About this blog

This is a blog devoted to biohacking and n=1 experimentation.

Biohacking autoimmune & biohacking peak experience.

I love complexity theory, self-organizing systems & emergence of all kinds. I’m fascinated by the ways that metamodern humans are finding new & ancient ways to live in decaying civilizations.



I’m also really in love with my husband, Matthew, who has multiple autoimmune conditions that have pretty much wrecked our life. We’re committed to ongoing experimentation with healing protocols.

I’m documenting our food & lifestyle-based experimentation here.

Slowly, slowly, I’m getting my husband back. We’re getting our life back.

Which is profound & illuminating & life changing.

It’s taking time. It’s non-linear. But it’s working.

Thanks for reading.

Me & Matthew: 8½ months into the Autoimmune Protocol

Petra & Matthew: 8 months into the Autoimmune Protocol

A  Biohacking Autoimmune video, in which Matthew describes his progress 9½ months into the Autoimmune Protocol:

38 thoughts on “About this blog

    • It’s hard to say… he’s on day 24 & has severe nausea (unrelated to the AIP). Specialists think it might be due to liver damage from the pharmaceuticals he’s been taking to treat his arthritis. He just had a liver biopsy on Monday. Besides all that, he thinks he is experiencing less pain. But it’s early yet!

      Thanks for asking!

  1. Yeah for you! I was vegetarian, mostly vegan (pizza without cheese just did not make sense to me!) and I was getting heavier by the year. I was only 20 pounds overweight BUT knowing I was gaining little by little, not loosing, was disconcerting. I hear your story! I stopped the carb / grain thing and lost the 20 pounds in about 2 1/2 months. Good for you & blessings to you and your hubby!

  2. Hi Petra,
    Just checking in to see how you are doing?
    It is not an easy time, so many things you now have to decide about. Things you don’t want to, nor feel you should be allowed to, but have to be done.
    All the best of for you and your family!
    Missing your blog 🙂
    Kind regrads,

  3. Pingback: SUPER SIMPLE Ox Tongue with Green Caper Sauce | This Sydney Life

  4. Your blog and dedication to your husband is wonderful! I’m so glad your blog crossed my path. I’m new to this and am constantly reading Wahls Protocol. Slowly putting the pieces together. Thank you for your fudge recipes. I just made a batch from Dr. Wahls book. I need to gain now…never thought I’d be saying that! Enjoy your day!

  5. i’m so happy to have found your blog. i live on a small island off the coast of BC and want to connect with others who are doing this same ‘experiment’!! after being mostly gluten-free for a couple years, i’ve been paleo for seven weeks now. i mostly love it, although i wish i could find a book or resource that spoke openly about the first several weeks and the body’s responses and mood changes and such. for example in the fifth and sixth week my face broke out with acne unlike i’ve ever had before. i think it was okay and a sign of detoxing, but no-one mentioned that might happen. would you tell us about how your body responded in the first 2 months?

    • Hey, I might know your island! And I’m with you: the first couple of months can be totally gnarly & that doesn’t get sufficiently addressed. People talk about carb flu, but some of the other detox reactions (such as what you describe), major intestinal revolutions, and reprogramming of emotional coping strategies that occur don’t get much mention. My biggest issue in the first 6 months of going Paleo was the latter, as I’d used starches to self-medicate my emotional trauma for decades & I got some pretty severe kick-back when I stopped. So having alternate strategies in place to deal with the intense emotional reaction was really important for me. I’d like to write more about that, as I’ve rarely seen that addressed either.

      • thank you for replying! i’m on Denman. i think we may have some people in common.

        i wonder if the reason the starting off issues aren’t addressed is because the Paleo protocols have already gotten such mockery in some ‘health’ circles, so Paleo peeps want to highlight the positive. the emotional reprogramming is certainly happening for me!!!! thanks for mentioning that because one of the reasons i’ve gone Paleo is because of a history of depression and i’ve been wondering if it’s worth it because my issues are UP! i decided to give it 3 months at least. i have figured out that i’m still eating too many carbs via root vegetables so i’m going to cut back some more!!

        i will keep up the good fight with inspiration from people like you!!

      • It took 6 months of paleo for my depression to lift & it’s not been back since. If I had to do it again I’d focus on improving my gut health to hasten that process, starting with including daily fermented foods (sauerkraut & well-brewed kombucha are my favorites). Gut health=mental health!

  6. Hi Petra,

    Your writing is really helpful to add both the logic and the *ahem* colour needed in the Wahls Paleo Plus protocol. I am a newbie at this. I saw Dr. Wahls in Calgary in mid-September and started tweaking my diet after that even more.

    I think some local support would really help with some of the issues I’m encountering. If you know of any group/individual who may be interested in occasional meetings, please email me.

    Thanks so much!


  7. Hi Petra,

    I’m just curious to know I’d your husband tried water fasting, whether intermittent or for several days?

    I’m dealing with CFS and even though paleo AIP is helping me, it’s a very slow recovery. I feel the bedt by far after a 2-3 day fast but I never pushed it further.

    Great site! Thanks for all the info.

    • Hi Patrick,

      Matthew does a lot of intermittent fasting but has never fasted for several days. I have read research that suggests that fasting is the best way to reduce inflammation in the body, but that the inflammation always returns with the reintroduction of food. As one can’t maintain a fast indefinitely (obviously) it seems like it might just offer temporary relief rather than actual healing? I don’t know enough about the mechanisms involved. Thanks for sharing your observation.

  8. I love your blog. I would love to personally chat with you either on the phone or email at some point if it is convenient regarding progress on Wahls Protocol. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Carolyn, I would be happy to e-mail with you but i am not an expert in the Wahls Protocol. I followed the Wahls Paleo Plus for 3.5 months & have since moved on to a lower-carb ketogenic protocol as part of my ongoing biohacking experiments. I wonder if the community available through one of the Wahls Protocol facebook groups might be useful for you? People there would be actively using the protocol and might have more insight about progress. Having said that, let me know if you still want to e-mail & I’ll drop you a line~.

  9. Pingback: MTHFR gene mutations~ think twice before implementing standardized treatment regimes | petra8paleo

  10. Hey Petra..

    Your work is amazing! I feel like the AIP – low FODmaps diet is the ultimate biohack that has helped me come out of a food created haze into a whole new life where I feel connected to my true path and world around me! Life is amazing as long as I stay on this diet. Im a professional surfer, blogger, entrepreneur and Id like to talk to you about how I can stay on this diet while traveling. Finding snacks and getting past sugar craving are the hardest part for me. I do best on zero carbs and zero sugar (even natural sugar) Its so hard to find any useful info online about an eating style like this.

    Excited to hear back from you. Thanks!

    • Delayed response~. Traveling on a low-FODMAP AIP requires forethought & the strategies depend on how & where you travel. If you have access to a kitchen in places with big health-oriented grocery stores & farmer’s markets, it is relatively straight-forward. You can also bring your own food on a plane. When staying in a hotel without access to a kitchen (which I only do for work), my stand-by traveling food is nori, tinned salmon, avocado & sauerkraut for nori wraps, with MCT oil to add to hot beverages. If I can get to a store I supplement with bins of prewashed spinach & other vegetables. Avocado, is high-FODMAP, of course, so you would omit it if you are avoiding FODMAPs, but include another source of fat. If you are flying, MCT Oil & any other liquids have to go in your checked baggage (I forgot once & that was a very expensive mistake~!) Eileen at Phoenix helix has gathered links to posts that address exactly this topic: http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/04/24/link-love-traveling-on-a-healing-diet/

  11. I like your bravery. You are dealing with this situation in such a positive way. I admire and commend you for your devotion and dedication. I will be following you with a keen eye. God Bless and BRAVO!!!

  12. Hi there, I came across your blog looking for Wahl’s protocol recipes. Great stuff. I just wanted to share a story with you. I had severe psoriasis, and I did a 30 day water fast as a “last resort” because I didn’t want to live on immunosuppressants. Apparently fasting is an old biblical cure. I wasn’t hungry because I was in ketosis. I got regular colon cleanses to keep things moving. Result: psoriasis gone. That was 2 years ago and it hasn’t come back. I wanted to recommend that you might consider a water fast. They can be done repeatedly for 40 days at a time. The theory is that the fast shuts down your immune system, but also prevents bacteria from growing, because the bacteria has no nutrients, either. I think my autoimmunity was caused by an infection. The fast sucked — I lost a lot of muscle mass, etc. — but it did cure me. Anyway, I liked your blog, so wanted to share something for your toolkit.

  13. I’m a holistic nutritional therapist (and a recovering binge eater, ha!), so I just love you sharing all the “nerdy” details of AIP, Paleo, Wahl’s + microbiome healing for you and hubby. Hugs, light + healing to you both!

  14. Hi petra!

    My name is Mike and I am writing article about “The Most Important Supplements” on my blog.

    And I would love to have your insights on this question:
    “What is the most important supplement will you suggest and why?”

    If you can just write 25-100 words in your answer it will be awesome and I will include intro about you and your blog and add link to your blog as well!


    • Hi Mike. Thanks for stopping by. I believe in bioindividuality and that we each need to use real-life data to find the patterns that will best support our well-being, based on current health status, environment and goals. Therefore I can’t comment on the best supplements in any general sense. For myself, I swear by Lorna Vanderhaeghe’s Estrosmart Plus (but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for you~).

  15. Hi there. I have been following your blog for several months now and it has provided me with courage as I attempt to reverse the symptoms of my autoimmune diseases (celiac, RA). I started AIP in April 2015. In March I discovered Dr. Wahls by pure fluke; I was in so much pain and desperate as I am only 25 and couldn’t understand what was happening to me.

    I recently moved to Victoria to attend Pacific Rim College for acupuncture/nutrition in an attempt to further heal. I moved from Toronto and being near the ocean has been a big improvement already.

  16. Thank you Petra for your work, I was just reading your latest blog ‘Creative Destruction’ and it’s perfect for this time of the year. Partly AIP I spent the festivities with my family and sure enough received quite a bit of criticism – because I am still sick with an invisible disease. So I know I must persevere with 100% compliance and get well using your as well as other blogger’s help (Eileen Lard, Mickey Trescott, Angie Alt, Sarah Balantyne, Paleo PI….). Thank you and please keep sharing your n=1 adventures!

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