My Alimentary Adventure

My Alimentary Adventure: Preparation (Week 2 Wrap-up)

While the first seven days of this journey were all about getting into the swing of things, week two was about preparation. Sounds a little backwards? Let me explain…

I have decided to jump headfirst into caring for my body. That means: new dietary discoveries, all kinds of testing, getting systematic with my exercise and eating habits, and above all else finding the best ways for me to reach my personal goals. Week one was spent testing the waters, reminding myself what it was like to eat following the autoimmune protocol (AIP). And let’s face it: I wasn’t all that great at it. And that’s okay! Failure is just as necessary as success in the grand scheme of life – in fact, probably more necessary. So for week two, I eased up on berating myself for dropping the ball during week one. I also decided to create a more strategic attack.


  • Healthy Hormones Group Program by This 12-week program incorporates video sessions from its creators, Megan and Alex, as well as online group support and personalized plans based on data analytics. The administrators (an FDN and MD, respectively) look over your results from an adrenal stress profile and neurotransmitter profile to determine where your body is essentially “hiccuping.” They help you get your hormone levels back on track. Great for someone like me who is have serious sleep problems!
  • Consulting with an integrative nutritionist, Colleen McCarthy, who uses things like food sensitivity testing to help clients discover what isn’t working properly. At first glance, her holistic approach and particular attention to the gut seem to be in line with the rest of my health strategy.
  • KonMari method of decluttering by Marie Kondo. I have read through her excellent book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but the follow-through has been slow-going. While she says it will likely take 6 months to complete, I’m almost hitting the year mark and having let go of nearly enough! I plan to pair this with the following strategies to help me get minimal:
  • Wardrobe Capsules using the app. I created winter and summer capsules at the beginning of the cold season, so it’s time they got some freshening up. During this process, I plan to log everything into the Your Closet app (available through Google Play) so I can always have my closet at my fingertips.
  • Toxic Home Makeover from, in association with the Healthy Hormones Group Program. This simple guide helps with clearing the home of all unnecessary toxic materials.
  • Autoimmune protocol (AIP) elimination diet, as recommended by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of This diet pulls out every potential allergen and trigger for autoimmune inflammation for one to three months, then slowly begins to reintroduce foods. It’s rough, but also a nice foodie challenge – no grains, legumes, dairy, nightshades, sugar, nuts, or seeds. All about healthy meats and seafood, organ meats, fruit, herbs, and lots and LOTS of vegetables!
  • 14-Day Go To Bed Sleep Challenge by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of This is another online group challenge geared toward getting more and better sleep. (Read: Perfect for me!)


  • Microbiome analysis from the American Gut Project
  • Adrenal Stress Profile from BioHealth Laboratory with data analysis from Megan and Alex of
  • Neurotransmitter panel test from Neurogistics with data analysis from Megan and Alex at
  • MRT (food sensitivity testing) with Colleen McCarthy
  • Sleep Study through the Neurology Specialists of Decatur


Week one of the Healthy Hormones Group Program starts on Tuesday, March 14. I am definitely looking forward to it, but also a little nervous. It’s tough to commit to so many big changes all at once. At the same time, though, I find that for me, at least, it’s harder to make incremental changes. I’m more likely to slip when it’s one thing at a time. Regardless, I know that I need to change something. I can’t keep gong with so many fatigue, GI tract, and inflammation issues running my daily life. So here we go!

Feel free to follow my progress each week through the personal blog posts under the category
My Alimentary Adventure.” I’d love to hear about your detoxing strategies and successes!

Week Two – Day by Day

March 8, 2017

Today I ate:

  • Breakfast – Pink grapefruit with honey, turkey bacon
  • Lunch – Ate at Sweet Auburn Barbecue: pulled pork with no sauce, mashed sweet potato, and green beans with onion (which I only remembered later are NOT elimination-phase legal)
  • Dinner – Avocado and cucumber salad with olive oil and red wine vinegar, grilled chicken, and a San Pellegrino with lime

Today I exercised: 

  • Walked to and from the train station.
  • Walked to lunch instead of driving.

Today I felt: Broken.

I don’t have many days like this anymore, but they’re still there. Due to complications with my Stevens Johnson syndrome, I have a mild facial disfigurement and terrible eyesight. As in, I’m blind in one eye, and the other is 20/30 at its best. For years it made me very self-conscious, and I guess it still does from time to time. Someone made a joke today that caught me at the wrong time, when I was already feeling like I needed to explain my poor eyesight. It wasn’t until hours later that I realized the comment was a harmless joke and not intentionally cruel. But that feeling, of vulnerability and of anger, stuck with me the rest of the night.

March 9, 2017

Today I ate:

  • Breakfast – Roasted apples with cinnamon, turkey bacon
  • Lunch – (I woke up pretty late, so breakfast kind of took over the lunch position)
  • Dinner – Beef and heart stew with carrots, parsnips, onion, and kale

Today I exercised: 

  • I didn’t.

Today I felt: Better.

Still frustrated with the comment from Wednesday night, but not as concerned about it today.

March 10, 2017

Today I ate:

  • Breakfast – Banana and EPIC venison jerky bites
  • Lunch – Beef and heart stew
  • Dinner – Rotisserie chicken with salt and pepper (another item I now know is NOT elimination-phase legal, peppercorn), EPIC maple bacon cracklings (my new favorite!)

Today I exercised: 

  • Grocery shopping (I’m going to categorize this as exercise from now on the way I do it – always with a basket and always too many items!)
  • Walked to and from the train station.
  • Walked several blocks out of my way to meet up with some friends so that we could walk together to the train station.

Today I felt: Rushed.

I’m starting to believe that I only have six hours of work in me every day. If I have to be on campus to teach at 10:00 am, then by the time I leave at 4:00 pm I am exhausted. Doing work from home seems impossible. It’s no wonder people order food and watch TV every night. This definitely is inspiration for batch cooking twice a week.

March 11, 2017

Today I ate:

  • Breakfast – Gingerberry kombucha, a banana, and venison jerky bites
  • Lunch – Beef and heart stew
  • Dinner – Leftover rotisserie chicken, roasted sweet potato, and a green leaf lettuce salad with olive oil and white wine vinegar

Today I exercised: 

  • I didn’t.

Today I felt: Guilty.

I took some time today just to relax and do nothing. While it wasn’t a particularly busy week, I can tell my body is still struggling through this detox. I’m tired, hungry but unmotivated to eat, and generally feeling like my gut hates me. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty for taking a Saturday off, but it still creeps in. I had a lot of housework to do. I needed to catch up with blogging, plus writing and research for my dissertation (FYI: I’m a Ph.D. candidate in political science). And I ended up binge-watching Amazon’s new series, Z: The Beginning of Everything. It was fabulous, and I needed the mental and physical break. So be gone, guilt!

March 12, 2017

Today I ate:

  • Breakfast – EPIC beef and apple bar, Cranberry kombucha, and a banana
  • Lunch – Today I slept until 3:00 pm, yikes! No lunch was had.
  • Dinner – Leftover chicken with a tart cherry sauce, plantain chips, and rainbow chard with stems sauteed with fresh ginger and garlic in beef bone broth

Today I exercised: 

  • Shopping!

Today I felt: Scattered.

I’m not yet feeling 100%, but I can tell I’m moving in that direction. Sleep is still difficult, and I feel as though I’m all over the place all the time. But I’m becoming less forgetful, and I’ve started using a white board to visually track my work flow on various projects. I still feel scattered, but I don’t feel lost or in a fog anymore. Progress!

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    1. Alexandra

      March 16, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Thank you!

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