So, as it turns out, God has a fantastic sense of humor.
After redesigning my life around the meat-and-lard-friendly Paleo and Paleo AIP (to very excellent health benefits), I got the results of my food intolerance test from my homeopath:
Primary Intolerance: Meat
After I settled down from my Joker-style cackling and crying, not to mention my “Are you freaking kidding?” texts to close friends, I archived the email and decided to deal with it later.
Well, guys, now is later. So I am on Day 2 of 100% clean Seafood Paleo AIP.
Yes, I feel pretty crazy. No, I don’t know how I’m going to make it 30 days without bacon (or perhaps 60, since the real recommendation was an 8 week trial). Yes, I’ll be cooking meat for J-Hubbs. No, I won’t be cheating with a little bite.
The purpose of this trial is to remove the possible digestion issue (meat intolerance) and then reintroduce it to see if I have a negative reaction or a spike in inflammation. It’s not an exact science, and it’s not an allergy. It’s more of a “Your body may not function well when you eat X.”
Since I need all the function I can get (I’m already at a deficit because of my thyroid) it’s worth it to see if this is the key that unlocks my health puzzle.
It may be that meat is not a problem. It may be that I’m 95% fishy forever and I cheat with bacon every once in a while. Either way, I’m on the road.
What Seafood Paleo AIP Looks Like
Here’s the gist of what I’m eating:
- An insane amount of vegetables, about 9 cups a day (measured raw, then cooked or eaten)
- Shrimp, salmon, scallops in the freezer right now
- Flounder, tuna, other fish as I find it on sale
- Healthy fats and oils like coconut, avocado, and olive
- Fruits like berries, bananas, apples, oranges, lemons, etc.
- Herbs like parsley, cilantro, etc.
- AIP-approved sauces and things like Red Boat fish sauce, coconut aminos (soy sauce replacement made with coconut sap), maple syrup (just a smidge), and the mayo I make with palm shortening, salt, avocado oil, and apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Here’s what I’m not eating:
- Paleo AIP means no grains (gluten, corn, oat, etc), nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy, legumes (peanut, chocolate, coffee, beans, etc), soy, processed sugars, caffeine, alcohol, or tricky immune-system-triggering vegetables like nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, seed-based spices). The goal here is to focus on nutrient dense foods that are easy to digest and won’t trigger an immune response.
- Seafood-only means no land-dwelling animals or birds, lard, tallow, collagen hydrosolate (animal protein powder), gelatin, or bone broth.
- At restaurants. You can try it with some places, but the only way to know you’re 100% is to eat every meal at home.
Here’s my day 1 and day 2 meal plan so far for prying eyes:
Breakfast: Shrimp sauteed with garlic, onions, and broccoli
Lunch: Dill salmon with roasted brussel sprouts + Apple cider and water-based shake with kale, avocado, mango, and avocado oil
Snack: Dill salmon
Dinner: Dill salmon with roasted brussel sprouts + plantain fries with homemade dill AIP mayo (my own recipe)
Breakfast: Dill salmon with roasted brussel sprouts + Orange + three fit fat bombs
Snack: Water-based shake with kale, avocado, mango, blueberries, and avocado oil
Lunch: Scallops sauteed with garlic, onions, and california veggie mix + last of the brussel sprouts
Snack: 3 fit fat bombs + carrot sticks
Dinner: Shrimp stir fry with garlic, onion, ginger, carrots, mushrooms, and bok choi
Adjusting to a Fishy Life
My biggest challenges so far:
- AIP is always emotional, fish makes it X10. So far I’ve only cried once. I think I’ll feel a lot better about it as I start to see the benefits (incredibly positive and happy mood around the clock, a suddenly shrinking body, etc). But food is a social activity, so when you can’t eat a lot you start to feel excluded from that community.
- On-the-go is nonexistent now. At least with meat I had some Real Jerky sticks I could turn to. Until I find dried fish (which… oh my gosh… that sounds awful), the only thing I can take on the road is fruit, fat bombs, and leftovers. Talk about prior planning!
- Batch cooking is harder with frozen fish. I’m wary of the freshness of fish, and I don’t know if I can defrost, cook, and then refreeze fish and have it stay delicious. I also don’t want to experiment because fish is super expensive.
- Paying for fish is frustrating. And I thought meat was expensive…we’ll have to see how low I can go, but most of the high-quality fish I’m looking at starts at $9.99/lb. I know I can get lower with other kinds of fish like flounder, etc, so I’ll be on the hunt.
- Eating fish in general. I’ve never been the biggest fish-fan, especially the more oily fish like tuna and anchovy. The idea of fish broth is not one that I want to dwell on. I’ll be praying for God to change my heart (and my tastebuds) on that.
I know this is going to be hard, but I think once I get through the first week I’ll really know that I can do it. What I’m scared of most are the habits I have, that I will eat meat by accident (two straight years of sausage links for breakfast… what if I’m sleepy and I reach for them?) or have a bad day and make a mistake because I feel emotional (trying to prevent that with pre-made fat bombs and meatless AIP treats).
To counteract these issues, I am going to carry around my olive wood rosary (once I remember to get it from the car) and touch it before I eat to reflect on what I’m eating and the strength that God has already given me. That should do the trick.