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.
Blood sugar control when sick is a valid area of concern for a type 1 diabetic. The diabetic educator at my endocrinologist’s office spent a good bit of our first meeting discussing what to do when I get sick. The balance of activity and food intake is thrown off, so how should a type 1 diabetic handle sick days?
Since I am not taking insulin (my Paleo diet and exercise is enough to keep my blood sugar in range), the way I manage my blood sugar when sick is different. I continue to eat as I am hungry, and I eat the same fresh, AIP-friendly food I did when not sick. My pancreas is controlling my blood sugar levels so I will not go low, even with low food consumption. I have found my daytime blood sugar will stay in range, even when I sit on the couch all day!
The hard part of managing my blood sugar when sick is the morning or fasting blood sugar reading. This week a light has begun to dawn on me. I think the reason my fasting blood sugar has been higher is a combination of three things:
- Not sleeping through the night
- Not waking up on time
- Not getting exercise
In many ways, Week 4 felt like a repeat of Week 3. My family was still sick, and I succumbed to the sickness for about a day and a half. I only got a headache and sore throat for 36 hours which I attribute the short length and severity to my healthy diet. The major change came at the end of Week 4: my kids started sleeping through the night again! I am now seeing some improvement in my fasting blood sugar reading. My hunch as the reason? I started sleeping through the night, waking up at normal time, and getting a work-out in. Time will tell if the readings will continue to improve, but I am encouraged so far!
Let’s dig into the food I ate!
I continued my goal of making breakfast easier from Week 3 into Week 4. Prepping my veggies the night before and cooking two meals at once is the way to go! Breakfast comes together so much easier!
Day 20 – Turkey Apple Hash
Day 21 – Ham, Broccoli, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Fresh Berries
Day 22 – Ham and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Day 23 – Sausage, Zucchini, and Sweet Potato Hash with Apples
Day 24 – Leftover Turkey Apple Hash
Day 25 – Turkey Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash
Leftovers is the name of the game for lunch. I plan to make enough at dinner to eat the same meal again the next day. I try to make it a little bit different by adding fresh vegetables or fruit, but sometimes it is the exact same meal. This is a sanity-saver for me. I need one of my meals each day to be easy, meaning on the table in less than 5 minutes. Leftovers is how I do it!
Day 20 – Leftover Zuppa Toscana, Roasted Veggies, and Fruit
Day 21 – Leftover Korean Chicken Soup (similar), Carrot Sticks, Chicharrones
Day 24 – Chopped Ham Topped with Leftover Vegetables and Broth, Avocado Mayo and Sweet Potato Fries, Apple
Day 25 – Leftover Turkey Sausage Hash, Tuna Salad, Fresh Veggies, and Blueberries
Dinner is where the real bulk of my cooking takes place. I love variety and cooking, so most of my effort goes to this meal.
Week 5 started out with my birthday! I made an AIP-friendly tapioca pudding, pictured below, and it was so pretty, I had to include it in the dinner round-up. Also Day 21 and 22 had the exact same thing for dinner, no need to see the same meal twice!
Day 21 – Italian Wedding Soup and Grapes
Day 22 – Italian Wedding Soup with dollup of Roasted Garlic Parsnip/Cauliflower Mash
Day 24 – Hamburger Topped with Onion and Avocado Mayo, Roasted Beets, Turnips, and Carrots
Day 25 – Leftover Turkey Sausage Hash, Tuna Salad, and Roasted Asparagus
Top Recipes of the Week
- Korean Chicken Soup (similar) – This is my husband’s absolute favorite chicken soup. It is the same one his mom made for him when he was sick as a child. I did alter this recipe to make it AIP/Paleo friendly. The Autoimmune Protocol is grain-free, so I left out the rice completely. I stuffed the chicken cavity with only garlic, dates, and ginger, plus salt and pepper. It is such a simple soup and so delicious! To serve the soup, top with sesame seeds (Paleo only) and chopped green onions. I forgot to buy onions this time, much to my husband’s disappointment.
- Adobo Chicken Burger – A recipe so good, I’ve made it twice in this Autoimmune Protocol journey! The burgers come together quickly, and they are delicious. I do follow the AIP-friendly spice blend, not the store-bought one recommended in the recipe. Top these burgers with the Avocado Mayo and a side of roasted vegetables, and you’ve got one delicious meal!
Yet another week of interrupted sleep and no morning routine, and just to spice it up, throw in a Daylight Savings Time in there! Ha! I didn’t need another thing messing up my sleep!
Life is not always perfect. I roll with the punches just like you do. As noted above, I am encouraged by my sleep routine returning to normal that my morning blood sugar will follow suit. Normal for me, a type 1 diabetic, would be less than 130 when I wake up. Currently, I’m in the 160’s and low 170’s when I wake up.
One odd thing happened this week. On Day 23, I was very high at bed time, 248 ( My goal is less than 150 when I go to bed.). I still haven’t figured out what happened. I took the usual precautions after a high reading. (A mis-read due to dirty hands is usually the culprit.) So I washed my hands, dried them well, then got a new test strip and tried again. The second reading was 251. Hmm. So I guess my blood sugar is really high.
I changed a couple things at dinner that night that I thought might be a problem: a new priobiotic and skin on the sweet potato fries. Due to my son being on antibiotics, I bought childrens priobiotics to help repopulate his gut bacteria after wiping it out. I thought this was a good a time as any for the whole family to take a probiotic, so I purchased some for the rest of us. Day 23 was the first day I took the priobiotic with dinner.
Skin on white potatoes digests differently than the flesh of the potato. The skin itself can be inflammatory; some potatoes, like Yukon Gold, can be tolerated if the skin is removed. I don’t know if this is true of sweet potatoes though. Those are the only things I ate differently that night versus other nights.
I don’t have an answer for why this reading was so high. I’ve continued to take the probiotic since Day 23 with no adverse blood sugar effects. I’ve also eaten the leftover sweet potato fries without a dramatic increase is blood glucose. I don’t have an answer. A fluke? Seems unlikely, but I’m moving on. No need to cry over spilt milk!
How I Feel
I continue to have great energy, even when battling sickness myself. I’ve been sick twice in the last few months, and both times the sickness only lasted 36 hours. That’s crazy! It’s a huge testament to the strength of my immune system to fight off infection and my healthy diet.
Shameless Paleo plug: You could be sick less too! Stop eating wheat and processed foods! You will be so much healthier, less sick, and have more energy!
Goals for Week 5
I’ve been posting these updates by weeks as opposed to days. It looks like I’m at the end of the elimination period of the Autoimmune Protocol, but in reality, I’m only at Day 25 (as you can see in the food pictures above). For now, I’m continuing on with the elimination period. I’ve encountered two other individuals who’ve gone through the Autoimmune Protocol, and both were in the elimination period longer than 30 days (one for 3 months, one for 1 year).
I’ve grocery shopped for 2 more weeks of Autoimmune Protocol diet, and I’ll evaluate at the end of the period to see if I will start to reintroduce foods. As far as food goals, I was able to incorporate some salmon and lamb into my diet in the next week. So excited to eat some different meat!
Mark’s Daily Apple is a great source of health information. This article about the Autoimmune Protocol is very interesting. My biggest takeaway is that I’ve been eating dates and chocolate! Doh! Both in small amounts, but I have been breaking the diet in that respect. I’m getting back on the AIP elimination phase completely. I’m hoping that returning to a normal sleep schedule, morning routine with exercise, and removing these two things from my diet will do wonders on my blood sugar. I’ll keep you posted!
A type 1 diabetic can maintain in range blood sugar when sick! Press on! Figure out what is throwing you off and course correct if you can. If you can’t, wait it out. Life will return to normal eventually. Two weeks of sickness and lack of sleep really took it’s toll on my fasting blood sugar. I’m trusting the food I eat and my lifestyle habits will course correct this next week. My plan is eat real food, sleep 8 hours every night, wake-up at the same time every morning, and get back to exercising.
What’s your plan to live a healthy lifestyle? What is important to you? Sleep? Food? Organic food? No processed food? What are you passionate about?