Extreme Paleo

Do you know the fable about the man whose house is too small? And he goes to the rabbi to ask for advice and the rabbi tells him to move his cow indoors. Then his goats. And his chickens? And then the rabbi tells him to take them all out again & his house feels totally spacious?

An Autoimmune Protocol is kind of like that.

In that it makes regular paleo seem like a cakewalk.

I’m going to start one in 6 days.

I did my first Autoimmune Protocol last July. In addition to regular paleo it also excluded nuts, seeds, eggs, nightshades, and almost all ‘bar codes’ (packaged foods).

Holy heckfire, it was labor intensive, but I felt supra human by the end of it.

But I’m not the one I was doing it for.

A harrowing experience

Me & Matthew in 2008, before it got bad

From 2009 until early this year, the love of my life was living with so much pain that he sometimes couldn’t get out of bed at all.

We tried everything to fix him: expensive supplements, weird diets, witch doctors, an infrared sauna in our living room, moving house way too many times (hmmm, maybe the feng shui still isn’t good here…)

But he stayed broken.

And while he was struggling to survive, I was doing my best to keep our life running.

Finishing my masters, working full time, herding and feeding the children, running the household, and taking care of him.

It was incredibly traumatic. Not the work, though that was pretty severe, but seeing someone I love in that much pain and feeling so helpless about it.

Losing my partner and gaining a dependant was pretty devastating, too.

It was part of what drove me to go paleo. I could not keep up with the demands of my life and was slowly sinking under the weight of it.

I’d like to tell you that paleo has already cured him and he’s now running up mountains with me, but it’s more complex than that.

He has psoriatic arthritis, an auto-immune condition that took decades to manifest. We’ve both come to believe that biology & psychology are entwined when it comes to his condition, and they’ve been entwining all his life.

It’s not a simple task to unravel something that is so tangled, especially as it continues to snarl as you try.

Also, he’s not been 100% committed to paleo like I am. But he’s coming around.

A solution, maybe…

Matthew has accepted that it will take more than 30 days on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) to fix him. Some people expect to stay on a modified version for life.

But if it works, it is so much better than the alternative.

At this point, Matthew’s liver has been so damaged by a decade of taking methotrexate, the toxic drug prescribed to treat his condition, that he is now as ill from liver damage as from the arthritis.

Living for the rest of his life on a severely restricted diet might be the equivalent of finding your tiny house is really quite spacious without all that livestock, if he can find health.

One of the resources we have been mining heavily as we countdown to our AIP is Phoenix Helix.

I’d really like to grow old with this guy, so I’m willing to do whatever it takes.

5 thoughts on “Extreme Paleo

  1. Pingback: 9 Ways to Prepare for an Autoimmune Protocol | petra8paleo

  2. Pingback: Why the #%^&* would you want to make your own coconut milk? | petra8paleo

  3. Pingback: Hey! Let’s level up to an Extreme Autoimmune Protocol (X-AIP) | petra8paleo

    • Thank you, Desirae. Weirdly,I’m totally excited about this whole AIP thing, too… even now that we’re gearing up for an extreme AIP! I mean, weirdly, because who gets excited about giving up most of their food groups? I guess I’m glad I’m not the only one though!

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