Hey there friends!
I hope you’re all doing well! I haven’t done a health update in a while, so that’s what this post is for.
To start off, as many of you know, last fall I began the AIP diet. I had heard such good things about it, and it seemed like the most fitting option for me to help heal my thyroid. Initially, I felt much better on it. However, as time passed, I started feeling more sick. My inflammation increased fairly rapidly. My thyroid became really enlarged and it actually was uncomfortable to eat or talk at times. I was so low on energy all the time, and was so tired. It was a real struggle to make it through the last bit of college with such an empty tank to run from. Not to mention the increased brain fog! My digestion was a mess, I was super constipated and had an upset stomach most of the time. My hair was falling out in crazy amounts–which is never fun! I gained quit a bit of weight, despite not eating much, or anything unhealthy. I could hardly complete my workouts, as my energy level was so low, and my inflammation was so bad from the previous day’s workout that it hindered the day’s lift. I felt like my muscles were never recovering. I eventually decided just to give up lifting for a season–which I NEVER thought I’d have to do.
Something had to change. So I quit AIP.
Now, I don’t think anything is wrong with the AIP diet. I think it works beautifully for so many people. The science behind it makes sense. But for me–the problem was more in how I was doing the AIP diet then a problem with the diet itself. I think really the biggest problem was that, while I was doing really a perfect job of not eating the foods that aren’t allowed on AIP, I was doing a really poor job of eating the range of foods that are supposed to be eaten on AIP. Bone broth, organic meat, kombucha, fermented foods–many things like that were not a part of my diet. As a pretty broke college student, I found it hard to pay for the foods necessary to do the diet really successfully. My diet was a lot of turkey, kale, sweet potatoes, squash… things that were a bit cheaper. And they filled most of my meals. Nothing is wrong with these foods, but there’s a problem in eating any food all the time, as you really aren’t getting the nourishment you need from a wider diet.
I cycled off AIP, and basically just avoided dairy and didn’t eat gluten. All while continuing to eat healthy–lots of raw foods, packed salads, wider range of veggies, not much of anything processed. As time went on, I started feeling slowly and slowly better. My inflammation decreased so much. My hair started growing back. My digestion improved. My brain fog decreased. The weight started to fall off.
And that’s where I am today! I’m feeling better than I have in a while. All I’m really doing is eating healthy and avoiding gluten, (which caused inflammation almost immediately for me). I wish I had more insight into WHY I’m feeling better I could share with you guys so I could help you out too. I’m scared to believe that I’m better, and that I’ll only continue to feel better, because, like anybody that has dealt with thyroid issues, or any type of chronic illness, I know all too well the flare-ups that can happen out of anywhere, and last for who knows how long. But for right now, I’m just enjoying feeling better. I’m not opposed to trying the AIP diet again in the future if it seems to be the best option for me, but I will definitely do it different next time around if I do.
If you are thinking about trying the AIP diet, the best advice I could give you is to make sure you recognize that the diet is just as much about what you are supposed to eat as it is what you’re not supposed to eat. If you aren’t eating a wide enough range of foods, chances are you aren’t going to get the desired results out of it.
Also, I would advise to consider if you are really financially able to do the diet. If you are a broke college student like I was, perhaps think about waiting to do AIP till you are really able to afford the range of food groups you are supposed to be eating, (as well as the time it takes to meal prep!)
I hope this helps if you are someone who is considering trying out the AIP diet! Please comment or feel free to email me if you have any questions about AIP or my journey on it. I am more than happy to help you in whatever way I can with your life and health journey!
*I am not a doctor or trained medical professional. Consult with your health care provider or physician with any changes or concerns.