I can’t believe its been so long since I have been back to share on Cake Cooks Gluten-free. I have had a considerable amount of life going on, including opening our business- Kickshaws Downtown Market which will be one year old this coming month. I tried to stick to what my friend Shirley told me “Don’t worry, it will be there when you go back.” Additionally it has been about two and a half years (time flies when… well, I guess it just flies) since I first embarked on my AIP journey. I wrote a pretty comprehensive update about it with a guest post on Paleo Parents here. In that post I compare my AIP journey to The NeverEnding Story. Coming back to talk about it now, over a year later, I feel like nothing could be closer to the truth.
AIP, Reintroduction, Healing and Set-backs
After about 8 months I was able to successfully reintroduce eggs and nuts. At the 12 month mark I added coffee (which I limit harshly because my adrenals simply can’t handle much). Within this last year, I added raw milk which I can tolerate pretty well (but NOT pasteurized milk). I remain (usually) completely free of gluten, grains (in general), beans, soy, most alcohol (the occasional hard cider or glass of wine), nightshades, and basically any processed foods. My biggest triggers are gluten (triggers my Hemiplegic Migraines), soy (migraines and RA), nightshades (RA), and grains (generalized inflammation). Certain things totally zap my adrenals like more than one cup of coffee a day, any alcohol consumption and lack of sleep. After two years, I almost feel like I know my body inside and out, but I continue to learn with the help of some awesome local practitioners.
People ask me, nearly on a daily basis, how I can possibly manage to run a business, a family, keep a home together, cook meals and still manage to heal. Welp… it is NOT easy. My go-to when I talk to people is that I have 4 things that NEED to be maintained:
4. Some type of exercise
If I stick to these 4 things, I can stay pretty level. The sleep and exercise help me reduce stress, because running a business and a family is incredibly stressful. Of course the nutrition keeps me level and my flares at a minimum. IF I stick strongly to those 4 items I am good. But, life is life and, well what is it they say about good intentions? I have had a number of major set backs and usually they are usually 100% related to not sticking to one of my 4 core necessities. For example, this past Fall I had a major RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) flare. We are talking, hard time walking, writing, using the computer- every major joint was in severe pain. Of course there was the direct correlation to my diet. I had been less than diligent in staying away from nightshades (my major RA trigger) and cumulatively, it had caught up with me. When it peaked, I removed all major inflammatory foods (back to basic AIP) and stuck to it for a few weeks until my symptoms were gone again.
Two months ago I had a bout of food poisoning- it effectively wiped out ALL my good gut health and I felt like I was back to square one. Again, I reverted to strict AIP to control my symptoms, packed on the healing foods and worked with a few local homeopaths to help me regain my health again and really am still healing a great deal from it.
I know that for me, healing is going to simply be something I have to continuously work on. It is my NeverEnding Story, but I am ok with that. Several years ago, I was sicker than I ever thought I could possibly be. I spend days on end in bed, nights awake. My doctor told me I would always feel that way. Two and a half years later, I am by no means cured, but I feel like a million bucks in comparison. You will never hear me say “I could never live without ___” because I have learned that as far as food goes, I would give up anything to be able to live again and be a mother to my kids and wife to my husband. Through this journey in healing, I have found my triggers and learned so much about my body and how to maintain it. That, I think, is the biggest thing that AIP has done for me.
What has AIP done for you?
Next week: AIP BBQ Sauce