About this site …

The AIP Recipe Collection website was designed to save you the time and energy you’re lacking as you face your autoimmune diagnosis and begin your journey to wellness on the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol).

It is a compilation of extremely valuable resources that I’ve gathered from the most reliable authorities on the subject. It is the product of thousands of hours of research, years of dedication and determination through my own healing journey. It’s what I wish I had found when I began my journey. (Note: information contained on this site should never be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice – read our full  disclaimer here.)

While I had originally intended to bring you oodles of recipe recommendations right here on this site, I realized the massive undertaking it would be to transfer and house the literally thousands of recipe links and reviews that I’ve amassed. That said, the AIP Recipe Collection website for the most part will be an easy to navigate resource hub where I bring you the best online resources to FAQs, recommended reading, cookbooks, helpful apps and coaching programs. BUT, fear not! I will be adding recipe recommendations here and will continue to feed you daily with recipe inspiration in our private Facebook group – be sure to join us there!

Below I’ll also share with you my personal story, if you care to know how it is that we find ourselves meeting like this.

About me …

My name is Gail and I’m here to help you to get off to the best start possible on your AIP Healing Journey.

My professional background does not involve the food, health or medical fields, and I’m not here to offer you any medical advice. So how is it that I find myself here trying to help you improve your autoimmune condition you ask? Well, since the fall of 2016 I’ve been immersed in research about autoimmune disease, diet and natural healing, but my journey into a state of dis-ease started long before that.

I’ll share my story with you below, it is long, but I hope you’ll indulge me and allow me to explain how we find ourselves meeting here on this web page.

Continued Below …

My Story …

In and around 2010 I seemed to have hit rock bottom with energy levels and a complete inability to handle stress … I had a strong feeling that something just wasn’t right. Arguably though, my downward spiral started long before that, in 1992 in fact.

Just six months after my husband and I were married, he was in a serious motor vehicle accident while at work which left him with a mild brain injury, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. In the weeks and months that followed we were faced with the agonizing reality of medical appointments, doubts of whether he would ever fully recover, personally battling with insurance on a case that no lawyer would touch, and trying to adjust to married life on top of it all. At just 21 years of age, and never having been out on my own, I had a lot of growing up to do … and fast!

Chronic stress became the mainstay in my life and we were pretty much tapped out in every way.  I never really learned to deal with the stress of the situation, and I certainly never took the time to grieve the loss of the life we’d planned together. Depression, exhaustion and frustration were part of everyday life, both at home and at the various jobs I held from that point forward.

I frequently complained to my doctor of exhaustion and fatigue, and insisted that I thought something was wrong with my Thyroid, my concerns were poo-poohed and I was told it was just stress … stress of being newly married, and then the stress of my husband’s accident.

In the fall of 2009 I was running my own photography business and found myself with a case of shingles. This would be the slippery slope that lead to my health completely unraveling.

In December of the same year, despite having shown very few symptoms, I was put on a rush list for major abdominal surgery after an ultrasound and an MRI revealed a mass that they could not even confirm where it ended and where it began.

Early in January of 2010 a football-sized Dermoid Cyst weighing in at 8lbs was removed along with one of my ovaries, and all was thought to be right in the world. At least I finally knew why losing weight seemed to be impossible … I’d had an uninvited guest growing inside me since I was conceived. It was all a little more than freaky, but at that time I was excited by the possibility that perhaps this cyst was what had been sapping me of my “get-up-and-go”, even though the surgeon didn’t feel this was likely to be the case.

A couple of months after my surgery, energy levels were no better. Another basic TSH Thyroid test revealed that there was in-fact finally a definite problem showing up … my Thyroid was under-performing consistently, so I was put on a very low dose of Thyroid stimulating hormone. Things improved a little, but nothing like I’d hoped. I decided perhaps it was best to take the stress of being self-employed out of the equation, and I returned reluctantly to office life.

Fast forward a couple of years to 2013 and I was back to feeling like something really wasn’t right. I was exhausted ALL the time, and despite supplementing and choking back disgusting tinctures I couldn’t kick the debilitating symptoms. I was back to dragging myself through each day, only to eat, work, go to bed and do it all again the next day.

Thanks to an episode of the Dr. Oz show that my mother stumbled across, I was presented with the idea that my symptoms lined up closely with Gluten Intolerance. By this point I was willing to try anything and I dove headlong into the Gluten Free diet which quickly helped me to start feeling a little better. While I wasn’t back to my old, pre-married energy levels, I started feeling pretty good, but there was just one more thing that I needed to do – eliminate my current major stressor – work!

With the support of my husband it was time for me to go out on my own once again, this time to something with a more stable and consistent income, and life was good! This time around I really appreciated the freedom of being self-employed and having more time to spend doing things that I enjoyed and helping friends and family … I was feeling more fulfilled.

Unfortunately, my state of well-being wouldn’t last, and as 2016 wore on I started feeling less than optimal once again.

At first I didn’t think much of it, but as summer turned to fall, things got worse and I started researching things like “gluten cross-reactivity” and “candida overgrowth”. It certainly made sense that both of these things could be a factor for me, so I cut out dairy and started on a Candida Diet that I was convinced would put me back on the path to health.

Sadly this was far from the case, and despite enjoying all the fantastically healthy foods I was eating, like quinoa, lentils, a variety of legumes and grains, lots of eggs, fresh veggies, nuts and more, my health took a major nose-dive and I was desperately researching what next steps to take.

I found myself grasping at straws and started working on The Metabolism Plan diet, thinking that I needed to find my own bio-individual diet, since the Candida Diet was obviously not my friend. I found myself adding more foods to my diet that I hadn’t typically eaten, and I later learned that these diets were full of inflammatory foods that were battering my gut and sending my immune system into complete chaos.

The term “from the frying pan to the fire” was never so appropriate. I watched the pounds fall off my body literally over-night, muscles were deteriorating and I was starting to look like a corpse. I lost almost all of my sense of taste, my tongue was coated in a strange white film, my nails were showing signs of a void at the nail bed (in the months that followed, all of my fingernails and toenails fell off) and my hair was falling out at an alarming rate –  I had no idea what was wrong.

I decided it was time for a Doctor’s visit and I pushed for as many tests as possible. I also sought out a Functional Medicine Practitioner who helped me establish for the first time in almost 25 years that not only did I have an under-performing Thyroid, but I had Autoimmune Thyroid Disease – Hashimoto’s.

Despite having some direction from my Functional Medicine Practitioner, it was too late, I’d gone from bad to worse and things took an even more severe turn with abdominal pain, gastric distress and ER visits. Doctor’s appointments became weekly occurrences and an emergency endoscopy and colonoscopy were in order. To add insult to injury, I was under Doctor’s orders to cancel our travel plans – a huge blow as we were less than a month away

from celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary and a dream vacation.

By this point however, things were so bad that undergoing the scopes and being knocked out was the most welcome thing in the world – I could think of no better place than lying in a hospital bed letting someone else take care of me. I secretly hoped they wouldn’t release me after the tests that day.

Despite trying to hold it together until the results were to come in several weeks later, and until further testing (MRI and ultrasound) could be done after that, I was forced back to the ER for chest pains and concerns of a heart attack. Finally ending up in hospital shortly after that for three days and four nights – I was unable to handle food despite trying to force myself to eat. Gastric pain and bowel movements were unbearable and muscle weakness was so bad I could barely lift my legs to get up the stairs … never mind make it through a couple of hours work at an active job.

The first night in hospital, the nurse woke me up to administer a round of Prednisone. Completely exhausted and groggy on morphine I could barely grasp what was going on – “The Doctor wants you to take this, and you need to take this pill as well to combat the effects of the Prednisone.” I knew enough from the research that I’d done thus far that I didn’t want to be on either one of those drugs, but I hadn’t the brain power or the energy to fight about it.

The next morning, good news, the results were in from the scopes and I was delivered my diagnosis. I knew then and there that I was in trouble when the surgeon told me they knew so little about the disease that I should Google it and start trying to learn more about it. Being told you have a rare disease is both overwhelming and a relief at the same time … at least it wasn’t cancer.

But, what in the world is Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis? That was the question that leads me here to you today. After many sleepless nights and thousands of hours of research into my disease, and in-turn autoimmune disease in general, I’ve learned a lot.

After having started the AIP Diet I looked for support in online groups and forums, and eventually joined the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) Diet Recipes Group on Facebook. I enjoyed the format – no sick-talk, just recipe sharing that would heal, not hurt. Realizing however, that the group was floundering and there were a lot of questions popping up that weren’t appropriate in a recipe group, I was enlisted to help moderate the news feed.  Subsequently I dove in with my usual “fix-everything” approach, because I knew there were ways to make the group better. My capacity in the group changed from moderator to administrator and then the go-to gal for answers. It didn’t take long to realize that while I’d been seeking support, the roles were reversed, and I was the one doing the supporting and I took over the group from its original founder with his blessing.

I was, and still am, overwhelmed by just how many people are struggling with Autoimmune Disease. Keeping the group strictly to recipes, I started addressing people’s questions and comments privately because I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving them them with feelings of helplessness – I had to share what I’d been learning.  I found myself getting frustrated that others didn’t seem to be able to find the answers for themselves … how could they not manage to take their health into their own hands? The AIP didn’t seem that difficult to me! After a while however, I realized that not everyone has the time, energy or know-how for research, and so I set out to try to fill that void.

In 2018, despite all of the progress I’d made on the AIP, my Functional MD was astounded by my need to continue to take copious amounts of supplements, and it seemed inexplicable that my health was spiraling once again in the autumn of that year. Things went completely off the rails after returning from a trip to Germany, when I started experiencing rashes and itching like I could never have imagined. I was sleeping with ice packs to alleviate the pain and itching, that is, when I was even able to go to bed. My mood swung dramatically, depression was setting in and I was downright angry. Salves and ointments were prescribed as a band-aid to the problem, and I feared being put on heavy duty medications that would destroy everything I’d worked so hard for in re-building my gut. Everyone, including my doctor felt the trip had something to do with it, but none of it made sense to me – I actually felt better when we were away! It was time to start digging again. Having previously decided the root cause of my illnesses was stress and my mis-management of it, (coupled with a pretty major surgery and a couple bouts of food poisoning) we hadn’t considered there could be something more – but there was!

To make a very long story short, the century old farm house we’d been living in for 15+ years and the house of  similar age we’d lived in for 10 years prior with a leaky basement were killing me, or rather, should I say the exposure to mold was. After endless hours of research, this time about mold and things like CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome) and mast cell activation I came to realize that I’m one of the less fortunate who are seriously impacted by mold. I knew we had no choice but to get out. All of this, of course is easier said than done when you’re that sick. I won’t get into the emotional impact of it all, the need to find employment to support more expensive housing, the cost of replacing personal belongings, and on and on it goes.

To say my journey has been a challenge is an understatement. Healing certainly is not linear. Almost two years later and the mold, the move and finding the right employment are still kicking my butt. I’ve learned a lot, I still research a lot and still have to keep reminding myself that I’m sick. I have to keep re-setting my mind, my food, my supplements. I have to force myself to keep on track just to get through one day at a time.

So, there you have it. I’ve spent years and thousands of hours trying to help myself, trying to help people in the group by sourcing and sharing recipes and resources, answering questions about the diet and more. We’re here now because I’m always trying to make things better. I was encouraged by a number of group members, my husband and my sister to pull all of this together in the resource that’s before you now.

I sincerely hope that my experience, continuing research and recipe collection will help you to find the best path possible as you embark on the Autoimmune Protocol and your own journey to health. ♥