Welcome! I am going through the Elimination Phase of the Autoimmune Protocol. Why? I am a type 1, insulin-free, diabetic managing my diabetes through a Paleo diet and healthy lifestyle. Over the holidays of 2017, my blood sugar levels were higher than desired. On February 19, 2018, I began the 30 Day Autoimmune Protocol to heal my gut and get my blood sugar levels back under control.
Week 5 of the autoimmune protocol raised my spirits as my family’s health improved, and I returned to a normal sleep schedule: going to bed at 10pm and waking at 5:45am, along with regular exercise in the morning. With just two nights of sleeping through the night and waking up on time, my morning blood sugars were below 160. I had one great morning waking up in the 130’s, but for the most part, I’ve been in the 150’s in the morning. My goal for my blood sugar first thing in the morning is less than 130. I’m not there yet, but not waking up in the 160’s and 170’s is progress!
Beside blood sugar, returning to my morning routine has given me peace and energy. I love my quiet mornings by myself before the family wakes up. The darkness of the morning, the warmth of my mug of tea, and reading my Bible are the highlight of my day. Time to work out without my kiddos crawling all over me and showering in peace and quiet are great perks too! That is happiness for me. Waking up early is worth every minute.
I used to think my mom was crazy for getting up at 5:30am. She always said she needed her quiet time to start her day. Funny, I need mine too. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree does it?
If you are struggling with energy, getting it all done, or finding time to be alone, might I recommend a structured going to bed and waking up routine? They go together because you can’t get up early for quality alone time if you were up until 2am. You need sleep. Your mind, body, health, everything about you needs sleep. Try it for two weeks. Go to bed at the same time each night, and wake up at the same time each day. Plan what you will do in the morning time. By the end of two weeks, you will find yourself loving it.
All that to say: routine matters in managing blood sugar levels. I’m so glad that returning to my normal is helping my fasting blood sugar to return to normal.
In past weeks, I’ve managed to make my leftover breakfasts seem a little different when serveD the second time. Not this week! The pictures are so similar even though each picture is taken on the day I ate it. I don’t mind though. The ease of only cooking breakfast every other day is worth it!
Day 27 – Leftover Roasted Butternut Squash Hash with Mushrooms and Sausage
Day 28 – Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Sausage Links, and Half an Avocado
Day 29 – Leftover Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Sausage Links, and Half an Avocado
Day 30 – Autumn Breakfast Skillet
Day 31 – Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Bacon
Leftovers, leftovers, leftovers! I love leftovers because they make a quick, nutritious lunch! The only meal made fresh was Day 28, as that fell on a Sunday and Dan helped me cook a super yummy lunch. Learn to use your leftovers to improve your lunchtime nutrition and ease your cooking responsibilities.
Day 26 – Leftover Turkey Hash, Dairy-free Tuna Salad (I used the sauce from this recipe), Roasted Asparagus, Apples
Day 27 – Leftover Salmon Chowder and Roasted Broccoli
Day 28 – Grilled Pork Chops with Cinnamon Apples, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and Parsnips
Day 29 – Leftover Salmon Chowder and Brussel Sprouts with Apples
Day 30 – Chicken Salad, Broiled Chicken Skin, Sliced Cucumbers and Carrots
Day 31 – Leftover Chicken with Italian Wedding Soup Broth and Vegetables on Top
Seafood finally made it to the table with Day 26’s Salmon Chowder. It has taken me years to appreciate fish, and now that I finally do, I realize how budget-breaking it is! Seafood will likely be a feast or famine occurrence at our house. When Dan goes fishing in the summer and fall, we will eat a lot of fish. During the winter and spring, it will rarely grace our table. I think this is a healthy balance though. A paleo diet is based on what our ancestors used to eat, and they did not live in an agrarian culture like we do. They had fish when they caught it, that’s it. So I’m accepting of the fact that we will only eat fish for about half the year, maybe only 1 or 2 months of the year.
Day 26 – Salmon Chowder and Roasted Broccoli
Day 27 – Grilled Pork Chops, Roasted Asparagus, and Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and Parsnips
Day 28 – Leftover Salmon Chowder
Day 29 – Lemon Herb Chicken, Carrot Fries, and Steamed Broccoli
Day 30 – Dinner Out: Naked Burger with Lettuce and Onion and Steamed Broccoli
Day 31 – Rosemary Chicken, Kale Chips, and Roasted Butternut Squash
Top Recipes of the Week
- Kale Chips – How have I been eating a Paleo diet for almost a year and never tried kale chips?? In desperation to just shake things up a bit, I made kale chips for dinner. They were awesome: crispy, salty, melt in your mouth. Yum. The kids loved them too!
- Salmon Chowder – This one was a shocker. I don’t know why, but I thought this recipe might not be a winner (yet I chose to make it anyway?! I don’t understand myself sometimes.). I was trying to incorporate seafood into my diet, so I was willing to ignore my tasting instincts. I’m so glad I did! This soup was bright and lemony, not a bit fishy. It was so good, enjoyed by the whole family.
- Roasted Butternut Squash Hash with Mushrooms and Sausage – If I may toot my own horn, this hash is awesome. I love mushrooms and onions which take this hash up a notch from regular veggies and meat. Try it. You won’t regret it!
As mentioned above, overall my blood sugar levels returned to normal range. As a Type 1 Diabetic, my blood sugar goals are less than 130 first thing in the morning and before meals and less than 150 before bed. Take a look at the chart below. Even though the lines go up and down throughout the day, the yellow line is lower overall from the red (Week 3) and blue (Week 4). Returning to a normal sleep and exercise routine is doing wonders for my blood sugar!
How I Feel
Before I took on a full Paleo diet, I thought I had plenty of energy. Sure, I had a crash in the afternoon, but I thought wanting an afternoon nap or cup of coffee was normal. At least, that’s what all the memes on Facebook would lead me to believe!
A Paleo diet and even this more strict Autoimmune Protocol have given me boundless energy. I never have a crash during the day. From the moment I get out of bed in the morning to when I’m getting ready for bed at 10pm, I have tons of energy.
Being a stay-at-home mom can lend itself to feelings of overwhelm, at least it does for me. It can seem on the outside looking in that a stay-at-home mom has boundless amounts of time. She should be able to get it all done. The truth is juggling all the responsibilities of family and home can leave me chasing my tail, feeling like I’m not getting anything done.
Since starting radical diet changes, my emotional stability has strengthened dramatically. Yes, I have implemented good lifestyle habits:
- Make a prioritized to-do list at the beginning of each day
- Go to bed at the same time every night
- Wake up at the same time every day
- Exercise 5 times a week
- Reading my Bible and spending time in prayer
These habits are partly to thank for my improved emotional stability, but so is the diet. They all work together to create a body that can function well all day (energy, focus, stamina) and all night (uninterrupted, deep sleep).
Goals for The Future
I was hoping to be reporting on completely in range fasting blood sugar levels and laying out my reintroduction schedule for foods I’ve been avoiding while on the Autoimmune Protocol. Sadly, that is not the case. My fasting blood sugar, while better than when my family was sick, is still not in Type 1 Diabetic normal range. For that reason, I am continuing on with the Autoimmune Protocol.
I have been following other people on the Autoimmune Protocol, and it seems to be fairly common to stick with the elimination phase longer than 30 days. Really, the idea is to stay on the elimination phase until all symptoms of the autoimmune disease stop.
It’s at this point that I don’t know the best step forward. Will my symptoms ever stop completely? What if I stayed on the Autoimmune Protocol for a year? Would the beta cells in my pancreas regenerate? Should I try a fasting regime on top of the Autoimmune Protocol? I have a lot of questions without any answers, but I think I’m on the right track.
Routine and healthy daily habits are crucial to maintaining blood sugar for a Type 1 Diabetic. Not only do these have a positive impact on blood glucose, but healthy habits do wonders for emotional stability and sleep patterns. Take your health one step further, if you are already eating healthy foods, now create healthy habits. Go to bed at the same time every night. Wake up at the same time every day. Just start there, add other habits after you master those.
What does your morning routine look like? Do you go to bed at the same time every night? What habits have you implemented that are life-changing for you?