S2 E5 Q + A #3 – Weight loss, pregnancy, macronutrient ratios, and coffee replacement options while on AIP

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Welcome to The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast Season 2! We’ve created this podcast as a free resource to accompany our book, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook: A DIY Guide to Living Well with Chronic Illness.

Season 2 Episode 5 takes us back to our Q+A style, where Mickey and Angie answer questions from listeners like you. In this episode, the ladies dig into how to address too much weight loss on AIP, how to navigate pregnancy while on AIP, good carb-y snacks for type 1 diabetics, and coffee replacements.

Plus, they start by chatting about common (and confounding) misconceptions about AIP, and the questions they wish they’d get asked more often. Scroll down for the full episode transcript.

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Full Transcript:

Mickey Trescott: Welcome to the Autoimmune Wellness podcast, a complimentary resource for those on the road to recovery. I’m Mickey Trescott, a nutritional therapy practitioner living well with autoimmune disease in Oregon. I’ve got both Hashimoto’s and Celiac disease.

Angie Alt: And I’m Angie Alt, a certified health coach and nutritional therapy consultant, also living well with autoimmune disease in Maryland. I have endometriosis, lichen sclerosis, and Celiac disease. After recovering our health by combining the best of conventional medicine with effective and natural dietary and lifestyle interventions, Mickey and I started blogging at www.Autimmune-Paleo.com, where our collective mission is seeking wellness and building community.

Mickey Trescott: This podcast is sponsored by The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook; our co-authored guide to living well with chronic illness. We saw the need for a comprehensive resource that goes beyond nutrition to connect savvy patients, just like you, to the resources they need to achieve vibrant health. Through the use of self assessments, checklists, handy guides and templates, you get to experience the joy of discovery; finding out which areas to prioritize on your healing journey. Pick up a copy wherever books are sold.

Angie Alt: A quick disclaimer: The content in this podcast is intended as general information only, and is not to be substituted for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. On to the podcast!

1. Mickey and Angie ask each other a question [2:53]
2. Losing too much weight on AIP [8:10]
3. Over-restriction, losing too much weight [13:31]
4. Pregnancy and AIP [17:43]
5. Macronutrients: Cutting down on meat [25:00]
6. Carby snacks for type 1 diabetic [29:07]
7. Replacement for coffee [31:16]

Mickey Trescott: Hey everybody! Mickey here, and welcome back to the Autoimmune Wellness podcast. If you’re here, you know that we are right in the middle of our second season; sharing with you guys a series of Q&A and interview today, because we’ve got both Angie and I on the line. We are doing a Q&A episode. We’re going to answer some of you guys’ questions. But first, I’d love to hear from Angie, how she’s doing this week.

Angie Alt: Hey everybody. I am doing good. I just got done having a little timeout week. I put myself in timeout, and had to do a bunch of regrouping, so that I could keep my head on my shoulders, and figure out how to do all the things that I do. I’m actually feeling a lot better this week, for taking that time. How are you Mickey?

Mickey Trescott: I’m feeling a lot better now that you {laughs} had a timeout.

Angie Alt: Yeah, heads up everybody.

Mickey Trescott: Because I got a timeout, too. It was a really nice reminder that we both needed to slow down. And I wasn’t thinking about slowing down until you were like; I can’t this week. I was like, “You know what? I can’t either.” {laughs}

Angie Alt: Yeah. If you work in partnership; if one of you is losing it, the other one will be impacted. {laughs}

Mickey Trescott: Totally. Totally. So, yeah, I’m feeling pretty good after the weekend.

Angie Alt: Nice.

1. Mickey and Angie ask each other a question [2:53]

Mickey Trescott: Yeah, so. Before we get to these listener questions, going on our theme that we started last time we did one of these, we’re going to ask each other a question. So Angie, my question for you this week, is what is one thing that we get asked all the time that sometimes you just can’t wrap your head around where all of the confusion comes from? {laughs}

Angie Alt: {laughs} Ok. Well, there’s probably a couple of areas to explore here. One that comes to the top of my mind right away is kind of the misconception that AIP is a no-sugar protocol. That comes up pretty often. I see it especially in my group program, because there’s high volume of people going through there. I get to be exposed to this really often. And you know, its’ a very low-sugar protocol, for sure. It’s nowhere near what a Standard American Diet has; not even in the same ballpark. Not even on the same continent in terms of sugar intake.

You know, people will say, “I thought I couldn’t eat any fruit, because there’s sugar.” You know. If they see a paleo treat recipe, they’re like, “I thought we couldn’t eat maple syrup!” Of course, we’re not encouraging everybody to go out and drink a gallon of it or anything, but a very small amount of sugar is totally within bounds for the protocol.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah. And don’t you think sometimes when people ask this, they’re angry.

Angie Alt: Yeah.

Mickey Trescott: Like, they have; there are these anti-sugar people. Which, you know, sugar; especially if you’re someone who has a history of the blood sugar thing. We’re not saying sugar is the best thing ever. But sometimes when people write in, they’ll be like, “I am so disappointed. I thought this was sugar free. You should know better!” {laughs}

Angie Alt: Yeah.

Mickey Trescott: And it’s just like; uh, I mean, you know a little treat in moderation after dinner in the context of a balanced meal usually brings a lot of people happiness.

Angie Alt: Right. You know, the point. As always, I think we’ve said this many, many times now. But the point of this protocol is not to burden our hearts and minds; it’s to heal. And if you feel like you can never enjoy a small treat, and have a celebration with your family, or have something special over a holiday. If there is no option for that, it’s not going to be sustainable in real life. And you won’t be able to heal.

Mickey Trescott: Agreed.

Angie Alt: So, a little bit of balance there. Ok, so I have a question for you, Mickey. If there was one question that you wish we would be asked more often, what would it be? Do you think there are some under-explored facets of AIP?

Mickey Trescott: You know, one thing I haven’t really been asked very often that I actually think is a really interesting thing about my experience is just how my relationships with my friends and with my family, and even my relationship to the world; my career, what I do, how that has all changed as I undertook the autoimmune protocol. I mean, it’s kind of one of those things; defining moments in your life. I think when you have a health crisis and you decide to embark on something that is going to help you feel better, and empowered, and in control; I think that those changes kind of ripple out. And you know, people don’t really talk about it. There is bad; or hard parts about that.

When I was diagnosed, I had been vegan for a very long time. I had a lot of friends who were in the vegan/vegetarian community, and I had a lot of friends who weren’t vegan that I worked with. When I started eating different, and was sick all the time, and was kind of not that fun to be around because, you know, I needed a lot of support, a lot of these people just kind of disappeared out of my life. And it sounds kind of sad, but what ended up happening was I connected with a lot of incredible people, and made almost a whole new group of friends that I feel get me on a level, and we are close. Like, you and I, Angie, are close in a way that I don’t get that with a lot of people. So I don’t know. A lot of that has changed, and I think that’s something that I haven’t really been asked about.

Then changing your whole life, you just have a different outlook on life when you have one of those kind of lifechanging moments. It’s almost like going to college, or getting married. A big event in your life, but it’s unexpected, you know?

Angie Alt: Yeah. Mm-hmm. It’s a little bit of a come to Jesus moment.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah, totally.

Angie Alt: In my world.

Mickey Trescott: And in that moment, you have the opportunity to change anything you want. And some things have to change, and some things that you never would have changed. Like, I probably would not have changed my career. But I was there, and there was the opportunity, and I went for it. And for a lot of people, that happens, you know.

Angie Alt: Yeah. Exactly. Good answer, Mickey.

2. Losing too much weight on AIP [8:10]

Mickey Trescott: Sweet. So that was fun. Now, let’s get on to tackling some questions from our audience. We have a few different topics today. We’re going to talk a little bit about weight loss on the autoimmune protocol. Pregnancy, some macronutrients, and a question about coffee.

So, Tina asks, “I have been strict full AIP for 8 months. I have alopecia, and have been trying to heal this. The good news is my hair is growing back.”

Angie Alt: Woot, woot!

Mickey Trescott: Yay. Side note; Tina, that’s awesome to hear. “Bad news is I’m losing too much weight. Instead of white potatoes I eat sweet potatoes, swede, squash, plantains, and parsnips. But I’m still losing weight. I additionally eat one avocado each morning with my breakfast. I eat 3 large meals a day; and I mean large, but I’m still dropping weight. What do you think could be the cause, and how could I put some weight on?”

Angie Alt: It sounds to me like Tina is doing a lot of the things that we would probably recommend, right? She’s trying to get in some carbs, and she’s working on getting in more fat when she can. She’s having pretty big servings of food. I would be wondering if she could add in even still a little more fat? So that’s kind of the first step. Make sure you’re eating more fat. Ways to do this beyond the avocados are roasting your vegetables in coconut oil, maybe trying to drizzle a little olive oil on just about everything you’re eating. I drizzle olive oil on just about everything you can imagine. Maybe trying to work in some fat bombs or some full-fat coconut milk into things.

Then, of course, maybe going a little bit further with the carbs. Even getting into some of the high glucose fruits; because you need a little bit of insulin response to store fat in the body. So maybe bananas, pineapples, apricots, plums, prunes, grapes, raisins, figs, dates. These really sugary kinds of starchy carb sources. And she’s kind of already working on the starchy vegetables, it sounds like.

And then probably last is not to forget the protein. I would wonder how much protein she’s eating per day. If it’s not enough, maybe bumping that up a little bit. In terms of lifestyle, making sure she’s getting enough rest, and managing her stress. Unmanaged stress can be a problem here with weight.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah, another thing that I would think of too; this is kind of the opposite that we tell anyone who is having trouble losing weight on AIP, or even general AIP advice. So for any of you who don’t want to gain weight or are a healthy weight, ignore this. But this is a case where smoothies may be helpful.

Angie Alt: Yeah. That’s where I was going with the full-fat coconut milk.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah. Especially between meals, trying to get in some snacks. She says she’s eating 3 large meals a day. There have been periods where I really needed to gain weight, and I just couldn’t do it without a snack that had a lot of calories in it. And smoothies can actually trick your brain pretty well into getting some calories into your stomach without actually feeling like you’re too full; which is why a lot of people gain weight with them. But you can make smoothies with some of those higher glycemic fruits, and some coconut milk with some fat. And some collagen, and maybe throw some greens in there. That would be great.

The other thing I might thing is digestion. If her digestion isn’t great, things could be moving through too quick, and she might not actually be accessing those nutrients. So troubleshooting, maybe a reason for digestive issues.

Angie Alt: Yeah. Maybe even starting as simple as food hygiene. Like sitting down and having a very restful environment while you eat; chewing very, very thoroughly. Taking time to kind of concentrate on your food. The textures, the tastes, the smells. Just starting as simple as that, and seeing if it causes any changes. I’ve even recently experimented with this with my husband. And even after 5 years of having me live in his house, he has been shocked at how much it’s making a difference to take time for that.

Mickey Trescott: And it sounds like, too, if her hair is growing back, she might start thinking about reintroduction soon. Like, if she’s ready and she wants to start reintroducing food, something like white rice might be something to move up the stages, and maybe try that first. Because that’s a pretty good starchy carb that you can cook in some bone broth, and really cover it in some fat. And that might help it be another vehicle for getting some fat into her body.

Angie Alt: Right, she could even maybe try some butter pretty soon, and have another fat option in there.

Mickey Trescott: And the nuts and seeds.

Angie Alt: Yep. Yep. Congratulations Tina, on the hair regrowth! We’re happy for you.

3. Over-restriction, losing too much weight [13:31]

Angie Alt: Alright, let’s see. So we have another question about weight loss, Mickey. Jules asks, “I have been doing AIP for 2 months now and have lost too much weight. I know that adding more starchy veggies will help, but I’m not sure if SIBO is a factor or not. Also, I have some yeast/bacteria that I am dealing with, so I’m trying to limit starches and sugars. Any advice on this would be great. Thank you.”

Mickey Trescott: Yeah. So, Jules, I think that what’s going on is you’re restricting too many categories of food in addition to the autoimmune protocol. So it sounds like you’re limiting starches and sugars; and those are actually really needed to create energy in your body when you’re eating on such a restricted diet.

So, it sounds like you’re not sure if it’s SIBO, and you maybe know about some yeast and bacteria. The best course of action for someone like you is actually to find a practitioner and get tested for all of these issues that are potentially there. Going online and looking at Candida symptoms, or SIBO symptoms, is not good enough. A lot of these things kind of manifest differently in different people. And you really need to get treated. So restricting these starches and sugars, in addition to AIP, in a lot of cases is not going to make these issues go away. You’re just going to end up really frustrated with like 5 foods to eat, and I’m not surprised that you’re losing too much weight.

So if SIBO is something that you’re suspecting. For those of you guys that SIBO is maybe a new word, that stands for small intestine bacterial overgrowth. It’s very common in people with autoimmune disease, but not everyone has it. If you suffer from bloating, gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation, and/or alternating both, you could have SIBO. So a low FODMAP; this is fermentable fibers in the diet. Low-FODMAP diet can help a lot of people with their symptoms with SIBO, because these fibers are what the bacteria actually eat. So that’s why you get the bloating and the gas. These are the byproducts of the fermentation in your gut.

You really need to be tested using a breath test. It’s a lactulose breath test. That’s the only way you can tell if you have SIBO, and it needs to be ordered by a licensed practitioner. I actually think a urine organic acids test also can bring up SIBO. But the lactulose breath test, right Angie?

Angie Alt: Gold standard.

Mickey Trescott: Definitely the gold standard, yeah. And then, if you have yeast and bacteria, what I recommend is a comprehensive stool test. So this is something like the Metametrix or the Doctor’s Data, or whatever test your functional doctor orders that tests for a variety of yeast, bacteria, and parasites. What these tests will do is they’ll tell what strain you have, and then they will actually even test different antimicrobials on the strain that actually came from your sample, and they’ll tell what works on it. So your test will come back saying, “Ok, you have this level of Candida, and oregano is going to be the number one treatment for it.” Or, maybe your strain is most sensitive to the over-the-counter or prescription antifungals.

So if you’re working with a doctor, you can actually get that treatment. You can get the best treatment. And you can hopefully be done with it, so that you can start eating these starches that you’re going to need to keep weight on your body. Because it’s really, really difficult to do this kind of diet thing long term.

Angie Alt: Right. And if it turns that SIBO is in fact part of her picture, kind of in the same vein as the last question. She might consider an early reintroduction of white rice while she limits FODMAPs so that she has a starch source.

Mickey Trescott: Right. Yeah, white rice is tolerable to a lot of people that have SIBO. Not everyone, but usually it’s more tolerable. So that’s where working with someone, we definitely want people to be resolving these gut infections, instead of just dieting harder. Because that does not resolve.

Angie Alt: It won’t fix it.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah.

Angie Alt: Yeah.

4. Pregnancy and AIP [17:43]

Mickey Trescott: So, Tales of a Nutrivore has a question about pregnancy. She says, “This is awesome, can’t wait for season 2.” We are excited to bring this to you, Tales of a Nutrivore.

Angie Alt: Thank you!

Mickey Trescott: She wants to know about living well with an autoimmune disease and pregnancy. “I know this is such a personal decision, but I’d like to know how different women have handled it. For example, when did they decide it was the right time? Were they in remission, or did they still have symptoms? How was their pregnancy and postpartum?”

Angie Alt: Yeah. So this is, like she says, it is a really personal decision. And I’ll just be the first person to be super real about this. For a lot of people, it just happens when it happens. {laughs} That said, deciding when the best time to go for it; I wouldn’t say that you have to totally be in remission to go for it, and try to get pregnant. But I think it is most likely that you’ll have a successful pregnancy, and easily get pregnant if you’re pretty close to remission, and in really good health.

I think Mickey and I have both had clients at different times who eventually got there, and we also know a lot of AIP bloggers who got to a period of health, and then it just happened quite easily. We kind of had this explosion.

Mickey Trescott: The baby boom.

Angie Alt: Yeah. We had an explosion of friends, the baby boom, with them all kind of getting pregnant at once. And relatively easily. Because I think they were in good health. Their body was well nourished, and it was easy to have it happen.

I don’t think any of those women would say that they were 100% symptom free, though. I don’t know if waiting to be there is realistic in terms of trying to get pregnant. But being in a really well-nourished place, where your body can easily handle the pregnancy is where you want to be.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah. I was just going to say, as much as you can plan, if you want to, I think that’s going to just make it easier for you. So working with someone on some preconception nutrition can be really, really helpful. Because there are so many things that basically the baby is just asking for all of these resources in your body. And having an autoimmune disease is very demanding on the body, but then being pregnant and having an autoimmune disease is going to be even more; that much more demanding. So just, I would say, even before if you have the luxury of planning, just kind of focusing on that nutrient density and overall general health, and just making sure those pieces. Like the B12, and the iron, and you’re getting great sources of folate, and all of that. Eating a lot of really good, healthy fats.

Angie Alt: A lot of organ meat.

Mickey Trescott: A lot of organ meat. You know, the bone broth, the collagen and gelatin and all of that stuff. You can’t go wrong. I mean, you can’t go wrong at any rate for anyone {laughs} you know doing that, but especially someone who is looking to get pregnant.

Angie Alt: Right. And I think another important thing to keep in mind here is that that preconception nutrition matters to dad just as it matters to mom.

Mickey Trescott: Yep.

Angie Alt: So making sure that he’s eating that same way. Like in ancient cultures, the people who were getting this really prime food were soon to be moms and dads. So eat up on both your parts on those things.

So as far as how pregnancy and postpartum are, my daughter is 16, and I was unfortunately not part of the AIP world at that time so I can’t really speak from personal experience. But based on what I’ve seen with friends and clients, pregnancies are usually a pretty good period. This is because our immune system is kind of tapped down a little bit to make room for that new little person that you’re hosting, and that can be really positive with autoimmune diseases that are making our immune systems go so crazy. So pregnancy can often be a really positive time, and you can find, for instance, your food choices are really expanded. Your body does well with lots of stuff that maybe it didn’t normally perform so well with.

Postpartum, it can be really, really likely that you’ll go through a flare. I think a few of our friends went through some flares, and I have seen clients go through it. It’s really typical for women to experience flares when they are at points in their life where they have big hormonal shifts; like postpartum.

Mickey Trescott: There’s more; there are a lot of reasons for that. Not only are you going through a crazy hormonal shift, your body is completely depleted, you’re not getting any sleep {laughs}. And you’re going through this emotional experience of just bringing a baby into the world. It’s kind of the perfect storm for a flare.

Angie Alt: But that said; I think it’s possible to kind of foresee that coming, and plan as best as you can for that. Really focusing, again, after delivery on your nutrient density, doing the best you can in terms of sleep. Getting a lot of support around you with that new little one to try to offset some of the stress of caring for an infant. Those kinds of things could help you minimize the possibility of a flare.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah. And I’ve worked with a couple of clients here where, once they were pregnant, they felt really great and they had some reintros, and they were on kind of a pretty expanded AIP template and kind of feeling awesome. But I told them, after they gave birth we needed to kind of check in and be vigilant. They needed to go back to their doctor, get their hormones tested. Especially one client I had with Hashimoto’s. And just make sure that all of their levels were ok.

With thyroid conditions, a lot of us with Hashi’s after they have babies the thyroid kind of takes a little while to get kind of jump started again, and sometimes that medication need can be a little bit higher. Sometimes even during pregnancy. So it’s important that if you have a thyroid condition, you make sure you’re kind of monitoring your thyroid care. Even in the conventional system; for anyone having a baby. They’re pretty attuned to checking the thyroid after birth, just because that’s a really common time for things to pop up. But it is important to even be assertive and get some of the further testing; because as we know, the conventional system is not that great at thoroughly testing and taking all the things into consideration. So that’s what I would say.

I have had a couple of Hashi’s clients go through this postpartum phase with minimal hiccups. Like, yeah, they’re going to be tired, and they’re going to have to go back to maybe a more restricted, elimination type diet, until they get back on their feet. They’re going to have to be really vigilant about trying to manage that stress, trying to get sleep when they can. But some of it is going to be just a different time, because that’s what having a baby is like, you know? {laughs}

Angie Alt: Yep.

Mickey Trescott: But then you have a baby, so.

Angie Alt: But then you have a cute baby.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah. That makes most people happy.

5. Macronutrients: Cutting down on meat [25:00]

Angie Alt: It makes most people happy, yep. Ok, let’s see. We have some macronutrient questions. Sobrahoff, I hope I’m saying that right; says, “I am following AIP, but have had a few slips over the holidays, for which I’ve paid dearly. My question is, how can I get enough protein while cutting down a lot on meat? I’m not sure that meat isn’t a little of a trigger for me. I have psoriatic arthritis, so they say.” What do you think, Mickey?

Mickey Trescott: Yeah, so I would say that it’s not impossible that someone is sensitive to meat, but I would say it’s a little bit more of an unusual sensitivity. So a meat intolerance, or sensitivity, usually comes up on food sensitivity tests, which we don’t love as a way to figure out what you’re sensitive to, really. The gold standard is food elimination and reintroduction. So in the beginning, for most people I would say, don’t worry too much about specific meats being triggers. Unless you have personal experience; like you know you’re allergic to shellfish, for example, that is definitely not what I’m talking about.

But, there is kind of a misconception that paleo and even the autoimmune protocol is a very meat-centric protocol. And the truth is, that there is kind of a wide variety and reasons why maybe you would want to eat a little less meat, or a little more meat than normal. I consider normal maybe 3-5 ounces at every meal. And that varies person to person, depending on the situation. Some people have kidney disease where a higher protein content is actually going to cause them harm, and they work with dieticians, and they get that protein requirement down, and they prefer sources of protein that are actually higher in nutrient density, like organ meat. Because if they’re not eating as much protein, they’re still getting as many nutrients as they would be if they were eating a higher volume. If that makes sense.

And then some people might eat more protein if they have a lot of repair that is going on in their bodies. Maybe even if they’re doing some athletic endeavors. You might need a little protein there. Maybe if they’re pregnant, you know. And then other people might eat more or less meat because of personal reasons. So when I actually transitioned to the autoimmune protocol, I had been vegan for 10 years. And my nutrient deficiencies, I think, were a lot more severe than most people that come to this protocol. So I actually ate a lot of meat at that point in my journey, because it felt very nourishing to me. I believe I was very depleted in nutrients, and I was craving it. So I especially was eating a lot of organ meat, a lot of fish, of course we know those are the most nutrient dense sources of meat.

But then over time, I kind of started dropping meat at some meals. And now, I eat meat for breakfast and dinner almost always, but lunch is kind of optional. If there’s meat, great; if there isn’t, I have a salad, I’m ok with that. So you don’t have to eat a ton of meat if you don’t want to. And I would say if you’re on the side of the spectrum, for whatever reason, that you’re eating less meat, just make sure that the meat you eat is nutrient dense. So for instance, you’re not just eating chicken. You’re eating some red meat, you’re eating some organ meat, you’re eating some fish. That kind of thing.

Angie Alt: Mm-hmm. And if you’re having trouble, especially in the beginning, if you’re transitioning from a vegan diet or a vegetarian diet. If you’re having trouble digesting the protein, you might try starting with a lot of fish, because fish is the easiest protein to digest.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah, and also supporting that hydrochloric acid. That acidity, that’s something I had to do. A lot of vegetarians say, “Oh, I can’t digest meat, it doesn’t feel good.” Well, actually the nutrients that you need to digest meat are contained in meat.

Angie Alt: In the meat. {laughs}

Mickey Trescott: So it’s a vicious cycle. That B1 and that zinc; if you’re deficient in those nutrients, then your body can’t make hydrochloric acid, which is needed to digest protein. So of course they don’t feel good. A supplement might help there, or just a little vinegar before meals, or something like that.

Angie Alt: Right. Support the stomach acid.

6. Carby snacks for type 1 diabetic [29:07]

Mickey Trescott: So, Ashley Runner says, “Hi ladies. I have celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. I’m on my second week, and I’ve noticed such a change in the amount of energy I have.” Yay!

Angie Alt: Hurray!

Mickey Trescott: “My question is about recommendations for easy 15-20 carb snacks I can keep in my bag for when I have a low. Thank you.”

Angie Alt: Yeah. So as type 1 diabetic, you have some special needs here, Ashley. And I’m sure you’re probably already pretty aware of it. But if we’re talking about emergency needs, then you’re going to want to have things like some dried fruit, fruit leather, things like that. Real high sugar, like a date.

Mickey Trescott: Honey stick.

Angie Alt: Yeah, a honey stick. Something that’s really high sugar, and really fast to absorb. If you’re looking for something that’s a little more like, you’re kind of out and about for the day and you’re noticing that your sugar is getting low, slowly over time, and you want to focus on those carb snacks. The number one thing that comes to my mind is some sweet potato chips, carrying around a little bag of those, or some plantain chips. Something that’s really easy, and pretty palatable; goes down pretty quick. That’s maybe what would be my go-to source. Do you have any other ideas, Mickey?

Mickey Trescott: Yeah, Artisan Tropic has cassava chips.

Angie Alt: Oh yeah, cassava.

Mickey Trescott: And taro chips. So there are a few options. You’d probably get sick of just doing one, like the sweet potatoes. Those sweet potatoes are actually the least favorite for me, of all of them.

Angie Alt: Yeah, me too.

Mickey Trescott: But I know people really like them a lot. But yeah, that’s what I would recommend, too. Just something a little bit in the starchier category than the sweeter category, because you know, probably better than we do, that if you just eat sugar then it goes up and then down again. So you need something to kind of stoke that flame a little bit longer.

Angie Alt: If you have a little bit more flexibility in terms of where you’re at; maybe you’re at the office during the day or something like that, I actually might try having half of a baked sweet potato hanging around with maybe some coconut butter or coconut oil so that you get those carbs you need to bring it up a little bit, but it’s a little cushioned by that fat.

Mickey Trescott: Yep. Agree.

7. Replacement for coffee [31:16]

Angie Alt: Ok, let’s see. Oh. Mickey, I better ask you this question. Everybody’s favorite.

Mickey Trescott: {laughs}

Angie Alt: I’m having a hard time with these Instagram handles.

Mickey Trescott: Instagram handles {laughs}.

Angie Alt: Yep. She said, “I loved season 1.” Thank you! “What should I replace coffee with? I enjoy herbal tea, but are there any that are preferred or should be avoided on AIP?” Mickey, do you have some coffee thoughts for us?

Mickey Trescott: Yes. So the ex-Seattle barista who used to be terribly addicted to both caffeine and the ritual of drinking coffee every day, I’m the expert in this department. So here is my list of things to drink instead of coffee. The first one is actually a recent recipe that I posted on the blog. You guys can find it at www.autoimunewellness.com. Go to the search bar, and type “chicory coffee” or “dandelion coffee.” This is a blend of dandelion and chicory root, which are both herbs. Or actually, the root of herb plants. And they make this incredible coffee-like alternative. So these bits of these roots are roasted. They have a really similar bitterness and acidity to coffee. There is no caffeine, and they actually have properties that aid in liver detox, so there’s another reason why they’re awesome. I like to steep it in a French press or a tea ball, and also add some coconut oil and blend it in a blender to make it kind of bulletproof style. It kind of tastes like a latte; super delicious.

Obviously, there’s tea. Some caffeine free alternatives include rooibos, chamomile, peppermint, licorice. Those are pretty standard. Bone broth; if you want something warm and nutrient dense in the morning. Not everyone can get behind the flavor, but I sometimes will take a little bit of my bone broth batch; say that 10 times fast.

Angie Alt: {laughs}

Mickey Trescott: And cook it; simmer it for maybe 30 minutes with some veggie scraps. So onion peels, garlic peels, tops of carrots, anything like that. It will give it kind of a vegetable-y flavor, and then I add some sea salt to taste. Sometimes even a squeeze of lemon. It tastes really great to drink straight up.

You can make a lemon-ginger infusion. This is something; have some fresh ginger on hand, cut it into some medallions, add a squeeze of lemon and some hot water. Super delicious. If you want a little bit of a sweeter beverage, which I would recommend only maybe on the weekends or for special occasions, because this is probably going to spike your blood sugar too much for every day. But you can make coconut milk chai “nottes”. I have a recipe for this in my autoimmune paleo cookbook; also in my article online. I have a link to a pumpkin spice “notte” that’s floating around the internet. This is just coconut milk and some AIP approved spices, a little bit of coconut sugar; super tasty.

And then lastly, if you don’t want to drink something warm. If you’re ok with drinking something cold in the morning, might be better in the summer, you can try some probiotic drinks. So, something like kombucha, water kefir, beet kvass, etc.

Angie Alt: Nice list. And ladies, that coffee replacement that Mickey mentioned, that is so great at also aiding with a little bit of liver detox. If you find that you’re somebody that’s having signs of excess estrogen close to your cycles. Things like breast tenderness and pain; maybe a little bit of acne. Maybe even a little bit of mood stuff going on. Trust me; if you drink this drink almost every day leading up, you will feel so much better. I know this from personal experience.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah. It’s actually kind of a little wonder-drink. I love it.

Angie Alt: Yeah. Alright. I guess we’re pretty much out of time for answering questions today. Thanks to everyone for submitting. We hope you guys learned a lot over the course of this episode. We’re trying to jampack these with info. Have a great day everyone, and we will see you next week with a person interview.

Mickey Trescott: Bye guys!

Angie Alt: Bye!

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Check out the previous episode, S2 E4 Angie interviews Stacy Smith, who is recovering from a suspected autoimmune condition. For the full podcast archive, click here.


About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a co-founder here at Autoimmune Wellness and a co-teacher of AIP Certified Coach. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She has a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Nutrition, and is the author of three best-selling books--The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, and The Nutrient-Dense Kitchen. You can watch her AIP cooking demos by following her on Instagram.


  • Sharon says

    Thank you for all you do to provide a sense of community for those of us living with autoimmune disease. You’ve helped me tremendously on this journey! I was especially interested in hearing the pregnancy information in relation to AIP. I have Hashimoto’s which was diagnosed after testing due to recurrent miscarriage. I think it’s also important to acknowledge the rate of infertility and miscarriage with autoimmune thyroid conditions. This could be another great podcast topic as I’m sure the information is relevant to many. Thanks again, Sharon

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Thanks for the suggestion Sharon! Yes, those of us with Hashimoto’s do have increased issues with infertility and miscarriage.

  • Susan Muniz says

    Hi ladies. I have a question that I would love to hear discussed on the podcast. I recently started seeing a functional medicine ARNP to discuss how to get my weight under control. I’m about 70 lbs overweight and have been for many years. I also have hypothyroidism and horrible brain fog with major fatigue. Since seeing her, I’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I have switched from the standard American diet to one that is an organic & Paleo. I also do HIIT workouts 3x per week. My question is: I hardly feel like I’m losing weight – what would you tell someone who is struggling between weight loss and having an auto-immune disease like Hashi’s? I feel like all of my attention has suddenly been refocused to my disease and weight loss is kind of on the back-burner. I’ve lost a few pounds since changing my lifestyle but that’s it. Thank you kindly.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Susan! Its hard to dig in here without taking a full history, but it sounds like you are working with a great practitioner if they have helped you get a Hashimoto’s diagnosis. The biggest tip I have to offer is to actually make sure if you need medication, you are prescribed the right dose and type. For those of us with Hashimoto’s, this piece goes along with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Second, don’t forget to focus on your health, that feeling of having less inflammation, clear headed, energy, etc. FIRST, before tackling weight loss. It is almost impossible to do both at the same time, and if you are doing the right things for your health, usually the weight loss follows. Hope it helps!

  • dawn says

    hi…thankyou guys, for providing transcripts for every podcast…its so much quicker for me to read them.
    also, loving your tip for dandelion coffee…just before my cycle i have one breast thats always tender…didnt know this was related to liver/ excess oestrogen…interesting…

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Glad you are finding them useful!

  • Jeanette says

    I have been AIP for two years and have the runs daily. Just had a stool test and there are no parasites or bacteria. I am also testing for SIBO. I don’t have a gallbladder and am taking salts for that. This leaves me feeling weak many days. Do you know of anything that I can do differently to stop this nasty problem?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Jeanette! This does sound troubling and I’m glad you are working with a practitioner to get tested for SIBO, which would be my first choice. Have you also considered maybe you are taking too many bile salts? This can often be a side effect. Other than that, it is hard to speculate without a history – it could be anything from stress to a food trigger. Working with a knowledgable practitioner is your best bet. Good luck!

  • Barbara Garner says

    Please do not suggest coconut oil nor coconut in general for people trying to gain weight or maintain weight. Coconut revs up the metabolism which assists in weight loss.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Barbara! It isn’t as simple as your comment up above. Coconut oil is a fat and is a more dense source of calories than protein or fat, making it possible for some people to gain weight by consuming it. Angie and I have personally done this ourselves 🙂

  • sharon says

    Thank you so much for answering these questions!

    BTW, I too appreciate the written transcript, but I do want to watch so I can know who is Mickey and who is Angie! LOL

    I appreciate so much your suggestions on weight gain! You gave me hope!

    P.S. How do I let you know my own questions in the future?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Sharon! Thanks for the feedback! Unfortunately, we are not usually camera-ready for these recording sessions… LOL! Be on the lookout for question submissions on our social media accounts for the next season 🙂

  • Clare says

    I’ve seen the question regarding autoimmunity and pregnancy a few times in the thyroid arena. Unfortunately, the fact is that if you have AI before pregnancy, your symptoms ‘may’ go into remission during the pregnancy BUT it often returns aggressively post-partum because the gene has already been ‘triggered’ and you may have a long period of sub-optimal health postpartum. [It’s no coincidence that there are so many mothers complaining about thyroid, hormonal and many other issues for years after they have kids.]
    Secondly, you very likely pass on the gene to your kids and it might not the same autoimmune condition that you have. It might be worse than yours.
    Thirdly, auto-antibodies also pass through the placenta to the fetus if there are high serum levels (<1000+ ug/ml). Ideally, you shouldn't even try to get pregnant unless you can find a way to lower to your autoantibody levels first as their presence is also a causative factor in miscarriage.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Clare, thanks for adding to the discussion here! I agree with you that it is important to get those antibodies down before trying to get pregnant, but often this is a difficult choice for those who really want to get pregnant. If we set ourselves up for success, even those of us with autoimmune disease can have healthy pregnancies and minimize the chances of flares post-partum.

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