Last Updated on October 23, 2020 by Renee’
Have you been Paleo for awhile?
Feeling better, but not 100%?
Do you have an autoimmune disease (or 2, or more like me)?
Then I suggest you give the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet a try. This could help take you to the next level with your health. You are already 1/2 way there!
So, What is the AIP Diet?
The AIP diet is a stricter version of the Paleo diet.
It is an “elimination diet” designed to remove any inflammatory foods (foods that you could be sensitive to & may not know it) that could still be causing you health problems.
When I made the switch to the AIP diet, I really started to see progress reversing my autoimmune diseases. I had no idea that I had so many food sensitivities.
Unlike food allergies, food sensitivities are not as noticeable. This is due to the symptoms they cause, such as bloating, gas, fatigue, etc…, are more subtle & when one has had them so long it just becomes his/her norm.
“It’s just part of getting older.” I can’t tell you how many times I hear that. Well, that’s not always true.
Yes, it is a little overwhelming, but you’ve already done the hard part! Congratulations!
Are you ready to take the next leap to a healthier you?
Now’s the time!
Since you have already been on the Paleo Diet you already eliminated a lot of inflammatory foods.
Here is a list of foods that you should have already eliminated since you have already been Paleo & if not you should eliminate these permanently. Read this post on How to go Paleo in 6 weeks!
Foods to Eliminate Permanently:
- Grains (including corn)
- Legumes (Peanuts are a legume)
- Refined Sugars
- Refined, processed foods
- Processed Oils-Vegetable Oils (soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower seed oil, cottonseed oil, and canola oil, just to name a few)
- Chemicals & Additives
Foods Not Allowed on AIP:
These are the foods to eliminate that may be triggers for your autoimmune disease.
- Nuts & Seeds (including nut & seed based oils & spices)
- Ghee, Butter
- Green Beans & Green Peas
- Nightshade Vegetables & spices (Eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, etc… & any spices such as paprika that derive from them)
- Coffee, Cocoa, Alcohol
- No emulsifiers such as guar gum & carrageenan
- No algae
- No stevia etc…
- No NSAIDs including Ibuprophen & aspirin
*If you have had a food sensitivity test done, of course, eliminate those on that list as well.
Here is a complete list by the Paleo Mom to print out & have on hand that tells you which foods are yes, no & maybe!
Foods That You Can Have:
- Fish (preferably wild-caught)
- Meat (preferably 100% grass-fed organic)
- Organ Meat (preferably organic &/or grass-fed)
- Vegetables (preferably organic)
- Fruits (Limit to 2-5 serv. per day) (preferably organic
- Healthy fats & oils (ex: Tallow, EVOO, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil)
- Bone Broth
- Fermented Veggies
Step by Step Plan:
Week 1 – Eliminate eggs, butter, ghee
Week 2 – Eliminate nuts & seeds (that includes nut & seed spices, black pepper & Oils from seeds or nuts)
Week 3 – Eliminate “Nightshades” (white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, tobacco etc… & any spices derived from them)
Week 4– Eliminate, Coffee, Alcohol, & Cocoa (yes, I know, I saved the hardest for last. )
If you need to, you can take a couple of weeks more to get used to one elimination before eliminating the next if that is easier for you.
Tips to help you Succeed:
- Carob powder instead of Cocoa (I use this in my AIP Herbal “Coffee”)
- Yucca, white sweet potatoes, rutabaga, Mashed Cauliflower &/or turnips instead of Potatoes.
- AIP Herbal “Coffee” instead of Coffee
- Turmeric instead of NSAIDs
- Snacks- Plantain Chips with AIP friendly Artichoke Hummus, AIP Spinach Artichoke Dip or (AIP guacamole-avocado, onion, cilantro & lime).
- Breakfast – have leftovers (which are awesome) or Sausage hash for breakfast (be careful with sausage, read labels, ground pork/hamburger is always good & add your own spices) If you have to have something a little sweet then try my Blueberry Plantains! Also, my Fried Avocado with Oven-Baked Bacon is great with a side of fruit.
- Coconut milk– you can make yogurt in the instant pot (if you don’t have one, put it on your wish-list, I can’t live without mine). Mix 1 can of coconut milk with 1 can of filtered water using the immersion blender for your AIP “Coffee” or if you like it creamier, drain the coconut water off & use the coconut cream on top.
- Coconut Aminos- Use this instead of soy sauce. I use it in my AIP Chicken Fried Rice, my AIP Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps my AIP Grilled Asian Chicken & my AIP friendly Korean Ground Beef over Cauliflower Rice.
- Batch Cook– When you are cooking, always make extra so that you can have leftovers. I like to put aside one day a week to meal plan & cook. I have enough food for the week & only have to warm up. Makes those busy nights so much more pleasant & stress-free. I love these rectangular pyrex containers for storing individual meals.
- Don’t Eat Out– I also suggest not eating out for at least 30 days. And be prepared, that when you do go out for the first time, it can be very overwhelming. I melted into tears the first time & ended up not ordering any dinner. Since then, I have learned which restaurants to go to & which ones not to. I have learned to ask for exactly how I want my foods cooked. Almost any restaurant can serve grilled meat plain, fish & veggies with no seasoning. I use this container to take my own sea salt in my purse. If ordering a salad take your own homemade oil/vinegar/herb dressing to make sure you are not getting anything non-compliant. I use this container.
- Bone Broth– Make sure you are drinking/consuming bone broth every day. This is critical for healing leaky gut. Which if you didn’t know already, you have a leaky gut if you have an autoimmune disease. Read more about Leaky Gut Here & Why you should be drinking Bone Broth every day here! Soups are a great way to get bone broth daily. Try my Hamburger “Fauxtato” Leek Soup, Hamburger & Purple Cabbage Soup, Cream of Broccoli Soup, & Cauliflower Leek Soup.
After completing the AIP Paleo for at least 30 days or until you are symptom-free then you can start re-introductions. I was on it for over a year before I started re-introductions. Just make sure you are symptom-free before starting any re-introductions.
Re-introductions should be done in stages, & spaced out. One at a time, starting with a very small amount. Start with stage 1, & pick the food that you miss the most.
If you have had a food sensitivity test done, leave out any foods, spices etc… that you have a diagnosed sensitivity to for last (or perhaps before nightshades).
Make sure you are symptom-free before starting Re-introductions.
Stage 1 – egg yolk, (pastured, soy & wheat free) ghee from grass-fed dairy, seed-based spices, fruit-based spices, seed & nut oils, peas & green beans
Stage 2 -egg whites, seeds, nuts, grass-fed butter, alcohol (in sm. quantities) coffee (occasionally)
Stage 3– cashews & pistachios, grass-fed cream, eggplant, paprika, bell peppers, coffee (daily), yeast, cocoa, grass-fed raw cream, fermented grass-fed dairy (goat dairy may be tolerated better than cow dairy)
Stage 4– egg white, chili peppers, potatoes (better if peeled), & alcohol (in larger quantities). Leave Tomatoes & NSAIDS for last as they seem to cause the most problems. You may never again want to consume these.
- When you reintroduce a food, consume only a small amount of that food, at least twice on two consecutive days. Reintroduce one food at a time, giving at least 3 days in between reintroduction before trying the next one (this is even true for seed-based spices).
Stop eating that food even if you have any of the symptoms listed below. You can always try again later in case the symptom was just a coincidence. Also, just because you can’t tolerate that food now, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to in a couple of months as your body continues to heal.
Your goal is to get back to full Paleo if possible. It has been 3 years since I started Paleo & 2 1/2 years since I transitioned to AIP. I am almost back to full Paleo now & have reversed 2 of 3 autoimmune diseases.
*UPDATE – As of Feb. 2019 I have now put all 3 of my autoimmune diseases in remission! Yay Me!
I recommend this AIP facebook support group. It has helped me tremendously. Lots of great tips & ideas for meals! And don’t forget Pinterest & make sure to visit my Recipe Index. I have a lot of AIP & Paleo Recipes there!
Symptoms to look for when Re-introducing Food:
- Old symptoms of your disease come back or worsen
- Stomach ache, heartburn, nausea, changes in bowel habits, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, undigested/partially digested food particles in stool
- Sugar or fat cravings, food cravings, pica (mineral craving
- Trouble sleeping, falling asleep or staying asleep, not feeling rested upon waking
- Muscle or joint pain,
- Tendon/ligament aches and pains
- Skin rashes, acne, dry skin, dry hair or nails, little pink bumps or spots on the skin
- Feeling depressed, having a lower ability to handle stress, increased anxiety
If you are really serious about learning more about the AIP Diet, the why’s & how’s, I recommend reading Sarah Ballantyne’s textbook, The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body. It dives into the research behind the protocol. It is very detailed & informative.
Another book I highly recommend is Mickey Trescott’s, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook: An Allergen-Free Approach to Managing Chronic Illness which summarizes Sarah Ballantyne’s book. You might find it to be an easier read. Mickey Trescott & Angie Alt also have a new book out that I personally haven’t read yet, but am hearing great things about, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook: A DIY Guide to Living Well with Chronic Illness.
I recommend this AIP facebook support group. It has helped me tremendously. Lots of great tips & ideas for meals! And don’t forget Pinterest. It is a great resource for AIP recipes.
Also, make sure to go to my Recipe Index. I have a lot of AIP & Paleo recipes that have helped me. And, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an e-mail if you have any questions.
If you haven’t gone Paleo yet & would like to start, read here How to go Paleo in 6 weeks.