AIP (autoimmune protocol)

AIP or autoimmune protocol is an elimination diet to find possible intolerance to foods as well as adding nutrient dense foods to your diet.   You remove foods for a certain amount of time, heal your gut and very gradually add back foods into your diet to determine any reactions.  Reactions can be mild to severe, so some may tolerate foods once or twice a week, or they find that they need to be removed for good. You can read a more detailed information about AIP by The Paleo Mom aka Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD.

I started AIP in June 2016 shortly after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. The OBGYN who discovered my condition said she suspects the food we consume contribute to auto-immune triggers.  Dr. Amy Myers  talks about how gluten sensitivity causes leaky gut, inflammation, and molecular mimicry, which can trigger auto-immune conditions.

I bought two informational/cookbooks on AIP to help us get started, but that is not even needed.   Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott and The Healing Kitchen by Alaena Haber MS OTR and Sarah Ballantyne PhD.  Honestly,  you can find all the information online with loads of recipes and support, I just found it easier to have all my references on hand in one place to begin with.  We had already been eating whole foods for some time and limited eating out, so it helped us make the conversion.

It is completely up to you when you begin the reintroduction phase of AIP.  About six months after I started AIP, I became very ill in November with something stomach related and could not keep anything down for over 24 hours.  Although, the ER believed it to be viral related, it was mostly like Hashi related.  Anyways, none of my regular foods even remotely sounded appealing, and knowing I would never touch gluten again, toast and crackers were off the table. Rice was my next option and thankfully, I tolerated it just fine and keep it in my diet to this day.  Rice is one grain many successfully reintroduce. I have reintroduced a large amount of foods, most fruit and veggies including nightshades with no problems, but I have found that I need to limit corn and cheese.

I can’t explain well enough to tell you how much a difference it has made in the way I feel.  It’s not a quick fix.  Well, it wasn’t for me anyways.  It took a good six months before I felt good again.  I don’t have the debilitating fatigue that I once did.  The major anxiety I once had is gone.  My thyroid numbers have been stable for over six months, and stay in optimum range.  The inflammation has dramatically decreased as I lost 30 pounds, and I no longer have plantar fasciitis, numbness in my legs and my carpal tunnel has improved.

Also, to help my healing process, I removed several stressors from my life as much as possible.  I meditate and do yoga.  Before I was diagnosed I was weight lifting, and while I felt good at the time, it became very apparent that it was over stressing my adrenals. For some people with thyroid problems, heavy workouts are too harsh.

I also take Levothyroxine, and so far it works for me. Some do better on a desiccated thyroid medication, but I hesitate to switch since Levo is working for me for now.

I will do another post on Hashimoto’s, but wanted to get this out there for people who are looking to try something new to help heal their bodies.    Always speak with your doctor before making any changes. ❤

FTC:  Per FTC regulations, I must tell you that some links on this page are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase something using the link.  If you are not comfortable with that, you may search for the item online and purchase it without the affiliate link. Thank you for your support!!

TTC Favorites

My current favorites related to trying to conceive is somewhat limited, but I would like to share.  I am not a doctor, please consult your doctor before trying anything new.  As always, I encourage you to do your own research and pick what is best for you.  Please share your own favorites below.

I have taken several brands of high-end vitamins, but these are my favorites. For prenatal and DHA, I chose Best Nest Wellness.   Since starting AIP, I become very aware of all the extras added to everything we consume and finding clean vitamin and supplements can be very hard, if not impossible.

  •  I will be adding to this list as I see fit and things change. 🙂

VITAMINS and SUPPLEMENTS

The Best Nest Wellness Prenatal* is great because the ingredients are high quality, and they do not bother my stomach because I have gastritis and trouble with digestion.  You only have to take one!  It has methylfolate instead of folic acid,  as well as methylcobalamin for B12.  It includes probiotics and digestive enzymes, which helps make for a happy tummy.  It also includes three organic herbs: chamomile, red raspberry leaf, and ginger.  They are free of artificial colors and flavors, sugar, sweeteners, preservatives, gluten, soy, yeast, fish/shellfish, nuts, GMOs, and dairy/lactose.   They are manufactured in a GMP certified facility in the USA.  They also have a iodine/iron free formula.

I like their DHA because it is not semi-synthetic like many brands on the market.  It highly purified and is mercury free as well as free of artificial colors and flavors, sugar, sweeteners, artificial preservatives, gluten, soy, yeast, nuts, GMOs, and dairy/lactose.

My husband wanted to start taking a multi-vitamin.  While our diet is very good, we have a limited amount of foods that we eat.  I suggested the Best Nest Wellness Men’s Multi, and he has been very happy with it.  And like the prenatal, there is only one to take and do not contain any added fillers or additives.  It also includes a probiotic and digestive enzymes as well as a fruit and vegetable blend.

Because I have gastritis, I’ve been taking digestive enzymes for five years.  The best I have found are the Enzymedica Digest™ Pregnancy.  After 4.5 years, I have little to no heartburn or stomach pain!  These also include ginger which can help with nausea. And they contain no fillers!  If I do get a touch of heartburn, I reach for Maty’s Indigestion Relief.  It is all natural and safe during pregnancy.

MEDIA

My favorite bloggers A Good Kinda Crazy,  Holistic Squid, MamaBear MartinMommypotamus,  and Pregnant Chicken

My favorite YouTube mama’s are Darci Isabella, Natural Thrifty Mom, Pretty Neat Living, The Mommy Archives, and Vasseur Beauty.

Also, I have been following Mama Natural aka Genevieve Howland on social media for years.  She recently came out with The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth.  Easy to read and lovely to look at, it is probably the only guide you really need.

Beautiful Babies by Kristen Michaelis was recommended by a friend.  It is a very good, short read that helps with nutritional information from fertility to babies first foods.

To track my cycles and all the fun things that come along with fertility, I use the Ovia Fertility App.  It can help you track your ovulation and lets you record everything to your periods, mood, symptoms and everything in between. ❤

FTC:  Per FTC regulations, I must tell you that some links on this page are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase something using the link.  If you are not comfortable with that, you may search for the item online and purchase it without the affiliate link. Thank you for your support!!

TTC’ing at age 42

I am 42, and my husband is 44.  I have two step-children that are grown including 2 grand babies.  We’ve been trying to get pregnant for 6 months now.  I never wanted children of my own until I hit 40, and DH was finally on board.  I have PCOS, so I’m currently taking my third round of Clomid.  I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in June 2016.

I recently changed OBGYN’s, and I really like my new doctor as well as all the staff.  They even have a plebotomist and sono on site, so no worry about going to another facility.  He was also okay with prescribing my thyroid medication as my previous OBGYN had done. She found the Hashi’s and never saw a reason for me to see an endocrinologist.  If it does become a problem for my doctor to manage, then he will refer me to an endo, but for now I have mostly good days and my numbers are fine.

I’ve been managing my Hashi’s fairly well with Levo and using the auto-immune protocol diet.  I’ve been reintro-ing foods since November 2016, but I have had little reactions so far.  I need to limit dairy and corn, but I’ve had nightshades and rice with no reactions.  I may go back to a stricter AIP as I felt better and was managing my weight better.  I also think that it had positive impact on my fertility.

My 21 day tests have been hit or miss so far.  Feb – positive, Mar – negative, April – positive, May – negative.  The new doctor and I agreed not to wait much longer before trying other fertility treatments.  I will do one or two more rounds of Clomid before seeing a fertility specialist.  I also want to look into having acupuncture done as I’ve heard lots of positives about it.

Only one family member knows that we are TTC simply because we do not need or want the added stress, as well as any disappointment that may come along especially for our older family members.  A hand full of friends know, but our closest friends, that are also TTCing, are moving across the country very soon.  We don’t speak about it, so it’s been a lonely journey so far.

So here I am, blogging about it instead.  ❤
~Liz