14 June 2013

Periodic Status Update

Over a month has passed since the grand auto-immune paleo experiment began, which means it is time for a self-reported check-in.

General paleo compliance -- 94%
Auto-immune paleo compliance -- 83%
(my very scientific & accurate guesstimation)

It is not perfect, but I'm okay with that. The goal is to have a straight 30 days of 100% compliance to the auto-immune protocol at some point soon; it will require more lead time to work up to that. There are a few hurdles to cross that just keep tripping me up. They are named: nuts, paprika, caffeine, and a tiny hurdle the size of Andre the Giant of cocoa powder.

And then there were a few instances that were not paleo, and therefore, obviously not AIP either. Absentee-brain moments. My sweet, thoughtful mother had bought me some groceries after my trip to Washington, D.C. One item was an organic heat & eat beef roast from Trader Joe's. She had made the comment, "It is organic, so I think you can have it." Awww... you think it's hard for me trying to figure out what is on the yes/no list, my poor mother is having a heckuva time! It seemed logical, but it wasn't until I was tossing the packaging into the recycle bin that I noticed soy was listed in the ingredients for the sauce. Dang it! I ate it anyhow. That blasted soy is insidious and is in e v e r y t h i n g. It is really hard to avoid. It is even in tea! TEA!?!?

Giving up coffee has been one of the hardest aspects. Harder than chocolate!! I started drinking more tea (lots more), which I love equally as well, but it just doesn't have that same texture and "kick" that coffee does. I counted down the days to day 31, when I would try reintroducing coffee. Attempting to stack the odds in my favor, I even made cold-brew coffee the day before hoping the lower acidity would help. Just the smell  of it in the house was euphoric. Giddy with excitement in the morning I made my first cup of coffee, and it tasted odd (had I lost my taste for it?). After finishing off the first cup, a fresh cup was made, and drunk. And then, my body told me NO MORE COFFEE!! Oh, coffee... how I love you. Why, WHY won't you love me back???

Even though nuts have sporadically been eaten, I have stayed away from them enough that when I do have them, I notice it - and not in a good way. Once I get more into a groove, and get this whole AIP thing more ingrained, I will eliminate the nuts completely until I can get my gut healed. First, I need to find a substitute for that glove compartment "emergency snack."

Has it been easy? Oh, heavens to Betsy, NO! But does it seem worth it? Yes. One of the hardest aspects was my cocky assumption that I would transition with ease. My logic was that I was mostly paleo already, becoming a little more restrictive wouldn't be so bad, cutting out my occasional indulgences wouldn't have much impact. I read a couple 'what to expect in the first 30 days' kind of blog posts and sort of blew them off with, "So little is changing, I'll probably just skim right over these phases." Reality is the opposite, not only have I gone through the 'slump' stage and the 'I crave everything - even things I wouldn't have normally eaten' stage, but they have lasted at least twice as long as the norm. There is a lot more balancing, tweaking, and experimenting to do until I figure out what my body needs. (And with my luck, right when I figure it out, it will change.)

I was hoping the results would be nearly instantaneous, miraculous even. Although I knew that was far from likely, I'm still a little disappointed it didn't happen. Yet, my main flare spot - my right middle knuckle has calmed down some. When I make a fist, there are four distinct knuckles again instead of one normal and one massive blob. It is going to take time, patience, and persistence in following the course. Other issues are starting to improve as well; my sinus allergies are improving, my energy level is more even, my (ahem!) digestive issues, etc.

Onward, ho!! 

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