Gut healing is not a diet or maybe it is?
In July of 2013 I wrote a popular article, Gut Healing is Not a Diet. Almost 3 years later, a lot more knowledge acquired along with real-life experience to back it up, and my tune has changed some.
Disordered Eating Past
My past includes a major disordered eating pattern. I engaged in insane fitness and diet, which then lead to the demise of my hormones, gut and overall well-being. Because of this, I have spent the last year or so living without much restriction (except for conventional dairy and gluten).
It has been awesome, and it changed my relationship with food.
Food no longer had any kind of power over me. When I wanted something, I had it. It was as simple as that.
Gut Healing is Not a Diet
I assumed that because I was feeling better, I was working towards optimal healing.
The truth is that I was likely only feeling better because, for the first time maybe in my entire life, I was eating enough.
As it related to the nasty 4-letter word, diet, I enjoyed life without a set of rules and because this was an opposite approach that what I had previously taken, I thought my gut must be healing.
Gut Healing is Not a Diet Or Maybe It Is?
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But here’s the problem, I now fully believe that gut healing is, in fact, a diet. It has to be.
When people think of diets, they almost automatically translate the word to weight loss.
That said, no one, from a traditional dieting standpoint, believes that in order to lose weight you must consume liver. And unless you’re carb-phobic, no one also believes that by eating white or brown rice or protein pancakes made with gluten-free oats, you’ll feel worse.
I tried desperately to wedge myself in there for a long time, but I’ve been digging real deep lately and I know that in order to begin fully thriving again, I must diet according to tried-and-true, real gut healing.
Real health and true gut healing never aims for weight loss (even if naturally happens). The gut healing diet, I’d argue, is not a lifelong, lifestyle diet. There is nothing about avoiding complete categories of food I want to do for the rest of my life.
But I want to heal for good, and if that means a diet for a period of time, then that’s what I’ll do.
What Does That Mean?
I ended all SIBO antibiotics yesterday, so today I’m diving in.
The truth is that my gut feels amazing! I have zero gut complaints currently, and I am praying that this does not change. Because of that, I don’t need to avoid FODMAP foods, to which I am so grateful. Give me all the garlic!
But where I am struggling still is with breakouts. I healed my Perioral Dermatitis, and it has never come back. For several months, though, I have struggled with breakouts on my upper back and I am smart enough to know that skin manifestations are from the gut and hormones.
My stomach acidity levels are still far too low, and I know that if I don’t keep working on that issue very purposefully, the SIBO will relapse.
I have a choice to be okay and happy with my gut feeling great or dig deeper and fix other issues.
I have chosen the latter.
AIP (Autoimmune Protocol)
For this reason, I think it’s in my best interest to do a 30-day concentrated focus with the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). I am haphazardly starting it today, but will begin the strict 30 days on Monday, March 14 (I am traveling the 10th-13th for work).
I have studied this for a very long time, namely after I bought Sarah’s book (which my dear friend Marci had signed for me!), The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body.
The only thing I will not be doing 100% is the coffee portion. I will still enjoy 1 cup of organic coffee with coconut milk per day. I have gone periods without coffee, and it made no difference, and this is my last and only vice.
p.s. Want more? Join my private FREE Facebook group: Gut Health, “Adrenal Fatigue,” Hormones by clicking HERE . You can also grab The Gutsy Girl’s Bible HERE.
You will heal. I will help.
Looking forward to hearing about your progress! I suffer from an autoimmune disease and still get breakouts, so the AIP diet sounds very interesting.
I’m hoping this is it:)
Love u Sarah! Always, thank you for sharing your journey. Your positivity is contagious!
Thank you, Jill! xo
I found out last week that I am SIBO-free (at least for now). But I don’t feel much better and I know I have underlying issues that I hopefully will find out what they are in two weeks. I’m looking forward to reading about your experience with AIP. I bought the book for my Mom last year and love their simple bone broth recipe. I considered doing it myself but decided to wait until after I find out what really is going on with me.
I appreciate your post on diet. When I first was diagnosed with SIBO I was told that I had to stay on the low FODMAP diet forever. This lead me to a lot of depression. Not to mention a lot of guilt about every carb I put in my mouth. My Husband said I became neurotic about food. I wanted to heal so bad that i wouldn’t touch anything that was a “no no”. At one point I wasn’t even sure what was safe to eat as some of the low FODMAP lists are different. I really want to be able to eat a variety of foods and be healthy. I am not talking about eating a bowl full of candy. I want to eat onions, garlic, mushrooms, cream, mangos, etc. I hope this is temporary. I know stress does not help the gut healing and the stress of feeling deprived is becoming overwhelming. I have been on this diet for a year now. I still have slight symptoms. I have already done 2 rounds antibiotics and 1 round of herbal antibiotics.
Hi, Michelle! I know the feelings all too well. Are you doing anything, in addition to, dropping the FODMAP’s? I am currently eating FODMAP foods with no problems, but there are other things I’m doing to ensure healing. Hang in there!