I previously eluded to the fact that I was starting an Autoimmune / Leaky Gut Protocol on Monday of last week and that I would a some point fill you all in on more details. So here we are. As a reminder, I was diagnosed last summer via kidney biopsy, with an autoimmune form of kidney disease, called IgA Nephropathy. It hasn’t progressed too far, my kidneys are still functioning at very high levels and I have been lucky enough to have had little to no symptoms. After the diagnosis I was placed on several pharmaceuticals to protect my kidneys long term, from this progressive disease which can, if left untreated, in some patients lead to kidney failure later in life. As soon as I started taking the drugs, I found myself feeling terrible. I was tired and lethargic, I had rashes and developed acne, I found myself with terrible stomach aches and pains, I was chronically bloated and gassy, etc. In speaking with my Naturopathic doctor at the start of this year, we have discovered I am dealing with leaky gut and we have decided it best to first heal my gut and get this under control so we can properly investigate my kidney disease further. I have since been taken off all prescription drugs and I am on a regime of supplements and herbs with my doctor to protect my kidneys, aid in the healing of my gut and more.
I will work hard to keep this as short as I can, I don’t want for this to become a how-to or a resource on the Autoimmune Protocol Diet, many of those already exist online and in books and I honestly have no problem admitting that I am still a total newbie when it comes to all of this. Truthfully, I am slowly navigating my own way through this new journey, so I am far from an expert.
My plan is to follow this Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) for a minimum of 30 days. I am very grateful to have somewhat minimal symptoms on the larger scale of leaky gut and autoimmune conditions, though they are there enough for me to want to get things under control and get back to feeling like myself. The plan is to give myself these 30 days to allow my body and my gut the time it needs to heal. I am really crossing my fingers that this will be enough time. After 30 days I will slowly begin to reintroduce foods and decipher my body’s response to each and go from there on deciding if I need to pursue this protocol further or not.
It should be said, this protocol isn’t necessarily a full list of ingredients to be avoided forever just because you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder or leaky gut. This is simply a plan to follow for a minimum of 30 days to give your body the opportunity to heal and the time to remain on the plan, from there differs for each individual.
For me, after just the first 7 days I have already noticed marked improvement. Less bloating and gas. I am still dealing with some discomfort with certain foods, usually my tummy seems to be most agitated when I eat too many fibrous veggies. That huge bowl of cauliflower with a sh*t ton of kale on top, maybe not the best idea. Woowee! I am also noticing some response to the changed diet. I am not sure if I can call them detox symptoms or “die off”, but I have certainly noticed some other new symptoms. But I am happy to report that I am already be getting some relief, so I am on the right track.
Here is a super quick overview on the details of the autoimmune / leaky gut protocol I am following for at least 30 days:
Seeds (including cocoa, coffee and seed based spices)
Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers)
non-nutritive sweeteners, including stevia
any other known reactive foods
Seafood / Shellfish
Vegetables (except nightshades)
Fresh and Dried Herbs
Dairy-free Fermented Foods
*I am personally still avoiding meat, as I am being treated for IgA Nephropathy, an autoimmune form of kidney disease and there is significant research to show animal protein can be taxing on the kidneys. My naturopath suggested I avoid it for the time being. Besides bone broth, the only non-plant based foods I am consuming are wild caught seafood and shellfish.
Resources I found Most Helpful for More Detailed Information:
The Autoimmune Protocol a super comprehensive post from The Paleo Mom
Autoimmune Protocol Print Out Guides from Autoimmune Paleo (please lurk around their entire site, such an incredible resource)
Autoimmune Diet from the Wellness Mama
In additional to this dietary protocol, I am also on a customized supplement and herbal plan with my naturopath to both support and heal my leaky guy and also to protect my kidneys. I have also decided while I embark on these 30 days to give myself plenty of time to rest. I am really trying to give my body the space is needs to heal. I love creating and experimenting in the kitchen, coming up with fun recipes to share here with you on the site. At times, this can make meal time a tad stressful. It means writing and tracking while I cook, shooting process photos and cooking food when the light is *just right*. It can at times mean cold food and rushing around. I really want meal time right now to be about honoring my body and eating quietly and in peace – not worrying about writing down ingredients, planning photo shoots, etc. I have been tracking some of my favorite meals however, so I can share this process with you all as best I can. I really appreciate all of you understanding, your support, all of your sweet comments here and on social media.
Saturday night in the middle of the night I woke up after a dream. I was literally dreaming about this recipe. Yes, I sometimes dream about actual food. This may or may not be a tiny huge problem. Either way, I woke up the next morning and got right to work. I whipped together this recipe and it was even better than I had dreamed it would be. It made the perfect savory breakfast actually. They turned out to be so tasty, I immediately felt compelled to grab my camera and make the cute paper cone, because truth moment, this isn’t how I eat at home and I quickly shot some photos to share these with you.
These Baked Plantain Fries are so, so good. They are starchy like traditional potato fries, they are perfectly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Plantain fries aren’t sweet like sweet potato fries, which I also love very much, so they truly do a great job filling the shoes of traditional potato-based french fries. These fries will totally take place of traditional fries, which sadly have to be avoided on the AIP since potatoes (not sweet potatoes) are part of the nightshade family.
I do have to note, that I have read that not everyone on the Autoimmune Protocol can tolerate plantains, so please be mindful of your body’s reaction. Thankfully, I have no issues at all, so these will most certainly be on regular rotation, as I have a feeling other plantain recipes will be, too. These would also be great with a homemade chimichurri (leave out cumin and the red pepper flakes for AIP) and if you can have it, homemade aioli or mayonnaise (vegan mayonnaise).
My Autoimmune Protocol Journey:
Today is: day 8 on the Autoimmune Protocol
Meals Planned: 3 days out
Currently I am missing most: dark chocolate, homemade nut milks, cashew creams, curry and hot sauces
Baked Plantain Fries with Garlic Avocado Dipping Sauce
[print_this]Baked Plantain Fries
serves 1 -2
- 1 large green plantain*
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- approximately 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat your oven to 425ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel your plantain, halve it the long way and cut it into strips, whatever your desired thickness is. In a mixing bowl, toss the plantain strips in the coconut oil with sea salt and garlic powder. Spread the fries in an even and single layer. Bake the fries for 20-25 minutes. Turning the fries over about halfway through cooking. Bake until they start to become golden or brown slightly. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving. Serve with the Garlic Avocado Dipping Sauce (recipe below). Enjoy.
NOTE: It’s best for a recipe like this one, to opt for green plantains as they are more starchy, aren’t too soft or sweet.[/print_this]
[print_this]Garlic Avocado Dipping Sauce
- 1 avocado
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- juice from 1 lime
- a couple tablespoons to 1/4 cup water, you may need more
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit and the skin. Add the flesh of the avocado to your high speed blender. Add the garlic, lime juice and salt. Blend until somewhat smooth and creamy. Slowly drizzle in the water, until really smooth and creamy, the amount needed can vary. Then slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until well mixed and creamy. [/print_this]