Next step … ketogenic AIP.
On with my journey. Why, why, why would I restrict even more and begin a ketogenic AIP diet??
There is strong scientific evidence that a ketogenic diet can:
- provide abundant energy
- reduce inflammation
- increase mental clarity
- reduce the risk of chronic diseases like type II diabetes and heart disease
- possibly prevent and even reverse early Alzheimer’s
- promote weight loss
What is a strict ketogenic diet, anyway?
- 20 g or less of total carbs a day
- moderate to high protein depending on your needs
- high amounts of healthy fat (e.g. lard, tallow, olive oil, coconut oil, butter)
Do you love this time of year? I sure do … fall is the perfect time to start something new (like a ketogenic AIP diet).
There are a lot of people following a keto diet who, to my way of thinking, still consume processed foods and sweeteners which don’t raise blood glucose but which could lead to an autoimmune flare. These same individuals may also consume sugar in foods which have low overall carbs.
Continue to avoid:
If you want to combine AIP and Keto and begin a ketogenic AIP diet you will still need to avoid the following unless you have reintroduced them:
- nuts and seeds
- nightshades (e.g. potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, spices from peppers)
- processed foods
On top of that you will need to limit carbs:
- no starchy tubers or below ground vegetables (no yams … sob)
- moderate onion consumption
- no sugar, honey, maple syrup or other high carb sweeteners
avoid the following for life if you have an autoimmune disease:
- unhealthy fats: cottonseed oil (think Crisco), safflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and canola oil)
- beans and legumes
- grains and grain-like seeds
Are you feeling overwhelmed and defeated already? It sounds like this Ketogenic AIP is even more restrictive than AIP and, in some respects it is, but I found it MUCH MUCH easier to incorporate this into my life as compared to AIP which I found VERY VERY hard at the beginning.
Maybe I am just used to eating in a restricted fashion but I didn’t find it nearly as hard to start Ketogenic AIP.
The biggest time consumer at the BEGINNING of this diet can be tracking carbs, fats, and proteins (these are called macros). You can get a very inexpensive online calculator called Cron-o-meter or get it for free if you don’t mind the odd ad. This one will calculate both macronutrients and micro-nutrients and you can set it for the ketogenic macros that you are aiming for.
However , we all want to make things easier on ourselves so once you have a handle on what 20 g or less of carbs looks like (it is not much) then you won’t need to calculate macros anymore.
In a typical day, I would eat maybe a cup of broccoli, a green salad with oil and vinegar dressing, 1/4 cup of blueberries with 1/3 cup homemade coconut yogurt plus fatty meat or fish at each meal.
This recipe that I published in 2016 for liver beef burgers is a great example of a ketogenic food. I would no longer advocate the use of cassava flour though so you could substitute almond flour if you have reintroduced almonds, or just omit.
What benefits did I enjoy?
- funnily enough, reduced anxiety (I have never thought of myself as an anxious person but I have a new level of calm)
- anti-aging benefit and risk of chronic disease reduction (hopefully happening as we speak)
- skin tag which can be a sign of insulin resistance dried up and fell off
What didn’t happen for me?
- I didn’t experience that longed for increase in energy (I have Hashimoto’s and I don’t think that my thyroid meds are optimal)
- mental clarity (this hasn’t happened yet either but I remain optimistic)
- funnily enough I am experiencing an autoimmune flare which consists of pain and inflammation in my hands, behind my knees and in my upper arms (polymyalgia rheumatica).
I am wondering if this pain and inflammation can be attributed to a new addition to my family, my cat, Pebbles. This autoimmune flare began five months ago at the same time as I adopted my cute kitty. I am seeing my naturopath this week and hope to determine whether or not my friend is causing all this …. arghhh.
Where are you on your autoimmune journey? I would love to hear from you so … leave a comment.