What I Learned from the Paleo Mom This Weekend (Part 2)

On Nutrients:

  • Offal, seafood (especially shellfish), and leafy green vegetables are the most nutritious foods you can eat.
  • Nuts and seeds are eliminated on AIP because so many people have a high sensitivity to them, and people with autoimmune issues have up to 5x sensitivity to nuts and seeds than the average population.  However, they are a highly nutritious food and if you are able to eat them you should be eating them often.  Nuts and seeds should be an early reintro back into your diet.
  • Dark chocolate in a gut microbiome superfood.  It’s so good for us that Dr. Sarah is digging into the research to see if it can be added into the strict elimination phase of AIP.  At any rate, she said that it should be a very early reintroduction.
  • If we are deficient in a nutrient, we may not be able to get what we need from food only and will need to take a supplement.  There are a few reasons for this:  there are less nutrients in the soil than there used to be a few decades ago, the produce is picked before it has reached peak nutritional value so that it will last longer for the grocery stores, and we eat like crap and aren’t eating the foods that are the most nutritious.
  • Mushrooms are so nutritious that they should almost be their own food group.  As far as nutrition goes, they are all the things that we want from a food and we should eat them at least every other day at minimum.
  • Keto is not the answer.  Keto is based on a starvation diet and the adverse health effects recorded in multiple scientific studies is similar to the adverse effects of anorexia, and may even include death.

Diet AND Lifestyle:

  • When you change your lifestyle and slow down, it’s easier to prepare and eat the food that you know will nourish your body.  We eat the crap food because of our busy lifestyle and stress.  Our focus should be more on creating a lifetime of health.
  • Sleep:  Getting enough sleep is hugely important.  I can’t emphasize enough how often she spoke about the importance of sleep this weekend.  She said that if someone can’t figure out where to start with better health, it’s with more sleep.  When someone can’t figure out why diet isn’t working for them and their life is out of control – she says that the answer is always more sleep.  By the way, don’t go to the grocery store when you’re tired.  One study showed that people who were tired bought foods with twice as many calories than people who were well rested.
  • Stress Management:  It’s not labeled stress reduction because you often can’t take away the things that are causing you stress.  Instead, focus on stress management (things like meditation, getting enough activity like walking or yoga, more sleep, personal connections).
  • The best thing that you can do for your digestion is to reduce/manage your stress.
  • If you are chronically stressed, your body uses up a large amount of magnesium and Vitamin C.  So if you’re stressed all the time, you may want to consider taking supplements for these nutrients.
  • Think you don’t have time to sleep or exercise?  Think again.  Sleep and activity both help you be more productive and think more clearly.  The extra hours that you spend on these things are counterbalanced by how much more you will get done in the hours you have left in the day.


  • There is ZERO scientific evidence that diet and/or lifestyle can cure cancer.  If you suspect or have been diagnosed with cancer, Dr. Sarah says GO TO A DOCTOR AND ACCEPT THE TREATMENT.  You need traditional treatment like radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery.  The good news, though, is that diet and lifestyle CAN prevent you from getting cancer or other chronic diseases in the first place.  There is also evidence that it can help reverse or put into remission many other diseases, including some autoimmune diseases, but NOT cancer.
  • Dr. Sarah loves life-saving medication.  She would rather save her life than the life of her gut bacteria (she can grow those back afterwards with the use of probiotics and eating a nutritious diet).  This includes medication for cancer treatment and antibiotics for illnesses such as pneumonia and strep throat.

The Psychology of an Elimination Diet:

  • An elimination diet can be very isolating, and friends and family may question your choices.  Often it’s because they’re worried about you.  It really helps to show them that you’re not missing out and that you’re doing fine by doing things like taking a delicious AIP appetizer to a party.  It helps to find a common connection with either allergies or weight loss, as most people do understand these things.  Also work to create connections around things and activities that don’t have anything to do with food.
  • If they still don’t get it, it’s most helpful to have a direct conversation about it.  “I know that you don’t understand why I eat this way, but it makes me feel good and I just need for you to accept it.”

The goal is to be healthy, not thin!
It’s not a bad thing to have extra fat on our bodies.  In fact, the extra fat helps us when we go through a crisis.  We probably shouldn’t lose those last 10 pounds.  For most women, our healthy goal weight should be between 10-30 pounds higher than it is in our heads right now.

What would you want to learn from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne?  Email me at laura@simplyaip.com and let me know!

laura-2 (2)

Hi I'm Laura!

Through my own battle with autoimmune disease, I’ve created a program to help you reverse your symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, and joint pain through diet and lifestyle.

If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, I'm here to help you take control of your health so that you have the energy to love the life you’re living!

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