Autoimmune-Paleo

About

Hi, I’m Mickey, the blogger behind Autoimmune-Paleo. I work in Seattle, Washington as a personal chef and am studying to be a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. I also share allergy-friendly recipes on my food blog, Little Fig.

My journey to Autoimmune-Paleo started as a vegan, having recently being diagnosed with both Celiac and Hashimotos disease. I suffered through many months of deteriorating health until I finally gave in and introduced fish into my diet. From there, I made the transition to Paleo, slowly reversing vitamin and mineral deficiencies and greatly improving my health. That wasn’t the entire story, however, as I found the Autoimmune Protocol, which I credit with finally making me feel like a real person again. Lately I have been playing with a Weston A. Price approach as well as the GAPS diet, as I believe that working on my leaky gut is going to be the final piece in restoring my health.

I started this blog as a place to collect information about my wellness and diet interests, mostly involving autoimmune disease and ancestral health. I hope that I can share information that would be of benefit to those who are searching for ways to heal from chronic illness, as well as inspire people to make the changes they need to find healing.

If you are interested in reading more about my journey, I have written a series of posts with details about my illness (part I, part II, and part III) and my recovery (part I and part II).

Find me on Instagram and Facebook or email me at autoimmunepaleo @ gmail.com

20 thoughts on “About

  1. I too have had to adhere to a very similar diet. However, I can’t seem to be disciplined. When I feel the slightest relief I begin to ride bike and go for walks, Those activities I love very much seem to drain the little bit of energy I recover, and make me crave the junk food that hurts my body. Momentarily I feel a boost of energy and well-being, but sooner than later I begin to go down both emotionally and physically. But those activities help me immensely with pains. It alleviates my pains very much. I love to be out and about and I am very agile. It is emotionally and physically painful to sit and rest and to do minimal physical activity. Do you have any tips or suggestions for physical activity throughout recovery.
    I share a very similar background to your medical history and diet journey. I know how it feels first hand. Thanks for blogging your experience and outcomes.
    Best Wishes,
    Amely

    • Hi Amely,
      I went through what you are describing for a long time, and to some extent still am. I used to be into running, cycling, and rock climbing and had a very high level of physical activity. It was very hard for me to accept that in order to heal I needed to tone my exercise down a lot. When I was first transitioning from being in bed all the time to being able to be on my feet and exercise a little bit, I used a mini rebounding trampoline. I would spend about 15 minutes a day bouncing, and then 15 minutes doing gentle seated yoga. A couple times I decided that I had healed enough to ride my bike or go on a run – both happened to be horrible (and only) attempts that made me very tired and sore. I was discouraged, and eventually I decided that I needed a new attitude about moving my body. Before, exercise was all about getting outside, feeling the elements, the impact of running or the burn of my muscles with loud music in the headphones. Now I try to make my exercise more of an inward experience by practicing yoga. It is a complete contrast from my prior activity – indoor, quiet, slow, peaceful, and meditative. It is not easy for me and I don’t think it ever will be. I also walk and hike occasionally, but I don’t set expectations for myself with regards to physical activity like I used to.

      My advice would be to let yourself be where you are at – that might be walking for a block, or doing stretches for five minutes seated on the floor. Build a practice that is both mental and physical. I love yoga for this purpose, but it could be anything as long as it doesn’t stress your body out too much. I never had the patience for yoga when I was “well”, but now that I have so many sick days I appreciate the workout one can receive just from sitting and breathing in a simple posture. Some days that is just laying and breathing.

      Thanks for checking in, and I will be sure to do a more lengthly post on this in the future. Good luck in your recovery! 🙂

      Mickey

  2. Hi Mickey- I was very excited to find your blog. You have a lot of great content! I nominated you for the Liebster Award. Check it out at http://thepaleonurse.com/2012/12/06/i-got-a-liebster-award/.

  3. Hello! Just found your website via FB, and I love it! I am going back on AIP to heal leaky gut and manage my adrenal fatigue ( resulting in many food issues as well) love the recipes, I am on my way to try yours out this week!! So excited!! Also, thank for the info on exercise, I am feeling bad for not being out doing more, but I do love yoga, so I’ll b concentrating on that for now!!!

    • Good luck Mona, and let me know how it goes! I have learned to love my yoga practice – way better on the adrenals. Check out yogatoday.com if you haven’t yet, they have a huge library of online videos you can use to practice at home for a small monthly fee. I love it 🙂

  4. Mickey, Great work here! I am beginning to research the auto-immune aspects of my stalled weight loss and popped over from Sarah’s blog b/c my dh has Hasimotos…. thanks!
    *anna

  5. Hello, Mickey! I’m so grateful to have blogs like yours to relate to. I’ve recently been diagnosed similiarily and am having a hard time putting all these lifestyle changes into action. Everybody has an oppinion and there is such an overwhelming amount of information to take in. I’m especially stumped as to what to eat everyday (dinner is getting predictable), what a balanced day looks like in relation to the limited foods I can eat, and if too much repetition in my diet is unhealthy. I’d be so grateful for a post maybe about what a “balanced day in the life of” lookds like, or any advice you may have to share. Sending lots of love!

    Melanie

    • Hey Melanie!
      That type of post is tough, because I know that most of us with autoimmune disease tolerate such a wide variety of foods, even within the confines of the autoimmune protocol. There are a lot of things that I personally don’t eat because of gut issues (onions and brassicas for example) but I include them in my recipes because I know that there are people out there that tolerate them just fine. I also don’t eat a lot of chicken, which is what a lot of people prefer over red meat, and so I don’t want to isolate those folks that are put off by all of the mammal eating. Anyways, that was the long way of saying that I don’t think that a lot of people would be balanced eating the way I do, because we all have to find our ideal diet – I do understand that there are those out there looking for more resources and ideas though, and I am working hard to help out in that department. I do post a lot of meals on my facebook page that I don’t post here, so that might be a place you could check in to find some in the moment food inspiration from me 🙂

      I am planning on doing another post on breakfast, because I believe it is so important and once you get in a good breakfast routine, it makes everything else better. I am also working on some meal plans, other posts about batch cooking and the like. I hope that you find them helpful, and do let me know if you have any other ideas of things you would like to see on the blog, the comments are super helpful 🙂

      Mickey

  6. Thank you so much for the reply! You’re absolutely right, autoimmune varies from person to person rather significantly, so I understand completely. Any recipes you post I know I’ll love and try as I do most. I do have one other question, I hope you don’t mind. I’ve read all your articles on autoimmune disorder and some tests that help to alleviate the guessing game of what effects the individual, such as TH1 and TH2. I’m still trying to figure out how else I can help my body besides diet, and was wondering what other tests you’ve done, or know of, that help someone new to autoimmune gather more information about where their body is at and how they can further diagnose themselves. And is a TH1, TH2 blood panel something a family doctor can do for you, or is it preferred to go through one’s naturopath?

    I’m 20 years of age and feeling as if a strong wind has knocked me off my feet, suddenly I’m wondering how I’ll move forward and in what direction that will be. A subject I’d love to read more about is what careers or ways of income somebody with autoimmune disorder could consider. How can people in healing support themselves and their lifestyle?

    I hope I didn’t ask too many questions! I guess I’m just a babe in the woods.

    Sincerely,
    Melanie

    • Hey Melanie,
      I don’t think Th1 and Th2 testing is necessary. A lot of Dr. Kharrazian trained practitioners can order the test, but it is very expensive and not usually covered by insurance. The immune system also fluctuates depending on if you are fighting something, so it is also not always a good indicator if that is your true dominance.

      I think a supplement challenge or getting muscle tested by a qualified practitioner is the way to go. In the beginning, I saw someone who was able to muscle test my dominance. Now I don’t see her anymore, but I know by how my body feels when I have something on either of the lists.

      What autoimmune disease do you have? If it is Hashimoto’s, you may be able to tell by your antibody count. If the TPO antibodies are low, like triple digits, that is usually Th1 dominance. Antibodies in the thousands are usually Th2. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it might be a clue so you get an idea that you can test later with supplements.

      Pushing Th1 and Th2 can have potentially harmful effects, especially if you are not in a good place health wise at the moment. It is definitely not the first place I would go in healing. I would definitely start with using the autoimmune protocol as an elimination diet for 30-90 days to remove any food sensitivities. Working on your vitamin/mineral status, lowering stress, working on repairing your gut, adrenals, are where I would start. Maybe while you are doing this, avoid all Th1 and Th2 stimulants and then revisit when you are at a better place.

      Your last question is a good one, and I understand your worry and frustration that you may not be able to hold a “normal” job. At 20, your body is still young, and I think you would be surprised to find out how resilient our bodies are and their incredible capacity for healing. It is a topic I will be writing about more for sure. Look up Dr. Terry Wahls for some inspiration in that department.

      The income piece is very tricky. When I was sick, I relied on my husband’s (very small) income and help from both of my parents. It wasn’t enough and we were going into debt every month that I was not working. It was a very stressful and embarrassing time, but it was what had to happen to get me back on my feet. I don’t know if you have an option to live or be supported by family while you sort out your health, but it definitely makes it doable. I’ll be thinking of low-stress career ideas for those with autoimmune diseases for a later blog post. For now, writing comes to mind as a great one!

      Take care!

      Mickey

  7. I think it’s really wonderful that you reply to all your comments! Thank you for sharing your time. I think muscle testing is the way to go too, now that I’ve read deeper into it and heard such remarkable results. I will definately look into finding somebody who can do this for me. I should have mentioned “I’ve just been self diagnosed”, which makes a rather impacting difference in how to approach this diet and lifestyle. Truth be told I don’t know what to be tested for (medically speaking), what could help me understand what it is exactly I’m dealing with. In all my trial and error ( Candida Diet, TCM, GAPS, Paleo, ect), the autoimmune protocol combined with paleo and GAPS has shown me the most promising results, so I’ve only assumed this must be my problem in some form. I’ve been tip toeing around the elimination diet, mostly because my weight is too low and I’m a little hazy on the details (if I should include FODMAPS, Histamine containing foods, or not, ect). Other from FODMAPS (I already don’t eat garlic and onions), and histamine foods, I’ve been on the elimination diet for a lengthy period of time already, but still suffer from skin hypersensitivity, tummy troubles, low energy, absent period, and so on. I’ve been told white rice cooked in broth is a good source of carbs on FODMAPS, but I fear adding anything new before my symptoms have subsided completely. You’re right, 20 is still young, and there is lots of time to heal, it’s inspiring reading stories like yours, it gives me hope for the future, truly! I’m looking forward to reading future posts, your new book(!), and am hoping you too are feeling much better.

    PS: It really amazes me how many of us used to be vegan, I was from grade 6 until 12, and strongly feel this attributed to my health struggles, deficiencies, and more. It just seems so commen with autoimmune sufferers to have this sort of history.

    Gratefully,
    Melanie

  8. Hello, I have Hashimoto, pernicios anemia and mixed connective tissue disease in addition to IBS. I have started AIP for about 10 days now and although my IBS is so much better I seem to feel mored fatigued. I also have had more swelling and pains in my hands and woken with puffy eyes for a few days now and was wondering how long it usually takes before someone feels better. I am feeling down and frustrated…to do this takes a lot of time and planning which I have done…but I need to feel some relief. Any words of wisdom would help..
    Thanks, M

    • Hi Maria, this comment slipped through the cracks when I was moving my blog over to its new home, autoimmune-paleo.com. I hope you found the answer to your question, but if anyone out there is struggling I will answer in case it helps them.

      The first thing I would ask is if you are getting enough carbs. Although the AIP is not by definition a low-carb diet, some people can cut carbs drastically when first implementing it, which can be problematic for someone with Hashimoto’s because insulin is needed to convert the inactive hormone t4 into the active form t3 in the liver. I would try increasing your carbs by eating more starchy fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes and plantain to see if that does the trick.

      Another thing I would ask is have you included any more of something you don’t usually eat a lot of while on the protocol? You may have a sensitivity beyond what the autoimmune protocol removes, and my first suggestion would be either FODMAPS (which is highly implicated in IBS) or coconut. Those would be things to get on your radar if you aren’t feeling better.

      Lastly, two weeks is a pretty short period of time, and at that point the body could still be adjusting to making the transition to what you were eating before to a more nourishing diet. You may just need some more time. Make sure you are getting lots of sleep, water, and be gentle on yourself.

      Mickey

  9. Hey yall… I am a newbie to Paleo. I just heard about this way of life only a few days ago. I was SO excited about this diet until I started researching it a little bit more. Unfortunately, I have Grave’s Disease (thyroid issues). What suggestions do any of you have for me? Will it be ok for me to add back the eggs, nuts, seeds and nightshades at the end of the 30 days? How does that work? Please help…

    • Hi Beverly,
      I recommend doing an elimination diet for at least 30 days for any sort of autoimmune issue. You eliminate all the restricted foods for at least 30 days, but 60 is better, then systematically reintroduce them one at a time to gauge reaction. The point is to find out which foods are effecting you or causing autoimmune flares, so you can’t just reintroduce everything at once. Click the tab above that says “autoimmune articles” and you will find all sorts of information about how to do the protocol. Good luck!

  10. Hi,
    I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve put a link to your site on my blog “Hashimoto’s Mum”. I’ve only just started it, but it is going to be our journey looking after a child with Hashi. Our 8yo daughter was just diagnosed last week so I am madly trying to get my head around it all. Love your site!
    Best wishes,
    Cindy

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