The release of Health, Happiness, Paleo is only six days away! SIX DAYS! It’s crazy to think that Chelsea and I started on this project six months ago! And now, the release of the ebook is so, so close. To read more about the ebook and updates on it with the rapidly approaching release date, click here.
In other news, I recently teamed up with Barefoot Provisions and have a review for you today! What is Barefoot Provisions, you might be wondering? It is a wonderful Paleo-friendly online store! Their story started with seeing an opening in the market for just such a store, so they created Barefoot Provisions. They believe in a real food lifestyle, and they’re self-described “foodies” who selectively choose all of the products that go into the store. You’ll find products for Paleo, AIP, and Whole 30!
So, fast forward to why I’m writing about them. With reaching 1000 followers on Instagram within reasonable grasp a couple of weeks back, I decided to reach out about doing a review and a giveaway. They graciously agreed to team up with me, including providing me with AIP-friendly products, and I was able to go in person to pick up everything! This set me up nicely for my AIP prize pack, as well as with AIP-compliant food at home, which was great! Alyssa, who runs their warehouse, is super friendly, and she made the process as easy as possible for me. My Instagram giveaway went off nicely last weekend, as you might recall from my last post, and now I’m going to do half of my review! But why only half, Leslie?! Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to try one of the products they gave me. Fortunately, I’m planning to try it by the end of next week, so I will come back and update with a review on that!
First, I tried the Sea Salt Toasted Coconut Chips by Dang. These are tasty little coconut chips that are, as advertised, lightly toasted and seasoned with sea salt. I’m used to coconut chips that have been lightly sweetened (with all natural sweeteners, of course), so these were a nice change of pace. They’re perfectly AIP-compliant, and I foresee them as a convenient go-to snack. I also imagine them as making a fun, crunchy “breading” for chicken or fish… Maybe some recipe testing is in my future! If you’re someone who appreciates the flavor of coconut and wants to avoid sugar, even in the form of natural sweeteners, then this is a product you need to try. I know I’ll be snacking on them and seeing how I can get creative with them in the kitchen!
Like I said, I’ll update in about a week with my review of the other product I received for the review. For now, I’m going to turn my attention to the next topic: how I transitioned to AIP.
Next, I’m going to spend some time writing about something I’ve alluded to in past posts: I recently made the transition from Paleo to the Autoimmune Protocol, or AIP. If you’ve read my About page (thank you, if so!), then you know that I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease several years ago. You also know that I didn’t go Paleo until December 2013. However, after more than a year of following the Paleo diet, I had no relief from the pesky symptoms I experience from my thyroid disease. These symptoms include the following, most prominent among (many) other symptoms:
- Chronic fatigue
- Gradual weight gain that was then hard to lose
- Excessive hair shedding at times
- Cold hands and feet
- Brain fog
I’d known about AIP almost as long as I’d been Paleo, and it seemed completely unfun (yes, I just wrote that) and like nothing I wanted to do. I mean, really, who wants to restrict his/her diet to that point? Even on Paleo, I still ate eggs and nightshades almost daily, and I sometimes “cheated” and had dairy or white rice, for example. It just really was not something I wanted to commit to doing. But, as I said above, it got to the point where Paleo wasn’t making the changes I’d hoped it would, as far as my health was concerned. It became clear to me that I needed to give AIP a try.
In reaching out to other bloggers to add to my lists on my Resources page, I came across something called the SAD to AIP in SIX program, which can be found on Autoimmune Paleo. The SAD to AIP in SIX program is Angie Alt’s program, which she brought to the Autoimmune Paleo blog when she partnered with Mickey Trescott. The name stands for SAD (Standard American Diet) to AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) in SIX (six weeks). Of course, I saw the advertisements for the program while browsing the blog, and the next program started–wait for it–about a week later. I signed up, thinking I wouldn’t make it into that round and would be waitlisted for the next one. However, I soon got a confirmation email that I’d participate in that very quickly upcoming next group!
I felt some anxiety about starting the group so soon, because I made a failed attempt at a 21-Day Sugar Detox last fall. I started it too soon to be well prepared, and I barely lasted five days on it before giving up altogether. However, the really, really nice thing about SAD to AIP in SIX is that the whole first week is devoted to setting up a support system and has no food eliminations yet. So, in reality, I had a week-and-a-half to two weeks to get myself prepared for the start of eliminations. Additionally, eliminations weren’t too challenging at first, because I was already Paleo: again, the “SAD” in the program name refers to Standard American Diet, so it is technically meant for people who are eating the SAD way and who want to transition to AIP. As I had been Paleo for so long, I was already eating little to nothing of some of pertinent food groups.
I found the program to be immensely helpful. With my work schedule, the ebook, and the blog, I have a lot going on, to put it mildly. Like the 21DSD saga of 2014, I felt worried that I’d fail at this, too. This isn’t to say that I didn’t have accidental exposure to some eliminated foods, because I did, but the gentle transition of this program made it feel easy to get back on track and keep moving forward. Additionally, the support was helpful, both from the coaches of the program and from the other group participants. I really felt like I had a small community who understood my challenges and had helpful ideas for navigating them.
All told, I plan to stay in the strict elimination phase of AIP until my symptoms subside. This may prove tricky, because I recently had blood work done that came back with some surprising and contradictory results from what I expected. However, I’m committed to seeing this through, however long it takes. SAD to AIP in SIX recommends at the very minimum a 30-day strict elimination phase before starting to reintroduce foods. Other sources I’ve read encourage a 3- to 6-month elimination phase, and I’ve read stories of people who have had to follow it for eight months to two-and-a-half years (which is alarming, admittedly)! Clearly, I have no idea how much time I’ll need, but my reaction to nightshades was enough to tell me that I’ve got some healing to do.
Do you have an autoimmune disease? Are you worried that you might? The SAD to AIP in SIX program can help you. I truly found this program to be manageable (with everything I mentioned above: a full-time teaching career in which I work 60+ hours/week, a blog that I update weekly, and an ebook that I work on a couple of times per week), and more importantly, I found it to be helpful. I’m almost certain that if I’d attempted a transition to AIP on my own, I would’ve failed. At this point, I really do attribute my success with it–despite a couple of accidental exposures–to the gentle transition through the program. As a side note, this is not an affiliate review for this program: I’m getting no compensation for this review. I really, truly believe that it can help you, too, if you need this program! Being Paleo (and now AIP) has taught me so much about health and the misconceptions there are about healing, and I simply want to spread the message that dietary and lifestyle changes can make a dramatic improvement in your health.
In addition, I recommend Angie’s cookbook, which can be purchased via my affiliate link below. It includes 55 recipes, varying from the elimination phase up through the various reintroduction stages, as well as guides to making the transition to AIP (and then back out of it).
This post contains affiliate links. That means that I receive a small commission to cover website expenses when sales are completed through my affiliate links.