The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Heard About The Autoimmune Paleo Diet

October 15, 2015  |  Chronic Fatigue, Histamine Intolerance

I have been meaning to share some information about the worst advice I’ve ever heard about the autoimmune paleo diet that I think could really help you.

But first a little background.

My friend (for the sake of her privacy lets call her Jane) has Hashimoto disease and has been very ill for years. She had not only looked grey and tired for as long as I had known her but she could barely get out of bed.

After what seems like the ridiculously compulsory round of doctors, she eventually found a doctor who suggested she try the autoimmune paleo diet.

A month or so later I bumped into her at our local farmers market and she looked really amazing.

And it was not just anecdotal. Her thyroid anti-bodies had dropped by 90% in a single month on the autoimmune paleo diet.

Of course, I knew diet was that important, but even I was stunned. The results were indisputable. Or so I thought.

A few weeks later Jane called me and asked me if we could catch up. She needed to bounce something off me. She’d been given some advice that just did not sit right with her.

So here it is;

The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Heard About the Autoimmune Paleo Diet.  

Her nutritionist suggested that, because her thyroid anti-bodies had not dropped perfectly into “range” (even though they had dropped more than any medicine), she stop the autoimmune paleo diet.

She wanted my advice, and I gave it to her; which was that it was the worst advice I’ve ever heard about the autoimmune paleo diet!

I gently assured her that her body was telling her that it loved what she was eating. So why not listen to your body, not the list, and adjust the autoimmune diet to your bio-individuality. Or maybe even it’s not even about the food!

So if you have been doing the autoimmune paleo diet, or any other diet for that matter, and struggling with that last 10 – 20% improvement, here are 7 ways you can adapt the autoimmune paleo diet for your own bio-individuality.

Blood Sugar

Regardless of your diet it is really important to control your blood sugar.

Just because you are on an autoimmune paleo diet does not mean that you have stabilised your blood sugar. Really!

It’s not about the white stuff or even fructose. Excessive carbohydrates and natural sugars can lead to excess insulin and encourage sugar-loving bacteria.

And everyone is different.

It’s about the amount of carbohydrates and natural sugars you need for your optimum health. In my experience some people need plenty of carbohydrates, others need plenty of fat, and there is no one size fits all approach.

A glucometer can give an accurate reading of blood sugar, whilst the Wahls Protocol™ provides a structured approach to controlling blood sugar in your diet. It does so by adjusting “starchy” sugar laden foods, and the amount of good fat in your diet, depending upon your blood sugar levels.

Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Just because you’re eating dense nutrition does not mean that all whole foods are good for you. Healthy foods are only healthy if they are healthy for you.

Whilst the auto-immune protocol removes the main offenders, it is still possible to react to other foods, depending on your bio-individuality.

There are three ways to go about resolving this; formal intolerance testing such as ELISA or ALCAT, a structured elimination diet with challenges, and/or a food diary.

A food diary, such as the MySymptoms App, is really imperative.

Yes it’s boring keeping a diary, but it is an objective record of you and what works and does not work, and that is ultimately what matters.

If you’re reacting to fermented foods (and wondering about histamine intolerance) you can even check out my low histamine food list (with an autoimmune paleo diet) option.

Insufficient Nutrients

The autoimmune paleo diet is dense in nutrition. Yet depending upon the health of your cells they may need even denser nutrition.

The more impaired the cell function, the more free radical waste the cell produces and the more antioxidants are needed to neutralise the waste to prevent damage to our cells.

Studies show that doubling our whole food antioxidant intake can significantly reduce oxidative stress and cell damage. This means eating more vegetables than a vegetarian.

If you want to know just how many vegetables it really takes to nurture a damaged cell, The Wahl’s Protocol provides clinical evidence that it can take 6 – 9 cups of fruit and vegetables, divided equally between cruciferous, green, and coloured vegetables and fruits.

You can also check out my list of 21 anti histamine foods that fight inflammation and stablise mast-cells.

Mineral Imbalances

The core minerals used by the body are; sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and copper. It’s not only about the absolute levels, but also about the balance between the minerals, that determines cell function.

Imbalances can have a profound effect on cell function. It’s because our body’s healthy function is mineral dependent. This includes for example all histamine degrading enzymes, and all neuro-endocrine enzymes. 

I have personally seen; thyroid, histamine, blood sugar, liver, hormone, cardiac, and adrenal issues restored through addressing mineral levels. And actually that was Jane’s issue.

A hair mineral analysis is the most accurate way of identifying mineral (and also vitamin) imbalances. It’s also important to find someone who is highly experienced and professionally trained by Eck, Watts, or Malter.

Appropriate Exercise

Exercise is really important to maintain the proper balance of hormones. 

It’s also important to do enough and not too much. So often I find that people with chronic fatigue don’t exercise, whilst people with anxiety type symptoms over-exercise. Both are equally problematic.

The objective is to listen to your body, start where it is, and gradually adjust the amount of exercise. It is also to develop the practice of deep rest to restore the body. You need both.

Stress

Stress is quite simply the most toxic thing we ingest. Arguably it’s even more toxic than any food.

The stress response causes a cascade of changes in the body, which are highly efficient in the short-term, and highly destructive over the long term.

The body’s stress response draws heavily on our body’s nutritional reserves. At first it depletes nutrients within our reserves without causing chaos. We are stress resilient.

Once our body’s reserves are depleted, it starts a cascade of changes, throughout the body. We become stress intolerant.

It is my observation that many people who come to me for support may have had long-term health issues that were merely inconvenient, until a stress event depleted their nutritional reserves. Then the inconvenient became dramatic.

Stress is not just an abusive relationship. It is also any internal stressor, such as poorly metabolised medications, toxins, viral infections, and gut dysfunction.

How we handle stress (not just survive it) may be the most important aspect of our recovery. Without it we are on a constant roller-coaster of providing and depleting nutrients. It’s that important.

Purpose

Do you ever wonder why some people get better and others do not? I do.

I believe the x-factor is establishing a deep connection to ourselves, even in the face of an auto-immune or mast-cell condition, where out body is effectively hysterical.

Through the connection to ourselves, and sense of self, we are able to give our body what it needs (and not what it does not need), but also learn to be truly self-compassionate towards ourselves to minimise stress, whilst connecting to a higher purpose to bolster our resilience.

Throughout my own wellness journey I have learnt that my higher purpose is to learn how to truly love and care for myself. Before I was not very connected or kind to myself. There were just too many distractions.

Perhaps your purpose is different. Perhaps you don’t know what your purpose is? Sitting with yourself in meditation, whilst writing daily in a journal, lovingly observing you as you, can provide answers. At first there may be silence. But with consistency answers will come.

The Wellness Journey

Don’t get me wrong. I am not preaching the autoimmune paleo diet, or even the Wahl’s Protocol, as the cure of all illness, I am saying that they simply provide a template.

The route to optimal health begins with you and your connection with you.

On a simplistic level, the aim is to take away the things that are hurting you (and confusing your mast-cells and autoimmune system), whilst at the same time ramping up the things that are nurturing you (and calming your mast-cells and autoimmune system).

This can be a process, and it is important to have the right team around you, to stop the cycle of trial and error, and start doing what your body needs.

That is my role as a health coach, someone to hold the space for you, whilst you get ahold of you. Whether it is me, or someone else, please make sure you have all the support you need.

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  • Teresa

    I just found you blog and I’m loving it! I did a hair scan for my 18 month old daughter because of eczema and had an imbalance of potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and selenium. So in my research the foods that have multiple of these minerals are tomatoes, black beans, peas and spinach, all foods my daughter loves. But these foods are all restricted on AIP and histamine lists. What is a mom to do? I’m so confused. I have been giving her a multi vitamin and I breastfeed and take good vitamins myself. Any advice?

    • Teresa thankyou so much. Hair Mineral Analysis are so important to fixing histamine issues. I was trained by Rick Malter who is a mentor. You will probably need to supplement to restore mineral balance. BUT you should only need to restore one of them and the others will rebalance. Who advised you on your hair scan; cause it does not sound like they have addressed the issue.

      • Teresa

        Thank you for your time. The hair scan we did was quantum biofeedback. Is this the same thing? I did not get any consulting just a list of food sensitivities and vitamin and mineral imbalances. I’ve been looking into getting a stool sample test done but my daughters pediatrician is not on board. I feel lost with little support. I just want to help my baby.

        • I understand. I do hope you find a functionally based doctor that can help. The most reliable mineral testing is with trace elements. All the research is done on hair testing and this is the most reliable.

  • Dan

    So many don’t get it, these foods are killers and when digested they all turn into sugars ! – http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/plants-bite-back/

  • Dan

    Read and learn a perfect food !

    Health Benefits

    Broad Nutrient Support

    Eggs have long been recognized as a source of high-quality protein. The World Health Organization (WHO) and other public health authorities actually use eggs as their reference standard for evaluating the protein quality in all other foods. Egg protein is usually referred to as “HBV” protein, meaning protein with High Biological Value. Since eggs are used as the reference standard for food protein, they score 100% on the HBV chart. The high quality of egg protein is based on the mixture of amino acids it contains. (Amino acids are the building blocks for making proteins.) Eggs provide a complete range of amino acids, including branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine), sulfur-containing amino acids (methionine, cysteine), lysine, tryptophan, and all other essential amino acids. Their protein is sometimes referred to as a “complete protein” for this reason. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=92

    All B vitamins are found in eggs, including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, choline, biotin, and folic acid. Choline is a standout among these B vitamins. In fact, eggs rank higher in choline than any of our other WHFoods. In the U.S., an average diet provides about 300 milligrams of choline per day – less than the recommended amount for an adult woman (425 milligrams) or an adult man (550 milligrams). Since one egg provides over 100 milligrams of choline and only 75-80 calories, it provides far more choline for far less calories than most other choline-rich foods.