The Friday before I was set to leave for Madrid my doctor informed me that I needed to go on the Autoimmune Protocol for at least a month. I kinda thought that may be coming--due in part to a ton of tests & a few weeks of digestive issues--but I still was a bit shocked to get the news.
The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is essentially a Paleo diet (which is how I normally eat) except that in addition to removing all flours, grains, refined sugar, processed foods, beans, corn & dairy from my diet, additional common intestinal inflammatories are removed which include eggs, potatoes, peppers, anything in the nightshade family, heavy spices (cumin, paprika, curry, chili powder, mustard, etc.), all nuts & nut butters, sweeteners of any kind (no honey or maple syrup), and NSAIDs (Aleve, Motrin, Advil, etc). All of it. Gone.
I was fine with the basic Paleo part--I've been doing that for about 5 years so I'm used to it and know my way around.
But no honey?!No almond milk for my smoothies & ice cream??!No almond butter?? NO EGGS?!?!?!?!!!!!
Oh shit. What do I do now?
I thought I was going to die of starvation because duh...there is NOTHING else edible to eat in the entire world if you can't eat those things. I went to the bookstore, picked up a book to help me brush up on the specifics & then proceeded to spend the whole drive home thinking about how this 1-3 months of AIP was gonna be the worst thing ever.
And then I heard that voice.
You know, the one I always mention that's basically God speaking to me, as me?
It was all:
"You know you don't HAVE to do this, right? You went in search of an answer to a question (Why am I not feeling well??) and that's what you got...along with detailed instructions for how you can feel better. Don't want to feel better? Cool. Don't do it. But don't complain like you don't have a choice, because you do."
Then realized WHY I was so annoyed about the new diet.
I didn't want to learn a new way.
I wanted to stay safely tucked in my cocoon of ease & comfort by continuing to do the same thing I'd always done because I could do it effortlessly with my eyes closed & one arm tied behind my back.
The one who loves to read, loves to study, loves to learn.
It didn't make any sense until I made a wider correlation--because this moment isn't actually about egg frittatas or the bomb non-dairy honey pistachio ice cream I can't have anymore. And even that language.
The truth is that I can have & do whatever I want but this experience here? It's growing me. It's teaching me about letting go of the ways I've become too familiar with my life so that I can learn how to do things I've never tried before. Learn some new tricks that will better serve who I'm evolving into & where I'm going.
The fact that I can no longer rely on the same things that have been getting me by for YEARS--the things that I learned how to do only a few short years ago (egg muffins, almond flour pancakes, lamb curry)--means that I have to acclimate to my kitchen with a mind & spirit of a beginner, all over again. Because figuring out how to make new meals with new constrains means I have to study & plan. Assemble combinations I've never tried before & even waste food by making a few mistakes along the way.
I never had to do any of this before because I had a routine I could hit with my eyes closed. It required zero thought and I could just skate by on auto pilot, all while complaining that something was "off" with my stomach.
But getting tired of the same old results is what changed. I finally found a functional medicine doctor who ran a TON of test--the right tests--which yielded a result. Making the decision to stop avoiding that feeling in my belly & just commit to the (minimum) 30 days is just the right thing to do.
Which then got me to thinking,
Where else is this pattern showing up in my life??
So many things are falling away--things I've wanted to keep holding onto--but this AIP opportunity is reminding me that the pain is a sign that something isn't working as is, and that it's time to make a new choice. And once I realized what was really happening, I was golden. I felt empowered and even cautiously excited about the next few weeks.
It only took a few days of using avocados to make basil pesto (no pine nuts or cheese--imagine that!) & crafting artichoke & caramelized onion pizzas from scratch before it hit me...
I kinda love this new way.
I love how mindful & committed I've been about my eating. I love that I've fallen in love with coconut butter (something I'd never had!) & that I made a strawberry, cucumber & avocado salad for breakfast last weekend that was so bomb I didn't even miss my eggs. I've found new spice rubs to make and finally got around to making my own bone broth which was AMAZING. I like what this is doing to my body & what it's doing to my mind.
And I needed all of this to be shaken up because there is NO WAY I would've done this on my own.
I was assuming that the "glow up" would be focused on how I'm evolving my business, changing my writing & re-evaluating my relationships but it turns out it that the revolution started a bit closer to home. Like, right downstairs, in my kitchen.
If you're wanting to know where the next revolution is waiting to happen in your life, look no further than to what is hurting you in the life you have now.
The answer is right there.