Updated: Jan 5, 2019
They could be your neighbor, a parent from your kids' school, a friend, your coach, a teacher, a business owner you're doing business with... They experimented the AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) Protocol to manage their symptoms and they accepted to share their experience with y'all.
For our second episode of this series of interviews, Marcey is our guest.
My name is Marcey. I am a Productivity and Health speaker, coach, and author. I spent my 20s and 30s burning it up, being superwoman, competing in ultra-distance races in triathlon, running, mountain biking, and adventure racing. During this time, I also traveled heavily for work, up to 48 weeks a year, while climbing the corporate ladder. At age 39, I left my corporate job to start my own company helping high achievers Work Well and Play More without sacrificing their health.
What autoimmune disease(s) (AID) are you managing? What symptoms did you have?
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease, secondary Raynaud's Disease, pernicious anemia, and adrenal fatigue at the age of 39. I had been in menopause since the age of 36. Currently, I no longer have any detectable issues with anemia. I manage my Hashimoto's Disease with NatureThroid, a gluten and soy-free diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, and heart rate variability tracking. My Raynaud's Disease has progressed over the last few years and I've given myself second-degree burns due to lack of feeling and not realizing how hot something was when I was holding it.
How long have you been using AIP to manage your AID? Why did you start it? What/who advised you to start it? What are the results on your symptoms from switching to AIP?
I did a complete elimination-provocation diet in 2014 and did the 'poo' test for gluten-intolerance (very undignified), which showed definite gluten issues. I've been gluten-free ever since. I also switched from being vegetarian to eating clean meats due to the pernicious anemia. I wanted to manage my diseases as much as possible with lifestyle and halt or reverse whatever destruction was happening in my body. My functional medicine doctor, integrative medicine MD, and a health coach I was consulting with all recommended this diet. Now when I've accidentally been glutened (I use this as a verb), I feel ill, have cognitive deficits and am super tired.
Did you try to reintroduce some food? Which ones succeeded/failed and how did it go?
Four years ago, I had a definite sensitivity to soy, even soy lecithin, which is in everything! I've recently had a few things that had soy as a minor ingredient and I don't feel it has bothered me. I don't plan to introduce soy again into my diet on purpose, but if it is a minor ingredient, I may be okay. I also had to stop eating beans and legumes for almost six months because my gut health was so poor. I had serious bathroom issues for years and didn't realize how bad they were until my intestines were healed from the leaky gut.
What were your biggest challenges when you started AIP? What about now?
The biggest challenge was the lack of awareness about gluten-free foods. It's SO much easier now in even just four years. When I first told one of my best friends I had to be gluten-free, she told me to eat before we went over to her house that weekend. It really hurt my feelings. Most of my friends and family were very understanding. Restaurants were frustrating at the time and I admit that I cried once when we went to a gala with a buffet and there was NOTHING I could eat. Even the vegetables had a sauce. Now I don't feel as challenged and it's so common that I am not embarrassed. I am empathetic wherever I am and don't expect when I go to someone's house that they will have things for me to eat. I make sure I take something that I can have. I don't want people to bend over backwards for me. A restaurant, on the other hand, should have at least a few things on their menu. I do wish when I go to catered meals, that they did not assume that because I am gluten-free, I am also vegan. I have received nothing but a bowl of risotto that I paid $30 for, when they could have easily given me the chicken and vegetables everyone else was eating, but without the sauce.
How AIP impacted your personal and professional life?
I thought it would impact my personal life more, but it doesn't. My husband is amazing and is happy with a gluten-free house. He's even more diligent than I am sometimes in watching out for me. He does still eat gluten foods, just not at home. There's been a few times when we have been out, that I wish there were more for me to eat or to have a taste of the cookie he is eating, but it really doesn't bother me.
In my professional life, it has helped my business. I didn't set out for it too, it just happened. Once I wrote my blog posts and created a couple of webinars about having Hashimoto's Disease, I started receiving clients with autoimmune disease. I am also more empathetic to people with chronic illness and have helped several of my clients determine why they have low energy, don't sleep well, and can't lose weight. I became a certified Integrative Nutrition Health coach, certified Integrative Gut Health specialist, and went through over 40 hours of training in Hashimoto's and autoimmune disease.
What is your current occupation? If you have your own business, what is your website or social media to know more about it?
I am a Productivity and Health Speaker and Coach. I help individuals and business teams with email, task, and time management and health behaviors to escalate their energy.
I'm on LinkedIn, Twitter @MarceyRader, and www.facebook.com/marceyradercoaching
What would you say to someone considering doing AIP but who is afraid to start?
Plan ahead! Don't start it right before a vacation or during a severely stressful time. Trust the process. It takes several weeks to months to determine issues. Get support by hiring a coach. It's not easy and it takes more than discipline, but in the end, it is worth it. Wouldn't you rather be in control of your illness with lifestyle than more medication?