What’s Inside: AIP-approved meals to use for the elimination phase of AIP along with my best tips and resources for using AIP as a short-term tool on your healing journey.
What is the AIP Diet?
The Autoimmune Protocol can be a greatly beneficial healing diet for those with Autoimmune Disease or even severe digestive problems. 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. It’s imperative that you do re-introduce foods slowly but surely and there are some studies suggesting this should be done sooner rather than later, as you don’t want to reduce your gut microbiota diversity by relying on too many of the same foods over and over again (more on that in the article below). Some can find that they’ll get sensitive to what they lean on too much.
The premise: Paleo diet with further restrictions. There is a removal and re-introduction period of at least 30-days of common allergens: eggs, nightshades, nuts, seeds, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, legumes, certain spices.
My tips for using AIP as a healing diet:
- Have a timeframe in mind. You should try it for at least 30 days but should consider (depending on how bad your symptoms are) to slowly reintroduce some foods after approx. 6-weeks. Don’t be scared if things are going well and you don’t want to “jinx” it, just go slow at your own pace and adapt it to what works for you, everyone is unique.
- VARIETY, VARIETY, VARIETY! While this is a restrictive diet, you can and will find different foods to incorporate safely within the parameters. You may need to get creative, and hopefully, this meal plan will help you with that.
- Mind-Body, baby. If you approach the diet with a negative attitude, only focusing on what you can’t have, it will be miserable to get through. Instead, my advice is to approach it like an episode of Chopped (Food Network Fans?), where you a dealt a crazy basket of food that you need to do something with. Be creative, have fun, and be optimistic in knowing you are trying something positive to help support your body’s natural healing process. I highly recommend this book, it really set me up for success mentally.
- Know thyself. If you feel you are getting way worse after a couple of weeks of this… either mentally or physically, you may need to pull the plug and that’s okay. There is no failing here, everyone is different and what works for some doesn’t work for all.
Who the AIP diet is ideal for:
Anyone with an autoimmune disease or anyone pre-disposed to one, exhibiting symptoms or wanting to take preventative measures.
Save these resources when getting started with AIP:The Loving Diet by Jessica Flanigan >>
What you can eat on the AIP Diet:
NOW, Let’s get to the FOOD! And let’s focus on some goodies you CAN HAVE like:
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 (limit to 1x/week to reduce mercury), canned sardines, anchovies in water, organic shrimp, scallops, and shellfish.
Fresh/Dried Herbs & Seasonings: Thyme, Rosemary, Mint, Sage, Cilantro, Oregano, Marjoram, Cinnamon, Sea Salt, Garlic Salt/Powder, Onion Salt/Powder.
AIP Meal Plan Menu
Many people find breakfast to be the toughest part of AIP. Without any grains or eggs, it can be puzzling. Not to fear… there are plenty of options. Keep it savory *most* of the time to keep you full, satisfied and to keep your blood sugar in check. And erase everything you previously thought about breakfast, everything is on the table now… lunch/dinner is your breakfast and after getting past that, you just might love and prefer it going forward! Try it!
Classic AIP Breakfast Hash Template
This is an excellent meal prep recipe, as it stores well. I'll usually take 1lb. of ground meat to serve at least 4, and add chopped kale and cabbage (2 cups each) with sprinkles of herbs in the meat. Serve with some avocado!
- 1 lb Ground Meat of choice pick 1 or 2 to mix (turkey, pork, beef, chicken, etc.)
- 4 cups Two veggies of choice I have pictured: Kale & Purple Cabbage
- Two herbs of choice I love using Thyme and Rosemary with sea salt
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Season meat with your choice of herbs and seasonings and mix with clean hands.
Heat a large sauté pan and add a Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add your meat and break it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
Cook well until you don't see any more raw meat. Add your chopped veggies, stir around and cover for just a few minutes so the veggies get soft and wilt. (don't overcook veggies, especially if you're re-heating all week)
Season more to taste and serve and/or store in the fridge for up to a week.
AIP Wild Salmon, Bacon, & Pesto Salad
This vibrant and flavorful salad is a perfect breakfast or lunch to energize you. Packed with protein, herbs, and greens FTW!
- 1 package Wild Smoked Salmon
- 4 slices Bacon (sugar-free, nitrate-free)
- 4 cups Lettuce or greens of choice
- 2 Tbsp Dairy-free pesto (recipe below)
- pinch Herbs (I used chives and thyme)
- squeeze fresh lemon
Add your bacon slices to a parchment-lined baking sheet in the oven at 350f degrees for approx. 15 minutes until crispy. Set aside when finished.
Prep salad in the meantime, arrange bowls with greens and mix in the herbs. Add a dollop of pesto and mix well to coat the greens, reserving a little for the top.
Place slices of wild smoked salmon over top, drizzling remaining pesto and herbs on top. Sprinkle the entire salad with a squeeze of lemon juice and your broken up bacon bits. Serve and eat right away.
Easy AIP Citrus-Thyme Turkey Breakfast Sausage & Veggies
Make these totally customizable patties for meal prep and have them on hand all week! Paired with raw or lightly sauteéd veggies for a satisfying and powerful breakfast or snack!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme (or less dried thyme)
- zest from 1 lemon
- pinch sea salt
Mix ground meat with the thyme, zest, and sea salt well and form into small round patties. (think flat sliders) You should have approx. 8 or so and the flatter you make them, the fast they'll cook.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan and add your patties (you may need to do in batches). Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Store away for a week or serve with your favorite veggies, salad, or however you'd like them!
Perfect for a weekend treat! Another #Brekkie you can make in bulk and freeze the leftovers! See below for how to use a toasted freezer waffle during the week. Grab the recipe here.
Wild Salmon Salad over Tigernut Waffles served with Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar
Grab a freezer waffle and toast it up! Place a handful of greens on top and a serving of Wild Smoked Salmon. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over top with sea salt and enjoy this savory with a slightly sweet (balsamic) tang! So satisfying…
Keep these high protein and fat snacks with you while traveling so you always have a back-up! They’re easy, delicious and will keep you energized – a favorite for travel! Recipe here.
4-minutes and 7-ingredients until you have an allergen-friendly, crispy and chewy English muffin ready to go! Gelatin-free and great to use as a bun too!
This tropical guacamole is made with just 5 ingredients that even the most sensitive stomachs will be happy with! (Low-FODMAP too!) Serve with crudité like radishes, carrot sticks, and celery!
Favorite AIP-friendly products to buy
(shown with berries and plain coconut flakes!)
Meatball & Zoodle Jars
Using this meatball recipe with 1 zucchini or “zoodles” per serving, and mixing in pesto or desired sauce, add the meatballs to the bottom and zoodles on top to keep fresh and prevent from getting soggy. When ready to eat, simply pour onto a plate, re-heat and eat!
Greek Chicken Salad Jars
Download my FREE eBook when you sign up for my newsletter to grab this delicious recipe! Using grilled chicken breast, Kalamata olives, sliced cucumber, red onions and greens with a simple dressing and herbs gives you a tasty Mediterranean lunch that keeps fresh in the fridge for days!
AIP Salmon Cakes with Pineapple Guacamole served over Greens
Herbed Tuna with Turkey Bacon in Romain Shells
This one is so quick and smart, you will love it! Simply grab a serving of tuna (I love Tongol or Skipjack since they’re lowest in Mercury and keep it to once a week max), mix it with olive oil, lemon juice and your favorite herbs like: thyme, dill, chives with some crispy turkey bacon bits (2-3 slices) and pile it into fresh lettuce cups. The crunch and freshness will be a perfect lunch.
Having a bunch of green wraps saved in your fridge for the week is the easiest way to throw a bunch of leftover hash, that extra tuna or salmon cakes or some chicken with your favorite veggies into a delicious and nutritious wrap. It’s easy!
To make this AIP, skip the butter and use some duck fat, coconut oil, olive oil, or Ghee if you’ve reintroduced it! Keep to the Provencal herb blend and stuff with sliced lemons and any fresh herbs you’d like! Skip the pear and shallots to be faster.
Serve your chicken with some delicious Cauliflower Purée or “Mashed Cauliflower” and delicious Oven Roasted Maduros (recipe below)!
Oven Roasted Maduros (Sweet Plantains)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 large ripe plantain (yellow with some brown spotting)
Lightly toss slices of very ripe plantain with coconut oil with a little sea salt and cover in a roasting pan with tin foil. Cook low on 320f degrees for approx. 20 minutes. Then remove the cover (the plantains will be a little puffy and very soft), crank up the heat to 420f degrees for 15 minutes or so, watch them and they’re done when you’re happy with the color! I like mine dark!
AIP Burger with Carrot Fries
How about grilling up a nice juicy burger (I love bison, grass-fed beef, turkey, or ostrich meat!) on a cast iron pan? How about serving it on an actual BUN? Use my AIP English Muffin recipe to have one in just a few minutes all ready. I love topping off my burger with plenty of greens, sprouts if I have them, and K.C. Naturals BBQ Sauce. Served on the side with carrot fries (recipe below).
- 2-3 large organic carrots, scrubbed (not peeled)
- 1 Tbsp duck fat
- salt and desired dried herbs
- Pre-heat oven to 400f degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Chop carrots into matchstick size, try to keep them around the same thickness so they cook evenly.
- Toss the carrots in melted duck fat and sprinkle with sea salt and any desired seasonings, roast for approx. 30-35 minutes until cooked to your liking!
Grilled Cod with Green Salad & Roasted Butternut Squash
- 2 6 oz. pieces of fresh cod (wild caught is best)
- Sea Salt, Dried Rosemary, Thyme to season fish
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- sprinkle of cinnamon and more salt for squash
- 1 small-medium butternut squash
- Greens & radishes for salad
- olive oil and apple cider vinegar
- Pre-heat the oven to 400f degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the butternut squash and then chop into even-sized cubes. Toss with coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and sea salt. Roast for 35-40 minutes until cooked, you can flip half-way through.
- Heat a cast iron skillet with the coconut oil over medium-high, add your cod to the skillet so that it sizzles and press down with a metal spatula (especially if there is skin) so it cooks flat evenly. Cook for approx. 3-4 minutes on the first side and then add your pan to your hot oven to finish off for the last few minutes. The fish will be done with fully white and firm.
- Lastly, toss your salad together with some olive oil and apple cider vinegar!
Make this for some epic Sunday Meal Prep – this lasagna uses Spaghetti Squash as the pasta, deliciously seasoned ground meat, and a mix of cauliflower and coconut cream to make the most amazing dairy-free bechamel sauce I’ve ever had! You will love this one, and the leftovers are a snap to re-heat and comfort you.
It’s time for a fiesta night! Using an Instant Pot (or you can use a slow cooker), these carnitas come together quickly and easily. Try making the guac ahead of time so everything else is easy to add.
Earthy, warm, and comforting – this bowl will nourish you after a long day. What makes this, “dirty” is the ground meat!
I’m on a risotto kick here! This time, using Shirataki rice but you can also use cauliflower rice! The meatballs are kept moist using bone broth and the pesto ties it all together.
Iced Matcha Latte with Coconut Milk*
Here’s my ratio for a perfectly delish iced matcha!
- 1 1/2 tsp ceremonial grade matcha powder
- 80mL hot (but not boiling) water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- handful of ice
Simply pour the hot water over the matcha, whisk as normal in a small bowl/cup until all powder is mixed and no more clumps remain. Pour it into your glass, add ice, and fill the rest with your milk!
*matcha and caffeine, in general, is a bit of a grey area currently within the AIP community. My advice: If the caffeine bothers you, ditch it.
Put your leftover bones to good use! I often stock-pile mine in the freezer until I have enough and throw them in my slow cooker. This will help your healing process even more by rehabilitating that gut lining. It makes for a great night cap, early morning cuppa or snack!
No alcohol, no problem! I used Nettle Tea for these refreshing Mojitos, but feel free to sub with any herbal tea you like.
Missing your hot lattes in the morning? Let’s try something different! I have two recipes using Cordyceps or Chaga! Sub the cardamom with extra cinnamon for a spicy, warm and comforting drink. Adding collagen makes it even frothier!