“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
This Interview Series
Reintroducing Foods on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol was my first e-book, which I published back in 2014. I realized that the reintroduction process is often the trickiest part of the AIP journey. It can be confusing, overwhelming, and hard to navigate alone. I wrote the book to guide people through, and thereafter got a nickname: Reintro Goddess. (Just kidding, but wouldn’t that be a great nickname?) I’m passionate about this process for two reasons: (1) Some people make the mistake of thinking the elimination phase of the AIP is meant to last forever. It’s not. It’s just the first step. The next step is personalizing the diet for you. (2) The reintroduction process is an experiment with you at the center, where you learn to communicate clearly with your body, and it’s incredibly empowering! Everyone’s reintroduction experience is unique. I thought it would be inspiring and educational to interview people who have been through this process themselves.
Introducing Miranda Sloan
Miranda is a member of my Facebook community and has been kind enough to share her reintroduction journey. She has celiac disease, collagenous colitis, and potentially early-stage lupus (which is being monitored by her doctor).
- How long did you do the elimination phase? 8 months. Longer than most people, but I was very sick.
- How did you decide that you were ready for reintroductions? I knew I was ready when my colitis had calmed down, and my joints were not hurting and swelling all the time.
- What foods have you been able to successfully reintroduce? All spices, all seeds, most nuts, chocolate, white rice, goat dairy, some legumes, a little bit of alcohol, some nightshades, and eggs.
- Which ones can you eat regularly and which ones just occasionally? How did you discern the difference? Most of my reintroductions I can eat regularly. The exceptions are tomatoes, eggs, and legumes. If I eat them just one day, I have no symptoms, but if I eat them multiple days in a row, my symptoms flare. For legumes, I find them easier to tolerate if I cook them in my Instant Pot. Mostly I do best with black beans for some reason. I also do fine with green peas. Alcohol is occasional as well, and I stick with organic wine or a little rum in cider. I have found that if I have more than one drink my joints hurt for several days.
- When food reintroductions failed, what were your symptoms? The two foods I can’t eat at all are almonds and bell peppers. They both cause a colitis flare, giving me really bad diarrhea with intestinal pain. My joints will ache, and sometimes swell, too.
- Did any reintroduction failures later become successes? Cow dairy was a failure originally, but now I can tolerate small amounts – a slice of Swiss cheese for example.
- Have you reintroduced any non-paleo foods? If yes, which ones and how often do you eat them? White rice, which I mentioned above. I will also occasionally eat gluten-free pasta, a gluten-free snack, and sugar. The gluten-free substitutes are only about once a month. I have sugar in my tea daily.
- Is there any food you’d never reintroduce? I will never reintroduce gluten due to my celiac.
- What affects your food tolerance? I’ve noticed that both stress and poor sleep can affect my food tolerance.
- Have you ever done an AIP reset (where you did the elimination phase over again)? If yes, what was the motivation, and did you find it helpful? I have not done a reset, but I am considering it because I have developed a few new symptoms and I realize I should cut out sugar.
- Are there any foods allowed on the AIP that you discovered you don’t tolerate? I tolerated all AIP food well.
- What was the hardest part for you about the reintroduction process? The hardest part was going slowly.
- What’s your advice for people contemplating reintros, or just starting their own reintroduction journey? My advice is to take it slow and keep a journal of foods reintroduced and any symptoms that come up.
One Last Word of Advice
Each person’s food reintroductions are unique, so don’t expect your results to be the same as above, even if you share the diagnosis. It’s fun to learn about each other’s experiences and be encouraged by them, but this is all about learning to listen to your own body. Use the resources below to learn how to do the reintroduction process yourself.
Paleo AIP Reintroduction Resources