When you’re looking at a delicious breakfast of ham and eggs what is the difference between the chicken and the pig? The chicken is dedicated the pig is committed.
As silly as that little illustration may be it is a true reminder of the difference between dedication and commitment. I am often approached by people via email, blog comment or Facebook message saying that they have been trying so hard to heal their gut, or lose weight, or manage their autoimmune disease but they aren’t seeing any results. I immediately start asking questions like, have you checked your supplements and vitamins for non-AIP ingredients? Are you drinking bone broth? Are you eating liver? How much fish are you eating? How much fructose are you eating? How much are you sleeping? How is your stress level? Have you accidentally exposed yourself to cross contaminates by eating out?
I am usually met with a collection of half hearted and wishy washy answers that go something like this, “Well my supplements are compliant except for my probiotic, its dairy based, but that’s ok right?” “I tried drinking bone broth but it was gross and I couldn’t get it down” “I ate a while plate of AIP cookies last night, but that’s ok because they are made with AIP ingredients” “I don’t have any more time to sleep”
No one ever likes what I have to say next.
You’re not committed enough.
You’re not going to see results until you are committed enough. There is no 80% AIP solution. Period. End of story.
It sounds harsh but it is the truth. You have not been 100% AIP for three weeks if last week you ate a handful of nuts because you were hungry. You should not be surprised if you haven’t seen any results and you are taking a supplement every day that contains dairy, nightshades and soy, you are not going to heal your gut just by eliminating certain foods and AIP-ifying your favorite treats without also adding in any other nutrient dense foods like bone broth and liver.
The AIP elimination phase is a short term, all encompassing, healing period. It is not a long-term lifestyle like paleo. You may hear some paleo blogs talking about the concept of 80/20. Meaning that if you are 80% paleo then there is room for some non-paleo, but still gluten free, foods 20% of the time. That is not the case on AIP. There is no 80% solution. There is no 95% solution, there is no 99% solution, there is only 100%.
I am usually a feel good person, I like to hear people’s feelings and emotions, I am all about being kind to ourselves and living a positive life, but that doesn’t mean we don’t all need a wake up call and a dose of tough love every once in a while.
Let me clarify, that yes, when you have been on AIP for 6 months, 8 months, 1 year, 2 years, life happens. I am not 100% all of the time. I go out to eat and probably accidentally expose myself to vegetable oil or soy. I go through periods of stress where I don’t sleep 8-9 hours every night. I forget to make a batch of bone broth one week and go without it, but that is only the case now that I have seen healing, now that I know what my body needs, how it works, and what my triggers are. That was not the case in my first 30-60 days on AIP.
For those first 30-60 days on the elimination phase your job is to live, breath, and eat AIP, if you want to get the most out of it. You need to immerse yourself in it, learn, read, do everything you can do. Plan out your meals, make them ahead of time, don’t go anywhere without AIP food for yourself, sleep like your life depends on it (because it does), take baths, use aroma therapy, manage your stress like your life depends on it (because it does). At any given moment ask yourself this question:
“WHAT CAN I BE DOING RIGHT NOW TO HEAL MYSELF?”
Right now, in this very moment. Could you be sitting outside while you do your work so you can get some more vitamin D? Could you be drinking a cup of bone broth? Could you be drinking some ginger tea with some gelatin and L-Glutamine in it? Could you be taking a walk while you talk on the phone? Could you be eating some liver pate instead of your third handful of dates? Could you be taking a 20 minute nap before your kids come home from school? Could you be saying no to an extra responsibility and making yourself a priority?
If you aren’t asking yourself that question every moment of every day and following through, until you start to see an improvement in your health, you are not committed, and there is still more you could be doing. Do it.