Gentle GI Diet
The Gentle AI Diet is designed for those whose health has been greatly compromised in one of several ways: 1) your grade on the Functional Health Assessment was a D or an F or 2) you have been on the Gentle GI Diet for 21 days and still have noticeable digestive issues or 3) you suffer from an autoimmune disease or debilitating chronic illness (see examples below).
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Celiac disease
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Multiple sclerosis
- Type 1 diabetes
- S.E.I.D. - Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (Chronic fatigue syndrome)
- Multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS)
- Lyme’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Groups 1 and 2, who scored poorly on the Functional Health Assessment, need to follow the Gentle AI Diet for thirty days before adding in any former foods or shifting to the Gentle GI Diet.
Group 3, those with an autoimmune disease or chronic illness, must follow the Gentle AI Diet indefinitely. Wavering will only cause flare-ups and hinder your quality of life.
Do not eat foods containing gluten
Gluten is a protein found in many grains including wheat, barley, and rye. It is common in foods, such as bread, pasta, pizza, and cereal. People with celiac disease who eat gluten experience a painful and destructive immune reaction that damages their intestinal tracts and other tissues of their body. Current estimates suggest that up to 1% of the population has this condition, while 6% suffer from gluten sensitivity.[i] For them, a gluten-free diet is a medical necessity.
Remember from the chapter The Immune System, all the pain-causing inflammatory chemicals are the consequence of the immune system destroying what it has deemed a hostile invader, or antigen. Antibodies to the antigen were also created to help the immune system quickly recognize and destroy these same antigens should they return in the future. Those with gluten antibodies often feel the immune system’s wrath after eating only a tiny amount.
But I don’t have celiac disease, so I can eat gluten, right?
Maybe not. The anecdotal evidence demonstrating gluten as a cause of highly reactive inflammatory responses from the immune system, even in non-celiac people, is piling up.
What you need to know is whether your immune system is making antibodies not just to the gluten protein, but to any of its portions, or any other similar proteins through what is known as cross-reactivity. If it is, pain, inflammation, and tissue destruction will follow.
Most doctors only check for alpha gliadin antibodies—the portion of gluten most commonly associated with celiac disease. Many times, this test comes back negative. The patient, believing they are in the clear, continues to eat gluten while their health deteriorates.
There are thirty-two different gluten fractions and twenty-eight cross-reactive foods that can be tested for antibodies. Beyond this, gluten has protein sequences that are identical to the protein sequences in the brain, the thyroid, the pancreas, and other tissues in the body.[ii] If antibodies have been made to any of these, eating gluten could cause an immune system attack on otherwise healthy organs and tissues.
To find out if you are cross-reacting with gluten, you can ask your doctor to perform a blood test from Cyrex Laboratories called, Gluten-Associated Cross-Reactive Foods and Foods Sensitivity Panel. I discuss the details of this test and many others in Appendix A: Essential Lab Tests.
Do not eat grains
There are several naturally gluten-free grains including: amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, rice, and quinoa. However, until you know for sure which grains you can eat, avoid them all. Why? Grains are highly cross-reactive with gluten, meaning they have also been tagged with antibodies and will cause the same inflammatory effect as gluten when eaten.
What to eat
Going gluten free and grain free will undoubtedly be difficult at first, especially if you regularly eat fast food and processed food. This is further complicated by the many hidden sources of gluten, like the ones I list at the end of this chapter. Thankfully, there are plenty of gluten-free resources available today on the internet.
Foods to avoid
- All grains such as oats, rice, and wheat
- All milk-based products from all animal types
- Butter and ghee
- Eggs from all animal types
- Legumes such as beans and peanuts
- Nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and potatoes)
- All sugars including sugar replacements (except for the occasional use of honey)
- All oils (except for avocado, coconut, and olive)
- Food additives
Foods to eat
- Meats and fish, all chemical free
- Cooked vegetables except nightshades
- Sweet potatoes
- Fruit in small quantities (skinless)
- Whole coconut milk
- Avocado, olive, and coconut oil
- Dairy-free fermented foods such as kombucha, kefir made with whole coconut milk, sauerkraut, and kimchi
- Honey or maple syrup (but only to be used occasionally, in small quantities)
- Fresh non-seed herbs such as basil, mint, and oregano
- Green tea and non-seed herbal teas
- Bone broth
- Vinegars such as apple cider and balsamic
[ii] Kharrazian, Datis. Why Isn't My Brain Working?: A revolutionary understanding of brain decline and effective strategies to recover your brain’s health . Elephant Press.