Transitioning to AIP is a challenge itself, especially if we think about the 30 days reset phase. And that’s quite easy to understand, especially if you’re starting from a filthy-greasy-fast foody diet like mine was before AIP.
The challenge, however, is even more difficult for certain people, who have specific food restrictions that are adding an even greater effort: those are the people who have specific food intolerance to certain AIP ingredients or the ones who are vegetarians.
In this article we’re going to discuss the case of vegetarians, since the AIP diet is itself a diet based on protein in quite a large proportion. So the simple thought of vegetarians on AIP diet made me a bit scared at first, but that’s only until I saw the WHAT THE HEALTH documentary on Netflix.
This film has been a life changer for me. And it’s not because I became an instant vegetarian, but because it offered me the right information to understand that the protein we get from meat can actually be taken from any vegetables out there.
So it was then when I understood that the AIP diet for vegetarians is absolutely possible and even recommended. The documentary shows the really nasty business behind meat production, proving all its harmful effect to both the environment as well to the human body, if we talk about processed meat. And the solution to that lays in the botanical nature, pretty much the nature that vegetarians enjoy.
Now here are some vegetarian AIP recipes that I found online and that I tried myself in times of vegetarian experimenting:
And these are just some of the dozens of vegetarian AIP combinations you could make. For non-vegetarians like me they normally make great side dishes, but most of them are so rich in vitamins and minerals that you could just eat them alone.
Note: This article contains a bit of AIP humor because I intended to make it less boring and more motivating. Through this article, my goal is to make you worry less over AIP and motivate you into enjoying this diet - stress relief and a positive state of mind are 50% of the keys to healing. Enjoy!
When I first started the AIP diet I was feeling like an outcast toad among the people surrounding me. Everyone was like: “Are you kidding me? How’s this diet better than Dukan/Keto/Whatever Diet?” So since it takes a lot of time and effort to explain the benefits of AIP to someone who isn’t suffering from an autoimmune disease, I rested my case and decided not to discuss this with anyone who isn’t suffering from autoimmunity. That was my tiny moment of revolution until I got the hang of the diet myself (actually felt pretty good being an outcast at that time when my antibodies were up in the sky) 🙂 And then I told myself:
I’ve tried this diet on my own, with no help from any functional doctor but just by researching, self-teaching and experimenting on my own body, so I now want to put all my effort down under the form of advice for everyone who is starting the AIP diet and who finds it difficult to begin. And I’m doing this because it’s actually not that difficult! I’ve been receiving all kinds of feedback on AIP lately, mostly from our AIP support group on Facebook. It seems that the greatest struggle of all is getting started with the AIP diet.
So in this article I’m putting together an easy AIP starter pack for everyone who wants to start the AIP diet and is not sure where to begin! I’m putting all the steps in the chart in brief and I’m detailing every step below the chart. Here we go!
Step 1 – Chase For AIP Ingredients
Est. duration – 1->3 days
Step 2 – Browse and Save as many recipes as you can
Est. duration – 1->7 days
Step 3 – Prep Meals in Advance
Est. duration – 1->2 days
Step 4 – Taking food to Work? Buy Casseroles
Est. duration – 30 minutes
Step 5 – Not sure about Something?
Step 1 – Chase for ingredients – Est. duration 1-3 days
Buy/order/pre-order all the compliant ingredients of the AIP diet. You can find the full list of AIP allowed foods HERE! You NEED to have as much compliant food as possible at hand, so you can just jump to the fridge/cupboard whenever you’re hungry and fix yourself an AIP soup/steak/snack/hash/dessert. Trust me, the feeling of knowing you have everything at hand is very comforting and it gives you a small but very important feeling of accomplishment.
To be completely honest, I’ve been running like crazy after some ingredients, flours mostly, because I’ve been so desperate to learn how to make myself compliant bread that I literally lost count of other cravings. While other people may have finer and more expensive cravings (foie-gras, caviar, etc) I used to be a sucker for bread ever since I was a baby. And bread has been one of my best friends (used to eat it in good times, in bad times, used to eat it in grief, used to eat bread as I laughed (can you imagine??) and even used to eat it as I cried, it comforted me more than anything). Bread literally was my best food friend before the AIP.
But the AIP diet was so kind to me that it let me find great solutions of bread replacementsthat I actually cook and eat every day! So if there was hope for me, there sure is hope for you!
Step 2 – Browse and save as many AIP recipes as you can – Est. duration 1-7 days
Once you start AIP, you’ll feel the need to keep your biorhythm and continue to respect your meal and snack hours. Or else, your body will get pretty mad at you and start kicking other parts than autoimmunity. So you’ll need as many recipes as you can possibly get, to satisfy all your cravings. And believe me when I say, there is nothing you eat outside of AIP that you can’t replace with an AIP compliant ingredient or food. I mean, look at me:
I’ve replaced coffee with “AIP coffee” (and I was a real coffee lover)
Then you can start cooking! With cooking you have two options:
You either cook and eat fresh – for example you can cook a soup, store it in the fridge and eat it in maximum 4 days. The same goes for a tray of roasted veggies (these can only be stored for up to 2 days).
Or you can cook any prep and freeze it so you can eat it whenever you want (you can do this with soups, stews, drinks and even hashes). This option is recommended for the people who don’t have time to cook every day and just want a faster and more comfortable option of staying compliant.
Step 4 – Taking food to work? – Buy casseroles! – Est. duration – 30 minutes
Taking your AIP food to work is the wisest choice you’ll make! That’s because it’s very unlikely you’ll find a catering company that delivers AIP lunch. Even if you’re on the pure Paleo diet, it’s still incredibly difficult to find a caterer who will use only compliant ingredients.
I work remotely in another town where I manage a shopping center so my work is half office work – half operational onsite. So what I do is I take all my food to work with me, packed in casseroles. I like cooking every evening for the following day (because thank God I have the time!), but even if I didn’t, I’d still do this casserole thing since it’s incredibly comfortable! I bought all these different sized and shaped casseroles and I pack all foods in them in the mornings and carry them all around! You may find some of the people at work consider you’re a bit eccentric (or maybe a variation of the old lady with the cats), but you really shouldn’t care about all that as long as this diet is helping you heal your symptoms!
So put those casseroles to work!
Step 5 – Not sure about something? ASK OUT!
At first, the AIP diet may be full of question marks and even tricks. Why isn’t olive oil good for frying? Why isn’t regular palm oil fully compliant while palm shortening is? What does “consume honey in moderation” actually mean? What is this moderation stuff? Are you kidding me???
If you have any questions whatsoever, just ASK OUT! Join support groups, ask your questions in social media, send emails to people who’ve been on the diet. Don’t hold any question in, as you usually get only one chance to do things right (and by this I mean the 30 days reset phase).
If you think any of your questions may sound stupid, here are some of the questions I’ve asked myself at first – with a bit of a humorous approach that I can afford now, after almost 3 fully compliant months:
How am I supposed to start? Is starting naked compliant?
What am I supposed to eat? 🙂
How am I supposed to replace eggs for breakfast or Greek salad for dinner? What am I some sort stupid girl you can trick with greenies?
What shall I do with the non-compliant ingredients still left in my fridge? Feed them to the sharks?
…all these and just about any question out there – need to have an answer that doesn’t sound like rocket science! And the AIP is not rocket science, trust me! It just needs a bit of motivation and organization.
Join our Facebook AIP support group for asking any questions you feel like, sharing your experience and just make yourself at home! And remember, you’re not alone in your autoimmune journey!
Before adopting the AIP diet for your autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s, Graves, Lupus, Celiac or others), you may wonder what this diet can do for you and your symptoms. In this article I’m going to explain the role of the diet and the allowed foods list in the simplest words and by real examples.
First things first, what is the AIP diet?
The Autoimmune Paleo diet starts from the idea that most autoimmune diseases are caused by a leaky gut syndrome. In simple words, this can be explained as below.
By triggers like eating unhealthy foods, by stress and excesses, our gut is attacked by inflammations that create small holes in the membrane of the intestine and get toxins spread out into our immune system. This way, our immune system reacts to these toxins and starts attacking organs in our body, like in the examples below:
it attacks thyroid in Hashimoto’s or Graves Disease
it attacks small intestine in Celiac disease
it attacks the immune system itself by Lupus
So the purpose of the AIP diet is to heal the inflammations, or holes in the gut and make it recover, to prevent these inflammations from leaking toxins into our immune system. But for this gut healing process to take place, the gut needs an initial recovery period, which is the 30 days (or even more) Reset Period, during which the AIP diet only allows anti-inflammatory foods. These specific foods are meant to heal the membrane of the gut and stop the autoimmune symptoms.
While it has ben proven that the AIP diet helps in most autoimmune conditions, there is also a slight possibility that it may not work in some cases, most likely because there are also other measures to take for healing autoimmune. These are a change of lifestyle with more rest, less stress and a gradual elimination of the triggers causing autoimmunity in general. But it’s definitely Worth trying, just considering that it’s such a healthy choice it can’t actually do harm to the body.
The AIP diet has two main phases:
The 30 day Reset Phase-extended until up to 90 days if needed, or until symptoms improve considerably and antibody blood tests also back up the efficiency.
The Re-introductions Phase – which follows right after the Reset Period and involves the gradual and careful re-introduction of the foods that have been banned in the 30-90 day Reset Phase.
Now let’s take the 1st phase separately, the Reset Phase, and see what we’re allowed to eat 🙂
Like mentioned above, the 30 day Reset Phase may be extended to up to 90 days if the symptoms of your disease are not yet improved considerably, or if your antibody blood tests are not modified for the best.
I’ve been quite strict on my 30 days Reset Phase, making it 45 days Reset in my case, as I wanted to make sure I offer my gut enough time to heal by eating all organic and anti-inflammatory foods.
Here’s what you’re allowed to eat in the Reset Phase:
Fruit (maximum 2 servings per day, non-tropical fruit
Gelatin (grass fed)
Baking powder (gluten-free)
Here’s what you’re not allowed to eat in the Reset Phase
Gluten and grains
Dairy (only banned in the Reset Phase)
Nightshades (only banned in the Reset Phase)
Legumes (only banned in the Reset Phase)
All nuts and seeds (only banned in the Reset Phase)
Miscellaneous (only banned in the Reset Phase)
I will return shortly with the article on the 2nd phase of the diet, the re-introductions phase. Meanwhile, you can get inspiration from my daily recipes and start healing your autoimmunity. 🙂
The recipes I post on the blog are 100% AIP compliant, with special mention in case some ingredients may not be allowed in the Reset Phase, but are to be introduced in the Re-introductions phase. For example, if I use Eggs in a recipe, I will sure mention that Eggs are not allowed in the Reset Phase and suggest a replacing option for them, for example gelatin egg, which can be used in the Reset Phase.
I hope the AIP foods list will help up at least as much as it helped me and I’m here to support you on your autoimmune healing journey with an open heart 🙂
You can refer to the comments section or to the AIP and Paleo Facebook page and group for any support in your autoimmune healing through AIP!
I missed bread during my AIP diet! Guilty as charged! Just wanted to remember the taste of baked flour in my mouth after almost 2 months of being on a strict AIP diet (in elimination phase).
So I put together some ingredients that gave me these delicious AIP bread rolls I’m very proud of!
Of course they’re gluten-free, egg-free and dairy free and they served me as a great side-dish for my delicious traditional Romanian “bucket meat”.
Here’s what I put in them (measurement unit in grams for flour and ml for liquid):
180 g tapioca flour
40 g coconut flour – I used my favorite from Swanson:
2/3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground Himalaya salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp gelatin for making a gelatin egg
80 ml water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp olive oil, for brushing the rolls
1 Tbsp thyme, for sprinkling over the baked rolls
Here’s how I made my rolls:
I first preheated my oven at 200 C or 400 F.
I mixed all the dry ingredients in a bowl until well combined (tapioca and coconut flour, garlic powder, salt and baking soda).
I then started working on my gelatin egg: I put the water in a small saucepan and sprinkled the gelatin over evenly, making sure it does not create any clumps! I let it sit for 5 minutes and then put the pan on medium heat for one more minute. I then started to stir slowly until I made sure it is all dissolved.
Once dissolved, I put the gelatin egg and the apple cider vinegar in the bowl with the dry ingredients and mixed them using a wooden spoon until dough was formed.
I let the dough rest for 5 minutes and prepared for creating my rolls by dusting some tapioca flour on my hands to make sure the dough doesn’t stick.
I then divided the dough into eight separate pieces, trying to make them all as equal sized as possible. I then modeled the pieces as rolls and placed them on the baking tray lined with a parchment paper, making sure there’s enough space between them.
Before putting them in the oven, I brushed them with olive oil until completely covered and baked them for 12 minutes. I then took them out and brushed them again with olive oil to make sure they turn to a golden color. I put them back in the oven and baked them again for another 12 minutes. Then I took them out and brushed them again with olive oil for the third time and let them bake for another 2-3 minutes or until their crust turned to golden.
After the last round of baking I took them out of the oven and sprinkled thyme on all the rolls.