It’s time to make some changes!
Since I’ve moved to California, I haven’t been eating the best. I have wanted to try new places, been trying to settle into a routine, and just being lazy. I haven’t felt sick at all, but I have noticed changes in my skin. Mainly an increase in acne, which could be due to a lot of factors (IBD in general, wearing a mask all day long, and deciding to stop my oral acne medication). So two weeks ago, I committed to doing a 21 day anti-inflammatory diet with the Autoimmune Sisters.
The way I eat now is mostly full of anti inflammatory foods, but there are a few culprits that I had brought back into my diet and I clearly needed to break the habit. I don’t think this is something that needs to be gone forever, but I definitely need to have certain things in moderation and I was letting it get a little out of hand (like drinking a little too much beer). I used this 21 day plan to help me start eliminating the bad foods I have introduced and help clean out my body. I’ve also looked into other food choice lifestyles that are based on your blood type/ancestral make up. It’s very interesting! We can chat about that a little later.
So what is an anti inflammatory diet?
I hate the word diet, so let me switch to lifestyle. But basically, you eat foods that do not encourage inflammation. There are a lot of foods we eat that are inflammatory and cause inflammation in everyone, not just people with autoimmune disease. Having IBD we need to be aware of these types of foods that can add to the inflammation we are already dealing with. The most common foods that trigger inflammation are gluten, dairy, and sugar.
I’ll be blunt and say that you are not going to see change in your IBD if you aren’t willing to make sacrifices or changes. You may also think you feel fine…I did once too. I thought I was doing pretty well about 4 years ago now. It wasn’t until I committed to making some changes that I saw how good I could really feel. These changes don’t need to be forever either. I have since incorporated things back into my diet in moderation (like beer, breads, eggs), and sometimes I go a little overboard with them. That’s when you have little resets like I’m doing now 🙂
Okay, sorry for the rant, I needed to get that off my chest. What is great about this 21 day plan is that we are working to remove foods gradually, instead of cold turkey, which is helpful! Especially so that you are focused only on a few things at a time and can build on them as you move throughout the days. I would say this is very similar to the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) with some modifications. You can look online for resources on anti-inflammatory foods as well and read about why they trigger inflammation, like dairy, for example, which is meant for baby cows, not humans. So the components of dairy trigger an immune response in our bodies, which = inflammation, because we don’t have the necessary enzymes to break down the dairy.
While venturing on this anti inflammatory reset/quest. I have also been looking into making food choices specifically to your body/make up, mostly because my husband is reading a book that triggered thoughts about this. We stumbled upon eating for your blood-type and ancestral type diets which were extremely interesting to me. And for my blood-type, I am actually eating pretty close to what it describes which could be why I feel so good, whereas my husband, who is a completely different blood type than me, hasn’t. So we can now experiment and see if he adjusts some of his food choices if he ends up feeling better! Ahh, I love science.
Some of the research we’ve done explains why certain foods trigger certain people based on their blood type.
And what is even more interesting to me is that your blood type has a lot to do with your ancestral background, so it’s all linked. But, while I am incorporating this anti-inflammatory lifestyle into my routine, I am also going to start removing the foods on the list that are not so great for my blood type and see if I feel even better! It seems like a lot of work, but honestly, doing a little work so that I feel good is worth it over how crappy I felt (even though I didn’t realize it) before I made changes. I think the big takeaway from any and all food choice is that some things will work for you and some won’t, no matter if they are on a “good list” or a “bad list” or vegan or gluten free or meat or a magically concoction that has rained down from the spirits above. You do not need to keep yourself confined into a specific framework. Do what works for you, but you’ll only know what works by making changes.
So, the time to make changes is now! Make it fun for you, that’s what I do. It’s a chance to get out of your comfort zone by trying something new. And, it’s an amazing opportunity to learn about your body, put you more in tune with yourself, and figure out what works for you to encourage healing!