By: Alison Marras
February 2, 2021
(updated March 14, 2023)
What’s Inside: Resources and tips for starting your journey using The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). Download your AIP Shopping List right here.
Disclaimer: The content and information in these resources are for educational purposes only. It isn’t intended to replace the advice of a physician or medical practitioner. Please see your healthcare provider before beginning any new diet, health program, or interventions.
The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) aims to reduce inflammation and can be a powerful tool along your healing journey. It builds on top of the Paleo diet, with further eliminations that can commonly trigger inflammation for those with chronic digestive conditions and autoimmune disease. It starts with a short-term elimination phase of at least 30-days (and up to 3-months), followed by a 4-stage reintroduction phase.
All the while, including nutrient-dense healing foods such as diverse whole foods, broths, and organ meats, to support healing the gut so you may reintroduce some foods back safely based on your bio-individuality (which basically just means, based on your unique physiology and healing stage).
Everyone’s AIP journey will look different because we are all unique and it is subject to change on our never-ending health and healing journeys because there is no magic pill or quick fix, just the messy day-to-day life!
Can I be candid because I care and I’ve been there? Check your perfectionism at the door and approach this with an open mind and optimistic attitude for the best results. If you can’t do that now, come back to it when you can.
Stress management, sleep, movement, and other lifestyle habits are also strongly linked to the diet and all work synergistically.
This diet is ideal for: Anyone with an autoimmune disease, chronic illness/gut issues, or anyone pre-disposed to one, exhibiting symptoms or wanting to take preventative measures.
I myself was on AIP for a few months and found great success with it in helping my Hashimoto’s symptoms. My antibodies reduced greatly, my energy returned, and much of my inflammation was reduced. Once I began reintroducing foods after the elimination phase, I learned so much about my body and am grateful for the experience. I also found out that overcorrecting with diet is a no-no! Diet is one aspect of health, so I always remind those embarking on the journey not to forget that.
The premise: Paleo diet with further restrictions to reduce common digestive and Autoimmune triggers. There is a removal and re-introduction period of at least 30-days of common allergens: eggs, nightshades, nuts, seeds, chocolate, alcohol, legumes, certain spices. Reintroductions are just as important as the eliminations, plan accordingly.
While everyone’s journey is different, these are common benefits you may notice when trying the AIP diet.
If you’re new to AIP, be sure you are informed on how to do it. Everyone’s healing journey is unique but there are helpful guidelines that can make or break your experience. Here are key resources you’ll want to bookmark.
tip! Try going Paleo consistently for 30-days before attempting AIP since Paleo is at the base of AIP and it will be a much smoother transition both physically and mentally.
Now that you’re briefed and learning more about the AIP diet. It’s time to organize the kitchen and know what you’re avoiding and what you’re eating. Plan a day to toss what you no longer need to free up space for what you’ll be enjoying while on AIP eliminations.
In addition to following the Paleo template which is gluten-, grain-, soy-, legume-, dairy-free, these foods are eliminated during the elimination phase of AIP.
NOW, Let’s focus on the goodies you CAN HAVE…
Veggies: Greens, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, artichokes, leeks, fennel, squash, zucchini, broccoli sprouts and microgreens, cabbage, beets, cucumbers, onions, garlic.
Fruit: Apples, bananas, citrus, berries, pears, kiwifruit, avocado, coconut, plantains, pineapple, mango, pomegranates, cranberries, peaches, plums.
Meat, Fish, & Seafood: Grass-fed red meat like lamb, beef, bison, Organic & free-range/pasture-raised poultry like turkey, chicken, duck. Wild Salmon, cod, sole, tilapia, canned wild salmon, canned Tongol or Skipjack Tuna (lower in mercury), canned sardines, anchovies in water, organic shrimp, scallops, and shellfish, organ meats (and they should be included regularly)
Fresh/Dried Herbs & Seasonings: Thyme, Rosemary, Mint, Sage, Cilantro, Oregano, Marjoram, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Sea Salt, Garlic Salt/Powder, Onion Salt/Powder, Ginger, Basil, Dill.
Healing foods to incorporate regularly: Organ meats (such as liver), broths, and fermented foods like coconut yogurt, water/coconut water kefir, or plain saurkraut.
Fats and cooking oils: Coconut butter (sometimes called “manna”), Canned Coconut cream, Canned Full-fat coconut milk, Extra-virgin olive oil, Avocado oil, Lard, schmaltz, tallow, Virgin coconut oil
Pantry items: Cassava flour, Coconut flour, Pumpkin purée, Sweet potato purée, Medjool dates, Applesauce (unsweetened), Balsamic vinegar, Red wine vinegar, Apple cider vinegar, Capers, Olives, Nutritional Yeast
Having some guidance and time-saving, delicious recipes organized for you will keep you flowing! The fewer decisions you have to make means less stress for you and that’s key to your success.
Grab my FREE 7-day Meal Plan right here filled with my popular, tasty AIP recipes. (family-friendly, too!)
You don’t need to be McGuiver or a formerly-trained chef, but making sure your kitchen is stocked and that you have the tools you need to make this as brainless as possible is exactly what you want. Fumbling and stumbling in the kitchen or wasting several hours cooking and cleaning when you’re already tired and busy isn’t going to help you stay consistent. Don’t throw in the towel because of that! Check out this list for kitchen tools and shopping resources.
Find ethically, sustainably-sourced meat and fish to stock your freezer with locally or online right here:
Here are some great one-stop shops for you to find AIP-compliant convenience foods and staples like sauces, condiments, travel snacks, baking mixes, and more!
And for when you have a craving…
My thoughts on the accessibility of these types of foods. Luckily, these types of foods and products are becoming more available thanks to the magic of the Interwebs, but that doesn’t always mean it’s attainable based on your budget or where you live.
Do your best with sourcing food and remember it’s always progress over perfection. By crowding your plates with more whole foods, staying well hydrated, and cutting out the processed junk… you’re already making immense progress. When trying AIP, just know that you are committing to upping the anty on that (so-to-speak), but part of healing means being prepared while minimizing your stress. So if it’s stressing you out, do what you can.
Adding stress to your life over trying to find the best organic kale or grass-fed, grass-finished beef can cause inflammation too… let’s be real! Do your best, and don’t sweat the rest. You got this!
Remember to mark your calendar to start reintroductions after your elimination phase (which is at least 30-days and up to 3-months).
Once you reintroduce foods and find your groove on your healing journey, you’ll want to surround yourself with like-minded people to cheer you on and support you. Finding an accountability partner, a friend, or building a network of other “spoonies” (chronic illness peeps) or generally health-conscious people is how you normalize this and stay consistent. And when I say, “stay consistent”, I don’t mean by constantly eliminating or restricting yourself… I simply mean with taking care of yourself and progressing on your healing journey because it’s just not a one-and-done type of situation!
Personally, networking, making friends, having a strong health team of doctors/practitioners, and filling my cup with good resources and tools I can leverage at anytime keeps this stress-free and even fun because I can see the growth and progress I’ve made!
If you’re in need of a community of like-minded women, I have an amazing group coaching and cooking community called Nourishing You! We learn together, uplift one another, and share in our experience so we aren’t feeling alone or like it’s an impossible task. You’re welcome to learn more about that right here!
You can also subscribe to some great podcasts, and follow some tasty, knowledgeable food accounts on Instagram and Pinterest. The more this stuff is accessible to you and in your face, the more it sticks.
Check out these accounts for more inspiration:
Are we connected? Never miss a recipe, article, or insta share… (a Tiktok dance, ya know… for the kids). Follow below!
Need more support? Join my private community of women where I’ll send you weekly Paleo/AIP-friendly meal prep plans and you’ll have access to coaching, events, and more! Learn more here.
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