Friends, it was not always an easy journey, but here I am at the end of it. I ate a strict Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet for a full 30 days. I made it! And the obvious question is…

Now what?

Before I answer that question, let’s talk a little about my experiences with this diet. For one thing, I loved Diane’s Practical Paleo book and resources. I’m not sure that I could have made it through 30 days without her thoughtful meal plans and tasty recipes. If you’re thinking of using the Paleo Diet to address a health issue, from cancer to weight loss, I highly recommend having a copy of her book on your shelf.

I loved the food I was eating (well, maybe not-so-much the canned salmon for breakfast). Every meal had variety, excellent flavor, and nutrition. Many of them were super-easy to prepare. Most of these recipes are going into my Plan to Eat account as ingredient lists so that I can keep them in my regular rotation.

While I didn’t get the results that I had hoped for (ultimate healing and optimal digestion), I did see some results, even in spite of last week’s setbacks. I do still have pain and digestive distress, but I can honestly say that I have less of both than when I started the diet.

The results, even though minor, and the joy that I’m getting from eating a wider-variety of tasty foods is, I think, enough to convince me to try another 30 days. As I type this, I am in the midst of meal-planning the next 30 days on my Autoimmune Protocol. I am incorporating one meal a week for the whole family to eat together–something that fits the AIP guidelines but is also affordable and practical to cook for a large family (those recipes are hard to come by). I’m doing another round of freezer cooking for the family, so that I’ll have less cooking to do for them. And I’m scouring my other Paleo cookbooks and the internet for more recipes to incorporate into the plan. Complicated? Yes, perhaps. But Plan to Eat, of course, makes this whole process much more manageable.

I’ve also given myself permission to cheat, within the limits of a Paleo Diet, for special occasions–almond flour muffins on Easter, and a coconut flour cake on the Peanut’s birthday, maybe an occasional chocolate truffle. I dare to hope that after another 30 days I will find myself and my digestion even more improved.

Even though my results were not entirely what I’d hoped for, I’m glad I did the experiment. And am impressed enough with the results, the food, and the do-ability of it all to keep going a little while longer. Because I must eat something. And it might as well be something Good.

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