Book Review: Goodbye Autoimmune by Dr. Brooke Goldner
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I read Goodbye Autoimmune Disease by Dr. Brooke Goldner six months after diagnosis, and I remember breaking down in tears when reading it: almost every word of this book was exactly what I needed to hear in order to stick with my lifestyle changes.
I've read quite a few books on autoimmune diseases and how to heal, but this book is unique for a number of reasons.
Dr. Goldner's Story and Practical Experience in Healing Autoimmune Diseases
Dr. Goldner had struggled with Lupus since a young age, and she stumbled upon a surprising way to reverse her autoimmune disease when preparing for her wedding. By making massive diet and lifestyle changes, she was able to reverse her disease -- permanently.
Now, she's devoted her life to helping others do the same, and her and her husband both run programs and support groups to help thousands of people reclaim their lives. She's a certified M.D., and she's got both the lived experience and track record that backs up her claims.
That's part of the reason I found her book so compelling -- but mostly I was moved by the way she approaches motivation to heal and how to get your mindset right, and her steps to healing are incredibly simple and easy to follow.
How Not to Cheat Yourself Out of Your New Lifestyle Changes
When I was first diagnosed, I was having mental breakdowns over my lack of bagels.
Seriously. A no-gluten Amy was a very sad Amy. And somehow giving up a lot of my old food staples was really affecting me on an emotional level.
Later, I learned why: as it turns out, changing your diet triggers some pretty insane responses from a bad gut microbiome trying to hang on to sugar and gluten. Just imagine the bad bacteria screaming and throwing a fit and releasing chemicals to get you to give into cravings. That's basically what's happening. (I, unlike Dr. Goldner, did not go to medical school if you can't tell.)
When I read this book, I had kept backsliding into old habits. I thought, "I still want to live and enjoy life. Why can't I enjoy life while also healing from my disease?"
Answer: because processed foods, meat and dairy will keep causing inflammation and you will never get back to full health. And without health, you can't live a long, happy life.
In Dr. Goldner's book, she has full chapters on motivation and getting in the right mindset. This is where my tears came in: I read a section about how eating healthy is a gift to your inner child. Not cheating on your new lifestyle is an assurance to your inner child that you will not betray them, abuse them, or let them down any longer. Instead, you will nourish them, support them, and give them the love they need to heal.
That's some powerful stuff -- and exactly what I needed to hear before I went gallivanting off into Europe and discovered that exactly zero people in Italy are vegan. (Just kidding, we found the small handful of vegan restaurants there, we just had to go to the ends of the earth and I compromised on my diet before coming back to the states and getting strict again.)
I recommend this book in part of how revolutionary the mindset sections are (I really truly believe it's key in healing!) but also because of how simple Dr. Goldner's rules are to follow.
Here's What You Do to Cure Your Rheumatoid Arthritis (Or Other Autoimmune Disease!) Naturally
Here's how simple Dr. Goldner's rules are:
Eat clean. Train mean. Drink up to a gallon of water a day (depending on your body weight.) Go plant-based, ditch processed foods and sugars. Nourish with a ton of leafy greens and fruit.
...and that's it. Even easier? No need to learn a zillion salad recipes to get the (several pounds!!) of required leafy vegetables in per day. Just throw a container of Baby Kale into a blender with some frozen fruit and water or coconut water and you're good to go.
The Smoothie Hack is truly what changed me. I was STRUGGLING with what to eat as a newly minted vegan, and being able to literally throw some vegetables into a blender for food really changed the game for me.
She has a ton of other great tips and tricks in her book, but I love how her rules are so accessible. It doesn't matter who you are or what your resources are, you don't need fancy supplements or testing: you just need a good Vitamix blender and some frozen fruits and fresh kale.
Even the healthy people in my life are on their Smoothie Game, and they've seen how it has completely changed their health and given them superpowers and more energy and vitality.
My Review of Goodbye Autoimmune Disease by Brooke Goldner
10/10 Highly Recommend - this is a great read, especially if you're newly diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and trying to figure it all out and are overwhelmed with all the info available to you.
You can buy it here on Bookshop (support local bookstores!)