Sarah Ballantyne, author of the groundbreaking Autoimmune Protocol book The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body, is one of the most brilliant people I know. She writes at ThePaleoMom.com, and at that site as well as in her book, she outlines a very specific, very effective, and therefore necessarily very limited approach to paleo eating. If broken, it heals your gut.
By healing your gut, you heal a lot of other things, too.
It’s remarkable. Sarah has had success with… I’m going to guess, and correctly, I believe, hundreds of thousands of people.
So the short story is: the autoimmune protocol Sarah (and others, like one of my favorite women, Eileen Laird) outlines and advocates is the. bomb. digs.
But I’ve always been wary.
For two reasons. 1) People without autoimmune diseases often eat an AIP for the sake of “better health.” But this is silly, because I and AIP advocates alike think it’s unnecessary, and doesn’t even benefit your health really, necessarily, unless you’re autoimmune. 2) People use this as an excuse to eat a controlled way of eating. 3) People sometimes feel unduly restricted on AIP and develop disordered behaviors. 4) People have a hard time transitioning out of AIP. 5) Obviously there are more than two reasons.
(And no, to answer my title’s question, the AIP doesn’t always beget disordered eating. But there’s definitely a “but” that belongs, hanging, at that end of that statement. “The AIP doesn’t beget disordered eating, but…”)
So anyway. I did an interview talking about these things with an AIP advocate named Eileen Laird, who writes at Phoenix Helix.com (what an amazing brand name, holy hell), who’s brilliant and lovely. There’s a lot of psychological stuff that swirls around AIP: fear of death, fear of illness, fear of freedom..
If you do have an autoimmune disease, there are so many incredible resources now to help you not feel deprived. The Autoimmune Paleo cookbook is a great example that comes to mind (Amazon link here). And of course, Sarah’s book here is always a winner.