On to the AIP Reintroduction Phase!
So, you’ve been on the AIP Elimination Phase for several weeks or maybe even several months?
Do you feel less pain, more energetic and clear-headed, and has your mood improved a great deal? That’s wonderful and something HUGE to celebrate!
It’s important to acknowledge the courage, hard work, focus and determination it took you to get to this point. You’ve begun to build back your health and your faith in your ability to improve your disease symptoms.
So go do something special for yourself and give thanks and praise for the life you are creating by your daily CHOICES!
If you are struggling a bit or a lot on the AIP Elimination Phase diet, realize that you’re not alone and it may just take more patience and self-love before you’re able to venture forth onto the AIP Reintroduction Phase.
Reach out for some help from a functional medicine doctor, naturopath, nutritional therapist, or even a coach well-versed in the AIP.
Your autoimmunity took years, maybe even decades, to develop and usually the diet alone is not enough to put you 100% back together, feeling your best.
It’s healthy to seek outside support from health experts who are committed to helping you get to the root of what ails your body — who understand the importance of nutrition (not the USDA food pyramid model), lifestyle, and possible gut, hormonal, or other imbalances that may require supplements or some medication.
And slowly begin to work on your mindset, as it’s a game-changer for not only success on this diet but for LIFE! You are being your own best advocate and detective by reaching out for help when you feel you need it!
Now, if you feel your disease is mostly in remission (YAY!!!) and would like to try to incorporate some new foods you’ve been eliminating for awhile, here is a suggested step-by-step process for the AIP Reintroduction Phase (based on what Dr. Sarah Ballantyne recommends):
1. Start with Stage 1 foods (see chart below), and work toward later stages only after you’ve found success on an earlier stage.
2. Introduce only one new food every 5-7 days to help you observe whether you’re able to reintroduce it; do NOT reintroduce foods when you are low on sleep, high on stress or both, or already have some inflammatory process going on — wait until you are feeling WELL to try a reintroduction;
3. The first time you try it, have only a nibble (half-teaspoon or less). Wait 15 minutes and see if you have any negative symptoms (see below for more details).
4. If you have negative symptoms, hold off on this reintroduction. If you don’t, try another bite (about a teaspoon) and wait another 15 minutes.
5. Now try a bigger bite, and wait 2-3 hours, continuing to monitor your symptoms.
If you’re still feeling well, you can now have a normal sized serving of the food by itself or as part of a meal.
Do not eat the food again for 5-7 days, and carefully monitor your symptoms during that time. Note that less sleep/more stress/environmental changes could be confounding factors, so take that into account.
If you don’t notice any negative symptoms that you feel are attributable to the reintroduced food, you can start adding this food into your diet repertoire — just ease into it, continuing to monitor your symptoms. SUCCESS!
Negative symptoms from a reintroduced food: these include the obvious physical symptoms such as increased joint pain, a flare in your disease symptoms, any allergy-like symptoms, sleep disturbances, headaches, dizziness, lowered stress tolerance, or mood changes such as anxiety or feeling depressed.
For the sequence of foods to reintroduce on the AIP Reintroduction Phase as suggested by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, look no further:
Be sure to celebrate those reintroduction wins!!!
Comment below to share what foods you have successfully reintroduced!