Are you ready for another look into an AIP life? This week's interview is with the lovely Meagen Ashley! Let's take a peek at how she makes AIP work in her busy life as a schoolteacher.
As as we got chatting, Meagen and I realized we live pretty close to each other! How cool is that? I just love this AIP community, and you are going to love Meagen's interview!
To start, tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 28 years old and live in a small town in Alberta, Canada. I teach grade one to a wonderful group of kiddos and I am getting married to my best friend next year. I suffer from mostly skin issues such as eczema and acne, as well as HS (hidradenitis suppurativa). I recently started a blog this summer following my autoimmune protocol journey and began my Holistic Nutrition program. The autoimmune protocol has changed my life for the better and it is my hope that I can eventually help others too!
How long have you been following (or did follow) the Autoimmune Protocol, and what prompted you to try it?
I have been following the Autoimmune protocol for about 2.5 years. Not completely strict per say, meaning I do have aip treats every once in awhile, but I have not had any successful reintroductions yet. I decided to try AIP after being fed up with being misdiagnosed and no real solutions to my skin issues. I was also have a lot of digestive upset and had gained around 100 pounds over the course of 4 years.
What have you found most challenging about following the Autoimmune Protocol? What helped you to overcome the challenge?
Initially the most challenging part was eating breakfast and cooking so often…I hated eating dinner for breakfast haha. Looking back now, that is probably pretty minimal. Currently I would say the most difficult part is travelling and eating out although I am getting better at being more comfortable doing this. Another difficult aspect is getting others to understand why you are following such a strict diet. It takes a long time for people to get use to it. It is almost more difficult for them to accept than it is for me.
Other than food, what aspect of AIP living have you found to have the biggest impact on your health?
Well I have to give a shout out to bone broth (it really does heal your gut) but other than that I would say sleep and stress management have been huge. I actually listen to my body now and go to bed when I feel tired and try to sleep 8-9 hours a night. I am still working on the stress management but really just learning to let things go and not take it personally has been really helpful.
Share 1 thing you wish you had known when you started the Autoimmune Protocol.
I wish someone would have told me I didn’t have to eat meat for breakfast everyday. For some reason I thought I did and I remember sitting eating beef stew for breakfast about 3 months in and crying. The struggle was real! But I survived and I am so happy I have stuck with it. I can’t believe I have been healing my body for almost three years!
Also, there are so many great resources out there now! You are not alone and you can recreate old favourites!
What exciting or rewarding results have you seen from following AIP?
Well most importantly I have improved my digestive issues, put my HS into remission for the most part, and lost the 100 pounds I had gained. I feel better now than I did 10 years ago.
Do you have a favourite AIP resource?
I have two current favourites: The Healing Kitchen Cookbook and The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook. Also check out the Paleo AIP Roudntable each week there are so many new amazing recipes!
My old favourite is The Hidden Plague by Tara Grant.
What are your top 3 kitchen tools for AIP cooking?
Food processor, blender, Instant Pot and a good knife (sorry that’s 4)!
Now's your chance, share one AIP related pet-peeve with us.
People think it's a 30 day fix. While of course you want to be able to reintroduce foods, you can’t expect to heal your body overnight. It takes time and patience. Everyone is different and the AIP looks slightly different for everyone.
We know our thoughts & emotions play a large role in AIP healing. Do you have a favourite phrase, or mantra, if you will?
Well I suppose it changes as I go through my healing journey. Right now it’s probably remembering that healing is not linear and some days are good and some are bad even when I think I am doing everything right.
Not everyone understands why we choose to live & eat the way we do. How do you deal with the nay-sayers?
Well I think you just have to ignore those people. In fact often times I feel slightly sad for them because most people would benefit from eating a diet that is healthier and healing. Recently I had someone say that eating with restrictions makes everyone else’s life difficult especially when you go visit people because they have to cook differently. My response to that is that I am going to do everything in my power to be the best version of myself and that includes feeding my body what it needs. If someone would rather you be ill than have to leave out the pepper when making the roast, then they are probably the ones who need to do some self reflection
Thank you, Meagen!
I love her expressions, and it tickled me pink to see that we share a favourite phrase. Healing is not linear! It was so encouraging seeing how much she has helped her body by following the AIP!
What did you love about this interview? Share with us below!
Check in next week for our next AIP Spotlight interview.
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The Emancipated Epicure, Bethany. I'm a Foodie & Autoimmune Warrior who loves to cook. Working at healing with the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol.
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