Weird diets in the quest for health



Our kids are used to our weird diets. As far as they’re concerned, we’re always on one.

I guess they’re right…

Weird diets we’ve tried in our quest for health…

Petra’s health issues:

Borderline obesity (back & forth across the border!) + depression & anxiety

Matthew’s health issues:

Psoriatic arthritis, chronic pain, psoriasis + associated crappy complications


Vegetarianism (in Matthew’s case, with an occasional stealthy steak)

Ongoing decades-long struggle with weight, depression & anxiety

Worsening of all symptoms


4 months on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

No change

No change


Standard American Diet (or in Petra’s case, back to vegetarianism)

No change

Worsening of all symptoms


Raw vegan

No change

Worsening of all symptoms



Alleviation of 9 health issues including obesity depression & anxiety

Worsening of all symptoms

Summer 2013:

30-day Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP)

I have no health issues that I am aware of since going paleo, but both times on the AIP I have experienced a dramatic increase in energy* & mental health: I feel buoyant & fantastic!

No change during, but  afterwards: A sustained alleviation of Psoriasis symptoms

Late 2013-ongoing:

Auto-Immune Protocol (including a low-FODMAP variation we’re doing now)

No change (so far)…

…but given that most other weird diets have resulted in worsening of all his symptoms, no change is an improvement!

*During a 25-day experiment with a super low-carb version of the AIP my energy tanked. Interestingly, I gained weight during that time even with the reduction in carbs, because my energy was so low that I couldn’t exercise as much. After a few days back on a higher-carb (relatively speaking) version of the AIP my energy soared again.


10 thoughts on “Weird diets in the quest for health

  1. I’m really glad to hear of your super health and that your husband has at least stayed the same. Here’s hoping his health begins to improve soon. That methotrexate is a bastard. My daughter had to take it as a kid, and it’s what persuaded her to try diet. I find it interesting that I lose a little weight when I add in carbs. but then, I have diabetes and I’m pretty strictly low carb as a rule. That said, I did gain a few pounds over Christmas eating too many paleo treats.

    • Thank you, Alice! Methotrexate is nasty and has horrible side-effects. And yet it is effective for some aspects of disease management. It’s interesting that you have also had the experience of losing weight with an increase in carbs…

  2. Pingback: Courageous Heroes or Financially-irresponsible Idealists? | petra8paleo

  3. Pingback: AIP low-FODMAP food list | petra8paleo

  4. Can you give us an idea of the number of carbs you’re eating every day now? And how many you were eating when it was too low? Thanks!!

    • Hi Kelly. I don’t really know how many carbs I’m eating a day. I’m eating 7-9 cups of low-carb vegetables and sometimes a little bit of carbohydrate from coconut butter. I would say I’m eating a comparable quantity of carbs now (on the WahlsPaleo+) as on my own experimental low-carb version of the Autoimmune Protocol, but the difference is the coconut oil. For the first month on the Wahlsaleo+ I still experienced reduced energy, but since I’ve added upgraded MCT oil in, my energy is back up again…

  5. Was your raw vegan diet high in fat and protein? These kinds of vegan diet even if they are raw suck. You should try a high carb, whole foods, vegan diet. Best diet ever!

  6. Pingback: Biohacking Update: 17 months on the Autoimmune Protocol | petra8paleo

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