Have you seen the posts on social media about how people have used the AIP Diet to feel much better from their Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, some even putting their disease into remission?
Perhaps you've read my own story of this happening – but I'm just one person.
Sometimes you need a few sources to start to believe it's possible. I TOTALLY understand that – therefore in this interview, I ask Shanna Nemrow to recount her own story of using AIP for Hashimoto's.
Watch the video or read the transcript below!
Michele Spring: Today, I have another interview. It's with Shanna Nemrow from Wellness Unraveled, and she talks about how she uses the AIP diet for her Hashimoto's thyroiditis, how she's kind of use it to make herself feel better, how she continues to use it because of her busy lifestyle, and we just go over a whole bunch of stuff that I think you'll find really, really interesting and helpful.
Michele Spring: Hey everyone, today we have another interview guest I'm really excited to share with you. This is Shanna Nemrow from Wellness Unraveled. You may not be familiar with her. She's a relative newcomer on YouTube, but you need to follow her channel, because she has a lot of really great AIP tips and tricks. I discovered her through Instagram, where she's very inspirational, and I think she's someone that we all benefit from learning from. So I wanted to have her on so you guys could hear it, because you seem to love these inspirational stories and hearing how other people live while eating AIP and the things that they do to make it work and all that kind of stuff. So welcome, Shanna.
Shanna Nemrow: Thank you so much, and thank you so much for having me. I'm definitely a newcomer on YouTube, but I love your channel. I love following you and it's an honor to be here. So thank you.
Michele Spring: Thank you. All right, so we'll go ahead and my usual AIP kind of interview format. I just want to kind of go through just discussing your disease, how you've dealt with it, what came up for you when you got diagnosed and that kind of stuff. So just go ahead and start with, what autoimmune disease or diseases do you have?
Shanna Nemrow: Okay, sure. So I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. I was diagnosed in January 2018. I had actually been struggling with health symptoms that just were unexplained for over a decade. I had no frame of reference for chronic illness or autoimmunity. I didn't know what was going on. So I have two kids, and in my first pregnancy, I had preeclampsia, and I bounced back pretty fast after that. And then a couple of years later, I was pregnant with our second, my son, and it was like lots of complications in the pregnancy. They couldn't figure out this pain I was having. I had diabetes during that pregnancy. I had all kinds of issues, and then I had reoccurring UTIs that turned into a kidney infection that I became septic from just a couple of days after I had him.
Shanna Nemrow: And so I was in the hospital on morphine and heavy antibiotics. It was really bad. I almost did not make it. I went home on IV for a few weeks and I recovered obviously, but after that, it was just more symptoms and more symptoms coming up. And at first, it was things just like joint pain, just joint pain and my hair falling out, but that's not normal, but my symptoms just kind of creeped up on me slowly. And as a busy mom of two babies, I just thought, “Is this just” … I was exhausted all the time, fatigued and I thought, “Is this just how people live? Is this just life now?”
Shanna Nemrow: A few years into it, my mom, I'd been telling her, “I'm having these issues,” and she's like, “I was watching Dr. Oz and I think you should go gluten-free. I think it might be a gluten thing.” At the time, we were struggling financially. I didn't really want to go to pay for a bunch of healthcare visits, and so I went and gluten-free, and that did help for a couple of years there. My hair stopped falling out and my joint pain wasn't as bad. But within a few years, more and more issues just slowly popped up. And by this time, our kids had gotten older. We are so busy with their activities. I was working from home and I was homeschooling our kids. I felt like I was too busy. I just kept pushing and pushing and pushing and ignoring it.
Shanna Nemrow: I got to a point a few years before I did get diagnosed where I would go into the doctor and I would tell him, “Something's wrong. This is going on. This is going on.” And it was things like fatigue and brain fog and joint pain and cold intolerance. And I even told them, I'm like, “I think something's wrong with my thyroid. I got thyroid issues on both sides of my family.” And he's like, “Okay, we're going to go ahead and run some tests.” And I was very, very, very opposite I am now, very of the Western medicine mindset. I've always been grateful for doctors since I'm alive today because of Western medicine and doctors and I'm so grateful for them, but I was very much like, “Give me a pill and make me better and send me on my way and I'm good.”
Shanna Nemrow: And so he'd run the tests and he'd be like, “Everything's fine, Shanna. You're fine,” and I would kind of celebrate for a minute because you don't want anything to be wrong. You don't want anything to be wrong with you. But I just thought I was kind of going crazy, like, “What's going on? I guess this is just being a busy mom.” So I would probably go in once or twice a year for the year leading up to my diagnosis and again, he'd tell me everything was fine. My symptoms expanded to heart palpitations and chest pain and anxiety and fevers and what felt like a storm going on inside my body, and again, joint pain, muscle pain, cold intolerance. Fatigue and brain fog were horrible.
Shanna Nemrow: Again, I just kept pushing and pushing through until I … So I hit my rock towards the end of 2017. In the middle of 2017, I knew I was getting pretty bad. And then by the end, my body was like, “Enough.” And so that's kind of what led me away from more of the Western medicine, because I couldn't get anywhere. I didn't know where else to go. And so I found a naturopath in my area. I didn't really know what a naturopath was, but somebody had mentioned it to me that summer and I'm like, “Oh, I'm going to Google naturopath and see what I can find.” And so I found one in my area and she ran a whole slew of tests.
Shanna Nemrow: I mean, she found a whole bunch of things even before my autoimmune diagnosis. My body wasn't absorbing minerals, it wasn't absorbing electrolytes, it wasn't absorbing nutrients, all kinds of digestion problems. And then she ordered ultrasounds of my organs. And so I went to get the ultrasounds of my organs, including my thyroid. And then based on the results of the ultrasound, they referred me to an endocrinologist, and he diagnosed me on the spot based on my ultrasound with Hashimoto's because of all of the tissue damage they could see.
Shanna Nemrow: At this point, I was learning to ask questions and learning to be my own advocate, and I learned that although my previous doctor was ordering thyroid tests for years, he was just ordering the TSH and he had a very liberal range, which I had no idea at the time, but now I knew to ask, “Can I get some more blood tests just to confirm the Hashimoto's diagnosis?” And so he did and it confirmed it. I was undiagnosed for over a decade and then diagnosed in January, 2018.
Michele Spring: And is that … You started AIP at that point in time?
Shanna Nemrow: Yeah. So I started seeing my naturopath a couple months prior to my diagnosis and she had kind of started to try to help me change some of my lifestyle habits and helping me, like, “You need to get in the kitchen and you need to cook your own food. You need to slow down,” which by this point my body wasn't letting me do much anyway. But when I got my diagnosis, within a couple of days, she gave me a list of foods to eat and foods not to eat, and it didn't say any label on it. I don't know where she printed off from.
Shanna Nemrow: And again, by this time I was my own advocate, so I got on Dr. Google and was searching, like, “Why am I supposed to eat like this?” And then I found the autoimmune protocol, which was very similar to the list that she gave me. And so then I printed off that and I found Dr. Sarah and The Paleo Mom and I love all of her resources, her books and her website and her lecture series because it's all science-based. She explains it in a way I get it. It makes sense to me. It's not like, “Woohoo.” And so I took that list of foods to include and exclude and I started the autoimmune protocol within a couple days of my diagnosis.
Shanna Nemrow: I was not on social media at the time. I had gotten off of social media a couple of months prior because I was so sick. I couldn't handle looking at people's highlight reels. I had lost the life that I had and I wasn't in a good place. I was in a dark place and I couldn't take it. And so I had no idea that there's this incredible autoimmune community. I had no idea that there's so much support out there. And so I started [inaudible 00:09:41] my little list in the grocery store, thinking I have lost my mind, but I was so desperate to feel better.
Shanna Nemrow: I was like … Oh, and my doctor when I was diagnosed … I'll never forget sitting across from my endocrinologist. At first I was listening as he is explaining Hashimoto's. He's a great endocrinologist as far as sat with me, answered my questions and talked to me, and just a very likable man too. And I remember him telling me, “This is what you have,” explaining it. And I remember at first thinking, “I'm not losing my mind. This is what's going on,” and I remember being relieved like, “Okay, yes, now I can move on with my life. Now I can move forward,” [inaudible 00:10:30], “Oh, but there's nothing you can do..”
Shanna Nemrow: He told me there's no medicine that I could take. He said I would need to be on medicine very soon based on my levels, but I wasn't quite there yet. And he said that there's no cure. And I said, “Well, how about if I eat a certain way or how about if I do something?” And he's like, “No, there's no evidence saying that anything will help.” I went from so excited that I had my diagnosis to, “Are you kidding me? I cannot live like this. I can't go to my son's baseball games. I can't go grocery shopping.” I was really sick. I could barely get out of bed. I had to rest after taking a shower, and you're sitting here, doc, and telling me there's nothing to do?
Shanna Nemrow: So I went from happy and hopeful to angry and then I just got flat out stubborn. I remember walking out of the office feeling like, “Oh, I'm going to show you. I don't know how, but I'm going to show you. And I just walked out of there like a warrior, and I mean, a very, very sick warrior, but a warrior. And so that's kind of … As crazy as AIP seemed to me, I was willing to do anything to get my life back and to be able to go cheer my son on and to be able to take my daughter rock climbing and to be able to get out of bed and not have to rest an hour later and to be able to do just live a normal life again. And so that's kind of how I started AIP. That's how I found it with just a list and a lot of stubbornness.
Michele Spring: Hey, it worked, right? Going back before you got diagnosed, when you said you couldn't hang out with your kids and all that kind of stuff, what was going through your mind? Were you worried that something else even deeper was going on, that you might die? I mean, were you having all those feelings, too?
Shanna Nemrow: Yeah, for sure. I was scared. I was scared that I was dying. I also felt very ashamed. I had always prided myself on being strong and a strong woman and a strong example. I had done marathons and I had done mud runs and I worked out very intensely for years, and I wanted to be seen as strong and this example, and my husband's very into CrossFit and working out. He's the picture of health. Even when he wasn't eating well, he was still so healthy, and so it was hard because I would compare myself to him and I would be like … I felt weak and I felt inadequate and I felt ashamed and I felt embarrassed, and so I would try to hide my symptoms because I was going to see a doctor and he was telling me I was fine. So I was telling my husband, “Hey, look, something's wrong. I'm going to go see a doctor.” And then he'd be like, “Yeah, yeah,” and then I'd get the call, “You're fine,” and then I have to tell my husband, “He says I'm fine,” and my husband's very much of the Western medicine mindset too. So then I'd be like, “Okay, I better act fine. I'm losing it.”
Shanna Nemrow: And so there was a lot of shame for me, and I think that's why I think I know that the reason I'm so passionate about opening up and raising awareness and sharing my experience and sharing my AIP journey is because I don't want anybody to feel the way I felt. I don't want anybody to feel alone and ashamed and feel like they need to hide their symptoms or they need to feel weak. Living with the autoimmunity is very hard and we need all of the love and support that we can get, and we're not weak. We are so, so strong. Even when we're in a flare or when we're at our rock bottom or when we don't know if we can or are strong enough to even do AIP, we are strong women. We are strong, but I felt anything but strong and I felt a lot of shame leading up to that.
Michele Spring: It's so hard because autoimmune disease is an ambiguous thing. There are so many different symptoms, so many different ones. And as you said, you feel alone, but you don't even know that maybe your neighbor, maybe your other neighbor, your best friend, all these people may be going through it and you don't even know.
Shanna Nemrow: Yes.
Michele Spring: We have to reach out and make sure that we tell people so that they can get the help, but also know that you're not alone.
Shanna Nemrow: Right. Also, I agree 100%, and also, I think we have to understand that different autoimmune diseases can look different for different people, but the same autoimmune condition can look different for different people, too. I remember a few months into my journey, somebody telling me, “Oh, well, I've got Hashimoto's and it doesn't bother me at all.”
Michele Spring: I've had that so many times.
Shanna Nemrow: Well, here's an award. I'm so happy for you. It knocked me off my feet and left me to where I couldn't function, so I'm glad it doesn't … They didn't mean to say it in a way that was offensive, but it was offensive.
Michele Spring: I totally understand because I've had the same thing recently happen several times, and I was actually going to make a video about that coming up because it seems to be a trend that I've noticed, a disturbing one, that, “Well, I've got it, too. It's not that big of a deal. You're kind of a wimp.”
Shanna Nemrow: Yeah.
Michele Spring: No, I couldn't move. Couldn't take care of my family.
Shanna Nemrow: Yeah.
Michele Spring: So yeah. Definitely it's different levels, varying degrees and everything.
Shanna Nemrow: Absolutely.
Michele Spring: So it is helpful to hear that other people are bad. You're not going crazy. It's not all in your head. There are actual symptoms and stuff.
Shanna Nemrow: And even if you aren't bad, I still would encourage you to do AIP to take care of yourself because I wish I had had someone tell me that five years before my diagnosis. Even if I suspected I had an autoimmune issue or even if I had chronic illness that was undiagnosed, I wish I had learned to listen to my body then when it was whispering to me before it had to scream at me and throw a fit and make me stop functioning, you know what I'm saying? I mean, AIP is very, very beneficial as an elimination diet and then reintroing things, and you don't have to have a diagnosis to try it and to see the benefits of it too. So I wish I'd heard about it five years ago and just tried it, because really, what do you have to lose?
Michele Spring: Yeah, exactly. 30 days can make a huge difference. And then if it keeps working, keep going.
Shanna Nemrow: Yeah.
So how long after you started doing it, AIP, did you feel relief from your symptoms?
Shanna Nemrow: Okay, so I actually felt worse the first days. I wish I kept a better journal during that time because it's been well over a year and a half. And so I remember, but it was a very overwhelming time because starting AIP feel very overwhelming and very difficult, and I had some bad habits I had a break. But I will say I felt worse initially. I would say the first days, I don't know if that was three to five to seven days, but I will say, I know within a couple of weeks I was seeing improvements, gradual improvements, and then within that month I was seeing bigger improvements where I could start functioning and I could start getting my life back and rebuilding. And then within a couple months I was feeling day and night better. I still would see improvements over the several months, and some of the improvements weren't even autoimmune related.
Shanna Nemrow: So I had a hip injury years ago and I had hip surgery for it and I had a labral tear and then I had a lot of damage in the hip because I have hip dysplasia in that hip, which I didn't know about, and I ran on it for a lot of years and it caused all kinds of problems and I have lesions in it. So I got surgery for it a few years ago and my doctor had told me that he couldn't fix everything and that I would need a hip replacement within three to five years from that date. And he said the pain that I feel a year out from surgery, the pain that I still feel is the pain that I'll have until I get a hip replacement. And so a year out from surgery, I was still in pain. It wasn't nearly as bad, but I mean, it was more like arthritic pain because I have arthritis in my hip because of the damage, so I still had some pain there.
Shanna Nemrow: Well, I started AIP two years after surgery and within like, I want to say six months to eight months of starting AIP, I realized my hip pain's gone. So I don't have any hip pain anymore unless I do something stupid. So I've seen other benefits, not just autoimmune benefits. I keep seeing them. I do have a handful of reintros, but I tend to push the lifestyle. I love to travel, so as soon as I could start traveling again and I'm very active with my kids, I push that side of it, and so I'm really careful about how I eat.
Shanna Nemrow: So I did have a handful of reintros, but not that many. And so I still eat AIP even though it's been a year and a half. I'm very happy eating this way now, and so I honestly forget to do reintros, and then I feel like it's never a good time for me to do reintros, because we homeschool our kids still. Even though they're 12 and 14 now, we still [inaudible 00:20:34] a lot. And who wants to reintro something a week before you go on a trip or two weeks before you go on a trip? There's certain foods that I know I'm going to react to and I have had a couple of failed reintros. I just need a period of time where I don't mind if I react and then I'll reintro, but I've done a handful.
Michele Spring: Yeah. I've seen a lot of your travels. Shanna does a lot of good travel videos and stuff. She just did a cruise and had a successful experience doing AIP the entire time, right?
Shanna Nemrow: Yeah, I did AIP elimination phase the whole time. It was bananas. I was really scared. I've traveled a lot of different ways on the AIP, and my husband turned 40 in July and he's been wanting to go on a Caribbean cruise and so I surprised him with tickets for his birthday. I wanted to cancel it so many times because I'm like, “How am I going to cruise on the AIP?” The cruise line that we went with totally took care of me, assigned a chef just to cook for me the whole time. I did not have to pay extra for it. They were just super understanding. I was very good about letting them know ahead of time and communicating with them. So yeah, cruising on the IP is possible and it was really nice not to cook or do dishes the entire week.
Michele Spring: Right. And I even mentioned to Shanna in her comments, too, I travel paleo, sometimes gluten-free, but I don't try to eat corn and dairy and all that stuff while on vacation. So still, it's not like it's … I can go eat the buffet, so [crosstalk 00:22:05] very, very helpful to be able to [crosstalk 00:22:10] worry about traveling.
Shanna Nemrow: Yeah, I did no buffets.
Michele Spring: Yeah. Well, yeah. I don't typically these days either unless the chef comes and says it's okay.
Shanna Nemrow: Right, right.
Michele Spring: Yeah, which is more hard or more difficult to do on AIP than paleo.
Shanna Nemrow: Yeah.
Michele Spring: Yeah.
Shanna Nemrow: For sure.
Michele Spring: I'm just looking through my questions, because I think you've answered a lot of these. Oh, I was going to ask, are you taking thyroid medication now?
Shanna Nemrow: I'm not. I haven't had to. So my endocrinologist thought I would need to … Let's see. So I was diagnosed in January, 2018 and he had me come back in for testing within a few months because he thought I would need to be on medicine that soon and he said I need to be on it for the rest of my life. It will be two years in January, and I get my thyroid levels checked once or twice a year and I haven't needed to.
Michele Spring: That's awesome.
Shanna Nemrow: Yeah.
Michele Spring: Yeah. Wish I was the same, but [crosstalk 00:23:07].
Shanna Nemrow: But with that said, I'm not opposed to … like if he said, “Shanna, you need to be on medicine,” zero [inaudible 00:00:23:14], no issues. I would take it if I needed to.
Michele Spring: Yeah. I mean, I take it and it's not a big deal. I just would rather not have to worry about that every morning. It's not even the medication. It's the hour that I have to wait to eat.
Shanna Nemrow: Oh, you have to wait for an hour?
Michele Spring: Yeah. That's annoying.
Shanna Nemrow: Yeah, that would be annoying.
Michele Spring: So you said you're pretty much used to eating this way, but do you figure anything is hard? Is anything more difficult than others for you? Social things or anything like that?
Shanna Nemrow: So not anymore. I would say it took me a good four to six months to get over all of the social aspects of it, and really just to get used to eating AIP on the go. One of the hardest parts for me as I was so excited to function again and do things and take my kids places, I was very much [inaudible 00:24:14] of the mindset, like grabbing something out and eating out of a box. It was really hard on me to learn how to pack my food. Thermoses have been awesome, glass snap ware, coolers. And it just took me time to learn to plan ahead anytime I go out and to always pack extra because inevitably, if a game goes longer than expected or we have to run multiple errands because my daughter needs something or my son needs something, and so that was hard for me.
Shanna Nemrow: And then the first holiday, so I started AIP in January, and then I was sure I was going to be like a 30 AIP-er, so I was planning those reintros, and I handled them all wrong the first time. Easter was the first holiday I was AIP, and we were going over to some family's house, extended family, but I'm not super close on to them. And so I thought, “Oh, I'm not going to say anything. I'm just going to go and kind of act like I'm eating, but just kind of get a little plate with some fruits and just kind of socialize but not really.”
Shanna Nemrow: Well, I get there and they have this beautiful table set for us all to sit down and eat at the same time together and I'm like, “Oh.” So I filled up my plate and I sat down, and I was doing reintros at this point, so I did have a couple reintros, but I had a couple failed too, and so I tried to stick to … I think they had sweet potatoes there and they had some meat there I could eat. There was obviously dairy in it and there's obviously things I had not reintroduced, and I thought, “Oh, I'm feeling so much better. I'll be fine.”
Shanna Nemrow: It launched me into a flare that lasted weeks and it was so not worth it. And I learned from that experience that my family, they love me, and if I had just lovingly communicated in advance … I don't even think they knew about my diagnosis. I wasn't sharing my story yet and everything was still new and I learned that if I just let them know what was going on, they would have supported me. I could have brought my own food. And so ever since then, I am really good about communicating, about bringing my own food. My mother and my mother-inn-law actually even make AIP options for me, which is amazing, or I try to host family things so that I have control over the menu, and there's so many good AIP dishes that our extended family love. They don't even know I'm cooking AIP sometimes.
Shanna Nemrow: So I've really learned. But I would say that was hard for me at first, and then just date nights. My husband and I, we do date nights on Friday night and it was always very much focused. We had this favorite … We lived in Southern California up until a couple months ago, and so prior to starting AIP, we had this favorite Mexican food place on the lake. It was the best, taquitos, deep-fried carne asada, guacamole and beans and rice and deep-fried ice cream. Every Friday night we'd go and we'd sit and we would just decompress for the week and we would just pig out, and it was our thing. I mean, it was like a cheat meal or a cheat day.
Shanna Nemrow: On AIP, cheating doesn't work. It's like 100% in order to … and so that was hard for me and my husband. And so it just took us time. Well, at my rock bottom, I wasn't even well enough to go on date night, so it wasn't an issue at first, but as I started feeling better, we had to figure out … At first I was trying to find places I could eat out AIP, but I wasn't that good at understanding how to explain it or the cross-contamination thing. And so I'd try to eat out and then I'd feel sick because obviously something went wrong. So it took my husband and I time to understand, “Let's find activities we can do.” Date night's just about being together, enjoying each other, unwinding from the week, having a break from the kids. And so now it's much more activity-focused, like go for a hike or pack a picnic or go for a massage or whatever, a walk.
Shanna Nemrow: That was hard at first, too, and I think just feeling lonely. Like I said, I wasn't online on social media and I just felt like I was the only one in the world who ate this way and that I knew it was making me feel so much better, so I was so grateful for it on the one hand, but on the other hand I felt like I was just lonely. And so that just took time to connect with others who eat like me. And now I'm so grateful for getting my life back. I mean, I didn't get my old life back because I feel better than I felt in years. I feel like I've gotten so much more back than my old life and I'm so grateful for it. And so as hard as AIP Felt in the beginning, it's been 1000% worth it, worth every effort.
Shanna Nemrow: I'd say mindset, too. was huge. Starting AIP, it's so easy to think about, “Oh, I can't eat this and I can't eat this and I can't eat this and I can't eat this. What am I going to eat?” And really, once I started focusing in on what to include rather than what to exclude and I focused on what I can eat rather than what I can't eat, it's like a total game changer. There is so much. There's so many kinds of meats and different cuts of meats and so many vegetables and so many fruits and so many fats and different ways of combining them. And there are so many amazing AIP bloggers who come up with … you guys have amazing recipes. There's really so much when we just turn our mindset on what we can and on the positive rather than, “Woe is me. I can't have my mint chip ice cream.” Yeah, but you also don't have your joint pain and fatigue and [inaudible 00:30:29] so [inaudible 00:30:36] ice cream.
Michele Spring: How does your family eat?
Shanna Nemrow: Okay, so my family, so at first I tried to just keep cooking for them how I was cooking for them and do my meals, and that lasted not very long. Nobody's got time for that or the energy. So now they eat. My husband, he cooks now too, which is awesome. That was a big change. But we eat AIP on dinners but sometimes we'll add in a side that's not AIP like rice or white potatoes, or I make homemade gluten-free bread for them. Not a lot, but sometimes. And then so for breakfast, they eat non-AIP. They'll have eggs and bacon. Well, bacon's AIP if you buy the right kind, but they'll eat eggs or a granola or something.
Shanna Nemrow: For lunch, they are home with me so we'll do leftovers or they'll do a sandwich with gluten-free bread. Both of my kids are gluten-free for various health reasons and they've been gluten-free for years. Well, our son longer than our daughter, and our son, he does better if he eats more like a paleo template but he's not strict paleo. He could eat a little bit of ice cream here and there and not have issues. And my husband, he can eat anything and he's the picture of health but he stays gluten-free in our home because of the cross-contamination thing. And then when he travels or when he's out for work, he'll eat whatever.
Michele Spring: That's great that he does that for you at home though.
Shanna Nemrow: Yeah.
Michele Spring: [crosstalk 00:32:18] Same thing with us. It's so helpful.
Shanna Nemrow: Yeah. And I don't know about you, but it was a very gradual … I didn't realize the whole cross-contamination thing at the beginning of the AIP journey, so he's only kept it gluten-free in her home for a few months just because as I've realized more and more, and I have noticed a difference. I don't have these weird times where I'm not feeling as well and it was probably a cross-contamination issue.
Michele Spring: Mm-hmm (affirmative). What advice do you have to share with somebody that's thinking about starting an AIP or maybe is trying to continue but maybe is losing motivation, something like that?
Shanna Nemrow: How much time do we have? I could talk all day long. Oh. What advice do I have? I would say lean into it. It's okay if it's hard. It's okay. Don't get mad at yourself if it feels so hard. Well, believe in yourself. You're so much stronger than you realize. You're so much stronger than you think. Part of the hardest part of AIP for me was starting it when I felt so bad. So I felt horrible and I took away all these foods I love that were my coping mechanisms and I wasn't seeing any kind of benefit right away. And so it was hard. And so I would also say just trust in the process.
Shanna Nemrow: And then another huge piece of advice is a lot of people when they think AIP, they think nutrition and diet, which is wonderful, but there's a huge lifestyle aspect to it, stress, and starting AIP can be very, very stressful. And so you really want to have some things in place to help you manage that stress, whether it's deep breathing or meditation, which works wonders for me. That part was kind of hard for me to wrap my head around because I come from … I have a deep faith in God. And so I wasn't sure how the meditation kind of played into it, but I found that it's just strengthened … It's not woo woo. It's just deep breathing and relaxing and it's strengthened my faith. It hasn't taken anything away from it.
Shanna Nemrow: Also, things like just slowing down and taking things one step at a time, knowing who you are and what you need. For me, I was desperate and so I jumped into AIP, both feet, gung ho, but you don't have to do that. You can eliminate things one thing at a time. You can take it as slow as you need to. It's not a race. I feel like there's no right or wrong way to start. And if you need to eliminate one thing at a time, you go. That's totally awesome.
Shanna Nemrow: Another big part of it for me was just learning to love and accept myself. I felt very betrayed by my body and I felt afraid of my body and I felt like I hated my body. And so I had to learn to love my body, even when it felt broken and learn how to trust it. And it's hard to learn how to trust and listen to your body when you're still having sugar cravings and when you're still addicted to things that aren't good for you because people say, “Listen to your body.” Well, when I started AIP, my body was saying, “I want a cherry Coke and I want some chocolate.” That wouldn't have gotten me anywhere if I listened to my body.
Shanna Nemrow: And also, just sleep is huge. I don't mean to be overwhelming you with all of this advice, but I'm just saying, don't count out all of the lifestyle aspects of it too. Sleep is such a game changer. Find ways to improve the quality of your sleep and the quantity and find ways that you can de-stress. And again, if you have coping mechanisms that you can no longer have because they're not AIP, like food-wise, if you just take those away, it's going to be really, really hard, so you want to try to replace them with something else, whether it's a walk outside or slow dancing with your man or laughing with your kids or playing your favorite song. You want to try to replace those coping mechanisms and just know that you can do it and know that it's worth it. It's so worth it. I'm free from my sugar addictions. I'm free from my horrible autoimmune symptoms. I have so much life back and it was not a 30 day thing for me unfortunately. But it's really been an incredible journey.
Michele Spring: That's very inspirational. I'm very glad you were able to share your story with us.
Shanna Nemrow: Thank you.
Michele Spring: Yeah. So where can we find you if you want to learn more?
Shanna Nemrow: So I have a website, Shannanemrow.com, and you can find me there. I have lots of AIP articles, and then I'm on Instagram, @ShannaNemrow, and then my new YouTube channel is Shanna Nemrow.
Michele Spring: Okay. And I'll link to all that so you can all go there and stalk her!
Shanna Nemrow: Thank you, Michele.
Michele Spring: Go check out all her old videos because she has a lot of really good … like I said, a lot of good tips and everything for everyone. It's different stuff than what Stacy and Adam and I all share too, because I think it's good to hear everybody's different perspective and everybody has different places where they're coming from in their lives and stuff, so it's really juicy. So yeah, I think that's it, but thank you so much for coming on today. I guess that's it for today. So thanks.
Shanna Nemrow: Thank you so much.
Michele Spring: And that's it. I hope you enjoyed that interview. Let me know below if you have any questions. We can make sure that either I or Shanna respond to them, and if you haven't already, get the password to my paleo and AIP freebie library for all kinds of resources to make your life so much easier. I will see you next week.
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