Happy Monday, all! What an oxymoron that statement is :)
Just a little update before the main gist of my post…
So I am 12 days into my Autoimmune Protocol diet to begin to heal my Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune digestive condition (check out “The Paleo Mom” with LOADS of AIP info, recipes, explanations and more). Two big changes I’ve noticed in my colitis symptoms in the past couple of days are: 1) I haven’t bled in the last 4-5 days and 2) the heavy, “inflammed” sensation I was experiencing at the base of my tailbone has greatly subsided. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still experiencing gas, bloating, and some urgency, etc. – but it’s a step in the right direction in my book, and my condition feels quite manageable for the time being.
My goal is to continue with AIP for at least 2 months before I begin reintroducing foods – MAN do I miss EGGS, though! I’m thinking outloud here – the whole “Reintroduction” phase on this elimination diet scares the living hell out of me, because it seems like such a precise process where one slip throws 2 months of strict AIP down the drain! I’m a worryer, so of course, I’m already stressing about what’s to come!
…Orrrr eat NONE of the things??
Have you had an experience with re-introducing foods on AIP/Paleo/Specific Carbohydrate Diet ??? How did you go about planinng for it realistically? Or did you just choose to avoid these foods in your diet indefinitely? Also I’m thinking about buying “The Paleo Approach” by Sarah Ballantyne – has anyone read this book and could give me a quick review??
I suppose maybe this fear of “reintroduction” is what has kept me from truly implementing “AIP” in my life for some time now – any feedback you can offer about your own trials, errors and succsses is greatly appreciated!
I’m not ready to post my next “3 Ways to Happy Post”, but I did want to share some natural ways I like to calm my flare ups and symptoms when they hit, WITHOUT having to increase my medication. I hope these tips help you, but please – I’m not a doctor. If things are serious, get the help you need!
HOLISTIC FLARE-UP MANAGMENT TIPS:
—- Try sipping some aloe every day. It soothes inflammation from the inside, just like it soothes sunburn on the outside! I buy the Lily of the Desert brand from my local natural grocer. If you don’t like the taste, add it to a smoothie and mix it into a low-sugar organic juice!
—- Drink some healing homemade bone broth, - check out my first post for a simple crockpot recipe!
—- Eat soft foods, while still getting nutrients. Steam or boil all vegetables to make them easier to break down. Puree fruits, drink smoothies with avocado and banana, eat less-fatty meats. I personally really enjoy certain canned veggies like green beans and carrots. Gross to some maybe, but to me they are the next best thing!
—- Consider taking a daily digestive supplement like GI REVIVE – a nutritionist I saw suggested I take it, and though I am not currently taking it, I still have some in my pantry on hand in case a flare-up rears it’s ugly head.
—- If I’m going to have a big meal, I sometimes take a swig of apple cider vinegar to aid in digestion and to ward off gas, bloating, etc., which worsen my flare-ups. Try getting ACV into your diet in other ways like making your own delicious and health packed salad dressing! I mixed up my own (below) in an empty glass spice bottle – 1 parts ACV to 2 parts olive oil, Himalayan salt and herbs to taste. I used oregano, parsley and onion powder.
—- Try to eat smaller meals during a flare-up to give your digestive tract a little break. Big meals will force your system to work twice as hard to break down twice the food! And if you have a slow digestive system like me, that spells big trouble…
—- Cut back on dried fruit – for me, dried fruit blocks me up, for some it does the opposite. There is lots of sugar in dried fruit and cutting out that extra sugar can help regulate things.
—- Take up a calming hobby like yoga, jewelry making, reading, painting, writing, walking, etc. Not only is doing something you like stress relieving, it will also get your mind off of harping on your current flare-up.
—- Sleep! Sometimes a hot cup of chamomile tea and an early bed time can do wonders! Snuggle up with a good book, sip some tea, decompress and conk out! And don’t forget to breathe deep!
—- Ease stress during flare-up times by being over-prepared – meal prep for a couple of days with soft, healing comfort foods so you won’t be tempted to eat any problem foods when hungry and stuck in a pinch – this one is embarrassing, but pack an extra pair of undies (maybe even some TP) in your purse, book bag, gym bag, etc. Obviously, the plan is to NOT use these items but at least you know they are there if need be!
—- LAUGH! Go watch a funny movie, hang out with your funniest friend (my boyfriend in my case, yes I’m lucky).
Now – I’m SO interested to know – what are your healthy flare-up management tips?? Can’t wait to hear from all of you!
Stay tuned for my next “3 Ways to Happy” post in the next day or so!
In healthful happiness,