Hey folks. It has been a while since I have updated the site so apologies. We are still very much Paleo and still dip in and out of the Autoimmune Protocol. After getting back on the autoimmune horse after a while I realised how much we had come to rely on eggs and a few other foods that were not 100% legit.
We have had a somewhat tumultuous year as well. We had the death of a close family member after an accident that was tough on my wife. I also run a digital marketing company in Birmingham (UK) called Bowler Hat and that is growing but with family issues the stress of a growing business is not always helpful. My wife also runs an audio and video conversion service so balancing the life, stress, grief and work has been a challenge this last twelve months.
Paleo has been good to us but after the last year some MS symptoms had started to creep back in and we felt it was time to tighten up our Paleo belts and eliminate some foods we felt may not be helping. What this means in practice for us is the removal of eggs, chocolate (nnnoooo!!), nuts, nut flours and peppers. We had loosened up enough to have the odd Thai take away but again that has had to go.
I often see various diets criticised for one reason or another. Vegan, Paleo, SCD, GAPS, Ketogenic, Low Carb – it seems no one diet is optimal all the time and this is completely correct. Certain diets should almost be viewed as tools to be used for specific situations and even Paleo is really a template that needs to be customised for the individual. It is possible to be a vegetarian and only eat highly processed white bread and chocolate bars and that is certainly not good for you so we must be sensible and move beyond these simple labels.
For us the basic Paleo template provides a good starting point: no grains, no legumes, no vegetable oils, healthy meat, good fats, tons of fish and a truckload of varied fruit and vegetables.
For those of us that have to go a step further to ease autoimmune conditions the elimination of nightshades, nuts and eggs takes many of the Paleo staples off the table. We have found through a process of elimination that Emma must also avoid coffee and dark chocolate. Not cool but not a lot we can do. We took it out for a while, brought them back in and an instant hike in symptoms. We just have to get over that and move forwards.
Supplements are another one of those things that tend to polarise people but I have a fairly practical mentality with regards to supplements. Firstly, I would rather get everything we need from food. Omega 3 being the obvious example and we try to have sardines and mackerel for lunch most days. These tins of sardines in olive or brine go well with a salad for lunch. Job done. We do take multivitamins now and again but not all the time and we supplement Vitamin D and Probiotics. On the probiotic front I try to vary them and we use Bio Kult, AOR Probiotic 3, Primal Defence, Primal Defence Ultra and Prescript Assist. These should cover off the organisms we are sadly lacking and then we compliment that with home made fermented vegetables.
I briefly touched on labels and I do tend to call this an autoimmune Paleo approach but it is really a mish mash of lots of things. We look at the Wahls Paleo diet and Dr. Perlmutter diets for nutrient guidelines to support the brain and mitochondrial function. We try and be ketogenic every now and again and eat a lot of good fats and coconut oil. We eliminate typical problem foods (nuts, nightshades etc) beyond the usual Paleo guidelines but we also experiment with other foods that we suspect are problematic. It is very personalised as I believe it has to be to work.
We also have a daily green smoothie. In reality this happens about three times a week but I mean for it to be daily. In this we have frozen berries, nutritional yeast for B vitamins, kelp + spirulina for iodine and amino acids. This is then fleshed out whatever fruit and greens I have to hand: kale, spinach, lettuce etc. Some kind of fat for good measure as well with usually coconut cream or avocado filling that gap. This is very much inspired by the Wahls protocol smoothies with the goal of brain health and filling in a few common nutritional gaps.
So we are back at it. We have been for about three weeks now and Emma is already seeing improvements. Less fatigue. One specific bit of numbness and weakness is improving. Emma still runs around 5 miles most days to put this in perspective but this one bit of numbness is a good marker. When we clean up that gets better.
More to come
I am going to log our progress here over the next few months and intend to keep doing so. In part to share our experience in that it may help others and in part as an exercise to help me journal everything. I have some great UK style autoimmune recipes I have been working on with last nights battered prawns being the first up in the next few days.
As ever if we can help drop a comment.