comprehensive guide to #autoimmune #paleo ever! #aip

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