I've been "doing AIP" now for about 3 years. Before that, I was primal/paleo. Before that I was JERF (just eat real food). Before that I was doing Atkins. Atkins is how I found out of I have celiac disease. I will always attribute Atkins to saving my life, because I was dying from undiagnosed celiac. And I will attribute AIP to giving me my life back.
I was a junk food junkie. I ate pretty much everything out of a package. Very occasionally I'd have "real food" for special occasions like holidays. And I do love a good Sunday roast of course! I ate everything gluten, with wild abandon. Because I had no clue that it was killing me. Breakfast was toast and/or cereal, or a bagel with peanut butter, or instant oatmeal, full of artificial flavours and refined sugar. Lunch was a sandwich, or pizza, or leftover pasta. Dinner was more of the same. Then dessert would be a package of reduced fat 100 calorie cookies, or an entire pint of ice cream. Quite often, BOTH! My favourite was Hagen Daz strawberry. It had *real* strawberries in it, so it was "good for me". Right!?
When I started Atkins, and realized that gluten had been trying to kill me for nearly 4 decades, I decided enough was enough! If food can kill me, and there's no pill to "cure" celiac disease, then is there such thing as any food that can heal me?
It took me a while to get it all sorted out, but eventually I made my way to AIP, via the circuitous path mentioned above. I took the scenic route. I learned a lot along the way, and will forever be grateful for each of those dietary theories for helping me along my healing journey.
Do I ever miss any of those junk foods from before? Sure, sometimes. I do miss grilled cheese sammiches. And fish 'n' chips. I am a daughter of an Englishman after all! I don't miss Oreo cookies though. Nor do I miss ice-cream. I don't miss bread, nor pasta, nor the convenience of fast food. And I most definitely DO NOT MISS being sick, constipated, and in pain all the time! Life is *so much easier* now that I understand what food was doing to me, and which foods I should be eating for real health.
So does that mean I never eat any treats? pffffft! Bite your tongue! And go check out my desserts recipes section. I have plenty of treats, sometime probably too many, but I have never yet felt deprived of anything since I started paleo or even AIP.
We're all so solidly connected to our comfort foods. But what do you do when you find out your comfort foods are what is causing you to be sick all the time? Well, you find new comfort foods silly! The possibilities are endless!
I've become more adventurous with food. Like sometimes I'll see some new veetable for fruit int he grocery store and bring it home and Google it to find out what to do with it. Like when I first saw breadfruit at the store.
Now I have some new foods. Some new staples. And I've learned how to mix flavours to make everything adventurous and healthy. And I'm not afraid to try new things. As long as it's not gluten, or legumes, I'm pretty much good, within reason.
My favourite spice is cinnamon, always has been, but now I'm hooked on "true" cinnamon, also called Ceylon cinnamon. It has more flavour than cassia cinnamon, and less cinnamaldehyde, which can be toxic in large doses. When added to recipes with the traditional "pumpkin spices" like ginger, cloves and mace (to keep it AIP of course!), you can flavour up pretty much everything. Not just pies! I use them in smoothies, hot breakfast bowls, soups...everything!
I love cooking with fresh ginger root, and turmeric. Turmeric is a wonderful anti-inflammatory spice, and if paired with ginger, works just as well as black pepper (which we eliminate for AIP). I use turmeric also in smoothies, eggs, (after safely reintroducing!), breakfast sausages, hamburgers, soups, stews...lots of things!
I love coming up with my own recipes, and this year I'm even going to have some published! I'm excited about that. My chicken soup recipe even made it to Huff Post Canada. Squeeee! You can say you knew me when. LOL!
I also love love love my Instant Pot! If you don't have one, you should really consider getting one. It's so great if you're short on time, but you forgot to take the meat out of the freezer!
I also love my spiralizer! It's so much fun! And my Star Frit barrel grater. I haven't lost any layers of my fingertips on that one like I do on a box grater or mandolin ;)
I love being healthy. I love having a clear mind. I love being able to sleep. I love NOT being in pain. I love being able to go for a walk in the woods with my dog. I love going camping. Solo! I love going on adventures, rather than lying on the couch watching NatGeo feeling sorry for myself because I'm too exhausted and in pain to go and do anything.
Most of all, I love helping other people realize the health they can have too, just with a few changes in their diet and lifestyle. I love seeing them get up and go. When they say they've lost weight. And their doctor says "whatever you're doing, keep it up!". I love it when they tell me their pain is lessening, and they're not falling asleep at their desk all day. I love it when they say they can go out and play with their kids, and run around all day and not be confined to bed for days afterward. I love it when clients tell me they're able to do things they've been unable to do for months or years, and that I helped them with that.
That's what I really love. That's why I get out of bed in the morning. Well, that, and Kreacher needs to have a walk. ;)
What's your why? What makes you get out of bed in the morning? What would your life be like if getting out of bed was easier? What lengths would you go to to make that happen? I can help. It's what I love to do.