“In life, most short cuts end up taking longer than taking the longer route.”
― Suzy Kassem
We have some bad news: There are no short cuts with the reintroduction process.
Just as planning and preparation increases your chances of success on the elimination phase of Autoimmune Protocol, the same is true of the reintroduction phase.
The first step is to identify just when is the right time for you to start reintroductions.
This is not quite as straight forward as it may sound. It is different for everyone and it is a very personal decision.
We all know that the elimination phase of the protocol is not designed to last forever. There are, however, some factors which will help you to maximise your chances of success when it comes to the timing and execution of reintroductions.
According to The Paleo Mom, you are ready to start reintroductions when:
- You are able to completely digest your food and do not suffer any gastrointestinal symptoms
- Your autoimmune disease is no longer progressively getting worse
- You are able to manage your autoimmune disease without DMARDS, steroids or NSAIDs
We agree that healing your gut (and any gastrointestinal issues) are key. We also agree that you should not be experiencing any worsening of autoimmune symptoms. Where we feel there is some ‘grey’ area when it comes to just when you should start your reintroduction process, is by way of medication. And, we feel this is a very personal decision.
- schedule a time in your diary to complete your food and mood diary every day. Create a habit of updating your diary regularly. You will thank us down the track!
- ensure you start reintroductions at a time when your life is on an even keel. That means, factors like sleep and stress are well managed.
OK, your food and mood diary is well and truly up to date, you’ve successfully established your baseline, and you’ve picked the right time for you to begin… Now what?
Now you want to plan the first 3 foods you’d like to reintroduce. We recommend you start with foods from stage 1 of the reintroduction list. (Head on over to The Reintroduction Process to download a copy of the reintroduction matrix guide to pop on your fridge).
Your choices at stage 1 are:-
- egg yolks
- legumes/pulses with edible pods
- fruit and berry based spices*
- seed based spices*
- seed and nut oils*
- grass-fed ghee
*note that each individual spice or oil should be reintroduced individually and not as a group.
I (Jo!) chose egg yolks, black pepper and ghee as my first reintroductions. Emma chose cumin, ghee and egg yolks.
Here are some recipe ideas that reintroduce egg yolks, cumin and ghee:
We encourage you to take time to identify recipes that include your chosen foods for reintroduction as part of your planning and preparation.
This post is the fifth in The Reintroduction Process series. The first can be found here.