Transitioning to a healing-based approach to autoimmunity can mean change — both larger, as in what and how you eat, and smaller, as in when you go to sleep, or whether you make time for mindful reflection each day. Here are resources that we recommend to help facilitate your transition in today’s fast-paced world. Some vendors offer a discount for Autoimmune Families participants; some provide a small commission to help support our mission, while your cost is unaffected. Contact us with any suggestions or feedback you may have. Thank you, and Welcome!
Addressing the Root Cause
- The Institute for Functional Medicine
Watch the video, "One Condition, Many Causes; One Cause, Many Conditions" with Dr. Mark Hyman to get an understanding of the Functional Medicine approach to autoimmunity.
The Autoimmune Solution
- Amy Myers, MD
How to prevent and reverse the full spectrum of inflammatory symptoms and diseases. Outlines "The Myers Way" and a 30-day protocol. Amy Myers became a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner in response to her own thyroid disorder.
The Autoimmune Fix -
Tom O'Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBN
Protocol to heal the autoimmune system, 70% of which is in the gut, by gluten expert and author of "The Betrayal Series." Stop hidden damage before it turns into disease. Includes 6-week transition plans as well as diet plans.
The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease
- Sarah Ballantyne, PhD
The newly-published definitive text on the healing-based approach to autoimmunity and The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) by "The Paleo Mom." A tome of scientific data translated into everyday language, with an excellent index.
The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook
- Mickey Trescott & Angie Alt
Gentle, yet actionable guidebook for going forward with a healing-based approach using the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). Written by two coaches who helped figure it out, leveraging the expertise of leaders in the field. Acknowledges what it's like.
Functional Medicine Demo -
The Institute for Functional Medicine
Watch the free eCourse, "Introduction to Functional Medicine: A Systems Approach to Reversing the Epidemic of Chronic Disease" to learn about how the vectors of disease have changed over time, and how healthcare can adapt to meet this challenge.
This is a great resource for shopping and cooking yourself, with planning assistance. An essential tool for any elimination or restricted diet; robust filter & search engine. Super handy take-along shopping app. Annual or monthly subscription. Includes AIP and other add-on dietary options. Multinational.
Everything you need to make 3 delicious dinners delivered to your door, in environmentally friendly packaging. Choose options each week in their handy app; meals are amazingly delicious and diverse. A real planning/ shopping/ prep saver. U.S. only. Get $35 off your first order.
Organic, non-GMO ready-made foods, ingredients, & non-toxic cleaning supplies at a discount. Choose a lifestyle – organic, Paleo, AIP, gluten-free, vegan. Multinational. Annual membership US$59, w/30 day free trial. Free shipping over US$49, plus get 20% off your first 3 orders using "FIRST3" at checkout.
Paleo on the Go
Ready-to-eat meals that arrive frozen. You’ll pay for the meal, and save on time planning, shopping, and cooking. There’s an AIP option, as well as other Paleo & a curated offering from Eileen Laird (Phoenix Helix). U.S. only. Use promo code "AIF FAMILIES" to get a discount when you order.
Everything here is free of gluten, grain, soy, dairy, sugar. The AIP On-the-Go Box, IMHO, helps compliance and prevent "hangry" moments of temptation. Paleo and AIP diets included; also Keto (which is a more intensive blood-sugar regulating dietary approach). Multinational.
An important way to stay in compliance with an anti-inflammatory diet (whichever form you choose) is to have foods to hand when you're hungry. An AIP bundle, AIP Survival Kit, and more are available from Barefoot. Multinational; free shipping in the U.S. on orders over $99.
Items here are comprised of all Autoimmune Protocol-compliant ingredients, curated by a savvy AIP dieter who wants to make it easier to get all-AIP, all the time. Keep the larder stocked for when you're busy, or as an ongoing management tool. U.S. only. Get 10% off your first order.
Education, insights, and recipes from a leader in the field. When you know the diet plan you want to follow, i.e. The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), Wahls Protocol, or GAPS diet, get recipe inspiration here, including roundups from a range of bloggers. Learn healing and about dietary lifestyles as you do.
Grazed and Enthused
Recipes. I like Aleana's site for the depth of the options, lack of commercialism, her own success with healing, and her collaboration with Dr. Sarah Ballantyne (a.k.a "The Paleo Mom") on their book, "The Healing Kitchen."
(Plus the recipes are amazing!)
Healing Family Eats
Informed recipes in a gentle, un-intimidating site, with family-friendly, calm and approachable options, and good education. Includes the option for Kate's 5-week "Restart" program, if you'd like a guide in real time to help you adjust your diet to AIP.
Delivery of meats free of antibiotics and hormones, raised humanely and sustainably. 100% grass-fed beef, free range organic chicken, and heritage breed pork. Butcher Box is styled as "the neighborhood butcher for modern America" -- and it's true.
Organic, fresh vegetables -
Your local farmer's market
Choosing organic whenever possible is good for your gut ecology. Locally-grown, organic vegetables are also good for your community's environmental ecology.
Sustainable, low-toxin seafood -
Your local fresh-catch supplier
An increasing number of supermarkets are abiding by safer seafood standards and sustainable practices. If yours doesn't, or you're not sure, follow the Safer Seafood guidelines.
Gluten-free: the price of entry
Learn what gluten is and how to avoid it. Choose clean protein and vegetables whenever possible; when dining out, tell your server it's an "allergy," not a "preference." Options are becoming more mainstream. Opt for low-starch, unfried foods.
A cooking essential you may not already have
Many anti-inflammatory, AIP, and related recipes use an Instant Pot pressure cooker for at-home cooking. Carve out a small space in your cabinet or countertop and free up some time in the kitchen.
This is an app for your iPhone or Android, and offers meditations from any of a variety of experts so you can choose the depth, and even the voice, you’d like to listen to.
Insight Timer app
Insight Timer is the top free meditation app for both iPhone and Android. It provides options for collaborative meditating if you want to, or private meditation if you prefer.
This app provides options for sounds and prompts that provide calm, from 'mountain lake' to 'evening crickets' to 'fireplace' and more. Lovely. It's a free app from Apple, and it won the 2017 "app of the year." Offers a masterclass as well.
Live and Dare
Here are meditations for all needs and tastes, as well as a 5-week course that introduces you to the practice of meditation, called the "Master Your Mind" course. Very kind, calming, and realistic about what it's like to begin and sustain a mindful practice.
Other free options
For more ideas, check out the 2017 roundup of five options by Mindful magazine and Healthline in this article, "Free mindfulness apps worthy of your attention," written by Kira M. Newman.
Our own Amanda Biccum
Stress management, mindfulness, healthy movement, connection to nature, and community are all important aspects of lifestyle management. Amanda introduces these principles for members to learn more in this short introductory video.
Free guided yoga
Dr. Connie Jeon
Several types of gentle exercise are appropriate for maintaining circulation, strength, and overall vitality when movement can be a challenge. Yoga is a popular one. Try this free 20 minute routine, "Rejuvenating Yoga for Autoimmune Conditions." The audio may be tinny but the topic is on-point.
Free guided yoga
Here are some more options for free, guided Yoga you can do at home: "Yoga for Healing with Adriene." There is a range of good options here; you're bound to find one that resonates if Yoga appeals to you, and you feel able to do it.
Autoimmune Strong is a monthly membership fitness program that's expressly designed for people living with autoimmunity or chronic pain. Andrea sensitively guides you to what your body can do. Start with the free 7-day trial, then go to an annual or monthly subscription at US$14.99/month.
Getting your circulation going is restorative in whatever level you feel you can do. Movement is also an important part of your body's detoxification process. Add to that the restorative benefits of fresh air and sunshine, and moving outdoors in nature is a trifecta of essential benefits -- to say nothing of what it does for your spirit. Get outside every day while the sun is up for best results (good for your circadian rhythms, too!). Even if it's just gentle walking. Your body and spirit thank you!
This is a time- and stress-management tool in my view. Given that I have to maintain my own vitality to care for anyone else, I find the quicker burst-training approach of this device to fit into my day: I can actually find 4 minutes a couple of times a day. I also use it shift my energy from escalating stress to a calming release of endorphins -- in that same 4 minutes. Helpful. Very small, fuss-free footprint.
Qigong and Tai Chi
- Anthony Korahais
Learn why the ancient practices of Qigong and Tai Chi are gaining in popularity, and get access to a free eCourse, "Beating Fatigue with Qigong and Tai Chi," by Sifu Anthony of Flowing Zen. The course provides a brief intro to these practices, which combine movement, meditation, and discipline. Anthony features their particular benefits toward resolving depression.
The Institute for Functional Medicine's Find a Practitioner Tool
International practitioner directory by the world's leading functional medicine credentialing organization.
Directory of FMCA Graduates -
Functional Medicine Coaching Academy
Locate a qualified coach if it feels too hard to put it all together and you're looking for results sooner than later.
Directory of Certified Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Coaches
Live help for transitioning to the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). The first graduates of the program include Autoimmune Families Founder Joy Cutrone.
Your insurer's resource for finding a qualified counselor
Locate a qualified counselor in your area who's experienced with chronic illness. It can be very helpful to process the psychological, emotional, and grieving processes of diagnosis, and life thereafter, with a counselor you can meet in person. They're a valuable member of your core team.
When you're in a caregiver role for another family member or friend, find a separate counseling resource of their own. When falling victim to an illness that's taking away choice, being able to have control, independence, and self-identity in key areas of life take on increased importance. They need to have their "own" resource they can count on.
Keep a journal for physician encounters
In a health care model of deep inquiry and individualism, observing symptoms is a vital part of crafting an appropriate protocol. Sometimes we *think* we know what's been happening, but when probed, we find we don't really know what we ate, or when or how strongly a symptom presented, or how it correlates with other factors. Tracking what you eat, how much you sleep, and what meds or supplements you took (for starters) is important. Paper and pen work. Or try an app like Symple.
Take a team approach
Autoimmune disease can be a serious matter. Not only is it "turned on" for life once activated, but it often leads to other forms of autoimmune expression, if left unchecked. Don't go it alone. The eyes, ears, and experience of qualified professionals can save you time and suffering by helping to identify contributing factors and counter-balancing therapies. This includes an FxM Practitioner, an empathetic PCP (sometimes one and the same) and, often, a conventional specialist (GI, rheumatologist, etc.). It may also include a licensed counselor and/or a qualified coach. Every one has an appropriate role.
DNA analysis is becoming increasingly instructive to the understanding of appropriate treatment in the functional medicine view of health care. Choose "Health + Ancestry" when you order. You'll do the quick test at home and mail it in, then upload results to an interpretive site like LiveWello, and review results with your FxM Practitioner.
Genetic Genie is a free resource to use to identify your methylation and detoxification profile, which are key factors in maintaining health. This is insight you gain from your 23andMe results by uploading them into the free Genetic Genie tool. Discuss the best path forward in your resulting nutrigenomics plan with your FxM practitioner to optimize the outcome of your new insight.
Your DNA is not your destiny
Form a protocol for responding to your genetic predisposition with the guidance of industry leader Ben Lynch, ND, and author of "Dirty Genes." Identify and optimize the two types of "dirty" genes, and use your DNA analysis results from 23andMe to know which you need to clean up with targeted plans that include healthy eating, good sleep, stress relief, environmental detoxification, and other natural means.
The Autoimmune Families Dispensary at Wellevate
Save 15% on clean supplements and dietary support in The Autoimmune Families Dispensary. Proceeds help support The Autoimmune Families Foundation while you save.
Our go-to topical healing ointment for, well, "All." This helps soothe and heal skin in times when you might think of an antibiotic gel, but want something better, more nourishing, and deeply healing. I keep a tin in the bathroom, kitchen, and my travel kit.
Like Avena Botanical's Heal-All salve, I can't imagine raising children without Traumeel. It's a homeopathic way of calming external inflammation and pain without harmful chemicals or agents that can cause distress to the body in other ways.
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