I am seeing a lot about how to reintroduce foods on AIP on different FB pages. I gathered a few points to keep in mind when considering how to reintroduce foods.
Who wrote the article? Are they clinicians? Have they actually had experience walking AIP'ers through reintroductions? Why is that important? Because experience counts. Would you go to a doctor for a pap smear who has never done a pap smear but has only talked about pap smears?
AIP was created as a GUESS. Yes, I am saying that. You read right. Lets remove ALL of the most known inflammatory foods and see if we heal. And that worked. But at a very high price which was a whole lot of folks on AIP went on a very restrictive diet and did not have seasoned clinicians help them understand the factors beyond food playing a massive role in their autoimmune disease (viruses, beliefs, trauma, grief, bacterial infections in gut, gut-brain axis issues never dealt with). And those people are stuck in "I can only eat 10 foods now and when I tried to come off AIP I couldn't because all my symptoms came back" Because now their oral tolerance is so low they are stuck there. Without looking at other factors BEFORE one goes on AIP then a few big things can happen:
1. You can't heal the gut without uncovering co-infections (viral, bacterial and parasites)
2. If this process is skipped Oral Tolerance goes down
3. If Oral Tolerance decreases you become more sensitive to food
4. What your food intolerance is IS NOT what another person's food intolerance is and very likely contain some AIP-approved Foods. If you have a sensitivity to Carrots and Lettuce and they are AIP-approved, they will keep driving inflammation even though you are following what you have been told is a low-inflammatory diet.
5. The deeper dive on mind-body healing has not been done "What is your relationship to your disease" and this is SO important that I start there first with all my clients. Yet this idea is still lip speak in the healing and AIP world.
6. Ask this question to your clinician: "How many people have you walked through Food Reintroductions on AIP successfully?" You can theorize your way through like many are doing right now in the AIP world, but there are many variables when it comes to autoimmunity that science now addresses that did not when AIP was first introduced. Keeping up with autoimmune science is vital. I do not use the AIP approved and unapproved list anymore because of this.
7. When a person has been on AIP for 6 months or more, has unresolved viral co-infections (that tired adrenal gland protocol you read on your favorite AIP blog is actually CMV or EBV in the adrenal gland and no amount of adaptogenic herbs or nutrient dense foods will heal that) then STANDARD FOOD REINTRODUCTIONS WILL ALMOST ALWAYS FAIL. I say this because I have hundreds and hundreds of AIP'ers that have told me so. Because I am looking at viral panels. Stool tests, Cyrex 10 panels, food diaries, blood work. I am seeing it plain as day. I have a very busy practice of those on AIP who tried to reintroduce foods and failed. I say this because so many are trying standard reintroduction protocols and having feelings of immense failure and sadness because it is not working. It has been one of the biggest challenges I have as a nutritionist as well. Those AIP'ers that feel they are doing something wrong and really what has happened is that their strict AIP diet that did not include healing chronic viruses and truly changing the role of disease in their life never happened. So their strict AIP diet helped them about 50% and then they walked themselves into a corner (the corner no one is talking about because no one is talking about the AIP dark corner)
8. Trauma was never healed. The Gut-Brain Axis was never healed. The intestinal mucosa was never healed (And bone broth/gelatin smoothies did not heal it. They were actually producing antibodies to gelatin!). Blood sugar issues were never healed because the adrenals were never healed because it was actually a virus not tired adrenals that were the culprit.
9. A different approach is needed that is tailored for this group who cannot do the outdated Food Reintroductions Protocol. I have created an approach for this specific issue. But I am not going to share it here as it is a disservice because unless it is personalized, it won't work. Personalized, customized approaches are needed with every person on AIP. And even then, there are still big fumbles. But how can it be any other way? It is honoring each persons journey. It is a step by step journey to look the majesty of each person and what they are trying to achieve. It is starting first with "The relationship to the Disease is the Cure" because if that is not included in the health care plan then supplements, tests, food changes, nutrient density and co-infections will not work. But it is including all of those factors as well...just changing the order of importance. It is going beyond theories and rhetoric and actually accessing practitioners that spend day in and day out working with ALL of these factors. And I must say this too: This kind of thinking has not hit most Functional Medicine yet. 90% of my clients who do work with alternative practitioners are not addressing all of these factors. This is an incredibly new approach. It is slowly gaining traction (Chiropractic Neurologists practicing functional medicine are by far the biggest group I see addressing all of these factors btw)
10. And the MOST important piece: Illness is here to serve the growth of you somehow. Each of us is being asked to find out why. To do this we are being asked to take a step into vulnerability. A very, very big step into vulnerability. One that asks you to step away from being a vicim or warrior of illness and instead be a student to the loving authority inside of you through the journey of illness. That changes how fast we heal more than any other thing I see. The most powerful medicine we humans have resides in the perspective we take when we fully embrace our ability to be loving students to what seems to be the enemy. To move beyond an idea that there is one way to heal.