If Week 1 on the Paleo Diet Autoimmune Protocol was the honeymoon, I suppose I’d call Week 2 the 1 year anniversary. Some of the infatuation has been replaced by reality, but this diet and I, we are still deeply in love.

That little appetizer plate above? It’s my first autoimmune protocol recipe creation. My dinner was running late, the Sweetie Pie had a bowl of (entirely AIP-friendly) guacamole sitting on the counter that he was putting into burritos for the family, and I really wanted to eat some of it. I pouted for about 5 seconds that I couldn’t eat corn chips, tortillas, or scrambled eggs, then pulled out my cucumbers and smoked salmon and made something even better. So simple, and so tasty.

I managed to mitigate some of the grocery costs of last week when I realized that the meal plans are written for two people and I am (duh) only one person. So during the second week my grocery bill was still high, but not quite as outrageous as the first week. I also gave myself a little more flexibility in choosing my side veggies. Greens were on sale at my local natural grocers, so I replaced some of the non-starchy veg called for in the meal plan with the greens. I had sweet potatoes left over from week one, so I used them instead of buying more winter squash.

For some reason, I felt the cooking a lot more this week. I don’t know if this was because of the particular recipes, or if I just wasn’t quite as on top of things, or if life was getting in the way, but somehow I was always eating my meals about 30 minutes behind everyone else. I think I’ll just blame daylight savings, because it has gotten the blame for everything else that went wrong this past week.

The food was still delicious and indulgent (by my standards). Previously, I had stuck to a regimen of organic chicken, zucchini, and mushrooms for so long simply because those were the foods that my digestion tolerated the best and were the most affordable. Imagine my joy at eating such tasty and flavorful food again! And still, no pain. I did have some bloating towards the beginning of the week, but I cut back on the raw salads for a few days and it improved. Even so, a bit of bloating after a bowl of raw cabbage and carrots and not days of pain and lying in bed?? Huge improvement!

Again, it’s impossible for me to tell if my results are due to diet or to prescription drugs or simply to timing and a gut that was ready to start healing. My intuition tells me that it’s a little bit of all of them. That my gut was ready, and this medication is helping me to eat the foods that are helping my gut to heal. I dare to hope that someday I might entertain the idea of being off medication and maintaining my gut health simply with a good, sensible diet and low-stress lifestyle. Maybe not. Part of my healing is keeping my thoughts in today. And for today, I am pleased with my results.

Here’s the lowdown on what went into my body, for those of you what want all the details:

  • Foods eaten: organic, free-range meat and wild seafood; lots of veggies, mostly organic; a few jarred items (olives and artichokes and the like) without preservatives or colorings; coconut oil; peppermint tea (unsweetened); a few fruits; small amounts of honey (maybe a teaspoon per day)
  • Foods avoided: grains, soy, eggs, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, nightshade veggies, spices from nightshade veggies, sweeteners, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine
  • Supplements taken: all prescription meds for depression and digestion, probiotics, HCL with every meal, fish oil, cod liver oil, trace minerals, 5-HTP, weekly B-12 injections, MSM, L-Glutamine, Magnesium Citrate, and Melatonin (Please note that I do not self-prescribe supplements nor do I recommend that others do so; I work closely with my doctors, both MD and ND, to determine what my body’s needs are. I advise everyone to do the same and provide this list solely for informational purposes of the things that are working for me.)
  • Bodywork and lifestyle: I managed to do my physical therapy exercises that my friend gave me. Apart from that, I didn’t do much else. Can I blame daylight savings again??

In my past experience, week three has always been the hardest. The novelty of the thing has worn off, and I’m tired of saying no to the things I can’t have. I am steeling my resolve for a difficult week ahead, but I’m committed to my path. AIP, Week 3, here I come!

It should go without saying (but somehow doesn’t) that I am not a doctor nor a nutritionist and I don’t recommend that anyone undertake any dietary changes or take any supplements or medications without close conversation with a licensed care provider. What I provide here is intended solely for anecdotal and informational purposes.

** I am using Diane Sanfilippo’s excellent resource, Practical Paleo, for my 30 day trial of the Autoimmune Protocol. I highly recommend her book and her online resources.

Diane is giving away one copy of Practical Paleo to a Plan to Eat reader. If you are on a Paleo diet, ever thought about a Paleo diet, or just like to cook simple, real food you will want this book on your shelf. To enter this giveaway:

  • click over to Diane’s blog, Balanced Bites, and join her e-mail list (the little blue box on the right hand side)
  • return here and leave a comment letting us know that you joined the list

This giveaway is open from Monday, March 18 until Saturday, March 23 at midnight. The winner will be announced next Monday, March 25.

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