Why I Began The Autoimmune Protocol and Became Paleo

A little over a year ago, I was very much at the end of my rope with my health.

4 years ago, I had a life-altering reaction to Levaquin. The drug had a ‘black-box’ warning and I was prescribed it for a simple sinus infection. It was a truly unfortunate event. It had profound impact on my joints and tendons, nervous system, mental health as well as a bunch of other tragic effects.

2 years ago, I developed a devastating case of shingles. It cropped up IN my sciatic nerve which confused most doctors, delayed treatment, caused extraordinary pain and wreaked complete havoc. At one point I did not eat or sleep for two weeks and struggled with severe pain and smaller outbreaks for about a year.

Last year, I was bitten by two ticks on the same day. I developed STARI and opted for traditional antibiotics alongside herbal treatment from the acupuncture doctor who helped me through my bout with Shingles. 30 days of antibiotics left my digestive track in bad condition and my immune system in a pit.

I found myself in a body that was definitely in significant trouble. I felt generally unwell and insomnia was my constant companion. I was overweight, my blood pressure was way up and I was severely anemic. I had a myriad of stomach problems, was experiencing histamine food reactions to foods that hadn’t bothered me in the past. I was achy and tired.

I knew “eating better” would do me a world of good. But ‘eating better’ has many definitions and depending on who you ask, can look radically different. I mindfully investigated what would be right for me & my body – I do not think it looks the same for everyone.

Several friends who have had amazing success with their health pointed me in the direction of the Autoimmune Wellness community. I began with the Autoimmune Protocol because of my deep desire to put my immune system in the right and tackle some difficult healing issues. I do not have a diagnosed autoimmune disorder, but I did score high on the quiz at the beginning of this book. I was very interested in nutrient-dense foods that would help me achieve vibrant health. I read the blog and listened to the podcast and started immediately. I read Sarah Ballantyne’s webpage, and subsequently her books and took all of the tenants of the Paleo Lifestyle VERY seriously.

You will never hear me refer to my experiences so far as ‘a diet’. Although a change in diet was involved, the connotation of eating less for weight loss does not resonate with me. I did, in fact, experience a huge reduction in body fat, but there were metrics that were way more important to me than the numbers on the scale. There is more to Paleo than diet – stress management, improved sleep quality/quantity, meditation, exercise and experiences with Nature and a myriad of considerations that can promote excellent health are all part of the ‘lifestyle’.

At a little over a year into this endeavor, I still consider myself a newbie. Things like meditation, Qigong, acupuncture, earthing, sun & light therapies, theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as employing a heathy & healing diet for me have made an immense difference. I’ve been an avid walker for as long as I can remember – sometimes I just need a kick in the proverbial ass to remember.

I never thought I could be where I am now and would love to share what all these changes have done for me, how I incorporate them into a crazy-busy life and more important, how I reboot, reset and recommit whenever I get the tiniest bit of the path.

Walk with me.

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