Autoimmune Diet Daily Routine

Included below is the Ankylosing Spondylitis / Autoimmune Diet Daily Health Routine I created, miscellaneous info, what to avoid, and what to control.

If you have not done so, I suggest reading about the 21-Day Food Reboot (1/18 – 2/7/12) along with the 1st 6 months prediction.  Then follow the actual daily autoimmune routine for the 3 weeks to 2 months, months 3-5, and months 5-12.

Miscellaneous Components

  • Calories: Need 2220+ calories per day (Calculate BMR X Lifestyle)
  • Fat:  I need 49g – 86g of fat per day
  • Protein:  I need 70g of protein per day (1/2 my weight)
  • Since the start of the 21-day reboot, the medication I took was Enbrel (last taken Feb. 7 – Day 21 of reboot).

What’s Working?

After my Autoimmune Medical Breakthrough, I found out that I have Crohn’s Disease, IBS & Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Anemia.  These are all conditions with the digestive system, so my focus is on layering different ways to heal it:

My Daily Autoimmune Diet

Morning

Lunchtime & Afternoon:

  • If time permits, take a 1-2 hour nap.
  • Swimming exercises 2-3X per week.  Alternate with the power plate & gym exercises.  Stopped power plate & reduced swimming to 1X per week 3/13.
  • Usually canned or smoked Alaskan salmon with rice or potatoes and a vegetable.
  • Afternoon I sometimes eat a variety of nuts (macadamia, brasil nut, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds) and dried fruit (cherries, raisins, craisins, goji berry).  Alternate with a Larabar.

Dinner & Evening:

Overall Dietary Percentages:

  • 10% Raw / 90% Cooked Diet
  • 25% Organic Fruits & Vegetables
  • 35% Rice / Potatoes
  • 0-10% Nuts/Seeds
  • 40% Fish, Chicken, and Some Red Meat

Avoid Throughout the Day:

  • Starchy foods that I’m food intolerant with – no flours, grains, or breads.
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Soda of any form
  • Cow dairy – I opt for goat / sheep cheese & yogurt in smaller amounts.  Cow dairy can give me rib pain and minor headaches.
  • All refined foods (processed by humans) sugars, modified / processed corn starch, corn syrup, dyes, etc.
  • Most animal meat that is not organic in its raising.  No hormones / antibiotics.
  • Drink alcohol rarely & no smoking.
  • Table salt.  If I want to add salt, I use Himalayan Sea Salt (adds minerals to diet).
  • Eggs.  Although I have not tested in awhile, I am food intolerant to them.  At this point I can probably have them in smaller doses or as an ingredient in another food.  UPDATE 6/13 – Approved from functional doctor that I can eat eggs again.
  • Squash.  Tried recipes with it like a butternut squash pizza and had a flare-up the next day.  Zucchini may also flare me up, but not as much.
  • Tomato paste – it may be the BPA in the lining, but every time I make tomato sauce with tomato paste, it flares me up 1-2 days.
  • Beans / Legumes – besides flatulence issues most get, I have been known to flare up, but it’s been inconsistent.  It might have to do with how long the beans have been cooked and the more I have the more chance for a flare-up.  I tend to avoid all types of beans (even green beans & soybeans), but seem to do fine with peas.

Things I’m Learning to Control:

  • Kale is one of the highest insoluble fiber with 5.1 grams in a cup.  If I have too much, my system doesn’t absorb all of it and it makes me got to the bathroom 2-3X more.
  • Chocolate / Cacao Powder – If I eat too much, my sacro joints & left/right should blades flare up.  My neck & spine get stiff.
  • Nuts / Seeds – I eat 1-2 handfuls by itself.  Anymore and my body has a hard time to digest.  Also, thoroughly chew the nuts and try to have with other fruits & vegetables to ease digestion. Nuts off the list due to NSD are sunflower seeds, chestnuts, and peanuts (combo digestion & NSD issues).
  • Cooked & Raw: If you eat more than 51% cooked food, your body’s immune system sends a false alarm because it reacts to cooked foods as if they were a foreign organism.   Info source:  Food Matters.  Also cooking past 118 degrees kills those enzymes.  UPDATE 12/12 – Due to my autoimmune breakthrough, IBD/Crohn’s/UC, my personal experience is to eat cooked foods and soups.  While raw foods contain enzymes and other nutritional benefits, they are harder to digest and are too fibrous (I went to the bathroom 5-6 times when going raw and go 1-3 times with cooked + rice).
  • Organic:  If it’s not local USDA organic vegetables / fruits, you’re only getting (up to) 40% of the nutritional value.  Info source:  Food Matters.  Also, when you buy organic, see where it’s coming from.  If it isn’t local, it can take 3-4 days to ship it to your local grocer.  Places like farmer’s markets and some health food stores (even some larger grocery chains) carry vegetables / fruit picked that same morning.  The quicker you get it, the better “bang for your buck”.  In my experience so far, budget, availability and seasonality play a roll in just how much organic food you get (especially the local kind).  Here in Florida, for example, it’s difficult during the summer months to get local USDA organic food.
  • Eating & Drinking:  In order for your food to assimilate better and increase digestion (by using more of your saliva), I drink small amounts with my meals.
  • Meat & Starches:  Started on the no-starch diet works well at 1st, but I took food intolerance and vitamin deficiency tests to know what my body needs / can’t have.  Since then I am off the no-starch diet and having starches I can eat like rice & potatoes.  I also found out I needed more protein in my diet to build muscle mass & weight.  Red meat itself reduced my swollen ankles because I needed the Carnitine in it.  More info on the food intolerance & vitamin deficiency tests can be found here.
    UPDATE 6/13 – Due to my lack of absorption and weight loss, I need to eat animal protein in every meal.  Along with rice, helps bind my stool plus keeps my weight regulated.
  • Jon

    The comment about raw v cooked is very interesting. thanks! I have ank spond and POTS.

  • Ryan Mastromarino

    It seems as if you were trying to be relatively vegetarian and it turned out to not be the best choice for you (i don’t think it is for anyone).

    I have AS and have tinkered a lot with diet. NSD and staying keto helps, but I often find that I have more trouble with FODMAPS than starch. Both of these I think SHOULD be tolerated, but i believe AS starts in the gut and stems from a gut dysbiosis. There are certain bugs that are soothing–stimulating the production of T-regs and there are others that spike inflammation. The key is finding a way to restore the healthy microflora (and microfauna–see helminthic therapy). This in combination with the nutrition from grassfed/wildcaught meat that your gut needs to heal–glycine, proline, collagen, glutamine, and healthy fats like CLA and DHA–is why GAPs is so therapeutic.

    As far as the raw food thing goes, I have seen that documentary and I have not been able to find anything that supports the idea of that (You must keep in mind that Food matters had a vegetarian slant) and that everything I know about food leads me to believe the opposite. Plants and their seeds contain toxins–this is their defense mechanism since they can not flee predators–such as lectins, glycoalkaloids in nightshades, oxylate, gluten. Most of these things are degraded in the cooking process. I would also stay away from all grains and legumes and watch seeds, nuts, eggs, nightshades, and dairy that is not fermented or reduced to remove/degrade the lactose and casein.

    • brianzajac

      Ryan,

      Thanks for your suggestions on AS. I think you are completely right about needing the grassfed / wildcaught meat, but the GAPS protocol mainly promotes fermentation. Normally I would not have any issues with fermented foods and heavily promote water kefir. But I had a gut ecology profile / test completed and it showed high levels of fungus. This in itself can make me a candidate for Candida overgrowth and I now trade good bacteria for additional fungus with the water kefir. Lovely isn’t it?

      As far as the raw food goes, you are also correct. Soups are the best for keeping plant nutrients (outside of raw), but cooking food is a must to take care of digestion difficulty and any plant toxins. As for grains, I stay away from most, but NEED starch and found rice does the best for me (has soluble fiber I need). For nuts, I cannot avoid them. I am underweight and additional oils / meats in my diet aren’t cutting it. Adding in nuts allows the calories I need due to malabsorption of nutrients. If you have other suggestions for calorie-dense foods, I’d like to hear your viewpoint.

      If you haven’t read, I suggest taking a look at my Low-Dose Naltrexone post. I’m making major gains with it and has little side effects (and low cost).