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How I AIP: A Guest Post from Petra Chambers-Sinclair of petra8paleo

This week the worldwide community of AIP bloggers has banded together to highlight how we each live our healing protocol lifestyle–in real life. We are each committed to taking personal responsibility for our own health, and supporting other people around the world who are interested in doing the same thing.

This week, as part of #AIP4me week, I’ve joined forces with four other paleo healing protocol bloggers. We’re each exploring two elements of the ‘AIP Evolved’ Manifesto created by Angie Alt and Mickey Trescott  and we’re publishing the results on each other’s blogs.

Here’s where you’ll find us:

These posts are rolling out all week and we’ll be linking them together as we go.

Join us – simply check out the Manifesto chose those items that resonate for you and tag your Facebook Post, Instagram, Twitter or Blog post with the hashtags #HowIAIP and/or  #AIP4me.


Here’s Petra:Matthew & Petra#2 Embrace the template:The Autoimmune Protocol is not one-size-fits-all; it’s a template that promotes individuality and self-discovery.

We all have unique health histories, genes, challenges and aspirations. As a result, we will each need a customized approach to healing.

Finding our ideal pattern of diet and lifestyle is a time-consuming (probably life-long!) process, especially as our ideal configuration is likely to evolve as we do.

That’s why I’m committed to n=1 experimentation: so that I can find out what works best for me, to optimize my health and the health of the people I care about.

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is my template.

As one of the more restrictive paleo healing protocols, the AIP removes all foods known to contribute to systemic inflammation and autoimmune disease, and promotes lifestyle practices that encourage healing.

The AIP enables us to begin the process of healing, while simultaneously cleaning up our own personal laboratory (you are the laboratory). In this way, the AIP is an excellent starting place to stabilize health and begin to learn about you, as a unique organism.

The AIP Template

My husband Matthew and I embraced the AIP in 2013 when he was almost disabled by psoriatic arthritis.

Foodwise, Matthew adapted the AIP by also going low-FODMAP in 2014. Though a low-FODMAP diet wasn’t a long-term solution, it did enable him to reduce his symptoms so that he could work with his Functional Medicine Doctor to treat an underlying health issue that was not autoimmune.

All of his autoimmune symptoms have been reversing on the AIP. Some symptoms didn’t respond to the AIP, and that in itself helped us to determine that they were not autoimmune in origin and therefore needed a different kind of treatment.

Like Matthew, I’ve been on the AIP for 2½ years, but unlike him, I don’t have an autoimmune disease. I’ve reintroduced a few foods into my AIP template, like eggs, cocoa and nuts, but I’m not looking to change my diet much more than that in the future.

I’m also not looking to revert to my pre-AIP life in any other ways. Embracing the lifestyle elements of the AIP, including prioritizing sleep and focusing on stress management, helps me thrive, and now that I know what thriving feels like, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I’ve truly made the AIP template mine and now it’s the only way I want to live.

#4 Start simple:Begin with the foundations of diet, sleep, stress-management, movement, and relationships before delving deeper.

Here’s the paradox. We’re all individuals. Our bioindividuality determines what pattern of eating and living is ideal for each of us. And yet, we’re remarkably similar.

That’s why the AIP template works.

We are all descended from humans who lived in small interdependent groups, ate minimally processed foods, and spent their entire lives moving around in the natural world. Stress hormones were reserved for times when they faced actual danger, and though there was plenty of that, in between, when they weren’t organizing food and shelter or preparing for ceremonies, they spent a lot of time chilling. With each other.

Despite our unique histories and genes, all of our ancestors lived this way since the beginning of humankind.

This isn’t just paleo hyperbole. It’s supported by many of the newest, most cutting-edge findings in scientific and medical research. Whether researchers are aware of the ancestral health movement or not, their findings support the evolutionary premise.

Start Simple

The evolutionary premise: to find optimal health, we need to keep it simple and focus on:

  • A pre-industrial diet;
  • Quality sleep;
  • Stress-management;
  • Lots of appropriate movement; and
  • Relational connection.

As someone without a chronic health issue who has spent the past 2½ years focusing on the foundations of diet, sleep, stress-management, movement and relationships, I started simple.

I’m lucky, because without an autoimmune disease or any concurrent infections that I’m aware of, it’s been possible for me to start simple and stay simple.

So far I haven’t needed any interventions other than the basic AIP template to find optimal health.

That’s #HowIAIP.

Matthew has had to try additional experiments and treatments. But he started simple and continues to stick with the basics as he explores other options for healing.

That’s how he AIPs.

3 thoughts on “How I AIP: A Guest Post from Petra Chambers-Sinclair of petra8paleo

  1. It’s very easy to just “go on a diet” (well sometimes maybe not!), but it’s hard to stay on one. When it’s a lifestyle change like AIP, it makes it more difficult when you know it’s the only way you will be able to eat for the rest of your life. I started AIP in 2015 (began with GF in 2014, then Paleo – beginning of 2015, then AIP – latter half of 2015) and it has forever changed the way I WILL EAT for the coming future as reintroductions (or beginnings of them) have not proven good for me.
    I’m so glad you are doing this for the internet world and beyond. This will be great information to pass along to those not familiar with the way we must eat to keep ourselves “healthier” than we’ve been. I know it has made a huge change in my life and am so glad I am “getting there”.
    Thank you for sharing this. Can’t wait for future posts.

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