AIP - Beyond Food

As you know by now, the AIP involves more than just dietary changes – it’s a holistic approach to health.

To be truly successful on your journey to autoimmune wellness you will need to consider the additional lifestyle changes Dr. Ballantyne discusses in her e-book, The Autoimmune Protocol. These lifestyle changes are known to be important modulators of immune function, gut health and hormone health, so don’t discount their significance.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of The Autoimmune Protocol yet, I definitely recommend it – it contains everything you need, all in one place – get yours here.

Below are a few additional resources that go hand-in-hand with the e-book and expand upon it.

Sleep

This is HUGE! Are you getting enough? What’s right for one might not be enough for another.

Did you know that not getting enough sleep causes inflammation and increased susceptibility to infection – even in healthy people! Studies show that one night of poor sleep causes higher insulin resistance than six months of bad diet! In fact, scientific studies show that sleep may be even more important for our health than diet! Now, if that’s not enough to make you take a serious look at your sleep routine, I don’t know what is!

It’s recommended that we get to bed by 10 pm for optimal rest and recovery, and that we get 7 to 10 hours of sleep per night (for autoimmune sufferers it might be 9-10 hours or even 12 hours every night to heal).

Sleep is so important that Dr. Ballantyne has written an e-book that is full of information about the science behind sleep, how it effects every aspect of our life, tips for creating a healthy sleep environment and bedtime routine, good sleep hygiene, troubleshooting insomnia, FAQs along with nutritional and supplement guidance. Dr. Ballantyne also includes a 14-night challenge to help you track your progress. Grab your copy of Go to Bed! – Click here.

Stress Management

Did you know that for every five minutes of upset it takes your body six to eight hours to calm down biochemically! Those numbers are staggering. Imagine what long-term, chronic stress is doing to your body. Without getting into a bunch of science about cortisol, adrenaline, hormones and more (I’ll leave that to the experts – check out this article from Dr. Ballantyne – How Stress Undermines Health), simply know that when under stress, your body misuses its precious resources leaving your immune system weak and your body vulnerable to disease.

Finding effective ways to reduce and manage stress is imperative for our healing journeys – it’s been one of my biggest challenges, and I still need regular reminders. It’s essential for maintaining a healthy gut, normal immune function and balanced hormones. Each of us will need to find effective ways to deal with our individual stressors. For some it may be as simple as learning to slow down, scheduling deep breathing exercises and meditation, healthy self-care activities like yoga or gentle autoimmune safe exercise (see below). For others, more may be involved and you may need to seek the support an guidance of a professional to help deal with past or present traumas, personality traits or difficult situations. If you’re looking for a motivation on this, join me on Instagram.

Activity

Everyone knows that exercise and activity are good for our health, but what should you do when you’re faced with chronic illness and you often don’t have the energy to do much more than get out of bed in the morning?

Not surprising then that the most commonly avoided part of the autoimmune protocol is exercise.

There are lots of ways to incorporate light activity into your day. For some it might be just a reminder by way of a timer on your phone to get up and stretch or move around a little. Short walks, yoga, rebounding and stretching might be as much as you can achieve, while others may feel they’re capable of more but are unsure of how to approach an exercise program safely so they don’t face setbacks.

Thankfully there’s an amazing program, called Autoimmune Strong, that’s available to help us add a healthy, balanced routine of exercise to our lives without making things worse.

Autoimmune Strong will help you break the cycle of flares and recovery caused by over-exercising or exercise intolerance – it helps you find the “sweet spot” that’s right for YOU and YOUR autoimmune challenges. It’s the only online exercise program tailor-made for YOUR condition, even if you have limited mobility, are bed-bound or in a wheelchair!

You can sign up for a 7-day FREE trial and decide if it’s right for you.
If you decide Autoimmune Strong is right for you, you can sign up for the program monthly, by the year or join a small group coaching program for 12 weeks! Check it out and get Autoimmune Strong!