AIP Maintenance Phase
Think of the AIP Maintenance Phase as taking what you have learned about yourself during the AIP Elimination Phase and Reintroduction Phase and finding the sweet spot for what you know helps you feel great, what helps you feel good, and what doesn’t work for you.
Maybe you are having huge success with fully reintroducing many foods, one at a time, in the manner suggested in my AIP Reintroduction Phase post, from all 4 stages. That’s awesome.
If you’re like me and many others living with autoimmunity, however, you may realize that you actually feel best continuing to partially or completely avoid many of these AIP Reintroduction Phase foods most or all of the time.
For example, I have no problem at all with eggs or green beans/peas (AIP Reintroduction Phase Stage 1 and 2 foods) and can handle many of the reintroduction foods from all four stages in moderate or small amounts, but if I start eating grains, Stage 3 legumes, or any amount of dairy frequently, I will push myself into a flare.
So my AIP Maintenance Phase looks more like a paleo diet now, but I also try to focus on a diet more akin to the AIP Elimination Phase if I sense a flare is imminent.
What I do know for myself is that I experienced the ability to expand off my AIP Elimination Phase foods a great deal more after our family did a variation of the AIP Elimination Phase diet for a few weeks, several years after I had begun it, primarily in efforts to help my son with all his food sensitivities and related behavioral issues.
This GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha McBride) diet stage one meat stock and stage 4 veggie juicing for several weeks allowed me to start eating a ton of eggs, yolk and all, with no problem. You can learn more about how and why we did this here.
The lesson I hope you gain from this, is that your AIP Reintroduction or Maintenance Phase journey will likely look quite different from the next person doing the AIP Elimination Phase diet, but we can also learn and gain ideas from what has worked for others.
If you, like me, have struggled with being able to reintroduce foods off the AIP Elimination Phase, you might try focusing on a GAPS Stage 1 protocol variation of the AIP Elimination Phase diet.
Another key piece is to work on your mindset! So many health practitioners/researchers (Dr. Joe Dispenza, Dr. Kelly Brogan, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Dr. Kelly Turner, etc.) and scientific studies are showing the power of the mind over the body’s ability to heal.
Realize this isn’t a one-stop journey. Most likely you will make some huge gains when you start the AIP Elimination Phase Diet, plateau for awhile, improve your lifestyle factors and further your healing and tolerance of other foods, and then plateau.
If you work on your mindset you will continue to improve not only your ability to handle a variety of food groups but your ability to handle life with confidence, self-love and courage. Begin consistent work on your MINDSET and you will reap HUGE benefits regardless of how many different foods you can eat.
Just remember to focus on what helps YOU feel your best, not focusing on what others may be consuming that doesn’t further your health goals.
Most importantly, be THANKFUL that you can improve your well-being through your food, lifestyle and mindset CHOICES.
How long have you followed the AIP diet and lifestyle recommendations? How has your health changed since you began? Comment below!