What is an Autoimmune Protocol? Benefits and AIP Recipes

What is an Autoimmune Protocol? Benefits and AIP Recipes

If you have an autoimmune disease, you are probably ready to try anything that will help your symptoms and reduce inflammation in your body.  Perhaps you have heard of autoimmune protocol (AIP) diets as well. Don’t know where to start? I explain how to follow an AIP diet and how to reintroduce foods. This blog of AIP recipes and AIP food list is for you! You can download the recipes and food lists as well in an easy PDF format. 

What is an Autoimmune Protocol?

An autoimmune protocol is a lifestyle that includes healing foods and removes inflammatory food triggers. Why do I say lifestyle and not a diet?  The word “diet” has connotations of something that is temporary and the word “lifestyle” is a new way of living that heals. However, the word “diet” literally means foods that a person habitually eats. Here I will use both terms. 

Autoimmune protocols vary slightly in how they are followed, but the following principles are true of most AIP recipes and plans: if you restore digestive function, you will help restore immune balance and reduce inflammation. This restoration of balance heals the body.

What is Autoimmune Disease?

It helps to understand what autoimmune diseases are so that following a rigorous type of AIP protocol becomes more motivating.  An easy way to describe autoimmune diseases, collectively, is a loss of immune tolerance.  The immune system becomes more reactive to foods, the environment, and even cells that are “self.”  

This is why people with autoimmune diseases have cells in the body that don’t work quite right. It is like the body is attacking itself from the inside. At the root of all autoimmune diseases are digestive imbalances and leaky gut. This is why foods can be really powerful for healing or helping manage autoimmune diseases.

Most of our immune system is even housed in our digestive tract, around 70-80%.  Many immune compounds are made exclusively in the digestive tract! Our digestive tract is exposed to more toxins than any organ in the body, including the liver. 

This is why the substances we put in our digestive tracts are critical to the healing process. These toxins can come from:

  • Food additives
  • Food sensitivities and allergies
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Household chemicals
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Prescriptions
  • Plastics
  • Water supply
  • More

What is a Leaky Gut?

Did you know that the intestinal wall barrier is only one tiny cell thick?  You have a single layer of cells protecting you from the rest of the world. This is why the barrier is very susceptible to damage from the modern world of chemicals and processing of foods.  

This cellular barrier has tight junctions that protect us from bacteria, toxins, allergens, and more.  In autoimmune disease, this barrier doesn’t work right. The junctions become more open, also known as “leaky.”  The result is the syndrome called leaky gut When this vulnerable lining gets exposed to certain foods, chemicals, and medications, it becomes further weakened, and can even allow larger particles into the body than are meant to be.

The list is long and growing of known substances that open up this cellular wall or contribute to leaky gut.  The foreign substances that get into the body then mount an immune reaction, creating inflammation in any or all tissues of the body. Our digestive tracts were designed to receive foods in a form that is very close to their natural state.

An autoimmune protocol simply tries to mimic what our ancestors’ diets would have been like, with an extra focus on adding foods that help heal a leaky gut.

Benefits of an Autoimmune Protocol Meal Plan

When eating foods on the autoimmune protocol, healing of your digestive tract can occur.  Over a period of 3-4 weeks, you will begin to notice changes in your body that can include:

  • Improved mood
  • Improved brain function
  • Less anxiety
  • Increased energy
  • Less joint pain
  • Improved mobility
  • Less diarrhea
  • Less constipation
  • Less bloating
  • Less digestive pain
  • Resolution of heartburn
  • Reduced headaches
  • Reduced skin acne
  • Reduced skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema

Throughout this period of 3-4 weeks, you will eat a gut healing diet using AIP recipes and foods.  It is critical in the first week to eat enough food to heal.  DO NOT restrict your food intake volume.  This will make your symptoms worse and your ability to stick to the plan will be much more difficult. By week two, you will begin to feel the benefits of the protocol.  For me, I began to feel the benefits much sooner, by day 3 or so.

Healing Crisis

It is important to know that the first week on the autoimmune protocol diet can provoke symptoms before making them better.  Why?  The body begins to release antibodies and toxins due to long-term exposures. This is called a Herxheimer reaction or healing crisis, according to the Holtorf Medical Group.

Why Does this Happen?

Toxins from foods and the environment are stored in tissue throughout the body, especially fat tissue. When your body begins to heal, the bacterial colonies throughout can change.  The toxins can dislodge and release endotoxins. When the toxins and waste released, the body to release them bloodstream for removal.  This sudden increase in blood toxins can temporarily make you feel ill.

What are the Signs of a Healing Crisis?

The symptoms can include headache, nausea, and fever. You can also experience a short-term recurrence of symptoms from long-forgotten illnesses. You may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Aches
  • Anxiety
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea
  • Skin changes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Congestion
  • Other symptoms

Luckily, these symptoms typically are relatively mild and last only a few days for most people. To help reduce symptoms, hydrate with plenty of water, and use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils to reduce symptoms and reduce the stress response in the body. A healing crisis can occur in other settings that are generally healthy, such as massages, saunas, infrared heat, and acupuncture.

Remember, be patient with your body, and take extra time for healing and relaxation during the initial phase of an autoimmune protocol. Focus your efforts on making time to prepare AIP recipes and foods in a relaxed and unhurried way as well.

How Do I Follow an Autoimmune Protocol? 

Similar to a Paleo way of eating in some ways, an autoimmune diet protocol is more targeted for treating the inflammation of autoimmune conditions. There is no one set “protocol” but the foundations of it include the following 4 steps that are critical.  The foundations of it are gut healing foods. The autoimmune protocol lifestyle has the 4 R’s of functional medicine.  Similar to a Paleo diet, the AIP diet recipes included here are tailored to dampen down the inflammation of autoimmune diseases. These 4 R’s are Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, and Restore.

In my personal experience and with my clients’ experiences, you will get more healing if you do all 4 R’s at once over a period of 3-4 weeks.  Be prepared.  Don’t take on your first autoimmune protocol diet when you will be traveling or at a time where cooking is not possible.  AIP recipes and meals take careful consideration. Plan to take care of yourself top to bottom during this time.

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Remove

The first principle of the AIP diet is to Remove.  This is where the elimination diet meal plan phase begins.  What to take out? Remove allergens, intolerances, and processed foods. These foods can make the inflammation of autoimmune diseases worse.

At this point, some food sensitivity and allergy testing is available but isn’t 100% reliable.  The only way to know if you are sensitive to food for sure is a 3-4 week complete elimination of that food.  The AIP meal plan should also help your mood as well.

Foods that trigger anxiety should also be minimized or removed.  For example, coffee and Hashimoto’s thyroid disorder may not go well together, but it is best to cut back gradually to avoid caffeine withdrawal. Common food triggers can include:

  • Gluten
  • Other Grains
  • Corn
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Highly-processed foods
  • Nightshades, if joint pain is involved
    • peppers
    • tomatoes
    • potatoes
    • eggplant
    • tomatillos
    • chili spices
    • Goji berries

For a free and complete downloadable list of foods to eat and avoid on an AIP diet, click here.

Before embarking on an elimination diet, have a plan and discuss how to best do this type of meal plan with a registered dietitian first. It is really important to have a strategy to reintroduce foods so that you can find out the best way to add foods back and know what is your food trigger.

It is also really important that you eat enough food during this phase to nourish the body and avoid excessive hunger. Why?  Hunger makes it SO much harder to stick with the AIP diet. Plan and stock up on foods that you CAN eat.  Those are listed below in the REPLACE section. 

As an experienced dietitian, I usually wait to eliminate nuts.  Why? When you are trying to eat an AIP meal plan, you are going to need some variety and satisfaction in your meals and snacks.  While nuts can be a trigger, a trial elimination can be done if all else doesn’t help.

A word of advice for nuts.  It is best to eat cooked nuts to avoid goitrogenic effects of cooked nuts.  Alternate nuts as well to get nutritional variety and also to avoid an excess of potential aggravating triggers. Remember: it’s not forever!  The elimination diet is for 3-4 weeks.  You will find out your food sensitivities and slowly add back foods that are ok for your own unique needs.

Can I Modify the Autoimmune Meal Plan?

Yes.  If the autoimmune protocol is insurmountable, you can try a period of elimination of the most common triggers, which include eggs, dairy, gluten, soy, and corn.  For me, this worked well because I tend to have a very high-calorie demand and lose weight too rapidly.  I kept in rice and quinoa as well as gluten-free oats during the elimination diet phase.

The best diet for leaky gut is one that you can stick to for the 3-4 week period. The most important part is that it is something that you can stick with. For the best success, be sure to fully eliminate gluten foods and dairy, the most common inflammatory triggers.

An elimination diet can be a very effective natural eczema treatment.

Adding Foods Back on the Autoimmune Protocol

ONLY add back one food at a time. This can be the really challenging part.  You may be really missing a particular food, like pizza, by week 3.  Don’t start with pizza because it will have at least 3 common food triggers!  It is best to start with simple food.  I recommend starting with the food you miss the MOST.

How to Reintroduce Dairy

Try a simple dairy food, such as a glass of cow’s milk or cheese or both.  Have that dairy food or another similar simple dairy food for 3 days.  If you notice you feel bad between these days, you know that milk and cheese is not a food for you.  You will want to take this out of your diet again for at least 3-5 days before reintroducing another food.

How to Reintroduce Soy

It could be soy that triggers you.  When first reintroducing soy, don’t eat stir fry with tofu and soy sauce because that soy sauce can have wheat.  Make sure to eat only tamari soy sauce, which is gluten-free. If you notice any inflammation, digestive issues, skin issues, or more, you will want to remove soy from your diet as a general rule. A good first choice for soy reintroduction would be edamame or tofu. As with dairy, if you react to soy, you will want to take soy out of your diet for at least 3-5 days before adding in another food.

How to Reintroduce Wheat and Gluten

Adding wheat and gluten back is challenging because gluten is in practically every food as a mixed ingredient, often combined with soy and dairy. For example, most bread and cereals won’t work because they can have both soy and dairy in them.  Try a pure “water cracker” or saltine first or cream of wheat.  Add some back daily for 3 days.  Notice how you feel over the next few days. Feel ANY digestive issues? This can include heartburn, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation. Does your energy become zapped?  Does your brain get foggy?  These are all signs that gluten and wheat aren’t for you. Did you react to gluten?  Remove it from your diet again and wait 3-5 days before reintroducing your next food.

How to Reintroduce Other Foods

You will want to continue the process of slowly adding back foods to your diet to see if you can tolerate them.  This can include corn, eggs, legumes, nightshades, and more.  If you have not seen improvement in how you feel throughout the whole process, you may need more time on the full autoimmune protocol.

The best diet for leaky gut takes patience.  Overall, the process can take a period of several months to complete. Some people feel so amazing, they never want to add the foods back in at all! Added sugars and refined oils are generally more challenging foods to add back because they are so highly processed: they may over a longer period of time ramp up your symptoms of inflammation. The inflammation can sneak up on you, in other words.

It is best to stick with fruits for sweetness, some honey or other unrefined sweeteners, and fats from whole foods whenever possible if you have an autoimmune disease.

Replace

You may benefit from replacing digestive enzymes and replace a normal pH with healthy foods and apple cider vinegar.  Lack of digestive enzymes is common due to chronic inflammation. I find many clients benefit from simply adding in these couple of tricks. Terrazymes is a good choice for enzyme supplements.

AIP Food List

Foods that you CAN eat include:

  • Grass-fed meats
  • Organ meats from grass-fed animals
  • Wild-caught fish and seafood
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Root vegetables
  • Fermented vegetables
  • Sea vegetables
  • Avocados
  • Fruit
  • Olive oil and coconut oil
  • Vinegar with no added sugar

Re-inoculate

Adding fermented foods help restore healthy bacteria.  Sometimes additional probiotics are beneficial too. Research in the area of eczema and probiotics are very promising. I like the PB Assist probiotic. Make sure to add lots of vegetables to provide prebiotics too. Probiotic-rich foods include:

  • Fresh sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Kombucha, unsweetened
  • Puerh tea
  • Pickles
  • Apple cider vinegar with the “mother”
  • Water Kefir
  • Coconut Kefir

Fermenting your own foods can be really rewarding.  For some great AIP food-friendly recipes, try the Real Food and Love site. Probiotics may be useful for you too. The most commonly studied supplemental probiotic strains are Lactobacillus strains.  In a review study of almost 1600 patients, probiotics worked better than placebo for eczema symptoms, for example. If you are able to rule out soy sensitivity, you can add back these powerhouse probiotic foods too:

  • Tempeh
  • Natto

Repair

Nutrient-dense foods help restore nutrient statuses, such as bone broth, high-quality meat, and wild-caught fish. You may also want to include organ meats, fermented foods and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Organ meats are THE most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.

Herbs are helpful because they dampen down inflammation in the digestive tract.  Certain plant compounds like that can help repair the gut include:

Can I get enough nutrients on an AIP diet?

When eating so many vegetable and nutrient-rich foods, AIP diets often exceed the nutrient content of the Healthy US Style eating pattern recommended by the US Dietary Guidelines.

As with any type of meal plan, certain nutrients need to be added, such as vitamin D3, which is indispensable in autoimmune diseases. Consideration of calcium intake should be closely monitored and tailored for you, the individual.  

Your body will repair faster if it has the number of nutrients it needs. It is best to test for micronutrients first.  Check out Jeanette Kimszal RDN for great micronutrient testing.

Do I Need Autoimmune Supplements for Repair?

Yes.  The quicker you replenish your nutrition, the quicker you can heal your leaky gut and help your autoimmune disease. You also probably aren’t absorbing nutrients as well because of your leaky gut, so you may have more nutrient deficiencies than most people.

Nutritional supplementation can be really useful throughout the process but needs to be done with utmost care to avoid additives. For example, many supplements contain soy.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is a critical nutrient to restore with autoimmune diseases.  Vitamin D deficiency is linked to virtually every autoimmune disease risk and severity.

You will want to test, treat, and repeat at about 6-month intervals until you get your blood level to an optimal range of around 50-100 ng/ml of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in your blood. For more information about vitamin D testing and dosing, read my blog about vitamin D for pain.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is helpful to reduce almost all kinds of inflammation of autoimmune disease. Quality matters when it comes to fish oil.  Many brands add synthetic vitamin E, which isn’t metabolized well by the body.

While some brands contain a lot of omega 3’s they have artificial vitamin E, which can do more harm in the body than good.  I don’t recommend buying Nature Made because it has NO protective antioxidants. However, Nature’s Bounty, Nordic Naturals, and Carlson’s do have natural vitamin E. The best brand I’ve found so far?

I like xEO Mega fish oil supplement because it has natural antioxidants, including frankincense, cloves, thyme, orange, caraway, and ginger.  It also contains many more plants as medicine to protect the omega-3 fats and further reduce inflammation in the body.  You can find it here. This brand has research to support that it reduces inflammation.  It also comes in a combination pack with vitamins that are great called the Lifelong Vitality Pack.  See below for more information.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a cofactor for vitamin D metabolism in the body.

Magnesium deficiency can also cause inflammation in the digestive tract.  Most Americans have diets that are low in magnesium as well. I like Natural Vitality Calm because it is powdered. You can easily mix and water and the best part is that it tastes good, and you don’t have to take another pill. You can find it here.

L-Glutamine

L glutamine helps maintain the structure of the intestinal lining.  It is considered a conditionally essential amino acid and may be a tool for helping to heal the digestive lining.  You can find L-glutamine here.

Glutathione

Glutathione is the body’s major antioxidant.  With inflammatory diseases like autoimmune diseases, glutathione can get depleted in the body.  Forms of glutathione can vary and some don’t absorb or metabolize well.

I recommend an acetyl-glutathione form of glutathione, which you can find here.

Turmeric

Turmeric’s active major active compound is called curcumin. Turmeric inflammation benefits are proven time and time again.  It is a very potent root that can help ease pain in autoimmune disease and help restore immune balance.

Some types of turmeric are absorbed so much better than others.  BCM 95® type is 6 times more absorbable than turmeric with piperine.  My favorite form of turmeric is Deep Blue Polyphenols and you can find it here.

Multivitamin with Minerals

Avoid most multivitamins, but do opt for quality ones. Why?  They contain synthetic ingredients that the body can’t use or allergens. They also contain minerals that do not absorb well in the best of circumstances.

Centrum, Nature Made, and One-A-Day brands are popular, but of low quality and absorbability.  I do not recommend these brands or those found in most retail stores.

An all-natural vitamin is Thorne Basic Nutrients III and you can find it here. It is free of all major allergens and is AIP friendly.

Another brand I like is the Lifelong Vitality Pack.  It is free of soy, dairy, wheat, and hypoallergenic.  While the nutrient matrix is grown on these foods, the finished product has no traceable amount of allergens.  You can find the Lifelong Vitality Pack here. The best part about the Lifelong Vitality Pack is that it also contains fish oil and many anti-inflammatory compounds as well. It even contains Boswellia, ginger, and enzymes for digestion. For this reason, it is the best value for your health.

Essential Oils for Autoimmune Disease

Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that can help support the healing processes for autoimmune diseases. You can diffuse, apply topically, and some can be taken internally if they are of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade.

Essential oils for pain and inflammation are extensive and you can read about them on my blogs here. Essential oils that decrease inflammation include:

  • Frankincense
  • Ginger
  • Roman chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Clary sage
  • Marjoram
  • Many more

A kit that can help get you through discomfort of autoimmune illnesses and help reduce toxic burdens in the air is called the Aromatouch kit.  This kit contains Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils.  You can find it here.

You can even use essential oils for hyperthyroidism due to autoimmune disease.  Why? Essential oils dampen down cortisol and the stress response in the body. An important step in the autoimmune protocol is to remove toxins and replace with healthy compounds.

Your skin absorbs up to 70 percent of what you put on it.  Ditch the chemical cleaners and switch to all-natural if you want to maximize your healing.  A kit that can help you with this is called the Natural Solutions kit.  It can be found here.

AIP Snacks

While it may seem like no foods are left, there are so many things that you CAN eat with pleasure. You can even have snacks! Sometimes the fatigue of autoimmune disease sets in, yet you need really need a quick, but also healing snack.

I recommend making a big batch of snacks on the weekend to eat during the week. Here are some you can easily grab at the store as well. Make sure that they are free of chemical additives, such as nitrites, preservatives. Simple ingredients that you know of as food are the way to go. These Paleo-style foods and snacks include:

  • Avocados
  • Seaweed snacks 
  • Fruit
  • Plantain chips
  • Kale chips
  • Energy bars, Paleo-friendly
  • Foil packed light tuna, sardines
  • Bison jerky
  • Tiger nuts
  • Dehydrated sweet potato chips

Quick prep snacks:

Autoimmune Protocol Recipes

The following AIP diet recipes are designed by nutritionists with both health and taste in mind.

The first recipe uses tiger nut flour. You can get whole tiger nuts too for a great snack. A tiger nut is not a nut at all; it is a root vegetable that can be eaten on an autoimmune protocol.  Tiger nut flour recipes can be a great way to feel like you are getting grains in your diet without all the inflammation.

You can use tiger nut flour in place of wheat flour to make tortillas and more. Tiger nuts are a great way to get an AIP-friendly fiber food into your diet. Included are some easy AIP meal plan ideas for you and your loved ones.

Click HERE to get the FREE downloadable PDF recipe page.

Tiger Nut Muffins with Veggies and Fruits

From the kitchen of Kelly Walsh, MS                                 

 

Here is one of the AIP recipes that will satisfy your carb cravings without causing inflammation.  Not only are these gluten free muffins, they are free of inflammatory ingredients like sugar.

Keep in mind, this isn’t sweetened, so it won’t taste like your typical muffin.  As you adapt your taste buds, you won’t miss sugary muffins.  You will find that fruit becomes sweet enough to satisfy your need for sugar after a short period of time, generally 2-3 weeks.

Servings: 12 Ingredients                                                           

  • 1 Zucchini shredded
  • 1 Carrots shredded
  • ½ cup of Blueberries                                                 
  • 1 Cups of Tiger nut Flour
  • ½  cup of Filtered Water

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • In a large mixing bowl mix the blueberries, zucchini, carrots, and flour and add a ½ cup of water
  • Scoop out 1/3 cup of batter and put into muffin tins.
  • Bake for 25 mins or golden brown

Broccoli Carrot Mango Coleslaw

From the kitchen of Kelly Walsh, MS Broccoli Carrot Mango Coleslaw by The Healthy RD AIP recipes should have healing in mind and this recipe is full of vitamins and minerals that repair.  Each item helps reduce inflammation in the body. Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cabbage shredded
  • 2 cups of broccoli shredded
  • 1 cup of carrots shredded
  • ½ cup of mango juice
  • 3 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small onion diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  •     Add the ingredient to a large bowl, mix, well and refrigerate for 30 or overnight
  •     Serve chilled

 

Baked Acorn Squash with Cinnamon

From the kitchen of Kelly Walsh, MS

Baked Acorn Squash Recipe with Cinnamon by The Healthy RD If you need comforting and simple, look no further.  Squash and gourd vegetables are great for AIP recipes.  Don’t like Acorn squash?  Try buttercup squash or hubbard squash.  You can make this your own. Ingredients:

  • One Acorn Squash
  • One tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of avocado oil  

Instructions:

  •    Preheat oven to 400
  •   Cut Acorn Squash in half
  • Scoop out all seeds and discard
  • Brush avocado oil on the inside of squash
  •   Drizzle cinnamon on top of the avocado oil
  • Place on a cookie sheet
  •   Cook for 45 mins until soft
  • Wait 5 mins to serve

 

Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato Hash and Greens

From the kitchen of Kelly Walsh, MS  

Part of healing on an AIP protocol requires high-quality protein.  The digestive lining is made of proteins, so be sure not to skimp on protein-rich foods during the AIP protocol. The following AIP recipe is very satisfying and nourishing.

Chicken thighs with sweet potato hashbrowns and greens by The Healthy RD Ingredients:

  • 8 Chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Adobo
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Seasoned Salt
  • 1 bag of Swiss Chard, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 cups of roasted sweet potatoes cut in small cubes
  • ½ cup of green onions

Instructions:

  • Season chicken thigh with garlic powder, adobo, salt, pepper, seasoned salt
  • In a large skillet heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat.
  • Cook chicken for 15 minutes until meat gets to 170 degrees
  • Sautéed Swiss chard in oil over medium heat
  • Roast sweet potatoes in oven for 45 mins @ 400 degrees
  • Serve chicken and sweet potatoes over a bed of swiss chard

Grain Free Easy Overnight Oats

From the kitchen of Kelly Walsh, MS Grain free easy overnight oats by The Healthy RD This is a healthy AIP breakfast porridge that takes only minutes to make in the morning. Do AIP recipes seem full of vegetables?  They should!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Small Apple shredded
  • 1 small sweet potato shredded
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

Instructions:

  •    In a small pot heat almond milk and add apples, sweet potatoes, almond butter and cinnamon
  •    Cook for 10 mins until soft
  •    Cool before placing in a mason jar. Refrigerate overnight. 
  •    In the morning, add fruits, nuts, and almond butter
  •    Microwave for 2:30 mins
  •    Add fruit, nuts or almond butter for more protein

 

Sweet Potato Hashbrowns

From the kitchen of Kelly Walsh Sweet potato hashbrowns by The Healthy RD Sweet potatoes are mainstays of AIP recipes.  Does your recipe call for pasta or grains? Simply add this recipe in its place!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (diced evenly)
  • 1 small onion (diced evenly)
  • ¼ ground cinnamon
  • ¼ ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions: In a medium an add two tablespoons of coconut oil to a pan, add sweet potatoes and onions. Cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.  Cook until sweet potatoes are soft, then add cinnamon and nutmeg.

Easy Moroccan Chicken with Olives  

From the kitchen of Kelly Walsh Easy Moroccan Chicken with Olives by The Healthy RD AIP recipes should frequently include onions because of their high sulfur content.  This recipe is loaded with sulfur-rich onions!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of chicken thighs
  • 2 medium red onions
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup of cilantro
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 2 cups of water  
  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • ½ cup of olives                                          

This chicken recipe is both hearty and simple. Make for dinner and then bring leftovers with you to work for an easy AIP lunch. Instructions:

  1. Saute onion, garlic with 2 tsp of olive oil-Place chicken in skillet and brown for 5-7 minutes
  2. Season chicken with cumin, paprika, salt and simmer for 10 minutes
  3. Add 2 cups of water
  4. 1 cup of cilantro
  5. Juice from 1 large lemon
  6. Simmer on low for 35 minutes

 

Beef Slaw Detox Recipe

From the kitchen of Kelly Walsh, MS Beef slaw detox recipe by The Healthy RD Grass-fed beef is full of gut-healing minerals like zinc, selenium, and also is rich in omega 3 fatty acids.  AIP protocols include grass-fed beef or wild game to support the healing process.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • ½ Head of chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup of carrots shredded
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 stakes of kale (torn in 2-3 inch pieces)
  • ¼ cup of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • Garnish with sliced avocado on top

Instructions:

  • Cook beef for 5-7 minutes and cabbage and onions into the beef fat.
  • Add carrots, turmeric, ginger to the pan
  • Cook cabbage until cabbage is tender
  • Add parsley
  • Garnish with sliced avocados

Energizing Celery Smoothie Recipe

From the Kitchen of Heidi Moretti, MS, RD Fresh green celery smoothie in a mason jar by The Healthy RD This celery smoothie is both vibrant, fresh, and detoxifying. It can be great for an AIP breakfast smoothie or late afternoon energy boosting drink. A celery smoothie may sound strange, but it’s actually quite delicious and I look forward to its energy-boosting effects. Green smoothie recipes are an integral part of the AIP diet.

You can add seasonal greens to your taste preferences in your AIP recipes. This recipe features a detoxifying essential oil as well, which is optional.  The Zendocrine essential oil blend contains Tangerine Peel, Rosemary Leaf, Geranium Flower/Leaf, Juniper Berry, Cilantro Herb essential oil.  This is a great blend of essential oils for detox. You will want to use this for 7-10 days to help the body detoxify in a healthy way.

This oil blend also has antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and heal the body. Once the 7-10 days are over, you can switch to any flavor you like such as cinnamon, ceyenne, cardamom, or all of the above!  Cinnamon and cardamom sweetness are natural.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • 1 cup packed spinach or 1/4 cup packed fresh kale
  • 1/2 cup cucumber
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
  • 4 drops Zendocrine essential oil blend, optional
  • 2 cups ice

Instructions: Chop celery into 4-inch stalks.  Add all of the ingredients to your blender and process until smooth. If this drink is too bitter for you at first, you can try adding a teaspoon of honey or to taste.

About the authors

Photo of Kelly Walsh, MS | Thyroid Nutrition Educators

Kelly Walsh has a Master’s in Nutrition from The College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ and is currently working as a cooking/nutrition instructor at a private school in North Jersey.

Two years ago, Kelly was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after a stressful combination of working and finishing up her dietetic internship. Her journey to wellness was to find the “root cause” of why her thyroid symptoms came on so suddenly. After about a year of trying elimination diets, food, and allergy testing, the root cause was the reactive food sources of soy, rice, wheat, dairy, and corn.

By eliminating these five food sources from her diet and taking 50mcg of levothyroxine her thyroid symptoms are stable. As a nutritionist, Kelly knows the importance of how diet can be a big factor in managing symptoms with thyroid disease.

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! Yes, so many people have even reversed autoimmune conditions using this protocol. Thanks for checking out my post! Heidi

  1. This is such a great and informative post on AIP. It can definitely be difficult navigating autoimmune diseases, and your post does a great job of laying out all of the information for people.

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