Episode 149: Best Of – Sticking To It – Staying ON the Paleo AIP Wagon

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Best of the Phoenix Helix Podcast

Because of the pandemic, this has been an intense Spring for us all. I’m taking a much-needed break this week and releasing a favorite podcast from the archives you might have missed. This episode is from 2017, but the topic is still timely, because it’s hard to keep healthy habits under stress. Three health and nutrition coaches share their best tips for succeeding on the paleo autoimmune protocol, no matter the circumstance. They tackle the main obstacles that throw people off-track, and share solutions to re-establish healthy habits again.

Listen to the Show

Show Notes

  • Intro (0:00)
  • Thank You to Our Podcast Sponsor – Paleo on the Go (2:39)
    • A frozen meal delivery service, 100% of their menu is compliant with the elimination phase of the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP). They have over 5o items, including entrees, side dishes, broth, AIP-friendly bacon, and desserts.
    • Use the code PHOENIX for 10% off your first order.
  • Meet Our Guests (3:53)
    • Michelle Hoover has Hashimoto’s disease. She is a nutritional therapy practitioner and the voice behind the blog, Unbound Wellness. Her rock bottom was during college, when her fatigue was so high she slept up to 18 hours a day and only woke up to go to class. She also experienced severe digestive problems; everything she ate caused bloating and pain. Now, her life is dramatically different. She has the energy to work full-time, exercise, and enjoy her life. She’s also been able to heal her digestion so that she can enjoy food again. The diet & lifestyle pieces that made the biggest difference for her were the AIP, troubleshooting gut health, and learning to love her autoimmune journey rather than feeling victimized by it.
    • Stacy Smith has lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome. She is a nutritional therapy consultant and the voice behind Viridis Wellness. At her worst, she was bedridden with extreme pain, fatigue, and depression. A year of autoimmune medication trials left her feeling worse instead of better. She finalized realized she was the only one who could help herself, and research led her to the AIP. Progress was slow, but after a few months, she regained her ability to walk without pain, and empowerment replaced her feelings of despair.
    • Emily Pruitt is a health and wellness mentor and the voice behind the blog SoleFire Wellness. She had a wide variety of symptoms throughout her childhood and early adulthood, but in spite of seeing numerous doctors, never received a diagnosis. As a child, doctors told her she was “just sensitive.”  Her rock bottom happened at age 19 when her symptoms hit a crisis point. She suffered rapid weight loss, experienced severe pain, lost her ability to walk, developed cystic acne and eczema, stopped menstruating, and was unable to tolerate any foods. She ended up in the hospital on food formula and an IV drip. When doctors were unable to provide any explanations, she started researching alternatives, and through self-experimentation ended up on a diet very similar to the AIP. This was 12 years ago, before the online paleo community existed. Slowly, her symptoms diminished, and her health improved. Now, she feels great.  She has lots of energy and teaches dance and holistic fitness.  Her weight is stable, her skin has cleared, her hormones have balanced, and her food tolerance has improved dramatically. In addition to the AIP, sleep, stress management, supportive relationships, and self-compassion made the biggest difference in her healing.
  • Obstacle 1: Lack of Preparation (21:15)
  • Obstacle 2: Lack of Health (30:49)
    • Coaching advice from Stacy.
    • How to begin when your autoimmune symptoms are disabling?
    • Spend sometime thinking about your motivation and reason for embarking on the AIP. What is your health goal? Write that down and put it someplace you will see it every day: on your fridge, on your bathroom mirror, a note on your smartphone, etc. If you meditate, incorporate that into your meditation practice.
    • Start a gratitude journal, to help shift your mindset from victimhood to empowerment.
    • List the following resources in order from those of which you have the most, to the least: Time, Money, Support, and Energy. Tap the resources you have first, and then see where you can ask for help in other areas.
  • Obstacle 3: Lack of Support (35:05)
    • Coaching advice from Emily.
    • When we embark on the AIP, it also affects the people around us. How do we navigate our relationships and find the support we need?
    • Start with compassion, understanding that this is a scary time for those you love as well. It’s hard for them to see you suffer, and the big change you are embarking on can be intimidating and sometimes even threatening to those around you.
    • Educate people on why you’re doing it. A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol is a great book to give as a gift. For audio learners, let them know about this podcast (Episodes 1-3 especially). For visual learners, here’s an overview of the AIP on Youtube.
    • Lead by example. Often once people see the positive impact this diet and lifestyle has on your health, their support increases exponentially.
    • For spouses, ask them, “What can I do to make this easier on you?” That might prompt them to ask the same question of you, and you can make some agreements that support both of you. If you’re working with a health coach, you can do a couples coaching session to answer questions and help you plan and negotiate an AIP-friendly household. And marriage counseling is a good choice for large issues beyond simple troubleshooting.
    • If people still refuse to be supportive, distance yourself from them in food situations, wherever possible. Remember that you don’t need other people to validate your choice or your experience. And be sure to find support elsewhere.
    • Resources:
  • Thank You to Our Podcast Sponsor: ShopAIP (47:02)
    • Today I want to highlight their meat bar selections. When I first went AIP back in 2013, there weren’t any AIP-friendly meat bars available. Every single one contained spices that weren’t allowed, nightshades being the most common ingredient. Now, there’s a wonderful selection of nightshade-free, AIP-compliant options, and ShopAIP sells all of my favorites.
    • ShopAIP is an online store dedicated to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. With hundreds of items for the elimination phase of the AIP, and new products labeled by reintroduction category as well. You can find protein bars, sauces and condiments, AIP-friendly spices, cooking and baking ingredients, delicious snacks, non-toxic skincare, and more.
    • If you’re a first-time customer, use the code PHOENIX for 10% off your order. Purchase here.
  • Obstacle 4: Lack of Time (48:50)
  • Obstacle 5: Lack of Money (58:40)
    • Coaching advice from Stacy.
    • How to do the AIP on a budget?
    • Step 1: Set a budget. Figure out where you are currently spending your money and where you can reallocate more money for real food. (Resources: Budgeting for Beginners and Goodbudget App.
    • Step 2: Comparison shop. Research your local grocery stores to find out which ones offer the best prices on which foods. You may need to shop a variety of stores for the best deals.
    • Step 3: Prioritize where to spend your organic produce dollars with the help of EWG’s Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen. For meat, prioritize organic on bones and organ meats.
    • Step 4: Establish relationships with your local farmers. Farmers often have cuts of meat that aren’t popular and therefore less expensive. Also, offer to barter your time for food. Most farms need help. (Resource: Local Harvest.)
    • Step 5: Gardening is the freshest, most nutrient-dense produce at the lowest price. (Resource: Grow a Garden Anywhere).
    • Step 6: If you have freezer space, buy your meat in bulk for a greater discount, and shop frozen vegetables when they are on sale.
    • Resource article: 12 Tips for Eating Paleo AIP on a Budget.
  • Obstacle 6: Perfectionism  (1:05:53)
  • Redefining Success Vs. Failure (1:15:02)
    • Michelle: Though there may be bad days, there is no such thing as absolute failure. One misstep doesn’t erase all you achieved prior, and the misstep itself contains important lessons that can motivate you to make better choices going forward. We are imperfect people in an imperfect world, and we’re all just learning how to be better every day.
    • Stacy: Admit that you screwed up, but know that doesn’t make you a bad person or a failure in life. Own your mistakes, learn from them, forgive yourself, and then move on. People shouldn’t fear failure. We all fall down sometimes. The only way we can truly fail is if we don’t get back up again.
    • Emily:  Since we are human, this does happen. Don’t be surprised. Respond to yourself with gentleness and compassion, rather than judgment. Then ask yourself two questions: (1) Why are you following the AIP in the first place? Then, find something that supports that “why”. (2) Why did you slip up? Then, figure out how you can avoid this situation in the future. Get health coaching help if needed.
    • Resource: The Other F Word Podcast.
  • Outro (1:22:22)

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