AIP Certified Coach!
Hey guys! I'm not one to toot my own horn but... TOOT! TOOT!
Ok, just kidding though, this post isn't about bragging. I just wanted to let you all know that I recently became certified as a coach, fully equipped to guide you through the Autoimmune Protocol.
The protocol is a science-based dietary and lifestyle approach to managing any autoimmune disease. It was originally formulated by a pioneer in the world of autoimmune research, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne. (Learn more about her here!)
The strategy of this protocol is to go through a specific elimination phase where you remove foods that will provoke any irritation or permeability in the the gut lining, and those that will stimulate excessive immune responses in the body, while implementing nutrient-dense foods that have all the nutrients needed to heal the gut, reduce inflammation and regulate the immune system. It also integrates lifestyle habits including consistent sleep and moderate exercise, while taking steps to reduce stress. All of these things work together to mitigate an overactive immune system and provides the potential for remission.
Some highlights of the elimination phase of the protocol:
Eat Wild-Caught Fish
Eat Grass-Fed Meat
Eat Organ Meats
Eat High Quality Fats
Eat Most Vegetables
Eat All Fruits
No Nuts & Seeds
No Beans & Legumes
No Nightshade Vegetables
No Processed Foods
No Refined Sugars
It is a bit more complex than that, but you get the idea. It can be kind of restrictive. That's why I took this course, so that I could understand the protocol inside and out and find ways to make it attainable for my clients. As my practice moves heavily toward a majority of autoimmune clients, it is important to me to be able to provide the right kind of support to make this process possible for any individual. It can be a tough one, but this course taught me how to tailor to each individual, provide resources and guide you through every step.
The elimination phase is not meant to be followed forever. There are reintroduction phases, wherein we introduce food groups slowly, tracking symptoms and testing each individuals tolerability to determine what your triggers are. First, we introduce things that are less likely to be triggers and will actually add nutrition to the diet and then we work our way through the rest.
It can be a long process, but what you end up with is ANSWERS! You determine your food triggers and learn how to moderate your intake so that they do not provoke the autoimmune response. You understand how to regulate your immune system and optimize your quality of life.
This protocol allows you to truly LIVE with autoimmune disease and, in many cases, achieve full remission.
Stop reading here if that was enough practical info for you and you don't wanna hear me get into the more personal stuff. Don't worry, I don't really gush but I think it's important for me to take a moment to explain on what this protocol has done for me and why it means so much for me to be able to help people with it. I would hope in doing so you will be able to relate, and feel better knowing that I might have gone through something similar to what you're dealing with now!
About 8 years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Leading up to my diagnosis, I was severely underweight, depressed, amenorrheic and told over and over again to eat more pasta so that I'd fatten up. When I finally got diagnosed, the doctor told me to "go gluten-free" and that'd be that. As long as I was compliant, I should find full remission. Well, it definitely helped. I gained a healthy weight back and my brain slowly balanced itself out and I was able to come of anti-depressants. Huge win! However, I didn't get my "lady time" back and the bathroom was still not a place you wanted to be after I'd been in there.
I struggled with this for years, just assuming that I had destroyed my gut when I was celiac and it would just never quite be the same. My energy was consistently in the dumps, my tummy always hurt and my god I was gassy. Cute, right?
Eventually, I decided to stop whining about it and just figure my sh** out... literally! I did all the reading I could and eventually found AIP. Long story short, I'm a fertile young woman, full of energy and vitality, with a positive relationship to the toilet bowl! It was a huge challenge doing it on my own. I had to try a couple of times before I got it right and if I wasn't so desperate for change with insane willpower (not to toot my own horn again), there is no way I would have been able to do it.
When I went back to school for nutrition, it was because I wanted to learn how to help people so that they don't have to struggle in quite the same way. Seeing what nutrition did for me and my condition I knew just how powerful of a medicine it was and I knew that I could help people through all sorts of health issues by using it!
Since graduating, I continue to learn every day, through my clients, through reading and through the continuing education courses I have found. This course was a gem along the way. I'm so grateful that the AIP course was created. I was able to learn from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne herself and her team of two outstanding nutritional practitioners, Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt, the authors of The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook. This course helped me to solidify my understanding of autoimmune disease, why AIP works, and most importantly, how to help each individual through it with their specific needs in a way that makes sense for them and their life.
If you are suffering with an autoimmune disease, please know that with a team of practitioners, including a nutritionist who can help you implement a therapeutic diet, you can overcome it and live a full life with energy and vitality.