Today I’m sharing my AIP food list, at least those which consist of my faves.
Listen, living with strict diets is not easy nor is it desirable, but for those of you out there with autoimmune diseases who don’t really have any other options but to follow something like the autoimmune protocol diet, you’ll do what you need to do.
I don’t follow a super stringent diet anymore because I healed my gut.
That said, there was a time when I have followed almost every single diet out there, including the AIP Diet.
What is an AIP Diet?
An AIP diet, also known as autoimmune protocol diet, is a way to reduce inflammation often brought on by a malfunctioning immune system.
It is essentially a more intense version of the Paleo diet and elimination diet.
The paleo autoimmune protocol takes out foods often linked to inflammatory responses and adds in foods thought to help soothe the body.
It is not only centered on gut health, but also chronic inflammation throughout the ENTIRE body.
AIP is done in two stages- the elimination stage and the reintroduction phase.
I’ll go over both of them below.
What are the Stages of AIP Diet?
The elimination stage takes out foods that are thought to promote inflammation in the body’s cells.
This includes foods such as:
- gluten (KNOWN TO BE HIGHLY INFLAMMATORY)
- nightshade vegetables
While in this stage, it is encouraged to eat fresh meat, fermented foods, veggies, and fruit.
Basically, just focus your attention on eating a diverse and minimally processed diet. Nutrient-dense foods is the name of the game here.
This maintenance phase is usually done for 1-3 months, but it depends on the individual.
This is the hardest part of the protocol, but just remember that it is calming your entire system down. Inflammation out, soothing in.
This is similar to the elimination diet, in which you slowly add back in the foods you took to to test tolerance. You can identify which foods cause a flare-up in your own symptoms and remove those from your diet entirely.
Allow about 5-7 days in between adding food back in to truly test your body’s reactivity to it.
What are Different Autoimmune Conditions the AIP Diet Addresses?
AIP has been shown to be effective for several different autoimmune disease including lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Other autoimmune disease include type 1 diabetes and psoriasis.
There is not a whole lot of research on AIP, but individuals note feeling better and reduction in symptoms as a whole. This is due to relief from inflammatory foods that further trigger immune system overreaction.
If you are someone who struggles with any one of the autoimmune disorders, I think this diet is worth trying.
Since this diet is anti-inflammatory, it also could be helpful for leaky gut syndrome, but there are less restrictive diets that may be worth trying first for that.
What is An Autoimmune Disease?
An autoimmune disease is a dysfunction of the immune system, in which immune cells are often overactive and contribute to long-term inflammation.
While normal immune cells cause temporary inflammation, a person with autoimmune disease will have cells that are constantly turned on. Immune cells will often attack healthy cells within the body, creating a cascade of issues.
Symptoms of Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases are often hard to diagnose and take quite some time to do so.
However there are some rather broad symptoms that can point you towards that direction. Unfortunately, some Gutsy girls find themselves developing autoimmune diseases if their gut issues are never healed. Since the gut works so closely with the immune system, dysfunction of one effects the other.
Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- joint pain
- chronic fatigue
- brain fog
- muscle pain
- nerve pain and malfunction
- recurring fever
- digestive issues
Now, a lot of these fit the description of many different issues, so don’t freak out if they fit you.
Simply keep this information in mind if your issues are chronic and not getting better over time. Ask your doctor for testing if necessary.
AIP Food List (A Gutsy Girl’s favorites)
Click HERE to save this AIP-friendly foods list for later.
I put this list of specific foods together because I don’t want you over there all, “Ugh. But what can I eat?”
I was once in your shoes, so I get it.
I was the girl Googling, “AIP Breakfast ideas,” and “What snacks are good to travel with on the AIP diet protocol?”
But not anymore. And now I just want to share everything I know and do to help you on your own journey. This diet is very doable, as long as you have the knowledge beforehand.
So here is an AIP food list filled with some of my favorites:
- butternut squash
- spaghetti squash
- AIP Bread
- bok choy
- organ meats
- olive oil
- bone broth
- full fat coconut milk
- sweet potatoes
- spring mix
- coconut water
- baby carrots
- turkey, beef, and chicken (really any high-quality meat)
- coconut aminos
- Himalayan sea salt
- water chestnuts
- Brussels sprouts
- Traditional Medicinals detox teas, various
- leafy greens
- coconut oil
- coconut butter
- mustard greens
With all of these food choices, you can find some great options for making meals and snacks.
AIP Meal Ideas
Along with the list I gave you, I wanted to give some inspiration on what to eat.
Some of my favorite AIP meals are:
- avocado toast (AIP bread, starchy version) with smoked salmon
- cauliflower chicken and veggie bowl
- spaghetti squash pasta with olive oil and grilled shrimp
- turkey patties paired with a side salad
- cooked brussels sprouts with chicken
- sweet potatoes topped with banana (sounds gross but is actually delicious)
And some snacks include:
- smoothies- either veggie based or fruit based
- turkey roll-ups with baby carrots
- frozen grapes
- homemade tuna salad
As you can see, you can easily find different pairing that make for great meal options.
Now for the harder part… breakfast.
Breakfast is one of the hardest meals to make fit into AIP, but don’t worry, I have a couple of different recipes for you to make it work.
You may have to adjust your breakfast to a slightly higher protein option, which truly is so much better for your health! Having that optimal intake of protein in the morning sets your body up for sustained energy and healing throughout the day.
If you are interested in more recipes, there are THOUSANDS online.
So many people have dealt with AIP and know the struggles of cooking with it, so do not fret!
Gut Healing on AIP
There are a couple of extremely soothing and gut-healing ingredients that you still can use while on AIP.
Some of my favorites include:
- ginger- antioxidant and promotes movement of gas and bloating
- garlic- incredibly strong anti microbial and anti parasitic
- peppermint- soothing effect on the gut and lining
- turmeric- repairs gut lining and decreases inflammation
- coconut oil- anti fungal and anti microbial
- bone broth- soothing and mending for gut lining
- green tea- contains antioxidants that reduce inflammation
p.s. Ginger is the featured ingredient in Digest Plus HERE.
All of these AIP-compliant ingredients are helpful for mending the gut and calming down inflammation. Including them on a regular basis into your diet may help not only reduce inflammation, but also to promote proper healing of the gut.
What are some do NOT eat specific foods while following an AIP Diet?
- vegetable oils
- corn syrup
- bell peppers, chili peppers, and other nightshade vegetables
- any and all things with food additives
- eggs; egg whites + egg yolks
- beans like black beans, kidney beans, etc.
How Do I Add Back Foods?
Remember, super strict diets like the AIP diet should not be followed for life.
This is why it’s critical that you work with a medical practitioner to understand the speed by which you are able to add foods back. They can help you decide an optimal waiting period to test for potential reactions.
I totally get, too, that when you look at these lists you think,
Yeah, but what can I buy that’s pre-packaged and AIP approved?
Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered there, too. Click HERE for 11 favorite packaged AIP foods.
However, when at all possible, especially if you need to follow an AIP diet, you must learn to make and bake at home. It will help your healing efforts the most.
Anything that you can make at home will be more packed with nutrients and provide more benefits than processed foods.
If lists like this are interesting to you, then you’ll love my book, A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut. In it, you’ll find 100+ Creations. Grab your copy on Amazon HERE.
Or, have this book at your fingertips instantly by downloading the PDF now.
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You will heal. I will help.