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.

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.

How I AIP: A Guest Post by Joanna Frankham | The Paleo PI

Here’s where you’ll find us:

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

Follow us on social media with the following hashtags: #HowIAIP. #AIP4me.

Over to my my great mate Jo from over at joannafrankham.com


 

Hi everyone! Rory was one of my very first real-world AIP buddies and we have become great mates. It’s a real privilege to be coming to you as a guest on Rory’s blog today.

 

Along with the delicious Kirstie from The Nutritionista, we three set up the inaugural Sydney AIP picnic together. This is morphed into a regular event down here (and we miss Rory!)…

How I AIP: A Guest Post by Joanna Frankham | The Paleo PI

If you are not familiar with my particular flavour of autoimmunity, I suffer from Hidradenitis Supperativa (HS). It is a hideous, shameful and painful affliction and looking back, it did a real number on me – especially my self esteem.

Most of the time, I now live free of HS symptoms. That alone is life changing. But this AIP adventure has given me so much more.

Here are some of the top-of-mind direct changes:

  • One year after periodontal surgery and the very real chance I would lose teeth, my gums were declared healthy and I experienced bone regeneration
  • With a strong family history of bowel cancer and 4 consecutive years of abnormal colonoscopy results, last year my gastroenterologist declared me ‘clean as a whistle’ and no further check up is required for 3 years. It would have been 5 without my family history
  • My mood is more constant
  • A clear sense that I am a full participant in life, not merely an observer
  • People actually comment on how great my skin looks (and this is a huge deal when you experienced chronic acne as a teenager and suffer from 20+ years of a chronic skin affliction)\
  • a passion for living my life in a way that serves me

When I look at the AIP Manifesto, there are a number of elements that resonate for me, but – I’ve managed to narrow it down to two for the purposes of this collaboration…

First cab off the rank for me is:

 

Be a nutrient-seeker:

Don’t ignore the foods that accelerate healing and restore health.

How I AIP: A Guest Post by Joanna Frankham | The Paleo PI

When we first dive into this rabbit hole that is the Autoimmune Protocol, there is a tendency to focus on what you can’t eat, rather than embracing what you can.

I think this is a human reaction. Change is hard. Especially when it has to do with the emotionally-charged area of what we eat. Food is so strongly attached to both our family and cultural connections.

I found that exploring the foods that are particularly nutrient-dense and health-enhancing became a good way to take my mind of the foods I could no longer eat.

And, this approach had some unexpected side benefits.

  • I have made a surprising hobby of fermenting my own vegetables. This has all sorts of health benefits and is great for promoting good gut health. Within my circle, I now have somewhat of a reputation for my jars of ferments (and have run the odd workshop.)
  • My vegetable intake has at least tripled. Now, I actively seek out new and interesting vegetables AND ways to cook them. Before AIP, my vegetable repertoire was much more limited.
  • Without exception, my favourite day of the week is Saturday. Every week, we head to my local farmer’s market for the weekly shop. I now know all my farmers by name and I talk them. I have a much greater appreciation of where my food comes from
  • Embrace offal! Liver is now a regular (at least weekly) part of the diet and AIP has given me the impetus to experiment with other cuts like tongue. Bone broth is on regular rotation and I look for ways to incorporate it into my day.

  

Eyes on your own journey:

The path to wellness is unique for all of us. Resist the urge to compare 

How I AIP: A Guest Post by Joanna Frankham | The Paleo PI

Comparisonitis. It’s a killer. It can suck all the joy out of what you’re trying to achieve…

There’s a great quote (which is attributed to many people, just not me!) –

“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”.

It’s a good one to stick on your wall where you can see it. Every day.

This, for me, was one of the biggest lessons – both in life and in the beginning of my AIP experience.

This AIP caper is a big, BIG undertaking. Humungous. Life changing. And, when you compare yourself to others who have been at this game for longer than you; or, who are getting different results to you – you only succeed in undermining your efforts.

It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that your genetics, life choices and experiences, symptoms (and many other factors), all contribute to making your circumstances unique. It makes no sense to compare yourself to others. Especially on this AIP adventure, that you’re on.

Keep your eyes on YOUR experience. Don’t worry about what others are doing. Remember just whom you’re doing this for.

Good luck!


Joanna Frankham is a health coach and blogger. For over twenty years Jo suffered from an undiagnosed, painful chronic, skin condition. It transpired that issue was autoimmune in nature – and it had a name: Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS).  After implementing holistic, workable changes to her diet and lifestyle, Jo successfully put her HS almost completely into remission. Along the way, after becoming increasingly dissatisfied with her high-stress corporate human resources roles, Jo retrained as a Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She now coaches others in how to improve their health and lifestyle using the principles of the Autoimmune Protocol.  

She has a warm, direct and slightly irreverent approach – she believes this business of improving health is one that should be a positive experience. She currently blogs about all things health and food related at joannafrankham.com. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, is an experienced human resources professional, and is a qualified Health Coach.

Contact Jo at Joanna@joannafrankham.com.