Take a Basic Nutrition Course
Everyone needs the type of basic nutrition knowledge provided in the Introduction to Food and Health course offered free of charge by Stanford through Coursera.
Allergy and Intolerance
Unfortunately many people, including me, are not able to eat all of the foods that are generally considered health promoting. For us, the relationship between food and health becomes more complicated.
We need to identify the foods to which we have a negative reaction, allergy or intolerance (1), and eliminate them from our diet while making sure that we are still providing our bodies (and our families) with adequate nutrition. Elimination diets are an important tool in this process. I have a few food allergies and I am intolerant of many. The elimination diet (2) that works best for me is the autoimmune protocol (AIP).
Getting Help with the AIP
For a long list of reasons, I NEED A FULL AIP RESET. Changing from any dietary lifestyle to another requires planning. Even though I am not an AIP newbie (3), I decided to use the work of Jaime Hartman, a nutritional therapy practitioner, to help with the planning. (4)
I am using Hartman’s meal prep method to organize my own AIP compliant recipes and meal plans. However, I have accelerated my move into the AIP by using Hartman’s “AIP Done-For-You Prep Plan.” The recipes in this plan are compliant with a the full elimination phase of the AIP. The recipes are free of all major allergens. They are also free of legumes, nuts, seeds, and nightshades.
While it is commonplace for people to focus on what foods elimination diets require them to relinquish, I have found it useful to look at what I am allowed to eat during the full elimination phase. I shopped, using Hartman’s list. I prepped using her method. Then I cooked and enjoyed the fruits and vegetables pictured, as well as chicken, turkey, beef, and tuna.
I never once felt deprived. Through the shopping, the washing, chopping, slicing, and dicing, I felt as though I was providing myself with the type of self care that I deserve. My only regret is that I did not treat myself this well decades ago. Thank goodness it is never too late to love yourself more.
- To live with a food allergy is to live with the fear that the accidental ingestion of the wrong food could lead to immediate death. To live ignoring food intolerances is to live a potentially long life feeling miserable from of any of a long list of chronic inflammatory diseases. I sometimes refer to this as, “the I been eating this my entire life syndrome,” as in, maybe you would be better off if you had not. But habits are a nutrition educators worse enemy and best friend. It’s about changing one habit for another.
“Some of the symptoms of food intolerance and food allergy are similar, but the differences between the two are very important. Eating a food you are intolerant to can leave you feeling miserable. However, if you have a true food allergy, your body’s reaction to this food could be life-threatening.https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/food-intolerance
2. Recently, I experienced some digestive symptoms after eating the small triangles of mass produced bread used to create cucumber sandwiches (I adore cucumber sandwiches). Some members of an online support group to which I belong to suggested that I needed to try a “Low FODMAP” Diet.
BEEN THERE. DONE THAT.
I have tried, can discuss, and even lead people through a number of elimination diets. I recognize that a Low FODMAP Diet may be appropriate for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
I am familiar with the research that recommends a diet similar to the Low FODMAP for people who struggle with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
I know that diets taking FODMAPs into account can even be helpful for people with forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS).
Chron’s and ulcerative colitis are forms of IBS
3. I last started the AIP in early 2018, shortly after the surgery to remove the cyst from my spine (https://anncreightonzollar.org/2018/02/09/an-autoimmune-protocol-reset/). I was very pleased with the impact of the AIP on my blood glucose level (https://anncreightonzollar.org/2018/07/18/aip-lowered-my-blood-sugar-levels/). Then I experienced an autoimmune flare, a fall and concussion, and an additional back injury. It has taken a year to get back to working on the full AIP. But back I am because it is in my nature to persist.
4. I continue to follow the work of Sarah Ballantyne, PhD. and find her May 2019 Update very helpful (https://www.thepaleomom.com/updates-to-the-autoimmune-protocol/.) As part of my continuing development, I completed the course “Gut Check: Exploring Your Microbiome” (https://www.coursera.org/learn/microbiome) and appreciate how Dr. Ballantyne has now included the research on the microbiome. I am especially fascinated by the changes in the reintroduction phase.