Okay, so whoever said the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet is easy, was a complete liar. I’ve been on this AIP Diet since April, and let me tell you…… It was not a fun or beautiful experience whatsoever. I’m pretty sure I’ve messed up so many times by subconsciously eating almonds when I was hungry in the morning and also by eating a delicious Larabar when I was craving a sweet treat. Although these snacks are “paleo-friendly,” they are not “AIP-friendly”
AIP is a diet where you remove many inflammatory and allergenic foods that could potentially be causing negative symptoms in your body, such as bloating, stomach pains, rashes, etc. Here’s a list of the foods you can/cannot eat on the AIP diet. If you take a look at the list, the foods you CAN eat, are your basic, super healthy, mostly single-ingredient foods. At first I was like, “Pshh this won’t be that bad! I basically eat like this already,” except for the fact that before April 2018 I was vegetarian, and before that, I was vegan for 8 months (I switch back and forth between vegetarian and vegan for different reasons that I will discuss at a later time.) So this was the first time in a VERY long time that I was eating meats on a daily basis. Also, I didn’t realize how much I eat almonds!! And how you aren’t technically supposed to be drinking almond milk. Oh, and, you aren’t able to drink coffee….. <<!!!>>
That first week truly made me realize how difficult this was going to be for me. I didn’t realize how much I depended on that coffee in the morning, or how much I depended on my regular sweet treat in the afternoon. However, I truly think this is important for me to try, and to do my absolute best on being compliant. The reason being that I really want to be able to learn how to listen to my body and hopefully one day discover what my body does/doesn’t like when it comes to food. AIP is a really simple way of doing this because you are eliminating almost everything, and then after a month, you are slowly introducing foods and little by little, you are tracking what you eat and what symptoms (if any) occur after you eat the food. This is extremely helpful because once you find the root cause of your literally internal suffering, you would then be able to eliminate that cause, which should bring relief and make you feel better and healthier overall.
Before beginning AIP, I also tested my antibody levels, and they were on the lower side, so although my autoimmune disease is under control according to my blood tests, I still wanted to give AIP a shot.
Now, I think I figured out some tricks and meals that will make the rest of my AIP easier. First and foremost, I have to remind myself of the bigger picture, and use the power of “why,” as in “why am I doing this?” The answer to that being what’s most important in my life: I’m doing this to be the healthiest I can be knowing I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and because I love myself and the body God gave me. Everyone, of course, has a different “why” that’s motivating them.
Secondly, and most honestly, I need to freaking learn how to say “NO.” Like, “No Barb, I DO NOT WANT YOUR FREE DONUTS, GET THEM AWAY FROM ME. Thank you tho, that’s very kind of you.”
Third, I’ve discovered what I like to eat for meals/snacks.
My go-to breakfasts are:
- Bowl of fruit with coconut yogurt (I’m going to start eating more low-glycemic fruits like berries and citrus fruits, but I started with a bowl of banana, apple, and 2 mandarins.)
- Sweet potato (sauteed or baked in oven) and turkey/chicken sausages.
- An “omelette” without the egg (sauteed veggies such as, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, etc. with turkey bacon strips and sauerkraut.)
- Smoothie with mostly greens and a scoop of collagen
- Bone broth (for the mornings I’m not super hungry)
My go-to snacks are:
- Raw baby carrots (absolute fave) and cucumber
- I was eating tomatoes, but apparently those are not AIP friendly so that is something I will be removing. Still learning from my mistakes 🙂
- Dates (max 6.)
- Fruit (depending on if I had it in the morning or not)
- Sweet potatoes or butternut squash (sometimes with a little bit of honey drizzled over. )
- Turmeric latte or matcha latte (made with coconut milk + water)
- Sweet potato chips with coconut oil (on special occasions!)
- Coconut chips
- Peppermint tea after meals
My go-to lunches/dinners are:
- Protein (chicken, turkey, or fish) with an AIP friendly vegetable, and a dense carb (sweet potato or butternut squash) (sometimes I exclude the dense carb)
- Green smoothie with collagen
- Side of fruit (if not eaten earlier in the day)
- Chicken zoodle soup
- Vegetable soups
- Tuna salad
- I like to add a whole avocado on the side of most of my meals also.
- I also eat number 2,3, and 5 from my go-to breakfasts list for dinner sometimes.
These are just a few of my AIP meals during the day, and everything is super easy and simple to make because it requires very little ingredients!
I also take my levothyroxine in the morning, and my digestive enzyme every time I eat. Additionally, I have quite a few supplements I take throughout the day which I can list on a different blog post. During midday, I try my best to remember to drink some apple cider vinegar, but I’m still trying to get in the habit of remembering it.
Anyway, this is my first week’s experience on the AIP diet. I’m planning on doing this diet for about a few more weeks since it’ll be the end of my introduction phases by then. I’m hoping that this was helpful in some way to someone else who is doing the AIP diet and can relate to my struggles!
Thanks for reading,