Celiac Disease

Breaking Down the Autoimmune Protocol Diet

IMG_8556Oh boy. Food issues really suck it, don’t they? There are times like right this second, and yesterday, and most days, when I wish I could be just a regular ol’ American eating my way through fast food joints and truck stop foods. I would gladly sacrifice my waistline for some unbridled eating time all over town. But that, my friends, is simply never going to happen. PHHHHPT!!!!!


It’s been two weeks (except for this weekend in NYC, which was AMAZING) now that I’ve been eating according to the autoimmune protocol diet and I’ve sorted a few things out. One, my stomach is all, “Oh, hi. I feel normal! What’s that about?” And after several months of mostly on, a little bit off, stomach pain and blasting poops, this is nothing short of amazing.

Still, I think we can all agree that one cannot eat this way for the rest of her life. Or well, I can’t eat this way the rest of my life. I am learning a lot, of course. Some good, some bad, some meh. While I am truly grateful for this time kind of detoxing and identifying problems, I’m also super sad about some discoveries. Let’s talk about those discoveries, shall we? Yes, let’s.

1. I really don’t eat enough vegetables

I love many green vegetables. Love. But I find that I’m not always conscious of putting those vegetables in my body. From now on I’m aiming for vegetables with every meal. Honestly, I do love the French way of having salad with your omelette, so there’s that. DONE.

2. I need coffee

One problem I’ve been having is a pretty severe fatigue. While I think I can chalk that up to a nice low-level depression associated with grief, I was also shocked at how much more tired I was when I substituted green tea for coffee. I’m back on coffee, and wow, I haven’t napped in 7 days! It’s a record! Coffee is my friend. That’s a fact.

autoimmune-protocol-diet3. Seafood is, well, it’s there

This is one of the best fish-related things I had last week, and it wasn’t even that great. Don’t they look like brains? These are shrimp balls from The Paleo Approach. My family really liked them, but since I’m not a huge seafood fan . . . meh. I do think if they were deep fried I’d totally love them. I might just do that because I really need more fish and shellfish in my diet. And that, my friends, is a fantastic answer to every problem—deep fry it.

4. Grains, Nuts, GF Booze & Eggs

Yeah, I’m okay with all of those things as long as the grains are gluten-free. They don’t hurt me at all. So, that’s good.

5. My favorite Indian take-out is no more

So this is a discovery I’m happy/sad to have made. Our go-to Indian restaurant was fully vetted for gluten 3 years ago when we started ordering there. But from time to time I did not feel okay after chowing down. One would think I would just stop eating there, but one would be wrong. Then I decided it was probably the dairy in the chicken tikka masala or the saag paneer. So when we ordered during my diet, I just had grilled chicken tikka, no sauce. Guess who got sick? This gal. Being a gluten detective, I said to my husband, “Hey, is your naan grilled?” Yeah, so it wasn’t the sauce. It was the cross-contact on the grill. Another, PHHHHHPT.

gluten-free-universal-studios-hollywood6. Oh, dairy

Last weekend we had a family fun time at Universal Studios. I knew I would starve if I stuck with the diet all day so I ate a big paleo breakfast, then said to hell with it the rest of the day. I did try to eat at the Bumblebee Man Taco Truck and then I found out they have gluten in the meats, and gluten in the freaking cheese. The only thing that is gluten-free are the corn tortillas, which do not make a meal. So I had the gluten-free pasta and marina sauce at Luigi’s which was below average. SO. I can’t really eat at Universal. Naturally, I decided to soothe my hurt feelings with soft serve ice cream. And that’s when everything went straight downhill. The pain. Oh, the pain. I have not been in so much pain in like, since I went on this diet. Yeah, it hurt. And it hurt more because I’m pretty darn sure it was the ice cream and not the pasta, nightshades or sugar that I also had that day.

So I’m back off dairy, and back on the autoimmune protocol diet. And I’m coming to terms with the fact that milkshakes and soft serve are not at all in my future. And yes, I know I’ve said this before. But for some reason, I have to learn it over and over again. Like a dumbbutt.

9 thoughts on “Breaking Down the Autoimmune Protocol Diet

  1. Thanks, Amy. I also have been working on the mystery of why I’m sick after eating at my friend’s Indian restaurant. SO delicious, and supposedly safe. But sometimes I’m sick for up to a week after eating there. Figured out that the chickpea flour (my GI guy is Indian and told me this) is cut with wheat flour, so nothing made with chickpea flour. Nothing fried because there’s only fryer. And now your discovery about the grill being shared with the naan. I’ll have to ask about that. I recommend trying the bhindi masala sometime, if your restaurant makes that. Okra curry and it’s so amazing. Tomatoes, onions in there, if you can have that. I’ve always been OK if I have the bhindi and the rice. Pappads should be OK, once you’ve asked the frying questions (I make them myself at home so I know they’re safe.)

    Thanks also for talking about soft serve, which is one of my favorite things in this world, but which I have also had to accept in the past couple of years is really really not a friend to this body.

    I’ll feel down sometimes, and you make me feel on top of stuff again, even if to know somebody else really gets it.

  2. The CVT Soft Serve truck guy says there is gluten in his chocolate soft serve (but not his vanilla). So there’s that. The last time I got glutened, it was by GF pasta that was boiled in the same water the restaurant used to cook their non-GF pasta.

  3. I think breaking up with cheese is harder than breaking up with gluten was. Nightshades is rough too but I cheat with those a lot more. It is SUPER hard to stick with the Paleo AIP but, yeah, it works pretty damn well. I snuck sardine into my husband by making paleo sardine croquettes basically. I modified a Mario Batale recipe. sooooo goooood. maybe I will get it together and post that one of these days…

  4. I miss cheese like nobody’s business. Haven’t found a good sub for that. But, I’ve gotten around the ice cream cravings pretty well by experimenting with cashew butter, macadamia nut butter, almond butter and pecan butter. They all work really well for ice cream. Like, the BEST maple pecan ice cream EVER. So much better than that stuff with the faux maple flavoring. So, even though you can’t have soft serve, you can still make great ice cream that is creamy and delicious and relatively low in sugar.

  5. Most ice cream has gluten in it. Just found out Bryer’s, if it’s available in your area, has some ice cream marked GF right on the carton. Yay!

    Thanks for the chickpea flour caution, I wouldn’t have thought it cut with wheat flour and what the heck about meat and cheese containing gluten, Damn.

  6. Try grilling Cod or Salmon. Don’t over cook. If you can add some Parmesan cheese or some spices, delicious. It might help you enjoy seafood. BTW, those shrimp balls are completely unappetizing to me, a person that LOVES seafood. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Very insightful.

  7. Love this post (and blog)!

    I’ve been trying to psyche myself up to do the AIP diet, but I struggle just with doing gluten free – even though I pay dearly for it, in so many different ways *sigh*. It is really hard to give up things when you’ve been told there is no reason for you to not have them, at least according to all of the medical testing I’ve had done. My personal trial and error testing has stated otherwise.

    I should also avoid dairy, but that is also not been happening. However, I have found a cookbook with some really great recipes – I’ve only tried a few, but everyone I’ve talked about this book, swears by it. The Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook (http://amzn.to/1L7306G) by Chef Sky Michael Conroy – you can test some of his recipes from his site TheGentleChef.com.

    Jeanne – thank you for the chickpea flour information – I always get Bob’s Red Mill, so anything I make with it is GF, however I had no idea that it could be otherwise, and explains a few issues I’ve had.

  8. Amen to coffee!!!!!!! I have never heard of the Autoimmune diet until just right now. I guess I know what I will be researching soon. This post was very warm and honest–very refreshing!! My joints just seem to go nuts when I over do it on breads and I need to get real and try a few things out. Your great energy makes it all seem very okay and doable! Thanks!

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