I began a (mostly) strict, 30 days AIP on March 14, 2016. This means that today is day 31, so I wanted to share with you what I learned during 30-days strict AIP.
What I Learned During 30-Days Strict AIP
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I didn’t do this as just some haphazard challenge for myself. No one in their right mind says, “I’m going to tackle AIP just because, to lose weight or to place an ‘x’ next to yet another challenge.”
I did this because I had an outstanding skin issue, gut issues, and because I know fully that the gut-brain-skin axis is real.
The Gut-Brain-Skin Axis
In Sarah’s book, The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body, she states,
The idea of gut-brain-skin axis originates from observations that mood disorders (such as depression), gastrointestinal symptoms (such as constipation), and skin symptoms (such as severe acne and atopic eczema) very frequently occur simultaneously. p. 303
She continues on later,
Skin conditions may manifest from an increase of toxins entering the body via a leaky gut, increased inflammation, increased oxidative stress, immune activation, and decreased insulin sensitivity caused by endotoxin exposure. p. 303
And if you recall, skin issues are not new for me. The last major skin issue I dealt with was in 2014, but also in 2014, I healed my perioral dermatitis naturally. (See also: What is Perioral Dermatitis + Replacing My Personal Care Products and How I Will Heal Perioral Dermatitis Naturally.)
The gut-brain-skin axis is real, but during these past 30 days, I have done some real healing.
Major Skin Healing
A friend commented on how great my skin looked yesterday at MOPS. I’m usually all, “Nah…..” and rub it off. But she’s right. My facial skin is amazing currently (except for the one blemish that Samarah keeps reminding me about, hello mid-cycle!)
But do you want in on a little secret? I used NO fancy products. There is NO skincare line, cream or product that can take the place of diet and lifestyle. I will promise you this.
That said, my skin issue was not with my face, but instead my upper back.
I know for a fact that maintaining an AIP lifestyle these past 30 days has helped my skin heal immensely.
Just like when I shared pictures of the Perioral Dermatitis, I don’t enjoy showing any before pictures of this, but in order to give you hope, I must.
On the left is BEFORE, taken around the beginning of January. On the right was taken a couple days ago.
I am working on a post around all the things I’ve done to heal my skin, and of course, AIP played a huge part.
5 Things I Learned During 30 Days Strict AIP
- AIP was great for my skin. See above. Enough said.
- Adding in was enjoyable. You looked at my (current) favorite AIP-approved foods list and thought, “No way. I could never do that.” For me, it was enjoyable. The biggest thing I cut was my beloved white rice, which I was eating a lot (and a few other grains). But anytime you cut something, you must add in other things. For me, it gave the opportunity to infuse even more greatness into my diet. One night, I made Sweet Potato Tater Tots and another night a Banana Cream Pie Cake (both need perfecting, but both were so awesome that I am working to get the recipes perfect for you). I have eaten a lot of butternut squash, sweet potatoes and greens galore. I have learned to put foods together in new ways, and I love it.
- More than AIP. My body needed more than AIP, and while that might sound scary to you, it wasn’t at all. I mixed AIP with Dr. Sara Gottfried’s hormone book and my own insight to create the perfect 30-day mashup for myself. For example, grass fed beef is AIP, but I limited it to just a few times total during the 30 days. Most fruit is AIP, but I limited that, too. And more. Again, I infused my diet and lifestyle with other things. Don’t worry, friends, I never, ever, ever go hungry because that’s a sure way to continue destroying your hormones.
- Lifestyle. It really is more than a diet. I started tracking my sleep even more religiously via FitBit, and making correlations between sleep patterns, skin healing, and general day-to-day feelings (you can read about them HERE.) Additionally, I restructured my workouts. Less is more. Rest and sleep are a priority.
- 30 days are not enough. You saw above that my skin has healed a ton, but it’s not completely gone. I have realized that all of this healing truly is a marathon, not a sprint. What I am doing is working, and I am thriving! I feel great, I am satisfied and I am making some excellent progress. There is no reason for me to change anything.
Ladies, friends…..if I’ve said it a thousand times, I’ll say it a thousand more – you can’t outrun diet and lifestyle with any amount of medication, skin care product or other “mask.” (However, the only makeup and skincare line I really use is Beautycounter, along with THESE two night creams.)
You have to put in the work, and you have to be very intentional about it.
The road is not easy, but you get to choose which road you’ll travel for optimal health and wellness.
To learn more about gut healing, grab my 286-page e-book, The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut.
You will heal. I will help.