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The AIP Diet Culture is Dead: Long Live Individualized Health!

Hey Warrior!

For years, the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet has been hailed as the gold standard for managing autoimmune diseases like lupus. But in a shocking turn of events, Sarah Ballantyne, the creator of the AIP diet, announced on her IG page on 2/21/2024 that she no longer believes in the AIP diet. In fact, Sarah has evolved from promoting the AIP diet for the past four years and supports a stance as a Nutrivore. 

According to Sarah, who also coined the term “Nutrivore,” it’s about someone who follows a diet that focuses on nutrient-dense whole foods to meet their body’s needs without guilt or strict rules. This is a very interesting dynamic for someone who promoted strict diet rules and has written tons of books, on top of having Nutritionists and Dietitians of the like promoting the AIP lifestyle. The AIP is everywhere!

But I get it. Things change. 

Sarah Ballantyne IG post where she no longer follows AIP
Sarah Ballantyne replies on IG to share she no longer follows AIP

What does this mean for the lupus and autoimmune community? 

Well, let’s reflect a bit.

Rewind four years ago, I myself, decided to commit to a vegan lifestyle, after trying many diets out there like the AIP, hyper nourishment and low FODMAP. Being vegan meant that I was free of eating animals and had a more mindful approach as a consumer living in an environment with finite resources.

Fast forward to today, I have changed my approach. I also believe in eating whole foods to nourish the body, without guilt and restrictions. This includes eating primarily plant-based foods, along with sparingly and mindfully consuming animal-based foods like sardines, bison, and bone broth.

Since changing the way that I ate and my relationship with food, I feel better in my body, mind and spirit. I am still mindful of consumption. I visit the local farmer’s market to learn what foods they are growing in season, and how they are growing the food. I source meat from butchers who respect their animals. I forage for wild and edible plants. I learned how different plants are medicine. I bless my food at each meal and express gratitude for the food nourishing me. 

Whole foods diet to reverse lupus salmon bowl with seasonal veggies
Salmon Bowl with veggies

Sarah’s story is an example and reminder of how we are human at the end of the day. We evolve. We learn. We grow. 

And with that being said… It's time to explore new options and challenge our beliefs.

The Rise and Fall of the AIP Diet Culture

The AIP diet swept the health and wellness scene, promising relief from symptoms and a sense of control over our health. But as more people jumped on the bandwagon, the AIP diet became more than just a diet - it became a culture. And like any culture, it had its own set of rules, restrictions, and beliefs. But what if we've been misled? What if the one-size-fits-all approach isn't the way forward?

Breaking Free from Diet Culture

It's time to break free from diet culture and embrace individualized health. Yes, there are basic principles. It’s best to avoid highly processed foods and junk that will spike our blood sugar, cholesterol, cause inflammation and systemic and organ damage. 

No more restrictions! No more guilt trips! It's time to love up on ourselves and give our bodies the respect that it deserves. 

end diet culture
break-free from diet culture!

But what does this mean in practice? It means exploring new ways of eating, like intuitive eating and personalized nutrition. It means focusing on our unique health journeys and embracing our differences.

Here are some basic principles that you can implement today to be MORE MINDFUL of what you put in your body:

  • Shop at the grocery store after you have eaten a colorful and nourishing meal. You will be inspired to continue to feed your body that way.

  • Eat at the table, away from electronics, and bless your food. Give yourself the undivided attention you deserve to nourish you.

  • Chew your food at least 25-30 and put the fork or spoon down in between bites.

  • Stop eating once you are 80% full. Leftovers are in. 

  • Enjoy the colors, shapes, textures, flavors, and aromas of your meal. 

  • Keep practicing!

Your body, mind and spirit will thank you.

Genny practicing mindful eating lupus warrior
Genny practicing Mindful Eating with A Lentil Curry

The AIP diet culture may be dead, but individualized health is alive and well.

Join me and the community in embracing our ancestral wisdom, curiosity, and self-love to forge a new path forward to nourishing the body, mind and spirit.

Let's break free from diet culture and make our eating habits sustainably delicious to take control of our health in a way that works for each of us!

My philosophy is to empower lupus warriors on a transformative journey to reclaim vitality through whole-food holistic healing. 

The reality is that if we heal our gut + our emotions, we can heal lupus. Period.

What y’all think?

Genny Mack

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