In the ten years since my autoimmune thyroid disease diagnosis I've tried countless diets and protocols to calm my immune system. It’s no surprise that none of them stuck. That's why I'm here trying a new diet protocol--The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry.
When I look at Instagram I see images of people who have perfected a low inflammation diet. I realize maybe this is just Instagram and no one really has it all together, but it sure seems that way. Diet is where I struggle the most. I'm not a seasoned cook; it takes me twice as long and twice the amount of dishes to make a supposedly simple recipe.
When I heard about The Plant Paradox diet on The School of Greatness podcast it seemed like something I could do. Dr. Gundry said we can still eat the things we love like beans and potatoes, but only if we cook them in the pressure cooker. A diet designed to reverse autoimmune disease that allows beans and potatoes? That's unheard of. So, I got the book and started reading.
The basis behind The Plant Paradox is to remove all lectins from your diet. Removing lectins, like those in seeded fruits and vegetables, is not a new concept. Protocols such as the Paleo diet or the Autoimmune Protocol diet recommend moving most lectin containing foods. However, foods like cucumbers and squashes that are allowed on most diets are not allowed on The Plant Paradox (they are allowed in moderation if they are peeled and de-seeded).
I was drawn to The Plant Paradox diet for two reasons. One, you can do it as mostly a vegetarian diet. Dr. Gundry says you can even do it if you are a vegan, but I think you would have to be extremely talented in the kitchen. I'm not quite there yet. Two, I love beans and potatoes, and on this diet I am able to have them occasionally as long as I cook them in the pressure cooker. Dr. Gundry makes some substantial claims that The Plant Paradox reverses autoimmune disease, so I'm looking forward to seeing if that is true for me.
I am making a couple of tweaks to the diet right off the bat. Dr. Gundry recommends not eating any fruit out of season. I plan to eat fruit year round. I don't eat very much, but I put organic berries in my smoothie every morning and may have some fruit for dessert.
I'm also skipping the three day cleanse or "phase one" and jumping right into "phase two." Restrictive diets are already difficult enough without an even more limited food list. Plus, I want to start integrating this diet into my lifestyle right away and learning two sets of rules for a three day cleanse will just muddy the water.
Dr. Gundry allows basmati rice as something to work back into the diet after six weeks, but I plan to eat it once or twice a week right away. I don't seem to have a problem with rice.
Also, in order to make friends and have a social life in Seattle I will have to eat at a restaurant once in a while. My plan is to get a salad and bring my own dressing, have an omelet, or some fresh fish. At the end of the day I still want to enjoy dining out and traveling, so I'll just have to do the best I can.
I'll keep you updated on my progress. So far, I've done it for a week and I survived, so that's a good start.
Has anyone else tried The Plant Paradox diet? If so, what were your results?
"Though no one can go back and make a make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending." - Carl Bard
I'm Kerry and I am a writer and licensed therapist. This is a positive space focused on how to thrive in any situation and the transformative power of illness.