Written by Corina Chladek
Autism HWB Note: Nutrition is highly individualized and diets that work well for some people can be dangerous for others. Please consult with your physician before making dietary changes to ensure they are right for you.
I am a late-diagnosed autistic person (2020 at age 46!) and have been on a life-long journey to determine the best way of eating for my brain and body. I have a Diploma of Psychology of Eating, which is mainly about how you eat to digest well, but this approach was not enough for me on its own. I took an n=1 approach to experience and experimentation and have done a great deal of research to find what is right for my body.
I have tried it all and I can clearly distinguish how different ways of eating have impacted my mood and health. I clearly function best the way I am eating now: meat-based and fat-adapted. I think so clearly, my mood is stable, digestion good, my stiffness has resolved and flexibility returned, chronic pain disappeared, and overall quality of life has improved greatly, despite the diet being quite restricted. There are environmental factors that remain (stress and pressure from work, mostly) which cause occasional flare-ups and I still have 1-2 hormonal migraines a month, but since adopting this way of eating my health is still the best I have experienced.
I grew up eating a regular, omnivorous, Swiss diet and have never been a picky eater. Often as a kid, certain food combinations would make me feel sick, and once I was so constipated I had to go to the hospital. Teachers would comment I seemed “tired” in the morning, and absent-minded in general. Even seemingly-healthy meals with many combined food groups, like fruit and vegetables from the garden along with a rich dinner and dessert, would cause me to vomit and experience flu-like symptoms for a few days. Because I am Swiss I was addicted to chocolate and craved it and sugary foods constantly. Hot milk, made to help me sleep, would cause such indigestion I could not rest; the first indication of my dairy intolerance, but my love of cheese led me to continue eating it for a long time. I had PMDD for years that improved to “normal” PMS when I weaned off of dairy, sugar, and gluten.
From 1994-2012 I was a vegetarian. In 2007 I went into burnout and developed exercise and heat intolerance (secondary to histamine intolerance) with fibromyalgia-like pain and regular migraines. Stopping dairy and sugar wasn’t enough to make me feel better. From 2014-2018 I tried veganism, even going so far as fruitarianism in 2016, but this only exacerbated my symptoms. By 2018 I could not stand for more than 30 minutes, had terrible dry, itching skin, severe back and tailbone pain, and no signs of improvement. I continued to experiment. I In 2019 I tried Paleo, eating meat again for the first time in many years, but it did not help me feel much better. Next I tried AIP (Autoimmune Protocol), and then Natasha Campbell’s GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), which included fermented foods that worsened my histamine symptoms. Finally, in April 2019, I went carnivore, entering into mild ketosis/fat adaptation. Within one month of eating that way I had a sudden pristine clarity of mind. And three months of eating that way led to the reversal of my chronic pain and stiffness, eliminating fatigue, improved skin and digestion, and cheerful, stable mood.
Eating a meat-based diet is tricky with histamine intolerance since histamine builds up in foods as proteins break down. For this reason, I cannot eat any pre-prepared or processed meat and all of my meat needs to be fresh. I will freeze it fresh and take it out right before cooking. I only cook at home and rarely eat out, as I can only do so at steak-houses where you can season the meat yourself (I avoid spices and vegetable oils). This is all worth it for the reversal of my chronic pain, elimination of brain fog and fatigue, improved skin and digestion, and cheerful, stable mood.
In addition to my diet which is limited to fresh meat and occasional fish (no eggs), I supplement with a methylated B complex, take diamine oxidase for histamine intolerance, nootropics for brain function, and I work with a craniosacral trauma therapist who is nervous system oriented. I have also found working with a Somatic Experiencing practitioner to be helpful in the past to create a sense of inner safety.
Name: Corina. Artist name: Ayani Oriel Pont. Diagnosed: with Asperger Autism at age 46. Born in: SWITZERLAND. Languages: English, German, Swiss-German, French, Czech, Slovak. Special Interests: Drawing Celtic Knot mandalas, reading and learning about different topics, photography, making tribal jewelry. I have a Psychology of Eating Coach Diploma, but never really used it.
Autistic Meatloving Hermit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw0PiSxpCOe_HUbG5TH04VQ/