Can you name that diet? Which nutrition protocol works best for fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic illness, and the autoimmune community? Of course, this is a trick question. There’s NO ONE SINGLE plan that works for all. But there is ONE trick with ONE plan that can help you discover how to make the best of what you’re looking for.
Ready to learn that trick?
In Part 1 of this Fibro Diet series, you learned the key details I used to start my own personal story of healing. You discovered why I went down the path of trying to figure things out on my own.
If you haven’t done so already, check out Part 1 here.
In Part 2 of this Fibro Diet series, you discovered exactly what I ate more than a decade ago. I came up with a food experiment borne of complete ignorance and frustration. In this post, you also became witness to the shocking results of this experimentation.
If you haven’t already done so, check out Part 2 here.
And, now onto Part 3 of this series where we actually get down to naming that diet.
Name That Diet!
If you look back on the foods included in my food plan years ago as well as those excluded, you may piece together that my diet had many elements of what’s now referred to as Paleo (or Paleo AIP which stands for Auto Immune Protocol). It also extends into Keto and there’ll be more on that later.
Let’s take a look at a few more details.
The Paleo nutrition plan includes mainly:
- Nutrient-dense, fiber-rich veggies
- Healthy, natural fats
- Grass-fed, organic, antibiotic-free meats
- Free-range, cage-free, antibiotic-free eggs
- Wild caught seafood
- Nuts and seeds
- Organic fruits
The Paleo nutrition plan avoids:
- Grains (thereby eliminating gluten entirely)
- Processed foods and sugars
- Starchy foods (white potatoes)
Where Paleo Can Go Wrong
Interpretations vary and people want to sell books, magazines, and products, right? Therefore, when paleo became an everyday word, what type of recipes proliferated?
You guessed it – desserts.
If there’s a way to “cheat” on any nutrition plan, then that’s the topic that will sell the most and gain the most interest. That’s just human nature.
However, just because there’s an abundance of recipe books touting paleo-friendly desserts, doesn’t mean you have to buy them. Sugar is sugar even if it comes from natural sources such as dates, honey, coconut sugar, sweet potatoes, beets, etc. I simply don’t make sugar-laden desserts on a regular basis. As a treat here or there? Fine. Every day? Danger ahead, Will Robinson.
Paleo websites, books, magazine articles, etc. also can lean quite heavily on the “meat” aspect. Picture Fred Flintstone’s car tipping over from his giant dinosaur-sized portion of ribs. Here’s another unfortunate visual – for many, the term “Paleo” is synonymous with bacon. There are bacon cookbooks with bacon brownies, bacon pizza crusts, and bacon pies. I’ve even seen bacon-scented candles on sale on paleo-related forums. That’s just gross.
Again, to each his own, but I rarely eat bacon. I just don’t think of it. Furthermore, if you don’t want to have it at all, that’s fine and dandy. Paleo is not a meat and bacon diet. Proportionately, I eat far more greens than meats.
Paleo can also go wrong in areas of focus and balance, and we’ll dig more into that in Part 4 of this Fibro Diet series.
What’s in a Name?
While naming things can often be limiting, it can sometimes be liberating. Such is the case with naming a specific nutrition plan.
I honestly couldn’t care less about the term Paleo,
except for the benefits it provides
when searching for recipes.
Here’s the Trick
There’s an entire world of recipes in cyberspace, and the X-Marks-the-Spot place to dig is Pinterest. Pinterest offers a wealth of information ready for the taking. Just as with Google, the accuracy of what you search for relates directly to the quality of responses you’ll receive. Pinterest now has a great search feature and you can search thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of recipes based on whatever ingredients interest you.
The reason why scouting for recipes using the term “Paleo” is important, is that you’ll know from the get-go, that your search will exclude Paleo unfriendly ingredients. Your results are likely to eliminate processed foods, grains, dairy, etc. That’s a fabulous time-saver! I’ve become pretty adept at making healthier ingredient substitutions in recipes over the years, but why make it harder than it has to be?
Simply search using the term “Paleo” first, and then the type of recipe you’re looking for, and then include a few ingredients that you’d like to use. And … voila! You’ll have a handful, dozens, or hundreds of recipes to choose from depending on your specific search terms. And, don’t forget Amazon. Search for cookbooks and information there too. Many of their Kindle books are free or nominally priced.
The success of any nutritional plan weighs heavily on variety. Same ‘ol, same ‘ol is the kiss of death when it comes to sticking to a new foodie plan.
This is just simple logic.
Here’s why this search term trick is helpful. Would you rather search for recipes using ALL of these search terms, “dairy free,” “gluten-free,” “grain free,” “legume free,” “processed foods free,” and “added-sugar-free,”– OR just search using “Paleo?”
Simplicity is the key.
How to Implement This (Tweaked) Eating Plan Into Your Life
In the last and final piece of this puzzle, we’ll take a look at how to implement a plan that is tailored and suited just for YOU.
I’ll share my thoughts on how to craft a diet that can help to fuel your healing journey. And, we’ll discuss topics such as animal products vs vegetarian-based and tweaking the macronutrient balance of your diet plan and more about keto.
There’s lots more to discover, so stay tuned and be sure to share this series with those you love and care for!