PALEO AUTOIMMUNE FOOD REINTRODUCTION
So it’s been 2 months since I began the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol
, and it sure has been an interesting ride! I was 3 weeks into the 30 day elimination part of the protocol when I wrote the initial article
where I basically explained autoimmune diseases and the purpose of the 30 day elimination protocol, followed by the food reintroduction process.
So just a quick recap of some of the inflammatory symptoms that reduced or resolved during the 30 day elimination of – coffee, eggs, nightshades (tomatoes, capsicums, eggplant, chili etc.), cacao, nuts and seeds in conjunction with a strict grain, legume and dairy free Paleo diet.
* Joint pain in my wrist and knee from an old injuries has disappeared
* Huge reduction in Reynaud’s symptoms (loss of feeling and blood flow in parts of feet)
* My face has almost completely stopped flushing rosy red when I have histamine containing or triggering foods
* My sleep is better
* The red itchy rash on my knuckles has disappeared
* Reduction in sinus congestion
* Improved cognitive function
It all seemed too good to be true! With so many niggling issues resolving in such a short space of time, I realised how average I was feeling before starting the protocol! I must admit, I was a bit nervous about the reintroduction phase of the protocol because I knew that I would experience adverse reactions to some of my favourite foods.
* Reintroduce one food (small quantity) for two consecutive days, record any noticeable reactions, go back to full elimination protocol for 3 days and then repeat with another food.
Yep! It’s one hell of a process, but I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to science experiments!
Here are the outcomes….
- Reacquainting with an old friend….. We’ve grown apart!
My one true vice! I am a self-confessed addict and I quickly realised after two deliciously caffeinated mornings that coffee and I needed to go our separate ways! Here’s how it affected me….
* Shoulder & scapular pain increased from old injury
* Headache, jaw pain & and feeling the need to chew the inside of cheeks (WEIRD!!)
* Brain fog – writers block, talkers block (if such a thing exists? This would make a few people very happy!)
* Pain in every joint that I have ever injured (there’s been a few)
* Urgent elimination - caffeine does promote peristalsis or could it be something my body wants to get rid of quickly?
* Cold hands and feet
I was pretty devastated to say the least, but to not have the full use of my brain was awful, so it wasn’t a hard decision to end this love affair…..
NUTS & SEEDS
- More lumps than a cane toad!
I have always had a bit of digestive distress as soon as I incorporate nuts into my diet and it is also a food that I can’t just have one or two of them, I want to eat them by the handful, which should be an obvious warning for me to avoid them where ever possible and to not keep them in the house. My experiment with introducing macadamia nuts and some tahini was not worth the tastiness at all….
* Pimples galore…. All over my chin and beside my nose! Yuuuck!
* Shortness of breath – I noticed a shortness of breath from doing non strenuous things like walking and even speaking… Not cool!
* Digestive upset – I’m just skip the gross details and just say that there were an array of IBS symptoms… Eeeeww!
* Bumps on my wrists and hands – these little lumps are a perfect tell-tale that I have had something that doesn’t agree with me
* Feeling low – I really noticed a downtick in mood and morale after the nut experiment, I didn’t feel good about, well…. everything really!
* Sinus congestion and sneezing
– There’s still hope!
I had a feeling from the beginning that egg whites by themselves may not be such a good idea for me, I may have overdone these in the days of oats, egg whites, broccoli and brown rice for every other meal of the day…. Silly silly!! I was originally going to introduce just the yolk and then just the white but I thought if I introduced the whole egg then maybe the combination of eating the yolk with the white may be less of an issue. I was on to something!
* Nothing…. Zip… Zilch!! Not a problem at all! YESSSSS! This was the most enjoyable serving of scrambled eggs that I’ve had in my life!
– The best bit!
Taking the egg thing a little further, I included yolk only for two days. Still, no signs of upset! Next stop, egg white.
– Huston… We have a problem!!
I did this particular experiment with 3 sources of egg white. Let me just say… Be careful where you get your eggs from!
COOKED EGG WHITE
(from our grain free, free range suburban chickens)
* Still no noticeable problems other than the fact that I was hungry 20 minutes later from having such a nutrient and fat deficient breakfast. BORING!
COOKED EGG WHITE
(store bought ‘Organic Free Range Eggs’)
* My cheeks flushed fire engine red and burning hot within 30 minutes of eating! What on earth do they feed ‘Organic Free Range’ Chickens??
DEHYDRATED EGG WHITE PROTEIN POWDER
(protein shakers beware!)
* RED ALERT…. Bright red, stinging, burning cheeks, ears and neck! Jeepers, I thought my head was going to spontaneously combust! The flushing lasted about 3 days and resulted in a layer of skin peeling off. Wowza!
* Return of the dreaded Raynaud’s – the very next day, the Raynaud’s in my feet was back just like it had never left me.
* There’s that sinking feeling again! Feeling low on mood and morale.
I had a feeling that the egg white was an issue, but never thought about the type of egg white. Whole eggs or egg yolks for me from now on.
– I wish I didn’t love you.... Why do you make me so sad?
I think I saved this one until last because I love tomatoes! Tomato soup, raw tomato, tomato paste on Meatzza and then all of the other yummy nightshades (I could add chilli to anything)
TOMATOES & PAPRIKA
* That was the colour of my face, ears, neck and now hands as well! This was even worse than the egg whites!
* Continuing Raynaud’s symptoms
* Low moods
* Burning knuckles after touching paprika with my hands
My immune system was on red alert after the dehydrated egg whites and the tomato experiments and the histamine response on my face stuck around for days after. I may need to do another week of full elimination and gut repair before I put the non-reactive foods back in.
So maybe I have just ramped up immune responses by adding too many of these problematic foods in whilst I was been under a lot of mental and physical stress and they were too much for my immune system to deal with.
It would be great to be able to run this same experiment while relaxing on a sunny tropical island with no worries or stress and see if the results are the same! With all of the environmental stressors these days, it’s no wonder our bodies and immune systems have a hard time coping sometimes!
So will I steer clear of the main offenders? You bet! It was pretty awful feeling so down and out for the last couple of months. It wasn’t because I was missing certain foods; I like experiments and I was an overnight Paleo convert over 3 years ago, so I’m not afraid of change.
I literally lost all motivation and inspiration for writing, blogging, social media (not necessarily a bad thing) and social events. Think again if you believe that food has no effect on your mood or health, It has EVERYTHING to do with it!
I hope this was somewhat informative or helpful for those that are struggling with an autoimmune issue. Be sure to share this article with your friends and families that you think could benefit from trying a protocol like this. I will also continue to post up Autoimmune friendly recipes on the Recipe Blog to make this elimination process a little easier.
← MAMMOTH LINK LOVIN’
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