I’ve always been open about how I “went about reintroductions the wrong way”. Sure, I was diligent with the elimination stage for six months, but I got sloppy with reintroductions.
See, when I started there wasn’t a reintroduction guide to walk you through the process. Now, there’s plenty of information for when one is ready to start their reintroduction process.
Of course, my mistakes were lessons well-learned. Because of my eagerness to nibble on nuts, drink coffee, and enjoy chocolate (see? no guide), I received two additional diagnoses and saw loud and clear that nuts and I do.not.jive.
After those failed reintros, I went back to the start. The psoriatic arthritis flare I was experiencing settled quite quickly (it was two weeks before I could get into a rheumatologist, so I took pictures because I had immediately gone back to the elimination stage) and my skin began to look better. I knew next time my reintroductions would be done with thought and care. And slowly.
What DO I eat now?
Notice I didn’t say “can”. Hell, I “can” eat whatever I want. I “can” eat a slice of pizza, order Chinese food to-go, or (my old favorite) make Brie en Croûte with my homemade fig jam. But I don’t because I know those foods will royally mess me up. And I don’t want to be royally messed up. I’m still trying to minimize just how messed up I am, so I continue to be choosy with the foods I eat.
So what DO I eat now? All foods allowed in the paleo autoimmune protocol (as outlined in The Paleo Approach) PLUS:
⦁ Coconut – yes, technically this is an AIP allowed food, but it caused some GI distress for me (something I’d never dealt with before). After eliminating all coconut foods for many months, I found I was able to tolerate homemade coconut yogurt, coconut butter, and coconut milk in small amounts and infrequently. I also watch how much coconut flesh (shredded) I eat simply because it’s usually made as a treat and I can overdo it. Coconut oil poses no issue.
⦁ Legumes with edible pods (stage one reintro) – successfully: snap peas, snow peas, and green beans.
⦁ Berry-based spices (stage one reintro) – successfully: vanilla, peppercorns, and star anise.
⦁ Grass-fed ghee (stage one reintro) – very occasionally. I’ve noticed, I simply don’t use this too often. Probably because I’ve so many other AIP-friendly fats around. 😀
⦁ Pasture-raised eggs (stage one reintro for the yolk, stage two for whites) – occasionally.
⦁ Some seeds (stage one for seed-based spices, stage two for whole, ground, and butters) – successfully: coriander, fennel seed, mustard, cumin, and sesame (yay tahini!).
⦁ Chocolate/cacao (stage two reintro) – 80% or better cacao content – no freaking soy, dairy, or BS. I’m a chocolate snob and I own it.
⦁ Gluten-free alcohol (stage two reintro) – occasionally. My drink of choice is our homebrewed mead (a raw honey wine). Since I’m pregnant, this no longer applies.
⦁ Coffee (stage three reintro) – occasionally, it’s easy to overdo it. I also gave up the occasional cuppa coffee for this pregnancy.
⦁ White rice (stage four reintro) – occasionally. Read the reasoning for choosing white rice over brown rice.
Fear and loathing.
I fully admit, I am hesitant to challenge two specific food types any time soon. Nuts (because of past failed reintro flares) and nightshades/nightshade-based spices (I unknowingly ate paprika and my hands were swollen and inflamed). For now, this is the AIP + reintro template that works for me. I’ll revisit it and make changes to this post as needed down the line.
And to be clear: I have no intention of reintroducing gluten-containing grains.
Even though I have these successful reintroductions under my belt, you’ll still find the majority of the recipes on my blog and daily plates on Instagram to be #totesAIP. And I’ll still be among the bone broth drinkers, 4-cup salad eaters, and swearing that offal ain’t awful. Why?
Because nutrient-density continues to be the foundation of my meals. I add in successfully reintroduced ingredients here and there (and they are clearly noted as a reintro item), but I feel my best when I stick pretty darn close to the elimination stage.
How about you? What foods have you been able to successfully reintroduce? Are there any that were clear “no”s?
See more AIP reintroduction stories!
Earlier this year, Kari wrote an open letter to those going through the reintroduction process and compiled a handful of bloggers’ reintroduction stories. I think it’s interesting to see everyone’s unique experiences with reintroducing foods. Don’t you?