You are the laboratory~.
To generate useful data to improve your health and well-being, you first need to get your laboratory cleaned up!
Once you do, you’ll be able to develop your own protocol. You’ll know what foods are best for you, what forms exercise (& in what dosage) you need, and what other lifestyle factors support your health.
How you approach your laboratory clean-up project is entirely up to you. As long as it’s through an elimination diet.
An Elimination Diet
If you see a naturopath, you are (inevitably) going to be told to remove the basic inflammatory foods for 30 days & then reintroduce those foods, to see how they affect you.
A more extensive elimination diet is recommended by all my favourite healers & optimizers, including Chris Kresser in Your Personal Paleo Code, Sarah Ballantyne in The Paleo Approach, Terry Wahls in The Wahls Protocol, and Dave Asprey in The Bulletproof Diet.
Though these protocols vary slightly, they are based on the same science and are extremely compatible (if not largely identical).
They are all Paleo protocols.
But the timeframe for the recommended elimination phase varies.
The Bulletproof Diet
Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Diet focuses on optimization; helping people without complex health issues to significantly upgrade their lives.
His recommended elimination phase is brief: 2 weeks. But he suggests that once people experience the benefits, they might decide to stay on the Bulletproof Diet for life.
The Autoimmune Protocol
Sarah Ballantyne focuses on reversing autoimmune conditions.
For people with autoimmune disease, she notes that improvement in symptoms will depend on:
- the degree of inflammation and intestinal permeability;
- what type of antibodies are being mobilized;
- which cells those antibodies are attacking;
- how long the body has been in autoimmune response;
- how gene expression responds to improved conditions; and
- how strictly the protocol is implemented.
She suggests that most people should have experienced improvements within 2-4 months on the Autoimmune Protocol, but that significant healing often takes years.
Clean Your Laboratory (thoroughly~)
Matthew and I first learned about Paleo healing protocols from Diane Sanfilippo’s 2012 book Practical Paleo.
Matthew had tried being Paleo for awhile, but found that a regular Paleo diet exacerbated his symptoms.
We decided to try the 30-day autoimmune elimination diet from Diane’s book & expected nothing less than miraculous results by month-end. So when Matthew experienced no improvement, he became tremendously discouraged and reverted back to eating all his SAD-old comfort foods.
It wasn’t until months later that we noticed that his psoriasis symptoms were better than they had been in years.
On reflection, we realized that the trend had started with the elimination diet. Which was enough to convince Matthew to (unenthusiastically) try it again. This time with the help of Eileen Laird & Sarah Ballantyne‘s blogs.
‘Festina Lente’ is Latin & means ‘Make haste slowly’.
It’s an ancient concept, but one that isn’t often championed in our culture.
Festina Lente could be the maxim for cleaning your internal laboratory. It could also be the adage for healing through nutritional and lifestyle protocols.
The fantastic news is that by ‘making haste slowly’ with an elimination diet, you are not only cleaning your laboratory, which will enable you to know yourself better and gather data to improve your n=1 experiments, but you are also initiating the healing process.
Make Haste Slowly
To truly clean up your laboratory, 30 days is probably not enough. But it’s a beautiful beginning~.
You run the experiment, you get the data & you decide.
You are the laboratory.