Guest Post by Astrid Fox: AIP and Ulcerative Colitis

Today we are joined by Astrid Fox who blogs about the autoimmune protocol and her experiences over at Heal Me in the Kitchen. She has graciously volunteered to share her story with you all as I focus on my move and spend the holidays with my family. Please go check out her blog and show her some love! 


AIP for Ulcerative Colitis

Hello Everyone, This is Astrid from Heal me in the Kitchen and I am excited to be guest posting here on Sweet Potatoes and Social Change!  Thanks you Samantha for giving me the opportunity to do so.  Samantha asked me to talk about my AIP experience. Instead of repeating what is on my blog, Heal me in the Kitchen ,  I made this timeline to show key events that lead up to today.  Please come visit my blog to learn more about the details of my process. 

AIP and Ulcerative Colitis
To start, I am an IBD ( Inflamatory Bowel Disease)  warrior,  my autoimmune condition is Ulcerative Colitis. I have had a long history of on and off digestive issues since I was in my late teens but wasn’t really bothered by them until I was in my 20s, when I started working at a coffee shop. At first, I thought I was just drinking too much coffee. I cut out coffee and went to see a naturopath who put me on an elimination diet. My symptoms subsided but I was afraid to eat anything. I lived off of mainly chicken, white rice,  zucchini, thyme, peaches and pears for a few months. Eventually, I went back to my old way of eating and living.
Fastforward to 2013, where my timeline shows the drastic changes in my health. 

When my health started to change, I started a food/ symptoms log in the form of a private blog. It was probably the smartest thing I did. I highly recommend this practice to anyone who wishes learn how to heal with food. 

How I got into Paleo? 

Like most people, I started my healing-with-food journey through Paleo. When I made the decision to go on short term steroids to bring down the inflammation in my gut during my first real flare, I knew I need to search harder to find a way to live with Colitis without relying on medications. While I searched for the answer to better health through food,  I heard an interview podcast from the SCD Lifestyle guys and they had Danielle Walker share her story about how she got her Ulcerative Colitis under control by giving up grains. Her book Against All Grains was an eye opener for me. 

What Was I doing Before AIP? 

I researched the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, SCD and GAPS, but I wasn’t ready for those two regimens and felt very overwhelmed so I let them go. I remained on Paleo with improvements but when I was 8 months into grain free eating, a stressor hit and Paleo alone could not compensate for the emotional aspects of UC. I got into another flare, a long lingering one I might add. I was still new to the gut healing game and was again hit with the uncertainty of whether I can heal my body the holistic way.  

How I got into AIP?

I started reading about the autoimmune protocol but was overwhelmed and hesitant about changing my diet. I continued learning more about AIP on The Paleo Mom website,  Dr. Sara Ballantyne’s scientific explanation really appealed to the geek in me and made the transition to AIP a lot easier. Through Social Media, I started meeting many AIP bloggers and found their positive attitude and support invigorating, I was nowhere near remission at that point and looked forward to a day where I could have the same, positive, attitude about living with UC.

How I am doing on AIP?

Well, you can see on my timeline that I shortly after I started AIP, I decided to pay attention on low FODMAP too. Why? Intuition. I felt that foods that are on the high FODMAP list had given me digestion symptoms before but just disregarded the signal as the fickle nature of UC.

Being on AIP low FODMAP has finally given me clarity about how my gut is healing and what foods are triggering reactions.  I am happy that I am finally on a healing path that can really combat the seemingly fickle nature of the IBD beast. I am solving my ulcerative colitis mystery slowly and little by little. 

What AIP has Taught me?

Food aside, I have finally adapted to these simple life lessons that I never learned until I embraced the AIP healing regimen. Here they are:
yogacat1. Patience: Trust in the body’s ability to heal itself when given support through nourishing anti-inflammatory whole foods and positive lifestyle changes.  
2. Rest: Getting enough rest by MY standard. I used to be so frustrated when first learning about the roller coaster ride of UC. I would fight my fatigue and disregard my body’s signals to rest. Now I follow the body’s instruction closely. I no longer compare my needs for rest to other people. When I’m well, 8 hours sleep a day is good. When I’m not well, 10 hours is not a defeat. I have almost mastered the power nap, 20 to 30 mins does wonders to the body.  
3. Stress management: This is a tough one. Life brings all kinds of ups and downs, the only control I have is how I react to them. Having been a caregiver for my family, I developed a fight or flight mindset  when dealing with emergency situations. Unfortunately, I held on to that sense of emergency and thought that being on edge would make me better prepared when something came up. As a result, I was rarely relaxed. I had two states of mind; normal and high alert and nothing in between. Now I have learned that not everything is an emergency situation. Some things can wait and my health always comes first!
4. Positive attitude:  by doing what I love, I can keep a positive attitude with ease. I practice yoga, paint and dance. 

What do you do for your health’s sake? 


Jesse St. Jean

Jesse St. Jean

I am many things: a wife, a daughter, a sister, a nutritional therapist, a dog-mom… and I’m an autoimmune warrior.

Nutritional therapist Jesse

Hi, I'm Jesse

I empower women autoimmune warriors to reclaim their health by teaching each woman how to make the right food choices to heal her body while confidently owning her journey so she can live a vibrant life with chronic illness.


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