The Autoimmune Protocol, an Overview.


This is the first in a series of posts about the Autoimmune protocol. Enjoy!

 

The Autoimmune Protocol, Autoimmune Paleo or simply known to most as AIP, is a type of elimination diet that helps heal the immune system, when it has gone rogue and started to hurt our own bodies. It can be helpful for all types of autoimmune (or inflammatory) issues.

Autoimmunity is where your body does not know the difference between the good and bad cells in your body. Your immune system gets a little confused and decides to try and make everyone get out and starts attacking all cells, instead of just the invaders.  This can be going on for a long time before developing into a full blow autoimmune disease.  Shockingly enough, there are more than 80 (!) types of autoimmune diseases, many of them are conditions that we grew up thinking were somewhat ‘normal’ or ‘routine’. Any system of your body can be affected by autoimmunity, from your brain, to nervous system to glands and even skin.

So what is this ‘Autoimmune Protocol’ anyway?

The Autoimmune Protocol is a way of eating that helps to calm your body down and begin to heal itself.

Sounds pretty good to me.

The Autoimmune Protocol works by reducing inflammation around the body, and most importantly, the gut. Many foods that we have eaten over the years have been damaging to our gastrointestinal (GI) system and have been inflammatory to our bodies. AIP is an elimination diet that targets these inflammatory foods, removing them from our daily lives and puts our GI tract on a path to healing itself. Although they cannot be completely cured, autoimmune diseases can be put into remission with this approach.

This is not just an elimination diet however. Yes, many things are eliminated, at first. But one of the main points of AIP is to concentrate on adding the most nutrient dense foods available. Unfortunately the Standard American Diet (SAD), is fairly nutrient deficient, and nutrient deficiency is a key factor in developing autoimmunity. Adding in nutrient dense foods helps to jump start the autoimmunity healing process. Eating nutrient dense foods will help reduce inflammation, restore proper gut microorganisms and help heal the gut. It will also help balance hormones and regulate the immune system.

But the AIP lifestyle doesn’t stop there, it’s called a lifestyle for a reason! There are several other components of the AIP that are equally as important to healing as the food we eat. Managing stress, prioritizing sleep, avoiding environmental toxins and getting plenty of movement are all essential components of AIP as well. If these other aspects are ignored, you may not see the results you are looking for with diet alone! More on these topics in later posts 😉

SO, WHAT FOODS CAN I HAVE IN THE AIP WORLD?? Let’s start there, shall we?

EAT ALL THE VEGGIES! (well, mostly) 8-14 cups a day

  • Colorful veggies, eat the rainbow!
  • Green veggies
  • Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, kale, turnip, cauliflower, arugula, watercress, brussels sprouts etc)
  • Sea veggies (except chlorella and spirulina)

Organ meat and Offal (offal ain’t awful) 4 servings a week

  • Liver, kidney, heart etc.

Seafood at least 3 times a week

  • Wild caught is best

Quality Meat

  • Grass fed, pasture raised is better, but if you can’t swing it, it’s ok!

Quality Fats

  • Olive, avocado, coconut and palm.

Fruit

  • Fruits are meant to be kept in moderation, lower than 20g of fructose daily.

Probiotic Foods

  • Fermented veggies/fruit, kombucha, kefir, coconut milk kefir, coconut milk yogurt. (however, if you react to yeast, as I do, these foods will be an issue for you!)

Glycine-rich Food

  • Foods that contain connective tissues, joints or skin, such as organ meat and bone broth.

WHAT FOODS ARE OFF THE TABLE?

(pun intended) AIP eliminates:

Grains

Gluten

Dairy

Legumes

Processed Vegetable Oils/Processed Food Chemicals

Added Sugars/Sugar Alcohols 

Nuts

Seeds

Eggs

Nightshades

  • Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, sweet/hot peppers (and their spices), cayenne, tomatillos, goji berries, hot peppers and all spices derived from peppers, like paprika etc.

Potential gluten-cross reactive foods

Alcohol

NSAIDS (this one is really hard for me with migraines) and Birth Control

Non-nutritive sweeteners

Emulsifiers, thickeners and food additives

This seems like a lot of things, at least it did to me when I first looked at the list, especially the nightshades! I lived off of tomatoes for the first 25 years of my life! But once I got into actually cooking AIP recipes, I found that it wasn’t that bad and it was actually quite good! I got excited to experiment and find new ways of making old tastes. Also, once I realized the reasons WHY these foods were eliminated, they became much easier to get rid of.

There are many reasons to eliminate these foods at first. They all harm our bodies in some way most creating gut irritation or dysbiosis, creating gut permeability (leaky gut) or causing inflammation. That’s all reason enough for me!

How long do I have to stay Strict AIP?

Well, that’s a great question. The recommended amount of time is at least 3 months, after that it’s up to you and your journey. Some people only need 3 months to notice improvements, then they can begin to re-introduce foods. Some people need much longer, which can be up to a year or more.

So how do you know? It all depends on how you feel. Your initial symptoms should be gone (or mostly gone), you should be generally feeling better day to day. Listening to your body is key during this process. Keeping a journal of symptoms is a great way to go about this so you can look back and see the big things, but also the little things that you may forget. Once you are ready for re-introductions, there is a way to best go about those as well, which is another post! So keep on the look out for that as well 😉

The one major thing to remember when starting on an AIP journey is the elimination phase is not meant to be forever. It is meant to be a healing time, where your body is able to reset itself.  Which may take a few months for one person and over a year for another. You’re walking your own journey, and no one else’s.

 

As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me through the ‘work with me’ page, and I’ll get right back to you!

And if you’d like to join the LissMS Community, sign up here!

I’M ALISSA!

I help women who have also been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis make specific and personalized diet, lifestyle & subconscious changes so that they can begin to heal their body, reduce disease symptoms, and return to a life they love.hey there,

follow along on Instagram:

In case you needed to hear that today.

You’re not a failure.
You didn’t “fail” at healing.
Having MS is hard- do what’s best for you.

In case you needed to hear that today.

You’re not a failure.
You didn’t “fail” at healing.
Having MS is hard- do what’s best for you.
...

58 9
This is my challenge to you over the next week.

Take some time and think about this past year.

All you’re proud of, all you’ve accomplished. And if you have some things that don’t bring you joy, be proud of yourself for making it through in one piece and still being here.

Reflection is a great way to cultivate motivation to keep going..

You’re doing amazing.
You’ve done amazing.
Let’s keep going.
🧡❤️🧡

This is my challenge to you over the next week.

Take some time and think about this past year.

All you’re proud of, all you’ve accomplished. And if you have some things that don’t bring you joy, be proud of yourself for making it through in one piece and still being here.

Reflection is a great way to cultivate motivation to keep going..

You’re doing amazing.
You’ve done amazing.
Let’s keep going.
🧡❤️🧡
...

21 4
Comparison is the thief of joy.

Regardless of what you see others doing,
you’re right where you should be.

❤️🧡❤️

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Regardless of what you see others doing,
you’re right where you should be.

❤️🧡❤️
...

24 10
This took me completely by surprise, cause I usually roast myself after a simple mistake 🙈

But, I just didn’t? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Working on self improvement is weird.
Like I’m not even consciously working on how I talk to myself at the moment. 

Have I in the past? Sure. And it’s something I try to stay conscious of, but def have my moments where I fall into old patterns.

But this moment gave me hope.

What moments in your journey have given you hope lately?

This took me completely by surprise, cause I usually roast myself after a simple mistake 🙈

But, I just didn’t? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Working on self improvement is weird.
Like I’m not even consciously working on how I talk to myself at the moment.

Have I in the past? Sure. And it’s something I try to stay conscious of, but def have my moments where I fall into old patterns.

But this moment gave me hope.

What moments in your journey have given you hope lately?
...

55 2
Thank you for supporting my business this past year. 

Because in reality, you’re supporting me.

So thank you.
Scott thanks you too!

Thank you for supporting my business this past year.

Because in reality, you’re supporting me.

So thank you.
Scott thanks you too!
...

38 7
👉🏼Feeling stuck with your MS symptoms?
👉🏼Feeling like your body betrayed you and is working against you?
👉🏼Are you worried you’re stuck like this and will never get better?

I get it. At one point I did too.

Years ago I was experiencing “Aggressive MS” and I thought I’d never function the same.

I thought my days of moving how I wanted, or doing anything on a whim were over.

I couldn’t walk well, couldn’t feel my body correctly and I was SCARED.

But now?
I’m confident in the ways I’m helping myself.
I no longer have aggressive MS.
I can move how I want, when I want.

Because of the changes I’ve made over the years.

No, it’s not easy, but that’s where I come in!!

I’ve dedicated my life to helping those with MS realize that feeling better is possible and helping them get there.

My 2 courses and my membership are on sale this weekend for Black Friday,

want to start your own success story??

Comment SUCCESS below and I’ll send you the link!!

👉🏼Feeling stuck with your MS symptoms?
👉🏼Feeling like your body betrayed you and is working against you?
👉🏼Are you worried you’re stuck like this and will never get better?

I get it. At one point I did too.

Years ago I was experiencing “Aggressive MS” and I thought I’d never function the same.

I thought my days of moving how I wanted, or doing anything on a whim were over.

I couldn’t walk well, couldn’t feel my body correctly and I was SCARED.

But now?
I’m confident in the ways I’m helping myself.
I no longer have aggressive MS.
I can move how I want, when I want.

Because of the changes I’ve made over the years.

No, it’s not easy, but that’s where I come in!!

I’ve dedicated my life to helping those with MS realize that feeling better is possible and helping them get there.

My 2 courses and my membership are on sale this weekend for Black Friday,

want to start your own success story??

Comment SUCCESS below and I’ll send you the link!!
...

16 0
Grab your path to healing!!

These are the lowest prices for my courses like ever, and they won’t be back. (And they’ll prob be going up in the new year- planning some updates!!)

Comment HEALING below and I’ll send you a link, or check out my stories!!

Grab your path to healing!!

These are the lowest prices for my courses like ever, and they won’t be back. (And they’ll prob be going up in the new year- planning some updates!!)

Comment HEALING below and I’ll send you a link, or check out my stories!!
...

3 2
The first step to being successful with managing stress (& being successful with anything really) is:

Awareness of where you currently are.

You can’t change or manage what you’re not aware of.

You can only know yourself as deep as you’re awareness of yourself goes.

Try this:
Right now as you read this, pause for a sec.
Take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

Where were my thoughts?
Where is my breathing?
What am I saying to myself?

Get really honest here too (warning- it might be uncomfy)

What did you discover while checking in? Let me know in the comments!

-
-
If we haven’t met yet, Hi! 👋🏼👋🏼 I’m Alissa. I’m a Holistic Practitioner & Therapist specializing in MS. 
I use all the tools I’ve comprised over my 10+ year career (and 14+ years with MS) to help my clients with MS decrease their symptoms, improve their overall health and get back to living life on their terms, not MS’ terms.
Interested to hear how that might look for you? Comment 🧡 below or DM me and we’ll chat!

The first step to being successful with managing stress (& being successful with anything really) is:

Awareness of where you currently are.

You can’t change or manage what you’re not aware of.

You can only know yourself as deep as you’re awareness of yourself goes.

Try this:
Right now as you read this, pause for a sec.
Take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

Where were my thoughts?
Where is my breathing?
What am I saying to myself?

Get really honest here too (warning- it might be uncomfy)

What did you discover while checking in? Let me know in the comments!

-
-
If we haven’t met yet, Hi! 👋🏼👋🏼 I’m Alissa. I’m a Holistic Practitioner & Therapist specializing in MS.
I use all the tools I’ve comprised over my 10+ year career (and 14+ years with MS) to help my clients with MS decrease their symptoms, improve their overall health and get back to living life on their terms, not MS’ terms.
Interested to hear how that might look for you? Comment 🧡 below or DM me and we’ll chat!
...

14 1
Progress is absolutely not linear.

But, it’s still progress nonetheless.

I see you if you’re in a “dip” or feel like you’re going “backwards”

You’re really not, you’re right where you should be.

Keep going!!
🧡❤️🧡

Progress is absolutely not linear.

But, it’s still progress nonetheless.

I see you if you’re in a “dip” or feel like you’re going “backwards”

You’re really not, you’re right where you should be.

Keep going!!
🧡❤️🧡
...

22 1
Lol, all this got me was an MS diagnosis. 

This was me basically my whole life up until a few years ago.

My clients have all talked about situations like this too.

It’s no wonder why a lot of us have an autoimmune disease now. 

Please, speak your truth. Your body will thank you.

If we haven’t met yet, Hi! 👋🏼👋🏼 I’m Alissa.
I’m a Holistic Practitioner & Therapist specializing in MS.

I use all the tools I’ve comprised over my 10+ year career (and 14+ years with MS) to help my clients with MS decrease their symptoms, improve their overall health and get back to living life on their terms, not MS’ terms.

Interested to hear how that might look for you? Comment 🧡 below or DM me and we’ll chat!

Lol, all this got me was an MS diagnosis.

This was me basically my whole life up until a few years ago.

My clients have all talked about situations like this too.

It’s no wonder why a lot of us have an autoimmune disease now.

Please, speak your truth. Your body will thank you.

If we haven’t met yet, Hi! 👋🏼👋🏼 I’m Alissa.
I’m a Holistic Practitioner & Therapist specializing in MS.

I use all the tools I’ve comprised over my 10+ year career (and 14+ years with MS) to help my clients with MS decrease their symptoms, improve their overall health and get back to living life on their terms, not MS’ terms.

Interested to hear how that might look for you? Comment 🧡 below or DM me and we’ll chat!
...

90 4
This has been a TOUGH week friends.

Don’t lose yourself.

What else would you add to this list?
What helps you when life is super hard?

❤️❤️

This has been a TOUGH week friends.

Don’t lose yourself.

What else would you add to this list?
What helps you when life is super hard?

❤️❤️
...

20 2
I’ve been actively working on my nervous system for the past year or two.

That hasn’t meant that all my anxiety or depression magically vanished.

It just means that when I do find myself feeling like an anxious mess or a depressed puddle, I know how to attend to and care for myself.

Not in the goal of “fixing” per se, more honoring and accepting.

This is one of the ways I help my clients improve their MS symptoms, but attending to their nervous systems and improving their stress response and resilience.

I have so many ways to work with me.. from 1:1 support to my free community.. comment below “interested” and we’ll chat about what would be right for you!

I’ve been actively working on my nervous system for the past year or two.

That hasn’t meant that all my anxiety or depression magically vanished.

It just means that when I do find myself feeling like an anxious mess or a depressed puddle, I know how to attend to and care for myself.

Not in the goal of “fixing” per se, more honoring and accepting.

This is one of the ways I help my clients improve their MS symptoms, but attending to their nervous systems and improving their stress response and resilience.

I have so many ways to work with me.. from 1:1 support to my free community.. comment below “interested” and we’ll chat about what would be right for you!
...

18 2

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