March 14, 2016

The autoimmune paleo diet described in Eileen Laird’s new book reversed occult blood found on my stool test result and brought my Hs-CRP blood test for inflammation back into the normal range. I was already eating a paleo-type diet before I made the switch to AIP, and with hindsight I suspect that seeds, nuts and eggs were the main foods still causing me problems. I’m not alone, and process of eliminating common food allergens and then doing careful reintroductions is frequently helpful for the athletes that we work with.

We’ve recommended Sarah Ballantyne’s book to hundreds of people. My mother in law owns two copies and lends them to strangers all the time. No doubt it’s a fantastic book, but sometimes I feel badly for burdening people with the task of reading it, especially if they’re not feeling good. You’ve probably noticed that most of the volume of any book comprises of the argument to support the prescription. What if you don’t care about the argument?

Just tell me what to do.

Eileen's new book: A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol does exactly that. You can read it in a couple of hours and know exactly what you should do next. Most people think of AIP as a diet but that’s not true, AIP is a lifestyle and the important lifestyle factors are described succinctly in Eileen’s book.

Eileen Laird is an amazing women: deep tissue massage therapist, outdoors lover, author and podcast host. Eileen has been using autoimmune paleo diet (AIP) to successfully manage her once debilitating rheumatoid arthritis.

Getting help.

In this episode, Eileen is interviewed by the women who introduced me to AIP. Julia is my wife, and a food scientist, and I’ll be forever grateful to her for enabling me to execute the dietary rules so effortlessly, something she now teaches other people professionally. Are you struggling to make AIP work? Book a month of coaching with Julia. Julia doesn’t do food allergy testing or chronic food logging. Instead, she teaches via the phone or Skype and then follows up on a three-day food diary stored in Google Docs.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Eileen Laird:

0:00:20    Eileen's book: A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).

0:00:38    AIP was originally an elimination diet.

0:00:51    Nightshades and eggs were a problem for people with autoimmunity.

0:01:15    The second phase is reintroduction.

0:01:41    Seeds and spices.

0:01:58    People are started to appreciate the lifestyle component.

0:02:18    Sleep, stress, self-talk.

0:02:51    The goal is to live the best life possible with autoimmunity.

0:03:03    Who is AIP for?

0:03:39    Do you need a diagnosis?

0:04:17    Over 100 autoimmune diseases are classified.

0:04:33    Multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus.

0:04:41    Diabetes.

0:04:46    Skin diseases.

0:04:57    Eczema is an immune reaction.

0:05:05    Lichen planus.

0:05:52    Sometimes a diagnosis is hard to make.

0:07:06    If you've already tried paleo and there are lingering symptoms then AIP can help.

0:07:53    Eileen was healthy, active, fit.

0:08:35    Woke up one day with pain

0:08:51    Same problem on both sides is classic RA.

0:10:12    Eileen has been lucky in not needing medication.

0:10:36    Eileen reclaimed joy in her life within a few months.

0:11:08    Now back to working full time and hiking.

0:11:41    Eileen took things in steps.

0:11:58    Tried vegetarian and veganism.

0:12:18    Paleo is a good starting point for people intimidated by AIP.

0:13:07    Eileen waited 5 months on paleo before going full AIP.

0:13:47    Bland food is not sustainable!

0:14:06    Now there are lots of good resources.

0:14:39    Dairy, even the best dairy were a problem.

0:15:28    AIP can be complex, how can we make it simpler?

0:16:12    Book: Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits--to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life.

0:17:36    Planning is essential.

0:17:49    Out of sight, out of mind.

0:18:28    Household support is important.

0:19:01    Angie at Autoimmune Paleo.

0:20:08    AIP is not supposed to be forever but the reintroduction phase can be hard.

0:22:12    The reintroduction of eggs was important to Eileen.

0:23:33    Reintroduction requires patience.

0:23:44    Being the focus of a science experiment  is incredibly empowering.

0:24:20    If you get it wrong, you've got to back to square one, another 30 days.

0:25:01    Symptoms are the guide.

0:25:47    Until you clear some of the inflammation, everything is noise.

0:26:40    Struggling emotionally is a consideration.

0:27:12    Eileen reintroduced at six weeks.

0:27:28    Some wait a year.

0:27:36    You should reintroduce! AIP is not necessarily healthier.

0:28:14    There's a risk of disordered eating.

0:28:51    Don't let your food become another stressor.

0:29:46    I don't have any emotional connection to food.

0:30:03    But I hate feeling like crap!

0:30:22    It's not orthorexic to want to feel good.

0:30:57    We've been doing modified AIP for nearly 3 years.

0:31:10    I go back to AIP after hard training or racing.

0:32:03    Qualify using the Bristol Stool chart!

0:32:31    People want meal plans but Julia hates to produce them.

0:32:58    Encouraging people to take ownership.

0:33:16    Book: The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body.

0:33:30    Why another AIP book?

0:33:38    Eileen enjoys making complex information accessible.

0:34:19    Phoenix Helix blog.

0:34:36    The book is a simple package and is for people thinking "just tell me what to do!"

0:36:12    Sometimes we feel bad about burdening people with the AIP Bible.

0:37:16    Eileen wrote the book with people with autoimmunity in mind.

0:37:35    But her family understood AIP in a way they hadn't previously after reading the book.

0:38:09    The book is unintimidating.

0:39:25    What about AIP as a healing diet (without autoimmunity).

0:39:53    Eileen thinks it's a great reset diet.

0:40:10    Reintroductions are typically very successful.

0:40:15    We use a combination of AIP plus supplements to address the specific problems that we find on lab tests.

0:40:59    What are the other things apart from diet?

0:41:11    People frequently focus exclusively on diet.

0:41:43    The lifestyle factors are equally important.

0:42:00    AIP dieters are perfectionists.

0:42:26    Diet is a good place to start.

0:42:34    Sleep is likely to improve after you change your diet.

0:42:48    Worry about the things that you can change.

0:43:03    Meditation works wonders.

0:43:29    Even 5 minutes a day can make a difference

0:43:40    Yoga, being outdoors in nature.

0:43:54    Heart beat slows, tightness softens.

0:44:54    Circadian rhythm is very important.

0:45:07    Setting a bedtime and awakening time reduced RA inflammation.

0:45:28    People are harder on themselves than they need to be.

0:45:41    Ask yourself, would you talk to someone else like that?

0:47:11    Eileen's podcast.

0:47:26    Eileen felt like her joints were on fire, hence the Phoenix.

0:47:49    The podcast is in iTunes.

0:48:00    Recipe roundtable on Eileen's blog.

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