Dr. Amy Myers Autoimmune Solution, Paleo

Dr. Amy Myers Autoimmune Solution Results and Review

It has finally been a month! And it wasn’t an easy month! I really enjoy having nuts and seeds as well as gluten free grains and legumes. I missed them and felt deprived many times. I also cheated a few times, but I really tried hard to be as strict as possible. The main problem was that I didn’t see results. In fact, after over a week of really sticking to the program, I felt awful, I think my body may have been fighting a virus that was going around. My health problems are not extremely serious (fatigue, brain fog, sinus congestion) and they usually don’t interfere too much with my life, but there has been many times when I have seen drastic improvements over a few days just by cleaning up my diet. In this case, there was no improvement at all (coming from a gluten free dairy free lifestyle). I have been trying to loose an extra 5 pounds that I gained during my last pregnancy and that my body has been hanging on to. In the past, going grain free has been the most reliable way to loose weight. For some reason, this time, I didn’t loose any weight.

As far as Dr. Amy Myers Autoimmune Solution program goes, it’s a good program with lots of information and interesting resources. It is divided into six lessons: Understanding Autoimmunity, Heal your Gut, Get Rid if Gluten, Grains and Legumes, Tame the Toxins, Heal your Infections and Relieve your Stress, the Myers Way for Life. The videos included in the lessons are interesting and the symptom tracker could be helpful if, unlike me, one was going to use it. The program doesn’t require too much time in the kitchen and allows for using leftovers as a mean to cut down on cooking time. I think it would provide just enough diversity for a lot of people (I recently read that most of us use a repertoire of 12 recipes that we cook over and over again), but as someone who rarely cooks the same thing more than once, I got incredibly bored with the options offered. I had to look at three other autoimmune cookbooks (He Won’t Know it’s Paleo, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook and the Paleo Approach Cookbook to find more inspiration.

In conclusion, I know the autoimmune protocol has been helping a lot of people. I also know that no matter what your health problem is, eliminating trigger foods is the most important step. Grains and legumes are said to be inflammatory to the body, because they contain phytic acid, phytates, lectins and prolamins. They also contribute to an omega 3/omega 6 imbalance (The Paleo Approach is my source on that statement) they rob the body from important minerals (since phytates bind to calcium, iron and other minerals) and they are not very nutrient dense (calories to calories compared to meat and veggies). I don’t find that eliminating grains makes me better, and the claim that meat is harder for the body to digest than plant foods makes more sense to me. Those who are in favor of eating more meat rather than plant foods argue that the human body is not designed to break down cellulose. I argue back that the cellulose (fiber) is the ultimate anti-cancer food (colorectal, pancreatic and breast cancers) and even phytic acid seems to have some anti-cancer properties! In the end, it looks like I haven’t found the Ultimate diet yet.

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Dr. Amy Myers Autoimmune Solution, Paleo

Cost of Groceries on the Autoimmune Protocol, Part 2

 

The first week and a half cost about $400 (to feed a family of 9). You can check part 1 for more details. At the week and a half mark, I stocked up on meat that was on sale. Now, I buy grass fed beef from a local farmer, but I had decided I could not afford to afford to buy my meat organic (we do grow our chickens in the Summer, but we ran out).

Here is my receipt:

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It comes out to about $10 in produce and $80 in meat. Now, I was operating under the premise that factory farming in Canada is not as bad as in the States (I don’t know why I was under this impression). I did some research on the Internet (I should have done that beforehand) and discovered that it is in fact pretty horrible. I decided I would no longer purchase meat unless it is certified organic. Now, I realize that organic does guarantee perfect conditions for the animals, but it is a huge improvement and what else can I do if  I want to go on with this experiment? So, I will have meatless breakfast and lunches and meat for dinner from now on. The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott offers a menu plan with meatless lunches and I will have a green smoothie for breakfast.

At the 2 week mark, I did the last half of my shopping:

I spent about $1000 dollars, some of it not specifically for the protocol. I spent about $160 in produce at Costco (includes lots of frozen fruits and veggies), about $60 at Walmart and $100 at Freshco. Meat cost me about $250 at all three stores and condiments cost about $100 (all the oils and coconut milk for instance). On top of all this, I bought coconut flour, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos among other things and that cost about $100. Add another $60 for palm shortening and coconut butter.

Now, before I add up the totals for the month, keep in mind that I live in Ontario. Here food costs more than in the States (that is why I posted the receipts, people can compare for themselves to what they are used to paying). Also, right now, the exchange rate is very bad for us in Canada, that also makes our situation worst.

Here we go, to eat on the autoimmune protocol this month, and feed a family of 9, I spent $430 in produce and $400 in meat (not including beef). Oils, flours, coconut milk and all the condiments cost another $300 or so. The total for the bare essentials then would then be a little less than $1100. But I spent about $300 more in things that are not included in the protocol, like sourdough bread, peanut butter, cheese, etc.

This amount seems to be not any more than I am used to spending. I will keep writing these overviews on my spending each month and we will see what the next few months cost, but so far, I feel that this amount is not any more than usual.

 

 

 

Dr. Amy Myers Autoimmune Solution, Paleo

Dr. Amy Myers Autoimmune Solution Progress

I was planning to write a seven day update about he Autoimmune Solution for the sake of comparing the results with Superwoman Slimdown (I did the cleanse for only 7 days). However, I decided it would not be a fair comparison for two reasons: 1- I started the program after having a cheat meal on the weekend and I think I might have suffered more from the gluten exposure than expected. 2- I didn’t realize that although baked goods are ok on the protocol, they should be consumed only once a month or so. Consequently, I really overindulged my sugar cravings. I these two causes might be at the root of the stalled progress or even the regression I experienced since the Superwoman Slimdown. I felt mediocre most days. I had low energy and I had various intestinal issues. That lasted of 8 days. On the 6, 7 and 8 days, I felt pretty discouraged and deprived. I cheated with nut butters and pop corn and felt ready to give up. I also felt uninspired by the AIP recipes. All these meals revolving around meat! I felt worried that I was eating too much meat. By the way, why do paleo people think of meat and veggies are the most nutrient dense, less gut irritant foods, while vegetarians promote veggies, grains and legumes as easier to digest than meat? I think I might have to look into this at some point…

But let’s get back to my progress on the protocol. On day 9, I started feeling much better, both physically and emotionally. I started appreciating the foods available to me again and I didn’t feel so deprived any longer. I felt like I could finish the month. However, I made some adjustments as the protocol seemed too meat heavy for me. And we are not talking only about pastured chicken, grass fed beef, fish and such, but a lot of cured meats that have been shown to cause cancer. I decided I would finish the protocol by having a green smoothie for breakfast, a meatless lunch and meat for dinner.

With only 1 week left to go, I thought the time had come to give a progress report. I have a bit of a foggy brain today, which I also had during the Superwoman Slimdown, but had blamed on the grains, legumes and nuts. I guess not. I will have to keep experimenting and I will make a final judgment on the protocol next weekend.

Dr. Amy Myers Autoimmune Solution, Paleo

Cost of Groceries on the Autoimmune Protocol, Part 1

I have to feed a family of 9, so groceries are a huge part of our budget. For that reason, I had often felt that any type of paleo approach would be too expensive for us. Now, since I have committed to eat on the autoimmune protocol for one month, I thought keeping track of the cost of food would be a helpful exercise.

This week, the total cost of my groceries was $300. Now, keep in mind I didn’t have to buy beef, since I purchased a quarter of grass fed beef in the Fall. I also had a good supply of frozen organic berries, broccoli and cauliflower.

If you look at my receipt, you will notice that some items are not allowed on the autoimmune protocol. It’s simply because, although my children eat the same meals that I do, I let them eat snacks comprising other whole foods that I can’t have.

Here is a general breakdown of the cost: about $95 on produce, $70 on meat, $18 on olive oil and $15 on coconut milk. I have only $200 to spend next week, so it looks like my children won’t be getting as many treats 🙂

General

What about nightshades?

The Superwoman Slimdown program recommends to avoid nightshade vegetables.  And well, today, on day 5 of phase 2, I had some potatoes! I just couldn’t resist. But, to be honest, I never really believed that avoiding nightshades would be of great benefit to me. Here’s why:

1- There is no scientific data to support the idea that nightshades might cause health problems.

2- There is ample anecdotal evidence supporting the idea that nightshades might worsen joint and muscle pain, but I have never suffered from these problems.

3- There are documented cases of overconsumption  of nightshades causing mental illnesses, but again, that is not one of my problems.

4- The compounds in nightshades that are said to harm us in some cases also can heal and benefit us. For example, glycoalkaloids, natural pesticides produced by the nightshade plants are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and help fight cancer (in laboratory studies).

So, I think I will keep enjoying all the bounties of the nightshade family, unless I discover myself a sensitivity.