It's been 4 days since I tried that "natural" hot dog, and everything seems back to normal. I felt fine the next day after the migraine went away, so I am considering doing an actual, controlled reintroduction in a day or two. It's kind of fun to think about what to add, but I also feel very cautious. I don't want to mess up what I have going here with the feeling great and the weight loss. I just would like a little more healthy variety and convenience in my diet.
There are several really good articles online about how to do reintroductions on AIP. Here are a couple of links for those of you who are doing AIP or are interested in learning about it:
Reintroducing Foods after Following the Autoimmune Protocol
Reintroducing Foods on the Paleo AIP
Food Reintroductions on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol
There is also a reintroduction guide in the form of an e-book, reviewed here, which I have purchased for more information.
While all these sources vary slightly in their recommendations for reintroductions, making room for personal variances, many of the suggestions are the same.
It is important to complete at least 30 days of strict AIP and see an improvement in your health and symptoms before trying to reintroduce any eliminated foods. It is also important to add one food at a time, slowly, with at least 3 days in between new foods. All of these sources agree on this (some recommend waiting longer), and they also agree that it's best to eat a small amount of the new food first and then wait to see if you have a reaction. Then try a larger amount and see how you feel.
Watch for symptoms of intolerance, such as:
depression or anxiety
skin rashes, breakouts, acne
the return of autoimmune disease symptoms
Keep a journal of foods eaten and any symptoms so you can remember what may have caused an issue. If you have symptoms, avoid that food in the future. You can always try to reintroduce it again in a month or two (or longer) if you're not sure.
What to add first? Does the order of reintroductions matter? There are two schools of thinking on this. One is to start by adding the foods you miss the most... the ones that will make the most impact on the enjoyability of your diet. The other option is to start with the foods that are least likely to cause a reaction (foods that are tolerated well by most people). You don't HAVE to reintroduce every food! If you don't really miss nuts, just leave them out. I personally have developed an aversion to coconut oil. I am really sick of having a coconut flavor in so many things. So the food I want to add back the most is butter! There is an order to dairy foods, though, so you should start with the least problematic food in that category. The categories generally look like this (from least problematic to most likely to cause a reaction):
Grass fed ghee - grass fed butter - raw goat milk products -grass fed cream or fermented dairy - grass fed milk or cheese
Seed/nut oils - seed spices - seeds - nuts
Egg yolks before egg whites
...and so on. So you pick a category and go from lowest to highest. I'll start with grass fed ghee.
The recommended foods to start with, in general, are egg yolks, ghee, and seed spices like cumin, coriander, mustard, and nutmeg. And the foods to add *last*, which are most likely to cause symptoms, are egg whites, nightshades (peppers, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes), alcohol, and NSAIDS. For more details on the in-between stages, see the links above.
I bought a jar of ghee and I have never tried it before, but if it tastes anything like butter I will be in heaven adding it to my acorn squash and my baked sweet potatoes!
Feeling good and very happy that my life has turned around so dramatically in just a few months. Sometimes I am afraid it will fall apart. I know just how quickly that can happen. But I believe in what I am doing and am so thankful for the doctor who set me on the right path. Never give up people. You might be spinning in place for months... years! But if you keep working and looking and trying, you never know when things will turn completely around. And then there is joy.
Friday Update and Reality Check
5 hours ago