AIP Reintroduction Mace
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AIP Reintroduction Phase | Stage 1: Fruit and Seed Spices and Oils

After the egg yolk debacle that threw off my Type 1 diabetes game for 3 full weeks, I was hesitant to try to reintroduce any more food. While I did really want the freedom of a more varied diet, the thought of a stressful 3 weeks of recovery due to a few small bites was a very nerve wracking thought. After working up the guts to test wine (and succeeding!), I decided to tackle a few fruit and seed spices and seed oils. The objects up for testing today are mace, mustard seed, sesame oil, and green beans.

AIP Reintroduction Sesame Oil

The four stages of reintroductions are in the graphic below. All of the ones I’m discussing today are all in Stage 1. Mace is a fruit-based spice used in bratwurst. Fun fact: mace is the most distinguishing flavor in a brat. It’s not a brat without mace! Mustard seed is, wait for it, a seed spice! Sesame oil is a seed oil, and green beans are a legume with an edible pod.

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phase

Reintroducing a new food to the diet is a structured process, and it basically has three steps:

  1. Take one small bite and monitor for 15 minutes for a severe reaction
  2. Eat one normal sized bite and monitor for 2-3 hours
  3. Eat one serving of the food then monitor symptoms for 3-7 days

I followed all of these steps, except #1 which I forgot sometimes. So reintroducing these four items took some time. I’ll give you the good news up front: all of these were successful! Whew!

For any other Type 1 Diabetics out there wondering how I evaluate a successful reintroduction on the Autoimmune Protocol, below are my stats after eating these foods. If this is too much info for you non-diabetics, you can stop reading now!

Below is a reminder of my blood sugar goals which will help you evaluate if a food is a successful re-addition to your diet or not.

Starting/Fasting Blood Glucose: <130

Two-Three Hour Post Blood Glucose: <150

Fasting Blood Glucose the next morning: <150

Mace & Mustard Seed

These two spices were reintroduced together because they are both in the bratwurst recipe my husband and I made. Testing two spices at the same time is not recommended. If it had failed, I would still need to retest one at a time to figure out which one or both was affecting my gut! Lucky for me, they both passed with flying colors.

Meal: Brats with breakfast

Fasting Blood Glucose: 140

Two-Three Hour Post Blood Glucose: 106

Fasting Blood Glucose the Next Morning: 132

Win, win, win! Meat grinding and sausage stuffing is a newfound hobby of ours, so this victory is so exciting! No need to stop making brats at our house!

**Note: Mustard seed is not the same as prepared, yellow mustard. Mustard seed is only the seed without other ingredients. Traditional yellow mustard has paprika in it which is a nightshade and a Stage 3 reintroduction.**

AIP Reintroduction Mace

Sesame Oil

With Korean blood running through our family, Asian food is near and dear to our hearts. Many Korean dishes we make are just flat without sesame oil. For that reason, I chose sesame oil as the next challenge.

Meal: Cauliflower rice drizzled with sesame oil at dinner

Starting Blood Glucose: 88

Two-Three Hour Post Blood Glucose: 134

Fasting Blood Glucose the Next Morning: 149

A fasting blood sugar of high 140’s is still a success in my book. My blood sugar had been in the 140’s all this week, so 149 was right in line with where I was that week. Another win that will make my food even more delicious!

Green Beans

The final reintroduction today is green beans. Prior to the Autoimmune Protocol, I would buy huge bags of frozen, organic green beans from Costco. For me, it’s an easy, quick second vegetable to add to our dinner, and bonus, cooks on the stovetop versus the oven. Many meals look like this for us: meat and starchy vegetable roasts in the oven and green beans in a sauce pan on the stove. I have a much greater chance of finishing all the dishes at the same time when items are spread out between oven and stove.

Meal: Green beans were drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and served as a side dish to baked chicken chimichurri and acorn squash for dinner. 

Starting Blood Glucose: 103

Two-Three Hour Post Blood Glucose: 110

Fasting Blood Glucose the Next Morning: 143

What a relief to have some successes under my belt! Mace, mustard seed, sesame oil, and even green beans are not a part of my daily diet, but rather 1-2 times a week at this point. I’ve tried all of these multiple times, and I continue to have good blood sugar readings. So I’m confident that these four are a permanent re-addition to my diet!


What have you been winning at in your life lately? Food? Diet? Exercise? Reading? Feeding your dog??? Any win, do share; encourage us!

AIP Reintroduction Mustard Seed

AIP Reintroduction Wine
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The Autoimmune Protocol | Stage 2 Reintroduction: Wine

I am a Type 1 Diabetic working through the reintroduction phase of the Autoimmune Protocol. I stayed on the strict elimination phase for 43 days before trying my first reintroduction, egg yolks, and that failed miserably. Today, I’m happy to report a successful Stage 2 reintroduction: wine.

AIP Reintroduction Wine

A quick reminder of the reintroduction stages is below. The stages are organized by which foods an autoimmune-impaired body will mostly likely tolerate (stage 1) to least likely (stage 4). It isn’t necessary to follow in a precise order, but the most likely place for a win is in stage 1.

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phase

My first reintroduction of egg yolks elevated my blood sugar for 3 weeks! In my first report, I thought I had recovered after 2 weeks, but really my morning blood sugar didn’t return to sub-150’s until 3 full weeks after the egg yolk challenge.

Feeling pretty defeated after that first reintroduction, I chose my second reintroduction to please myself rather than following the Autoimmune Protocol stages. I am human, folks. Wine in small quantities was my second reintroduction.

Type 1 Diabetic  Reintroduction Criteria: Two-three hours post consumption blood glucose reading of less than 150, and a fasting blood glucose the next morning of less than 150.

Reintroduction Challenge: Red Wine

The first introduction of wine, or any alcohol, should be in small quantities. I measured out 2 ounces of red wine and drank it in in one sitting after dinner. I did not do the one small sip then wait for a reaction after 15 minutes. This step is to watch for severe allergies with an anaphylaxis reaction; I’m banking on wine won’t do that to me. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t!)

The pre-bed blood glucose reading that night, about 3 hours after drinking the wine, was 116, and my fasting blood glucose the next morning was 155. Since the fasting blood glucose is my major measure of success, I was hesitant to call this a win. However, glucose meters have a margin of error of ±20%. So while my blood sugar could have been as high as 186, it also could have been as low as 124 (20% above 155 is 186 and 20% below 155 is 124).

AIP Reintroduction Wine

Given that information, I decided to try again…

Reintroduction Challenge: Blueberry Wine

I tried blueberry wine for my round 2 reintroduction challenge of wine. Again, I drank 2 ounces of blueberry wine in one sitting then tested my blood sugar 3 hours later. My pre-bed reading was 140, and fasting reading the next morning was 147.

So I am interpreting this challenge as a success, but it is borderline. At this point, I am thinking going forward to only having a small amount of wine, 2 ounces, in each sitting and not having it too often, likely once a week at this point. However, there’s one more step…

Monitor Symptoms for 3-7 Days

The final step after the initial blood glucose readings of 3 hours post challenge and fasting blood glucose the following morning, is to monitor blood glucose levels for 3-7 days. During that time period, do not eat/drink more of the challenged item. Wait and look for elevated blood glucose results.

In the 7 days after the wine reintroduction, I had 1 fasting blood glucose over 160, but my kids were sick and up multiple times that night. Besides that one reading of 164, my fasting glucose was between 143 and 156. That’s a win in my book!

Why wine?

You may be thinking my results aren’t super great, maybe I shouldn’t be drinking wine at all! I realize that my blood sugar is borderline the morning after I consume wine. However, there are activities that bond our family, and wine-making is one of them.

My husband used to be very into beer brewing and bread making prior to my Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis. Once we cut gluten from our diet, his desire for both of those foods were gone. However, he loves the process of making food and the experimentation that goes with mastering cooking/brewing/creating. So he took up making wine and hard cider.

While my involvement in the wine-making is minimal, I really don’t help much at all, he and I work together to bottle it. I find the activity fun and a good thing to do while we talk. When he was brewing beer, I used to help him bottle that too. Quality time is one of my love languages, so I love the time spent bottling our alcoholic beverages together. For that reason, I want to make wine work.

As I move forward with other reintroductions, I will be keeping an eye on how wine continues to affect me, but truthfully, I’m biased. I want to make it to work.

My first successful reintroduction after the elimination phase of the Autoimmune Protocol as a Type 1 Diabetic is a Stage 2 reintroduction: wine. Small quantities is all I am consuming right now and not too frequently. After feeling so deflated after the egg yolk fail, a success feels so good!


What hobbies or processes bring you and your significant other together? Have you had to move away from any due to health reasons?

AIP Reintroduction Wine

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The Autoimmune Protocol | Family and Diet Change

The Autoimmune Protocol has become a way of life for me. It looks like I will be on the diet for the foreseeable future, so I’ve embraced it as a fact of life for the management of my Type 1 Diabetes. I’ve mentioned before that the whole family eats according to the Autoimmune Protocol so I thought I’d give you some insight into my family and diet change dynamics: what do they like/dislike, foods they miss, and thoughts on the diet. I was surprised by some of the responses, and I hope this gives you hope that it IS possible to do dramatic things with food/diet and take the whole family with you.

aip and family

First up, let me set the stage with how our boys eat and my(our) expectations as a parent(s). I have two boys, a 4 year-old and a 2 year-old. They are good eaters, but they each have their dislikes, just like any kid. However, we do make them eat what is served. All of it. We are THOSE parents. 🙂 Although we don’t go overboard on serving size if we know it is something they truly don’t like, but it is expected to clean the plate at every meal. If a snack was eaten too close to a meal, then we might let them leave some of the meal for the next snack or meal if they are having trouble finishing it.

I(we) also sprinkle in some grace in the form of ketchup or mustard. Neither are AIP compliant during the elimination phase, but we’ve allowed them to have these condiments for the particularly hard-to-swallow meals. I don’t understand kids in this regard. Put a condiment on any dish and suddenly it is palatable!

With that general guide of how our family eats, let’s see what the kids think!

Jackson – 4 years old

What do you think of mommy’s diet/the food we eat?

Yum

Do you like the food we eat?

Yes

What is your favorite thing that we eat?

Burgers

Do you like vegetables?

Yes

What is your favorite vegetable?

Roasted broccoli (Emily’s note: This is hilarious. Not what I would’ve said his favorite was!)

What is your favorite fruit?

{Sigh} Oh, I like a lot. I like orangeeees, bananas….and kiwi.

What food do you miss?

Pancakes (Emily’s note: Me too, buddy, me too!)

Judah – 2 years old

What do you think of mommy’s diet/the food we eat?

Gross (Emily’s note: This is his new favorite word. I don’t think this is actually how he feels.)

Do you like the food we eat?

Yes

What is your favorite thing that we eat?

Burgers (pronounced “boogers”) and gummies (His multivitamin)

Do you like vegetables?

Yes

What is your favorite vegetable?

Acorn Squash

What is your favorite fruit?

Strawberries

What food do you miss?

Bread. Mommy, we haven’t eaten bread in a loooooong time. (Emily’s Note: Nope, we haven’t. Sorry, bud! This response surprised me. I figured his 2 year old brain had long forgotten bread. We haven’t had bread regularly in about a year.)

Dan – 34 years old

Now for some deeper questions for my husband, Dan (who made me put his age, for cohesiveness), who is hopefully a little more descriptive!

What is your general feeling about our new diet?

I don’t mind it, and I could even see myself adopting it full-time if it were a little less strict, more like Paleo.

Does the diet feel like a hardship to you since it isn’t specifically for your health?

Negative, ghost rider, that pattern is full. 

What do you enjoy the most about the Autoimmune Protocol?

The variety of vegetables we are eating. It’s more varied and the quantity is more than we’ve ever eaten which has to mean good things for our health.

What is the worst thing we’ve eaten?

That breakfast “oatmeal” made from spaghetti squash was terrible.

Emily’s note: This makes me laugh! The spaghetti squash was mixed with coconut milk, cinnamon, and cinnamon roasted pears. I thought it was great, but the rest of the family did NOT agree.

What do you miss the most while eating according to the Autoimmune Protocol?

I’d like to say dairy, but that’s not really true because I feel like garbage when I do eat it. My next thought is sweets because I used to have a huge sweet tooth. However, I don’t really crave sweets anymore. It’s not beer; I have plenty of other alcoholic options.

After thinking through those, I’d have to say I miss the process of homemade pizza and bread making the most. We had really nailed the homemade, whole grain pizza crust recipe, hadn’t we? I spent so much time refining the process of making fresh milled, whole grain, sourdough bread. That’s the only aspect I do miss, the process and experimentation, more than the food itself.

What is your experience with following the Autoimmune Protocol when eating outside our home?

It hasn’t been difficult for me to follow the diet. Finding alternatives on the menu or leaving things out of a dish haven’t been terribly hard. The hard part is getting over not being able to eat what I want when I go out. 

This diet would’ve been much harder if we had tried it cold-turkey early on in our marriage. We were poor then and only concerned with eating cheap food which wasn’t very healthy and only partially homemade. We’ve been heading toward this diet in baby steps for 10 years now. The last 9 months have been strictly Paleo so the jump to Autoimmune Protocol was not a huge leap.

Have you experienced good results from the diet, as a normal, healthy, non-Autoimmune person?

Yes, I no longer experience a mid-afternoon crash. I sleep much better, sounder, at night, and I have successfully warded off die-uh-beet-us. 🙂

Closing Thoughts

While my kids do miss some foods, bread and pancakes, overall they enjoy the food we eat. They are very used to seeing most of their plates filled with vegetables now, but I want to be sure to emphasize that they were eased into it. It all began last summer adding vegetables to every meal. Once they were used to that, I put two vegetables on their plate every meal. So the change was gradual.

If you are trying to make a quick and sudden switch to the Autoimmune Protocol (or any diet!) from the standard American diet, I would expect it to be difficult for anyone, especially kids. Assuming your health needs are not urgent, start taking baby-steps today toward a healthier diet today!

My husband is the best. He is and has always been 100% supportive of any diet or health change I’ve wanted to make. In the area of health, he is usually the one leading the way with me following, dragging my feet (not an exaggeration, kicking and muttering-under-my-breath might be closer to the truth). So when I wanted to dive into this gluten-free thing a year ago, he was all in. He happily eats every meal I make – including spaghetti squash “oatmeal!” You see? He’s the best.

So just in case I haven’t been clear, I’m all in for the entire family eating the same food. The Autoimmune Protocol is strict, but it is healthy and good for all members of the family. If one member of the family has diet restrictions, then I think everyone should accept those restrictions as encouragement. Be sure to add in some grace where your family needs it though (hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, anyone?). The dining table is a great place to learn to eat odd/new/delicious/terrible foods and practice grace, love, and support of fellow family members.


Thoughts? Have you tried a drastic diet change? Did you include the rest of the family? How did it go, if you did?

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Autoimmune Protocol | Egg Yolk Reintroduction

I am a Type 1 diabetic, managing my blood glucose levels through the Autoimmune Protocol and healthy lifestyle habits. I began my second round of the Autoimmune Protocol on February 19, 2018 to bring my blood sugar back into range after being exposed to dairy over the holidays of 2017. With 43 days of the elimination phase under my belt and an A1c of 5.8, I am ready to start my first reintroduction: egg yolk!


I’ve read many sources on the reintroduction phase, and there seems to be universal agreement that egg yolks should be accepted by just about any gut, even an autoimmune impaired one. Egg yolks are the most universally accepted item in the Stage 1 reintroductions. For reference, here are the reintroduction stages and foods to try in each stage:

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phaseOn day 43, April 2, 2018, I made 2 egg yolks to go with my breakfast that morning. I really had no idea how to cook them, so I scrambled them. Do you know how much 2 scrambled egg yolks is? About a tablespoon. Ha! It was pathetic looking on my plate! Good thing I was not relying on the egg yolks to fill me up!

Family was in town that day so I had a normal busy morning playing and wrangling kids then we all headed out to eat for lunch before everyone headed home from the Easter weekend.

I thankfully remembered my glucometer and tested before lunch: 146.

Cue deflation and depression.

For reference, a normal non-diabetic’s blood glucose is around 100, and my normal for pre-lunch from the 2 weeks prior to this introduction was 105.

146 is high for me.

Rats.

For dinner that day, my blood glucose was 147 and at bedtime 146. What? So high! I’m seriously kicking myself now. Two little egg yolks just messed everything up.

The next morning confirmed it. I woke up at 163.

For the next 14 days, I was out of range for my blood glucose goals. Fourteen days! I’ve had mornings as high as 197 and pre-bed as high as 207. I’ve had nights where I was high and had no explanation, nothing to eat since dinner and dinner was not high in carbohydrates. And yet, my blood sugar was high come bedtime. There was even a day I test in the 170’s all day. All. Day.

My interpretation of this is my gut is re-inflamed.

I looked back in my food journal to when I had the duck egg at the beginning of Week 3 of the elimination period. Would you like to take a guess as to how long it took me to see normal results again? Fourteen days. At the time, I blamed our sickness and my sleep schedule being all messed up, but I’m thinking the more likely culprit was the egg.

The last two weeks have been very taxing on me emotionally. While I have felt just fine physically, each high reading gets me really down. Even knowing I would probably see improvement in two weeks did not really help to lift my spirits.

Let’s walk through my methods for this reintroduction, what I did well, what I did wrong, and where I plan to go from here. Learn from my mistakes so you don’t mess up your gut during reintroductions!

egg yolk reintroduction

What I did Well

Reintroduce only the egg yolk at first, avoid the egg white. The egg white can permeate the gut wall causing the autoimmune response to worsen. Surprisingly, I actually did this part correctly! I had two egg yolks scrambled for my reintroduction. 

Unfortunately, this is the only part I did right!

What I did Wrong

Steps to Reintroduction

  1. Take a small bite then monitor for a reaction for 10-15 minutes
  2. Take a normal-sized bite then monitor for a reaction for 2-3 hours
  3. Eat a normal serving then monitor the results for 3-7 days

I didn’t do any of that! I just cooked two egg yolks and gulped them down. The only monitoring I did was checking my blood sugar 4 hours later at lunch, and as you know, that was high.

Blood sugar doesn’t react as rapidly as an allergic reaction, but I wonder what my blood sugar would have done if I’d followed the steps above? At the very least, I may have discovered the elevated levels before I ate 2 egg yolks. Maybe I could have lessened the damage to my gut.

Pasture-Raise, Soy-Free, Wheat-Free Eggs

I had read that quality of the egg mattered, but I didn’t really believe it. The eggs I ate were the cage-free, organic ones from Costco. Obviously, that wasn’t high enough quality! They are not pasture-raised, likely not soy-free, and I have no idea about wheat-free.

Where to Go from Here?

As you might be able to tell from this post, I’m not exactly posting in real time. I’m giving myself a couple weeks to analyze results and share with you. Currently, I am on Day 58 of the Autoimmune Protocol, and I can absolutely see why people are on this diet for a year or more before they feel healed and know what they can eat. Reintroducing foods is hard!

I’m going to give myself another week or so to stabilize my blood sugar. Once I am confident that I’ve returned to my normal, then I’ll reintroduce the next food.

Eggs are not on my list for next reintroduction. 🙂 It’s hard on me emotionally to fail. I hate seeing high reading after high reading for 2 weeks following an introduction. So I’m going to seek out a win before I go back to eggs (Also I need to find a source for pasture-raised, soy & wheat-free eggs!).

Next, I am thinking of trying sesame oil. I like to cook Korean food, and when I leave out the sesame oil, the flavor is really lacking! Sesame oil would be a big win for me in the cooking-tasty-meals department.

Finally, I plan to actually follow the steps for reintroducing foods and document this process better. Here is my plan for reintroducing foods on the Autoimmune Protocol, as a Type 1 Diabetic:

  1. Test blood sugar for a baseline.
  2. Take 1 small bite of the new food. Wait 15 minutes then test blood sugar again. If the result is reasonably close to the baseline (which I think it will be, not sure how quickly blood sugar can react.), go on to step 2.
  3. Take 1 normal bite of the new food. Wait 2 hours then test blood sugar again. If the result is higher than 150, consider the food a fail. If less than 150, go on to step 4.
  4. Eat a normal serving of the food. Continue on normal blood sugar testing routine (fasting, pre-lunch, pre-dinner, and pre-bed) and monitor the results.

Egg yolks were a failed reintroduction on the Autoimmune Protocol. Ingesting two scrambled egg yolks resulted in higher than normal blood sugar levels for 14 days. Since I did not follow the reintroduction steps exactly, I will try to reintroduce egg yolks again, but I will be waiting a few weeks or months to let my blood sugar stabilize and gut heal.


How do you handle let-downs in your life? Don’t give up! Keep pressing on, the results might not be visible right away!

AIP Reintroduction Egg Yolk

Autoimmune Protocol Food Journal
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Autoimmune Protocol | Reintroduction Phase

If you’re new here, my journey through the Autoimmune Protocol began on February 19, 2018. The elimination period of the Autoimmune Protocol lasts 30 days or until symptoms subside. My autoimmune disease is Type 1 Diabetes. I have never heard of a diabetic using the Autoimmune Protocol to manage Type 1 Diabetes. Since I’m forging my own trial (as far as I know!), I am documenting my results and journey here to help other Type 1 Diabetics who might be looking for alternative blood sugar management solutions. (Check out the first 5 weeks here (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5).) Today I will outline my plan for the Reintroduction Phase, and my 3 keys for a success!


The elimination period was not smooth sailing for me as weeks 3 and 4 were filled with sickness and a diet-busting meal at the beginning of week 3. Due to my sleep and routine being so thrown off, in addition to the sickness, I really couldn’t flesh out what was causing my higher blood sugar those weeks. At the time, I blamed my routine and sleep being thrown off, but now I am thinking the dinner out was as much the culprit. It could have been any one of those factor or all of them combined.

Thankfully, my blood sugar returned to normal range in weeks 5 and 6. Since I was past the 30 day mark, and I thought my blood sugar was leveled out. I decided to start the reintroduction phase.

Reintroduction Phase

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phase

Once the symptoms of the autoimmune disease have stopped, you can reintroduce some of the foods that were eliminated during the elimination phase. There is a best way to do this, and I wish I’d known this back when I first did an elimination diet in October 2017. Foods need to be introduced one at a time and symptoms monitored for 3 days to a week after eating before introducing another food. In my first attempt, I introduced the foods I missed the most first and only waited 2-3 days between introductions. I definitely rushed things.

Choosing which food to introduce first matters too. In the graphic above, the Reintroduction Phase is broken up into four stages. The food in stage 1 is the most likely to be accepted by an autoimmune impaired body, and stage 4 is the least likely to be accepted. Within each stage, it does not matter which food you try first, just pick one and keep the results as clean as possible.

How to Reintroduce a Food

I gathered most of my information on reintroducing foods from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne’s book The Paleo Approach. I highly recommend that book if you are looking for answers to an autoimmune disease!

After selecting a food to reintroduce, eat only a small bite at first and wait 15 minutes for a severe reaction. At this point, you are checking for severe allergic reactions. If you’ve gone gluten-free before, you know your body can change its mind as to what foods it likes or doesn’t like!

If the first bite goes fine, then have a normal-sized bite then monitor symptoms for 2-3 hours. Again, this step is looking for severe adverse reactions. As long as those two bites go well, have a full serving of the food then monitor symptoms for 3 days to a week.

Keys to Success

Reintroducing foods and monitoring symptoms can add up to a lot of data/details, so carefully documentation and maintenance of diet and lifestyle are key. Here are 3 key tips to successfully reintroducing foods as a Type 1 Diabetic on the Autoimmune Protocol.

Food Journal

Autoimmune Protocol Food Journal

First of all, a food journal is essential. You will be documenting SO many things. It is impossible to keep each day straight let alone look for patterns over days, weeks, or months.
A food journal does not have to be anything fancy. Mine is a $.25 spiral bound notebook that goes on sale just before school starts each year. Dedicate an entire notebook to the journal; it will get filled up quicker than you think! Don’t rely on scrap pieces of paper, use full size paper so you have plenty of room to write everything out!

The food journal is the main reason I’ve been able to stick with the diet for so long and to figure out which foods are not agreeing with me. I tend to over-exaggerate my blood sugar levels over days/weeks. If things are not going well, I tend to negatively think I’ve been off for a week or more, when in reality it has only been a few days. It has been so important to have a written record so I can go back and see a clear picture of what really happened.
Make note of anything of consequence along with the major measures for your autoimmune disease. You won’t regret more detail when you go back to review the results. I have Type 1 Diabetes, so I monitor the following things:

  1. Fasting Blood Glucose
  2. Sleep notes
  3. Supplements taken
  4. Breakfast Food
  5. Snack
  6. Pre-Lunch Blood Glucose
  7. Lunch Food
  8. Snack
  9. Pre-Dinner Blood Glucose
  10. Dinner Food
  11. Supplements
  12. Snack
  13. Pre-Bed Blood Glucose

Jotting down these things throughout each day was a game changer! There are SO many moving parts in one’s diet, and many lifestyle routines, habits, and choices make a difference in blood sugar level too. I’m so glad I went through the effort to keep this journal. It is helping me tremendously analyze my results.

Healthy Habits

Healthy habits like consistent sleep (8-9 hours), consistent bed and wake time, and exercise are vital for a healthy body. Keep these routines consistent throughout the reintroduction phase. You want as few variables as possible when trying new foods, so don’t let your lifestyle habits prevent a clear reading on how the food is affecting you.

As a Type 1 Diabetic, these are the healthy lifestyle habits I stick to every day:

  1. Wake up at 5:45am every day – even on the weekends!
  2. Time in God’s Word and prayer – beyond communicating with my Lord and keeping that relationship growing, I need His peace as I go through each day. This diet stresses me sometimes.
  3. Exercise – I do a Fitness Blender workout Monday through Saturday.
  4. Consistent mealtime – Breakfast at 8am, Lunch at 12:30pm, and Dinner at 5:30
  5. Bed time at 10:00pm every day – even on the weekends!

Blood Glucose Monitoring

Since I am a Type 1 Diabetic, blood glucose or blood sugar is my primary indicator if a food is agreeing with my body or not. I test four times a day: fasting or first thing in the morning, before lunch, before dinner, and before bed. My goals for each of those times are as follows:

  • Fasting – less than 130
  • Pre-lunch – less than 130
  • Pre-dinner – less than 130
  • Bed time – between 100 and 150

For my non-diabetic readers, a non-diabetic’s blood sugar level is around 100.

Measurement of Results

The plan for the near future is to reintroduce one item from phase 1 then watch my blood sugar for 3-7 days and make note of any spikes. My criteria for a successful reintroduction as a Type 1 Diabetic:

  • Fasting Blood Glucose less than 150 – This is the biggest indicator that a food has irritated my gut. If I wake up in the morning with a blood sugar higher than 150, that’s when I know my body is off track. I wish I was consistently under 130, but it doesn’t look like that will happen (dawn phenomenon? Not sure…).
  • Pre-Lunch Blood Glucose less than 120 – My normal pre-lunch blood glucose is usually around 100-120, so if it is above that (even if still less than the accepted 130) I know my body is not tolerating that food well.
  • Body tremors – I have doubts that any food besides gluten will do this, but if I’ve ingested gluten, I get the shakes three days later. It feels like the organs inside my rib cage are shaking. I do not do anything to treat this symptom. Although it feels bad, it goes away in a day, and it has happened enough times that I know it is only a sign of gluten exposure.

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phase

My plan for the Reintroduction Phase of the Autoimmune Protocol is to choose one food at a time, wait 3-7 days between new foods, document my results in my food journal, and keep my health lifestyle going every day. I am hopeful with careful analysis and cooking to be able to reintroduce foods that I’ve been without these past weeks! Egg yolks is first up on my list, I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!


Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phase

diabetes testing supplies
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Insulin-Free Type 1 Diabetes | How I Became Dairy-Free

This is the story of how I can manage my Type 1 Diabetes without insulin. We left off my Gluten-Free, Insulin-Free Type 1 Diabetic journey in the late summer of 2017. I was managing my diabetes completely without artificial insulin through a gluten-free diet that was high in vegetables.  However, in August and September, my fasting blood sugar was getting higher and higher. I was about to discover that other foods can inflame the gut and raise blood sugar. Dairy-free and grain-free were about to be added to my diet description.

Why an Elimination Diet?

In my effort to bring my blood sugar down, I started eating more and more dairy and meat. Zero carbohydrate foods, right? They can’t raise my blood sugar, right? Wrong. They can. I will try to explain what I know…diary is inflammatory. If the gut is inflamed, the villi do not form a tight wall. It becomes very permeable, allowing partially digested food into the blood stream. This can trigger an autoimmune response and raise the blood sugar level.

Jumping back to August/September 2017, I couldn’t figure out how to lower my blood sugar, so I checked out a book from the library that was recommended by a friend, The Autoimmune Solution by Dr. Amy Meyers. This was sort of a last ditch effort. My thought was that my blood sugar levels were getting to the point that I’d need to go on insulin again, but if this book claims it can fix my autoimmune disease, what do I have to lose?

As I jumped into the book, it resonated with me. Yes, this is what I was going through, and I was willing to try anything at this point before going back on insulin. While I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my “use-food-to-heal-my-body” theories,  I had just enough gumption to try it.

Blood Glucose and the Elimination Diet

diabetes testing supplies

The book has a 30 day elimination diet that is nicely laid out with exactly what to eat each meal along with recipes and shopping list. I followed it to a T. I bought every item and made every meal. Everything that wasn’t allowed (coffee, alcohol, sugar, grains, dairy, nuts, nightshades etc.) I stopped eating.

My blood sugar improved dramatically and immediately. As in the first official day of the diet, my fasting blood sugar was 126. (I had stopped coffee a couple days before and basically began eating according to the diet the day prior to officially starting.) That first day’s fasting blood sugar was perfectly in range (less than 130). The next day it was 111, the next 135, 124, 110, 104, 132…my blood sugar was between 100 and 140 every morning.

What in the world? This is the power of eating food that nourishes your body!

I attributed the dramatic blood sugar change primarily to the elimination of dairy. Cottage cheese and brick cheese were my go-to snacks prior to the elimination diet, and I was probably having upwards of 8 servings of dairy every day. Possibly overdosing on dairy. 🙂 Looks like dairy-free is the life for me going forward!

Me and the Elimination Diet

Paleo AIP Food Prep

The Meyers Way threw me into the kitchen like I had never been before. I like to cook and enjoy being in the kitchen, but this diet was a whole new level of cooking:

  • Zero processed or convenience food
  • 100% fresh vegetables, no frozen or canned
  • TONS and tons of vegetables at every meal = lots of chopping!
  • No easy sides or bases to the meal, i.e. corn tortillas, rice, beans, potatoes

I’d love to tell you I thrived and found joy and purpose in making fresh meals that clearly were healing and nourishing my body. However, that would just not be true. I found the extra hours in the kitchen a huge burden and the results of my effort were lacking in the flavor department. The amazing blood glucose results were the only reason I could hold on for two weeks of this diet.

Yes, I’m sad to report, I only stayed on the diet for two weeks! After two weeks, I was happy with my blood glucose numbers, but I was very unhappy with the tastiness of my meals and time in the kitchen. I started the re-introduction of foods after two weeks, and I now know, this was likely too soon. However, I continued to have good, in-range fasting blood sugar results for six weeks post elimination period.

The book did not mention a reintroduction schedule, so I began withe the food I missed the most. First, I introduced eggs, whole eggs. I did not separate the yolk from the white. I just ate the whole thing. These had no effect on my blood sugar so I continued on with nuts, followed by coffee and chocolate. Last, I introduced alcohol. All of those were fine. My morning blood sugar was still in the 100-140 range, and it stayed that way for six weeks after the diet.

After the Elimination Diet

After my short stint in the Meyers Way diet, I began a strict Paleo diet. Now that I wasn’t eating dairy or grains, the name for my diet was/is Paleo. Now that I had a name for the way I was eating, I could find tons of recipes via Pinterest or blogs I already knew about, Against All Grain for one.

Want a funny story? Dan has been wanting to eat Paleo for years. I always poo-pooed it because of the amount of pressure on me in the kitchen. After our first son was born, we were eating Paleo and using Danielle Walker’s cookbook, Against All Grain, as our primary recipe source. When I finally stopped eating Paleo, I sold the cookbook because I hate keeping things I’m not using. Now, in November 2017, I’m back on the Paleo bandwagon for good, for life, and I needed a cookbook. What’s the first one I buy? Danielle Walker’s Meals Made Simple, and I’m planning to buy Against All Grain again soon. Ha. Isn’t life ironic?

Even though the Meyers Way diet only lasted for two weeks, I saw dramatic effects on my blood sugar. I also figured out I have an sensitivity to all grains and dairy. Eliminating these from my diet allowed my gut to heal so it wouldn’t leak foreign objects into my bloodstream. With my bloodstream clean, my beat-up pancreas is able to produce enough insulin to keep my blood sugar within normal range for a Type 1 Diabetic. The taglines for my diet now include gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free; this diet is commonly called Paleo.


Insulin-free, Type 1 Diabetic series:

  1. Gluten-free Type 1 Diabetes
  2. Eat More Vegetables

Dairy-Free Grain-Free Diabetes

AIP Blood Sugar Results
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Autoimmune Protocol | Review for Type 1 Diabetic

For the last six weeks, I’ve been going through the elimination period of the Autoimmune Protocol. This is the strictest time period of the Autoimmune Protocol. Many foods are eliminated to reduce inflammation in the body, allow the gut to heal, and halt the progression of an autoimmune disease. I am a Type 1 Diabetic, and I went on the Autoimmune Protocol to bring my fasting blood sugar back into Type 1 Diabetic normal range (less than 130 when I wake up).

Due to some chocolate candy I ate over the holidays in late 2017, my fasting blood sugar was high, over 160, every morning when I woke up. Even if I didn’t eat carbohydrates after dinner, my fasting blood sugar was high come morning. Once I discovered the source of the problem (dairy in candy), I eliminated it from my diet along with coffee and alcohol which I suspected might be aggravating the problem. I did not see significant improvement, so on February 19, 2018, I began the elimination period of the Autoimmune Protocol to heal my gut and return my fasting blood sugar to normal.


I’m happy to report the Autoimmune Protocol has been successful in bringing blood glucose back into normal range for a Type 1 Diabetic without the use of artificial insulin. It has decreased my A1c and solidified the need for healthy routines to manage Type 1 Diabetes.

Just in case there was any doubt, I am a diagnosed Type 1 diabetic. In April 2017, at the age of 33, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. My stats at diagnosis: A1c 9.6, blood glucose of 512, and GAD65 200+, higher than the test result could show. No question about it, I am a Type 1 Diabetic!

Let’s jump into how the Autoimmune Protocol enabled me to have even more control on my diabetes than I did previously with just a Paleo diet.

A1c Results

An A1c test gives an average blood sugar level from the previous 2-3 months. I had taken an A1c home test before beginning the Autoimmune Protocol. The result was 6.3. This is still good for a Type 1 Diabetic, as the goal is less than 7. The chart below translates the A1c (middle number, 4-14) result to blood sugar level.

A1c Chart

As you can see an A1c of 7 means the average blood sugar level was less than 154mg/dl. This is the goal for all Type 1 Diabetics. My result of 6.3 translates to an average blood sugar level of less than 134mg/dl. While this is technically still in range, my fasting blood sugar was too high, 160+ on the regular.

After eating strictly on the Autoimmune Protocol for 6 weeks, my A1c result was 5.8. This means my average blood sugar for the last 2-3 months was 120mg/dl. According to The Diabetes Council, this is a normal blood sugar level. A1c results of 5.9 and above are considered pre-diabetic.

A1c after AIP

This is the power of the Autoimmune Protocol! My average blood sugar levels are in normal, non-diabetic range!

I am not saying I’m cured; I am still a Type 1 Diabetic. Here is what I believe is going on in my body:

  1. The autoimmune response, i.e. the attack on the beta cells of my pancreas, has stopped. Largely due to eliminating gluten but gut health is further improved through the Autoimmune Protocol.
  2. With my gut wall healed, not leaking foreign substances into the blood stream, low carbohydrate foods, like dairy no longer raise my blood sugar.
  3. Since my pancreas is functioning, around 20% I think, my body is able to handle small doses of carbohydrates and return my blood sugar to normal range after eating.
  4. The Autoimmune Protocol allowed my gut to heal from the recent dairy exposure allowing my fasting blood sugar to come down almost to normal Type 1 Diabetic range and allowed for lower blood sugar results throughout the day with less variability.

Speaking of variability, let’s take a look at my daily blood glucose results.

Blood Glucose Results

As I analyze my blood glucose numbers from the last six weeks, it is difficult to measure how blood glucose improves when it bounces around each day. I am going to focus on averages, max, min, and range of my blood glucose throughout the six weeks of the Autoimmune Protocol.

AIP Blood Sugar Results

 

Let’s discuss each of the measures in the chart above.

Average

I calculated the average of my four blood sugar tests from each day for the week before I started the Autoimmune Protocol (Control Week) and the final week of the Autoimmune Protocol. Blood sugar levels are not a uniform distribution, so a straight average is not a perfect representation of average blood sugar level, but it is the best I have with the tools available to me.

Conclusion: The Autoimmune Protocol lowered my average blood sugar level from 142 to 122. Success!

Maximum

I calculated the maximum reading from the control week and from the final week of the Autoimmune Protocol. Prior to beginning the Autoimmune Protocol, I was having spikes over 200, but once on the protocol, the spikes were much lower, 162.

Conclusion: The Autoimmune Protocol has made lower blood sugar spikes.

Minimum

This is simply the lowest reading of the week. There is very little change from the control week (79) to the final week of AIP (81). I still think this is a win. I’m not looking for blood glucose levels lower than 80. Since my pancreas is still functioning, it will keep me from going very low as it won’t give me too much insulin like an injection could.

Conclusion: The Autoimmune Protocol has stabilized my blood sugar on the low end too. There are no cases of going too low and needing additional glucose.

Range

This is my best result, I think. The range is the difference between the max and the min (Maximum – Minimum = Range). To describe it, the range is showing the swing or variation in my blood sugar. A non-diabetic would have very little variation in blood sugar levels because the pancreas is keeping everything in check, constantly monitoring blood sugar and insulin levels. The blood sugar range of a Type 1 Diabetic could be all over the place if the insulin input does not match the carbohydrate load ingested. I have to be extra careful because I am not taking additional insulin, and I do not know exactly what carbohydrate load my pancreas can handle (my guess is around 20g carbs per meal).

The range of my blood sugar readings has decreased from 149 prior to starting the Autoimmune Protocol to 81 after six weeks of AIP. This means less variability in my blood sugar. This is a major win in my book. Less dramatic swings in blood sugar must mean good things for my internal organs and overall management of diabetes.

Conclusion: The Autoimmune Protocol has made my blood sugar more stable. There is less variability between my highest and lowest readings throughout the day.

 

Routine

Routine is so important. During Weeks 3 and 4, my morning routine, evening routine, and sleep patterns were all thrown off as illness ran through my entire family. I stuck to the AIP diet throughout these weeks yet the results were not the same. Take a look…

AIP Results through Sickness

While the average blood sugar was a little lower than the control week, the range was higher. My blood sugar was not as controlled even though my diet was right on. When healthy routines are not in place, it has a major impact on my blood sugar levels.

Here are the major routines that were thrown off during Weeks 3 and 4 resulting in less blood sugar  control:

  • Going to bed at the same time every night
  • Waking up at the same time every morning
  • Exercise every day
  • Drinking water

Once my family’s health returned, and my routines were back in place, my blood sugar levels returned to Type 1 Diabetic normal. That is the power of good, healthy routines!

Conclusion

The Autoimmune Protocol works! If you’ve been looking for hope to manage or even cure your autoimmune disease, this is it. It is working to manage my Type 1 Diabetes better than conventional medicine can with artificial insulin. The Autoimmune Protocol is addressing the cause of the disease: the foods that trigger an autoimmune response. By removing those foods, your body can heal and return to normal functioning. There is hope for autoimmunity, and there is healing. The Autoimmune Protocol is a good place to start.


If you want more information, check out my beginning post, weekly reviews (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5), or contact me!

AIP for Type 1 Diabetic

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Autoimmune Protocol Week 5 | Return to Routine

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. 

Check out how Week 1Week 2Week 3, and Week 4 went here! See my daily progress by following me on Instagram!


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.

Food

Breakfast

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!

Autoimmune Protocol Breakfast Week 5

Day 26 – Roasted Butternut Squash Hash with Mushrooms and Sausage

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

Lunch

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.

Autoimmune Protocol Lunch Week 5

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

Dinner

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.

Autoimmune Protocol Dinner Week 5

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
  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Blood Sugar

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!

Autoimmune Protocol 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?

Click to check out the Week 1Week 2Week 3, and Week 4 reviews. Follow me on Instagram to see how my progress goes each day!

Autoimmune Protocol Week 5

 

Aside

Autoimmune Protocol Week 4 | Blood Sugar When Sick

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. 

Check out how Week 1Week 2, and Week 3 went here! See my daily progress by following me on Instagram!


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:

  1. Not sleeping through the night
  2. Not waking up on time
  3. 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!

Food

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!

Breakfast

Autoimmune Protocol Week 4 Breakfast

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

Lunch

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!

Autoimmune Protocol Week 4 Lunch

Day 20 – Leftover Zuppa Toscana, Roasted Veggies, and Fruit

Day 21 – Leftover Korean Chicken Soup (similar), Carrot Sticks, Chicharrones

Day 22 – Roasted Garlic Parsnip/Cauliflower Mash with Vegetable Beef Soup, Apples and Grapes

Day 23 – Leftover Italian Wedding Soup with Roasted Garlic Parsnip/Cauliflower Mash, Chicharrones, and Frozen Fruit

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

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!

Autoimmune Protocol Dinners

 

Day 20 – Grilled Elk Steak, Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Garlic Parsnip/Cauliflower Mash & Maple Cinnamon Tapioca Pudding

Day 21 – Italian Wedding Soup and Grapes

Day 22 – Italian Wedding Soup with dollup of Roasted Garlic Parsnip/Cauliflower Mash

Day 23 – Adobo Chicken Burger topped with Avocado Mayo and Sweet Potato Fries

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
  1.  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.
  2. 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!

Blood Sugar

AIP Blood Sugar Chart

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?


Click to check out the Week 1Week 2, and Week 3 reviews. Follow me on Instagram to see how my progress goes each day!

Autoimmune Protocol Review

Aside

Autoimmune Protocol Week 3 | Success through Sickness

Welcome! Here’s a little background information to catch you up: 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 due to dairy in the candy I was eating. Eliminating the candy from my diet (and coffee and alcohol, the other two suspects) didn’t yield improved enough blood sugar levels so on February 19, 2018, I began the 30 Day Autoimmune Protocol (more information on AIP) to heal my gut and get my blood sugar levels back under control.

Check out how Week 1 and Week 2 went here! See my daily progress by following me on Instagram!


Week 3 threw me some curveballs: diet-breaking eating out, family illness, a broken appliance, and raging hormones. I had no trouble cooking and eating my Autoimmune Protocol-friendly meals (even while sick!), but my blood sugar levels were not quite where I’d like them to be. At the end of the week, even with higher than desired blood sugar, I was still in the healthy range for a Type 1 Diabetic. You too can conquer your autoimmune disease through this diet, while battling sickness.

Let me explain a bit to set the stage for my week:

1. Dining out at the end of Week 2

At the end of Week 2, I went out to eat at a restaurant that is very careful with food sensitivities and allergies. I’ve had no issues eating there before, but I also was not on the Autoimmune Protocol when I went there last. I broke the diet in, at least, two ways: a duck egg and dessert. The duck egg is obvious, eggs are out during the elimination phase. The dessert is more unclear because I don’t know exactly what was in it. It was a flourless Meyer lemon cake topped with powdered sugar and a scoop of grapefruit sorbet on the the side. The waiter assured me it was gluten-free and dairy-free. I believe it was, but I’ll bet it was not AIP compliant. It had lots of sugar and likely nut flour of some kind. The powdered sugar on top could have had corn starch or something similar in it too. So all that to say, I don’t know exactly what was in it. It could have been the source of my higher blood sugar levels in the following days.

2. Sickness

The flu hit my family hard this week. Some days I was very busy cleaning and caring for my family, and other days were very sedentary as I sat on the couch for most of the day holding sick, miserable babies. My night’s sleep was always interrupted as well. By the end of the week, I succumbed to the plague too.

3. Broken washing machine

I know this might sound trivial, but the fact that I couldn’t wash sheets or clothes while my family was sick was very hard. One day I just had to do some laundry. Thankfully, a friend let me pop over to their house throughout the day to run laundry. Six trips and four loads later, we were set to make it until the part arrived for our washer.

The good news is the new part is now installed, and the washer is up and running again! Yay!

4. Hormones

The last issue may by TMI, but I think it is important to point out. Men, feel free to skip to the Food section if you don’t want to hear about “womanly” issues! I have to take a journey back a few years to fully explain this, so bear with me.

The menstrual cycle is regulated by hormones, and when all the hormones are in balance, regular menstrual cycles ensue through childbearing years. My menstrual cycle has never been regular, ever, and I struggled with infertility when trying to start our family. After many blood tests and ultrasounds, the fertility doctor told me it wasn’t that my body wasn’t working properly, as in the organs were functional, but my hormone levels were all out of whack. When the hormones are not in the right ratio to each other, functions, like menstruation, don’t start when they should.

To solve the infertility problem, I took some hormone regulating pills and voila, got pregnant.

Fast forward to summer 2017, when I am vigorously working on my diet to regulate my blood sugar and manage my type 1 diabetes. Guess what I did in the process? I regulated the hormones in my body, including the ones that control menstruation. Wheat can disrupt your hormones, did you know that??

After a few months on a gluten-free diet, I began have a regular, predictable menstrual cycle for the first time in my life. In my life. No joke. I have never been able to track my menstrual cycles, and now I can. Food is huge folks. I’m not kidding.

That was a lot of back story all to say, I think my average blood glucose level rises right before my menstrual cycle begins. Research goes both ways (blood sugar raises or lowers as a result of menstruation), basically it depends on the individual. For me, I think it raises a couple days before my cycle begins.

Ok, done with the “womanly” issues, on to the rest of the results of Week 3 of the Autoimmune Protocol Elimination Diet!

Food

My one change for this week of the Autoimmune Protocol: make breakfast easier. Included in my meal plan for the week was cooking breakfast only every other day. To accomplish this, I prepped the vegetables the night before, and I doubled every recipe so I cooked enough food for two meals. The prepping the vegetables took some discipline. “Cooking” once my kids are down for bed is not my favorite, but the result of putting breakfast on the table faster (and for 2 days!) was worth it.

Breakfast

Autoimmune Protocol Week 3 Breakfast

Day 14 – Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Avocado, and Sausage Links

Day 15 – Leftover Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro Avocado Mayo, Leftover Sauteed Zucchini and Summer Squash, and Sausage Links

Day 16 – Butternut Squash and Sausage Hash (without eggs)

Day 17 – Leftover Butternut Squash and Sausage Hash (without eggs) and Leftover Sauteed Zucchini and Summer Squash

Day 18 – Turkey Apple Breakfast Hash

Day 19 – Leftover Turkey Apple Breakfast Hash

Lunch

Autoimmune Protocol Week 3 Lunch

Day 14 – Leftover Ranch Cauliflower Mash topped with Sliced Elk Steak and Fresh Blackberries and Strawberries

Day 15 – Leftover Nightshade-Free Vegetable Beef Soup and Pears

Day 16 – Leftover Faux Broccoli Cheese Soup, Fresh Veggies and Cilantro Avocado Mayo (with Tuna stirred in to increase protein intake)

Day 17 – Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps, Avocado, Pears, and Broiled Chicken Skin

Day 18 – Leftover Zuppa Toscana

Day 19 – Leftover Zuppa Toscana, Leftover Roasted Carrots and Brussel Sprouts, Frozen Fruit

Dinner

Autoimmune Protocol Week 3 Dinners

Day 14 – Chicken PoppersCilantro Avocado Mayo, Sauteed Zucchini and Summer Squash, Fresh Strawberries

Day 15 – Leftover Chicken Poppers, Faux Broccoli Cheese Soup, and Cilantro Avocado Mayo

Day 16 – Baked Lemon Herb Chicken Thighs (leave out cumin and cayenne pepper for AIP compliance); Roasted Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, and Brussel Sprouts; and Pears

Day 17 – Zuppa Toscana and Roasted Broccoli

Day 18 – Korean Chicken Soup

Day 19 – Leftover Korean Chicken Soup and Apples

Top Recipes of the Week
  1.  Cilantro Avocado Mayo – This dip was so good. I put more horseradish in than the recipe called for. I love the zing of horseradish! We dipped all sorts of things in it this week: roasted sweet potatoes, raw carrots and cucumbers, and Chicken Poppers.
  2. Chicken Poppers – While called “poppers,” these chicken bites resemble chicken nuggets more. They were a hit with the whole family: super flavorful, juicy, (When eaten fresh, they were a tad dry reheated.) and fun to eat. I was hesitant to put raw bacon in my blender, and it did get wrapped around the blade a bit, but it all worked out. I worked in small batches, and it wasn’t too difficult to get everything blended in the end.
  3. Zuppa Toscana – Wow! This soup was so flavorful! It uses zucchini instead of potatoes, but it was still flat out delicious. I did up the zucchini amount by about half, and I think I might add another vegetable next time. This soup is heavy on the broth, and I like my soups to be a little more chunky and hearty. It was very good, and it will become a regular on our table, I’m sure.

Blood Sugar

This week was rough. I was dealing with hormones fluctuating, sick family, lack of sleep, and general life pressures. I am not complaining just explaining. No one can have a perfect, stress-free life, and I want to paint a real picture of my life during the Autoimmune Protocol so you can have confidence to succeed as well.

My blood sugar was less stable this week, and I’m afraid there are too many variables for me to flesh out exactly what was the cause of my higher evening and morning blood sugar. My average blood sugar (straight average, no weighting) was 130. For reference, the straight average for Week 1 was 123 and Week 2 was 124. So while my blood glucose levels are still plenty low enough for a type 1 diabetic, this week was higher than my first two weeks on the Autoimmune Protocol. I am going to chalk this week up as an anomaly. Next week is bound to be better!

Autoimmune Protocol Blood Sugar Chart

How I Feel

I spoke about my boundless energy in the summary of Week 2. If I didn’t have so much energy, I don’t know how I would have gotten through this week with (1) sick husband, (2) sick kids, (3) broken washer, (4) doing laundry at a friend’s house 2 miles away, and (5) still providing Autoimmune Protocol compliant meals, three times a day for me and my family. I had energy to do all of that and not collapse part way through the day or even at the end of the day.

This is what real food can do for you! It will nourish your body and provide you with all the energy you need to complete your work for the day, whatever that might be.

Goals for Week 4

I am hoping and striving to return to in-range morning blood sugar levels in this next week. Week 2 was so promising, but life hit me hard in Week 3. I press on with a positive outlook. I’m confident the Autoimmune Protocol will work!

With the setbacks at the end of Week 2 (Diet broken eating out) and Week 3 (sickness, hormones, lack of sleep, broken washer), I am beginning to wonder if I’ll need to extend the elimination phase longer than 30 days. My gut may need more time to heal. It’s just a thought right now. We’ll see how the remainder of the elimination phases goes.

When life hits you hard, it does not need to derail your health progress. The Autoimmune Protocol is completely doable while dealing with real life pressures and sickness. Healthy meals, in-range blood sugar, and feeling good (relative to the sickness of course!) are all still possible. For me, Week 3 was still on track overall, even with all of these less than advantageous factors.

 

What setbacks are you struggling with right now? Are you able to shake them off and press-on? What is your strategy for letting life’s stresses roll off your back?


Click to check out the Week 1 and Week 2 reviews. Follow me on Instagram to see how my progress goes each day!

Autoimmune Protocol Week 3 Review