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.
You will heal. I will help.